officiels vs negoces
At La Maison du Whisky, each whisky brings back memories of distillery visits, encounters with the producers, but above all selections…
For over 60 years, we have bottled hundreds of labels and tasted thousands of samples. Throughout these pages, we’ve tried to share a small part of these experiences with you. Slices of life, during which the small stories sometimes tie into larger ones. From Caol Ila, of which we have bottled hundreds of versions, to Speyburn, with our very first single cask bottling appearing in this catalogue, each whisky has a story to tell.
Of all the Islay distilleries, we have by far selected more versions from Caol Ila than any other. The Caol in Caol Ila comes from the word coal. What makes Caol Ila so unique is its charcoal smokiness, accompanied by tangy notes found on the initial nose. This particularly well-integrated sweet and sour balance is undoubtedly what makes it a more accessible Islay, despite its high peat content. It is this intensity that we look for when selecting a Caol Ila. The nose is always key and needs to fully express either its unique smoke, tangy notes, or exoticism. The new spirit is more subtle than that of Laphroaig or Bowmore is and is heavily influenced by the cask. That’s why bourbon casks often produce lovely coconut notes.
BOWMORE 22 YO 1996
Islay Single Malt – 53.6%, 70cl
Single Cask #BW9618 – Bourbon Barrel
Limited Edition of 274 bottles
Founded in 2013 by Andréa Ferrari, Hidden Spirits is a young Italian bottler based in Ferrare. In addition to hand-picked single malts, it also bottles very high-quality rums.
For La Maison du Whisky, Bowmore is a malt of extremes. This year, the 22 year old version from independent bottler Hidden Spirits is a perfect example of exoticism, with notes of pineapple and passion fruit. As for the 2001 expression bottled for the Artist #8 range, it has a fruity unctuousness that bears something of a resemblance to many of the Bowmore of the 1960s.
Don’t hold back on the superlatives! For us, Glendronach is one of the best whiskies in the world. From a young age, its single malt expresses exceptional qualities that continually improve with time and represents the very essence of sherry cask ageing. Its single malts often express an unctuous softness, through notes of leather, cigar, dried fruit and cocoa, such as this 25 year old, whose fruity and spicy notes are livened up with a light hint of smoke.
GLENDRONACH 26 YO 1992
Highland Single Malt – 51.8%, 70cl
Single Cask #8316 – Pedro Ximenez Puncheon
Limited Edition of 698 bottles
Distilled in 1992 and aged in a Pedro Ximénez cask, this bottling beautifully illustrates the unique style of a single malt that needs no introduction. Fans of this malt will delight in exploring the herbaceous, vegetal lands that astutely refresh the palette of flavors and aromas.
GLENLIVET 15 YO 2003
Speyside Single Malt – 56.5%, 70cl
Single Cask #800353 – Refill Bourbon Barrel
Limited Edition of 104 bottles
Glenlivet is unquestionably one of the most popular single malts sold by Gordon & Macphail, Scotland’s most well-known independent bottler. This should come as no surprise, as this venerable distillery is found in Elgin, the capital of Speyside.
La Maison du Whisky has always had a close relationship with Glenlivet. In the 1960s, it was one of the first single malts we distributed. Glenlivet is a fruity, refined and elegant single malt. It is a true classic with a very wide palette of aromas. With the exception of peat, it is capable of expressing every register of whisky. The «Chronicles» version from Gordon & MacPhail, a 2003 bottling aged for 15 years in ex-bourbon casks, reveals another facet of Glenlivet, its finesse. Extremely well-structured, with light citrus notes, it is a true Speyside classic and a superb whisky.
La Maison du Whisky is a huge fan of Aberlour. Like many Speysides, this type of whisky gains finesse with age, with the sherry giving it a patina of rare elegance. Extremely well-balanced, Aberlour never gives in to excess. Never too animal, never too tannic, never too exuberant, its sherry casks create a civilized whisky not dissimilar to a very old cognac or an aged fruit brandy, excellent after-dinner drinks. This 19 year old single cask, with its perfect balance of fruity, floral, spicy, honeyed, chocolatey and exotic notes, is a true model of its kind.
ABERLOUR 19 YO
First Fill Sherry hogshead
Speyside Single Malt – 53.1%, 70cl
Single Cask #4824 – First Fill Sherry Hogshead
Limited Edition of 294 bottles
The Aberlour 19 Year Old and 13 Year Old in our 2017 and 2018 Creation catalogues paid an eloquent tribute to this famous distillery which has been in the Pernod Ricard portfolio since 1974.
