For the most part this week was all about good news. There are so many new spirits coming to market it’s hard not to feel optimistic. Then again, a fairly well known and loved whisky, Compass Box Asyla, is going the way of the Dodo. Still, there’s great news for Scotch whisky lovers, golf enthusiasts, rye whiskey fans and everyone in between. It’s your Friday Roundup from Distiller!
New whiskies and partnership between Loch Lomond and The Open Championship
The folks over at Loch Lomond are releasing three brand new single malt whiskies as part of a new five-year partnership with The Open Championship golf tournament. Loch Lomond worked with Scottish golfers Paul Lawrie and Colin Montgomerie to create the two vintage single malts in the trio. The first is The 1999 Vintage Autograph Edition, which was created in collaboration with Lawrie to honor his Open victory in 1999. It is a cask strength single malt, bottled at 50.8% ABV, and was matured in refill American oak hogsheads and ex-bourbon barrels. It is priced at around $200.
The second whisky, The 1999 Open Course Collection Carnoustie, was created with Montgomerie to honor the Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus where Lawrie won the Open in 1999. It was bottled at 47.2% ABV and is priced at around $200.
Left to Right: Vintage Autograph Edition, The Open Course Collection Carnoustie, The Open Special Edition
The third of the releases is The Open Special Edition, a no-age-statement single malt which was bottled at 46% ABV. It was created using wine yeast in the fermentation process incorporating four different styles of their spirit. It matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, as well as American oak hogsheads. This final single malt will be priced at around $50.
If you’re a golf fanatic who also happens to love the fine offerings from Loch Lomond, the whiskies will be available around the world starting in June of 2018. Loch Lomond is also now recognized as the official spirit of The Open, a spot previously held by Glenmorangie.
Saying goodbye to Compass Box Asyla
In some rather sad news this week, Compass Box’s own “Whiskymaker” John Glaser announced that Asyla is going out of stock indefinitely.
In a statement this week, John Glaser said:
“I’m sad to share with you the news that ‘Asyla’, the second whisky I created when I started the company, originally released in 2001, is going out of stock for the foreseeable future. Over the past few years, demand exceeded what we expected for this delicate whisky, and as a result we have run out of the appropriate age range of the key single malts for the recipe. We’ve experimented with other malt whiskies, but nothing has given us the specific character we’re looking for.
So, we have decided to stop making Asyla rather than compromise its integrity. We have stocks of these single malts aging in our inventory, and we’ll let you know if and when we’re able to bring back Asyla, perhaps as a limited edition in the future. If you have a bottle or come across one, please do savour it in good company.”
It’s always hard to learn about the demise of a whisky, especially one so widely loved. Get your hands on bottles as soon as you can, because once it’s gone, it’s gone (for now).
Isle of Arran Distillers Are Building A New Distillery
To pick you up from the news that the world is losing a fine whisky is the news that Isle of Arran Distillers is building a second distillery site on the Isle of Arran. Set to open to the public by the spring of 2019, the new location will be called Lagg Distillery. It’s positioned next to the fields of barley that are used in distillation at their first distillery.
Once 2019 rolls around the plan is to bring in the new distillery’s copper pot stills followed by the very first production run of a very peaty spirit (50ppm) that will one day be the Lagg Distillery Single Malt Scotch whisky. Before that can happen, though, it will spend a minimum of ten years maturing under the supervision of Graham Omand, the newly appointed Distillery Manager at Lagg.
The new distillery will concentrate on heavily-peated single malts, a decision that was made based on the popularity of their Machrie Moor limited edition range. Once the new distillery is fully operational in 2019 it will increase Isle of Arran’s production capacity to 2 million litres.
There’s new booze to look out for!
Michter’s has announced the 2018 release of their 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye. Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson selected the single barrels and then assessed them along with Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann.
This 10 year straight rye whiskey was bottled at 46% ABV with a suggested U.S. retail price of $160. Expect these bottles to be highly allocated, hard to find, and in high demand. Start making friends with your local liquor store owner now.
Cases will begin shipping right before the 4th of July.
This is the first collectible edition of rum presented by Ron del Barrilito in its 138 years of production. Five Stars is aged up to 35 years in American white oak sherry casks. Created by master blender M. Luis Planas, there will only be 2,500 bottles available worldwide. The first 200 bottles will be housed within wooden chests that were handcrafted by Puerto Rican artisan Gil Rodríguez.
This rum will become available beginning in August of 2018 and will be priced around $750 per bottle.
Don’t forget to go pick up a bottle of Compass Box Asyla this weekend before it’s no longer on shelves.
Cheers and have yourselves a wonderful summer weekend.