Posts Tagged ‘Single Malt’

Just for Sweden

April 2, 2009

Our Swedish neighbours have a wee affinity for the Scottish tipple and often get special bottlings. Two very different distilleries are offering their wares purely to the Swedes this Spring.

The first one out is a very special Glengoyne expression – Glengoyne Swedish Oak Finish 16 Years (46.2% abv).

This is (I think) a dual cask bottling comprising of 660 bottles only available through the Swedish monopoly stores – Systembolaget. The price is to be 679 SEK (532 NOK/£58/€61) when it hits the stores in May. The plans for this edition started when Glengoyne in 2007 bought two casks made from Swedish oak from the Thorslundkagge Cooperage in Dyltabruk (Central Sweden, some 120 miles west of Stockholm).

The other is a limited edition whisky bottled at Cask Strength – Bowmore Laimrig (50,3%). Laimrig is gaelic for pier (or wharf, jetty, quay or landing according to Wiktionary). A total of 4.500 bottles have been made and are awaiting release, this also in May.The price for this one is 559 SEK (437 NOK/£47/€51). The whisky itself is 15 years old and has matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Oloroso casks for a period of 5 years.

Tasting notes: Dark amber colour, the nose brings a sweet aroma of Oloroso Sherry, figs and cocoa with a finely tuned smokiness and a hint of saltiness. On the palate it’s dark chocolate, sherry and dried fruits (rasins) with a lovely, long and lingering finish with smoky notes.

Norwegian News: March 2009

March 5, 2009

Not to much to brag about in the ways of new whiskies available in Norway in the month of March (sale start Saturday 7th). Only three new whiskies arrives this month, all on the “Blue list” – or the order assortement as it were, and all from the same distillery – Auchentoshan. The main reason is that Morrison-Bowmore has changed importers in Norway. Previously it was V&S Norway who imported Morrison-Bowmore’s product, but with Pernod Ricard’s purchase of the Swedish mother company this changed, so now the company Strom (InterBev/Altia) is the importer and putting some muscle behind the brand. This bring the total of Auchentoshans available in Norway up to 5 (the Three Wood is available at Vinmonopolet at the Select through most Duty Free stores). The going rate of exchange is 10,06 NOK to the £.

The new whiskies are:

auchentoshan12yowv

auchentoshan18yowvauchentoshan21yowvAuchentoshan 12 Years (449,90 NOK/£44.54) is the first whisky out this month. This replaced the previous 10yo when the new packaging was introduced. A richer and more sherried expression this, with hints of spices following the light fruity notes. A clear improvement in my book, though it would probably have been even better with a bit higher abv (it’s 40% abv). Not exactly cheap, but then again it’s Norway – priced on the same level as JW Green, Balvenie 12yo DW, Glenfiddich 15yo Solera and The Glenlivet 15 French Oak.

Auchentoshan 18 Years (699,90 NOK/£69.61) is a grand example of a aged lowlander. Rich and spicy on the palate with a sherried tone coming through after a while – even though it’s a 100% ex-bourbon maturation. Some very old casks have gone into this mix. Carries the extra 3% abv. compared to the 12yo very well (it’s 43% abv.). Quite good value for Norway.

Auchentoshan 21 Years (900 NOK/£89.51) is a classic avec-whisky, to enjoy after a good (but not to spicy) meal. Pour a glass, sit down in a recliner, light a cigar og pipe and comtemplate over things that were, are and might be – or simply just drink the stuff. A great example of that Auchentoshan needs to age for quite a bit before reching it’s potential, a world away from the Three Wood and the Classic. It’s bottled at 43% abv. Pricewise it’s about the same here in Norway as in Britain, even with the weak pound.

Arran goes 20

February 4, 2009

arranmad20wvArran distillery is the latest distillery in bottling 20cl-bottles. A marvelous idea for those of us who with to sample as much as possible without having to buy a whole bottle everytime (this is quite important for us who live in town without a proper whisky bar) – I belive the tecnical term here is “ticker”.

One of the premier sources of 20cl-bottlings have been Douglas Laing with their Advanced Samples range, in addition to Diageo, Wm. Grant & Sons and a few others.

The first round of expressions, and let there be many more, is of two cask finishes: Madeira and St Emillion. They are available from Loch Fyne Whiskies at £14 a bottle (50% abv.).

