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

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  • Ardbeg Kelpie 2017 Limited Release Single Malt

    Ardbeg Kelpie 2017 Limited Release Single Malt

    The Kelpie is the 2017 limited release from Islay distillery Ardbeg for their annual ‘Ardbeg Day’ celebrations.

    The retail version of Kelpie is bottled at 46% and un-chill filtered. A portion has been matured in virgin oak casks, crafted from oak grown near the Black Sea.

    An Ardbeg with spice and salinity, there’s still plenty of trademark ashy smoke and sweet toffees underneath.

    Very limited allocation.

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  • Bowmore 9 Year Old Sherry Cask Single Malt

    Bowmore 9 Year Old Sherry Cask Single Malt

    A new release Bowmore which at nine-years-old has been matured in both ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.

    Given that this is called the ‘Sherry Cask Matured Limited Release’ it’s fair to say that there’s a fair bit of sherry influence on this. The delicate smoke of Islay’s Bowmore provides spice and brine while the sherry casks add honey, chocolate and caramel.

    Understood to be part of Bowmore’s core range in the UK market, this has yet to come to Australia officially. 

    Founded in 1779 Bowmore is one of the most historic distilleries in Scotland, let alone on the small island of Islay.

    It remains one of the few distilleries with its own malting floors, which produces an estimated 30 percent of their overall need. Both the house-produced malt and the rest sourced from the mainland are peated to approximately 25 PPM.

    Bowmore is the main town of Islay and is held close to the heart of many visitors as it has the most amount of accommodation and is close to the island’s small airport (although nothing is far away on Islay). 

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  • Jauma Archies Shiraz 2016

    Jauma Archies Shiraz 2016

    This year’s Archie is a big aromatic style, packed with rich dark blackberries and Chai spices.

    It’s not all summer fruits though: there’s a healthy dose of fresh, lip smacking minerality on the palate that gives this wine its great structure and a whole lotta length.

    This wine is organic with no added preservatives.

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  • Wildbrumby Gin

    Wildbrumby Gin

    A soft and mildly spicy gin from Wildbrumby in Jindabyne, New South Wales (or as they call in, ‘Gindabyne’).

    Distilled at the Thredbo Valley Distillery, Wildbrumby has traditionally been known for its liqueurs.

    With their gin they distil their own grape spirit, sourcing Chardonnay grapes from the Adelaide Hills in search of softness.

    That soft, creamy texture certainly emerges with time amongst the other aromas – a slight salinity, star anise, cracked pepper, soft berry fruits and a hint of musk.

    This particular gin received Gold at the 2016 Melbourne International Spirits Competition.

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