Bottles

Aber Falls 2nd Release (2021 Autumn Release)

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£23.50Regular price

Aber Falls has been busy making waves in the Welsh whisky category over the last few years, taking the title as North Wales’ first whisky distillery in over 100 years – and this is its second whisky release! The very first expression, released in May 2021, sold out like hot cakes, and this shiny new release is matured in ex-Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, as well as ex-bourbon and virgin oak casks.

Rather unusually, it’s distilled entirely from Welsh malted barley in a combination of copper pot and stainless steel stills, and is brought down to bottling strength with rock-filtered water from the beautiful Aber Falls waterfall from which the distillery takes its name. What’s more, the distillery isn’t just placing a great emphasis on Welsh provenance in its delicious whisky, but on sustainability, too – spent grain is recycled as cattle feed, and waste pot ale is used by local farms as fertiliser.

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Black Bottle Island Smoke - Alchemy Series

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£23.40Regular price

One of Scotland’s oldest whisky brands, Black Bottle was originally created back in 1879. Its flavour profile has changed a few times over the years, and it was originally made from Speyside whiskies, with a small proportion of lightly-peated liquid in there, too. It then changed to an Islay-forward blend, with strong smoky flavours becoming associated with the name.

In 2013, it was decided that the blend should resemble something closer to the original, lighter flavour profile – which caused quite a stir with peat fans. The Alchemy Series was unveiled in early 2021, with this Island Smoke edition harking back to the days of the strong, peaty flavours. A blend of peated malt and unpeated grain whiskies, 20 components make up Island Smoke, with a blended malt from 1984 said to be at its core.

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Compass Box Hedonism

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£54.95Regular price

When independent bottler Compass Box was launched in 2000, this blended grain, Hedonism, was its very first release – which goes to show how much its founder John Glaser loves grain whiskies! Blended grains aren’t at all common, but they are indeed delicious.

It’s matured exclusively in American oak barrels, bringing together grain whiskies from a range of distilleries, though we don’t know exactly which ones. Each year the selection changes, though the expert blenders behind the scenes ensure that the flavour profile stays the same – featured whiskies have previously hailed from the now-closed Cameronbridge, Cambus, and Port Dundas distilleries. A sumptuously soft, creamy release that more than showcases the merits of often-overlooked grain whisky.

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The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Distiller’s Reserve

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£64.95Regular price

Yamazaki is Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, founded in 1923 by Suntory's founder Shinjiro Torii. This is the Distiller’s Reserve single malt, released back in 2014 and matured in a trio of cask types: Bordeaux wine casks, sherry casks, and native Japanese Mizunara oak.

Mizunara imparts distinctive notes of sandalwood, coconut, and incense to whiskies, so you can expect to find all of them in this release, along with a medley of red fruit and spices from the wine and sherry casks.

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Benromach Contrasts Peat Smoke

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£41.95Regular price

A lesser-spotted smoky Speysider from the Benromach distillery, which was mothballed four times in between its opening in 1900 and 1993, when it was acquired by Gordon & MacPhail – though it took five more years for it to become functional again.

While Benromach’s releases often boast a subtle whiff of smoke, this particular edition was produced using heavily peated barley, so it’s much more pronounced. The single malt was then matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels from 2009 to 2020, and released as part of the distillery’s Contrasts series. Smouldering smoky notes sit alongside tropical, creamy flavours imparted from the maturation.

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Nc'nean Organic Single Malt Whisky - Batch 8

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£41.95Regular price

[We sold out of Batch 7, so this is a newer batch to the one featured in the Sep set – but it's still made to the same specification by those lovely folk at Nc'Nean.]

Relatively new on the whisky scene, Nc'Nean was founded in March 2017 by Annabel Thomas. It was the first fully organic modern distillery in Scotland powered by 100% renewable energy, too! The name is pronounced ‘nook-knee-anne’, and it’s an abbreviation of Neachneohain, a witch-queen in Scots Gaelic folklore.

In keeping with its sustainable mission, the wood chips for the biomass boiler are sourced from a local forest, and all by-products are recycled as animal and plant feed on the distillery’s estate. This single malt is produced entirely from organic Scottish barley, and is matured in 65% STR (shaved, toasted and re-charred) red wine casks and 35% ex-bourbon casks. Thanks to long mash time, slow fermentation, and unusual yeast strains, there’s bundles of ripe, fresh stone fruit notes to enjoy. A lip-smacking array of citrus, stone fruit, and spice.

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Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon

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£44.95Regular price

Graton Distilling Company burst on the Sonoma County distilling scene in 2016 with D. George Benham's Gin, shortly followed by Redwood Empire Whiskey. Inspired by a stretch of redwood trees along the northwest coast of California, each expression from the range is named after a particular redwood tree – the bourbon you've got here was named after Pipe Dream, the 14th tallest tree in the world!

The tree connections don't stop there, because Redwood Empire has partnered with Trees for the Future, so that for every bottle of Redwood Empire sold, a tree is planted. Pipe Dream is made using a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley, so expect a helping of peppery spice peeking out from the layers of vanilla and honey.

