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

Chapter 7 Glentauchers 1996

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Enjoying dessert in the Tyrol mountains

Chapter 7 Glentauchers from 1996

  • Glentauchers Distillery, Keith (Speyside)
  • 18 year old
  • 48.3% ABV
  • Distilled in 1996 - Bottled in 2014
  • Ex-bourbon barrel #3609 | 173 bottles
The Swiss indy bottler Chapter 7 seems to be taking the whisky world by storm. The one man company from Selim Evin already released 5 single casks in a year and has a few tricks up his sleeve for the coming months. The stylish black boxes are an homage to the Swiss design style.

The Allt-a-Bhainne and the Glen Keith were already very promising. Chapter 7 bottled another ex-bourbon single cask from Speyside from a lesser known distillery. One should almost think it is becoming the company's trademark... Let's see how this Glentauchers performs.

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Living legend Jim McEwan retiring in July

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Jim McEwan, Production Director and Master Distiller at Bruichladdich, has announced that he is to retire in July of this year after more than 52 years in the business.

He started as a cooper making whisky casks, then learned mashing and distilling. In the small island community when someone is sick, everyone pitches in and learns to do all of the jobs.

At 22 years old, Jim McEwan became responsible for filling the casks and maturing the whisky. In Glasgow, he learned about nosing and eventually became a chief blender. Jiù moved back to Islay to take over as general manager of Bowmore and was elected "distiller of the year" three times.

A legendary figure in the Scotch whisky industry, Jim joined the independent company that was to drive the renaissance of the then moribund Bruichladdich in the year 2000.
Describing it as the “Cinderella” distillery on the isle of Islay, he released an innovative and thought-provoking portfolio of terroir based single malts that challenged previous perceptions.
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News: Kilchoman Sanaig

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  • Kilchoman Sanaig
  • NAS
  • 46 % ABV
Islay’s smallest distillery silently released a new whisky this spring: Kilchoman Sanaig. This single malt whisky has been composed of 50% bourbon casks and 50% sherry casks. Sanaig is named after a creek, close to the distillery, on the Scottish island.

Tasting notes from La Maison Du Whisky

Nose: Fruit compote with notes of caramel and vanilla.
Taste: Peaty with a hint of toffee and grapefruit.
Finish: The peat is balanced by the fruitiness.

The whisky has been bottled at 46% ABV and is already available at La Maison du Whisky. Price: €64 / £45.99.

Source: LMDW

Glen Moray SMWS 35.108 A Feast of Flavours

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Picking fruits and nuts on the banks of the river Lossie

Glen Moray SMWS 35.108 A Feast of Flavours
  • Glen Moray, Elgin (Speyside)
  • 12 year old
  • 60.5% ABV
  • Distilled in May 2001
  • First-fill ex-sherry butt | 609 bottles
Glen Moray is a Speyside distillery on the banks of the river Lossie. The former brewery was part of the Glenmorangie portfolio (consisted of Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Glen Moray) when it was sold to luxury concern Louis Vuitton - Moët Hennesy in 2004. The brand was considered less desirable (read: it did not fit into the luxury plans of LVMH) and was disposed of fairly quick.

La Martiniquaise bought the distillery and upgraded its capacity from 2 million litres to 3.3 million litres. Glen Moray nowadays supplies malt for the Label 5 blend and its single malt core range consists of some pretty high VFM bottlings like the 10yo Chardonnay matured, a 12yo and a port cask finish.
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Bladnoch 1991 Malts of Scotland

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A lonely picnic on the meadows

  • Bladnoch, Wigtown (Lowlands)
  • 21 year old
  • 50.9% ABV
  • Distilled in April 1991 - bottled in May 2012
  • Ex-bourbon barrel #12026 | 163 bottles
Bladnoch Distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery in south west Scotland. It was one of six remaining Lowland distilleries, and is located at Bladnoch, near Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway.

The story of the distillery is one of temporary closures and reopenings. The mothballed distillery was discovered by Irishman Raymond Armstrong in 1994. After several years of trying to fund the project and replacing the old infrastructure and equipment, the distillery reopened for production in late 2000.