Whisky sales in Norway, 2008

January 29, 2009

Whisky has never really been “in” in Norway, that honour has been reserved for the French brandy, Cognac. But slowly it’s been building a following that drinks no matter what. This has been proven the last year, and specially after the infamous “Credit Crunch” started. According to the 2008-figures, sales of whisky increased by 1.5% while Cognac was down 5.5%. The sales of malts are up 2.8% to 91,722 liters in total, giving a malt share of 6.7% (up from 6.6% in 2007).

Of the top 250-brands of spirits sold in Norway in 2008, whereof 28 are whiskies and a mere 7 are malts. These 7 malts account for 47.5% of the total sales of malts in Norway. Not surprisingly the winner is Glenfiddich 12yo, with Glen Moray 8yo and The Glenlivet 12yo trailing.

(more…)

Laphroaig Cask Strength to change

January 4, 2009

Finally got around to see the Laphroaig Christmas Card (this year it was a video with distillery manager John Campbell). One of the main items of news for the new year was that they will change the way the bottle the 10yo Cask Strength-expression. Until now they’ve tried to keep thestrength and flavour more or less consistent, something that is hard to say the least.

This policy has now been given the boot, and Laphroaig will start bottling the 10yo CS in two annual batches, with the batch number clearly stated on the label (like the Aberlour a’Bunadh). So flavour and strength will vary from batch to batch, something that will make the avid drinkers try to sample the all. I know I probably will.

If you haven’t seen it: Laphroaig 2008 Christmas Card (Video)

Norwegian News: January

January 3, 2009

A new year has dawned and the state run monopoly gives everybody a week’s respite before releasing the new products for sale. The official start date is Saturday 10th January. Not much to brag about in whisky terms this time, but then again January tends to be quiet time as everybody has spent all their money shopping for the Christmas hollidays. A total of seven items are marked as NEW, but one is an upgrade and one is a “down-grade”. I’ve used £1=10,4NOK as a rate of exchange for the price conversions.

(more…)

Campbeltown releases in 2009

December 31, 2008

J&A Mitchell (Springbank, Kilkerran/Glengyle, Longrow, Hazelburn, Campbeltown Loch etc) has released a small list of their planned official releases for the new year. Most exiting, and surely an item for touts, collectors, hoarders and generally all who don’t really drink the stuff, is a official release from the newly rebuildt Glengyle Distillery (Kilkerra Single Malt).

The releases are as follows:

(more…)

Scapa comes of age – again.

December 28, 2008

For the second time in under five years Scapa Distillery willbe changing the age of their standard malt. In 2004 (when the distillery was refurbished) the age went from 12 to 14 years old. Now a 16 year old is making it’s way onto the market, replacing the 14 year old.

The age changes have all been accompanied by a design change as well:

scapa12wv1scapa14wv2scapa16wv2

The new edition is being made available as I write this, and some stores already have it in stock. It’s still unpeated, ex-bourbon matured and bottled at 40%. In additon a price hike is added to the change this time, a £20 price hike none the less (Arkwrights Whisky and Wines has the 14yo at £31.20 and the 16yo at £52.99). Scapa’s getting pushed into the premium segemnt now, maybe not the bt thing to do – but if stocks are running low it might be better to be on the market than disappear completely.

Hopefully a more reasonably priced expression will come in a few years time, maybe a 8 year old again?

Two new oldies

October 23, 2008

Distillers all over Scotland seem to have recently discovered old stock in their warehouses. Two distillers, Auchentoshan and Balblair, are in these days each releasing their own 1965 vintage malt.

(more…)

Swedish whisky auction

October 4, 2008

Sweden, like Norway, has a state run monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages. A couple of years ago they eased the rules a bit and let the monopoly, Systembolaget, arrange an auction where private individuals could sell rare items. All items had to go through a pre-screening where non-rare items got excluded from going on sale.

After several such auctions where wines and spirits have been sold, the time has now come to a pure whisky auction – with 253 lots up for grabs. On Tuesday 7th October at 3pm (CET) the auction starts in Stockholm, Sweden. Bidding can be done onlineor by phone if not able to attend – more info on how to bid, pay and take possession on won items go to Stockholms Auktionsverk’s webpage.

Click here for to view the items going on sale. Some steep estimates, but if the previous general alcoholic drink auctions are anything to go by, great deals can be made.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.