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Articles and General information on Single Malt Whiskies as well as other Whisky related topics.

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Tasting Notes

Posted by Bill Gorham on April 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (61)

I have added a new Category to the News Section. If any of the presenters would like to post their tasting notes should they so desire they can do so in the New section.

I have added the one that I presented from our last dinner. Have a look if you want.

Linked below:

Ledaig Tasting Notes.


The Spirit Journal's 130 Best Spirits in the World 2010.

Posted by Roberto on November 8, 2010 at 8:57 PM Comments comments (62)

Spirit Journal

Tasting Notes

All rights reserved �2010 F. Paul Pacult

The following story first appeared in the June, 2009 issue of F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal.

The Spirit Journal's 130 Best Spirits in the World 2010.

Each June, Sue and I publish a highly personal roster of my favorite five-star/highest recommendation spirits for the year, as reviewed recently or currently in the Spirit Journal. In the past we've always presented my pet spirits numerically, starting with Number One and including all categories in what amounted to a huge stew of distillates.

For 2010, we decided to shift gears on presentation by isolating the best of the best products by subcategory. In other words, segregate my top tequilas from my top gins, and the gins from the cognacs, and the Scotches from liqueurs, and so on. We think this method of arrangement is better and easier for Spirit Journal readers/subscribers since the list keeps growing every year.

Also this time, we've decided to devote the overwhelming majority of Issue #86 to the 130 Best Spirits in the World because they deserve to be revisited, retasted whenever possible, and discussed amongst friends. It just isn't enough to say that, for example, GlenPissant Malt Whiskey is Number 36 and leave it at that. I wanted to say why I think each product deserves to be included on this exclusive list, knowing � and fully expecting - that some readers may vehemently disagree. I expect, as in past years, that objections will fly into the SJ office on �why has Paul left out this whiskey� or �why he included that trashy thing is beyond me.�

Again, I painstakingly point out that these are only the private musings of one individual and should not be taken as anything more than that. I don't believe in infallibility. I don't believe in �Gospel truths� or �bibles� in any field of endeavor. I believe in subjectivity, at least in my own professional situation, which strives, even in vain, for some semblance of objectivity and fairness. As long-term subscribers know, I have certain spirits that I seriously relish (read: Scotch whisky, gin, armagnac, cognac, tequila, bourbon and rye) and some that I enjoy to lesser degrees (vodka, liqueurs). In over two decades of spirits evaluation, I have never claimed to be perfect; I'm just extraordinarily thirsty.

So, here, for better or for worse, are my picks by category of the best distillates of 2010. All 130, as stated earlier, have received five star ratings (our highest recommendation) in the Spirit Journal.

The Spirit Journal�s 43 Best Five-Star Whiskeys/Whiskies for 2010


Editor's Comments: Continues to be my favored spirits category, year in, year out, though American Whiskeys are closing fast. The across-the-board quality of Scotch whisky remains stellar and consistent. Their experimentation with various wood types for maturation has opened up exciting new vistas that have greatly furthered the cause of Scotch. What's so terrific about the Scots is that they are never satisfied and refuse to rest on their laurels. Hats off to them for that attitude. Moreover, I genuinely love the mornings that I review Scotch. What more needs to be said?

1) Highland Park 18 Orkneys Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $100.

Still my favorite Scotch whisky of the era. As many times as I taste this legend over the course of the year, HP 18 never fails to show me something new and different, a nuance that I hadn't detected previously. This classic continues to be a stupendous work of distilling art that, I believe, is one of the greatest beverage alcohol liquids ever produced and is assuredly the finest of the last 20 years. Graceful on the one hand; mighty and fathomless on the other. Delectably salty/peaty/maritime on the one hand; intensely malty on the other. If I could only select but one Scotch whisky, HP 18 would remain that very special singular choice. A masterpiece to savor many times before one dies.

2) Springbank 18 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 46% abv, $189.

Speaking of distilling genius, what can anyone say about Springbank that hasn't been said in these pages and countless other publications? This particular bottling is extra nice because I think that this is the ideal age for this Campbeltown icon. While the wood aspect rounds off the edge of the alcohol, the mildly maritime bouquet and entry taste feature a wild array of multilevel middle stage aromas and flavors that seem endless. The finish is a model of what Scotch whisky aftertaste should offer in terms of a summation. Wow.

