… I deluded myself into thinking maybe a sample of the 12 year-old would go over better. I mean, half of the problem with inexpensive blended scotches is that they routinely use a high proportion of bottom-dollar (and minimum legal age at 3 years of maturation) grain whisky. So, the theory goes, if you restrict the blend to only 12 year-and-up components, that eliminates the problem, right?
The 2017 “Lot 17” bottling was composed of barrels of St. George single malt aged 6 to 8 years, and matured or finished in an assortment of casks including ex-bourbon casks from the company’s sourced Breaking & Entering bourbon and dessert wine American and French oak casks. The malt is bottled at 43% ABV.
GlenDronach’s 21 year-old bottling from the official distillery lineup is aged in a combination of PX (Pedro Ximenez) and oloroso sherry casks. (Note that is “aged” not “finished” – this whisky sat for a full 21 years in barrels previously containing sherry.) Hilariously enough in the current political climate, this whisky is not in fact named after the British Parliament, but rather for the “parliament” of rooks that nest in the trees overlooking the distillery. It is bottled at 48% ABV and without chill filtration or added coloring.
… None of that matters yet, because what we have here is no-name rye from somewhere (MGP? Who knows, there’s no hint on the bottle). The twist, though, is that this two year-old rye (a 90% rye / 10% malted barley mash bill) is finished for an additional two years in “white wine seasoned” French Oak barrels.
Glen Scotia makes a small amount of heavily-peated malt, but most of its products are very lightly peated at around 15 ppm. This 15 year-old is aged in ex-bourbon casks, and bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration (but possibly with added coloring). The Glen Scotia product line was revamped and relaunched in 2015.
The rye has a bit higher ABV at 50%, and an actual age statement at a resounding 10 years. That’s pretty high for rye in the current market. A bit of digging revealed that this rye is from the Schenley distillery, at a mashbill of 53% rye, 39% corn and 8% barley. I spent a little too much time researching this, as the name Schenley is both a storied name in American whiskey and also awash with confusion…
Dailuaine is known as a component in Johnnie Walker blends, which is where the vast majority of the output from the distillery’s three wash and three spirit stills goes. This particular 16 year-old was matured in ex-sherry casks, although I can’t find any details (Full-term maturation? Finish?). Diageo is, as usual, tight-lipped about production details. Bottled at 43% ABV, probably chill-filtered, and likely colored.
This Cooley-sourced 7 year-old single malt is aged for 7 years in ex-bourbon American oak and then finished in Irish porter casks from 5 Lamps Brewery in Dublin. Beer-finished whiskey is not a new idea, but it’s certainly not common. If this trend catches on, prepare yourself for wine-finished cognac, cider-finished calvados, and molasses barrel-finished rum…
Talisker 8 is a very limited edition cask-strength (59.4% ABV) batch of the familiar Talisker 10 except at 8 years, which is a bit of a reference to earlier 1980s bottlings of Talisker that were released at that age (although not at that strength). The whisky was aged in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak barrels that were “deep charred”, whatever that means…
For now, we have a blend of two sourced whiskies from Virginia and Kentucky. Another twist: no MGP! The first is a 2 year-old bourbon from the O.Z. Tyler distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky with a mashbill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% barley. The second is a 4 year-old bourbon from Davis Valley Distillery in Virginia with a mashbill of 66% corn, 14% rye, and a hefty 20% barley.