At the beginning of 2020, spirits mega-chain Total Wine offered up a range of single cask un-chillfiltered expressions at their stores, in partnership with independent bottler Alexander Murray & Co. Two made their way down to my local shop and were purchased immediately.
Alexander Murray & Co. Braes of Glenlivet Single Cask 23 Years Old – Also known as Braeval to some, this distillery is not actually from The Glenlivet, with whom most are familiar. A large percentage of the whisky made at Braeval either ends up in blends or made available through an independent bottler such as Murray. Just a note as a buyer beware for those thinking there’s a 23-year Glenlivet circulating at such a low price point. As for the whisky, there’s lots of malted barley and faint citrus on the nose, and a bit of freshly cut grass as it rests in a glass. Tropical fruit, lemon, and pepper are abundant, with lemon pushing itself forward after adding a few drops of water. An unsteady finish lingers, and it’s a bit heavy on the malt notes. Edition of 188 bottles. 112.2 proof. B / $160
Alexander Murray & Co. Clynelish Single Cask 14 Years Old – Lots of lemon, pear, and saline on the nose. It threatens to get smoky after sitting in the glass a few minutes, but never quite makes good on its bluster. A few drops of water bring out traces of green apple that brighten the whole presentation. The tartness stays on the palate but thankfully there’s oak and vanilla to assist in calming things down before everything gets too wild. A long, lemony finish makes things pleasantly sweet at first, but faint salt and paraffin traces remains present and mildly irritating. Let me clear my throat. Edition of 276 bottles. 109.2 proof. C+ / $100