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Octomore 8.3 Masterclass Review

After being a bit distracted by the Old Pulteney 2004 we’re back at some more Octomores and today we’re checking Octomore 8.3.

Unlike Octomore 8.1 and Octomore 8.2, Octomore 8.3 is only 5 year old which is more or less in line with previous Octomore generations. The barley was grown in a single field at Octomore farm (Bruichladdich Distillery neighbors) and 56% of the whisky was matured in ex-Bourbon casks and 44% matured in European oak casks. 18,000 bottles at 61.2% were produced.

The 309 PPM (Phenols per million) figure for Octomore 8.3 is mightly impressive, and probably holds the unofficial...

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Golan Heights Distillery Golani Brandy Finish Review

Yesterday we celebrated our 70th Independence day and with such a round nice number our lively local whisky scene didn’t kept quiet. The Golan Heights Distillery released a special limited anniversary edition of their two grain whisky Golani that was finished in a Brandy cask.

The Golani spirit spent 2.5 years in red wine cask (like the regular Golani Vino) and then 50 liters were finished in a 50L cask which held Brandy (distilled at the distillery) for another 6 months. 70 bottles were released to the market bottled at 49.7%.

Golan Heights Distillery Golani Brandy Finish (49.7%, 250NIS/~€57 )...


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No Brora and Port Ellen in Special Releases 2018 Announcement

This morning Diageo announced 9 out of 10 bottles of their Special Releases 2018. For the first time ever since the SP series was launched, there are no Port Ellen and Brora bottles in the list.

Instead we see four bottles destined to the regular consumers market. In addition to Lagavulin 12 CS and Caol Ila  15 Unpeated, we have a Cask Strength 8 Year Old Talisker and 14 Year Old Singleton.

The tenth bottle will be revealed later this year and the series bottles will probably be will during oktober 2018.


The current SP 2018 list:

  • CARSEBRIDGE 48 year...

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Octomore 8.2 Masterclass Review

I reviewed Octomore 8.1 last week but I can’t really stop here so let’s head on to the next one in the series – Octomore 8.2.

Just like Octomore 8.1, it’s 100% Scottish barley peated to 167 ppm level and carries an 8 year old age statement.

The x.2 suffix in the series is reserved for wine maturation or finish, but this year it’s kind of extreme as the casks composition is complex. At first, the Octomore spirit spent six years in one of three different types of wine casks (all second fill casks):

  • French Mourvedre
  • Austrian sweet wines
  • French...

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Old Pulteney 2004 Single Cask #128 (TWE Exclusive) Review

Whenever The Whisky Exchange has a new single cask exclusive it is quite a thrill. Usually Sukhinder Singh does his magic and conjure some uniqe and good (or interesting at least) cask. I had my issues with their last Kilchoman exclusive but this time he actually managed to get Old Pulteney Distillery to bottle him a sherried Old Pulteney.

How rare is it? I can’t recall any fully matured sherried Old Pulteney from the last few years besides this one and the LMDW bottling. and to boot – this single cask is a first fill sherry cask (a sherry butt...

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The GlenAllachie core line up is revealed

Earlier this month the first official bottlings from the Speyside based GlenAllachie distillery were launched – a series of six single casks bottlings from 1991, 1990, 1989 and 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the distillery.

We knew it’s only a precursor to the real deal – a standard core line up is to be established and we know from the distillery website to expect 10, 12, 15, 18 and 25 year old expressions. But now we have more solid information on those expressions, thanks to the new labels that popped up at the Federal Database.

Based on the...

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The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask 14 Year Old (Travel Retail) Review

Last oktober I reviewed the Balvenie Peat Week 2002 14 Year Old which I quite liked but I neglected to review its sibling Peated Triple Cask 14 Year Old which is an exclusive offering for Travel Retail market so it’s time to fix that.

The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask 14 was matured in three (hence the Triple brand) different cask types: first it was matured in first-fill bourbon, then in refill bourbon and finally in sherry casks.

