Released October 2018
Below are some of the latest whisky releases to hit the online shelves for October 2018. Visit the Whisky Boys online shop for a Dunedin 18 Year Old or 57 Year Old Longmorn whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail’s Private Collection.
30th October 2018
One of a pair of releases showing a different side to the Single Malts of Scotland range – it's a small-batch vatting rather than a single cask. It's four casks of whisky, three ex-bourbon hogsheads and a sherry butt from a couple of different vintages. The sherry butt's huge dried-fruit character has been tempered by the bourbon, but it's still a big and rich sherried dram, with softer orchard fruit and gentle American-oak spice.
A unique whisky from rising star of the US distilling movement, Balcones. It's a corn whisky made in Waco, Texas using atole, a roasted blue corn meal packed full of nuttiness that comes through into the whisky.
28th October 2018
Batch two of GlenAllachie's cask-strength 10-year-old, this is just what it sounds like: the distillery's classically Speyside character – fudge, honey, spice and fruit – dialled up to eleven with the help of a 54.8% ABV. Matured in a combination of PX & oloroso sherry, first-fill bourbon and virgin oak casks, this is a punchy, thick and delicious dram.
Hudson's Manhattan Rye is a long-overdue revival of a rye-making tradition that was deeply-embedded on America's east coast before the advent of Prohibition. As with the Tuthilltown distillery's other products, Manhattan Rye has been double-distilled and aged in small casks.
The splendidly-named Hudson Baby Bourbon was the first legal aged grain spirit to be produced in New York since Prohibition ended over 75 years ago. Unusually for bourbon, Hudson's spirit is manufactured in a potstill at the Tuthilltown Gristmill (a heritage site) and is aged in small new oak casks.
An Irish whiskey created by Sadler's Ales in Birmingham to accompany its Peak Blinder beer. Harking back to Brum's colourful 1920s' post-war past and the Anglo-Irish Peaky Blinders gang, it's a small-batch, triple-distilled, blended Irish whiskey, with balanced fruit and spice. Just the thing to accompany a dark, old-school ale.
25th October 2018
Chivas Regal's 15-year-old blended whisky, luxuriously fruity and sweet thanks to careful cask selection, including some whisky that has been finished in Grande Champagne Cognac casks.
An 11-year-old Bunnahabhain bottled as part of Gordon & MacPhail's Discovery range, the intention of which is to help people identify and navigate what G&M considers three central pillars of Scotch whisky tasting: sherry maturation, bourbon maturation and smokiness. This bottle sits firmly in the 'sherried' camp, with plenty of stewed fruit, vanilla fudge and lingering spice.
A 10-year-old Craigellachie bottled by Mossburn for the Vintage Casks range. Distilled in 2007, this small batch is made up of hogsheads and was bottled in November 2017.
The 2018 edition of Danish distillery Stauning's Kaos – a blend of its rye, traditional and peated whiskies. This is a delightfully complex dram that offers smoke, oak and sweetness alongside hints of characteristic rye spice.
This 2018 edition is made from whiskies distilled in 2014 and 2015, which were aged in first-fill ex-bourbon and virgin American white oak casks.
A stunning Stauning - what more could you want? This is the seventh edition of the Danish distillery's peated single malt, this time aged for six years in ex-bourbon casks, and it's a wonderfully complex dram with notes of smoked chocolate, nougat, crème caramel, malt and vanilla. A limited edition that won't be around for long.
A sophisticated, cask-strength 30-year-old from Jura. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in casks which previously held tawny port, this whisky layers thick, jammy fruit and spice atop creamy vanilla and fresh citrus, resulting in all the intricate complexity you'd expect from a whisky of this age.
The second release as part of Mossburn's Vintage Casks range is a Inchgower 2007. A lesser-know coastal Speyside distiller, this is a rare chance to taste its whisky. This small batch was matured in hogsheads for 10 years before bottling November 2017.
Midleton's Dair Ghaelach releases celebrate the trees that make the casks that make the whiskey. Each bottling is finished in casks made from a single tree, adding virgin-oak spiciness that can be traced back to the forest. This release used oak from Tree #5 in the Bluebell Forest, a wood within the stone walls of the Castle Blunden estate in County Kilkenny. The tree was more than 130 years old when felled, and the removal of the old trees has allowed newly planted saplings to be planted, bringing new life to the bluebell-covered forest.
A 12-year-old Ledaig bottled for Gordon & MacPhail's Discovery range, which colour-codes bourbon-matured, sherry-matured and smoky single malts to help guide people through those three pillars of Scotch whisky tasting. This bottle sits firmly in the 'smoky' category with powerful notes of smoked meat and wood smoke, balanced by fresh citrus and chocolaty malt.
24th October 2018
One of two releases showing a new side to the Single Malts of Scotland range – it's a small-batch vatting of four casks, showing off the blending skills of the Elixir Distillers team. It's a 27-year-old Bunnahabhain with the four refill bourbon hogshead coming from three different vintages. The whisky is fruity and complex, with balanced buttery and spicy notes.
A single-cask release of Bunnahabhain from the Single Malts of Scotland, bottled as part of the Director's Special range. This distilled back in 1975 and aged for 43 years in a single refill-bourbon hogshead. Over the years, its strength has naturally dropped, concentrating its flavour. The result is a soft and fruity whisky that shows the delicacy of Bunnahabhain's normally boisterous spirit.
A well-aged, very-sherried release from Elixir Distiller's Director's Special range – a 43-year-old single cask from Glenallachie. This was matured in a sherry butt for its whole life, as you can tell from its ruby colour. It's a sister cask of the whisky we released for The Whisky Exchange's tenth anniversary, and this is even better than that excellent bottling – big, rich and sherried.
