When I think back to my travels around Switzerland, I think of mountains and lakes next to quaint towns and lots of very good chocolate. Certainly not whisky. This all changed in 1999, when the distilling of grain alcohols were legalized. When we got the chance to add a Swiss whisky to our collection, we jumped at the chance. This Whisky of the Week is the Santis Malt Alpstein Edition no 7. The Locher brewery has been owned and run by the Locher family for five generations. Situated in Appenzell, close to Liechtenstein, they have produced beer and spirits for more than 100 years. After the Swiss ban on manufacturing spirits from grain was lifted Locher brewery begins to produce Appenzell Santis Malt.
Time for a blended whisky again. This week we try the new Scottish Leader Signature expression. Interestingly, South Africa, second only to Taiwan is the most popular market for Scottish Leader whisky. The brand is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers, which is part of the Distell Group Limited. The Master Distiller who came up with the recipe for this blend is Ian Miller. The story of Scottish Leader begins near the village of Doune in Perthshire, Scotland. On the banks of the River Teith, is the Deanston Distillery, home to the Scottish Leader. Here the Scottish Leader’s secret recipe was originally created by Master Blenders, the Ross Brothers in the late 19th century.
Time for a bourbon again. This week we try the Devil’s Cut from Jim Beam. Jim Beam is brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky by Beam Suntory. The name “Jim Beam” is in honor of James B. Beam, who rebuilt the business after Prohibition ended. Launched in 2011, Devil’s Cut comes with a long story. According to the Jim Beam website… “As bourbon ages, a portion of the liquid is lost from the barrel due to evaporation—that’s the “Angel’s Share.” After aging, when the bourbon is dumped out of the barrel, a certain amount of whiskey is left trapped within the wood of every barrel.” Jim Bean calls that the “Devil’s Cut.”
Occasionally a girl friend would ask me about whisky. Where do they start and what do they start with, are typical questions. My advice is always that the best place to start is a tasting session where someone can guide you. If, however, you do not have access to a tasting session, buying some whisky and making whisky cocktails is not a bad option. So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, what better excuse for some pink whisky cocktails.
On our Whisky of the Week blog, Wemyss needs little introduction. Although they are not available in SA, we have managed to get our hands on a few of their releases. We have tried both the Wemyss Sweet Mint Infusion and the Wemyss Gooseberry Marmalade and just loved them. This week we try the Wemyss Brandy Casket – the last of the 3 bottles we bought. Wemyss is an independent bottler. They name their whiskies after one of the prominent flavours the cask reminds them of. This Wemyss Brandy Casket is a 1989 Glen Garioch release. Only 322 bottles were released. Glen Garioch (pronounced ‘Glen Geery’) lies at the village of Old Meldrum in Aberdeenshire part of the Scottish Highlands.