With the seemingly insatiable appetite for aged stock of single malt these days, prices of mature bonded stock have risen considerably – especially for those blue chip distilleries and names everyone wants. Those lucky or smart enough to buy some casks in the 1990s or earlier when they were – by today’s standards – astonishingly cheap (one day I’ll tell you the story about the 1965 hogshead of Lagavulin that someone thought was too expensive at £250 in 1990) are now reaping hitherto unimagined rewards.
Perhaps the most glaring example of this is the price now paid for privately owned casks of Macallan. Most are traded privately by brokers, bottlers and individuals for reportedly serious sums in the upper end of the five figure range. So, it’s rare that one, let alone two, mature casks of Macallan make it into a single auction. Auctioning casks is not something we’ve gone out of our way to do here at Whisky Online, but it’s always exciting when one turns up. So, needless to say, we were pretty thrilled to have a pair of 1993 Macallan hogsheads.
However, there’s always an element of risk involved in buying these kinds of casks if you aren’t able to check the liquid yourself. So, with this in mind, we thought we’d offer some tasting notes from the samples drawn at the time of the casks most recent gauging in April 2017 and sent to us by the vendor.
Macallan 1993. Cask 4130. Hogshead. 55.6%.
Nose: It’s a fresh and pretty classical, ‘naked’ style Macallan. Biscuit, varnished wood, a plush assortment of green fruits and even something tropical like a little passionfruit. Plenty typical notes of cereals, muesli – it’s quite savoury in fact – and a little green fruit compote. With water: becomes more mineral and gravelly. Notes of paprika and freshly ground white pepper. Again more very elegant tropical fruit notes linger in the back. Quite an intriguing nose for a Macallan – but the natural weight and heft of the distillate shines through well.
Palate: A little hot on delivery but gives way nicely to tobacco leaf, gingerbread and muscovado sugar. Also some nice leathery notes follow along with a pleasant leafiness. I suspect this is a refill sherry hogshead. It’s also quite diverse from the nose but in a pleasantly surprising way, the sherry components were not so evident on the nose. With water: more spicy with water along with added notes of treacle, plum wine and a little camphor as well. Again quite sturdy, classical Macallan.
Finish: Good length. Medium sweetness from the residual sherry influence along with some nutty and earthy notes which lift the whole thing nicely. Good balance between sweet and savoury throughout.
Comments: This is a quality Macallan. In my opinion, it would benefit from approximately another 5 years ageing. Although it is already of good character with some lovely idiosyncrasies such as these wee tropical touches on the nose and the more sherry-driven palate.
Macallan 1993. Cask 4131. Refill sherry hogshead. 53.3%.
Nose: Pow! Now this is Macallan! Beautifully resinous, mineral and nervous sherry. Ridden with nuts, wet earth, wax jackets, dundee cake, treacle and various dark fruit compotes. A wonderful throwback to style of Macallan that’s long disappeared from most contemporary bottlings. It feels like you could be nosing an old Anniversary Malt from the early 2000s. Goes on with some green fruit, black pepper, a little graphite perhaps – some dried mushrooms. With water: broader and more earthy with a beautiful and gentle streak of something medicinal like gentian. Some green peppercorns, aged pinot noir and furniture oil. Quite complex and compelling.
Palate: A wonderful continuation of the nose. Many dark fruits: dates, fig jam, damsons, sultanas and raisins stewed in cognac. Pepper, black tea, molasses, a touch of old rum and some old Vin Juane wine and walnut oil. Many classical flavours such as aged Balsamico and rancio all make appearances as well. With water: again its earthier and drier. The sherry is a little more ‘free and easy’ not quite as taught and nervous as to begin with. More notes of various red and dark fruit jams, some coal hearth notes and more chewy walnut notes.
Finish: Long, earthy, nicely drying, herbal and with resurgent notes of old balsamico, camphor and a little rancio.
Comments: An excellent and truly classical Macallan in the way the sherry and distillate integrate beautifully and with great deft and balance. This one you could bottle straight away or leave for perhaps another 2-3 years. But my feeling is that this one is really approaching its zenith.
Auction Ends Wednesday 5th July from 8 pm.
Any further queries please do not hesitate to ask.
Call: 01253 620 376 | Mobile: 07767 22 22 00 | Email: auctions@whisky-online.
Laphroaig’s award-winning #OpinionsWelcomeTM
campaign is back for another year and bolder than ever.
Celebrating the opinions of whisky drinkers around the world,
the heavily peated Islay single malt is challenging fans to relive
their first time trying Laphroaig® to be in with the chance of
winning a one-of-a-kind artwork personalised to their opinion.
