Due to the sale of alcohol on our site, we are required to ensure our customers are of legal age to purchase whisky sold in Scotland.
Persons who wish to purchase our whisky must be 18 or older. By entering our site, you agree to this condition.
If you are not over the age of 18, we are sorry but you'll have to wait a little bit longer to taste our exquisite scotch.
12yo Linkwood 87/2006, 60.2?V, Bourbon Hogshead [12 bottles] @ £89.99
T)Heather honey, sponge and custard. Bottle yield 151
11yo Tamdhu 6833/2007, 61.6?V Bourbon Hogshead [11 bottles] @ £97.25
T)Vanilla ice cream, toffee and baked bread. Bottle yield 159
18yo Deanston 1858/2000 Bourbon Hogshead [SOLD OUT]. £132
T) crème caramel, runny honey and double cream. Bottle yield 39
10yo Glen Moray 5585A/2008 Bourbon Hogshead [SOLD OUT] £59.00
T) Apricot marmalade, lemon meringues and drizzly honey. Bottle Yield 26
An Octave is a 50 litre small cask that provides an intense wood and spirit marriage. The spirit for the releases were taken from the bourbon casks
10yo Glen Moray 5585A/2008, 54.8?V, Pedro Ximenez Octave [11 bottles] @ £109.49
T)Christmas cake, cloves and sweet cream. Bottle yield - 62
18yo Deanston 1858A/2000, 54.7?V Pedro Ximenez Octave [9 bottles] @ £182.96
T) Cloves, orange peel and cinnamon bun. Bottle yield – 60
12yo Linkwood 87A/2006, 58.5?V, Pedro Ximenez Octave [13 bottles] @£116.51
T) Smoky, sweet brandy and meaty. Bottle yield - 64
11yo Tamdhu 6833A/2007, 60?V Pedro Ximenez Octave [1 bottle] £138.00
T)Cloves, tangerine and chi tea. Bottle yield - 59
This will be our first year showcasing of Lady of the Glen at the National Whisky Festival, so with that in mind we have a number of releases and left-over releases which will be available for sampling at this festival.
Bourbon Cask Releases
Sherry Cask Releases
We have some stock that is only available for sampling on the day. These are sold out releases from historic outruns. These are available on request and will not be on the table.
We look forward to seeing you on the day!
Thinking about how to gift Whisky, why not try out gift sets?
Our gift sets include the bottle of your choice presented in our oak box with a set of Glencairn tasting glasses.
Glencairn glasses are an excellent accompaniment to any Whisky tasting because their bell shape allows for complex Whisky aromas to be trapped in the glass making them ideal for nosing and sipping. They also have the added benefit that if the glass tips over all of the spirit doesn't splash out!
To get our gift sets just tick the gift set box when selecting your bottle from our shop
At this time of year choosing the right whisky as a gift for a friend and loved one can be a difficult decision, so here are some hints and tips to help guide you.
First things first, you need to decide what type of whisky you are buying.
For the person who likes whisky and is possibly just starting to appreciate it.
For the whisky connoisseur who knows their Pedro Ximenez cask from their Bourbon barrel and will enjoy a wee dram of it every now and again.
The collector is unlikely to drink it, or if they do perhaps they will buy two bottles: one for savouring and one for their collection.
When selecting a whisky for drinking, all that should matter is the taste! As a rough guide, think about flavours the person enjoys and match those to the tasting notes on the bottle.
To gain a better knowledge of how a whisky will taste (aside from reading the tasting notes) you might like to consider the cask the whisky was matured in, the region it comes from and its age. To delve further, read on!
As a general rule of thumb, the cask a whisky is matured in is responsible for 50-80% of the bottled whisky’s flavour. So understanding what flavours are associated with different casks is important.
These are the most common casks out there for the maturation of whisky. Previously containing American bourbon like Jack Daniels (even though technically it’s a sour mash!), Jim Beam and others, the casks can no longer be used for the maturation of bourbon due to legal restrictions so they’re often used for the maturation of whisky. You can expect whisky aged in a bourbon cask to have flavours associated with vanilla, fudge, honey, different nuts like hazelnuts and almonds and even coconut. The Lady of the Glen Tullibardine Vintage 2006 cask #617 (£90) is a fully-matured bourbon cask malt that explodes with sweet bourbon flavours like vanilla fudge and white chocolate.
Sherry casks are becoming much rarer and harder to find. Previously used for varieties of sherry like Fino, Oloroso and Amontillado among others from Europe, with these casks you can expect a heavier and richer range of flavours. Hints of sweeter bourbon, toffee, winter berries, cherries, raisins and spices like ginger will be more prevalent. The Lady of the Glen Secret Islay Vintage 2003 cask #1828 (£145) or the Secret Islay Vintage 2002 cask #2905 (£100) are excellent examples of Olorsso matured Sherry Butt Whiskies.
