Every home bar owner takes pride in her or his stash. If you’re looking to restock your bar, these are some Scotch whiskeys you must consider.
Glenfiddich Orchard Experiment
Glenfiddich’s Orchard Experiment is “a collaboration between two iconic families, two entrepreneurial minds and two historic spirits” and the fifth release in Glenfiddich Distillery’s Experimental Series. For their latest experiment, Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s malt master, traveled to Somerset in the Southwest of England to meet Matilda Temperley, master distiller of her family’s Somerset Cider Brandy Company. It was here that Brian encountered Somerset Pomona, a blend of apple cider brandy and apple juice, and it started him on an aromatic journey that led to the first-ever single malt Scotch whiskey finished in Somerset Pomona spirit casks. Orchard Experiment has a bright and fruity palate, with notes of crunchy apples, vanilla, oaky spice and caramel that linger in the finish. This whiskey is definitely sounding like a pick-me-up.
Glengoyne Legacy Series: Chapter Three
The Glengoyne distillery recently introduced the third and final single malt expression in its Legacy Series. The Glengoyne Legacy Series: Chapter Three is the story of Sir Arthur John Tedder, an excise officer at the distillery. Sir Tedder was a resident at The Customs House at the Distillery between 1889 and 1893. He is said to have pioneered the distillery’s ‘unhurried’ approach to whiskey making. The whiskey has a rich, fruity flavor profile. It has aromas of creamy vanilla, spicy cinnamon and mixed berry notes, cutting through a base of apple strudel and juicy pears. The finish is light and fruity, with lingering spice.
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 14-Year-Old
It’s still the same whiskey, but Glenmorangie’s classic Scotch whiskey labels just got a major redesign, a rebrand almost for three whiskeys from the distillery’s core range: the 10-year Original, 12-year Lasanta and 14-year Quinta Ruban. The labels are striking, with brighter, bolder colors and massive text, a far cry from the current delicate design and lettering. According to Glenmorangie, “the bold colors of the carton were selected to catch the consumers’ attention and reflect the taste of the three different whiskies. The orange packaging of the Original reflects the orange and peach notes of the liquid, while the red packaging of the La Santa draws on the whiskey’s sunset-like taste and the deep green of the Quinta Ruban denotes the velvety depths of the liquid.” The Quinta Ruban 14-Year-Old is a full-bodied, silky-smooth single malt finished in a Quinta Ruban port cask, creating a rich chocolate flavour. Gentle aromas of Seville oranges and walnut build into rich dark chocolate, sandalwood and spicy pepper. The palate offers notes of mint chocolate, walnuts and orange which develop into Turkish delight and summer flowers. This whiskey is pure poetry.
Set in the Scottish Lowlands, the Bladnoch distillery, which is over 200 hundred years old, has just released an uber-rare 30-year-old single malt. Shuttered in between, the distillery recommenced operations in 2017 and has been on the rise ever since, not least of its achievements being the appointment of master distiller Nick Savage, formerly of The Macallan, as head of operations in 2019. The oldest release from the distillery so far, the whiskey is a limited-edition bottling, consisting of whiskey from just two casks — Oloroso sherry and Moscatel wine. Official tasting notes suggest a lightly floral nose, orange, almonds and marzipan on the palate, and cracked black pepper on the finish. The Bladnoch 30-Year-Old is a small batch release, numbering just 950 bottles. “Our 30yo was designed to showcase the pinnacle of our range with the unique combination of Oloroso and Moscatel casks,” said Savage in a press handout, “This unique cask combination, rarity, and character, will inspire our future whiskey making for many years .” According to the official tasting notes, there are suggestions of dried apricots, floral and nutmeg, with Seville oranges on the nose, almonds and marzipan with Seville oranges on the palate, and a light, floral and fruit finish with a crack of black pepper.
Lochlea Our Barley
From the Lochlea Distillery comes its first core single malt whisky, part of Lochlea’s seasonal limited editions. Interestingly, Lochlea Our Barley uses three types of casks for greater depth of flavour: first-fill bourbon barrels, STR barriques and Oloroso Sherry butts. The use of these casks gives Lochlea Our Barley extra vanilla, caramel, floral and dried fruit notes and the liquid some extra dryness to create a more rounded and deeper taste profile. According to the distiller’s notes, the whiskey has hints of pear syrup, fruit bon-bons, warm cut grass, and marmalade on the nose. On the palate, there’s golden syrup, pepper, rye bread, macadamia nuts, and cream soda. The finish is long with lasting orange beeswax notes.
The Balvenie French Oak 16-Year-Old
The first new whiskey to join Balvenie’s line-up in nearly a decade, the Balvenie French Oak 16-Year-Old is part of The Balvenie’s Cask Finishes Range and is a vibrant single malt finished in casks that previously held Pineau wine from the French Charentes vineyards. This is the first time the distillery has used Pineau French Oak casks in its 130-year history. Pineau des Charentes, or simply Pineau, is a fortified wine made from unfermented grape juice, to which Cognac eau-de-vie is added and then matured. Maturing the whiskey in these casks has resulted in a rich flavor profile. According to the official tasting notes it is beautifully balanced on the nose with light floral notes. On the palate the whiskey has an energizing zing from tangy lemon rind and grapefruit meeting the delicate subtle sweetness of glazed fruits and spice from root ginger. The finish has been described as ‘refreshingly concise’.
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