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Recent releases, January 2013

Caol Ila, ‘Glowing embers on the tongue' (Scotch Malt Whisky Society 53.173) (Scotland)
This recent offering from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society was distilled at Caol Ila on Islay during August 1995, matured in a refill ex-sherry butt and bottled at 16 years of age. The outturn was 540 bottles. The nose begins with fresh fruit and vanilla before brine and Arbroath ‘Smokies’ kick in. Sticking plasters and finally sweet peat. The palate is honeyed and spicy, with developing wood smoke, lemon, lime and ginger. The finish is comparatively long and citric, with a spicy kick. 59.8% ABV, 70cl, £59.50, SMWS.
Whyte & Mackay, Mackinlays The journey (Scotland)
Following the success of the first edition of Mackinlay’s – known as Shackleton’s whisky’ as it was a recreation of the century-old whisky found under Ernest Shackleton’s hut on the Antarctic – producers Whyte & Mackay have unveiled a second version. 100,000 bottles have been released. Named ‘Mackinlays The Journey,’ the new variant contains different malts to the original recreation but enjoys an almost identical flavour profile. The result is a nose of apricots, brittle toffee and ginger, while light peat smoke emerges when diluted. Smooth and rounded on the palate, with vanilla, caramel and spicy citrus fruits. More concentrated citrus fruits with water. Medium length in the finish, with spice and emerging peat notes. 47.3% ABV, 70cl, £98.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Glendronach, Cask Strength (Scotland)
GlenDronach has just released a no age statement, cask strength expression of its single malt, matured in a combination of Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks. The initial batch has an outturn of 12,000 bottles and the whisky has not been chill-filtered. Fragrant sherry, vanilla, caramel, ginger and milk chocolate-covered Turkish Delight on the nose. Full-bodied, sweet and leathery on the palate, with spicy caramel, raisins and Jaffa orange. The finish is long and fruity, with wood spices and a suggestion of aniseed. 54.8% ABV, 70cl, £51.95, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenury Royal, 40 year old (Diageo Special Releases) (Scotland)
This bottling from the now demolished Stonehaven distillery of Glenury Royal was a very late addition to the Special Releases line up of 2011. 1,500 bottles are available, and maturation has taken place in American oak refill casks, filled in 1970. The nose offers malt, resin and nutmeg, while vanilla and brittle toffee emerge in time. Full and a little oily on the palate, notably fruity, with heather and cinnamon notes. The finish features bitter chocolate and white pepper. 59.4% ABV, 70cl, £525.00, specialist whisky merchants.
North of Scotland, 38-year-old (Clan Denny) (Scotland)
North of Scotland distillery operated between 1958 and 1980 at Cambus, near Alloa, in Central Scotland, distilling grain spirit for all but its first two years of operation. Glasgow-based independent bottlers Douglas Laing & Co Ltd offer some notably fine old single grains under its Clan Denny label, and this 1973 vintage example from North of Scotland has been aged for 38 years in ex-Bourbon barrels. The very distinctive nose yields intense jelly beans, caramel and coconut. The full, fruity sweetness carries over from nose to palate, with a Bourbon-like note and bold cinnamon. Softly drying in the very long finish, with nutmeg and chilli. 52.0% ABV, 70cl, £96.50, specialist whisky merchants.
Speyside, 16-year-old (Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Series) (Scotland)
This cask strength, independent bottling of Speyside comprises spirit distilled in April 1996 and finished in former sherry casks. Barley sugar, vanilla, apricots and Christmas spices on the nose, with emerging cream and fudge notes. The palate is smooth and rounded, with spice, malt, sultanas and raisins. Dark chocolate, caramel and even more spice in the medium length finish. 50.9% ABV, 70cl, £60.00, specialist whisky merchants.
  

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