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Arran Smugglers’ Series Vol. III ‘The Exciseman’

Arran Smugglers’ Series Vol. III ‘The Exciseman’

A treatise on the History of Scotch Whisky Distillation on the Isle of Arran by Illicit means in days of old. “Spirit to fire the imagination of the drouthy”. Limited edition of 8,700 bottles. The third in a series of Three Volumes.

For over a century islanders considered whisky production and smuggling as part of their cultural identity and a mainstay of the island economy. Arran smuggling and illicit whisky manufacture was at its height in the early 1800s. The scale of the activities was so great that the minister of Kilmory declared that, “there are few, if any, in the parish, who, at some point in their lives, were not engaged in some department of smuggling”.

Throughout the 1820s and 30s, smugglers and illicit distillers throughout Scotland were tracked down with vigour, following the introduction of the 1822 Illicit Distillation Act and the 1823 Excise Act.

Following these legislative changes, smuggling on a large scale was virtually eradicated throughout Scotland by the 1840s. Nonetheless, smuggling lingered on in some parts of the country, including Arran where it continued to provide an additional source of income for many islanders. Well into the 1850s, locals and the Excise men were battling it out. The islanders may have landed their fair share of blows but in the end the Excise men won the fight. At the turn of the 20th century large scale smuggling was a thing of the past as islanders were absorbed into newly emerging legitimate employment mainly provided by the development of Arran as a popular tourist destination.

Although large scale smuggling around the Firth of Clyde has been unheard of since the 19th century, the story of this illicit Arran trade forms an important part of the islands cultural heritage and traditions. The Smugglers Series has re-awakened this aspect of Arran’s history and although legally produced, the nature of this 3rd edition ensures that the spirit and endeavour of the 19th century smugglers remain in modern day Arran whisky production. The Madeira casks used in this final volume are similar to the ones utilised by Arran’s illicit distillers, who often stored and transported locally produced whisky in old Madeira casks brought over from the continent by their smuggling counterparts. The Quarter Casks are a nod to the type of small casks which would have been the easiest to transport. The resulting liquid is complex, full of character and a wonderful way to end a series which has so perfectly paid tribute to the independent characters of Arran over the centuries.

CONTENTS:

Arran Single Malt – Quarter Cask……………………..…… Matured in 125L Ex-Bourbon Barrels

Arran Single Malt – Madeira Cask Maturation………….Matured in 225L European Oak Barrels

Arran Smugglers’ Series Vol. III ‘The Exciseman’

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Penderyn Icons of Wales series 5/50 : Bryn Terfel

Penderyn Icons of Wales series 5/50 : Bryn TerfelPenderyn Bryn Terfel – Bourbon Matured

This whisky celebrates Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel and his favourite roll. The whisky is well-rounded, spicy and sumptuous and has a theatrical element to the design which all reflect the wonderful character of Falstaff.

Penderyn is the rural village that hosts our Distillery and gives its name to Wales’ only Single Malt Whisky. Like ‘Welsh Gold’ (‘Aur Cymru’), this golden whisky is as rare and precious as the Celtic jewellery worn by the old Welsh Princes and by Royalty.

This privately owned distillery in the Brecon Beacons National Park revives a whisky distilling heritage in Wales that goes back centuries; indeed early Welsh distillers were the founding fathers of the American Bourbon industry.

Our unique copper stills are charged daily with a specially fermented malted barley wash to produce a limited quantity of pure Single malt spirit. This is married with spring water (drawn directly from our own source) before being laid down to mature in selected first quality oak casks.

Penderyn is known for maturing our unique spirit in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels and a selection of other premium casks to produce our award-winning whiskies, including our house style Madeira finish as well as peated, portwood and sherrywood expressions. This Icons bottling is a first for us, as this whisky has been fully matured in ex-bourbon barrels only. Think of it as Penderyn in its purist form yet … no make-up, no costume, just primed and ready to perform.

