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Recent releases, December 2010

Glengoyne, Port Cask Finish (13-year-old) (Scotland)
For the first time in the Stirlingshire distillery’s history, Glengoyne now has a cask finished expression as a permanent part of its core range. According to a Glengoyne spokesperson, “A different limited edition will always be on offer to the consumer. The first of the new cask finishes launched is a limited edition 13 Years Old Port Cask Finish... Only 2,817 bottles of the 13 Years Old Port Cask are available and will be replaced by a different cask finish when sold out.” Glace cherries, vanilla cream and cocoa powder on the nose, with a contrasting background note of damp earth. Initially sweet and fruity on the palate, with lots of developing spices and wine notes. The medium-length finish is spicy and somewhat citric. Less overt spiciness when water is added. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £65.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Jura, 21-year-old (200th Anniversary) (Scotland)
To celebrate its 200th anniversary, Isle of Jura distillery has released a limited edition 21-year-old variant, matured in vintage Gonzales Byass Oloroso Sherry casks, dating back to 1963. Distillery Manager Willie Cochrane says that “At the distillery we are all extremely proud of this 200th anniversary expression. Not only is it an exceptional malt, it’s also an exceptionally rare malt with only a few thousand people being lucky enough to be able to enjoy this beautiful whisky that has been matured in a vintage Oloroso sherry cask. “Each and every bottle will also contain a personal invite from me to join me and my team at the distillery for a private tour and to indulge in some of our rarest malts, but consumers need to be quick off the mark as there are a limited number of bottles and tours available worldwide.” Oranges, lemonade, nougat, wood polish, Sherry and salted nuts feature on the nose. Quite mouth-coating and initially richly fruity, with notes of coal soon developing. Medium length in the finish, spicy, with some Sherry and brittle toffee, plus lingering coal dust and liquorice sticks. 44.0% ABV, 70cl, £85.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Johnnie Walker, The John Walker Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland)
The latest extension to the Johnnie Walker Blue Label range is an ultra-premium blend, The John Walker, which contains whisky blended from just nine casks, with 330 bottles available in each batch. A Diageo spokesperson says that “Every care has been made to recreate the authentic flavours of a 19th century blend in John Walker’s original style and the whisky has been taken from a range of distilleries, some of which are now closed; making this whisky quite literally priceless. “Cambus grain whisky is the unifying force that binds the great malt whiskies together in The John Walker. The marrying process, the second maturation in small cask, small batch production gives a chance for these great, giant whiskies to work together seamlessly.” Lemonade on the softly spiced nose, with ginger, caramel and a hint of fallen leaves. More overt fresh fruits with time and a developing hint of vanilla. Elegant and beautifully balanced on the confident, smooth, malty palate, with rich, fruity oak and a hint of smokiness. Very long, with lingering dark chocolate and oak notes in the warm, satisfying finish. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £2,000.00, Harrods.

Glenglassaugh Spirit Drink

Following the release of its new make spirit under the 'Spirit Drink That Dare Not Speak Its Name' banner, and a follow-up offering of 'Blushes' - spirit aged for six months in ex-wine casks -Glenglassaugh distillery has now added two new variants to its re-packaged line up.

The 'standard' new make variant is now offered as 'Clearac,' and along with 'Bushes' is presented in 200ml bottles, at 50%abv. New additions are 'Fledgling XB' and 'Peated'.

Glenglassaugh managing director Stuart Nickerson says that "The Spirit Drink range follows the successful one-off bottling of 'The Spirit Drink That Dare Not Speak Its Name,' the world's first release of a single mash, and feedback from our consumers.

"Malt drinkers told us that they wanted to try as many variants of our evolving spirit as possible; that they wanted affordable sampling packs and that different cask types were of great interest. The Spirit Drink range is the result."

"We have other variants in the pipeline, including spirit aged in quality Sherry wood and spirit aged for longer time periods. The variation is interesting and the overall quality incredibly exciting. The prospects for Glenglassaugh when fully matured are exceptional."

Glenglassaugh, Fledgling XB (Scotland)
Fledgling XB has been matured for as period of 12 months in ex-Bourbon casks, and the result is a spirit which is less mashy and metallic on the nose than ‘Clearac,’ with soft caramel notes in evidence. Fuller bodied on the palate, sweeter, with obvious toffee, though the finish remains somewhat metallic. 50.0% ABV, 20cl, £13.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenglassaugh, Peated (Scotland)
This variant is new spirit which has been made with barley malted to quite a high peating specification, and it offers a mildly fruity nose of sweet, soft peat smoke and a hint of kippers. Relatively one-dimensional on the palate, as is to be expected at this stage, with sweet, slightly fruity peat notes. The finish is lingering and ashy. As with the ‘Fledgling XB,’ this Glenglassaugh promises fine things for the future. 50.0% ABV, 20cl, £13.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Dalmore, 18-year-old (Scotland)
This addition to the Dalmore line up has been aged in American oak barrels for 14 years before spending a further three years in Matusalem Sherry butts and a final 12 month period marrying in upstanding Sherry butts. The result is a rich, winter fireside dram, sweet and Sherried on the nose, with spicy orange peel, brittle toffee and a hint of background soot. Luscious in the mouth, with lots of citrus fruit, mild oak, plus developing marzipan and Sherry. The finish is lengthy, with lingering marzipan, coffee and dark chocolate notes. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, £89.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Glen Garioch, 1991 Vintage (Scotland)
Glen Garioch single malt has been re-launched (see last month’s Whisky News) and brand ambassador Tom Jones says that “For independents and whisky shops it’s an opportunity to have a brand that’s not widely available in national chains. I'd expect to sell around 16,000 cases per annum by 2013 or 2014.” The Aberdeenshire distillery’s latest vintage expression was distilled in 1991 and matured in American oak casks. Jones adds that “The distillery used peated barley until 1993, so the 1991 vintage has quite a distinct flavour compared to the other two expressions in the range.” Quite reticent on the nose, considering its strength. Subtle malt and fudge notes, plus a hint of wood smoke. More fresh fruit – peaches, pears and mangoes – with the addition of water. Fresh fruits and a sherbet ‘zing’ on the palate, with a suggestion of treacle. Developing spicy smokiness. Again, fruitiness is emphasised by dilution. The ‘zing’ – now ginger – lasts to the end of the medium-length finish, with advancing, discreet oak. 54.7% ABV, 70cl, £65.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Glen Mhor, 1966, Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection (Scotland)
This recent addition to Gordon & MacPhail’s prestigious, repackaged Private Collection range was distilled in Glen Mhor distillery, Inverness, on 1st November 1966 and matured in refill Sherry hogshead number 3687. Bottled in August this year, just 139 bottles have been released. Orange fondant creams on the nose, with background spicy malt, milk chocolate and a mild, herbal note. Smokier when diluted. Fresh fruit and some vanilla on the initial palate, with gentle peat smoke, tending more towards black treacle with time. Long in the finish, with fruit gums and gingery, old oak. 45.0% ABV, 70cl, £245.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Longmorn, 1964, Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection (Scotland)
Like the veteran Glen Mhor in the same series, this offering from the Speyside distillery of Longmorn is a newcomer to the Private Collection, and was distilled on 27th March 1964, being matured in first-fill Sherry hogshead number 1534. Bottled in late summer 2010, 164 bottles have been made available. Dark chocolate cherry liqueur and raisins, hints of vanilla, spice and smoky Sherry. Initially extremely fruity on the palate, spicy, with smoke and dry Sherry, becoming more oaky and astringent. Very long and drying to coal soot in the finish. Extremely moreish! 51.9% ABV, 70cl, £280.00, specialist whisky merchants.

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