With July 27 being National Scotch Whisky Day, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to highlight several new Scotch Whiskys that have recently popped on our radar.
Scotch, obviously, comes from Scotland and, more specifically, is produced in five regions: Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown. Through a combination of terroir, heritage, and technique, each region produces whisky with distinct qualities and characteristics of that region. While not all regions are represented below, here are a few new whiskys we recommend trying.
anCnoc (pronounced a-NOCK) recently released two new expressions that are all about the peat. Flaughter (pronounced FLAH-ter) is named after the Flaughter spade used to remove the top layer of peat which is richer, more rooty and produces more peat reek. Flaughter is part of a Limited Edition Peaty Collection that explores the bolder, smokier aspect of their classic Highland flavor in three different expressions. Pale gold in color, Flaughter is heavy on the peat, weighing in at 14.8 PPM of peat. It is robust and earthy and full of warm smoke, fruit, and honey.
Auchentoshan American Oak
Released in May 2014, Auchentoshan American Oak is a triple distilled single malt aged in first fill bourbon casks hailing from one of the Lowland’s last remaining distilleries. This is a great whisky for someone looking to get into scotch, especially if they already enjoy bourbon as notes of vanilla and caramel are readily available much like one might find in American whiskey. The level of smoke on this is low so it’s a great scotch to introduce to those who are still unsure how they feel about peat smoke.
The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask
Balvenie, the Speyside Single Malt Scotch distillery famous for their DoubleWood, has announced their newest release: The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask. Much like their original Balvenie Single Barrel 15, each bottle will denote the barrel number it came from and what number bottle it is from that barrel. As I have personally found between different bottles of Balvenie Single Barrel 15 from different barrels, as well as having nosed casks in Speyside, the variation between casks is enormous. For this release, no more than 650 bottles will be drawn from each European oak sherry butt, which this whisky has been exclusively aged in for at least 15 years. Looks for notes of dried fruit and nuttiness coming from the Oloroso sherry casks.
The Glenglassaugh Distillery Revival
Making its American debut is Glenglassaugh and their Revival Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Appropriately named, Revival is the first whisky from the re-born Glenglassaugh distillery which was first opened in 1875 and mothballed in 1986 until production resumed in 2008. Revival is aged in a mix of ex-red wine and first fill bourbon casks before being finished in rich sherry casks and bottled at 46%. Look for notes of orange, sherry nuttiness, charred oak, and honey.
Laphroaig, the Islay distillery known for the smoky peat and essence from the sea characteristics of their scotch, has just released a new expression: Laphroaig Select. Laphroaig Select takes some of their benchmark offerings–Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood and Ten-Year Old Casks–and blends them together to create a whisky that creates a harmony of peat, oak and sweetness. To finish, during the peak of Scottland’s summer, final maturation takes place in new American Oak, which is rarely used in Scotch.