Released February 2017
Below are this months newest Whisky expressions and limited releases to hit the online shelves. Click on the buttons to read more.
28th February 2017
Part of Ledaig's limited releases is this 19-year-old Marsala finish. Produced at Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull, this peated whisky has notes of citrus, grape, toffee and dark chocolate.
Aged for three years in first-fill bourbon barrels, this Belgian whisky has notes of lemon, vanilla, cream, apple and ginger.
The fifth release of Bruichalddich's Black Art was made by head distiller Adam Hannett from a recipe passed down from his predecessor Jim McEwan. Distilled in 1992 and aged for 24 years, this is an elegant whisky with notes of pineapple, melon, strawberry and may other fruits, honey, tobacco and vanilla.
22nd February 2017
Tutkielma (Finnish for study) is a smoky rye-based spirit from Kyrö Distillery. A wonderfully smoky and spicy spirit that is too young to be called whisky.
Sapporo Whisky SS is made by Sapporo Shuisei, although the liquid is rumoured to be imported from Scotland. A light and easy-drinking introduction to Japanese whisky.
Suntory Old is a popular release from Japan. First produced in the 1940s, it remained one of the most prestigious whiskies to come out of the country until the 1980s when single malts grew in popularity. Medium-bodied with spicy notes, this is an excellent Japanese sipping whisky.
The first release in Douglas Laing's Consortium of Cards series is named Queen of the Hebrides. Distilled in December 1998 and aged in a refill sherry butt for 18 years. Rich and peaty with notes of tar, ash and soot, this is classic Laphroaig.
The 40% release of Sapporo Whisky, a brand owned by Sapporo Shuisei, although the liquid is rumoured to be imported from Scotland. This blended whisky makes a great highball – the classic Japanese way to drink whisky.
The Murray Edition is a 2004 whisky from Tullibardine as part of the Marquess Collection. Aged in first-fill bourbon barrels for at least 11 years, this cask-strength whisky has notes of citrus fruit, vanilla, malt and pepper.
This limited-edition Paul John was aged for three years in bourbon barrels, before spending the final four years in oloroso-sherry casks. After the angels took their share, just 252 bottles were released, of which only 30 have made it to the UK. This is rich and complex with notes of orange, dark chocolate, fig and raisin.
21st February 2017
White Label is the lighter and drier expression from Suntory's Kakubin brand. This is great with soda in a classic Japanese whisky highball.
Chita is Suntory's grain distillery. The flagship release is aged in a combination of wine, sherry and bourbon casks. This is a light whisky with subtle notes of mint, honey and wood spice.
Akashi White Oak is a blended whisky made at the White Oak (aka Eigashima) distillery. A light and fruity spirit that makes a great introduction to Japanese whisky.
Akashi Red is made at the Eigashima (aka White Oak) distillery, which was founded in 1888. Produced by Akashi, this is a light and fruity whisky with notes of peach, almond and grape.
The 2016 release of Yamazaki's annual Limited Edition bottling. A blend of young, bourbon-barrel-aged whisky with older single malt aged in sherry and port casks. This is always a highly sought-after release.
A single cask bottling of Nikka's excellent coffey grain whisky, a key component in their various blends that only very rarely sees the light of day as a single grain. This was distilled in 1995 and bottled in June 2016.
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Kirin whiskies don't often make it out of Japan, so we're delighted to have found a few bottles. Released in 2016, Fuji-Sanroku is a sweeter style of whisky with notes of chocolate, vanilla and caramel.
The 2016 relaunch of Longmorn 16 Year Old. This is a full-bodied and complex whisky, with notes of sweet fruit, spice and heather.
Suntory Special Reserve is a blend of single malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu. Rich and fruity, this is hard to find outside of Japan.
Suntory Torys Classic is a light and easy-drinking Japanese spirit. Due to being below 40% abv, this cannot be called a whisky in the EU, but is still made from a blend of malt and grain.
The slim bottle (66cl) release of Suntory Royal blended whisky, first introduced in 1960 to mark the company's 60th anniversary. Light and easy to drink, this is a superb entry-level Japanese whisky.
20th February 2017
The IW Harper brand was reintroduced in the mid 2010s after a 20-year hiatus, and was one of only a handful of brands to be able to be produced during Prohibition. A classic bourbon with notes of toffee and vanilla.
Reintroduced after a 20-year absence, I W Harper is a historic brand of Kentucky bourbon. Aged for 12 years, this is light and sweet with notes of toffee, butterscotch, orange zest and vanilla.
16th February 2017
A single cask 2008 Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range of whiskies. Only eight years old but full of flavour with notes of macerated fruit and sweet spice.
A young, seven-year-old, Talisker from Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance series. Distilled in November 2009, it was aged in a refill hogshead and was bottled in November 2016. A maritime and smoky whisky with notes of seaweed, salted caramel and grilled bananas.
