The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2018

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Page 24 of 96

24  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2018 by Ian Buxton I f the activity from Scotland's distill- eries is anything to go by, I sense the holidays may be just around the corner. There's a raft of new whiskies headed across the Atlantic and a lot to enjoy this season. One eagerly awaited highlight this time of year is the announcement of Diageo's Special Releases series. This year's collection is quite groundbreak- ing, with the inclu- sion of an Inchgower (55.3% ABV; $359) bottling and the seldom-seen Lowland Single Grain Carsebridge (43.2%; $959), which closed in 1983. There are ten bottlings in all, the most interesting of which may be the tenth— Cladach, a blended malt Scotch whisky (57.1%) that captures the character of Scotland's coastline. It features a blend from six famous distilleries: Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Oban, Inchgower, and Talisker. Frustratingly, it is not immediately available in the U.S., though some U.K. online specialists will ship depending on the market. Last Drop Distillers, meanwhile, has announced the release of two single cask malt whiskies dating back to 1968 from the Glenrothes distillery. Pricing and further details are available via its website, but hurry—just 309 bottles are available worldwide. Burn Stewart Distillers has also revised its portfolio of rare malts. Distributed via Terlato Wines, the releases are being shipped to market throughout the fall in advance of the holiday season. The range comprises the Tobermory 2005 (12 Year Old) Fino Cask Finish ($175); Ledaig 1998 (19 Year Old) PX Cask Finish ($200); Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish ($85); and two whiskies from Islay, the Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured ($110) and a Palo Cortado Cask Finish ($500). "This has been a revolutionary year for our malt portfolio. We're lucky to have three very different distilleries, and this showcase will allow us to share the stories of each and highlight how they're reflected in the bold new releases," says Derek Scott, Brand Director for Malt Whisky at Distell, Burn Stewart Distillers' parent company. Another distillery that has recently refreshed its range and look is Old Pulteney, a true maritime malt from the traditional fishing town of Wick on Scotland's North Sea coast. The new core collection features a flagship 12 Year Old, as well as 15 and 18 Year Old versions and another called Huddart. It's apparently named for the street on which the distillery is located—in turn named after Captain Joseph Huddart of the British Fisheries Society, which built Pulteneytown and its harbour. This move marks a reinvigoration of the core range for the award-winning Caithness-based distillery; comple- mented by a distinctive new design and packaging, it seems as if it's already wearing its holiday best. An Early Glimpse of Holiday Releases

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