A Few New Arrivals
While I still plan on talking about gin for the rest of the week, I do have a duty to keep everyone up to speed about new arrivals! Let's take a look at what just showed up, including our last cask from the most recent container of Old Particular casks (new container is due in July):
1991 Cambus 25 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Grain Scotch Whisky $79.99 - The final cask from our most recent shipment of Old Particular single casks is this lovely little number from Cambus, one of Diageo's top grain distilleries until it was closed forever in 1993. That means every bottle of Cambus that gets consumed from this point out moves the whisky a step closer to total extinction! This 25 year old single cask, originally distilled in September of 1991, is a glorious example of both Cambus and grain whisky at its most splendid. The nose is a hedonistic wave of butterscotch and vanilla, followed by tropical notes on the palate with plenty of oak spice and syrup. Those who love the banana element that can be found in Bourbon should go gaga for this. It's difficult to believe the whisky is bottled at 62% ABV, mainly because of how rich and wonderful it is. While offering spice and plenty of heft, the power is still masked by the symphony of vanilla and syrup on the finish. For collectors who enjoy drinking whisky made at now-defunct facilities, a bottle of 25 year old Cambus represents quite an affordable luxury at $79.99. For fans of Scotch or even American whiskies who enjoy drinking delicious, cask strength, single barrel expressions, this is a must have.
A la what we've seen with Douglas Laing over the last year, David Stirk, the man behind the Exclusive Malts independent bottlings, has put together a new regional series of 100 proof whiskies meant to highlight the distinct characters of Scotland's regional styles. Unlike the Laing editions, however, these are all single cask expressions. All are bottled at 100 proof, as well. They're quite striking and well-priced, to boot. I jumped all over them after tasting through the line-up.
Exclusive Malts "Regional Series" 12 Year Old Single Grain Whiskey $49.99 - This Port Dundas 12 year edition showcases the simple pleasure of great grain whisky with exotic macaroon coconut flavors, rich oak, barrel spice, and plenty of punch from the higher proof. It drinks like a bolder and rounder version of the Nikka Coffey grain for a better price.
Exclusive Malts "Regional Series" 8 Year Old Peated Highland Single Malt Whiskey $49.99 - This 8 year old peated Ardmore showcases the difference between Island peat and Highland peat, with a lighter, fruitier smoke influence that tastes more like a campfire than a the medicinal phenols of Islay. Lovely richness and creaminess accent the finish.
Exclusive Malts "Regional Series" 8 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whiskey $49.99 - This 8 year old Glentauchers is a chewy and unctuous sherry-aged delight with an extra kick from the 100 proof ABV.
Exclusive Malts "Regional Series" Islay Single Malt Whiskey $49.99 - While not labeled as such, this is an all-Laphroaig bottling that drinks like a softer, more lush version of the standard 10 year, albeit at a higher proof.
While normally I'm not excited by new distilleries selling whiskey from other distilleries, this little Irish number really jumped out at me. Much like the Jameson Cooper's Croze and the Midleton "Dair Ghaelich," there's a heavy amount of exotic oak spice in this whiskey, which leads me again to the realization that you can't judge a whiskey solely by where it was made. You must taste each one, as the specs will never tell the entire story. This is delicious!
Tipperary "Watershed" Irish Single Malt Whiskey $64.99 - Tipperary is a new Irish distillery making whiskey from their own barley, grown on Ballindoney farm in County Tipperary. As the production is still underway, the group searched Ireland for a mature whiskey which would reflect the style of the spirit they eventually wanted to make in Tipperary, The "Watershed," sourced partially from West Cork distillery, is an extremely striking Irish single malt with a strong oak influence, heavy with exotic spices and richness. Try this for a bolder, more mouthcoating style of Irish whiskey.