Laphroaig® has never shied away from fan’s reactions to its divisive liquid and
this year’s competition is no different. From 3 July 2017, Laphroaig® will offer
consumers the chance to publically share the first time they tried Laphroaig on
the ‘Opinions Wall’, whether seasoned fans or debut tasters. So whether you
think our inimitable liquid is like having your “tongue pinched by a briney
crab” or tastes “smokier than Darth Vader’s funeral pyre”, get sipping!
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Like most peated malts, Laphroaig® is for many a challenging whisky, its
varying levels of smoky intensity rarely failing to illicit a powerful reaction.
Indeed, out of all the Islay peated malts, Laphroaig® is the one that gets the
most extreme reactions. It’s a complex beast, and as such has always divided
opinion. You love it or you hate it – you are rarely indifferent and you’ll
always remember your first time. Championing this unforgettable experience, Laphroaig® is encouraging consumers to demonstrate the striking range of
flavourful idiosyncrasies they experienced on their initial tasting experience by offering a space to say what they like about a given expression. Fans become their opinion’s designer, using various design templates on the website to give extra voice
to their opinion. To be in with the chance of winning your very own personalised artwork, simply visit the #OpinionsWelcome™ website (www.Laphroaig.com/Opinions) and enter your opinion. Laphroaig® will commission up and coming typographers and
calligraphers to turn a selection of the best opinions each week into a unique piece of artwork that will be sent to the winners.
As well as giving voice to the public’s opinion via the printed word, the #OpinionsWelcome™ site has also begun to
build a collection of film. Laphroaig® will film the making of 1-2 artworks per week, creating a mini film saluting the best
opinions. The campaign will also see fan’s feedback immortalised outdoors, in magazines, and on banner ads across the
world, as well as being supported by on-trade tastings.
TRADE PRESS RELEASE MAY 2017
Notes to editors:
Laphroaig ® press information:
For more information or images contact the Laphroaig® press office:
Laphroaig@ldrlondon.com | +44 207 851 6629
#OpinionsWelcome™ is a campaign that embraces the divisive tasting profile of Laphroaig® and champions the offbeat,
peculiar and individual way the Single Malt whisky is described and revered by those who love it…or not. Visit
www.laphroaig.com/opinions to find out more.
ABOUT LAPHROAIG ®
Laphroaig® is one of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with
the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns.
People experience whisky in very different ways. It’s what makes us human and what makes Laphroaig® so special. The
award-winning heavily peated Single Malt Scotch whisky has been dividing opinions since 1815. With its pungent, earthy
aroma of peat smoke, the sweet nuttiness of the barley and the heathery perfume of the Kilbride stream, Laphroaig® is an
unapologetically bold and rich and Single Malt. It’s this complex and sometimes polarising range of flavours that has
garnered a loyal and passionate following of whisky enthusiasts and continues to divide opinions around the world.
About Beam Suntory Inc.
As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the
World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and
Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob
Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies,
Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form
a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for
Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more
information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com
With summer very much underway, the exceptional array of hotels, experiences and of course whisky distilleries Scotland has to offer is truly remarkable. As tourism and of course whisky play such a pivotal role in Scotland’s economy, it is easy to see why expectations and standards are naturally high and quality remains at the heart of what those in these industries strive to deliver. Bearing this in mind, there’s one hotel which most certainly delivers on both fronts. The Sligachan Hotel on the Isle of Skye is a truly exceptional example of Scotland’s hospitality at its very best.
The dramatic and inspiring setting enjoyed by The Sligachan Hotel has been admired by many for generations. Nestled amongst the Red and Black Cuillins, with the sparkling waters of Loch Sligachan to it’s front, the hotel has served mountaineers, walkers and lovers of the wild Highland scenery since 1830. Not only a great spot for climbers, the Hotel is located at an important crossroads in the centre of the Island, offering a great opportunity to maximise sightseeing on Skye.
Relax in front of the open fire and enjoy a rare malt in Mackenzies Bar, or sit back in Collie’s Lounge and admire the unparalleled views of the surrounding scenery from the curved picture window. Meals prepared using the finest locally sourced produce can be enjoyed in the Harta Restaurant or an informal meal can be had in the adjoining Seumas’ Bar. Should the hotel’s history be of interest, there is a small climbing museum with guest information dating back to the 1800’s.
The Hotel was constructed in it’s current location in 1830. It quickly became a mecca for gentleman climbers who recognised the unique and challenging qualities of the Cuillin. Purchased by the Campbell family in 1913, the hotel has been passed down through the decades and is now being run by the 4th generation. To maintain the historic charm of the building whilst providing real Highland hospitality is a strong objective for the Sligachan Hotel team who hope to provide you with a memorable stay in a truly memorable location.
By Hans Offringa
UK PUBLICATION DATE: 13 June 2017
Hardback ISBN: 9781579657512 PRICE: £17. 99
“This book is a must for all lovers of whisky.”
