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New Releases: Royal Salute, Benromach, Bladnoch

New scotch whisky releases in the past week include a Global Travel Retail collection from Royal Salute, an addition to Benromach’s Contrasts range, and the second installment in Bladnoch’s Master Distiller’s Collection. 

Royal Salute The Small Batch Collection

Credit: Royal Salute

Famous blended scotch whisky brand, Royal Salute, has unveiled a new global travel retail exclusive collection: The Small Batch Collection. The new collection features whiskies between 25 and 28 years old, all finished in a variety of casks from Rye to Pedro Ximenez. Eight different whiskies form the collection. 

Speaking about the new GTR exclusives, Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, said: “Each of the eight whiskies available in this Small Batch collection were matured in special casks which I have personally selected on my travels around the world. This is a truly unique collection, with each individual whisky having a unique flavour profile, providing an array of choice to suit different preferences and open up new tasting experiences.” 

In tribute to Royal Salute’s origins for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, the whiskies are presented in Royal purple decanters, the design of which has long been associated with the brand. Each presentation box features different colored details, distinguishing the releases from each other. 

The Royal Salute Small Batch Collection whiskies are now available at Global Travel Retail for RRPs ranging from $450 to $750. 

Benromach Contrasts Virgin Oak 

Credit: Benromach

Speyside distillery, Benromach, has released the latest addition to its Contrasts range. The new whisky is a 10 Year Old single malt matured in Virgin American Oak casks. 

Benromach’s Contrasts range aims to produce whiskies with a twist on the distillery’s “delicately smoky profile of the brand’s core range”, with previous releases matured in casks such as Bordeaux. 

The maturation of a scotch single malt in virgin American oak is not a common practice in the industry, with most whiskies matured in first or second-fill casks. Virgin American oak casks are usually reserved for American bourbon and whiskey. 

This somewhat experimental expression is in contrast to the brand’s familiar core range expressions, hence the name. 

Tasting notes for the Benromach Contrasts Virgin Oak are as follows:

Nose: Fragrant dried banana aromas with lemon and vanilla fudge.
Taste: Seville orange zest flavours combine with butterscotch and smooth smoke.
Finish: Long-lasting citrus and mature oak on the finish.” 

Kevin Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said: “Every drop of this single malt whisky is made by hand using the sharpened senses of our distillers who put their heart and soul into creating our whisky. Having matured for ten years in Virgin American Oak casks, the result is liquid that is packed with fruity aromas from the offset, followed by zesty citrus and sweet butterscotch flavours. It’s a cracking dram.

“With a limited number of bottles available for purchase, this is the perfect dram for whisky enthusiasts looking to explore something a bit different – the perfect present for Father’s Day.”

The Benromach Contrasts Virgin Oak is available via specialist retailers for an RRP of £60. 

Bladnoch The Wave Master Distiller’s Collection 

Credit: Bladnoch

Bladnoch Distillery has launched the second chapter in its Master Distiller’s Collection: The Wave I. 

The Wave is set to be a five-part annual series that showcases the process of marrying together whisky casks for bottling. Each release will “one of the five whisky making pillars used by master distiller, Dr Nick Savage.” 

According to the press release: “To embark on The Wave journey, Dr Nick Savage selected five 1,500 litre Amontillado sherry tuns. Each tun is filled with whiskies from various combinations of cask types to marry together from the distillery’s 207-year-old bluestone warehouses. Each year the cask types will be revealed and depict another pillar of Bladnoch whisky making. The remaining whisky will be decanted into the following year’s tun, creating a common thread and a wave effect throughout the series, with the fifth and final release featuring components from the full collection.”

The new Bladnoch Wave I: Time & Maturation was handpicked to showcase Savage’s cask selection process, ensuring that the whisky is bottled at the perfect time during its maturation. It was created using an Amontillado sherry cask finished with ex-bourbon matured whisky blended with the last drams of Bladnoch’s previous Waterfall 05 2024 expression. The result is a whisky that” opens with floral pine needles, fresh cut oak on the nose and imparts notes of sweet oak and toasted coconut on the palate, with a sweet, warm, refreshing finish.” 

In addition to annual whisky releases, each bottle will be accompanied by a music track “which represents the whisky’s unique journey and signifies how each cask takes notes from the other, building year on year. The piano composition released with Wave I: Time & Maturation reflects how the whiskies develop over time.”

Dr Nick Savage, Bladnoch Master Distiller, said: “We only ever select a cask when the time is right, not because it’s old or has reached a certain age. That right ‘time’ is determined by our deep understanding of maturation dynamics. It’s the moment of peak flavour in our warehouse environment – a climate where nothing is forced.

“The Wave is a strong example of Bladnoch’s taste-first approach to whisky making and a real demonstration of our bold Galloway spirit. With these single malts, we not only strive to take people on a journey into whisky making, but also to provide them with a taste experience, aiming to challenge preconceptions and build understanding along the way.”

Bladnoch The Wave I: Time & Maturation is limited to 1,817 bottles and available exclusively in the UK and Australia for an RRP of £150. Purchase your bottle here

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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