Strathisla (pronounced “strath-aye-la”) will go out of its way to remind you that it is the oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland. Most of the output of the four small stills goes straight into Chivas Regal blends, and only a little of it sees distribution as a single malt. In fact, Chivas refers to Strathisla as the “heart” or “core” malt of its blends. … the 12-year is aged in an undisclosed combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, reportedly with a higher percentage of sherry.
Although it shares a striking label resemblance to the 1843 line, the Reserve is a rye-flavored mash bill and not wheated. It’s also sourced from an undisclosed distillery in Kentucky, possibly Heaven Hill, and bottled by Luxco in St. Louis. Soon, however, distillation will move to the new Lux Row distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.
The David Nicholson brand was previously distilled at Stitzel-Weller (don’t get excited, it hasn’t contained SW juice for decades) and the 1843 bottling – named after the year grocer David Nicholson began selling his own blend of bourbon at his store in St. Louis – in the Stitzel-Weller tradition. Bottled without an age statement at 100 proof (50% ABV), the 1843 is a Kentucky straight bourbon bottled by Luxco in St. Louis, MO.
The 14-year Rich Oak uses an experimental finishing technique that appears to have been deemed enough of a success to launch it in 2010, although it still has not ventured Stateside. … Standard ex-bourbon aged Glenfiddich is re-casked after 14 years into a mixture of new Spanish oak and new American oak, for a brief finishing period of “up to” 12 weeks. This is apparently the first time any single-malt scotch has been finished in new Spanish oak.
Shortly after I started this blog, a very (VERY) kind reader sent me a pair of Pappy samples. … The 20-year is bottled at 45.2% ABV (contrast with the 15-year at 53.5%). Most of the dismissive “too cool for Pappy” commentary on the ‘net would have you believe that the 20- and 23-year are overly oaky and that the 15-year is best.
Hazelburn 12 seems to have come into its own. It has funky, oily notes that lovers of Springbank will know well, but paired with honey and vanilla and pear instead of peat. A pleasant, floral-forward malt with a deep complexity.
Despite the “Powers” name, this release bears little resemblance to the bottom-shelf Powers blend, which is a typical Irish blended whiskey containing both pot-still whiskey and cheap grain whiskey. The John’s Lane bottling is 100% single (formerly “pure”) pot still Irish whiskey. … triple-distilled in copper pot stills by Midleton from a recipe of both malted and unmalted barley and aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon and sherry casks …
Created in 1978 to compensate for a legal skirmish that took Johnnie Walker Red Label off of UK store shelves, it failed to recapture even a portion of that lost market share. … Whyte & Mackay master blender and celebrity whisky personality Richard Paterson re-formulated the recipe, likely a necessity since the blend now needed to be composed of whiskies available to W&M instead of the full Diageo stable. In early 2017 the brand was re-launched with new packaging.
Enter competitor TerrePURE Spirits, based in Charleston, South Carolina. A little Googling can tell you what you need to know about the technology, so I’ll just summarize it by saying that they use ultrasonic vibrations to induce chemical reactions in a young spirit (in this case, 2 year-old sourced bourbon), likely with inserted oak staves. This has a variety of effects, including filtering out congeners which cause off-flavors, building mouth-feel by esterification of fatty acids, and improving color absorption from the wood without added colorants.
Glenturret is probably best known as the site of the Famous Grouse Experience, a tourist attraction and visitor center for blended scotch The Famous Grouse. Both the brand and the distillery are owned by Highland Distillers (The Edrington Group), which also owns The Macallan and Highland Park. The vast majority of the Glenturret distillery’s single malt output goes into various Grouse blends, although it has also been bottled as a single malt for some time.