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“THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS” – IAIN STIRLING INVITES MTV CRIBS TO EXPLORE HIS DREAM SPEYSIDE HOME – Scotch Whisky News

“THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS” – IAIN STIRLING INVITES MTV CRIBS TO EXPLORE HIS DREAM SPEYSIDE HOME

MTV, welcome to our new crib! The Glenlivet and comedian Iain Stirling have released a new episode of the hit show, MTV Cribs – offering an exclusive tour of the Glenlivet’s idyllic new Speyside home. With originality part of the brand’s DNA, it only felt right that the original single malt partnered with MTV to open its doors in the most unexpected way possible. Tapping into the nostalgia trend, the show gives the original property connoisseurs a first look behind the scenes of its ‘neat’ new crib.

Forget fleets of sports cars or entourage packed jacuzzis, The Glenlivet Distillery, a.k.a Iain’s dream crib, is so much more, with the added benefit of producing one of the most loved single malt Scotch whiskies in the world. The Glenlivet’s unique crib features local artisan-built interiors, an interactive barley field, as well as the all important Still Room, where distillation takes place, or as Iain likes to say “sorcery at its finest”. The episode – available to view across MTV and The Glenlivet social media channels – invites viewers to experience the fascinating legacy of the original Speyside single malt. Ever wondered where the magic really happens? Now you can find out for yourself.

From immersive technologies to exclusive bottlings, some may say Iain’s new crib is the dream playground for adults. It wouldn’t be an episode of MTV Cribs without a peek inside the fridge. This is not any old fridge with fancy ravioli and sparkling water, but one filled top-to-bottom with the world renowned Glenlivet Capsule Collection, which took the world by storm in 2019. The unique capsules are now available to try at the distillery as part of ‘The Archive’ tour, which is accompanied by the many other exciting experiences on offer at the Visitor Experience. Who knows, maybe Mariah might pop down and jump in a bath of cocktail capsules sometime soon.

Iain Stirling, Scottish Comedian and Whisky Lover, commented:

“Being a huge fan of whisky meant it was an absolute honour to be given the key to The Glenlivet’s newly refurbished home. It is such a beautiful place, so rich in history and Scottish charm, that I just had to invite MTV Cribs to check it out. From start to finish, the distillery takes you on an adventure into the mystery and intrigue that shrouds the original Speyside single malt. Whether you’re an enthusiast like me or new to the category, The Glenlivet Visitor Centre is a whole new way to experience whisky”

Throughout the episode, Iain uncovers the brand’s unique heritage, all whilst adding his own humorous and contemporary twist – even telling off an MTV crew member for helping himself to a dram of The Glenlivet. Taking cues from the original episodes, Iain even introduces the nation To a few friends along the way, including the oracle of The Glenlivet and Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, who he attempts to catch out in a quick fire round of tricky questions.

After 18 months of extensive renovations following investment from parent company Chivas Brothers, The Glenlivet continues to set the standard in quality and taste that defines Speyside single malt whisky, with the MTV partnership being another example of the Scotch brand bringing the category to life in an original and innovative way.

Speyside’s finest crib is now open to the public, to book tours and tastings, visit www.theglenlivet.com.

SALUTE THE QUINN – RICHARD QUINN CREATES A MODERN FLORAL FANTASY FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SCOTCH WHISKY COLLECTION WITH ROYAL SALUTE

SALUTE THE QUINN – RICHARD QUINN CREATES A MODERN FLORAL FANTASY FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SCOTCH WHISKY COLLECTION WITH ROYAL SALUTE

The inaugural expression of the new collection has been designed in collaboration with rising star in British couture fashion, Richard Quinn. Unveiled during London Fashion Week in September 2021, the 21 Year Old Richard Quinn Edition is inspired by the designer’s unique style of reinterpreting classic flower patterns with a modern and edgy twist. The resulting bespoke and vivid print adorns a limited edition flagon, available in two colourways, perfectly capturing the creative harmony between Royal Salute and Richard Quinn – balancing the beauty and elegance of rose petals with a contemporary edge represented by thorns.

