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  • Launch of the Speyside Series

    Speyside Series - Benriach, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan,This is the launch of the Speyside Series featuring the Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan and BenRiach as we celebrate the awesome drams from there.

    In the recent months (or even year), the entire focus of the whisky world has been on Japanese whiskies, followed by Taiwanese (primary Kavalan) whiskies and Australian (such as Sullivan Cove). However, we tend to forget that the best selling whiskies in the world - the Glenfiddich and Glenlivet - is actually from Speyside. Just like the Macallan, these are whiskies that we always have in our whisky cabinets or desk whisky but we don't give much thought to them. So in this series, we will seek to find out a little more about Speyside and the background of the distilleries, beyond the fact that we know that these whiskies will always be there for us.

    There is no distinctive Speyside taste, unlike the peatiness that we typically associate with Islay whiskies. In our first blogpost, we shall highlight some unique characteristics of some of the distilleries.

     Macallan

    The Macallan distillery has really tiny spirit stills. It provides maximum contact with the copper, which provides a higher intensity of taste that makes the Macallan unique.

     Glenfiddich

    During the prohibition in the 1920s in US, Glenfiddich was one of the very few who increased production instead of slowing it down. This foresight gave it ample aged stock for sale when demand picked up again.

    It is also characterized by its distinctive triangular shaped bottle that has been iconic of the Glenfiddich brand since the 1950s.

    Glenlivet

    The Glenlivet distillery remained open through the Great Depression and was only mothballed during the World War II. After the war, the British were heavily in debt and so used whisky as an export item to earn foreign revenue. During those times, bread and barley were rationed in order to maintain enough raw materials for the production of whisky. Imagine foregoing bread in order to produce whisky!

     

    Cheers!

  • RESTOCKED: YAMAZAKI DR AND YAMAZAKI 12

    Yamazaki DR and Yamazaki 12 Restocked

    A little background on the distillery

    The Yamazaki distillery’s location on the outskirts of Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto offers pure waters, diversity of climate and high humidity – the ideal environment for the maturation of good whisky. Thus its whisky’s signature multi-layered taste, which is highly praised by whisky connoisseurs all over the world. Today, Yamazaki is not only the "number-one" single malt whisky in Japan, but is also enjoyed in more than 25 countries.

    The brand has been at the forefront of the rise of the Japanese whisky with Jim Murray giving it the honour of the best whisky in the world. Since then, it has continued to innovate. It's latest madness includes heading into outer space to find out the effects of space travel on whisky ageing, which in our opinion is wayyy out there in terms of innovation. The only downside of this madness is that there is now a global shortage, resulting in a mad rush for the stocks. We've had to fight tooth and nail to get this batch in.

    Yamazaki reserve - whisky series

    The Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve is newly released in Spring 2014. Bearing no age statement, it is a rich, easy-to-drink whisky with a profound and mature taste – a new generation of whisky to discover from Suntory.

    Yamazaki 12-whisky series

    The Yamazaki 12YO is a real gem as the perfect introductory dram for Japanese whiskies. It is subtle and smooth on the palate, representing the balance that is unique to Japanese whiskies.

    It has won numerous awards - Gold Medal in the International Spirits Competition in 2003 and 2010; Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2009 and 2013; and recently it won the Gold in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

    Enjoy

  • Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: A Dram for All Occasions

    Macallan Sherry Oak Singapore

    We fought the good fight and we are now bringing in the Macallan 12 Sherry Oak to our portfolio. It is one of those iconic drams that everyone knows (and loves). As the benchmark of all 12 year old drams, it is sweet, mellow and generally awesome.

    --

    The Rum Howler says:

    The 12 year old Sherry Cask whisky has had a full two years of extra aging; thus a direct comparison between the two whiskies is thus fraught with difficulty, especially as I found the flavour complexity of the 10 Year Old Fine Oak to be very good as well.

    In the end it is a subjective choice between styles of whisky. The Sherry Oak displays an ‘in your face’ approach to flavour and complexity whereas the Fine Oak has a more subtle approach.

    --

    Macallan is so focused about its barrels that it has a Master of Wood, Stuart Macpherson. He controls the supply and repair of all Macallan barrels and runs the education program on wood, differentiating the Macallan brand from all the others in the whisky world.

    --

    With shades of the Yamazaki DR, the Macallan 12 YO is an iconic dram, great for every day drinking. It works great as a gift for ANYONE - from people totally new to whisky to whisky warriors. We always have a small stash of Macallan 12 Sherry in our cupboards in case of hard core Macallan fans and to juxtapose against any of the other drams that we introduce at our whisky tasting sessions. 

    Cheers from the Bootleggers. 

  • Introducing the Glen Garioch

    August 11, 2015 Whisky Wisdom

    Processed with VSCOcam

    Instead of our lousy words on the Glen Garioch, we bring to you the words of Rachel Barrie, Master Blender of Morrison Bowmore Distillers. 

    "The distillery was originally a tannery and then a brewery before being converted into a whisky-making distillery in 1797. Glen Garioch has had a chequered history ever since passing from the hands of its founders John and Alexander Manson to William Sanderson in 1904 (creator of Vat 69 blend of which Glen Garioch was a prized constituent) and DCL in 1943. In 1970, the distillery was sold to Stanley P. Morrison, and in 1972 Glen Garioch was the first distillery to gas fire its stills as well being launched later that year as a single malt. The distillery was sadly mothballed in 1995 but happily reopened in 1997, and has gone from strength to strength ever since, albeit remaining a small boutique distillery, currently filling around 100 casks per week.

