Good news for Arran whiskies in the USA!

Good news for those of us living in the US!  You can read the full detail below but the gist of it is that the Isle of Arran Distillers have signed on with a new importer for product into the US: Impex (known for importing Kilchomen, Smokehead, the Cheiftain’s range of Single Cask Whiskies and Isle of Skye blended whisky into the US).

The effective date is January 1, 2012

My hope, which I think will come to fruition, is that with this new deal with Impex (a company that KNOWS whisky), Arran will be bringing in more of their small release products such as the Icons of Arran range, Sleeping Warrior, 12yo cask strength, etc…  It will remain to be seen but Impex knows their stuff and knows the US whisky consumer.

Arran is in good hands.  Read the full details below.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd & ImpEx Beverages Inc

Trading Agreement Announcement


Press Announcement

 Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd, a dynamic force in the Scotch Whisky Industry is delighted to announce that effective January 1st 2012, their Single Malt and Blended Scotch will be imported into the United States by ImpEx Beverages Inc.

Andrew Hogan of Isle of Arran Distillers commented that “This agreement with ImpEx will bring us the brand building success that we seek at this stage in our development. I am delighted to have the chance to work with ImpEx, and to benefit from the experience that Ed Kohl and his team brings to the USA whisky market. “Hogan added that he “…looked forward to increased influence within the US market and this appointment was the best news possible prior to the busy holiday selling season. “

For ImpEx Beverages, Ed Kohl stated “We are delighted to represent this prestigious distillery in our portfolio of malt and blended whisky.  Isle of Arran is a new and innovative distillery who is offering an exciting range of single malts and blends to the whisky connoisseur who is looking for yet another new experience.  The combination of our two companies compliments each other extremely well as we move forward with our consumer tasting programs.  Mr. Hogan will also be a valued partner as we develop Isle of Arran in the U.S. Market.”

Day 4 – Video tasting with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador David Blackmore – Tasting the “Private Editions”

Finally, we are at the finish.

But before we got here, yesterday we discussed Glenmorangie’s Quinta Ruban and Nectar D’or (Port and Sauternes finishes, respectively) and the day before that we lead off talks of their “Extra-Matured” range with the Glenmorangie Lasanta which is a sherry finished whisky.

We began this entire video series a few days ago with the flagship Glenmorangie – “The Original” (here is a link to that video)

So what will we discuss in the end?  The first two of Glenmorangie’s Private Editions: Sonnalta PX, which is a Pedro Ximenez sherry finished whisky and the Finealta which is a replication, they think, of what Glenmorangie’s whisky might have tasted like back in the very early 1900’s and is lightly peated.

As with the others, the below videos are more than just tasting videos.  David Blackmore does a great job teaching us about the whiskies, process and more.

David, thank you very much for doing this series with me.  I look forward to our next shoot when we cover the Ardbeg line.

And thank you to all who’ve follow the series!  I hope you enjoy the videos below.  Cheers!

 And now to video number two:

Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society’s official tasting notes on the Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX & Finealta

Sonnalta PX (as reviewed in April 2010) – 46% ABV –$65 – $90 | £56 | €75

On the nose Banana peels & cinnamon, Banana chips, candied oranges (strange, even orange Jujubees, sort of a soapy quality but good), The nose really reminds me of the palate on the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey with all of the yummy banana-i-ness to it.  A very un-Glenmorangie nose.  Wait, I sniffed after typing that and I take it back, notes from The Original Ten Years are popping through honey, apples.  It’s all hiding there waiting to sneak up on you!

On the mouthFantastic mouth feel!  Oh, G-d, that’s just so chewy…  Like salted taffy or caramel.  Nuts and root veggies, a touch of chocolate here (sort of like chocolate shavings if you’ve ever had them, a very different taste than a chunk of chocolate), wine soaked raisins.

FinishQuite long.  Chocolate covered leather (oh, so slight with the leather quality), raisins and fresh fruits.  Huh, slight nutty oak after about 45 seconds or so.

