Two Elements of Islay

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This week our local whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel got together for our monthly meeting. The theme this time was Elements of Islay, a series of “undisclosed” single malts from Islay put out by independent bottler Specialty Drinks. They’re modeled after elements of the periodic table with each element’s symbol hinting at the source of the whisky inside. If one goes over to their website they usually provide more information about each bottle to varying degrees.

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Bunnahabhain 8 G&M The Macphail’s Collection

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This is a peated malt from one of my favourite distilleries. While the majority of their output is unpeated spirit they put out some really nice peated whiskies as well. This one was bottled by independent bottler Gordon & Macphail as part of their “Macphail’s Collection” range, which largely consists of younger, budget friendly single malts.

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Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release

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Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit

So every year around the time of the Feis Ile, Ardbeg release a limited edition whisky, usually with some kind of interesting finish. There are actually two versions each year, a batch strength committee (Ardbeg’s fanclub) release which is usually for sale at the distillery and to committee members which has a cream coloured label, and a regular edition usually at a lower ABV and a black label which is more widely available. Lucky me as this sample is the committe release.

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Port Charlotte 2003 Whisky Broker

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Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.

I love Port Charlotte, it’s what won me over to Bruichladdich when I didn’t like their unpeated malt so much. Thing is, a lot of them are matured in all sorts of weird and wonderful casks. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, not at all, I’ve quite enjoyed some of them.

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Two recent Port Charlottes

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Port Charlotte is initially a whisky I didn’t like so much, but it grew on me quite fast, and now I have 3 open bottles of the stuff. The two I’m tasting here are the 2nd release of the 10 year old which was recently released along with a 10 year old Bruichladdich and a 10 year old Octomore, their unpeated and super-heavily peated labels respectively. It was aged in quite a variety of casks, first-fill bourbon, sherry, tempranillo and french wine, but that is kind of Bruichladdich’s thing.

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Kilchoman Cask Strength Quarter Casks

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Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.

Kilchoman have joined the growing number of distilleries experimenting with smaller casks. The increased wood contact adds more woody character which would usually take a much longer maturation period to achieve. This shouldn’t be confused with faster maturation though as the spirit itself still ages at the same pace. This particular one is from a limited cask strength release for the full, unadulterated experience.

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Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso

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This is a lovely little thing that popped up on the radar recently. It’s a limited edition distillery bottling of Bunnahabhain that’s a vatting of 7 oloroso sherry casks. Bunnahabhain is generally amazing with sherry, even at a young age. Over and above that, it’s peated. No age statement, but at slightly over 60% ABV this should have some serious oomph to it.

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