Posts in Cutty Sark
The Perfect Storm - Cutty Sark Storm review

Earlier in the week I recieved a sample of the new Cutty Sark Storm. I've really been impressed with the direction the brand has taken since leaving Berry Bros. & Rudd. As a stedfast BNJ fan I've also found that my buying preference switching to the Cutty 12yo.

If you're not aware, over the last year the guys at Edrington have updated the label slightly and slimmed down the core range.  That means there is now only the Storm, 12 and 18 years old. Jason Craig at Cutty stated:

"There will, of course, be other specials and limited releases - such as Tam o' Shanter 25 year old, for example - but the intention is to give the brand greater focus, which is easier to do when there are fewer expersions."

This is a really positive sign and if you haven't tried any of the new releases do give them a go!

Also, if your not familiar with the Cutty Sark Tam o' Shanter see my blog post from January.

Which whiskies from the range has Cutty Sark Storm replaced?

The Storm has replaced both the Cutty Black and Cutty Sark Blended Malt. It's available imminently in a number of international markets including the UK, Greece and Portugal.

Bottled at 40% and chillfiltered, it is vibrant and clean with citrus notes and sweetness. The palate is full, rich & delightful with a light powdering of coal dust. Kirsteen Campbell, Master Blender, was charged with the task of making something deliciously rich, yet in keeping with the rest of the range.

Personally, I think Kirsteen has suceeded and in the process created a great example of what a good Blended Scotch Whisky can be. When curious about the difference from the rest of the range I was told that:

Cutty Sark Storm is made from the same top quality North British grain whisky as Cutty Sark Blend, but Futures a higher malt content percentage. She has used more mature whiskies from Highland Park and The Macallan, among others. As a result the palate in particular is spectacular'

See my tasting notes below.

Tasting Notes

ABV: 40%

Type: Blended Scotch Whisky

Nose:

Pineapple is there from the start and follows with a plethora of tropical fruits. This instantly made me think of an advert for starbursts (see the youtube video below)! After a while in the glass this becomes resinous like furniture polish and big bold notes of blood orange with subtle elements of coal tar come in on the back. 

Palate:

Sweet and mouth coating, from the outset this whisky has a light pepper spice to the sides of the tounge which develops into a mild astrigency. Once the dryness has gone and you start to salivate buttered popcorn and ripe peach come into the back. 

Sweet smouldering tinder and crisp red grape husks follow into the next sip. This is a complex dram, which is easy to enjoy and keeps giving.  

Cutty Sark - Tam o' Shanter

This evening we've been recording a new episode of Village of the Drammed and in the process I was given a sample of the newest 25year old release from Cutty Sark called Tam o' Shanter.

For those not familiar with the actual tea clipper Cutty Sark its figurehead is the witch called "Nannie" from the Burns poem "Tam o' Shanter", so the name of this blend is  pretty apt.

The only information I currently have is that it's a limited edition blend of 5000 bottles at 46.5% abv. It was created master blender Kirsteen Campbell and should retail at approx. £200. This will get you a nice looking wooden box, bottle of whisky and a special edition book of the poem!

tasting notes

Cutty Sark Tam o' Shanter

ABV: 46.5%

Price: £200

Nose: Wowee! This has a big sweet apple hit. In fact I've instantly shelved my whisky glasses and opted for a reidel cognac glass. The switch has made all the difference and started to really bring out apple & ginger tart, ripe peaches, cinnamon, lemon drizzle cake, pineapple and raspberries covered in clotted cream & runny honey. This whisky starts out rich & sweet - it's the pure effervescence of dessert.  

As it sits opening up elements of Barbour jackets, beeswaxed leather and the smell of a freshly drilled metal come forward. However, the sherry influence lift to the back and draw you in with rum and raisin mixed with pistachio gelati as to continue the dessert theme. This dram always seems to finish off with healthy wafts of vanilla bewitching the nose back in as you draw away from the glass! 

 

Palate: A big spice comes at first followed by aniseed, hazelnut, dark chocolate and light woody astringency (but not in a bad way). Sweeten tobacco develop into almonds, cloves, cinnamon and finishes a hint of lemon sherbet fizz. From the last drop I had the sherry comes in, but is balanced to the whisky and wood. At this point I've ran out of whisky so have no more to say than a long finish ensues! 

A complex and very tasty blend more akin to a single malt and only wish I'd had more to sample or taken smaller mouthfuls. Never mind!

Cheers

D

Orcadian Fire - Rocking out with Caskstrength Creative, Highland Park 18yo whisky and Arcade Fire

Let's be under no illusion that the sole reason Arcade Fire planned a show in Hyde Park, London, was not toAn extremely limited edition Highland Park 18yo play to a sold out audience of 60,000+ fans during the busy festival season. It was to actually collect the extremely limited edition Orcadian Fire bottling Highland Park had created for them with the help of Caskstrength.net's whisky agency Caskstrength Creative.

Not being sold via retail, there are only 75 bottles of the 18 yo which features a subtle bespoke Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" label.

Being based in Montreal, the band is more than acquainted with the fact that Canada is famous for the strict rules on importing alcohol and its sale. Scotch fans are limited to the selection made by the provincial liquor boards, which is generally meagre. To top this off, retailers outside Canada are finding products are blocked at the border and rarely make it to the customer who is waiting eagerly for that something special!

So, who can blame the band flying all this way to collect a little bit of decent Scotch?

Normally a chap Neil turned into a "White Van" Man when we hit the streets of LondonWhen the invite was extended by Neil and Joel at Caskstrength to help out backstage doing cocktails and serving whisky for Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Beirut, The Vaccines & Owen Pallett in the green room and after show party, I thought why not? For those not aware I've been known to set up events, run bars and host tastings, so was a good match for what these guys wanted to do. Plus, they always put on a good party.

Slightly unsure what the set up would be we agreed to meet up the day before to load in Mr Ridleys 1950's leather clad bar and equipment so we could scope out what was required.

Like a little town on the back of carnival we drove into the site to see crazy golf, huge chess sets, arcade machines and a number of other attractions that you just wouldn't ordinarily expect at an event of this type.  Setting up quickly we headed off in our van ready to return the next day and make some drinks.

Simple but tasty, The Orcadian Fire CocktailArriving back the next day, sound checks were under way and over night Neil had made some traditional pub fair for the bar (pickled eggs). After a little prep it was agreed between the three of us that a test was required of a cocktail created by the chaps at Caskstrength

A simple drink heres the ingredients; The Orcadian Fire cocktail

 

  1. 50ml of Cutty Sark Original, 
  2. two good squirts of Whisky barrel aged bitters (courtesy of Master Of Malt),
  3. Fever Tree's fabulous Ginger Ale,

Garnish: expressed orange zest & slightly 'bruised' mint

 

Simply add the Cutty and bitters to a long glass, topped off with fresh ice and add the ginger ale. Stir, Garnish and and your good to go! (see the video below of Neil doing a demo of the process + No Cars Go by Arcade Fire)

As we finished the video and creating two of the concoctions Bierut arrived in perfect time to test it. Coming back more than once to confirm it a success. 

As the day when on we served over 500 Orcadian Cocktails and a whole bunch of Scotch, including the fantastic Highland Park 18yo.  We hung out backstage, met legend Jimmy Page (sadly he wanted a Peroni) and watched a band with Dave Grohl.

All in All a success!

For more on the event see the references below.