The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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Page 38 of 100

T his month, let's start with a whisky you won't be seeing in the U.S. I'm keen to spread the news of the remarkable Talisker Bodega Series, which is launching with just 2,000 bottles of a 40-year-old single malt. This is one of the oldest and most valuable expressions from a distillery that can truly be described as iconic, and it will be eagerly sought by collectors and the growing investor community. However, despite assurances that it would be available "worldwide," the U.S. will not receive an allocation as, sadly, the Scotch has only been produced in the European 70cl bottle size. Why do I mention it? Because if you can ask a friend with access to the product to ship it to you, trust that it will command respect for your discernment and good taste! One intriguing new product you can and should purchase is Jameson's Wild Seaweed Bitters (46% ABV; SRP $30). The first seaweed bitters available anywhere and a true celebration of Irish ingredients, it contains a highly concentrated infusion of Jameson Irish whiskey with a variety of herbs, includ- ing cinchona, wormwood, ginseng, and gentian. It's also infused with wild dillisk seaweed, which is carefully hand-harvested in County Sligo and dried naturally on the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way by Damian Melvin, a second-generation seaweed harvester. The rich, intense, and well-balanced bitters invoke the aromas and flavors of the rugged Irish seashore while offering mixologists a great creative platform for innovative whiskey cocktails. Jameson has also released its Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength (55.3% ABV; SRP $250) expression. The company's first cask-strength whiskey to be available globally finishes its maturation in Dublin's only Live Maturation House, located at the Jameson Distillery Bow Street. After spending 18 years in a collection of bourbon and Sherry casks, rare pot-still and grain Irish whiskeys are blended together in first-fill bourbon barrels for a final six to 12 months of aging. It's both a welcome return to the spiritual heart of Irish whiskey and another indication of the rebirth of Dublin distilling. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's best-known distillery, Bushmills, has announced the 2018 release of its 16- and 21-year-old single malts (both are 40% ABV; SRPs are $100 and $150, respectively). Bushmills has doubled production of its younger whiskey, while the older expression features label information on the year it was bottled. The label provides a unique reference number, ensuring that the whiskey becomes "even more collect- ible," according to Master Distiller Colum Egan. And, finally, our old friends at Kilchoman on Islay have just released the 2018 editions of their Loch Gorm (46% ABV; SRP $105) and Port Cask Matured (50% ABV; SRP $120). "I think the 2018 editions are probably the best versions of these expressions we've released to date, so I'm excited to see how they are received," says Kilchoman Founder Anthony Wills. But the best news, of course, is that both will be available stateside! 38  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2018 A Whisk(e)y Wish List by Ian Buxton

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