Finealta (as reviewed in December 2010) – 46% ABV –$65 – $75 | £61 | €75

On the noseBig cherry presence on the nose along with something minty.  An earthy quality to it – fresh potting soil, new ferns.  The peat in here is very light.  Toffee & caramel.  Cadbury fruit & nut bar.  Some soy sauce.

On the mouth Spiced orange gum drops.  Red ones too.  Lots of nuttiness and now some coffee tones in there.  Solid mouth feel here, folks!  Creamy, ooey – I love it.  Peppery and more soy sauce notes.  Again, lightly smoked & very elusive.

Finish Now quite tannic.  Quite long too.

You can view days 1, 2 and 3 of this video series, here, here and here (respectively).

Day 3 – Video tasting with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador David Blackmore – Tasting the “Quinta Ruban & Nectar D’or”

As we enter the second half of our video tastings with David Blackmore & Glenmorangie, I start to get a little sad because I know that tomorrow will be the last day of our Glenmorangie videos.

However, there is some good news (with a spoiler alert – in the Glenmorangie videos we eluded to reviewing some Ardbeg whiskies.  We ran out of time and did not get to them):

The good news? David and I have agreed on a date to video a review of the Ardbeg line and I hope that we’ll get to taste some interesting stuff and learn more about what may be Islay’s, if not all of Scotland’s, most cult single malt whisky.  Expect those videos to go up before 2011 is out!  With hope, these will be some nice Chanukah/Christmas presents for you 🙂

Back to the matter at hand… today David and I will explore the final two of the Extra-Matured Glenmorangie range: Quinta Ruban (Port Finish) and the Nectar D’or (Chateau D’yquem Sauternes Finish).

The Nectar D’or is perhaps my favorite of the Extra-Matured Glenmorangies if not my favorite out of the entire Glenmo range.  The tasting of the two whiskies had to be split over two 10 minute videos.

Lots to talk about, lots to learn, lots to taste.

If you missed the first post, here is a link to it.  If you missed the second post, here is a link to it.

I hope you enjoy Part 1:

And now, Part 2:

Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society’s official tasting notes on the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Nectar D’or

Highlands Region – 46% ABV – $45 | £44 | €45

Quinta Ruban – (as tasted in May of 2010 by six of the local Connecticut JSMWS members – the notes are combined group notes)

Initial whiff — Spiced Oranges, Cloves, honey & vanilla, “this one will tickle your nose thinking that’s it’s actually Elmo” (Ok, so I threw in another little analogy…  it is a nose tickler, very spicy stuff).

On the mouth More tannic than expected, spiced citrus stuffs, honey and vanilla, some good nuttiness follows the nose here, oily mouth feel, coating and chewy.

Finish – Short, left you wanting more, off balance compared to what the nose & palate delivered (though some saw this as an evolution rather than imbalance), though with the addition of a bit of water, a creaminess stays with you.

Highlands Region – 46% ABV – $55-65 | £50 | €65

Nectar D’or – (Tasting notes are mine from February 2010)

On the nose Apricot jam, actual Sauternes (no initial whisky scents, pure Sauternes wine; delicious!), loads of vanilla, some coconut and a tad bit of smoke, more like apricot jam on burnt toast (after having scrapped off the burny parts with a butter knife).

On the mouth My G-d, my mouth instantly started watering.  Very fruity, apricots again, pecans, oak and coconuts.  A bit peppery and some gobs of honey, sugared honey.

Finish Long, this stuff coats your mouth quite well, in the way back of my tongue the pecans came back.  Quite lovely stuff.

You can view days 1, 2 and 4 of this video series, here, here and here (respectively).

Day 2 – Video tasting with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador David Blackmore – Tasting the “Lasanta”

Here we are in day #2 of our videoed whisky tastings with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador, Mr. David Blackmore.

Yesterday we learned a good deal about Glenmorangie – how they source their wood/casks, their philosophy on wood management and more.  Plus, we got a better understanding of where flavor comes from and how it’s imparted to the whisky.  And of course, we got to taste the Glenmorangie Original.