Rum casks can produce a more fruity whisky with hints of vanilla, as well as notes of spices like pepper and paprika, and a buttery texture.
Expect hints of red berry fruits from a port cask. We would always assume that any cask described as having a 'port finish' is from a ruby port cask, which is different from tawny port.
Tawny port casks
This is port that has been allowed to mature longer in the cask (over 3 years) compared to ruby port. You can expect more caramel, toffee and nut flavours.
Sweet wine casks
Sweet wine casks, such as ex-Marsala wine casks from Sicily, can add a sweetness and a nutty flavour to a whisky as well as a more glazed and rich colour.
Red and white wine casks
The flavours imparted by these casks will be reflective of their wine characters. Red wine will have some dark fruit characters whilst white wine (usually Chardonnay) will have a strong wine and vanilla character.
If you really want to delve deeper into the importance a cask plays in the flavour of a whisky, you might like to consider…
How often the cask has been used
If the whisky is from a cask that is a first fill, that means it’s the first time it has been used for whisky since its original use. Naturally that means a first-fill cask will have more to offer and will influence the whisky more than when it’s used the second or third time. Each time the influence will be reduced and you’ll be left with less character in the whisky.
Most whisky is matured in 225 litre Hogsheads (typically bourbon) or 500 litre Butts (sherry). These large casks have the disadvantage of providing less exposure to wood and a less intense flavour. That’s why casks are carefully matured for years to extract as much flavour as possible from the oak. A quarter cask, or octave, might only contain 50 litres, therefore provide 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. These casks can also pop, and can be very expensive. And because they have more extraction, they have greater evaporation rate so the alcohol level drops quicker and the yield is lower.
Double wood matured or wood finished
Finishing in casks is a process of moving the whisky from one cask to another so that it can take on some of the flavours associated with that second or third cask. Typically a whisky will have spent the majority of its life maturing in a bourbon cask, taking on all those flavours, and will then be finished for as little as 3 months in a sherry cask to draw some of those sherried characteristics. This is where you will see phrases like 'Finished in Sherry' or 'Finished in Port'.
REGION / LOCATION
To be honest region doesn't hold a lot of water these days, but the industry does still categorise itself this way and it’s useful to be aware of the typical flavours you can expect from a region. But this is in no way gospel because Speyside whiskies can be peaty and Islay casks can be unpeated. The Lady of the Glen Ardmore Vintage 2009 cask #2615b (£80) is an example of a full-bodied peated whisky and it is from the Highlands.
For the collector, the location can be very important because the prize whisky for a collector is one from a closed distillery that no longer produces whisky.
Floral with honey and heather but the Island distilleries have a more coastal and salty flavour profile.
Lush with fruits of apple and pear as well as honey, nuts and spice.
Lighter-bodied with more sweetness from grassy notes.
Salty with similarities to Islay’s peat and depth.
Coastal, salty and that famous peated smoke.
MATURATION OR AGE
Whisky will only mature in the oak cask. Once it’s removed, its flavour has settled. However, it must remain in the cask for at least three years to be called whisky. Generally the older the whisky, the more expensive it is and this mainly due to age being an indication of its rarity. T
The alcohol strength which dictates its duty value reduces as the whisky matures, and the longer a whisky matures in the cask, the more strength will be lost through evaporation (the angel’s share). So a 26-year-old cask should contain fewer bottles of whisky than a 12-year-old cask. It’s this rarity that adds value to the bottles, attracting the attention of the collector or connoisseur.
The longer a whisky matures in the cask, the richer and more intense the flavour will be. Most whisky for drinking is bottled between 12 to 18 years old because this is when it’s believed to have had enough exposure. Leaving it longer risks the wood overpowering the spirit. Ultimately the blender, the independent bottler or the owner of the cask will decide through regular sampling when they feel the whisky is ready.
Our oldest Whisky for sale is a 1989 Bunnabhain (£252), and despite the fact that the cask held 225 litres when filled, the yield was only 204 bottles!
If you’re looking for an exceptionally unique whisky then independent bottling or single cask releases might be exactly what you are looking for.
Independent bottlers like us, do not using vatting, our releases are typically cask strength, they’re non-chill-filtered and have no added colouring.
Vatting involves combining multiple casks to create the distillery’s own releases i.e. their traditional 18 year old, and allows them to present a consistent taste to lots of bottles.
