Simon Wittenberg takes a look at some of the latest releases making the headlines in the world of whisky.
Ballantine’s 40 Year Old Masterclass Collection: ‘The Remembering’
Ballantine’s has unveiled its new 40 Year Old Masterclass Collection, which will see five releases of Ballantine’s 40 Year Old whisky over the next five years, with the first being in 2023 and the last scheduled for 2027 to mark the iconic Scotch’s 200th anniversary.
The idea behind this series is to pay tribute to past and present Ballantine’s Master Blenders. Every drop in the expressions which form the Masterclass Collection will come from casks laid down by Jack Goudy (Master Blender between 1959 and 1994), including rare whiskies from now ghost distilleries.
The first release in the collection, launched this year to mark Sandy Hyslop’s 40th anniversary in the industry, is named ‘The Remembering’.
Only 108 bottles are available for purchase globally at specialist retailers and on BlockBar.com for US$11,000.
Whisky connoisseurs lucky enough to try this whisky will enjoy a perfectly balanced dram that’s rich and complex, bursting with flavours of spiced red apple and notes of warming clove spice and lavish toffee.
For more information, visit www.ballantines.com.
Fettercairn Warehouse 14
Fettercairn Distillery in Aberdeenshire has introduced Warehouse 14 – the fifth and final instalment of their ‘Warehouse Collection’. The series brings to life curious whiskies created by Fettercairn, combined with the treasure trove of unusual casks found across their fourteen dunnage warehouses.
Crafted by Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass and available at an RRP of £70, this experimental limited edition release is a rare and remarkable single malt. Bottled at 51.2% ABV and sporting a natural colour, Warehouse 14 has been shaped by Fettercairn’s unique dunnage Warehouse 14, which looks out onto the Cairngorms mountain range, and the Whisky Maker’s expert balance of unusual casks.
Fettercairn Warehouse 14 has been created using a hand-picked selection of first-fill and second-fill ex-Bourbon barrels before being finished in a mix of three different beer barrels – stout, dark ale and pale ale. These each offer different flavour characteristics that enhance Fettercairn’s tropical house style.
For more information, visit www.fettercairnwhisky.com.
Talisker x Parley: Wilder Seas
Talisker has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a global environmental organisation dedicated to ocean conservation, to create a limited-release single malt Scotch whisky named Talisker x Parley: Wilder Seas. Marking its debut in the Talisker line-up, Talisker x Parley is a whisky finished in French oak XO cognac casks, which has resulted in a complex and rich expression.
Bottled at 48.6% ABV, this expression sports a deep amber hue and treats buyers of this whisky to notes of malt bread, sultanas and dried fruits on the nose, with hints of fig on the palate. The finish is long, warming and lightly drying, with a late peppery catch and smoky-fruity aftertaste.
In keeping with the theme of this new whisky, this is the first time that Talisker has been bottled in 100% recycled glass made using biofuel, whilst it is also the first time that the distillery on the shores of the Isle of Skye has released a carton-free expression with a paper neck tag.
Talisker x Parley: Wilder Seas carries an RRP of £75, and £3 from every customer purchase will be donated to Parley.
For further information, visit www.malts.com.
Tomatin PX Cask
Tomatin, the award-winning Highland distillery, has released a limited edition UK exclusive single malt Scotch whisky. Priced at £395 and bottled at 57.5% ABV, this expression has been aged in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry butt, personally chosen by Tomatin’s expert team.
The whisky has been gently matured to create a complex flavour profile, and the result is a rich and intensely sweet spirit on the nose, opening with notes of maple syrup, candied walnuts, prunes and rum-soaked sultanas, as well as intensely bitter aromas, such as dark chocolate, treacle, espresso and leather. With time, dried fruit, dried apricot and raisins emerge with a touch of cinnamon.
On the palate, whisky connoisseurs will enjoy cherry and plum liqueurs coupled with a journey of golden syrup and Jamaican ginger cake.
The finish reveals a mix of dark sweetness, bitter notes and spice.
For further information, visit https://tomatin.com.
VCL Vintners Ledaig 30 Year Old (Coronation)
VCL Vintners sources and manages single-malt Scotch whisky casks for retail and institutional investors.
The business has recently unveiled a limited-run 30-year-old single malt (42.3% ABV), which has been distilled at the Ledaig distillery town in Tobermory, on the Hebridean island of Mull, and bottled by VCL Vintners to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
With only 249 bottles available priced at £495 each, the whisky offers light fruity hints of white grapes, green apples, and unripe melon on the nose, followed by a concoction of both sweet and salty notes with a trace of white pepper on the palate. The finish delivers a fading of fruit leaves, with a subtle spicy note.
For more information, visit https://vclvintners.london/cask/ledaig-30-year-old-coronation.
Read more whisky news and features, including previous months’ guides, here.
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