Recent releases, July 2009
|Old Pulteney, 30-year-old (Scotland) |
The oldest official bottling of single malt from Scotland’s northernmost mainland distillery of Old Pulteney has just hit the shelves. The 30-year-old expression has been matured in American White Oak, and senior brand manager Iain Baxter says “This whisky has been looked after at the distillery for 30 years and the age contributes a huge amount of complexity. I’d say that for a malt whisky with so much age and depth, it’s still incredibly approachable.”
The nose is sweet and malty, with delicate vanilla, tropical fruits and ripe peaches. Very fruity when diluted. The palate is big and initially soft, with more fruit, honey and a hint of oak. The finish is long, with spicy oak.
44.0% ABV, 70cl, £250.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenfiddich, Distillery Edition (Scotland) |
Previously only available at selected international airports, Glenfiddich has now relaunched its 12-year-old Distillery Edition to a wider market. According to Malt Master, David Stewart, “Glenfiddich Distillery Edition is a classic expression of Glenfiddich with a higher strength which adds complexity. Characteristically, we have married the matured single malts for Distillery Edition in Glenfiddich’s unique oak marrying tuns to ensure a consistently well-balanced and elegant signature malt.”
Glenfiddich Distillery Edition has been matured in American and European oak casks, including ex-Oloroso Sherry casks, and offers a rich, floral, malty nose, with a suggestion of pepper, while the palate is lively and spicy, with ripe fruit and a tang of Sherry. The finish is sweet and lengthy, with a hint of cloves.
51.0% ABV, 70cl, £37.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glenrothes, 1988 Vintage (Scotland) |
A brace of Glenrothes vintages have recently been launched, aimed principally at Far Eastern markets. According to Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director for The Glenrothes, “With the passing of time, vintages from the 1970s and 1980s are inevitably becoming more and more endangered. The 1988 Vintage is a fantastic reminder of how beautifully The Glenrothes ripens from vibrant, zesty youth to rich, full-bodied maturity.”
Initially destined for Taiwan, the 21-year-old 1988 expression will ultimately be distributed in other markets as the existing 1985 and 1987 Vintages sell out. Cox adds that “The Asian market tends to like sweeter and darker whiskies.”
The nose offers a nose of thick cut marmalade, rich oak, spicy oranges and fruit cake, while the palate is rich and full-bodied, with more oranges, vanilla and The Glenrothes’ hallmark balance and creamy texture. The finish is long and comparatively sweet, with a hint of smoke.
Initially available in Taiwan. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, NT$5,500.
|Glenrothes, 1998 Vinage (Scotland) |
The Glenrothes 1998 Vintage is being distributed in domestic markets as the core vintage expression in Taiwan, Singapore and China. It is the first bottling to carry the label signature of Gordon Motion, who has taken over as ‘Malt Master’ with the recent retirement of John Ramsay.
The Glenrothes note that “Significantly, this is the first vintage to use stocks specifically laid down for bottling as The Glenrothes upon reaching maturity. As a result it is anticipated that The Glenrothes 1998 Vintage will have greater longevity than some of the earlier vintages.”
In contrast to its older sibling, reviewed above, the comparatively youthful 1998 Vintage boasts a nose of cereal, honey and sweet, tropical fruits and raspberries. The palate is gentle and quite sweet, with vanilla custard, coconut and cinnamon notes. The finish is medium in length and spicy.
Initially available in Far Eastern markets. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, NT$1,500.
|Glenrothes, John Ramsay (Scotland) |
Before his retirement in July, The Glenrothes’ ‘Malt Master’ John Ramsay was given a free hand to produce a ‘legacy’ bottling, having been involved with every Vintage release since 1994.
A Glenrothes spokesman notes that “John has identified a parcel of second fill American oak Sherry casks from 1973 to 1987 which have now been married together and very gradually reduced in strength, but not chill-filtered. This limited edition of only 1,400 bottles will stand as John’s legacy to The Glenrothes.
Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director, says that “This exceptional bottling is a fitting tribute to one of the quiet men of blending; John lets his whiskies do the talking. I am confident The Glenrothes John Ramsay will prove to be an extremely articulate expression that will find favour with whisky enthusiasts everywhere.”
Rich and floral on the nose, with caramel, vanilla, orange peel and dark chocolate, while the complex, balanced palate features marmalade, spice, worn leather almonds and oak. The finish is confident and long.
(available from September 2009). 46.7% ABV, 70cl, £700.00, Berry Bros & Rudd, specialist whisky merchants.