Isle of Raasay Distillery Gin

It’s always fun when we receive shipments from new distilleries! Adding another island distillery to the already fantastic lineup is even better!

Isle of Raasay is only a short ferry trip from Skye and the folks that founded the distillery knew it would be the perfect place to create an amazing dram! They set out and built a state of the art distillery that eventually created some fantastic young artisanal spirits that really encapsulates what the island is about.

While they have produced a brilliant single malt, we sold out of that quite quickly! The gin on the other hand was the first legal spirit created on the island, after having a rich history of illicit distilling going on!

The gin is a fantastically zesty gin and has help create many a cocktail since it arrived. Keeping true to the Hebridean spirit, they teamed up with a local botanist and carefully chose 10 botanicals to create this gin. Including Raasay juniper, sweet orange peel, rhubarb root, and lemon peel.

We crafted the perfect balance of flavours by distilling the juniper along with a select few botanicals in our copper malt spirit still, and vapour infusing the rest in our copper gin basket to retain their vibrancy.

The creation and presentation of our gin is inspired by Raasay’s impressive geological variety, our unique water source, island shores and state-of-the-art distillery. A fusion of tradition with contemporary thinking, process, and design. That’s the Raasay way.

ISLE OF RAASAY GIN TASTING NOTES

NOSE

Fresh and aromatic, with juniper, sweet orange, candied lemon and hints of rhubarb.

PALATE

Dry with bursts of juniper, richer rhubarb and citrus notes before all the flavours harmonise together for a refreshing finish.

FINISH

Dry and zesty, with a lasting aftertaste that encapsulates Raasay’s style and character.

So grab your favourite cocktail ingredients and a bottle of Raasay Gin, you might just find your new go to drink!

Till next time. -Andrew

Exciting New Release from Lindores Abbey!

 It’s exciting to see this distillery releasing its first single malt whisky! Lindores Abbey is rooted deep in Scotch whisky history and with the new operation of the distillery they have now dusted off that history book. 

The abbey is officially recognised as the site of the first recorded distillation of scotch in 1494, which appears in that year’s Exchequer Roll. Over 500 years ago a Lindores monk named Brother John Cor turned 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae on a commissioning from King James IV. With this knowledge of this history they are planning to keep Lindores Abbey in the history books for another 500 years.

It is after 15 years of planning that the vision of this distillery is now a reality.

This spirit has one of the longest wash fermentation periods in the industry, distilled in unusual sister spirit stills, and matured in a selection of barrels (bourbon barrels, wine barriques, and Sherry butts) that makes this unique.

Our early maturing spirit gives us great confidence that our whisky will be as sought after and enjoyed as it was in MCDXCIV (1494)

Nose: Elegant, soft, mellow vanilla, caramel notes playing with orchard fruits and sweet pear drops. Reminiscent of toffee apples!

Palate: Smooth with a creamy texture and a perfect balance of mellow vanilla, dried fruits, citrus touches with a hint of spice.

Finish: Medium length, delicate but lingering finish.

Grab yours here!

BenRomach

Delivering that true Speyside sweetness with a less obvious subtle smokiness is what Benromach does so well! This family run distillery set out to create whisky that is reminiscent of days gone past. The reopening of this distillery signaled the rebirth of a lost style of Speyside single malt where peat was used.

They like to keep things simple. They believe there are only four ingredients that create this fantastic whisky…the finest grown barley, water from the Romach Hills, yeast, and the distiller’s touch!

 ​Check out these four fantastic offerings:

Benromach 10 Year Old – 43% 70cl

“Only ever matured in the finest oak casks, our signature TEN YEAR OLD single malt delivers delicate forest fruits and creamy malt, a touch of smoke and rich, lasting sherry notes.”

Benromach Organic 2012 – 46% 70cl

”The world’s first certified organic single malt whisky since 2006. UK Soil Association accredited from start to finish, Benromach Organic is matured in Virgin American Oak and gives sweet, malty notes with creamy pepper, banana, coffee and cocoa flavours.”

Benromach Cask Strength Batch 4 Vintage 2009 – 57.2% 70cl

“Our cask strength single malt whisky delivers sweet sherry aromas, dark forest fruits and subtle chocolate with a palate of black pepper, red berries, zesty orange and soft smoke.”

Benromach 15 Year Old – 43% 70cl

“Only ever matured in the highest quality oak casks, our FIFTEEN YEAR OLD single malt whisky gives cracked pepper, charred oak, apples, dark chocolate and forest fruits with rich sherry notes and a touch of smoke.”

