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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  • Marius Simpatico 2016

    Marius Simpatico 2016

    Marius Simpatico is produced from the 'home block', a carefully nutured four-acre vineyard situated on rising ground to the south-east of Mclaren Vale township. 

    The fruit is sequentially hand-picked and fermented in small open fermenters. It is then gently basket pressed and transferred to French and American hogshead where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is then matured in oak for 21 months before bottling. 

    Recommended decanting an hour before serving

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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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  • Miyoshikiku Orie Sake Cup 180ml

    Miyoshikiku Orie Sake Cup 180ml

    Named after Ryoichiro Mamiya’s second daughter “Orie” this junmai ginjo is only slightly less polished at 55% but still using the same premium yamadanishki rice.

    The flavour is smooth, its noticeably richer with umami and soft fruits, amazing chilled or even slightly warmer. 

    This Saké is:

    Junmai (no added alcohol)
    Ginjo (polished to 55% remaining)

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