Discovering the world of golden spirits. The latest whisky news and tasting notes from a Belgian whisky geek and SMWS member.

News: Laphroaig 15 celebrating the bicentennial

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Return of the classic!
Laphroaig 15

  • Laphroaig Distillery
  • 15 years old
  • 43 % ABV
  • 2.500 bottles (initial release Friends of Laphroaig)
Laphroaig Distillery will be  releasing a special edition whisky for the brand's 200th anniversary. It is a release that is very close to many of the Laffie fans hearts, the much loved (and missed) 15 year old.

The first 2,500 bottles have been made available to The Friends of Laphroaig from as from today, 2nd March, until end of stock.

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Tomatin Cuatro Fino

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A Spanish experiment in four acts

Tomatin Cuatro Fino sherry cask
  • Tomatin Distillery
  • 12yo
  • 46 % ABV
  • Distilled January 15, 2001, moved to Fino sherry cask on June 29, 2011 
  • Bottled on August 20, 2014
  • 9 years maturation in American oak, 3 years finishing in first-fill Fino sherry cask | 1500 bottles
The four whiskies from the Cuatro series come from a spirit batch distilled on the same day. The whisky matured for nine years in American Oak casks before being transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. Today I explore the first from the series: Fino sherry cask.

Fino is a pale and dry sherry variant and the most known and readily available variant. It is made from Palomino grapes and ages under a layer of flor. This layer of yeast prevents contact with the air and gives the sherry its yeasty and salty character.

But now it is time to explore the whisky and the flavours it inherited from the Fino sherry casks.
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Douglas Laing's Rock Oyster Tweet Tasting

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I was one of the lucky bastards to attend yesterday's Tweet Tasting under the guidance of Steve Rush (@TheWhiskyWire) and the Douglas Laing crew (Jan Beckers. Cara Laing and Chris Leggat). Six samples in a small box. Two of them were the new blended malt Rock Oyster. The others were three Old Particular whiskies and a Talisker 'Young & Feisty'.


A photo posted by Gert Claus (@tastydram) on


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News: Midleton launches its first Virgin Oak finish

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Irish Distillers Midleton Dair Ghaelach

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has unveiled Midleton Dair Ghaelach, its first ever Irish whiskey to be finished in virgin Irish Oak Hogsheads.

This uniquely Irish expression is the latest addition to the Midleton Single Pot Still family of whiskeys, satisfying the growing appetite among whisk(e)y lovers for discovering new and innovative styles of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey.
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News: Tomatin launches a new Cù Bòcan and a Cask Strength whisky

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Tomatin Distillery released two new whiskies today. One is the next installment of the Cù Bòcan trilogy, the other is a brand new addition to the Tomatin range: a cask strength expression!


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Aultmore 12

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(At) Last Great Malts? 

Aultmore 12yo Scotch single malt whisky
  • John Dewar & Sons (Bacardi)
  • Aultmore Distillery
  • 12 years old
  • 46 % ABV
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered

Aultmore is one of these lesser known Speyside distilleries. It was founded in 1896 by Alexander Edward (who was also behind Benrinnes and Craigellachie). The name Aultmore is derived from Allt Mòr, the water source of the distillery.

Most of the distillery's output goes into the blended whiskies of Dewar's. A 12 year old bottling has been so far the only official one. Under the Diageo reign there was a Flora & Fauna 12yo and after the sale to Bacardi, the new owners introduced another 12yo Aultmore whisky.

Global Brand Ambassador Stephen Marshall convinced the Bacardi management to breathe new life into the single malts from Bacardi's portfolio. And to make us geeks really wet our pants, they announced to do age statements, no colouring and no chilfilltering. The project was baptised The Last Great Malts and consists of Aberfeldly, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Royal Brackla and The Deveron.

Now, let's see what hides in the thick fog along Buckie Road.


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News: Arran presents its very first 18yo bottling

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Arran 18 from Isle of Arran Distillers
  • Isle of Arran Distillers
  • 18 years old
  • 46 % ABV
  • 9.000 bottles available
This is a limited edition bottling of only 9,000 bottles worldwide and. This whisky is the final part of the trilogy of 16, 17 & 18 year-old Single Malts counting down to this milestone in Arran's history!

We already saw a few independent Arran bottlings of the same age. Now Arran Distillery itself deemed the time right to present one.

The Arran 18yo will be available from Monday 16th March, priced at £72.99.

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News: Highland Park Odin finally amongst men

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Allfather has arrived in Midgard

Highland Park OdinH

  • Highland Park Odin
  • 16 years old
  • 55.8% ABV
  • 17.000 bottles
  • £180  / €250
Odin concludes The Valhalla Collection, four  Scotch whiskies celebrating Highland Park’s Norse heritage. Odin, ruler of Asgard himself, joins mighty Thor, shapeshifting Loki and the fair Freya to complete the collection.

The Valhalla Collection tries to put the personality of a god in a glass. Odin packs a mighty punch at 55.8% ABV but finds a balance between the god and Highland Park's signature Orcadian style resulting in a rich and undeniably powerful 16 year old single malt whisky.
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Berry Bros & Rudd 1996 Benriach

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A fruit basket laden with memories

BBR Benriach 1996
  • 1996 Benriach bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd
  • Benriach Distillery
  • 17 years old
  • 49.7 % ABV
  • Distilled in 1996 - bottled in 2013
  • Cask #45754 
Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britains oldest wine and spirit merchant. The business was established in 1698 and has been trading ever since from the same shop in St. James Street in London. Entering this specialist shop with its antique wooden interior felt almost like a time capsule. Berry Bros. created the famous Cutty Cask and Blue Hanger blend and offered private bottlings of whisky. Since 2002 these whiskies (and a range of other spirits like armagnac and rhum) are sold under the Berry's Own label.

Speyside distillery Benriach, founded in 1897, could easily be called a miniature of everything Scotch whisky has to offer: from the typical sweet Speyside style to heavily peated whiskies, to triple distilled spirit, to wood experiments with a wide variety of casks. Name it and Billy Walker probably tried it at Benriach. The distillery itself changed hands multiple times and was mothballed twice during the past 200 years but managed to reposition itself amongst the top brands of the industry.

Berry Bros. & Rudd London


Note: This is a bottle I bought at Berry Bros on my 30th birthday trip (or shopping spree in feminine terms) to London last year. So, yes this review may be a little biased due to the memories that come with the bottle. 
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News: Six new single casks releases from Wemyss Malts

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Edinburgh based independent bottler Wemyss Malts announced earlier today the release of a new selection of single cask Scotch whiskies.

The names of this collection of new whiskies, as we expect from Wemyss, are inspired by the unique natural taste and aroma of each one. The eye catchers of the new offering is a cask strength from Bunnahabhain Distillery on Islay called "Kirsch Gateau" and a single grain Invergordon single cask.


Wemyss Malts single casks
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Whisky news, Scotch and whiskey tasting notes by A Tasty Dram

Single malt and blended whiskey reviews, industry news, recipes and tasting notes from around the world. Discovering the world of golden spirits . A Belgian whisky geek, beer lover and Scotch Malt Whisky Society member.