We are starting to carry a few bottles by a new indy named Duthies that has just made it over the pond to California. The initial offerings are very strong and very moderately priced for what they are. I am excited to see what else we get from them. Right now we are expecting.
Glenrothes 15 Year Old, Duthies, Single Malt Whisky $69.99 - This is an easy, gentle, and very easy drinking Glenrothes. It may be the best independent bottling of it that I have ever tasted. The classic richness is there, but this whisky was aged in oak butts, so that sherry barrel sweetness and dried fruit componant is not present like in the 1991 distillery bottling. This is more classic and balanced, with hints of honey and sweet vanilla. Every flavor and texture is perfectly in balance making it a very fun malt to drink.
Highland Park 17 Year Old, Duthies, Single Malt Whisky $74.99 - This independent bottling aged in oak cask is fatter and thicker than most older Highland Parks and really stands out from the distillery versions. Right off the bat you get sweet cereal notes on the entry followed by a waxy and oily componant that I usually associate with Highland distilleries like Clynelish. A faint hint of smoke comes through on the mid palate, and then the flavors really mold together to finish on a high note. This is very different from other HPs I have tasted and it is a fantastic deal for the money.
Auchentoshan 16 Year Old, Duthies, Single Malt Whisky $69.99 - Soft and delicate, just like the standard triple-distilled offering usually tastes, but with the added complexity of a full 16 years in barrel. For me, 16 is the magic number for whisky aging, and while I'm not normally a super fan of Auchentoschan's Lowland, mild-mannered nature, this is a perfect balance of sweet cereal flavors, hints of heather, and honey. An easy whisky to fall in love with.
Another new indy bottler we are expecting a shipment from is Whiskey Thieves. Their cask strength offerings are very impressive.
Knockando 15 Year Old, Whiskey Thieves, Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $76.99 - Knockando is a Diageo-owned distillery in the Spey that we rarely see distillery bottlings from. This independent offering from Whiskey Thieves is delightful, bottled at cask strength 59.6%. The malt just brims classic malt whisky - balanced levels of richness, sweetness, and power with no flavor profile really making itself too obvious. There are hints of baking spices that begin to open up when a drop of water is added, but this is an old school dram - no barrel enhancements, no peat, no nonsense. Think Bruichladdich 16 or Benriach 18, but at full power! A fantastic value.