23rd October 2018
Berinnes makes a heavy spirit that stands up well to maturation, and 26 years in a single hogshead have given this whisky layers of malty and spice and rich orchard fruit. It was distilled on 9 September 1991 and bottled on 25 June 2018.
A sweet, fruity and complex Bowmore, bottled by Elixir Distillers for the Single Malts of Scotland range. Distilled on 7 May 1996 and bottled after 22 years in a single hogshead cask on 23 June 2018, this has mellowed over the years. It's elegant, with a distinctly maritime air.
Braeval (aka Braes of Glenlivet) is a hidden gem of Speyside. This long-aged, 29-year-old whisky adds layers of polished oak and soft spice to the distillery's orchard-fruit laden character, creating a complex and moreish dram. This was distilled on 19 May 1989 and bottled on 25 June 2018 by Elixir Distillers for the Single Malts of Scotland range.
Before Bruichladdich's reopening in 2000, it produced a soft and grassy spirit, and this 1992-vintage single-cask bottling has that in spades – buttery straw and sweet orchard fruit. It was distilled on 2 December 1992 and bottled at 25 years old by Elixir Distillers for the Single Malts of Scotland range on 23 June 2018 from a single hogshead.
A Single Malts of Scotland release of 20-year-old Glentauchers from Elixir Distillers. This was distilled on 22 October 1997 and bottled on 26 June 2018 from a single bourbon barrel. The small cask and two decades have rounded the edges off the spirit and added layers of spicy complexity.
A soft, grassy and fruity whisky from Imperial distillery, now closed. It was distilled on 4 July 1995 and bottled 26 years later, at 22 years old, a week before its 23rd birthday. Imperial closed in 1998 after a hundred years of sporadic operation, opening and closing several times during its life. This is a classic expression from the distillery, packed with meadow character and sweet fruit.
A Mossburn Vintage Casks release of 2007-vintage Blair Athol. This cask-strength small batch release was bottled in November 2017 at 10 years old.
A 1995-vintage Linkwood bottled by Elixir Distillers for the Single Malts of Scotland range. Linkwood works well with a bit of age on it, and this single-cask bottling – distilled on 16 June 1991 and bottled on 23 June 2018 spent 27 years in a hogshead. The result is a elegant, floral and fruity dram.
Award-winning third release in The Arran's 'The Bothy' series, this cask-strength Island single malt has been matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks before spending an 18-month finishing period in American oak quarter casks. Expect flavours accordingly - heaps of vanilla and tangy citrus fruit, all highlighted with a rich, oaky spice.
This single-cask bottling of Tamnavulin from the Single Malts of Scotland series is packed with buttery and malty notes, with loads of fruity character. It was distilled on 26 November 1992 and bottled at 25 years old from a single hogshead on 23 June 2018. Tamnavulin is a young distillery – only founded in 1966 – which doesn't appear as a single malt very often.
The Whisky Agency have celebrated their 10th anniversary - during which time they've brought the world some spectacular whiskies - by selecting a stellar hogshead of Ben Nevis and bottling it at an august 21 years old. All the quality you'd expect both from the distillery and the folks at The Whisky Agency.
This is cask-strength edition of Kaiyo's Mizunara matured whisky. It's a rare beast, as there's not much Mizunara – Japanese oak – and only a tiny amount gets turned into whisky casks. It's worth the effort, as it adds a distinctly Japanese edge to the whisky, layering on incense-laden spiciness. Kaiyo go even further, shipping their casks out to sea for months before bottling to give them a gentle rock on the waves, getting even more flavour out of the wood.
A fresh and fruity Benrinnes, showing a very different side to the distillery's usually hefty and sherried character. This was distilled in May 2006 and bottled from a refill hogshead in November 2017 at 11 years old by Douglas Laing for the Provenance range.
A celebratory release of Douglas Laing's Scallywag Speyside blended malt, released in bottled in honour of the company's 70th anniversary. The whisky is a vatting of Speysiders which have all been matured in sherry casks – a mix of oloroso and sticky-sweet Pedro Ximenez. It's a rich and spicy whisky, with dark fruity notes running through the middle.
A fruity and sweet whisky from the Isle of Jura, bottled by Douglas Laing for the Provenance series. This combines Jura's malty, citrusy character with a single refill hogshead to create a malt-forward and zingy dram, with balanced sweetness. Distilled in March 2008 and bottled in November 2017 at 10 years old.
Machrie Moor is named for a peat bog on the island's west coast where, according to legend, the giant Fingal kept his favoured pet dog. Now inducted into The Arran's core range, this whisky continues to capture the island's rugged and myth-strewn landscape: peat smoke and grass are lifted and given life by vanilla and a touch of sharp citrus.
A 20cl bottle of Oban 14 year old from the Western Highlands. A great little gift for any malt fan, or a pocket size treat for yourself.
Every year Four Roses releases a special limited edition of its award-winning small-batch bourbon, bottled at barrel strength. This year's is even more special than usual – it's celebrating 130 years since the name Four Roses was trademarked and the company's history officially began. This 130th anniversary edition brings together four of Four Roses's ten recipes at four different ages: 13-year-old OBSF and 10-year-old OBSV (both medium rye), 14-year-old OESV and 16-year-old OESK (both high-rye). The chosen whiskeys focus on fruity and herbal flavours, as well as Four Roses's controlled spiciness, and this fantastic bourbon is already turning heads on both sides of the Atlantic.
A special sampling set from Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, investigating the affect of barley type on the flavour of whisky. The set contains 200ml bottles of whisky distilled from organic barley, Bere barley – an ancient variety known for its spicy character – and Islay barley – grown just miles from the distillery. Bruichladdich are all about terroir, and this gives a fascinating insight into how changes to one of the key ingredients of whisky can ripple through the whole whisky-making process.
