Back to the Speyside, and back to another distillery that does not have a visitor’s centre and one of the few, seemingly, that I did not at some point drive by: Dailuaine. It is owned by Diageo and, other than in the Flora & Fauna series, it sees no regular release. This is a shame—I’ve quite liked the few I’ve tasted and reviewed (two older ones—here and here—and this 12 yo). A decent number show up from the independents every year, though we don’t see very many in the US. This one was bottled by Gordon & Company—no relation to Gordon & MacPhail—a bottler I know nothing about. I bought these samples a long time ago; the whisky itself is long gone—and so these notes will have no utility to anyone. But being of no use to anyone is my core competency anyway.
By the way, this came from a cask that yielded 312 bottles. That’s a strange number for a whisky at cask strength from a single cask—a few too many bottles, seemingly, for a bourbon hogshead, and quite a few too few for a sherry butt (and as you’ll see, this does not seem like a sherry cask to me). Continue reading
Following the very unexciting Invergordon 1973 from last week, here is a slightly older grain whisky from North of Scotland. Despite the name, the distillery was in fact located out near the east coast of Scotland, by Aberdeen. I use the past tense because it was closed in 1980 and dismantled in 1993 (the grounds are now used by Diageo for warehousing purposes). Known as Strathmore when it first opened in 1957, it’s a bit of a curiosity because it initially produced both malt and grain whisky from its column stills. The little that’s still available of its product is all grain though, and there’s not a huge amount of it floating around either by the looks of things. I assume the few very old releases that have come to market recently are from some cache of casks liberated from a broker’s unblended stock. Gordon & Company, who are fairly new on the scene, have released a few of these. This is the first one they put out, I think, and I also think it’s now all gone. Continue reading
As the whisky bubble continues to inflate and prices for malts from established names (and also some not very established ones) rise higher and higher, we are going to see the independents bring more and more single casks from previously second and third tier distilleries to market. This is not a particularly original insight/forecast—a lot of people have made it. Not a lot of people would have said some years ago, however, that Ben Nevis might be poised for an image makeover—the official malt has always been idiosyncratic. I have a theory though that its profile is going to rise. For one thing, the owners seem to be releasing more of it (and asking good money for some of it); for another, I think as more and more sherried Ben Nevis shows up it is going to win whisky geeks over.
Ardmore, as you probably know, is one of the few distilleries in the Speyside known for peated malt—though it is rarely smoky to the extent of the peated Islays and others of that ilk. There’s not a lot of Ardmore available, either officially or from the indies, and so I’m always on the lookout for any new bottles. I don’t really know who Gordon & Company are; until I came across some of their bottles on Whiskybase a few months ago I had never heard of them or their “Pearls of Scotland” line which includes this Ardmore. If you know who they are or if they have any relationship to Gordon & Macphail please let me know via the comments.
Anyway, as I like Ardmore a lot, and as I’ve never had an Ardmore of this age before, I was very interested but didn’t want to commit to a full bottle until I’d tried a sample. Of course, after purchasing the samples I completely forgot about them and so am very pleased to discover that this is still in stock at Whiskybase. Of course, if I like it a lot I won’t post the review till I’ve secured a bottle for myself. You’re welcome! Continue reading