A very special release of 25-year-old Ardbeg, bottled by Elixir Distillers as part of the Single Malts of Scotland Director's Special range in honour of the Whisky Show: Old & Rare's third outing. It's a classic Ardbeg of the era, with a mix of smoke, brine, fruit and tar that immediately conjures visions of the seashore by the distillery
NOSE A waft of pipe tobacco. As the smoke clears, an orchard comes into view with apricots and pears. Tarred rope and dusty wicker chairs surround a beach bon‑re. With water, lemon cake is served with a cup of sweet lapsang souchong tea.
Burning oakwood chips. Grilled vegetables – capsicum and courgette – are sprinkled with sea salt and cracked black pepper. After a while,the spicy vegetal notes develop into liquorice and rich tannins.
Once the ames on the grill have settled down, just the ashes remain. Sweetness returns with soft fruits and hazelnut. Bottle Size: 70cl *Only Available for in store purchase or UK Delivery
Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old - Director’s Special The Single Malts of Scotland
A single-cask release of Bunnahabhain from the Single Malts of Scotland, bottled as part of the Director's Special range. This was distilled back in 1975 and aged for 43 years in a single refill-bourbon hogshead. Over the years, its strength has naturally dropped, concentrating its flavour. The result is a soft and fruity whisky that shows the delicacy of Bunnahabhain's normally boisterous spirit.
A fabulously sherried single malt from Glengoyne, matured predominantly in first fill European oak sherry casks for 21 long years. Its time in the cask has bestowed upon it lovely rich fruity notes with an exceptionally long finish. This fantastic whisky was winner of a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018. Impressive stuff.
Darroze Les Grands Assemblages 50 Year Old Armagnac 70cl/%42
The 50-year-old entry in Darroze's range of blended Armagnacs, assembled from their deep and varied cellars of single-estate eau-de-vie from across the region. This was awarded 93 points by Serge Valentin, who described it as 'amazing and glorious'.
Sweet, floral and delicate on first sniff – meadow flowers and sweet grapes – with richer notes of demerara sugar, stewed raisins and rich earth behind.
Initially soft, with autumn leaves and touches of nutmeg, quickly becoming dark and rich. Dried fruit, leather, and growing notes of bitter barrel char and green leaf balance the sweetness
More delicate and less weighty than some old Armagnacs, with a complexity that demands careful examination.
Bottle Size: 70cl *Only Available for in store purchase or UK Delivery
Created by award-winning Master Blend Tito Cordero, Ambassador is the star of Diplomatico's collection. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished for a couple of years in Pedro Ximénez cask, this is a rich, fruity rum with notes of warm spices, tobacco leaves and dates.
Rich raisins, stewed apricots and soft brown sugar are balanced by drying woody tannins hinting at recently emptied cigar boxes.
Rich and sticky, with more raisins, cinnamon butter and caramelised bananas shot through with soft caramel which holds it all together.
Lingering hints of liquorice root and dark sugars sweetened up by light sugar syrup.
70cl / 47%
*Only Available for in store purchase or UK Delivery
The third release of Balblair's 1991 vintage is 27 year old, this time bottled in 2018. Matured in ex-bourbon casks for 24 years, before being transferred to ex-sherry butts for a further three, this combines Balblair's typical citrus and orchard fruit notes with rich chocolate, dried fruit and honey.
Tasting notes from the producer
The nose is expansive and complex with rich citrus fruits and vanilla notes, toffee and chocolate. The American oak ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish oak butts used in the maturation impart notes of honey, winter spices and apricot with just a hint of liquorice in the background
On the palate Balblair's signature style of citrus orchard is followed with rich creamy chocolate and layers of stewed apples and pears, Christmas pudding and hot vanilla sauce.
The finish descends slowly into brighter tonality, sparkling orange and toasted coconut overtones, accentuating full-bodied sweetness of vanilla and caramel. A rich and celebratory dram.