—Charles MacLean, author and founding editor of Whisky Magazine
A FIELD GUIDE TO WHISKY (Artisan, £17.99) is a one-stop guide with hundreds of insider tips, lists, trivia and more for the whisky connoisseur. Written by Hans Offringa, an internationally renowned whisky expert, this handsome hardback book is the perfect gift for whisky lovers containing everything they need to know about their favourite spirit.
▪ What are the basic ingredients in all whiskies?
▪ How is whisky made?
▪ What is the difference between malt, scotch, bourbon and rye whiskies?
▪ How does it get its flavour? ▪ Which big name brands truly deserve their reputation?
▪ What are the current whisky trends around the world?
▪ And who was Jack Daniel anyway?
This abundance of information is condensed into 323 short entries covering basic whisky literacy, production methods, consumption tips, trends, trivia, geographical maps and lists of distilleries, whisky trails, bars, hotels, and festivals by an industry insider. Illustrated with 230 colour photographs and beautifully bound, A FIELD GUIDE TO WHISKY will make an expert out of anyone.
About the Author
Hans Offringa holds many titles in the whisky world: Patron of the Whisky Festival Northern Netherlands, Honorary Scotsman, Honorary Member of the Caledonian Society of Charleston (SC), Kentucky Colonel and Keeper of the Quaich. He is also the contributing editor for Europe for Whisky Magazine and a lecturer at the International Whisky School in the Netherlands. Offringa and his wife, Becky Lovett Offringa, are known as The Whisky Couple, and have been judges at the Dutch Whisky Awards since its inception.
Hans Offringa is available for interview and commissioned articles. He is taking part
in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 27-29 April inclusive.
UK PRESS CONTACT | CLAIRE BOWLES PUBLICITY | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Court, Ashley, Market Harborough, LE16 8HF | 01858 565800 | clairebowlespr.co.uk
WORKMAN PUBLISHING | ARTISAN | ALGONQUIN BOOKS
225 Varick Street, New York, New York 10014 | 212-254-5900 | workman.com
FATHER’S DAY WHISKY WISH LIST
Whisky is a popular choice for Dads across the country on Father’s Day, and whether they’re new to the “water of life” or they’re a devoted fan there’s definitely something for everyone. Take a look at our wish list of award-winning whiskies, to give you inspiration for the perfect gift this Father’s Day.
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old
For something new to treat your dad with, The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old is exclusively sherry seasoned and delivers a distinct American oak style, reflecting a perfect harmony of flavours and natural colour. The delicate flavour of American oak – vanilla, citrus and light oak – rises in prominence as the traditional Macallan character of rich fruit, sherry and wood spice affords a familiar back drop. This is a flavour combination which is guaranteed until the very last drop. The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old is available in specialist whisky retailers including The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt (RRP £55). www.themacallan.com
The Macallan Gold
Gift a whisky to treasure with the first expression in The 1824 Series, The Macallan Gold. Showcasing the single malt’s natural colour, The Macallan Gold has notes of vanilla followed by dark chocolate, with lingering floral and light oak notes. The Macallan Gold is available in multiple retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons (RRP £38). www.themacallan.com
Highland Park 12 Year Old
Highland Park 12 Year Old, the Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul, is the ideal gift for fans of flavour, and now comes in a new, ornately embossed bottle and carton. This single malt is at the heart of Highland Park’s core range and is a rich and well-balanced whisky boasting a honey sweetness, followed by fruity notes with a hint of gentle smoke. Highland Park 12 Year Old is available at multiple retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op (RRP £35). www.highlandpark.co.uk
Highland Park 18 Year Old
For the whisky aficionado, Highland Park 18 Year Old is an ideal gift. Named “Best Spirit in the World” by US spirits writer F. Paul Pacult, this single malt is a masterclass of balance, complexity and refinement. Displaying characteristic toffee sweetness with a full smoky finish it is a whisky that reveals more layers with every glass you enjoy. Highland Park 18 Year Old is available in all good whisky specialists including www.masterofmalt.com and www.thewhiskyexhange.com (RRP £99). www.highlandpark.co.uk
The Macallan Rare Cask
Aged exclusively in sherry oak casks, The Macallan Rare Cask sees soft notes of opulent vanilla and raisin pique the nose, giving way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon, and orange. A single malt produced through meticulous dedication to wood – with some of the casks used to age the whisky from sherry bodegas no longer in existence – it is the perfect gift for those who are fans of craftsmanship and quality. The Macallan Rare Cask is available in select whisky retailers including The Whisky Shop and Harrods (RRP £200). www.themacallan.com
Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of Maxxium UK.
For further information or images, please contact Gabrielle Roscamp at The BIG Partnership:
0131 557 5252 / Gabrielle.Roscamp@bigpartnership.co.uk
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