We are delighted to announce that Exel Wines have teamed up with local independent Perth whisky merchant, Morrison and MacKay Ltd, to source this exceptional and incredibly rare whisky from the now lost Cambus distillery. This rare dram was distilled in 1991 and filled into a sherry cask and matured for 25 years before bottling at a natural strength of 63.6% vol. The Cambus distillery was closed in 1993 due to production reorganisation - it was converted into warehousing and cask repair facilities. This is one of the distillates from the very last years of 150 years of production. Only 36 bottles of this scarce whisky will be available to our customers.
In 1806, John Moubray converted a disused mill in Alloa, into a single malt distillery. In 1836 he installed two Stein patent stills to distil grain whisky instead of malt. Cambus was run as a family business for most of the 19th century. Moubray’s grandson installed a Coffey still in 1851 which confirmed Cambus as one of the largest grain distilleries in Scotland. In 1877 it became a founding company of DCL (Distillers Company Limited – now Diageo).
In the early 1900s, malt whisky distillers started an uprising to try and prevent the use of the term ‘whisky’ to describe grain spirit. During the ‘What is Whisky?’ trial DCL used Cambus to sway public opinion in their favour. In 1906 it placed a front-page advertisement for Cambus Pure Grain Whisky, in The Daily Mail to ‘give the public the opportunity of judging for themselves what a pure patent-still grain whisky was like’.
This Cambus 1991 is a 25 year old whisky, matured in a sherry puncheon (with a capacity of 500 litres) after being distilled on 8th August 1991. The aromas are of freshly baked brioche, butterscotch and toasted coconut, all of which have pronounced intensity. The palate is luscious, oily and mouth-filling, with flavours of caramelised banana, buttery pastry, biscuits, and the slightest touch of wood polish. It has a lingering finish.
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.
In 1811 John and Helen Cumming sited their first still at Cardow Farm on the Mannoch Hill, high above the River Spey, where spring water, naturally softened by a layer of peat, bubbled from the ground. It was to be the perfect spot for their farm, and an illicit distillery that would stand the test of time. The distillery was licensed in 1824 and was the first distillery to be officially pioneered by a woman. Two women, in fact: in 1872, Elizabeth Cummings, daughter-in-law of the founders, took over the running of the distillery and set about refining the flavour and character of the whisky we know today – the effortless, elegant, generous spirit, born of hard work and determination.
At full strength, the aromas are heady, with nose prickle, pear drops and tightly integrated heather, resin and sweet honey-nut notes. It is both enticing and intriguing. With a little water, it is still harmonious but less pronounced, allowing some malt cereal, soft, spicy wood, moorland and faint traces of wood-smoke to appear. The palate is well balanced, with a smooth mouthfeel. It has flavours that are short and punchy, sweet and fresh, then there is a pronounced drying effect. Enjoyable at any time, with little or no water. It finishes quite short but there is some lingering sweet smoke in the attractive, drying aftertaste.
The smooth, honeyed flavours of a 12 Year Old Cardhu shine best when served neat or over ice. We would recommend trying Cardhu 12 Year Old with the delicious handmade strawberry chocolate truffles from the Highland Chocolatier (https://www.highlandchocolatier.com), a business that is local to us here in Perthshire.
The XOP range of rare aged Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch Whiskies from Douglas Laing are bottled exactly the way the distiller intended: without colouring or chill-filtration, and at cask strength. This particular expression from the Clynelish Distillery has spent 21 long years maturing in a Refill Hogshead.
The aromas are gentle and delicate with beeswax, nutmeg and a wonderful barley blast. The flavours are of golden syrup and slightly burnt toast with a moreish and mild spice character The finish is medium long and has a hint of wonderfully sweet highland heather and warming zest.
The team at Compass Box Whiskies refer to themselves as Whiskymakers. "To us, a Whiskymaker is someone who feels a need and an obligation to make things better - to ask questions, to challenge, to experiment. When it comes to whisky and its enjoyment, we keep our minds open to new possibilities - new production processes, new combinations of flavours, new ways of sharing and enjoying great whisky."
They work with a range of partners to explore the interaction between maturing Scotch whisky and oak over the course of time. From sourcing the best cooperage oak in the world from the Vosges forest of France and the woods of Missouri, to individually sampling almost every cask they use in each of their blends, they are fanatical about quality and believe that every stage of the process has the potential to add to the finished blend.
