Islay finish me arse .... !!!
They are not an Islay distillery so get lost would be my opinion. However they are not the first to do this and probably not the last but this sort of carry on makes me lose respect for a distillery...
Whats that now ...... distillery number 87 struck off the friendly list
What next a kentucky finish (Just so they can pretend it's something different to a bourbon barrel )
Put is another way ... what if Indian distilleries started to say Scotch Finish(by getting their hands on used scotch casks) I bet the SWA would have something to say about it.
Sorry for the heated attack but I believe these bottling are just pure swindles on us the poor consumers but if people think it is a good idea then you have to freedom to buy but I for one will be voting with my feet and a closed pocket
I like certian finishes but this to me is taking it too far. AS someone previously said could tey not have vatted it with some Islay malt, oh but tht would mean they have to sell at a considerable lower cost. So why not used peated malt in the mash oh because 10 years ago they did not realise that Islay would be so huge and they would need to piggy back to get a quick buck. Sell outs to their own brand is all their doing.
fishboy wrote:I guess this bottling is long since sold out. I saw it at the time but deicded to give it a miss, as I recall it was around the £50-60 mark. Out of interest does anyone have an idea what they fetch on the auction sites?
Sorry Fishboy, I have no experience of this bottle, but I will look out for it now.
(my kilchoman is in an ex-heaven hill cask i think)
Nick Brown wrote:to be fair, I've not yet seen an SMWS cask finish - at least they kept their Glenmorangie in the Jack Daniels cask from day one
a cynic might call it a designer whisky - designed to be enjoyed with coke
Lets not forget that Jack Daniels is essensially bourbon until they run it through charcoal so there really isn't all that much difference. Bourbons vary by so much that in themselves a bourbon barrel isn't consistent. It could have been a rye heavy bourbon or a wheat heavy bourbon both very different.
I think the problem with how the distilleries market their product is us the discriminating consumer. If Balvenie tastes good with some Islay whisky thrown in then mix it and call it a vatting, the reason they don't is most of the people on the forum won't buy it. I agree with people that say they won't drink blends because they don't like grain whisky that is ok, but a vatting is pure malt whisky, no different from vatting two barrels from the same distillery one bourbon and one sherry cask, (go ahead post your complaints to this comment but it is true otherwise we wouldn't try different expressions from the same distillery) They are both very different but we don't complain so why complain about a vatting from two different distilleries, I personnally thought the Serendipity was a good whisky but alot of people (some who probably never tasted it) bashed it on these very forums, Why? because it was a vatted malt and a abomination. I think vatting should be more common because we can take two whiskies that arn't particularly balanced and balance them out into a great whisky. We can still go back to the single malts that made it up to see where the core of the vatting came from but in the end the whisky is better.
Aside from the question of whether vatting is a good or bad thing, there is a question about whether casks constitute vatting.
In the olden days, distillers claimed that it was the flavours inherent to the wood which influenced the whisky - not the previous contents of the cask. Thus, they had us believe that the diffence between sherry casks and borbon casks was only the type of oak they had matured in. Clearly this was a bit specious, as anyone who has ever tried sherried whisky could attest.
However, if a virtue is made of the type of whisky previously held in a refill cask, then it becomes obvious that it's not just the wood doing the flavouring - it's the previous contents of the cask. And if the influence is so stark that only a few hours in the finishing cask can achieve a discernable effect, this adds even more weight to the argument that it is really vatting or adding flavouring.
To my mind, the Islay Cask was the one that let the cat out of the oven.
Nick Brown wrote:However, if a virtue is made of the type of whisky previously held in a refill cask, then it becomes obvious that it's not just the wood doing the flavouring - it's the previous contents of the cask.
Have you just figured this out? Of course the previous contents have an effect. This has been true for as long as Scotch distillers have been using second-hand barrels. If the Balvenie Islay Cask is a vatting, then every malt on the market is a vatting. Of course, some are vattings of whisky and sherry, which isn't even whisky at all--what would you call that, Nick? Hey, the even name the type of sherry sometimes. Horrors, they're flavoring the whisky with Pedro Ximenez! Sorry, you're about 150 years too late to stop that trend.
This is a lot of hoohah over exactly zippo. Casks are reused all the time, and I'd bet a fair number get swapped from distillery to distillery in the course of trading. In this case, Balvenie saw an opportunity to a) do something different with their whisky at a time when many distilleries were experimenting, or b) jump on a marketing bandwagon. Take your pick, I don't care. It came, it went, it wasn't (pardon the expression) repeated. As I recall, the SWA's objection was not with what they did, but with the use of the word "Islay" on a Speyside malt's label.
Almost all Ardbeg is matured in ex-JD, is it not? It's not even bourbon! The Scotch whisky industry does not make the distinction for that purpose.
As for finishing generally, if you don't like it, fine, don't buy it. But they put whisky into wood in the first place to improve it. If one barrel has not done the job to anyone's satisfaction, I see no ethical problem with using another to finish the job.
AlanLaz wrote:"Don't worry, it's only about $60 overpriced; but we can charge that much, and you're going to pay that much, because we're the only one that carries it."
I'd tell them where to go. If it was just a sales person, talk to the manager and play hell.
I think we'd all agree that the primary notes in Balvenie are sherry. Peated whisky can taste quite nice from a sherry butt (e.g., Laphroaig 30, Lagavulin DE, and of course Highland Park), so why not the converse: sherried whisky from a peated butt? If it doesn't work, well, too bad, but I don't see what's wrong with trying it.
AlanLaz wrote:Does anyone know where I can find this in the US? I spoke someone at Wine on the 9 in NJ who was very rude to me, who told me that they have it and sell it for $150, and told me, "Don't worry, it's only about $60 overpriced; but we can charge that much, and you're going to pay that much, because we're the only one that carries it."
Alan, a couple of things...
One, I'd tell them to put it where the sun don't shine.
Two, I'd pay $150 for the privilege of taping sandpaper to the bottle beforehand!
Three, I can't find it in the US either, but here's some place in the UK that seems to have it, but they don't ship to the US or Canada. Maybe you have a friend in one of the ok places... (All-in cost won't be much different unfortunately, but better than giving my money to that NJ bozo! )
Ps. Thanks for resurrecting the thread. Lots of good info!
Zarathustra wrote:I think we'd all agree that the primary notes in Balvenie are sherry.
Peated whisky can taste quite nice from a sherry butt (e.g., Laphroaig 30, Lagavulin DE, and of course Highland Park), so why not the converse: sherried whisky from a peated butt? If it doesn't work, well, too bad, but I don't see what's wrong with trying it.
Well, what's wrong is that the whisky industry has long pretended that the previous contents of a barrel don't add flavour - the flavour comes from the wood itself and is the same flavour that was imparted to the whiskey/wine that was in the barrel beforehand. Now, championing the previous Scotch that was held in the barrel nails the lie that it is just the wood that flavours the whisky. Wood is not peaty. And if the peaty flavour from the previous whisky comes through in the Balvenie, they you no longer have a single malt, you have a blend. Or - even worse - you expose regular single malts to be whiskies flavoured with non-Scotch - a bit like Canadian whisky. This is, IMO, a direction the whisky industry would be well advised to forget - as the SWA has also concluded.
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