Tomatin French Collection

If you’re a big fan of special cask finishes, you may want to check out Tomatin’s newly released French Collection! Created to showcase what exceptional French spirits can do to impart their array of flavour profiles on some of the best Highland whisky!

This collection has been 12 years in the making!  It is a 4 part release, with the first three already out in the wild. The 4th installment will be released later on this year.

Here is a rundown on the current releases:

THE MONBAZILLAC EDITION

Distilled on 25th April 2008, the Monbazillac aroma dances between notes of dark, maple syrup and intense espresso, balanced with cinnamon baked apples. On the palate, there is a sweet cereal flavour combined with sweet milk chocolate and honeycomb ahead of subtle spices and emerging nutty flavours. The finish is rich with walnut and maple syrup.

THE SAUTERNES EDITION

Distilled on 19th September 2008, the Sauternes brings a burst of peach and apricot on the nose, calmed by rich Manuka honey. The sweet honey continues on the palate accompanied by coconut and ginger. The finish is wonderfully sweet and fresh with a syrupy mouthfeel indicative of the Sauternes wine that once occupied the cask.

THE RIVESALTES EDITION

Distilled on 19th September 2008, the Rivesaltes marries our characteristic fresh fruit notes incredibly well with the sweet nutty flavours for which Rivesaltes wine is known. Contrasting sweet and bitter flavours dominate the palate, held together by an underlying barley aroma. The finish is velvety with the flavours from the palate lingering for some time.

The 4th and final release will be The Cognac Edition. 

The French Collection is a great example of Tomatin’s dedication to craft and excellence, with each expression showcasing how respective finishing cask affects the original spirit – a concept Tomatin championed in the Cuatro series released in 2014, which was very well received.

We have produced four remarkable expressions which will appeal to not only whisky enthusiasts and collectors alike, but also a wider audience. On top of this, we are also very excited for consumers to be able to experience each expression with the ambisonic content series launched today.

– Graham Eunson, Master Distiller at Tomatin

Grab a bottle of your own HERE.

Eminente Rum

We have received our shipment of Eminente Reserva Rum, which is new to the UK shores! A beautiful Cuban rum is from the Central province of Villa Clara. Created by César Martí, one of the island’s ten Maestros Roneros.

Eminente pays tribute to Cuba’s untainted nature, down to its bottle and logo. Its textured glass and crocodile-shaped island on the label are reminiscent of the native animal.

César Martí grew up in working in sugar cane fields, learning his craft from his grandparents. From there he dedicated his career in the pursuit of discovering the highest quality of rum. After studying physics and engineering, Martí found himself being mentored by Cuba’s first Maestro Ronero. César Martí eventually became the island’s youngest Maestro Ronero, in an unmatched 9 years!

I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO CONVEY CULTURE AND TRADITION AND MAGNIFY THE ART OF CUBAN RUM THROUGH EMINENTE.

– César Martí

Eminente combines occidente (western-style rum) from one end of the island and oriente (eastern-style rum) from the other end. This style is a perfect balancing act of refreshing and robust, smooth yet complex. Making it so versatile in however you want to enjoy it!

Aged for a minimum of 7 years in white oak ex-whisky barrels, Eminente is inspired by 19 century traditions in the way it brings forward a depth of a very old rum!

Eminente Reserva is at once intense and delicate on the nose.

The initial aroma of freshly roasted coffee gives way to softer notes of dulce de leche, toasted almond and cocoa.

Full-bodied and incredibly deep, the palate is rich with vanilla and smoky notes, coffee and raspadura, which is the taste of unrefined cane sugar.

Spicy notes of ginger and Sichuan pepper with a slight taste of prune in the background. Unsurprisingly, this is a long finish, fresh and creamy with notes of chocolate and a hint of smoke.”

Eminente will be available online soon! We will let you know!

Til next time,

Andrew

American Whiskey Cocktails

With the weather getting better, the thought of sitting outside with a nice cocktail just sounds glorious. So I had chat with everyone around here and decided to put together a list of some of our favourite American whiskey cocktails!

