Very Old Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman Loch Gorm, and More New Scotch

Distell is rolling out a series of limited-edition bottlings across its portfolio of single malt scotches—which includes Bunnahabhain, Deanston, Tobermory, and Ledaig—while Kilchoman is releasing its 2017 edition of Loch Gorm, and Copper Dog, a new blended malt from Speyside, is making its debut.

Bunnahabhain 46 year old Eich Bana Lir

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 46 years
Proof: 42.1% ABV
Price: $7,000
Release: June 2017
Availability: 198 bottles, including 30 for the U.S.

Need to know:

The oldest Bunnahabhain ever released. Eich Bhana Lir means “the great waves of the god Lir” in Scottish Gaelic and refers to the Gaelic myth of the ruler of the sea who used waves to wash gifts ashore.

Whisky Advocate says:

Like all Bunnahabhains, this whisky is non-chill filtered. In this case, it’s also uncut with water. That low ABV is actually cask strength—after 46 years in the barrel, it has lost a lot to the angels’ share.

Deanston 40 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 40 years old
Proof: 45.6% ABV
Price: $5,000
Release: June 2017
Availability: 480 bottles, including 72 for the U.S.

Need to know:

The oldest Deanston ever released. It was finished for close to ten years in two cask types—refill casks and oloroso sherry butts—that were then mingled to create the final blend.

Whisky Advocate says:

Deanston began distillation only in 1967, so it hasn’t had as long as other distilleries to build up stocks of old whisky. This is a fantastic first step into extra-mature bottlings for the brand, and senior blender Kirstie McCallum told us to expect more old Deanstons in the future.

Tobermory 21 year old Manzanilla Cask Finish

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 21 years
Proof: 55% ABV
Price: $269
Release: June 2017
Availability: 900 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This whisky spent thirteen years in bourbon casks and another eight years in manzanilla sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Tobermory’s 15 year old expression has disappeared and its 10 year old is currently available only at the visitors center on Mull, due to the ongoing renovations at the distillery. So it’s nice to have at least a limited-edition option while awaiting a brand relaunch, and there will be more limited releases over the next few years.

Ledaig 19 year old Marsala Finish

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 19 years
Proof: 51% ABV
Price: $200
Release: June 2017
Availability: 1,200 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This is 17 year old Ledaig—the peated whisky made at Tobermory Distillery—that has undergone a 3-year finishing period in Marsala wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Although Ledaig is made on the island of Mull, the peat it uses for malting comes from Islay; however, it lacks a lot of the heaviness of many Islay single malts due to the unique S-shaped lyne arms of the stills at Tobermory.

Deanston 10 year old Pedro Ximénez Finish

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 10 years
Proof: 57.5% ABV
Price: $65
Release: June 2017
Availability: 2,500 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

After maturing for eight years in bourbon casks, this whisky spent another two years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. As a special edition, it’s bottled at cask strength rather than Deanston’s typical 46.3% ABV.

Whisky Advocate says:

In a recent meeting with Deanston (and Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, and Ledaig) senior blender Kirstie McCallum, she said to expect continuing innovation from the brand in the near future.

Copper Dog

Style: Blended malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: NAS
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $32
Release: May 2017
Availability: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Washington, D.C. to start, with expansion planned

Need to know:

Diageo master blender Stuart Morrison created this blend of single malts sourced from at least eight distilleries (the number could vary in future batches), including Knockando, Inchgower, and Roseisle. It’s named for the tool that distillery workers use to sample whisky straight from the cask.

Whisky Advocate says:

Diageo created this blend in partnership with the Craigellachie Hotel. It’s priced in line with and has a similar flavor profile to another Speyside blended malt whisky named after an animal.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2017 Release

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Around 8 years
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $100
Release: June 2017
Availability: 13,500 bottles, including 1,788 for the U.S.

Need to know:

Loch Gorm is Kilchoman’s sherry cask-matured single malt. This is the sixth and oldest release in the series—it’s maturing in oloroso sherry butts since 2009.

Whisky Advocate says:

Last year’s release of Loch Gorm release scored 85 points in our Buying Guide. With the extra time in the oloroso casks, the 2017 version is one to try.

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