Two new whiskeys for your Autumn campfires… The West is best! Taste it!
The term “Bottled In Bond” is used regularly as a selling point to persuade me to purchase various bourbons, whiskeys and ryes for Lees Wine and Spirits. This term adds value and appeal to these products and a stamp of authenticity of sorts. But do you know what Bottled In Bond really means as it pertains to what’s in your snifter? Bernie Lubbers at Whiskeyprof.com explains:
We have a vast selection of Irish whiskeys to peruse. Our selection covers the gamut ranging from single malts, peated, blended and aged Irish whiskeys. Two of our favorites include the line up of Paddy Irish Whiskey (original, Bee Sting and Devil’s Apple) and Kilbeggan. The former is great for mixing drinks (see recipes below) while Kilbeggan is more of a sipper.
We carry all of the Redemption products when they are available to us at Lees Wine and Spirits. Like the article states, they are a good value and a great “starter” option if you’re just dabbling in the bourbon and rye arena. Their collection includes Redemption Rye, Redemption High-Rye Bourbon, Temptation Bourbon and even a white whiskey. We currently have a small stash of the 10 year old Rye and will definitely carry the promising 8 and 17 year olds when they become available!
From Whisky Advocate’s Fred Minnick, March 3, 2015
Non-Distiller Producers? Or American Independent Bottlers?
When it comes to sourced whiskey bottled by the so-called Non-Distiller Producers (NDPs), the whiskey is sometimes lost in the conversation of transparency.
Larceny Very Special Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
According to legend, John E. Fitzgerald founded a distillery along the banks of the Kentucky River shortly after the Civil War ended. Fitzgerald began distilling bourbon and selling it to passengers aboard the trains and steamships that passed through town. Shortly thereafter, Fitzgerald sold his brand “” Old Fitzgerald Bourbon “” to Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle for $10,000, a small fortune at the time. Pappy moved production of Old Fitz to his distillery, where it became one of the most famous bourbons in the world.
Not all single malts from Islay are for peat freaks
Even in the driving rain, the Isle of Islay is a heart-stoppingly beautiful spot. High in the hills behind the Bruichladdich distillery, there are sweeping views east across Loch Indaal, and I fancied I could just about pinpoint Bowmore distillery across the foaming grey waters. The wind was gusting, the sheep were bleating, the geese were honking: it was wild, magnificent and dramatic.
The lure of Bruichladdich was too strong, however, and moments later I was in the warmth of the distillery shop itself, getting a dram of the Laddie Valinch, a limited edition release available only in the shop. The 22-year-old, matured in a former bourbon cask for 18 years and then a former sherry cask for four, was invigorating. It was 50.7 per cent and I prudently added water.
It was a delicious dram, fruity and sweet with stacks of colour and plenty of leather, chocolate, raisins, spice and — I don’t know — candied orange peel maybe. One thing it wasn’t, though, was peaty. As we all know, Islay malts are peaty. You know, like Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg.
Except they’re not. Yes, the varied releases from Lagavulin and co. do indeed tend to be full of smoky notes, saltiness and iodine, but — despite the island being a magnet for so-called peat freaks — that doesn’t mean the rest are peaty too.
Indeed, Bruichladdich’s signature malt, the Classic Laddie, is light, delicate, honeyed and zesty. It’s an aperitif whisky, as far removed from the fabled Islay peat monsters as it’s possible to be. I loved it. But then I loved the distillery’s peated Port Charlotte offerings too, especially the 2007 matured in former cognac casks. Only the charms of Octomore eluded me. I found it just too overwhelmingly medicinal. For rubbing in rather than drinking.
Bruichladdich has recently been taken over by the drinks giant Rémy Cointreau. Ardbeg, across the island, is owned by Moët Hennessy while Bacardi, the largest family-owned drinks company in the world, best known for white spirits such as Bacardi rum, Bombay Sapphire gin and Grey Goose vodka, is also getting in on the whisky act by releasing fine single malts from Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Macduff and Royal Brackla.
Craigellachie, in particular, confused but then delighted me. Speyside, of course, is the cradle of single malt production, and having been brought up to think that all its malts are light, floral and accessible (you know, like Glenfiddich), I was stopped in my tracks by the hot-off-the-press Craigellachie 13-year-old and the truly gorgeous 23-year-old.
The former is creamy, honeyed and citrusy, with toast, too, and spice. The latter is gratifyingly meaty and distinctive. It’s pale in colour but there’s a lot of flavour. It was sweet and fruity with a gingery, chewy spice on the finish and, although it wasn’t what I was expecting from Speyside, I relished it.
A few days after my trip up north, I headed to Holborn and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Short of being in the tasting room, shop or warehouse of an actual distillery there is no finer place for a whisky lover to while away the hours. I sat by the roaring fire and allowed Sam MacDonald, the manager, to ply me with strong drink.
