Everyone loves new things, right? We do – especially when it’s whisky related! So we’re going to take a look at what’s new in whisky at the moment, helped with a few drams from our newest whisky box release: New Kids on the Block.
It’s time to dive in and find about new whiskies from the New World, recently established Scotch distilleries, and hot-off-the-press releases from well-loved brands. There’s always something exciting happening in the world of whisky. In with the new, indeed!
Wemyss Malts are a small-but-mighty independent bottler and blender. In 2015 they ventured into whisky making. They’ve carefully restored a beautiful Georgian farmstead in Fife, which is now home to the Kingsbarns distillery. The Dream to Dram is their flagship malt, made with locally-grown barley and aged in ex-bourbon and STR casks. In 2020 it won Best Lowlands Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards – off to a brilliant start.
There is banana, pineapple and summer berries, with a slight herbal note. Soft toffee, custard pastry and redcurrants, with a spicy ginger finish.
With the next whisky, we’re off to the new world, and a country that’s turned a lot of preconceptions about whiskymaking on their heads. Melbourne-based Starward proudly use a lot of Australian wine casks to age their whiskies, giving them a unique stamp. Left-Field is their newest UK release: a single malt that’s been aged in Australian red wine barrels made from 100% European oak. While that might make the whisky sound like a berry-sweet flavour bomb, the whisky is in fact delicately balanced and nuanced.
Tropical fruit, red apple, fresh red berries on the nose. Estery with more bright tropical fruit and toasted oak on the palate. Delicate finish with soft tannic structure and French oak spice.
It’s not very often we get to feature batch number 1 of a Scotch whisky, so this single malt from Strathearn Distillery is very exciting! Having been distilled in 2013 and 2014, this surprisingly mature whisky spent its life in European oak and ex-Sherry casks. This craft distillery is based just outside Perth, in the highlands of Scotland. In 2019 it was acquired by Douglas Laing, which is a huge vote of confidence in our books.
A dry oak style balanced by caramel with a touch of vanilla. The Sherried heritage is apparent with a leathery sweetness plus red fruits and cocoa. Butterscotch lingers on the finish, which is long with honeyed barley and oat biscuits.
Joining the ranks of other new craft distilleries opening up in Ireland, Clonakilty surely has one of the most ruggedly beautiful settings. Don’t believe us? Check out this gorgeous video of their distillery. Situated in the town of Clonakilty on the south coast of Ireland, their first whiskey releases have already netted them a few awards. This Port Cask Finish is a blend of Irish malt and grain whiskey, married and finished in rich Port casks from the Douro valley.
On the nose are hints of ripe peaches, zest and a hit of wood. Fruity notes of peach and just a hint of chilli on the palate. The result is a smooth, elegant whiskey with a subtle, spicy notes.
It’s tough to start a new distillery on an island as small – and packed with distilling heritage – as Islay. Yet relative Islay “New Kids” Kilchoman have proved it’s possible, even committing to farm their own local barley. Their signature Machir Bay release has rightfully earned its place among Islay legends. That’s why we were thrilled to see this limited edition Cask Strength release late last year. Complete with cute Christmas hats on the local ovine residents, this extremely limited bottling is a peaty, sherried explosion of flavour. Here’s hoping this high-octane malt joins their lineup for good.
Hints of lemon zest and vanilla on the nose followed by a burst of floral intensity, juicy pears and peaches. Rich with dried sultanas, warm smoke with honey-like sweetness. Strong notes of cracked pepper, sea salt and citrus that give way to a long-lasting flavour of peat smoke.
Some Dram Teamers might remember a very special exclusive cask pick we featured from this popular English distillery a little while back. Good news if you missed it – we’ve only gone and scored another exclusive barrel sample. Bimber’s official releases have been notoriously hard to get hold of since word got out about their fantastic single malt. Here’s your chance to try it! This time, the whisky has been spirited away from an ex-bourbon cask. We think this showcases Bimber’s young, spicy, fruity London single malt in all its glory. The future of whisky is looking very bright indeed.
Fresh golden delicious apple, pear, and fruity esters on the nose. Sweet cane juice, fresh minty tartness like a mojito, elderflower, honeysuckle and cloves. Dried apple and light oak spice combine with a fresh minty finish.
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