Alchemy is one of Science’s earliest precursors; it is the tool the ancients used in the search of the three most desirable treasures known to mankind: gold, eternal life, and infinite knowledge.
The early Arab chemists - more conjurers and cooks than scientists - were obsessed with Alchemy’s elusive rewards, but they remained unattainable. They did, however, make one great discovery: alcohol – without which there’d be no whisky!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...
We’re proud to announce that we now stock whiskies from Adelphi. Over the years we’ve had the good fortune to sample quite a few Adelphi bottlings, and we’ve been very impressed, so we were thrilled when the new bottles arrived.
The Adelphi Distillery is actually one of the lost distilleries of Scotland, which operated from 1826 to around 1907. In 1880, the distillery was acquired by Messrs A. Walker and Co and it was Walker’s great-grandson, Jamie Walker, who restored the Adelphi name in 1993, but this time not as a distillery, as an independent bottler.More...
Kilchoman has firmly cemented itself as a member of that most exclusive club of distilleries… a club whose members release whisky which sells out instantaneously.
Now we’re up to the third release of single malt from Kilchoman having had the Inaugural and Autumn 2009 releases (both aged for roughly 3 years and finished for a few months in Oloroso sherry butts).
The distillery (to the very west of Islay) is one of Scotland’s very smallest, producing some 90,000 to 100,000 litres of alcohol per year – the whisky is rare and, by proxy, sure to sell out quickly.
The Spring 2010 release was matured in fresh Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for 3 years before a finish in what the distillers describe as “very active” Oloroso sherry butts. This was then vatted with another four casks of refill bourbon matured spirit before being brought down to bottling strength with water from the Octofad Farm on the Rhinns of Islay. More...
Yet more amazing samples of Japanese Whisky have turned up with us from the lovely folks at No 1 Drinks Company, so to whet your appetite – we’ve done a few tasting notes…
Both Whiskies are from the closed Distillery, Hanyu, Located in southern Japan. Both will be available in late spring… Subscribe to our twitter feed, and we’ll let you know exactly when they come in…
Hanyu Cask# 9305 Number One Drinks Company 53.4%
Bottled by Number One Drinks Company
Nose: Very full and fruity, peaches, calvados, hint of bourbon too, that tangy fruity top note you get in bourbon.
Palate: Fruity, Sweet and sour, quite meaty, some mushrooms, tangy,
Finish: Becomes Drying, refreshers sweets.
Overall: Very good – meaty, but not over the top.
In 1975, the Old Bushmills distillery laid down some very special “private casks” of whiskey to be bottled for the new millennium. Straight from the cask, with just a little water added, these would be unfiltered, single cask whiskey. This is Bushmills Millennium Malt
With Bushmills you’ll typically find flavours like sweet barley and fruit and the whiskey is silky and creamy in true Irish style. The 10 and 16 year olds have both seen sherry casks lending a nutty, raisin-like character, this character is very different in the Millennium Malt due to the exclusive American white oak maturation.
We recently got hold of a consignment of this rare old whiskey, and wanted to find out more about it. As you’d expect, single cask Bushmills like this is rare stuff indeed, with very little to be found. We think some of you will want to consider this as an investment malt and, based on market performance, it certainly makes sense. Limited edition Irish whiskey can appreciate remarkably well and old editions of Jameson and Midleton have massively increased in value over the last few years.
Many of you will be familiar with Ardbeg Serendipity; a 12 year old blended malt that sprung, rather fortuitously, from a little carelessness at the bottling plant. A few casks of very old Ardbeg were accidentally vatted with a small portion of young Glen Moray (a distillery which was also under Glenmorangie PLC’s umbrella at the time).
It’s the sort of story that sparks controversy. Perhaps it was indeed a little too serendipitous and might sound more like the work of a well paid marketing department than that of a hapless blender. At least a great whisky came out of it – which is the bottom line after all.
When John Glaser of Compass Box created Lady Luck, the inspiration was “a lucky blend." Sound familiar?
John vatted 25 and 29 year old casks of Caol Ila - a malt known for its oily, smoky character - and some 14 year old Imperial – a sweet, smoky Speyside. It sounds like the perfect marriage, let’s find out…
It’s interesting, and wonderful, to be in the company of whisky lovers. The air full of the bonhomie and personality that make a whisky show such great fun. There’s also a common trait amongst the enthusiasts; an ingrained appreciation for life’s small luxuries and, ultimately, the understanding that life’s luxuries all take time to reach fruition, and take time still to enjoy fully.
Without getting too “zen” about it all, it can be very satisfying to allow yourself to slow down and relax once in a while, and it is this strange “enlightenment” (too far?) that poses as a very fitting metaphor in James Graham’s latest play, The Whisky Taster.
With a demanding London as a bustling backcloth, Graham’s narrative follows Nicola and Barney, both marketing professionals, attempting to boost sales of a vodka brand.
Nicola, played by Kate O’Flynn, embodies the extroverted, fearless saleswoman persona. Samuel Barnett’s Barney is her polar opposite, whose shy reticence is compensated by the double-edge blade of his synaesthesia: a condition whereby sensory observations manifest themselves as colours.
So then – Jim Murray’s 2010 World Whisky of the Year – the Sazerac Rye (fall 2008 edition) has been replaced by the all-new new fall 2009 edition, and it’s an absolute belter.
As far as we know, at the time of writing this post, we’re the only retailer in the UK to be offering this for sale – and there are only limited quantities available.
The delivery arrived at 09:30, and before the pallet was even off the lorry, a bottle had been snaffled, opened, and was in the process of being tasted. Here are the results:
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old Fall 2009 Edition 45%
Nose: Huge and powerful sweet rye on the initial nosing gives way to cinnamon toasted brioche, leather, and more than a hint of maraschino cherry. A really huge hit of oak follows, somewhat vinous with it - we were reminded of a barrique aged chardonnay. There’s something slightly medicinal lurking somewhere - a hint of iodine perhaps? It’s definitely not out of place amongst the other huge aromas given off by this whiskey though. A slight suggestion of coconut right at the tail end.
It's a bit like Christmas at MoM towers today, albeit with fewer board-games and no crap jokes (well, maybe just a few). A very exciting package has turned up from the smashing folks at the 'Number one drinks company'. It's their newest selection of cask bottlings, and some sneak previews of the very exciting new malts from Chichibu.
All of these bottlings are currently on a cargo ship from Japan, and should be available in the next two months, keep watching - we'll get them up as soon as they're in.
So - enough with the pre-amble and onto the malts. First up, we've got 3 single cask bottlings from (the now closed) Hanyu and the sublime Karuizawa distilleries: