gavin smith




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



    stories features


  

Recent releases, July 2012

Cutty Sark, Storm (Scotland)
This range extension to The Edrington Group’s blended Scotch whisky brand contains a higher proportion of older malt whiskies, including some from Highland Park and The Macallan, while grain whisky is provided by Edinburgh’s North British distillery. According to an Edrington spokesperson, “Although bolder and deeper, Storm is in keeping with the Cutty Sark philosophy of accessibility and versatility. The tension of Storm lies between the depth of flavour of the older malts and the vibrancy of the fresher grain whisky.” Cutty Sark Brand Controller Jason Craig adds that “Full of intriguing, complex flavours, intensity and drama, Cutty Sark Storm is a smouldering whisky; it is like Cutty Sark on steroids. We are confident it will be well-received in the on-trade.” Barley sugar, Brazil nuts and brittle toffee on the nose. The palate is sweet and fruity, with peaches, sherry and ginger. Becoming slightly more citric. The finish is medium in length with lingering ginger and discreet oak. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £20.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Highland Park, Thor (Scotland)
According to the marketing folk at Highland Park, “Thor represents the first coming for Highland Park’s stunning Valhalla Collection; a range of four unique whiskies, released annually, taking inspiration from the legendary Nordic gods of old. Not for the faint hearted, only those brave enough to accept the challenge of Thor shall be rewarded with the ultimate experience; a whisky of divine power.” The whisky is 16 years old and, taking the extremes of presentation just a little further, “Thor is housed in a unique wooden frame, which echoes the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship.” Sherry, spices, wood smoke, vanilla, and a squeeze of lemon on the complex nose. The palate is spicy, with peaches and cream, sherry, and bonfire smoke. The finish is lengthy, with ginger, aniseed and yet more peat. 52.1% ABV, 70cl, £112.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Highland Queen, 12 Year Old (Scotland)
The old-established blended Scotch whisky of Highland Queen, once a staple of the Glenmorangie business, is now part of the Bordeaux-based concern of Picard family (Terroir Distillers), which also owns Tullibardine distillery. A 12-year-old variant of the blend has recently been released to augment the ‘standard’ expression with no age statement. The nose is full and rich, with icing sugar sprinkled on pineapple, spice and black pepper. Relatively full-bodied, with spice, malt and hazelnuts on the palate. The medium-length finish features ginger and fruit and nut milk chocolate. Tullibardine Distillery Visitor Centre, Pharlanne Delicatessen, 13 Bridge Street, Kelso TD5 7HT and at www.pharlanne.co.uk 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £25.00, Pharlanne, distillery website.
Highland Queen, Majesty 30-Year-Old Single Highland Malt (Scotland)
In addition to blends, the Highland Queen name has now been applied to a range of single malts, sourced from distilleries in the Highland region, with Glenmorangie a likely contender to be the mystery malt in several of the expressions. The latest Majesty bottling is a limited edition (2,000 bottles) of 30-year-old, the oldest yet offered, and it provides a sweet, soft nose of butterscotch, summer fruits and soft toffee. The elegant palate majors in citrus fruits, vanilla and hazelnuts, while the finish is long, with mild spice and a hint of oakiness. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £113.00, Pharlanne, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenmorangie, Artein (Scotland)
Artein is the third addition to Glenmorangie’s Private Edition line up, and ‘artein’ is Gaelic for stone. The bottling comprises two-thirds 15 year old and one-third 21 year old whisky, finished in ‘Super-Tuscan’ wine casks. According to Dr Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation for Glenmorangie, “Wine is one of my huge passions and I was fascinated by the role stony ground played in cultivating the vines - therefore influencing the flavour profile of the famed ‘Super-Tuscan’ wines. I was inspired to experiment with extra maturing Glenmorangie in these wine casks and was thrilled with the result – a rich, outstandingly fragrant whisky – born of stone.” Initially, the nose offers pear drops then vanilla, peaches and apricots, plus well-mannered ginger. The palate is viscous, with dark fruits, spice, aniseed, and finally cloves. Long, fruity and herbal in the finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £68.95, specialist whisky merchants.
  

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