Whisky Advocate

Chieftain’s Choice whisky finally coming to the U.S.

November 28th, 2007

For the first time, Chieftain’s Choice whisky is heading to the U.S. This is from the importer, Steve Lipp, who used to import Duncan Taylor whiskies:

“I will be introducing to the US Market for the first time, Cheiftain’s Choice Range of Single Malts. The first consignment which includes Bottling’s from the following 11 Distilleries, will be arriving February 2008. Any interested Wholesalers or Retailers can contact me on at: scotwhisky@aol.com

Longmorn 1994 – 13 Year Old
Linkwood 1991 – 16 Year Old
chieftans.jpgCaol Ila 1990 – 17 Year Old
Glen Moray 1989 – 18 Year Old
Glencadam 1985 – 22 Year Old
Port Ellen 1982 – 25 Year Old
Allt A Bhainne 1977 – 30 Year Old
Springbank 1968 – 39 Year Old
Benrinnes – 10 Year Old – Tokay wood finish.
Dalmore – 11 Year Old – Madeira wood finish.
Glenrothes – 12 Year Old Burgundy wood finish.”

For those of you not familiar with the brand, here’s some background (from their press release):

A collection of exceptional single malt Scotch Whiskies bottled for the connoisseur by Ian Macleod Distillers who, since 1936, have amassed unrivalled cask stocks from Scotland’s many distilleries

From our enviable stocks we only select a limited number of single malts to bottle under the Chieftain’s label
Bottled at 43% Vol for a smoother and fuller traditional taste

Rare malts, some from closed or mothballed distilleries

Some are further “finished” in the best quality sherry, port or rum casks, and some are bottled at natural strength all adding extra character, body, flavour and complexity

Bottled at up to 50 years old

The collection’s hallmark is that each bottling meets the exacting criteria of our selection panel. It must be fit for a King, a Leader: in the Celtic world, A CHIEFTAIN.

At least some companies think it’s worth bottling at 75cl and importing to the U.S.

6 Responses to “Chieftain’s Choice whisky finally coming to the U.S.”

  1. Dear John,

    Bravo! I’ve admired the Chieftain’s malts for a long time, from across the pond. They look delicious, but it’s expensive and difficult to order bottles from the UK without tasting them.

    I hope they’ll be available to taste at WhiskyFest in Chicago in April. -Maybe John can give us a preview?

    In a world of tightening stocks and rising prices, it’s great to see independent bottlers expanding into new markets, i.e. the U.S., and offering more bottlings.

    Cheers,

    Bill

  2. John Hansell says:

    Bill, we’re working on getting them to sign up for WhiskyFest Chicago. It would be a grea addition to the event.

    Yes, with tightening stocks (especially for the indie bottlers), it’s nice to see this addition to the U.S. market.

  3. Mike Dereszynski says:

    John,
    Praise the importers for they are important!
    I love Ian’s Cigar Malts and his “As We Get It” but both were tasted in Edinburgh.
    A mutual pain are all the “as we dont get it” releases.Let me add one to the pile.How about the American spirits that recieve praise and awards but that you cant get in the States!
    Example 1: Ever heard of Two Bobs Bourbon? The same Ian MacLeod that bottles Chieftains,bottles Two Bobs.A certain whisky mag from across the pond just gave it the “Editors Gold Choice”.Parkers Heritage and another Two Bobs got “Silver Recommends”.Think I can pick up a bottle or two of Two Bobs at Binny’s??!!!
    Example 2: Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2008 “Best Bourbon Aged under 10 Years” goes to Cougar Aged 5 Years. He gives it a 95. He also gives their Straight Rye a 95.It came out of the Lawrenceburg Indiana Distillery but its an Aussie Fosters product?!!
    Praise the importers but I wish I could get it here instead of having to import an American Spirit to America.Thats just to wild!
    Speaking of wild and American Spirit have you had a chance to taste and review WT American Spirit yet? I look forward to your notes.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  4. John Hansell says:

    Mike: Yes, you are right. There are whiskeys made here in the U.S. and not sold here. Four Roses bourbon was the classic example, but they now see the light and are selling it here in the U.S. Although, Couger is still beyond our reach. Parker’s Heritage is here. Are you having trouble finding it?

    Finally, Wild Turkey American Spirit is delicious! One of my top 10 new whiskeys (and whiskies) for 2007. Details to come in the upcoming issue of Malt Advocate.

  5. Derek De Souza says:

    John,

    How does the Chieftain line compare with the Malt Trust line from a quality/cost point of view. I get the impression that these might be expensive.Do we have a feel for price?
    Like Chieftain, I had never heard of Malt Trust Bottlers
    till our group “did extensive research” on a few of their bottlings( all at cask strength) and were indeed “blown away”!
    Apparently someone who was with Seagrams and had extensive contacts started Malt Trust Bottlers.
    Also, do we know any of the retailers that are expected to carry this line ?

    Cheers!
    Derek

  6. John Hansell says:

    Derek, Chieftain’s Choice is new to the U.S. and therefore I can’t provide a first-hand comparison between the two. I’m hoping to get samples of Chieftain’s Choice whiskies soon and will offer some thoughts at that time.

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