Recent releases, August 2013
|Glenlivet, Alpha (Scotland) |
The Glenlivet Alpha is presented in a black bottle, and the only information revealed about its contents is its strength. Having launched such an intriguing product, consumers were encouraged by the distillers to make their own assessments of it via the brand’s website or Facebook page. Finally, Master Distiller Alan Winchester revealed that the limited release of 3,350 bottles has been matured in ‘first-fill Scotch whisky casks; that is ones that had only previously held Scotch, without any prior influence of Bourbon or sherry.
The nose is extremely fruity, with oranges and ripe cherries, plus toffee and shortbread. Smooth and supple on the palate, with lots more fruit, notably oranges and pineapple, plus almonds and cloves. The finish is long, sweet, and finally drying.
50.0% ABV, 70cl, £95.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Kilchoman, 100% Islay – 3rd Edition (Scotland) |
Kilchoman distillery on Islay has released the third variant of its ‘100% Islay’ expression, for which barley is grown on local farms and all processes, including bottling, take place at the distillery. The ‘3rd Edition’ of Kilchoman 100% Islay is a vatting of four and five-year-old fresh Bourbon barrels. Just 10,000 bottles of the limited edition are available worldwide.
Delicate smoke, citrus fruit and floral notes on the nose, and while the fruits carry over to the mouth, the peat takes centre stage. The finish is relatively long, with lingering peat.
50.0% ABV, 70cl, £59.99, specialist whisky merchants.
|Talisker, Port Ruighe (Scotland) |
Talisker Port Ruighe – pronounced ‘Portree,’ after the capital of Skye – carries no age statement and is finished in port casks following initial maturation in a mix of American and European Oak refill casks, plus bespoke heavily charred casks. It follows hard on the heels of Talisker Storm, as Diageo seeks to extend the reach of its best-selling single malt with a programme of range extensions.
Smoky bacon crisps on the early nose, damp earth, ripe plums, and plain chocolate. Sweeter in time, with a marine note, and black pepper. Smoky peat on the palate, with a spicy, sweet red wine edge. Medium in length, with oak, black coffee, and more dark chocolate. 45.8% ABV, 70cl, £45.00, specialist whisky merchants, specialist whisky merchants.
|Wemyss, Linkwood 1991 ‘Apple Pastry’ Single Cask (Scotland) |
The latest batch of single cask bottlings from Wemyss Malts includes this 22-year-old offering from the Elgin distillery of Linkwood. The hogshead in which maturation took place has yielded 320 bottles.
Honey and vanilla on the nose, turning to nougat, with baked apple and cinnamon. Sweet and very fruity – apple puree – on the palate, accompanied by soft spices. The finish is nutty, with lingering spices and persistent fruitiness.
46.0% ABV, 70cl, £85.00, specialist whisky merchants.
|Tobermory, 17 Year Old – Master of Malt (Scotland) |
Online retailers Master of Malt regularly bottle single casks of exceptional whisky, and this example of Tobermory was distilled on Mull in April 1995 and matured in a refill hogshead.
The nose features pine, black pepper and brine, with a hint of chocolate. Quite oily in the mouth, with big, zesty tropical fruit notes on the palate, over a malty underlay. The finish is lengthy, with toffee, and finally a sprinkling of nutmeg and black pepper.
57.0% ABV, 70cl, £59.95, Master of Malt.
|Auchroisk, That Boutique-y Whisky Company - Batch 1 (Scotland) |
According to the proprietors, “That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ bottles single malts, blended malts and blends from a variety of renowned distilleries. These whiskies are adorned with cultish comic book-style labels.” This no-age-statement expression of the rarely bottled Speyside malt Auchroisk runs to just 127 bottles, and for reasons that are unclear, boasts a label covered in zombies!
Malt, peaches, tangerines, digestive biscuits and milky cocoa on the nose. Good mouth-feel, lots of spicy citrus fruit, raspberry preserve and fudge. Powdery cocoa and a hint of menthol in a medium-length finish. 44.7% ABV, 70cl, £69.95, specialist whisky merchants.