Remember these guys? The brain child of Bruichladdich's Jim McEwan, these lovely, wine cask-enhanced single malts are back for the new year. I just retasted these yesterday and got some fantastic new pricing on a couple of new selections as well. The following bottles should be available by later this afternoon.
1999 Bowmore 11 Year Old Yquem Cask Single Malt Whisky $59.99 - Bowmore always seems to marry well with whatever Jim McEwan uses for a cask (maybe because he was the distiller there for decades and he understands these whiskies better). Chewy raisins with smoke, then peaches with marzipan, tasty sweet wood on the finish but it never gets too sweet. Very well made and quite different than the last Yquem aged version.
2002 Bowmore 8 Year Old Latour Cask Single Malt Whisky $49.99 - This is quite an oddball in the line up of 2011 releases from Murray McDavid. The whisky has quite a spicy entry and is very dry, almost like sandlewood, all the way across the tongue. Some bitter fruits lead into a big smoky finish with bright red cherries lingering at the end. Amazingly different from the way it begins - a monsterously intense entry leads into a juice box finish! If you ever felt like single malts were getting too boring, this is the type of malt you need to be drinking.
1999 Laphroaig 11 Year Old Lafite Cask Single Malt Whisky $69.99 - Getting something new and interesting from Laphroaig is always exciting, but this Bordeaux-enhanced expression is actually quite restrained. The lively peat and smoke the distillery is known for is more than present, but it's tempered by the wine. The fruit and the earth from the wine come into play on the mid-palate and the finish turns savory and chewy. A truly wonderful whisky and a great addition to the Laphroaig canon.
1997 Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old Port Finish Single Malt Whisky $65.99 - A lovely burst of phenolic goodness on the entry leads into a surprisingly balanced palate of red fruit and maritime flavors. This Bunnahabhain never really strays too far to the Islay side, nor does it really get rich from the port. The balance stays right in the middle at all times as the finish displays stewed cherries and an oily, resiny hint of earth. Complex and difficult to pin down if you're trying to take tasting notes!