Distilled at Speyside distillery in December 2000, this single cask whisky was aged in a refill hogshead for 15 years. Mouth coating with notes of soft spices and sweet vanilla.
This 11-year-old single grain was distilled at Strathclyde in November 2005. Aged in a single sherry butt, this is creamy with notes of milk chocolate, mocha and Demerara sugar.
A 1964 vintage Invergordon from independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular range of single grain whiskies. Aged for an impressive 52 years in a single refill ex-bourbon barrel, this is sweetly spiced with notes of vanilla and butterscotch.
This is a 21-year-old Glen Garioch from independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular series. Distilled in September 1995, it was aged for 21 years in a refill hogshead, and bottled in November 2016. Rich with notes of almonds, malt, honey and marmalade.
1996 was a good year for independent bottlings of Caol Ila. This release from Douglas Laing is intriguingly complex with notes of golden syrup, Demerara sugar, sea salt and smoke.
An eight-year-old Ardmore from Douglas Laing's Provenance range. One of the few distilleries in the Highlands that produces peated whisky, this was distilled in July 2008 and bottled in November 2016. Sweet and mouthcoating with notes of smoke, smoked meat and sugar syrup.
Peated whisky aged in port casks is a rare thing, even more so when it comes from India. This has excellent balance between smoky and red-fruit flavours, as well as offering notes of Turkish Delight, orange blossom and nutmeg.
At the time of release in 2017, this is the oldest-ever whisky to come from India. Released to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Amrut's European importer, this is rich and incredibly complex with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, mango and mixed spice.
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Released as part of Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular series, this single refill hogshead of Highland Park was distilled in September 1996. Notes of smoke, tobacco and honey.
The second release of Amrut's Double Cask is a blend of two whiskies: one aged in a bourbon cask from June 2009 and one PX sherry cask from May 2010. This shows excellent balance between sweet vanilla and coconut flavours from American oak and rich fruit from the European wood.
A 1998 vintage Glencadam from independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular series. Distilled in May, it was aged in a refill hogshead for 18 years before 310 bottles were yielded in November 2016. Fresh and fruity with notes of peaches and tangerines.
The first ever release of Indian single malt rye. Made with European rye and aged for five years in American oak, this is fruity and floral with notes of sweet spice. A unique whisky that's much more elegant than is usual for Amrut.
Clynelish is known for its waxy texture and this 1995 vintage has been aged for 21 years before being bottled for Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular series. Rich and sweet with notes of golden syrup, Highland heather and citrus zest.
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A young independent bottling of Caol Ila from Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance series of bottlings. Distilled in March 2011 and aged for five years in a refill hogshead, this is sweet and smoky with notes of meat, honeycomb and bonfire smoke.
A 1976 single grain whisky from Cambus, released by independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular series. This was aged for 40 years in a refill hogshead, resulting in a rich and sweet whisky with notes of vanilla, maple syrup and macerated fruit.
A 26-year-old Laphroaig from Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular series. Distilled in March 1990 and aged in a refill hogshead, this offers enticing notes of grilled banana, treacle, cracked pepper and smoke.
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15th February 2017
A perennial favourite and a must-try for anyone interested in discovering Japanese whisky. Hakushu is owned by Suntory, founders of the first Japanese distillery, Yamazaki. The original Hakushu distillery was built in 1973, with another distillery building called Hakushu Higashi (west) added in 1981.
This 24-year-old whisky was distilled at Caperdonich in 1992, a decade before the Speyside distillery closed. Produced on 2 October and aged in a single hogshead, 240 bottles were released on 16 January 2017.
A 1989 vintage Bunnahabhain from independent bottler Morrison & Mackay as part of the Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask series. Distilled on 20 October, it was aged in hogshead 5750 for 27 years before 285 bottles were released on 16 Janaury 2017.
This 2008 Benrinnes comes from Morrison & Mackay's Carn Mor series. Aged in a hogshead for eight years, this is a classic example of the distillery's meaty and malty style.
Blended from a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks, the light colour of this malt belies the richness of its character. The nose has a wide range of aromas, from citrus fruits to pears and a hint of peat, while the palate shows touches of smoke, vanilla essence, nutmeg, cinnamon and the salty tang characteristic of the distillery.
13th February 2017
Another winner from Nikka's Taketsuru range. This was named for the founder of the company, Masataka Taketsuru and is a big, bold full-bodied vatted whisky of truly exceptional depth, grace and balance.
10th February 2017
A 23-year-old Bruichladdich from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 1992 and bottled in August 2016 from a hogshead.
A 20-year-old Benrinnes from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 1995 and bottled in August 2016 from a hogshead.
