Hello there, I’m back! Did you miss me? 🙂
It’s been a long and busy summer, but now I’m back from summer holidays, recovered from the post-vacation blues (and virus) and it’s time to get in a high gear again.
Here’s a round up of the latest whisky releases, and this time I’m trying a different format for the whisky news roundup posts: We’ll start with headlines and Whisky gospel take on the release and only then we’ll provide the full PR. So, here’s take #1:
- Tomatin Releases Cuarto limited edition series and Cù Bòcan Sherry edition
Whisky Gospel: Kudos to Tomatin to release a limited edition of 4 whiskies and keep the age statement on. Even the new Cù Bòcan is a refreshing addition (even if in a limited mode). oh, and the price is decent, very decent.
- An Cnoc adds Cutter to their peaty collection
Whisky Gospel: Even more peatier! 20.5 ppm may not sound as much, but remember it’s post-distillation value so good chance it stands up to Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Port Charlotte when it comes to peatiness. Should be an interesting dram.
- Ardbeg releases Supernova 2014
Whisky Gospel: oh boy, I do understand the ‘need’ to release another community release (been a while since the last one, Alligator) but tie it with the space experiment? and dress Dr Bill Lumsden in Astronaut suit? I bet the supernova will be a solid dram (early review already confirm that), but the price is again ardbeg-y and the hype is there. Sigh.
- BenRiach Releases Batch 11 of its Single Cask Bottlings
Whisky Gospel: Like a clock, as expected, on the heels of the Glendronach releases, here comes the BenRiach. Not much to see here except that it’s probably good (very good) whisky, some more affordable and some less. If you can afford it, go on and buy one – it’s probably worth it.
And now for the full press releases. Enjoy!
TOMATIN CUATRO & CÙ BÒCAN THE SHERRY EDITION
The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd has announced some exciting new limited edition releases with a strong emphasis on Sherry.
The Tomatin Cuatro Series presents four unique limited edition expressions of Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
All distilled on the same day, the whisky was matured for nine years in traditional American Oak casks and was then transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. The range includes: Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.
With its Spanish sherry inspiration, the name “Cuatro” is fitting as the Spanish word for “four”.
Graham Eunson, Distillery Manager, launched the new release with a Tweet Tasting on the evening of 3rd September, where selected tasters were provided samples of each expression along with its relevant Sherry. He said: “We are constantly striving to innovate and push boundaries and I believe Cuatro is a great example of something yet again different from Tomatin Distillery. Sherry is a key feature within our core range and this limited series allows us to delve deeper into the different effects it can have on our whisky.”
There are 1500 bottles of each expression available and each is expected to retail at £49.99.
Staying with the Sherry theme, the company has also added to its Cù Bòcan brand range with another limited edition: the Sherry edition. With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from each cask type.
Fully matured in first fill Sherry butts, the Sherry edition is rich and fruity with hints of smoke and paprika. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 in specialist retailers.
Cutter joins the anCnoc Peaty Collection
Earlier this year anCnoc, the spirit of Modern Tradition, shone light on its dark side by introducing the Peaty Collection. Comprising of three exceptional single malt scotch whiskies –Rutter, Flaughter and Tushkar – this new, darker and moodier incarnation of the award-winning Highland Single Malt delighted fans and critics around the world with its depth, focus and the elegant balance between the distillery style and the wealth of rich smokiness. These new unusual bottlings were all named after peat-cutting tools to emphasise the connection between anCnoc and the fuel traditionally used in Scotland in the process of drying malted barley, responsible for the unmistakable, robust character of the finished product.
On the 1st of September a new expression has been added to the acclaimed Peaty Collection. Cutter is the fourth in the series and the peatiest one so far. While Rutter, Flaughter and Tushkar had phenol contents ranging from 11 to 15 parts per million (ppm), their new sibling boasts a very high phenol content of 20.5 ppm, putting it in line with some of the most intensely smoky whiskies on the market. It is worth noting that the level of peating is measured on the finished whisky rather than the malt or the new make spirit, giving a more reliable description of the actual perceived level of peatiness. What’s more, the phenol content is highlighted on the packaging to help whisky lovers make more informed decisions.
Cutter is matured in ex-bourbon casks made from American oak. It is bottled at 46% ABV and non chill-filtered. Like all Peaty Collection expressions it is presented at its natural colour, a light shade reminiscent of lemon juice. The aroma is unmistakably peaty with oily smoke followed by a sharper, more medicinal note and a piercing ray of fruit and spice. On the palate it gains even more smoky intensity with ashy overtones, a slight apple-core bitterness and a spicy vanilla heart. This is a richly phenolic whisky for the seasoned peat-lovers or those looking to shine light on their dark side of flavour and experience the full force of a truly peaty dram.
Cutter will be available from the 1st September in key international markets, such as the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France to name but a few. The US launch date will be confirmed at a later time. The recommended retail price is £52/$85/€64.
