Released April 2018
Below are this months newest Whisky expressions and limited releases to hit the online shelves. Click on the buttons to read more.
30th April 2018
A 1982 Glenlossie bottled by Gordon and Macphail as part of their Connoisseurs Choice range.
A 1968 vintage Glen Keith, bottled by Gordon and Macphail for their Connoisseurs Choice collection.
A whiskey created by the Dublin Liberties distillery and the founders of the New York's excellent Dead Rabbit Saloon, one of the world's best cocktail bars and an all-round great place to go for a drink. A blend of malt and grain whiskeys, this is matured first in bourbon casks before a finish in virgin American-oak casks for an extra kick of spice.
Highly rare Dalmore, aged for nearly half a century, matured in both bourbon and tawny port casks and blended by the maestro Richard Paterson. Expect those typical Dalmore rich, sweet and complex notes of red fruits, dark chocolate, honey and sticky dates. What’s more, Dalmore 45 Year Old is packaged in a gorgeous Baccarat crystal decanter. Just 500 bottles have been released worldwide.
A mystery Islay malt, bottled at 10 years of age after a short finishing period in a Bordeaux red wine cask, which has added notes of soft red fruits to this smoky dram. The palate has notes of smoked fruit, citrus peel and bonfire embers – a well-balanced dram of smoke and fruit.
Released to celebrate Canada’s 1867 Confederation, this whisky is finished in new Canadian oak for two years. Expect aromas of maple, raisin, fig and praline, with a full-bodied palate of buttercream, pepper and walnut. A delicious spicy whisky.
26th April 2018
A 21-year-old Macduff, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular range. This was distilled in January 1997, matured in a single refill hogshead and bottled in February 2018. It's rare to see Macduff bottled under its own name, as the distillery normally calls its whisky Glen Deveron. However, this shows its classic orchard fruit character, layered with spice and creamy sweetness.
A great idea from the folks at Wasmund's - a 2-litre new-charred-oak cask, two 70cl bottles of their bourbon-mash spirit and the challenge of maturing your own 'whisky'. It'll pick up flavour quickly in a barrel this small so it's perfect for experimentation.
A 2009-vintage Bunnahabhain from Gordon & MacPhail, released as part of the Cask Collection. Distilled on 30 April 2009, matured almost eight years in a first-fill sherry hogshead and bottled on 24 January 2018, it's a rich and spicy dram, marrying Bunnahabhain's weighty spirit with an active sherry cask.
An anonymous Islay single malt from The Islay Boys, inhabitants of the Rhinns in the west of the island. It's a crisp and sweet whisky run through with smokiness, named after Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway from from 1093 to 1103.
An interesting alternative take on Dailuaine. The distillery is best known for rich sherry-matured drams, but this Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask bottling was matured in a bourbon barrel. Distilled on 15 March 1995 and bottled just two weeks short of its 23 birthday on 1 March 2018, it's an elegant look at the distillery's weighty spirit.
25th April 2018
Signatory have bottled two ex-bourbon barrels of Glen Grant that have been quietly maturing since 1995, giving us this wonderful cask strength 22 Year Old with buttery notes of fruit, spice and honey.
A peated Islay single malt from Ian Macleod distillers, bottled at cask strength. Intense notes of peat smoke are accompanied by brine, citrus, vanilla, porridge oats and toffee. One for, as the bottle suggests, the smoke-heads.
A deliciously fruity triple-distilled Irish single malt, which has spent 14 years in ex-bourbon casks before being aged in oloroso sherry casks for a further two. With its complex notes of fruit, sherry, chocolate, malt and spice this is a delight for fans of the style – and with only 3,000 bottles available they'd better act fast.
Part of West Cork's cask finish collection, this has been aged in first fill bourbon casks for 12 years, before being finished in Port casks for at least six months. The result is a juicy, fruity whisky that layers notes of dark berries atop vanilla fudge, barley and mint.
