Let’s crack open our Christmas Pour & Sip box!
Christmas is well and truly coming, so we hope you're all stuck into your Pour & Sip Advent calendars by now. Plus, it means it’s time to introduce you to a whole new selection of whiskies. We chose these five specially for all their festive flavours, hailing from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales – not to mention there's a pair of Pour & Sip socks in there, too!
A bold, jammy Irish grain whiskey from Dublin’s Teeling distillery! It’s not too often you see Irish single grain, though this is the second (and oldest) from Teeling, which is a treat indeed, made from 95% corn and 5% malted barley. Initially matured in ex-bourbon casks for nine years, it spent another four years in ex-Bordeaux red wine casks. While Teeling was first established in Dublin in 1782, sadly the original distillery closed during the Irish whiskey decline of the 1800s. In better news, however, Teeling distilling returned to its hometown in 2015, becoming the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years – just 500 metres down the road from the original site.
Penderyn was the first distiller in Wales for over 100 years when it opened in the Brecon Beacons back in 2000. The distillery boasts a unique Faraday still in its setup, which is something between a pot and a column still (look out for more details on this on the blog this month!). This allows the team to distil the whisky (or ‘wysgi’, as it’s spelt in Wales) to a ridiculously high ABV, between 88-92%, meaning it’s super light and fruity in flavour. This particular edition is matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in ex-Port barrels, bottled without chill-filtration or colouring. The team opened a new, second distillery this year, Llandudno, which will produce peated new make – so keep an eye on these Welsh distillers!
Tamdhu's Batch Strength single malt series is well-loved, and this is the sixth release! Tamdhu’s history dates back to 1897, but in 2010 the distillery was forced to close its doors for two years – until Ian Macleod Distillers acquired it and returned the site to its former glory. It matures its whisky exclusively in sherry-seasoned oak, and this expression is no different, having spent its days entirely in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Bottled up at cask strength, this one weighs in at a burly 56.8%, packed full of festive spices and those dried fruit notes we know and love from the cask.
The folks at &Whisky are all about no-nonsense, superb whisky, just like this one. The name tells you pretty much everything you need to know about its flavour profile, though the rest of the whisky is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that it’s a single malt sourced from an undisclosed distillery in Scotland’s prolific Speyside region, and was matured for eight years in a decent proportion of first-fill Oloroso sherry octaves. Octave casks are much smaller than your average cask (just 50 litres!), and is named as such because it’s one eighth of a butt, which is what sherry is usually housed in. This means that there’s a larger surface area to volume ratio, giving the whisky much more interaction with the wood. In short, bundles of festive sherried deliciousness to enjoy here!
A robust, meaty Speyside whisky from Cragganmore! This is the 2008 vintage Distillers Edition single malt, finished in ex-Port casks before being bottled in 2020. The whisky itself is a subtly smoky, woody, meaty affair, while the cask finish imparts all those jammy red fruits that we know and love from Port. Cragganmore malt has often been used in blends, though impressive single malt bottlings like this showcase what a delicious whisky it is in its own right.
On the blog this month, we’re getting the low-down on distilling in Dublin with Teeling master distiller, figuring out what the stills at Penderyn are all about, and more – so keep an eye out!