6 Fabulous Whiskies To Make The Holidays Better

Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Linkwood 13-Year-Old Reserve – 57.3% 70cl


Toffee apples on the nose and toasted caramel notes emerge beautifully. The palate is complex and rich with notes of nougat and woody tobacco hints. Definitely one of our favourite’s!

Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky – 40% 50cl


The Taiwanese distillery, despite only being in business since 2005, has stunned the industry with their young but full-flavored whisky, focusing on their distinctively enjoyable tropical fruit notes.

Nikka Miyagikyo No Age Statement – 70cl 43%


Masataka Taketsuru, known as the; Father of Japanese Whiskey; created Nikka in 1934. The Miyagikyo distillery, located close to Sendai in northern Japan, produces this rich, fruity, and smooth Single Malt which presents flavours of honey, citrus peel, and freshly cut grass.

The Lakes Whiskymakers Reserve No.5 – 52% 70cl


The fifth edition in The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve series is a great example of an outstanding English single malt! This bottling presents a distinctively sherried style, bottled at 52% ABV and made using a combination of Pedro Ximénez sherry, Oloroso sherry, and red wine casks.

Legent Bourbon – 47% 70cl

Legent bourbon is truly unique while remaining true to the core of bourbon’s principles, bringing together over 225 years of bourbon-making heritage and nearly 100 years of Japanese whisky artistry. Partially finished in red wine and sherry casks, it has a complex combination of spice and fruity undertones.

Lindores Cask of Lindores STR Wine Barique – 49.4% 70cl


This is the second release in the Casks of Lindores series from Lindores Abbey distillery, and has been matured exclusively in STR (shaved, toasted; re-charred) red wine barriques and bottled at 49.4% vol. A warming, sweet dram with complex spice.

 

Lochlea ‘Our Barley’ Single Malt Whisky

Another amazing family-run distillery crafting some fabulous spirits! We still have stock of their new ‘Our Barley’ release.

Lochlea is an incredibly rare entity these days in this industry, an independent family-run distillery. Without a large corporate hierarchy, it gives them more control over innovation and approaching their small batch production.

By using our own barley grown on the farm and our on-site water source, we have full traceability over the ingredients going into our process, allowing us a higher level of quality control and creating a flavour profile unique to Lochlea.

Lochlea Distillery

Our location offers the best of both worlds. Nestled in the heart of Ayrshire, we have beautiful rolling hills all around, yet are easily accessible from many of the major towns and cities in Scotland. Head north, and you’re in Glasgow in 30 minutes, south west and several scenic seaside towns along the coast.

Lochlea has set out to flip you preconceptions of Lowland whisky on it’s head!

Our Barley is the distillery’s first core single malt. Matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels, Oloroso Sherry casks and STR barriques. Bottled at 46% ABV and is non chill-filtered with no added colouring. Beautifully crafted by Production Director John Campbell.

Nose: Pear syrup, fruit bon bons, warm cut grass, marmalade.

Palate: Golden syrup, pepper, rye bread, macadamia nuts, cream soda.

Finish: A long finish with a lovely lasting orange beeswax note.

Grab your bottle HERE.

Tomatin’s Final Warehouse 6 Release

The final release in the distillery’s outstanding Warehouse 6 Collection is available. This release was created from casks 32 and 33, which had been distilled over 45 years ago. Maturing peacefully the entirety of its life in hand-selected Traditional Oak Hogshead casks. These casks were married together resulting in only 350 bottles total. Bottled at 46%.

This release is absolutely an exquisite bottling that is going to be for those looking for an investment, or better yet, to drink on a special occasion. It is not getting past the fact that this is an über luxury bottle. If you find yourself in the presence of an open bottle, with the opportunity to taste it, I’m sure you won’t be let down! This release is in the company of only two other whiskies to receive a score of 99 from the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

This is the perfect expression to conclude Tomatin’s successful Warehouse 6 Collection. The first time I tried this whisky I knew it was something very special. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy some extraordinary whiskies, but this one still stands out from the rest for me. Over four and a half decades of watchful waiting has seen this exclusive expression instilled with great complexity, yet it presents a tremendous youth and vibrancy which is a remarkable balance to achieve – I’ll be sad to see it go!

