Speaking of pursuit, presenting another important caveat to this list with our third series on brands known for its exclusive whisky.
Bruichladdich is living proof that the traditional whisky regions of Scotland make no sense. Please don’t think that labelling a whisky “Islay” has anything to do with taste because the truth is far more complicated and interesting.
Built in 1881 when puffer-supplied coal was available as an alternative fuel to local peat, it is likely that Bruichladdich was specifically designed to produce the purest unpeated spirit possible. The great Alfred Barnard supports this view with a tantalising clue – the Laddie is the only distillery on Islay that he does not describe as drying its malt using peat in his fascinating exploration of the island’s distilleries in 1885.
Sadly, none of that 19th century spirit survives, but the original Victorian machinery has allowed an unparalleled legacy of craft distilling to trickle down through the generations of men who make this sophisticated Islay dram.
An obsession with quality has been the hallmark of The Macallan since its founding by Alexander Reid on a plateau above the river Spey in north-east Scotland. The distillery is surrounded by a 485 acre estate with Easter Elchies House at its heart.
The Macallan was one of the first distillers in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then we have built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland - and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.
The reputation of The Macallan is built on a product of outstanding quality and distinctive character, founded upon a set of guiding principles. From place to process, people and passion, the Six Pillars are the backdrop to The Macallan's unique spirit.
Ardbeg has been called “as close to perfection as makes no difference,” by whisky connoisseurs. Proof then, that Ardbeg truly deserves its incredible reputation. It’s a whisky that’s worshipped around the world. In the past ten years, six different Ardbeg expressions have won prestigious titles including World Whisky of the Year, Scotch Whisky of the Year and World’s Best Single Malt.
The small, remote Scottish island of Islay (pronounced 'eye-lah') is an antique land. A wild and untamed place, where Celtic monks found refuge from raiding Norsemen and early distillers smuggled their illicit "aquavitae" at Ardbeg's rugged rocky cove.
Abundant soft water, fertile soil and acres of precious peat makes this island a place of pilgrimage for the single malt whisky faithful. And none more so than our very own Ardbeg, unquestionably the greatest distillery on Earth.
Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, Chivas Regal 18 Year Old, Chivas Regal 25 Year Old and The Chivas Brothers’ Blend each has its own unique formula and selection of many aged whiskies, giving them their own distinct character, flavor and taste experience.
For whisky to legally become Scotch, the new spirit must be matured for a minimum of three years in oak casks. For Chivas Regal, all the casks of whisky selected have been carefully matured for at least twelve years. It is the skill of the Master Blender to select the many different casks of malt and grain whiskies, all at the correct age, harmonizing the characters and flavors to ensure the superlative quality and consistent taste experience of Chivas Regal year after year.
The traditions and fine art of blending Aged Scotch whiskies, pioneered by James and John Chivas in the mid 1800’s, have been carefully handed down over the generations to our Master Blenders. Today, Chivas Master Blender Colin Scott is the guardian of these traditions that safeguard the integrity of Chivas Regal. The skills of the Master Blender only come from years of experience and a special passion for Scotch whisky.
The GlenDronach Distillery nestled in the valley of Forgue, deep in the East Highland hills near Aberdeenshire, is named after the source of its water: the Dronac burn. Founded in 1826, The GlenDronach was one of the very first licensed distilleries and has a history of enterprising owners, from the flamboyant James Allardice to the ambitious Walter Scott. Allardice was a colourful character and stories abound as to how he promoted his whisky with entrepreneurial flair. He was a pioneer of sherry cask maturation and would have celebrated today’s superb The GlenDronach, maturing whisky in the finest Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks.
GlenDronach is renowned as the masters of sherry cask maturation, and their Highland whiskies are recognised for their deep colour and rich flavour profiles, which range from sweet fruity flavours, from the Pedro Ximenez casks we select, to the dry and nutty notes, from superb Oloroso casks.
Springbank was established in 1828 on the site of Archibald Mitchell’s illicit still.
Being based in Campbeltown, the once proclaimed ‘whisky capital of the world.
Springbank team uses traditional production methods and are involved in each and every step of the whisky making process – meaning their whisky is the most handmade in Scotland. Unlike any other distillery in the country, 100% of this process is carried out here on one site, giving unrivalled control over the quality of the whisky.
Passion and skill are poured into every last drop during production; ensuring whisky drinkers consistently enjoy the tastes and characteristics that have become synonymous with Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow, the three distinct single malts made at their distillery.
Caol Ila is the largest of the eight distilleries scattered across the Isle of Islay on the west of Scotland .Pronounced “Cull Eela”. It’s the Gaelic name for the Sound of Islay, which separates the island from Jura. For some, the distillery’s pronunciation is as remote as its location, sitting as it does on the rugged eastern coast, where it has remained hidden from view since 1846.
Caol Ila is one of the lighter Islay whiskies, lighter in colour than its powerful neighbours, but with a distinctive floral and peppery notes which complement the traditional Islay peaty flavour. In 1986, the distillery became part of the United Distillers conglomerate, leading to the first “semi-official” bottling range in 1989, Flora & Fauna. Although official bottlings have not always been frequently released from Coal Ila, today they’re much easier to source. In addition to the official bottling, independent bottling of the whisky has been well received by the international whisky community.