Signatory Vintage Inchmurrin (Loch Lomond) 1996 19-Year-Old
A rare example of the Inchmurrin single malt, which is distilled at Loch Lomond, bottled by an independent bottler.
This 19-year-old single cask was distilled on 18 November 1996 and matured in a refill sherry buy (cask #32) until it was bottled 3 March 2016. Offered at 43% with natural colour by bottler Signatory Vintage.
Loch Lomond is a relatively young distillery by Scottish standards, having been built in 1965. The distillery has an unique array of stills in different shapes and styles (pot, Lomond and Coffey stills) and so produces a wide range of spirit styles.
In the past they had up to eight different labels for different styles, but that has condensed back into two – Loch Lomond and Inchmurrin. Inchmurrin is known to be lightly peated, although any overtly smoky notes dissipate with age.
Signatory Vintage Glen Elgin 1990 25-Year-Old Single Cask
A 25-year-old single cask from Speyside distillery Glen Elgin, bottled by Signatory Vintage.
This was distilled 29 November 1990 and filled into an ex-bourbon barrel #7881. It was bottled 12 April 2016 at cask strength 50.6%, the barrel yielding just 202 bottles. Offered at natural colour and un-chill filtered.
Owned by Diageo, the majority of Glen Elgin's output goes into the White Horse blend – it has long has a reputation as an excellent blenders malt.
There is a 12-year-old official bottling, which is a fantastic 'middle-of-the-flavour-wheel' whisky, but it is not regularly available in Australia. The distillery was founded in 1898 and still uses six wooden worm-tub condensers, making it one of the few sites to still use worm-tubs.
Benriach Peated Cask Strength Single Malt Batch 1
The very first release of Benriach’s Peated Cask Strength release, a single malt made from whiskies matured in both ex-oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
The Speyside distillery have a history of distilling both unpeated and peated malt, the latter a nod to the early history of Speyside whiskies rather than the lighter, fruiter modern styles of the region.
Bottled at 56% without chill filtration or added colour, it’s an excellent example of the distillery’s versatile spirit.
It has a classic dry smoke of peated mainland whiskies, but there’s also a sweet edge to the campfire. Oak and stone fruits as well.
Official tasting notes:
Nose: Butterscotch drizzled over campfire-roaster apples combined perfectly with crisp white pepper. A gentle earthy oak character adds to the subtly peated back note.
Palate: A warm, toasted oak sweetness combines with tofee apples and ripe nectarines. A sweet heather smoke slowly builds leaving a lingering peat note alongside Scottish tablet and rich stewed barley.
Glenrothes 2003 Australian Exclusive Single Cask
A fantastically matured single cask from the Glenrothes distillery, chosen exclusively for the Australian market.
Distilled in 2003, this was matured in a single sherry cask and bottled at cask strength 56.6%. The sherry butt yielded 564 bottles.
The cask was chosen by Glenrothes’ Australian Ambassador, and regular Oak Barrel visitor, Daniel Hutchins-Read.
A very clean expression, the gorgeously dark colour is not lost on the flavour profile, which carries deep fruity notes, rich brown sugars, sherry-doused citrus peels and a touch of toasted oak.
Adelphi Clynelish 1996 19-Year-Old Single Cask
A single cask 19-year-old Clynelish bottled by renowned independent bottler Adelphi.
Known for complexity and a waxy texture, single cask releases from Clynelish are highly sought after and this is another exceptional release from Adelphi’s stocks. In the Oak Barrel’s opinion, Adelphi’s Clynelish reserves are some of the tastiest we’ve had from the distillery in modern times.
Distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2016, this expression was matured in cask #11455. At 53.4% it yielded 273 bottles. Un-chill filtered and with no added colouring.
Adelphi is one of the world's top independent bottlers of single cask whiskies. They buy casks already matured to bottle (as opposed to maturing them themselves) and the Adelphi brand has synonymous with top quality whisky for years. They also own the Ardnamurchan distillery on Scotland's east coast, which distilled its first spirit in 2014.
Adelphi 1978 Glenlivet 29-Year-Old Single Cask
A fantastically well aged single cask single malt from the Glenlivet distillery in Speyside, bottled by Adelphi.
Distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2008, this exceptional cask is part of Adelphi’s Archive series – whereby a number of expressions deemed lost have been found and re-released.
This 29-year-old matured in cask #13503 and this Archive release is one of just 62 bottles worldwide.
One of the world's top-two selling single malts thanks to their prolific official bottlings, independent expressions from Speyside's Glenlivet are fleeting but often exceptional. With the shackles thrown off, their spirit shows fantastic depth and complexity.
Adelphi 21-Year-Old Bunnahabhain Liddesdale Batch 10 Single Malt
A 21-year-old single malt from Islay’s Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by Adelphi for the Liddesdale series.
Bottled un-chill filtered and with natural colour at 46%, the Liddesdale series is a small batch vatting of hand selected casks. Despite coming from Islay, Bunnahabhain is largely un-peated, although this Batch 10 of the Liddesdale series continues to showcase maritime notes.
