So much amazing new whisky launched this week, we had to give them a shout-out. It was hard to select just a few standouts that have recently hit our virtual shelves, but we’ve given it a shot regardless.
So, things aren’t going great at the moment in British politics. Or global politics, really. The cost of living is very real too, as is climate change and the reality that people will always hire Piers Morgan for some reason. There’s quite a lot of things to get you down at the moment, aren’t there?
This is why we could do with a dose of good news every now and then. Did you know the first wild bison in 6,000 years was born in the UK recently? Or that we got new whisky from Glenfiddich, Glen Scotia, Highland Park, Octomore, and Compass Box on our shelves all in the space of just a week? If you don’t believe us, check below for yourself to see just seven of the sublime new spirits we’ve given a loving home to recently.
Talk about old and rare. Simultaneous Time was matured for 50 years before it was bottled up for the Time Re-imagined series. There’s just one of these left already and obviously, it has a price tag to match all that prestige, but it’s also worth looking at for that decanter/presentation box combo. The 40 Year Old Cumulative Time is also new and seriously worth a gander. Did we mention that because we were considering making a Time After Time gag? Yes. Yes, we did. No regrets. We love the Lauper.
A distillery in Speyside that uses worm tubs provided the spirit for this whisky, which celebrates the delightful old-school condensers. Distillery equipment chat is typically enough to get us whisky nerds going, but when you’ve got whisky this good and you re-rack it into refill and first-fill sherry casks before bottling it at natural cask strength without any added caramel for colouring, it’s a certainty. You can’t go wrong with this.
Highland Park is also busy bolstering a range worth knowing about by adding new whisky to its cask strength series. Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 3 uses whisky made with a higher proportion of Orkney peated malt resulting in a smokier style compared to the other single malts in the series. It was matured predominantly in first-fill sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks as well as a small number of refill casks, before being bottled at a cask strength 64.1% ABV. The result is said to be an “extraordinary combination of contrasting yet perfectly balanced flavours of charred oak, tropical fruits, aniseed, heather honey, vanilla cream, aromatic violet, sponge cake and peat smoke”. Sounds pretty amazing. And it is.
The Extinct Blends Quartet is a range that honours previous styles of famous blends from decades past and Ultramarine is the latest reimagining. An ‘iconic deluxe blended Scotch’ first released in the late ’80s inspired this (get your deerstalker hats on, Scotch sleuths), which draws on malt and grain whiskies from the Caol Ila, Girvan, Glendullan and Cameronbridge distilleries along with a whole medley of pre-blended whiskies from the Compass Box stocks. It’s peaty, it’s sherried, it’s bloody marvellous.
Double trouble from Glen Scotia this week in more ways than one. As well as releasing Glen Scotia 12 Year Old Seasonal Release 2022, the Campbeltown whisky maker popped some of its delicious single malt aged in bourbon barrels into first-fill Guyanese Demerara rum barrels for a finishing period. The distillery actually has evidence from as far back as 1815 that casks of rum were on sale in the town, so it’s got history on its side too.
GreatDrams is one of the finer new indie bottlers on the scene and you can always guarantee good quality from its selections, like Ardmore single malt released for its beloved Christmas series! Distilled in 2014, it spent eight years in a single oloroso sherry cask before just 200 bottles were snapped up this month and launched just in time for you to enjoy all those festive flavours from that sherry cask.
Not to be outdone, there’s a triple threat from Octomore this week. The Bruichladdich brand always launches its peaty powerhouses in three and so we’ve got the creatively titled 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3 editions of Octomore here. We could pick any to highlight, but 13.2 is made from 100% Scottish barley malted to a hefty 137.3 PPM and then spent five years entirely in first-fill oloroso sherry butts, which is balanced so beautifully against that expressive Islay character.
Sweden’s High Coast distillery sees Octomore’s trio and raises them four new whiskies in its peated Silent Mills Collection: Marieberg, Sandö, Svanö, and Box. To pick just one is tough but we’re highlighting Svanö because, after its initial maturation in bourbon barrels, a portion of the whisky was then treated to an additional maturation in virgin Swedish oak casks. Bottled at 51% and with a phenol content of 51 PPM, this is big, complex, and balanced.