American Bourbon’s Dominance Over Scotch Whisky Continues!
News Wire: FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY– For the second year in row, George T. Stagg, the iconic uncut, unfiltered bourbon released annually from Buffalo Trace Distillery, has been named the number one spirit in the world by noted spirits reviewer F. Paul Pacult. The list, compiled annually by Pacult, will be released in his June 2012 issue of The Spirit Journal. Last year, George T. Stagg was the first American Whiskey to ever be named number one in The Spirit Journal’s 13 years of tabulating. Stagg knocked off the perennial favorite Highland Park 18 Scotch Whisky for the first time ever, and this year the Stagg beat out a Northern Highlands Single Malt Scotch.
Notes Pacult about this year’s winners, “Spirits are continually getting better and more sophisticated each year. It’s no surprise to us that three of the top five spirits in the world hail from Kentucky, which right now is one of the hotbeds of distilling prowess.”
The George T. Stagg Bourbon Whiskey is part of the Antique Collection that is released each fall from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Long considered the frontrunner of the Collection, the Stagg has collected numerous awards over the years, including the 2012 Bourbon of the Year; the 2012 Second Finest Whiskey in the World from Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible; 2012 Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition; 2011 Ultimate Spirits Competition Chairman’s Trophy Winner; 2011 Double Gold Winner, Best Bourbon, San Francisco World Spirits Competition; the 2010 American Whiskey of the Year from Jim Murray’s 2010 Whiskey Bible; 2009 Bourbon of the Year and Best Bourbon Aged 13-17 Years from Jim Murray’s 2009 Whiskey Bible; among others.
The 2012 version of the George T. Stagg will be released later this fall with the Antique Collection. Suggested retail pricing of the Stagg is $69.99.
About Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications asWhisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies.
In honor of this St. Patty’s Day, the Whiskey Goldmine has compiled our list of the best whiskeys from Ireland. From sipping neat, on the rocks or in a shot, we give you a magnum opus of whiskey classics. The following whiskeys are an absolute must try!
1. Powers Special Reserve 12 Years Aged Irish Whiskey
Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks. Powers 12 doesn’t need to any ice; this whiskey should be sipped neat. Scoring 91 points from Malt Advocate Magazine, Powers 12 is a complex and flawless whiskey. The regular Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland. Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.
2. Redbreast 12 Year Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey in the world. With a scotch like complexity and slight sweetness, Redbreast has a perfect whiskey flavor with a flawless bite. Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.
3. Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve
Founded in Tullamore, Offaly County in the heart of Ireland in 1822, this “legendary” Irish Whiskey is famous for it’s copper pot still blend. Triple distilled and aged in American Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks, Tullamore Dew 12 is a sweet and complex Irish Whiskey with notes of malt, nuts and oak. “Give everyman his Dew!”
4. Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
The Jameson 18 is a Blended Irish Whiskey is handpicked by the Master Distiller. Aged in American Oak Bourbon Casks and Olorosso Sherry Casks, the Jameson 18 Year Old is a classic!
5. Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Aged in Madeira casks and scoring a 98 by the beverage tastings institute, the Tyrconnell is a bit pricey but also critically acclaimed. Tyrconnel 10 Year has pioneered the single malt revolution in Irish Whiskey. It’s an absolute must try.
6. Knappogue 12 Years Aged Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Distilled in copper pots with malted barley and aged in oak casks, Knappogue 12 is made with pure Irish spring water which creates a very light, smooth and easy drinking style. Well rounded with medium intensity and a clean finish, Knappogue is a uniquely light but complex whiskey that still retains character.
7. Bushmills 16 Year Old Irish Whiskey
Bushmills 16 Year Old is triple cask matured in a combination of seasoned American Oak Bourbon Casks and Sherry Olorosso Casks, and finished for a few months in Port Wine Casks. The triple cask maturation gives this whiskey one of the best finishes in the world.
8. Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Scoring a 93 by the Beverage Tasting Institute and a 90 by Wine Enthusiast, this little known but critically acclaimed single malt Irish whiskey is very well rounded and one of the most underrated Irish Whiskeys ever made.
9. Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve
The Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve Blended Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled, pot still and sherry cask blend. The 12 year took the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2007 & 2009. The Jameson 12 is very smooth and dry with a great scent and taste of malts; with notes of oak, wood and spice. The Jameson 12 is a full bodied Irish whiskey, with a slight sweet, rich and full finish.
1o. Tullemore Dew Blended Irish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew is the 2nd best selling Irish Whiskey in the world and is also growing the fastest. Tullamore Dew has won 22 gold medals in the last 10 years and is simply one of the best whiskey shots in the world.
11. Green Spot
12. Powers Gold Label
Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland. Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.
Qualifiers get a little cliché and seem to be lame excuses for making a claim unsure of how it can be perceived, but let us start out by saying that we absolutely love the Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky. For about $35, it’s a very solid buy and a very good scotch. However, the older more mature brother, the Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky misses the mark when it comes to Scotch. There are too many studs in this category and price range to give this whisky any props at all. The Chivas Regal 18 year retails for about $60 but there is a complete lack of complexity and character. The Chivas Regal 18 is smooth and does have the quintessential blended scotch whisky taste, but that’s about the whole story. “Chivas Regal 18 includes over 20 of Scotland’s rarest single malt whiskies,” according to Chivas. This whisky is just too flat for an experienced taste and right now we cannot recommend it for $60. Check out the awards for the Chivas 18 Year below because these are some strong accolades. We would definitely like to review if again to see if we caught it on a bad day.
