Cù Bòcan Signature Creations


The Cù Bòcan range of lightly peated whiskies (+/- 15 ppm), produced in Winter for one month at Tomatin distillery has recently been relaunched. It now contains three expressions, presented in a nicely reworked bottle:

  • Cù Bòcan Signature : a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and virgin American oak casks (same as before)
  • Cù Bòcan Creations #1 : matured in Black Isle Imperial Stout casks and Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal wine casks
  • Cù Bòcan Creations # 2: matured in ex-Shochu and virgin European oak casks

These last two have pretty funky recipes. More Creations will follow in the future.




Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/tomatin/cu-bocan-signature-creations/

New: Lagavulin 21 Years Jazz Festival // The Whisky Jury // Whisky Show 2019


Lagavulin 21 Year Old – Islay Jazz Festival 2019

A 21 year-old Lagavulin at cask strength, if that doesn’t get you excited, then what does? It is released for the Islay Jazz Festival 2019 , to celebrate the 21st edition.

Matured in a combination of refill American oak hogsheads and freshly charred hogsheads, the tasting notes mention dried fruits, briny smoke, sandalwood, bacon and a hint of gunpowder. There will be 2004 bottles, available at the distillery only for £ 395.




New bottler: The Whisky Jury

Belgium has a new independent bottler called The Whisky Jury , looking...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/lagavulin-21-years-jazz-festival-whisky-jury-whisky-show-2019/

Arran Lochranza Castle 21 Years

The Arran owns a couple of casks that come straight from working sherry soleras at Bodegas Tradición . Arran used them to finish the Arran Lochranza Castle 21 Year Old , the second whisky in their Explorers Series .

The 45 year-old Amontillado VORS is arguably the best wine from Tradición. However keep in mind that a solera system will also contain much younger versions of the wine (the youngest being 10-15 years in this case) so we can’t be sure what we’re getting exactly. The cask itself will be really old though.



imageArran 21 yo ‘Lochranza Castle’...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/arran/arran-lochranza-castle-21-years/

Ben Nevis 1995 (The Whisky Jury)

After months of preparation, this is the first release from a brand-new Belgian bottler called The Whisky Jury . The name refers to the fact that owner Joeri considers himself a jury for casks, only acquiring those that get a 90/100 score in his book. Läs mer on the Whisky Jury website .

It’s a Ben Nevis 1995 presented with a beautiful label. We’ve had several excellent expressions from this period, mostly 1996 and 1997.



imageBen Nevis 23yo 1995 (51,2%, The Whisky Jury 2019, hogshead #970, 245 btl.)

Nose: the typical Nevis waxiness is prominent, nice start. Balm,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/ben-nevis/ben-nevis-1995-whisky-jury/

Ardmore 30 Year Old

Launched at the very end of 2018, not long after the Ardmore 20 Years , this Ardmore 30 Year Old is the oldest official bottling so far, I think. An important release, yet it was launched without the usual marketing trumpets.

It was distilled in their direct coal-fired stills back then (ended in 2001 after a fire), matured in refill bourbon casks and finished in first-fill bourbon casks.



imageArdmore 30 yo 1987 (47,2%, OB 2019, refill + first-fill bourbon)

Nose: plenty of hay and grasses, with waxy and spicy hints (pepper, nutmeg), cold ash and a little coffee....

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/ardmore/ardmore-30-years-1987/

Inchmoan 2007 (cask #96 for TWE)

As you know, Loch Lomond distillery produces 11 types of single Maltwhisky. Inchmoan is the heavily peated style made in its signature ‘straight-neck’ pot stills (which also produce Inchmurrin). It is less peaty than Croftengea and Inchfad though.

This Inchmoan 2007 single cask was bottled for the 20th anniversary of The Whisky Exchange .



imageInchmoan 12 yo 2007 (54,9%, OB for TWE 20th Anniversary 2019, refill bourbon hogshead #96, 289 btl.)

Nose: a very balanced, almost sensual style with silky peat, burning wood, touches of menthol and germolene. Toffee, golden apples and sablées bretons in the distance,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/loch-lomond/inchmoan-2007-cask-96-whisky-exchange/

Glenrothes 25 Year Old (Soleo Collection)

The Glenrothes Soleo Collection brought age statements back to this distillery, replacing the vintage concept which it pioneered and made popular in the past decade or so.

The Glenrothes 25 Year Old (released a bit later than the others) is the oldest expression in the Soleo Collection, although a 40 Year Old is set to be released early next year. It is matured in “a high proportion” of first-fill sherry seasoned sherry casks. Too bad they stick to a modest 43% ABV even in this price range.

