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SPIRIT OF WHISKY FRINGE AWARD 2019

Every year at Whisky Fringe we ask attendees to vote for their favourite dram of the day. This year we had 275 spirits eligible for the award, ranging from a young and sprightly 3 year old Strathearn to the elderly and rare Glen Grant 1949. Here is a countdown of the 10 best spirits at Whisky Fringe as voted for by you. Many thanks for voting and congratulations to the winner!

10
Linkwood
11 Year Old James Eadie Amontillado Finish 54.9% 70cl

Linkwood is a underrated whisky which we enjoy in all its forms. This single cask was distilled on 13th July 2007 and was matured for 11 years including a finish in first-fill Amontillado sherry cask for 11 months. Amontillado sherry is a drier style which is similar to Fino. Sherry casks have been traditional vessels for Scotch whisky maturation but it is always fascinating to find out the specific style of sherry that was used previously!

 

Out Of Stock

9
Glenallachie
10 Year Old Port Wood Finish 48% 70cl

Billy Walker sets to continue his reputation for interesting wood finishes and is using Glenallachie's versatile spirit style to craft new characters within their range. The Port Wood finish showcases the spirit's secondary maturation in ruby port wood pipes after starting out in American oak barrels. Bottled at a strength of 48% and unchilfiltered, this dram has an abundance of rich, fruity characters.

 

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose:
Fragrant fruit led notes- subtle strawberries and raspberries. 
Palate:
Leather emerges with cranberries and caramel. Sweetness comes with a thick texture. RIch and elegant.
Finish:
Juicy also with lots of milk and dark chocolate.

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8
Arran
2012 Peated Sherry RMW & Drinkmonger Exclusive 54.2% 70cl

A small batch release of peated Arran whisky bottled from three sherry hogsheads. This peated spirit (20ppm) was filled in 2012 and matured for six years in sherry hogsheads until 2019. Carefully selected by the Royal Mile Whiskies tasting team, we think this displays the great versatility of Arran spirit with a peated presence that is bolstered by rich sherry casks offering notes of smoked meats, BBQ sauce and raisins. Limited to 960 bottles.

 

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose:
Honey drenched bacon and fruity chutney. Fruit cake and vinegerette with a subtle olive note.
Palate:
Well balanced with notes of chewy dried raisins and BBQ sauce.
Finish:
Chocolate, gingerbread and an almost everlasting coal smoke.

With water:
More tar and spice on the palate along with toffee and burnt meats on the finish.

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7
Glen Keith
1993 24 Year Old Connoisseurs Choice 49.3% 70cl

A 24 year old Glen Keith bottled by Gordon & Macphail for their Connoisseurs Choice range. Glen Keith's floral and herbal spirit style suits long ageing and this example bottled from a refill bourbon barrel certainly pleased many at our Whisky Fringe 2019 festival.

 

Official Tasting Notes
Hints of elderflower mingle with pear and apple aromas. Balanced; bursts of zesty citrus enhance creamy vanilla flavours underscored by malty notes. A lingering herbal edge develops. 

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6
Springbank
18 Year Old 2019 46% 70cl

Slowly but surely, one of our favourite distilleries is building up stocks of mature malt after some fallow years (they were simply too successful in the Nineties, although you could argue they sold it too cheap). This 18 year old is becoming a welcome treat when it appears in the Autumn every year, although like your turkey it no longer exists by Christmas day. Each year they tinker with the cask mix, and the 2019 edition has 88% bourbon casks and 12% port.

 

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Lemon, zesty, confectionery, soft ripe peaches. Hints of dunnage/earthy notes with honeycomb and sea salt..
Palate: Initially nougat, pecan pie, pine nuts and digestive biscuits. Becomes sweeter with notes of tropical fruit and wine gums.
Finish: The legendary Springbank style with a coastal tang, a hint of peat and earthy notes.

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5
Strathearn
Single Malt Batch 1 46.6%70cl

An official release of Strathearn Single Malt Whisky, made in Perthshire. Batch number 1 has been aged for 3 years in both European oak and ex-sherry casks and bottled un-chilfiltered with natural colour.

 

Out Of Stock

4
Glen Moray
21 Year Old Portwood Finish 46.3% 70cl

A brand new release from Glen Moray matured for 21 years, initially in ex-bourbon casks before a finish in port casks. Bottled un-chilfiltered at 46.3%.

 

Official Tasting Notes
Nose:
Intense berry fruits merge with creamy vanilla and rich caramel with hints of freshly-baked gingerbread.
Taste:
Beautifully balanced and full of character. Blackcurrant and liquorice dominate in the first instance then chewy caramel toffee and chili-infused chocolate come to the fore. A real taste sensation.
Finish:
Rich and satisfying. Dark chocolate and caramelised raisins linger on the tongue long after the last sip is taken.

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3
Tomatin
30 Year Old 46% 70cl

The liquid has always been good, but now Tomatin have smartened up their packaging at the top end to produce some genuinely beautiful and luxurious whiskies. The casks used are all ex-bourbon, although a mix of fresh and refill, and our staff loved how the tropical fruit and pear character of the spirit is allowed to shine. It's a beauty, inside and outside the bottle.

 

Official Tasting Notes
Fresh aromas of fruits, honey and white chocolate with an elegantly rich and creamy finish.

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Runner Up
2
Blair Athol
1997 21 Year Old Adelphi #5773 57.2% 70cl

A deliciously dark sherry cask from Blair Athol, distilled in 1997 and then matured for 21 years before bottling in 2019 by Adelphi. Only 200 bottles exist, all at cask strength with glorious natural colour.

 

Out Of Stock

Winner
1
Tomatin
2001 17 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Cask 55.4% 70cl

A single cask distillery exclusive that was available at Whisky Fringe 2019. Distilled on 30th November 2001, this was matured for 12 years in an ex-bourbon cask and filled into a PX Sherry Cask for the final 6 years. 100 bottles were bottled from the cask at Whisky Fringe and the remainder were bottled shortly afterwards.

 

Out Of Stock