Ardbeg An Oa Single Malt
A new release for 2017, An Oa is the first new addition to Ardbeg’s permanent range in eight years.
Pronounced ‘an oh’, this expression has been matured in a number of casks types – including Pedro Ximenez sherry, ex-bourbon and virgin oak – before they are married together in the distillery’s ‘Gathering Vat’, which is made out of French Oak.
The result expression hold all of Ardbeg’s trademark ash smoke and sweet notes with a slightly gentler, smoother touch than its stablemates.
A worthy addition to the canon of the famous Islay distillery.
Bruichladdich Wee Laddie Tasting Collection
A gift pack collection featuring three 200ml bottles of single malt whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery.
One of Islay’s most progressive and exciting distilleries, the pack features their unpeated Classic Laddie and Islay Barley expressions with the heavily peated Port Charlotte Scottish Barley. They’re all bottled at 50%.
Comes in a glorious box, with booklet explaining the distillery and its philosophy.
Bruichladdich on Islay, one of Scotland’s most famous whisky producing regions, is one of the country’s most progressive distilleries. Transparent in their practises and intrinsically tied to their land they distil three types of whisky: the unpeated Bruichladdich namesake, peated Port Charlotte and ultra-peated Octomore.
Slane Blended Irish Whiskey
A great value blended Irish whiskey that has been matured in three different types of cask.
This has been vatted from whiskeys matured in virgin oak, ex-bourbon casks and ex-Oloroso sherry casks.
This blended whiskey takes the name if a new distillery which owners Brown-Forman re-opened earlier this year after two years of restoration. While the now-working distillery in Meath is building up its stocks, Slane is sourced from other whiskey distilleries in Ireland.
Black Gate BG022 Port Cask Whisky
Black Gate BG022 is a post-cask whisky release from the country New South Wales distillery and part of their second wave of releases.
A single cask expression and their second ever port cask release, this was matured in a 100 litre ex-port cask. Distilled October 2014 and bottled November 2017, at 50% it yielded 199 individually numbered bottles.
Located in Mendooran, not far from Dubbo in New South Wales' Greater West, Black Gate have earned themselves cult status amongst drinkers with their single malt and rum expressions.
Often single cask, Brian and Genise Hollingworth are currently managing to fill just 15 casks a year - that's well up on the original three-or-so they were managing – hence the demand for their releases.
The small town of about 300 people has a unique climate for whisky and wide temperature variations ensure lots of interaction between the whisky and the cask.
That intensity is matched by Black Gate's heavy spirits which is achieved by late spirits cuts. The inspiration comes from the Hollingworth's penchant for big, smoky Scottish whiskies and Black Gate's releases have so far been on the heavier side of the Australian whisky spectrum.
Evan Williams Bottled In Bond Bourbon
A Bottled In Bond expression from the famous Evan Williams bourbon brand, distilled at Heaven Hill.
Full bodied with vanillas, grain and spice, you might also get hints of citrus.
This is Bottled In Bond, which is an American whiskey category for whiskies that have been distilled at one site, within a distillation season, matured for at least four years and bottled at 50 percent ABV or higher.
Mellow Corn Straight Corn Whiskey
A cult-loved expression from Kentucky Mellow Corn is a sweet, light, fun whiskey.
Distilled by Heaven Hill since 1945, it is a straight corn whiskey and as such has a mash bill of at least 81 percent corn (the rest is malted barley and rye).
The corn grain is evident on both the nose and palate, but it also has an oak edge, a creamy palate and vanillas.
This is Bottled In Bond, which is an American whiskey category for whiskies that have been distilled at one site, within a calendar year, matured for at least four years and bottled at 50 percent ABV or higher.
For this price, great value to try something pretty different (a feat that would often see you forking out quite a bit more).
Tullibardine 20-Year-Old Single Malt
A 20-year-old single malt from the highland distillery Tullibardine.
A lighter style, this carries a big malty flavour with vanillas, delicate spices and fresh grasses.
Very well priced given its age, it’s still quite a spirit-driven whisky, although the palate does show the hallmark signs of maturity.
Presented in an impressive gift box.
Built in 1949, Tullibardine is a relatively 'teenage' distillery by Scotland standards and was mothballed for about ten years until 2003, when a group of private investors brought it back to life. It is currently owned by French company Picard Vins & Spiritueux, who've continued the spirit of experimentation.