Graham Eunson, Tomatin’s Master Distiller
Each of the 350 units is decanted into an exquisite hand blown Glencairn Crystal decanter with unique copper decoration. This luxury bottle is presented with two glasses (also Glencairn Crystal), a solid copper stopper, along with a numbered certificate detailing the remarkable journey of the whisky.

In perfect harmony, aromas of strawberry liqueur, tropical fruits and roasted coconut balance out with an exotic spicy character. Golden syrup and marzipan add to the complexity, developing into rich chocolate, coffee and brown sugar on the palate. The exotic spices appear once again with a long, refined, lingering finish.

Tomatin Tasting Notes.

If you want to own a piece of whisky history, you can grab yours here!

New Releases from Snowdonia Distillery

One of favourite distilleries has just released not 1, not 2, but 3 new bottlings! The folks over at Snowdonia Distillery in North Wales have just given us 2 new variations of their El Rumbo Rums and 1 new addition to their Marsette Liqueurs. The distillery, who of course is responsible for Foragers Gin, put an incredible amount of time and heart into each of its spirits. They have taken multiple awards across the whole lineup, most recently a Silver for the Y Bēt Chocolate Vodka. The small team there really does an incredible job at bringing you the best that Wales has to offer.

In addition to the incredible gins they put out, the distillery team likes to venture into the more fun and unique side of spirits. As shown in their El Rumbo lineup by bringing in aged Cuban rum, then letting the rum rest in freshly emptied cognac casks. Now creating an Anejo and Coconut versions of their El Rumbo!

Now their Marsette Liqueurs are absolutely brilliant for the dessert cocktails we’ve been making around here. The Monsoon Coffee liqueur is incredibly moreish and makes a stunning espresso martini! So with the addition of the new Chocolate Essence liqueur it is going to make for some fun in house experimentation!

So, lets introduce the 3 new arrivals:

Ron El Rumbo Premium Cuban Anejo Oro Rum40%

El Rumbo Premium Cuban Anejo Rum is an expression that benefits from our Solera aging process at Snowdonia. Aged for three years in Cuba to then be transferred into our fresh cognac casks at Snowdonia. 

An aroma of classic desserts – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla fudge, this premium spirit is perfect to enjoy with a squeeze of lime and a Cuban cigar.

Nose: Toffee apple, vanilla fudge, hints of cocoa, cognac aromas. 

Palate: Soft, mouth coating, a cognac warmth with lingering apple and pear finish.

Ron El Rumbo Cuban Coconut Rum36%

El Rumbo Cuban Coconut Rum is an expression of natural flavours from the tropics.

Fresh Madagascar Coconut and Cuban Sugar cane combines aromas of fresh coconut milk, pineapple, and a refreshing sweetness.

This superior mixer can be enjoyed as a classic mojito or float it to enhance the flavour of a daiquiri. 

Nose: Coconut husk, Madagascan vanilla, candied pears, coconut milk and sugar cane. 

Palate: An ice cream texture with hints of walnuts and almonds. A palette coating, coconut milk finish. 

Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence30%

Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence is an enhanced spirit perfect for sipping over ice or enjoyed in cocktails.

The Single Estate Peruvian Chocolate allows for a light experience of 100% cacao with its nutty nature.

Nose: Dark chocolate, a clean break of fresh cocoa, slight hint of banana and freshly roasted walnuts aromas.

Palate: Soft sweetness of vanilla and cream, powerful dark chocolate and a long, viscous, warm finish.

So head over to pick up a new release or 2, so you have some incredible spirits for your summer cocktails!

Until next time.

-Andrew

Cù Bòcan Creation 3 & 4

We have received our shipment of the two newest Creation releases from Cù Bòcan. I am a fan of the Tomatin Distillery, so I was on board when I heard they were releasing a slightly peated range all those years back! They have most definitely come a long way in that time, with these 2 releases taking gold medals at this year’s San Francisco World Spirit Competition. When a distillery can step away from its “normal” way of crafting whisky to do something “experimental”, then succeed at that endeavor, I’m all for it.

Cù Bòcan is made with lightly peated Scottish barley and distilled in small batches every winter. The spirit is then put into carefully chosen casks that are not your run-of-the-mill combinations. Those cask decisions are what gives the finished product the uniqueness they are after. Resulting in a wonderfully balanced sweetness with whiffs of subtle smoke.

Creation # 3:

Moroccan Cabernet Sauvignon + North American Rye Casks

“The tastes and smells of a Moroccan Souk are brought to life with the exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon casks used for this innovative Creation. Light smoke with a touch of strawberries in balsamic vinegar, exotic spices, citrus and tropical fruits.”

