International Women's Day falls in March (March 8th, to be exact), and since half of the Dram Team is female, we couldn't think of a better time to celebrate some amazing women in the whisky world. Our March box of the month is both a tribute to, and created by, inspirational women. Not only that, but we're donating all proceeds of this month's box to charity, to help empower and support more women in the whisky industry and beyond.
Keep reading for more details on the six delicious whiskies featured in this box. Dram Teamer Harri will also be joined by 6 (female) representatives from these distilleries for an extra-special virtual tasting! Be sure to grab your tasting box well in advance, so you can join us on the 10th of March to meet the whisky makers, join the conversation, and taste along with us. We'll be streaming live from 8pm on our Facebook and YouTube channels. And if you'd like to know more about our 6 whisky women, keep your eyes peeled for another blog post soon.
Women in Whisky, our charity edition March 2020 box
Tamnavulin, Double Cask
Women in Whisky panel guest: Laura MacDonald, Communications and Media Relations Manager at Whyte & MackayTamnavulin Double Cask, our first Women in Whisky dram
Tamnavulin's first whisky release since the 90s, the Double Cask launched in 2016 and heralded big things to come. It's also our second Tamnavulin whisky to feature in our tasting boxes! In addition to making approachable, great quality whisky at affordable prices, Tamnavulin also just so happens to have a female-led distillery team. The Double Cask is matured first in American oak, before a brief finishing spell in Sherry.
Rich, warm aromas of apple, toffee and honey with sweet marzipan and subtle tangy marmalade notes. Fresh, mellow with pear creamy peaches and pineapple and a hint of Demerara sugar. Rich, smooth and refreshing finish. A signature Speyside malt.
J.J. Corry, The Hanson
Women in Whisky panel guest: Louise McGuane, founder
Louise McGuane started J.J. Corry with a mission to bring back the lost art of Irish whiskey bonding. Having built a reputation for excellent cask picks, all of their releases have been well-received blends showcasing their skill at whiskey selection. The Hanson is their latest: a rare blended Irish grain whiskey, the first of its kind on the market in quite some time. Just three casks of 4 and 10 year old grain whiskey went into this blend, so it's extremely limited.
Bright and floral with a hint of deep oak. Ripe fruits and toasted vanilla notes on the palate. A rich, oily finish with a touch of ginger and warm spices.
Women in Whisky panel guest: Annabel Thomas, founder and CEONc'nean Organic Single Malt
Nc'nean (pronounced Nc-nee-an) is named for ancient Gaelic goddess Neachneohain, the queen of spirits. Their distillery is brand new, built with sustainability at its core - they use 100% renewable energy, and bottle in recycled glass. Nc'nean launched their first batch of single malt whisky, a certified organic single malt, in summer last year. A young whisky, aged for just over 3 years in a mix of STR (shaved, toasted, recharred) red wine casks and ex-bourbon. It's not often we get to feature a new Scotch whisky in our boxes, so we're quite excited!
Lemon posset, peach and apricot, spiced rye bread.
Compass Box, Hedonism
Women in Whisky panel guest: Jill Boyd, whiskymaker and brand ambassador
Compass Box paved the way for the revival of the blended Scotch category with their innovative, award-winning blends. The Hedonism is no exception: designed to showcase the luxurious flavour and silky texture of Scotch grain whiskies, it's a batch-made blend of only the best Scotch single grain whiskies. In fact, this whisky that started the whole thing when it launched back in 2000. It was a delightful instant classic then, and is still beloved today by grain whisky fans.
The aromas and flavours hint of vanilla, caramel, a delicate fruitiness, accented by flashes of coconut. Rich pastry and cream on the finish.
Women in Whisky panel guest: Laura Davies, Distillery Manager
When Penderyn's first whisky was launched in 2004, it was the first Welsh whisky released in over 100 years. From then, they've gone from strength to strength, winning a swathe of awards across multiple releases. Celt is a single malt, non-age statement whisky that's been matured in ex-bourbon casks before being finished in ex-peated casks, lending it a subtle smokiness.
Mild aromas of peat smoke, early morning at the rocky seaside and warm marmalade on toast all compete for our attention. It begins with great sweetness before the smoky, slightly medicinal flavours descend. Slight bitterness follows that leaves a long and lingering freshness in the mouth.
Cardrona, Just Hatched
Women in Whisky panel guest: Sarah Elsom, Head DistillerCardrona Distillery Just Hatched, our Women in Whisky special "Sixth Dram"
Nestled amongst picturesque snow-capped mountains in New Zealand's South Island, Cardrona Distillery is another new distillery that's turning heads. We've talked about their unique distillery before - now we're excited to try the whisky! Founded by Desiree Whitaker, the distillery is set in a stunning alpine locale, whose pure water and climate defines the whisky's taste. This "Just Hatched" whisky release is a marriage of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, and comes at an impressive cask strength of 64.4%. Whilst you sip and picture yourself in the ski fields, add a drop of water to open up the flavours. Wonderful!
A touch of cocoa from the oloroso casks, with honeyed sweetness. A weighty palate with an underlying character of borage flower honey, vanilla and spice. Long, thick, viscous finish resplendent with white fruit - sometimes peaches.
Celebrate Women in Whisky with us
We hope you agree that this whisky tasting box shows that whisky is, and should be, enjoyed by all kinds of people. Unfortunately, the Women in Whisky charity edition tasting box is now sold out, although that means we raised lots of money for charity!
If you missed it on the night, you can watch the livestreamed tasting here.
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