If you missed yesterday’s post, here is a link to it.  These videos flow together so you will benefit from having seen the one prior to this before moving onto today’s video.

Today we learn about the Glenmorangie Lasanta – their new Extra-Matured whisky which spent 10 years in American White Oak then an additional two years in Oloroso Sherry casks.  Additionally, David goes into the history of the Extra-Matured range – great stuff (if you ask me)!


And hey, there’s more!! Here’s a supplemental surprise for those of you who loved the old Sherry Wood Glenmo:

Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society’s official tasting notes on the Glenmorangie Lasanta

Highlands Region – 46% ABV – $45 | £39 | €45

On the nose  For spending only 2 years in a sherry cask, the sherry-type notes are pretty prominent…

Think prunes, boozey raisins and spice.

Heavy metal leather jackets a la Judas Priest circa 1983 (or there abouts), dark chocolates and old harris tweed suits.

Cherry wood and lacquer notes.

Those lovely peach Glenmorangie notes come forth but there’s a heaviness to it that makes it somewhat different from that Glenmo-peach note I’m used to.

Smoked-salt on watermelon is in here too.

On the mouth Ooey & oily mouthfeel.  It’s all about dark chocolate here.  Big and powerful, sweet yet sharp and then a bit of tang.

Very sweet, almost cloying but it gets turned around right quick with some red wine tannins and fruits — we’re talking cranberry and blackberry.

Fresh soil notes and then citrus and a bit of creamy malt (better yet, a malted milk ball).

Finish Nice dry finish with a lasting sweetness that seems to be balanced out by an earthy quality.

In sum I had this whisky when it first came out in 2007/8 and was not a fan.  This is the 2010 version and it just seems more mature and balanced.  The sherry finish is nicely integrated and the balance between the sweet and dry is nice as is the addition of earthy notes and a touch of citrus floating above it all.  This is a late night dram that will help to you to get your ideas out; open up your brain a bit.

You can view days 1, 3 and 4 of this video series, here, here and here (respectively).

New series – Video tasting with Glenmorangie’s Global Ambassador David Blackmore – Day 1 – Tasting the “Original”

A few months back I got together with Mr. Blackmore (pictured right) to record a video series.  This video series.  Actually, the full story is that he and his wife invited us (“us” being the full Hatton compliment – me, the wife and our two kids) over to their house for some food, drinks and fun times (don’t get dirty now!).

This video tasting series is something I’ve wanted to do with David for some time so, during the visit, while the ladies (both of the short and tall variety) were upstairs, David and I went downstairs into his whisky tasting room and reviewed the Glenmorangie line — or at least a large part of it.

Today is day one of this four day series.  The idea behind it is not just to go over tasting notes on whiskies (been there, done that and others do it much better that I).  Rather, the idea and hope is to give people an idea of what a tasting seminar might be like.  I hope that what you’ll see over the next few days will not only entertain but also educate you.

In hindsight, I think my attire should have been a bit less… dress-down-knock-around but that’ll have to be for the next series.  Anyway, it’s the content regarding the whisky that matters, right?  Right.

Enjoy Day one and come back for days two through four!

Tasting notes on the Glenmorangie Original (as tasted in May of 2010 by six of the local Connecticut JSMWS members – the notes are combined group notes):

The Original – Ten Years – 43% ABV – $29 – $39 | £26 (UK version is bottled at 40% ABV)

On the noseCirtusy, honeyed citrus candies, slight smoke & pineapples, grassy, vanilla bean ice cream.

On the mouth Lemongrass, more honey, a bit thin but has a bit of an attack (“softens a touch with a drop of H2O” — John), pecans & oaky vanilla

Finish – (Here’s where tended to differ)  One of us thought the finish was surprisingly long while another thought it was “shorter than an oompa-loompa churning cream & sugar”  (Ok, I threw that analogy in.  It was better than just saying it was a short finish, right?).  I found the finish to be medium in length, a bit effervescent and with the slightest twinge of smoke (hugely slight!).

You can view days 2, 3 and 4 of this video series, here, here and here (respectively).