    There are a few special features that together combine to create Glen Garioch’s unique Highland style. These include the mineral rich spring water from Couten’s spring, the use of unpeated malt (although with occasional batches of peated malt as was commonplace when the distillery’s own floor maltings were in operation prior to 1995), mashing in a lauter tun to give a fairly cloudy wort (encouraging the formation of long chain lipids) and 48 hours fermentation (with longer at the weekends).

    The copper pot stills are of classic Highland style at the base with short necks but unusually have an exceedingly long lyne arm, especially on the wash still which is hugely extended. This is a particularly unusual feature compared to other distilleries, and undoubtedly plays a significant role in defining the Glen Garioch new-make spirit ‘house style’ with its unique balance of fruity, spicy and meaty character. "

    Their distinguishing feature is their unusually high ABV of 48%. We tried a Kirin whisky that had a really high ABV of 50% too but it tasted really harsh and reminded us of moonshine. Glen Garioch manages to skirt this balance and create a unique profile that is distinctive.

    Lovers of the Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 10 and Talisker 10, will enjoy this as it is very tasty and has many different layers. If you love the smooth mellow taste of Yamazaki or Hibiki, then this is probably not for you :(

  • RESTOCKED: Glenlivet 15

    restocked glenlivet 15

     Andd we're back in stock for the Glenlivet 15.

    There's really not much that we can say about the Glenlivet 15 that hasn't been said before. It is smooth and warm, with some vanilla notes but is not overpowering. One of our all time favourites for a more mellow taste, especially when we are not in the mood for something sweet aka Yamazaki or any strong peat aka Lagavulin 16.

    Compared to its compatriot, the Glenlivet 12, the Glenlivet 15 has more depth and complexity. With the news that the Glenlivet 12's days may be numbered with the arrival of the Founders Reserve, the 15 stands the test of time to represent the classic taste of Glenlivet.

    A little background on the distillery

    The Glenlivet distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland and is known as the "single malt that started it all". Despite its massive production size, it is run by a small and highly competent team of 10 people led by Master Distiller Alan Winchester.

    He has been in the whisky industry for a whopping 40 years and is not one of those stuck up purists on whisky. In fact, for him, whisky is a versatile drink and can be put into cocktails or sipped with ice/water or neat.

    His recommended food pairing for the Glenlivet 15 is with salmon. Considering our Asian food palate, we think this goes with anything spicy as well - think char kuey teow!

    Random fact - Their stock of barrels are kept all over Scotland to preserve stocks in case of fires or any other disasters.

    Enjoy

  • Hot Trends in Whisky

    July 28, 2015 Whisky Wisdom
    trend whisky singapore whisky online What are the hottest whisky trends today? Read on...

    If you have been following this blog, you are sure to have realised that the world of whisky is never static. Well, that's probably one of the reasons why whiskies are so interesting. Here are the current hot trends in the whisky world.

    "Vatted" or "Pure" Malts 

    As you probably know, most whiskies are either (1) blended (containing a mix of malt and grain whiskies) or (2) single malt. An example of a popular blended whisky is the Hibiki, and an example of a popular single malt whisky is the Glenfiddich. Now, there is a third tiny (and often misunderstood) category of whiskies called “vatted” malts or “pure” malts. This category has been around for a long time, but is currently getting more popular. The  “vatted” malts or “pure” malts are made only from single malts from different distilleries, with none of the lighter grain whiskies added. Such whiskies are richer and more flavourful than blended whiskies.

    No Age Statement

    What does the "age" of a whisky mean? To put it simply, it means that not a drop of liquid in that bottle can be younger than the written age on the label. Given the incredible rise in popularity of whisky over the past few years, the stock of old whisky is decreasing very fast. At the same time, many distilleries have ramped up production levels. Thus, a huge stock of young whiskies will enter the market over the next several years. As a result of this, many distillers are starting to release whiskies with no age statement. Such whiskies are created by blending barrels of young whiskies with older whiskies, and are usually released as the entry level whisky for their respective distilleries. Examples of such whiskies include Yamazaki Distillers' Reserve and Hibiki Japanese Harmony. Now we know what you snobs are thinking (that no age statement whiskies must be bad), because that's what we thought so too;) We have, however, been very positively surprised after trying some no age statement offerings!

    Going Natural

    Some people are surprised to learn that many whiskies do contain colouring. The most common colouring used is caramel colouring. The purpose of this? As you can probably imagine, the reason is similar to why our canned chrysanthemum tea is coloured - to make the product look better. In whisky's case, it is to make the whisky look old, and to maintain a consistent colour from one bottling to the next (FYI if no colouring were used, whiskies from the same distillery will actually look slightly different from batch to batch! Springbank is actually famous for having different colours from batch to batch). Though few big companies who use such colouring would like to admit, such colouring does change the whisky's true flavour, and not in a good way.

    In addition, many whiskies are “chill-filtered”. Say what? "Chill-filtering" is the process that prevents a whisky from getting cloudy when you add ice or water to it. What’s wrong with this? The process of "chill-filtering" removes components in the whisky that contributes to its flavours.

    So you can see - colouring adds the bad stuff while "chill-filtering" removes the good stuff.
    Some distilleries are now eliminating caramel coloring and "chill-filtering" to make sure that their whiskies taste better. How can you tell if a whisky has no colouring and no "chill-filtering"? The whisky might be very light in color, and it may look a bit cloudy. The distiller often notes on the label (see for example the picture for Deanston 12-Year-Old)  that the whiskey is not chill-filtered (or caramel colored).

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