gavin smith




 home    about    forum    tasted    features    whisky A-Z    directory    books    links    sign-up    beer    wine



    stories features


  

Recent releases, April 2012

Glenfiddich, Distillery Edition (Scotland)
Previously only available at selected international airports, Glenfiddich has now relaunched its 12-year-old Distillery Edition to a wider market. According to Malt Master, David Stewart, “Glenfiddich Distillery Edition is a classic expression of Glenfiddich with a higher strength which adds complexity. Characteristically, we have married the matured single malts for Distillery Edition in Glenfiddich’s unique oak marrying tuns to ensure a consistently well-balanced and elegant signature malt.” Glenfiddich Distillery Edition has been matured in American and European oak casks, including ex-Oloroso Sherry casks, and offers a rich, floral, malty nose, with a suggestion of pepper, while the palate is lively and spicy, with ripe fruit and a tang of Sherry. The finish is sweet and lengthy, with a hint of cloves. 51.0% ABV, 70cl, £37.99, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenfiddich, Vintage Reserve 1974 (Scotland)
Vintage Reserve 1974 is the first vatted Vintage Reserve to be released, and was chosen by Glenfiddich’s largest-ever selection panel, including Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Global Brand Ambassador Ian Millar and Glenfiddich’s UK Brand Ambassador Jamie Milne, as well as 13 global Brand Ambassadors. According to a spokesperson, “Marking an adventurous change to the selection process, rather than sampling whisky from single casks, the panel carefully nosed and tasted three exceptional vatted vintage whiskies dating from 1973, 1974 and 1975. After careful consideration and in-depth debate, the panel selected the 1974 Glenfiddich.” Brian Kinsman declares that “We’re delighted to unveil the 1974 Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve – not only because it’s our first ever vatted Vintage Reserve, but also because it was selected by a panel of Glenfiddich’s passionate Brand Ambassadors. Being surrounded by a panel of judges who are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about whisky was a fantastic and thoroughly rewarding experience. Just 50 limited edition bottles of the distinctly Glenfiddich whisky, which has rich, spicy oak notes and an amazing vibrancy for whisky of this age, will be available in the UK.” Smooth on the nose, with urbane spices, fresh pineapple, pear drops, vanilla, heather, malt and a hint of old leather. Full-bodied, with big fruit notes, orange and vanilla, on the palate. Sherbet lemon and developing soft oakiness in the finish, with instant coffee at the close. 46.8% ABV, 70cl, £499.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Bowmore, Springtide (Scotland)
Bowmore has added two permanent expressions and one limited edition variant to its travel retail-exclusive line up. According to the distiller, “Springtide takes its name from the high tide of spring, when the earth, sin and moon are all aligned.” The majority of the component whiskies in Springtide have been matured in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks. Maple syrup, figs, sultanas and Christmas spices on the nose, along with sweet smoke, emerging brine and hand-rolling Virginia tobacco. Finally, caramel. The palate is full and rich, with dark berries, sherry, treacle, ozone and wood smoke. Gradually more citric and spicy. The finish features spicy bonfire smoke, citrus fruits and a hint of Benylin cough medicine. 54.9% ABV, 100cl, £120.00, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Bowmore, 100 Degrees Proof (Scotland)
Also new to the Islay distillery’s travel retail range is 100 Degrees Proof, which recalls the days before the widespread introduction of the expression of strength by ‘alcohol by volume’ percentages. 100 proof is the equivalent of 57.1%. Like Springtide, it does not carry an age statement. The nose offers peanut brittle, stocks in a garden; new leather, sea salt, fabric Elastoplast. Finally, it sweetens to new-mown hay. The palate gives lots of citrus notes, cigarette smoke, peat and inflated balloons. Spicy vanilla and faint notes of Germolene. Long in the spicy finish, with cloves, warm car tyres and liquorice. 57.1% ABV, 100cl, £49.99, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Linkwood, Hard To Find Whisky Edition #1 1989 (Scotland)
Specialist whisky-sourcing company Hard To Find Whisky of Birmingham has recently introduced the first of a series of single cask, cask strength bottlings under its own label. This initial expression is a 22-year-old Linkwood, which has been matured in an ex-Bourbon cask. The nose offers pear drops, rose water, sliced apple and milk chocolate, becoming more buttery in time. Fruit and nut milk chocolate on the palate, with black pepper and ultimately a squeeze of lemon. Long in the finish, with lingering spices, slowly drying. 55.5% ABV, 70cl, £59.95, www.htfw.com.
BenRiach, Authenticus 25-Year-Old (Scotland)
Previously a 21-year-old, the new version of BenRiach’s peated elder brother to Curiositas is now offered at the age of 25. A BenRiach spokesperson notes that “Over the last few months the distillery has been working to come up with a revamped, definitive range of four peated expressions that will be available on an on-going basis. The final line-up can now be confirmed as Birnie Moss, Curiositas aged 10 years, Septendecim aged 17 years and Authenticus aged 25 years - from subtly peated malts to peat so thick you could dance on top of it, the four are sure to become firm favourites!” The new variant of Authenticus offers a very sweet nose of wood smoke and geraniums, then lanoline, brine, new leather and a whiff of Elastoplast. The rounded, mature palate features coal smoke and aniseed, sweet oak, soft fruits and gentle spices. Long and persistently sweet in the finish, with logs on a fire and a hint of heather. A peated mainland classic! 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £75.00, specialist whisky merchants.
  

 home    about    forum    tasted    features    whisky A-Z    directory    books    links    sign-up    beer    wine