Archive for June, 2009

Blackadder Single Malts – New Releases

Federal Wine & Spirits
Blackadder Single Malts

New Releases

“Blackadder’s bottlings tend to sell out immediately. The sort of whiskies Robin Tucek has always sold are now in vogue and where the interest among whisky enthusiasts increasingly lies.” – Whisky Magazine

This week we are getting a new batch of single malts from Blackadder, We’ll have 12 expressions but all in small quantity only mostly12 bottles, but some as few as six bottles, Judging by their rarity and past I feel these will sell out very quickly.

Most bottlings are Raw Cask (Cask Strength,) three at 46%- 45. I have tasted most of these single malts . The quality is fantastic . Some bottlings are from closed distilleries and are hard to find bottlings sought out by whisky fanatics.

Blackadder is a samall, hand-crafted brand little known to the general public but highly prized by malt connoisseurs. The Raw Cask line is as close to tasting single malts direct from the cask. Adding water to these cask strength single malts makes them bloom in aroma and flavor. Then you will really taste the quality and the depth of these whiskies.

Peat Reek 46% $76.99
Aberlour 17 Y.O. 46% $107.99
Auchroisk 18 Y.O. 46% $110.00
Lochranza 11 Y.O. 53.6% $120.00 (Isle Of Arran) 
Isle of Jura 14 Y.O. 55.6% $125.00
Tomatin 17 Y.O. 59.1% $145.00 
Balmenach 17 Y.O. 57.4% $165.00
Linkwood 17 Y.O. 56% $165.00
Mortlach 17 Y.O. 58.4% $175.00
Lochside 26 Y.O. 55.8% $265.00 (Closed Dist.)
Blairfindy 31 Y.O. 43% $275.00
Glenury Royal 34 Y.O. 47.7% $325.00 (Closed Dist.) 

Joe Howell
Please pass this on to friends interested in interesting whisky

Joseph Howell
Federal Wine & Spirits
Phone: (617) 367-8605


Gordon & Macphail Single Malt Scotch Tasting, K&L Hollywood

Whether you’re just getting into whisky or are a connoisseur looking to expand your collection, the Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Scotch Tasting on July 13th is a must. Held at Hollywood’s Blue Palms Brew House from 7-9 p.m., this tasting offers a rare opportunity to try nine different single malts from one of Scotland’s best kept secrets in fine whisky.

And while we have you, mark your calendar for L.A.’s first Spirits Festival next fall at the Renaissance Hotel at Hollywood and Highland. November 14 from 6-10 p.m. Stay tuned for more details…

Gordon & Macphail Single Malt Scotch Tasting, K&L Hollywood: Monday, July 13th 7-9 p.m. ($40.00)

Come join the K&L crew for a very special event at Hollywood’s central stage for spirits tastings: the Blue Palms Brew House. For more than 110 years, Gordon & MacPhail has been carefully selecting, filling, maturing and bottling malt whiskies for your enjoyment, remaining independent and family-owned throughout its long history. Now the proud owners of Benromach Distillery in Forres, the company is also distilling the precious Benromach Spirit again and is bringing this exceptional single Speyside malt – a secret for far too long – to whisky drinkers the world over. This wonderful establishment is still based at its original location in Elgin, and it has become ubiquitous with the world’s finest single malts. G&M nearly single-handedly developed the single malt category by trusting the quality of the distillers when everyone else was blending their malts. Their unique method of buying new whisky and aging and bottling the malt themselves has given u View recent emailed offers on our Email Archive page.

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Springbank 11yo 1997/2009 ‘Madeira Wood’ (55.1%, OB, 9,090 Bts.)

Springbank 11yo 1997/2009 ‘Madeira Wood’ (image reference

Springbank 11yo 1997/2009 ‘Madeira Wood’ (image reference

 A new bottling released by Springbank Distillery at the same time at the 18yo, while many distillers have finished their whiskies in ex Madeira cask Springbank have opted for the entire maturation to be in Madeira wood. The nose is very sweet and rich with a background of tea, mild damp tobacco and a slight rich mustiness. Traces of peat smoke or bandages? The nose is very complex and sweet (as usually is the case when single malts and Madeira wood meet) and pleasant. The taste is strong with the distinctive Springbank flavour (almost like wet cotton) jumping out layered with intense sweetness (fruit cake, mild smoke & apricots). The finish is very sweet at first followed by malt, mild smoke and a creamy mouth feel plus citrus, dryness and oak. The experience is quite long and warming. At the very end you are left with mildly bitter oak and malt.

 Bottled without chill filtration or the addition of caramel


Score 86 Points

Strathisla 48yo 1960/2008 (43%, G&M)


An unusually old bottling from the famed independent bottlers in Elgin, Gordon & MacPhail, an aged Strathisla-Glenlivet. The nose has slight marmite, tinned fruit, cherries, damp leather, honey and jam. The taste is of black pepper, fruit, wet straw, Oxo cubes, tobacco, diesel and oak followed by a very slight hint of cheese, lychee and fruit tarts. The finish is minty intermingled with oak and the resurfacing of the slight hint of cheese. The finish is very long and after a few minutes the predominate characteristic is very dry bitter oak with a mild hint of soap.

