One year ago today, the Kingsbarns distillery was officially opened. In January 2015 they started distilling, and from August 2015 the new make spirit was of the anticipated quality they felt safe to sell small quantities to the public. We were lucky enough to receive a 5cl sample of the distillery to submit to our approval.
Some time ago, we were contacted by Conor Hyde of Hibernia Distillers in Ireland, with the question if he could send us a sample of their 10yo Hyde whisky, and make a little buzz around it. We gladly accepted and not much later, the sample arrived at our front door. Much later, as is to be expected of me, I am making a note. Here we go...
A highland distillery with a peated malt in its portfolio is still quite a rare sight, but more and more distilleries are releasing such malts. A highland distillery specializing in peated malts however, is another thing. Ardmore however is predominantly using (lightly) peated malt for their distillate, and therefore has a portfolio where it is more rare to find an unpeated variant. The Legacy is their entry level malt, which has replaced their Traditional in 2014.
GlenDronach. Known for their (overly) sherried whiskies and many exclusive cask strength bottlings. They have built a huge fan club with these types of whiskies, and many resellers, whisky clubs and festivals jump on the bandwagon to provide their visitors and members with one of these bottlings. I wonder how much time it will take for GlenDronach to run out of new ex-Sherry casks, and will be starting to switch to ex-Bourbon. This might be an interesting development to follow...
St. George's distillery in Roundham, Norfolk, in the midst of England, has a vast selection of malts, as the area is (one of) the largest malt production areas in the world. Combined with the Breckland aquifer beneath the distillery, there was no reason not to built a distillery at this location. They are only distilling since December 2006, but the quality of their products already prove they are here to stay.
On our trip to Speyside is 2014, we landed for a couple of hours at the rather pretty World of Dewars in Aberfeldy, at the distillery with the same name. We had a tour and a tasting, and because I was driving, they agreed for me to sample some of the drams they poured.
From our friend and fellow whisky taster Dave Worthington, we have received this sample of the Inchmurrin 21yo some time ago already. This week, we had a twitter tasting which was presented by Inchmurrin, and we thought it a welcome addition to the already beautiful line-up of the new make spirit, 12yo, 18yo and Madeira Wood Finish.
For some reason, many distillers choose to create a "triple wood" expression and release this for the travel retail market. More often than not, these expressions are a great success, and, lo and behold the Ardmore has recently done so as well. Matured in American oak barrels, quarter casks & puncheons and married together, this expression can only be bought by thirsty travellers.
It is a good thing distilleries can not claim trademark on used cask type, otherwise some distilleries would have had difficulties describing their product. The Ardmore Port Wood, is the latest release of the Ardmore portfolio, and available worldwide from October 2015.
A new addition to the range of the Indian whisky distiller Paul John. This is a heavily peated whisky created from Indian barley and Islay peat. allegedly crafted from barley out of the kilns at the Port Ellen maltings on Islay. I stand corrected.
Strathclyde. A whisky many have never heard of, but most will probably have had some blended in a whisky of the Pernod Ricard range. Now, Douglas Laing have released a range of single grain bottlings, that include one of this distillery, which produces about 40 million litres of spirit per year - most of which disappears in said blended whiskies.