Released March 2018
Below are this months newest Whisky expressions and limited releases to hit the online shelves. Click on the buttons to read more.
20th March 2018
A magnum of Old Grand-Dad bourbon, noted for its spicy flavour thanks to a higher-than-usual proportion of rye in the mash bill. Expect sweet notes of vanilla, toasty oak and a touch of citrus.
Following on from the 21 Year Old and 25 Year Old Authenticus, BenRiach have now added this impressive 30 Year Old to the series. Expect a very intense Speyside malt whit notes of wild honey and peat on the nose, creamy vanilla, summer fruits and slight hint of cocoa on the palate, all infused sweet peat on the finish.
Enter: a particularly exciting aroma – look out for a flourish of fresh spring flowers on the nose. The palate is deeper, with chocolate and coffee notes lifted by a touch of spice and opening up into bright cherry Bakewell flavours toward the end. A vibrant rye whisky which would sit comfortably at the base of a Manhattan.
A deliberate divergence from tradition, this is a big, bold bourbon built to satisfy your sweet tooth. Chocolate, butterscotch and hints of banana simmer down to a finish sprinkled with coffee, nuts and lashings of maple syrup. It's a sundae in a whiskey glass, and we love it.
Full of youthful energy, this mixed-grain American is defined by wholesome cereal, herbal high notes and a hint of tobacco on the finish, all set against a surprising malty backdrop. Unashamedly direct, you might be tempted to mix it, but to dilute this would be a mistake – pour it, add a dash of water and appreciate it for what it is: American whiskey by name and nature.
A limited edition version of Compass Box's excellent Hedonism, bottled to celebrate women in whisky – and that, for the first time, the company employs more women than men. The heart of this blended grain whisky is 'the muse cask', a butt discovered by Compass Box that contained unknown, pre-blended whiskies matching the quality and flavour profile of a Hedonism whisky. It is honeyed, spicy and fruity, with a notable presence of vanilla. Try pairing it with salted caramel.
Hedonism was Compass Box's inaugural bottling in 2000 and is thought to have been the first whisky with a woman on the label. The lead blender on the project was Jill Boyd, Compass Box's first female whisky blender.
18th March 2018
Once blended, this elder expression from Dewar’s is decanted into oak casks for further maturation before finishing yet elsewhere. The result of all this to-and-fro? A sophisticated and elegant whisky which truly thrives on the tongue: fresh fundaments of rich apple and apricot are lifted by thick floral notes and honey battles smoke for dominance in a slow, heady finish.
Aberlour is already one of our favourite distilleries thanks to the excellent a'bunadh. Introduced in 2008, this 18 year old is now one of the stars of the range: rich and fruity, with a great textured mouthfeel. A previous winner of a Gold Medal & Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.
A well-matured Benriach, filled into cask in October 1996 and bottled in June 2017. While Benriach is already well known for its fruity character, the folks at Ian Macleod finished the whisky in a Monthelie white Burgundy cask for this Chieftan's bottling, adding an extra layer of fruity complexity.
A long-aged Carn Mor bottling of Benriach whisky, distilled on 9 March 1990 and bottled on 1 August 2007 at cask strength. Fruity, spicy and well-balanced.
A Connoisseurs Choice release of Benriach, distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2016, just shy of its 20th birthday. Classic Benriach fruitiness with a touch of dried fruit and spice.
15th March 2018
An innovative release from Jefferson's, Ocean was aged for between six and eight years on land, before the barrels were 'finished' on a ship at sea for the final six to 10 months. A rich bourbon with a hint of salinity.
A very limited edition bottling of 25-year-old blended whisky from William Grant and Sons' Rare Cask Reserves division, specially selected and blended to celebrate the 70th birthday of legendary Italian bottler Velier.
A limited-edition bottling from The Lakes distillery, finishing its The One blend of whiskies from across the UK in French-oak tawny-port casks, adding an extra layer of dried fruit and nutty character to the whisky.
The oldest entry in the House of Hazelwood range, named in honour of the home of William Grant's oldest grand-daughter, Janet Sheet Roberts, who held the title of Scotland's oldest woman until she passed away in 2010 at 110. The whisky has an aged elegance to it, focusing on brown sugar and vanilla notes, which are backed up by soft spice and gentle fruit.
A travel-retail exclusive 21-year-old blend, produced by William Grant's and named after Hazelwood House, home of the late Janet Sheed Roberts, the grand-daughter of the original William Grant and Scotland's oldest woman before she passed away. The whisky is elegant and sherry-influenced, with carefully balanced spice and dried fruit notes.
An elegant looking and tasting 18-year-old blended whisky from William Grant's, inspired by the Art Deco designs of the 1920s and named after the home of William Grant's oldest granddaughter, who passed away recently at the grand old age of 110. The whisky is focused on creamy toffee and gently spicy flavours, with complex oaky notes.
