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

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  • Glenglassaugh Octaves Classic Single Malt

    Glenglassaugh Octaves Classic Single Malt

    A limited release from the resurgent highland distillery Glenglassaugh.

    Now a museum release, this has used octave-sized casks (about one-eighth the size of a 500 litre butt) for maturation giving a higher surface-to-spirit ratio. Vibrant with a defined oak sweetness, this has been bottled at 44%, un-chill filtered and with natural colour.

    Built in 1875, the distillery has had an on-off existence as a workhorse distilling whisky to bulk out blends. Most recently Glenglassaugh was a victim of the 1980s downturn and was inactive for over two decades between 1986 to 2008. Bought by BenRiach in 2013, there have been releases of the pre-closure stock and expressions from whisky distilled post-2008, which are usually more experimental.

    Official tasting notes:

    Nose: An abundance of sweet shop characteristics. Sherbet and candy apples with a gentle warmth of white pepper and cinnamon.

    Palate: A vibrant green apple skin note balances with stewed yellow plums and hints of black vanilla pod. Clean, freshly sawn oak softens to crisp, sweet barley in the long finish.

    Finish: A delicious combination of citrus and sweet notes complement the unique oak characteristics from the octave cask maturation.

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  • Lucy Margaux Vin De Soif Gamay 2018

    Lucy Margaux Vin De Soif Gamay 2018

    Early harvested Gamay carbonic fermented for a short time and aged in Enox to be a super bright pretty light rose.

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  • Michel Couvreur XV 15-Year-Old Single Cask

    Michel Couvreur XV 15-Year-Old Single Cask

    A stately 15-year-old single cask from the renowned French bottler Michel Couvreur.

    This is a unpeated 15-year-old, distilled in Scotland (at an undisclosed site) and matured in France. Filled into a 500 litre oloroso ex-sherry butt at 63%, it was bottled at 45%. Matured in mid-humid French cellars, the cask yielded 783 bottles.

    Straight off the nose this smells older that it is, with elegant malt of soft cereals. Touch of woodiness, very mild spices and that classic cellar dampness that is so welcome in Couvreur bottlings.

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  • Umenoyado Gin Daiginjo Sake 720ml

    Umenoyado Gin Daiginjo Sake 720ml

    A pleasantly soft, delicate daiginjo with soft fruit (pineapple/peaches), strawberry and a gentle creamy finish. Classic example of a high quality junmai daiginjo.

    Umenoyado Shuzo was established in 1893 in Nara, and for over 120 years have kept their motto of “small volume, yet high quality”, they are a sake brewery that aims to not just preserve and promote the tradition of sake but to help find the next stage of Japan’s alcohol. 

    This daiginjo is made using premium Yamada-nishki rice which has been polished to 50%.

    This sake is:

    Junmai (no added alcohol)
    Daiginjo (polished to 50% or more)

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