Whisky to Enjoy on Burns Night

As Robert Burns’ birthday is approaching, we get our favourite haggis and our bottle or 2 of whisky to enjoy! This year is definitely going to look a lot different, but doesn’t have to be less enjoyable. We can embrace the suck and press forward with some delicious food and great whisky! It’s definitely going to be smaller, just your small pod of people, or a video gathering of all your favourite people. It’s up to you. Do something a bit more special or unique this year to compensate for the lack of gatherings.

We have put a small list of whiskies to help give you ideas for that wonderful Burns night tipple.

Stalla Dhu Caol Ila 11 y/o – 60.4%

This beautiful Islay is the newest edition to our Stalla Dhu range of independent bottlings. Bottled at cask strength and aged 11 years in a hogshead cask. You get a lightly salted sweetness, toasted almonds, slight pepper with smoldering embers. This is rich and peaty, sure to satisfy those Islay lovers out there. Limited to 287 bottles!

Singleton of Dufftown 17 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2020 – 55.1%

Part of last year’s Special Releases from Diageo, these are chosen to be a unique offering from some of our favourite distilleries. This is an unusual first-ever refill cask release of Singleton, being matured 17 years in refill American oak hogshead. This release lives up to the distillery’s smooth and balanced nature! Wonderfully creamy, fruity, a touch of fresh cut grass, and perfectly balanced.

Glendronach 12 y/o Original – 43%

A tried and true Highland whisky that brings the wonderful sherry flavours from Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. A great after dinner dram to wash down your lovely haggis, neeps & tatties! This GlenDronach is just a fantastically smooth dram with creamy vanilla, dried fruits, and of course the heavy dose of sherry!

Arran Port Cask Finish – 70cl 50%

Another one for those that love the wine cask finished whiskies. This Port cask finish from Arran is a perfect pairing with a lovely cheese board, maybe bought from the Isle of Arran Cheese Shop! Charming and rich, with splashes of citrus, vanilla fudge, and ripe cherries.

Highland Park Triskelion – 45.1%

A special edition Highland Park, that for the first time was created buy 3 of the distillery’s legendary whisky makers! Three principal cask types were hand chosen by each of the distillers, then combined to showcase the influence of wood and cask seasoning. First-fill sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads casks. A complex, full-flavoured Highland Park that boasts vibrant orchard fruit notes, with heather honey, and just the right amount of peat smoke!

Louis Roederer Brut Premier

It’s coming up on that evening where a lot of champagne is consumed! Although it will definitely look different this year, New Year’s Eve is an evening people wished came sooner! Champagne will probably still play a big roll, even if it’s on your own or with a loved one. Toasting to what will hopefully be a much brighter year next year! I had to grab myself one of these Louis Roederer gift sets to ring in the new year.

Brut Premier is made up of 40% Pinot noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. All matured in oak tuns produced from three Champagne grape varieties. This is an absolutely fantastic non-vintage cuvée, that just dominates this category. Louis Roederer boasts uncompromising quality when it comes to what they put out. Not to mention they are one of the only French Champagne producers to own nearly 75% of the grapes in the most sought after vineyards in the Champagne. The Brut Premier is the Champagne that sets the house style for Louis Roederer.

The freshness, finesse, and brightness of Brut Premier make it the perfect wine for festive occasions. Its structured texture, richness, and length are distinctly winey. It is a full, complex wine that is both rich and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.

-Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master

Perfect for any kind of celebration or romantic rendezvous! Very elegant and fresh.

Arran 25 Year Old Release

Photo Credit: Arran Whisky

Arran has always been one of my favourite places to visit, and the fact they have a distillery there just makes it that much better! A mixture of good scenery and good whisky is always a recipe for a lovely experience! I will be happy when I’m able to go spend some more time there.

Lochranza Distillery is in their 25th year of production and to mark that momentous occasion, they have released their first 25 year old single malt! The 25 will be added to their core range and will only have limited quantities put out each year. This is definitely a big milestone for them to put out this single malt from the 1995 casks. As this has been an especially challenging year for everyone, they are hoping this will be something special that everyone can enjoy together!

Here is a little rundown from the distillery:

Original 1995 Stock Lifespan Breakdown
35% ex-Sherry
65% ex-Bourbon

Re-casking
All stock re-casked into 1st Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads for 12 months prior to bottling.

Arran 25 Tasting Notes

Nose – Rich oak with a gentle nutmeg note. Sweeter aromas of baked ripe figs, sultanas and black cherries.

