Distiller’s Friday Roundup – November 9th, 2018By Mikael Mossberg
As if your holiday wish lists weren’t already overloaded enough from all of the new spirits we’ve been covering over the past few months, this week isn’t going to provide any relief. Some of these are going to be incredibly difficult for all but the most resourceful collectors to find. But there are some that shouldn’t be too difficult to get your hands on. Whiskies, rum and two new tequilas. Not a bad way to end the week.
Gordon & MacPhail Announces Two New Private Collection Releases
In April of 2018 Gordon & MacPhail announced a streamlining of their entire portfolio. Their releases would fall under five main umbrellas: Discovery, Distillery Labels, Connoisseurs Choice, Generations and Private Collection. The latter is intended to be a category for “greatly-aged single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries specially selected by members of the Urquhart family.”
They’ve just announced two new additions to the Private Collection range, and they come with a brand new look. The new bottles are ridged and heavyweight, and come housed in veneered wooden boxes. The brand also hints that more ultra-rare Private Collection whiskies will be unveiled in the coming months.
Back in 1985 Gordon & MacPhail sent Cask 562, a refill bourbon barrel, to Inverleven Distillery in the Lowlands. Unbeknownst to either party, Inverleven would only produce spirit for another six years before it was shuttered. In 2002, the entire site was demolished, never to produce spirits again.
This single malt matured for 33 years in Cask 562 and is bottled at cask strength (57.4% ABV) with a suggested price of £1,000.
This single malt dates back to 1974 when a refill sherry puncheon was filled at Glenrothes Distillery. Aged for 44 years before bottling in 2018, this barrel yielded only 276 bottles.
It is bottled at 49.5% ABV with a suggested price of £1,250.
Appleton Estate 30 Year Comes Back With A Bang
This isn’t the first time that Appleton Estate released a 30 year old rum. Back in 2008 Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence debuted the brand’s first 30 year product. This 2018 release, however, is a distinctly new beast, including rums aged up to 50 years in the blend.
“This Appleton Estate 30 Year Old is one of my favorite releases because it celebrates the honed craft of fine, hand-crafted rum making in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica,” said Master Blender Joy Spence. “Jamaicans are proud of their rum-making heritage, and it’s an honor we can bring these truly unique, luxury expressions to the market for people who appreciate a intricate sipping rum.”
As can be expected, this bottling is extremely rare. Just 4,000 bottles are available globally with 900 set aside for the US. It is bottled at 43% ABV and comes with a suggested price of $495.
Adding to their Wood Finish portfolio this week, Benromach announced their new Château Cissac Bordeaux Wood Finish 2010. It’s matured in first fill bourbon barrels, then finished for just over two years in Château Cissac wine casks from the French wine region of Haut-Médoc near Bordeaux.
Only 7,789 bottles will be available for sale through specialist whisky retailers globally. It was bottled at 45% ABV and carries a suggested retail price of £47.75, though prices are bound to vary internationally.
Tequila MI CAMPO Launches With Two Core Expressions
Tequila MI CAMPO is a new Constellation-owned brand that’s coming to market starting in November of 2018. The brand plans to launch with two core expressions: a Blanco and a Reposado. The tequilas are produced at the La Cofradia distillery where Casa Noble, another Constellation tequila brand, is made. Both are 100% blue weber agave tequilas and priced around $25.
This tequila is made using agave harvested after 7 years of aging. They’re cooked for 38 hours, then crushed, although not with a tahona, and the cooked juices are fermented for 3-5 days in open stainless steel tanks. After distillation, the tequila ages in a mix of French oak Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir barrels for three months. It is bottled at 40% ABV.
The blanco follows the same harvesting and distillation process as the Reposado, but rather than being aged in cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir barrels, it rests for three weeks in French oak Napa Valley chardonnay barrels. It is also bottled at 40% ABV.
Scorpions Whisky Will Rock You Like A Hurricane, Presumably
What’s that? Another celebrity-backed whisky? You know it. This time it’s Scorpions, the German rock band behind such hits as “Wind of Change”, “No One Like You” and of course “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. For this release the band has teamed up with the Swedish whisky brand Mackmyra to create Scorpions Rock N Roll Star Single Malt.
It is a no age statement whisky aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks, before it’s finished in casks previously used to hold sweet German cherry wine. It is bottled at 40% ABV with a price of €59 per bottle.
The GlenAllachie Celebrates First Birthday By Announcing MacNair’s Lum Reek Trio
To celebrate its first birthday, Speyside distillery The GlenAllachie has re-launched the MacNair’s Scotch whisky brand with three new blended malt releases. The three whiskies in MacNair’s Lum Reek range were produced using a combination of peated Islay and peated Speyside malts that were blended together with older GlenAllachie single malt by master blender Billy Walker. MacNair’s is a revived Scotch whisky brand first established in 1937 by Glaswegian blender & bottler Harvey MacNair. Billy Walker and his partners purchased the brand along with The GlenAllachie back in 2017.
The name Rum Leek comes from the famous Scottish toast ‘lang may yer lum reek’ which means ‘long may your chimney smoke’ – essentially ‘may you live a long life.’
The first whisky in the range, Peated Small Batch is matured in a variety of casks which include red wine, oloroso sherry, virgin oak and first-fill bourbon. It is bottled at 46% ABV with no color added or chill-filtration with a suggested price of £41,99 (~$55 US).
This blended malt is identical to the Peated Small Batch, but is aged for 12 years. It comes with a suggested price of £49,99 (~$65 US).
The 21 Year aged in a combination of oloroso, virgin oak and red wine casks, but not first-fill bourbon like the other two expressions. Like the other two, however, it is bottled at 46% ABV with no color added or chill-filtration. It carries a price tag of £125,00 (~$165 US).