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New Releases: Ardbeg, Nc’nean, Dewar’s, Strathearn, & Timorous Beastie

In scotch whisky new releases this week, Ardbeg unveils its Ardbeg Day release, Dewar’s is in partnership with the U.S. Open, and Nc’nean releases “their most innovative whisky to date”. Strathearn’s inaugural single malt hits the market, and there is a new bottling in the Timorous Beastie Cheese Cellar Collection. 

Let’s take a look at the latest scotch whiskies to hit the shelves. 

Ardbeg Spectacular 

Credit: Ardbeg

Ardbeg Distillery is well-known for its fun, tongue-in-cheek marketing. This theme continues with the unveiling of the latest Ardbeg Day expression: the Ardbeg Spectacular. 

Ardbeg Day, celebrated this year on June 1st, is an annual festival that coincides with the final Saturday of Fèis Ìle, Islay’s annual music and malt festival. 

The new expression, Ardbeg Spectacular, marks the first release from the distillery to have been matured in port casks. According to the press release, the result is a circus of flavors: “Vaulting on to the shoulders of classic bourbon-matured Ardbeg, whisky wholly matured in these port barrels brings a tumbling richness and an acrobatic twist of colour to the Islay malt. Dark chocolate cartwheels across the palate, mint walks the high wire, while aromas of candied fruit, incense candles and smoked pecans swing by on the trapeze”. 

To coincide with the release, Ardbeg is hosting a “Dark Circus” at the distillery, providing guests with tastings and games at the distillery, as well as virtual tastings worldwide. 

Master Blender Gillian Macdonald said: “Ardbeg Spectacular is a high-flying spirit, very befitting of Ardbeg Day. Its years in bourbon and port casks create a spectacle of flavours, the like of which Ardbeggians will never have tasted before. We invite fans to roll up and feast their palates on its peculiar notes of mint chocolate, incense, lavender and smoked nuts, set off by a daring double act of salted caramel and tar. Like the finest performances in the circus ring, this is a whisky not to be missed.” 

The Ardbeg Spectacular will be available in the UK from April 23rd for an RRP of £110 (~$136). The bottling will be available in global markets from the end of April 2024. 

Nc’nean Huntress – Orchard Cobbler

The new Nc’nean Huntress – Orchard Cobbler. Credit: Nc’nean

Organic whisky distillery, Nc’nean, has unveiled the latest release in the annual Huntress series: Nc’nean Huntress – Orchard Cobbler. 

Nc’nean’s namesake, Naechnoehain, inspires the Huntress series. Neachneohain, a Gaelic goddess, is known as ‘Queen of the Spirits’ in Gaelic legend. She was also a huntress known for her steadfast belief in striving for individuality. This forms the basis of Nc’nean’s ethos, pushing the traditional boundaries of scotch whisky making. 

The Orchard Cobbler is matured in a combination of shaved, toasted, and re-charred (STR) ex-Red wine casks, ex-American whiskey barrels, and Oloroso sherry casks. The ex-Red wine casks make up the largest percentage of maturation at 66%, 31% ex-American whiskey, and 3% Oloroso sherry. 

Orchard Cobbler is bottled at 48.5% ABV and is limited to 6,100 bottles. The whisky will be available from specialist retailers for £88.95 from the 23rd April 2024.  

Dewar 19 Year Old Champions Edition 

This is the fourth iteration of the Dewar’s 19 Year Old in partnership with the U.S. Open. Credit: Dewar’s

Blended scotch whisky brand, Dewar’s, has released its latest whisky in partnership with the 124th Golf U.S. Open Championship. This is the fourth such release during the four-year partnership. 

The new whisky was extra-matured in rye casks, as per Dewar’s signature double maturation method. 

Tasting notes for the new 19 year old whisky include spice, cinnamon, and cocoa powder with a cool and lingering finish. 

Dewar’s has been the official whisky partner of the Gold U.S Open Championship since 2020, with the previous 19 year old releases proving to be a hit with whisky and golf fans alike. 

Entrants in the 2024 U.S. Open include 2023 champion, Wyndham Clark, who is expected to come back swinging. 

Strathearn Single Malt 

Douglas Laing & Co. has released the first Strathearn Single Malt. Credit: Douglas Laing & Co.

Legendary independent bottler, Douglas Laing & Co., has officially released the inaugural Strathearn Single Malt, following the acquisition of the distillery in 2019.

The Strathearn Single Malt is made exclusively from Maris Otter malt, which gives the whisky a smooth and creamy texture. Bottled at 50% ABV from a combination of virgin and ex-sherry casks as well as ex-bourbon, the whisky features notes of honey, buttercream, and oat cookies. 

Cara Laing, Managing Director of Douglas Laing & Co, commented: “This moment has been a long time coming, and one that we are extremely proud to share with the world. As the third generation helm of Douglas Laing, I am proud to be leading this move into this exciting new venture of distilling.”

The Strathearn Single Malt is available from specialist retailers with an RRP of £85 (~$106). 

Douglas Laing & Co. is a highly respected independent bottler in the scotch whisky industry. Having been founded in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing, the company has bottled quality single malt scotch from all regions of Scotland. This new distilling venture marks the beginning of a new era for the company, with Laing saying “Rest assured this is only the beginning for Douglas Laing Distilling.”

Timorous Beastie Madeira Edition 

Credit: Douglas Laing & Co.

As well as releasing the inaugural Strathearn Single Malt under its new distilling program, Douglas Laing & Co. has also added to The Cheese Cellar Collection. 

Timorous Beastie, an award-winning range of scotch from Douglas Laing & Co., pays tribute to the diversity of Scotland’s whisky distilling regions. 

The Cheese Cellar Collection contains scotch whiskies designed to be paired perfectly with a certain type of cheese. 

The Madeira Cask Finish has aromas of “ripe orchard fruits, honeyed sweetness, toasted almonds, and a subtle floral bouquet” on the nose. On the palate, “toffee, caramelized apples and juicy plums with a gentle spiciness and silky mouthfeel”. The finish is “ a symphony of sweet vanilla, orange marmalade, and a gratifying warmth”. 

Tasting experts have determined that this whisky will pair best with Gruyère, which has complimentary flavors and a nuttiness that will balance with the caramel and dried fruit notes in the whisky. 

Timorous Beastie Madeira Edition is available via the Douglas Laing & Co. website for an RRP of £60 (~$75) and from specialist retailers. Only 4,000 bottles have been produced. 

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Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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