The nose is smooth and creamy. There are notes of honey, vanilla ice-cream and a hint of banana chips. On the palate the experience is well rounded and rich, and full of fruits, sweet apples, vanilla and a tone conjuring up a nostalgic memory for a banana split. The finish contains honey which is followed by another evocative tone – cream soda – along with the late arrival of a lingering woody spice.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Smooth and creamy. There are notes of honey, vanilla ice-cream and a hint of banana chips.

Palate: The experience is well rounded and rich, and full of fruits, sweet apples, vanilla and a tone conjuring up a nostalgic memory for a banana split.

Finish: Contains honey which is followed by another evocative tone – cream soda – along with the late arrival of a lingering woody spice.

Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel CBE was born in Pant Glas, North Wales, in 1965. He sang traditional Welsh songs from an early age, regularly competing on the Eisteddfod platform before going on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 1989. Ten years later, inspired by Sir Geraint Evans’ anecdotes about his own experiences playing Falstaff, Bryn first took on the role at the Sydney Opera House.

Bryn Terfel’s Falstaff has come to be regarded as one of the great opera characterisations of modern times, with critics commending his sheer power, charm, humour, nobility, exceptional command of tone and language and his intoxicating exuberance.

“I am always delighted to be asked to perform Falstaff. It is a complex and multi-layered role that requires tremendous commitment. The acting and singing is a wonderful challenge for any bass-baritone and the make-up, heavy costumes, wigs, beards and false bellies all help create the impressive ‘Falstaffian’ appearance. However, once the preparation is done and you stand on stage and bear the first chords, a smile spreads across your face which lasts the whole performance.” Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel – ‘ A Falstaff for our age’

Falstaff was the last opera written by Giuseppe Verdi, from a libretto by Arrigo Boito, and was premiered in 1893 at La Scala in Milan. A light comedy, based on the eponymous character who first appeared in three of Shakespeare’s plays, it is believed by many to be Verdi’s greatest opera.

The plot revolves around the tubby, egotistical, drunken yet charming knight, Sir John Falstaff, as he attempts to seduce two married women in order to gain access to their husbands’ wealth.

The image on the front of the special edition box is reproduced with the kind permission of Sheila Rock (photography) and Frank Philipp Schloessmann (costume design).

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk

* Info taken from bottle

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Highland Park 10yr Old – Rebus 30 Rankin

Highland Park 10yr Old - Rebus 30 RankinRebus 30 Rankin

Celebrating 30 years of Inspector John Rebus 1987 – 2017.

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of one of fiction’s most enduring and best-loved characters. Created by a legend of British Crime, Ian Rankin, Rebus first appeared in Knots and Crosses and 30 years later the irascible old rogue remains a firm favourite amongst readers all over the world.

Centuries before Orkney became part of Scotland, it belonged to a vast Viking Kingdom. Then in 1798, our distillery was founded by Magnus Eunson, a direct descendent of those early Viking settlers, his legendary smuggling activities caused more than a few issues with the authorities…

This 10 year old single malt is a tribute to those with a strong independent spirit and know their own mind. Best shared with friends or when enjoying a dark crime novel.

STORY

The Rebus novels have been translated into 36 languages and are much-loved, global bestsellers, so we were delighted to be invited to collaborate with Ian Rankin to celebrate this important anniversary of a great literary creation, with a very special edition of Highland Park. Our 10 Year Old single malt was selected as the perfect tribute to an iconic detective who, like our whisky, truly stands apart. REBUS30 10 Year Old celebrates strong and independent spirits who know their own mind… and, like that irascible rogue Rebus, aren’t afraid to speak it!

Tasting Notes

Colour – Natural colour, Light and golden (average colour tint 10.8)

Flavours – Mature citrus fruits, creamy vanilla, a hint of peppery spice, heather peat and light smoke.

An intensely balanced dram fit for a detective who truly stands apart.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.highlandparkwhisky.com

*Info taken from bottle and website

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The Glenrothes: Sherry cask reserve

Sherry Cask Reserve

The Glenrothes is bottled at its peak of maturity and flavour, rather than at a pre-determined age.

Distillation is unusually slow and takes place in tall stills, which delivers a sweet clear fruity spirit. Maturation is in American oak and Spanish oak casks which produces our award-winning Speyside single malt.

All of our malt is Vintage whisky, representing a single year or collection of years.

Our single Vintages, limited and rare, each capture a unique essence and flavour, never to be repeated.

Our Reserves give you the opportunity of enjoying a number of selected Vintages from different years – married together in perfect harmony.

Character: Spicy ginger, orange-peel and sherry oak

Berry Bros. & Rudd

Founded in 1698 at No.3 St Jame’s Street in London, Berry Bros. & Rudd is probably the world’s oldest win and spirit merchant.

As proprietors of The Glenrothes, it is Berry Bros. & Rudd’s values of quality and integrity which determine the philosophy behind this well-bred Speyside single malt: Vintage whisky, like vintage wine, matures at its own pace.

Our long history has provided us with the understanding and the patience to ensure that we only offer expressions of The Glenrothes to our discerning customers at the moment when our experts deem them to be perfectly mature and ready to be savoured.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.theglenrothes.com

*Info taken from bottle/website

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Glen Grant 12 year old

Glen Grant 12 year old

Glen Grant is the testament of Major James Grant’s brilliant mind. He created tall slender stills and unique purifiers to capture only the finest vapours from the raw elements of the heartland.

With an ingenious mind and a charismatic personality, James Grant, “the Major”, was only twenty five when he inherited the Glen Grant Distillery in Rothes, Speyside. A forward thinking and unconventional man, he personally designed innovative tall slender pot stills with unique purifiers to achieve his vision of a seductively smooth, fruity, rich, superior single malt.

Glen Grant 12 Year Old is a sublime single malt with a bright golden colour and aromas of orchard fruits and vanilla. The palate reveals mouth-watering layers of apple pie, caramel and almonds. On the finish, soft summer fruits linger with honey and hints of spice.

“The Major” was one of the first distillers in Scotland to introduce purifiers into the distillation process. The purifiers further refine our whisky by ensuring only the very finest vapours condense into spirit. The result is an elegant and delicate style of whisky for which Glen Grant is renowned.

Tasting notes

Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Honey, pear and apple with hints of almond and citrus
Taste: Apple pie crust, caramel and vanilla
Finish: Lingering fruit with subtle hints of spice

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.highlandparkwhisky.com

*Info taken from bottle and website

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Highland Park 12 year old Viking Honour

I am a reflection of my ancestors and their values. I keep them close and continue to learn, to pass on those values to future generations. My name is all I truly have. Let it be a legacy of honour.

Highland Park 12 year old Viking Honour

 

Viking Honour

Viking honour is the heart and soul of Highland Park. It reflects the unique culture of our remote island home on Orkney – part of Scotland yes, but originally belonging to a vast viking kingdom. We’d like to share our story with you…

Here at Highland Park, we honour the spirit of our viking ancestors. We share their pride, integrity and fierce independence and that’s why we continue to distil our award-winning whisky to the same exacting standards introduced in 1798 by our founder, Magnus Eunson, a direct descendant of those early vikings.

The result is an intensely balanced single malt Scotch whisky – a perfect harmony of aromatic smoky peat and the flavours of sweet heather honey and rich fruit cake. Smooth, full and rounded, it’s a whisky that truly stands apart.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.highlandparkwhisky.com

*Info taken from bottle

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Penderyn Bourbon Matured Distillery Cask

Penderyn Distillery Cask Bourbon MaturedThis whisky has been hand bottled and labelled from a dedicated cask (by author), and is available exclusively from Penderyn’s Visitor Centre – 46% ABV.

TASTING NOTES

Green apples, banana and citrus fruits push to the front of this whisky, giving it a fresh, light nose to draw you in.

