October Whisky Wishlist

I. Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Cask

The first single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in an IPA beer cask. The beer filled ex-Glenfiddich whisky barrels, and was crafted specifically for this purpose. The beer filled the barrel for one month, and the whisky was finished for three months before bottling. It has been said to be aromatic, zesty sweer and – not surprisingly – hoppy. It is one of two new experimental bottlings from Glenfiddich, and we can’t wait to taste them both.

II. Macallan 12 Year Old Double Cask

This is the first release from Macallan in the past three years which includes an age statement. This bottling was matured in a combination of American and European ex-sherry casks for a minimum of 12 years. As fans of Macallan and fans of sherry casks, we’re keen to give this a try.

III. Scapa Glansa

This Scapa whisky was finished in barrels that had previously held peaty whisky. This could be a gentle introduction to the distilleries intention to enter the world of peat. Some think its cutting corners, or second-hand peat, but we think it’s a great idea. Tasting notes include heather, honey, peach, caramel toffee and gentle smoke. It would be interesting to see the result of such an experiment. 

IV. Wolfburn Aurora

A new release from Wolfburn. The Aurora was matured in second fill quarter casks, ex-bourbon casks and ex-Oloroso sherry hogsheads. It is described as tasting of raisons, mixed nuts and sherry spice. Named after the Northern Lights, it sounds inviting. We have never tried Wolfburn whisky, so this sounds like a good place to start. 

V. The Epicurean

A blended malt made up of Scotch whisky exclusively from the Lowland region. This is the latest edition to Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts collection. The company named the bottling in honour of “that roguish character who never fails to deliver charm, charisma and just a little bit of cheek”. The Lowlands produce some excellent drams, so a blend is sure to impress.

VI. The Glover 14 Year Old

A celebration of the famed ‘Scottish Samurai’ Thomas Blake Glover! This dedication is a blend of both Scottish and Japanese whiskies, bringing together two worlds of whisky into a refined dram. At £95, the 14 year old is the more accessible of the range – the 18 year old was £145 and the 22 year old was £1,050! Unfortunately, this range was very limited and only 1,500 of the 14 year old was produced. Here’s hoping to more!

VII. Glen Breton 10 Year Old Ice

A Canadian whisky for the list. This Glen Breton single malt is aged entirely in ice wine casks! If you’re not familiar with ice wine, it is the practice of allowing the grapes to be frozen whilst still on the wine. The result is a very refreshing, highly acidic dessert wine. Hopefully this will impart some fantastic flavours, but we have no idea what to expect! It comes with a reasonable price of tag of £45. 

September Whisky Wishlist

I.      Auchentoshan Blood Oak

The Blood Oak was originally a Travel Retail exclusive, but has fortunately found its way into market. This dramatic sounding bottling was matured in a combination of bourbon and red wine casks. We both tried this in our local whisky pub, and both agreed it was fantastic. The combination of casks resulted in wonderful whisky and one I hope we can get our hands on and review. 
Find it here.

II.     Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 55

The Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 48 was one the first high end whiskies we bought in 2014. The A’Bunadh was our first cask strength as well – and remains to be one of our favourites! It’s a dessert as much as it’s a whisky and its popularity is deserved.  
Find it here.

III.   Caol Ila Moch

Taking its name from the Gaelic for ‘Dawn’, the Caol Ila Moch is intended as a much lighter and easier to drink dram. Whilst still maintaining signature Caol Ila flavours of zesty lemon, the Moch is a creamier release with a peaty punch. Interestingly, the Moch is the first release from Caol Ila to be based purely on taste rather than age, cask wood, finish or strength. Sounding both interesting and delicious.
Find it here.

IV.     The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection Batch FF0714

The entry level bottling of Glenlivet’s Nàdurra range and coming in at a hefty 63.1%. The Nàdurra First Fill was aged entirely in American white oak casks, so flavours of creamy vanilla can most definitely be expected. Alongside the flavours of vanilla is a range of fruits imparting zesty and tropical hints to the dram. A bottle that demonstrates the versatility of the Glenlivet Distillery. Fantastic. 
Find it here.

V.      Glen Moray 16 Year Old

Sometimes, you just wish for a simple Speyside dram and the Glen Moray 16 Year Old is definitely the dram to wish for. This bottling from Glen Moray is matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and flavours of vanilla and fruits can most definitely be expected. This bottling comes at a very reasonable price of just under £40 and comes with an interesting tin that depicts the various uniforms of the Royal Highland Regiments.
Find it here.

VI.     Auchentoshan Distillery Cask No. 935 (23.09.2004 – 28.03.2016)
We were fortunate enough to have a taste of this Auchentoshan Distillery Cask, available to buy only from the distillery itself. To describe it as delightful would be an understatement! This triple distilled single malt is bottled at cask strength: 60.1%. The nose is reminiscent of maraschino cherries, whilst the palate is nutty and dark, with a hint of sticky toffee pudding, oats and treacle. The finish is surprisingly grainy and overall, a divine dram. This might be worth a trip to Scotland to taste again.
VII.   Talisker 8 Year Old 2008 (cask 12657) Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Hunter Laing states on their website that the Old Malt Cask range is “unashamedly for connoisseurs of the finest expressions Single Malt Scotch Whisky” – a bold claim! This 8 year old Talisker was aged entirely in a single refill hogshead and only 151 bottles were produced! Talisker is always a favourite of ours, and there is no doubt that this one will be any different.
Find it here.

VIII. Darkness! Loch Lomond 19 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish

It’s expensive, and it’s a small bottle, but it’s bound to be worth it. Loch Lomond are increasing in popularity lately, and Darkness! bottlings are always packed full of flavour. This whisky was finished in a tiny ex-Oloroso sherry cask, holding just 50 litres. The reasoning behind this is increased surface area to volume ratio. This dram has been described as rich and sweet, with hints of red grape and honeycomb. It has definitely gotten our attention.
Find it here.

IX.     Arran Port Cask Finish

The island of Arran has produced some interesting drams over the years, and they are always prepared to experiment with their yearly special editions. This particular expression was released in 2010 and is bottled at 50%. A port cask finish from an island distillery sounds promising; indeed, it is described as rich and full-bodied, with hazelnut, oranges and strawberry jam. Enticing!
Find it here.

X.      The ONE (Lakes)

We’ve put this ONE on the list as we haven’t ever tried a whisky from the Lakes Distillery in England, despite living so close. The distillery only started producing whisky in December 2014, so this is a blended whisky from around the British Isles. It is described as sweet, spicy and smoky, and at such an affordable price (£29.95) this may well be our next buy.
Find it here.