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I'm pleased to reveal that Lady of the Glen will feature in the Wide Day's music convention Whisky tasting.
Wide Day's create an environment for friendly socializing and relaxed business discussions for people interested in music. There is a growing consensus that their approach leads to more collaborations, working relationships and often friendship within the industry. To find out more about the convention please read their brochure here
Lady of the Glen will feature in Felipe Schrieberg's tasting on Saturday afternoon.
Felipe Schrieberg is the whisky blogger for Forbes.com and he recently founded the Rhythm and Booze Project (instagram.com/therhythmandboozeproject), which combines his passion for the water of life with live music, multimedia and special events.
Ahead of Felipe hosting the tasting for the Saturday delegates, which includes Lady of the Glen, Wide Day's asked him to compile the ideal musical accompaniment to a special selection of malts.
“I put together the playlist to last as long as drinking a glass of whisky, providing the perfect soundtrack to your chosen dram,” explains Felipe, who hopes to inspire people to follow suit and create compilations for their favourite nip. “There are infinite combinations of whisky and songs, so part of the joy is to come up with your own discoveries,” he adds. “Here are some to get you started.”
On the 23rd March Hannah Whisky Merchants was approved to join the SWA, a decision I was delighted with!
The SWA works to protect, promote and represent the Scotch Whisky Industry at home and overseas.
A single cask release of 1991 vintage Girvan Grain, A rare single cask release from the distillery founded in 1963 within the Scottish Lowlands. Our tasting revealed Ripe banana, sweet toffee and coffee.
Cask number 54459 only yielded 63 bottles at a natural cask strength of 43.20% (ABV) – so bottled just in time!
Founded in Speyside in 1971. Our Mannochmore release is a light bodied sweet spirit that has soaked in the lavish bourbon flavours from the first fill barrel. Distilled 2007 and bottled 2018. Enjoy Buttery walnut, drippy honey and apricot.
Cask number 13209 yielded 243 bottles at cask strength 61.3% (ABV).
Lastly, our soon to be regularly featured PX octave release. The Octave contained an 8 year old Whisky from a distillery on Islay. This heavily peated Whisky now tastes of Leather, brine and salted caramel.
The Octave could only fit 50 litres and so we managed to retain 59 bottles at natural cask strength 57.8% (ABV).
A distillery will produce thousands of litres of spirit which is filled into hundreds of oak casks of varying quality and type, no two casks are the same each are unique. These casks are then left in warehouses for maturation which again exposes the spirit to variances in temperatures and warehouse climates which influences the spirit and results in each cask containing a slightly different spirit. These variances are enhanced the longer the maturation. Typically 2% of the spirit is lost each year due to the Angel’s share/evaporation.
When it comes to bottling the distillery will vat the casks together to produce a vintage and a homogenous spirit, this will make up their typical 10 year old or 15 year old single Malt Whisky release, which are their casks matured for at least those number of years. This allows the distillery to release thousands of bottles that taste the same which makes production and marketing much cheaper and easier. The distillery may also add water to reduce the strength of the spirit to a more approachable 46% which also increases the bottle yield.
An independent bottler will acquire just one of these casks and release it, either after a longer maturation or after re-racking (changing the original cask that the Whisky was filled in) it’s really up to their discretion but it should reveal a unique spirit independent of the distillery’s own. However, a single cask will only have a few hundred bottles depending on the cask age and type, the older the cask the fewer bottles and an independent will more likely release their Whisky at cask strength over 50% which is the natural alcohol strength from the cask.
Casks are acquired through a variety different means for lots of different reasons perhaps the cask doesn’t suit the traditional recipe of the distillery or the distillery produced more casks than expected or a private seller acquired a cask as an investment which they now wish to sell.
The cask a Whisky is matured in is responsible for 50% to 80% of the bottled Whisky’s flavour.
The flavours you can expect from each type of cask are expressed below.
Bourbon Casks –Previously contents are American Bourbon Whiskies. The casks can no longer be used for the maturation of Bourbon due to legal restrictions so they have historically been used for the maturation of Whisky. You can expect Whisky aged in a bourbon cask to have tastes associated with Vanilla, fudge, honey, different nuts like hazelnuts and almonds and even coconut. Typically around 90 of Single Malt is matured in Bourbon casks.
Sherry Casks or Butts – Becoming much rarer and harder to find. Previously used for varieties of Sherry like Fino, Oloroso and Amontillado among others from Europe. With Sherry you would expect to get a heavier and richer range of flavours, common flavours include – slightly sweeter than bourbon, toffee, winter berries, cherry, raisins and spices like ginger will be more prevalent.
Rum – fruity, vanilla and buttery with spices like pepper and paprika
Port – similar to Sherry with different varieties from Tawny port to Ruby port with typical flavours of more red berry fruits and dark chocolate
Wine –Influenced by the style i.e. sweet wine, grape variety and region of growth but typical flavours are sweet, dried fruits and raisins
Other cask varieties include virgin Oak/clean barrels which have no previous contents and ex brandy barrels.
Refill Casks – A first fill cask refers to the first time it has been used for Whisky since it last contained the Bourbon or Sherry. Spirit in a first fill cask will extract more flavour from the cask and the spirit it previously contained compared to when it is used the second or third time because as the cask is used there is less and less flavour extracted until it becomes exhausted and of no use. A cask shouldn’t be used more than three times.
Size of Cask – The larger the cask the less exposure to wood and the less intense flavour. A quarter Cask/Octave for instance provides lots of spirit and wood contact and they are mainly used to give Whisky flavour quickly, however Whisky left too long in quarter cask can be overpowered by the wood.
Butts – will have previously contained a Sherry of some style and will contain around 500 litres of Whisky
Hogsheads - Bourbon casks are typically Hogsheads which can contain 200 litres of Whisky
Barrels – Usually used with Bourbons and can contain 128 to 200 litres of Whisky
Octaves – Small 50 litres barrels that provide extreme wood and spirit contact encouraging faster oak extraction and evaporation.
Finishing in casks/double wood matured or wood finished – a process of placing the Whisky from one cask into another so that the Whisky can take on some of the flavours associated with that second or third cask. It is a process used to make a spirit more unique or palatable.