A limited edition of West Cork's 12-year-old single malt, which has been finished for around 110 days in Pedro Ximenez casks. West Cork distillers choose this short finishing time to ensure that the essential characteristics of the their bourbon-cask matured spirit are not overpowered.
This dram is full of malty, floral and almond notes, accompanied by sherry-derived flavours of dried fruit and a lingering sweetness.
One of only two single malts currently produced by the Tormore distillery, whose whisky is otherwise used for blended Scotch. This 16-year-old has the distillery's characteristic fruit note in spades, alongside smooth sweetness and a long, slightly dry finish.
It may be young, but there’s plenty of flavour in this sherry-cask-matured Caol Ila, bottled at five years of age by Càrn Mòr for its Strictly Limited series. The trademark Caol Ila smoke, oil and citrus are all there, but also richer notes of dried fruit, chocolate and winter spice that balances out the dram beautifully.
Rich, extra-fruity single-grain whisky from the now-closed Port Dundas distillery. It was bottled by Hunter Laing after maturing for 27 years, developing sweet notes of toffee popcorn, tropical fruit, toasty oak and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Aged for a quarter of a century, this 1992 vintage Glentauchers is from Belgian bottler The Nectar of the Daily Drams. Expect clean, zingy aromas of orchard fruits and citrus, followed by a palate of orange, earthy spice, dried fruit and a touch of liquorice. Glentauchers is off the radar of many whisky drinkers, but top critic Jim Murray has described it as one of the most underrated distilleries out there.
A Chivas Regal edition that pays homage to Japanese whisky makers and whisky drinkers. This is a blend of malt and grain whiskies aged for at least 12 years, some of which has been married in Mizunara oak: Japanese oak that is rare and highly regarded for its impact on whisky.
This is a rich and fruity dram with notes of honey, orange, pear, hazelnut and a touch of oak spice.
A 1988-vintage dram from Caperdonich, Glen Grant's sister distillery. It was mothballed in 2002 and was torn down in 2010 to make room for still-maker Forsyth's to grow. It's reputation has grown since then, and this whisky is an excellent example from the distillery – distilled on 21 June 1988 and bottled on 1 March 2013 after 29 years in a hogshead. Buttery, fruity and delightful.
An interesting and rare dram this – Ruadh Maor: peaty whisky from Glenturret. The distillery has been quietly making peated spirit for blending for years, and some of it is finally making its way out into the world for us to try on its own. This was distilled in 2009 and matured in a sherry hogshead until 2018, when it was bottled at 8 years old.
Bottle #1 in Douglas Laing's Provenance Coastal Collection, celebrating the famed whisky islands of Scotland. This Islay entry is a Bunnahabhain, distilled in October 2007, matured in a single refill hogshead and bottled in February 2018 at 10 years old. It's a sweet and vanilla-laden dram with more depth than you might at first expect.
A 1990-vintage Ben Nevis bottled by Carn Mor for the Celebration of the Cask range. Distilled on 14 December and bottled from a single hogshead on 1 March 2018 at cask strength, this is a punchy 27-year-old dram with more than a hint of fruitiness.
The purest expression of Kavalan – a single cask of single malt, matured in a bourbon cask. The resulting whisky shows the distillery's tropical fruity character to its fullest, layering fruit soft spice and bourbon-cask vanillas and orchard fruit.
A well-aged, cask strength Highland Park bottled by Douglas Laing for the eXtra Old Particular range. Distilled in September 1996 and bottled in November 2017 at 21 years old, this is a classic HP – honey, spice and peat smoke.
Maybe the pinnacle of Kavalan's range of single cask Solist, bottlings, the Fino has spent its life maturing in a dry sherry cask, giving it a very different character to more common oloroso-matured drams. Fruity, elegant and incredibly well-balanced – an excellent ambassador for Taiwanese whisky.