Asyla is the ultimate ‘everyday,’ ‘before dinner’ or ‘Sunday afternoon’ Scotch whisky. With just a splash of chilled water, the combination of soft, sweet grain whiskies and elegant, refined Highland malts found in Asyla epitomise the idea of “deliciousness” in the world of Scotch whisky.
As Compass Box's own notes for the Asyla whisky are excellent and informative, please click on the blue link below for more information on this top quality blended whisky.
Craigellachie Distillery was built in 1890. Designed by Charles Doig, it was built with all modern conveniences and with the express intention of making a lighter fruitier character of whisky than the other older distilleries producing whisky at that time – one of the earliest descriptors of Craigellachie mentions pineapple as a desireable aroma. Its owners were Sir Peter Mackie (of White Horse) and Alexander Edward who was only 25 when the distillery was built. He was already the lessee of Benrinnes Distillery and he also owned a local brickworks. He built new villas in the growing village and, in 1896, constructed a large hotel. He then went on to build Aultmore, Dallas Dhu and Benromach.
Craigellachie revels in its sulphurous nature. The first thing you smell as you enter the distillery is the notes of cabbage and beef stock. This is rising from the worm tubs which sit at the back of the distillery. It is the small amount of copper contained within them that helps to promote this character. They also add weight to the palate of the mature spirit. Long fermentation has however fixed fruitiness within the spirit and this tropical/floral note emerges in the mature spirit. It’s this character: full, yet aromatic which has made Craigellachie a prized malt for blending. As a result of this it had to wait until 2014 to be bottled as a single malt. The 17 Year Old Craigellachie has a strong punchy flavour of sweet malt, orchard fruit and spice with toasty notes as well as a distinctive lingering gunsmoke / sulphur character that is so typical of the distillery.
Dewar's Whisky will always hold a special place in our hearts here at Exel Wines HQ in Perth. They are so much part of the heritage in Perth, that most of us have either worked for them in the past or know someone who has. Founded in 1846 by John Dewar, John Dewar & Sons Ltd has grown from a small wine and spirits merchant shop in Perth, Scotland, to become a global brand. It is Perth's world-famous blend. John Dewar was one of the first Scotsmen to blend whisky, and was the first to blend it right. So much so, he put his name on the bottle as a mark of quality.
Dewar's 12 Year Old has honey, homemade toffee apple, and fudge aromas. It is comfortingly warm, buttery, and mellow. This is combined with juicy raisins and fresh citrus, as well as subtle vanilla. It is clean, full, and lively. However it is not one dimensional as it is also rich with flavours of melted caramel and with a trace of oak. Dewars 12 Year Old is rounded, smooth, and long.
According to legend, the drink is named after the 1st Earl of Atholl, who quashed a Highland rebellion in 1475 by filling the rebel leader's well with the mixture, making him easily captured.
Inspired by an ancient Highland recipe, the award winning Dunkeld Atholl Brose is a delicious boutique liqueur that captures the best natural flavours of Scotland. According to legend, the drink is named after the 1st Earl of Atholl, who quashed a Highland rebellion in 1475 by filling the rebel leader's well with the mixture, making him easily captured. A luxurious golden blend of single malt whisky, honey and carefully-selected herbs, Dunkeld Atholl Brose is a unique product steeped in Scottish history.
Atholl Brose is a blend of Benromach single malt whisky (from Speyside) with a mixture of honey and herbs. This rich and sweet liqueur has flavours that include honey, lavender and spiced pears with ginger and cinnamon. It is a warming and comforting liqueur perfect for those winter evenings when you are sitting by the fireplace defrosting your frozen toes!
In 1884, Paul Jones Jr, moved his thriving business to Louisville, Kentucky, where he opened an office in a section of historic Main Street called, Whiskey Row. Four years later, he trademarked the name Four Roses. All but six of 183 Bourbon distilleries were closed during Prohibition. Four Roses was however one of the six distilleries legally licensed to distill Bourbon for “Medicinal Purposes Only.” The staff at Four Roses have a passion for quality and their pride in handcrafting an award winning Bourbon is evident in the smooth, mellow taste that has become the signature of the Four Roses Brand. The current Master Distiller Brent Elliott says it is hard to call what he does a job because, to him, “it’s a privilege and a passion to be a part of Four Roses”.
