A 1997 vintage Glen Ord from independent bottlers Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Distilled on April 30, it was matured in hogshead 800090 for 17 years before being bottled on July 4 2014 at a punchy 61.6%.
Another fantastic invention from the workbench of Balvenie Malt Master David Stewart - a 17 year old version of the best selling DoubleWood. Still initially matured in 'Whisky Oak' casks before being switched to sherry wood to finish, the extra years give it extra depth without being overpowering.
A 1996 vintage Arran bottled by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Particular series of bottlings. The distillery had only opened a year before, having been the first legal distillery on the island since 1837.
A 1996 vintage Clynelish from independent bottlers Adelphi. This was aged for 17 years in cask 6417, which judging from the colour used to contain sherry, and bottled in 2014 at full strength of 57.1%.
A 17 year old Caol Ila from Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range, distilled back in September 1996 and bottled in April 2014. This is a bit of a fruity number, backed up by classic Islay peat smoke and the distillery's coastal character.
Another winner from Nikka's Taketsuru range. This was named for the founder of the company, Masataka Taketsuru and is a big, bold full-bodied vatted whisky of truly exceptional depth, grace and balance.
World Whiskies Awards 2014: World's Best Blended Malt
A fantastic Japanese blend, made with aged malt and grain whiskies from Suntory's three distilleries. Spicy and sophisticated, this is great for catching people out at blind tastings and received a Gold 'Editor's Choice' award from Whisky Magazine & top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards.
Port Askaig is terrific Islay single malt bottled by our sister company Speciality Drinks. This 17 year-old has a sumptuous balance of smoke, citrus and sweetness - dangerously more-ish for the Islay fans among us.
In our humble opinion there's little better than a mid-teen Laphroaig at full strength from a refill or plain cask, so we're getting a bit hot under the collar about this plain hogshead 'Froyg 1996 from indie heroes Signatory.
Released to celebrate the distillery's centenary, this 17yo Benromach spent its final two years in sherry casks dating from 1886, 1895 and 1901 before bottling in 1998 by Gordon & Macphail, who had recently taken over and re-invigorated the distillery after a fifteen year distilling hiatus.
Macallan 17yo Fine Oak was introduced in the US market in 2006 and, like the rest of the Fine Oak range, this has been matured in a mix of sherry and bourbon casks to showcase a lighter style from the famously rich, opulent sherried norm.