Doesn’t really take a huge deal of explanation, this one, does it?
What we’ve gone and done is take a range of delicious single malts, and finished them for a touch over 3 months in specially commissioned, 50 litre, First-Fill Sherry casks.
Traditionally known as ‘Octave Casks’, these smaller-than-average maturation vessels give a significantly greater surface area to volume ratio, meaning more cask-influence, and more of that superb rich, Christmas-cakey deliciousness that we all know and love from heavily-sherried whiskies.
THE SPECIAL RELEASES ARE NOW LIVE AND CAN BE FOUND HERE!
Got a letter from Diageo the other day. Opened and read it. It was about their Special Releases. They wanted us for their tasting, or whatever. Picture me turning down drams, I said “Hell yeah!”.
We will indeed be stocking all of the 2013 Diageo Special Releases shortly - and yes - they will all be available as 3cl Sample Drams too. You’re welcome. They should be with us any day now, but for more details as they land be sure to keep your eyes glued to the @MasterOfMalt twitter account.
Would you believe it's been over a quarter of a year since the last batch of releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company? Amazing. It's almost like we had other stuff on.
Well – all that 'being about the place' nonsense is behind us now (for a bit), and due to a freshly sustained ankle injury (The other one for those of you paying attention. Gah) I'm at liberty to take a few moments to tell you about the new releases which sit before me today.
Hot on the heels of Talisker Storm comes another no age statement whisky from the very same distillery: Talisker Port Ruighe.
So, what’s the story with Port Ruighe? Wouldn’t you like to know? Well, it’s pronounced Portree, as in the largest town on the Isle of Skye, with ‘Port Ruighe’ being an old Gaelic spelling. The town is based around a large natural harbour, which has been key for business and trade for centuries and latterly has featured some of them there brightly coloured buildings made infamous by a certain children’s television programme. The other thing you need to know is that they have their own top flight (see what I did there) Quidditch team, the Prides, that compete in the British and Irish Quidditch League.
Rolling on with our recent trend of bringing new brands to the UK market (and beyond), we are pleased to introduce you to the Spirits of Hven. A Swedish whisky distillery which produces gin and vodka in a most nontraditional way (most gin does not take 2 years to produce), Hven is located on a tiny island that was home to astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 16th Century.
When I imagined the journey to an island off the coast of Sweden in early March, I pictured snow, ice, and travelling in a boat exactly like like the one below.
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.
Well that last batch of Boutique-y whiskies certainly sold quickly. Terrifyingly quickly in fact.
Apologies to all those who didn’t get one from the first edition of the Ardbeg, Macallan or Caperdonich – but fear not – the second batches of all of these are now here, and available for purchase. You’ll notice that all three of them have the new batch number, new ABV, and a minor change to the illustration on each of the labels just to keep it interesting. You’ll also notice that the Caperdonich is cheaper than last time. Don’t say we never do anything nice for you.
We’re working on getting you another Port Ellen release* – more details on this as and when we’re successful.
So – now on to the next whiskies to be added to the series. It was pointed out to me today that completely by accident, we’ve selected 4 Speyside Whiskies, all beginning with ‘a’ and ‘b’. Not planned, just a weird coincidence…
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.
I’m going to relay to you two phrases that I’ve uttered over the last few weeks which have genuinely made me chuckle maniacally to myself for about 5 minutes.
The first is unrelated to this post, but I think very pleasing anyway – “Look – all I need is for someone to find me a consignment of Fresh Sloes - how bloody difficult can that be” (incidentally, if anyone knows where I can get hold of a consignment of Fresh Sloes, there’s a bottle of something nice in it for you).
Balblair have teamed up with WIRED Magazine to come up with a very cool competition with some equally cool prizes. The distillery is encouraging amateur photographers, and the competition will run from September to October.
To enter, photographers have to submit shots which encapsulate Balblair’s motto: “timed to perfection”. It’s that simple, and we reckon there are going to be some brilliant submissions. More...