If you’ve ever wanted proof that mingling Bourbons is an art unto itself, you’ll find it in Four Roses perfectly balanced, Small Batch Bourbon. Four original and limited Bourbon recipes have been expertly selected by their Master Distiller at the peak of maturation to create this very mellow and perfectly balanced Bourbon. You can enjoy it best straight up, on the rocks or simply with a splash.
The aromas are of mellow spice, rich fruit, hints of sweet oak & caramel. The flavours are mellow, with ripened red berries and dried spice, which are well-balanced as well as rich. Four Roses Small Batch has a soft character with a smooth and pleasantly long finish.
Fraiser is a uniquely Scottish drink blending the flavours of premium Scotch whisky with wild strawberries.
Created by John Smith, a talented and experienced Master Blender, Fraiser is a rich, smooth and distinctive liqueur of real character and depth of taste. The wild strawberry infusion, combined with background notes of vanilla, almond and cinnamon, blends harmoniously with the fine Scotch whisky to give FRAISER its unique taste. Gentle on the nose and mellow on the taste buds, this hand crafted secret elixir is smooth, rich and distinctive on the palate both warming and satisfying.
It might sound like an odd mixture at first but we can assure you this is really one to try. We are sure you will be raving about this as much as the critics are!
To view some delicious cocktail recipes for Fraiser Liqueur, please click the blue link below.
Glayva's story begins in the docks of Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947. Ronald Morrison, a local wine and whisky merchant, wanted to create a liqueur that would warm and comfort his loyal customers, particularly during the cold Scottish winters. Based at a busy port in Leith, Morrison had access to exotic ingredients from far off lands, such as tangerines, honey and spices, which, when mixed with the Scotch malt whisky, created a surprisingly distinctive and pleasant flavour. The name Glayva was taken from the reaction of the warehouseman, Hector, who was the first to taste the liqueur after Morrison. “Gle Mhath”, he proclaimed, translated from Gaelic as “Very Good”. Since then, the recipe has never changed, and many since Hector have agreed.
The spirit is created from an exotic fusion of the finest aged Scotch malt whiskies, a carefully selected range of spices, Mediterranean tangerines, cinnamon, almonds and honey. Because of all these different ingredients, Glayva has a very distinctive and pleasant taste. Surprisingly smooth and sweet, with a hint of cinnamon and spices, it really tastes like nothing else!
Glayva tastes so good it is perfect neat, over ice or even chilled ... have you ever tried putting Glayva in your fridge or freezer? Or alternatively, warm in a heated glass? It’s the drink that brightens any occasion, so whether it’s celebrating a good day at work, a get together with friends, or just a Friday night in on the sofa, Glayva makes those little things in life that bit more special.
In October 2017, Billy Walker, Trisha Savage and Graham Stevenson came together to purchase the GlenAllachie Distillery. With over 100 years’ experience between them, many would have expected our three veterans to retire. Before they acquired GlenAllachie, the whisky was predominantly used in blended whiskies. So it’s no surprise that you probably haven’t heard of them. They want to introduce GlenAllachie to the world as the exceptional single malt that it is. The name GlenAllachie derives from the Gaelic, Gleann Aileachaidh meaning ‘Valley of the Rocks’. The geology surrounding the distillery is dominated by Celtic runes and Pictish stones, and is the reason for the craftsmanship behind our unique branding.
In this era of mergers and consolidations GlenAllachie go against the grain; they are an independent, Scottish owned and managed whisky company. They chose to step away from the corporate treadmill and short-term targets. Instead, they focus on the important things; making great whisky and enjoying life.
As soon as they received the keys to GlenAllachie, Master Distiller Billy Walker set to work putting his fingerprint on this whisky; Scottish barley, 120 hour fermentation, slow distillation. As a blender for over 40 years, the warehouses are where Billy really does comes in to his own. Working across 16 warehouses with casks dating back to the 1970’s, Billy has selected a limited number of casks to be released as GlenAllachie 18 Year Old. The signature of GlenAllachie is a rich, robust spirit in harmony with the heather and butterscotch notes.
This whisky has a burnished bronze colour. The aromas include fresh vanilla, toffee, butterscotch and spices. On the palate flavours of raisins, marzipan, heather and honey are to the fore, with rich notes of dark cherries, spices and subtle hints of dark chocolate.
The GlenDronach Distillery nestled in the valley of Forgue, deep in the East Highland hills near Aberdeenshire, is named after the source of its water: the Dronac burn. Founded in 1826, The GlenDronach was one of the very first licensed distilleries and has a history of enterprising owners, from the flamboyant James Allardice to the ambitious Walter Scott. Allardice was a colourful character and stories abound as to how he promoted his whisky with entrepreneurial flair. He was a pioneer of sherry cask maturation and would have celebrated today’s GlenDronach, as the still mature their whisky in the finest Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks.
Like all previous Cask Strength batches from The GlenDronach, this expression continues their tradition of marrying the finest Spanish sherry casks from Andalucía; Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez . The Oloroso contributes to the fruity and elegant nature of The GlenDronach, with notes of dark bramble fruitsand gentle spices. Pedro Ximenez contributes the robust and full-bodied richness of The GlenDronach, often characterised by notes of dark chocolate and stewed fruits. With each Cask Strength release, our Master Blender selects the ideal marriage of these two casks before bottling without chill filtration, at high strength and naturally deep in colour, as was the custom before the turn of the 20th century. Add a drop or two of water to reveal a cornucopia of flavour – from wild figs and brambles to baked apple and damson plum.
The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 7 has a beautiful deep bronze colour. The aromas are of cherry brandy and chocolate with blackberry vines, wild figs and Highland Toffee. The flavours include a burst of brambles and ripe sultanas which give way to Seville orange and roasted chestnut. The finish is of baked apple and damson plum that linger in combination with chocolate walnut and whipped cream.
Glenfarclas, from the Gaelic ‘Glen of the Green Grassland’, nestles at the foot of Ben Rinnes. Since 1865 Glenfarclas has been owned and managed by just one family, the Grants of Glenfarclas. On the 8th of June 1865 John Grant acquired the tenancy for the Rechlerich Farm and as part of the transaction purchased the Glenfarclas Distillery for £511.19s.0d. To this day Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to remain family owned and managed. Now in the hands of the fifth and sixth generation of the family, the Grants remain committed to the vision of creating the best quality Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, in the traditional Speyside style. A rival distiller wrote to the Grant family in May, 1912: “of all the whiskies, malt is king, of all the kings, Glenfarclas reigns supreme”, a compliment the family still hold dear and close to their hearts.
Glenfarclas is famous for its heavily sherried whisky, and this whisky starts off in a similar fashion as it is made using predominantly first-fill sherry butts. However, it does offer more complexity than you might first expect.
Honey and raisins aromas mingle with gentle charred-cask bitterness. Stewed apples and pears develop in the glass, along with golden sugar, custard tarts, buttered fruit cake, nutmeg and clove. Despite being seemingly heavy it’s still has some fresh characteristics, with fresh apple and hints of candied lemon. The flavours on the palate are soft and rounded, with delicate sherry-cask spice and fruit notes. The flavours get richer as it develops in the glass, from raisins and dark fruit cake to gentle notes of black tea and mixed spice. At the end you get a blast of fresh apple, accompanied by damp autumn leaves and forest floor earthiness. The finish is of sweet spices, stewed apple and liquorice.
Glenfarclas, from the Gaelic ‘Glen of the Green Grassland’, nestles at the foot of Ben Rinnes. Since 1865 Glenfarclas has been owned and managed by just one family, the Grants of Glenfarclas. On the 8th of June 1865 John Grant acquired the tenancy for the Rechlerich Farm and as part of the transaction purchased the Glenfarclas Distillery for £511.19S.0d. To this day Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to remain family owned and managed. Now in the hands of the fifth and sixth generation of the family, the Grants remain committed to the vision of creating the best quality Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, in the traditional Speyside style. A rival distiller wrote to the Grant family in May, 1912: “of all the whiskies, malt is king, of all the kings, Glenfarclas reigns supreme”, a compliment the family still hold dear and close to their hearts.
This is the final limited edition of the Family Collector Series, the Glenfarclas 1976 40 Year Old. It was distilled in 1976 and bottled on 19 May 2016 meaning that this sherried Speysider has been matured in the Campbell family's finest casks for 40 years. With only 1,500 bottles released this is an extremely sought-after whisky.