Independent bottling is all about individual casks because every single cask is unique. The flavours can vary for a whisky distilled at the same time, then matured in similar casks for the same amount time because of where they were placed in the warehouse, or due of the micro-climate in the warehouse. For example, casks at the top of the racks are exposed to more heat, and casks closer to the walls are exposed to colder climates.
Independent bottlers like Lady of the Glen will also produce releases so that are unique, and different from the distillery that produced it. So although the DNA of the whisky is recognisable, the finished article will be very different due of the independent bottler's skill, choice of cask and management of the spirit.
Each and every one of our bottles are single-cask releases. Take a look at our shop.
“Come in! And know me better, man!” For now, it is the time to learn about cask strength whisky!
Definition of cask strength: when a producer has not diluted the whisky after maturation.
Over the second weekend of November, Lady of the Glen was showcased simultaneously at the Glasgow Whisky Festival and at the Aschaffenburg Whisky festival; two thoroughly enjoyable events. Part of the delight of attending these festivals are the questions that visitors ask us. Here are two questions that are both linked to our main theme today of cask strength.
“This can't be cask strength, it's too low, it's 43.2% ABV” This was in reference to the Girvan vintage 1991 (which is now sold out).
“64.9% ABV for a 16-year-old whisky seems a bit too high!?” This was in reference to the Port Charlotte vintage 2002 (which is now sold out. For a full list of the Lady of the Glen range of whiskies take a look at the shop.)
I also had someone recently pontificate why I hadn't kept a whisky longer in the cask and this can also be answered by understanding cask strength and bottling.
Why do it?
Bottling at cask strength doesn't make a whole lot of business sense. If you were to bottle a cask and then reduce it's ABV (alcohol by volume) down to say 46% or even 43% by adding water you could increase the yield of the cask. This would allow you to sell more bottles and with that increase the profit overall, the customer would get a cheaper bottle too because they would save money on the duty tax! However, in independent bottling there is a desire for transparency and authenticity; people want to taste the cask in all of its undiluted glory, in its most natural state.
By contrast, adding water prior to maturation doesn't impact the definition at all. In fact, most of Scotland's distilleries reduce their new spirit by adding water prior to filling them into casks and right after they have been distilled. All the distillery's casks will be filled to the same strength because if it's too high it can damage the oak and they can fill more casks by reducing alcohol while increasing the bulk spirit. Interestingly if you fill a cask at a relatively high strength, based on experience, it retains a higher strength in comparison to filling at a lower strength which lowers quicker. The wood will also have an impact, so smaller sized casks increase evaporation and the ABV drops quicker. While cooler climates, such as Scotland's, cause ABV to drop more slowly.
In answer to the question “64.9% ABV for a 16-year-old whisky seems a bit too high!”, this is because some distilleries fill their casks at 71-73%. When this Port Charlotte was distilled, Bruichladdich filled at roughly 71%-73% - big thanks to Jim McEwan!
In response to “This can't be cask strength, it's too low, it's 43.2% ABV” - it is still cask strength! Even though Wikipedia can dismissively say that cask strength is typically in the range of 58-66% this is not a fair, accurate or true; cask strength is what the strength is after the spirit has left the oak cask and goes into the glass bottle, no matter how low it is. In this particular case, the reason that the ABV was low was because the whisky was 26 years old! In conjunction with this, the majority of the cask had already been bottled for another purpose, so another reason ABV drops is when there is only a small amount of spirit in the cask or the cask is only half full, the ABV drops quicker.
This, in turn, answers the last question “why hadn't I (Lady of the Glen) kept a whisky longer in the cask?” So as the cask was already half empty and at 43.2% that means the spirit can be unpredictable and drop below 40% sharply. If the spirit drops below 40%, it's like a trap door, it cannot be called whisky any more so the value of it practically disappears. Another interesting note of experience in regards bottling of older spirit is that it can be very vulnerable. Actual bottling of low ABV spirit can be dangerous as it can sometimes drop below 40% during bottling, as I found out with a 1963 Carsebridge. In regard to the 43.2% whisky, I bottled it because I liked it and I thought it tasted good. If I didn’t bottle it, I could have sold it for blending.
The vulnerability of older spirit can be best illustrated through the testing of ABV. When a warehouse reads the ABV for a whisky they will read the 'apparent' ABV using a little machine in the warehouse. While a scientific assessment of ABV will read 'actual' ABV – most of the time with older whiskies, or whiskies that have used colouring, these are different as the scientific assessment measures through spirit thickness and solids in the spirit. Where there are differences, the warehouse will take a scientific assessment as it will be necessary for the export documents. This is another reason why independent bottlers don't fiddle about with colouring and cask strength because the scientific assessments are somewhat pricey!