Dunville’s is an old Irish whiskey brand that has been revised by Shane Braniff, the founder of Echlinville Distillery. Originally created in 1808, this brand was active and very successful for more than a century. At the end of the 19th century, Ireland was producing 14 million gallons of whiskey a year. Out of those 14 million cases, 2.5 million were distilled at The Royal Irish Distilleries – the original home of Dunville’s Irish Whiskey. Unfortunately, in 1931, Robert Lambart Dunville, the fifth Chairman of Dunville & Co. Ltd., died suddenly at the age of 38. He had only one surviving brother, living in Australia and who didn’t want to take over the company. The distillery lost its way, distillation stopped in 1935 and the distillery was liquidated the next year. The name stayed silent for 80 years, until Echlinville bought this Belfast brand in order to resuscitate it a few years ago. We’ll review today a recent years Dunville’s: the Dunville’s 10-year-old PX.
And that’s another country I can now cross off my ‘have I tasted a whisky from this country?’ list. St. Killian is a pretty young distillery, as its foundation just goes back to 2015. Unlike many young distilleries, they produce only whisky. No gin, no vodka, no rum, just whisky. They do produce whisky liqueur, however, but using their own whisky. With a 200.000 litres per year capacity, St. Kilian is one of the biggest whisky distilleries in Germany. By the way, I recently learnt that Germany is second to Scotland only regarding the number of whisky distilleries, with more than 250 grain distilleries producing whisky, and 130 out of those declaring themselves specifically as whisky distilleries. However, when I look at the German distilleries mentioned in the Malt Whisky Yearbook from Ingvar Ronde (a must-read!), I have to admit I’ve ever heard of only two of them. Two possible reasons: either they’re not exported much, or I’m an ignorant. Meh, probably a bit of both. Anyway, time to review two of their oldest expressions (in terms of date of release, not age): the St. Kilian Signature Edition Three and Four.
We’re back to Ireland today, with a Liberator from Wayward Irish Spirits. Wayward, as whiskey bonders, offer several ranges of whiskeys: The Liberator, and the Lakeview Single Estate Whiskey. The first one, Liberator, is sourced whiskey that they mature, finish, and bottle on their estate, whilst the Lakeview is distilled for Wayward but with grain from their own single estate, knowing exactly where do the grain comes from, the target being becoming a grain to glass distillery. They hope to start distilling on site in 2024. But for now, we’re trying a sourced whiskey they matured, finished and bottled: The Liberator Storehouse Special Malt X Moscatel. Yes, that’s a very long name.
We’re back in Scotland, and for this two hundredth whisky I review here, I wanted to get something special. But this time, no closed distillery (soon, I have several ready for review in my tasting notes book), nor a 40-year-old whisky. I’m going to Elgin, to Glen Moray, one of my favourites distilleries. So let’s consider that number, and then we’ll see how the Glen Moray Mastery 120th Anniversary does.
We’re back after a short break, and before reaching my own 200th whisky review and start a series with some closed distilleries, let’s do a quick trip between Ireland and Japan. What we’re tasting today is an Irish whiskey bottled by Glendalough, that has been finished in Japanese Mizunara oak casks. It had been some months since I wanted to try this whiskey… and I had kind of forgot my good friend Wim @dram_gazette had sent me a sample ages ago! So let’s talk a bit about Glendalough and about what Mizunara is, then we’ll review the Glendalough 13-year-old Mizunara oak finish.
The Whisky Cellar is back with its fourth series of Private Cellars Selection bottlings, but not only. Keith Bonnington, The Whisky Cellar‘s founder and ex-Edrington employee, bought, a few months ago, from his former employer, the Brig O’Perth blend brand. One of his other projects, Scalasaig, also is not only an island whiskies blend, but also now a bottler, with, I imagine, single malts coming from all the distilleries making up the Scalasaig blend. So for this fourth Whisky CellarTweet Tasting, we’ll try the Brig O’Perth, a Tobermory bottled under the Scalasaig brand, and three single malts and one single grain part of the Whisky Cellar Private Cellars Selection Series 4. We enjoyed a lot Keith’s selection during the first three Tweet Tastings, so I think we can have high hopes for this Whisky Cellar Fourth Tweet Tasting.
Yamazaki Distillery is where it all began for whisky in Japan. I’ve written before about Masataka Taketsuru, who went to Scotland to study how whisky was made, then would help Shinjiro Torii create in 1923 the first whisky distillery in Japan: Yamazaki. Located near Kyoto, the distillery sits in a quiet place, surrounded by nature and greenery, and with excellent quality water, required to make whisky. Whilst it was founded in 1923, Yamazaki was released as a single malt only in 1984. Though I couldn’t book a tour (already full) when I went there, back in 2018, I could, however, visit the museum, which is free, and features more than 7.000 bottles in its whisky library. I’ll show you around, and then we’ll review the Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, the 12-year-old and the 18-year-old.
After a long wait, Dingle Distillery is finally releasing its fifth (and last) Single Pot Still small batch. Like with the fourth which was released at the end of 2020, it is available in two versions, one reduced at 46.5% ABV and one delivered at cask strength, in smaller quantities. Now, I want to add a disclaimer before I review the fourth and fifth releases, both in their reduced version.
We’ve already tried a couple of season releases from Mackmyra, with Gront Te and Jaktlycka. But these were not the first of their seasonal and bi-annual expressions, as Mackmyra started these seasonal releases quite some time ago. I had for some time now miniatures of some of them in my samples boxes, so I guess we should take a look at these, right? And when I say look, I’ll look with my eyes, nose and palate. Yeah, so much ways to take a look at whisky, it’s crazy. Then, why won’t we review a very special one, bottled for the Whisky Circus? So, låt oss börja.
Quite a number of my friends have a sweet spot for Distell-owned distilleries, including the Southern-Highland based Deanston Distillery. The Deanston 12 years old is regarded as one of their favourites for affordable single malts. It was even one of the nominated at the OSWA, the Online Scotch Whisky Awards, in the Best Entry-Level Single Malt category. The OSWA are online awards delivered by a group of whisky YouTubers, and were created by Roy ‘AqvaVitae’ and Ralfy from Ralfydotcom, two famous whisky-dedicated YouTube channels. While it didn’t win the category, Deanston 12 years old still finished in an honourable third place. If you want to know which whisky won, I invite you to check the OSWA’s website. But right now, let’s check this Deanston 12, and compare it to an older version and the Virgin Oak NAS.