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

Chapter 7 Arran 1996

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Chapter 7 Arran

The Eagle has landed

  • Arran Distillery, Isle of Arran (Islands)
  • 18 year old single malt
  • 52.7 % ABV
  • Distilled in 1996, bottled as a single cask in 2015
  • Bourbon hogshead #879 | 138 bottles
The Arran Distillery is one of Scotland's youngest. Established in 1995 by former Chivas director Harol Currie, it is one of the few independently owned distilleries and the only one on the Isle of Arran.

On your way to Lochranza you are greeted by the majestic and desolate ruines of royal castle that served as an inspiration to the Belgian cartoonist Hergé for the seventh volume in his Tintin series: The Black Island.

Construction work has been temporarily interrupted several times due to a pair of Golden Eagles that nested on a cliff near the distillery. To thank the people of Arran for not disturbing them, the eagles flew out on the day of the grand opening in 1997, in the presence of the Queen.

Or so the story goes...

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News: Kilchoman Madeira Cask

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  • Madeira cask matured
  • Kilchoman Distillery, Bruichladdich (Islay)
  • 2011
  • 50 % ABV
  • Distilled in 2011 - bottled in 2015
  • Madeira cask | 6.100 bottles
Kilchoman announcend today the final general release of 2015. It is the first Madeira cask matured release (if you do not take last year's Club release into account). Seventeen madeira wine barrels have been selected and filled with Kilchoman spirit in 2011. Kilchoman bottled them earlier this year at 50% ABV. The bottling was in the line up of this year's Kilchoman European Tour.
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News: Ardbeg Dark Cove

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Ardbeg Dark Cove

Ardbeg's darkest Spirit ever

  • Ardbeg Dark Cove
  • Ardbeg Distillery, Port Ellen (Islay)
  • NAS
  • 46.5% ABV
Somebody already discovered a new Ardbeg on Colas Online. WillDark Cove be next years Feis Ile release from Ardbeg? Or a new addition to the core range? I'm opting for the latter since it's not a cask strength whisky... Althought it could compete with the heavily sherried Uigeadail. Time will tell.

The back label reads:
"Its colour is that of copper stills in moonlight. Its nose - dark chocolate, rich treacle toffee and distant bonfires - betrays a secret: a clandestine meeting of Ardbeg matured in ex-Bourbon casks and a heart matured in dark sherry casks. Hints of pepper spice and zesty lime lure you in. Smouldering charcoal and wood polish flit across the palate, with raisins, dates and ginger emerging from the shadows of tarry creosote. Echoes of cured smoked ham and squid ink noodles signal the arrival of a long spicy aftertaste.

Take this whisky and hide it well; For it is Ardbeg's darkest spirit ever."

What's It Gonna Be?

Remember, these are mere speculations:
  • Feis Ile 2016
  • A Travel Retail version of Uigeadail
  • A watered down replacement for Uigeadail (at the same price)
  • An edition to the core range
  • A competitor for Highland Park Dark Origins
  • An e150 experiment (caramel colouring)
You know something I don't? Feel free to drop me a line!

Source and pictures: Colas Online

Jura SMWS 31.28 Going nuts in a rugby club changing room

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A lightning course in rugby
SMWS logo

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Isle of Jura Distillery
  • 25 year old single malt
  • 51.8% ABV
  • Distilled 27 September 1988
  • Refill hogshead | 250 bottles (single cask)
The Rugby World Cup is in full swing at the moment. Where I live rugby is not a very well known sport. All I know we have a national team that didn't get qualified for the world cup and they play in black.

On the table is a 25 year single cask from The Isle of Jura Distillery. Back then the distillery was owned by Invergordon distilleries. The legendary Willie Tait was already on board and worked his way through the ranks to Distillery Manager.
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News: Douglas Laing's Big Peat Christmas 2015

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  • Big Peat Christmas 2015
  • Douglas Laing Regional Malts
  • Blended malt
  • 53.8% ABV
  • 3.000 cases / 18.000 bottles
Big Peat Christmas contains a shovelful of the finest festive Malts from the Whisky island of Islay, including Ardbegg-nog, Coal Ila, Snowmore and Party Ellen. As ever, he is proudly  riding his sledge without chill-filtration or colouring, but for Christmas he’s bottled at heart-wearming cask strength, a punchy 53.8% ABV.

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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.