Kentucky Buck – w/ Maker’s Mark

Credit Maker’s Mark

A harvest of sweetness and spice with fresh strawberry, citrus, bourbon and ginger beer. Just right for right now, this buck gets its perfect kick from deliciously bold Maker’s Mark.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
  • 2–3 whole strawberries, hulled
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh strawberry for garnish

FORBIDDEN SOUR – w/ Elijah Craig

Credit Elijah Craig

Take your whiskey sour to new heights with this Bourbon & Pomegranate cocktail.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Pomegranate Flavored Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

MINT JULEP – w/ Knob Creek

credit Knob Creek

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 PARTS Knob Creek
  • 2 BUNCHES mint
  • 1 PART simple syrup
  • 1 SPLASH soda

DIRECTIONS

  • In a julep cup, mix the mint sprigs with simple syrup and a splash of soda.
  • Add fine crushed ice and pour in the bourbon.
  • Lift out two mint leaves for garnish.
  • Add powdered sugar over mint to add an optional frosted appearance.

Handsome Devil – w/ Smooth Ambler

Credit Smooth Ambler

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Old Scout American Whiskey
  • .75 oz Lillet Blanc
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (1 to 1)
  • .50 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes of Peach Bitters
  • 3 Mint Leaves

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled Boston Shaker. Shake thoroughly then double strain into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice. Garnish with a twist of Orange.

Sugar Shack – w/ WhistlePig

Ingredients

  • 2 oz WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Aged 10 Years
  • ¼ oz Maple Syrup
  • ¾ oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Blackberry Simple Syrup
  • ¼ oz Pimento Dram or Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Maple Bitters
  • Star Anise for garnish

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a shaker.
  • Add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake.
  • Fill your favorite tiki mug with pearl ice.
  • Strain into mug.
  • Garnish with star anise and your favorite tropical adornments.
  • Enjoy!

Macallan Distill Your World: London Edition

Now this is definitely not going to be for the majority of whisky drinkers, but it will find a home with a collector. You can always count on Macallan to create and release very elaborate bottlings. This Distill Your World release is one of those.

Essentially Macallan came together with the Roca brothers to distill the essence of London. They pulled together everything that makes London the city it is, and used them as inspiration to make this unique whisky.

The Roca brothers have over three decades, after creating El Celler de Can Roca, of finding the spirit and adventure in the culinary world. They don’t just create quality food, they are experts in creating an amazing gastronomic experiences! A work of art on a plate. So it is not a surprise that Macallan came to them with the idea of this whisky.

United by an insatiable curiosity, quest for knowledge and dedication to mastery, The Macallan and the Roca brothers, owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice named Best Restaurant in the World, explore different cultures and source inspiration for their own worlds of whisky-making and gastronomy.

Distil Your World: The London Edition is a character led whisky with encapsulating nuances of orange caramel, curry spice and Earl Grey tea, rare to find in The Macallan single malts, this expression takes the taste buds and imagination on a journey of discovery, bringing London’s soul and unique character to life.

In addition to the time and effort put into the whisky, in true Macallan fashion, the packaging was not left behind.

The packaging reflects the exploration of London and the essence captured within. The outer pack design features a true scale map of the city comprising the iconic Macallan triangle.

Inside the box, the whisky bottle represents the essence of London and is surrounded by a unique three dimensional curved map of London. The red represents the iconic bricks of historical London houses. Inside, a photographic book documenting the journey is held within a drawer in the interior of the box.

So maybe you’re looking for a new investment or maybe a pricey work of art, Distill Your World might be for you!

Till next time

-Andrew

Exciting Addition to Our FEW Range

We are soon receiving some of this fantastic rye from FEW Spirits!

The Immortal Rye takes rye whiskey to a new and enticing level. This release is taking their already fantastic grain-to-glass, award winning straight rye whiskey, then bringing it to proof with cold extracted 8 Immortals Oolong Tea. This brings out special layers of flavours and complexity that will elevate any cocktail!

8 Immortals tea is a favourite tea amongst a lot of Dancong oolong lovers. It is easily one of the finest teas in it’s category. It is soothingly smooth and very calming. The name coming from 8 legendary heroes in Chinese mythology. Shouldn’t be surprising that they chose a tea of this caliber to create this whiskey, considering their own high quality! Even the label brings a nice homage to Chinese artwork showcased in the 1893 World’s Fair.

THE SPICE OF THE LEGENDARY FEW STRAIGHT RYE FOLDS INTO THE FABLED 8 IMMORTALS TEA TO BRING AN OVERLAY OF PEACH, HONEY AND EXOTIC DRAGON FRUIT THAT IS OTHER-WORLDLY.

