The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2013

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SCOTCh REPORT When It Rains, A VERITABLE FlOOD OF NEW RELEASES It Pours by Ian Buxton M y postman has been busy this month and, so it seems, have Scotland's distillers for my desk is covered in tiny samples of some exciting new releases. Amongst the most dramatic new arrivals are two from the famous Talisker distillery on Skye. Known as Talisker Storm and Talisker Port Ruighe they offer a fresh look at the Talisker personality. But though both come at Talisker's signature 45.8% abv, neither has an age statement—something of a trend at the moment, and one that's not without controversy. However, I feel that the whisky carries the day: as its name suggests, Storm is a richer and more developed version of classic Talisker, contrasting with the somewhat softer, better balanced and sweeter Port Ruighe, due no doubt to its port cask finish. I preferred the latter—but you have to try both! Kilchoman—Islay's smallest and newest distillery—is really coming of age. Their latest release, Kilchoman Loch Gorm, is a 46% abv five-year-old, named after the famously peaty loch near the distillery. The Loch Gorm range will be the only sherry cask–matured release from Kilchoman and the inaugural five-year-old bottling is restricted to 10,000 bottles worldwide. The sherry adds color and extra depth of character to Kilchoman's award-winning range and is bound to attract new fans. Wemyss Malts are always very active. Their latest Candied Fruit, Ginger Spice and Chocolate Honeycomb releases have found their way to my desk and, as usual, they are perfectly delightful. The names are supposed to evoke the flavors in the bottle: perhaps it's the power of suggestion, but I was led quite strongly to agree with the aromas and tastes they proposed. For the less lyrically inclined, I can reveal that "Candied Fruit" is a 1998 single cask from Auchentoshan; "Ginger Spice" a 1988 single cask from Glenrothes and "Chocolate Honeycomb" a 2001 single cask from Bunnahabhain on Islay. If I could chose only one, I'd take the Spice Girl! The Tamdhu distillery on Speyside has recently been re-opened and they've released two cracking 10 year old single malts to celebrate. The Limited Edition is only available online but its partner Tamdhu 10 Years Old is a delightful, sherry-matured dram that will appeal to lovers of Aberlour, Glenfarclas or the classic Macallan style. I thought it had a good medium weight with beguiling notes of dried fruit, chocolate and ripe bananas. So let's finish off with the latest expression of what has rapidly become a favorite: Bowmore Tempest, for trademark reasons known as Bowmore Dorus Mor in the States. Coming in at a mighty 55.1%, this particular big boy from Islay takes no prisoners. Direct, uncompromising, packed with salt and peat this is a great example of Bowmore, which is now hitting top form. If you like full-flavored whiskies this won't disappoint. Well, we began with a Storm and finish with a Tempest. But for all the references to wild weather, the Scotch whisky industry is enjoying the sunshine of good times right now. Long may it last! 26  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2013 TP0613_001-41.indd 26 5/23/13 4:24 PM

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