Palate – Fruit cake with toasted almonds and cinnamon. The juicy zestiness of oranges and mandarins mellows perfectly with manuka honey, muscovado sugar, baked apricots and an interesting white pepper note that provides even more complexity.

Finish – Creamy and spicy with dark chocolate, walnuts and dark fruits compote.

The Stars are Aligned with Hendrick’s Lunar Gin

I thought I’d sit down with this limited edition Hendrick’s Gin for this Sunday afternoon. I am a fan of Hendrick’s standard release, so was happy to take home a bottle of this Lunar release. The packaging and marketing for this alone was enough to get me hooked. Luckily the contents live up to the packaging!

This release is the second release from master distiller Leslie Gracie’s Cabinet of Curiosities from Hendrick’s Gin Palace in Scotland. She felt the inspiration to create this gin while tending to the botanicals one evening on a bright moonlit night. The starry evenings on the more secluded Ayrshire coast are absolutely gorgeous away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is no surprise that it would get those creative juices flowing to create a Lunar Gin.

According to Leslie Gracie:

“There is the warmth of some of the botanicals, like being wrapped up warm and snug of an evening. There is the rich aroma of night scented flowers and in the background you can just about make out the refreshing burst of citrus.”

Quite a lovely mellow gin, and I didn’t quite expect it to be so moorish! Definitely brighter than the original Hendrick’s with a subtle peppery bite, along with that cucumber freshness! The burst of fresh orange and warming feeling this release gives you just walks itself up the list of gin favourites.

Most definitely if you are already a fan of the standard release and have yet to try it, grab one here! You don’t want it to fade away in the night without giving it a shot.

New Springbank and Longrow Releases

We are very excited to be receiving the new shipment of the Springbank 17y/o Madeira and Longrow 21. Springbank is easily one of our favourite distilleries, so to say we are a little excited would be an understatement! As one of the few family run distilleries, and one that does every step of the process in house, just makes them that more special.

We will have these available online for purchase shortly, so keep an eye out for that announcement. Until then, here is a breakdown of the two new releases.

Springbank 17 y/o Madeira – 47.8% – Limited to 9,200 bottles. 

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Casks: 14 years Bourbon & Rum
3 years Fresh Madeira

Nose:
Sweet and jammy. There are aromas of
parma violets, boiled sweets and buttery
tablet with a note of fennel. Sticky ginger
cake, strawberry jam with a tang of
grapefruit and lemon sherbet. There is a
familiar coastal saltiness on the nose.

Palate:
The briny, maritime characteristics follow
through with light peat smoke. Sticky
toffee pudding, caramelised sugar and a
spicy, herbal hint of black cracked pepper
and tea leaves.

Finish:
The finish is nutty, smooth and slightly
woody. Notes of walnuts and pecans with
subtle peat smoke to the end.

Longrow 21 y/o 2020 – 46% – 3,600 Bottles.

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Nose:
A sweet yet meaty dram with aromas
of glazed cherries and cured meats.
Stewed dark plum notes and chewy
black wine gums. Maple syrup and
crispy bacon with a medicinal influence
from the robust peat smoke. A vibrant
nose with a touch of zesty orange peel.

Palate:
Sweet, smoky and waxy with a twist of
citrus. Caramel shortbread with
marzipan, lemon zest and a dusting of
icing sugar. Wax crayons and rich dried
fruits with a touch of clove spice.

Finish:
Rich and plummy with flavours of black
forest gateaux, bitter chocolate and
soft dark fruits. There is a recognisable
cereal, earthy, farmyard characteristic
in the finish.

Have a look at our selection of other Campbeltown whiskies in the meantime!

A Quick Look at Diageo’s 2020 “Rare by Nature”

I thought I’d post a brief run down of the recent Diageo releases for the few that haven‘t yet seen them! They have a great selection of some fantastic distilleries this year. Eight highly sought after whiskies that showcase Diageo’s incredible whisky stocks from over 30 different distilleries! They do this to highlight some long forgotten drams and more experimental expressions that are sure to excite the collectors, as well as the drinker.

With all that said, here are the 2020 Special Releases “Rare by Nature”:

SINGLETON 17 YO:

ABV: 55.1%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 2002

CASKS: First ever release from 100% refill American oak hogsheads

REGION: Speyside

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Dufftown

This unusual first-ever exclusively refill cask release of The Singleton Dufftown has been matured for seventeen years in refill American oak hogsheads, to showcase the fresh, spring-like nature of this slowly crafted single malt.

