The Diageo annual collection explores unusual age points, experimental maturation techniques
Created by Diageo master blender Dr. Craig Wilson, the whiskies tend to be experiments in flavor, bringing out unusual profiles that are not often associated with the distillery the whiskies are sourced from.
This year, we welcome to the line-up the first ever release finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks. Like the 2019 releases the “Rare by Nature” theme highlights the extraordinary nature that surrounds each distillery.
Below are 4 of these special releases, comprising of 8 in total.
Sign up for the stock-alerts for when these rare whiskies arrive into stock:
What do we know about this iconic distillery? Port Ellen hugs the coastline on the revered isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, this distillery has achieved legendary status amongst connoisseurs in the know with whiskies that are among the most sought after, with the magic and mystique growing with age since the distillery’s closure in 1983. Plans are now in place and work has started on rebuilding a brand new distillery to re-open in 2021.
The stocks from Port Ellen before closure in 1983 are limited in quantity and highly revered by the whisky experts as they improve with age. Special releases of these stocks offer a unique opportunity to own a part of Port Ellen’s history. There are only 1380 bottles available of the 9 Rogue Casks release which makes it both the oldest and the most limited public release from the distillery.
Here at House of Malt towers, we do love a good Port Ellen, and being the oldest ever release from this iconic distillery we are very excited to try this one, aged whisky being ‘better’ is something that is not always the case – however Port Ellen ages incredibly well, and we think that this will be the best Port Ellen yet. Not a cheap bottle by any stretch, but enthusiasts and collectors will be fighting for this one.
House of Malt are taking pre-orders on this special release now, link below:
Tasting notes from Port Ellen are:
Nose: Delicate, grassy/herbal, burnt tangerine skin, very mild smoke at cask strength, opens up a little with the addition of water, crème caramel/roasted coffee, red fruit compote, ripe peach skin.
Palate: Much more pronounced bonfire smoke, pipe tobacco, leather, wood spice.
It’s open season for influenza and us mere mortals are easy pickings! We know this time of year well. We sit anxiously at our desks, playing Russian roulette with our colleagues as to who will be struck down with Sue from accounting’s lurgy next!
For once, science has brought us some good tidings that proves it’s not all doom and gloom. Whisky my friends, is good for you! It is your ally in this winter war against the sniffles. For the cure-less common cold whisky may in fact lessen the symptoms. We’re looking at you Hot Toddy! HT, the classic winter warmer of whisky, honey, lemon and hot water that your great Aunt swears by! Where the hot water lessens nasal congestion, the alcohol itself dilates the blood vessels allowing your mucus membranes to fight off the infection! WOAH!
It got us thinking…why stop at a hot toddy? We may not be dr’s here at HOM but we do know our whiskies so using the principles listed above, here are our suggestions to ease your seasonal ailments!
Arran Gold Latte
Cream liqueur and steamed milk meld seamlessly together with dark, rich espresso cutting through the sweetness. The caffeine in the coffee also has pain killing properties that will directly target a head cold and clear the fog a little.
This one has both vitamins to get you back to fighting strength and ginger, a natural cure for stomach woes. Take equal parts Apple Juice and Ginger Ale and bring to a simmer, add a couple of cloves and a stick of cinnamon. Pour into your favourite mug, jar or goblet of fire and add a generous shot of Bourbon. Garnish with an orange slice for yet more vitamin goodness.
As the unspeakably fast approaching, unmentionable festive period of gift giving dawns upon us we have been stocking up on goodies to give to loved ones or to bequeath to oneself to simply take the edge off of the coming excitement!
Have you met David? Hailing from the rugged landscapes of Tuscany this handsome chap is not just a pretty face. The cleanest, most crisp gin to grace the shelves of House Of Malt it boasts prominent notes of juniper, coriander and sweet orange peel. It was created with a “Thirst of Magnificence” in mind and we happen to think it achieved this quite nicely. Ideal for the gin aficionado in your life that you’re looking to impress! https://www.houseofmalt.co.uk/product/gin-david-luxury-gin/
Finally, from Kilchoman comes a gift that any smoke show whisky fan will delight in, Kilchoman Machir Bay & Sanaig 20cl Gift Pack. Embodying the best of both worlds we have Sanaig aged in both bourbon and sherry casks with hints of smokey plum, butterscotch and dried fruit and Machir Bay championing the sweet peatiness the distillery is renowned for. https://www.houseofmalt.co.uk/product/kilchoman-machir-bay-sanaig-20cl-gift-pack/
Here at House of Malt we are
partial to the belief that every season is Whisky season. However, as the
greens turn to amber’s and gold and we’re greeted by the old familiar nip of
the cold, as the nights grow longer and darker, we find that to resist one’s
favourite dram becomes that much harder.
Seeing as we are spoilt for choice here in the whisky shop of wonder’s we thought that it was only fair that we share with you what is warming our cockles on these mild Autumn nights. From single malt to single grain, form Scotland to Japan we have a dram for every budget and every pallet.
Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 13 Year Old Single Cask Grain Whisky
Arran 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (2019 release)
We’ve been making all the googley
eyes at Arran 10’s spectacular re-brand of late and it would be rude not to
revisit their core staple. Herbaceous on the nose channelling the plush, green
fields of Arran, this easy drinking single malt is reminiscent of sweet
cheesecake base and rich apple sauce. A slight bitterness on the end but it’s
so damn good looking we forgive it!https://www.houseofmalt.co.uk/product/isle-of-arran-10-year-old-single-malt-whisky/
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Blended Whisky
Thanks to the fresh drop of Hibiki
Harmony at the shop we’ve been obliged once more to indulge in the treat from
the East. This is a honeyed berry bomb on the nose and the pallet kicks in with
an irresistible, buttery, sticky toffee pudding before giving way to a peppery,
oak abundant finish. Sweet
and fragrant and extremely moreish. This blend takes whiskey from the Yamazaki and
Hakushu distilleries, as well as grain whisky from the Chita distillery. 5
different cask types were used but we’ll
see if you can guess them?https://www.houseofmalt.co.uk/product/hibiki-japanese-harmony/
Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Limited Edition
Setting phasers to stun for our
final pick we are lucky to have in our possession the exclusive Brora 40-Year-old
that was limited to a bottling of just 1,819 bottles from their 1978 Hogsheads.
At 49.2% abv we have wax
and leather intertwine seamlessly in this seductively smooth, powerful and
darkly sweet whisky. With a slight tease of Tobacco and reek at the end, this
is a rich delicacy for the coming winter months.https://www.houseofmalt.co.uk/product/brora40yearold200/