From independent single malt bottler to distillery owner and distiller, Erik Molenaar is living the dream. His first product (after only three months!) is a gin. From the first moment, it is a gin that can be measured amongst the big ones.
In November 2011, distiller Lisanne Benus of Kalkwijck distillers decided to double distill a batch of malted barley and see where it would go three years later. the 150 bottles the cask delivered eventually was sold out within 24 hours, We were lucky enough to receive a sample of this first batch when we were at the distillery.
Designed for the Global Travel Retail market, so this Port Charlotte is only available next time you take a flight, and not via any other channels. Another heavily peated, Islay worthy whisky, with a full time maturation in French ex-Eau de Vie casks from the Western Cognac region.
Another classic Bruichladdich. With the absence of the popular Ten and the rather young (but fine) NAS Classic editions, Bruichladdich now added an eight year old to their list of Global Travel Retail expressions. Put together from American and European oak eight year old matured spirit matured in the warehouses on Islay, she is a fruity and floral dram, that would not suit ill in our whisky cabinet.
Following the same recipe as their 'normal' dry gin using fresh citrus fruit, Zuidam decided to age the product for a couple of months in new American Oak 200 liter casks. I, for one, am happy they have done so.
In Vroomshoop, in the East of the Netherlands, Kalkwijck distillers produces many traditional Dutch distillates, this jonge jenever being one of them. Crafted with local products, grown from the family's 300 hectares land.
Since 2009 Lisanne Benus distills spirits on her family lands. One of these distillates is the Kalkwijck graanjenever, traditionally distilled from a combination of grains and malts coming from their own lands.
Douglas Laing, one of the well known independent bottlers, have an Old Particular range, where they present single casks of whisky that has reached a certain age at cask strength, which includes single grains...
When we were at the distillery in May 2014, we purchased two bottles of their bottle your own casks. One was an ex-Bourbon, one an ex-Sherry cask, which appeared to be the two soul survivors of the trip, safe a bunch of samples.
I am not overly fond of the Glenrothes whiskies, mostly because most of them tent to give me rather extravagant sulphur notes. Some of the independent bottlers use their own casks, which seem to use an other policy regarding casks, which makes them a lot friendlier on the (my) nose and palate.
Designed for the Swedish market, but somehow, we got hold of a bottle. The anCnoc distillery normally uses a non-peated malt for their whiskies, but they have been experimenting with various levels of peatyness and named the results after various peat-cutting tools.
Inspired by René Magritte's 1929 painting "the Treachery of Images", depicting a pipe with the text "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." (This is Not a Pipe) written below, this beautiful whisky might not be marketed as a Luxury whisky, it most definitely has every aspect of one...
Sweden. Not the country you first think of when talking whisky. This Bärnsten, the fifteenth release in the Moment series of Swedish Mackmyra, was released in a limited release of 1550 bottles. A recipe of smoked barley, matured in a combination on Bordeaux wine casks, Cloudberry wine casks and Swedish oak casks.
The first Wolfburn distillates just turned three, so the most Northern whisky distillery on Scottish mainland is now officially a whisky distillery. This particular spirit was distilled in 2013, has matured in a 2nd fill quarter cask ever since, and was poured to us at the Potstill festival in Amersfoort.