Another fine bottling from Edradour's Straight from the Cask series, this time an 11-year-old single malt that has been aged in a Madeira cask. Only 961 bottles are available.
A straight-down-the-line classic Glen Grant – matured for 21 years in a bourbon barrel and packed with buttery, fruity flavour. It was distilled on 22 October 1992 and bottled on 1 March 2018 by Carn Mor for the Celebration of the Cask range.
22nd April 2018
This long-aged Glenrothes was distilled in September 1973 and spent an incredible 43 years maturing, before being bottled at cask strength of 41.8% in February 2017. Limited to just 149 individually numbered bottles, it has enticing aromas of heather, almonds and spice with a richer palate of honey, ripe fruit and vanilla.
Raj Igala (meaning ‘the king of eagles’) is made from Punjabi malted barley and was aged in ex-bourbon casks. Expect aromas of malt, liquorice and peat, with notes of pepper, cereal and oil. Another top-notch whisky from Amrut.
Select Casks is a limited-edition range of Johnnie Walker where master blender Jim Beveridge has experimented with different cask types and finishes. The Rye Cask Finish has plenty of creamy vanilla notes but also an extra layer of toasty spice.
This well-aged Old Pulteney has spent time in three types of cask: American oak, Spanish oak, and also casks that used to contain heavily peated whisky. The result is a smoky but citrus-led dram with notes of woodsmoke, praline, sultanas and vanilla, with a long, smoky finish.
A blend of whiskies from every distillery on Islay (including Port Ellen), this couldn’t come from anywhere else, with its big-hearted aromas of rock pools, smoky barbecues and sea spray. There’s also notes of liquorice, espresso, coal dust and even chimney smoke – if ever a name told the story of a whisky, this one certainly does.
This independently bottled Glenrothes was distilled in 1996 and aged for two decades. The classic honeyed tones of Glenrothes are present and correct, along with winter spices, malt and a touch of tropical fruit. This release was limited to just 329 bottles.
Limited to just 296 bottles, this 11-year-old Royal Brackla was bottled by North Star at a punchy 55.2%. Expect notes of stewed fruits, dark chocolate and golden pastries, with a sprinkling of citrus and toasted nuts. Royal Brackla was the first distillery to be allowed to use ‘Royal’ in its title, by the way.
Limeburners is based in Albany, Western Australia, and this cask-strength dram spends time in both bourbon and Australian ‘sherry’ oak. Exceptionally fruity, you’ll find aromas of peaches and apricots on the nose, followed by spicy dried fruit on the palate along with malt and milk chocolate. A great example of Aussie whisky.
Speyside distillery Aultmore is known for its soft, fruity character, but this North Star bottling ramps up the fruit and spice, with spiky notes of ginger, nutmeg and toasty oak, along with softer notes of toffee and butterscotch. Just 150 bottles of this whisky exist, so don’t hang around!
We don’t know the identity of this independently bottled Islay single malt, but we do know that it was aged for 12 years in bourbon oak and is limited to just 132 bottles. However, the tasting notes from bottler North Star do hint at its identity, describing its ‘medicinal, spicy’ aroma, palate of ‘peated black pepper’ and the finish as merely ‘chimneys from south Islay’. We’ll leave it to you to guess…
Punchy Ardbeg bottled at 12 years of age by Glasgow indy bottler North Star. This has pungent peat and pineapple on the nose, with salted smoke and notes of cherries and tobacco on the finish, with a flinty finish.
Another corker from Edradour's Straight from the Cask series: a 10-year-old single malt that's been resting in a single rum cask for the past 10 years. Layers of tropical fruit among the distillery's characteristic honey notes.
An independent bottling of Glenburgie from Ian Macleod as part of its Chieftains range. Aged for 16 years, you’ll find aromas of soft fruits and vanilla, with a touch of black pepper, tropical fruit and toffee.
