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Recent releases, October 2011

Glendronach, 21-year-old (Scotland)
The latest edition to the permanent GlenDronach range is a 21-year-old expression, named ‘Parliament’ after the ‘parliament of rooks’ that are a centuries-old feature of GlenDronach distillery. “We felt we needed something to fill the big gap between the 18-year-old and the 31-year-old expressions,” says company sales and marketing director Alistair Walker. “It’s a logical place to plug the gap in the range and it allows people to experience GlenDronach as it ages. “Like the 12-year-old GlenDronach, the 21-year-old comprises spirit matured in Spanish Pedro Ximinez and oloroso Sherry casks, and the result is a whisky which is rich and intense, with concentrated flavours. We bottle it at 48%abv to set it apart from the rest of the range.” Bold, sweet sherry on the nose, with soy sauce, molasses and new leather. Full-bodied, confident and fruity in the mouth, with caramel and lots of spicy leather, then late-developing cloves. The finish is lingering, with liquorice, plain chocolate, more spice and oak tannins. 48.0% ABV, 70cl, £65.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Ardbeg, Alligator (Scotland)
Ardbeg Alligator is an eagerly-anticipated cask strength expression which employs some re-charred American oak casks for maturation. It takes its name from a style of cask charring, in which the burnt wood staves take on the appearance of an alligator’s scales. The heart of Alligator is spirit matured in ‘Level 4’ casks - the most intense type of charring possible. According to The Glenmorangie Company’s Dr Bill Lumsden, “Extremely fierce charring of the casks has imparted additional smoky, barbecue flavours, giving Ardbeg Alligator a unique spicy bite that’ll catch you unawares.” Beach bonfires, ozone and a savoury note on the nose, plus Balkan Sobranie tobacco. The palate is sweet and smoky, with chilli, ginger and dark tea. Long and gently spiced in the lengthy finish, which majors in sweet smoke, with a final citric and medicinal tang. 51.2% ABV, 70cl, £58.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenfarclas, 175th Chairman’s Anniversary Reserve (Scotland)
This expression from Glenfarclas celebrates the independently-owned distillery’s 175th anniversary. The Chairman's Anniversary Reserve combines four casks from the 1960s, with ages totalling 175 years. The presentation comes complete with water jug and Glencairn nosing glass. A classic Glenfarclas nose of bold sweet Sherry, honey, malt and stewed fruits. Rich and full in the mouth, with drier Sherry notes than those present on the nose, plus molasses and cocoa powder. The long finish is spicy and even peppery, with fresh tobacco and plain chocolate notes. (1,296 bottles) 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £365.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Isle of Arran, The Sleeping Warrior (Scotland)
Isle of Arran Distillers’ latest release is a limited edition (6,000 bottles) produced in collaboration with the National Trust for Scotland. The single malt was drawn from ex-Sherry, Bourbon and red wine casks dating from the year 2000, and Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd, says that “We are pleased to be supporting the National Trust for Scotland and to raise funds to help maintain the footpaths leading to Goatfell, Arran’s highest peak. “As residents of the Isle of Arran, we are very keen to maintain the beauty of the island for both locals and visitors, and so will be making a donation to the National Trust for Scotland for every bottle sold.” The whisky is named after the summits and ridges of the north end of the Isle of Arran, a landmark locally referred to as the Sleeping Warrior. The nose features milk chocolate with raisins; very sweet, with vanilla. Less sweet in time, with slightly smoky caramel. Sherry, new leather, lively, fruity spice, ripe cherries, background ginger and vanilla on the palate. Quite lengthy in the finish, with spice, caramel and a hint of liquorice. 54.9% ABV, 70cl, £58.50, specialist whisky merchants.
Redbreast, 12 Year Old Cask Strength (Ireland)
Redbreast is the first permanent cask strength bottling to appear in Irish Distillers’ Single Pot Still Whiskeys of Midleton collection, and is initially available in Ireland, France and Germany. It joins 12 and 15-year-old expressions in the Redbreast line-up. Brendan Buckley, Global Category Development Director for Irish whiskey at Irish Distillers, says that “Over the years, we’ve had great encouragement from whiskey enthusiasts and fans of the renowned Redbreast range to launch a cask strength expression, and we’re delighted to be finally releasing this incredible single pot still whiskey in response.” Barry Crockett, Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery, adds that “This is a very special single pot still whiskey, full of dried fruit flavours, with an exceedingly long finish. It is the perfect addition to the Redbreast range – representing the expression in its purest state. I’m confident that this will become the whiskey that all whiskey lovers will want to own and savour – myself included!” Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength has been matured in a combination of first-fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks and American Bourbon whisky barrels, and presents a nose of Christmas cake mixture, Sherry, honey and sweet machine oil. Viscous in the mouth, with dried fruits, ripe orange, vanilla and rich spices. Long, sweet and fruity in the Sherried finish, with ginger and cereal notes. Currently available in Ireland, France and Germany. 57.7% ABV, 70cl, Euros 69.00, specialist whisky merchants.
  

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