3) Glenmorangie The Nectar D'Or Extra Matured Range Sauternes Cask Non-Chill Filtered Northern Highlands Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 46% abv, $75.

This thoroughbred was on last year's roster and I've returned it to the Top Three because frankly if I couldn't have HP 18 and Springbank 18, I'd be perfectly content to sip the night away with this lushly textured, dried fruit, winey blockbuster. Dr Bill Lumsden, the Glenmorangie genie, has seduced his global audience many times but never has he done so with such stunning elegance and elemental elan. Nectar D'Or rocks, baby. This is Northern Highlands whisky splendor at its silky finest.

4) Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland); 40% abv, $80.

I know that some narrow-minded SJ subscriber malt whisky snobs are at their laptops firing off emails of protest over me choosing a blended Scotch as my Number Four pick for Scotch. But, what can I say other than I love this supple, fully integrated blend because it displays its Highlands malt core from start to finish and, most importantly, its age is at the sweet spot for Scotch whisky (is it any wonder that five of the top seven Scotches are 17-18 years old?). JW Gold is that rare constructed whisky in which its innate power is in ideal harmony with its elegance. The equal measures of strength and grace never cease to astound and impress me at a primal level of enjoyment.

5) The Glenlivet N�durra Triumph 1991 Barley Varietal Speyside Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 48% abv, $85.

Over the years, I've been bullish on more than a few of The Glenlivets, from the quintessential 12 to the majestic 18 to the rare vintages to the potent N�durra. Now comes this vintage expression of N�durra that had me doing handstands in my office when I evaluated it. This burly malt shows what kind of raw power The Glenlivet can produce when given the right set of circumstances. Far removed from its trademark grace and Highland floral virtues, N�durra 1991 is all about deep potency and brawny cereal grain flavor. I'll settle this right now. Is this my all-time favorite expression from Scotland's most illustrious distillery? Yes.

6) Bowmore 18 Year Old Islay Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $85.

Ever since I was introduced to Bowmore on my first trip to Islay in 1989, I have been an ardent admirer of its middle-road path. Never too peaty/smoky but just enough to give you a gentle slap in the face, Bowmore has artfully straddled the Islay fence while never losing its identity or virtue. Its always been the voice of moderation on an island that proudly espouses whisky personality extremes, from the bare knuckle, back alley approach of Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin to the more polished, less smoky likes of Bunnahabhain and most Bruichladdichs. Bowmore, like Caol Ila and Port Ellen, has strived to be a baritone in an opera dominated by bass voices and tenors. This particular expression is Bowmore at its satiny finest.

7) The Macallan 17 Year Old Fine Oak Speyside Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $120.

The Macallan Fine Oak series has been one of the most pleasing new developments over the last 10 years of tasting Scotch whisky. Unveiled in the face of some criticism by Mac traditionalists, this magnificent series has breathed new life into an iconic brand. For me, the 17 Fine Oak is the pinnacle achievement of the series and is a sensationally satisfying malt whisky that reflects the best of Speyside and the best of The Macallan Distillery. That said, it's no surprise that my Number 10 is The Macallan 18 Sherry Oak. I treasure both styles of The Mac.

8) Springbank 11 Year Old Madeira Wood Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 55.1% abv, $99.

Two Springbanks in my Top Eight? Yes, they deserve to be in the top eight because of the incredible range of aromas and flavors that their use of different woods has brought to the consumer. This is a remarkably different malt whisky to the Springbank 18, yet it still owns the trademark Springbank malt intensity, mild peatiness, and off-dry character that can only be the thumbprint of this Campbeltown institution. I'll make another statement that might raise some eyebrows: Springbank remains one of Scotland's three greatest distilleries right now, along with The Macallan and Highland Park.

9) Arran Malt Pomerol Bordeaux Wine Casks Isle of Arran Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 50% abv, $80.

