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A wash of phenols and citrus fruits that ends in a smokey bite. After aeration or a bit of dillution, some sweet notes of anise and dark, woody cocoa. Behind all of this is the bracing roasted peat that has made this distiller famous. Non-chill filtered to maintain all of the whisky's nuances. In my opinion, one of the most complex 10-year bottlings, and a perfect introduction to smoky Islay malts. 46% ABV JR
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.
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
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
Glengyle Distillery was first operational between 1873 and 1925. After it shuttered it was turned into a rifle range, and though there were a few attempts to reopen, none were successful until the year 2000, when it was bought by Mr. Hedley Wright, owner of Springbank and patron of Campbeltown. Using all Scottish barley and floor-malting at Springbank, Kilkerran shares many similarities with its neighbor, though is slightly lighter in body and less idiosyncratic, most likely due to the brand new stills that were installed upon reopening. Aged in both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry cask, this is the first 12 year age statement released and is well worth seeking out. A whiff of peat leads to a palate of toffee, butterscotch, citrus peel and a slight salinity. Out of the dozens of bottles in my whiskey cabinet, I find myself reaching for this one with frequency. We are expecting many great bottlings from this new/old distillery from Campbeltown. Oskar Kostecki
Kilchoman is the first new distillery on the famed island of Islay for 124 years. The concept is a "farm distillery" that houses every aspect of the production, from growing the grain to bottling the barrels. The results are fantastic with soft peat and salty citrus flavors. This bottle is a vatting of three, four and five year old whiskies, with meticulous barrel selection giving the scotch a more mature profile than one may think. JR
Each year, this release gets me more excited than almost anything else. The 12 year cask strength has everything I love about Springbank whisky, but on steroids. Amplified aromas of dried fruit, dried cherries, citrus rind, and leather assault the palate, with a faint whiff of smoke and engine oil. This was aged in 70% sherry cask, and it shows in the creamy texture. Snap this up before its gone! Oskar Kostecki
From the peninsula of Campbeltown comes the historic Springbank. Campbeltown once was the thriving center of Scottish distillation, now Springbank is one of the few left. A truly artisanal operation that employs their own floor maltings. Springbank uses a light peating for a smoky island character. The malt is actually distilled two and a half times, so there is a lightness that, when combined with the rugged terrain, creates a complex scotch that is very unique. Most of the malt was raised in Bourbon barrels for a pure, dry expression. (46% ABV) JR