Timorous Beastie (10 year)

Timorous Beastie (named after a Robert Burns poem) is a line of blended malts that uses malts from the Highland region of Scotland, including (but not limited to) Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne. The range has a non-age-stated bottling for about $35, this 10 year-old, and a number of special editions. This one is bottled at 46.8% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring. “Blended Malt” means all of the ingredients are…

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

Contradiction is a blend of the sourced bourbons, similar to those that go into Old Scout blended with the wheated bourbon made at Smooth Ambler’s distilling facility in West Virginia, which is what goes into Big Level. The sourced components are both straight bourbons: a high-rye (21%) MGP bourbon and a low-rye (8%) Tennessee-distilled bourbon (not a Tennessee whiskey!) from…

Compass Box – Orchard House

The new 2021 release of Orchard House saw a bit of a return to Glaser’s roots. It’s light, fruity, refreshing, and priced at the midrange of the market ($50 here). The whisky is drawn from 39% Linkwood, 29% Clynelish, and 20% Benrinnes barrels, all first-fill ex-bourbon. This leads to a lot of “orchard fruit” notes and a relatively small amount of the heavier fruit notes associated with ex-sherry casks which are usually present in Compass Box blends. The remaining…

Benromach Triple Distilled

This Benromach can still be found on shelves (and, sometimes, on sale!). It was distilled from partially-peated malted barley in 2011 and bottled in 2019, making it 7 years of age. No, I’m not bad at math, it’s just that the month of bottling means the whisky was under 8 years which by law means any age statement must be “7 years”. It’s bottled at a robust 50% ABV, higher than Benromach’s usual 46%. This might be an intentional choice to combat the reduced concentration of flavor from…

Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon

Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon is a blend of sourced straight bourbons, with the youngest aged 5 years. As for the mash bill, Old Elk is once again an outlier: A whopping 34% malted barley, 51% corn, and 15% rye. I’ve never seen that much barley used in a bourbon before. They say it makes the whiskey extra smooth. The bourbon is bottled at an acceptable…

Kilkerran (12 year)

The name Kilkerran is Scots Gaelic for “head of the lake of Saint Kieran’s cell” and refers to a local historic settlement. Glengyle distillery uses a local water source, Crosshill Loch, for its process and proofing water. After a series of “Work in Progress” malts, Kilkerran is now bottled under a range with an 8 year-old cask strength expression, an NAS “heavily peated” expression, and this flagship 12 year-old. Glengyle actually uses Springbank’s…

Far North Spirits Roknar Rye

Roknar is one of the products of Far North Spirits, a “Field to Glass” distillery in Hallock, Minnesota, near the Canadian border. This is a single-estate rye made from non-GMO “AC Hazlet” rye grown on the family farm, mashed with 10% heirloom corn and 10% malted barley, and hammer-milled, fermented, and double-distilled in small batches on-site. The whiskey is matured in…

World Whisky Forum 2022

A quick note for those interested: the 4th international World Whisky Forum will be held in June this year (2022) at Stauning Distillery in Denmark. This year´s overall theme is Sustainability and the moderator, as in previous years, is Dave Broom. There will be around 70 tickets for those who want to attend in person …

The Deveron (12 year)

The Deveron is a line of single malts produced at the Macduff distillery. The name “Macduff” appears on independent bottlings, while variations on “Deveron” are used for official releases. Why? I’m too apathetic about this malt to find out. Probably it doesn’t matter. At some point in the hazy last couple of years the owners of Macduff distillery…