As far as which malt distillery has come the longest way over the last decade, I choose Isle of Arran. This succulent expression is one that I've introduced consumer audiences to over the last year to hoots and hollers of delight. It's without question one of the best spirits I've tasted in the last two years and definitely worthy of being in the Top Ten Scotches. I also very much like the elevated abv, which lends a tremendous textural impact that lasts seemingly for a week. I hope that the people at Arran keep reaching for the stars.

10) The Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak Speyside Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $150.

Upon retasting this serious malt again recently, I was reminded why it is an international standard for malt whisky. It's that ideal age (18); the sherry oak makes it winey/pruny/raisiny and plump and dried fruit sweet; and, jeez, I just love the daylights out of it because it's so wonderfully decadent. This will always be in my personal pantheon of malt whisky gods. Scoop it out with a spoon. Luscious and the perfect complement to the more nimble Fine Oak series.

11) Springbank 12 Year Old Cream Sherry Cask/ Cask Strength Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 56.1% abv, $113.

I admittedly went wild over the depth of the cask strength abv, which becomes a treasure trove of flavor possibilities and aromatic nuances. But it's in the midpalate that the best work is done as the cream sherry aspect comes alive and the texture turns rich and silky. I recall with fondness the few great limited-edition Glenmorangie Sherry Cask releases from several years ago and how thrilling they were as the Sherry wood accentuated the malt whisky. This bottling is an ideal marriage of barley grain whisky and gently sweet oak. Superb.

12) Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX Private Collection Northern Highlands Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 46% abv, $80.

Speaking of breathtaking Sherry wood influenced malt whiskies, here is another stunning achievement from the mind and nose of Dr. Bill Lumsden. In this case, the Sherry influence is raisiny/pruny Pedro Ximenez (PX) and it makes for exciting drinking of the first rank. Even though the PX impact is subtle, there lies beneath the surface a racy dried fruit element that mingles well with the dry breakfast cereal depth of the malted barley spirit. One of my all-time favorite Glenmorangies.

13) Glenrothes 1991 Speyside Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $75.

With their vintage releases, Glenrothes stands with the finest malt whiskies from Speyside/Morayshire. It's the consistency of this distillery that makes it one of my favorites from a region chockfull of excellent distilleries. Glenrothes is a core malt for popular blends like Cutty Sark. This edition is intensely grainy and supple and, in my mind, one of the finest of its vintage series


14) Highland Park 25 Year Old Orkney Islands Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 48.1% abv, $230.

While the peerless HP 18 will always be my favored Highland Park, this biscuity, fathomless bottling at a higher proof is a close second. Perhaps it is the elevated abv that makes it special for me because abv gives a whisky structure and this lovely release is all about foundational substance and length in the mouth. Tasted numerous times over the last few years, I marvel at the extended, elegant aftertaste every time I have it.

15) Chivas Regal Gold Signature 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland); 40% abv, $55.

To my way of thinking, Chivas Brothers Master Blender Colin Scott is as good as it gets in the whisky blending game. I keep Chivas 18 around in my office as a late afternoon bracer and I must say that of all the whiskies I have close at hand, it's the one that I turn to when it's been a rough day. There's just something terribly comfortable and reassuring about it that soothes and enlightens and calms. What greater compliment can I offer?

16) Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 1990 Non-Chill Filtered Islay Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 46% abv, $110.

Without question, my favorite Ardbeg of all-time. Bourbon barrels. Distillate from 1990. I especially love the cigar tobacco and seaweed aspects that don't bother to hide in the early stages and just came flat-out running at you. Then it goes sappy and gently sweet at midpalate and in the finish it displays an elegance and a bearing that, to me, brings Ardbeg to new heights of grandeur. An Islay classic that will endure for a long time.

17) Longrow 7 Year Old Gaja Barolo Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 55.8% abv, $125.

What I find so enthralling about this maritime-influenced whisky is its youthful vigor and freshness. Its barrel strength abv doesn't hurt at all either since the abv brings with it an amazing structure that frames the piquant aroma and taste. This is a challenging malt because of its power but don't allow that to put you off of it. This is a malt that you grow into and one that, once tamed, becomes a glorious habit.

18) Bruichladdich Rocks Islay Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 46% abv, $47.

