An interesting whisky that was distilled shortly before the Czechoslovakian Velvet Revolution, which led to the fall of communism and division of the country. Made from Czech grain and matured in casks made from Czech wood, this is very much a Czech whisky.
A 1989 vintage Speyburn, bottled by Gordon & Macphail as part of their Connoisseurs Choice series. This was distilled two years before the current (as of 2013) owners, Inver House, took control of the distillery.
Although few people seem to care much about Benrinnes, this is a distillery capable of great things, as 2009's terrific Special Releases 1985 23yo bottling proved. This is a very affordable bottling of the 1989 vintage from the ever-reliable Gordon & Macphail.
A cask strength Cragganmore 1989 from independent bottlers Berry Bros & Rudd, bottled under The John Milroy Selection label, indicating the release was primarily for the Japanese market. This was bottled in 2011 at 21 years of age.
A 1989 vintage Bunnahabhain from independent bottlers Berry Brothers and Rudd. Normally unpeated, this single cask is from the small part of the year when Bunnahabhain produce peated malt. Honey and vanilla notes are in abundance here, with a peaty undertone.
A cask strength single cask bottling of Blair Athol, released by Signatory as part of their appropriately-named Cask Strength Collection. Distilled on July 7th 1989, this was matured for 23 years in a single hogshead before bottling on April 9th 2013.
The third release of Balblair's popular 1989 vintage whisky, sitting in the middle of their range of dated drams. The strength has been upped to 46% from 43% for the previous release, giving this edition a little more oomph and flavour intensity. A very drinkable dram indeed.
A 1989 vintage Glenrothes from independent bottlers Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Owned by Berry Brothers & Rudd, the Glenrothes brand uses a large amount of sherry barrels in their longer aged expressions and sometimes sell such casks off, such as this refill sherry butt. A healthy 651 bottles came out of the cask - the angel's loss is our gain.
A lightly coloured single cask 1989 Bowmore bottled by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. I suspect that this came out of a several-times-refilled sherry cask, but with 21 years under its belt it should have a bit of oomph still.
A 1989 vintage Glen Garioch released by independent bottlers Wemyss, after around 25 years of maturation. They name their whiskies after one of the prominent flavours it reminds them of - this one is called 'Brandy Peaches And Cream'.
A peated 1989 Bunnahabhain from independent bottlers Berry Brothers & Rudd. The peated spirit is sometimes referred to as Margadale after the river that exists as the distillery's water source. This was bottled after 23 years of maturation and the angels must have been thirsty as it is at a cask strength of just 44%.
A 1989 vintage whisky bottled by Gordon & Macphail as part of their Secret Stills collection from a pair of sherry casks. All the information they give is that this is the 1st release of whisky from distillery number 4. We can let on that it's from Bowmore...