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Recent releases, August 2014

Kininvie, 17 Year Old (Scotland)
Releases from William Grant’s Kininvie distillery are as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth, but a 17-year-old expression has recently hit the travel retail arena, matured in eighty per cent American oak hogsheads and 20 per cent Sherry butts. The nose offers tropical fruits, coconut, vanilla custard and a hint of cocoa powder. Pineapple and mango on the palate, with linseed oil, tingling ginger, and increasing nuttiness. Slowly drying in the finish, with spice and soft oak, though linseed lingers. (35cl bottle) 42.6% ABV, 35cl, £75, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Wm. Cadenhead, Creations Blended Scottish Whisky Yellow Stripe 17 Year Old (Scotland)
The independent bottler Wm Cadenhead Ltd has created an intriguing blended Scotch, using malt from Ardmore, Auchroisk, Caperdonich and Clynelish distilleries, along with grain from Invergordon. The result is a whisky with fresh dessert apples and pear drops on the nose, then juniper and herbal notes emerge, finally becoming more floral. Viscous on the palate, quite peppery, with lemon sorbet and vanilla. Ginger and citrus fruit in the slowly drying finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £44.50, whiskytastingroom.com.
North British, Darkness! 18 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish (Scotland)
This 18-year-old single grain from Edinburgh’s North British distillery was finished for three months in specially coopered, first-fill 50-litre Oloroso Sherry casks. Given the small size of the casks, interaction between wood and whisky has been intense. Vanilla, peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and Christmas cake mix on the nose. Silky-smooth on the palate, overt sweet sherry, wax furniture polish, more nutmeg and glace cherries. The finish is relatively lengthy, with mild cloves and custard, followed by developing oak. 50.4% ABV, 50cl, £69.95, Master of Malt.
Ardbeg, Darkness!21 Year Old Pedro Ximinez Cask Finish (Scotland)
This bottling marries a 21-year-old Ardbeg with a period of finishing in a 50 litre cask which previously contained Pedro Ximinez Sherry. Warm leather, peat and cigar boxes on the nose. Sweet yet tarry, with plump barley, autumn berries, bonfire smoke and kippers. Smooth on the palate, with smoky Sherry, vanilla and spicy citrus fruit. The long finish becomes ashy, with ever-present citrus notes and milky coffee. 40.1% ABV, 50cl, £119.95, Master of Malt.
Bruichladdich, Black Art 1990 – 04.1 (Scotland)
This is the fourth release in Bruichladdich’s mysterious Black Art series, and has been aged for 23 years. According to the distillers, “Working with the very finest American and French oak to explore that most esoteric relationship between spirit and wood, Black Art is Master Distiller Jim McEwan's personal voyage into the heart of Bruichladdich.” Ginger snaps, vanilla and sultanas on the nose. The body is silky; sweet and vigorously spicy on the palate, with marzipan and maraschino cherries. Plain chocolate in a lingering, spicy finish 49.2% ABV, 70cl, £175.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Glendronach, 18-year-old Tawny Port Finish (Scotland)
This release from GlenDronach replaces the previous 15-year-old Tawny Port Finish, and after initial maturation in European oak casks the whisky is ‘finished’ in a small batch of Tawny Port casks. Company Sales Director Alistair Walker says that “We’ve carefully selected whisky that has been gently maturing in lighter casks so that aficionados experience the full impact of the Tawny port cask. The very pleasing result contributes extra depth and concentrated stewed fruit flavours. It’s another outstanding whisky that we’re delighted to add to our portfolio.” The nose offers redcurrants, soft fudge and a sprinkling of cinnamon, while cedar spice and more red berry fruit appear on the palate. The finish is long, with lots of oaky spice. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £65.00, specialist whisky merchants.
Glenrothes, Sherry Cask Reserve (Scotland)
This is the first ever all-first-fill Sherry cask Scotch whisky from The Glenrothes, and has mostly been matured in European oak. It does not carry an age statement. The nose yields figs, sherry, Seville oranges, old leather and a hint of lanolin. Dry fruit notes, vanilla, caramel and soft spice on the palate. The finish is medium in length, with cocoa powder and spice. 40.0% ABV, 70cl, £55.00, specialist whisky merchants.
  

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