Boutique-y Whisky: Macduff (10 year)

One always approaches the tasting of a new or unfamiliar distillery as a potential for opening new, exciting doors of previously undreamt flavor… and while sometimes that’s true, I’ve found that more often you realize that the “unknown” distilleries are largely unknown for a reason. They exist to provide malt for blended whiskies because they blend well. They blend well because…

Tullibardine (Alexander Murray: Polly’s Casks)

This bottling is a “Double Cask” vatting of Tullibardine single malt, using both ex-bourbon casks as well as “Double Barrel Ale” beer casks from California brewery Firestone Walker. … The Tullibardine that was finished in the ale casks spent 1 year there, but we don’t know the full ages of the components. Interestingly, those ale casks – 60 of them – were shipped across the Pacific ocean the be filled with Tullibardine and matured in Scotland.

Boutique-y Whisky: Tomatin (11 year) Batch 4

Oh, I’ve had Tomatin before. It’s bland, sweet, banana-y. I’m sure this will be just another ho-hum sample that gets suck in the back of my “tastings notes” folder and never sees the light of day. I’ve even tasted the 12-year. How much different can a batch of 11-year from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) be? It’s not even sherried. At least, I don’t think it’s sherried…

Alexander Murray Bon Accord

…agreement that an independent bottler sometimes has to make with a whisky producer to not disclose the distillery name. The bottle has no age statement, so all we really know is that it is a Highland single malt from an ex-bourbon barrel and that is bottled at the bare legal minimum of 40% ABV. The release is a vatting of different ages from that undisclosed distillery, so it’s not a single barrel.

Boutique-y Whisky: Teaninich (11 year) Batch 2

A very pale single malt from an ex-bourbon cask, and bottled at the potent but also very drinkable 47.9% ABV, this Teaninich makes me want to go find other (cheaper) bottles from the distillery. Those will all have to be independent bottlers as well, as there are no official bottlings from this distillery, aside from an occasional entry in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, most of which doesn’t make it to US.

Boutique-y Whisky: Speyside #3 (8 year) Batch 1

An undisclosed Speyside distillery referred to only as “Speyside #3”, this is an 8 year-old Speyside single malt bottled at 50.7% ABV. A fellow Twitterer… Tweeter?… suggested that it might be ex-bourbon Glenrothes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Nothing will teach you how little you really know about whisky than tasting blind or semi-blind. In hindsight it almost definitely is…

Boutique-y Whisky: Benrinnes (17 year) Batch 5

Benrinnes, owned by John Dewar & Sons until it was sold to Diageo in 1997, is a storied Speyside distillery that was known for a complex form of partial-triple distillation … This one, a 17 year from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) is the fifth batch of Benrinnes from the bottler. There’s precious little info on the website or online, so all I can do is guess that this is ex-bourbon (by the color), and the age tells us that this was partial-triple-distilled.

Boutique-y Whisky: Three Ships (6 year) Batch 1

Three Ships is a single malt whisky from the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, South Africa, made by master distiller and former Cricket star Andy Watts. James Sedgwick is a shockingly old distillery, in operation since 1886. It’s known for Three Ships as well as Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky. This release (batch 1) from That Boutique-y Whisky Company – is the first ever independent bottling of Three Ships.