The Oak Barrel: Wine, whisky, spirits, craft beer and cider

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  • GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 9 24-Year-Old

    GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 9 24-Year-Old

    Batch 9 of The Grandeur, the peak of GlenDronach’s expressions.

    This edition is a 24-year-old, selected by new Master Blender Rachel Barrie from sherry casks distilled in 1990, 1992 and 1993. Bottled at 48.7%, there were just 1,487 bottles produced, each individually numbered.

    The GlenDronach distillery, located in the highlands east of Speyide, is synonymous with sherry cask maturations and are one of the few distilleries that have delivered consistently brilliant sherried expressions in the past decade.

    Rachel Barrie’s tasting notes:

    “The expression offers a carefully woven tapestry of stone fruit, baked quince and glazed cherries on a bed of sandalwood, roast chestnuts and subtle musk-scented leather. The freshness of oak balsam lifts and lengthens throughout, sustaining the exceptional balance and complexity. With an elegant, deep and perfectly integrated palate, Grandeur combines a myriad of sherry cask tastes in each sip. As time slowly passes, the taste lengthens and deepens towards an elegant dark chocolate mint, raisin and angelica root velvet finish.”

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  • La Violetta Ye-ye Blanc 2017

    La Violetta Ye-ye Blanc 2017

    86% Riesling, 10% Gewürztraminer, 4% Viognier. The riesling at the heart of this blend comes from a vineyard 15 km south-west of Mt Barker. It shows loads of pure floral intensity, a conversation starter with the other varieties that contribute aromatic complexity and textural elements: old vine, dry-grown Gewürz and a splash of Viognier from Perth Hills. Around 15% is fermented in old oak barrels on solids to round out Riesling’s linearity with some lees-derived gloss, giving context to the structural phenolics. After a shaky start, 2017 turned out to be a brilliant year for aromatic whites in Great Southern, with the mild season bringing exceptional fruit intensity, purity and drive to the wines.

    Freshness, balance and aromatic intensity typical of the vintage, with scents of lavender, wet stone and crystalline citrus. The acidity is matched by the depth of fruit, providing a canvas for the complexing textures of mineral phenolics, lees contact and barrel fermentation to disappear within. Fully drinkable this, glass after glass.

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  • Kidoizumi AFS 1976 Sake

    Kidoizumi AFS 1976 Sake

    Aged for more than 40 years, this sake is proof that aged sake can be delicious, to us it almost tastes like a tokay; from a company specialising in aged and unique sake well before most breweries. 
    The palate has a pleasant initial acidity before showing umami, caramel and chocolate flavours; a delightfully savoury and rich sake. 

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  • Tamnavulin Double Cask Single Malt

    Tamnavulin Double Cask Single Malt

    The return of Tamnavulin as a single malt after two decades – this double cask showcases a light spirit with citrus and wood spices.

    Tamnavulin was built in 1966 by Invergordon Distillers and is now under the ownership of Whyte & Mackay. The distillery was closed from 1995 and only re-opened in a major way in 2007, so we ca safely assume the stock for this double cask is from the post 2007-distilations. Prior to this Double Cask there was a 12-year-old expression, but that was discontinued over 20 years ago. There have been independent bottlings, but they are were few and far between.

    The Double Cask is finished in sherry cask, which seems to bring our orange peel and wood spice. Elsewhere there’s honey, ripe banana and sweet malt notes, with a dry finish.

    This expression was released in the UK exclusively in 2016 to mark the distillery’s 50th anniversary. It then spread across Europe and has arrived in Australia mid-2018.

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