Mind that there was a Glenrothes 25 Year Old around 2007, which was...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glenrothes/glenrothes-25-years-soleo/

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak is 100% matured in new American oak. While it’s regularly seen for finishing or in a mix with other cask types, it can be overpowering for a full maturation.

For this expression Glen Garioch specifically used ‘inner heartwood’ of 100-year-old trees, which was heavily charred.



imageGlen Garioch Virgin Oak (48%, OB +/- 2014)

Nose: sweet, with plenty of vanilla and spices like ginger, cardamom and anise. Sugared cereals, a little buttered toast. There’s also a grassy, greenish woody note, like freshly sawn oak. Mouth: thick but also a tad raw, the cloves and other...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glen-garioch/glen-garioch-virgin-oak/

Secret Lowlands 2011 // Speyside 1996 // Craigellachie 2006 (Liquid Treasures)

eSpirits, the company behind the Liquid Treasures series, released a few whiskies to mark the 10th anniversary of the company. We’ll try three releases from sherry casks.

We’ll start with an undisclosed Lowland Region Malt 2011 . No clue as to the origins, Auchentoshan springs to mind or even Bladnoch. Anyway are we going to end up in a situation where all independent bottlers are undisclosed names, or what?



imageSecret Lowlands 7 yo 2011 (59,8%, Liquid Treasures 2019, sherry hogshead, 176 btl.)

Nose: nicely candied, fruity sherry. Red berries, strawberry candy, then moving towards floral notes and rose...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/speyside/secret-lowlands-2011-speyside-1996-craigellachie-2006-liquid-treasures/

Longmorn 12 Years (Hill Thomson Co)

Today is my birthday, always a reason to dig up something special from my (sample) collection.

I decided upon this Longmorn 12 Year Old from Hill, Thomson & Co . Once a humble grocer in Edinburgh, they developed their own brands like the famous Queen Anne blend (est. 1902). They had close relations with the Longmorn distillery and had easy access to their whisky.

In 1970 the company merged with The Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distillers and Longmorn Distillers to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.

This Longmorn 12 was bottled before 1940 , I’m not sure which elements led to...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/longmorn/longmorn-12-years-hill-thomson-co/

New: Tomatin Amontillado + rum // Fettercairn 16 Year Old + 23 Year Old


Tomatin 2006 Amontillado finish // Tomatin 2009 Caribbean rum finish

Highland distillery Tomatin announced two limited editions: a 2009 Caribbean rum finish and a 2006 Amontillado sherry finish .

The Caribbean rum matured for 9 years in traditional casks before being finished for one year in first-fill rum barrels. There are 7200 bottles for around € 60.

The Amontillado finish sounds more interesting to me as it’s rarely used for whisky finishing. This one was also 9 years old before getting a three year finish in first-fill Amontillado. It costs around € 70, with 5400 bottles available. Both are a...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/tomatin-amontillado-rum-fettercairn-16-23-years/

Compass Box Tobias The Angel

Inspired by a Renaissance painting by Verrocchio of a naïve boy led by a divine angel, Compass Box Tobias & The Angel paid some royalties to use it on the packaging.

Tobias & The Angel is a vatting of 24 year-old Clynelish and ‘considerably older’ Caol Ila , an almost 50-50 combination of distilleries that Compass Box used many times since they first used it in Eleuthera in 2002. It can be seen as a celebration of 20 years of whiskymaking.



imageCompass Box Tobias & The Angel (47,6%, OB 2019, refill bourbon hogsheads, 2634 btl.)

Nose: quite an...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/blends/compass-box-tobias-and-the-angel/

Highland Park 2003 (Wu Dram Clan)

If the name Wu Dram Clan doesn’t ring a bell: it’s a whisky club of which Boris Borissov and Sebastian Jaeger are members (also involved in this Lagavulin 1997 and this Springbank 1992 ).

Now they’ve picked a Highland Park 2003 from a European oak sherry cask. Probably a butt which they shared with the ‘Dutch flagship stores’ (yet to be announced afaik).



imageHighland Park 15 yo 2003 (58,2%, OB for Wu Dram Clan 2019, first-fill European oak sherry cask #6162, 628 btl.)

Nose: oak spice up front (ginger, cardamom) with a leathery style of sherry. Thick dried...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/highland-park/highland-park-2003-6162-wu-dram-clan/

Macdonald’s Glencoe 8 Year Old

After the pleasant surprise that was the Macdonald’s Celebrated Ben Nevis , I had to try this one as well…

MacDonald’s Glencoe is a Blended Malt (vatted malt if you like) produced by Ben Nevis distillery, referring to the narrow valley (Glencoe in Gaelic) near the site and to the famous owner John MacDonald who used to market his brand as Long John’s Ben Nevis in Victorian times .

