Monday 17 February 2014

This Week in Whisk(e)y #5

It's been a few weeks since our last post. Sorry 'bout that - blame it on a trip to India (sadly with no quality Indian whisky like Paul John or Amrut in sight), then a few short trips around Australia. The posts should be back to their usual regularity from now on though, with a few exciting events this week and plenty of tasting notes to post up.

As you might know if you read this blog regularly, we get a fair few interesting press releases here at TimeforWhisky, and usually try to feature them with our own spin, experiences or comments. Sometimes though, they come thick and fast, and we just don't have time to do them all justice.

So we've decided to take a leaf out of some other excellent whisky blogs, and feature a "PR roundup" every now and then - basically a wrap-up of relevant press releases we've received in the previous week. So on with it then...

The Oak Barrel host Kilchoman founder, owner and master distiller
The Oak Barrel in Sydney's CBD run some pretty great tasting events (like this and this), and while we don't feature every one on this site, this particular masterclass caught our eye.

Kilchoman is famous for being the newest distillery to open on the Island of Islay (and the first to do so in 124 years), opening in 2005. Whilst that does mean their oldest whiskies are still relatively young, the distillery has won a number of awards already (and I'm not just talking about receiving high scores from Jim Murray...)

Dave and the team from The Oak Barrel are bringing Kilchoman's founder, owner and master distillery Anthony Wills to Sydney for a one-off class on Wednesday 12th March. As well as tasting a line-up of five Kilchomans, we're pretty excited to hear all about what goes into opening a brand new distillery, particularly in a region which hadn't seen one in over a century.

Details: 6:30pm, Wed 12th March @ The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St Sydney. $40 / $50.

SMWS Australia releases new website

Two weeks ago, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Australia unveiled their new website which (as well as offering an expanded range of society malts, all the usual society gear, and a 30th Anniversary edition of Unfiltered Online) just looks fantastic.

Whilst a new website wouldn't usually be something to get pulses racing, the SMWS do a huge amount for Scotch whisky in Australia, and their website is a great communication tool for members and non-members alike (in fact, the next round of tasting events go on sale today - get in quick, we will be!)

Members and non-members alike are recommended to take a peek:

Glenrothes 1970 Single Cask - Australian release
Single cask whiskies are nothing new, or even rare, with some independent bottlers bottling nothing but, and with an increasing number of distilleries releasing original bottlings of single-cask whiskies (some, like the excellent Balvenie 15yo even form part of the distillery's regular lineup).

What you don't see often though, are original bottling single cask whiskies of significant age, like the 41yo Glenrothes 1970 "Extraordinary Cask", which is now available (1 bottle only) in Australia, through Perth's Liquor Barons

To quote the press release:
"Berry Bros. & Rudd is proud to unveil a limited collection of single cask bottlings 
from the lates [sic] 1960s and early 1970s. The Single Cask is something that we at 
The Glenrothes bottle rarely- indeed, since 1994, an average of less than one a 
year. The reason is that, generally, two or more good casks deliver greater 
complexity than one single cask but, just occasionally, casks are found with such 
personality and such excellence that they can stand alone as examples of 
supremacy of the bloodline. 

However, recently a small cache of casks of unimpeachable provenance came to 
the attention of Ronnie Cox. After a lengthy process of assessment, a small 
number of these casks was selected as being worthy of being bottled as The 
Glenrothes. The first of these casks to be bottled is the Single Cask 1970 #10573. 

The hallmarks of The Glenrothes are quality and purity, evident in the 
beautifully-balanced, elegant and well-mannered single malt with peerless 
texture, perfectly expressed by this single cask bottling. The spirit was distilled on 
July 6th 1970. Cask #10573, an ex-bourbon hogshead, yielded just 179 bottles at a 
natural strength of 40.6% alcohol by volume. It was transferred to glass on April 
2nd 2012. "
40.6% ABV implies the whisky was probably nearing the end of its potential life in the cask, but sadly with no tasting notes in the press release we can't tell you how it tastes. At $10,000AUD+ for the only bottle in the country, we're unlikely to taste it ourselves either, so you'll have to use your imagination...

That's all for this week...until next time...

 - Martin.

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