The collaboration between Royal Salute and Richard Quinn is rooted in a shared desire to push their craft beyond expectation. Pushing the boundaries of whisky blending is at the heart of Royal Salute, whilst Richard Quinn’s bold, elegant and emotive style has seen him receive critical acclaim, notably from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, honouring his work with the prestigious ‘Award for British Design’ in 2018.

Speaking on the collaboration, Richard Quinn said: “Being able to spark creatively with Royal Salute has been an amazing experience. Witnessing craftsmanship and innovation within different expertise has always fascinated me, so exploring the world of expertly blended and high-aged whisky for the first time was such a powerful source of inspiration. The collaboration has been a real creative process and I’m thrilled that the expression that resulted from this great partnership encapsulates both of our passions in a truly modern way. I love the thought that my designs for Royal Salute will be collected and treasured for years to come by whisky and fashion lovers around the world.”

With leading expertise in the art of blending, inside the eye-catching flagons is an equally stand-out new 21 Year Old blend, which has been crafted by Royal Salute’s renowned Master Blender Sandy Hyslop who hand-selected more than 31 rare single malts and grain whiskies, and all matured for a minimum of 21 years. The resulting Scotch has a stunning floral and fragrant character, mirroring the design of the flagons, with profound depth and a pleasing structure of oak and spice.

Royal Salute’s impact on the global fashion stage is set to last with a second expression within the Couture Collection, an ultra-limited expression with a stunning new design and blend, cited for release in 2022.

The Royal Salute Couture Collection 21 Year Old Richard Quinn Edition will be released in limited quantities from September 2021, and available at select luxury retailers worldwide at an RPP of $250 USD.

For more information, visit www.royalsalute.com and follow @royalsalute online.

New Master Blender for Johnnie Walker as industry legend retires – Scotch Whisky News

New Master Blender for Johnnie Walker as industry legend retires

Emma Walker succeeds Jim Beveridge OBE becoming the first female Master Blender in the 200-year Johnnie Walker story

Today Johnnie Walker, the world’s best-selling Scotch Whisky1, announces that Dr Emma Walker will take over the reins from Dr Jim Beveridge OBE, who retires at the end of the year after more than 40 years at Diageo, 20 of which as Master Blender.

Emma will be one of a small, select group of people, and the first female, to take on the coveted role of Master Blender in more than two centuries of the business’s existence, the first being founder John Walker.

Aptly named, although no relation to the Walker family, Emma joined Diageo 13 years ago and has gained extensive knowledge and experience of Scotch production and innovation to become a highly respected blender who has worked extensively on Johnnie Walker for the last six years. Her innovations include the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series and Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.

Diageo: Dr Emma Walker joins a small, select group of people, and becomes the first female, to take on the coveted role of Master Blender in the 200-year Johnnie Walker story. Press release being issued by Smarts. Photograph: Mike Wilkinson…20/10/21 Photograph issued courtesy of Diageo. Copyright: Mike Wilkinson. 07768393673 mike@mike-wilkinson.com www.mike-wilkinson.com

The role of Johnnie Walker Master Blender is one of the most coveted in the industry, and Emma will lead the 12-strong team of expert whisky makers in the pursuit of exceptional flavour, crafting and blending whisky from the four corners of Scotland to create the numerous Johnnie Walker variants which are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.

During her career, Emma has worked in different areas of whisky production; gaining experience and understanding of how flavour develops in fermentation, distillation, and maturation, striving to ensure quality at every stage of the process. She has spent several years working with Jim to develop an encyclopaedic understanding and knowledge of whisky.

“I am honoured to take on the title of Master Blender of Johnnie Walker, and at an exciting time for the brand as we embark on the next step of our journey looking ahead to the next 200 years. I love experimenting and innovating with flavour and we’ll be working hard to not only continue to deliver the unrivalled quality that we are renowned for but also introducing blends to appeal to a new generation of Scotch Whisky fans. I have learnt so much over my career working with Jim – whose knowledge and generosity of spirit is unsurpassed in the world of whisky.”