The recipe is unknown but I’ve heard it is mainly Ben Nevis with just one other distillery , also from the Highlands. It is bottled at cask strength without artificial colouring....

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/ben-nevis/macdonalds-glencoe-8-year-old/

Bielle 2011 vs. Bielle 2013 (Rasta Morris)

Bielle distillery is located on the Marie-Galante island, a part of Guadaloupe. It has always been the cane sugar island, with the production of rum agricole since the late 19th century.

I know Bielle is one of the favourite malternatives of Bert Bruyneel, who runs the whisky bottler Asta Morris and the sister brand Rasta Morris . In 2019 he bottled two casks: one from 2011 (RM 009) and recently also a 2013 (RM 015).

Like most of these rums, they aged most of their life on the island, but they usually also spend some time in Europe (France) prior...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/other-spirits/rum-bielle-2011-bielle-2013-rasta-morris/

New: Glenfarclas 25 Years TWE // Compass Box Bern’s // Alistair Walker


Glenfarclas 25 Year Old (TWE 20th Anniversary)

Made at the Glenfarclas distillery and matured in an Oloroso sherry cask, this Glenfarclas 25 Years ‘London Edition’ is a new limited edition for the 20th Anniversary of The Whisky Exchange . It has a specially-created label by TWE’s creative director Raj Chavda. Limited to 606 bottles.

Only available from The Whisky Exchange




Compass Box Bern’s

A new bespoke whisky from Compass Box for Bern’s steak house in Tampa, Florida. It contains plenty of different whiskies (Glenlossie, Clynelish, Tamdhu and Glen Ord are responsible for around 95%) finished in a single...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/whisky-news/glenfarclas-25-years-twe-compass-box-berns-alistair-walker/

BenRiach 2008 (Asta Morris)

For a company like Asta Morris , bottling both whisky and rum has its advantages: this BenRiach 2008 was maturing in an ex-bourbon barrel but was transferred into a Foursquare rum cask , also an Asta Morris release, from last year.



imageBenRiach 10 yo 2008 (52%, Asta Morris 2018, Foursquare rum finish, 289 btl.)

Nose: candied fruits at first (oranges, peaches in syrup), with honey and vanilla. Stewed pears. As you dig deeper you’ll find drier notes. Light oak and the slightly industrial rummy side, as well as a leafy note. Mouth: fairly thick and sweet again. Honey,...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/benriach/benriach-2008-asta-morris-foursquare/

Port Charlotte Pl6 (Elements of Islay)

In the latest batch of Elements of Islay bottlings there was this Port Charlotte Pl6 , a combination of 3 bourbon barrels distilled in 2011, bottled at cask strength… of course.



imagePort Charlotte Pl6 7 yo 2011 (55,3%, Elixir Distillers ‘Elements of Islay’ 2019, bourbon barrels, 1163 btl.)

Nose: coastal sharpness mixed with charcoal and sweet smoke. Linseed oil, beach pebbles, hints of burnt heather and herbs. A tad austere perhaps but there’s a light hint of peach in the background. Mouth: warmer now, with hints of smoked bacon, almonds and gingerbread. More sweetness now, mainly plums and...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/bruichladdich/elements-of-islay-pl6/

Bowmore 12 Year Old

I maj have deliberately skipped it in the period of fragrant violet-infused Bowmore, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried this Bowmore 12 Years , the cornerstone of the core range. At least I haven’t taken notes until now.

This is the latest version (2018-2019) with a bigger white label and the age statement in a central black block. A couple of years ago the label was similar but the age statement was at the bottom in a black banner (see my review of the Bowmore 18 Years for instance).



imageBowmore 12 yo (40%, OB +/- 2019)


Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/bowmore/bowmore-12-years/

Macdonald’s Celebrated Ben Nevis

Macdonald’s Celebrated Ben Nevis is a NAS single Maltwhisky originally released as a recreation of the original 19th century recipe that made Ben Nevis famous. That means it is slightly smoky, as most whiskies were back then, even those from the Highlands and Speyside.

Meant to be a (numbered) limited edition, it proved popular (again) so it’s now part of the core range, though sometimes hard to find. Last year the presentation was brought in line with the rest of the range, in the typical dumpy bottle.



imageMacdonald’s Celebrated Ben Nevis (46%, OB +/- 2019)

Nose: sweet...

Läs mer https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/ben-nevis/macdonalds-celebrated-ben-nevis/


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