One of the first bottles that started our whisky collection, all those year ago, was this Balvenie Portwood 1993. It not only started out collection, but also our love affair with the Balvenie Distillery. We have in the past often blogged about one of our favourite distilleries and have 12 different Balvenie releases. We have captured our tasting notes on the Balvenie Roasted Malt and the Balvenie Single Barrel here. This Balvenie Portwood is one of our favourite releases of this Distillery. The Balvenie distillery is located in Speyside, Scotland and has been around since 1892. The distillery was founded by William Grant who learnt his trade at Mortlach distillery.
We managed to get away for a few days to the beautiful Kruger National Park and share our Whisky of the Week with you from this beautiful location. Fittingly, this week we try a proudly South African whisky. Released in 2009, this is South Africa’s first single grain whisky. It comes from the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington. Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky is produced in column stills and double-matured. The whisky spends three years in ex-Bourbon casks and is then re-vatted for a further two years in a fresh set of casks. This whisky is inspired by the Bain’s Kloof Pass and its natural beauty.
Black Bottle is a blended Scotch whisky bottled by Burn Stewart Distillers. Gordon Graham and Co. based in Aberdeen created Black Bottle in 1879. The three Aberdonian tea blender brothers decided to try their hand at blending whisky. Their blending skills proved to be respectable and demand for their whisky increased. The name came from its original bottle design based on black German glass. In 1914, following the outbreak of World War 1, it was impossible to get the glass from Germany. Since then, the non-vintage bottle has been dark green.The company remained in family hands until 1959. After a couple of different owners, the brand was acquired by Burn Stewart and is now part of the Distell stable.
Woodford Reserve is a brand of small batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey produced by the Brown-Forman Corporation. It is also one of the oldest Distillers in the Kentucky county. A distiller named Elijah Pepper began producing small amounts of whiskey in 1797 and soon afterwards built a distillery. Following Elijah’s death in 1831, his son Oscar Pepper inherited the distillery that became known as The Oscar Pepper Distillery. He hired Dr James Crow as the head distiller. Crow was a Scotsman who qualified as a physician and a chemist. He is credited with championing sour mash fermentation, a key process with regards to the consistency of bourbon.
John’s birthday falls on a Friday and to celebrate, I scheduled one of the peatiest whiskies in our collection as our Whisky of the Week. This week we try the Ardbeg Supernova 2009. It is from one of John’s favourite distilleries. Ardbeg lies lonely, in a small bay off the south coast of Islay. It was once a place of smugglers and illegal distillation. The illicit distillers took advantage of the isolated place and incomparable conditions for whisky production. It was not until 1815 that a legal distillery was established by John McDougall. Ardbeg sit near the ‘Kildalton’ distilleries, Laphroaig and Lagavulin.