A 17 year old Glenburgie from 1998, bottled for The Single Malts of Scotland. This is classic Glenburgie, full of fruit and sweet toffee notes.
A 28-year-old Tormore from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 1988 and bottled in August 2016 from a barrel.
A 17-year-old Miltonduff from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 1999 and bottled in August 2016 from a hogshead.
A sherried 11-year-old Ledaig, the peated whisky from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 2005 and bottled in July 2016 from a butt.
A 12-year-old Ledaig, the peated whisky from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 2004 and bottled in August 2016 from a hogshead.
A 1989 Glenrothes from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was aged for 26 years in a hogshead and bottled in August 2016.
A young eight-year-old Glen Moray from The Single Malts Of Scotland. This was distilled in 2007 and bottled in August 2016 from a barrel.
9th February 2017
The oldest expression from Redbreast so far, this is a combination of malted and unmalted barley matured in a mixture of bourbon barrels and first-fill oloroso casks, resulting in a rich and complex whiskey.
8th February 2017
A 25-year old Bunnahabhain from independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular range. Distilled in November 1990, it was aged in a refill hogshead, which yielded 269 bottles in November 2015. This is spicy and smoky with notes of milk chocolate and mocha.
A single cask of 1998 Tamdhu, released at 18 years of age by Douglas Laing for the Old Particular series. Distilled in May, this has notes of spicy toffee, treacle and candied orange zest.
A 1998 vintage Ben Nevis from indie bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular range. Distilled in November, it was aged in a refill hogshead for 20 years, yielding 260 bottles in November 2016. This is warming and spicy with notes of sherbet and citrus.
Made to one of Beam's oldest recipes, this release of rye whiskey is made in a pre-Prohibition style. Big, bold and spicy with notes of vanilla and black pepper.
A 2002 vintage Inchgower released by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail as part of the Connoisseurs Choice series of bottlings in 2015. This was aged in refill-sherry hogsheads for around 13 years.
Bacalta is the eight release in Glenmorangie's annual Private Edition series. Finished in casks which were seasoned with Malmsey Madeira, this is rich and fruity with notes of caramelised apricots, dates, almonds and honeycomb.
A 1989 vintage Mortlach from Douglas Laing, bottled as part of the Xtra Old Particular range. This was matured for 26 years in a refill hogshead before being bottled in June 2015. Rich and mouth coating with notes of toffee, chocolate and hazelnut.
A 1995 vintage Miltonduff from independent bottler Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular series. Distilled in February, it was aged in a refill bourbon barrel for 21 years before 244 bottles were yielded in November 2016. Complex and sweet with notes of honeycomb, sugar and bourbon.
This 1998 Laphroaig has been released by Douglas Laing as part of the Old Particular series. Distilled in November and aged in a refill hogshead for 18 years, this is rich and oily with notes of salted caramel and charred meat.
A 1990 vintage Glen Garioch released by Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular series. Distilled in July, it was matured in a refill hogshead for 25 years. Big, smoky, nutty and honeyed.
The 1997 vintage of Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition, bottled in 2013. Each distillery's 'DE' is finished in a different wood – Dalwhinnie's uses oloroso sherry casks, resulting in an added layer of rich fruit.
7th February 2017
This 2004 vintage Distillers Edition from Glenkinchie has been finished in amontillado-sherry casks for an extra burst of rounded flavour. This was aged for more than a decade before being bottled in 2016.
Sonoma County's Rye whiskey has been smoked with cherry wood for a fruity and lightly smoky taste. 10% each of wheat and barley helps to round off the blend.
6th February 2017
A stunningly presented bottle of Suntory Yamazaki aged 25 years in sherry wood. The incredibly dark colour would suggest that this is from an outstanding olorosso cask.
A 2008 vintage Glenallachie as part of Duncan Taylor's Octave series. Finished in a small sherry cask, which yielded 82 bottles in 2015.
5th February 2017
The 2013 edition of Suntory's Yamazaki Bourbon Cask, maturing the spirit solely in bourbon casks to give a soft and fruity whisky with classic bourbon cask notes.
A special release from Ichiro Akuto - a single cask bottling of whisky from the final year of Hanyu distiller's operation. Bottled at 15 years of age and at cask strength without colouring or chill-filtration. A little slice of distilling history.
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The eagerly-anticipated final release from the Ichiro's Malt Card series bottlings from the closed Hanyu distillery. This is a vatting of six vintages (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 2000) from a total of seven types of cask (chibidaru, bourbon, Madeira, hogshead, Cognac, puncheon and sherry butt).
Classic Clynelish from the Single Malts of Scotland - waxy, fruity and gently coastal. There have been some excellent bottlings from the mid-1990s from this distillery and this is up with the best of them.