No April fool today (would have been too obvious…) but my usual monthly whisky wishlist! And I haven’t been that enthusiastic about a wishlist in a while! All the below nectars – from newcomers to well-established brands & even a phoenix rising from its ashes – I’m particularly happy with the diversity and consistency of this month’ selection.
As usual, click on titles for direct links to shop
Wolfburn Single Malt
Becoming Scotland’s northernmost whisky producing distillery when it released its first single malt in March 2016, Wolfburn is built just 350m away from the 19th century distillery from the ruins which it takes its name. With long fermentation, slow manual distillation and maturation taking place at least partly in quarter casks that previously held peated whisky from Islay, this is a release we’ve eagerly anticipated!
Lagavulin 8 years old – 200th Anniversary
Back in the 1880s Alfred Barnard, author of The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, enjoyed an 8 year old Lagavulin he described as “exceptionally fine”. As part of their 200th anniversary celebrations, the distillery have therefore decided to recreate an 8 year old! It’s bottled at an exciting 48% abv and was matured in refill European and American oak casks.
Created by Distillery Manager John Campbell, Laphroaig Lore is said to be the richest ever Laphroaig! Named after the skills passed down over the generations, this permanent addition to the range is matured in a combination of casks including first fill Sherry butts and quarter casks and is said to contain some of their “most precious stock”.
Domaine des hautes glaces – Les Moissons Organic Single Malt
Les Moissons Single Malt is made using organic barley grown and malted on-site at Domaine des Hautes Glaces in the alpine region of south-east France. Matured in a combination of virgin oak casks and those which used to hold either Cognac or white wine.
A handsome release from Islay’s newest distillery, Kilchoman Sanaig is an enjoyably peaty single malt which has been vatted from both bourbon and Sherry casks. It’s named after a small, rocky creek rather near the distillery on the west coast of the island. Look out for plenty of fruit and earthy peat coming through on this one, with a touch of dark chocolate-covered raisins.
Benromach 35 years old
Benromach was mothballed in 1983 and despite being purchased a decade later by Gordon & MacPhail, wasn’t up and running again until 1998. This release predates the 18 year gap in production, with nods in smart the packaging to the original dark grained wooden washbacks as well as the stills and lime washed distillery walls.
Exile Casks – The Trojan
It could only happen in the strange world of Scotch whisky production, one company’s precious liquid in a competitor’s cask. No one quite knows how that happened but since it went into the cask on a fine June morning in 1990 the whisky has developed its character of steadfastness and endurance, hidden in the dark wooden walls, waiting for the right time. Joel & Neil (famous whisky writers) tracked this unique cask down and released its heroic contents for you to enjoy with some modern warrior companions of your own.