Archive For March 31, 2015

This Time I Got the Notes!! Old Pulteney Limited Edition 1990 Vintage Peated Cask

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This Time I Got the Notes!! Old Pulteney Limited Edition 1990 Vintage Peated Cask

I tasted this excellent expression at the Whisky Show in London, but didn’t get to take down my tasting notes for it. Happily, it featured in the VIP lounge at Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015, and this time I got the notes. I like Old Pulteney whiskys, although I have not yet tasted their whole…

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Velvet Fig – Wemyss’ Vatted Malt is a Winner

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Velvet Fig – Wemyss’ Vatted Malt is a Winner

My affinity and curiosity (and often disappointment) from vatted malts is well known to my readers, as making a really good vatted malt, one that truly highlights what each of the different malts brings into the blend is a true feat of art. Also well known is my disdain for the inevitable “best ____ whisky of…

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Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 – A Show to Remember

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Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 – A Show to Remember

I want to start with a huge thanks to the Israeli Ministry of Finance. Yes, you heard me right! Almost two years ago, Israel reformed its alcohol tax imposing a uniform per liter tax on all alcoholic beverages, cancelling a ‘luxury tax’ that made single malts prohibitively expensive in Israel. Overnight, whisky became accessible, and…

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Kicking off Whisky Live Tel Aviv with the Macallan Fine Oak 21

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Kicking off Whisky Live Tel Aviv with the Macallan Fine Oak 21

The three day Whisky Live Tel Aviv is kicking off today, with a nice selection of whiskys and some really interesting masterclasses, including a sold out “Macallan Tea Party” with the always informative and entertaining Patsy Christie featuring the Macallan Fine Oak 18-21-25, Dom Roskrow who’ll be delivering two masterclasses, one on new world whisky…

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Sometimes Lactic Can be Good: Malts of Scotland Cragganmore 15

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Sometimes Lactic Can be Good: Malts of Scotland Cragganmore 15

Cragganmore (great rock in Gaelic) is a Speyside distillery near Glenfarclas in Ballindalloch serving as one of the “Classic Malts” for Diageo. Cragganmore has the distinction of being the first distillery to have a direct rail connection to the distillery, and is today part of the direct gas line linking it with Glenlivet, Tormore  and…

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A Balblair 17 Masquerading as a Maritime Highlander in an Old Malt Cask

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A Balblair 17 Masquerading as a Maritime Highlander in an Old Malt Cask

Continuing with the Old Malt Cask bottling with which we finished the series of the independent bottler masterclass reviews, we now turn to some other OMC bottlings, shared with me by my friend Manny, which will be reviewed over the next few weeks, not as a series, rather sprinkled over that period. If you want…

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 6 – A Great 1975 Ardbeg from a Great Bottler

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 6 – A Great 1975 Ardbeg from a Great Bottler

The Douglas Laing firm needs no introductions, and while today the Old Malt Cask brand is held by Hunter Laing, it was the mainstay of the older bottlings made by the pre-division Douglas Laing Company. A bit of history: Fredrick Douglas Laing founded his independent whisky bottling company in 1948, and raised his two sons,…

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 5 – One of the First Longrows Ever

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 5 – One of the First Longrows Ever

Longrow is Springbank’s peated line of whisky, which was begun in the 1973. It’s named after the old Longrow distillery, which operated next door to the Springbank distillery from 1824 through 1896. In fact, Springbank’s bottling facility is the warehouse of the old Longrow distillery. This masterclass is, of course, about the independent bottlers, and…

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 4 – A 30 Year Old Highland Park by G&M

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 4 – A 30 Year Old Highland Park by G&M

Together with the old sherry Glenlossie, this Highland Park was the high point in this very special tasting. Of all independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail have a singular approach to wood management: They bring their own casks to distilleries, and have them filled there. Thus, they are probably the  independent bottler most involved in the…

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 3 – Springbank’s 1967 Barrel of Fruit

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Best of Independent Bottlers: Part 3 – Springbank’s 1967 Barrel of Fruit

The third independent bottler to be examined was the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Founded in 1983 by Phillip “Pip” Hills’ group of friends who shared the cost of buying a cask of Glenfarclas (hence its being distillery number 1) in 1978, creating a growing syndicate of people sharing the cost of the casks. By 1983 membership…

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