Over the bar: What’s new in March
This is a list of new whiskies selected, tasted and released weekly by our passionate team. We put around 10 whiskies on the bar each week, so our menu is forever changing and evolving and includes a broad selection of new, vintage and independently bottled whiskies.
Here we bring you our tasting notes, and we hope they’ll inspire you to explore the world of whisky further, and give you some great ideas about what to look for the next time you visit the bar.
1. Launceston Distillery Bourbon Cask 46%, Tasmania ★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: A nose of banana on porridge, green capsicum, frangipani and chocolate. Green malt, plantains with a little soot on the back palate finishes with pleasant maltiness.
2. Allt-A-Bhainne single malt lightly peated 40%, Speyside ★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: A nose of brown bread, dried apricots, limescale and green sap. Creamy on the palate with flavours of custard with stewed apples, and Saltana Bran.
3. Linkwood 11 year old ex-bourbon hogshead by Claxton’s 53.5%, Speyside ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Childhood memories on this complex nose of Bubble-O-Bill ice-creams, vanilla milkshakes, white flowers, grass, autumnal leaves, raspberry and Imperial leather. Lashes of lemon and lime on the palate, layered with custard, malty, floral characters and apricot danish. Finishes with over steeped jasmine tea.
4. Campbeltown 4 year old blended malt ex-bourbon refill cask by North Star 57%, Campbeltown ★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: Pure honey on the nose. Delivers ginger bread, driftwood, cinnamon and nectarines on the palate, finishing with orange pith and more malty honey. An excellent everyday sipper considering it’s price and age statement.
5. Wolfburn Bibendum Bar 3 year old single cask ex-sherry hogshead 58%, Highlands ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Vegemite and cheese, dates and prosciutto, meaty with beef drippings and Jamon ham on the nose. A little chlorine is prevalent on the palate, but with water this opens up into something wonderful! Malty, apricots and lime develop into a finish of rockmelon, more lime and white wine acids.
6. Aberfeldy 24 year old Cask Strength 1st fill sherry hogshead by Gordon & MacPhail 58.7%, Highlands ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Spearmint, bruised red apple, brown sugar, Tasmanian oak and cinnamon – this is one for the sherry lover! Tung oil, hogweed and dandelion on the palate with a finish of prunes and the return of that spearmint we found on the nose.
7. Ailsa Bay Release 1.2 Sweet smoke 48.9%, Lowlands ★★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: A mineral nose of blood and bone fertiliser, apple, smoked salmon, Imperial leather soap, rosemary, tar and cider vinegar. A deliciously creamy palate of earthy characters with a little chimney soot and tar, finished with more mineral and flint.
8. Port Charlotte 6 year old Islay Barley 50%, Islay ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: A magnificent nose of petrichor, neoprene, bitumen, graphite, violets, old fur coats, fresh oysters and fresh vanilla cream. Very creamy on the palate, with prominent mineral notes of red clay, walnuts and coffee cake with lemon curd on the finish.
9. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 107 American whiskey 53.5%, casks sourced from Indiana and Tennessee ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Pink marshmallows, lavender suds, rose soap, green apple skins, toffee apples, turkish delight and fairy floss. These notes continue from the nose to the palate, with an initial hit of pepper.
*On pour at Whisky & Alement from Wed 6 Mar 2019
10. Teeling Reisling Cask Reichsrat Von Buhl 46%, Ireland ★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Buttery, candy canes, shortbread, tropical juice box and green grape skins with honeysuckle and watermelon rind on the finish.
11. Teeling Rum Cask Trois Rivieres 46%, Ireland ★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: Mollasses, Agricole, grassy and neoprene. Great integration of the two sugars. Very light on the palate.
12. Teeling Brabazon Series 2 Port Casks 49.5%, Ireland ★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: Tangy sweetness, dark chocolate, buttered popcorn and forest floor.
13. Teaninich 12 year old by Hidden Spirits 51.7%, Highlands ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: McDonald’s soft serve ice-cream, confectionary, lemons and grassy notes, hay, lime jelly, toasted grain, oats and warm milk.
14. Clynelish 26 year old by Hidden Spirits 50.1%, Highlands ★★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: Roses, lavender, lovely perfumes, orange friends, lemon sherbets, vanilla slice, old libraries and blotting paper. More wax than Madame Tussaud’s!
15. Fleurieu Message in a Bottle 52.9%, South Australia ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Ginger snaps, dulce du leche, burger rings, lame tagine and prunes. A marriage of multiple port casks.
