The first set of releases since Billy Walker, formally of the Benriach, Glendronach, Glenglassaugh fame took over the helm at GlenAllachie and it is at cask strength and matured in a combination of American oak, Pedro Ximénez, Oloroso and virgin oak casks.
Back in November 2018 (which deoesn't feel that long ago but was around 3.5 months ago) Barry, from The Whiskyphiles, and I had a really pleasant trip up to Glengoyne distillery for the launch of the latest, Batch 6, of their Teapot dram.
I think I may have been subconsciously picking unpeated whiskies recently to drink and review so today I picked up a dram I know is usually fairly gently peated to sip and sip and write about so this Bowmore 18 year old, only available at Travel Retail (Duty Free) retailers was my choice for today.
The standard Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old bottling ( review.php?articleid=1200 ) was one of the first whiskies I enjoyed as I begun my journey into whisky in my late teens and early twenties, with a nose that was all chocolate and would make you instantly think Speyside, this ex bourbon single cask variant i am sure will hold something completely different.
Tobermory a distillery i tend to enjoy more in it's heavily peated Ledaig form than it's unpeated form and one i've had some odd notes from in the past so interesting to check out some finished in a Fino Sherry cask (yeah I'm not good with Sherry) so this could go one of a number of ways.
Like many distillery visitors centres the friendly and knowledgeable folks at Glen Moray have some Fill Your Own (or Bottle Your Own, or Hand Fill or whatever you want to call them) single casks at the distillery which for a reasonable fee they will let you fill straight from the cask into a bottle.
Another from the Travel Retail exclusive range from Glengoyne this is the Balbaina, with first fill hand selected European oak casks at it's heart I'm expecting a lot of dried fruit character from this dram.
So I've had this sample for while, it's been one of the difficult ones for me to pick up ... My love of Glenrothes means i want to drink it, my hate of rubbery oloroso casks has me fearful, but it's time to give it a try.
Compass Box have been an independent bottler that I've loved since trying Orangerie and Peat Monster at a Whisky Fringe around 2002/2003 and i absolutely loved them.
Tullibardine is a distillery I've not spent nearly enough time with, despite liking a number of their drams, from the old discontinued Banyals Finish to the 225 Sauternes cask i tend to like them a little sweeter and in both these circumstances finished in wine casks.
Another sample dram that I've had sitting for way too long, I think partly as I'd tasted this at the launch party, along with the Batch Strength Spice King and Peat Chimney, which I thought I'd already written about it, but then when batch 2 was released recently I realised I hadn't so it's time to do it now.
The Remarkable Regional Malts With A Twist 10 Years Old is a limited edition, one of 5000 bottles, which features all of the regions in one dram, it also comes in a fabulous gift carton which can be moved around to create a mix up of all the Remarkable Regional Malts colourful characters.
Teaninich, which is still a distillery i struggle to say properly, tends to be used for blends so finding single malts tend to be from independent bottlers like this example of 720 bottles from 2 hogsheads.
Back in the mid 1990s (around 93-97) when i was working across the road from Royal Mile Whiskies and beginning my love of whisky by buying as much of it as i could, the Bunnahabhain 12 was my first experience of an Islay whisky, but back then it didn't taste like one.
Sometimes you have bottles of whisky sitting in the house that you are nearly finished before you realise that you haven't written a single word about, and this is one of them as i was down to the last few drams when i realised i hadn't written notes on this whisky.
I've not spent anywhere near enough time exploring world whisky, with rye, bourbon, canadian whiskies, irish whiskies, japanese whiskies, indian whiskies and many many more out there its a difficult task to wander around them all, especially with the amount of brilliant whisky on my doorstep here in Scotland.
Like many distilleries nowadays Glen Moray, which i will openly admit here is one of my all time favourite distilleries, has been looking at different cask types for maturing their whisky in other than the normal ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and this one has been finished in an ex-Cabernet Sauvignon wine cask.
A single cask of Benromach from 1977, that's almost as old as me, is certainly something I'm very interested in trying, especially as some of the others from this time have been outstanding and the Benromach 1973 even made it onto my top 5 drams of 2016.
Ex-bourbon American oak casks are always my preferred go to with whiskies, whether it's first fill or refill i always think it brings out the best in the spirit and i love those flavours.
Carn Mor, the range of independent bottlings from Morrison Mackay have seen a number of versions, there's the Strictly limited range, the celebration of the cask range and there was the 20cl bottles from the Vintage collection and thats where this Tomatin 1987 comes from.