2005 Gold winner, Deluxe blend Scotch whisky 18 year old category, International Spirits Competition cocktail awards
2007 Blended Scotch Whisky of the Year, Malt Advocate
2008 Double gold winner, San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Made with a Signature Cask of American and French Oak
By Matt Goldstein
Named the Oak Cross because it’s aged in very unique oak barrels, the Compass Box Oak Cross Malt Scotch Whisky is made entirely of Highland malts. The whiskies are aged in American Oak casks then an oak cask with French & American Oak. Yes, one barrel with two different oaks, that’s the Oak Cross signature. The Oak Cross is actually a vatted malt which is blended with only single malts and no acutall grain whisky such as a Blended Scotch whisky. These single malt whiskies are hand selected for this specific vatted blend. Bottled at 43% alcohol, the Oak Cross Blended Scotch Whisky is a beautiful light and clear color resembling white wine, a very rare but natural color for a blend. About 50% of the blend is aged in the Oak Cross cooperage and “this is something no one else in Scotland does” according to Compass Box. Ya gotta respect the innovativeness of Compass Box and their willingness to take risks to make a unique and very rewarding whisky. The chief whisky maker at Oak Cross, John Glaser, actually an American and former wine maker, comes with a different background which may be cause for his willingness to branch outside of classic whisky making styles.
Tasting Notes of the Oak Cross Blended Scotch:
With a sharp scent of malt and grains, the Oak Cross has a spicy bite. Thin, sweet, syrupy and smooth, this solid whisky is a stud. For about $35 per bottle retail, the Oak Cross is a solid well rounded whisky. We recommend trying this innovative and unique whiskey as it won’t break the bank and fits any occasion.
Only 180 people populate the Isle of Jura, and the Jura distillery lies on the east side of the island. Distilling scotch on the remote island of Jura dates back to the 1600’s and the Jura distillery just celebrated their 200 year anniversary in 2010. The island of Jura is just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long with one road, one hotel and one distillery. In Gaelic, the people of Jura are known as Diurachs and known for their hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing, lobster, and of course, single malt scotch. The Jura 16 Year Single Malt is aged just off the beach on the Isle of Jura and gets much of its complex characteristics from the ocean air. Matured no less than 16 years, this single malt Scotch whisky is simply one of the best in the world period. All we can say is WOW!
The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes:
With a scent of ocean air, oak and syrup, thw Jura has notes and flavors of oak, syrup, honey and has real complexity. Smooth yet very complex, this is the perfect single malt scotch and comes with our highest recommendation.
One of Ireland’s best and most famous whiskeys, Tullamore Dew was first distilled in 1829. Now, this staple of Irish whiskey has released a signature single malt that could be the most unique Irish whiskey’s on the market. Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt is the only Irish whiskey aged in four different casks, Old Bourbon, Dry Oloroso Sherry, Port and Madeira casks. When most people think single malt, their assuming single malt scotch, however, single malt merely means the whiskey is made with malt only and whiskey from one distillery. As opposed to most whiskies which are blends and a mix of grains and different whiskies from different distilleries, this Irish single malt is a contemporary distinction in the maturation of whiskey.
Bourbon casks are used in most Irish whiskeys and Scotches, however, the Sherry, Port and Madeira Cask addition is where this whiskey separates itself. Most will claim that these three casks are used to ad sweetness to the whiskey and many times that is the case, however, the Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt isn’t just an Irish whiskey with added sweetness, but an Irish whiskey with real character.
The Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt Tasting Notes:
A very unique flavor for any whiskey, there are notes of oak, wood, malt, fruit and vanilla. Slightly smooth and more complex than the average Irish whiskey, this is solid and we recommend giving it a try.
A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman. Released in the UK in 2006, Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge. Of course there are a lot of gold medals for whiskeys these days but the Monkey Shoulder lives up to the hype, especially for its price. Available for about $35-40, the Monkey Shoulder blend includes Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie single malts.
The Monkey Shoulder Tasting Notes:
Thick for a blend and light gold in color with a slightly red tint, Monkey Shoulder has a sweet scent of honey and syrup. With a sweet flavor, this is a solid blended scotch whiskey in whish the slightly spicy flavor and finish provide a very proficient complexity. The triple malted blend works very well and for the price, the Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky is a straight up stud!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONKEYSHOULDER WHISKY ARRIVES IN AMERICA!
“Most Coveted Spirit” Makes Long-Awaited Stateside Debut
NEW YORK –IWSC Distiller of the Year William Grant & Sons announces the arrival of the ground-breaking blended malt Scotch whisky, Monkey Shoulder, on American shores! Often referred to as one of the “most coveted” spirits in the U.S. due to its popularity among the bartending community and whisky connoisseurs, Monkey Shoulder has just landed exclusively in Illinois!
