Cask 16.38 ‘ACME ghost repellant’
A truly fascinating return to form for distillery 16 with the SMWS. We’ve not seen a 16 coded bottle for some time, and this is just the 38th cask ever. Technically Glenturret distillery, but they call their peated run ‘Ruadh Maor’. Try saying that after a few. A fascinating distillery that likes to lay claim of being the oldest operating distillery in Scotland, a claim that is hard to verify but their roots definitely at least date back to 1775. By 1957 Glenturret had been closed for more than 30 years, but it was a chap named James Fairlie who revitalised the distillery with the help of some parts from Tullibardine. He decided to make whisky the old fashioned way with traditional methods even back then: he would have been a champion of today’s movement in whisky! His grandson, also named James, ran the bar at Whisky & Alement up until just last week. Small world. This peated whisky is like a pure farmyard in a glass. Delightful.
Cask 37.125 ‘Austrian treats’
Cragganmore has to be one of the most underrated gems in the Diageo folio. A sweet and mellow spirit that is versatile, forms the backbone of the Johnnie Walker range, and works amazingly in single cask form like here. 11 years in ex-bourbon then 3 years of additional maturation in a ‘Heavy toast, medium char’ virgin oak hogshead gives this cask some special spicy shine. Founded in 1869, their spirit has always been considered a proper ‘dressing malt’ and desirable for blenders to use. Very limited core range, so a single cask like this is something special to behold indeed.