Sometimes a musician won't be appreciated until long after their career is over. Often, a film or television show won't catch on until it's been released on DVD (or Netflix instant like Arrested Development). In the case of whisky, one of our completely overlooked casks from last year has recently caught on with some of our single malt customers and it's making me very happy. Dave Smith from St. George Distillery texted me earlier this week, "Holy S%&! that bottle of Dailuaine is amazing!" Of course it is! Then, just a day later, another customer emailed and told me how that bottle made his entire weekend. We ended up selling seven bottles in a week to people who were only now getting around to drinking this whisky, and the reviews kept piling up. I mentioned this to a customer in the store, he bought one, emailed me that night, and was head over heels for the 27 year old malt. Why now, I wondered?
Maybe it was because with all the hype and great reviews surrounding the Ladyburn, Brora, Bladnoch, and Glendronach, no really wanted to throw down an extra $130 for an unknown Diageo blending component. Maybe it's just that we're almost out of everything else, so by process of elimination it finally got its chance. I'm hoping that happens with the 1998 Springbank Madeira cask as well, which to me was perhaps my favorite whisky from last year's stash. I don't think it was the best malt we bought, but to me it's a unique snapshot as to what makes that distillery so special. Lately, the smoke seems to be taking a larger role in the profile, adding another great peated option for people who don't want the intensity of Islay. There's been a lack of sherry-aged, peated whisky as of late, so this might scratch that itch for some people. In any case, I feel good right now because I've learned that not every barrel we purchase needs to take off right upon arrival. It might take six months, or it may take over a year, but eventually the word will get out.
It's always fun when you discover something wonderful when you didn't expect to. I'm glad we're able to do that with booze from time to time.