Cù Bòcan Tweet Tasting

Cù Bòcan Tweet Tasting

Whisky is not a simple drink, at least for many people. For many of us whisky amateurs, this is a social drink. Sure we drink whisky alone more or less often, by ourselves, in our home, be it because we’re a whisky blogger or just someone who enjoys a good dram. But we crave for drinking whisky with friends, having the same passion, or at least the same interest. Drinking with friends, sharing a dram, that’s what makes whisky alive. And that’s what makes us alive too. In these strange times of pandemic, confinement and isolation, pubs are closed, clubs cannot organize their usual whisky tasting sessions (and the whisky club I’ve founded with a couple friends had to cancel its… second tasting, we had just started with difficulty and already we have to stop, at least for now!), and so the social side of whisky must be on hold as we need to stay home to stay safe. But whisky fans are obstinate. We can’t drink in the same room? Pff, hold my glass: we’ll do it online. And for that, we can count on Steve Rush to organize even more Tweet Tastings. And so, on Wednesday the 25th of March, we were two dozen people to join Steve and the Cù Bòcan team to taste their range for this Cù Bòcan Tweet Tasting.

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Brora 9th release 30yo review

Brora 9th release 30yo review

A few weeks ago, I drank the 500th whisky I was able to track since the passion for whisky took me. I had been drinking whisky and enjoying as a very slightly enlightened amateur for years, but got completely and utterly hooked only starting early 2018. Why? What changed? Absolutely no idea. But it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’m now hooked, “at last”, and that I became a bit nerdy about whisky, even keeping track of what I’ve tasted in a Google Sheet created by my good friend Brian @MaltMusings. And thanks to this sheet, seeing my 500th dram approaching, I knew what I wanted to drink to celebrate this milestone, another unicorn whisky (at least for me): my first ever Brora, from a sample very generously given by Franck aka @LaCaveDeCobalt in the form of a Brora 9th release with a respectable 30yo age statement. But before talking about this dram and seeing if I enjoyed it, let’s talk a bit about Brora.

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Port Ellen 1982 Old Malt Cask review

Port Ellen 1982 Old Malt Cask review

A few days ago was my birthday, so I wanted to mark it with a celebratory dram. I thought it was the perfect occasion to taste and enjoy a dram from a lost distillery (not for long though). My choice went to a Port Ellen 1982 Old Malt Cask from the independent bottler Douglas Laing, a dram being 26 years old. But before talking about the dram, let’s talk about the famous Islay distillery.

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Quick review: Dalmore 12-year-old

Quick review: Dalmore 12-year-old

Dalmore is the crown jewel of Whyte & Mackay and the target of love and hate. Millionaires love this distillery and can reach new heights with extremely expensive and limited very-old bottlings, with a 60-year-old released in 2019 with an outturn of… 3 bottles to celebrate the reopening of the distillery after a refurbishing and their 180th anniversary, and many whisky fans hate Dalmore as this distillery cannot stop themselves to add caramel to fake tan their whisky up to a ridiculous point. But before finishing the quick review of the Dalmore 12-year-old, let’s get quickly to the history of the distillery.

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Dailuaine 11yo SMWS 41.104 Some like it hot

SMWS Dailuaine 41.104 – Some like it hot

Dailuaine is one of the numerous Diageo distilleries located in Speyside. In 1852, William Mackenzie founded Dailuaine, but died only 13 years later. His widow leased the distillery to a banker from Aberlour, James Fleming. After Mackenzie’s son and Fleming founded Mackenzie and Company in 1879, it evolved in 1891 into Dailuaine-Glenlivet Distillery Ltd. A few years later in 1989, Dailuaine merged with Talisker and formed Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd (nice couple isn’t it?). Unfortunately, in 1915 Thomas Mackenzie dies without heir and the next year, Dailuaine-Talisker is bought by its previous customers John Dewars & Sons, John Walker & Sons et James Buchanan & Co (nope, not “& Sons”, sorry). After a fire, a closure, and a reopening, it’s bought in 1925 by Distillers Company Limited (DCL) that will later become the company known today as Diageo. Fast forward nowdays, Dailuaine is still active and has a capacity of 5.2 million litres of pure alcohol per annum.

The bottle we review today is a 11-year-old Dailuaine bottled by SMWS under the number 41.104 and the name “Some like it hot”. It was released in 2018 in the Spicy and Sweet category. Matured in an refill bourbon barrel, it was distilled on the 23rd March of 2006. Bottled at cask strength at 58.1% abv, it gave an outturn of 186 bottles.