Dr Emma WalkerNew Johnnie Walker Master Blender

The announcement comes as Jim Beveridge retires after a four-decade career in whisky during which time he has been responsible for some of the world’s most popular and acclaimed Scotch whisky blends including Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

His commitment to developing the ultimate whisky flavours began when he started his career with Johnnie Walker as an analytical chemist 42 years ago. He has gone on to establish himself as one of the most highly respected figures in the industry, renowned for his skill and dedication to quality. In 2019, he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to the Scotch Whisky industry.

“It is with pleasure and confidence that I pass on this privilege to Emma. I know she will do a wonderful job as she possesses the knowledge, expertise, and dedication to make an amazing Master Blender. On a personal level I am delighted for her, and I know that her wonderfully infectious personality, that made working with her so enjoyable, will bring something exciting and different to the team and, indeed, to the wider Scotch industry.”

Dr Jim Beveridge OBEJohnnie Walker Master Blender

“It is through Jim’s tireless work, incredible expertise and dedication to quality that the iconic flavours of the Johnnie Walker portfolio are so popular today and we thank him for his outstanding contribution over the last four decades. Emma takes over at an exciting time, Scotch is being enjoyed in so many different ways by people from all over the world and I know that Emma and her team will continue to develop the exceptional tastes, textures and flavours that we are renowned for.”

Julie BramhamGlobal Brand Director for Johnnie Walker

 

1IWSR 2020

Suntory “Hibiki Japanese Harmony” Blended Japanese Whisky – Japanese Whisky News

Suntory “Hibiki Japanese Harmony” Blended Japanese Whisky (750ml)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 The newest blended whisky offering from Hibiki is burnished gold in the glass and has a bold aroma that mixes vanilla, fresh pear and a hint of smoke. The smokiness comes forward at the first sip, wrapping around a core of oak and vanilla custard and finishing long, with a mouthwatering bitter chocolate note. *Best of 2016* (KN) Inner quote mark (3/2016)

90 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Poised and complex, with typically lifted fruitiness: strawberry ice cream, pineapple, peach, balanced by delicate oak, bamboo shoot-like delicacy, then lemon. The palate is more rounded than that very forward nose, with toffee notes adding some weight. A touch of smoke comes along in the mid-palate, before fruits and caramelized coffee biscuits. Water allows the flavors to flood the palate. Exemplary blending skills and classically Hibiki. (DB, Winter 2015) Inner quote mark (12/2015)

Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark You can’t be a Japanese whisky enthusiast without having noticed that there’s a shortage of the stuff. What once was readily available is now hard to find. What once was affordable now costs various bodily limbs. It is due to more than a fad. The best Japanese whisky is remarkable stuff, and none are better than the top single malts from Suntory, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the blended whisky Hibiki. Hibiki comes in 12-, 17- and 21-year-old expressions, but even the youngest of these is now allocated. Harmony, the newest release, carries no age statement, indicating that it contains younger whiskies than other bottlings. Nevertheless, this is a welcome concession, with Suntory’s classic sense of balance, nuance and delicacy. *Best of 2015* (JM) Inner quote mark (11/2015)

K&L Notes

*96 points, Ultimate Spirits Challenge Top 100 of 2020* The newest incarnation of Suntory’s hugely popular Hibiki series, this time without an age statement attached. The same soft, mellow, vanilla-laden flavor is still here, however. It’s a true harmony of pure Hibiki flavor.Outer quote mark

Johnnie Walker launches new Keep Walking campaign to get the world moving again – Scotch Whisky News

Johnnie Walker launches new Keep Walking campaign to get the world moving again

Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky1 wants to inspire people to Keep Walking towards a more positive future with the latest chapter in its iconic global campaign.

The brand’s famous Keep Walking advertising has been inspiring people around the world with a message of progress and positivity for more than 20 years and this latest chapter begins as the world gradually reopens after a difficult 18 months.

