Some new whiskies heading your way, and my thoughts on themMarch 7th, 2012
I’m back from vacation and getting caught up. A bunch of new whiskies came in while I was gone and I started tasting my way through them. Here are five that will be coming soon to the U.S. These are my informal thoughts. (I don’t have prices and availability right now, but will post the info up when I get it.)
I was really impressed with the new Aberlour 12 year old. It’s not chill-filtered and bottled at 48% . Nicely balanced, well-rounded, good subtle complexity and very easy-drinking. It should be a regular stock item in your drinks cabinet.
The Dalmore Castle Leod will be available in the U.S. in very limited quantities. It’s a 1995 Vintage and bottled at 46%. There’s plenty of Dalmore lush fruit and spice, with good resinous grip on the finish. Lots of character here.
Isle of Jura 1976 Vintage is one of the oldest vintages of Jura I’ve seen here in the U.S. There’s a good dose of oak in this one–it’s age is obvious–but not unpleasantly so. It’s more of a juicy oak, rather than dry and harsh like some older whiskies I’ve tasted. And it’s soft and mellow. I enjoy it. There’s no dominant smoke or sherry like some of the past Jura whiskies, and it’s smartly bottled at 46%.
I like Glenmorangie, and I like Sassicaia Super Tuscan wine. The new Glenmorangie Artein combines both, by having the Glenmorangie whisky finished in Sassicaia wine barrels. The two work well together. It’s a Glenmo with loads of character and not dominated by the wine. Again it’s bottled at 46%. Hey guys, how about a three-pack?: one bottle of Glenmorangie Astar, one bottle of Glenmorangie Artein, and one bottle of Sassicaia? A guy can dream…
Finishing up: Knob Creek Rye. I really like the standard Knob Creek and thoroughly enjoy the Single Barrel Reserve (both aged 9 years). How’s this 100 proof rye? Bold and spicy, like you would expect a rye whiskey to be. My take on this whiskey is that it’s just mature enough to drink neat (there’s no age statement, but tastes a few years younger than the other Knob Creeks), and it’s youthful and vibrant enough to mix well in cocktails. It’s very versatile in this regard (as I am sure it was intended to be), but I would like to have seen it bottled at 9 years old like the other Know Creek offerings.
My general take on the whiskies above is that they’re all pretty good. No duds here to warn you about. And I hope the general comments give you a feel for what you’ll be getting into if you buy a bottle.
One thing I did notice from these whiskies is the higher proof and lack of chill-filtering. More of this, please!
I have more whiskies here to waiting for me to taste and review, including a few older Glenfarclas Family Cask whiskies (from three different decades) and a couple of older Glenglassaugh whiskies. I’ll get to those soon and share my thoughts.