16. Revisited Port Ellen 13 year old bottled 1996 by Coopers Choice 43%, Islay ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Neoprene, bitumen, smoked cod, asparagus, tartare sauce and soot. Creamy and malty carbonara on the palate, develops into notes of tissue paper, and baked pears. Surprisingly rich!
17. Ledaig 11 year old by Hidden Spirits 52.2%, Islands ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Cheese and bacon balls, cheese supreme Doritos, bagged cement, mineral, stalactites, cave mud, Crunchy Nut, honey nuts, grilled oysters, dried apricots and salt & pepper squid.
18. Ardbeg Drum Committee Release finished in rum casks 52%, Islay ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: A sweet vanilla nose. Desiccated coconut, butterscotch, strawberry marshmallows and lead pencil shavings. Finishes with liquorice.
19. Caol Ila 7 year old Pomerol Wine Barrique by The Old Friends 58.4%, Islay ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Cadbury chocolate eclairs, cherry ripe, dry spice, jerk chicken, fruit tingles and cheese and bacon balls. A dry finish with walnuts and yeasty Vegemite vibes.
*On pour at Whisky & Alement from Wed 13 Mar 2019
20. Timboon ex-bourbon cask 50.4%, Victoria, Australia ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Floral, tropical, banana fruit salad, raspberry jubes, carpenters shop, tomato stems and turkish delight.
21. Spring Bay sherry cask #30 distilled 2016 46%, Australia ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Black bean buns, mocha, ribena, figs, maple syrup pancakes, cedar wardrobes, bread and butter pudding, cola, maraschino, roses and frangipani flowers.
22. Archive release SMWS 35.168 Essence of BFG 15 year old virgin oak butt HTMC 60.4%, Speyside ★★★★★–
Tasting Notes: Rancio, buttered popcorn, loads of stone fruit, white grapes, lamb, pickled pineapple, bread, yeah and fruit jubes.
23. Archive release SMWS 41.89 Tarte Flambé 12 year old virgin oak hogshead HTMC 57.6%, Speyside ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Banana slice, toffee apples, furniture varnish, funky, floral, butter pastry, wax, pine resin, pineapple and tung oil. A syrupy mouthfeel, cask dominates but not tannic.
24. Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 17 year old by The WhiskyFind Chichibu Whisk(e)y Matsuru 46.2%, Scotland ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Big, old sherry cask. Potpourri, raisin toast, pomegranate, black plums, Capi melon soda, spicy oak, incense and sandalwood.
25. Macallan 1985 sherry butt by Carn Mor “Celebration of the Cask” 47.7%, Speyside ★★★★–
Tasting Notes: Fermented grapes, fireplace ash, celery salt, quince, angostura bitters and 90% cocoa chocolate.
26. Tamdhu 18 year old refill hogshead distilled 1999 bottled 2017 by Douglas Laing’s Old Particular 48.4%, Speyside ★★★★–
Tasting Notes: Soapy, a little chlorine, oak spice, lovely vanilla, and sweetness on the front palate.
27. Knockdhu 8 year old “Speyside” ex-hogshead distilled 2009 bottled 2017 by Carn Mor Strictly Limited Edition 46%, Speyside ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Dry grass, chardonnay, sweet grain, yoghurt and apricot muesli bars.
28. Belgrove Hopped Malt Whisky (distilled IPA beer) bottled 12 March 2019 61.7%, Tasmania ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Lychees, toothpaste, aloe vera, tequila notes, green, damp and marijuana.
29. Heaven Hill 9 year old distilled 2009 finished in an Islay hogshead by North Star 66.1%, Kentucky ★★★★ –
Tasting Notes: Cajun spice, Fisherman’s Friends, paprika, corn cobs, delicious hot sauce, jerk chicken and dried chilli flakes.
30. Mid-month release SMWS 136.2 Paradise in a paradis 3 year old 1st fill hogshead ex-oloroso distilled 2015 60.4%, Lowlands ★★★★–
Tasting Notes: Hot cross buns, prunes, lots of sherry, berry compote, rancio, fried shallots, caramelised onion, burnt butter and boozy fruit.
31. Mid-month release SMWS R9.1 Music for rockers of rum 13 year old refill barrel ex-bourbon 61.8%, Panamanian rum ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Flinty, pineapples, tomato chutney, balsamic finish, green grass and funky fruit. Hold the ABV very well!
*On pour at Whisky & Alement from Wed 20 Mar 2019
32. Hakushu Whisky Shop W. bottled 2014 48%, Japan ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Bright on the nose, pear, apple candy, soap flakes. Coconut on the palate, malty, spicy, orange blossom, apple cider, green tea. Finishes with more apple and pear.
Notes: Whisky Shop W. was a Suntory whisky shop located in Osaka. We were lucky to purchase this bottle at our visit to the shop in 2014 before it closed.
