Tobermory 23-Year-Old Oloroso Cask Finish, £250
Being the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Mull, and having been established in 1798, Tobermory has had quite some time to find itself. To see how their bounty would stand the test of time, they took their revered 15-year-old liquid, resting it for an additional eight years in Oloroso casks. The result absolutely worked. A deep rosegold hue sits in your glass with wafts of ripe oranges, toasted barley, and fruitcake. Take a sip and salted toffee, candied lemon, and caramelized walnuts take over your palate. A work of art.
Available at The Drink Shop.
The GlenAllachie 15-Year-Old, £61
Here’s one for those who like the darker side of drinks; think sticky raisins, tangy orange marmalade and spicy dark chocolate. Matured in both Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso puncheons and hogsheads to influence the deeper flavours, GlenAllachie considers this the jewel in their crown and I agree.
Available at Regal Whisky.
Craigellachie Exceptional Cask Series 23-Year-Old, £330
I do love a rare whisky, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. The Exceptional Cask Series only makes an appearance when Master Distiller, Stephanie Macleod locates casks of such a superior nature, they simply have to be a singular bottling. Distilled in 1995, this wonder was aged in 100% Oloroso sherry casks, giving it a distinct richness, and burst of flavour. Tasting notes: Cinnamon, dried apricot and creamy vanilla jump out on the nose with pineapple, zingy mint, and a burnt caramel on the palate. The beauty of these releases; once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Available at House of Whisky.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label, £139
Not many people know that only one in every 10,000 casks under the Johnnie Walker name make it into Blue Label. Now, I’m not a rocket scientist, but that sounds quite rare. Deep velvety layers of dried fruits, citrus smoke and sweet spicy honey cross your taste buds as they glide into a long soothing chocolate and smoke finish.
Available at The Bottle Club.
Deanston 12-Year-Old, £44
The Deanston 12-year-old is one of my constant go-tos. There’s something about the dense marmalade notes on the nose with a citrus cereal combination that entices me. The palate brings forth a silky caramel with macadamia and hazelnuts as a little oak emerges. The finish also combines caramel and fudge with a little more of that marmalade zing. I do love my marmalade and I really do love this whisky.
Available at The Bottle Club.
Duncan Taylor Kinclaith 51-Year-Old and Caperdonich 50-Year-Old, £10,750 – £12,300
Straight from their ‘Rarest of the Rare’ portfolio, Duncan Taylor has unearthed two 1969 vintage Scotches. Aged for over half a century, they offer a true piece of time and history as you sip the craft of generations gone by. Both whiskies have notable histories; Kinclaith’s was established in 1957, closing its doors in 1975.
While production of Caperdonich came to a close in 2002, its origins date back to 1891. Incredibly limited, only 100 handcrafted decanters of each whisky exist, worldwide. The bottles will be individually numbered and engraved, and housed in a beautiful lockable framed box inside a brushed stainless steel carry case. The 50-year-old Caperdonich is malty and sweet, offering a frothy caramel latte topped with cinnamon. A long-lasting finish of soft gentle warm spices and sweet toasted oak notes round it off. On the other hand, the 51-year-old golden hued Kinclaith showcases a sweet and fragrant oak.
Both whiskies are currently available by ballot only from Duncan Taylor.
Loch Lomond 46-Year-Old Single Malt, £4,500
The second release from the Remarkable Stills series celebrates a 46-year-old wonder crafted in 1974 from the distillery’s unique straight neck stils. This rare treat has matured in American oak casks for 44 years, followed by two years in a combination of first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. The nose offers an abundance of caramelised sugar, peach, mango and vanilla syrup. One sip offers you burnt brown sugar, sultanas, clove spice and dried apricots with a warming toffee and nutmeg finish. With only 200 bottles released globally, you’ll be fighting to own one!
Available at Master of Malt.
Royal Salute 30-Year-Old Key To The Kingdom, £595
Crafted to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Royal Salute has had quite the journey. Now, the release of some of its oldest expressions are coming to light and I can tell you first hand, they are bloody delicious! The new expression blends together a hands election of the finest whiskies, each aged for a minimum of 30 years, meticulously sourced from across Scotland. The result is a luxuriously sweet and fruity blend with notes of ripe, juicy pears, blood orange and thick set honey that form a medley of majestic flavours, and a long finish with enduring smoky notes.
Available at The Whisky Exchange.