Postponed Wolfcraig; Arran Lagg; Two Newbies from anCnoc; Nothing for Mother‘s Day?; Glencairn Glass Campaign


I was getting concerned about having nothing to write about this time. I nosed/tasted the 14 year old deluxe blend from Wolfcraig but it‘s not yet available to buy so they asked me to hang fire on writing about it now so I‘ll use it next time. I also have a sample of their gin and may use that for another column. The Isle of Arran expression I asked the company to hold till the 23rd as I was away but Parcel Force didn‘t deliver till this morning. Cutting it fine.

So, Isle of Arran Lagg Distillery Kilmory Edition. This one is bottled at 46% with no added colour and no chill-filtration. It‘s a young one still and 100% matured in bourbon barrel. Price is around £49.99.

Appearance: The pack is deceiving! It‘s a lovely pale green bottle which makes the whisky look like lime juice cordial. However, once in the glass it‘s a lemon, Chablis colour with paler lemon highlights. Tears are a little sticky and close but then wider apart and quite free flowing.

Nose: Smoky and medicinal with a sherbety citrus zest hit. Fresh, sea salt air. A touch of vanilla – not too pronounced yet – and slight wax notes. A little bit of apple juice and green leaves. Obviously young with yeast notes; bread dough / pastry.

With water, there‘s a bit more smoke and bonfire ash. Some wood char sweetness and wood vanilla plus creamy notes come through. Apart from the smoke, medicine and citrus there‘s just a little of everything else so there‘s much promise.

Palate: Slightly unctuous mouthfeel; smoky and peaty. Char, a bit of wood tannin and bitterness; fire embers catching the throat. A little bit of salt and quite palate cleansing. I‘d like to try this with a hard cheese. It‘s maybe not yet ready for a blue cheese.

Finish: Quite long, smoky and dry with char and bitters on the tongue.

It‘s an intriguing beginning and I‘ll want to keep trying as older ages are bottled.

It occurred to me recently when I was getting reminders about Father‘s Day gifts that despite drinks industry elements going on about encouraging (even) more women to drink whisky, there never seems to be a whisky promotion for Mother‘s Day. Talk about perpetuating stereotypes. I‘m betting there are plenty of women out there who would appreciate a whisky gift for significant days in the year. Now, I‘m talking about UK here where there are significant numbers of women who drink whisky, not just on its own /with water but in cocktails or with mixers too (as do men). Other markets will have different consumer demographics. It‘s not all whisky companies and some of the e-mails are from retailers but, seriously people, isn‘t whisky for all genders?

You may have read recently that Glencairn Crystal, the company which produces the lovely Glencairn thistle-shaped whisky glass, is to run a campaign aimed at whisky businesses to use the best possible glassware to serve their high quality products and enhance the consumer experience of their brands. It uses the argument that you wouldn‘t serve a gourmet meal on a paper plate so why serve whisky in inferior glassware. Look out for it in drinks trade media and social media as well as the Glencairn website. Another video piece goes into the history and development of the Glencairn whisky glass.

They make a very fair point and marketers and good bars and restaurants should take note. Also worth noting that the thistle shaped glass is great – and never bettered in my view – for drinking your whisky neat or with water and you want to get the most from the aroma and character but there‘s no room in it if you want a longer drink. Glencairn also, rather usefully, produce other quality glassware if you want to use your whisky in long drink styles. It‘s a great family company and I‘ve had the pleasure of dealing with them on several matters.

Word arrived just today of two new expressions from an Cnoc. They are anCnoc Sherry Cask Finish, Peated Edition (43% abv and around £45)and anCnoc Peatheart Batch 3 (46% abv and around £60). The former has no age statement and uses both peated and unpeated whisky. There‘s no sign of an age statement on Peatheart either. Both are available in the UK from 1st July with being given a two day headstart before going on sale with independent and specialist retailers as well as Amazon from 3rd July. Both will be rolled out to other global markets including Asia, Europe and Canada in the coming months. I‘ve asked if there are samples available for my own notes so won‘t say anymore for now. I‘m not looking at their notes till I‘ve done mine but if there are no samples, I‘ll let you know what their official notes are next time.

That‘s it for June. I‘ll be back mid-July with more notes and info.

Slainte mhath,




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