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Blair Athol 1997 (C) PDF Print E-mail

Blair Athol One of Scotland's oldest working distilleries; Blair Athol is located in the picturesque Highland town of Pitlochry. Drawing its water from the Allt Dour Burn (burn of the otter), Blair Athol was established in 1798. At that time the distillery was named "Aldour" - after the water source. 

Connoisseurs Choice Blair AtholThe new venture did not last long, however, probably due to the heavy excise on malt whisky levied by the government, so the distillery closed. In 1826 it was revitalised by Alexander Connacher, before being taken over by MacKenzie company. In 1933 Blair Athol was acquired by Arthur Bell & Sons who are now a subsidiary of Diageo.  Blair Athol is a cruicial part of the Bells blend and takes 98% of its stock but is a wonderful single malt in its own right.

From Gordon & Macphail:

In the mid-1960s Gordon & MacPhail took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts under the brand name 'Connoisseurs Choice'. Until this time, many of the whiskies the range featured would not have been available as single malt. Today, Connoisseurs Choice retains this exclusive nature with a range of rare and sought after single malts from distilleries throughout Scotland

COLOUR: Pale Gold.

BODY: Light to Medium.

FINISH: Medium in length.

CASK TYPE: Refill Bourbon Barrels

STYLE: Fruity highland malt

AROMA WITHOUT WATER: Sweet vanilla with tropical fruit aromas, pineapple, mango and banana. An underlying hint of toasted malt develops.

TASTE WITHOUT WATER: Black pepper with green apple and pear flavours initially. Citrus elements develop, orange and lime, with a creamy milk chocolate edge.

AROMA WITH WATER: Hints of blueberry, cranberry and vanilla pod initially. A delicate toasted malt and menthol edge develops.

TASTE WITH WATER: Vanilla with strawberry and kiwi flavours. These are complimented by a sweet cocoa butter edge.

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Aberlour 12yo (C) PDF Print E-mail

altAberlour 12yoSince 1816, Aberlour 12 year old non chill-filtered single malt scotch whisky. No whisky was chillfiltered in the making of this Aberlour, keeping all the flavour from the cask in the whisky, not the filter. It is a 12 year old expression of Highland single malt Scotch whisky with an absolutely gorgeous amber hue, radiant like the sun...

Aberlour is Gaelic for the "mouth of the chattering burn". It is an ancient and beautiful place, probably founded by Druids as there has been a community here for more than 1400 years. There is evidence of its long heritage all around, from the age-old oak trees above Linn Falls to the mysterious standing stones on Fairy Hill. The distillery is located in the heart of Aberlour village, on the banks of the Lour Burn where it meets the River Spey. It stands at the Well of St. Drostan, who was one of St. Columba's disciples and went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 960AD.

Aberlour distillery was founded in 1879 by the philanthropist James Fleming, whose motto "Let The Deed Show" appears on every bottle. Following a fire in 1898, which started in the malt mill and destroyed most of the distillery, it was rebuilt by the architect Charles Doig of Elgin. Further improvements were made in the 1920s, after World War II, in the 1960s, and in the 1970s.

Exceptionally soft water is drawn from springs in the Lour Glen, having flowed through peat, over the hard granite hills surrounding Ben Rinnes. The distillery is oil-fired, and uses a stainless steel mash tun, 4 stainless steel washbacks, and 4 pot stills. The malt is supplied to order and is lightly peated. Aberlour malt whiskies have benefited from greater use of oloroso sherry casks in recent years which, combined with bourbon casks, add to the whisky's complexity.

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Tomatin 18yo (C) PDF Print E-mail

Image

Tomatin is Gaelic for "hill of the juniper bushes", which describes its pretty setting high in the Monadh Liath mountains.  It was built during the Victorian boom of 1897 and expanded from its original 2 stills to 23 stills by 1974. It was then Scotland's largest malt whisky distillery, capable of producing 13 million litres of alcohol a year, but this is no longer the case since some of the stills have been removed.

TomatinThe history of Tomatin can be traced back to the 15th century when drovers would rest here on their journey to market to fill up their whisky flasks from a still alongside the Old Laird's House. While most of the buildings date from the 1970s, some from the original distillery have been retained, including a 19th century dunnage warehouse with blackened stone walls and an earthen floor.

Tomatin is a community as well as a distillery. It is one of the last distilleries to provide housing for its staff and around 25 families live on its 140 acre estate. They form the core of the workforce. It can feel quite remote, living 315 metres above sea level in the mountains, and this sense of isolation contributes to the character of Tomatin by helping to instil a strong sense of family, loyalty, friendship and trust in this unique community.

The distillery has a long and distinguished heritage of producing high quality malt whisky. The workforce takes whisky distilling very seriously indeed - some are the 5th generation of their families to work here. As a team they take pride in their community and in the traditions of distilling. And this pride, together with the passion which is evoked by the heritage, has evolved into an almost tangible spirit of ownership. The local people behind the malt provide it with its Highland pedigree.