The fate of the Lowlands distillery is unclear nowadays. Bladnoch went into administration in 2014 and production has been halted. A court-appointed receiver has been appointed to handle the sale of Bladnoch’s assets. There have been some rumours of potential buyers but as today it remains to be seen whether the distillery will be reopened.
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Tomatin Cuatro Manzanilla

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Discovering Sanlúcar with a dram in hand

  • Tomatin Cuatro Fino sherry cask finish
  • 12 year old
  • 46 % ABV
  • Distilled January 15, 2001, moved to Manzanilla sherry cask on June 29, 2011 
  • Bottled on August 20, 2014
  • 9 years maturation in American oak, 3 year finishing in first-fill Manzanilla 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 three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. Today I explore the second from the series: Manzanilla sherry cask.

Manzanilla is an especially light variety of Fino Sherry solely made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Like Fino sherry it is made from the Palomino grape and ages under a layer of flor yeast. This layer is thicker than a normal Fino and thus allows less contact with the air. Manzanilla features dry, salty and maritime flavours.

Let's see how this Manzanilla whisky compares to the first Cuatro whisky.
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10 books on whisky that you should own

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Every self-respecting whisky lover has a few books on the golden nectar on his shelf. When you're taking your first steps, the overwhelming choice - Amazon has over 3000 books on the subject on the website - can seem an insurmountable paper mountain. I'm here to help you with my ten favourite books on whisky.

Whisky books
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News: Hunter Laing presenting smaller Hepburn's Choice whiskies

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Hepburn's Choice
Independent bottler Hunter Laing, reputed for The Old Malt Cask, will launch this month 20cl versions of their Hepburn's Choice range. They hope to make single cask whisky more accessible for everyone.

Those who know me, know I have a soft spot for 20cl  bottles. It is the ideal size to subject a whisky to a thorough tasting session, you get to taste more whiskies for the same budget and and they take less place in your cabinet.

These bottlings are to be released in the coming month:

  • Blair Athol 12yo, 46%
  • Benrinnes 6yo, 46%
  • Fettercairn 7yo, 46%
  • Craigellachie 8yo, 46%
  • Glengoyne 7yo, 46%
  • Glen Moray 7yo, 46%
  • Talisker 5yo, 46%
  • Inchgower 7yo, 46%
  • Caol Ila 5yo, 46%
  • Mortlach 10yo, 46%

Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th edition

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The ultimate form of craftsmanship?

Kilchoman 100% Islay
  • Kilchoman Distillery, Isle of Islay (Islay)
  • 5 year old
  • 50 % ABV
  • Distilled in 2009 - bottled in 2014
  • First-fill bourbon barrels
Kilchoman is Islay's smallest and youngest distillery. When Anthony Wills started Kilchoman in 2005, he had the ultimate form of whisky craftsmanship in mind. From sowing the barley to bottling a single malt whisky. Everything should be done on his farm distillery.

Meet 100% Islay. Or replace that with 100% Kilchoman. Growing the barley on Rockside farm, malting and kilning, mashing and distilling, maturing and bottling. Every step in the process is done on site. Craftsmanship. Period.

Kilchoman released four editions of 100% Islay whisky to this day. The whisky is bottled at a higher strength (50% ABV in stead of the usual 46%) and is peated to a lower level (25ppm) than the Machir Bay and Loch Gorm whiskies. The malt for these core range whiskies is bought at Port Ellen Maltings and contains 50ppm.

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News: Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus

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John Glaser & Co. celebrating 15 years in business

News: Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus
  • Hedonism Quindecimus
  • Compass Box
  • Blended grain NAS (20 years old)
  • 46 % ABV
  • 5,689 bottles
This new whisky marks the start of Compass Box' 15th Anniversary celebrations and is a tribute to our their bottling in 2000 – the original Hedonism – which explored a brave new world of flavour previously uncharted in the world of Scotch.
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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.