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Recent releases, November 2012

Auchroisk, 30 Year Old – Special Releases 2012 (Scotland)
This is the oldest bottling from the low-profile Speyside distillery of Auchroisk ever undertaken by Diageo. It comprises 1982 spirit matured in a mix of American and European oak casks. The nose offers figs, ginger snaps, drinking chocolate, vanilla and dry sherry. Fresh fruit, vanilla, toffee and lot of spice on the palate, which dries into coffee and slightly tannic oak. A really pleasing addition to the Special Releases portfolio. (2,976 bottles) 54.7% ABV, 70, £230.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Port Ellen, 32 Year Old - Special Releases 2012 (Scotland)
The 12th release of the highly-prized ‘lost’ Islay single malt was distilled in 1979 and matured in refill American Oak and refill European Oak casks. The nose majors in maritime notes, with sweet peat, leather, a whiff of chlorine, damp earth and cashew nuts. Becoming sweeter and more floral with time. Brine and coal dust initially on the slightly woody palate, with fruit, vanilla and more leather appearing in time. The finish features bonfire smoke, fabric plasters and finally dries very emphatically, A very good veteran dram, but last year’s 1978 bottling had greater overall charm. (2,964 bottles) 52.5% ABV, 70cl, £600.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Isle of Arran, Robert Burns Single Malt (Scotland)
Isle of Arran Distillers has recently launched a new variant of its Robert Burns single malt, matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, and carrying no age statement. Euan Mitchell, Managing Director of Isle of Arran Distilleries, explains that that “As a Patron of the Robert Burns World Federation we wanted to create something special and with the end result we have achieved liquid poetry. Both Burns and whisky are global Scottish icons and we aim to promote this new bottling around the world.” Commenting on the whisky, Arran’s Master Distiller James MacTaggart, says that “This malt has been skilfully created by combining different ages to produce a beautifully rounded whisky. The sweet, fruity notes and the depth of flavour mean that this malt can be happily enjoyed neat, on the rocks or as part of a classic whisky cocktail.” Lemonade, malt, red plums, cocoa powder and vanilla on the nose. The palate features ripe apples and pears, shortbread, soft spice and milk chocolate. Smooth and spicy with a hint of vanilla in the finish. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, £28.99, specialist whisky merchants.
John Distilleries, Paul John Indian single malt (India)
This first single malt release from Indian producer John Distilleries Ltd is a single cask bottling (#161), matured for an unspecified period in first-fill ex-Bourbon wood. The whisky is produced in the state of Goa and John Distilleries Ltd, founded in 1992, is also responsible for the blend Original Choice, the third-largest blended whisky brand in India. Fragrant on the nose, with ginger, vanilla, orange, honey, English Breakfast tea and milk chocolate. Distinctive marshmallow notes in time. The lively palate features Oriental spices, more honey and hazelnuts. Medium to long in the finish, which is fragrant and nutty, with persistent spice. 57.0% ABV, 70cl, £59.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Wemyss, 1996 ‘Lemon Cask’ (Scotland)
Part of the latest batch of Wemyss’ single cask releases from named distilleries is this 1996 vintage Caol Ila. The 16-year-old expression offers smoked haddock, wood smoke and citrus notes on the nose. Less fish and more brine, plus Tarmac with time. Lively spice and fresh fruit notes on the palate, with grilled meat and background wet Elastoplast. Sweet peat smoke in the finish, with a citrus tang. (380 bottles) 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £85.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Wemyss, 1982 ‘Sugared Almonds’ (Scotland)
Also from Wemyss Malts’ latest single cask selection is this 30-year-old expression from the low-profile Speyside distillery of Aultmore, near Keith. This is the oldest bottling in the batch, and has marzipan, apricots, stewed apples and cinnamon on the nose. The palate is very smooth and fruity, with vanilla, sponge cake and cardamom. Medium length in the finish, nutty and slightly drying with oak, but no negative tannins as the age might suggest. (272 bottles) 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £105.00, specialist whisky merchants.
  

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