The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2018

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Page 24 of 132

24  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2018 by Ian Buxton I n a point of clarification to last month's column, Macallan's creative director reached out to stress there was no overspend on the company's $185-million distillery and visitor project and that it was completed "on budget." The distillery's original briefing suggested a budget of "over £100 million" (about $138 million), but I'm happy to clear up this $47-million misunderstanding. In an entirely unrelated move, Macallan parent Edrington has announced plans to sell its Cutty Sark blended Scotch brand and the Glenturret single malt distillery to focus on "the long-term prospects from premium spirits." Once the best- selling Scotch in the U.S., Cutty Sark has proved difficult for Edrington to successfully reposition. Glenturret, one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, features a successful visitor opera- tion—no doubt both will prosper under new ownership. Last month I also mentioned how I'd hoped to taste the new Port Charlotte 10 Year Old expression (50% ABV; $65) from Bruichladdich. I'm ready to report back as promised: Front and center, the packaging features the words "Heavily Peated," and it most certainly is! However, time has calmed the fiery smoke, allowing a note of mellow oak to emerge alongside citrus, fruit, and vanilla. Islay enthusiasts will surely flock to this signature release. Coming to the U.S. for the very first time are four single malts from the GlenAllachie distillery. Previously owned by Chivas Brothers, it was purchased in 2017 by industry veteran Billy Walker. Having now checked close to 50,000 casks, Walker has created a lineup of naturally coloured, non-chill-filtered malts bottled at a minimum of 46% ABV. Comprising 10-, 12-, 18-, and 25-year-old spirits, the line is positioned for a September 1 launch through The Winebow Group: Suggested prices range from $80 for the higher strength (57.1% ABV) 10-year-old to $400 for the 25-year-old granddaddy of the range. The 12- and 18-year-old styles are $60 and $150, respectively. With Walker's track record and industry experience, we can expect exceptional quality across the range. "The first release of our GlenAllachie core range has been a culmination of months of hard work and a passion to turn GlenAllachie into a very popular and much sought-after single malt whisky," he said of the launch. "It is an honour to be its custodian and to develop this range of single malts." Meanwhile, there's word of a new release from Welsh whisky distillers Penderyn: a Madeira finish at 46% ABV that harkens back to the distillery's original launch style ($70; distribution is via ImpEx Beverages). Boutique bottler Compass Box, meanwhile, has also reached into its archives to commemorate the 25th anniversary of legendary Chicago whisk(e)y bar Delilah's, creating a limited-edition Scotch whisky (46% ABV; $100) in collaboration with bar owner and whisky enthusiast Mike Miller. The recipe for this second homage to Delilah's centers around a small parcel of the original Compass Box Delilah's blend released in 2013. The luscious, American oak–aged whisky, which rested in cask for a further five years, now sees the addi- tion of malt whisky aged in Spanish Sherry casks also made of American oak. I expect keen fans will break down the door for a taste! Fresh Starts and New Tastes 24 /  the tasting panel / august 2018

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