It�s this Islay whisky�s bouquet as much as anything that still sets me on fire. It�s all bready and cake-like and gently sweet at first, then with aeration the aroma detonates a series of bombs, namely, red grapes, vanilla, pork rind and blackberry preserves, that seduce the senses and make for excellent quaffing. The aftertaste is tight as a drum, lean, directed and concentrated. As good as any Bruichladdich I've ever tasted.

19) Blackbull 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (Scotland); 50% abv, $50.

Deep amber color; minor, inconsequential sediment seen. Initial inhalations encounter beefy/grilled meat-like aromas that remind me of barbeque, but also more subtle scents of dark caramel and brown sugar; this fast-evolving bouquet introduces notes of toasted marshmallow, old leather and honey after aeration. Entry is rich, creamy, piquant, spicy, bittersweet, cocoa-like and powerful; midpalate is a sensational m�lange of honey, oloroso Sherry, buttercream, egg cream, vanilla extract, sweetened coconut and sweet cereal grains. Finish is like a nougat-filled, dark chocolate-covered candy bar. One of the best blended Scotches ever.

20) The Balvenie Sherry Oak 17 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 43% abv, $95.

I know that long-time SJ subscribers are aware of my fascination with Sherry wood and single malt whisky, but here again is another Speyside expression whose quality is so high that it simply demands to be purchased. The hint of grapy/plummy sweetness elevates the entire experience. The Balvenie malt lends itself well to a kiss of Sherry oak. Beautifully rendered.

21) Port Ellen 29 Year Old/8th Release Natural Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 55.3% abv, $400.

Of the many sensational whiskies in Diageo's Rare Edition/Natural Cask Strength series, this Port Ellen from Islay stands out as a masterpiece. Understated and utterly charming, this whisky shows that while many single malts falter after 25 years in barrel, others flourish and gain in stature. This beauty is the latter. As you may be tired of hearing by now, the barrel-strength abv gives this whisky the solid core on which it's able to display its many virtues. Without doubt, the finest Port Ellen I've ever tasted.

22) Bowmore 1992 16 Year Old Wine Cask Matured/Cask Strength Islay SMSW (Scotland); 53.6% abv, $120.

A superior bottling like this thoroughbred, distilled in 1992, is why I've long held that Bowmore is one of Scotland's foremost malt distilleries and certainly in the top ten. It's that rare whisky that offers maritime power and pungency with Highland elegance. And I love the age. This whisky is at its peak right now and the Bowmore crew deserves lots of credit for bottling it at this optimum stage.

23) Auchentoshan 18 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Matured Lowlands SMSW (Scotland); 55.8% abv, $1,000.

Couldn't have a Top Spirits roster without including at least one Lowlands malt whisky and this Auchentoshan is a superstar whisky whose genuine limited edition status makes it one of the most difficult to locate whiskies on this list. Another example of harmony between abv, wood, age (that magic 18), acidity and barley malt. It's in my Lowlands pantheon. The baking spices aroma is off the charts and the tightly wrapped flavor features wonderful aspects, such as vanilla, Sherry, nougat, caramel and baked bread. It's the whole package. Magical.

24) The Glenlivet 1973 The Cellar Collection Speyside Single Malt Whisky � Limited Edition (Scotland); 49% abv, $1,250.

The brooding deep topaz color looks terribly serious; impeccable clarity. Evocative scents of old leather chairs/men's club/dusty library are the upfront aromas in the initial whiffs after the pour; an extra seven minutes of aeration bring out the prickly abv and also a nuance of malted barley, but little more. Entry is raisiny sweet, pruny, intensely wooded and, in fact, so �ber-oaky that I sense very old Sherry in an explosion of prunes, dates and raisins; midpalate is honeyed, creamy and full of bacon fat, grilled meats, rancio and orange flavored chocolate. Brilliant.

25) The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III Northern Highlands Single Malt Whisky (Scotland); 40% abv, $200.

The dimensions on this whisky really impressed me to the point where I must have it on this summary roster. Always a second tier distillery, The Dalmore has been solid and reliable for as long as I've been writing about malt whisky (1989). I found this expression to be as delicious as any I'd had since the marvelously affordable Dalmore Cigar Malt and actually I believe this to be the better whisky of the two.