*Only Available for in store purchase or UK Delivery
This special-edition rum from Nicaragua's Flor de Cana, a family brand that can trace its roots back to 1890, is the pinnacle of the range. Producing using estate-grown sugar cane, it has rich fruity flavours accompanied by hints of almond. A rum to sip neat or over ice.
Diplomatico Pot Still Rum Distillery Collection No.3
The third rum in Diplomatico’s Distillery Collection, No. 3 is a full-bodied, complex spirit made using high quality sugar cane honey. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, this limited-edition rum combines tropical fruit aromas with toffee and vanilla. The palate offers rich oak notes alongside dark chocolate and dried fruits, before a rich, lingering finish full of warm spices.
This rum was made solely in the Copper Pot Still that was brought to Diplomatico’s La Miel distillery in 1959. This discontinuous distillation system was originally used in Scotland to produce whisky. The Distillery Collection showcases the individual distillates behind some of Diplomatico’s world-renowned rums, highlighting the distinct personalities created by using different stills.
Rich, sweet caramel and leather mingling with raisins and dried mango. Milk chocolate peeks through a layer of honeyed fruits.
Initially filled with light fruits; bananas, mangoes, maybe even pineapple. There’s a gentle undercurrent of smoke, leading the way for deeper notes of raisins and honeyed-prunes.
Full of honey and vanilla, alongside rich prunes and dates, while just a hint of banana returns.
Matured for 14 years in a combination of ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry barrels, Foursquare Patrimonio is a fruity, rich Bajan rum. Spicy aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar and sherry fill the nose, while the palate initially offers notes of caramel and fresh tobacco leaves. The spice returns with notes of ginger, cinnamon and black pepper, wrapped in notes of dark chocolate, pineapple and gentle smoky notes.
Nikka from the Barrel is big-boned and bursting with character. Not averse to a drop of water, either. A real star, winning top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards in 2007 and 2010.
Japanese whisky producer Nikka was founded in 1934 and has become Japan's second largest distiller, producing a large range of single malts and blended whiskies between its two distilleries - Yoichi and Miyagikyo.
An additional period of maturation in 30 year-old port pipes has given this aged Balvenie an extra level of depth and concentration of flavour, adding potent fruit and smoke notes to the silky-smooth full-bodied palate. Rich, indulgent, after-dinner Speyside at its best.
Tasting Notes by The Whisky Exchange
Big and fruity up front, with ripe raisins, touches of peach and a background of nuts.
Creamy texture with the classic honey and spices complemented by dried fruit and grapes.
Premiered at Whisky Show 2019, Chichibu London Edition 2019 is the second in this popular series. This Japanese single malt, which again commemorates London's capital, bears a label by Whisky Exchange Creative Director Raj Chavda that is a companion piece to last year's. 1405 bottles were released.
A very limited run of gorgeous, long-aged Irish whiskey, bottled exclusively for us by The Whisky Agency. The late 80s and early 90s were a sweet spot for whiskey from this anonymous Irish distillery, with a huge amount of fruity flavour in every bottling. This one zeroes in on mangoes, and is one of the juiciest drams we've ever tried. A must-taste for fans of the style.
Part of an exclusive series from The Single Malts of Scotland range, this delicious Laphroaig 20 Year Old has been bottled from a single sherry cask. Notes of red fruit, iodine and seaweed accompany finely structured smoke.
Port Ellen 1978 29 Year Old Rare Malts 8th Release
The second release to be produced using Hine's own vineyards, this 2006 vintage Bonneuil is a single-estate Cognac made using Ugni Blanc grapes grown in the Grande Champagne cru of the region. A fruity and floral Cognac.
An elegant Cognac from Hine, Bonneuil 2010 is made exclusively with grapes from an exceptional harvest and was bottled in July 2020. Aromas of sweet apple tarts, poached pears, candied orange peel and buttery toast fill the nose. The palate offers notes of crunchy pears, honey, apple jam, sultanas, butterscotch and toffee.
