Tuesday, 29 April 2014

My Homework Continues!

Whisky: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Macduff Batch 1


That Boutique-y Whisky Company Macduff Batch 1




Continuing to go through samples from Master of Malt to decide what's imported into Australia for sale, with a couple dozen to choose from and only 12 different whiskies to come into the country it's one of those times where you want the PERFECT whiskies to come in, the ones that you can rave about to everyone that you meet, the ones where you're tempted to purchase the entire allocation.

I'd known in advance some of the whiskies that NEEDED to be imported, but that still left 8 different whiskies to be decided on.

All day at work I'm running through scenarios in my mind, what whiskies to choose, what whiskies are good and what whiskies are brilliant.  What whiskies will fly off the shelves of the bottleshops and what whiskies will the consumers not understand?

So every night when I get home I crack open another sample, sit down with it over a couple of hours to decide which ones I enjoy and which ones I want to bring home to meet the parents.

The only problem with being in charge of importing whiskies that you've previously sampled is that you want to buy bottles of everything just about.

For those who don't know, That Boutique-y Whisky Company is an independent bottler who bottles casks of whisky, with no artificial coloring, no caramel coloring added, at cask strengths, with no age statements.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that a bottle would normally contain whisky from two different distilleries.

I decided to start the night off with another distillery that I don't have alot of experience with.


The whisky pours clear as, so bloody pale, it's almost unbelievable.  It looks like dirty water almost.  I REALLY do love the fact that these whiskies are coming out at their natural color.

Over the next few hours this little dram, these 30mls of whisky, will be my new best friend.

The nose is fruity with citrus fruits, apple skins, pears and is slightly yeasty/bready. 

I sit on the whisky for over an hour or so waiting to see if something more develops off the nose, but nothing else does appear to me.

Oh well that just means I can finally take a sip!

Grapefruit, a good deal of grapefruit, then a big dose of citrus.  Some slight toffee notes develop, with the whisky going sweet at times and then very dry.

A very short finish ends the whisky, dry with more grapefruit appearing.

It's not a bad whisky, by any means, but it's just not doing it for me.  Those who know me, know that I enjoy, nay crave, intensity, off both my beers and whisky.  I want huge complexity, I don't want easydrinking, I want something that makes me perk my ears up, put the kids to bed and turn off the tv so I can focus on that whisky or beer, and nothing else.

This whisky doesn't do that to me.  It doesn't make it bad, just not my style.

A bottle before customs, shipping and all those other lovely costs that whisky gets coming into Australia would run around $75 or so.  Roughly $140 or so once everything has been factored in.

Nose:          21/25
Taste:          21/25
Finish:        19/25
Balance:     19/25

Overall:        80/100

Saturday, 26 April 2014


 Photo: My homework tonight!  What a horrible life I have hahaha!
Whisky: Master of Malt Boutiquey Whisky Company Benrinnes Batch 2


That Boutique-y Whisky Company Benrinnes Batch 2



Full Gold
I'm lucky enough to work for a beer importing company that understands that good beers cost more, so they import boutiquey beers.  They cost more, but they're worth it.

A while back we started selling whisky through one of our local shops, the selection left entirely in my hands.

So I chose whiskies for our shops and it was a huge success, crazy whisky sales, and again and again I was told that we could get whiskies from pretty much any country that we imported beer from.

I was content to leave things as they were until late one Saturday during a slow day at work I was cruising my whisky porn.

Specifically at that time the Boutiquey Whisky Company from Master of Malt.  I'd had a few of them before and really enjoyed them, but I decided I wanted to move beyond enjoying them into owning them.

So I sent an email to the bosses that I wanted to import a few bottles.

That few bottles turning into 120 bottles.

Those 120 bottles sold out in 10 days, just in Perth.

When I talked to the bosses if we should reorder some whiskies they said yes, but this time I'd be selecting whiskies for the entire country of Australia.

Roughly 400 bottles of whisky.

However this time since I was ordering so many whiskies I knew I needed to try the entire range of Boutiquey's so that I'd know exactly what I wanted.

Master of Malt were legends when I contacted them, sending me samples from the entire Boutiquey range.

They arrived less then a week later, a couple dozen whisky samples.

For the next month my job was to go home and try a whisky, write tasting notes and decide which ones I wanted to import into Australia.

It's a hard job I know, but someone's got to do it!

So I get home and I'm looking at a couple dozen whiskies, trying to figure out which one to open first, there's literally too many options.

Finally I literally say the hell with it and just grab a sample bottle and crack it.

It's the Benrinnes Batch 2.

Now for those who don't know the Boutiquey Whisky Company doesn't bottle whiskies like a normal bottler, with age statements, but is instead goes with a No Age Statement approach.  Sometimes a bottling is a combination of a couple of casks, sometimes it's a single cask.
They're small batch releases, sometimes with just a couple dozen bottles being released at a time.

420 bottles were produced in this batch.

Once it's cracked and poured into it's glencairn I spend over an hour or so nosing this whisky.

Big sherry to start, cherries, sultanas, then sulfur takes over, not offensively though, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, some red apple skins, slight citrus.  The sulfur comes through as burnt matchsticks.

After exploring the whisky's nose for an hour or so I decide to take a sip.

The palate has honey, citrus, very dry, makes you want to take another drink, molasses, cane sugar, dark rum, apples, toffee, starts off sweet then mellows.

During the finish the sweetness mellows out, long lasting finish, light fruit, cocoa, apples skins again, cinnamon.

This is a very enjoyable whisky, I sat on the sample for roughly 3 hours, so 10mls or so per hour. (I lie as the first 90 minutes was spent nosing the whisky)

Really enjoyed this whisky, it surprised me but it ticked all the right boxes. I've got 12 whiskies to bring into AUS, this whisky just might have made the cut. If we bring it in, I'm getting one bottle for myself that's for sure.

A bottle of this before customs and shipping runs at around $70 AUS which is an EXCELLENT price for a whisky of this caliber, however You're probably looking at $130 to $150 for a bottle once all the costs have been factored in which is still a good price point.  I'd happily own a bottle of this whisky.  I'd strongly suggest picking up either a sample or even better yet a bottle!

Nose:         23/25
Palate:       24/25
Finish:       22/25
Balance:    20/25

Overall:     89/100

By the way a little update for folks, 12 bottles of this lovely whisky will indeed be coming into the country!  Excellent!