An irreverent nod to the traditional distillery malt-men who painstakingly turn malt barley by hand and wooden schiel, the “MonkeyShoulder” moniker refers to the colloquial term of a once common temporary injury, when after a long day’s work, a maltman would feel as though he had a monkey on his shoulder. While the injury is fortunately a thing of the past, the dedication to quality and craftsmanship involved in the hand turning of barley lives on in the Monkey Shoulder distillation process and the name today.
Since first appearing in bars across the United Kingdom in 2006, Monkey Shoulder has redefined whisky drinking for a new generation of Scotch whisky drinkers looking for an upgrade. What sets Monkey Shoulder apart from other whiskies is its unique combination of provenance and personality. By marrying five generations of award-winning distilling experience with a uniquely cheeky contemporary style and commitment to innovation within the Scotch category, Monkey Shoulder represents the ideal pairing of style and substance. A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman, to ensure its signature smooth flavor.
“Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Scotch whisky – one rooted in heritage and tradition but firmly grounded in the contemporary world. Connoisseurs appreciate that Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Speyside whisky from a known world class distiller, while whisky newcomers are drawn to the mixability of the quality liquid and the irreverent and cheeky personality Monkey Shoulder presents to the category,” said Cindy Wang, Senior Brand Manager, Monkey Shoulder.
Under the scrutiny of William Grant & Sons award-winning distillers in Dufftown, Scotland, Monkey Shoulder is crafted in small batches of only 27 cases and offers a beautifully sweet and rich vanilla flavor, with brown sugar and creamy toffee notes balanced with oak and just a hint of spice. Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.
“Having caught the eye of the world’s leading bartenders, it’s high time my talented and influential friends in the U.S. have the opportunity to obtain and appreciate a bottle of Monkey Shoulder without a trip to London,” said Dean Callan, global brand ambassador, Monkey Shoulder.
Monkey Shoulder will be available in the Chicagoland area starting January 6th in top bars and select liquor stores and will be rolling out in Texas later in 2012. Those fortunate enough to discover Monkey Shoulder will be able to enjoy it neat, on the rocks or in a range of innovative cocktails.
The Glenrothes is launching the second-annual Vintage Maker competition running now till Jan 31. Share Your Glenrothes Vintage Moment and Win A Trip To Scotland. The Glenrothes is asking you to recall and share a game-changing or halcyon moment in your life, for a chance to travel to Scotland and create the 2012 vintage. The winners will be the entries that in the opinion of the judges best represent the definition of a Glenrothes vintage moment: a perfect combination of time, place, people and/or occasion when everything comes together to create a moment that will stay in the memory forever.
Wondering what the perfect Vintage Moment looks like? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OalumKiFzU
This brand new video shares an inside look at the distillery and highlights the beauty and history of The Glenrothes, from the breathtaking hills of Speyside to the river Rothes and barrels upon barrels of vintage whisky.
- 4 US winners will be chosen to create the 2012 vintage
- Share your Vintage Moment in 1500 words or less
- Trip takes place in May 2012
- Enter at TheGlenrothes.com or Facebook.com/TheGlenrothes
- Contest ends on Jan 31
Tweeddale blend was first distilled in 1820 in Coldstream Scotland, just a few minutes from the border of England. Having been shut down during WWII, the Tweeddale Blend was reborn in 2009. The first batch was produced in 2010 and we were lucky enough to get a taste of Batch 2, bottled in June of 2011. Batch two is made up of single grain whisky aged for more than 15 years sherry cask. Seven of the eight single malts are from the same casks as batch 1 but a year older, from 12 years old to 21 years old. A blend of aged single grain whisky and eight individually selected aged single malt whiskies with a high malt content (50% grain, 50% malt), the Tweeddale blend is non chill filtered in keeping with the tradition of the original blend. Bottled at about 46% ABV, the 12 years aged Tweedale Batch 2 is a solid scotch whisky. With a thick gold color, the Tweeddale 12 Year is very smooth with a syrupy, fruity flavor with an oak and wood mouth feel. Sweet, smooth and warm this full bodied and balanced blend with a solid, light and refreshing smokiness. This is a solid scotch whisky and we definitely recommend it.
Tasting Notes from Tweeddale:
Batch Two (First bottled June 2011, available now)
Nose -mellow, sherry, toffee.
Palate -rich, full yet delicately flavoured
Finish -rounded, with hints of spice.
Just as every batch was slightly different when my Great Grandfather produced it over 70 years ago, my 2nd batch of The Tweeddale Blend is 12 year old.
Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch is the #1 selling single malt scotch in the world. Glenfiddich is also the most award winning scotch in the world. Perfect for sipping neat or on the rocks, Glenfiddich is also great for refreshing cocktails. Who said scotch can’t be used for cocktails? These modern but classic cocktails feature Glenfiddich single malt blended perfectly with fruits and spices and turn classic scotch into a refreshing party drink. Below are cocktail recipes for the Gaelic Pear, the Loch Ness Cocktail, Sweet Robbie Dhu, Autumn in the Highlands.