Well it’s certainly been quite a while since we put out any new Boutique-y whiskies. Over 3 months in fact. Erm. Sorry about that. Will try and be more hyperactive in the future. Promise.
After a clutch of slightly more esoteric ideas in the last set of releases, we’re coming firmly back to the ‘whisky world’ with these three, each one featuring some of our compadres from the geeky, obsessive, and at times slightly worrying world we all inhabit.
The first of the three bottlings features those 5 dapper folk from Edinburgh Whisky Blog. A label featuring these chaps has been a long while coming, and in fact (and rather fittingly given the most recent cocktail blog post) the idea came to us collectively whilst enjoying a Last Word Cocktail together in the Last Word Saloon in Edinburgh, on our way up to this year’s Feis Ile.
We sent samples of the various liquids we were bottling for the next series of Boutique-y whiskies up to the chaps, they chose their favourite, came up with an idea for a label (that’s them in the foreground, and that’s Edinburgh Castle in the background), and the rest is history.
Tasting Note for Glen Keith – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Green apple flesh and juice, sweet lager syrup (it’s a thing), sweet pea and sugar snap peas (two very different things), a touch of pitta bread too.
Palate: Apple slices, honey and distant ginger biscuits. Quite rich but never in danger of becoming heavy.
Finish: Good length with a little more ginger and a dollop of treacle.
Overall: A gorgeous speyside dram, it’s really no surprise that the chaps from EWB selected it.
Second in this round of releases is the second label to feature everyone’s favourite whisky-fuelled cycling-publican – Jon Beach from Fiddler’s Whisky Bar. This time however, the focus is on his father, Dick, who really, really likes Miltonduff. And Cheese.
In the label you can see the Famous (infamous?) Loch Ness Whisky Parliament gathered outside the Multi-award-winning bar, showing their support for Miltonduff.
There’s also a rather ominous security guard on the right of the label. First person (who isn’t directly involved) to tell me who he is, and what he’s holding (it’s not a gun) can have a dram of all of these releases. I’m feeling charitable today.
Tasting Note for Miltonduff – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Rich barley, sweet oats, stone fruits, grapes and, increasingly, fresh raspberries.
Palate: Intense summer fruit tart and summer pudding.
Finish: Frozen redcurrants with butterscotch sauce… or barley-Scotch sauce… or something.
Overall: No cheese notes. Probably very nice with cheese though.
Finally, we have the really rather wonderful product of the dozen or so (clearly broken) minds that came together for The Whisky Squad’s visit to our head office in Tunbridge Wells back in early April. We made Gin, we had Martinis, we did a cask selection, and this completely bonkers label on a completely delicious bottle of scotch whisky was the result.
I’d love to tell you what all the references on the label are, but I’ve either forgotten, blocked out, or otherwise removed them from my mind. I’m sure one of the squad will remind me if there’s anything I’ve forgotten. There’s definitely something about Allt-a-Bhainne sounding like ‘house of pain’, hence the boom-box. The literal translation of ‘Allt-á-Bhainne’ is ‘River of Milk’ – so there’s one of those in there. There are also representations of the various members of the whisky squad as cows (obviously. Milk, you see?), with one notable member depicted as a monkey, sitting on the branch of a tree. Wonder what that could be about? Who knows. There’s also a batm’n-like Whisky Squad logo being beamed into the sky.
Tasting Note for Allt-á-Bhainne – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Fizzy apple belts, lemon curd and buttered toast.
Palate: Nice biscuits and green apple slices with oak influence developing.
Finish: Long with a little of everything that went before in support of delightful toasted oakiness.
Overall: This one doesn’t put a foot wrong. Hey, look, it’s the Bat Whisky Squad-signal! I guess Whisky Squad must be a bunch of superheroes… “Or better yet a Terminator, Like Arnold Schwarzenegger…”
Now, hopefully the fact that there’s been a gap of about 6 months between the cask selection and bottling of that last one in particular will give everyone an insight into the level of planning and organisation that has to go into releases like this, meaning that the lovely folk from Living Room Whisky who worked so incredibly hard to win our Laphroaig competition back on Islay will forgive us for taking so bloody long to organise the bottling. We’re still trying to find a decent cask of Laphroaig. It ain’t easy. If anyone’s got one, gissit, go on… please…
We have, however, managed to secure some pretty ace liquid for the newly launched next editions of Invergordon, Aultmore and Bunnahabhain. There’s also a second edition of the very popular Tobermory – hopefully the fact that the fun-police* have gotten to the label won’t dissuade you all from buying it:
There are another dozen or so brand new releases coming up in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes on the blog, and importantly on the New Arrivals page.
*It was too colourful. That’s apparently a real thing. We’re not sulking though. Much.