Boiled fruits, cinnamon and fresh cream on the palate create a flavour reminiscent of apple pie, followed by a butterscotch and vanilla finish.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk

*Info taken from bottle

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Penderyn Rich Oak (Dr Jim Swan)

Penderyn Rich Oak (Dr Jim Swan)This is a rare small batch bottling combining three of our finest rich oak casks specially selected by our Master Distiller, the late and much missed, Dr Jim Swan.  Each bottle is individually hand labelled and hand numbered.

This is a rare small batch bottling combining three of our finest rich oak casks specially selected by our Master Distiller, the late and much missed, Dr Jim Swan.  Each bottle is individually hand labelled and hand numbered.

TASTING NOTES

Nosing this rich bronze coloured whisky reveals that Penderyn’s unique green apple, banana and tropical fruits have to share the limelight with crème brûlée and apparent fortified wine.  In the taste, it is intensely sweet to begin, then rich fruity and vanilla flavours emerge. This is a big, robust yet remarkably smooth whisky (try adding just a drop or two of water into its 50% strength). A melange of flavours gradually fades into a long finish with a creamy, vanilla-like aftertaste. A rewarding dram!

This is the first Penderyn to be released from the distillery’s own barrels, specially formulated to create a rich, smooth whisky.

No of Bottles: 2248

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk

*Info taken from bottle

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Penderyn Portwood Finished Single Malt Whisky (46% vol)

Penderyn Portwood Finished Single Malt Whisky (46% vol)This limited expression of Penderyn Portwood single malt whisky acquires its delightful blush and syrupy character from a process of double maturation in ex-bourbon and rich ex-port casks.

The hillside village of Penderyn, southern gateway to the wild, beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, gives its name to this unique Welsh single malt whisky, made here at the only distillery in Wales.

One of a very few distilleries in private hands today, Penderyn continues a treasured tradition; in the 18th Century an early welsh distiller was among the founding fathers of bourbon distilling in America.

Each day here we ‘charge’ our unique copper stills with a specially fermented single variety malted barley wash. The day’s distillation yields a single barrel of pure single malt spirit, which is married with spring water from our own source, then matured in selected first quality oak barrels.

Unique distillation and careful maturation create a single malt whisky in which a sweet, elegant Penderyn house style shines through. Even then, there’s more to do. To attain their full depth and complexity of flavour, different hand-crafted expressions of Penderyn are aged or finished in different woods.

The Penderyn Portwood whisky in this bottle has initially been aged to almost full maturation in specially selected ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky. Additional maturation follows in the finest Portuguese ex-port barriques, imparting typically smooth and fruity flavours from this iconic fortified wine.

A rich blush colour with copper hues, this whisky delights with a syrupy Port character and notes of milky coffee and dark chocolate on the nose. In the taste, top notes of fresh strawberry and cream toffee come through first, complimented by vanilla, with dates, raisins and jam emerging. A lingering, sweet finish of honey and sticky treacle will ensure this whisky is memorable long after it’s finished.

Like the fabled Welsh Gold (in Welsh, Aur Cymru) used to make heirloom jewellery proudly worn by kings and princes down the ages, Penderyn single malt is rare and highly prized. To those who love it, it’s a new kind of Welsh Gold.

Note: This is the newer 46% vol ABV

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.penderyn-distillery.co.uk

*Info taken from bottle

 

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Glenallachie Distillery Edition

Glenallachie Distillery EditionGlenallachie Speyside single malt Scotch whisky matured in Traditional Oak. Our distillery edition brings together the purest water with the experienced hands of our makers to create a classic single malt of smooth sophistication.

Glenallachie Distillery Edition is aged in traditional oak barrels to bring out fresh fruity flavours together with smooth and delicate vanilla notes.

The Glenallachie Distillery was built at the foot of Ben Rinnes mountain – and for good reason. We explored 60 different waters before discovering the purest from springs 2000ft up the mountain’s north-east face. This spring water is naturally filtered as it gently flows through the steep slopes of Scottish moss and ancient granite to our whisky makers at the distillery door.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:

*Info taken from bottle

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