I’ve been hearing the term ‘dry January’ a lot recently,
particularly from those who have reclaimed their alcohol as the first day of
February arrived. Regular visitors may have drawn the same conclusions from the
lack of posting here. It has been a time for taking stock and constructing whisky
plans for the year ahead.
Whisky festivals are ten a penny it seems (Speyside 2013
looks great) and my potential trips less formulated than I really would want.
However, Orkney will be happening this year and that means a spectacular tour
at Highland Park. I’m also planning on at least taking a few photographs of
Scapa which isn’t open to the public so external only I guess!
So my first whisky purchase of 2013 is from…
‘That Boutique-Y Whisky Company’ (yes, dire name) is a
new label from the chaps at Master of Malt and is beginning to pick up steam.
When the first releases landed from this new label towards the end of 2012, I’ll
admit I was slightly dubious about it all. Needless to say I now regret passing
over the first Ardbeg release although I still have some reservations. The idea
is ingenious though and well executed. For those new to the concept let me
For many online retailers and independent bottlers
complete casks from distilleries are becoming less widespread and varied. Competition
is also becoming fierce and asking prices formidable. Casks are dwindling for
say Ardbeg (see the amazing popularity of the MOM Ardbeg when one does appear)
and other names that would rather keep their own barrels in house. So while
Invergordon is plentiful you’ll be less likely to see a Macallan or even those
classic silent names such as Brora or Port Ellen. What casks do remain are
either gold dust or incomplete. By incomplete these could be a leaking cask, a
partial filling or stock cask recently discovered. I’ve seen a few independent
bottlers creating their own very limited release of under a hundred bottles,
subsequently followed by the same cask turning up elsewhere with another
bottler making use of what’s left.
‘That Boutique-Y Whisky Company’ is a response to that
trend. MOM have seen a gap in the market and decided to exploit it whilst
having some fun. Taking these dwindling casks and remnants within they create
their own blends specific to each distillery in dinky 50cl bottles adorned with
cartoon labelling that takes inspiration from the distillery. Their aim is to
go around each of the distilleries and part of the intrigue is you don’t know
what is coming out next. When Clynelish arrived this week I knew that I had to
finally take the plunge.
A release of just 197 bottles, each individually numbered
and protected by 3 cats who debate the merits of the famous felines of Brora
and Clynelish. Entries for this label vary greatly in price terms dictated by
the source ingredients and the limited nature of each release. £55 for a 50cl
bottle may seem like an over inflated expense but only the creators know the
ages of the casks that contributed to this mix. As a fan of Clynelish and one of my favourite distillery tours I had to pick up this wee guy.
Age: Blend of unknown age
Limited Edition of: 197
Labels: Clynelish, distillery, That Boutique-Y Whisky Company, whisky