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.

Old Pulteney Navigator

It’s definitely maritime in that it smells like something slathered on a hull to make it seaworthy. I kid. Sort of. There is an intrusion of peat but absolutely no smoke, which makes it smell and taste earthy but without evoking Islay’s style of smoky peat. The overall effect is brooding and difficult, and that so-called partial sherry cask aging is thoroughly in the background…

Tamnavulin Double Cask

… It seems like the Double Cask refers to a maturation in American oak ex-bourbon and then a partial finish in ex-sherry casks. There is no age statement, and the whisky is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% ABV, with no mention of the use of color or chill filtration. This is all bad news on paper, so let’s see what happens in the glass.

Westland Peated

We know from other sources that Westland is experimenting with local Pacific Northwest (USA) peat, but that the core range Peated expression uses already-peated malt imported from the Eastern Highlands of Scotland. That peated malt is distilled (together or separately, I can’t tell) along with Westland’s standard “5-malt” blend of Washington Select Pale Malt, Munich Malt…

Tomatin Dualchas (or Legacy)

In the UK and other markets this NAS Tomatin expression is sold as “Tomatin Legacy” while in the US it’s sold as “Tomatin Dualchas”, which is the Scots Gaelic word for ‘heritage’ or ‘legacy’. This bottling, whatever its name, is the NAS (no-age-statement) entry-level bottling from the Tomatin distillery in the village of Tomatin in the Scottish Highlands … is vatted from Tomatin single malt aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and virgin (new) American oak casks. The virgin oak is intended to give the under-matured malt component an extra dose of …

Westland Sherry Wood

Westland’s meticulously-sourced sherry casks are shipped whole (rather than broken down into staves and re-coopered, which is how most whisky producers handle them) to the States and then filled with the same five-malt blend as the American Oak release. The distillery uses both ex-Oloroso and ex-PX sherry casks, and blends the resulting full-term sherry-matured malt whiskey with…

Aberlour (12 year)

This Aberlour is aged in two separate cask types: “Traditional Oak” which is a funny way of saying ex-bourbon American Oak casks, and ex-Sherry casks. These are aged for 12 years and then married together in undisclosed proportions before bottling at the legal minimum 40% ABV. Interestingly, all of Aberlour’s official lineup is now labelled as a “Double Cask” whisky with the exception of a’bunadh. This may be their way of dealing with the expanding crisis of…

Caol Ila (18 year)

Most of Caol Ila’s output is peated and most of it (95%!) ends up in various blends, as it’s the go-to standard for adding smoke to blended malts these days because of its inherent softness and willingness to play with others. This being a Diageo malt, there is essentially no information online. It’s clearly been aged in ex-bourbon casks for its 18 years of maturation, but…