Getting stuck into November’s Pour & Sip box!
Well winter is officially well on its way, folks – the clocks have gone back and all here in the UK! But we guess one positive of longer evenings is that there’s longer to light up the fire, sit back and enjoy this month’s superb whiskies. Speaking of, let’s take a look at them, shall we?
Well, this is very exciting – this is our very own Pour & Sip-exclusive single malt from our friends at Starward in Australia! It was distilled in 2017, and matured in a single American oak ex-red wine barrel (number #10361, if you were interested) until it was bottled in June 2021. You might think it sounds like a brief maturation, but the Melbourne 'four seasons in a day' weather means that the interaction between the wood and spirit is accelerated, thanks to some crazy temperature fluctuations. Just 396 precious bottles of this were drawn from the cask, so it’s pretty special indeed. Plus, it’s presented at a generous 55.4%, amplifying all that juicy red fruit from the wine, and toasty vanilla from the American oak itself.
Peaty anCnoc (pronounced ‘a-nock’) single malt! Though it’s distilled at Knockdhu in the Highlands, you won’t find any single malts released under the distillery name. Why? The current owners felt that the distillery name was too similar to that of Speyside distillery Knockando, so to avoid confusion chose the name anCnoc (which means ‘black hill’) for its single malt in 1993. The first peated anCnoc, however, was only released in 2014. This particular Peat expression was released to mark the 125th anniversary of Knockdhu Distillery. Weighing in at 40 PPM (parts per million, a measurement of peatiness), it’s matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks and finished in Spanish oak butts, resulting in a sweet and smoky whisky.
The second release in Highland Park’s Cask Strength series! Master whisky maker Gordon Motion selected a large proportion of sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks, along with a much smaller amount of ex-bourbon casks to use. The distinctive Highland Park flavours and fragrant smoke are bolstered by the classic fruitcake and spices from the sherry casks – especially the European oak ones, a greater proportion of which are used here than in the first release. It’s bottled at a hefty 63.9%, so don’t be afraid to add a little splash of water!
Old Perth has its roots in Peter Thomson’s drinks and grocery business, which he established back in 1908 and started producing his own whisky blends – one of which was Old Perth. Because of its high proportion of malt whisky, Old Perth proved very popular over the years. Nowadays, it’s made entirely from malt whiskies from various Scotch distilleries, relaunched in 2014 matured entirely from ex-sherry casks. This is the Cask Strength edition, so all of those spicy, earthy, red fruit-forward flavours are presented at 58.6% with a viscous, oily mouthfeel.
Established in 2014, this isn’t just the first single malt whisky from the Cotswolds Distillery, but also the first single malt whisky ever distilled in the Cotswold region! It’s produced from barley grown in the Cotswolds, and is fermented using two yeast varieties over a very lengthy 90 hours, giving a load of fresh, floral, and fruity flavours. It’s then aged in a combination of 30% ex-bourbon and 70% STR (shaved, toasted and re-charred) ex-red wine casks – the latter the influence of the late whisky expert, Dr Jim Swan. Those bright fruit notes are joined by a flurry of chocolate and dark fruit richness.
On the blog this month we’ll be chatting to our friends at Starward all about their fabulous whisky (including our very own exclusive single cask, of course), taking a deep dive into the history of Old Perth, and even taking a look at the fun of fermentation. Stay tuned!