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Raasay While We Wait Review

Raasay While We Wait Review

Raasay is located in the Highlands on the Isle of Raasay, part of the Hebridean islands and east-north-east just off the coast of Skye, with a wonderful view on the Cuiling Mountains on the Isle of Skye. Isle of Raasay distillery is the first legal distillery on this island, as evidences of illicit distilling exist and is said to have taken place as recently as the 1850. More than 150 years later, Alasdair Day teamed up with Bill Dobbie, an entrepreneur, and acquired the Borodale House, an old Victorian house. With the addition of several buildings for whisky production, they were ready to launch. The distillery was then officially founded in 2017 and the stills fired up in September of the same year. They produce peated (45ppm) and unpeated spirit as well as gin and have a capacity of 200 000 litres of pure alcohol per annum.

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Quick review: Cambus 28yo batch 11 TBWC

Quick review: Cambus 28yo batch 11 TBWC

It’s already Christmas Eve, and behind the twenty-fourth and last window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we reviewed each day since the 1st of December was hidden a Cambus 28yo batch 11 single grain, bottled at 47% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Cambus was among the first distilleries in Scotland to convert to grain whisky production. In 1806, John Moubray converted a old derelict mill to a pot still distillery. He began production in 1823 after he gained title to the ground, with possibly an early Coffee still or something similar. John’s son, James took over, and when James’s son Robert succeeded to his father, he installed a bigger grain still in 1851 and eventually made Cambus one of the largest grain distilleries in Scotland. Under his management, Cambus became a founder member of DCL in 1877. Cambus expended, and thanks to its size and strong position in DCL, survived most of the storms that beset the industry in the early 20th century, until a disaster stuck on the 24 September 1914, a fire broke out in the maltings and grain stored and engulfed most of the distillery. Only the bonded warehouses survived, but the distillery closed until 1938. Despite extensions and new apparatus, the distillery closed in 1993 as grain production was concentrated at Cameron Bridge. Cambus still stands though, and is used as a cask-filling centre and for bonded warehousing. The outturn of this 28yo batch 11 was 435 bottles, and it’s still available on Master of Malt for £114.95.

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Quick review: Ben Nevis 21yo batch 8 TBWC

Quick review: Ben Nevis 21yo batch 8 TBWC

Behind the twenty-third window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a second dram from a distillery covered earlier in the calendar, a Ben Nevis 21yo batch 8, bottled at 48.9% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The distillery, as said in the review of the 23yo dram hidden behind the 13th window of the advent calendar, has been built near and named after Ben Nevis, the highest mountain of the British Isles, standing at 1,345m (4,411 ft) above sea level. Its Scottish Gaelic name, Beinn Nibheis, means “Venomous mountain” or “mountain with its head in the clouds” depending on which etymology you consider for the word Nibheis. First ascended in 1771, Ben Nevis now attracts 100,000 ascends a year. The summit, the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano, hosts the ruins of an ancient observatory which was continuously staffed between 1883 and 1904. The outturn of this 21yo batch 8 was 931 bottles, and it’s still available on Master of Malt for £147.95.

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Quick review: Clynelish 21yo batch 7 TBWC

Quick review: Clynelish 21yo batch 7 TBWC

Behind the twenty-first window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Clynelish 21yo batch 7 single malt, bottled at 47.8% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The story of Clynelish is a little bit complicated. The First Duke of Sutherlands created the first Clynelish distillery in the Highlands, in the town of Brora, in 1819. After a few bankruptcies, John Walker & Sons bought a stake of the stocks in 1916. However, they mothballed Clynelish in 1931, but started production again in 1939. 1967 saw the construction of a new distillery, also named Clynelish, adjacent to the existing one. Soon after that, the “Old” Clynelish was mothballed in August 1968, and reopened the next year, renamed as the famous Brora, to be unfortunately mothballed again in 1983 (they will reopen soon as the distillery is being rebuilt). The current Clynelish is a vital part of several Johnnie Walker expressions and especially the Gold Label one. The outturn of this 21yo batch 7 was 1174 bottles, and is unfortunately sold out. It seems it was sold for around £130.

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Quick review: Linkwood 10yo batch 8 TBWC

Quick review: Linkwood 10yo batch 8 TBWC

Behind what is already the twentieth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Linkwood 10yo batch 8 single malt, bottled at 48.2% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Linkwood is a distillery located at Elgin, in Speyside. It was created in 1821, changed hands several times, and in 1971 a second distillery, called Linkwood B (the original one being Linkwood… A) opened with 4 new stills in addition to the existing two of Linkwood A. However, in 1985 Linkwood A closed down (with its original stills) until 1990 where it came back in production for a few months each year. Owned by Diageo, Linkwood is mostly used for its Johnnie Walker blend and there’s almost no single malt except for the 12yo Flora & Fauna, a couple very old ones, and mostly independent bottling. This batch 8 had an outturn of only 417 bottles and can still be found on the German website whiskytaste.de for a mere 37.90€ (around £32.30 at current exchange rate).

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