Here's what they have to say about it...

Tomatin Distillery, home of the finest Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is located in the Monadhliath Mountains just south of Inverness, capital of the Highlands of Scotland. Established in 1897, Tomatin (to rhyme with satin) is also one of the highest distilleries in Scotland at 315 metres above sea level.

The soft waters of the Alt-na-Frith (Free Burn) which run clear and pure through the Monadhliath Mountains help to create a Highland Malt with delicate flavours, yet a rich and mellow style. Its undoubted quality and consistency make for a truly fine dram; a proud testimony to the art of distilling.

This world class malt has been aged for a minimum of 18 years and married for a period in distinctive Spanish Oloroso sherry casks to produce an exquisite whisky. This non chill filtered whisky is packed full of flavour and has a velvety smooth mouth feel.

Or so the Tomatin web site says, they go on...

Aroma - Delicious sweet sherry bursts up you, and plateaus with undertones of fresh apples, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and a hint of smoky heather.

Palate – Sweet and honeyed at first, with an oaky edge. Develops in the mouth with a bite of citrus and a hint of dark chocolate.

Finish – Long, sweet and slightly dry.

Casks – Initial maturation in refill American oak casks, married in Oloroso sherry butts prior to bottling.

88, JIM MURRAY'S WHISKY BIBLE 2012:"What a well-mannered malt. As if it grew up in a loving, caring family and behaves itself impeccably from first nose to its last whimpering finale"

 

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Longmorn 16yo (C) PDF Print E-mail

Longmorn (in Gaelic 'Lonmarnoch' means the 'place of St Marnoch') The Longmorn Distillery Company was founded in 1893 by John Duff, Charles Shirres and George Thomson. Duff was a former manager of the Glendronach Distillery and the Bon Accord Distillery in Aberdeen, and was the founder of the Glenlossie Distillery, as well as being involved with unsuccessful distilleries in Cape Town and the USA.  John Duff also built the sister distillery BenRiach, both of which were linked to the Great North of Scotland Railway.  Longmorn Station is retained as a feature as is a Victorian water wheel and a steam engine.  

Longmorn

It's malted barley is supplied lightly peated to order, and its water is drawn from peaty springs that rise in the Blackhills.  It operates a stainless steel traditional rake and plough mash tun, 8 stainless steel washbacks and 8 smaller pot stills.  The wash stills were directly heated by coal fires until 1993, from which date all stills have been steam heated.

The whisky is matured in a mixture of ex-bourbon American oak and European oak sherry casks.  Production is quite high at 3.5m litres (777,000 gallons) a year, most of which goes for blending.

The present malts were produced using barley malted on the traditional floor maltings at BenRiach (next door), with peat cut from Manoch Hill, and this explains why the malts have a distinctly smoky note.  It will be interesting to see wether the flavour of the whisky changes significanty in the future, with commercially supplied malt from 2002.

Longmorn Distillery started production in December 1894. Three years later John Duff built the Benriach Distillery next to Longmorn, but both were affected by the collapse of wholesale buyers Pattison, Elder and Co. in 1898. Duff was ruined by the collapse, and Longmorn Distilleries Company Ltd. passed through a variety of ownerships. In 1970, Longmorn joined The Glenlivet and Glen Grant to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. This was bought by Chivas Brothers in 1978, and in 2001 Chivas Brothers was acquired by the French Pernod Ricard Group.

The Longmorn 16-year expression has received warm reviews at international spirit ratings competitions. It received two silver medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2008 and 2009. Wine Enthusiast gave it a "90-95" rating in 2009.

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Edradour 11yo (D) PDF Print E-mail

ImageDistilled on the farm at Edradour distilliary in Pilochry, Perthshire.  renowned as the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland and arguably the most unique. Dating back to 1825, Edradour, stands alone as the last stronghold of handmade single malt whisky from a farm distillery still in production today.

Edradour 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 457) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)Big flavours from Scotland's smallest distillery, Edradour. This 11 year old single malt Scotch whisky was bottled without chill-filtering by Signatory on 26th February 2014 after it matured in the cask (No. 1013) for 11 years, since 5th March 2002. 903 bottles were released, this is bottle 837 but they all come in a shiny presentation tin.

This whisky is handmade today as it was over 150 years ago by just three men who are devoted to the time-honoured methods of whisky making. Indeed equipment used at the distillery has remained unchanged since the day the distillery was founded in 1825 and is only just capable of producing commercial quantities. Only 12 casks of whisky are produced a week, making Edradour single malt a rare pleasure for a fortunate few.

 Edradour was acquired in 1982 by drinks giant Pernod Ricard. Following the acquisition, three quarters of the distillery's yield was initially used in the production of blended whiskies, notably including 'House of Lords' and the auspiciously named 'King's Ransom'. It was not until Signatory acquired the distillery in 2002, that Edradour concentrated its efforts, almost solely, on producing single malts.

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