Surprising New Speysides

It's whisky season, folks! We're ten less than ten days away from Thanksgiving and I know a number of you finicky drinkers out there are getting your selections together for the big holiday feast. I've got two new ones for you today that might be of interest, fresh from Scotland's Speyside region. First off, a new single cask of 22 year old Miltonduff; a gristy malt that packs quite the punch.  

Miltonduff 22 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $89.99 - If you're tired of the same sweet vanilla and soft stonefruit profile of your typical Highland malt, I invite you to check out this 22 year old single barrel release from Miltonduff: a Speyside distillery that sees most of its malt go into the Chivas Blended portfolio. At 57.6% ABV cask strength and with a malty, gristy note, this is a robust and heavy whisky that very much tastes like malted barley smells, but with added notes of dark chocolate and cacao that carries over from the malting process. Intermixed with the malt and mocha notes are hints of toasted nuts and new oak with a classic Scotch whisky finish that is again accentuated from the huge proof. Mixed nuts and roasted cocoa flavors are the calling card of Miltonduff and this 22 year old cask offers both of those profiles with a bold and assertive character. It's definitely not your typical gentle, graceful Highland malt. This is big time stuff.

Then there's the new Macallan "Classic Cut" 2017 Limited Edition, a 58.4% ABV distillery release that drinks much like Macallan's version of the Aberlour A'Bunadh: big sherry, big proof. This is dark and unctuous on the finish. Sherry heads will be pleased.

Macallan Classic Cut "2017 Limited Edition" Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky $79.99 - This limited edition Macallan harkens back to an older and much lauded regular release, The Macallan Cask Strength. Adopting the royal crimson colored label -a color made famous by its predecessor - a warning of the impending intensity of this exceptional Highland Single malt whisky. The Macallan Classic Cut is aged exclusively in sherry seasoned oak from Jerez and bottled without the addition of any water prior to bottling. This preserves the extraordinary character of this most exalted of Highland malts. The higher proof adds texture and depth, highlighting the quality sherry and bold malt flavors produced at the Macallan. Like all Macallan single malt, the Classic Cut is bottled without the use of color additives.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll