A Christmas Miracle: Two Single-Barrel Scotch Bottlings Selected By Chambers St. Wines

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They’re here. Just in time for the holidays, we welcome two Chambers Street exclusives in the form of single-barrel Speyside single malts. This area in the northeast of Scotland around the River Moray is home to the most distilleries of any whisky-producing region in the country, and also produces some of my favorite drams. I’m not the only one who shares this sentiment (the two best-selling single malts in the world are from Speyside), and we are proud to have selected two barrels from the highly-regarded Duncan Taylor Octave range of whiskies.

Duncan Taylor began as a cask broker and trading company in 1938. Over the years, they developed strong ties with the distillers whom they worked with and began bringing their own barrels to the distilleries to be filled with new make spirit. The result of this was a large warehouse filled with an awesome collection of single malts, many of which are not regularly available in today’s markets. The Octave series denotes whiskies that have been aged in 600L cask before finishing in “octave” casks, or casks that are 1/8th the size of regular whisky barrels. The company had always been experimenting with finishing whisky in smaller quarter and octave casks built from used sherry butts and Bourbon barrels, but did not commit to releasing these casks as unique, single-barrel offerings until the mid-2000s. All of them are bottled un-chillfiltered without added colorant, with many of them at full cask strength for a pure, unadulterated, and delicious whisky. 

The two barrels that we have chosen highlight the two main flavor profiles of Speyside: the light, grassy profile which carries the slightest wisp of peat from the lesser-known Aultmore distillery in Keith, and the richer, sweeter style that is the hallmark of the historic Glen Moray distillery in Elgin. And if you can’t decide between the two, don’t worry - you don’t have to! For a limited time, purchase the Chambers St. Holiday Scotch two-pack and receive a 10% discount. Don’t miss this chance to taste two rare Speyside whiskies at their purest. What could be a better gift for yourself or a whisky-loving friend this holiday season? Slàinte! Tim Gagnon

 

Duncan Taylor Octave Series Aultmore 2008 (7 Years-Old) Single Malt Scotch Whisky Chambers St. Malt #1

The Aultmore distillery in Keith has a long and somewhat complicated history, as many distilleries in Scotland do. It originally opened in 1895 powered by water wheel (which was quickly retired and replaced with a steam engine that was in use for 70+ years, save for maintenance, during which time the water wheel would be brought back into use) under the control of Alexander Edward, who was also the owner of the Benrinnes distillery. By 1899 it was under new ownership, went bankrupt in that year, and reopened again in 1904 only to close yet again during World War I due to barley shortages. By the late 1920s it was operating at full capacity. It changed hands multiple times, but aside from a brief closure due to expansion in the late 1960s, operation continues to this day. Though they do release an eponymous bottling in small quantities, the majority of the whisky is destined for blended malts. This is a shame, since it is among the most classic Speyside single malts I have tried.

This Chambers Street Exclusive was aged in 600L sherry casks before being moved into sherry-refill octave casks for 9 months. Delicate, airy aromas of grapefruit zest and warm hazelnut are backed by more decadent notes of peach cobbler, fresh cut grass, and brown sugar. It has nice weight on the palate and is decidedly fruit-forward with underlying spice, honey, chocolate, and toffee notes. There is almost a nutty, briny note as well with a wisp of smoke that sneaks in on the finish. A very traditional dram, and one that you won’t see again.

Chambers Street Malt #1: Aultmore Octave #Q1244. Distilled in 2008, bottled in 2016 aged 7 years-old at 104.4 proof after 9 months in octave cask. 81 bottles produced. Tim Gagnon

  • scotch malt whisky
  • 28 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

Duncan Taylor Octave Series Glen Moray 2009 (7 Years-Old) Single Malt Scotch Whisky Chambers St. Malt #2

Glen Moray is a distillery in Elgin, on the banks of the River Lossie, about a thirty-minute drive northwest of the Aultmore distillery. Originally owned by Robert Thorne & Sons (the owners of Aberlour at the time) and called the West Brewery, it opened in 1895 before adding two stills and rebranding as a distillery in 1897. A fire at the Aberlour distillery in the early 1900s all but halted production at Glen Moray as they focused their attention to rehabilitating the destroyed facility. It closed in 1910, and lay dormant until the late 1920s when it was purchased by the owners of the Glenmorangie family, and has been distilling ever since.

Our Chambers Street bottling shows the other side of Speyside with a fuller, sweeter profile. Think peanut brittle, caramel, granola, maple cream, and dried flower petals on the nose, with a decadent mouthfeel and flavors reminiscent of honey roasted walnuts, treacle, and brown spice. The finish picks up some of the piquant notes from the sherry octave that it was finished in, resulting in a slightly sweet, intoxicatingly long, and complex finish.

Chambers Street Malt #2: Glen Moray Octave #Q1207. Distilled in 2009, bottled in 2016 aged 7 years-old at 111.2 proof after 9 months in octave cask. 98 bottles produced. Tim Gagnon

  • scotch malt whisky
  • 64 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

Chambers St. Octave Holiday 2-Pack (ARR 12/2)

For those who can't decide between the two! Get 10% off on one bottle each of Aultmore 2008 and Glen Moray 2009 while supplies last. 

  • scotch malt whisky
  • 12 in stock
  • no discount
  • $197.99