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Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th of July to our friends in the United States of America!

HAPPY CANADA DAY! July 1st, 2021

HAPPY CANADA DAY, eh?

And…….finally…….

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HAPPY EASTER!

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Merry Christmas from Whisky Intelligence!

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Remembrance Day: Lest we forget

Compass Box ~ Speaking out against racism

I’d like to start with something plain and simple: We are, and always have been, against racism.

And while some would have wanted us to speak sooner on the action we are taking, we believe that a considered, informed response is far more valuable than a knee-jerk reaction.

After listening long and hard to those with a deep understanding and often first-hand experience of racial injustice, and after being inspired to study, think and discuss this situation as a team, we are acting.

We have agreed on a course of immediate action, including setting up a strong HR policy focused on anti-discrimination. This is one of five new principles that will guide us going forward. I believe businesses today have an important role to play in the fight for a just society, and we will take that responsibility even more seriously.

You are welcome to read our plans in full, but we wanted to highlight here another new principle that has become even more vital in recent days – we will encourage people to use the power of their vote to spark change.

Every voice deserves to be heard. Yet, especially as we have seen this week, even that most fundamental of rights is not universal. This must change. Those who can vote, must. And we all need to speak up for those whose voices are stifled.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. To find out more about our plans, please get in touch with me directly at:
john.glaser@compassboxwhisky.com

The team and I really want to know what you think.

John Glaser
Company Founder

“Twenty Five years is an age” by Paul Mclean of MCLEANSCOTLAND Guided Whisky Tours

Twenty Five years is an age

Seeing in 2022 MCLEANSCOTLAND will be welcoming 25 years in the tourism business, the last decade and a bit in the whisky tourism. Looking back, I didnee aim to be a whisky tour operator, I envisaged bringing people to Scotland, to see what a fantastic country it is, all its’ castles, lochs and glens, palaces and peoples, our culture and eventually a drop of whisky to celebrate the trip.  Many years ago it all changed in favour of whisky tourism and ever since, whisky has been my life – sad but true!  Thinking on this, I came up with a wee list of what can be available in the 25 year old bracket … here we go;

Laphroaig 25 Year Old The Bessie Williamson Story – honours the first female distillery manager to own and run a Scotch whisky distillery in the 20th century (all you folks now screaming Cardhu! Read on). Williamson accepted a summer job at Laphroaig in 1932, working under owner Ian Hunter. Following Hunter’s stroke in 1938, she took over responsibility for US distribution. She is thought to have been among the first to anticipate the coming trend for single malt Scotch and is credited with positioning the Laphroaig whiskies for the American market. John Campbell, Laphroaig distillery manager, said: “Laphroaig is a globally recognised whisky thanks to Bessie”. It is well documented that Bessie was universally loved and respected by her colleagues at Laphroaig and the people of Islay. The 43% ABV expression has been aged in refill American oak hogsheads and refill barrels, resulting in a whisky with “lingering warmth and unmistakable character”.  The whisky comes with a book that details the story of Williamson’s legacy, along with tasting notes and a message from Campbell, available exclusively in global travel retail for an RRP of £700 (US$861). Laphroaig is owned by Beam Suntory. I would love this dram, Liz would probably leave the room!

OK, THE IAN HUNTER STORY BOOK ONE: UNIQUE CHARACTER – John Campbell, Distillery Manager LAPHROAIG 30 YEAR OLD A series to celebrate the legacy of Ian Hunter, the last man of the Johnston family to own and manage this iconic distillery, between 1908 and 1944. I know Ian Hunter, but he was a lead man in Mott The Hoople!

Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old  Only 1,600 bottles of Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old will be released through specialist retailers, priced at £150 (US$187) per bottle. The whisky was mostly matured in ex-Bourbon barrels, and has been bottled at 46.8% ABV without caramel colouring or chill filtration. Cara Laing, director of whisky at Douglas Laing, said: “Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old is a beautifully balanced marriage of single malts distilled in the Scottish Highlands. This expression carried the trademark Timorous Beastie vanilla and honey style – as a result of being matured predominantly in ex-Bourbon casks – as well as an orange tang and sweet spiciness, perfect for autumn evenings.” Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old is priced at RRP £90 (US$112).

