Peter Ranscombe rounds-up the latest releases from Scotland’s whisky distilleries.
ART is meeting whisky in the latest release from The Macallan.
The Speyside distillery has teamed up with legendary violinist Nicola Benedetti to examine “the parallels between sound, aroma, flavour, and colour” in its 2022 rare cask release.
“The smell of oak transports me back home to long weekend walks through the Auchinleck fields and glens near my Scottish hometown, Ayrshire,” said Benedetti.
“It has a feel to it that can only be experienced in Scotland.”
Back to the swinging sixties
Whisky is also meeting art in the latest bottle from Ladyburn “ghost” distillery.
The private clients division at William Grant & Sons, the distiller behind The Balvenie and Glenfiddich single malts and its eponymous blend, has launched Ladyburn Edition Two.
The labels for the 55-year-old whisky – which is priced at £198,000 for the full collection of 11 bottles – feature images from the 1960s by fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.
Fewer than 220 casks remain from Ladyburn, with only 210 decanters bottled last year from the 1966 sherry butt.
Climbing the apples and pears
Staying with Grants, and Glenfiddich also has new Scotch on the market.
“The Orchard Experiment” (£43) is the fifth release from the Speyside distillery’s “Experimental Series” and features whisky aged in American oak and then finished in Somerset Pomona spirit casks.
The finishing barrels were supplied by the Temperley family, the owner of The Somerset Cider Brandy Company.
Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s malt master, said: “I was intrigued by the possibility of using Somerset Pomona Spirit Casks to enhance and elevate the core Glenfiddich character of apples and pears.”
King Alexander deposed by 21 year old
From apples to chocolate oranges, and the introduction of the 21-year-old Dalmore.
Each year, the distillery plans to release 8,000 bottles of the latest edition to its core range, which will sell for £575 a pop.
After spending time in ex-bourbon barrels, the liquid is aged in casks that once formed part of the solera system for Gonzalez Byass’ 30-year-old “Matusalem” oloroso sherry.
The 21 year old slots in at the top of The Dalmore’s “principal collection”, ahead of the 18 year old and the King Alexander III.
Tomatin toasts 125th birthday
Happy birthday to Tomatin, which is marking its 125th birthday, and still doesn’t look a day over 124.
The Highland distillery has forgone jelly and ice cream, and has instead settled on releasing not one but two limited edition whiskies.
The first is a 50-year-old single cask from which – unsurprisingly – 125 bottles have been filled and will go on sale at £17,500 each.
The second is a 1993 oloroso sherry single cask (£695) selected by master distiller Graham Eunson to give a flavour of the barrels that would have been used when the distillery was founded in 1897.
Islay’s first rum
And finally, Islay may be the world capital of peated whisky, but one distillery on the island has decided to go off in a different direction.
The Islay Rum Distillery – which threw open its Art Deco doors at Hastie’s old lemonade factory in Port Ellen for the first time during the Fèis Ìle – has spent five years developing Geal, the island’s first rum.
Vintage Malt Whisky Company, which owns the distillery and the Finlaggan and Ileach single malt brands, drew inspiration from the rums of the French West Indies, Haiti, and Jamaica.
I’ve asked for details about the raw material for the rum and will update readers as and when I hear more…
In the meantime, read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages.
Plus, check out Blair Bowman’s whisky column in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.