The society is the world’s largest bottler of single malts and everything they bottle is at cask strength. They give their whiskies wonderfully bonkers names such as ‘Toffee and Humbugs in a Tea Chest’ and ‘Flying Saucers and Foamy Shrimps’ and a cryptic number.
What they don’t do is reveal the name of the distillery unless you beg. This is to allow one to focus on the dram without preconceptions and it’s actually a lot of fun. I tried three or four beauties and then finished with 3.225 ‘Galleon Attacked by Pirates’. It was deliciously spicy with hints of leather, cedarwood and both honey and salt, with a definite note of peat.
It had to be an Islay, I thought, because all Islay malts are peaty. And then I stopped myself. Had I learned nothing from my trip? Sam finally fessed up and revealed that it was Bowmore 16 Year Old. From Islay of course. Dammit, there’s so much to know.
Over the past century, nearly one hundred malt whisky distilleries in Scotland have been permanently closed or destroyed. Most of these distilleries were lost as a result of macroglobal conditions, such as Prohibition, world wars or financial crises. As a result, many of the unique and venerable brands in the Scotch whisky industry were considered permanently lost – until now.
The Lost Distillery Company is an independent boutique Scotch Whisky company that is determined to create unique, modern expressions of the legendary whiskies that were distilled nearly a century ago. “We are obsessive about our craft and uncompromising when it comes to whisky quality,” says Michael Moss, the distillery’s Master Archivist. Moss is a Professor of Archival Science at the University of Glasgow and focuses on ten critical components in order to accurately recreate whiskies that were distilled nearly a century ago.
The ten critical components are the date of last distillation, the region within which the distillery was located, the distillery’s water source, the distillery’s barley source, the distillery’s yeast source, the distillery’s drying process, the distillery’s mash tun, the distillery’s wash back, the distillery’s still and the type of wood that was used to mature the whisky. Once these components are determined, Moss and his team of archivists and whisky makers marry together single malt whiskies from distilleries across Scotland in order to create a present day interpretation of that long lost whisky legend.
The Lost Distillery Auchnagie Malt Scotch Whisky is the first release from The Lost Distillery Company. It is a recreation of a single malt whisky produced at the Auchnagie Distillery, which was situated in the village of Tulliemet and operated from 1812 through 1912. The whisky has an aroma of earthy minerals, dried citrus (particularly peaches) and malted grains. The aroma gives way to round notes of creamy vanilla and fruits, which are complemented by undertones of peat, flowers and caramel. The finish is lingering and smooth, with a touch of smoke.
The Lost Distillery Stratheden Malt Scotch Whisky is the second release from The Lost Distillery Company and is a recreation of a single malt whisky distilled at Stratheden Distillery. The distillery had been operating for nearly three centuries until 1926, when it was closed as a result of Prohibition. The whisky has a more fruity character than Auchnagie, with an aroma of apples, pears and dried citrus. Bold notes of caramel, espresso and toffee dominate the palate, and lead to a long finish with touches of warming spices, smoke, cinnamon and oak.
Once the malt whiskies used to recreate each of these single malts have been married together, they are prepared for bottling. “While our ten key components are critical in determining the flavor profile of a whisky we recreate,” says Moss, “it’s just as important to recognize what wasn’t in the whisky. A century ago, there was no such thing as chill filtration or caramel colouring of the final product. That’s why we don’t do either of these things today.”
142 days until summer… this bevy will get you dreaming of long sunny days and starry nights!
1 oz Thomas Tew Rum
.5 oz Silver Tequila
.5 oz Orange Curacao
.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz sour mix
Splash of lime
Garnish with cane sugar rim & lime wheel
Ever wonder how to pronounce some of those single malts?
Bib and Tucker Small Batch Bourbon is a well received new arrival to our sipping room. In the antebellum United States, the term “bib & tucker” was used to describe the finest attire a man owned – the kind of suit or tuxedo that he would wear to a wedding or special event. “Along those lines, we’re putting forth our bib & tucker,” says Harv Gates, the brand ambassador of 35 Maple Street Spirits. “Bib & Tucker is a handcrafted bourbon made with a sense of dedication that can only come when you know you’re making something truly special.”Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is crafted from a mash of 70% corn, 26% rye and 4% malted barley. The grains, which were harvested in late 2006 and early 2007, were distilled twice – first through a column still and then through an old fashioned copper pot still. Following distillation, the bourbon was matured in No. 1 charred American white oak barrels for a minimum of six years (the average age of the bourbon is actually 7.5 years, however). As a result, Bib & Tucker has an aroma of vanilla, freshly mowed grass and leather-bound books. Notes of sweet fruit, vanilla beans, caramel and dried apricots dominate the palate, and are complemented by a subtle touch of ginger spice. The finish is complex and lingers, with hints of chestnuts and roasted corn.