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The week in whisky: Benromach 40 Year Old | Fettercairn Warehouse 2 | Torabhaig Allt Gleann | Benriach malting season

It has been a busy time for this whisky industry, with many new releases and rare drams becoming available this month.

Published: August 19, 2021
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Here we take a look at some new releases and whisky news.

Benromach 40 Year Old

Benromach Distillery in Speyside has unveiled the first annual batch release of its 40 Years Old, with just over 1,000 bottles available worldwide.

Bottled at a cask strength of 57.1%, this rare single malt whisky is natural in colour and was laid down in 1981 before spending four decades maturing in the finest first-fill Oloroso sherry casks.

The result is an exquisite single malt and the oldest expression released in Benromach’s new look line up which was launched in June 2020.

Keith Cruickshank, Distillery Manager at Benromach, said: “This is the first time we have added a higher aged expression into our portfolio as an annual batch release.

"Each batch will be bottled at natural strength and will reflect the nuance and character of the casks selected for bottling each year.

“Our first Benromach 40 Years Old displays rich ginger and stewed fruit aromas, Seville orange, red apple and demerara sugar flavours before finishing with citrus zest and a subtle hint of charred oak. It truly is something special.”

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Benromach 40 Years Old is priced at £1,500. Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.

Benromach 40 Years Old is available online and at selected retailers worldwide from 16 August. For more information, visit the website.

Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 002.

Following the success of the first release from its new, small batch collection, Fettercairn Distillery has unveiled Warehouse 2 Batch No.002 showcasing the treasures of its 14 dunnage warehouses.

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Limited to just 6,000 bottles, this spirit was distilled in 2009 and matured in a combination of first fill ex-American Rye barrels and first fill ex-Bourbon barrels.

Just 29 casks were hand selected to create this single malt, specially chosen from Warehouse 2.

Bottled at 48.5% ABV to enhance the signature character, Fettercairn Warehouse 2 Batch No. 002 showcases the distillery’s tropical style achieved from the distinctive copper cooling ring distillation process.

Natural colour and non-chill filtered, this single malt leads with sweetness and soft spice on the nose and excites the palate with layers of tropical and citrus fruits, complemented by sweet, warming richness and rounding off with cacao and coffee notes.

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Gregg Glass, whisky maker, Whyte and Mackay said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to our first small batch release.

"This second release takes us on a deep dive into further exploration of the unique Fettercairn flavour, as we have bottled spirit matured in ex American Rye barrels, allowing us to show a more experimental side to our approach.

“I never cease to be inspired and enthralled by the diversity and quality of the amazing stock we have in our warehouses, and this itself creates a brilliant canvas to work from. The more I discover, the more excited I get about just what we can do as we continue to create exceptionally refined whiskies and offer something truly unexpected and different.”

Fettercairn Warehouse 2, Batch No.002 will be available at an RSP of £55 from selected specialist outlets.

Torabhaig Allt Gleann

Torabhaig Distillery second release

Torabhaig Distillery, the first whisky distillery to be built on the Isle of Skye in 190 years and the second legal distillery ever to operate on the island, released the second expression from itsLegacy Seriesof Single Malt Scotch Whiskies on 12 August.

Following the sold-out success of the first ever expression from Torabhaig Distillery in February this year, Legacy Series 2017, the second expression of Torabhaig single malt will be Allt Gleann - The Legacy Series.

Named after the burn that flows down the side of the distillery in Teangue on the Isle of Skye, this eagerly awaited release will be bottled in small batches at 46%, and drawn from no more than 30 casks.

Allt Gleann will be the second of four expressions to be released under the Torabhaig Legacy Series, each capturing a stage on the journey from inception and youth through to coming of age and full maturity.

These initial bottlings represent an opportunity for Torabhaig Distillery to develop its style and character, ahead of Torabhaig Single Malt Whisky 10 year old, due to be released in 2028.

For those who missed out on the first expression, The Legacy Series - Allt Gleann will be released in larger quantities, in four separate batches throughout 2021 and 2022.

It will be more readily available through specialist whisky retailers globally, as well as in the visitor centre shop at The Distillery at Torabhaig on the Isle of Skye.

Benriach malting season

Celebrating traditional methods dating back to the earliest days of Benriach Distillery, Benriach Malting Season will be the first expression in a century to be produced entirely using barley malted from the Speyside distillery's historic floor maltings.

The first edition of Benriach Malting Season is two-cask matured in bourbon and virgin oak barrels to bring out the wholesome, creamy flavour we find in the distillery’s floor malted spirit, giving a barley gold colour to the liquid.

The expression has a rich aroma of barley sugar, almond fudge and poached orchard apple with smooth, rounded flavours of vanilla and honeyed pear, with a lasting nuttiness of slowly kilned malt.

For each new edition of Malting Season, master blender Rachel Barrie, will carefully select the type of barley and bottling strength, making each annual edition a truly unique expression in its own right.

This inaugural release is made from concerto barley and has a bottling strength of 48.7% ABV.

Rachel Barrie said: “At Benriach, we never stop exploring how fruit, oak and barley flavours intertwine and mature in our broad range of eclectic casks.

"The unique process behind Malting Season allows the cereal flavour from the concerto barley to pull through and when married with the creamy, wholesome flavour from being two-cask matured in bourbon and virgin oak barrels,
creates a truly unique expression.”

The first edition of the small batch release is comprised of 23 barrels, all distilled on 2nd November 2012, yielding 6672 bottles in total.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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