TALISKER 8 YO:

ABV: 57.9%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 2011

CASKS: From refill casks, then finished in pot – still Caribbean Rum casks

REGION: Isle of Skye

PLACE OF ORIGIN:     Carbost

From a malt rich in maritime character, this adventurous release of Talisker is the first ever to be finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks.

MORTLACH 21 YO:

ABV: 56.9%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 1999

CASKS: Finished in fresh – toasted Pedro Ximenez & Oloroso – seasoned casks

REGION: Speyside

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Dufftown

This Mortlach was matured for rich distillery character in small batches then carefully finished in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso- seasoned casks to build yet more levels of aroma and taste.

LAGAVULIN 12 YO:

ABV: 56.4%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 2007

CASKS: From refill hogsheads and butts selected for quality alone

REGION: Islay

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Port Ellen

This single vintage Lagavulin has been matured in traditional refill American oak casks selected to give a perfect expression of distillery character. Soaring in taste and intensity, the flavour is powerful and assertive yet subtly sweet.

CARDHU 11YO:

ABV: 56.0%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 2008

C A S K S: Refill casks and new and ex – bourbon American oak hogsheads

REGION: Speyside

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Knockando

Clean, elegant and perfectly poised, this Cardhu was made in small batches and matured in refill casks, as well as new and ex-bourbon American oak, drawing out tones of floral sweetness and spicy intensity in a playful exchange between wood and whisky.

CRAGGANMORE 20YO:

ABV: 55.8%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 1999

CASKS: From refill and new fresh – charred American Oak hogsheads

REGION: Speyside

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Ballindalloch

A Cragganmore of this age has never been released from the distillery, making this elusive malt a much anticipated expression. A small, experimental batch of cask strength and medium-peated Cragganmore matured in traditional refill American oak casks.

DALWHINNIE 30YO:

ABV: 51.9%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 1989

CASKS: From refill American Oak hogsheads.

REGION: Highland

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Dalwhinnie

This ultra-rare single vintage Dalwhinnie has an astonishing bright intensity for its age and comes uniquely from refill American oak hogsheads, all of which were casked in 1989.

PITTYVAICH 30 YO:

ABV: 50.8%

DISTILLATION YEAR: 1989

CASKS: Matured in refill and finished in first    – fill ex – bourbon casks

REGION: Speyside

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Dufftown (closed distillery)

This elusive 1989 Pittyvaich from the last remaining stocks is the first ever to be finished in first-fill ex-bourbon casks.

Willett Family Bourbons

I’m always happy when bourbon shipments come in! Wether they are new releases, new to us, or just restocks! This past week we received our shipment of bourbons from Willett Distillery in, you guessed it, Kentucky. I have been a fan of Willett bottlings for a while, although I have not tried all of them yet, I have enjoyed the ones I have.

Willet Distillery remains independently family owned and operated, while it’s roots date back to shortly after the American civil war. It is currently in it’s fifth generation of family distillers and continuing to deliver exceptional spirits with that southern hospitality feel.

Two of my favourite bourbons that always have a place on my shelf are from the Willett Family brands. Those would be Rowan’s Creek and Noah’s Mill! In addition to those two, also returning to our shelves are Willett’s Family Resrve 4, Willett’s Pot Still, and Pure Kentucky XO.

Willett Family Estate 4 Year Old: Incredibly well balanced that you’ll almost forget it’s cask strength! A wonderfully robust rye that gives you flavours of baked cherry pie, caramelised vanilla, and baking spices.

Willett Pot Still Reserve: Eye catching decanter in the shape of a pot still holds an even more solid bourbon! An interwoven mix of zesty citrus and honey carries this bourbon over the taste buds. Ending with that tasty rye spiciness.

Noah’s Mill: A wonderfully lush small batch bourbon. Incredibly smooth for a full proof bourbon. Flavours of toasted cinnamon pecans, coconut dates, mesh well with the spices and charred oak notes.

Rowan’s Creek:One of the best selling bourbons from the distillery, it is named after the creek that runs through the property. Incredibly velvety on the tongue, with a fantastic caramel sweetness you’d expect from a great small batch bourbon. Lingering clove spiciness is just enough to compliment the sweetness.

Pure Kentucky: Named as a tribute to it’s home state, because when you think of Kentucky, you think of bourbon! For those that like those oak and spice flavours at the forefront, with just the right amount maple sweetness.

If you’re feeling like a bourbon purchase is in your future, give one of the Willett family bottlings a go!

Relax With the Yellow Spot

With everything going on, you have to just find your favourite ways to decompress! A Sunday afternoon with a wonderful whiskey is a perfect way for me. Today I went with a super tasty Irish single pot still whiskey, Yellow Spot 12. This second edition from the ‘Spot’ range. This and Green Spot are the last of the original Irish bonded whiskies.