Posted by Roberto on November 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM Comments comments (0)




VINTAGES 187823 | 700 mL bottle Price: $ 34.95 Spirits, Scotch Whisky 46.0% Alcohol/Vol. Made in: Scotland, United Kingdom By: Kilchoman Distillery Co Ltd

Release Date: Oct 30, 2010 

Tasting Note

This (rather young) Islay distillery's second release. Like the first, it's aged for about three years and then finished in sherry casks?this time for a shorter two and a half months. Its flavor is similar to the first release. Once again, I am quite impressed. It's very mature for its age, with good viscosity, showing smoldering peat, coal tar, black licorice stick, burnt dark berried fruit, thick-cut marmalade, shoo-fly pie (think molasses), toffee apple, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a suggestion of wet sheep. Long, peat smoke finish Score - 90. (John Hansell, Malt Advocate, Summer 2010)



Jura Celebrates 200th Anniversary with Special 21-Year Old Single Malt

Posted by Roberto on November 2, 2010 at 1:04 PM Comments comments (26)

Jura Celebrates 200th Anniversary

with Special 21-Year Old Single Malt

by Noah Joseph (RSS feed) — Filed under: Spirits

The only distillery on the Hebridean island that serves as a stepping-stone between Islay and mainland Scotland. Jura always stands out from other single malts. But this year stands out more than others, as the distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary.

To commemorate the bicentennial, Jura has released a special-edition 21-year old bottling, which joins its core range of 10, 16, Superstition and Prophecy single malts. It will be offered only in strictly limited quantities, direct from the distillery and from select retailers worldwide.

Sweetening the deal even further, buyers lucky enough to get their hands on the 200th anniversary bottling are also invited to visit the distillery and taste some of their even rarer malts on site.

Whisky Live Toronto 2010

Posted by Roberto on November 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM Comments comments (29)

Whisky Live Toronto 2010

By Ryan on October 28, 2010 6:26 PM (

Last Friday, Oct. 22nd ScotchBlog was fortunate to attend Whisky Live at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The team hit the floor eagerly as soon as press was admitted and began making ourselves familiar with the many brand representatives and ambassadors present. By the close of the show, after hosting many a dram, we came away with full notebooks and a distinct stagger.

This years show had a number of noticeable changes in format from last years. Removal of the divider between the food dining area and the whisky booths gave better flow to the showroom and encouraged easier mingling. They also did away with the pipe band and the Highland Dancers in favour of a live band and a "Best Bartender" competition ; two bartenders squared off in a series of five and ten minute rounds of expert cocktail composition. Salt, bitters, orange zest, and of course good single malt scotch, abounded in the elaborate concoctions they produced.

There were also a few disappointments, for instance the absence of Yamazaki, which was much looked-forward to after our recent foray into Japanese whisky. Luckily, Nikka was in attendance with the Yoichi 10, and a 12yr Pure Malt for tasting. Also, we expected to see more from Whyte & Mackay. Given the exciting news of their recent find in Antarctica one would think there would be some remarkable marketing opportunities to be had here. We are sad to report that there's nothing but the Glasgow Special available at the LCBO for the foreseeable future.

Between samplings from Macallan, Glenmorangie, Highland Park and others, we stopped had a chat with Joseph Cassidy of Via Allegro at his much trafficked lounge area. Still one of the formost authorities in Toronto's whisky scene, Joseph was offering drams of Singleton's Glendullan 12 and Talisker 10 year old paired with slices from a huge wheel of smoked Gouda. In case you haven't tried this Singleton bottling, it is tremendous value and garnered a lot of buzz at the show . Thanks to J.C. for turning us on to this gem!

The next stop was the The Feathers Pub booth which showcased their 3 house malts sourced from Signatory independent Bottlers. The relatively young single malts were expressive of the 3 major areas of Scotch whisky production: a 7yr old Highland, 6 yr old Lowland, and a 5yr old Islay malt. Each variety was true to the traditional styles of the areas they represented, and would serve as a great introduction to the drink. Owner Reid Pickering is determined to carry on the legacy of The Feathers as a destination for Single Malt enthusiasts. His pub regularly offers tastings based on "Whisky Tours" of Scotland, various flights and hosts whisky events. ScotchBlog will soon be making a visit to see the collection of over 400 Single Malts!