Royal Salute unveils new 25 Years Old  Pernod Ricard has unveiled the latest addition to its Royal Salute range — a 25 Years Old whisky, The Treasured Blend, exclusively for duty-free stores and available from November 2019. It is the first 25-years-old expression in the Royal Salute portfolio and The Treasured Blend has been created by master blender Sandy Hyslop. The Royal Salute Treasured Blend is contained within the iconic porcelain flagons the brand is famous for and embellished with a gold detailing and sapphire jewelled stopper. Each flagon is numbered. Royal Salute 25 Years Old is available exclusively in GTR from November 2019 for a RRP of US$260.

Bruichladdich Black Art 7.1: the casks were selected from 1994 were matured for 25 years. It was the year when Bruichladdich was closed, so this whisky is a witness of the last months the distillery’s production before it was mothballed and waited for its revival in 2001. Head Distiller Adam Hannett chose casks for the Black Art 07.1 – a bit of mystery has to be kept for a Black Art bottling. What we know is the number of bottles this release it limited to: 12,000 bottles are available of the Bruichladdich Black Art 7.1. The new Bruichladdich was bottled uncoloured and un-chillfiltered at 48.4% ABV.

What is possible, very possible;  Tullibardine 25 Year Old 70cl / 43% Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Distillery Bottling. A stunning aged dram from Tullibardine, the top of their relaunched 2013 range. Honey, spice and fruit packed in with cream toasted oak. £122 ish, can you beat that?

Glen Moray 25 Year Old 1988 Port Cask Finish (70cl, 43%) £159.95   A 1988 vintage, 25 year old Glen Moray single malt, which has been treated to a Port cask finish before bottling. Comes with a handsome presentation box and a scroll. Aye, we do have one of these beauties in the cupboard!

Well, hopefully something there for everyone, will we be getting them all? Easy – no.  But looking around on our travels for something that will make us happy, who knows, it may even be a Lidl or Aldi bottle!  There are many 25 year olds out there, this has just been a sample smattering of what you could get – if lucky. You may notice an obvious bottle missing? We have no time for the hellishly over-priced and over-loved Macallan, sorry Edrington, until your prices get real, we shall no bother with your drams. We will also be celebrating by selecting our own 25 year old dram, an exclusive for friends, family and travel guests to enjoy as we bottle this for exclusive drinking – we might even make this a superb 25 year old, 25 bottles only! Currently working on this with industry contacts.

“The Irish who got away – or, never heard of” by Paul Mclean of MCLEANSCOTLAND Guided Whisky Tours

The Irish who got away – or, never heard of

The escapee Irish, the divels in the pack, how did they escape? With family over there in the Emerald Isle, I do visit as often as possible, all parts of Hibernia get a calling, from the Republic in the south to the six counties in the north – so many new places to visit these days. I must get a small group together with pal Mark driving (so I can drink) and get a tour started. Lickin ma lips, I wrote this …

Dungourney 1964 Pot Still is from the Old Midleton Distillery, distilled in 1964 and bottled in 1994, this 30 Year-Old is a limited edition pot still whiskey. It is named Dungourney, after the river that had fed the old distillery. In 1994, the Master Distiller, Barry Crockett – any relation to davey? –  made a rare discovery when making his rounds of casks at the Old Midleton Distillery (in warehouse number 11 ) where his father, Max Crockett, had been Master Distiller. It was a cask not identified on his stock charts. The cask had been laid down 30 years earlier, in 1964, and had escaped enumeration on the commissioning of the new distillery and thus we have Dungourney 1964 Pot Still Whiskey. Some sources say there was just one cask but given that this has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and the production run was more than 1200 bottles then there were more likely 3 or more barrels – who really knows, eh Barry.

Coleraine 34 year old Irish Single Malt a very rare Irish Single Malt produced from the closed Coleraine Distillery. The distillery itself was converted from a manorial mill and started producing malt whisky in 1825. The distillery ceased production in 1964 and was completely shut down in 1972. This whisky was distilled in 1959 and matured for 34 years and bottled in 1993 from a single cask at cask strength. A limited edition of only 400 bottles. I last saw this at €4,000, does anyone care to share a sample with me?

Jameson Pre Prohibition, is a Jameson Pure Old Pot Still produced by the Old Jameson Distillery in Bow Street, Dublin. The bottle dates back to 1915, a pre Prohibition Whiskey that has made its way back onto the Irish Market. My question is, how? Where is it? How much is it? Does anyone know anything about it? paul@mcleanscotland.com

Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey This is a new release from the Connacht Whiskey Distillery which has been carefully blended. This is a 4 year old grain whiskey with a port finish at 43%.  Ballyhoo is light in colour with a gentle sweet vanilla and almond nose, finishing with a spicy kick. It’s a limited edition and one I cannee find!

