New year, new whiskies – open January’s Pour & Sip box with us!
Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and that you ate and drank lots of delicious things. If we have any new Pour & Sippers here, then welcome to the club – we can’t wait to get stuck into another year of sharing our favourite whiskies with you all. So, without further ado, let’s see what we’ve got for you this month. From a Pour & Sip-exclusive Scotch to a New Zealand single malt, it’s a pretty awesome selection, if we may say so ourselves…
Pour & Sip Exclusive alert! We’ve partnered with Compass Box for our very own edition of its Glasgow Blend, which was originally released as part of the bottler’s Great King Street range. The series was made to recreate Scotch whiskies in the style of 19th century blending houses, using contemporary cask maturation techniques. This particular single cask edition is made up predominantly of Craigellachie malt and Cameronbridge grain whiskies, with smaller proportions of Clynelish and Laphroaig, and a Highland malt blend in support. Heavily-toasted French oak, first-fill and refill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, and ex-sherry butts are among the cask maturations, with all the whiskies married in an ex-Clynelish cask for 15 months before bottling in August 2021. Hallmark waxy, floral notes from Clynelish sit among ripe fruits, French oak spices, and savoury nuances.
Cardrona Distillery has been working on some delicious things over in New Zealand – this is Growing Wings, a cask strength single malt matured in a combination of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks. Past Pour & Sippers, this is exciting because in January last year we featured the distillery’s very first single malt called Just Hatched (see what they’ve done there?) and now we’re revisiting it one year on! If you’re newer to the club, it’s no less exciting, because we bet you haven’t tried a Kiwi whisky before. The whisky itself is packed with oily nuts and juicy dried from the sherry cask, along with creamier vanilla notes from the bourbon cask. Cardrona released the Growing Wings collection to celebrate its fifth anniversary – keep an eye out for more on this exciting distillery later on this month…
From Tobermory Distillery on Scotland’s Isle of Mull comes this fabulous 12-year-old single malt. First released in early 2019, it was launched in celebration of the distillery returning to life after a two-year break! It’s matured exclusively in American oak casks before being bottled up, full of ripe orchard fruits, creamy malt, and a hint of coastal salinity. Tobermory is the island’s only whisky distillery, and while this is unpeated, it does produce peated spirit under the name Ledaig (pronounced ‘le-chig’). It was closed between 2017 and 2019 while it underwent some major renovations, and with its reopening, Tobermory 12 replaced the distillery’s 10-year-old expression. Fun fact: Tobermory village was the colourful waterfront location for the shooting of children’s TV programme, Balamory!
A spicy single malt from the wonderful Jura distillery, found on the Scottish island of the same name 60 miles from the mainland. It’s named The Loch after the distillery’s all-important water source, Market Loch, found 1,000 feet above sea level. The whisky itself is a blend of peated and unpeated spirits, matured in both American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and casks which previously held 30-year-old Pedro Ximénez sherry. The distillery was first established in 1810, but was closed at the beginning of the 20th century, and it remained silent until the stills were fired up again in 1963. The island of Jura is a pretty unique place, with just one main road, one pub, and one distillery. Oh, and the deer population outnumbers the human population more than 40 times, with over 5,000 deer and fewer than 200 people!
Based in the Highlands, Loch Lomond has one of the most unique still set-ups in the whole of Scotland. Though the distillery site dates back to 1814, Loch Lomond as we now know it first distilled in 1966. It was producing malt whisky until its grain distillery opened in 1994, when it became the only distillery in Scotland producing both malt and grain whisky. It currently boasts three different still set-ups, with the original Lomond stills (a combination of pot and column stills), traditional pot stills, and Coffey column stills, giving it the option to produce a plethora of different spirits. This particular bottling is produced using heavily-peated malted barley distilled in a Coffey still (which you can find out more on here), which was patented in 1830 by Aeneas Coffey – though it’s usually used to produce grain whisky, rather than malt whisky. It’s then matured in a combination of first and refill American oak ex-bourbon casks, adding a bundle of ripe fruit and sweet creamy notes to the smoky spirit.