Some Fun New Things

We've got some fun new arrivals to add to the whisky shelf today, including the new bargain-priced blended malt from Whyte & Mackay and the two new Bladnoch releases from the most recent regime. If you'll remember, Bladnoch is the former Diageo-owned Lowland distillery that was sold to the Armstrong brothers who promised to turn it into a housing complex (or maybe it was a hotel?). When the bottom fell out of the real estate business, one of the Armstrong brothers and his son decided to reopen the distillery and start making whisky again instead (much to Diageo's chagrin). We did one deal with the Armstrongs back in the day and brought in some Bladnoch single barrels directly, which some of you probably remember. I remember it well because it was a mess. In any case, the Armstrong era has ended and the David Prior era has begun. The Austrailian yogurt tycoon purchased the distillery in 2015 and hired master distiller Ian MacMillan from Bunnahabhain/Tobermory fame to take the reins at the facility. Their two main releases are now available stateside. The Samsara has no age statement, but it's a blend of numerous whiskies, the youngest of which is eight years old, aged in both California red wine casks and ex-Bourbon. Simply put: it's outstanding. It tastes like a richer, creamier version of the Hibiki Harmony with lots of butterscotch and sweet jelly bean fruit. The 15 year old Adela is also outstanding, matured in Oloroso butts and more robust on the palate. 

There's nothing specific to report about the Shackleton release beyond what I stated above, but if you're looking for something delicious and inexpensive, this is a bargain. We all really enjoyed it, especially for the price.

In other exciting news, my friends at Pacific Edge have put together their own blend of white rums to compete with the El Dorado three year at a very attractive sub-$20 price. Made with rums from Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica, it's quite tasty. Then, of course, there's the new American release of the Cadenhead Classic rum, which tastes every bit as good as the Green Label rum we sold a while back when we dug those out of the Preiss warehouse bunker. I'd mark this on your calendar for next week. A blend of number rums of numerous styles from numerous parts of the world, it's quite stunning.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll