Told you we’d be back soon (and we’re not done yet)...
Another week, and another 4 brand-spanking-new releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company have hit the shelves in time for Christmas. Once again I’m left trying to justify the madness that’s escaped from my bonce and onto the labels of these fine drams...
So – let’s start with the most obvious of the 4. A Giant with a fondness for Jam Sandwiches stealing a giant hat from a dunnage warehouse whilst all unnecessary on Bourbon. That? That.
So: Back in June of this year I was fortunate enough to visit Glenburgie Distillery. The home of the really quite lovely Ballantine's Blended Whisky. You can read about that here and here if you’re so inclined...
There were a few things that stayed with me about that trip. There was the thing at the bottom of the garden of which we do not speak (but we don’t speak about that, let alone put it in labels); the fact that the designer of the visitor’s experience in the warehouse was either having a stroke at the time or was a closet milliner with a ‘big-things’ fetish; the fact that Glenburgie fill solely into Bourbon casks, and the fact that Glenburgie’s flavour profile is overwhelmingly that of Strawberry Jam. Put ‘em all together and what do you get? That’s right. This here label:
Glenburgie – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 49% – 183 bottles
Tasting Note for Glenburgie – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Segments of satsuma, peanut butter and banana milkshake. So, lots of great individual things, but this is a well integrated nose too.
Palate: Strawberry jam, orange juice, perhaps a little chocolate orange.
Finish: Soft and satisfying with touches of orange jelly, nutmeg and even the bread for that sandwich.
Overall: This integral cog of the Ballantine's blends is a wonderful malt that we don't see often enough, certainly on this evidence.
Next up is the Eponymous Grain Whisky produced at the Loch Lomond Distillery. They’re a prodigious bunch at Loch Lomond. In addition to this grain, they produce no fewer than 8 different single malt whiskies due to the fact they have, in addition to a couple of run-of-the-mill Pot Stills, 4 super-special ‘Lomond Stills’. These chimaera-esque contraptions are basically Pot Stills with a Rectifying column bolted on top, and enable the distillery to produce multiple styles of single malt by adjusting the level of peat that goes into the barley, as well as the take-off point and level of reflux that goes on within the rectifying head. Clever jujus.
In this label, we can see their master distiller carefully adjusting the machinery to yield this absolute stonker of a Grain Whisky:
Loch Lomond – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 52.4% – 191 bottles
Tasting Note for Loch Lomond – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Some initial gingerbread fades to reveal more delicate, slightly creamy notes of soft allspice, a little apple and split oak. Caramelised dates.
Palate: Bang! Where were you hiding? A big ginger and red liquorice whack in the chops.
Finish: The finish is a return to spicy subtlety, with Italian nut biscuits and a little red fruit.
Overall: It's good. It's good. It's goood.
What the deuce? This looks exactly the same as the last label?
Well it sort of is, isn’t it... This extremely well-sherried (Single Malt) whisky was produced in the self-same distillery as the Loch Lomond Grain mentioned above, but using a different kind of wizardry. It’s good this one. Very good. Trust me.
Inchmurrin – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 54.7% – 543 bottles
Tasting Note for Inchmurrin – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Rich, honeyed barley, white grape, perhaps even Ribena, sweet orange and demerara.
Palate: Sensational and spicy! Rich Christmas spices.
Finish: Yummy, cakey, ginger, honey, spicy. Cor, yeah. Long.
Overall: What kinda witchcraft is this? Oh, it's wizardry you say? That's alright then. Good work chaps.
Finally we come to what is probably one of the most venerable, and almost certainly the most disturbing label we’ve yet produced. That’s right. It’s a half-naked, fully terrifying angel-with-a-skull-for-a-head sort of affair. Sort of a burning lady if you will... ”But why? But why?” I hear you cry... Well – I shall tell you, in the most un-trademark-infringing way possible. You see there was this distillery in Ayrshire that operated between 1966 and 1975... That’s all you’re getting lest someone kick my door in and force me to drink shot after shot of new-recipe Sailor Jerry.
Ayrshire – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 47.2% – 39 bottles
Tasting Note for Ayrshire – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Honey, papaya and red apple skin alongside greener notes, rice pudding and gorgeous golden barley. Lemon curd develops.
Palate: Thick with fruit salad, including pineapple, all served with a healthy dollop of custard plonked on top.
Finish: Spicy apple strudel with a touch of baking soda.
Overall: Beautiful, balanced single malt whisky from a much sought after closed distillery.
There are a further 5 or so Boutique-y Whiskies to follow before the festive season claims the souls of every man and woman involved in our operations team. Watch this space.