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WHISKY NEWS – September 2020

BENRIACH, new CORE RANGE

Time for renovations and novelties in the house of Benriach, which at the end of the year – Covid permitting – should also inaugurate its first visitor center. Rachel Barrie, the master blender, was responsible for refreshing (and tidying up!) the multi-colored and multi-faceted core range of the Speyside distillery, while the marketing team studied a sober restyling of the packaging, which refers to the 1994 edition of the Original Ten.
The new core range will therefore be composed of:
The Original Ten (bourbon barrels,sherry casks and virgin oak, 43%);
The Smoky Ten (43%);
The Original Twelve (sherry casks, bourbon barrels and port casks, 46%);
The Smoky Twelve (46%);
The Twenty One (bourbon barrels, sherry casks, virgin oak and Bordeaux, 46%);
The Twenty Five (partially peated malt, sherry casks, bourbon barrels, virgin oak and Madeira, 46%);
The Thirty (sherry casks, bourbon barrels, virgin oak and Porto from Douro Valley, 46%). 

To these expressions are added the three dedicated to Travel Retail: the 10 year old Triple Distilled, the Quarter Cask and the Smoky Quarter cask.

compass box: hedonism felicitas blended grain

The always brilliant blending house celebrates its twentieth birthday with another Limited Edition that pays tribute to “Hedonism”, its most successful whisky.
It is a blended of grain from three different distilleries and three different decades: Port Dundas in sherry from 2001, North British in recharred American oak casks from the ’90s and Strathclyde in first fill bourbon barrels from the ’80s. The result, as thought by James Saxon, is a release of 2228 bottles that are already auctioned at twice the initial price of 175 pounds.

WILSON & MORGAN, NOT ONLY LEDAIG 12 YO CASK STRENGTH…

The bottling plants of Wilson & Morgan, the historic brand owned by the Treviso-based Rossi & Rossi group, are back in business. Fresh winner of a gold medal at the Malt Maniacs Awards with his 2019 Macduff UK proof, Fabio Rossi is ready to launch the new autumn collection. The first spoilers speak of a heavily peated Bunnahabhain (of which other expressions were appreciated at the last Milano Whisky Festival) and two very different Caol Ila (one matured also in virgin oak casks, the other a 21 years old in Oloroso). And then Ben Nevis, Linkwood and Glen Moray, although the details are not yet known.
They are known instead for the Ledaig 12 yo cask strength, aged in second fill bourbon casks. Distilled in 2008 and bottled at 57.4%, it seems to be smoother and less wild than the style of the distillery from Isle of Mull.

ARDBEG TRAIGH BHAN 19 YO BATCH 2

Against the trend of distilleries that in this difficult 2020 have pulled the handbrake, Ardbeg continues to launch new expressions. After the 5 yo Wee Beastie and the usual limited edition for Ardbeg Day (the not so unforgettable Blaaack), comes the second batch of the Traigh Bhan, the 19 years of the house.
The first batch was released in 2019 and distributed only in the Ardbeg Embassy, among other things in very risky quantities. The second batch – again bottled at 46.2% – will probably be just as hard to find. The official tasting notes speak of a softer profile (we’re still talking about Ardbeg, eh…), given the higher percentage of ex-bourbon barrels used.

BALVENIE FIFTY: MARRIAGE 0614

The third and last batch of the “Marriage” series created by the Speyside distillery bears the name-number “0614”. A blend of seven barrels (5 American oak and 2 European oak) created by Malt Master Devid C. Stewart and coming after “0962”, released in 2018, and “0197”, released in 2019. Each of the 148 bottles (46%, unfiltered and without dyes) will be on sale at $40,500. A poor man’s stuff, perfect to mix with a coke while on your private jet back to the Bahamas for a little vacation, exhausted by too much cash.

ABERFELDY 18 YO PAUILLAC WINE FINISH

With the exception of a limited release in 2014 exclusively for Travel Retail and a single cask from the “Chris Anderson casks” series, the Highlands distillery was missing an official 18-year-old. Aberfeldy now makes up for this with a limited (as always) edition: 18 years in first fill, refill and re-charred bourbon casks, with a 4-5 month finish in barrels that contained Bordeaux red wine, namely Pauillac. Bottled at 43%, it will be on sale for 95 pounds, initially only online and in the distillery shop.

WATT WHISKY, FIRST RELEASE

Mark Watt, already legendary general manager of Cadenhead’s, chose to run alone, and with his wife Kate created the Campbeltown Whisky Company, launching his independent bottling label “Watt whisky”.
The first series is finally on its way, and will include:
Mannochmore 12 yo (two hogsheads with a brandy butt finish, 54.8%);
A Highland distillery 10 yo (58.4%);
Caol Ila 11 yo (57.4%);
Blended malt 19 yo (44.9%).

SPRINGBANK 21 YO & LONGROW 18 YO

Soon to arrive in Italy, two of the medium-high end bottlings of the historic distillery of Campbeltown, proudly independent and with that ‘problem’ of pursuing craftsmanship at any cost: we start from Springbank 21, very dark this year, mix of barrels ex-Bourbon and Rum (30% and 30%), ex-Sherry (25%) and ex-Porto (15%). Also Longrow 18, peaty version of Springbank malt, has a variegated composition of barrels: 55% Sherry, 25% Bourbon and 20% Rum. Both at 46%, not reduced and un chill-filtered.

GLENGOYNE RESTYLING ECOSOSTENIBILE E DUE NOVITà

Times of ecological commitment all over the world, therefore also in green Scotland. And the theme of eco-sustainability is particularly dear to Glengoyne, which becomes totally recyclable. So both plastic and metal disappear from the packaging, and almost all materials will come exclusively from Scotland.
In addition to the environment, the focus is also on restyling, with a new illustration of the goose symbol of the distillery and reminders of the passing of time.
In addition, two new releases are coming soon:
Legacy series: Chapter two (first fill bourbon & refill sherry, 48%);
Glengoyne Cask Strength batch 008 (59.2%).

Signatory Vintage, quattro IMBOTTIGLIAMENTI ESCLUSIVI

Signatory, independent bottler for years linked to the legendary website The Whisky Exchange, has presented three exclusive releases, for the Un-Chillfiltered series:
Mortlach 2008 (bourbon barrel, 177 bottles, 74 punds);
Glenlivet 2007 (sherry cask, 625 bottles, 65.3%, 100 punds);
Longmorn 2002 (bourbon cask, 229 bottles, 56.2%, 135 pounds).

A sherry monster – still in the Un-Chillfiltered range – was made exclusively for The Whisky Barrel: it’s an Edradour 2010 (first fill sherry butt, 333 bottles, 46%, 70 euro).

whiskysponge, dalmore e jura 1991

Two new independent bottlings arrive from Signatory’s spacious and amazing warehouses, in the charming Pitlochry on the edge of Cairgorm National Park – this time the bottling’s made by the ironic brand Whiskysponge (Angus Macraild, blogger and whisky writer) in collaboration with Copper Monument. Although ironic is to say little, given the hilarious labels that portray as a comic Richard Paterson, the most famous nose and mustache of the White & Mackay group and the whole Scotch.
Here are the whiskies that become part of the “Patersponge collection”:
Dalmore 1991 (29 yo, refill bourbon barrel, 49.4%);
Jura 1991 (29 yo, refill barrel, 52%).

MACKMYRA JAKTLYCKA

From the always experimental and creative Swedish distillery of Mackmyra comes an “autumn” whisky that celebrates the local undergrowth, since the whisky is matured mainly in former “berry wine” barrels of blueberries and cranberries. The unpronounceable Jaktlycka (the name means “good hunting”) is based on a recipe that combines Swedish and American oak barrels, contains a portion of peaty malt and is bottled at 46.1%. Price: 59.90 pounds.

GLENCADAM RESERVA ANDALUCIA

That up there in the land of Scotch have an atavistic passion for Spain and the prince region of sherry is well known. But it is only fair to point this out from time to time. For example, with a special edition of Glencadam. Master distiller Robert Fleming created it by choosing barrels of sherry and bourbon which then – after blending – underwent a second maturation in Andalusian Oloroso barrels.
This NAS, bottled as a tradition of the distillery at 46%, will be on sale in Italy at 40 euros.

“WHISKYSAURUS REX”, ARDMORE 11 YO for atlas company

A peated dinosaur wanders among the tortellini, in the whisky paradise of Bologna. Here comes (available at 70 euro on atlascompany.it) the third bottling of Atlas, the whisky & rumteca of Valsamoggia by Lorenzo Lutti. An 11-year-old Ardmore single cask, aged in a former Laphroaig barrel, at 54.1%, without filtration or colouring. 116 bottles produced.

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