Secrets of Scotch, April 2023

From anonymous flavour-based bottlings, to little-known new distilleries and one-of-kind “nomad distilled” releases, this selection of Scotches aims to show that your next favourite Scotch isn’t always the one you know the best. After all – and don’t tell the kids – but strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet! Enjoy getting to know this fine bunch of future friends, Scotch fans… The Dram Team

Secrets of Scotch! April 2023 Box

King's Inch Single Malt

Using a recipe and method devised by two highly acclaimed whisky makers (industry legend Jim Swan and experimental distiller Jack Mayo), King's Inch is not an independent bottling, nor a distillery release, but is "nomad distilled" at an unnamed young Glasgow distillery; made "borrowing" that distillery's equipment. That makes this flagship release a real unicorn!

Tasting notes 

Nose: Fresh green apple, softening to verdant barley, sweet vanilla and caramelised sugar.

Palate: Subtle citrus, green apple and hints of pineapple are quickly joined by rich espresso coffee, molasses and notes of chocolate powder.

Finish: Long and warming, with rich buttered toffee, black pepper and sweet spice notes of clove, cinnamon and ginger.

King's Inch Single Cask Sherry Edition

Following on from the core release of King's Inch, we have this very special and rather limited (only 586 bottles) single cask edition, aged for 7 years exclusively in an Oloroso sherry butt, and bottled at full cask strength. This is a celebratory bottling, marking the 1-year anniversary of the launch of the brand and its flagship release.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Anticipate macerated dark fruits with cream on the nose.

Palate: Warm wintery spices with crunchy Demerara sugar on the palate.

Finish: A long finish carries the same rich sweetness.

Lochlea Ploughing Edition

We continue to do very well at getting our hands on Lochlea's extremely elusive stock - in this case the fourth and final release in their annual series of limited seasonal bottlings. The "Ploughing Edition" reflects the winter season on the farm, when ploughing begins ahead of sowing barley in spring. This is their first ever smoky whisky, with the gentle peat influence introduced by maturation in barrels that previously held Islay malts.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Baked fruit with a light peat smoke in the background.

Palate: Old fashioned boiled sweets, more cooked apple and Brazil nuts.

Finish: Lingering fruit and nuttiness, all intertwined with a haze of Islay peat smoke.

Fruit Cake & Dark Chocolate & Medjool Dates & Cinnamon, 8 Year Old

An anonymous release from prolific whisky sellers Master of Malt, aiming to replicate styles of whisky most popular with their customers. As the name suggests, this expression aims to satisfy fans of rich Speysiders, and packs a real wallop of Christmas flavours.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Dried fruit soaked in sherry, gingersnaps, brandy butter, clove, malty vanilla lingering underneath.

Palate: A big helping of orange as it arrives on the palate, soon joined by dark chocolate shavings, golden syrup, cinnamon sticks, dried cherry, dates, and shortbread.

Finish: The eponymous fruit cake notes hang around for a good while afterwards, with hints of citrus oil and chocolate mousse.

Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire, 10 Year Old

A second mysterious designed-to-type, flavour-driven release by Master of Malt, this time targeting fans of smoky malts with a lot of complementary flavours besides. While we have tasted seaweed once or twice, we can't tell you what aeons, digging or fire taste like, only that they are very necessary to produce peat and peaty we'll roll with it!

Tasting notes:

Nose: Rich, powerful sherry with a well-integrated core of peat. Solid.

Palate: Well-balanced but extremely forceful on delivery. The sherry makes itself known in a really good way.

Finish: Red apple sweetness gives way to oaken-vanilla goodness and fades elegantly into the embers of a chargrilled well-aged steak.

Glenrothes 18 Year Old

For our dream dram this month we are sticking to a less secret and more traditional approach - take a well-known and high-quality brand, and buy a nice expensive bottle of their more well-aged liquid! Glenrothes’ 18 year old release uses a very high proportion of first fill Sherry casks for maturation, so expect a sumptuous and rich sipping experience. Cheers!

Tasting notes:

Nose: Orange oil, vanilla pods, pear and almonds.

Palate: Complex and well-rounded. Sweet, ginger, rose water, pears and vanilla.

Finish: Sweet, spicy and slightly pepper.

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