While 2020 hasn't been an easy year for any of us (and continues to prove difficult) we've managed to put together what we consider an impressive second retail release for our friends in the UK, Europe, and Rest of the World (mostly Asia!).
Our second retail release for UK/Europe/ROW is a nice mix of young single malt, older single malt, very old grain, and even an old bourbon!
Read on for more details:
Clynelish 9yo, 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead
This cask bottling, distilled in May 2011, spent 9 years maturing in a 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead. It was bottled at cask strength in October 2020 at 60.1% ABV. Cask #800315 yielded 244 bottles.
Color: Reflective white gold
Nose: Reminiscent of the sweetie shops of our youth: candy necklaces, Fruit Salad chews, Flying Saucers, and Drumstick lollipops but there’s also a fruitiness (ripe cantaloupe, green apples) with fresh wood shavings around the edges
Palate: Delightful fresh oak and fresh cracked black pepper at first sip gives way to reveal freshly sliced jalapeños, heather honey, and dried mango followed by a building fruitiness (tinned fruit cocktail syrup) as it transitions towards the finish
Finish: Decent length with lingering fruitiness and echoes of the sweets from the nose and the oak from the palate
On the label: Vibrant and sweet with a fruity thread that runs through the entire experience. The oak and pepper are perfect foils, though, able to keep the sweetness at bay while framing the fruitiness.
Aberfeldy 28yo, Refill Bourbon Hogshead
This cask bottling, distilled in November 1991, spent 28 years maturing in a refill Bourbon Hogshead. It was bottled at cask strength in October 2020 at 42.7% ABV. Cask #7435 yielded 193 bottles.
Color: Reflective gold
Nose: Classic Aberfeldy: Sweet barley cereal notes up front with a lovely creamed sugar quality right alongside it that ultimately gives way to Liquorice All-Sorts, fresh honeycomb and a faint cedar note
Palate: Creamy with more discernible barley cereal, dried cherries, and a distinct herbal component before drying oak frames the rear of the palate as it transitions to the finish
Finish: As the palate dries there’s a pleasant saltiness, dried barley cereal and ground grey pepper
On the label: A classic example of older Aberfeldy. Barley is never far away while sweetness and creaminess lead the drinker from nose to palate to finish. But where does that saltiness at the end come from?
Glen Elgin 10yo, 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead
This cask bottling, distilled in March 2010, spent 10 years maturing in a 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead. It was bottled at cask strength in October 2020 at 61.3% ABV. Cask #801386 yielded 293 bottles.
Color: White gold
Nose: Weighty, earthy, floral, and salty with celery root, ground turmeric, and then a pleasing caramel sweetness
Palate: Rich and oily mouthfeel with a surprisingly pungent smokey saltiness, then hints of unripe pears, warm cereal, and salted dark chocolate
Finish: Pleasingly long finish with lingering salted dark chocolate, baking spices, and a final floral burst
On the label: What an unexpected Glen Elgin! Such heft on the nose, pungency on the palate, and sweetness on the finish. The distillery’s distinct floral note dances around the edges, though. You haven’t experienced this distillery in this way before.
Imperial 24yo, 2nd fill Bourbon Barrel
This cask bottling, distilled in April 1996, spent 24 years maturing in a 2nd fill Bourbon Barrel. It was bottled at cask strength in September 2020 at 54.6% ABV. Cask #3420 yielded 186 bottles.
Color: Reflective gold
Nose: Candy necklaces, rhubarb & custard hard candy, warm honey toast, crushed coriander seeds, used books and wood panelling
Palate: Buttery entry that opens on tinned fruit cocktail and warm oak spice with fresh satsuma slices, pear drops, and apple crumble
Finish: Softly closes on milk chocolate, warm honey toast, and ground pepper
On the label: Candy sweetness and herbaceous minerality on the nose and palate give way to fresh citrus and building oak spice before finishing on honeyed, peppery notes
Invergordon 45yo Single Grain, 1st fill Bourbon Barrel
This cask bottling, distilled in March 1974, spent 45 years maturing in a 1st fill Bourbon Barrel. It was bottled at cask strength in November 2019 at 46.9% ABV. Cask #7844000025 yielded 194 bottles.
Nose: A pleasing nose of vanilla ice cream, stewed peaches and summer berries. After a while a more savoury green tea note drifts in
Palate: Rich and creamy like a scone topped with home-made lemon curd and clotted cream (decadent, we know!). Time on the palate opens up the cereal character with a hint of citrus zest to keep it fresh.
Finish: Well balanced with the oak leaving a lingering sweet oak finish
On the label: Rich and creamy with discernible vanilla ice cream notes and then just a hint of freshly squeezed orange zest. The grain resonates while the oak frames the entire experience.
Undisclosed Bourbon 24yo
This bottling of Bourbon comes from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery. It was distilled in October 1994 and bottled in November 2020. It has spent 12 years maturing in Kentucky before 12 years maturing in Scotland. This release is 300 bottles at 47.4% ABV.
Nose: Initially, and as expected, warm oak right up front. A second nosing, however, reveals *so much* more... Loads of berries such as açai, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranate (yeah, we know, it's not a berry; just berry-like), all drowning in melting vanilla bean ice cream. Acid cigars and blueberry crumb cake with a buttery crust. Lovely. After taking a few sips notes of spun sugar and flan make themselves known.
Palate: Big pepper upfront but the texture is rich and the liquid rolls all along the tongue. Now to pay attention to the flavours: As the spice falls to the wayside, RC Cola and unlit menthol cigarettes appear. The flavours begin to build as notes of new horse saddles, cinnamon toast, and crushed almonds reveal themselves. Thankfully, the oak is additionally subdued by notes of red apples and crushed walnuts.
Finish: Boozy apricots and ginger beer make for a nice, long, satisfying finish