Talisker Distillery Exclusive (2019)

Talisker Distillery Exclusive (2019) Tasting Notes

Price: £90 for a bottle or £7 for a dram at the bar. Available only at the distillery in Carbost on the Isle of Skye.
 
This is a no age statement bottling, selected by staff from the distillery. The whisky has been triple matured and spent time first in refilled oak casks, then heavily charred American Oak hogsheads and finally European Oak puncheons. 

Talisker Distillery Exclusive
(photo credit: Old Liquor Company)

Appearance: Amber, with red hues.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Light and subtle for Talisker. Sweet red fruits and brown sugar with some black pepper and just a hint of ash.

Palate: Citrus fruits, particularly lemon, salted dark chocolate and again, just a hint of ashy smoke.

Finish: Peppercorns, cinnamon and a very light peat. It is a long finish that is sharp rather than classically smokey.

Overall: Less “maritime” than a typical Talikser bottling, making it a distinctively different expression that is well worth a try.

Continue reading “Talisker Distillery Exclusive (2019)”

Booze News! (November)

1st – 8th: 

Eden Mill distillery has invested £150k in gin tourism experience. Read more here.

AnCnoc unveils Peatheart – it’s peatiest whisky to date and a permanent edition! Read more here.

AnCnoc Peatheart – the distilleries peatiest whisky!

Weymss Malts have launched autumn single cask batch – aged between 11 – 36 YO. Read more here.

Highland Park Full Volume released in the US. Read more here.

Weymss Malts autumn single cask batch!

That $10,000 glass of ‘Macallan 1878’? It was a blended scotch from the early 1970s. Read more here.

Glenglassaugh introduces the 4 cask-finished whiskies in Wood Finish range. Read more here.

Conviction – Southern Grace Distillers first bourbon

Gartbreck back on track? Plans for the Islay distillery could be revived. Read more here.

Prison-based Southern Grace distillery has released their first bourbon. Read more here.

9th – 16th:

The originally ‘limited edition’ Lagavulin 8 YO has joined the core range. Read more here.

Anno Distillers, Kent’s ‘first’ microdistillery, seeks to raise £750k through crowd funding campaign. Read more here.

Mortlach 60 YO could fetch £20k at Sotheby.

A 60 YO, pre-war Morthlach – distilled in 1938 and bottled in 1999 – could be worth £20k. Read more here.

Indy bottler Douglas Laing introduced 25 YO expression Big Peat – the first of the ‘Old and Rare’ trilogy. Read more here.

GlenDronach Peated Port Wood

The new £100m+ Macallan distillery begins trials before taking over single malt production. Read more here.

The GlenDronach Distillery announces the release of GlenDronach Peated Port Wood. Read more here.

Spirit of Yorkshire – Maturing Malt

Spirit of Yorkshire distillery have released their first product – a 1 YO malt. Read more here.

Jim Beam to release Limited Edition ‘Distiller’s Cut’. Read more here.

Jim Beam – Distiller’s Cut Ltd Ed.

North America’s ‘smallest’ distillery – Strathcona Spirits Distillery – is set top open. Read more here.

Kilchoman Distillery will be doubling its production by the end of next year. Read more here.

Bruichladdich – Rare Cask series 

Bruichladdich unveils Rare Cask series – a collection of single malts from 1984, 1985 and 1986. Read more here.

Construction has begun on the £15m Ardross Distillery, which is due to start production in Summer 2018. Read more here.

Barton 1792 – Bottled-in-Bond

The Ardgowan Estate Distillery has been awarded a £982k grant from the Scottish government. Read more here.

Barton 1792 Distillery have released a Bottled-in-Bond bourbon. Read more here.

Budget supermarket Aldi’s new collection of whisk(e)y

Budget supermarket Aldi have launched a new collection of whisk(e)y – including Glen Marnoch 29 YO single malt, priced at £39.99. Read more here.

Macallan reveals the seven strong ‘Exceptional Single Cask Range’ a collection of malts aged between 12 – 22 years. Read more here.

The Morrison family have returned to distilling with the opening of Aberargie distillery in Perthshire. Read more here.

