A cornucopia of fabulous whisky (and some wines) has arrived at Arkwrights recently, including a particularly stellar single malt – a very limited edition 50 year old whisky from the sherry cask maturation specialists, Glenfarclas. There are also some special editions of Springbank, Tomatin, and Ancnoc, plus a revamped Balblair range and the first age statement Ardbeg whisky to be added to the core range in nearly 20 years. We’ve highlighted some of these below and you can Click here to see all the new arrivals online.
Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt has released a much anticipated 50 Year Old and only 146 bottles are available to the UK market. Matured in Spanish Sherry casks for over 50 years in their famously cool dunnage warehouses and then bottled at the natural cask strength of 40.6% ABV, this Single Malt is a rare taste of history. Befitting of a such a special whisky, it has been bottled in a crystal decanter created by Glencairn Crystal, hand decorated in copper with a heavy copper stopper. The decanter sits within a red mahogany piano-finished gift box, reflecting the autumnal hues of Speyside. Read the mouth watering tasting notes and find out more here.
To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Knockdhu distillery two limited edition versions of their AnCnoc single malt have been released. AnCnoc 16 Years Old has been matured exclusively in American oak ex-bourbon barrels and then been bottled at cask strength, offering a light and elegant expression that dispalays characteristics of vanilla and butterscotch with a hint of citrus fruits. AnCnoc Peat is peated to 40 ppm and was matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks before further maturation in Spanish oak butts. The sunset gold liquid has characteristic notes of almonds and dried fruit. A stunning smoky, sweet dram.
We have just one bottle left of this Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Batch TB/01 – the first permanent age-statement whisky to be released in nearly 20 years from the distillery. The whisky’s recipe will be subtly tweaked with each batch, and each batch of Ardbeg Traigh Bhan will feature a unique code on the carton and bottle, which can be entered into the distillery’s website to find out more about the ‘story’ of the whisky. If you want a bottle of the first batch of this exciting new whisky then be quick!
Previously the Balblair Distillery Releases had the vintages proclaimed on both bottle and box but they have now changed to showing age statements. The new range shows the usual interesting variation of cask type between ages – with the 12 year old having been matured in ex Bourbon and double fired American Oak Casks whereas the 15 year old was matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in first-fill Spanish oak butts. Both are bottled at 46% abv.
Cu Bocan has always been one of our most popular lightly smoked whiskies and the brand has been relaunched with a theme of ‘Unlock the Unusual’ – thus, whilst continuing to distil the spirit every winter in limited batches to create their Signature whisky they are now experimenting with varying maturation casks for the Creation expressions. Creation #1 is matured in Black Isle Brewery Imperial Stout and Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal wine casks, and Creation #2 is matured in Japanese Shochu and European Virgin Oak casks. We have tasted both and they really are as impressive and tasty as the fabulous new look that has been given to the range!
Glenfiddich 23 Year Old Grand Cru has matured gently for 23 Years in American and European oak casks, finished in French Cuvee Casks used for making some of the worlds most presigous sparkling wines giving floral notes and sophisticated richness with hints of brioche and biscuit – elegant and luxurious.
Unlike last year’s Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength release, which was predominantly Sherry cask matured, this September 2019 Limited Release Single Malt has matured in 65% Bourbon and 35% Sherry Casks before being bottled at 57.1%abv so will make an interesting contrast against the previous bottling.
The Springbank 18 Year Old September 2019 Release Single Malt is another whisky that will brighten the dark nights of winter that are fast approaching. Matured in 88% Bourbon and 12% Port Casks before being bottled at 46%abv – pure nectar!
These two limited edition whiskies from Tomatin display their skill at using different casks to enhance, rather than detract from, their Highland single malt. The Amontillado version has flavours of dark chocolate, dried fruit and nuts, whereas the Caribbean Rum finish is imbued with tropical fruit, mocha and salted caramel.
This single cask 17 year old American Oak Sullivans Cove Single Malt is another quality whisky from their distillery in Tasmania. Hand-bottled at 47.5% and labelled at the distillery on the 24th January 2018, just 206 bottles were filled. Well presented in an oak box with a letter of authenticity signed by head distiller Patrick Maguire and production manager Heather Tillott.
The Balvenie Tun Batch 6 is another creation from Balvenie’s Master Blender David Stewart MBE where he has blended 21 casks (including refill sherry butts, ex-bourbon barrels and barrels previously used to finish Balvenie Double Wood) and then married them in the Tun which sits in warehouse 24 for three months before being bottled at 50.4%abv.
Other new arrivals include the gentle, sweet, floral and unpeated Tobermory 12 year old, the latest edition of the Kilchoman 100% Islay single malt (a yearly treat!) and a very tasty new spiced rum from Pembrokeshire.
As ever, samples of some of the above selection are available for tasting in the shop (sadly, not the Glenfarclas 50 year old…)