Let’s check it out and see how it compares to the Peat Week 2002.

The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask 14 Year Old (48.3%, £71.79...

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Octomore 8.1 Masterclass (Scottish Barley) Review

Currently we’re having here a short spell of rainy days and a bit colder weather (unfortunately just a bit) which is refreshing to have in april after yet another too dry winter. Let’s use the occasion to check out a heavily peated whisky, Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1.

This Octomore 8.1 is peated to 167 ppm level, was d istilled in 2008 using only Scottish barley. The casks used for this expressions are all  first fill american oak casks. According to Bruichladdich casks from Buffalo Trace, Clermont Springs, Four Roses, Heaven Hill & Jack Daniels were used here and the long list...

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Glenfiddich Experimental Series 04 Is Fire Cane

The label for the forth installment in Glenfiddich Experimental series has popped up in TTB database and is called Fire & Cane .

This is a peated Glenfiddich spirit (most likely 22 ppm) that was finished in Rum casks (like the 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish). This label partially surprised me as I expected a PX finish to be #04 but I not truly surprised from the appearance of a peated Glenfiddich in the series as I predicted it following the visit of Struan Grant Ralph, Glenfiddich Ambassador, a few months ago (See my in depth review of...

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The Duchess Belize 2007 10 Year Old (Travellers Distillery) Review

We’re in the midst of Passover holiday which means no whisky for me at the moment so let’s explore something else today – Rum.

It’s been ages since I reviewed Rum on the blog, but I explore Rum in my local (and great) Rum club and even have a few rum bottles at home. A while ago I got a surprise in the mail – a Rum sample from a Nils, a Dutch friend who also also operates as an independent bottler, bottling Whisky and Rum under ‘The Duchess’ brand name.

It’s their second Rum release, a 10 year old...

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Herno Distillery Tasting Notes

Herno London Dry Gin 40.5%

Tasted: Nov 2016

Nose: A big hit of juniper, sweet rose petals, cardamom and citrus. Lovely intensity with some subtle barky spice notes.

Palate: Very juniper orientated but intense and fresh with a touch of citrus, orris, cinnamon sticks and cassia bark.

Finish: Long and citric with lingering orange/ lemon peel and spice.

Conclusion: Complex And well balanced. Great, tongue tingling finish.

Herno Navy Strength Gin 57%

Tasted: Nov 2016

Nose: Fresh, citric and junipery with a touch of cereal spirit beneath. Balanced with lemon verbena, coriander, cassia and perfumed juniper.

Palate: Soft and surprisingly...

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Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 24 Year Old, E.H. Taylor Four Grain More New Releases

While pondering the pricing on high-end bottles and anticipating future releases from Old Montreal Distillery , take a few moments to read up on this week’s newest whiskies.

The latest Orphan Barrel bourbon is launching, and it will be familiar to fans of the brand. Rhetoric 24 year old follows up on the previous four releases at 20, 21, 22, and 23 years old with one more year of age and a tiny bump in proof to 45.5% ABV. It also has gone up a bit in price to $130. Quantities are limited.

Meanwhile, Buffalo Trace Distillery is also re-releasing...

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What’s Driving the Price of High-End Whiskies?

Examine some whiskies from Whisky Advocate’s 2017 Top 20 . Number 3,  Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades —a mix of bourbons aged between 10 and 20 years—costs $150. Yet number 10,  Glen Moray 18 year old, comes in at just $90, while number 15, Kentucky Peerless Straight Rye —a 2 year old craft whiskey—is $125. Meanwhile, Old Rip Van Winkle 25 year old hit the market last year at $1,800, while Michter’s Celebration —a 33 year old bourbon—has a recommended retail price of $5,000. They’re all whiskies, made from grain and aged in barrels—so why such a massive disparity?


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Scottish Distillers Are Making Rye Whisky—Sort Of

Scotland is undergoing a rye renaissance that has spiced up the debate about what can and cannot be produced in a Scotch whisky distillery. At least eight distilleries including Bruichladdich , InchDairnie , and Lone Wolf have been experimenting with rye, and while the spirit is aging in casks, distillers are busy scrutinizing the rules to work out how they can bottle it without falling foul of the Scotch Whisky Regulations, which dictate what can and cannot be labeled as scotch.

Single malt Scotch whisky must be produced from 100% malted barley and must be distilled on a pot still,...

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How to Appraise and Insure Your Whisky Collection

You’ve amassed a collection of whiskies, properly inventoried every bottle—and if you haven’t, read this guide —and now you want to make sure that your investment is secure. It’s time to get an appraisal. Whether it’s for insurance purposes, or because you are selling at auction, an accurate valuation of your whiskies will be essential. And who knows? Your collection maj be worth much more than you think.

Why Insure Your Bottles?

“Insurance is there to put you back in the same financial position that you were in immediately prior to an insured event happening, such as a loss,” explains...

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Canada’s Newest Whisky Comes from the Oldest Part of Montreal

Canadian whisky is making a return to its historic roots. On februari 14th, 2018, New Orleans-based Sazerac Company announced it was distilling in the historic Montreal neighborhood of Old Montreal—the very cradle of Canadian whisky. It was in Montreal that early Canadian distillers began making spirit from grain, rather than the then-dominant molasses. And now, with the opening of Old Montreal Distillery, whisky spirit is flowing in the city once again.

The distillery was established in the 1920s as Meagher Distillery, producing liqueurs and later genever. After several decades under the majority ownership of Dutch spirits firm DeKuyper, for the...

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Wild Turkey Longbranch, Balvenie DoubleWood Anniversary Edition More New Whiskey

It’s Friday the 13th, but don’t get spooked—this week’s new whiskeys are all perfectly normal. In fact, Diageo just announced news of its 2018 Special Releases —most of them, that is.

First up, Wild Turkey has announced a new, permanently available bourbon called Longbranch, which master distiller Eddie Russell made in partnership with creative director (and film actor) Matthew McConaughey. It’s 8 years old and filtered through both American white oak and mesquite charcoals, and it costs $40. Since McConaughey’s stamp of approval is on it, I’m guessing this whiskey is all right, all right, all right (or even better...

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Is It Too Late to Collect Whisky?

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The same might be said of buying whisky. As barely a month passes without a whisky setting a new record auction price, it would be easy to think it’s too late to join the party. It doesn’t help that there’s always some curmudgeon around boasting of the good ol’ days, when fine bottles of whisky were affordable and could be picked up off the store shelf. Times maj have changed, but there’s no point in thinking about what could have been. With some...

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New Whiskies To Try at WhiskyFest D.C. 2018

WhiskyFest descends on the nation’s capital on april 17th, giving local whisky lovers the chance to taste from among hundreds of scotches , bourbons and ryes , craft whiskey, and more. One of the best reasons to attend? The opportunity to try brand-new whiskies, practically fresh from the barrel. These are seven of our top picks, but there are many, many more— check out the full pour list .

Haven’t gotten your tickets yet? Sort that out first , then read up on how t o make the most your evening . See you on the 17th!

Glenmorangie Spìos

Glenmorangie releases...

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The 2018 Diageo Special Releases Are Coming

Diageo has announced nine out of its ten Special Release Collection whiskies for 2018. As it did last year, the company is keeping details of the tenth whisky under wraps until later in the year. Last year’s surprise whisky was Collectivum XXVIII, a blended malt containing whiskies from all 28 of Diageo’s malt distilleries.

Collectors and savvy drinkers maj notice a couple of gaps in this year’s list. For the first time since the Special Releases were launched in 2001, there’s no Port Ellen or Brora among them. That doesn’t mean there is no Port Ellen or Brora whisky left...

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