Given the sparse attendance, due in equal measure to the high price tag for attendees and the paucity of event advertising, one wonders about the longevity of the Toronto show in comparison to the other locations on the Whisky Live tour. There were no exclusive bottles offered, as at other shows, and sadly few of the booths were staffed with representatives who worked in the actual distilleries. Many of the presenters lacked significant product knowledge, and a few seemed truly disinterested in the proceedings. The limited expertise of the presenters, however, was mitigated by the many enthusiastic and knowledgeable attendees we met. We look forward to seeing many of you at future events!

Other Notent Potables:

Jura Prophecy is described as a rustic, peaty maritime malt with fresh cinnamon notes and it will be in the LCBO within the next month. Head over to Jura's website to enter to win free scotch every week!

Arran, makers of the Robert Burns Single Malt, are releasing a Pomerol Cask Finish in December. Last year the St. Emilion finish was a hit, and we predict this one to be equally enjoyable. Reddish copper with a pleasant aroma of vanilla and jam, the Pomerol expression tasted of raisins, red berries with a rich mouthfeel and a long chewy finish. Also, look for their Amarone finish next summer.

In the long term, Arran looking to establish flagship products in the 10, 14 and 18 (not yet available) and move away from the cask finishes as its focus.

A highlight of the show was Arran Sherry Cask, 14 yr old, matured in a single sherry cask, yielding about 550 bottles and never to be seen again. This was the star of the show in terms of a truly complete Scotch whisky.

Dun Bhaegan's Rosebank 18 was one of the most unique drams of the night, but pales in comparison to the Douglas Laing 19 yo. bottling.

Maker's Mark will be releasing a new line of their bourbon, Makers 46. Distiller Bill Samuels Jr. worked to develop a new aging process which involves introducing 10 new charred French oak staves into the casks. Unfortunately, they didn't bring any to try so we'll have to take their word that it's higher proof and has hints of cinnamon. No confirmed date for release in the LCBO but we were told "soon."

Penderyn Single Malt Whisky is out in the LCBO with a limited release of 250 cases. At 46% alcohol, the nose is strong and gradually opens to reveal vanilla, apple and smoke. The palate was somewhat oily and tasted bready with phenolic notes turning to a fresh grape finish. An interesting whisky geared toward collectors.

Review: The Black Grouse

Posted by Roberto on November 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM Comments comments (35)

Review: The Black Grouse

October 28th, 2010 - John Hansell

The Black Grouse, 40%, $29

One might assume this to be just a smoky version of the standard Famous Grouse (with its honeyed malt, bright fruit, and floral demeanor). But, in addition to the enhanced smoke (which caringly adds a new dimension without smothering the other flavors), there also seems to be more malt body and oak spice in the mix, which I think takes Black Grouse to a higher level than Famous Grouse. The grain whisky contributes a “drinkability” component, making it a great introduction to smoky whiskies. Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 86

Dalmore Produces the Worlds Most Expensive Single Malt

Posted by Bill Gorham on October 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Article Extracted fromWhiskymerchants Website

GLASGOW, Scotland October 14  2010  /PRNewswire/ —


The first bottle of whisky in the world to break the six figure price barrier was revealed by The Dalmore distillery which has sold two bottles for £100,000...each.


The 64 year old Trinitas, named because there were three bottles produced, was acquired by a luxury whisky lover in the US and a renowned whisky investor in the UK.


The third bottle of the record breaking spirit will be sold at the Whisky Show in London at the end of October. However organisers are keeping the exact details of the exclusive sale under wraps for the moment.


Industry experts claim that if the bottle was sold by the glass in exclusive restaurants and clubs, it could fetch up to £20,000 for a typical 50ml dram.


What makes it so Special


Trinitas is believed to contain some of the rarest and oldest stocks of whisky in the world, some of which have been maturing in the Dalmore distillery on the shores of the Cromarty Firth for more than 140 years.


