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The Croftengea 10 Year 2006 from The Exclusive Malts

The-Croftengea-10-Year-2006-from-The-Exclusive-MaltsTasting notes:
The Exclusive Malts Croftengea 2006 10 year brings in da sherry funk like a fútbol Univision announcer shouting “Sheeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyy Fuuuunnn-nnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!” over and over. There’s also burnt whole wheat toast that’s been spread with marmite and peat. We also got pickled daikon radish and beets—but not turnips, okay? There was a dinosaur stomach (allosaurus) preserved in amber, and David Bowie on stage in the 1980s, but completely wrapped in burgundy silk so that you could see nothing of him but some semi-sinuous writhing. It’s piercing, yet blunt: ash lances after jousting.

The mouth brings a seesaw of funk’n’peat, swinging up and down, up and down in a spearmint playground. Neither flavor can claim victory; it’s as beautifully balanced as a tumbling Simone Biles. The spearmint, if it could, would chuckle to itself knowing that after all is done, it will be the last flavor standing: The Crofteninja Warrior.

The finish is drying, peaty, spearmint-inflected, and well-punctuated by a master copyeditor. The sherry’s been sucked out, as if a sherry sieve filtered it all, leaving behind the burn and the spice. Everything still balances beautifully, like orbiting black holes, one of which just sucked up a planet, but nothing large enough to emit a gravity wave detectable by LIGO.



On the scale of feelings evoked by software–
The Croftengea 10 Year 2006 from The Exclusive Malts is that amazing feeling you get at the end of the month when you reconcile your financial software and find that every single penny has been accounted for–Ta-da! All that money out from all those expenditures. The (never enough) money coming in from all sorts of income streams. It’s all perfectly balanced! Ta-da!






–Our thanks to the Exclusive Malts and ImpEx for the sample!



Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 26, 2016)

Welcome to this week's Inbox.  For those that have recently discovered us, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.  Here is this week's news that caught our eyes ...


Douglas Laing
Leading independent bottler of Douglas Laing & Co have announced a very special limited edition of their Timorous Beastie blended malt - the Timorous Beastie 40 years old.  As with the regular bottling of Timorous Beastie, this whisky is created using single malts from Highland distilleries but in this case their minimum age is 40 years. It has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 54.7% ABV and is non chill-filtered and of natural colour.  There are just 1,080 bottles and they will be available via selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide.  No indication of price was given in the press release.

In addition, Douglas Laing are running a competition to win a one-off gold bottle of Timorous Beastie 40 years old.  The competition, which will run from next Tuesday (August 30) on, will give consumers the chance to taste the limited liquid and write their own tasting notes.  Managing Director Fred Laing will then judge his favourite set of notes and award the gold bottle to the winner.  Why not give it a go?

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The SMWS have teamed up with a psychologist to launch a new and innovative whisky research project for consumers.  Dr. Adam Moore (pictured above), a research scientist at the University of Edinburgh, and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society have created Flavour Behaviour - a psychometric test that matches personality types to flavours of whisky and whisky style preferences. The test is a result of an international study that took place at whisky events over a six month period.

Over 300 volunteers took part in locations such as Edinburgh, London, Melbourne and Vancouver and were asked to take a personality test and rate 12 core whisky flavour characteristics.  From the results Dr. Moore then analysed the data and niticed fascinating correlations between personality type and flavour preferences.  From this he created an algorythm that predicts the whisky style that is best suited to each person.

"We’ve used decision-making science and psychometric techniques to gather data from events around the world to create this test, which we hope will help people to find the perfect whisky for them. It’s fascinating to think where this type of study could lead for both how food and drink producers make goods and how consumers choose them."
Dr. Adam Moore. 

"The Flavour Behaviour Test is a fun and scientifically researched way to help with the search for the perfect dram – from novices struggling to find a whisky flavour they like among all the different varieties, or aficionados looking for inspiration for new whisky flavours to try."
Helen Stewart - Senior Brand Manager at the SMWS.

To take the Flavour Behaviour test for yourself, please visit the dedicated website -

The Highland distillery of Tomatin have announced a trio of limited edition single malts that demonstrate their experimentations with different types of casks - the 9 years old Caribbean Rum, the 14 years old Cabernet Sauvignon and the 21 years old Oloroso Sherry.  All are bottled at 46% ABV and will be available in selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide.  The 9 years old (pictured left) is the first ever rum cask matured whisky released by Tomatin and there are just 6,600 bottles available.  The whisky used was all distilled in 2007.  They will cost £39.99 each.