SUPERNOVA 2014 CELEBRATES THE RETURN OF ARDBEG FROM SPACE
Ardbeg, the iconic Islay malt whisky unveils its third edition of Supernova 2014, a new expression of Ardbeg’s peatiest Single Malt.
The launch of Supernova 2014 coincides with the return of Ardbeg’s pioneering Space experiment. To celebrate this ground-breaking journey, the distillery will release the Single Malt fittingly named after a super bright explosion of a star.
A vial of Ardbeg spirit has been orbiting the globe in the International Space Station for the last three years in a mission to decipher the impact gravity has on maturation. The vial will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere on 12th September, travelling back in the Soyuz-U Rocket and will land in Kazakhstan. The sample will then be taken to Houston, Texas to be reunited with the test sample from Ardbeg’s warehouse #3 to begin the analysis in the first study of its kind.
The full research findings will be published in 2015 and could prove revolutionary. Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, will lead the research, working alongside US-based space research company NanoRacks LLC. Dr Lumsden states “We are now close to the end, close to finding answers to something previously unknown, which is truly exciting.”
Previous editions of Supernova have been described as “out of this world” and Supernova 2014 looks set to follow this form. It is bottled at 55% ABV, and will be available from 12th September 2014 from Ardbeg Embassies* and on Moët Hennessy Selection: www.moethennessy-selection.co.uk with a RSP of £124.99.
BENRIACH RELEASES BATCH 11 OF ITS SINGLE CASK BOTTLINGS
BenRiach has today, 14 August, released the latest batch, its eleventh, of single cask bottlings.
It comprises fourteen superb casks that were bottled in July and all are available as of today, ideal for leisurely summer tasting.
Ranging from 37 to 9 years old, the much-anticipated release demonstrates a hugely eclectic range of expressions for which Elgin’s award-winning BenRiach is renowned, with astonishing variety across the fourteen casks. These include whiskies in the traditional, classic Speyside style, peated expressions and wood finishes such as Dark Rum, Tawny Port, Madeira, Virgin Oak, Pedro Ximenez Sherry and a Marsala wood finish.
All fourteen casks have been hand-selected by BenRiach’s Managing Director and Master Distiller Billy Walker who described them as “absolutely special” and added:
“Wood Management is one of the most important factors in ensuring excellence of quality during maturation. The most important factor is to use top-quality casks – Bourbon barrels, Hogsheads and ex-Wine Seasoned casks – and there is a role in the maturation process for all of these casks. Getting the wood right can be expensive but it’s one of the things I’m most proud of since we took over BenRiach.”
And what an amazing range there is in Batch Eleven.
The oldest, 1976 #529, at 44.2% vol, is Sherry Cask Matured and finished in a Bourbon barrel. Fresh crisp oak and cereal combine with sweet plum syrup, developing to an elegant, soft tropical fruit and toasted coconut finish.
Meanwhile the youngest, 2005 # 3781, at 58.7% vol, a Virgin American Oak Hogshead, offers floods of sweet peat reek in rich caramelised apple and pear, softening gently to dried apricot and desiccated coconut.
And a third which suggests it will be much sought-after is the 1998 cask # 5171, at 57.9% vol, a triple-distilled Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish in which vibrant oak spice, orange bitters and dark chocolate give exceptional depth, with stewed barley and orchard fruits softly rolling though the long, ever-changing palate.
Other expressions in the range boast the taste of “Demerara and boiled sweets”, “luxurious chocolate and roasted coffee beans”, “rich Tarte Tatin” and even “fairground candy apple”.
The cask details are as follows:
1976 cask # 529 / 37 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 44.2% vol.
1976 cask # 5463 / 37 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Peated, Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 51.9% vol.
1977 cask # 7114 / 37 years old / Hogshead / 48.3%vol.
1977 cask # 1891 / 37 years old / Dark Rum Barrel / Dark Rum Finish / 43.2% vol.
1978 cask # 5469 / 36 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 41.7% vol.
1984 cask # 488 / 29 years old / Hogshead / Peated / 51.1% vol.
1984 cask # 4051 / 29 years old / Tawny Port Hogshead / Peated, Tawny Port Finish / 50.3% vol.
1994 cask # 1703 / 20 years old / Tawny Port Hogshead / Tawny Port Finish / 55.6% vol.
1994 cask # 5626 / 20 years old / Madeira Hogshead / Peated, Madeira Finish / 53.2% vol.
1996 cask # 7176 / 18 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 52.4% vol.
1997 cask # 4435 / 16 years old / Marsala Hogshead / Marsala finish / 56.1% vol.
1998 cask # 5171 / 16 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / Triple Distilled, Pedro Ximenez Sherry finish / 57.9% vol.
2000 cask # 38131 / 14 years old / Bourbon Barrel / 59.3% vol.
2005 cask # 3781 / 9 years old / Virgin American Oak Hogshead / Peated, Virgin American Oak finish / 58.7% vol.