This is a somewhat unusual whisky. It is a blend but apparently a single cask blend: what this means is that malt new make and grain new make were blended into a cask upon distillation in 1979 and married in the cask for the entire period of maturation. And this period of maturation was long indeed: 33 years. As to whether the malt and grain components were distilled at the same distillery, I don’t now. If so, that would narrow the source considerably as there are not very many distilleries that are/were set up to distill both malt and grain. It’s also not clear who initiated this single cask blend (a distillery? an independent blender?) or to what purpose. What we do know is that this cask was bottled by Svenska Eldvatten, who have bottled a number of other vintage releases of uncertain origin. The cask is said to be sherry but this release was of only 197 bottles. Given everything else that’s unusual about this it is possible that this was a sherry hogshead. Continue reading
Kirkland is Costco’s private label brand used for everything from baby formula to 14 pc nativity sets (please keep the baby Jesus and his parents away from flame or heat source). This, however, is whisky, not recommended for babies and not, as far as I know, one of the gifts of the Magi. It is from the Speyside but as the distillery is not specified it could literally be from one of scores of candidates. This was matured in bourbon casks and finished in sherry. I’m not sure if it’s still available.
Kirkland Speyside 18 (40%; sherry finish; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Somewhat generic sherry notes–light caramel, a hint of maple syrup, some toffee and a touch of orange peel. The muskier fruit from the palate never shows up on the nose but it is quite balanced and pleasant. Continue reading
This is a mystery malt from the independent bottler Adelphi. They’ve released a few in this series, a couple at 12 yo and a couple at 14 yo. I’m not sure if they’re all supposed to be from the same distillery or if there are any rumours/theories about the identity of the source of each release; usually most mystery Islay malts seem to be said to be Ardbegs or Lagavulins, on account of these being the two that are usually not available as independents (and also probably on account of some wishful thinking on part of buyers which, of course, is to the benefit of the sellers).
If anyone knows of any reliable “nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know what I mean?” about this bottle please write in below.