The 14 years old expression (pictured right) has been matured for its full term in red wine barriques that have previously held Cabernet Sauvignon wine.  The whisky was distilled in 2002 and there are just 2,463 bottles available.  They will retail for £69.99 each.  The 21 years old (pictured below) has been matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and was distilled in 1995.  It is the rarest of the trilogy with just 1,908 bottles to be available.  They will retail at £99.99 each.

"We are constantly striving to experiment and push boundaries with our Tomatin single malt to produce unique creations that appeal to our existing customers and a wider audience. The array of tropical notes, citrus spices and rich sherry infusions will entice a range of enthusiasts to sample the new products"
Stephen Bremner - Sales Director at Tomatin.

Whisky Weekend Update: New Releases


St. Augustine Florida Double Cask Bourbon

Release: September 2016

Price: $50

Proof: 93.8

Availability: 13,500 bottles

Style: Bourbon

STADCO Bourbon 1Need to know: Aged in a combination of 25-gallon and seasoned 53-gallon barrels, the first Bourbon placed in barrels in Florida since Prohibition is aged from 16 to 28 months. The initial release is available at the distillery only.

 Whisky Advocate says: This Bourbon, distilled on site in Florida, includes the assistance of some veteran talent. Jake Norris, of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, developed the mash bill and Dave Pickerell, former Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, guided the final blending.
Keep up with St. Augustine and the American craft whiskey boom in every issue of Whisky Advocate. Subscribe now.

Timorous Beastie 40 Year OldTimorous Beastie 40 Years Old white

Release: August 2016

Price: £199

Proof: 109.4

Availability: 1,080 bottles

Style: Scotch Malt Whisky

Need to know: Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd shows their prowess as blenders with the regional malts collection, emphasizing the malts of one Scottish region, in this case the Highlands. Bottled at natural cask strength without coloring or chill-filtration.

Whisky Advocate says: While reasonably priced for such an old whisky, those who wish to obtain this limited release do have an alternative to purchase. Visit starting next week for a chance at 100 tasting bottles. The person who submits the best tasting note as chosen by Fred Laing will be awarded a full bottle.

Wtiters_Tears_Red_Head_700ml_bottle_with_boxWriters Tears ‘Red Head’ Single Malt

Release: September 2016


Proof: 92 proof

Availability: 12,000 bottles

Style: Irish Whiskey

Need to know: This triple-distilled single malt is matured only in select handpicked Spanish Oloroso sherry butts and like the other whiskeys from this leading Irish craft distiller, demand will probably far exceed supply.

Whisky Advocate says: The markets for this single malt will be limited and there is no word on whether it will make it to the U.S. Don’t miss the latest news from Ireland and the world. The story of the new Walsh Distillery Royal Oak appears in the current issue of Whisky Advocate. Subscribe now.RED_BS_BarrelTier_8yr_FINAL copy

Redemption Aged Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey: 8 Years

Release: August 2016

Price: $100

Proof: 122.2

Availability: 2,136 bottles

Style: Bourbon

Need to know: This newly batched Rye comes with a higher proof than the Straight Rye Whiskey Aged 8 years released in 2015: 122.2 proof vs. 120.1 proof.

Redemption Aged Barrel Proof Straight High Rye Bourbon: 9 YearsRED_BS_Barrel_9yr_HighRyeBourbonWhiskey_v2 copy

Release: August 2016

Price: $100

Proof: 109.2

Availability: 5,586 bottles

Style: Bourbon

Need to know: The mashbill for this offering certainly has a generous portion of rye with 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley.

Redemption Aged Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon: 9 Years

RED_BS_Barrel_9yr_BourbonWhiskey copyRelease: August 2016

Price: $100

Proof: 110.6

Availability: 2,280 bottles

Style: Bourbon

Need to know: The standard Redemption bourbon recipe is also not shy with rye (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley), a hallmark of the Redemption line which is produced by MGPI, a Whiskey Advocate 2015 Distiller of the Year. Every year, the Whisky Advocate annual awards bring you best people and products from the wonderful world of whisky. Subscribe now.