Hine's Bonneuil Cognacs are produced solely using grapes from the house's own estate. The 2008 vintage is an assemblage of just 16 casks, yielding just 450 bottles. It's a rare opportunity to explore the terroir of Hine itself, key to understanding the house's style and approach to creating fine Cognac
A fabulous Venezuelan dark golden rum, distilled from molasses in a copper pot still before it's aged for up to 12 years. Rich, sweet and fruity, just how we like 'em. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is one of the most awarded rums, with more than 20 awards to its name.
Matured for 12 years in a combination of American white oak, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks Diplomatico Seleccion de Familia is a complex rum with a dry, bittersweet edge alongside notes of caramelised bananas, white pepper, ginger, raisins and figs.
Distilled in 2005 and matured in American white oak casks, this blended rum from Diplomatico has been finished in oloroso sherry casks for a year, creating complex layers of fruit. Rich aromas of coffee, chocolate and tobacco mingle with vanilla and ripe fruits on the nose. The palate offers soft notes of bitter chocolate, red fruit, creamy vanilla and caramel.
The Nikka 12 Years Old Premium Blended Whisky 70cl
A blend including whisky from Nikka's two distilleries, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, The Nikka 12 is a well-balanced blend. There's green-apple freshness, rich fruitcake spiciness, butterscotch and some green-peppercorn punch. Another winner from Nikka.
Port Askaig Islay Single Malt Whisky Aged 8 Years 70cl
The youngest age-statement release in the Port Askaig range of single malts from undisclosed Islay distilleries, this eight-year-old whisky is warming and smoky with notes of limestone, liquorice and dark peat.
The 2020 edition of Macallan 25 Year Old Sherry Oak has been matured exclusively in hand-picked oloroso sherry casks from Jerez for a quarter of a century before bottling. This creates aromas of orange, cinnamon, sherry and wood smoke on the nose, complemented by notes of dried fruit and crystalised ginger throughout the palate.
*Only available for UK Delivery or Instore Purchase
From the Macallan Distillery - Director’s Special The Single Malts of Scotland 36 Years Old 70cl
A very special release from The Single Malts of Scotland: a 36-year-old Macallan bottled from a single cask under the Director's Special label. Rather than Macallan's trademark sherry-cask-forward flavour, this whisky is wrapped up in orchard fruit, vanilla and soft spice.
Classic Speyside notes of rich citrus and exotic fruit with a nutty background. Cloudy honey follows, drizzled over warm buttered toast. Sweet spice develops: nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. The spice is sprinkled on custard, itself poured over autumn fruit: crunchy red apples and conference pears.
The buttery and creamy texture carries flavours of peach and mandarin orange across the palate. Bursts of barley sugar and warming nutmeg spice provide a counterpoint to soft, tropical citrus fruit. Behind the fruit and spice there are notes of vanilla sponge cake soaked in triple sec and gentle toasted oak.
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition marks the seventh limited edition release in The Macallan Masters of Photography series. This awe-inspiring collection of images, taken by six world renowned Magnum photographers, capture different aspects of the iconic distillery.
Macallan Masters of Photography is an elegant Speyside single malt, made using whisky aged in eight different types of cask including first-fill American oak, an ex-European wine cask and a refill Speyside whisky cask from Macallan itself. This combination creates an incredibly complex single malt with notes of candied fruits, honey, butterscotch, red berries and spicy ginger.
Created to celebrate both photography and whisky-making at Macallan, Masters of Photography features exclusive collaborations with six of the world’s best-known photographers, to capture each stage of the process – and the new Macallan distillery – in a different light.
Isla del Tesoro (which translates as 'treasure island') is a rum from Santiago de Cuba which was formerly used as gifts by the Cuban government. Now available around the world, this exceptional rum is presented in a ceramic bottle and a wooden chest.
Taketsuru's no-age-statement blended malt contains a high percentage of malt from Miyagikyo, with the reminder coming from Yoichi. Aged on average for around 10 years in a variety of different cask types, including some sherry wood for extra richness.