Leading the way is a TV and digital ad featuring an energetic and vibrant ‘Anthem’ that seeks to put a spring in people’s step as they head back into the world and socialise with confidence.

The new Anthem is an infectious, feel good mash-up of famous songs all about walking including Run DMC and Aerosmith’s Walk this Way, Loretta Lynn’s version of the iconic These Boots Are Made for Walking and Lou Reed’s 1970s’ classic Walk on the Wild Side.

Alongside the Anthem, Johnnie Walker will unveil epic city takeovers, projecting inspiring quotes from cultural trailblazers, over city skylines and cultural hotspots around the world. The quotes from the likes of Grace Jones, Mark Twain and Ayrton Senna will be seen across New York City, Mexico City, Cape Town, Tokyo and Bangkok amongst others.

For over two centuries Johnnie Walker has been committed to a spirit of progress and moving forward; with this new Keep Walking instalment the brand wants to help inspire people to take their own next step by reflecting the energy, words and thoughts of cultural icons and pioneers who share that spirit.

“Johnnie Walker has always been defiantly optimistic and a beacon of progress – that’s what Keep Walking is all about. Keep Walking is two little words that say so much about positivity, possibility and resilience. After everything we’ve all been through in the past few years, we can’t imagine a time in recent history when those sentiments could be more relevant.”

Julie BramhamJohnnie Walker Global Brand Director

The campaign will also see a series of local partnerships that will drive tangible actions that ‘walk the walk’. In 20+ countries around the world change-makers and artists like DJ Alok (Brazil), CL (Korea) and Alfonso Herrera (Mexico) will join forces with Johnnie Walker to help reinvigorate social spaces like bars, clubs and venues as the world begins to reopen.

The campaign launch comes just weeks after Johnnie Walker opened the doors to its new landmark visitor attraction, Johnnie Walker Princes Street, in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland, giving people a unique and immersive way to experience whisky and socialise together again in the brand’s homeland.

About Johnnie Walker:

Johnnie Walker is the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand1 (IWSR), enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavour and quality above all else.

Today’s range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for over 14 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2020), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world.

Benrinnes 15 Year Old on Sale at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

Benrinnes 15 Year Old

This tasty single malt from the Benrinnes distillery in Speyside is partially triple distilled, a technique used in Irish whiskey and some Lowland or Campbeltown distilleries. But it retains such a rich, full-bodied character! Diageo’s Flora & Fauna series of malts really showcase some whisky gems at affordable prices.

£52.00 £49.99
Buy Now

BENRINNES 15 YEAR OLD DESCRIPTION

This single malt from Benrinnes distillery in Speyside is partially triple distilled, before being aged for 15 years and bottled at 43% abv as part of Diageo’s Flora & Fauna series of malts.

Nose: highland toffee and fresh cut flowers.

Palate: sweet and rich with a touch of peat.

Finish: malted barley and digestive biscuits.

AN ICON RE-BORN: CHIVAS 12 UNVEILS BOLD, CONTEMPORARY NEW LOOK – Scotch Whisky News

AN ICON RE-BORN: CHIVAS 12 UNVEILS BOLD, CONTEMPORARY NEW LOOK

Blended Scotch whisky, Chivas, has unveiled a fresh new look for its flagship blend – the biggest redesign in Chivas’ 112-year history. Chivas 12 – one of the world’s biggest-selling Scotch whiskies – has undergone an extensive redesign of its bottle, label, and pack to usher in a striking new look that blends boldness, modernity, and status while still flexing the luxury and distinguished heritage long associated with Chivas.

Dropping globally from October 2021, the redesign sees the iconic Chivas 12 bottle reshaped and elongated to stand taller and prouder while still retaining its recognisable rounded shoulders. A redesigned crest shines a light on the beating heart of Chivas – the ‘luckenbooth’, a symbol embodying the Chivas values of ambition, generosity and unapologetic success.

