Themed around the notion of ‘Expecting the Unexpected’, the set, created by Balvenie malt master David C. Stewart, contains five malts with vintages from 1971 through to 2009, which ‘bring to life the mystery and magic inherent in whisky maturation’. Meanwhile the Balvenie Morgan Roadster, of which only a handful were produced by the Malvern-based car manufacturer for exclusive use by the brand, is also included in the lot. 80,000, the two-seater features a Tudor body with V8 engine, and is described as the ‘perfect addition to any whisky-lover’s collection’. To top the lot off, the successful bidder will also be invited on a behind-the-scenes trip to the Balvenie distillery in Dufftown. ‘This is the first time Balvenie has participated in an auction of this nature,’ said Balvenie brand director Greg Levine. Chris Munro, head of wine department for Christie’s Americas, said the lot has the highest ever value for any individual lot in its category. ‘It’s… an interesting lot for us, as it combines luxury handcrafted goods with a one-of-a-kind experience, making a lot that is already extremely exclusive even more enticing,’ he said. The first chapter in the Balvenie DCS Compendium was launched in 2015, with five whiskies themed around the idea of ‘Distillery Style’. With a price tag of £27,000, it was billed as the distillery’s ‘biggest launch to-date’.
As the distillery prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary this year, Lagavulin is readying to launch a celebratory single malt Scotch whisky – Lagavulin 8 Year Old. The whisky was created in honour of whisky scribe Alfred Barnard from the 19th century, who sampled an eight-year-old Lagavulin during a visit to Islay and described it as “exceptionally fine” and “held in high repute”. Aged exclusively in refill American oak casks, Lagavulin 8 Year Old is said to be “magnificently full” with tasting notes of charred, minty, dark chocolate, and sweet, smoky and warming flavours. Georgie Crawford, distillery manager at the Lagavulin distillery, described the variant as being “both challenging and serene at the same time” and “very sophisticated for its age”. ],” added Crawford. “We wanted to look as far back as possible in the 200-year history that we have. “We went through the stories, looking at the age of the stories and took that to the blending team and asked whether based on the stories, could they come up with something for us? To me, Lagavulin, at least in late-teen form, is the sepia scent of late evenings in formative lounges; of glinting crystal glasses, dimmed lights and the unpicking of the world through low murmurings. It is a whisky I drank before whisky mattered so much; something elevated and august amidst the cheap pints, the nameless neon shots, the stale, dark stickiness of night clubs bleak by daylight, the caliginous uncertainties of the future. The smoke of Lagavulin hung over the bridge into my post-University adulthood, and enveloped me again four years ago, when adulthood seemed its most stygian and inexorable. When I was offered a list of samples a month or so back, this Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition stood out, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps I thought it might be cathartic. Perhaps it was something that hadn’t been reviewed on Malt before. Perhaps I just fancied a Lagavulin. It’s a progression of the standard 16-year-old, finished briefly in Pedro Ximenez casks; the darkest, sweetest, most glutinous of sherries.
But there are beer styles you often see distilled, and then there are those I’ve never had a chance to taste. When I heard that the classic Bend, OR brewers had released a distilled version of their legendary Black Butte Porter, I knew that was something I needed to try. I’ve only sampled one other whiskey that was distilled from a mash with a percentage of dark roasted malt, and the results were utterly unique. I can honestly say that going into this experience, I had little to no idea how exactly a distilled porter would taste. Turns out, the answer is pretty damn great. 4 char American oak barrels. It’s sold only via the Deschutes taproom and via Bendistillery, which means access is sadly limited. It’s a 94 proof spirit that was apparently aged around three years, picking up some pretty substantial color along the way. 80, but it’s a very unique bottle to be able to add to your collection. The Balvenie is located in the Speyside region of Scotland. This Dufftown distillery continues to produce (some of) its own barley, which is quite impressive in a time when a great deal of the malting is outsourced. It’s hard work turning barley, after all. Monkey shoulders be damned! These days, modern technology aids in keeping maltsters from developing crooked shoulders and bad backs. The Balvenie is no exception to this rule with its top-of-the-line malting floor. Today’s review concerns a limited release that sounds more like a mathematical equation than the title of an expensive whisky. Whatever happened to the unpronounceable Scottish Gaelic that we all know and love? If I were naming this one, I might call it, “A bheil Beurla agat.” Or perhaps “Dance If Ye Can,” to quote the late great William Wallace. The “tun” in Tun 1509 Batch 4 makes reference to an oak marrying vessel that’s really just an exceptionally large cask. Obviously, the number of the tun vessel used to produce this series is 1509. You might have already surmised that there were three other batches married in Tun 1509, prior to the one currently under review.
In 1843, Chivas Brothers was granted a Royal Warrant to supply goods to Queen Victoria. During the 1850s James Chivas decided to respond to his affluent customers’ demands for a smoother whisky, by beginning to blend whiskies to create a blend proprietary to Chivas Brothers. In the early 1900s, Chivas Brothers decided to create its most aged blended Scotch whisky to export to the United States, where the booming economy after the turn of the century was fueling demand for luxury goods. Chivas Regal 25 Year Old was launched in 1909 as the original luxury Scotch, and became a leading brand in the United States. Chivas Regal was purchased by Seagrams in 1949, which enabled a much wider distribution and marketing system. ] the company was able to buy the Strathisla Distillery, which produces the Strathisla single malt whisky used in the Chivas Regal blend. Chivas Regal was re-launched as Chivas Regal 12 year old in the US following the disruption of both Prohibition and World War II. Only 6,000 bottles of the latest Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival tie-in are available for purchase from the distillery’s on-site shop. The annual festival, which is promoted by Jazz Scotland and the Islay Arts Association, took place this year on 15-17 September at venues across the island, including various distilleries, Bowmore’s Round Church and Bruichladdich Hall. The 2017 Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival expression was matured in a combination of refill American oak hogsheads and first-fill American oak barrels. It’s described as a sweet and typically peaty expression, with ‘hints of almonds, brazil nuts, pears and smoked ham’. Lagavulin distillery manager Georgie Crawford said: ‘It’s been a special time for Lagavulin, as in 2016 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the distillery. The non-age-statement, cask strength release is bottled at 57.6% abv and available for £99. Only visitors to the distillery will have the chance to buy the special edition, which is limited to two bottles per customer.