Just 1,101 bottles in the global outturn.
“A box of assorted chocolates by the fire: orange, grapefruit and pineapple with a dusting of cocoa; honeycomb and hazelnut to follow finishing with the surprise strawberry ganache and a grind of pepper.”
Adelphi Glover 18 Year Old Scotch & Japanese Whisky Fusion
The third release of Adelphi’s headline-grabbing The Glover series, which sees Scotch whisky vatted with Japanese single malts.
Following the releases of 14-and-22-year-old expressions (which created global headlines as the first ‘Scotch-Japanese’ hybrids), Adelphi’s third release is an 18-year-old.
This expression has once again been crafted using barrels from the closed Japanese Hanyu distillery, of which there is only a very limited amount left in the world. Scottish spirit comes from Longmorn and Glen Garioch.
The Glover series takes its name from Thomas Glover, a Scotsman who spent most of his adult life in Japan. He’s credited with aiding the modernisation of the country during the late 19th century and continues to be a celebrated name in Japan. He was the first foreigner who the Japanese Emperor awarded the Order Of The Rising Sun.
Adelphi Managing Director, the man credited with driving many of the cask selections, describes this releases as, “Both mouth filling and teeth coating (waxy), it’s initially tangy with decadent marzipan and milk chocolate leading to a very well balanced finish warmed by a hint of fresh pepper and the slightest hint of distant smoke.”
Scotch whisky icon and Adelphi consultant Charles Maclean says its, “Richly fruity – ripe pear, juicy red apples, cherries, orange juice – on a base of vanilla sponge, spread with strawberry jam and whipped cream.”
Adelphi Bruichladdich 2003 12 Year Old
A 12-year-old sherry cask from Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery, bottled by independent brand Adelphi.
Distilled in 2003, it was matured in sherry cask #1335. The cask yielded just 197 bottles.
It is offered at 56.6%, un-chill filtered and with no added colour.
The Bruichladdich distillery is located on Islay, an island usually known for their bold, peated whiskies. Although Bruichladdich do run peated malt through their stills (released officially under the Port Charlotte and Octomore brands) their primary output is unpeated.
The distillery changed ownership a number of times during the 20th century and up until 1993 it was under the stewardship of Invergordon Distillers. They were then by Whyte & Mackay and the distillery was mothballed late 1994/early 1995. It wasn't until a private consortium purchased the distillery in 2000 that it came to the prominence we know today.
It’s from that rebirth under the watchful eye of industry legend Jim McEwan that this spirit was distilled.
The distillery is currently owned by Remy Cointreau, who purchased it in 2012.
Adelphi Glenborrodale Batch 3 Blended Malt
Batch 3 of Adelphi's Glenborrodale blended malt series.
Once again this is quite a unique blended all-malt whisky, this was matured in a sherry cask with a strong splash of 8-year-old first-fill sherry from Glenrothes - Adelphi's stash of those powerful Glenrothes casks is legendary. The rest of the singles malts in this vatting were approximately 14 years old.
Limited to 1,014 bottles worldwide, this is not as immediately sweet as batch one but carries the same hallmarks.
The rich, chocolate-y sherry comes through with early rum-and-raisin sweetness, but there’s also citrus (orange peel) and a lingering smoke wisp (which may be coming from a touch of Bunnahabhain).
As we’ve come to expect from Adelphi releases, this blend is much more than just the some of its parts.
Signatory Vintage Fettercairn 1997 18-Year-Old Single Cask
A single cask expression from the under-the-radar Scottish highland distillery, Fettercairn.
Bottled as part of Signatory Vintage’s Un-Chill Filtered series, this has been bottled at 46% without any chill filtration or added colour.
In addition, at 18-years-old, this is a fantastic example of the distillery’s unique character.
Distilled on 10 October 1997 this was matured in a single ex-bourbon hogshead, cask #5618. It was bottled 2 February 2016 as an 18-year-old.
Macallan 12-Year-Old Fine Oak Single Malt
The 12-year-old expression the infamous Macallan Fine Oak range, which is once again available in Australia after a number of years’ absence.
The Fine Oak range uses both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks for maturation and that caused a bit of a stir upon release, with Macallan fanatics used to straight sherry maturations.
The 12-year-old is, in The Oak Barrel’s opinion, one of the best balanced and certainly the best value of the Fine Oak range (which included 10, 15, 18, 21 and 25-year-olds). Delicate but smooth, soft and inviting, prejudices aside this is an excellent single malt from Macallan.
It returns to Australia alongside the new exclusive sherry-cask matured 12-year-old Double Cask.
As of 2017, Macallan’s owners Edrington Group have commissioned a new distillery building complete with 24 new stills that will increase production from 11 million litres a year to 15 million. It estimated to be costing them £100 million, so we’ll be seeing plenty more Macallan again in the coming decades.