Glenallachie 12, 2008, PX Cask (for Spec’s)

Glenallachie week comes to a close with another heavily sherried, cask strength whisky. But this is not yet another batch of the 10 yo CS (see here for my review of Batch 2 on Monday, and here for my review of Batch 3 on Wednesday). This is a 12 yo and it’s a single cask that was bottled for Spec’s in Texas. And where both batches of the 10 yo CS were vatted from whiskies matured in more than one type of cask, this one was matured in a PX puncheon. Or at least so it seems. Keep in mind that Glenallachie is run by Billy Walker, and when he was at Glendronach, they used a much looser definition of the term “single cask” (see here for more on all that if you don’t know what I’m referring to). So maybe this is all whisky that was matured for 12 years in this specific single cask; or maybe it’s whisky that was re-racked into this cask before being bottled. If you know one way or the other, please write in below. Anyway, I liked both batches of the 10 yo CS that I reviewed this week quite a lot. Let’s see if this keeps that streak alive. Continue reading


Dailuaine 13, 2007 (Signatory for Specs)

This will be a week of reviews from unheralded Speyside distilleries; it will also, as it happens, be a week of reviews of whiskies bottled by Signatory. Let’s begin with a 13 yo from what is probably the best-known of the trio: Dailuaine (the other two are Inchgower and Strathmill). This was bottled for Specs in Texas. There’s not too much information about it online. Specs’ listing (it is still available) gives no detail. Whiskybase indicates that it’s been put together from several hogsheads for a total outturn of 1152 bottles (no wonder it’s still available). There’s only one rating on Whiskybase with an accompanying review. The review actually makes the whisky seem quite intriguing to me but the rating is pretty low. I’m curious to see what I make of it—for what it’s worth, I’ve liked all the Dailuaines I’ve reviewed; of course, that’s no guarantee. Anyway, as this whisky is still available, my review is not actually untimely, even though it comes more than two years after it was bottled. There is no need to thank me. Continue reading

Amrut 7, 2014, Triple Distilled (for Spec’s)

A week of reviews of Indian malt whiskies began with one from a new distillery: Kamet. I’ll continue now with the distillery that really put Indian whisky on the single malt aficionado’s radar: Amrut.

Over the course of the last decade Amrut has added to its core roster of malts—the Fusion and the unpeated and peated variants of its base malt—with a number of special releases. They’ve also bottled a large number of casks both for specific markets and for retailers across the world. This is one of the latter. It’s a 7 yo bottled for the Spec’s chain in Texas. It is made from unpeated Indian barley, triple-distilled and matured in an ex-bourbon cask—a far cry from the last Amrut I reviewed, the Naarangi, which featured an infusion of oranges. Not very many Scottish distilleries triple distill. In Ireland, of course, it’s far more common and I’ll be interested to see if there are any Indo-Irish crossovers here. And speaking of Amrut’s core roster of malts, I’m quite out of touch with the current state of all of those. I should look into some recent releases at some point—especially as it appears that I’ve never reviewed the Fusion. Continue reading

Mortlach 10, 2008 (Signatory for Spec’s)

Friday’s Mortlach, an official release for travel retail, didn’t impress very much. As I have some readers who are not very familiar with Mortlach I feel I must try to not leave them with a ho-hum impression of the distillery. Accordingly, I’m following that review with a full slate of Mortlach reviews this week. I’ve not tasted any of these bottles before but am hopeful that at least one of them will give a better idea of what Mortlach whisky’s appeal can be than that Alexander’s Way did. First up, is a 10 yo bottled by Signatory in its Un-Chillfiltered Collection series for Spec’s in Texas. As per Whiskybase a number of these 10 yos from 2008 were bottled by Signatory for stores in the EU as well, all matured in bourbon barrels just as this one was. Indeed, this one is a vatting of four bourbon barrels for a total release of 964 bottles. I believe barrels generally yield a little over 200 bottles. Dilution down to 46% brings the number up. I’ve always had a soft spot for Signatory’s UCF collection—when I first started out buying indie releases this was one of the lines I bought a lot of bottles from. It used to be pretty ubiquitous in the US and pretty reasonably priced. As to whether this Mortlach was reasonably priced on release in 2018, I don’t know—but I do hope it’s a good one. Continue reading

Kilchoman 13, 2008 (For Spec’s)

Last week’s review featured whiskies from three different Islay distilleries (Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Caol Ila). We’ll stay on Islay for another week but this week’s reviews will all be from a single distillery: Kilchoman. They’ll also all be of Kilchomans specially bottled for the American market—which sometimes seems like it might be the majority of Kilchoman’s bottlings. The first two were bottled for the gargantuan Texas chain, Spec’s, and the third for the Southern California Whiskey Club (who these people are, I’m not really sure). The two Spec’s releases—both from 2021—were from bourbon casks. Friday’s Southern California Whiskey Club is—as you will see—a little different. So, two classic casks and then a slight twist. We’ll also take the week in descending order of age. In fact, this 13 yo cask is not only the oldest of the three I’ll be reviewing this week, it’s the oldest Kilchoman I’ve yet reviewed, and probably ever tasted. It will have to be rather excellent indeed to come close to justifying the $190 currently being asked for it by Spec’s. I have to admit I find that price to be rather inexplicable—is it in line with what’s being charged for Kilchomans being bottled by other stores as well? Anyway, let’s see what the whisky is like. Continue reading