The Dalmore’s renowned master distiller Richard Paterson claimed this was not about breaking world records but about making the best whisky money can buy.


"The hand of time has been generous and rewarding with the malts I chose to use. They allowed me to create a taste sensation which will never be repeated again and will only ever be available to those that own these bottles. You cannot put a price on that."


Paterson concluded: "People recognise that you have to pay a premium for true exclusivity, craftsmanship, quality and heritage. Even in this day and age, when times are tough, those that enjoy the finer things in life want to reward themselves with something very special. And you won’t get more special than The Dalmore 64.


Richard Paterson used his unrivalled expertise and knowledge to fuse a range of these exclusive malts together.


He then placed them in one boutique, hand crafted American white oak cask for two years to create a unique spirit which will never be replicated again.


Richard Paterson Dalmore Trinitas 64 Tasting Notes:


The initial bouquet is highly complex. Powerful notes of sweet raisins, rich Colombian coffee, crushed walnuts and bitter orange casts its magical spell over you. Another glorious fusion of grapefruit, sandalwood, white musk and Indonesian patchouli completes this bouquet of exuberance.


The spirit must be nurtured and cherished long in the mouth to tease out every hidden flavour. Sweet sultanas, figs, and a caramelised topping of Seville oranges, apples, mangos and dates roll over the tongue. This is quickly followed by a wave of lingering sensations of vino dulce muscatel, marzipan, treacle toffee, soft liquorice and roasted coffee. A soft caress of truffles, walnuts and muscovado sugar on your palate brings this unforgettable fanfare to a flawless finish.


Dalmore Trinitas Presentation


Three hand crafted crystal decanters were commissioned to house the rare whisky, and these were dressed with the brand's iconic royal stag's head, an engraved neck foil and Richard's signature which were all hand made in silver by award winning jewellers.


The bottles are presented in a beautiful "cabinet" which took over 100 man hours to make, including a hidden drawer to hold the authenticity paperwork, and a key to a unique lock for the case created by London's oldest locksmith Brahma.


Display Cabinet


Each one of the three Dalmore Trinitas presentation boxes is completely bespoke. Formed and shaped by highly skilled craftsmen, they are constructed from solid English oak encased in a Macassar ebony veneer. Relatively rare in veneer form, this exceptional wood is particularly hard and dense.


Twelve individual coats of lacquer were applied to the surface and then cut back by hand after every four coats. After the final coat of lacquer was applied, the surface was then cut back using increasingly fine sand paper, finishing with a very fine grade of emery paper. Finally, the lacquer was burnished with various grades of finishing paste, until the mirror finish was achieved.


The bottom drawer uses unfinished sycamore with hand cut dovetails, and is lined with black suede. The scroll tube is hand turned out of a solid piece of Macassar ebony and finished by hand with a silver collar in the centre.


Silver Work


The design drawings were translated into solid silver pieces by meticulously carving and cutting by hand. The larger parts bear the Scottish hallmark, struck by the Assay Office in Edinburgh. This mark attests the quality of the metal, and endorses the year of manufacture.


Sterling silver was chosen because it is 925 parts pure metal, with the addition of 75 parts copper. The copper works in harmony with the silver to give it an inner strength and makes the alloy workable.


The overall purity of the metal allows a perfect finish on the surface giving the final work of art a brilliance, to reflect the quality of the whisky.


A facsimile of Richard Paterson's signature was then carefully applied to the bottle, in silver. The Dalmore stag was then hand crafted to the scale of the bottle and finished by hand with carving and filing.


The trefoil, neck sleeve and lettering have all been lovingly produced in silver with the same care and attention.




Three crystal decanters were commissioned and specially made using hand-blown crystal of class-leading quality and clarity.


Molten, full lead crystal was heated to almost 2000 degrees before being gathered by hand, mouth blown and shaped to forge a final, beautifully sculpted piece. Truly brilliant crystal is distinguishable from others by its greater transparency, luminosity, weight and perfection. The addition of lead to the composition ensured perfect clarity, softening the glass and thereby facilitating greater precision with handcutting.