A fruity, nutty Peruvian rum from Plantation, distilled in 2006 and matured in a tropical climate for 11 years before it was transported to France for a further two years aging in Ferrand Cognac casks. The palate offers notes of dried mango, roasted walnut, nougat, oak, vanilla pod and baking spice.
Introduced to replace the beloved Nikka 12 Year Old, Tailored is a blend including malt whisky from Nikka's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries and its Coffey Still grain. The whisky balances soft fruity notes with bitter notes of dark chocolate and citrus zest.
Despite the name, this is certainly not a “cognac from cuba”. The Martell Extra Cohiba Cognac is, in fact, a Cognac that has been developed by Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud, to be paired perfectly with a great cigar. And where else could we find the finest cigar? Cuba of course.
This utterly brilliant blend of eaux-de-vie is cultivated exclusively from the Grande Champagne region, arguably the best cru, meaning a Cognac of this quality should only be enjoyed with the most exquisite cuban as a delectable digestif. The subtle floral aromas released on the second nose of the Extra Cohiba complement the tobacco flavors particularly well. This is truly a top class Cognac from the masters at Martell.
The return of a legendary whisky from Ichiro Akuto, formerly of Hanyu distillery and now founder and distiller at Chichibu. This is a blend of malt whiskies from his extensive stocks, including whisky matured in mizunara – fragrant Japanese oak. Outstandingly rare, with only very limited amounts available to the whisky industry to use to make casks, mizunara is uniquely fragrant and adds a refined and almost incense-like air to this whisky.
Hereditas is a fruity, rich 14-year-old rum from Foursquare distillery in Barbados, bottled exclusively for The Whisky Exchange. Matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, this is a bold tropical rum with notes of raisins, banoffee and stewed berries throughout the palate.
A fruity, funky rum from Foursquare distillery in Barbados, Nobiliary was matured for 14 years in ex-bourbon casks. The result is an intensely fruity character, with aromas of pineapple, stewed apples, fruit cake and vanilla on the nose. The palate offers notes of brown sugar, spiced sponge cake, rich fruit cake, oranges and liquorice.
A 2007 Foursquare rum, Plenipotenziario has been aged in ex-bourbon casks for 12 years, adding layers of sweet vanilla to this funky Barbados rum. Aromas of mango, banana and black pepper mingle with vanilla and dark chocolate on the nose. The palate offers notes of aniseed, smoke, nutmeg, carnations, apple ad apricot, with hints of almond and cocoa in the finish.
An exceptional 9-year-old collaboration between Foursquare distillery and Italian independent bottlers Velier. Principia has been aged in both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, entirely in Barbados' tropical climate, making for a concentrated and intensely-flavoured rum – and at 62% ABV, it's not pulling any punches.
This is the second exclusive bottling for the Whisky Exchange from Barbados' Foursquare distillery. Named Diadem - a type of crown or headband worn by monarchs as a sign of royalty - this rum is definitely a crown jewel. A single traditional blended rum( from pot and column stills), this has been aged for 12 years in ex Bourbon and ex Madeira casks.
Crême brûlée and freshly polished leather; lardy cake and fresh paint; sugar-dusted sultanas and polished oak: a careful balance of sweet and savoury. Freshly peel bananas and spiced sponge cake develop along with roasted pineapple and brown sugar.
Coffee-covered banana fritters to start, with the toffee notes gradually getting both more singed and fruity: baked apples, overripe pineapples and squishy bananas. Char notes build to balance the sweetness, with an accompaniment of bittersweet dark chocolate.
Singed toffee notes fade to reveal more roasted banana and dark chocolate.
The fifth release in Elixir Distillers' Rosebank Roses series, Fascination is a 21-year-old single malt which, like the others in the collection, has been released to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This single malt is a combination of spirit distilled in both 1990 and 1991, matured in ex-Madeira casks and American oak barrels for 21 years. Citrussy aromas of candied citrus peel and fresh lemon are joined by rye bread, white chocolate, sherbet pips and mint on the nose, complemented by notes of green apple, sugared almonds, custard and vanilla cream throughout the palate.
