Another month (well, nearly – it’s been over 3 weeks), another clutch of supremely awesome whiskies bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. This time we’re bringing you whiskies from Brora, Arran, Tobermory, Tormore and Aberfeldy.
Sadly, one of these beauties has already sold out (no prizes for guessing which I’m afraid), but the rest are still available for your delectation:
It’s that time of year again - the weather has given up the pretence of caring, the trees are shedding their leaves like a sinking ship sheds ballast, and the sun can’t summon the energy to stay in the sky for longer than is absolutely necessary. Thankfully all is not lost as Diageo are about to release their much anticipated Special Releases Range.
Diageo is a multi-national drinks company that owns twenty-eight working distilleries and the remaining stock of a number of closed ones, and every year they release a selection of limited releases from some of these distilleries.
With such a large portfolio to draw from these whiskies tend to be the cream of the crop and get us whisky geeks slathering at their merest mention [go on, find a whisky geek and mention it, watch it slather…].
So this evening we all trooped to London to taste these high-demand whiskies in the warm and, more importantly, dry confines of The Deck at the National Theatre. Last time I was in this theatre I watched Benedict Cumberbatch (that guy off of Sherlock) prance around the stage as Frankenstein’s monster with nothing but his self-esteem to cover his modesty. This time I came armed with a notebook and pen - ready to record my experience of facing this enormous tackle of whisky.
We’ve been back for a couple of weeks now and we’re slowly beginning to feel human again after the rigours of our ten days on Islay.
This year’s Feis Ile was quite an experience, from the fabulous food at the Lagavulin dinner to partying with the Balvenie boys, Cask Strength, et al in our very own hot tub.
Since we’ve been back, we’ve also been enjoying the entries to our competition, some of which I have peppered throughout this post.
The clouds have rolled in. I blame the boys from Cask Strength who arrived yesterday and surely brought the cold and fog with them.
After last night’s pass out fest on the sofa, we were all up early (relatively) in order to arrive on time (relatively) to TWO (count them) two tastings: Bowmore at 11.30 and Kilchoman at high noon. After prepping another massive breakfast, Chef de mission Ben fired up the Malt Mobile for another high-speed tour through farm fields and past stretching coast line.
I’ll begin from the end and work backwards today as Balvenie has done a number on my brain and it’s the only way I can recollect the events preceding this moment.
I recall at half past six this morning, I watched as the Balvenie brand ambassadors drove away with the Malt Mobile. I apparently did not protest enough at the claim that ‘Ben said it was ok.’
Last night played host to one of the biggest events in the whisky calendar: the launch of the Diageo Special Releases. This annually released selection showcases the very best whiskies in the global drinks giant’s unrivalled arsenal, including massive crowd pleasers like Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and the legendary Port Ellen.
Unlike Ben, who’s off doing some ‘real work’ in the form of running the Cocktail bar at the Movember Launch Party for 750 people, then doing a sampling of our new Movember Whisky until the small hours, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in a lovely warm room, with lovely warm people, drinking delicious and exclusive whiskies all evening. Also I spend too much on male grooming products and have a penchant for singing about my feelings. I’m also not very competent at sending through images by e-mail, and am currently asleep in my bed, like the weaksauce young man that I am, and hence uncontactable by phone so you’ll notice that the images herein are stock images from Diageo’s Powerpoint presentation. Sorry about that. This paragraph may or may not have been written by me. More...
We’ve been sitting on this one for a few days now, ever since the email from Diageo arrived. In fact, this has been under strict embargo until today! You guessed it folks, Diageo’s 2011 Special Releases!
Every year, the Special Releases mark a particular highlight for us, as the global drinks giant showcases the very crème de la crème of its extensive inventory. This year sees some sure-to-be-stunners, including a 21 year old Rosebank, a 20 year old Port Dundas, and a 40 year old Glenury Royal, not to mention crowd pleasers like the Caol Ila Unpeated, Port Ellen, Brora, and cask strength Lagavulin. Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s to come, starting with our favourite from last year, the Brora… More...
We drove over to Kilchoman early in the morning, knowing the Feis Ile bottling would be in high demand. We were right too, as the queue of excited whisky lovers took up the entirety of the visitor shop and all of one of the distillery buildings. It was obvious by the sheer volume of people that Kilchoman is in very high demand and we ended up queuing for almost 2 hours to pick up our bottles, it was all worth it in the end though…More...
“Nothing can survive in these conditions, it’s inhuman.”
Our trip to Islay had gotten off to a simply dreadful start. Having driven for many, many hours from home, we thought we’d planned for every eventuality. We had stocked the car with at least twenty bottles of booze, a fine selection of meats, and a small travel humidor. Of course we all had our gentlemanly evening wines, stowed in our suitcases, as well as a modest selection of liqueurs, cocktails and Ron de Jeremy. We felt confident we would be making the most of what was, essentially, a week off. More...
Signatory came up with an excellent game plan: find the best
single cask whiskies in Scotland,
and package them beautifully. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been very successful.
The range is staggeringly large, with an enormous breadth of
whiskies from all sorts of Scotch distilleries; some silent, many still up and
running, some grain whiskies and some from the most legendary distilleries in
There are several different Signatory lines, but the jewel
in the crown is the Cask Strength Collection. The range consists of natural
cask strength whiskies, almost all of which are from single casks. Every time
we’ve tried anything from the range we’ve been consistently delighted, so
imagine our joy when a set of 5 samples arrived through the letter box!More...