Within whisky it looks like another bumper year ahead, despite concerns being raised on various issues such as the deposit return scheme and the proposed marketing restrictions.
One of the freshest new launches is celebrating a milestone – 30 years of Celtic Connections. Grace Notes is the new limited edition whisky bottling celebrating 30 years of Glasgow’s world-renowned winter festival. It’s a delicate marriage of whisky from three single casks distilled at Teaninich Distillery in Alness, in the Highlands.
This rarely seen single malt was aged for ten years before it was handpicked by Donald Shaw, creative director of Celtic Connections, to celebrate the festival’s 30th anniversary in 2023. Limited to just 752 individually numbered bottles, this whisky has a noticeably subtle and refreshing character.
Another celebratory dram is the ten-year-old year old Edinburgh Castle whisky, which has had a refreshed recipe, packaging design and bottle shape.
For anyone looking for something a bit older than ten years, this is your year as many distilleries are releasing old – and therefore by design rare – bottlings. Glenfiddich have revealed an archive collection, which includes whiskies taken from casks from 1973, 1984 and 1987. Given that prices start from £3,700 and rise to over £33,000, these aren’t going to be for everyone.
One older whisky that may not break the bank is the newly released Glen Scotia 21-year-old limited-edition single malt (£265). Aged in a combination of refill bourbon barrels and refill American oak hogsheads, the finest of which have been personally selected by Glen Scotia’s expert team, before a six-month finish in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks, this addition to Glen Scotia’s range is a smooth and aromatic dram ideal for whisky connoisseurs.
Finally three other new releases are the BenRiach The 16, The GlenAllachie 2012 Vintage Cuvée Wine Cask Finish and Founder’s Reserve, a blended Scotch that is the result of a collaboration between Cockburns of Leith and Annandale Distillery.