Both Glengoyne 12-year and 10-year appear to be on the US market at the same time, which is a little odd. Usually distilleries stick to one of the classic “flagship” ages. The 12 retails for $10-$15 more than the 10, and my review of the 12 shows that I appreciated that one as budget sherry bomb. This 10 year-old (which is the only one of the two I can find near me) is the same bottling strength (43%), also has no added coloring, and also…
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.
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.
The liquid itself is 100% Islay single malt from the distilleries of Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg, and Port Ellen and is bottled without added color or chill-filtration at 46% ABV. The whisky is so pale as to be almost clear and bears a striking resemblance to Lagavulin 8 year, although the same could be said of most younger peated malts. That Port Ellen component is interesting, as Port Ellen is basically gone from retail markets.
People who have been around this industry for awhile will probably remember Longrow C.V., and can rest assured that Longrow Peated is that same cult favorite in a new dress. … It is fully peated and aged in ex-bourbon without any sherry cask influence. It’s also not chill-filtered, has no added coloring (indeed it’s quite pale), and has no age statement. I’d place it somewhere around 9 years, but it’s hard to tell since it’s possible for a blend of ages to be used in NAS bottles.
We have here an 8 year-old Lagavulin bottled at 48% ABV, and so pale that it’s almost clear. This was originally released as the distillery’s 200th (bicentenary) anniversary limited edition, but has since been added to the core range. With that, the information available online dries up. To my palate, this seems to be missing the sherry portion found in the 16-year. Like the 12-year, I would guess this is entirely from ex-bourbon casks.
Unlike the other animal references, which are slang phrases that evolved from whiskeymaking, Pig’s Nose refers to the whisky being as “smooth as a pig’s nose”. I’ll have to take that one on faith, having never personally felt the nose of a pig. The blend contains 5 year-old grain whisky from Invergordon as well as 5 single malts…
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 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.
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’).