Independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail has added to its Private Collection with two new whiskys featuring exotic wood finishes, both ex-wine barrels from the Northern Rhone region. Details on each and tasting notes follow. Both are 90 proof.
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Ledaig St. Joseph Wood Finish 19 Years Old – Distilled in 1993 at Ledaig (on the Isle of Mull), this malt is finished for 40 months in St. Joseph wine barrels. Bottled in 2012. Lots of nougat up front, with mild citrus, almond, leather, and cedar box notes following. No shortage of wood throughout, with a lively, slightly minty finish. I’m not sure the balance is just right, but this makes for a fun alternative to the usual sherry-finished whisky. 2200 bottles made. 90 proof. B+ / $95
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Balblair Crozes-Hermitage Wood Finish 21 Years Old – Distilled in 1991 at Balblair (Highlands), this malt is finished for 40 months in Crozes-Hermitage wine barrels. Bottled in 2012. This is a similar malt, but racier and with better balance. Big marshmallow notes up front, with a long, sweet body laden with baking spices. The finish hints at the wine barrels used in the finish, a distinct currant and vanilla mixture that comes across almost like candy. Touches of chocolate round out the finish. Really lovely and actually a bargain for a 21 year old whisky. 2000 bottles made. 90 proof. A / $150