Tomatin 2007 Caribbean bottle and box lowTomatin 2007 9 year old Caribbean Rum

Release: August 2016

Price: £40

Proof: 92

Availability: 6,600 bottles

Style: Single Malt Scotch

Tomatin 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon bottle with box low

Tomatin 2002 14 year old Cabernet Sauvignon

Release: August 2016

Price: £70

Proof: 92

Availability: 2,436 bottles

Style: Single Malt Scotch

Tomatin 1995 bottle with box low resTomatin 1995 21 year old Oloroso Sherry

Release: August 2016

Price: £100

Proof: 92

Availability: 1,908 bottles

Style: Single Malt Scotch


Need to know: While this trio of limited releases shares a common thread of specialty casks and 46% ABV, the nature of their maturation is quite different. While the 1995 transferred to it Oloroso sherry cask in May 2013, and the 2002 transferred to it Cabernet Sauvignon barrel in March 2011, the youngest, and most available, malt was “fully matured” in its rum cask for the full 9 years.

Whisky Advocate says: While these special finishes won’t make it to the U.S., you can find the review for the North American exclusive release, French Oak 12 year old, and other Tomatin malts in the Whisky Advocate buying guide.



The post Whisky Weekend Update: New Releases appeared first on Whisky Advocate.

Talisker 10 Year

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 10 Years 45.8% ABV $60 Website What the Distillery Says: APPEARANCE Brilliant gold NOSE Powerful peat-smoke with just a hint of sea-water saltiness, fresh oysters, and a citrus sweetness. BODY Full. PALATE A rich dried-fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke and strong barley-malt flavours, warming and intense. Peppery at … Continue reading Talisker 10 Year →

WhiskyCast Episode 603: August 21, 2016

After years of working with supermodels and high-strung art directors in New York City, Michael Myers lives a much simpler - and more rewarding life in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Myers gave up his career as one of New York's top photographers to move to Colorado, and next month will be the fifth anniversary of his first still run at Distillery 291. We'll talk with Myers about his career and life changes, and how he maintains a connection to his past career in his new one. In the news, there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, and plans for Edinburgh's first malt whisky distillery in nearly a century are a step closer to reality now that local leaders have signed off on the project.

The Trojan is Here!

The wait is almost over folks... 
Tomorrow (Thursday 31st March) sees the release of The Trojan- our first whisky from the Exile Casks project that we've been working on.

The Trojan was distilled on 19th June 1990, and filled into cask 3110.  It's been maturing for 25 years now and its finally ready for the world to taste!

To get your hands on The Trojan, which is bottled at 57.1% and available in 306 limited edition 50cl bottles, priced at £65, visit The whisky is only available from there and we envisage it to go on sale around 1pm UK time tomorrow.

Until then- here's a nice picture of the bottle!!

Discover. Liberate. Enjoy.
Joel & Neil x

Jim Murray, 2015 Whisky Bible and Why Scotch Whisky Sucks

There is always a good deal of chatter when Jim Murray releases his awards list ahead of the release of a new edition of his bible, surely the sometimes controversial choices he makes are no promotional accident...
Some of the best whiskies I was fortunate enough to taste in 2014 were from Japan, and I would agree that the Yamazaki Sherry Cask is a stunning whisky from one of the world’s greatest malt whisky-producing countries, but the Daily Mail’s (expected) sensational headline and Mr. Murray’s statements strike me as remarkably unfounded. That Scotch whisky has something to be “humiliated” about, that a perceived lack of innovation has hindered Scotch producers is near nonsense.
Scotch whisky is celebrated and esteemed as much for its diversity of flavour as for its adherence to traditional craftsmanship over its lengthy history but recent years have seen these traditions used in new ways, with innovation from barley to barrel to bottle across the industry, albeit within parameters. Interestingly, many of these innovations have been in turn praised and criticised by Mr. Murray over the past two decades, from 1994s praise of finishing to his 2008 critique of the practice.
Japanese whisky was founded on the traditions of Scotch whisky making over 90 years ago, and it could possibly be argued that Japan adheres even more to the traditional methods (wooden washbacks, direct firing stills, etc) than the average malt distillery in Scotland so I do question Murray’s implied praise of generalised Japanese “innovation” over just making really good whisky that he liked.
Since the mid-1980s, when the world saw its first Single Malt from Japan, Japanese whiskies have attracted acclaim. Since 2008, Japanese blends and malts have won major titles, most notably from the World Whisky Awards. This is not to say that Scotch has stoppedwinning these awards or top acclaim from writers, including Murray. Although Scotch has, until now, won his highest accolade in all but one edition of his bible, Murray has awarded more American whiskies in recent years than Japanese. It is no news that America and Japan make excellent whiskies. Not a great headline, though, and tough to sell newspapers or magazines with a headline like that, "Whiskies Being Made to High Standard Outside Scotland"
The assumption from Murray’s statements is that Japanese whisky has an edge on Scotch because of a stronger vision or wilder innovation; innovations like the highball campaign? No Age Statements? Local barley or local oak? There are precedents in Scotch in every case. So in what way is Japanese whisky’s success due to innovations that Scotch lacks? Zero. It is due to releasing top quality malt whiskies. To infer that this precludes the ongoing (and much longer-running) success of Scotch whisky is balderdash, but a great reminder that Jim Murray’s latest book is about to be released!
Finally, in case it has not been mentioned, Jim has a new book coming out next week. 

The Glenlivet Alpha Review


GlenlivetAlphaBig thanks to the folks at Deep Focus, a social media agency working with The Glenlivet, for sending me a free sample of the new Glenlivet Alpha expression that has only 3350 bottles shipping worldwide (not sure how many are coming to the U.S.). Especially since I’ve been flying under the whisky radar this past year (I’ll post more on that later). I haven’t checked out all of the marketing details, but apparently there is going to be a big “reveal” for Alpha in a few days, so I thought I’d go ahead and post some thoughts on the whisky while it is still something of a mystery (the box only states that it is a Single Malt bottled at 50% abv). The U.S. retail price is $120.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, my first impression is of cinnamon apples. Then vanilla custard, and finally some fresh wood shavings. Then back to the fruit, of the apples and pears variety. Looking online now at other reviews, I see people talking about lots of tropical fruits. Personally, that’s not the way I respond to this. It doesn’t strike me as tropical in the same way as something like Glenmorangie 18 year. But of course, this is all subjective.

On the palette, it starts out mouth-watering and juicy, sweet, then very slightly prickly on the tongue. There is a point where it becomes slightly nutty, and just as I start to expect a slight walnut bitterness, it pulls back. Very nice. It’s smooth as silk…almost buttery going down. It then becomes drying on the finish, before my mouth waters up again. A very enjoyable, if not particularly long, experience.


The Glenlivet Alpha is an extremely drinkable expression that would be great for sharing with all levels of whisky drinkers. It strikes me as a Special Edition release of their Nadurra expression. The overall flavor profile (especially on the nose) is quite similar. However, the Alpha has an extra silky smoothness to it relative to Nadurra, in the same way the 17 year finished Balvenie expressions relate to the 15 year single barrel. Though, I don’t detect anything resembling the typical “finishing” casks of sherry or wine in Alpha.

So what is it?

If this is a game, and we’re supposed to guess what the heck is in this black Alpha bottle, I’d have to guess a combination of first-fill and second-fill American White Oak bourbon barrels were used to mature the spirit. There is no sign of coloring or chill filtration (like Nadurra). Age? That’s a hard one. Is the extra buttery smoothness in the mouth over the Nadurra due to age, or is it related to the type of casks used? Not sure. I could believe a number of scenarios: 1) It’s a year or two older than the 16 year Nadurra. 2) They use a combination of refill casks and smaller quarter casks to give the impression of extra maturity, while keeping the oak in check, or 3) this is just the result of very carefully selected casks by the master distiller.


Did I really enjoy this whisky? Yes. Am I going to seek out a bottle? No. Do I think you’re an idiot if you do? No.

I really like this whisky, but for me, the 16 year Nadurra (at $50/bottle locally) is close enough in profile to keep me satisfied. On the other hand, I have no immediate issues with the price of Alpha. They are saying that it was “carefully crafted” by the master distiller, and it is a limited release of 3,350 bottles. It’s not going to be for everybody, but then, the limited run kind of takes care of that. :-)

I’ve seen much higher prices asked for “carefully selected” expressions…how about the Diageo Manager’s Choice a few years ago? Talk about crazy pricing. These things work themselves out, though. A bunch of those Manager’s Choice bottles can still be had at 40% discounts online. So far, The Glenlivet Alpha is selling out quickly. The UK allocation disappeared immediately. If, upon commencing with their “reveal” on Facebook later this week, people are outraged by what they hear, then I’d expect that feedback to influence future releases.

If they keep their main line whiskies priced reasonably, and of high quality, what’s the harm in experimenting with various boutique releases aimed at smaller segments of the market? I look forward to learning more about the story behind The Glenlivet Alpha.


Ch-Ch-Changes – Update Your RSS Feed!

Things are changing here at Whisky Party! We’re about to roll out a new design and switch to a new blog platform.

This is all happening on Monday February 20th!

If you’d like to continue reading Whisky Party in your RSS reader, you’ll have to update to the feed URL in your feed reader:

For a sneak peak at the new sight, you can check out our staging version here.

Studio A

The Ca Scotch Couple firmly believe in living below their means. They shop at consignment stores, sock away the max for retirement, and adhere to a strict 25% debt to equity ratio. Consequently, the CA Scotch Couple's move to paradise in 2004 couldn't have come at a worse time. It was at the height of the real estate boom; the only houses even remotely within the CA Scotch Couple's price range were shacks, and even those shacks had multiple bidders.
So, it is no surprise that the beloved Little Beach House was one such shack: a circa 1913, 700 square foot single wall construction edifice with outdated wiring, inadequate plumbing, precipitously sloping floors, and a hole in its roof. The CA Scotch Couple spent many (many many many) years making the Little Beach House habitable. Unfortunately, no matter what they did, there was no escaping the reality that even with its new wiring, plumbing, and roof, the Little Beach House was a shack.
So, when the real estate bust hit San Diego hard, the CA Scotch Couple decided to see if they could trade their shack for something a little more spacious. They took a financial bath on the Little Beach House, and set out on their house hunting adventures with three goals for the new home: it needed to have lost at least as much value as the Little Beach House had, it needed to be more spacious than the Little Beach House; and it couldn't be a project.
One of the first properties the CA Scotch Couple viewed was a lovely old mixed use loft conversion in a slightly dodgy area. This 1933 grand dame had started its life as an old fashioned car dealership/garage and had then become an artist's studio and residence. It had magnificent arching barrel ceilings, open architecture, exposed terra cotta masonry, and concrete floors. It also wasn't up to earthquake code, had a leaking roof, had been stripped of plumbing, appliances and countertops, and, worst of all, had birds nesting in it. It was a whopping 2700 square feet, but man, oh man, it was project. CA Scotch Chick dubbed it "the Bird Sanctuary," and the CA Scotch Couple swiftly walked the other way.
But the CA Scotch Couple kept their miserly eyes on the Bird Sanctuary, and within a few months, market forces had driven it down to the price that the CA Scotch Couple had paid for the Little Beach House in 2004. Project or not, the CA Scotch Couple simply couldn't resist. It was a remarkable space, and it was worth the pain to make it beautiful again. They made an offer.
For seven months, long before the accident and throughout the CA Scotch Couple's recovery, they fought their way through the tortuous short sale and then foreclosure process. They managed to buy the Bird Sanctuary from the bank on the final day of 2009, immediately moved in, and endured endless months of living under plastic sheets with construction chaos ringing around them.
On the day they finally closed on the Bird Sanctuary, CA Scotch Gent sat CA Scotch Chick down and asked for two favors. First, could they please, please, please, set a goal of having the renovations done by the end of summer? No more projects stretching for years. Secondly, could they please, please, please, stop calling it the Bird Sanctuary?
They set a goal of August 31st as the drop dead date for finishing the renovation, and they scheduled a party to make sure they met that goal. Then they cast around for a more suitable name — finally deciding on "Studio A" in honor of the sign over its door.
It was a long hard nine months, complicated by the CA Scotch Couple's recovery from their injuries and those all encompassing work schedules. However, on August 31st, a mere three hours before their party, the CA Scotch Couple finally removed the last of the plastic, pushed the furniture into place, and claimed Studio A as their own.
It was well worth the effort. Studio A is now up to code; the birds have been evicted; it has been scrubbed from top to bottom; and it is now equipped with new bathrooms, appliances, countertops, skylights, and roof. Gentle light filters into its spacious and gracious interior giving the CA Scotch Couple the impression that they are stepping into a magnificent cavern whenever they return at the end of the day — the perfect refuge for a pair of recluses. It has been an extremely long tough year, but the CA Scotch Couple are finally home.