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Whiskey

Ardbeg Auriverdes – A Game Of Two Halves

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

It’s that time of year again where whisky lovers the world over are eagerly anticipating the yearly Ardbeg Limited Edition release that coincides with Ardbeg Day, the global celebration of all things alcoholic, liquid and with Ardbeg stamped on the bottle! This years release, entitled Ardbeg Auirverdes, is on the 31st May and it seems the distillery have been caught up in World Cup fever.

Unless you have been living in a cave the last few years then you will know that this years World Cup is being held in Brazil (clearly the best conditions for the England team …..). It just so happens that Brazil’s very successful national team’s nickname is Auriverdes, auri for gold/yellow and verde for green. This handily works equally well for Ardbeg with their delicious golden liquid and trademark green bottle. Not one to be outdone by something as insignificant as the World Cup, Ardbeg are also running their own Peat Football Tournament this Summer.

The whisky follows the hugely popular 2013 Galileo release which won the title of ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ so expectations should be high for Auriverdes. The liquid has been matured in American oak casks with specially toasted cask lids which were made specifically for this release. The toasting technique has given the whisky a distinctive flavour profile with the lids producing a mocha coffee flavour at one end, flowing into creamy vanilla at the other. This is certainly no accident as Ardbeg are pitching Auriverdes (which is bottled at 49.9%) as a dram of two halves (yes, more football focused marketing!).

Official Ardbeg Auriverdes Tasting Notes

Nose: Tarry and herbal notes with hints of mocha.

Palate:  Coffee grounds pass to smoked root vegetables,  while maple-cured bacon collides with hot-smoked  salmon.

Finish:   A lingering, smoky vanilla note.

As an Ardbeg Embassy store, we will have Auriverdes for sale on Saturday the 31st March. It will only be available for sale to Ardbeg Committee Members who come into the store on that date (not online, sorry!). It is vital that you bring your membership number with you on the day, no excuses! You can sign up for Committee member ship here.

Any surplus bottles that are remaining after the weekend will go general sale on Monday 2nd June. It is possible to contact us directly and have your name placed onto a reserve list.

 


Two Dead Men Sell Whiskey

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

When dead men return from the great beyond to sell whiskey you know it must be good! Two famous men who championed Jack Daniels when they were alive have been pressed into service once again in order to sell some very rare and sought after Tennessee Whiskey; Jack Daniels 1954 Gold Medal and Jack Daniels Sinatra Select. As we have acquired  a limited number of these bottles, I thought I would take the time to explain the story behind them and what makes them that little bit extra special.

Jack Daniels 1954 Gold Medal

Jack Daniels 1954 Gold MedalThis special bottling commemorates the Brussels Belgium Star Of Excellence that Jack Daniels won in 1954 and the man who became a local hero because of it. A letter was sent to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg informing them of a whisky judging competition in Belgium. The job of sending the whiskey was given to Herb Fanning, the right hand man of the distillery’s boss’s son.

Herb was from simple country stock and had no appreciation of marketing finesse. He marched straight down to the production line and scooped up the first few bottles that he saw, sending them off to Belgium without a second thought. When word of this reached the marketing department, they were not impressed and asked Herb why he had not procured a special whisky to send to the competition. Herb was exasperated at the question and replied “Why all Jack Daniels is special!”

Herb’s future with the company looked bleak until a timely letter arrived congratulating the distillery on being awarded the Star Of Excellence. It was time for the hotshots in advertising to eat humble pie and they offered Herb the chance to star in an advert for the brand! He appeared in many such adverts over the years and became something of a local legend in Lynchburg and continued to have a very successful career at the company until he retired many years later.

This bottling celebrates Herb’s unshakeable faith in the brand and the honest outlook of the company’s employees in the Deep South. You can get your bottle of Jack Daniels 1954 here but hurry because there are less than a handful left!

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select

jack daniels sinatra selectWhilst Herb Fanning may only have been known to his local community (I had never heard of him before I researched the story), Frank Sinatra is a name that every single person in the world knows (near enough anyway!).

