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Wednesday
May102017

Classic Scotch, Classic Prices

I picked off two more casks from a recent opportunity to work with Old Malt Cask again because they were from two of my favorite distilleries and the prices were simply too good to beat. I will almost always buy a cask of Benrinnes if it's priced accordingly and 20+ year old Longmorn is simply a thing of beauty that rarely disappoints and almost always over-delivers. While normally I would buy these out of the Signatory warehouse, the direct pricing we're getting via OMC makes the value proposition too good to pass up. Both Benrinnes and Longmorn make classic Highland Scotch and these two specimen are as classic as they come. If you're in the mood for vanilla, creamy malt, sweet grains, tropical fruits, and buttery biscuits, then these are two whiskies for you. Plus, they taste great on the rocks out on the back patio, which is where I'll be drinking them later this evening.

1997 Benrinnes 19 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky $69.99 - There are few things more pleasing to the K&L staff than a new single cask exclusive from Benrinnes distillery, a Johnnie Walker producer that has become the darling of the sales team over the last few years. While typically not sold individually as a single malt whisky, the Highland producer makes one of the fruitiest, friendliest, and easy-to-love profiles in all of Scotland, one that offers a straightforward creaminess and a somewhat decadent finish despite its standard hogshead barrel maturation. The nose is a heavy dollop of toffee and fudge, but the color is a golden straw. There's no sherry influence to this single cask noticeable from the appearance, yet the flavors are rich and heady. The palate offers an initial burst of herbaceous spice, but that quickly oozes into sweet custard, chocolate with nuts, and candied tropical fruit finish with hints of macaroon cookies. The best part about this cask of Benrinnes, however, is its ridiculous price. Our last cask of Benrinnes 20 year from Signatory sold out quickly at $100, yet here we're offering a near 20 year barrel of a similar quality for only $69.99. We can thank the drop in the Pound/Dollar ratio for the extra discount, and our spirits team for passing along that savings to you! Bottled at 100 proof.

1996 Longmorn 20 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky $79.99 - Longmorn is one of the stalwarts of the Scottish Highlands, a distillery that produces one of the most consistent and classically-flavored single malts in the business. Within the industry itself, it's a whisky heralded for its value and its ability to play well with others in a blend. There is only one widely-available officially branded version of Longmorn, which is why we often jump at the chance to snag a mature single cask when available. Known for its rich and creamy texture, flavors of honey and sweet malt, and a buttery, biscuity finish, few single malts showcase such an inherent consistency from barrel to barrel and batch to batch. This particular 20 year old single cask we selected in Scotland last year is a straight-down-the-middle expression of everything we love about Longmorn. The first sip offers sweet malted vanilla, supple oak flavors, and a butterscotch richness that coalesces into two decades worth of smooth, integrated, creamy single malt maturity. At 100 proof, the higher ABV lifts all that viscosity and adds a bit of spice on the back end that helps to balance some of the sweeter notes. This is a classic Highland whisky in the style of Glenmorangie 18, but with the grace and elegance of an Oban 18. The bigger difference here, however, is the fact that the Longmorn is two years older, higher in proof, 30% cheaper, and more intriguing than either of those two whiskies on the whole. You can thank our continued Brexit pricing for the deal! Also at 100 proof.

-David Driscoll