Great malt whisky is a distillation of the place where it’s made. The local water, microclimate and air quality all influence the spirit as it’s distilled and matured. Isle of Arran whisky couldn’t come from anywhere else but this wee island, of twenty miles by ten. This whisky is the island, bottled. This geography is key to the character of Arran whisky. Here they make a spirit that reflects a range of regional influences, yet achieves a rare and unique personality all its own. Rather like the island itself.
This is the classic expression of Arran - the fresh and unique island style is captured beautifully in this 10 Year Old Single Malt.
The Arran 10 Year Old has the colour of ripe golden barley. The initial rush of rich vanilla sweetness on the nose gives way to a touch of cinnamon which adds a spicy edge to the soft and sweet texture. The classic Arran citrus notes have rounded with age and reveal new depths of character against a background of sweet oak. The flavours are of sweetness, apple and citrus.
Arran distillery celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2016 and they already had a limited anniversary bottling, but we had to wait some more before a wider public release was announced.
Launched at the end of 2018, this new Arran 21 Years is the oldest official expression to date. A mixture of bourbon and sherry casks.
Here are the Auchentoshan team's thoughts on their distillery: "They say where you're from says a lot about who you are. And most Single Malts are from the middle of nowhere. Us? We're different. We were forged in the fires of The Industrial Revolution and the Glaswegian sweat of our forefathers. We've taken the sweat out now. But boy do we still have the spirit. We're part of the city. And the city is part of us. We play hard. And we work even harder. We're not triple distilled because it's tradition. But because that's what it takes to create a delicate flavour unlike any other. Smooth, yet gutsy. Approachable yet deep. Open to newcomers and old friends alike. Just like where we're from."
No other Scottish distillery insists on triple distilling every drop. Auchentoshan new make spirit is the highest distillate of any single malt distillery in Scotland. Because they distil away all the impurities in the liquid, strong notes of fruit and citrus come through. It also makes the spirit more prone to the epic woodiness that comes from the casks in maturation. This makes Auchentoshan the smoothest, most delicate tasting single malt scotch whisky.
This award-winning Auchentoshan has been matured in three different cask types. From American Bourbon to Spanish Oloroso Sherry - and finally Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks - this is a rich, complex whisky with toffee and sherry flavours.
Auchentoshan 3 Wood has a rich golden bronze colour with aromas of blackcurrant, brown sugar, orange plum and raisin. Its flavours are of fruit and syrup with hazelnuts and a hint of cinnamon and lemon. A butterscotch sweetness adds to the overall complexity. The finish is fresh and fruity with long lasting oaky sweetness.
Auchentoshan 3 wood is a fine dram but also lends itself well to cocktails such as an "Old Fashioned". Please click on the blue link below for recipe.
This is the core expression of 10 year old Ballechin single malt Scotch whisky, which is heavily peated whisky from Edradour. It has been named for the silent Ballechin distillery near the Edradour distillery. Releases under the Ballechin name from Edradour were previously presented as part of The Discovery Series, many of which were matured in different types of casks, including Sherry, bourbon and a selection of wine casks. This 10 year old expression, however, comes from a combination of ex-Oloroso Sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
To craft The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 year old single malt whisky Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE returned to one of his most celebrated achievements – consecutive maturation in two different types of cask, a process often referred to as ‘cask finishing’.
This technique is at the heart of The Balvenie DoubleWood – it sees the whisky matured first in American oak barrels, which impart soft sweet vanilla notes, before being transferred to European oak sherry casks, where the second cask ageing adds rich spicy flavours and a depth and fullness of flavour.
The DoubleWood 17 year old is an elder sibling to DoubleWood 12 year old and shares its honeyed, spicy characteristics, but it is distinctly different, with deeper vanilla notes, hints of green apple, creamy toffee and a striking richness and complexity.
Finished in Port Casks - From our rare reserves of 21 Year Old Balvenie, our Malt Master has selected only that whisky which he believes will acquire even greater complexity and depth of flavour from further maturation in Port Casks.
First Cask - Traditional Whisky Oak maturation mellows the spirit and builds character. This is the customary practive of other Single Malt Scotch Whiskies
Second Cask - Port pipes increases the complexity of the Malt and develops a full bodied, long lasting flavour. This second cask ageing is at the Heart of the Balvenie PortWood.
The result is a Malt with honeyed tones of distinctive and robust Character.
Thanks to natural alchemy and centuries-old craftsmanship, The Balvenie is unique among single malts. Their whisky-making process is dedicated to maintaining the Five Rare Crafts and they are the only distillery in Scotland that still grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and keeps both a coppersmith and a team of coopers on site. And of course, Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE presides over the all-important maturation process.
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year old single malt whisky has been matured in traditional oak whisky casks for 14 years, and then ‘finished’ in casks that previously held Caribbean rum. To create the ideal finish Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE filled American oak casks with his own blend of select West Indian rums. When he judged the casks to be ready, the rum was replaced with the 14 year old spirit and the wood was put to work adding the final touches. The result is an exceptional single malt whisky with the traditional smooth, honeyed character of The Balvenie married with notes of toffee and a hint of fruit, with a warm, lingering finish.
The aromas are rich, sweet and creamy toffee on the nose combines with fresh fruit notes. The flavours are perfectly rounded with vanilla and sweet oak notes, in conjunction with a fruity character that develops over time. The finish is soft and lingering.