A limited edition from Johnnie Walker, part of the popular Blender's Batch series. To create this edition, a blend of just a few single malts was aged in first-fill bourbon and then finished for up to six months in casks that had previously held rye whiskey. The result is a dram with an intense, honeyed sweetness and lashings of warming vanilla spice.
This no-name single malt was aged for three decades before being bottled by Douglas Laing for its Xtra Old Particular range. Expect aromas of strawberry tarts, chocolate and hazelnuts, with a peppery palate of dried fruits, mocha and toffee apples and a spicy finish. The distillery must remain a secret, but we can reveal it’s a family-owned one in Speyside.
This Swedish single malt was bottled on the country’s national day, 6 June (hence the name) and is limited to just 840 bottles. Aged in Swedish new oak, this has generous aromas of peatsmoke, with fresh notes of pine and spice, along with stone fruit and pepper.
We love 1980s Caol Ila and this one ticks all the boxes. Distiller 8 March 1983 and bottled on 8 January 2018 at 34 years old, it is an excellent example of Caol Ila from this time – elegantly smoky with more than a hint of sea air. An excellent Celebration of the Cask bottling by Carn Mor.
A long-aged whisky from Glenglassaugh, the second oldest in the third release of single casks from the distillery. It's one of the darkest whiskies we've ever seen from the distillery, thanks to 49 years of maturation, with at least some (if not all) of that time in a refill sherry hogshead. The result is a deep and rich dram packed with berry fruit flavour.
| Distillery Bottling
Thanks to years of closure over the past century, Glenglassaugh is a distillery with two types of whisky: very young or very old. This is one of the latter drams, bottled as part of the third batch of single casks released by the distillery. Matured in a cask that previously contained Massandra – a Crimean fortified wine, similar to sherry – and bottled in November 2016, it's a rich and dark dram, packed with dried fruit notes.
A long-aged dram from Glenglassaugh, part of the distillery's third release of single cask whiskies. Unlike many of these older whiskies, this was matured in a bourbon barrel, showing off a different side to the distillery's 1970s production – elegant vanilla and ginger with loads of orchard fruit.
18th April 2018
The first release of the Spirit of Hven Urania whisky - the first Island single malt produced in Sweden. Named for Urania, the Muse of Astronomy (amongst other things), and made from barley grown in Scotland, Belgium and locally on the island of Hven.
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17th April 2018
A rare treat bottled for Italian distributor Velier's 70th birthday by Signatory Vintage, maybe the only bottler to still have casks of Glenisla. The spirit was made at Glen Keith during the experimental late 1970s, using a combination of lightly peated malt and heavily peated water. The result is a intriguing mix of fruit and gentle smoke – a worthy experiment.
Bushmills is a very traditional distillery and its rare to see a new expression – this was the first to appear for almost five years! It's a sweet and buttery dram with lots of vanilla and cream, as you'd expect from its maturation in bourbon casks, with lots of first-fill in the mix.
A sherried Glen Keith from Douglas Laing, bottled for the Old Particular range in November 2017. Distilled in August 1996 and matured in a sherry but for 21 years, this is dried than you'd expect, with balanced sweetness and spice.
Michter's 10 Year Old Bourbon is aged for a decade in new charred American white oak barrels, with each bottling being from a single cask. Big and bold with a sweet flavour profile.
We cannot guarantee specific barrel number or year of release of these bottles.
A small batch bottling from Signatory Vintage, marrying a pair of casks for the Un-Chillfiltered collection. The whisky was distilled at Glen Keith in 1997 and aged for 20 years in a pair of hogsheads before bottling in September 2017. This release shows off the distilleries fruitier side, with a layer of balancing vanilla.
A 10-year-old rye from Michter's. Rich, with notes of vanilla, toffee and spicy pepper.
We cannot guarantee specific barrel number or year of release of these bottles.
A 24 year Glenlossie from Signatory Vintage, distilled on 18 November 1992 and bottled on 28 April 2017. A vatting of a pair of hogsheads, this is bottled at cask strength, all the better to show off Glenlossie's sweet and fruity nature.
