The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 24 of 124

24  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 T here's much to report this issue from both Scotland and Ireland. One of my favorite Irish whiskies is Writers' Tears Copper Pot from the Walsh Whiskey Company. Apart from the great name, it's a fine example of a style of whiskey that is unique to Ireland. Made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley (but no grain whiskey, hence not a blend), it's unpeated and matured and aged in American oak bourbon casks to deliver delicious spice notes and a rich mouthfeel. With renewed distribution efforts backed by Disaronno International, Writers' Tears should shortly be available in more than 40 states (SRP $40; 40% ABV). Longtime favorite The Glenlivet has set out to challenge its many fans with The Glenlivet Code. This mysterious single malt has been released without cask information or tasting notes in order to take whisky connois- seurs on a journey of discovery while also testing their whisky knowledge with a limited edition described as "a labyrinth of flavours that will test the senses of even the most discerning whisky drinker." So, no clues here! Instead, scan the code on the back of the carton to enter a virtual underground room where you will be greeted by a holo- gram of The Glenlivet's Master Distiller, Alan Winchester. The challenge: Decode the taste of the liquid by selecting four aromas for the nose and four flavors for the palate from thousands of possible combinations. All will be revealed at year's end ($120; strength—you guess!). Following two years of development, Whyte & Mackay are launching a new look and new expressions from the Isle of Jura, Scotland's smallest island distilling community. Jura Seven Wood and Jura 18, now available nationwide through Gallo Spirits, join the award-winning 10 Year Old expression and really mark a major renaissance for this distillery and its rapidly-growing reputation. Under owner Emperador, Jura is finally receiving the stability and investment it has long required. According to Kirsteen Beeston, Global Head of Brand for Jura, "The introduction of these two expressions in the U.S., on the back of the suc- cess of Jura 10, is testament to our confidence in the new range and style. Furthermore, we believe that there is a strong opportunity to expand the range and consumer choice in the U.S. market as part of our growth ambitions and vision." The new Jura Seven Wood ($75; 42% ABV) and Jura 18 ($125; 44% ABV) are part of the Signature Series and are set to replace the current range of Origin, Superstition, Diurachs' Own 16 Year Old, and Prophecy. Finally, reinforcing last month's column on the growing contributions of women in whisky, look out for rare limited releases and new expressions from Master Blender Rachel Barrie. Among the collection imported by Brown-Forman Beverages, standout releases include The GlenDronach 24 Year Old Grandeur and BenRiach 21, alongside single-cask expres- sions and some of the best and most sought-after whiskies from these two relatively little-known distilleries. Retail prices range from $95 to $1,100 depending on age, strength, and avail- ability—all palates and pockets seem to be covered here! Whisky Adventures for Spring while flavours whisky virtual you for by Ian Buxton

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