Sinatra was an avid consumer of Jack Daniels whiskey and it would always appear on stage with him throughout his career. He called it “the nectar of the gods” and favoured the traditional serve of ‘three rocks, two fingers and a splash of water.’ These days it’s pretty common for celebrities to endorse alcohol brands (see this Jim Beam article) or start their own but Frank was different – he never got paid a single penny by Jack Daniels!

It all started in the 40s when Jack Daniels was just a small local whiskey brand that no one outside of Tennessee had heard of. Sinatra and his friend Jackie Gleason were drinking in a bar when Frank asked Jackie to suggest a drink that would “get him smashed”. Jackie mentioned that JD would be a good drink to start with and Frank immediately fell in love with it. After that night, he was rarely seen without a glass or bottle of it nearby. He even took his favourite drink to his grave in 1998 as he was buried with a hip flask of the whiskey.

Due to Frank’s unparalleled success, his endorsement of Jack Daniels single-handedly raised the brand from a local commodity to America’s best selling whiskey. Again, remember that his recommendation was authentic and genuine, how many times do we see that today?

Listen to Frank and get your bottle of Jack Daniels Sinatra Select here.

 


From Kentucky To Hollywood – A Signatory Tale

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

There has been a flurry of activity at the Jim Beam distillery this month what with preparing for their first ever global advertising campaign and the release of Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old Small Batch, their first ever ultra premium spirit.

Lets take a look at the new bourbon first shall we? The 12 year old bourbon is a permanent addition to the Signature Craft line of products and sits alongside the Rare Spanish Brandy expression (sadly not available in the UK!). This small  batch production is new territory for Jim Beam and, I believe I’m correct in saying, the oldest bourbon they have ever released.

There has been a great interest in bourbon as of late in the UK, especially the small batch variety; look at the popularity of Four Roses Small Batch for example. This product is providing the same quality, hand crafted spirit as the other small batch products but has the advantage of coming from a trusted brand that we all recognise. This could provide a great entry point into the world of premium bourbon for individuals who, without the familiar branding, may have been too tentative to dip their toe into the water.

Evidence Of The Small Batch Process!

That’s not to say that the Signature Craft 12 Year Old Small Batch has no value to those with more experienced palates or broader horizons; this is an excellent whiskey that is robust enough to stand proudly shoulder to shoulder (or neck to neck) with any other small batch bourbon on the market today. Being the highest selling bourbon in the world, it is hard to imagine a small batch process  (in the true sense of the phrase at least) happening at the Jim Beam distillery. Don’t forget though that Jim Beam produce Knob Creek and other small batch bourbons at their Kentucky distillery, so don’t be too skeptical!

Across the board, Jim Beam creates a lighter style bourbon when compared to the heavy, overpowering flavours of their peers and the Signature Craft is no exception. The cult status of brands like Pappy Van Winkle and George T Stagg are testament to how popular big, bold bourbons have become. But, and it is a BIG BUT, you don’t always want to drink such high strength spirits and certain occasions (such as everyday drinking) demand a lighter touch. Jim Beams Signature Craft 12 Year Old Small Batch steps into this void and fills it admirably. It is also priced sensibly so you won’t have to sell a kidney to buy one and, more importantly (debatable?), you will actually find this available to purchase!

The dark colour denotes that the liquid has sat in Oak for some considerable time and Oaky notes are definitely present. However, this is beautifully entwined with  vanilla first and foremost, but also cinnamon, caramel and marzipan in the longer term. True to form, this is a light bourbon but is still full of flavour and has a moderate amount of heat that isn’t going to wrestle your throat down into your stomach. This is a perfect bourbon for regular drinking so keep your Pappy Van Winkle back for special occasions and save yourself the inconvenience of selling a kidney (it’s probably pickled anyway!).

Buy your Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old Small Batch Here

After the effort that has gone into creating that lovely whiskey, it would be a shame if no one knew about it wouldn’t it? Of course it would, so Jim Beam are launching their first ever global advertising campaign. Rather than head it up with a middle aged distiller talking about whisky, they have (probably sensibly) enlisted super star Mila Kunis to become the brands new spokeswoman and first lady.

The advert, entitled ‘Making History’, will hit UK screens on the 17th of March and will make its way to over a hundred markets in the following months. She also takes the starring role in the advertising campaigns on all of Jim Beams digital platforms.

Kevin George, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Beam Inc said that;

“Mila’s love of Bourbon, her appreciation for the authenticity of our brand, her warm personality and her global relevance to our Make History campaign make her the perfect partner.”

“Oh, and yea, sex sells”. (He didn’t say this, no lawsuits please!)

Ok, so I definitely made up that last line but I think we all know what he meant, Mr. Jim Beam wants to be Whiskey With Benefits!

Check out the videos below to see what all the fuss is about.



Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Whisky

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Great news for all you whisky aficionados out there, Hunter Laing and Company have released a new Old Malt Cask range to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of this iconic brand. As I’m sure you are aware, the Old Malt Cask range is created expressly for connoisseurs of the finest expressions of Single Malt Scotch Whisky and is one of the most trusted bottlers in the world. They release only the most noteworthy of whiskys that can be procured from the Scottish Islands, Highlands and Lowlands and this release is no exception!

True to form, Drinkfinder has managed to secure the entire Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary range (several times over in fact) for your consideration. Every bottle comes in a stunning presentation box that would sit pretty in any collectors cabinet. If you desire to drink these whiskys (and why not!), then you can rest assured that the precious liquid within has been bottled at exactly the right time and will provide the maximum drinking pleasure. For those of you who are looking for a smart investment, these bottles are extremely limited and highly collectable and will no doubt provide a healthy return given time.

Here is the complete product list from this extra special bottling. Simply click on the product you are interested in and you will be whisked off to a page containing more information and the option to purchase the whisky. This is obviously going to sell very quickly (one or two bottles have already disappeared!) so good luck and may your clicking finger be quick!


Land Of The Rising Malt – Yamazaki Cask Collection 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Japanese whiskys are incredibly popular the world over and the Suntory whisky empire is at the forefront of that movement. The Yamazaki distillery is the biggest to come under their banner and is one of the most advanced distilleries in the world. Suntory has the capabilities to make a hundred different types of whisky and sixty of them are created at Yamazaki; varied types of distillation within a single distillery is very rare and the fact Yamazaki boasts these impressive facilities shows just how seriously they take their whisky.

 

 

The idea behind the new Yamazaki Cask Collection is for the distillery to show people the uniqueness of the component whiskys that are used to create their 12, 18 and 25 year old single malts. There are four varieties of barrels used in the aging process of the aforementioned whiskys (Sherry, Bourbon, Puncheon and Mizunara), and it is the unique flavour of each that is demonstrated through the new collection. The image below shows the casks that are used in the maturation process of the distilleries single malt range.

 

 

Please read through the synopsis of each whisky and let us know if you would like tobuy one by calling 01326 340226 or following the links for each whisky.

 

Suntory Single Malt Whisky – Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel (48%, 70cl)

 

Yamakazi Single Malt Bourbon Barrel WhiskyThe casks used here were previously were used for holding bourbon and, as such, the American white oak is charred on the inside. When used to age Yamazaki malts, the charred oak imparts an elegant aroma and sweet vanilla flavour. At only 180 litres, these barrels are smaller than the others that are used in the distillery and are more prone to the effects of the atmosphere. Because of this, they produce whiskys distinctive to the region where they have been aged.

The whisky is allowed to mature in the bourbon barrels and is kept in aging cellars in the Yamakazi and Oumi regions of Japan. The humid climate helps to gradually mature the whisky against a canvas of changing seasonal hues; the causatum of these events is the production of a whisky that is sweet and lingering with an innate smoothness and assaults the nose with unique scents. It is best taken neat so that the full flavour experience can be appreciated.

Buy Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel Here

 

 

Suntory Single Malt Whisky – Yamazaki Puncheon Barrel (48%, 70cl)

 

Since the first whisky was produced at the distillery in 1923, Yamakazi has focused almost obsessively on the selection of the best casks to mature their malts in. It will be of no surprise then that they have an ‘in-house’ team of highly trained coopers that make a substantial amount of casks used at the distillery. One of the largest casks they produce is the Puncheon, a 480 litre behemoth that dwarves the other barrels in this article. Due to its immense size, less of the precious liquid within comes into contact with white oak innards, meaning that the maturation process occurs at a slower pace.

The uniqueness of the cask ensures that it alone can produce the harmonious sweet flavours and deep aromas that Yamazaki single malt is known for. The whisky that you will get from this barrel is simply exquisite; peachy, honeyed goodness with the subtle hint of vanilla gently massages your nostrils until you can no longer resist a taste. Then your palate is treated to a slightly sweet, smooth treat and a clean finish with hints of coconut. You’ll soon be reaching for another glass!

Buy Yamazaki Puncheon Barrel Here

 

 

Suntory Single Malt Whisky – Yamazaki Sherry Cask (48%, 70cl)

 

Shinjiro Torii was the first person to produce whisky in Japan; that it occurred at the Yamakazi distillery certainly gives the whiskys produced here some great provenance! This particular whisky is even more reminiscent of those times as it is matured solely in Spanish Oak Sherry casks.  This was the first ever cask type to be stored in the distillery’s warehouse; who knew that from such small beginnings big things would grow!

The sherry casks are still made in Spain from Spanish Oak but are produced to Suntory’s regimented specifications. Olorose sherry is matured in these casks for three years before the barrels are sent to Japan for the whisky to be introduced and nurtured. As tradition dictates, all Yamazaki single malt whiskys start their maturation process in the sherry casks, so this is the proverbial birthing place of the many delightful offerings from this distillery.

The tannins and other poly-phenols that have enriched the oak from the sherry aging bestow the whisky with an enticing dark red colour not found in those matured in the more common American Oak barrels. The Spanish Oak also enriches the whisky with a rich and fruity aroma and the perfect balance between sweet and sour with a pleasantly bitter lingering finish. Delicious.

Buy Yamazaki Sherry Cask Here

 

 

Suntory Single Malt Whisky – Yamazaki Mizunara (48%, 70 cl)

 

Mizunara is  a form of Japanese oak that Suntory was basically forced to use due to the difficulty of importing materials after the Second World War. The wood was not ideal and there were many complaints from blenders at the time as the grain is loose and casks often leaked their contents! This made coopering and wood selection something of a nightmare but there was no other choice at the time.

However, it seems as if the decision to use this material in times of austerity has paid dividends in the here and now. The soft trappings of aloe wood and sandalwood that these casks impart to their charges are now catching the attention and praise from whisky buffs and blenders from around the world. This is a truly unique whisky, a taste of homegrown Japanese whisky at its most fundamental.

After cracking open the bottle you will be greeted with the smell of Oriental incense, cinnamon, coconut and aloes wood – a truly mouthwatering prospect! As the gorgeous liquid slips down your throat, you will notice the smoothness with which it does so. The rich sweetness will delight you and you’ll be thankful for the pleasantly long lasting finish. You haven’t tried true Japanese whisky until you have had a bottle of this!

Buy Yamazaki Mizunara Here

Available Now

 

These fabulous whiskys are now in stock but the majority are limited to one per customer -  it’s only fair everyone gets to try some!  Call 01326 340226 or email carl@drinkfinder.co.uk to make sure your not disappointed!


Is The Devil Inside You?

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Whether he is or isn’t, there is certainly one place that he’s not and that is The Bowmore Round Church on the Scottish Island of Islay. It is the oldest building on the island with construction starting in 1767 and finishing in 1769. Its construction was initiated by Daniel Campbell The Younger, the son and heir to a wealthy merchant family from Argyle.

Inspiration for The Devils Cask WhiskyAn inscription etched into a stone block above the entrance to the building has a Latin inscription which translates as;

“With pious intent, and to promote truth and honour, Daniel Campbell, lord of this island, built at his own expense in the year 1767, this church dedicated to the supreme God.”