Many different processes were involved each involving hours of intricate and detailed work.


Highland Park 16 yr

Posted by Bill Gorham on August 27, 2010 at 10:14 PM Comments comments (24)

From The Scotch Blog

By Ryan on August 16, 2010 9:13 PM

On my way to North Carolina, I discovered this sweet liquid in the Toronto International Airport Duty Free Shop. Matured in old bourbon and married in oloroso sherry casks, Highland Park created this expression strictly for the "global travel retail market."


Had I known at this little tidbit at the time I would've picked up an extra bottle! 

Regrettably, the 1 litre bottle lasted me about a week and if you're fortunate enough to find it during your travels: buy two and squirrel one away.


Nose: Citrus peel, cereal, hints of smoke.


Palate: Soft and almost creamy mouthfeel flavoured by honey-sweetened malty cereal and tingling citrus with smoke arriving just before the finish.


Finish: Delicate smoke and peat are wrapped in a long-lasting, sweet and mouth-filling sherry finish.


Overall: Pleasantly light, well-balanced and smooth this whisky did me wonders on the veranda at Holden Beach, North Carolina, this past week. Terrific with pecan pie, this "Island-infused" dram kept me company on long walks on the beach at night and, of course, it is best enjoyed with a tiny splash of water to really bring out the aromas.  


Highland Park discontinued the 16 yr in April of this year, so if the notes above pique your interest, act fast.


Century Old Scotch found in Antarctic.

Posted by Bill Gorham on August 13, 2010 at 6:44 PM Comments comments (26)

One of the crates of the Scotch whisky that was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century was finally opened Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 but the heritage dram won't be tasted by whisky lovers because it's being preserved for its historic significance. (AP / Antarctic Heritage Trust)


The Associated Press

Date: Friday Aug. 13, 2010 10:59 AM ET

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A crate of Scotch whisky that was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century was finally opened Friday — but the heritage dram won't be tasted by whisky lovers because it's being preserved for its historic significance.

The crate, recovered from the Antarctic hut of renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton after it was found there in 2006, has been thawed very slowly in recent weeks at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.

The crate was painstakingly opened to reveal 11 bottles of Mackinlay's Scotch whisky, wrapped in paper and straw to protect them from the rigors of a rough trip to Antarctica for Shackleton's 1907 Nimrod expedition.

Though the crate was frozen solid when it was retrieved earlier this year, the whisky inside could be heard sloshing around in the bottles. Antarctica's minus 22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius) temperature was not enough to freeze the liquor, dating from 1896 or 1897 and described as being in remarkably good condition.

This Scotch is unlikely ever to be tasted, but master blenders will examine samples of it to see if they can replicate the brew. The original recipe for the Scotch no longer exists.

Once samples have been extracted and sent to Scottish distiller Whyte and Mackay, which took over Mackinlay's distillery many years ago, the 11 bottles will be returned to their home — under the floorboards of Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island, near Antarctica's McMurdo Sound.

Whisky lover Michael Milne, a Scot who runs the Whisky Galore liquor outlet in Christchurch, described the rare event as a great experience.

"I just looked at this (crate) and honestly, my heartbeat went up about three paces. It was amazing," he said. "The box was like a pioneer's box with the wood and nails coming out," he said.

Although Milne said he'd give anything to have a taste of the whisky. "It is not going to happen and I am not going to get excited about it," he said. "But if there was ever an opportunity, it could be a wonderful one to have."

Nigel Watson, executive director of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, which is restoring the explorer's hut, said opening the crate was a delicate process.

The crate will remain in cold storage and each of the 11 bottles will be carefully assessed and conserved over the next few weeks. Some samples will be extracted, possibly using a syringe through the bottles' cork stoppers.


From Article on CTV at:

The KSMS Tasting List

Posted by Bill Gorham on August 6, 2010 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (29)

KSMS Tasting List online.

We have added a list of the Single Malts that have been sampled over the last couple of years as well as a preview of the upcoming samplings.

Be sure to check out the list. You can link to it from here.

KSMS Tasting List.

Also note:

You will notice some changes to the site. Colours have been modified to make it easier to read.