The Whisky Collection on Boxing Day 2011
A gift to myself – well I couldn’t resist it when seeing on the shelf at my local supermarket for less than £20 ! It’s one of Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try, and Macallan are one of the biggest single malt producers in Scotland
This 10 year old from Macallan is matured in sherry casks. Macallan uses only Golden Promise barley, and actually use up 90% of the annual crop of Golden Promise in Scotland
The flagship of The Macallan range in the UK market, it has become a benchmark for single malt of the highest quality. Matured exclusively in Spanish oak sherry casks, to deliver a deep, rich, deliciously smooth and well-rounded flavour, with a slight sweetness and touch of sherry and wood. Its deep colour is achieved wholly naturally without the addition of any colouring.
A gift from my daughter Kat, and another of Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try.
There is a litany of strange and bewildering customs on Jura but maybe the one regarding the Ankh cross demands the greatest attention. This ancient symbol dates back to Egyptian times and is long rumoured to bring good fortune. Just so long as you pour the whisky in the correct manner, by holding the bottle with the Ankh cross in the centre of your palm.
Lightly peated with hints of smoke and spice. Crafted from a selection of the finest aged Jura single malt whiskies, this mysterious spirit has a unique style and character, with tastes of spice, honey, pine and peat with a whisper of smoke.
Gold Winner at the 2009 SFWSC Awards.
A gift from my son Carl, and another of Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try. This bottle is from Batch number 37 and bottled at cask strength.
The word a’bunadh is roughly translated into English from Scottish Gaelic as “original.”
Though it has no age statement, it is released in limited run batches, each batch carrying a unique number on its label. Each batch of this whisky is blended from barrels ranging from 5 to 25 years old.
A’bunadh is exclusively aged in Spanish oak Oloroso sherry butts and therefore has a sweeter, softer flavor than most scotch. At one time, sherry casks were universally used for maturing scotch whisky.
Rumour has it that when the second pair of stills were put in in 1975, a time capsule was discovered behind the name plate, containing an 1898 newspaper about the distillery fire wrapped around an 1898 bottle of Aberlour. The workmen who discovered the bottle polished off four fifths of the bottle during their lunch break, but the remains of the bottle went off to the laboratories in Keith, and were analysed. A’bunadh is an attempt to recreate this single malt.
A’bunadh is not chill filtered.
Following my guide, (see November 2011) I spotted an opportunity to try my first blended scotch whisky and picked up a bottle of Black Grouse. Made by the makers of Famous Grouse, the long established best selling blended scotch. This Islay influenced, peaty blend is a blend of their Famous Grouse with some Islay single malts. For everyday drinking it is quite pleasant, especially as I do like the peaty malts of Islay, and I would certainly prefer this over the standard Famous Grouse – but I can’t put it over any of the single malts tasted to date.
For my official December addition to the collection I decided to go for a vintage single malt. Again following my new guide I ordered this from ‘The Whisky Exchange’. Balblair is just along the road from the Glenmorangie distillery but seems to have a much lower profile. This 1989 vintage was distilled in 1989 and is the 2nd release bottling. 22 years in oak casks and now my oldest whisky.
What were you doing in 1989 ?
This was laid down in casks in the same year as the Berlin Wall came down, Salvador Dali died and the start of the world wide web with hypertext proposed !
A ‘Brucie Bonus’ as I managed to slip this into the trolley. Not on the ’101 list’, but on my earlier ‘wish list’ so completely justified !
Another Speyside malt from a distillery with a great pedigree. This entry level single malt is from their ‘Fine Oak’ range and is triple cask matured in a combination of oak casks; European Oak seasoned with sherry, American Oak seasoned with sherry, and American Oak casks seasoned with bourbon.
The seed was originally planted at the end of 2009. Sales Manager and friend, Philip Maurice bought in the end of a special bottle of whisky for me to try. Initially I did not want to even try it. I didn’t like whisky ! I was a red wine and Guinness drinker (not in the same glass). But Phil persuaded me that this would be unlike anything else I had previously tasted.
He was right. It was a Clynelish 14 Year Old cask strength whisky and I immediately enjoyed the nose. I can’t remember too much about it and went back to drinking my red wine and Guinness throughout 2010.
Then at the end of the year Phil brought different bottle in for me to sample. I didn’t need persuading this time.
The journey begins shows my first purchases and the start of my whisky journey, and because I didn’t start this on-line blog upon commencing my journey, I have listed my collection additions from January to November 2011 here
From here on I will be updating my collection on a regular basis