Bruichladdich: No Hidden Measures

Bruichladdich continues to push the boundaries of both transparency and innovation. Despite the “Sponsored” flag on this article, I really do personally think the company is a positive force for the industry and I’m excited about the future of scotch whisky if things like bottle code lookups, 100% Scottish barley, organic and biodynamic farms, and a dedication to transparency are trends that the whole whisky market will follow.

Talisker (8 year) Special Release 2020

Talisker 8 is a very limited edition cask-strength (57.9% 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 for this year’s release was distilled in 2011 and This time, the distillery broke new ground (for Talisker) by finishing the whisky in a funky pot-still rum cask from Jamaica.

Very Old Barton 86 Proof

First in the series, we have Very Old Barton 86 Proof. The whiskey is all from the Barton distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky which is owned by Sazerac (Buffalo Trace), and was renamed to the Barton 1792 Distillery in 2009. Very Old Barton (which is not old, and certainly not Very Old) used to have a “6 years old” age statement on the bottle, which was changed to a lonely misleading “6” on the neck, and then dropped altogether. The company claims…

Very Old Barton 100 Proof

This one is a little confusing – there are actually TWO Very Old Barton straight bourbons that are 100 proof. One says “Bottled-in-Bond” on it, the other – this one – doesn’t. Internet scuttlebutt (there’s a word I don’t get to use often enough) claims that parent company Sazerac was forced to mix VOB from different distilling seasons when one of its warehouses collapsed in June (and then finished collapsing in July) of 2018. Mixing distilling seasons means…

Driscoll’s Back!

My long-time readers will know that I owe a lot of my passion for spirits (as well as the bulk of my knowledge) to former K&L Wine Merchants blogger and Spirits Buyer, David Driscoll. Driscoll dropped out of the booze scene a few years ago to pursue some other projects, much to basically everybody’s chagrin. …

The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut

The Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut is an NAS (no age statement) release that was matured only in first-fill sherry seasoned oak. Now that’s interesting. It may be the first time I’ve seen a bottle label explicitly spell out the pervasive industry practice of seasoning barrels with sherry and calling them “sherry casks”, since real sherry cask are essentially extinct. After aging for an undisclosed period of time, the whisky is bottled without added color and at a strength chosen by Glenrothes Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion: 48.8%. He chose that strength because…

Book Review: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021

The Malt Whisky Yearbook is an annual “field guide” to the world of malt whisky and the malt whisky industry. Author/Editor and Keeper of the Quaich Ingvar Ronde started in 2005 – and every year thereafter – compiling 12 months of news, facts, and figures from the industry while also managing to capture the overall trend and feel of the marketplace. In a way, it’s like a whole year of whisky magazine issues compressed into one compact and concise guidebook.

Starward Nova Single Malt

Starward is a small upstart Melbourne distillery with a single pair of copper pot stills. They source all of the ingredients for their whisky from local Australian products (“within a day’s drive”), ferment the local malted barley with brewer’s yeast and then double-distill and age it on-site. Starward takes advantage of the availability of local Australian red wine casks (still wet with cabernet, pinot noir, and shiraz…