Wolfcraig Deluxe – at Last; Whisky Saving Water; One of One Auction – Old Pulteney; Bruichladdich Glass Art.
Last time I mentioned I‘d been asked to hold back my tasting notes on the new Wolfcraig 14 Year Old Deluxe Blend Triple Sherry Cask but it looks like I can now use those. Just recently the Scotch Whisky Association has published new guidelines for distillers to save water and the charity One of One auction is coming up again and Old Pulteney Distillery has sent info on the bottle they are offering up.
To Wolfcraig 14 YO Deluxe Blend Triple Sherry cask first.
Appearance: Warm amber with tawny and orange marmalade highlights. Tears fairly swift at first then much stickier and farther apart.
Nose: From the little sample bottle, oak,vanilla, earth and dried fruit. Same in glass with the addition of almonds/marzipan; dried apricots; warm spices and light fruit cake (sultana sponge) and a little hint of ripe banana. A tiny touch of sulphur and wax polish as on a sun-warmed wooden floor.
With water, there‘s a little more wax at first and spice a bit more to the fore – ginger, mild clove, allspice – as are the oak and earthen notes as well as a touch of hops.
Palate: A slightly mouth-coating unctuous feel. Spices, dried fruits and honey; digestive biscuits but herbal dry notes too. Some caramelised brown sugar; dark chocolate and coffee grounds.
Finish: Long with coffee grounds and herbs.
Another one that I‘d happily nose and sip for ages. Although it‘s entitled Triple Sherry Cask it‘s not heavy or cloying but rich, yet delicately balanced. It‘s bottled at 46% abv and comes from Moscatel, Amontillado and PX casks sourced from Bodega San Andreas. All whiskies were matured separately and then blended. Price is expected at £80 and will be available from August (exact date not yet supplied) on the Wolfcraig website. This tasting note is an appetite teaser. Get hold of some if you can when it‘s out.
As mentioned last time, Wolfcraig also sent a sample of their gin. I do like gin but it‘s not a frequent choice for me. This is a very pleasant example, fresh and clean with quite upfront lemony notes with oil of claryssage and cardamom and cumin like spices (even if they‘re not actually in there) as well as juniper and the other usual suspects in gin production. I‘d happily use it again even though I do have a other preferences in gin.
The SWA recently published its Water Stewardship Framework paper. We are told, „As part of its Sustainability Strategy launched in 2021, the SWA set a target range of 12.5 to 25 l/lpa (the amount of water used per litre of alcohol produced) by 2025, depending on distillery size and production. The Framework focuses on three key areas: Responsible Use, Engagement and Collaboration, and Advocacy. These three themes aim to provide SWA member companies with clear direction on how they can address water use and efficiency improvement in their operations, while incorporating wider collaboration and advocacy activities. The Framework encourages a collaborative industry approach to deliver on-the-ground improvement projects and influence future policy to ensure the protection and preservation of a vital resource. Previous data analysed by the SWA showed that water efficiency – measured in l/lpa – had improved by 22% since 2012. The SWA will continue to gather data from across the industry to re-benchmark progress and set ambitious targets to take the sector beyond compliance on water.“ Now, it‘s not as if the industry is currently profligate in the use of water but anything practical which can help Scotland‘s water supply and not be detrimental to whisky production is to be welcomed.
The One of One charity auction is held at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh on 5th October this year, proceeds going to The Distillers Charity and, primarily, the Youth Action Fund dedicated to the betterment of the lives of young people in Scotland. Inver House Distillers sent info to say they are offering up Old Pulteney Bow Wave: a 45 Year Old Single Malt and the oldest expression from the Highland distillery to date. As you can see from the photograph, it is presented in „an exquisitely hand-crafted sculpture which represents the movement of a ship through crashing waves“. This rare whisky was matured for more than four decades in hand-selected American oak casks then a further five years maturation inside a single first-fill Spanish oak butt. „As a result, Bow Wave is magnificent in its complexity. Deep golden in colour, it features subtle whispers of sea spray entwined with the sweetness of honey, with delicate notes of aged oak and maritime air to tantalise the palate.“ Certainly does sound good but I‘m unlikely to find out given it has an auction estimate of £20,000 – £30,000. All for an excellent cause.
The Old Pulteney whisky is in a delightful piece of packaging. Presented on a plinth of Caithness slate, „…the bottle is crafted from hand-blown glass with complex Inciso cuts, mirroring the semblance of crashing waves. The deep blue hue of the bottle encapsulates the sea’s endless depths, while glimpses of the golden liquid shine through like reflections of a morning sunrise. Surrounding the glass, beautifully crafted Scottish silverware fashioned by local Silversmith, Lucy Woodley encircles the finished vessel in all its splendour. The hidden cork, accessed only by a bespoke anchor key created by Glasstorm, beckons the senses, evoking the timeless rhythm of the sea.“ All rather floriferously poetic, perhaps, but it is, indeed, lovely. I hope whoever buys it has the good sense actually to drink it. The packaging can be retained empty as a piece of art but the whisky can be enjoyed. Details of other offerings are not on the Sotheby‘s or Distillers Company website but you can find more on https://www.luxuriousmagazine.com/second-the-distillers-one-of-one-auction/ .
Lastly, those lovely people at Bruichladdich are continuing their bit for the planet by using more light weight and recycled (60%) glass in their bottle. To celebrate this they have collaborated with artist Simon Berger (pictured here alongside his work). The sculpture is 1.75m tall, 3D and „was brought to life by intricately hammering 15 individual panes of disused glass by hand“. Brilliant and beautiful idea. I‘d love to see it permanently in situ at the distillery but no word on that in the info I have so have posed the question to them.
In the words of Looney Tunes cartoons, „That‘s all folks“ for this time. I‘ll be back end of July with more.