Talisker (8 year) Special Release 2021

Instead of an innovative cask finish (like last year’s funky rum), this year Talisker simply selected the 8 year-old warehouse casks that were in refill (re-used) casks and which showed the heaviest peat character. Diageo would like you to think of this as maturing in “ex-Talisker” casks, or perhaps as a “Talisker finished in Talisker”, but refill casks are hardly new, and honestly that sounds a bit…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.3

Sherry aging is uncommon at Bruichladdich unlike other distilleries, and it was refreshing for me to hear the reason out loud from head distiller Adam Hannett on our group call for the Octomore Twelve campaign. He said that Bruichladdich decided to discontinue sherry aging years ago when they found they couldn’t get any true sherry casks from the open market. Everything they received was sherry “seasoned” (meaning some sherry-like liquid was…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.2

This is not the first Octomore finished in Sauternes: The famed “Octomore 4.2 Comus” release was finished in valuable Chateau d’Yquem casks. Also like 4.2, this year’s 12.2 will be available in regular retail outlets in the United States. The last 7 editions of X.2 were only available in Travel Retail (‘duty free’). … The whisky was vatted together and transferred into first-fill French Sauternes casks for an additional 2 years (total age: 5). Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1

12.1 this year was distilled in 2015 from the 2014 harvest of Scottish-grown (not on Islay) Concerto barley. The barley was malted by Bairds in Inverness to 130.8 ppm and was aged for 5 years in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak casks from a variety of bourbon distilleries. Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which does not…

Torabhaig Legacy 2017

The Torabhaig Legacy Series represents the first batches of whisky from the young distillery, with this first “Inaugural” edition of 100 barrels of single malt which were distilled and casked in early 2017. It’s somewhere between 3 and 4 years old. The whisky in this first edition was mashed from heavily peated (55-60ppm) Concerto malt using Pinnacle MG+ yeast (nice to know, whatever that means)…

Lagavulin (9 year) – Game of Thrones “House Lannister”

This bottling is simply a 9 year-old expression of Lagavulin, which sounds young until you remember that peated single malt is usually quite good at younger ages, and between Octomore, Talisker 8 year, and… well… Lagavulin 8 year, no longer seems weird. The “House Lannister” bottling comes from only first-fill ex-bourbon casks (no sherry) and clocks in at 46% ABV.

Johnnie Walker Island Green

Johnnie Walker Island Green – which should not be confused with Johnnie Walker Green Label – is a travel-retail variant of the Johnnie Walker Green Label bottling. The “Island” here refers to the Scottish isle of Islay, not some tropical island. Islay is essentially the opposite of tropical. Like the Green Label, this “Green” includes only…

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.