The outer box has undergone a complete renewal with a vibrant burgundy replacing the familiar silver and gold tones as the principal colour scheme. The package retains the intricate detailing and textured finish loved by Chivas fans worldwide.

The entire redesign project was conceived with sustainability at its heart as part of parent company Chivas Brothers’ 2025 target of 100% recyclable, reusable, compostable or bio-based packaging. The new bottle is lighter, saving over 1000 tonnes of glass annually, while the outer packaging is now made from fully recyclable materials. The whisky in each bottle remains the same renowned smooth, rich and generous Chivas 12 blend.

The redesign is inspired by the aesthetics of a new, style-conscious generation of Scotch Whisky drinkers who are reforming and re-evaluating what luxury looks like. The sleek, luxe, and sophisticated new Chivas 12 is the first in a series of updates due to take place across the Chivas portfolio over the coming year.

Nick Blacknell, Global Marketing Director at Chivas, commented:

“We’re proud to deliver a redesign that speaks the language of a fresh new generation of Chivas drinkers while bringing established enthusiasts and connoisseurs along for the journey. Social media has introduced a new, broader audience to the wonder of whisky – ‘flex’ consumers with a hustle-first ethos that seek out upmarket brands to align themselves with.

“We have taken a bold, yet meticulous approach with all aspects of this redesign, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing our taller bottle take pride of place behind thousands of bars and clubs around the world. I’m particularly proud of the central role sustainability has played in reconceptualising Chivas 12 for a new generation. With this redesign, we have once again reinforced our belief that sustainable luxury is not an oxymoron.”

The new Chivas 12 will be dropping globally from October 2021, supported by a campaign launching in January 2022 that summons consumers to elevate themselves to new levels of status and hype. For more information, visit www.Chivas.com or follow us on Instagram @ChivasRegal.

Last few – Teaninich 1975 at Bartels Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Teaninich 1975

Last few bottles of this extraordinary malt now ready.

Teaninich 1975 Aged 45 Years

Single Cask Bottling

Bourbon Hogshead

Cask Strength – 49.5%vol

Natural Colour

Highland Region

‘Pure elegance in a glass, wood polish, fudge, candied lemon peels, grapefruit, bourbon hogshead but gives the vibes of old sherry, oxidised to perfection, finish keeps on giving, not really much to say!’ @andrea.dionori IG

Bartels are really excited to announce to release of this extremely rare, low run bottling.  This will be the oldest whisky we have bottled to date.  The cask was found to have a very low fill so we thought it would be a great opportunity for a low run bottling.  As you can imagine 45 years spent in an ex bourbon cask has given this malt a beautiful deep, dark golden colour.  Distilled 27/11/1975 and bottled by ourselves 6/5/2021.  Straight out the cask and into the bottle, nothing added, nothing taken away.   Whiskies like this don’t come around very often, especially independently bottled ones so get yours while you can!  Four and a half decades this whisky has spent in its hogshead and you can really experience all the complexity that comes with that type of ageing in the palate of this whisky.

We are also pleased to bring back the return of our hand made engraved wooden boxes with this bottling.  (Please note the wood type for the boxes may differ slightly from the photos.)

Nose: Delicate aromas of fresh fruits followed by deeper notes of barley, salted caramel and chocolate.

Palate: A complex but extremely well balanced profile with all the maturity of nearly half a centuries worth of ageing.  Some time in the glass will further bring out the sweeter caramel/bourbon notes

Finish: Long and soft.

Bartels Whisky
4 The Old Glebe
Loughborough, Lec LE12 8LB
United Kingdom

The Whisky 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Whisky News

IRELAND

Since 1757, Kilbeggan Distilling Company has crafted a portfolio of beloved Irish whiskeys unlike any other at its two distilleries: Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest continually licensed distillery in Ireland, and Cooley Distillery, established in 1987 and considered a driving force behind the Irish Single Malt evolution.

