Read a round-up of some of the latest whisky news from around Scotland.
Tomintoul Speyside Single Malt
Tomintoul Single Malt Scotch Whisky has released an exclusive Second Edition of its 40-year-old expression.
With only 165 individually numbered bottles available globally, the Second Edition will allow connoisseurs the opportunity to enjoy this rare and the sought-after single malt.
This rich and complex single malt has matured for over 40 years in the finest hand-selected American oak ex-bourbon hogshead casks, before being bottled at a cask strength of 43.1% ABV, natural colour and non-chill filtered.
Tomintoul Aged 40 Years Second Edition displays a rich, fruity sweetness, perfectly balanced with gentle notes of oak spice and rolling tobacco.
Scotland’s oldest licensed distillery, Littlemill, has unveiled its latest annual release, The Vanguard Collection – Chapter One.
The 45 Year Old whisky is drawn from the oldest and rarest reserves of the extraordinary Lowland distillery, which fell into silence in 1994.
The release was distilled on the 11th of October 1977 at the original site in Bowling, West Dunbartonshire, using Littlemill’s patented straight-neck copper pot hybrid stills, which were first introduced in the early 1900s, an innovation of their time then and today.
The liquid was stored in refill American Oak casks before a final five-year finish in a first-fill Oloroso Sherry Hogshead. The result is a wonderful single malt boasting honey, elderflower, and nutmeg on the nose, with a silk-like mouthfeel of melted brown sugar, vanilla, and fresh fruits, before a long finish full of citrus flavour and caramelised sugars.
A new expression
Turntable, the small-batch whisky blender founded by Glasgow brothers Gordon and Ally Stevenson, has launched its highly anticipated core range.
Turntable has unveiled three core expressions that reflect the brothers’ commitment to crafting blends.
All three blends, Paradise Funk, Smokin’ Riff and Bittersweet Symphony, are natural colour, non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV.
In safe hands
A new organisation established to create a safe environment for whisky enthusiasts and customers to buy and sell casks has been launched.
The Cask Whisky Association (CWA) is made up of two boards of members and advisors and includes cask whisky businesses, distilleries, independent bottlers, whisky experts and authors as well as legal and insurance professionals working within the sector.
By setting best practices in cask whisky ownership and sale, the association aims to protect cask whisky customers and the wider whisky industry.
Chairman of the Advisory Board and spokesman for the CWA Colin Hampden-White says the association’s goal is to uphold the overall reputation of the Scotch whisky industry.
The GlenDronach Grandeur 2023 edition has been unveiled and has been described as ‘one of its most luxurious expressions to date’.
Grandeur Batch 12 is over 29 years old and composed of a bespoke selection of rare sherry casks hand-selected by distinguished Master Blender Rachel Barrie.
Having matured slowly and deeply in Oloroso sherry casks for nearly three decades, this is a rare expression from one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland.
Bunnahabhain Distillery has revealed its third annual small-batch cask strength release: Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Cask Strength 2023 Edition.
Matured on the remote, north-eastern coastline of Islay, and produced using natural spring water from the Margadale spring, the 2023 edition of 12-Year-Old Cask Strength is an undiluted celebration of the distillery’s popular unpeated sherried house style, synonymous with the Islay based distillery.
Following on from the success of the 2021 and 2022 editions, this release is a nod to Bunnahabhain’s 12 Year Old signature expression.
It has been matured in a selection of first and second-fill oloroso sherry casks, before being balanced by a touch of bourbon with each cask being carefully selected by Master Blender, Julieann Fernandez.
At cask strength, the intensity naturally varies from batch to batch. This year’s release has an ABV of 60.1%, compared to 56.6% of 2022 and 55.1% of 2021.
Retaining the beautiful flavours developed from the sherry casks during maturation, the 2023 release offers a fruitier dram than its predecessors, with notes of stone fruits and figs, followed by lingering hints of vanilla that complement the finish.
Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled the latest addition to its prestigious Private Collection range.
Gordon & MacPhail 1949 from Glenlivet Distillery was laid down in a refill Sherry butt selected by Gordon & MacPhail on New Year’s Day 1949 and bottled on 6th March 2023.
Its remarkable age means the whisky is among one of the oldest Glenlivet released by Gordon & MacPhail, having been aged in its warehouse for over seven decades.
Adding an extra layer of rarity, the single malt is the company’s last ever 1949 cask from Glenlivet Distillery.
Layered with complex notes and full of vibrancy and character, the whisky displays sweet, stewed fruit aromas that combine with fragrant cinnamon, aged leather, clementine, and beeswax polish.
On the palate, autumnal spices and fruitcake are balanced by cracked pepper, with undertones of garden mint, dark treacle, and charred oak.
Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd, announces the release of a highly prestigious malt from its ‘Rarest Collection’ – a Port Ellen 40-year-old single malt whisky from March 1983.
This limited release of 209 bottles comes from cask number 667, one of the last batches of Port Ellen production and mere weeks before the distillery closed its doors for the last time in May of the same year.
As worldwide demand for smoky and peated malts has surged, Port Ellen, a cult whisky among collectors, has become one of the rarest, most iconic and sought after around the globe.
Founded by Alexander Kerr Mackay in 1825 on Islay’s southern coast, Port Ellen was named after the nearby town and became an innovator in the whisky industry with great success exporting to the United States. Impacted by Prohibition, the distillery initially fell silent for 37 years from 1930.
It was then resurrected in 1967 due to the demand for peated whisky when it expanded from two to four stills. However, Distillers Company Limited, who owned Port Ellen from 1925, closed its doors in 1983.
Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky delved into its archives to release this first-fill sherry cask 40-year-old single malt, which is a veritable time capsule of Port Ellen’s early 1980s releases.
At 104.8 proof the liquid was matured in a European Oak ex-sherry butt, with the cask initially stored on Islay, until it was laid down to finish maturing in the vaults at Duncan Taylor’s HQ in Aberdeenshire in 2010.
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.