33. Benrinnes 18 year old by Liquor Fang Monochrome series Bourbon cask 58%, Speyside ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: Green apple skin and jasmine on the nose. Stone fruit, biscuity, iron, yellow peaches, crisp, malty, well integrated vanilla, white pepper. Flint, milk biscuits, fruit and nut oats on the finish.
Notes: Liquor Fang is a relatively new Taiwanese independent bottler by Mr. Fang. The monochrome series indicates a song and colour to represent the whisky. This purple bottling represents Prince’s song Purple rain.
34. SMWS 108.13 Green fingers, nougat and ginger 10 year old 59.5%, Speyside ★★★★☆–
Tasting Notes: On the nose lavender, dried rose petals, walnuts, fresh jalapeño chilli, coconut and unripe bananas. On the palate bounty bars, Montecarlo biscuits, pink icing finger buns with finishing with ginger.
Notes: This is a young distillery that opened in 1975, most of it’s malt was used in the blend 100 Pipers. 50% of their production is distilled at 10ppm.
35. Linkwood 10 year old sherry 2008/2018 hogshead by Malts of Scotland 58.3%, Speyside ★★★★★- 92.28
Tasting Notes: On the nose, raspberry Starburst jubes, caramel fudge, Werthers, pecan, and toffee. On the palate, blackberry jam and blood plums, bright fruit, rancio, clearly american oak matured with a savoury finish of spearmint leaf lollies, tart and fruity.
Other Notes – Independent bottler Malts of Scotland is located in Germany.
36. SMWS 10.157 Banging 12 year old 60.1%, Islay★★★★☆-
Tasting Notes: Initially dusty on the nose. Give this one time in the glass. After opening a little, this delivers a nose of dusty wardrobes, cranberry, biscuit, baclava, cardamom, butter, bitter cherries. On the palate, apple crumble, liquorice, coconut and vanilla with a finish of aniseed. We recommend water with this one. Tasting notes with water: red liquorice, musk sticks, raspberry candy, with a creamy vanilla palate.
37. Joadja American Oak Ex Oloroso Batch 4, 48%, NSW ★★★☆– 79
Tasting Notes: A savoury nose of blueberry plum jam, quince paste, takoyaki benito flakes. Too much fortified? Palate is thin, bitter, fibrous, heavy on top of mouth, nothing on tongue, no weight at all, all fruit! Indicative of a great whisky for aperitif! Finish of large mediterranean grilled, sardines, black raisins, rare steak, dates and cassia bark.
38. Glenrothes 2003 Australian exclusive single cask #5579 56.6%, Speyside ★★★★★–
Tasting Notes: On the nose, turkish delight, prunes, dates, dried rose petals, malt milkshakes, and rocky road. Full fat mochachino, bread and golden syrup, shortbread, raisin toast, leather, old books, sea salt chocolate, minerality and tannin on the palate. Finishes with seashell, dry spice, clove, cinnamon and corporate tiramisu.
39. Stillbrook Bourbon bottled 1960’s MGP %, Pekin, Illinois ★★★★★–
Tasting Notes: A nose of dried chilli corn kernels, condensed milk, caramel and almonds. On the palate – chocolate brownie ice-cream, pickled gherkin, brown sugar, vanilla essence, cinnamon and milko sticks.
Other Notes: Prohibition forced the closure of this distillery in 1892-1920 but survived and continued into the 1970’s. There have been recounts of World War 2 veterans being rationed Stillbrook during their service.
40. Kilchoman 6 year old single sherry cask for Whisk-e ltd. Japan 59.6%, Islay ★★★★★–
Tasting Notes: 50ppm. A nose of slate, mineral, hot sand, bacon, raspberry jubes, limestone, and dim sum. On the palate caramelised lemons, cheese and bacon balls, turkish coffee, public pools, petrichor, bitumen, blood and bone, hot pebbles. This is earthier than most Kilchoman’s. Finishes with more mineral, dry spice, red currants and piquillo peppers.
41. SMWS 29.250 Peat fire flame 19 year old 59.6%, Islay ★★★★☆ –
Tasting Notes: Takes us back to Thai food markets, with a nose of passionfruit, parmesan, truss tomato stems, parmagianno reggiano, fish, perfume, gobstoppers, mango, mandarin, pink flowers, earl grey, jasmine and elastoplast. A palate of mandarin, lime, passionfruit, savoury bubblegum, asparagus, yesterday’s breakfast juice, overly crisp bacon and creamy malt. Finishes with fresh apricot and crepe paper,
*On pour at Whisky & Alement from Wed 25 Mar 2019