  • Kilbeggan Original Irish Whiskey (SRP: $24.99) is a classic, boutique Irish Whiskey from the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. All about bringing people together and fostering community, Kilbeggan honors the people of the town that bears its name, whose unwavering dedication and perseverance has kept the distillery alive for more than 260 years.
  • The Tyrconnell 10 Year Madeira Cask, Port Cask and Sherry Cask Finish (SRP: $75 each) are a trio that showcase the versatility of Irish Whiskey. Initially aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels, each spirit spends an additional 6-8 months in casks that have been hand-selected for their ability to further enhance the profile of The Tyrconnell.

SCOTLAND

Made at the first distillery on Islay since 1779, Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky is known as one of the most balanced Islay whiskies, which are often thought to be the smokiest Scotch whiskies in the world.

  • Released earlier this year, the Bowmore Timeless Series showcases two exceptional masterpieces of whisky beautifully crafted and shaped by time. Bowmore Timeless 27 Year Old (SRP: $2,000, introduced worldwide) and Bowmore Timeless 31 Year Old (SRP: $2,100, exclusive to Global Travel Retail). Housed in a distinctive black box with an hourglass timed to three precious minutes – the time it takes to enjoy and savor the nose of this beautifully balanced masterpiece that has taken decades to perfect.
  • With notes of citrus, salt, smoke and vanilla, Bowmore 12 Year Old (SRP: $52) brings out the best in fresh seafood, especially oysters. Together, the Scotch and oysters raise each other’s profile and reveal new flavors on the palate.

JAPAN

For more than three generations, the master blenders at the House of Suntory, the Founding House of Japanese Whisky, have devoted themselves to pursuing the harmony of Japanese nature and craftsmanship to produce the legendary Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki whiskies.

  • Yamazaki® 55 Single Malt Whisky (SRP: $60,000) Bottled in 2020, Yamazaki 55 – the House of Suntory’s oldest release in history – celebrates the “Showa” era of the 1960s that represented a major period of change for the House of Suntory. For each of the 100 bottles purchased in the US, Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 to the White Oak Initiative, benefitting the long-term sustainability of American’s white oak forests.
  • Yamazaki® 25 Single Malt Whisky (SRP: $2,000), one of the world’s greatest whiskies, newly reformulated this year. Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whisky is blended from rare whiskies aged over a quarter of a century in American oak, Spanish oak and Japanese Mizunara oak.

K&L Standard-Bearers: Go-To Staples to Stock Up On – Whisky News

K&L Standard-Bearers: Go-To Staples to Stock Up On

At the heart of it, we want to elevate your spirits experience at every level. While many focus on the unparalleled collectibles that are increasingly tough to find, sometimes the most rewarding purchase can be that everyday bourbon that far over-delivers for a modest price. This is exactly what you’ll find in the K&L favorites below, whether it be our pound-for-pound best value Scotch in Faultline and a Couvreur’s unforgettable “Peaty Overaged.”

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml) $24.99 View

For years, we’d dreamed of creating an inexpensive, delicious, value-driven, yet simultaneously interesting expression of blended Scotch whisky that we could feature under our Faultline label. There were many times when we thought we were close, but either the quality of the whisky or the cost of the barrels proved prohibitive. We didn’t want to make a $25 bottle of whisky just for the sake of it. If we were going to do it, then we were going to it right. Finally, after working on and off with the Laings for a year-long blending process, we hammered out a profile we were happy with. Big smoke, Ardbeg-like peat flavors, and a kiss of sweet grain was our goal and we definitely achieved it in this bottle. Unlike most big brand blends, there are no coloring agents in the Faultline Scotch, just a pale straw-colored liquid that bursts with character and, due to the heavy malt content, finishes with richness and weight. We wanted to make sure that, upon launch, there would be absolutely nothing on the market that could match the quality of flavor, price, beauty of design, and bang for the buck. Now after proving that we could do it, we’ve recreated our original blend. Just like the first batch for $25 you get one helluva bottle of Scotch. Smokier than Johnnie Black, more complex than Chivas, and less expensive than either. Plus, at an assertive 100 proof you can try it in a cocktail, pour it over ice, add in soda water and not worry about it. This is the real deal.