Creation #4:

Tawny Port + Cognac Casks

“Our fourth Creation is a nod to The Antrim Cocktail, marrying two of Europe’s most revered drinks, Port and Cognac. The end result is a medley of plum jam, grilled peach, stewed forest fruit, cinnamon, and sweet campfire smoke.”

So if you are a fan of Tomatin Distillery and have not given this range a try, you should rectify that! The Highland sweetness you love, with just a hint of smoke.

Until next time!

-Andrew

Stalla Dhu Taking Home 2 More Amazing Awards!

The 2022 Whiskies Awards was another successful competition for the Stalla Dhu range! Two high awards have been given to the Caol Ila 11 year and Truth Be Told 22. With Caol Ila taking World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt and Truth Be Told taking Best Scotch Blended Limited Release. That’s an amazing showing from a small family built independent bottler. It’s fantastic to see the awards keep rolling in!

Fortunately/unfortunately, after the announcement all of the remaining Caol Ila sold out within a couple days! There are still bottles of the Truth Be Told in stock.

Truth Be Told 22:

Some famous distilleries are fiercely protective of their whiskies and adapted a process called tea-spooning; as in adding a teaspoon of another malt.

This is so ‘Independent Bottlers’ cannot call it a Single Malt or use the Distillery name.

This exceptional cask in its previous incarnations was known as ‘Wardhead’ and clues to its identity lie within the label.

Taste: Soft sophisticated spice, toffee touches, lovely lingering long finish.

2 New Releases from Snowdonia Distillery

New incredibly delicious releases from the folks behind the award winning Forager’s Gin! 2 unique spirits created to excite our taste buds.

1 gin and 1 liqueur!

These two are staying on the same path as all the other releases from the Welsh distillery. Quality craft spirits from a small team, using the best ingredients, to deliver their customers something special. From start to finish, the team there puts their heart and passion into every step of the process. I love when you find small distilleries like that!

The new additions are:

Forager’s Winberry Gin

“Foragers Winberry Gin encompasses the flavours foraged along our Welsh coast and throughout its cascading hills.

A complex blend which presents a profile of fresh citrus, robust berries and warming floral notes.

The Winberry is the most unique of berries, only being ready for one very short harvest a year. This then results in a very rare botanical to find.

It is stunningly sweet, small in size but generous in flavour with a long tart finish. A vibrant colour, candied like sweetness to an award winning spirit.

Celebrate this marriage of flavours with muddled blackberries, fresh mint leaves and tonic water.”

Marsette Monsoon Coffee Liqueur

“Marsette presents an artesian liqueur from the heart of the Indian Monsoon Rains – Handcrafted, copper distilled, small batch production.

We take the Monsoon Malabar bean to produce a coffee liqueur like no other. The bean swells in the humidity of the Monsoon Rains, allowing us to play with robust aromatic flavours, perfect for the mixologist.

The cold brew rests with a blend of Welsh Spirit and Madagascan Vanilla essence, creating a subtle hint of Tiramisu and a long, mouth coating finish of whipped cream and blue agave. “

Stalla Dhu New Releases!

We have received 3 new bottlings from the Stalla Dhu lineup! We are definitely excited when new whiskies come through the door.

Stalla Dhu, if you don’t know, is an award winning range of independent bottlings. Each bottle comes from different carefully chosen cask or distillery that can bring something special to the table.

Here are the new additions:

Stalla Dhu Single Cask Ben Nevis Proven8

This particular cask was specially selected by Ron Morrison in a blind tasting between eight different casks from Ben Nevis to be part of the Stalla Dhu’s new Single Cask bottlings. Limited to 237 bottles.

Nose: Sweet and rich biscuity aroma, lime curd and fresh wood shavings.
Taste: Creamy, sweet almonds followed by slight citrus notes.
Finish: Nutty sweetness and lingering creaminess.

Stalla Dhu Single Cask BenRiach 11yo

Limited to 327 bottles!

Nose: Toffee caramel, peachy fruitiness, soft white grapes followed by an earthy rhubarb aroma.
Taste: Cake and ice-cream mouthfeel, nougat, and sticky toffee pudding notes.
Finish: Lovely leathery finish followed by spice notes.

