I met whisky aficionado Monique Huston at the Universal Whisky Experience, aka the Nth show, in Las Vegas earlier this year. I assumed I’d be lucky if our paths ever crossed again as she lives in Illinois, so I kind of scored in not only seeing her, but getting to learn from her too when I realized she was leading a course at the recent Whisky Live LA.
The class was listed in the program with this tantalizing title, “U.S. Launch! That Boutique-Y Whisky Company – Single Casks Done Our Way.”
Be one of the first in the US to taste through the massively awarded range of single cask Single Malt and Single Grain Scotches from experts at That Boutique-y Whisky Company. You’ve seen them written up, scored and bragged about in the UK – now taste them for yourselves! Warning: These cask-strength darlings are not for the faint of heart, come armed with your water dropper! Hosted by Monique Huston, National Director of Spirits Winebow.
Aromas and flavors separated by ;
Invergordon 42 year old
Orange peel, leather, cream and cinnamon stick on the nose; followed by toasted oak, orange again, with both a nice sweetness and heat. Distilled from corn, neutral barrel finish. This was my favorite of the tasting line-up.
Speyside 15 year old
Dark chocolate, vanilla, a bit of peat; very balanced flavors of chocolate, cream and honey. Was finished in a first fill bourbon barrel.
Glentauchers 17 year old
Meyer lemon, green grass, vanilla bean; then bark, that same vanilla and some nice heat. They had made a 38 year old that sold out, their production is rare, and this one was probably finished in a second fill bourbon cask.
Benrinnes 18 year old
Sweet pear, whipped cream, orange hard candy; smooth and velvety, heat, cream and spice. “Ben” is one of the hills of Pennines. This was from #19 of only 24 barrels. Finished in a third fill sherry cask barrel. My second favorite.
Bruichladdich 12 year old
Toffee candy, tobacco, bark; smooth and spicy with a big finish. This was finished at one of only eight distilleries in Islay. Another top fave for me.
Islay 16 year old
Wet wood, suede, sweat caramel, yogurt; peat, smoke and s’mores. Liked this one for the peat.
Some of What We Learned
Ninety percent of whisky produced in Scotland goes into blends, single malts only get the remaining ten percent. So need a lot of whisky to make all of the single malts we enjoy.
The three peat-heavy distillers, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg, have a convenient walking path connecting them in Islay. (Time to plan a visit!)
That Boutique-Y Whisky Company use a 375ml half bottle format, making them more accessible and affordable. No extra finish is added, the company selects, buys and then bottles. These whiskies were a “preview” and not yet available to the mass market. When they do hit U.S. most likely will be at K and L.
From That Boutique-Y Whisky Company Website
That Boutique-y Whisky Company is an independent bottler which offers stunning whiskies from world-renowned brands and distilleries. Each bottle has a fun and informative graphic-novel-style label containing humorous references, in-jokes and shocking puns.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.