Burke’s 14 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask. A first release from the (Mr Teeling) Great Northern Distillery, whiskey that was distilled elsewhere 14 years ago – who knows where? This is a single cask release and very limited in numbers. Bottled at 59% and currently exclusive to the Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dublin, any comments? Jack Teeling himself. “Now that we’re in production, our core role in Irish whiskey is innovation,” he says. “Now we can have fun.” I have been there on a visit, met the famous man himself and enjoyed my stay – family are doon the road

Ciaran Mulgrew the founder of The Quiet Man. You may be wondering where that name comes from. His father, John Mulgrew, spent 50 years working as a barman in the pubs of Belfast. I have been chattin to Ciaran many years now, his da, he said “He had this quiet way about him which people seemed to respect”. So when Ciaran started making whiskey years later, there was only one person to name it after: John Mulgrew, The Quiet Man, or in Irish, ‘An Fear Ciuin’. To this day The Quiet Man remains Irish owned and operated, and proudly independent, it’s no hard to get hold of, but I wanted to add it to my list, mentioned this to Liz, “never seen or heard of it” was her answer to my “you must have seen the film”, och well. It’s to be found in Derry, aye; Derry Mark!

The Lakes Distillery – very reserved by Paul Mclean of Whisky Tours ~ Mclean Scotland

The Lakes Distillery – very reserved

Dhavall Gandhi is their whisky maker, “The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1” by the way is an artistic exploration of maturation and blending; of flavour evolution and defining a sherry-led house style. We were lucky, we had samples for our delicate taste buds sent to us from the kind folks at the distillery. I was just about to smack this round my gums, when I thought of an alternative; I had guests on tour with me, all the way from California, why not ask them to try it and give me their thoughts … this is what we did. So what did our guests think?

Veronica and Bob fae San Francisco ; strong and delicious, would sell well in USA, sherry/wine taste, they both thought it was wonderful, Bob with a drop of water, veronica neat. This dram was powerful; illegal in Norway @ 60.6% a stunner, I really liked it, saying something from me for a below the border dram. A single malt, full bodied matured in PX and red wine casks American, French and Spanish oaks, non chilled, like Highway Star; Deep Purple – a long finish!

To add to the blog … The Lakes Distillery celebrates their first single malt selling out, by releasing The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.2.

Following the sale of all 5,992 individually numbered bottles of their first widely available single malt whisky in just five weeks, The Lakes Distillery has unveiled the second release in The Whisky maker’s Reserve series.The Whisky maker’s Reserve No.2 has evolved in keeping with The Lakes’ increasing sherry-cask influence. Without an age statement, The Whisky maker’s Reserve No.2 is a new, intense and robust single malt, bottled at cask strength – 60.9% ABV – and matured in the finest, meticulously sourced PX, red wine and bourbon casks. With only 4,788 bottles available in the UK, the nose is rich and complex with dry fruits and treacle, creamy layers of wood spice, comforting vanilla on the palate, and a long and luxurious finish. Non-chill filtered for a richer mouthfeel and fuller flavour, each bottle uses only the natural colours derived from the oak casks. Released on the 17th October, The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.2 has a suggested retail price of £65 and can be bought from www.LakesDistillery.com where you can also discover more about The Lakes’ holistic approach to whisky-making.

WHEN ONE BECOMES THREE

The One Signature Blend is a new blended whisky from The Lakes Distillery. The last time I was doon there was a few years back now, with Liz on a day trip with an overnight, we don’t venture doon into Saxon land too often. This signature expression has The Lakes Single Malt at its heart, together with select Scotch grain and malt whiskies from the Highlands, Speyside and Islay.  A complex and balanced whisky with hints of stone fruit, light spice and honey-roasted nuts (not I might add Nobby’s Nuts). Bottled at 46.6% ABV, it is non-chill filtered with natural colours derived from the oak casks. Released on Monday 30th September, the recommended retail price is £39 and it can be bought from www.LakesDistillery.com. Where do you find this distillery?  Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick, in The English Lake District, it currently attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. Twice named ‘one of eight distilleries to visit before you die’ by the World Whisky Day campaign, the visitor centre, bistro and tour holds the Visit England’s Gold accolade and was voted the Icons of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year 2019 by Whisky magazine. Well, we would suggest making your own mind up there, everyone who reads my blogs will know, my thoughts on awards.


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