Recent releases, June 2013
|Bowmore, Tempest 4 (Scotland) |
Bowmore’s Tempest range of small-batch releases continues with the fourth in the series, matured for 10 years in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks. Fewer than 2,000 cases have been released worldwide.
Sweet peat, vanilla, ripe oranges and caramel on the nose initially, then hints of ozone and coal tar soap emerge. Soft-textured in the mouth, with immediate tarry notes, then sweeter, with vanilla, pine, aniseed, lively spices and ashy peat. Drying and spicy in the lingering finish, with liquorice and orange wine gums. 55.1% ABV, 70cl, £49.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Wemyss, Ginger Spice 1988 (Glenrothes) (Scotland) |
This 25-year-old single ex-sherry cask of Glenrothes from Wemyss Malts yielded 660 bottles, and was launched in April of this year. Parma violets, digestive biscuits and honey initially on the nose, then fresh fruits emerge – notably peach and mango. Sweet and fruity on the palate, with brittle toffee and stem ginger. Lingering fruit and more ginger in the finish, which dries only slightly. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £106.95, specialist whisky merchants.
|Wemyss, Chocolate Honeycomb 2001 (Bunnahabhain) (Scotland) |
This 12-year-old single cask release from the Islay distillery of Bunnahabhain was matured in an ex-sherry puncheon and yielded 812 bottles. It was launched in April of this year. The nose offers cocoa, honey and Brazil nuts, while the palate yields zesty fruit, spice, a hint of peat, cloves and milk chocolate. The finish is lengthy, with spicy chocolate-coated raisins. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £52.95, specialist whisky merchants.
|Ardbeg, Ardbog (Scotland) |
The latest limited edition bottling from Ardbeg has been matured for 10 years in a mix of American oak ex-Bourbon barrels and ex-Spanish Manzanilla Sherry butts. According to Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distillation and Whisky Creation, “Every year we try to come up with something interesting and enticing for our Ardbeg fans, and we have for years laid down a range of experiments which may or may not see the light of day! Ardbog is one such experiment in that it combines two different styles of maturation to create a new flavour experience.”
The result is an Ardbeg with lots of brine on the early nose, earthy peat, damp fabric Elastoplast, old leather, parma violets and lime. The palate is buttery and fruity, with salted nuts, coffee, caramel, ginger, and ashy peat. The finish is long and warming, with cloves and cinnamon notes. 52.1% ABV, 70cl, £79.99, distillery website.
|Glendronach, Cask Strength Batch 2 (Scotland) |
GlenDronach follows up its highly-acclaimed first 12,000-bottle batch of cask strength single malt with a second, after the initial release sold out internationally in a matter of weeks. As previously, Batch 2 has been matured in a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. It carries no age statement, is non-chill-filtered and bottled at natural colour.
Initially, vanilla fudge and milk chocolate on the nose, becoming peppery. Honey, Jaffa oranges and a hint of new leather. Voluptuous on the palate, with big sherry, sultana and soft toffee notes. Lots of fruity spice. Long and spicy in the slightly mouth-drying finish.
55.2% ABV, 70cl, £49.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Benrinnes, Hunter Laing 14-year-old (OMC2251) (Scotland) |
One of the first releases from Hunter Laing, the independent bottling company established by Stewart Laing after his split from brother Fred, is a 14-year-old expression of the relatively elusive Speyside malt Benrinnes.
The nose offers sweet, floral notes, plasticene and Rich Tea biscuits. The palate is full and slightly savoury, with citrus fruits, spice and toffee. The finish is long and drying, spicy, with a hint of fennel. 50.0% ABV, 70cl, £65.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Cameronbridge, G4.2 (Cameronbridge single grain) (Scotland) |
Distilled in April 1984, this single cask bottling from Scotland’s largest grain distillery has been matured in a refill ex-Bourbon hogshead, and the outturn is 218 bottles. Vanilla, crème brûlée, pineapple and freshly-sawn wood on the nose, with a hint of charcoal lurking in the background. The palate is almost brandy-like, sweet and slightly leathery, drying to bitter coffee and oak quite rapidly in the spicy finish. 55.4% ABV, 70cl, £76.20, SMWS.
|Douglas Laing, Mannochmore 14-year-old (PRV0996) (Scotland) |
Since the de-merger of Douglas Laing Ltd, Fred Laing retains several ranges - including Provenance - and continues to trade under the 'Douglas Laing' name. This single cask bottling of Mannochmore was matured in a refill hogshead.
Malt, pear and mango on the nose, plus background herbal notes: tarragon and basil. Sweet and initially sherbet-like on the palate with coffee and gentle spices. The finish is medium in length, with ginger and nutty oak.
46.0% ABV, 70cl, £50.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|An Cnoc, Peter Arkle 'Bricks' (Scotland) |
Scottish illustrator Peter Arkle’s third single malt collaboration with anCnoc features another aspect of the distillery’s heritage. anCnoc’s Peter Arkle Limited Edition 3 ‘Bricks’ features his illustration of a dunnage warehouse wall at Knockdhu distillery, where anCnoc is produced. ‘Bricks’ was matured in a mix of Spanish oak ex-Sherry butts and American oak ex-Bourbon barrels, and is not chill-filtered or coloured. 1,000 cases are available globally.
Ginger, soft toffee and summer berries on the nose, with a background herbal note. Silky in the mouth, spicy, with cereal, newly-planed wood, milky coffee and almonds. Relatively long in the drying finish, with spice and Brazil nuts. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £49.99, specialist whisky merchants.