Located in the ‘Heart of Speyside’, BenRiach displays all the traditional charm of a Speyside distillery. Built by John Duff in 1898, BenRiach draws its water from the Burnside springs located underground, deep below the distillery. BenRiach became independent in 2004, having been purchased by The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited. This independent ownership allows them to experiment with several interesting wood finishes and it continues to produce whisky from both peated and non-peated malted barley. The BenRiach portrays its own uniqueness through the particular methods and skills of the men who craft the whisky, the ingredients used, the distinctive copper stills and the high quality casks selected for maturation.
This particular whisky is matured for at least 21 years in a combination of four types of casks: bourbon barrels, virgin oak casks, Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and red wine casks. The whisky from these four woods has then been expertly blended together by BenRiach's Master Blender to create a multi-faceted and superbly balanced malt, with each cask type adding unique notes to the taste experience.
BenRiach 21 year old is a bright autumn gold colour. The aromas are of a ripe summer fruit compote with contrasting candied peel and a warming stem ginger background. On the palate, soft vanilla and cinnamon give way to tangy red fruits and citrus peel. Barley sugars and honeyed malt build into the long, sweet and satisfying finish.
Established in 1898, the Benromach distillery is independently owned by a family with proud, enduring roots in Speyside.
The aroma without water has an intense sherry note with heaps of stewed apple, pear and delightful vanilla pod aromas. Delicious toasted malt aromas develop and complement an underlying menthol edge. Now take a sip and savour the taste without water. There’s cracked black pepper with juicy fresh strawberry and raspberry as well as hints of orange peel and milk chocolate combine with a delicate smoky edge. Add a smidge of water to release your dram of 100 ̊ Proof and enjoy the aroma with water - it’s fabulous, with initial hints of beeswax polish and peat smoke, followed by sweeter aromas developing with ripe banana and kiwi bound together by honey. Now for the taste with water. Roll it around your palate and enjoy the sweet and salty effect with ripe banana and blackcurrant flavours. Notice the emerging creamy milk chocolate edge with a long rich finish of lingering subtle smokiness and bonfire embers.
This whisky has been bottled without chill filtering and as a result, a completely harmless sediment may form in the bottle. What’s more, when you add water the whisky may turn a little cloudy. It’s nothing to worry about at all. Slainte!
A fabulous single malt from Bladnoch Distillery, this 17 year old was originally filled into ex Bourbon barrels, before being re-filled into Californian red wine casks in March 2016 and January 2017. A blend of two vattings, this rich and fruity expression was bottled at 46.7% without any chill-filtration.
The smouldering heat of peat and dark fruit is finessed by floral top notes, a twist of citrus and mellow oak. Full term in first-fill bourbon, sherry, tempranillo and French wine casks. Bottled at 50% alc. vol. using Islay Spring water. Heavily peated Islay Single malt – 40ppm. 18,000 individually numbered bottles only.
Bunnahabhain — which means ‘mouth of the river’ in Gaelic, stands at the mouth of the Margadale Spring on the shores of the Sound of Islay. It first came into existence in 1883, however its origins can be traced back four years earlier when, in 1879, William Robertson of Robertson and Baxter Blending House, joined with the Greenlees Brothers to create the Islay Distillery Company. And so, with the distillery built on a site close to the Margadale River, in 1883 Bunnahabhain was born.
As the original member of their core range, Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old holds a special place in the distillers' hearts. First launched in 1979, the Bunnahabhain 12 year old has endured almost 40 years, thanks to the passion and dedication of the distillery team.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old has set the tone and the benchmark for the rest of the range – only the best will do. A combination of sherry, bourbon and whisky re-fill casks are chosen to achieve the perfect balance of the characteristic nutty and sherry flavours of Bunnahabhain.
The 12 Year Old is russet gold in colour with aromas that are fresh and aromatic, fruity yet floral with hints of dried fruit and a subtle prevalence of smoke. The flavours are light with fruit notes, nutty flavours as well as sweetness and slight hints of vanilla and caramel. This whisky lingers on the palate and is beautifully rich and full-bodied.
Pronounced 'cull-eela', the distillery is situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. In 1846, Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson picked a little bay on the Sound of Islayfor his distillery site. He named it for the sound itself, using the Gaelic Caol Ila, and it was across this sound the little puffer ships made their round trips to the mainland – slowly helping to establish the distillery as the biggest on Islay.
When you add a little water to Caol Ila 12 Year Old, this raises aromas of almond oil and old fashioned oilskins. There is still a fresh fruitiness (lychees?), a trace of olive oil, and after a while potpourri or scented hand-soap. The flavours are smooth on the palate, with a pleasant mouth-feel. When water is added there is light acidity, some salt and still the sweeter notes. Caol Ila 12 Year Old is a complex balance of primary tastes.
In summary this whisky has sweet floral fragrances with a smooth body, balanced taste, and a sweet-smoky, lingering finish. To enjoy, simply serve the 12 Year Old Caol Ila neat in a rocks glass, adding ice or a splash of water to taste.
A delicious and refined Caol Ila very much in the style of the 12 but softer more elegant and with a longer and more demure finish. Initial notes of honey and oil express themselves before giving way to rolling cloud of gentle smoke. Fans of mature HIghland Park ought to try this.