St. George “Baller” Single Malt Whiskey (750ml) (Previously $70) $49.99 View

Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Hugely floral and perfumed on the nose, with rose petals, violet candies, and dried orange peel. This is the Gewürztraminer of American single malts—sweet lychee, laced with sachet aromas that explode as if opening Grandma’s dresser drawer. The palate is more tropical; dried pineapple, canned peach syrup, and spice. This could be polarizing, but it’s utterly captivating and worth a try. (JL, Fall 2017) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

St. George’s new single malt release is described by Master Distiller Lance Winters as a California take on Japanese Malt. Initially aged in used bourbon and French oak barrels for 3-4 years, then finished in St. George Ume plum liqueur barrels. The result is an absolutely unique twist on the American single malt, namely that is was designed specifically to be drunk in highballs—Tokyo style. Of course it is ultra-limited, so grab it while you can.

Doc Swinson’s “Alter Ego” Triple Cask Sherry & Cognac Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $59.99 View

The Doc Swinson Alter Ego is the result of many years of experimentation with cask finishing at the Doc Swinson facility in Washington state. They’ve found the winning recipe with this exceptional product. Using a blend of two straight bourbons distilled at MGPI in Indiana, Doc’s has crafted this deftly balanced bourbon to revival any of the new bourbon brands on the market today. The two bourbons (one a high 21% rye and the other a very high 36% rye masbill) are each aged 5-6 years in new charred American oak before being blended and finished in three specially selected casks types. Using two distinct types of Sherry Butts (PX & Oloroso) and fresh Cognac Puncheons the bourbons are rested for an additional 3 months before being blended and married for another month in Cognac foeders. The Sherry Butts come from Montilla-Moriles Spain where their Sherry Solera Pyramids date back to the 1920’s, on a dry oxidized style Oloroso, the other a rich tangy sweet Pedro Ximinez style. Bottled at an invigorating 94.4 proof this lovely whisky is one of the most drinkable on the shelf today.

Suntory “Hibiki Japanese Harmony” Blended Japanese Whisky (750ml) $74.99 View

91 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The newest blended whisky offering from Hibiki is burnished gold in the glass and has a bold aroma that mixes vanilla, fresh pear and a hint of smoke. The smokiness comes forward at the first sip, wrapping around a core of oak and vanilla custard and finishing long, with a mouthwatering bitter chocolate note. *Best of 2016* (KN) Inner quote mark (3/2016)

90 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Poised and complex, with typically lifted fruitiness: strawberry ice cream, pineapple, peach, balanced by delicate oak, bamboo shoot-like delicacy, then lemon. The palate is more rounded than that very forward nose, with toffee notes adding some weight. A touch of smoke comes along in the mid-palate, before fruits and caramelized coffee biscuits. Water allows the flavors to flood the palate. Exemplary blending skills and classically Hibiki. (DB, Winter 2015) Inner quote mark (12/2015)

Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark You can’t be a Japanese whisky enthusiast without having noticed that there’s a shortage of the stuff. What once was readily available is now hard to find. What once was affordable now costs various bodily limbs. It is due to more than a fad. The best Japanese whisky is remarkable stuff, and none are better than the top single malts from Suntory, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the blended whisky Hibiki. Hibiki comes in 12-, 17- and 21-year-old expressions, but even the youngest of these is now allocated. Harmony, the newest release, carries no age statement, indicating that it contains younger whiskies than other bottlings. Nevertheless, this is a welcome concession, with Suntory’s classic sense of balance, nuance and delicacy. *Best of 2015* (JM) Inner quote mark (11/2015)

K&L Notes

*96 points, Ultimate Spirits Challenge Top 100 of 2020* The newest incarnation of Suntory’s hugely popular Hibiki series, this time without an age statement attached. The same soft, mellow, vanilla-laden flavor is still here, however. It’s a true harmony of pure Hibiki flavor.

Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) $79.99 View

The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special K&L whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-make spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to ensure the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jawdropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it).


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