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White Oak Akashi
Lessons in the Dram
Starting 1st April 2021, the term “Japanese whisky” refers to only whiskies made in Japan. It means that distilleries have to source raw ingredients from the country itself. Distilleries must also carry out the entire whisky-making process, from fermentation right down to bottling, in Japan. Finally, the whiskies must be aged for a minimum of three years.
We are not joking, and neither are the Japanese!
It’s like indulging in fruity pastries but in liquid form. Akashi conjures up memories of your favourite bakery in town. This Japanese whisky hits the palate just right with a good balance of a smooth body and unique character. A light, enjoyable blend that’s aged in mixed ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
Evokes the smell of freshly baked buttery hot cross buns, topped with chocolate peanuts, some lemongrass, and a faint trail of spicy rye grain.
A yummy treat of cherry Bakewells and walnut loaf, or sweet cereals sprinkled with nutmeg and black pepper, or both!
Offers a balanced medium finish. Ends with the sweet and fruity notes of dried apricot and a hint of oatcake.
Arran Barrel Reserve
Lessons in the Dram
In January 1920, America passed a law that banned the manufacture, transport, and trade of liquor. The 18th Amendment, however, had a loophole: no statement said Americans couldn’t drink, so they did in their own private spaces.
With limited bottles of alcohol left, a panic broke out, and Americans began hoarding all the liquor they could get. The affluent bought out entire stores. Some even built wine caves to secure enough alcohol for a lifetime, should the law remain. It is known as the Prohibition Era—a time when we witness the true power of alcohol.
A dram that’s made to be consumed daily, and it succeeded! The dram wasn’t just a trophy for the eponymous Arran distillery. It was also a testament to Harold Currie’s whisky-making ability. Currie was once a senior director of Chivas (one of the big players) and believed he could beat them at their game. He scored big time with the Arran Single Malt—a winner by a margin.
Ol’ Currie was a fan of the Isle of Arran, and it was there he built this dream distillery in 1994, reviving a part of the Firth of Clyde that once sheltered over 50 thriving bootleg distilleries. 1994 was an exciting year but the construction of the Arran distillery had to be put on hold, not without good reason! Two golden eagles had built their nest on the site, and Currie waited until their eaglets became fledgelings. Decent move, Mr Currie. Truly a hero.
Fast forward to today, the Arran Barrel Reserve is an upgraded version of the signature Single Malt. Aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, this improved daily dram makes a delightful cocktail. But first, drink it neat; if not for yourself, then as a respect to the legendary Harold Currie.
Smells like a lovely day at the park with fresh grassy sweetness. On the picnic table are two slices of delicious fruit tarts: lemon and apple skin; and a packet of malt biscuits. Perfect for an afternoon tea.
It’s malty and sweet with vanilla fudge. There’s a curious taste of cinnamon cereal and a citrusy tang from green apples. A gentle sea breeze passes by, occasionally lifting the air.
Concludes with vanilla oak that’s rich in spices, coupled with a bowl of orchard fruits dipped in salted caramel.
Benriach The Twelve
Lessons in the Dram
As one of just two distilleries in Speyside that still practices traditional floor malting on site, Benriach will be releasing a new small batch and limited edition ‘Malting Season’ expression to celebrate and pay homage to this time-honoured practice.
The Twelve is a rich and smooth expression of Benriach Single Malt. Benriach spirit is three cask matured for at least twelve years in sherry casks, bourbon barrels and port casks. The whisky from each cask is then expertly married together to create a smooth, sherry-rich single malt, layered with baked fruit, maple honey and cocoa, perfectly balanced with a lingering sultana and spiced mocha finish. According to Dr. Rachel Barrie, The Twelve is a sherry rich maturation and layers of dark berry fruit that captures the flavours of Benriach in the autumn.
Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – Up to 12 Years – 2021
San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Rich maple honey, cocoa and baked forest fruit.
Maraschino cherry, baked orange and hazelnut, with a lingering sultana.
A spiced mocha, honey, dried fruit and mixed peels.