Gin Festival (Victoria Baths, Manchester)

Friday 3rd November 2017

We were kindly invited to attend the winter Gin Festival at Victoria Baths in Manchester! They hosted 5 events over 4 days, and we attended the Friday evening session which ran between 6.30pm – 11.00pm. The retail price of tickets were £16.

This is an excerpt from their promotional website:

– – –

Gin Festival

“On arrival you will be handed your very own Gin Festival Copa Balloon Glass and a brochure that tells you all about the gins at the festival.

Our bars operate on a token system and do not take cash so you will need tokens to get your drinks. Tokens are £5 each with one token paying for a single measure of gin, garnish and a Fever-Tree mixer.

Throughout the event there will be live music and entertainment, talks from gin industry experts, delicious food and lots of chit chat with other gin lovers!”

– – –
 
You might remember that we attended a similar festival back in August hosted by GinFestivalsUK (read it here), but this GinFestival.com event (don’t get confused!) blew it so far out of the water that all that remained were smithereens.
 
Victoria Baths
Victoria Baths Bar Room
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Victoria Baths is a remarkable venue in the process of being restored, perfect for festival events. The building leaves you marvelling at the history of this public swimming pool and Turkish bath, with striking stained glass windows and mosaic decor… but I digress.
 

 

Upon arrival at the festival, the friendly staff handed us a pack containing a very informative gin guide and a wonderfully sized copa balloon glass. We were also given a wristband which would become our contactless tag that we could top up with money at designated stations and use as wearable bankcard. 

 
Top-Up Station
Contactless Wristband
 
 
 
 

 

 
The first room we entered was adorned with colourful lights and a whole load of alcohol! There were four bars where you could purchase a large helping any one of 100+ gins for £5 with your wristband, all of which were served with the recommended garnish. You can then pour your mixer yourself, free of  charge. The regular/light tonics were available on the bars, but there was also a Fever-Tree stand which offered flavoured tonics – Elderflower, Mediterranean, Aromatic or Lemon – or soda water, lemonade and ginger beer available as mixers if you prefer. The bar staff were more than helpful with their mixer recommendations which depends on the flavour profile of your purchased gin.
Fever-Tree Stand
Bar C

One thing we noticed was the environmental considerations of the festival. There was a volume of information about the restoration project, for those interested. There were no plastic straws available – there is an increasing awareness of this issue with many companies pledging to abandon plastic straws all together – and the bars were separating recyclable glass. It was a shame though that the same consideration was not given to the large number of disposable plastic shot glasses which were used liberally. 

Aside from the bar room, there was an entertainment hall with live music and food stalls, and a brand room where you could try free samples of gin. The brand room had stalls from Manchester Three Rivers, Cuckoo, Thomas Dakin, PJ, Tinker Gin, Black Tomato or Brocklands, where you could ask questions and try serving suggestions. 

Black Tomato Gin Stall

 

There were also bar areas where you could buy cocktails with your choice of gin, and masterclasses throughout the evening hosted by the brands that had stalls in the brand room. We attended a fantastic masterclass delivered by Manchester Three Rivers, which was informative about the history of gin, the company’s beginnings and ethos, and the flavour profiles of their product (all members of the audience were handed a sample in a shot glass and then a bottle of their gin was passed around, which we particularly enjoyed!).
Manchester Three Rivers Masterclass
Overall, it was a brilliant, bourgeois, boozy evening, and a steal for the retail price. We were happy to have our faith in boozy festivals restored. The gin selection was large, with bespoke brands alongside more established bottlings, the live music was entertaining, the venue was perfect and all of the staff were welcoming, knowledgeable and happy to be there too. They even handed us a carrier bag for our large glass souvenirs as we left, which was a nice touch!

The Gin Highlights:

 

Gotik London Dry Gin

1. Gotik London Dry Gin

This is a 40% ABV Portuguese gin the first to come from the Ribatejo region, which uses a combination of a whopping 21 botanicals, including butternut squash and tomatoes! Gotik gin is complex: smooth and sweet, crisp and aromatic. Cinnamon, cardamon and red fruits prevail. The recommended serving is rosemary and Indian Tonic. This gin is only currently available in the UK via the GinFestival.com website.