Stalla Dhu Single Cask Royal Brackla 15yo

A distillery quite literally Fit for a King, Royal Brackla was the first Scotch whisky ever granted a Royal Warrant, by King William IV in 1833, The King’s Own Whisky, still reigning true today. It’s also quite rare to find Royal Brackla whisky as a Single Cask bottling. Limited to 310 bottles.

Nose: Pear, cognac, winter fruits and spice aromas.
Taste: Buttery richness, warm spices followed by a fruity sweetness.
Finish: Warm, palate coating, complex finish.

Forager’s Newest Release!

Snowdonia Distillery has crafted another fantastic spirit! This time it is a new take on their already tasty Y Bēt vodka. Chocolate Vodka!

This is not your standard chocolate flavoured vodka, Forager’s set out to make this special. They went in search for the perfect chocolate to use in the creation of this vodka. That search led them to a single origin chocolate producer in Peru! This is high quality chocolate from the Amazon that was made from a producer that care about the product and the create it.

All that to say, that like all the other ingredients that go into their spirits, they choose the best quality. Add that to the double maceration and triple distillation of the sugar beet spirit, then you have something decadent. You can smell the cacao on the initial nose, after that it’s just an elegantly smooth and more-ish journey.

This release is limited to only 200 bottles, so grab one while you can!

Bruichladdich Octomore 12 Releases

We have just received our stock of the new Octomore releases, and we are super excited! I always enjoy receiving new stock from Bruichladdich because they do a fantastic job of keeping things fresh in an industry that sometimes is resistant to change. From their branding and packaging, to their flavour profiles, they are keeping things exciting.

Octomore is youthful experimentation at the highest levels! Careful calculations of wood, ingredients, and environment produces some of the best peat explosions that your tastebuds will experience. They push the boundaries of Islay whisky, in the best ways. If you’re not into the bold peaty and smoky whiskies, best to turn back now! Ha

Here are the Octomore 12 releases:

12.1 – 130.8 PPM – 5 Years – 59.9%

Nowhere is the dualism of our Octomore super heavily peated series more pertinent than in our .1 edition. Never as expected, delicate but powerful, this is unadulterated heavy smoke balanced with our vivacious and dynamic, fruity and floral distillate. While Octomore in itself does not conform to tradition, our Head Distiller Adam Hannett is inclined to mature Octomore .1 editions solely in ex-American whiskey casks for 5 vibrant years. Octomore 12.1 is the necessary control for the rest of the series, as experiments within an experiment, but our baseline should not be underestimated. Mainland grown Scottish barley is distilled in a patient and considered trickle. The stripped back maturation profile allows a sensory conversation that highlights the cereal-rich, malty notes of this barley-forward single malt. Vanilla, citrus and fudge culminate in an enigmatic challenge to received whisky wisdom.

12.2 – 129.7 PPM – 5 years – 57.3%

Octomore 12.2 follows in the footsteps of previous Sauternes legends. The now infamous Octomore 4.2 (Comus) became one of the most acclaimed and sought- after whiskies in our distillery’s portfolio, confirming that heavy peat smoke combined with sweet dessert wine of Sauternes is an incredible pairing. This Octomore 12.2 would spend three and a half years in ex-American oak casks, building a solid foundation of fruity and floral spirit in our lochside warehouses before being recasked in to impeccable quality Sauternes casks. The pivotal role of the Sauternes casks would add 18 months of supercharged fruit. Melon, white peach, honeysuckle and coconut add a real twist and sweetness to compliment the peat smoke of this heavily phenolic malt.

12.3 – 118.1 PPM – 5 years – 62.1%

Octomore 12.3 is single vintage, single field, single malt. Raised in Church Field on Octomore Farm by friend and farmer James Brown, this Islay grown barley has been trickle distilled through our tall narrow necked stills just two miles from where it was grown. This terroir-driven spirit would take two separate journeys before being combined; 75% was filled into ex-American whiskey casks, while the remaining 25% spent five years maturing in genuine Pedro Ximenez Solera casks from Jerez bodega Fernando de Castilla. This Islay barley spirit has breathed slowly and delicately for five aged years, its salty citrus marine note resulting from the locale of where the barley was grown and our warehouses proximity to the sea. The Pedro Ximenez casks contribute sweet dried fruit notes which highlight the rich dry peat smoke of Octomore.

We do still have a few older releases as well, so make sure to check them out as well here.

Till next time. -Andrew