When the whole bonded whiskey market disappeared in the late 60’s, Mitchell & Son’s of Dublin kept Green Spot going, but Yellow Spot disappeared for over 45 years! Thankfully brought back in 2012. Great decision!

Both the Green and Yellow Spot whiskies are very good, but Green takes the cake with it’s extra aging. In addition to that, Green spent time aging in Spanish Malaga casks after it’s time in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The extra levels of complexity and character that the Malaga wine casks bring is fantastic. A very apparent level of sweetness the Green does not have!

This whiskey is wonderfully rich and velvety in texture which just adds to the moreish-ness of it. Just the right levels of sweetness, with flavours of caramelised bananas, Christmas spices, toasted cereals.

If Irish whiskey is your thing, and you haven’t had the Yellow Spot, then you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Stay healthy and sane!

Sunday Tipple with Redbreast

Been a while since I relaxed with a fantastic Irish whiskey. Seems like it’s been a lot of bourbons and gins lately, which i am definitely not complaining about! This Redbreast 15 was just calling my name today, and I just couldn’t say no. So many wonderful flavours and a ton of character wrapped up into one neat package. It is just one of those whiskies that just bring so much joy with every sip!

Redbreast as a brand has been around since the early 1900’s, but production dipped for a while. In the 90’s Redbreast was brought back onto the market, by Irish Distillers with the 12 year old and the brand continues to sit on top of the Irish whiskey market. I am also a big fan of the 12 year, but this 15 just pulls out so much more flavour for me.

This is a single pot still whiskey, which means it uses a mash of both malted and unmalted barley. Where single malt uses only 100% malted barley. Single pot still whiskey is exclusive to Ireland and gives the whiskey it’s distinct spicy character.

If you are a fan of Irish whiskies but have not yet ventured into the Redbreast offerings yet, make this or the 12 your next adventure! Exceptionally smooth and refined, not to mention very moreish! Quite a lot of stimulating layers of flavour. Lovely thick mouthfeel that is like fresh honey coating your tongue, and flavours of fresh baked apples. The woody-ness and slight spice comes through nicely. There is no doubt why this whiskey has taken so many awards!

This is going to make a very enjoyable Sunday evening! Pop on over to the site for your very own bottle!

Have a wonderful week!

Forager’s Gin

We are always receiving fantastic spirits in all the time, but it’s always exciting to get truly delicious liquid. That is true for our shipment of Forager’s Gin that came through our doors! There are a lot of really tasty gins out there, but these have shot to the my list currently! The passion and effort that the folks at Snowdonia Distillery out into this gin really comes through in the taste!

Snowdonia Distillery was founded by the Marshall family in 2015, which was North Wales’ first micro distillery after nearly 100 years! Founder Chris Marshall, who was a investment manager and former professional skier, has lead a small dedicated team who are passionate about making the best spirits possible! After realising that the Snowdonia region didn’t have a distillery, he made moves to change that. He brought in the best botanists, sensory analysts, master distillers, and master coppersmiths. Chris said, “Our aim was to find experts in their field and use their skills to achieve what we had in mind.” They take their inspiration from the Welsh Landscape around them, incorporating the local water and nature to craft something special!

They only have a 5,000 bottle production run per expression. Many months of the year are spent foraging for the freshest botanicals that are grown around them. They also have an ultra-long maceration period, resting the botanicals to create amazing flavours. The botanicals being; juniper, sea buckthorne, apple, elderberry, gorse flowers, and bell heather.

Snowdonia Distillery has 2 brands at the moment, Forager’s Gin and Marsette Liqueurs both of which have have gained widespread acclaim and coverage. Picking up a World Gin award and had been voted one of the top 10 craft spirits brands in the UK. Vogue magazine also added Forager’s to last years Christmas Wish List.

The two bottlings we have in at the moment are the Yellow Label and Black Label Gin. The Yellow being super inviting and the Black being the ultimate gin for a martini!

FORAGER’S YELLOW LABEL GIN – 46% – 70CL

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.

Perfect served in a variety of drinks including a dry martini or in the simple, but classic Gin & Tonic using either BTW Tonic water or Fever Tree Tonic, with a slice of British red apple.

FORAGER’S BLACK LABEL GIN – 46% – 70CL

Forager’s Black Label delivers intense, smooth juniper notes followed by beautifully mellow warmth and richness stemming from Sea Buckthorn. Use to create a crisp, elegant G&T, beautifully smooth cocktail, or epic gin martini.