All of us here a big fans of FEW Spirits and their dedication to creating amazing spirits. So it’s needless to say that we are excited to crack one of these open and try a few different cocktails.

Now available HERE on Whisky Merchant!

Happy and responsible drinking,

Andrew

World Gin Award Winners

It’s that time of year again! Gin awards time!

I really enjoy going through the winners, seeing what ones I have tried and making notes of winners I have yet to try. There are so many categories that my list at the end is always big enough to keep me busy for a while! So many good looking gins this year. Sweden sweeping the London Dry category was very cool to see.

I thought I’d make a list of 2021 winners we currently have in stock. Maybe you can grab one that you have not had!

Edinburgh Gin coming in hot and taking multiple awards!

Edinburgh Gin – Rhubarb & Ginger

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

Bottled at 40%, this perfectly balanced juniper-forward gin is full of natural flavour. Aromas of rhubarb are complemented by a lift of spice, leading to a smooth, full finish.

Edinburgh Gin – Gooseberry & Elderflower

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

A deliciously refreshing and aromatic gin that harmonises tangy Gooseberry with sweet Elderflower creating a refreshing and balanced gin.

Edinburgh Gin – Raspberry

BRONZE – Flavoured Gin

It is distilled with five traditional gin botanicals and a combination of fresh Scottish raspberries and raspberry leaves to a create a perfectly balanced gin with an incredible depth of flavour.

Rock Rose Gin – Navy Strength

BEST IN SCOTLAND – Navy Strength

The higher ABV version of Rock Rose gives a strong warm pine release at the front of the drink with notes of lemon sherbet. The heart of the drink is very bold berries from the blaeberries, rowan and hawthorn. These give way to the deeper earthier notes that are hidden in the original Rock Rose, such as angelica and orris.

Hernö Gin – London Dry

GOLD – London Dry

Crafted from natural and carefully selected organic botanicals, Hernö Dry Gin is a round and smooth London dry gin diluted to 40,5% ABV. Hernö Dry Gin is awarded with IWSC World’s best London Dry Gin and World’s best Gin & Tonic but is also very enjoyable on its own.

Edinburgh Gin – Classic

SILVER – London Dry

Our classic London Dry style gin. A clean, zesty, juniper-forward gin which balances softness with bright citrus. Launched in 2010, this is our modern London Dry gin, with a nod to Scotland in its recipe including native plants and botanicals.

Nikka – Coffey Gin

SILVER – Contemporary Style Gin

Coffey Gin’s complexity is achieved through the perfect balance between 11 selected botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates. The bright and zesty aroma originating from four kinds of Japanese citruses, Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu and Shequasar, compliments the traditional gin botanicals of juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels.

Foragers – Yellow Label

BRONZE – Contemporary Style Gin

Starting with soft juniper tones, Foragers gently takes you to fresh, semi-sweetness of apple and elderberry, before giving way to incredible, subtle, unmistakable floral notes from gorse and heather flowers. This truly is an authentic expression of Britain and the terrior of North Wales.

Grab one of these or any other one of our many gins! Find your new G&T gin!

Til next time.

Andrew

Black Tot 50th Anniversary

I am always a fan when a brand has a good story behind it, but also can back that up with with an equally good liquid! This Black Tot rum is one of those bottlings. Thought I would grab a bottle to try.

This bottle is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day. Which was the day that the Royal Navy officially brought an end to the 239 year old tradition that was the daily rum ration. At the time it was seen as a “barbaric act by government” to take away sailor’s rum an end to a great tradition. Today Black Tot day is seen as a day for friend to get together to share their rum rations and stories. Seeing as the Royal Navy were some of the first rum blenders as they picked up casks from every different port from all over the world!

This 50th anniversary bottling was created in a very limited 5000 bottle run. It is a wonderful nod to the original Navy blends, marrying rums from the four cornerstones of the original blend. Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados. Pulling from ancient stills and distilleries no longer in operation. A tasty tribute and balanced blend of rums. Because they believe in transparency with their rums. They published the full breakdown recipe.

Guyana:

Barbados:

Trinidad:

Jamaica:

World Blend:

This is a really well balanced blend that just has an array of flavours that just coats your whole mouth! Any different way you prepare it you are going to open up different flavours. Whether it’s neat, with ice, with some water, or in a host of different cocktails, the possibilities are endless. Lots of dark chocolate, mint, liquorice, stewed apples, and vanilla are just some of the notes I come across. Wonderfully rich and making you want more!

Till next time,

Andrew