The colour does not lie – this is a 1995-vintage Blair Athol, matured for 22 years in a sherry butt. Selected and bottled by Hunter Laing for the Old Malt Cask range in November 2017. A big and citrusy whisky, with herbal complexity.
13th March 2018
A fruity, maritime and sweetly peated dram bottled by Douglas Laing for their esteemed Xtra Old Particular range. Drawn from a single refill hogshead, in which it had matured for 21 years, this Highland Park 21 Year Old is a beautifully-presented treat for fans of the distillery.
12th March 2018
Tamdhu is characterised by fragrant, aromatic notes of white pepper and oranges. This bottling adds honey, spice and green apple to its trademark flavours, and was distilled back in 1999 before being bottled by Douglas Laing in the summer of 2017.
Dubbed the ‘bad boy of Speyside’ by its makers, Craigellachie is one of the more robust single malts, with big-hearted flavour and character. This bottling was aged exclusively in sherry butts, adding rich notes of chocolate, spice and roasted nuts, and is part of Hunter Laing’s First Editions series.
The first peated whisky in Bunnahabhain's core range. Like the limited edition Toiteach that came before it, Toiteach A Dha (which means 'smoky two' in Scots Gaelic) is a smoky single malt with a sherry twist.
Matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, with a higher sherry influence than Toiteach, this is a delicate mix of smoke and sweet sherry fruit.
While we've seen more of Aultmore recently, these Connoisseurs Choice bottlings have been the most reliable way of trying this classic Speysider. This release was distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2016 at about 10 years old. Matured in bourbon casks, this has a backbone of fruit and spice, with toffee and a touch of cream.
A 2005-vintage Auchroisk bottled for the Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice range. There isn't much Auchroisk bottled as single malt, and the CC range is one of the only places to find this classic Speysider, dialled into produce whisky with a nutty and malty character.
A 2017 bottling of 1997-vintage Auchentoshan by Douglas Laing for the Old Particular range. Bottled at the customary strength of 51.5%, this is a punchy example of Auchentoshan's triple distilled character.
Beautiful balance between peppery smoke and clean citrus in this 21-year-old Ardmore, a single-cask bottling from Hunter Laing as part of its Old Malt Cask series. Ardmore is known for its trademark peat and smoke; this is a lighter, fresher example.
A big, meaty Ardmore from Douglas Laing’s Provenance range. One of the few distilleries in the Highlands that produces peated whisky, this Ardmore was distilled in July 2008 and bottled at eight years of age. Sweet and mouth-coating with notes of smoke, smoked meat and sugar syrup.
Punchy, young Ardmore that delivers satisfying smoky notes and plenty of oily peat. There are touches of spice, minerals and coastal notes, too. Artist Collective is a range of whiskies bottled by La Maison Du Whisky featuring the work of contemporary artists on the label.
Aged for two decades, this sweet, fruity Ardmore was bottled by top independent bottler Adelphi at cask strength. Expect fresh herbal notes on the nose, and a richer palate of coconut, fruitcake and spices. Only 236 bottles were released.
9th March 2018
A perfect showcase for the quality of Kavalan's Taiwanese made and matured spirit - a single cask bottling from a first-fill bourbon cask. Rich and fruity with lots of woody spice.
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7th March 2018
A single malt for whisky sleuths. Glenlivet have created Code, a limited edition that follows Alpha and Cipher, to encourage people to experience whisky aromas and flavours without preconceptions.
Pour yourself a dram and then, without tasting notes or cask information to guide you, enter Glenlivet's virtual challenge room (using the code on the back of the box) and see if you can crack this whisky's combination of aromas and flavours.
6th March 2018
An exclusive top-end blend packaged in an eye-catching designer bottle. Very popular in style bars, this product is seldom available on the general market.
A deluxe blend launched in the UK to compete with the likes of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. This has proven extremely popular, and received 95 points from Jim Murray in the Whisky Bible. Picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2010.
4th March 2018
The fifth and final bottling in Tomatin's Five Virtues series. Paying homage to the Alt-na-Frith burn, from which the distillery derives its water, this single malt is weighty and oily, with notes of blood orange marmalade, marzipan and rich toffee. It is an equal marriage of whisky matured in sherry butts and that matured in second-fill ex-bourbon barrels.
The fourth bottling in Tomatin's limited edition Five Virtues series. Metal, which pays homage to Tomatin's 12 copper stills, is a sweet, soft and creamy single malt that has been entirely aged in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. Notes include milk chocolate, marshmallows, citrus, ice-cream and sweet spices.
The Five Virtues series is inspired by elements from nature. Each of the five bottlings, all in editions of 6,000 bottles, focuses on different cask maturations.
1st March 2018
An organic single malt from an undisclosed distillery. This was aged in casks which used to hold Sauternes dessert wine, before being released by independent bottler Highland Harvest.