The Whisky Cellar Series 003 Tweet Tasting

The Whisky Cellar Series 003 Tweet Tasting

Keith Bonnington, Whisky Cellar‘s founder and who we interviewed for the first Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting, likes to be busy. We tried his first series of releases during a Tweet Tasting back in September last year, but the second series was just a few months ago in August. And he’s already working on his fourth series that I really do hope I’ll get to try once again. But let’s talk a bit about indy bottlers first, then you thirsty readers will be able to check the review of the drams we tried.

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Mackinlay's Shackleton

Mackinlay’s Shackleton review

The legend says Sir Ernest Shackleton, preparing his Antarctic expedition to the South Pole in 1907, ordered 25 cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky to heighten the expedition team spirit. By the way, I love how whisky is always rare and old, especially blends. Do you think they mean rare as a wink to a good steak cooking, just a bit but not too much? Thus the whiskies that make the blend spent just a bit of time in casks but definitely not too much? Unfortunately, Shackleton and his team didn’t reach the South Pole, but at the time they still went by far to the farthest south latitude ever attained, 88° 23′ S, missing the South Pole by just 97.5 nautical miles (180.6 km or 112.2 mi.). I said the legend, but it seems it’s a fact, as a century after the expedition, in 2007, three cases of the original Mackinlay’s blend were discovered, frozen into the ice beneath Shackleton’s base camp at Cape Royds. As Mackinlay’s website says, the whisky was excavated and flown to New Zealand where it is exposed by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. Let’s talk a wee bit about blends market share, then it’ll be time for Mackinlay’s Shackleton review.

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The Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting

The Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting

A few weeks months ago, The Whisky Cellar, a quite new independent bottler, announced its second outturn, with brand new single casks for whisky amateurs to enjoy. As for the first one, back in September 2020, Keith Bonnington and Steve Rush organized a Tweet Tasting to allow a handful of lucky people to taste a selection of drams taken from this second outturn. I absolutely love the first Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting with some stunning drams, so boy was I excited for this one…

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Gregg Glass Whisky Tweet Tasting

Gregg Glass Whisky Tweet Tasting

Just as I have finished writing about a previous (and excellent!) Tweet Tasting, time for another one! The life of an amateur whisky blogger (it may sound pompous but well, I do have a blog about whisky so I guess that’s what I am?) is really hard, I know. This time, we don’t follow a specific distillery nor a specific bottler, but something new again: a person! Indeed, our guest was Gregg Glass, from Whyte & Mackay, as we tasted four whiskies he was deeply involved in creating or bottling. So as I said, time not for a distillery Tweet Tasting, but a Gregg Glass Whisky Tweet Tasting!

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Old and new Nikka Taketsuru NAS and 21-years-old

Old and new Nikka Taketsuru

The Nikka Taketsuru range is a good example of the problem Japanese whisky is facing. And I mean the true Japanese whisky, the one distilled in Japan, not the “bottle whatever and slap some Japanese kanji” fake Japanese whisky crap. As you’ve read a thousand times, there is a shortage of old Japanese whisky stocks, that is here for a long time (you can’t accelerate years, even though, and especially with 2020, you’d sometimes want to). And the demand for Japanese whisky is so high that the current production is not even enough to cover the needs. Thus, Nikka announced last year expansions for its Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries to fight shortage. But since whisky takes time to mature, the shortage will probably stay at least until 2030… And earlier this year, they sadly announced the total discontinuation of the 17, 21 and 25-year-old Nikka Taketsuru, their pure malt blend of Yoichi and Miyagikyo juices, named after the founder of the Nikka group. I won’t go into the history of Nikka and Masataka Taketsuru as I’ve briefly covered that previously on the Yoichi blind tasting I organized with friends. They also announced they would renew their NAS edition of Taketsuru, and thus today we’re going to review the old and new Nikka Taketsuru NAS, as well as the discontinued Taketsuru 21-year-old.

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Compass Box Spice Tree & Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

Compass Box Spice Tree & Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

The Spice Tree is a famous blend made by Compass Box. John Glaser, Compass Box Whisky Company‘s founder, is a man who spent many years in the wine trade. Younger, he wanted to become a wine merchant or a winemaker. After joining Diageo to work in the marketing department of Johnnie Walker, he learnt blending next to JW’s master blender Jim Beveridge. While at first he intended to slide over to Diageo’s wine department, things worked out differently and he fell in love with Scotch Whisky. Later, he decided to go back to his ambition: create. But this time, to create whisky, as he saw the idea of blending whisky as a creative art. So he decided to become not a winemaker, but a “whiskymaker”. And in 2000, he founded Compass Box Whisky.

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Quick review: Blended Malt #1 18yo batch 3 TBWC

Quick review: Blended Malt #1 18yo batch 3 TBWC

Behind the eight 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 Blend #1 18-year-old batch 3, bottled at 47.3% abv bottled by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The funny label represents a congregation of people on a hill, praying to a giant floating teaspoon with an aureole, and cleric people at its errr… feet? This seems to be a not-so-subtle hint to tell you this “blended malt” is in fact a single malt that has been teaspooned. When an independent bottler buys a cask from a distillery that does not want its name to be known, the distillery can add a teaspoon of a any other single malt to the cask, making it by definition a blended malt. Yep, even with a teaspoon worth in a full cask, it cannot be called a single malt anymore, and thus the name of the original distillery cannot be used. Anyway, it’s available on Master of Malt for a mere £64.95 which is I think very good value. But let’s dive on and let us explain what we think of this teaspooned malt.

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