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

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  • Arran Peated Private Cask 2011 For Limburg

    Arran Peated Private Cask 2011 For Limburg

    A single cask release from the Isle Of Arran distillery of their rare peated malt.

    The distillery was built in 1995 and has enjoyed a cult following as one of the newest Scottish distilleries. Their spirit typically has a clean, crisp unpeated character, but they have quietly been distilling heavily peated malt as well. (In fact, they’re building a second distillery on the island to focus on peated runs.)

    This single cask bottling is a rare example of peated Arran, bottled for the Limburg Whisky Fair in Germany.

    It was distilled 5 October 2011 and matured in an ex-bourbon cask. Bottled 15 February 2017, it yielded 285 bottles at 52.1%. The malt was peated to 55ppm.

    Excellently balanced, this was one of the most popular drams at Sydney Whisky Fair 2017, where it made its Australian debut.

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  • Antique Lions Of Whisky Speyside 1975 41-Year-Old

    Antique Lions Of Whisky Speyside 1975 41-Year-Old

    A single cask 1975 vintage from an undisclosed Speyside distillery and released as part of the spectacular Antique Lions Of Whisky series.

    This has been matured in a Fino sherry cask and is a release of just 230 bottles. An extremely complex and satisfying whisky in the old European style of elegance and cultured fruits.

    A very special release of whisky that created quite a stir when they were released in Europe earlier this year, the ‘Birds’ series is the first release from Antique Lions Of Spirit. The indie bottler was formed by Jens Drewitz of Germany’s Sansibar alongside Italian whisky merchants Max Righi (Silver Seal) and Diego Sandrin (Whisky Antique).

    This release is a homage to the Moon Import bottlings prominent in Europe in the ‘90s and ‘00s. Often beautifully stylised, this homage series has some of the best packaging we’ve ever seen.

    The whiskies have been selected to have an ‘old world European’ style, so expect them to be soft, elegant and fruity with fantastic poise.

    There are less than 300 bottles of each of the expressions in this first Antique Lions Of Whisky ‘The Birds’ and even less of complete sets. The Oak Barrel will be tasting the entire set of the whiskies at an event Tuesday 17 October. Details here.

    Un-chill filtered and with no added colouring.

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  • La Violetta Nova Syrova 2015

    La Violetta Nova Syrova 2015

    A fascinating and unusual blend of Cannonau (Italian: Grenache), Picotendro (Italian: Nebbiolo), Rulandske Modre (Slovakian: Pinot Noir), and Monastrell (Mourvedre). This is an experimental release from La Violetta; each year is different to the last.

    This year's release is a dry style of wine with red berries and a moreish savoury character reminiscent of cured meats. A fun and interesting blend from new(ish) kids on the block.

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  • Shirakawa Onikoroshi Sake 1800ml Bottle

    Shirakawa Onikoroshi Sake 1800ml Bottle

    An easy-drinking entry level sake from Shirakawa in a 1.8 litre bottle.

    The Onikoroshi is full bodied and on the drier side.

    The rice polish ratio is 78% (that is, 78% of the original grain is left), which keeps a full texture.

    Best served room temperature or slightly cold.

    The Shirakawa brewery is located in the Nishigō village of the Nishishirakawa District on Honshu, Japan’s main island.

    See the latest sake arrivals here.

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