Tamdhu 8-Year-Old Gordon & MacPhail
A light, fruity dram from Speyside’s Tamdhu distillery, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
Founded in 1897, the distillery – now under the ownership of Ian Macleod Distillers – celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2017. Under IMD, the official bottlings have increased in quality and prominence and so the interest in independent bottles has followed.
This 8-year-old from G&M was matured in both refill bourbon and sherry casks and looks to strike a balance between creamy tropical fruits and delicate sherry cask chocolate and spices.
Official tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet toffee and toasted malt notes with hints of honey and a touch of peppermint. Ripe banana notes linger. With water sweet vanilla aromas with honey and green apple. Hints of pear are also present.
Palate: Spicy initially with dark chocolate and ripe banana flavours. A subtle nuttiness lingers. With water peppery initially with hints of melon, green apples, and tropical fruits.
Finish: Long and creamy.
Miltonduff 10-Year-Old Gordon & MacPhail
A ten-year-old expression from the rarely-seen Miltonduff distillery.
Bottled by Gordon & MacPhail, this ‘Distillery Label’ series – essentially a faux official bottling by the famous independent distillery – is one of the very few consistent Miltonduff releases.
Built in 1824, the distillery is under the ownership of Chivas Brothers and Miltonduff is one of the key malts that goes into their Ballantine’s blend. The blend is the second highest selling Scotch in the world, behind Johnnie Walker, beating even Chivas’ namesake expression.
Miltonduff has big stills with sharply-descending lyne arms which do not encourage reflux. It results in a thick, oily spirit that works quite well in sherry casks.
This Gordon & MacPhail release has been matured in both first fill and refill ex-sherry casks and is both soft and easy-drinking.
Official tasting notes:
Nose: Soft esters with fruity aromas - red apples - followed by sweet fudge notes. With water fruity aromas - raisins - with fragrant heather and cereal notes.
Palate: Cereal flavours with spicy and treacle notes. With water sweet, fruity cereal flavours with a spicy edge accompanied by floral/freshly cut grass notes.
Finish: Balanced; sweet and round.
Mannochmore 2006 Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength
A cask strength single cask release from Speyside’s Mannochmore distillery bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
This expression, from the famed independent bottler, was distilled 6 September 2006. Matured in refill sherry butt #12934 it was bottled 18 April 2017 at 59.4%
Mannochmore is a young distillery by Scottish standards, built in 1971 right next to its older sister distillery Glenlossie. At the time the US was a big market for Scotch and so the new distillery strived to create light, bright whiskies to serve the American palate.
Having survived the dire times of the 1980s (with a brief closure), Mannochmore remains a Diageo workhorse whose output is destined for blends. Single malt expressions are rare but often highly rewarding.
Official tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet Sherry aromas followed by cinnamon, toffee, and orange peel. Subtle floral notes mingle with sandalwood and a menthol edge. With water sweet vanilla fudge initially with elderflower, strawberry, and fig aromas. A citrus edge develops.
Palate: Sweet and creamy with ripe banana, salted caramel, and raspberry. Stewed plum and charred oak flavours are complemented by fresh grapefruit, leading to a slightly drying finish. With water sweet with hints of white pepper. Honeydew melon, orange, and chocolate flavours accompany a lingering charred oak.
Finish: Long and fruity with a slight ash edge.
Ledaig 2005 Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Hermitage
A 2005 vintage Ledaig released as part of Gordon & MacPhail’s lauded Private Collection series.
The historic Scottish independent bottler pair powerful smoky whiskies with the sweetness of wine cask finishes for the Private Collection series to create alluring, immediate whiskies. It’s Ledaig’s turn now, with the industrial, coal dust smoke dancing with red berry sweetness.
A limited edition of 4,100 bottles worldwide, the Australian allocation is modest.
Ledaig is the peated line of the Tobermory distillery, located on the Isle Of Mull. The distillery has traditionally distilled peated and unpeated whiskies in a 50/50 split – with the heavily peated spirit released under Ledaig, a former name of the distillery.
The distillery closed in early 2017, and is expected to do so until late 2018 as it undergoes a substantial upgrade.
Manly North Star White Dog
A white malt spirit from the Manly Spirits Co. that is both a great drop by itself and a window into the DNA of the distillery’s formative whisky production.
Manly Spirits is an urban distillery in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, launched by David Whittaker and Vanessa Wilton in April 2017. While releasing a selection of gin and vodka expressions, they are also laying down new make spirit in barrels for eventual whisky.
This North Fort White Dog is essentially the spirit that is being laid down to become whisky. For this cocktail-focused white expression the spirit cuts are taken tighter to ensure a more precise, focused aroma.