Best of 2022: Top 10 New Releases
Neil says: "Limited to only 15,000 bottles and matured in a combination of barrels which include bespoke virgin Kintsugi casks. Masterfully crafted by Whisky Maker Greg Glass, this appealed to both our connoisseur and collector customer base. Those lucky enough to taste this rare delight will explore a whisky which exudes notes of Baked figs, manuka honey and fresh almonds - pairing excellently with dark chocolate."
Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2022
This beautifully blended whisky from House of Suntory celebrates the harmony of Japanese nature and craftmanship - Hibiki does mean "resonance" in English after all. Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2022 is a wonderfully delicate expression, which is inspired by Japan's famous pink Sakura blossoms. It balances a selection of rare malts, and grain whiskies finished in Sakura wood casks to create its unique flavour profile. Scents of rosemary, and sandalwood meet the nose and the palate brings crystallised orange peel, honey, jasmine and white chocolate sauce flavours, before leading into a surprising finish of sweet spicy notes.
Arran 1996 26 Year Old TWS exclusive cask
Neil says: "We hear Arran of this age is becoming increasingly scarce so we feel lucky to share this beauty with our loyal customers. Although it sold out instantly online, you might still be lucky enough to pick up a bottle within one of our stores. If you do get your hands on a bottle – prepare your taste buds for a rich and indulgent whisky with notes of orchard fruits combining perfectly with exotic spices and soy sauce. This whisky pairs excellently with rich meat dishes and would make an ideal dram to enjoy at a Burns Supper. Enjoy!"
Glenfiddich Grande Couronne 26 Year Old
The decadent Grande Couronne 26 Year Old is a true highlight of Glenfiddich distillery's Grand Series. The expression completed its extended finish in rare French cognac casks, adding lavish layers of sweet oak, brown sugar and soft spice. The whole experience is reminiscent of French patisserie: think Tarte Tatin and freshly baked croissants. To match the theme of opulence, the grand bottle is presented in a display case adorned with a Rococo painting (for the art history buffs, this is: Palace Interior with Dancing Scene by Johann Georg Platzer) - certainly the most gorgeous bottle of the year.
Tamdhu 2006 15 Year Old #2165 TWS Exclusive
Neil says: "Bursting onto the scene in April – this proved to be one of the most popular exclusives of the year. Enjoyed by customers throughout our 22 store estate this Sherry bomb quickly built up a cult following before completely selling out. If you were lucky enough to snap one up expect your palate to appreciate irresistible notes of Marzipan, expresso coffee and treacle."
Yamazaki Tsukuriwake 2022 Selection
A four-piece selection of whisky that lifts the veil on the foundational pillars of Yamazaki, the very first Japanese single malt, was only available to purchase in a ballot earlier in the year. The collection honours Tsukuriwake, which means “artisanship through a diversity of making” and is composed of four Yamazaki single malts - Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak and Mizunara. The variety of casks has imbued a different colour to each expression - from bright gold to red amber. As a special collection, the whiskies have since become big earners in the resale market.
Loch Fyne Fynest – Bruichladdich 17 Year Old
Bottled at a cask strength of a massive 61.1% abv, this 17 Year Old from Islay's Bruichladdich distillery was the best of The Loch Fyne Fynest range, in Neil's opinion. Matured in a fresh bourbon cask, this is a bold, vibrant whisky with plenty of coastal notes from the shoreline of Islay. All sweetened by notes of vanilla, manuka honey and dried raisins imbued by American oak.
Bowmore Aston Martin 22 Year Old
Neil says: "Whenever a new Bowmore is released into the market it creates a real buzz throughout the whisky industry. Famous for its smoky and sometimes tropical flavours, Bowmore has become something of a house favourite for The Whisky Shop. Not content with a reputation for incredibly tasty whisky, this brand can also boast to being one of the most collectable single malts in the world. With such anticipation it can sometimes be easy to be let down by a new release as if the hype has sucked the enjoyable notes out of this whisky. Not in this case, as Bowmore delivers an outstanding expression packed full of deep charcoal notes that would not be out of place at a beach BBQ. Expect to also discover notes of Papaya and Mango. Try it with a drop of water to unlock some hidden tropical sweetness."
The Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Cask 2022
A real treat of a sherried Macallan, this 18 Year Old expression seems to be getting better with each years' release. A full-bodied succulent dram, the whisky completes its full maturation solely in Oloroso sherry casks. This time, there are aromas of spicy cinnamon and ginger, complemented by dried fruits. The palate is reminiscent of Christmas cake with flavours of clove, dried orange peel, and baking spices at the fore before leading into the long and spicy finish.
Glendronach 50 Year Old
The GlenDronach brought in the new year with the release of the oldest ever whisky from their historic Highland distillery to date. The rare whisky is a testament to the dedication and mastery of The GlenDronach. Laid down in 1971, the expression spent five long decades in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, from the Spanish bodegas of Jerez in Andalucía, under the watchful eye of Master Blender Rachel Barrie. The expression is intricate and powerful, shining with notes of creme brulee, juicy cherry and tobacco - with a sweet finish full of dark chocolate. Just 198 bottles were up for sale and we still have one available.