On hold with tastings

Dear friends,

I have stopped tasting strong drinks. I don't know for how long, I just don't want to do it anymore. I will post some tastings still, as I have many notes that are waiting to be published.



Master of Malt released 60 year old malt from undisclosed distillery

Very interesting news from Master of Malt - they have released 60 year old malt from disclosed distillery. Even more interesting stuff is that I have got sample of it from them! So tasting notes very very soon..!


50th anniversary for Jim McEwan in whisky business

This personality is so well known in whisky business. Jim worked for 38 years at Bowmore starting from apprentice cooper while finishing as a distillery manager, moved to Bruichladdich in 2001. There he is still working as one of the most important people. He said in the past to journalists he wants to retire after his celebration of 50 years in whisky business as he would like to have more time with his granchildren. Remoy Cointreau group, present owners of Bruichladdich convinced him to stay for another 3 years. Jim is positive with owners and their vision so he will continue.

Good luck, Jim!


Whisky club „Lithuanian whisky brotherhood“ event with guest from the UK

This week our club had fantastic regular event. All our members were present. In addition to that we have had very interesting guest from Angus Dundee – Jimmy Robertson who is also hosting whisky tastings in Kaunas („W1640”) and Vilnius („King and Mouse“) whisky bars this week. Angus Dundee owns Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries and also Islay malt from Secret distillery called Smokey Joe. They also deliver some indie bottlings under the name of Mackillop‘s Choice. We had a nice chance to try 3 different new makes (unmatured whisky spirit) and to compare them. We had Tomintoul, Glencadam and Old Ballantruan (smoked Tomintoul malt).  It is always interesting to try finding the differences in the aroma. And in the taste also – I have tried to taste them all!. Spirit from Tomintoul is robust, more powerful while that one from Glencadam is more delicate and gentle. When we later had 21 year old versions from both distilleries (tasting notes one day!), I could distinguish the same differences (gentle and robust) in mature whisky. Then for the great finish we had Tomintoul 1976.

Jimmy Robertson presented us some stories from his current job at Angus Dundee, but also from his past adventures while working with Johnnie Walker (when it was still under United Distillers ownership) and Morrison Bowmore (Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries). It was always nice to know or confirm the perception why whisky spirit is so various event excluding peated malts. Shape of the pot still, fermentation time, how worth is mixed with warm water, how much pot still is filled, etc – evertyhing has slight influence to the final spirit that we sip enjoying afer many years. For sure, time and oak has the most influence, but every whisky spirit matures differently and these differences are somehow still felt after long cask ageing.

Another pleasant surprise we had.. Our member, Laurynas, had a trip in the USA, where he had a chance to visit St. George distillery. This distillery despite it‘s bourbon making in addition with some interestingly strange spirits (like distillate from orange blossoms, or from the oysters(yes!)) did some single malt batches in the past. Laurynas, after several tries to find it in different stores finally found that one and took home to us to Lithuania. I should post tasting notes soon also.

Burn Stewart Distillers has new owners

Burn Stewart Distillers the owner of such Scotch whisky brands as Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader has changed hands.

Just recently it was acquired by South African company Distell for 2,2 billion rands (160 million pounds). This was an extension of the previous relationship between the companies - they were partners in marketing Black Bottle, Scottish Leader and Bunnahabhain in sub-Saharan Africa. This is actually the second large international acquisition for Distell, last time it bought French Cognac producer Bisquit.

Apparently, more and more international conglomerates appear from less known countries. Let's just hope that the quality will keep up, and the prices will not go up!

P.S. BSD runs the Tobermory distillery and it looks like they are having a little trouble. The manager said that main water source for the distillery dried out and the quality of the water is not suitable for the whisky. However, the fans of this particular whisky do not have to worry. After the water is back, the distillery will increase the output and will make up for the delay.