There is still independent whisky to be bottled, even if the pickings are slimmer, and some tempting things show up on shelves. Here, a Mortlach (one of my favorite distilleries, but hard to find) was distilled in September 1997 and spent some number of years in ex-bourbon before being transitioned to a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt to finish, for a total of 18 years in cask.
The Small Batch is bottled in bond and (therefore) is 50% ABV and at least 4 years old. It’s appropriate that this whiskey is bottled in bond, because its namesake Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was one of the first proponents of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which protected American bourbon from unscrupulous retailers and counterfeiters.
Dufftown is, in fact, a small distillery in the town of Dufftown, with the official name of “Dufftown-Glenlivet Distillery” which does nothing to alleviate the confusion (it refers to the valley – glen – of the river Livet, not the Glenlivet Distillery). The Diageo-owned distillery has six stills and was established in the 1890s. …
Double Rye! is a blend of straight ryes. This means the bottle, itself, cannot be called a straight rye. Aren’t legal definitions fun? The ryes in question are a 95% rye (5% malted barley) mash bill from MGP, and an 80% rye (20% malted rye) distilled by High West themselves at their new-ish distillery in Park City, Utah.
The whisky is aged in some inscrutable combination of European and American oak casks, some of which held sherry at one time. The “two types” of American Oak used could refer refill and first-fill, or it could mean ex-bourbon American oak casks that have been “seasoned” by sloshing some re-used sherry around in them. The whisky is bottled without added coloring or chill filtration.
James E. Pepper, an historic brand established (purportedly) in 1780 but mothballed in 1958 was distilled at several sites in Kentucky, including the now-abandoned James E. Pepper distillery in Lexington, KY. In 2008 the rights to the brand were purchased by the Georgetown Trading Co., and re-launched using sourced whisky from various distilleries.
BenRiach’s chameleon malt has, in this case begun life unpeated and spent an undisclosed amount of time (probably more than 12 years) in ex-bourbon before being transitioned into a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt to mature for additional time, totaling 15 years. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring (a practice collectively known as ‘Craft Presentation’).
The bourbon’s basic recipe is a low-rye mash bill of 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley. It’s aged for 4 years (probably exactly, considering the volume that the company puts out), allowing it to be called “Straight Bourbon” without an age statement on the bottle.
Prohibition edition sounds like what it is: a transparent attempt to cast a pallor of history over an unabashedly modern product. It was first released in 2013 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition of alcohol in the United States. … Cutty Prohibition is bottled at the robust (and unusual, for a blend) strength of 50% ABV, and supposedly has a different blend of grains and malts than the typical Cutty Sark bottle.
When a bottle label says that it was a “small batch” of whiskey “aged in 5 different barrels” my mind automatically Google Translates that into “made from leftover barrels that we didn’t know what to do with.” That may or may not be fair but I just write a blog so I don’t have to be fair. Apparently the blend started as a personal project for the owner…