 

Manchester Three Rivers

2. Manchester Three Rivers

As Mancunians, you might say we’re biased, but we think it would be difficult for you to find something wrong with this number. Smooth and dry, the 40% Three Rivers gin uses 11 botanicals, including oats as a nod to the industrial era working class in the area. Other botanicals include Madagascan vanilla, cinnamon, almonds and orange peel, finishing with black pepper. They recommend serving with cherries in the summer months, or rosemary and gin-infused apricots in the winter. Fancy, right?

3. PJ Gin Elderflower

PJ Gin Elderflower

Another GinFestival.com UK exclusive, PJ Gin comes from Belgium and the Crafts Spirits Company. The company do 4 variations: Dry, Elderflower, Raspberry and Apple. We didn’t get the chance to try their standard dry gin, but we did try the other flavours. Whilst the Raspberry and Apple varieties were very tart (almost like the cheap Sourz liqueurs you get from the supermarket), the Elderflower was truly delightful. It was subtle, fresh and simple, probably because they only use two botanicals aside from the mandatory juniper berries: elderflower pollen and lemon.

 

 

If you also attended, we’d love to know what you thought of the festival and your favourite gins, so get in touch!

November Wishlist!

Lost Spirits Abomination – Chapter 2

1. Lost Spirits Abomination – Chapter 2 Sayers of the Law

This abomination came from the the darkest, dankest depths of the Lost Spirits’ lab in California. Now this is not an abomination to be scared of – depending how peated you like your drink. A heavily-peated spirit aged in Bourbon casks for 12 – 18 months. After that? It’s taken deeper into the Lost Spirits underground lab. What happens down there? We’re not sure – but we do know this. Chapter 2 is finished in charred American Oak which was seasoned with late harvest Riesling. It also comes with a hefty 54%. Interested? We are.

Aberlour A’bunadh – Batch 59

2. Aberlour A’Bunadh – Batch 59

Here it is, the year fixture of A’Bunadh. Who doesn’t loved a heavily sherried and full bodied single malt? As per usual, the A’Bunadh is drawn from Oloroso Sherry butts which give it that wonderfully Christmas-y flavour. Couple those lovely Christmas flavours with a  60.9% ABV and Batch 59 is the perfect winter night dram.

The Wolf

3. The Wolf

We have a German entry on the wish list! The Wolf is an interesting concoction – if a little pricey. The base of this spirit is a hand picked Pfälzer wine – Palatinate/Rhineland region – which is a peach and raspberry wine. This peaked our interest. The spirit is then allowed to age in stainless steel barrels – which allows time to rest but result in no interference from that pesky wooden maturation. The Wolf has been designed to prove that wine-based spirits are versatile and can be more than just cognac and brandy. Instead we are presented with a minimalist approach – which should prove an interesting base to cocktails and mixertures alike!

Douglas Laing – The Gauldrons

4. Douglas Laing – The Gauldrons

At last, Douglas Laing have completed the Remarkable Regional Malts. We always felt that the Campbeltown region had been unfairly left out but this wrong has finally been rectified. Fred Laing – Douglas Laing’s MD – has commented that the Gauldrons is a blend “of our best, and indeed rarest, casks of Campbeltown Single Malt”. We trust the man, and we can’t wait to get our hands on a bottle. Each batch is being numbered as well, so we can all watch/taste how this whisky develops over the years.

James Eadie’s – Trade Mark X


5. James Eadie’s – Trade Mark X

A revival of a historic blend – and being a bit of a history buff that always peaks my interest. The Jame Eadie brand began producing blended Scotch whisky in 1854 until it ceased to exist in the late 1940s. However, 70-something years later and Eadie’s great-great-grandson decided it was time to revive the blend. This blended scotch uses the same 12 whiskies used by its predecessor – including 2 closed distilleries. That’s dedication.

6. Gotik – London Dry Gin

Gotik – London Dry Gin

We were fortunate enough to try this little gem at our recent visit to the GinFestival.com event (read about it here!) Gotik is a Portuguese gin – the first produced in the Ribatejo region – and is inspired by local flavours. Whilst following the traditions of London Dry Gin, 2 of Gotik’s 21 botanicals result in a unique flavour. What are they you ask? Tomatoes and butternut squash. Yeah, I was surprised too. Couple that with the 7 distillations, and you have a fantastic gin for a good price.