Ben Nevis 21 YO 1996
refill sherry butt
Highland Single Malt – 54.1%, 70cl
Single Cask #75 – Refill Sherry Butt
Limited Edition of 464 bottles
After the Ben Nevis 1984 which was aged for 13 years in a bourbon cask and finished for 18 years in an oloroso sherry butt, and the Ben Nevis 1966 from our 2018 Creation catalogue which was aged for 51 years in a bourbon cask, we are particularly proud to present this Ben Nevis 1996 which has been aged solely in a sherry cask.
Located in the west Highlands, at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, the eponymous distillery continues to use very traditional methods to this day. Whilst a large part of the industry has taken on a more commercial aspect, Ben Nevis has stayed true to itself. Its unusual personality is expressed in salty and slightly smoky notes which in some barrels are even reminiscent of salted butter caramel. The first, aged 21 years, which was distilled in 1996 and aged in an ex-sherry cask, is a model of its kind, with notes of liquorice and black radish.
The small distillery of Benromach is one of Speyside’s best kept secrets. Owned by Gordon & MacPhail, the largest active independent bottler today, its warehouses are home to a huge variety of casks, of all different origins and sizes… This year, Benromach has taken things up a notch once again with this single cask, also from 2009. It is pure magic! Benromach’s peaty aspect is expressed more intensely than usual, enveloping notes of red fruits and spices… it is one of the best surprises in our catalogue.
BENROMACH 9 YO 2009
first fill Bourbon
Speyside Single Malt – 59.9%, 70cl
Single Cask #116 – First Fill Bourbon
Limited Edition of 247 bottles
Despite having the same peat content (12 ppm) as the Benromach 2009 found in our 2018 Creation catalog, this single cask is nonetheless quite different from its predecessor. Firstly in the more delicate and nuanced way in which peat and smoke take over the palette of flavors and aromas.
AULTMORE 11 YO
exceptional cask series
Speyside Single Malt – 46%, 70cl
Small Batch # AU2107 of 3 Sherry Casks
Limited Edition of 2472 bottles
The Aultmore distillery in Keith, Banffshire was founded in 1896. Renovated in 1970/1971, it increased the number of stills from two to four. The single malt it produces is primarily used for Dewar’s blended scotches.
This 11 year old small batch, whose richness and elegance rival that of its predecessor. We also selected an immense Aultmore 2006 single cask bottled by Signatory Vintage for Whisky Live Paris 2018. Aultmore unquestionably produces incredible sherry casks that are deeply expressive from even an early age. One thing is certain, we won’t overlook them again.
La Maison du Whisky has worked with Arran since it first opened. Arran recently also surprised us with some young bottlings, including a number of incredible heavily peated versions distilled in 2010! This year, in a wide range of casks of all ages, we have set our sights on a 9 year old single cask. A real « sherry bomb », this unusual Arran, which has a rare power for a whisky of this age, will delight even the most demanding of sherry cask aficionados.
ARRAN 9 YO 2008
Isle of Arran, Single Malt – 57.3%, 70cl
Single Cask #977 – Sherry Oloroso
Limited Edition of 311 bottles
Founded in 1995 by Harold Currie, the former director of Chivas Brothers, Arran was the first distillery to operate on the island since 1837. With exceptional richness and complexity, this bottling reveals three very distinct sequences. The natural richness and fruit of the nose, the delicate mouthfeel and resplendent maturity of the finish are highlights of an indulgent tasting.
SPEYBURN 12 YO 2006
Speyside Single Malt – 52.5%, 70cl
Single Cask #003 – Sherry Butt
Limited Edition of 702 bottles
Très originale dès les premiers instants, cette version séduit par ses notes de bois précieux qui évoquent clairement l’atelier d’un ébéniste (vernis, cire). Ses registres miellés, floraux ou encore épicés ont tous revêtu des tonalités tertiaires qui mettent en exergue une maturité qui dépasse de beaucoup son relatif jeune âge.
It would be hard not to fall under Speyburn’s spell. Located in Rothes, Speyside, at the crossroads of the Glen Grant, Glenrothes and Caperdonich distilleries, Speyburn is nestled at the bottom of the road, in amongst the trees. Only its smoking chimney is seen poking out, overlooking the tops of the trees, just a few miles away. This extraordinary location has always given it a special mystery for us. In the end, at 12 years old, the 2006 version in the catalogue shows impressive maturity. With well-structured classicism, it resembles a stunning Aberlour Sherry Cask! This very rich official Speyburn chosen by La Maison du Whisky will undoubtedly not be the last.