The village of Bowmore sprang up around the church in 1768 and was originally built to re-house the inhabitants of Kilarrow who were not directly employed by the Islay estate. The church boasts commanding views of the village and Loch Indaal and is still open for weekly worship to the islands current residents. The round church was the focal point for the population of Bowmore and its legend is the inspiration for a very special whisky!

Bowmore Church Could Be Very Scary At NightLegend has it that the round church was built in a circular fashion so that there were no corners in the building. Why you may ask? To keep the Devil out of course! It is an old Christian belief that the devil hides in the corners of a room and the God fearing people of the time certainly did not want Lucifer inhabiting their new church (despite the fact that it could easily pass as the setting for a horror film on a stormy night!). That is why, in  Christian homes and religious structures, you often find crucifixes or statues depicting saints in the four corners of the room to ward away the Unholy One.

Thankfully, the Devil was not homeless for long as he found a nice place to stay when the famous Bowmore Distillery opened in 1779! He’s been very busy producing superb single malt whisky for the last 234 years (he must of hated the round barrels though!) and a limited edition whisky has been released to celebrate this local legend.

Bowmore Distillery's The Devils CaskIt is aptly named the ‘The Devils Cask’ and is being produced in extremely limited numbers with only 540 bottles available in the UK. Bowmore’s characteristic rich flavour is further enhanced by the maturation process occurring in the finest first fill sherry casks.

Here at Drinkfinder, we are lucky enough to be receiving a small quantity of this rare whisky and orders will be by allocation only. Please get in contact with us ASAP if you would like to own one of these unique bottles. After all, who doesn’t want to taste the Devil’s produce?

 

 

 


Who Wants To Auchentoshan One?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Limited Numbers

 

Resident whisky maestro Mark has only got great things to say about this limited release from Auchentoshan. You will be delighted with the chocolatey, caramel, orange and cinnamon infusion which finishes beautifully with spiced brown sugar. Get yours before they are all gone!

Stock is limited so buy your Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Limited Edition now!


New Arran Bottlings

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Arran distillery have release two new bottlings. The first is their annual release of a single cask  Arran Sherry Cask  which was distilled in 1996 matured in sherry butts and bottled in 2012 at cask strength 53.9% vol one of only 263 bottles. The second is Arran Bere Barley made using an old variety of barley. This type of barley was one of the original types used to make whisky but it is difficult to grow and low yielding, with more modern varieties being used now. The barley comes from Orkney and produces and a wonderfully complex whisky.


Bruichladdich Sauternes Cask

Friday, January 18th, 2013

We  have an exclusive bottling of Bruichladdich which has been aged for 10 years in a Premier Grand Cru Sauternes cask (one of the most famous sweet white wines in the world). The cask only realised 277 bottles of cask strength whisky at 59.9% vol. It has a lovely deep amber colour with sweet fruity notes on the nose. The palate is rich and complex with typical bruichladdich flavours with a raisin fruit finish. Tasted by a highly respected whisky bottler who said “one of the finest bruichladdies he had tasted in years”


New Bruichladdich Bottlings

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Bruichladdich have been busy revamping their entire range of Malts, de-listing many bottlings which are starting to become sort after by whisky collectors. Their range is being divided into two ranges,  unpeated malts, and peated malts. The unpeated range consisits of Laddie 10 years old, Laddie 16 years old, Laddie 22 years old. While their peated range will be shared between bottlings of ‘Port Charlotte and Octomore’, with new bottlings coming in the form of Port Charlotte 10 years old heavily peated malt and Octomore 10 years old 50% vol. The Octomore is limited to 6000 bottles Worldwide so buy it quickly before we sells out.

Another new range is their “Uber Provenence Range” of malts being either Organic or Barley specific telling you the  provenance of where the barley was grown right down to the field it was grown in. We have two from this range Bruichladdich Bere Barley  and Bruichladdich Islay Barley