Sweet cream, honeysuckle, and spring meadow flowers lead. Apple blossom and creamy vanilla custard follow, with sliced apple and pear, and rich citrus peel notes orange and lemon. Candied flower petals – violet and rose – develop, wafting delicately over a field of buttery malt.
The sweet cream from the nose returns, with spicy bodyguards: cinnamon and nutmeg to one side, white and black pepper on the other. Stewed apples roll in, with licorice and anise touches. Sweetshop notes hide at the bottom: candy necklaces, apple chews, and creamy milk chocolate. Floral notes develop, with delicate petals and sweet syrup tinged with a hint of leafy mint. Water softens the spice but leaves the intensity of flavour. Buttery notes are amplified, and fruit and cream notes develop strawberry- and orange-creme-filled chocolates.
A burst of buttermint fades to leave sweet floral touches and gentle green leaf notes.
A fantastic Japanese blend, made with aged malt and grain whiskies from Suntory's three distilleries. Spicy and sophisticated, this is great for catching people out at blind tastings. Recently awarded a Gold 'Editor's Choice' award from Whisky Magazine and picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2010.
Ripe soft and pillow like with hints of smoke and toasty wood. Citrus leaf, cocoa, cooked apricot, ripe banana, hazelnut giving a crunch.
Toffee sweetness stretches along the palate. Very clean and clear. Sweet with sultana and cherry.
Made a traditional copper pot still in Cheshire, Broken Clock vodka was inspired by Leon Kuhajewski's 1816 invention of the first astronomical watch. Infused with slow-ripened apples from Shandy Hall in Coxwold, Yorkshire, Broken Clock is a sweet, herbaceous vodka with notes of apple and cinnamon crumble, and freshly-mown grass.
This pineapple-flavoured rum was created by Plantation's Alexandre Gabriel as a tribute to Reverend Stiggins, a character in Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. This has notes of banana, citrus peel, spice and a hint of smoke, along with the pineapple.
Sweet spice and tropical fruit: banana, fresh citrus and freshly crushed pineapple.
The banana returns, with warming brown sugar leading to rich tones of pineapple.
Spice and fruit, with pineapple fading to leave smoky hints.
Plantation Gran Añejo/ Guatemala & Belize 70cl/42%
A tribute to the 10 generations of the Ferrand family who have built up their eponymous Cognac house since 1630. This is aged in French oak with 20% in Sauternes casks, and retains a freshness despite its rich character.
Carnmor Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Bunnahabhain Distillery 2004, 16 y, Sherry Butt, cask 3713
Fabulous Islay single malt from Bunnahabhain, bottled by Càrn Mòr for the Celebration of the Cask series. This was distilled in December 2004 and matured for 16 years in a single sherry butt. In March 2021, a total of 534 bottles was drawn from the cask, bottled at a natural cask strength of 55.5% ABV.
A fruity, tropical rum from Plantation, made using traditional techniques and locally-grown Fijian sugar cane. Initially matured in bourbon casks in Fiji, this rum is sailed to southwest France where it undergoes a secondary maturation in French oak casks. Aromas of pear, apple, banana, gooseberry, nutmeg, vanilla and a wisp of smoke fill the nose. The palate offers notes of vanilla fudge, prunes, coconut, honey and ginger.
A handsomely presented decanter-style bottle of Plantation Extra Old rum from Barbados. The rums are initially aged in the Caribbean in ex-bourbon casks then transported to the Charente (home of Plantation's owner, Cognac producer Pierre Ferrand) and undergoing a second maturation in small French oak casks.
This limited edition rum began life in Trinidad, where it remained in oak for 10 years before making the long voyage to Jarnac in south-western France. It was then filled into Cognac casks for a final year of maturation prior to bottling. The resulting rum is rich and full-bodied with plenty of cooked fruits, coffee beans and almond pastries.