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Wilderness Trail Cask Strength Rye

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£67.95Regular price

Wilderness Trail is making rye whiskey with a difference! Based in Kentucky, the distillery uses a mash bill of 56% rye, 33% corn, and 11% malted barley. Where lots of American distillers favour sour mash, Wilderness Trail makes its whiskey with a sweet mash. Sweet mash is fermented at a higher pH, and the reason it’s much less common is because it’s a little harder to control than its sour counterpart, where the acidity kills off any unwanted bacteria.

This particular rye whiskey is then matured in air-dried, #4 char (the highest level, also known as alligator char) barrels, before it’s bottled at cask strength – a generous 56%! There’s that hallmark rye spice, though thanks to the mash and fermentation, there’s a wonderful creaminess and lots of sweet citrus flavours, too.

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Filey Bay Moscatel Cask Finish

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£52.95Regular price

This is the first cask-finished release from Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery, appropriately called Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery! The range is dubbed Filey Bay and distilled with barley grown on the family farm. After an initial maturation in ex-bourbon casks, this expression was finished in Spanish hogsheads which previously held Moscatel sherry.

While sherried whiskies are common, Moscatel sherry in particular is much less so. These sherries are known for their floral, honeyed, and citrus-forward flavours, all of which you’ll find in this whisky, alongside the more tropical, creamy flavours from the initial ex-bourbon cask maturation.

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Starward Red Wine Barrel - Pour & Sip Exclusive

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£74.95Regular price

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.

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Craigellachie 17 Year Old

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£79.99Regular price

Craigellachie was built in 1891 in the village of the same name in Speyside. You’ll often hear the words ‘sulphur’ and 'oily' when describing the flavour of Craigellachie whisky – that’s thanks to something called worm tubs.

Simply put, a long, coiled copper pipe (aka, the worm) sits in a large vat of cold water. As the vapour travels down the ‘worm’, it condenses back into liquid form rather quickly. Because of the speed of the condensing process, the spirit has a short contact time with the copper (which often removes impurities), which leaves in those slightly sulphurous, oily flavours.

However, thanks to long fermentations, the spirit itself is full of bright fresh fruit notes, which balance deliciously with the more savoury touches. This 17 Year Old balances tropical fruit, smoke, and waxy richness.

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Deanston Virgin Oak

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£32.26Regular price

This is a cask-finished single malt from the Highland-based Deanston distillery! It spent the majority of its life in ex-bourbon casks from a family-run cooperage in Kentucky, before it was moved to brand new virgin oak casks for a finishing period. Not only are Deanston’s whiskies certified by the Organic Food Association, but the distillery is also powered using hydro energy, selling excess electricity to the National Grid. It’s based in an old mill on the banks of the fast-flowing River Teith, and was used for weaving until whisky production started in 1969.

Virgin oak can be overpowering, but that’s certainly not an issue here, with the cask finish adding subtle spicy flavours among the creamy, fruity flavours from the maturation.

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Tomatin 12 Year Old

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£32.90Regular price

Founded in 1897, the ebbs and flows of Tomatin Distillery have often mirrored that of the Scotch whisky industry itself. It became Scotland’s largest distillery in 1974 with 23 stills, but never ran at full capacity and went into liquidation in 1985 – it lost that title when 11 of the stills were removed in 2000.

Up until this point, Tomatin malt was used solely for blends, but after it changed ownership in 1986 it began to be marketed as a single malt in its own right – as it should be! It also became the first Scotch whisky distillery under Japanese control, too. A classic combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks is generally favoured by the distillery, a duo which you’ll find in this 12 Year Old. It’s no wonder, as the two cask types bring out all sorts of tropical fruits and rich spices from the spirit.

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Highland Park Cask Strength - Release No.2

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£54.95Regular price

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!

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Glen Moray Rhum Agricole Cask Finish Project

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£46.95Regular price

Glen Moray has a few cask finishes under its belt, and this is a particularly unique one – originally matured in American oak, the Speyside single malt was rested in casks which previously held rhum agricole for around 24 months before bottling!

The casks originated from St James distillery in Martinique, and held the rhum for between 10 and 18 years before being shipped over to Scotland. Rhum agricole is a style of rum produced in the French Caribbean islands from freshly-squeezed sugar cane juice (rather than molasses), bringing a flourish of bright, grassy, tropical freshness to the whisky. It was released as part of the distillery’s Curiosity Collection, and it sure is an intriguing, unusual delight.

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Old Perth Cask Strength Blended Malt

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£37.95Regular price

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.

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Mosgaard Single Malt Whisky - Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish (Batch 8)

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£52.95Regular price

Over on the South Funen Archipelago you’ll find Mosgaard, a Danish micro-distillery. Founded in 2015 with a focus on organic ingredients, the team took inspiration from traditional Scottish distilling methods, while still producing a distinctly Danish whisky.

Its first whisky was only bottled in 2019, and here we have the eighth batch of its Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish single malt! Initially aged in new French oak casks, the whisky was transferred to these ex-sherry casks for between one to one and a half years before bottling. Pedro Ximénez is one of the most intensely sweet sherries around, though the spices from the French oak maturation stop anything from getting too out of hand.

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Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky

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£34.95Regular price

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.

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