Showing posts from July, 2016

[Tasting Session] Whisky Shop - New Release 23/07/16

Being on holidays allows me to attend a few more tasting sessions at the Whisky Shop Manchester. I was there last Saturday for their "new release" session, and on Wednesday again for their Japanese session, which I will present in a future post.  Today is about the 5 new releases that we got to try last Saturday, and here was the line-up: 1. The Loch Fyne Living Cask Batch 4 (43.6%) 2. Inchmurrin 12 years old (46%) 3. Glen Ord 11 years old Hepburn's choice single cask  (46%) 4. Glen Scotia Double Cask (46%) 5. Ardbeg Dark Cove (46.5%) Out of these 5, Dark Cove is the one I was most looking forward to as I got to try the Committee release at the distillery and really enjoyed it. We started with the Living Cask from Loch Fyne. The idea for the Living Cask is that the company started with a vat of single malts, took 1/2 to release as batch 1 and topped up the vat with fresh single malt, and repeated the process for batch 2, 3 and now 4. In case you

[Books] The world atlas of Whisky (2nd edition 2014) - Dave Broom

When I started properly getting into whisky a couple of years ago, I decided to look online for a book about it. If you look around several websites (amazon in particular) you will come across many different books, from Ian Buxton's  101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die  to  Malt Whisky: The Complete Guide  by Charles MacLean, to Michael Jackson's  Malt Whisky Companion . The one I decided to go for is  The World Atlas of Whisky  by Dave Broom, the 2nd edition. Why? Well because to me, this book is a bit of a reference as you get pretty much everything you need to know about whisky in one place.  It starts with an introduction about what whisky is and explains the different production methods (malt, grain, single pot still, Kentucky and Tennesse). Then you get more detail about flavour profiles and tasting before reaching a map of Scotland. After that, the rest of the book is divided into regions (Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands, Islay, Islands, Campbeltown) and other countries

[Investment] Investment update - July 2016

Today I thought I would give you a quick update on investment. In my last investment post, I took a couple of examples of bottles which were going both ways: up in value as well as down in value. In this post, I am going to give you an example of a bottle which is rather unpredictable: the Kilchoman 10th anniversary release.  I bought my bottle at the Kilchoman distillery at Easter whilst on Islay, and managed to have it signed by Anthony Wills, the founder of the Kilchoman distillery. I am not sure whether the signature affects the value massively but I am going to do a quick study of the price evolution for a standard bottle, without the signature. But first, why did I buy this bottle? Well I bought it for several reasons: 1. I was there, at one of the rare independently-owned distillery, and wanted to get something.  2. They didn't have a distillery-only bottling so that was the closest (Machir Bay, Loch Gorm, 100% Islay were available but you can get

[Review] Auchentoshan - Three Wood 43%

The dram I am going to review today is courtesy of my friend Stuart who went for a weekend in Glasgow a few weeks ago, visited the Auchentoshan distillery and brought their Three Wood back. Thankfully for me, he saved me the last couple of drams from the bottle and here it is.  Auchentoshan is a Lowland distillery which triple distills all of its spirit for "smooth, complex flavours to develop as the spirit matures in fine oak casks" as stated on the packaging. Most single malts are only double distilled and deciding whether double is better than triple is like most things about whisky, down to personal taste. From what I gathered, triple distillation tends to remove the more oily flavours thus making for a lighter whisky. Auchentoshan is not one of the most know distillery and I had never heard of it prior to getting properly into whisky. In the UK, their entry level Non Age Statement (NAS) American Oak is widely available, the Three Wood is not as available and I haven

[Tasting Session] Whisky Shop - The Last Drop 22/06/16

I was lucky enough to be one of the very few customers invited last week for a special tasting session of two amazing and rather rare blends from a company called The Last Drop. And even better, the tasting was conducted by Beanie Espey, Sales and Marketing Director of the company, but also daughter of James Espey, one of the two founders of the The Last Drop Distillers Limited. The Last Drop was created in 2008 thanks to the passion and experience of two men, Tom Jago and James Espey. These "spirits pioneers" spent their entire careers in the spirits industry, developing products which have now become leading brands across the globe (Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Chivas Regal 18,  The Classic Malts, Malibu or Baileys Irish Cream) Reaching the point when most people would have decided to call it a day and retire, they thought it was time for a new beginning. Their philosophy for this new enterprise was very simple: looking for rare casks, casks which had more than likel