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Recent releases, March 2014

Glenlivet, The Guardians’ Chapter (Scotland)
Last year, thousands of members of the Guardians of the Glenlivet club voted for their favourite from three ‘test’ expressions – named Classic, Exotic and Revival. The winner was Exotic, which has now been bottled as the latest limited edition release from the famous Speyside distillery. It is a no-age-statement , non-chill-filtered expression which has been matured in a mixture of American oak barrels, hogsheads and ex-Sherry butts. Malt, spice, dry Sherry and a hint of soy sauce on the early nose. New leather, vanilla and ginger then appear. Leather to the fore on the spicy palate, followed swiftly by strong tropical fruit flavours and choc ices. The finish is medium to long, and the fruit dries, while cashew nuts and aniseed notes develop. 48.7% ABV, 70cl, £52.00, specialist whisky merchants.
William Grant & Sons, The Strathspey Reserve 21 Year Old – London, Heathrow (Scotland)
Eleven different ‘micro-batches’ of this 21-year-old blend from William Grant & Sons Ltd have been created exclusively for World of Whiskies stores at selected airports. Each expression has a distinct and individual taste and flavour profile. Tinned pears and soft toffee on the nose, turning to caramel in time. Slightly smoky. Silky in the mouth, sweet and fruity, with a further hint of smoke. Aniseed and soft oak in the medium-length finish. From World of Whisky at London Heathrow terminals one, three, four and five, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Madrid, Barcelona, and Cancun airports 40.0% ABV, 70, £99.00, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Cardhu, Amber Rock (Scotland)
Diageo’s latest addition to its Cardhu single malt range is a no-age-statement variant, described as being “Double matured in toasted American oak casks.” The name Cardhu Amber Rock refers to the Gaelic translation of the brand’s name, which means ‘black rock,’ and was selected because of the expression’s “golden, jewel-like” colour. Stewed apples, dried fruit and icing sugar on the nose. Mouth-coating, with summer fruits, vanilla and peppery spice on the palate. Drying oak and some liquorice in the medium-length finish. Initially released in France and Belgium, then UK and other European markets from summer onwards. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £41.00, widely available.
Master of Malt, 60 Year Old Speyside (Scotland)
Online retailer Master of Malt has released a 60-year-old expression of a Speyside single malt in its Secret Bottlings Series. As the company notes, “By not revealing the name of the distillery, we're able to offer this incredibly well-aged whisky from some of the finest stock for a fraction of the price that a release like this would usually command. In fact, it's an order of magnitude (or two) more reasonable than releases of a similar age, which now carry five or even six-figure price tags!” The nose offers cocoa powder, malt, cherries, sultanas, marzipan and tinned peaches. Finally, a hint of char. Big, complex and stylish aromas. The palate is full and quite dark, with drying oak, which never overwhelms. Fruit gums and a dash of coconut milk lurk behind the wood. Long and oaky in the finish, with spicy anise. 42.2% ABV, 70cl, £999.95, Master of Malt.
Teeling Whiskey Co., Teeling Irish Whiskey (Ireland)
The Teelings are probably best known for creating Cooley distillery, near Dundalk, but the family’s distilling heritage actually dates back to 1782, when one Walter Teeling established a distillery in Dublin. Since selling Cooley to Beam Inc in 2011 the Teelings have gone on to create The Teeling Whiskey Company, and its flagship high malt content, non-chill-filtered, small-batch bottling has been finished in ex-Flor de Cana rum barrels. The nose is rich and fruity, with vanilla, sultanas and ripe oranges. Becoming slightly herbal and spicier. Finally, hand-rolling tobacco and sliced apple. Full in the mouth, with more herbs and spicy berry fruits. Spice intensifies in the long, softly oaked finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £32.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Abrachan, Blended Malt (Scotland)
Launched in time for Christmas 2013 by Lidl, this no-age-statement blended malt has been ‘triple-matured’ in ex-Bourbon, Sherry and Tawny Port pipes. It has been created for Lidl by Whyte & Mackay’s Master Blender Richard Paterson. Relatively youthful nose, slightly savoury, with Sherry and sultanas. The palate features malt, dark berries, ginger, vanilla, and treacle toffee. Treacle notes persist in the spicy, medium-length finish. 42.0% ABV, 70cl, £17.99, Lidl.
  

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