One does not naturally associate summer with whisky, but let me assure you that whisky is the perfect dram anytime of the year, any season. There’s a few whiskies that have been released in Europe earlier this year that are just making their way to the States. These whiskies happen to be coming from two of the youngest and most exciting distilleries in Scotland. Arran (founded 1994) and Kilchoman (founded 2005) have made a quick impression upon the whisky world. Here’s some more information on their upcoming releases:
Arran 17 – Last year Arran started a trilogy of annual whiskies that will ultimately culminate in the release of their much anticipated 18 year old expression. The 16 year old turned some heads last year and this season we’re graced with a limited edition 17 year old. This release has been produced from un-peated malted barley and matured exclusively in hand selected sherry casks. The whisky is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV. There are only 9,000 bottles available globally so act quickly if you hope to own a piece of Arran history.
Arran Premium Sherry Cask Spring Release – Next up for Arran is a premium sherry cask spring release. Distillery manager James MacTaggart hand picks special casks on a biannual basis for cask strength bottling. This whisky has been aged for 16 years in Oloroso sherry casks and is bottled at cask strength 56% ABV. Each bottle is individually numbered and also list the date of distillation. Make note that the Premium Sherry Cask is distinct from retail exclusive cask strength bottlings since it’s actually an official distillery bottling. It’s always a treat to try whisky bottled directly from the barrel without any dilution. See here for my review of last years’ Premium Sherry Cask release.
Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2nd Edition – The first edition of Loch Gorm was released in April of 2013 and was subsequently awarded with the prestigious 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Gold medal. Each release is differentiated by the distillation and bottling dates. Loch Gorm is fully matured in Oloroso sherry butts before being bottled at 46% ABV. Although there is no age statement, each year the expression grows slightly older. I’m guessing this years’ Loch Gorm will be a vatting of mostly five year old spirit with some four year old juice.
Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th Edition – The US launch date hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s coming soon! It was released in Europe on May 12th. This whisky is very unique since all of the components used to make it come solely from Kilchoman distillery and farm. The barley is grown on the property and floor malted at the distillery. It’s a whisky that they’re rightfully very proud of. For the fourth edition, they have selected 40 first fill bourbon barrels – 32 five year old and 8 four year old. This whisky is bottled at 50% ABV and is noticeably more floral and fruity than the rest of Kilchoman’s range.