It's finally here. Yes, folks, Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have raised the anchor and set sail to release the third instalment in their A-Z of whiskies series. This time, they took to the high seas (or high rails?) to celebrate their first crack at creating a blend. And what a blend it was! It stands up to water, cocktails, and rush-hour traffic on the London Circle Line.
Our journey began with an introduction by two salty dogs, dressed to the nines in seafaring garb and presenting us with a fractured history of the London tube. Were there sea shanties, you ask? But of course!
That’s right, folks. Those crafty chaps from Caskstrength announced today their new bottling! Due to launch on 25 March 2013, the third instalment in the much-celebrated Alphabet Series is indeed a Cutty Sark, Neil and Joel undertook the herculean task of blending their own whisky, and the result is sure to be interesting!
I’m sure you’ll all remember the frankly fantastic couple of bottlings launched by the irrepressible duo from Caskstrength Neil and Joel in the past year or so?
First up was an Arran – a delight of a whisky with a frankly absurdly low outturn of only 92 bottles. This astonishing bottling rapidly sold out, and is now changing hands for hundreds of pounds on auction sites.
Second was an astonishing Benriach, matured for an impressive 16 years, and finished for 4 of those years in a Pedro Ximenez cask. This too, sold out in incredibly short order.
After ‘A’ for Arran, and ‘B’ for Benriach, must come ‘C’.
It’s a scary place, the brain of Ben.
It consists mainly of Alan Partridge and Father Ted episodes, cocktail recipes, and rain-man-esque recall of horsepower and torque figures for most production cars. There’s also usually something in there about whisky.
What I can tell you about the brain of Ben though, is that these Boutique-y whiskies have recently been upgraded from ‘a bit of fun’, to ‘something with a lot of potential’.
Because of this, you’re going to see a pretty decent number of new releases from brand spanking new distilleries over the next few weeks / months, and if the results of some of the recent whisky auctions are anything to go by, I think we’ll see them selling out in pretty short order.
You remember our friends from Caskstrength.net? Bespectacled, dapper sort of chaps? They’re into whisky and Alan Partridge, do some events…?
Anyway, they’ve gone and teamed up with BenRiach to put together one of them there special bottlings, they have. And between you and me, it is a delight. Not just because it comes with a rockin’ cotton tote bag (well, only the first 50 bottles, mind you), not just because it has a pink label (I am a sucker for pink) [ed: don't you mean red?], and not just because it spent four years in a PX cask (I am a major sucker for PX). It is delightful because it was hand-selected by Joel and Neil themselves, only 296 bottles are to be released, and you can only buy it from us. What an expression of a beautiful friendship…or, marriage? More...