A 26-year-old bottling of Allt-a-Bhainne (pronounced alt-a-vain) from the Single Malts of Scotland. The distillery is in the heart of Speyside and produces a classic Speyside spirit. This bottling shows the character that can develop after 26 years of maturation – it's packed with candied fruit and sweet-shop notes. Drawn from a single hogshead, filled on 20 May 1992 and bottled on 23 June 2018.
22nd October 2018
Bottled as part of the Càrn Mòr Celebration of the Cask range, this is a cask-strength release of Tamdhu spirit aged for twenty years in a single hogshead. Vanilla fudge leads the charge through a rich, wood-spice landscape.
A very approachable blend of fine whiskies, Black Velvet is as smooth as the name would suggest and slips down almost alarmingly easily.
A special release of Isle of Jura's 18-year-old whisky, originally only available in travel retail. It was initially matured in American-oak ex-bourbon casks before a finish in 'Premier grand cru classé barriques' – casks that used to hold top-end Bordeaux wine. Master blender Richard Paterson knows his wine casks, and here he's added layers of rich spice and soft red fruit to Jura's malty and spicy spirit.
A Douglas Laing Provenance release of young and feisty Caol Ila, distilled in December 2011 and bottled in May 2017 at a youthful five years old. It's a full-on Islay smoke monster, with bags of maritime character and peaty tang.
This 21-year-old heavily sherried dram was bottled by Douglas Laing for its Old Particular range. Expect notes of winter spices, fruit cake and dark chocolate.
One of four special whiskies released as part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range celebrating Scotland's major whisky producing islands – #2, the Isle of Jura. While Jura only has one distillery, it's well-known for it's malty and fruity style and has fans all over the world. This was distilled in April 2006 and bottled in May 2018 from a refill butt at 12 years old. It's a rich and maritime dram, balancing salty sea air against dark fruit and muscavado sugar.
A 2018 entry into Arran's popular range of limited edition whiskies that have been finished in interesting casks. This single malt has spent the last months of its maturation in Marsala wine casks, which have lent jammy orange and raisin notes to Arran's sweet and fruity character.
A bottling Ardmore, part of the Mossburn Vintage Casks series. This is a small batch release, bringing together a small number of 2008-vintage casks of Ardmore's smoky spirit, bottled in November 2017 at 9 years old.
21st October 2018
A second 15-year-old Bowmore release in La Maison du Whisky's 7th set of Artist whiskies. The first batch disappeared really quickly and this second bottling is from a sister cask #20116 rather than #20115. It's a picture-perfect Bowmore, with sea breezes and crashing waves poised again sweet vanilla, fruit and spice – it's even better than the first release.
An experimental bottling from Valinch & Mallet, part of the four-bottle Peaty DNA series: each bottling is from the same cask of 6-year-old Caol Ila, but each is finished in a different 30 US gallon cask that used to hold whiskey from Chicago's Koval distillery. This one is finished in an cask used to mature oat whiskey.
A special charity bottling of Benrinnes from Silver Seal, part of the "Whisky is Nature" Wildlife collection, bottled in aid of the Rock No War! project. It was distilled in 1984, aged for 30 years and bottled in 2015.
A Whisky is Art bottling of long-aged Bunnahabhain from Silver Seal. It was distilled back in 1980 and aged for an impressive 34 years before bottling back in 2014. The whisky combines Bunna's weighty spirit and maritime character with citrus and soft spice notes – a classic.
A celebratory bottling of Glenrothes whisky from Signatory, released in honour of the 70th anniversary of the founding of legendary Italian importer Velier. This was distilled in 1997 and matured in a refill sherry butt for 19 years before bottling at cask strength in April 2017.
A very special 38yo Royal Salute from Chivas, Stone of Destiny is named after the ancient stone used for British Royal coronation ceremonies for centuries, symbolizing the approval for the incoming king.
18th October 2018
A cask-strength version of The Arran's peated Machrie Moor single malt - a whisky crafted to encapsulate the rugged and myth-strewn landscape of the island of Arran. Bottled at 56.2%, the sharp citrus notes and brooding peat smoke last easily into the lingering finish.
A 2002-vintage Bruichladdich bottled by Italian indie Hidden Spirits. Bottler Andrea Ferrari has chosen an excellent cask for this release – a single peated sherry cask, aged for 15 years and bottled at a punchy 'Highproof' strength of 53.1%. It's rare for a whisky with the name Bruichladdich on the label to be smoky these days – that's normally the realm of Port Charlotte and Octomore, both produced at the distillery – but this 'peaty sweety' is an excellent example of peat and sherry working in harmony.
A single-cask bottling of Highland Park from AD Rattray. This was distilled on 20 June 1995 and bottled at cask strength on 17 August 2018 after 23 years of maturation in a single bourbon cask.
Cask-strength Tamdhu bottled for Hunter Laing’s First Editions range, this whisky was matured in a refill hogshead for 20 years, resulting in a rich and assertively fruity dram full of apple, vanilla, sweet baked goods and a pronounced, oaky spice. A must-try for Speyside purists limited to just 265 bottles.
17th October 2018
The newest addition to the Compass Box core range, this is a blend of Highland and Speyside whiskies, significant portions of which have been aged in sherry casks and - most notably - Spanish red wine casks. Predictably, this is a delectable dram full of dark fruit and berry flavours with a heavy dose of rich, woody spice.
A bottle of nutty, malty Blair Athol single malt, distilled in 1988 and imprisoned in glass by indie bottlers Signatory 29 years later. Will you be the one to set it free?
A richly-sherried Bowmore, brought to us by independent bottlers Adelphi from a single cask distilled in 1997. This was bottled at cask strength and only 601 bottles are available.
