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Recent releases, June 2011

Wemyss Single Casks Bottlings

Following on from the success of previous single cask releases, using stylistic descriptors for names, Wemyss Malts has recently brought out a new trio, representing the Highland, Speyside and Islay regions of Scotch whisky production.
Weymss Vintage Malts, Mocha Spice (Scotland)
Dating from 1990, Mocha Spice is actually a Dalmore, made in the Whyte & Mackay-owned distillery on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, and the single cask in question has yielded 732 bottles. Sweet, vanilla, ripe tangerines, a hint of black pepper and ginger on the nose. The addition of water suggests tinned orange segments in cream. Spicy orange marmalade on the palate, with more ginger. Instant coffee and a touch of oak in the medium-length, spicy finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £68.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Weymss Vintage Malts, Ginger Compote (Scotland)
Produced in Diageo’s low profile Benrinnes distillery, between Aberlour and Dufftown, 767 bottles of 1996-distilled Ginger Compote have been released. Treacle, root ginger, damp earth and a suggestion of cloves on the nose. A big, sweet, spicy palate with summer fruits leads into lingering dry oak and cocoa. 46.0% ABV, 70, £50.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Weymss Vintage Malts, Smoke Stack (Scotland)
Smoke Stack emanates from another Diageo distillery, this time Caol Ila, and is also a 1996 distillation. Just 294 bottles are on offer. A classic Islay nose of brine, bonfire smoke, citrus fruit and Germolene, with a rubbing of pipe tobacco. Oily and notably sweet in the mouth, with spicy peat, nuts and pineapple notes. The sweetness lingers right through to the end of the lengthy, spicy, smoky finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £59.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Tomintoul, 21-year-old (Scotland)
The introduction of a 21-year-old expression of Tomintoul fills a gap between the existing 16-year-old and 33-year-old variants, and also offers a different flavour profile. As Distillery Director Robert Fleming explains, “Only those casks offering classic floral and fruity characteristics with a touch of spice have been selected for this bottling. The resulting richness of taste can only be achieved after the careful ageing of the finest malt spirit in choice oak casks for 21 patient years.” Ripe honeydew melons, pears, warm spices and barley-sugar on the nose, with a hint of new leather. Smooth and elegant. Medium-bodied, with a rich, spicy palate presence, plus toffee and malt notes. Quite lengthy in the finish; mildly mouth-drying, with cocoa powder. Spicy to the end. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £48.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Bowmore, 1982 (Scotland)
The Islay distillery of Bowmore launched its first vintage release last year, namely a 1981 expression, and that has now been followed by a 1982 bottling. Eddie MacAffer, Bowmore Distillery Manager, declares that "I've watched over this fine vintage from the day it was laid to rest 29 years ago through its long maturation in the unique cold, damp atmosphere and salty air in the No 1 Vaults. The Bowmore 1982 is a challenging and rewarding dram, ideal for a man who appreciates the outdoors and the challenges it brings." A nose of violet creams, background over-ripe bananas, then subtle, sweet peat smoke and caramel notes emerge. Substantial on the palate, very lively, with smoky spices, pineapple juice and fresh oak, plus more violets and milk chocolate. The finish is medium in length, sweet and fruity. (501 bottles). 47.3% ABV, 70cl, £300.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Tullibardine, Banyuls Finish (Scotland)
In most cases where whisky is ‘finished’ in former wine casks, the consumer is only given generic details of the type of wine which the casks previously held. Specific provenance is rare. However, the Perthshire distillery of Tullibardine has recently bottled a red wine finish, declaring that it has been matured in casks from the Coume del Mas in the Rousillon region of southern France, and previously housed Galeteo Banyuls. Sweet and fragrant on the nose, with rosehips, then a suggestion of damp earth and raw mushrooms. Emerging notes of Turkish Delight and cream toffee. Mouth-coating and spicy, with wild berries. The addition of water releases notes of ginger. Enduringly fruity in the finish, with raspberries, blackcurrants and milk chocolate. Ultimately drying oak. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £36.95, specialist whisky merchants.

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