If you follow my #BackToWhiskyBasics lessons each month, you probably know the difference between official VS independent bottlings – And you also probably know that independent bottlings are definitely one of the best ways to find amazing whiskies at affordable prices. Today’s dram is no exception to the rule ! You know me, I just couldn’t miss the occasion to introduce you guys to a less-wellknown bespoke bottler!
Who’s Rigby ?
John Rigby & Company is a gunmaking firm founded by John Rigby in 1775 in Dublin. The Company is now owned by Lüke & Ortmeier Gruppe, and is based in Pensbury Place, London and builds rifles based on Mauser barrelled actions, and double rifles based on its Rigby-Bissell 1879 Patent rising-bite action. Rigby also offers a serial-number research service, refurbishes vintage Rigbys for owners and collectors around the world, and maintains a Rigby collection in its showroom.
Beside their gunmaking craft, Rigby has been diversifying its portfolio by bottling spirits (you probably also remember their partnership with the Thurso-based distillery of Wolfburn?) and I was more than intrigued to try them out!
More about their history here!
What about the whisky ?
“After a sodden but rewarding day in the field, your mind drifts to the thought of lighting the woodburner and sinking your weary body into your favourite leather wingback. The only other element missing from this inviting image is a single malt. Relishing a whisky while penning notes in your tatty game book is the tranquil moment that rounds off a challenging day impeccably. An experience shared with a Rigby single malt is an experience doubled.”
For this first experience with Rigby products, I’m tasting a 18-year-old Blair Athol finished in sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV
As for all limited bottlings, when it’s gone it’s gone, so better be quick putting you hands on this one 😉 [Which can also make a perfect Christmas gift]
Nose: Sweet, gourmet and delicate with treacle, cinnamon rolls, honeycomb, wax and caramel syrup. There’s also something rubbery coming in with notes of leather, roasted nuts and old furniture. I know it may sound a bit cliché given Rigby’s activity but yeap, this nose reminds me of a hunting lodge. Or is it just my mind being influenced ?
Palate: Robust, thick, oily and rather frank with more nuttiness, dried fruits, rum & raisins ice cream, sweet spices and a pronounced oakiness that kind of dominates. A Very pleasant and mouth-coating dram showing drier notes and wine tannins towards the end.
Finish: Lingering with oak and spices.
Need some more Xmas inspiration?
Here are my personal picks from Rigby:
Perfectly sized to fit in your pocket, this 5.5 oz / 150 ml hip flask is protected by a hand-stitched calf-leather pouch, embossed with Rigby’s famous double R logo in gold. For added comfort and convenience, the chrome-plated cap can also be used as a cup in the field, making this an ideal companion on any expedition.
“Handcrafted, Rigby’s dry gin is distilled with 100% gluten-free British wheat grain in traditional copper pot stills and blended with only the purest Sussex spring water which runs beneath the distillery and charcoal-filtered to ensure a full bodied flavour. The signature Gunpowder Tea botanical is carefully sourced from Japan. Tenderly distilled to create hints of spice and subtle natural tannin flavours to complement the citrus notes from the coriander and lemon zest creating a bold gin for any intrepid adventurer seeking the “Spirit of the Hunt”. Each bottle contains 70cl and is 43% volume, presented in a Rigby presentation box.”