This month we bring you five malts either recently released or from newish distilleries. There are some unusual drams, and this is your chance to watch the younger ones evolve.
- Abhainn Dearg: “Spirit of Lewis”
Distilled on the Isle of Lewis, the first legal distillery in the Outer Hebrides, and based on an ancient recipe first recorded over 400 years ago. It’s still too young to be legally called whisky! The distillery, little more than a barn, sits alone at the mouth of the Abhainn Dearg river, with not even a house along its banks. They plant their own barley, although much of the land is barely suitable for farming and is home to wild deer.
- Kilkerran (Glengyle): “Work in Progress 4”
The fourth limited release of Springbank’s Glengyle won the “Best Natural Casks” award in the Daily Drams category at the 2012 Malt Maniacs Awards. The tasting notes make it sound like their work may be complete!
- English Whisky Co.: “Chapter 11”
From the first whisky distillery in England for almost 200 years, in the heart of East Anglia. This award winning malt was distilled in March 2008, and aged in 4 casks (numbers 646-649) before bottling in May 2011. This is the first ever heavily peated English whisky, bottled at natural cask strength, and promises to pack a punch.
- Corsair: “Triple Smoke”
The spirit is made using three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – then barrelled in new charred oak, to give it the sweetness of an American whiskey and the rich smoke of a single malt. Sounds interesting. (If you like this, try the unusual corn whiskey, Balcones Brimstone, made by smoking the spirit itself rather than the grain.)
- Ardbeg: “Ardbog”
Yes, we’ve got some! Celebrating the famed island peat bogs, this whisky has been sold out at the distillery since its release on the annual “Ardbog day” which marks the end of the Islay Festival. It combines two styles of maturation: “at its heart our hallmark smoky yet fruity and floral spirit has been matured in Spanish ex-Manzanilla sherry casks for ten years, which has then been wrapped with traditional Ardbeg of the same age that is matured in American ex-bourbon oak casks. The Manzanilla maturation weaves salty flavours through the whisky which is then balanced with the maple syrup creaminess of the first-fill ex-bourbon casks.” Sounds fab…
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