Signatory Vintage are known for their well priced drams, and this 10 year-old Glenlivet is no exception. Distilled in 2007 and matured in first-fill sherry casks before being bottled in June 2017, this adds a rich layer of dried fruit and spice to Glenlivet's orchard-fruit-laden spirit.
And Old Particular release of grain whisky from Cameronbridge, at the time of writing, Europe's biggest distillery. Distilled back in October 1991 and aged for 26 years before being bottled from a single cask in December 2017, this has enough time on its side to show a mature style of grain. Complex and worth contemplation.
A 30-year-old grain whisky from Strathclyde, bottled by Hunter Laing for the Sovereign range. Distilled in September 1987 at the Glasgow distillery, it was bottled from a single hogshead in November 2017 at cask strength.
A small batch release from Dun Bheagan, pulling together two casks of sherry-matured Glenrothes. Distilled in March 1997 and bottled in 2016 after 19 years of maturation, this is a full-flavoured malt, with balanced sherry character. Already a bit of a legend, it's got an average score of 89 on Whiskybase and breathless reviews across the internet.
Gordon MacPhail's 2017 of Longmorn, distilled in 2003 and bottled at about 14 years old. This is one of the best ways of getting to the core of Longmorn's distillery character, with gentle cask influence revealing the distillery's fruity character.
Pale and elegant whisky from Linkwood, bottled for the Un-chillfiltered collection by Signatory. Distilled on 5 November 1998 and bottled on 11 May 2017 after 18 years in a pair of bourbon barrels, this small batch bottling shows Linkwood's fruity character at its best.
An Old Malt Cask bottling of whisky from Macduff, distilled in October 1997 and bottled in November 2017 after 20 years in a refill barrel. The age has allowed the whisky to mellow while picking up spice and vanilla from the cask, resulting in a mix of soft oak, orchard fruit and malted grain.
The evolution of smoky whisky from the St George's Distillery in Norfolk. Marrying the distillery's clean and sweet spirit with vanilla-laden bourbon cask influence, and adding stacks of peaty smoke on the finish, this is an easy-sipping dram with a kick!
The first whisky to be legally distilled in Texas, made from roasted blue corn (a type of flint corn, like sweet corn, but with a distinctive blue colour). This received the prestigious Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and has butter, corn, spice and fruit notes, alongside a rounded nuttiness.
A 34-year-old Caol Ila bottled by Signatory for Italian distributor Velier's 70th birthday. The series has been christened the 'Four Daughters' and this bottle is called 'Benedicta! Benedicta!!". Distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2017, this is an excellent example of old long-aged Caol Ila. Fruity, elegant and smoky: the perfect combination.
The core of the Jura range, aged for 12 years in bourbon casks and then finished in Oloroso sherry. The result blends the distillery's characteristic gently smoky character with sweetness, spice and dark fruit. A great introduction to Jura.
A well-aged release of Glenburgie from Douglas Laing's Old Particular range, distilled in December 1999 and bottled in December 2017 at 18 years old. Whisky from this distillery normally goes to blending, but occasionally independent bottlers get a cask or two to show off it's fantastic fruity character – orchard and summer fruit with a slab of buttered toast.
Softly smoky and packed with rich fruit flavour, Jura 18 sits at the top of the Jura range. Aged for 18 years in bourbon casks before a finish in red wine casks, this carefully balances the distillery's soft smoke with weighty flavours from the casks.
15th April 2018
A punchy Bunnahabhain from Ian Macleod's Chieftans range. Distiller in February 2002 and bottled in May 2017 after 15 years, this spent the end of its maturation in a Port pipe, with the finish adding an extra layer of fruit and spice to the weight spirit.
A fantastic celebratory bottling of Bunnahabhain, selected and bottled by Signatory to commemorate the 70th birthday of famed Italian bottler and distributor Velier. Distilled in 1980 and matured in a bourbon hogshead for 37 years, it's the perfect birthday dram. Named 'Alice's adventures in Velier Land', it's worth a trip down the rabbit hole.
A spoonful of Madeira makes the medicine go down... This much-loved, traditionally medicinal Islay whisky has been given a softer edge by ex-Madeira wine casks, in which it's been housed since 1998. Expect exquisite layers of smoke and sweetness.
12th April 2018
Rich aromas of cherries, chocolate and caramel in this Tullibardine, aged for a quarter of a century before being bottled by Hunter Laing for its Old Malt Cask series. The palate has notes of salted caramel, marzipan and herbs, followed by a long, warming finish.
A richly sherried Tormore, bottled as part of Hunter Laing’s Old Malt Cask series. Aged for nearly three decades, this has an aromatic nose of vanilla and orange with richer notes of tropical fruit and spice on the palate.
11th April 2018
Just 128 bottles exist of this 21-year-old Tobermory, bottled as part of Hunter Laing’s Old Malt Cask range. Aged in a refill hogshead, expect notes of cereal, nutty biscuit and fresh fruit, with just a touch of crème brûlée and spice on the finish.
Rich spice and dried fruit aplenty is on offer from this 1996 Tomatin, bottled by Ian Macleod as part of the Chieftains range. It was aged in bourbon oak for toffee and spice, then finished in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask for an extra layer of flavour, adding cinnamon, bitter orange marmalade and apricot hints.
Tomatin is known for its rich style of malt, and finishing in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask adds a further layer of dried fruit and spice to this 20-year-old example, bottled by Ian Macleod for its Dun Bheagan range.
8th April 2018
A travel retail exclusive from the Knockdhu Distillery. Knockdhu is Gaelic for Black Hill – the nickname for Knock Hill – the area that is the source of all the distillery's water. Black Hill Reserve has been matured solely in first fill ex-bourbon casks and has bright notes of fruit, coconut and fresh vanilla.
A 12-year-old Ballechin, the peated whisky from Edradour. Distilled on 13 December 2005, this was matured entirely in an ex-Bordeaux cask. Bottled on 15 January 2018, this combines smoky and fruity flavours.
A limited release of long aged Bowmore, launched in 2016. It was distilled back in 1973 and bottled in June 2016 after 32 long years of maturation in bourbon hogsheads. The result is a near legendary dram, with stacks of 90+ ratings across the internet and a reputation for epitomising the fruity character of the era.
A wonderful example of what Japanese whisky is capable of. We absolutely love this. Extremely smooth, with great complexity and a lovely balance of fruit, silky malt and a touch of smoke.
A boisterous lad bottled at 49%, this Galileo-themed release from this Islay favourite sharpens typical Ardbeg peat smoke to a point, before shooting it through with sharp tropical fruit notes – sweet pineapple and earthy coconut – gifts from maturation in ex-Marsala wine casks. Originally released in 2012 to commemorate the distillery sending whisky to mature in space.
A twist on Aberlour's usual character from indie bottler Lombard's Jewels of Scotland. Rather than going with the distillery's more typical sherry-cask maturation, this whisky slept for 25 years in a bourbon casks. The result is a more elegant dram, with the distillery's rich and malty character front and centre.
4th April 2018
A 2006 vintage from the Netherland's Zuidam distillery under the Millstone brand. Distilled in May, it was aged in American oak for 11 years (despite being labelled as a 10 year old) before being bottled on 6 May 2017.
A limited edition single malt from Paul John that was rated Best Asian Whisky by Jim Murray's 2018 Whisky Bible. Matured in American white oak casks for seven years, this is an enticing combination of honeyed fruits, with underlying layers of citrus spice and toasted oak.
Kanya is named after the Indian counterpart to the Zodiac sign Virgo. People born under Kanya are believed to be patient, precise and observant.