Cin Cin Time for Gin with Colin Nicholson

Gin Tasting

With lots of new additions to our already large range of gins, new offerings aplenty are to be had at our latest tasting. This tasting has become an annual event and this time around we have some wonderful gins to tempt you with. So, mark the day in your diary and give the Pulborough shop a call on 01798 872671 as spaces are limited to 24 only.

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Malt of the Month | June 2019

Kilchoman Distillery

Kilchoman STR Cask Matured Limited Edition £89.50

It’s no secret that I follow releases from this most modern thinking of distilleries KIlchoman. Since 2005 they have made waves from their quiet corner of Islay in the whisky world with some incredible offerings. Their latest limited edition is the ‘STR’ meaning Shaving, Toasting and Re-Charring. 43 casks were filled in 2012 and bottled at 50% abv. This is a pretty small amount and there are only 15,000 bottles available worldwide.

Utilising old red wine casks to mature the STR, they first remove the ends to expose the inner layer. This inner layer of cask is then shaved to expose the wood which is lightly toasted using oak chips to caramelise the oak and release vanilla flavours. Finally, it is re-charred to maximise extraction. Pop the ends back on and bingo you have a re-vitalised barrel! The whisky has taken on big bold flavours. Peated to 50ppm it is bold, smoky, rich and vibrant.

We have a small allocation and when it’s gone it’s gone. So, pop along to one of our shops to secure your bottle.

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Kilchoman Machir Bay | Malt of the month

The core of Kilchoman Machir Bay

Kilchoman Machir Bay is the first new Islay distillery built for 150 years

Happy New Year whisky lovers! No doubt plenty a dram was consumed over the festive period? Let’s kick off 2016 with a tasty malt to keep what is turning into a dreary damp winter at bay. Kilchoman (pronounced Kilhoman) has just celebrated its 10th anniversary and was the first new Islay distillery built for 150 years. Machir Bay is the core malt in the range matured in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. Candied fruit on the nose with obvious peat, but not medicinal. The palate has ripe fruit and nuts and a gentle wash of sweet spice. The finish is smokey but barley and vanilla play a part – the future is very bright indeed for this distillery! Pop into Pulborough shop where a bottle of Kilchoman Machir Bay is open for you to try.

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Tamdhu 10 Year Old | Malt of the month

The stunning home of Tamdhu 10 Year Old

I look forward to 2019 when hopefully I can get my grubby mitts on a bottle of a ltd 200yr old anniversary edition (although the Tamdhu 10 Year Old is prety darn fine – Matt P!)

Season’s greetings Whisky fans!

I’ve been lucky enough to spend a week every year for the last five years visiting various distilleries around Scotland tasting some very good whisky.

It’s always a risk visiting Scotland even in high summer as the weather can be changeable, and what started with “it’s raining today, let’s go visit a distillery” has become very much a planned visit regardless of the weather.

This year I fulfilled an ambition by visiting Clynelish where I was treated to a very personal tour as no one else had bothered to drive roughly an hour north of Inverness to Brora in Sutherland to visit that particular day so I had the distillery to myself. Not only was the tasting everything I hoped it would be, the visit to the old Brora site next door was an unexpected bonus. (Unfortunately these rare Malts are fetching extraordinarily high prices).

I look forward to 2019 when hopefully I can get my grubby mitts on a bottle of a ltd 200yr old anniversary edition, as I noticed a couple of slumbering casks earmarked for such a bottling. Note to self!

Watch this space as next year I am spending a week tasting my way round the distilleries of Islay. The home of peated malt. Marmite to some people, you either love ’em or you don’t. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Now onto December’s Malt of the month, Tamdhu 10 Year Old

Just south west of Aberlour in the heart of Speyside lies the Tamdhu distillery. In 2012 the distillery was purchased by Ian Macleod distillers who have set about returning this once gem of a distillery back to former glories.

The reason for Tamdhu 10 Year Old being my Malt of the month for the festive season is simple. The whisky is exclusively matured in more expensive sherry casks some first fill. This imparts rich fruit cake like flavours and when I drink this malt I am transported to a large armchair in front of a roaring fire on a cold night, kick off the slippers, with Christmas carols playing in the background. Sheer bliss.

Tamdhu 10 Year Old is the signature malt of the range and I can tell you that this a Christmas cracker of a malt! Totally natural colour from the sherry casks. A hint of peat is used in the malted barley and pure water is sourced from the Tamhdu spring.

On the nose subtle it is not, Demerara sugar, Dundee cake, sweet spice, vanilla and forest floor. Blimey every time I nose something else enters the mix.

Initially the palate is candied orange and sweet spices, then chocolate, honeycomb, caramel, toffee fudge. Oh what a cacophony of flavours all crying out for attention.

The finish is polished, smooth, round and warming and only then do you finally get the faintest whiff of smoke from the peat. The perfect partner on a cold December evening. All this for £37.99!

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Glen Garioch Founders Reserve | Malt of the month

Malt of the month

[ Glen Garioch Founders Reserve is ] Werthers originals in a glass yum!

Glen Garioch Founders Reserve, (Garioch is pronounced “Geary”) is pretty much the most easterly of all Highland Malts, close to Aberdeen. Made in small batches, this is just oh so easy to drink.

You can’t escape the big sweet butterscotch nose. I’m a sucker for anything smelling vaguely vanilla – Werthers originals in a glass yum! Then enters a subtle spice note, very clean with a really balanced citrus edge and then sultanas. On the palate barley makes an entrance as well as mixed spice but it’s soft and creamy. Butterscotch is still present with hints of bruised apple on the finish.

I’ve got to say this is unexpected complexity for such a keenly priced Malt. Great stuff!

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