New Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

1998 Inchgower 22 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $109.99 View

A Diageo blending workhorse, Inchgower is a principal component (along with Blair Athol) of the Bell’s blend which we sadly don’t see here in the United States. Due to a cloudy wort and a slightly unusual middle cut that runs from 70% all the way down to 55% in the spirits run Inchgower tends towards the fuller spicier side of things and away from the high toned fruits found early in the spirits run. Couple that with 22 years in a refill sherry butt and we’ve got a decadent spicy whisky on our hands with the mellowness of long aging. A wonderful combination and a screaming deal at just over a hundred bucks.

1997 Hector Macbeth (Glenfiddich) 23 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $129.99 View

We’ve had a consistent run of excellent casks under the Hector Macbeth brand over the last few years. This lot of ’97 teaspooned hogsheads from the Glenfiddich distillery have been consistently exceptional. Many people loved last years expression which had spent over three years in an old sherry barrel, but others missed the purity and malty complexity of the unadulterated Wardhead that we’d bottled each of the previous two campaigns. Those whiskies, sold to our bottler under the Wardhead brand, were all distilled in February of 1997 and declassified by the distiller to be sold off to blenders. The Scotch industry is full of these unusual quirks and part of the industry’s charm arm the complicated relationships between various distillers, blenders and bottlers. In the end, even a great brand like Glenfiddich, the world’s best selling single malt, needs occasionally to generate cash flow in the moment. That’s why they’re willing to sell off tankers of their prized spirit under a different name, but we don’t really care what it’s called or that it’s listed as Blended Malt. All that matters to us is that it’s absolutely delicious. Expect a similar profile to previous casks in this lot, but here with more depth and richness. Expect orchard fruit, sweet malt, honeysuckle and pink peppercorn. Delicious and complex with a vivid delineated fruit that seems to be a hallmark of these gorgeous old ‘Fiddichs.

1992 Plausibly Speyside’s Finest (Glenfarclas) 28 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $159.99 View

The wonderful family-owned distillery in Ballindaloch virtually never sells whisky to the independent bottling market, and on the rare instances they do they are quite careful to cover their legal tracks so their name may not be used on the bottle. When we were offered a parcel of casks from what we believe to be Speyside’s best distillery (subject to debate, yes, but are they near the top of the list – without question) we jumped and bought every single one of them. If you snagged a bottle in 2020 of the similarly named whiskies, this is the remainder of that same parcel. This exceptional whisky is bottled under the Old Malt Cask banner and comes from a refill cask with just enough character to frame the gorgeous 28 year old malt. Flavors dance between northern latitude stone fruit and golden apple, and the more tropical coconut and pineapple realm.

1994 Tomatin 25 Year Old “Hunter Laing Old & Rare” Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival) $249.99 View

Tomatin is a fascinating distillery with a unique history and many incarnations, from starting as a bulk blender and supplier and eventually shifting to a steadfast focus on quality single malt production. From the early 1900s through the mid ’70s, Tomatin grew continuously. They added stills multiple times as demand for their product increased exponentially. By 1975, they were the largest single malt production facility in Scotland. Sadly due to market forces they never operated at their full capacity, and by the mid ’80s the massive bust in the market for Scotch was impossible to ignore. Tomatin was liquidated and became the first of many Scottish distilleries to be purchased by Japanese companies. Today owned by the company known as Takara Shuzo, Tomatin has many bottlings on the market, but it is the choicest single casks that command the most attention. Here we have an incredible single cask of sherry-finished Tomatin 25 Year Old at a natural strength of 49.3% ABV. Expect a great value single malt with tropical and stone fruits in abundance, melded with sherry spice and orange peel dipped in chocolate.

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