A complex Irish blended whiskey, with malt and grain matured in four different types of cask combined together to create a rich and spicy whiskey: malt finished in port pipes, malt matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, grain matured in sherry butts and grain matured in 'double-charred barrels'.
A 1997 Linkwood showing off everything we'd expect from liquid confined to a refill hogshead for 21 years: ripe, citrus sweetness and rich vanilla depth laid over a muffled, woody spice. A gorgeously cakey dram lifted by a certain airy character. Limited to 314 bottles.
Award-winning, sherry-matured single malt from Tamdhu, this is the third edition in the Speyside distillery's Batch Strength Series. Vanilla and berry fruit begin proceedings, followed swiftly by sherry-oak spice and dried fruit lightened with a sharp citrus twang – all backed up by a hefty 58.3% ABV.
A 15-year-old Tomintoul, this has all the hallmarks of 'the gentle dram' – easy-drinking, malty sweetness with light, nutty notes – with the addition of that Peaty Tang; a light peatiness, manifesting here as woody smoke, and all run through with a fresh mineral note. Very nice indeed.
A blended malt from Islay, bottled by Rattray. Williamson is the name given to a blended (almost certainly teaspooned) malt whisky that is predominantly from the south coast of the Island, from a distillery famed for its medicinal character. We can't say any more than that, but this whisky's punchy peat and smoke, sweet caramel character and added sherry-cask richness will give them game away...
A very old whisky from Fettercairn, distilled on 23 December 1977 and laid down to mature for 40 years before bottling in 2018. It spent the final few years in Gonzales Byass Apostoles palo cortado sherry cask, adding layers of dark fruit, citrus and toffee to the elegantly fruity whisky. The result is a complex balance of fresh fruit and sherry cask character, with a touch of balsamic sweetness.
Long-aged, elegant and very carefully selected, this single cask release from Fettercairn, launched in 2018 to celebrate the revitalisation of the distillery's on-going whisky range, is an impressive whisky. Matured for 50 years in an American white oak ex-bourbon cask and then finished for a few years in a tawny port pipe, this combines elegant old whisky with a fresh kick of berry fruit, all without becoming unbalanced.
16th October 2018
A tempting single-cask Bunnahabhain bottled by Douglas Laing for its Provenance series, with notes of salty air, cured meats, peated barley and crème brulée.
An experimental bottling from Valinch & Mallet, part of the four-bottle Peaty DNA series: each bottling is from the same cask of 6-year-old Caol Ila, but each is finished in a different 30 US gallon cask that used to hold whiskey from Chicago's Koval distillery. This one is finished in an ex-rye cask.
A blended Irish whiskey from the team behind the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublin. It's malt and grain from across Ireland initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels, blended and then filled into first-fill sherry casks. This adds an extra layer of sherry-cask spice and fruit to the already fruity whiskey.
A 12-year-old Irish single malt whiskey, specially selected by company founder Pearse Lyons. It's a classically fruity Irish malt, with soft spice and balanced citrus notes.
A blended Irish whiskey from Pearse Lyons, made with malt and grain whiskeys from across Ireland, specially selected by the head distiller at the company's distillery in Dublin. It's a blend of whiskeys matured between three and nine years, including malt whiskey distilled using the stills that are now at the heart of the distillery.
The Original is Pearse Lyons flagship whiskey. It's a blend of whiskeys sourced from across Ireland, including some made using the stills that are now in place at the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublin. It's an easy-drinking whiskey with balanced sweet citrus and a wisp of smoke.
Càrn Mor have bottled a single sherry hogshead of 21 Year Old Clynelish and it's a cracker – rich and sweet with loads of fruit and spice as well as fresher grassy notes.
An experimental bottling from Valinch & Mallet, part of the four-bottle Peaty DNA series: each bottling is from the same cask of 6-year-old Caol Ila, but each is finished in a different 30 US gallon cask that used to hold whiskeyy from Chicago's Koval distillery. This one was finished in a cask used for Koval's four-grain whiskeyy, made using oats, wheat, malted barley and rye.
An experimental bottling from Valinch & Mallet, part of the four-bottle Peaty DNA series: each bottling is from the same cask of 6-year-old Caol Ila, but each is finished in a different 30 US gallon cask that used to hold whiskey from Chicago's Koval distillery. This one was finished in a bourbon cask.
Lot 17 is the 2017 release of St George's single malt whiskey. The distillery was one of the first, if not the first, to produce single malt in the USA, and it was the first thing that master distiller Lance Winters made – the reason why he started the distillery in the first place. It's a vatting of 19 barrels, aged for between six and eight years. It's a mix of different types of cask, with ex-bourbon casks, port and dessert wine casks all on the list. It's bold, fruity, rich and spicy – a very American take on single malt.
A special bottling Edradour, released to commemorate the 70th birthday of legendary Italian import Velier. This was distilled on 2 September 1998 and matured for 19 years before bottling in March 2017. It spent the final 101 months of its maturation (about eight-and-a-half years) 'finishing' in an oloroso sherry butt. It's an impressive sherry monster and a worthy birthday bottling.
Tel Aviv's Milk & Honey is Israel's first whisky distillery, and this is its new make spirit. Double distilled from malted barley in pot stills, just like in Scotland and elsewhere, this is the starting point of the distillery's whisky journey.
15th October 2018
Spending four decades in a barrel does good things for single grain whisky, as evidenced by this magnificent 1978 Cameronbridge. A torrent of juicy fruit arrives on the nose and persists right to the end; sweet berries and fresh, vibrant citrus lounge in polished wooden chairs. A glorious whisky limited to 215 bottles.
