Amid all the rising whisky prices and the growing NAS segment, we’ve seen another trend going strong lately: independent bottlings of young whisky, from 5 year old up to 10 year old.
It shouldn’t surprise us as whisky casks prices has risen too, for both new make and aged spirit barrels. The reasoning is simple: bottle it at younger age, maybe even bottle at lower ABV and so it’s cheaper and you can extract more bottles from each cask.
Today’s Bunnahabhaim from Van Wees The Ultimate brand is a classic example of such whisky, distilled 26/06/2006, aged in cask 2127, bottled 4/6/2015 at the tender age of 8 year old (although it was 22 days far from being 9 year old) yielding 815 bottles due to 46% bottling strength.
Bunnahabhain 2006 8 Year Old The Ultimate (46%, €39.20)
Nose: It’s young alright with lots of malt notes, sweet malt, bread, cereals and barley sugar. There’s even some roughness but hey, here comes the sherry impact with mellow and sweet dried fruit, some plums, raisins, very subtle comparing to the strong maltiness and is noticeable just enough to balance it out. Continue reading
It’s time to announce the winner in Whisky Gospel first birthday giveaway. As most of you guessed correctly, the answer to the question (big clue in the blog header picture 😉 ) – it’s Laphroaig! So the winner will get a Laphroaig 18yo bottle.
But just announcing a winner is boring, so bear with me for a little while more and let’s review a cracking Laphroaig bottle before announcing the winner (but you can scroll down to find the winner if you’re a bit impatient).
Having a close by friends who shares the love to the same distillery is a good thing. Take Michael (of Malt & Oak Blog) for example – he recently went on a trip to Europe and brought back a surprise – the Van Wees Laphroaig 1998 and I felt that a Laphroaig dram is the fitting choice to review for the winner announcement.
This one was distilled on 22.09.1998 and bottled in August 2012 after it spent 13 years and 11 months (1 month short of being 14yo!) in a Refill Butt #700394. So, is it good as I expect it to be?
The Ultimate Van Wees Laphroaig 1998 13yo (60.1%, 716 bottles, buy for € 98.95 here)
Another day, another indie bottling from Van Wees and this time – a Clynelish. It’s my first Clynelish taste and review (one more to cross off from the list!).
Unlike the young bunna from yesterday, this one sports the respectable age of 22 years as it was distilled on 30.10.1991 and bottled in November 2013 after spending it in a Hogshead #13216.
The Ultimate Van Wees Clynelish 1991 22yo (46%, 312 bottles, buy for € 56.95 here)
In the last year or two there’s a worrying (at least for me) trend of rising whisky prices. The new prices today are, how to say it, a bit on the expensive side. This leads me into serious exploration of independent bottlers which usually have a lesser price tag.
I’ve heard very good things on the Dutch bottler Van Wees but never had the opportunity to taste them as their bottlings are not available locally. But lately a friend brought 2 bottles and I was happy to help him taking care of the bottles 🙂
The first one is a young Bunnahabhain which carry its young age statement proudly: 5 years old and not hiding behind a NAS excuse.
It was matured in Bourbon cask (#800103), distilled Feb 2008 and bottled Nov 2013. Let’s see how this young one behaves.
The Ultimate Van Wees Bunnahabhain 2008 (46%, 323 bottles, buy for € 32.50 here)