Score 82 Points

£143 at the Whisky Exchange

Clynelish 10yo 1996/2006 (59.7%, Dewar Rattray, Cask#8251, Refill Sherry, 577 Bottles)



A single cask release from the independent bottler A. Dewar Rattray of Clynelish 10yo from a refill sherry cask and bottled at cask strength of 59.7%. The nose is sharp with notes of a lumber yard along with sweet fruit (raisins & oranges), malt, sweet peas, alfalfa, leather and vanilla honey. The alcohol is quite strong. With water the ‘green’ notes of sweet peas, alfalfa etcetera are heightened with a back ground of more fruit, jam and citrus. After a few minutes in the glass the fruit notes grow along with the back ground leather notes. The taste is quite strong with malt, fruit and leather, also clover honey arriving late in the taste which is a pleasant surprise and immediately followed by a great delivery of honeyed malt which follows by a reappearance of the green notes. Multi faceted! The taste with water is distinctly more mellow and rounded with a good mouth feel and shades of tobacco and oak. The finish is quite long with a jumble of the afore mentioned characteristics, sweet malt and a pungent dry oak are in evidence. A final appearance by the green malt.


Score 86 Points

Bunnahabhain 31yo 1976/2008 (49.4%, Dewar Rattray, refill sherry butt, C#6223, 529 Bts.)



A. Dewar Rattray, the independent bottler, has released this old individual cask bottling of Bunnahabhain without any tinkering (no chill filtration or adding caramel for color).  A wonderful nose of fragrant delicate oak, sweet sherry wine, Christmas cake, toffee and rich fruit. Very mild tea and dark chocolate. This is by no means a typical Islay nose however it is sensational. The taste is warming with sweet cherries (and also slightly sour), banana, orange, tobacco and a slight hint of leather. The finish is very long with the oak being slightly dominate over the sweet fruit and sherry backed by slightly sour cherries. A distinct absence of any off notes and a great example of a great cask.

529 bottles worldwide, pity.


Score 90 Points

Away Away but Back Soon

WI will be absent for a few days, a few posts featuring tasting notes will pop up, back into the swing of things this coming Friday.


Glenturret 13yo 1993/2006 (56.4%, Dewar Rattray, C#172, 311 Bottles.)


Glenturret Distillery by A. Dewar Rattray, the independent bottlers come another single cask offering from a bourbon cask and bottled at 56.4%. The nose is at first from the fragrant slice of the flavour wheel with varnish and then some un defined sweetness, other wise quite closed. However a slight hint of unhappy funkiness, a bit like wet wool followed by some sourness and very light juniper. With water the nose opens up to reveal cut grass and after a short while brown sugar (Demerara). The taste is oddly fungus like in the beginning and then sweet malt takes over and quite strong with strong leather notes followed by a blue cheese like funk. Later stages of the flavour bring out sweet malt. The finish is very long and warming with leather being the strong flavour until the end. A malt that improves with a great deal of water. After a few minutes the finish changes to green malt.

It was originally scored some what higher however in this tasting session it only scores an 78 but still interesting. Still has ‘elbows’ after 13 years; interesting! Complex, a bit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; an eternal struggle between the funk and the sweet malt.


News from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society


July Outturn Preview
July Outturn isn’t released until Friday 3 July. Be amongst the first to sample its delights with our special preview selection:

35.27 Floating turtles over Lynchburg
Speyside Lossie
£46 inc P&P
“Flavours of honey, golden syrup and strawberries and cream”

93.35 Men wrestling on a pebble beach
£49 inc P&P
“Sweet but masculine with spicy Japanese rice crackers and burnt rope”

July Preview Pair
Buy 35.27 & 93.35 and save £5
£90 inc P&P

Offer Ends: Thu 2 July

Available: Web and telephone (0131 555 2929, Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm)


Whisky twitcher: “one who will travel long distances to seek out the rarest, new single cask malt whiskies before they fly away”. Visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at for details on how to become a member and to have the opportunity to buy their single malts.

Laphroaig 18yo 1990/2008 (55%, Dewar Rattray, ‘Alberta’, C#2244, 265 Bts, 1st Fill Hogs Head)

A single cask bottling from A. Dewar Rattray “Specially selected and bottled for Alberta, Canada; why the Province of Alberta deserves their own cask of Laphroaig has never been explained, however…..the nose is a mild mix of peat smoke and sourness with maritime notes, slight varnish and a very faint mustiness. After a minute or two the sweetness comes out which is more fruity than toffee however the mustiness persists. With water the change is dramatic as coal smoke, seaweed, iodine, varnish and heavy peat smoke, this is a whisky that benefits from the addition of water. The mustiness is gone but there is an ever so slight hint of spent matches. The taste is very strong with lashings of peat smoke, dry oak, and slight pine and citrus. The peat smoke is very much in evidence and is the predominant characteristic. With water it is very sweet at first followed by a more subtle peat smoke but still quite peaty. Peat heads will love this. The finish is very long and consists of peated malt, oak and an ever so slight mouth feel coating. The malt is very chewy & dry; the peat smoke keeps on appearing.

A bit of a peat reek roller coaster. 

In many ways not your typical Laphroaig but a cracker. Score 90 Points 


For more on A. Dewar Rattray

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