A deliciously peaty Springbank that's been resting in a single hogshead for 21 years. Bottled by The Whisky Agency as part of its 10th anniversary range, this is a fine dram with a pretty (polly) label and lovely plumage.
Deceptively light to look at, this is a full-bodied brute of a Mortlach full of honey and baked goods, and wrapped all around with subtle, low spiciness. A full-blown symphony of Speyside sweetness and spice limited to 367 bottles.
One of 252 bottles filled from a single sherry hogshead, the title 'Old Particular' suits this 25-year-old Allt-A-Bhainne down to the ground. Malty biscuits float in stewed-fruit depths, buoyed by light spices and a twist of sharp citrus. A dream dram for Speyside devotees.
Surprisingly playful for a whisky of its maturity, this beautiful Bunnahabhain is an orchard-fruit masterpiece of ripe peach, sharp citrus and a flourish of menthol, all grounded in baked goods, a touch of leather and finished with a gorgeous peaty edge. One of only 271 bottles.
A First Editions bottling of 1993-vintage whisky from Speyside distillery from Hunter Laing. It was aged for 24 years in a hogshead before bottling in 2018. It's rich and chocolatey dram, with excellent sweet spice and creamy notes.
Distinctively Longmorn, this bottle encapsulates late summer, filled as it is with fruit, ripe barley and positively buzzing with floral and luxurious honey notes. One of only 317 bottled filled from a single refill hogshead, let this Longmorn transport you to long, sunny days past.
Long cast only as an ingredient in blends, this single malt from Allt-a-Bhainne puts a peaty twist on the traditional Speyside profile to achieve a sweet, spicy and accessible malt with, as Allt-a-Bhainne themselves put it, 'just enough peat to start a fire'.
An award-winning NAS blend from Ben Nevis which started life as a declaration of new beginnings at the turn of the millennium. A complex and full-bodied blend full of wafting vanilla atop a fresh, herbaceous foundation, Blue Label became a permanent fixture in the Ben Nevis range thanks to its persisting popularity.
With a body and mouthfeel deserving of the moniker 'The Beast of Dufftown', though perhaps gentler in nature than the name suggests, this is a fresh and lively Mortlach full of sharp citrus notes, honey, spice and a hint of malty sweetness. More likely to lick your face than attack you, though still has a little bite at 48.4% ABV.
A single cask of single malt from the Isle of Jura, bottled by Hunter Laing for the First Editions range. It was distilled in 1992 and matured for 25 years in a hogshead before bottling in 2018. It's a malt-forward Jura, with balanced spice and fruit.
The eighth edition of Kilchoman's annual 100% Islay which, as the name suggests, is made entirely from ingredients grown on the island and distilled, matured and bottled on Islay too. This 2018 edition was created from a vatting of 23 ex-bourbon barrels and seven ex-oloroso sherry butts, resulting in a whisky that has notes of fresh fruit, caramel, spiced milk chocolate and gentle peat smoke.
15-year-old Ledaig matured in a refill hogshead, this dram is every bit as ashy as you'd expect but balanced and lifted by fruity, sweet notes, a touch of malt and a hint of menthol. A must-try for peat-heads, but more than a one-trick pony, too.
One of 377 bottles charged from a sherry puncheon, this is a fruity and slightly herbaceous dram from the famously-traditional Glenturret – Scotland’s only distillery to still stir its mash by hand. Expect a sweet, woody and spicy character crested with pronounced toffee and dried fruit notes.
Inspired by Captain Bill Grant Smith, great grandson of Glenlivet's founder, Captain's Reserve is finished in casks that previously held Cognac – a process that creates distinctive notes of raisin and honey within this creamy, citrusy single malt.
The Whisky Agency have chosen some spectacular labels for their 10th anniversary bottlings and this queen bee edition of Highland Park 18 Year Old is no exception. The whisky inside is equally good, and delivers the level of quality we've come to expect from The Whisky Agency over the past decade.
A rare chance to try Glen Spey single malt, which is most often to be found as part of the J&B blended whisky. This 21-year-old sherry-aged example from Hunter Laing boasts delicious notes of honey, red fruits, nutmeg, grass and sultana.
The 2017 edition of the iconic Macallan M comes in a striking black crystal decanter, crafted by Lalique to reflect the subtle smokiness of the whisky inside. The unusual geometric shape of the decanter is a product of intense research in the quest to create a provocative design worthy of the unique peated single malt inside.
An old grain whisky from closed Carsebridge, matured for more than 30 years and bottled by La Maison du Whisky as part of the impressive 7th release of whiskies in the Artist range. This was distilled in 1982, the year before it closed, and spent it's life bottling bottling in a single hogshead. It is the first single grain bottled for the Artist range, and displays all the elegance and poise you'd expect from a whisky afforded such an honour.
A deliciously sweet and creamy 45-year-old grain whisky from the Invergordon distillery, bottled by Hunter Laing for its single-cask Sovereign series. Notes of peaches and cream, cherries, sweet oak and apricot.
14th October 2018
2016 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Lagavulin, and this bottle has been released in honour of the managers who have made the distillery what it is today. Aged for 25 years in sherry casks, it's a big and rich dram, with layers of smoke and dried fruit, all wrapped up in a bottle listing the name of each of the distillery managers.
Bottled in 2012, this 1996 edition of Lagavulin's Distillers Edition (probably the most sought after in the range) combines the regular rich, peat smoke that the distillery is known for with a finishing period in sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for even more depth of flavour.
Another entry in Gordon & Macphail's excellently priced range of old whisky - this time a 1964 vintage dram from Speyside's Longmorn.
This 1983 Karuizawa has spent its life in first-fill sherry casks and was bottled in 2014 for a private customer.
Whiskies from Karuizawa are some of the most sought after in the world. Not only has the distillery closed, but its heavily sherried drams have a reputation for excellence that has only grown over the past few years. This 1981 sherry-cask-matured dram was previewed at The Whisky Show 2014, where it went down a storm.
An incredibly intense 1981 vintage bottling from cult closed Japanese distillery Karuizawa. Aged in a sherry cask for more than 30 years, this is another excellent example from this legendary distillery – it might just be the best one that we've bottled.
February 2010 marked an extraordinary achievement for Nikka, as their Taketsuru 21yo scooped the title of 'World's Best Blended Malt Whisky' at the World Whiskies Awards for the third time in four years. Bravo, Nikka!
Both the oldest whisky and the smallest edition to ever appear in Diageo’s Special Releases. This 52-year-old single-grain Scotch whisky comes from Port Dundas distillery, which closed in 2009. An excellent example of old grain whisky, this dram layers honey and cream on top of a stunningly fruity backbone. Port Dundas, in Glasgow, was founded in 1811 and became known both as a prominent grain distillery and for its 138-metre-high chimney – once the highest in the world.
A sherry-bomb celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show. We love Edradour's big sherried drams, and this one was a must-have as soon as we tried it – we bought the whole cask. It was distilled back in 2005 and matured for 12 years in a very active oloroso sherry butt before bottling in March 2018. The cask has layered on the fruit and spice, with intense sherry notes rolling out of the bottle as soon as you pull the cork. A friendly monster.
A special anniversary bottling from Signatory Vintage, celebrating the 10th birthday of The Whisky Exchange Whisky show. When we were looking for some special birthday bottles, this was first on our list – a big sherry cask from Glenlivet. We love this style and this continues a run of great collaborative bottlings between us and Signatory. It's all about the fruit, with loads of sticky cherries and raisins at its dark, sherried heart. One for sherry heads.
A very special Clynelish, bottled for The Whisky Exchange by Signatory in celebration of the 10th edition of The Whisky Show in London. We've been fortunate to bottle a few of these sherried Clynelishes, and this might be the best yet. It was distilled on 11 December 1996 and bottled on 20 August 2018 at 21 years old. The sherry butt has added layers of dried fruit and spice, but without hiding Clynelishes fresh and fruit character. An excellent balancing act.
A suitable whisky for the Hart Brothers Legends Collection: 1989-vintage Macallan matured for 28 years in an oloroso sherry butt. This is a proper old-school Macallan, with rich dried fruit running through its core, as well as classic spiced orange notes. It's a very limited edition of just 240 bottles, the perfect addition for any Macallan fans collection
A very special bottling selected by Whisky Exchange director Sukhinder Singh. Each year, he tries hundreds of casks of whisky and occasionally he finds one good enough to be bottled as a part of his Masterpieces range. This is a Springbank distilled in 1993 and aged for 23 years in a sherry cask. It combines the distillery's soft rustic smokiness with soft fruit and spice, creating an elegant and more subtle dram than you might expect. A worthy addition to the Masterpieces collection.
A specially-selected single cask release of Eagle Rare, chosen by and exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange. It has the regular Eagle Rare intensity and complexity, but we chose this cask due to its excellent fruity notes that add an extra dimension to the house style. Sweet blackcurrant, stewed apples and raisins on top of brown sugar sweetness and leafy mintiness. An excellent whiskey.
12th October 2018
The oldest Longmorn single malts ever released, and for a very special reason. On 2 February 1961, these two whiskies were filled into twin first-fill sherry hogsheads by George Urquhart, who led the second generation of the Gordon & MacPhail bottling dynasty, and sat side-by-side in the warehouse for 57 years – when they were discovered by Stuart and Richard Urquhart, fifth generation family members who also happen to be twins. The pair were fascinated by the prospect of whisky that mirrored their own experience – sharing the same DNA, but shaped by different maturation – and bottled both hogsheads, one European Oak, one American Oak, in tribute to the beguiling nature of twins. These two whiskies, each of which would be worthy of attention in its own right, together create a fascinating showcase of not only the maturation potential of excellent whisky, but also the captivating qualities produced by different wood on identical spirit.
11th October 2018
The cask-strength version of Stalk & Barrel's acclaimed 100% Ontario rye, a vibrant small-batch whisky that delivers a magnificent combination of earthy, fruity, spicy and floral notes. It's a masterpiece of traditional rye flavours, which are delivered in ample volume thanks to its young age, but these are also tempered with citrus, vanilla and seductively buttery notes.
A Blackadder bottling of English whisky from the St George's Distillery in Norfolk. The distillery has access to incredible, and this Sauternes cask is evidence of that. In just 9 years it's imparted both deep colour and rich layers of complex flavour to the fruity English Whisky Co spirit – a perfect marriage of spice, rich fruit and fresh fruit.
Please note Blackadder's Raw Cask series is unfiltered, and the bottles have a natural sediment.
Long-aged, cask-strength Glen Moray can be a thing of wonder – a true sign of what the distillery can do. This Adelphi bottling is one of those, with 22 years in refill sherry oak giving it layers of sweetness and complex spice, while not obscuring the distillery's fruity character.
A whisky for Canadian patriots and geography fans alike. This bottling of rich Canadian whisky, laden with citrus, vanilla, toffee and chocolate notes, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the use of the 49th parallel (the northern line of latitude) to denote the border between America and Canada.
Miltonduff may be a lesser-known distillery, but you've almost certainly tried its whisky in Balantine's or Chivas Regal, where it's one of the key malts, adding its creamy and fruity flavour to two of the world's biggest blends. This Adelphi draws on that character, with big fruit and spice notes running through the dram.
One of distilling giant Diageo's quiet, workhorse distilleries, it's almost only through independent bottlers that we know about it's malt-forward character, as there's only one official bottling. This one has come from Carn Mor and is a prime example of longer-aged Glenlossie, with 22 years on the clock, all spent in a single ex-bourbon barrel. Distilled on 27 June 1995 and bottled 23 April 2018.
A terrific mix of sweet vanilla, warm popcorn, baking spice, blueberry and gentle oak notes, with hint of green herb. This 15-year-old Canadian whisky is a fantastic introduction to the JP Wiser's family – not to mention a great addition to your drinks cabinet.
A 15-year-old Macduff, bottled by Acorn – and indie bottler whose whiskies mainly stay in Japan. Macduff is one of Scotland's lesser-known distilleries, in part due to most of its whiskies being released under the name Glen Deveron, one of the pair of names it's alternated between since its 1960 founding. Distilled in November 2002 it was matured for 15 years in a hogshead before bottling in March 2018.
A special Celebration of the Cask bottling of Glen Garioch from indie bottler Carn Mor. Back in 1991, Glen Garioch was still using peated malt from its own floor maltings and this a gentle smokiness running through the middle. Distilled on 5 March 1991 and bottled on 23 April 2018 at 27 years old.
A spicy, well-aged Bunnahabhain bottled by Belgian indie The Nectar for the Daily Drams series. Distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2018, this is classic Bunna of the time, combining spice, honeyed notes and a touch of fruit.
A red Snake bottling from Blackadder, matured in a first-fill bourbon cask – cask Redneck 30, to be exact – and bottled in June 2017 at cask strength. It's from an anonymous distillery and all we can tell you is that it is packed with bourbon-cask character – vanilla, cream and fresh fruit.
Please note Blackadder's Raw Cask series is unfiltered, and the bottles have a natural sediment.
A 1995-vintage Glen Elgin, bottled by Japanese bottler Acorn in March 2018. Glen Elgin was closed between 1992 and the end of 1995, and this some early spirit from the newly refurbished distillery, some of the first from its new stills – distilled in December 1995.
An Antique Lions of Spirits (a collaboration between Lion's Whisky, Whisky Antique and Sansibar's Jens Drewitz) bottling of 1989-vintage Bunnahabhain, released as part of the six-part Butterflies series. Matured in a refill-sherry cask for 28 years, this is well-looked after Bunna at it's best: rich, fruity and complex.
The third drawing of 'venom' from Blackadder's fourth Black Snake Vat. This is a vatting of casks which have been finished in a sherry butt – the Vat 4 of the name – which was not emptied entirely emptied when the last bottling – second venom – was drawn. Got that? Even if not, all you need to know is that it's an excellent sherry finished whisky bottled at cask strength.
Please note Blackadder's Raw Cask series is unfiltered, and the bottles have a natural sediment.
A thoroughly sooty and typically peaty Caol Ila with edges softened by age. The smoke has integrated beautifully with 28 years of oak influence and the distillery's fresh, grassy character has melded to Islay's mineral, briney landscape. A triumph, limited to only 271 bottles.
A sherry-matured Glenrothes from Antique Lions of Spirits (a collaboration between Whisky Antique, Lion's Whisky and Jens Drewitz from Sansibar) bottled at 20 years old. It's a rich and chewy dram, showing off both Glenrothes's honeyed Speyside character and the dark fruit of a well-selected sherry cask.
The 2018 incarnation of indie-bottler Blackadder's ongoing and much-loved Peat Reek. It's sourced from an anonymous Islay distillery and bottled at a punchy 60.3% in the Raw Cask style – all the flavour is in the bottle and not filtered out. All we know is that it was bottled from a single hogshead in April 2018.
Please note Blackadder's Raw Cask series is unfiltered, and the bottles have a natural sediment.
Blackadder's Statement label is saved for the best of the best of the company's casked, and this Caol Ila 1984 fits the bill. Distilled on 3 May 1984, it was matured for 32 years before bottling in September 2016. The years in wood have tamed the smoky beast, creating a fruity and elegant dram with a classically Islay maritime smokiness and intensity thanks to its high strength.
Please note Blackadder's Raw Cask series is unfiltered, and the bottles have a natural sediment.
A stonking Canadian spirit that will delight fans of intense rye spice. Dillon's White Rye is distilled in small batches, solely from Ontario rye, and then bottled without ageing. The removal of the ageing process showcases the power of the rye, demonstrated here through flavours of white fruits, mint, fennel, ginger and white pepper. It's a great sipping spirit and a great way to spice up and Old Fashioned.
A very special bottling from WhistlePig – selected by and exclusively bottled for us here at The Whisky Exchange. It's the style of WhistlePig has made its name with: Canadian rye whisky, carefully nurtured to 10 years old. This has been bottled at 10 years old from a single cask, and is packed with rye spice and minty green leaves. A great tasting whiskey, and a must-try for rye fans.
10th October 2018
A new sherry-led expression from Aberlour, Casg Annamh – Gaelic for 'rare cask' – isn't pulling any punches at 48% ABV. Triple matured in European oak ex-sherry, American oak ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, this is a bold, flavoursome and exceptionally balanced whisky full of fresh fruit, sherried nuttiness and woody spice.
8th October 2018
A sherry bomb from a mystery Speyside distillery is the only detail we can give away from the crafty Boutique-y Whisky Company, barley and oloroso sing through this whisky enigma.
Stagg Jr shares many characteristics with its older brother George T Stagg. It's big, bold and high strength, but younger and more accessible. This is the batch at 65% and shows a perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavours.
7th October 2018
Macallan 15yo Fine Oak is matured in a combination of Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks. This range has been around for a few years now and seems to have weathered the storm it caused amongst the faithful when it was initially released. This one is probably the pick of the (Fine Oak) bunch. "Takes time to open but worth the wait. The complete package and arguably the best. 9¼/10" Dave Broom, Whisky Magazine.
The final entry in The Future of Whisky series, selected and bottled specially for the 10th Whisky Exchange Whisky Show. This bottled – The Future – is what we see the future of whisky being: old grain. Distilled at Invergordon in 1974, it's an old and elegant dram, with its long maturation adding layers of complexity.
A big, rich and smoky Ledaig, selected and bottled specially for The Whisky Show 2018, celebrating the 10th show. It's got an incredible 3d lenticular label that is almost as impressive as the whisky inside the bottle: smoky spirit from the Isle of Mull's Tobermory distillery, matured in a flavoursome sherry butt. It combines coastal peat smoke with rich fruit and a powerful punch of intensity. Named "Present Future", this is the style of dram that's coming into vogue at the moment, packed with intense smoky flavour.
A rich and spicy Arran, selected and bottled specially for The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show's 10th Anniversary. At 21 years old, it's almost as old as Arran gets – the distillery started production in 1995 – and the age has helped create an integrated dram, with layers of spice and fruit.
A special 10th-Anniversary bottling, celebrating the Whisky Show's big birthday. It's rare to see indie-bottled Ardbeg and this went down a treat at the show, with its big smoke, barbecue sauce and beach bonfire character giving peat heads exactly what they were after.
Batch 62 of the A'Bunadh range - small batch bottlings of oloroso-sherry aged single malt - continues with this 61st edition, which as usual offers tasty notes of dried fruit, sherry, dark chocolate and spice.
From their Hidden Cask Collection, Valinch & Mallet have produced this 19-year-old whisky from the Ben Nevis distillery, matured in bourbon hogshead and producing only 278 bottles.
Distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2018, this Islay whisky is matured in a bourbon hogshead by the Italian independent bottlers, Valinch & Mallet.
4th October 2018
A 2001 vintage Bunnahabhain bottled from a single oloroso sherry butt in 2018. At a hefty 53.4%, this is a characteristically full-bodied Bunna with heaps of fresh fruit exceptionally integrated with nutty, spicy wood influence.
Town Branch Bourbon is named after the body of water running under Lexington, where the product is made. Aged in new charred white oak barrels, this is a rich and complex bourbon.
An experimental release from Elgin's finest: Glen Moray. The distillery's warehouses are full of weird and wonderful casks and this whisky has been finished in ones that were previously used to hold Thistly Cross Scottish craft cider. The result as layers of toffee apples to Glen Moray's already fruity spirit – an excellent combination.
3rd October 2018
Big Peat is back with their Christmas edition: a blend of Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen. This Islay dram is full of earthy smoke, charcoal and oyster shells with a woody finish.
Mellow richness are derived from this great value dram distilled and blended at the Cameronbridge distillery – the home of Haig.
The next instalment in JP Wiser's limited release – and aptly-named – Rare Cask series. A rye-forward mash and a 46.1% ABV provide this whisky a thick, punchy profile full of sweet cereal flavours, rich toffee, plenty of oak spice and big clouds of airy vanilla floating overhead.
A litre bottle presented in a golden tin, Aberfeldy 12 is a fruity, clean and polished malt with a touch of honey and spice. An excellent introduction to this Highland distillery. Aberfeldy's main claim to fame is as the heart of the excellent Dewar's blend but whiskies like this are putting it firmly in the spotlight.
An eight-year-old Ardmore from Douglas Laing’s Provenance range. One of the few distilleries in the Highlands that produces peated whisky.
Aged in a refill barrel from 1996 until 2018, this Old Particular expression is bottled at 52% ABV and claims to have produced 544 bottles from a single refill barrel.
From the Bladnoch distillery this is a blend of Bladnoch single malt and aged Speyside, Highland and Islay malts with grain whisky that is designed for mixing. Orchard fruits, toffee, sweet spices and a hint of smoke.
This single cask of sherry-aged whisky promises notes of raisins, dark chocolate and red fruits, underscored with a little smoke.
Distilled in 2008 this whisky spent the last 2 years of its life aging in French brandy casks before being bottled at cask strength. This dram is packed with orchard fruits with an almost grapey backbone behind dried fruits and sweet caramel.
Distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2018, producing 303 bottles using a bourbon hogshead, this is an independent bottling by Valinch & Mallet from Deanston distillery in the Highlands. It is the largest distillery owned by the Distell Group who also own Bunnahabhain and Tobermory.
Italian independent bottlers have released this cask-strength 10-year-old Ledaig expression from the Tobermory distillery, aged in bourbon barrels.
Having spent the last two years of its life in a Fino sherry hogshead this whisky is limited to 1710 bottles. A fresh citrus aroma behind notes of mocha and toffee apple. On the palate dark sweet fruits with nuts and toffee.
Founded by Robert Ransom (ex-Glenfarclas) this independent bottling from Highfern is a blend of Highland and Speyside malts. The name is in reference to the ‘Angel’s Share’, an attempt to retain all the liquid lost to the heavens.
2nd October 2018
A rare single-cask release from closed New Zealand distillery Willowbank – the world’s southernmost distillery until its destruction in the late 1990s. Distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2017 exclusively for The Whisky Exchange, this is a rich, well-aged dram with all the fruity intricacy and deep-rooted wood influence one might expect from a whisky on the brink of its third decade. A fine, one-off bottling that won’t be around for long.
A beautifully complex whisky from closed distillery Willowbank in Dunedin, New Zealand – the world's southernmost distillery until its destruction in the late 1990s. After an unconventional double maturation – a quartet of ex-bourbon barrels followed by a lengthy period in French oak New Zealand wine casks – this is a complex 18-year-old full of full-bodied, lingering dark fruit notes and woody spice. Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange.