Popular Posts

Friday, 23 January 2015

Last Great Malts

Pick up a whisky guide from the decade of my birth and it will confidently tell you that - here in the '70s - all malt whiskies are blends.

Fast forward half a lifetime to the present day and single malts are where it's at.

Why so? Essentially fashion - we now revere individuality, differentiation and artisan craftsmanship, eschewing standardisation and industrial homogeneity.

On the back of this shift in fashion, Dewars are releasing the Last Great Malts series - five single malt whiskies previously used solely for blending.

Aberfeldy has been available as a single malt since the '90s, Aultmore and Craigellachie were launched at the back end of 2014, Brackla and Deveron are planned for launch soon.

These were all lovely whiskies, well made and accomplished, and all quite distinct in character.

Aultmore 12 (£43) light, floral grassy Speyside; expressive. A summery, starter-course of a whisky.

Aultmore 25 (£303) complex and concentrated; more tertiary, woody flavours of roasted nuts and spices.

Craigellachie 13 (£43) more old school and less expressive; its characteristic, slightly sulphurous notes come from the "worm tub" cooling process. Rounded and substantial; clean, elegant, accomplished.

Craigellachie 17 (£80) just a few extra years knits the sweet cooked fruit and spice together more harmoniously

Craigellachie 23 (£337) very mellow, complex and harmonious, lots of woody vanilla sweetness

Aberfeldy 12 (£31) rich fruitcake, roasted nuts and spices, heathery sweetness. Typically Highland - match with a crackling log fire and wing-back chair.

Aberfeldy 21 (£114) deeper, more concentrated and smokey

The best of these whiskies was the Craigellachie with its understated accomplishment - which you choose depends largely on budget; the 23yo is exponentially more expensive than the 13, but the 17 represents the best quality-to-price ratio.
Other related articles
Whiskies for Burns Night 
A Wee Dram on Burns Night

No comments:

Post a Comment