Faraday’s Proof White Rum

7. Manchester Still Faraday’s Proof White Rum

As Mancunians, we would like to give some local rum a try. The distillery started as a homebrew between a professor, a doctor and a PhD student, and they use “state-of-the-art” technology to test and monitor every aspect, to make a smooth, pure and high-quality spirit. They’ve recently released a 70cl size bottling, so we feel its time we get some more rum for the drinks cabinet!

Booze News! (October)

1st – 8th: 

Compass box has unveiled two new blended malts – Phenomenology and No Name. Read more here.

Gordon & MacPhail have released a 70 YO Glen Livet single malt – distilled on the 14 January 1943. Read more here.

Glenlivet 1943 – a 70 YO single malt

Jura has released its first travel retail exclusive range – the Jura Sherry Cask collection. Read more here.

Loch Lomond unveils 50 YO single malt – it’s oldest bottling to date. Read more here.

Loch Lomond 50 YO – coming December ’17

Billy Walker, former MD of BenRiach Distillery Co., has completed  the acquisition of the Glenallachie Distillery. Read more here.

Glengoyne has released The Spirit of Oak collection – celebrating the Sherry cask. Read more here.

Benromach 1977 Single Cask Ed. – a limited ed. release of 225 bottles

Benromach have released a 1977 single cask edition. Read more here.

Midleton unveilved their 2017 edition of their Very Rare collection. Read more here.

9th – 16th:

Diageo invest £35m to re-open cult distilleries Port Ellen and Brora. Read more here.

Ian Macleod to revive the Lowland distillery Rosebank. Read more here.

The Norlan Vaild whisky glass

Norlan debuts a black whisky glass for blind tasting. Read more here.

Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain 12 YO declared “world best whisky” by Jim Murray. Read more here.

The Macallan Quest Collection

Macallan unveils the travel retail series ‘Quest Collection’ – a range of 4 NAS whiskies. Read more here.

Ardbeg unveils ‘Twenty Something’ – a 23YO single malt from Ardbeg’s troubled past. Read more here.

17th – 24th: 

Heaven Hill announces a US$25m expansion of their Bernheim Distillery. Read more here.

The SMWS bottles their first Indian malts. Read more here.

The recreated James Eadie’s Blended Scotch Whisky

The historic, 1850s, James Eadie’s blend has been recreated. Read more here.

Glengoyne reveals limited edition 30YO single malt. Read more here.

The Cooper Spirit Co’s 18YO Straight Rye

The Cooper Spirits Co. unveiled their 3rd releases in their Lock, Stock & Barrel series. An 18YO straight rye whiskey. Read more here.

Chivas Brothers have releases a permanent NAS from the Glen Keith distillery for the first time. Read more here.
Chapter 3 of 5 of the Balvenie DCS Compendium

Balvenie have unveiled Chapter 3 of the DC Compendium. Read more here.

Highland Park has replaced the travel retail Warrior series with a new range – including the Highland Park Voyage of the Raven. Read more here.

Basil Hayden have extended their range for their first time with the release of their Dark Rye. Read more here.

25th – 31st: 

Four Roses have released a 2017 Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon in the UK. Read more here.

GlenWyvis Distillery has become a dual-operation company, producing both gin and whisky. Read more here.

Four Roses 2017 Small Batch Limited Ed. 

Laphroaig launches limited edition 27YO in the US. Read more here.

Chichibu launches 3 limited edition whiskies – one aged in ‘beer-washed’ barrels, a ‘London-exclusive’ bottling and a peated-variant. Read more here.

Chichibu IPA Cask Finish – 1 of 3 of the new releases. 

The Cooper King distillery – England’s ‘smallest’ – will begin producing both gin and whisky next year. Read more here.

William Grant invests 25m into Tullamore Dew. Read more here.

Gauldrons Campbeltown Blended Malt – the 6th edition to the Remarkable Regional Malts range

Douglas Laing is expanding its Remarkable Regional Malts range with Gauldrons Campbeltown Blended Malt. Read more here.

Irish Distillers have expanded Green Spot’s Wild Geese range with single malt whiskey finished in French oak Zinfandel wine casks. Read more here.