These whiskies represent unique expressions from two of Jim Murray's absolute favorite distilleries — for a limited time only, receive a copy of Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible along with your order!
Jim Murray visited his first distillery in 1975, and ever since has been building his reputation as a living legend in the whisky industry. Believed to have visited more distilleries and tasted more whiskies than anyone who has ever lived, Jim gave up his post as a journalist for a British national newspaper in the early 90's to dedicate himself to an entirely new breed of journalism — whisky writing.
Each year, Murray reviews thousands of new whiskies and publishes his signature tasting notes in Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible, which includes information on close to 5,000 of the world's leading and lesser-known whiskies. In 2015, for the first time ever, Murray named a Japanese whisky from the Suntory Yamazaki distillery as his "World Whisky of the Year", and now for the first time ever, Caskers is offering a copy of the Whisky Bible (while supplies last) to our members who purchase the Yamazaki 12 Year Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky along with the Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a past winner of Murray's "World Whisky of the Year" award.
Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is made from 100% malted barley, which is milled and mashed before being fermented with water sourced from the foothills of Mount Tenno. The water is said to be have been preferred by Sen No Rikyu, Japan's legendary tea master. After the barley has been fermented, the wash is distilled through Suntory's copper-pot stills — the first of their kind outside of Scotland — before the whisky is matured in casks made of three different types of wood: American, Spanish and Japanese oak (the Japanese oak adds an Asian twist to the whisky).
"This is all done by hand — the traditional way," says Osamu Abe, the manager of Yamazaki distillery, referring to the cooperage taking place at the distillery. "This is called yagura — craftsmanship. You must watch and listen to how they're made. In Japan, we say " use all 5 senses.' Of course we learn from others, but our own senses are key." After aging for 12 years in Japan's unique environment — the constant changes in temperature and humidity force the wood and whisky to interact with each other — the whisky is brought to proof before being bottled.
Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky has a golden honey color, along with a floral aroma that is accented by touches of spice and fruit. Rich and lush, the whisky has notes of dried stone fruits, toffee, buttered toast and pepper on the palate, which lead to a long and profound finish.
Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2009 and 2013, and earned a score of 92 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.
Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced "Oog-a-dal") Single Malt Scotch Whisky takes its name from Loch Uigeadail, which is situated 800 feet above sea level and remains the only source of pure water for the distillery. "It's one of the raw materials we must have," says Michael Heads, Ardbeg's Distillery Manager, of the water sourced from the loch. "Loch Uigeadail translates as " the dark place' — it's got very deep, peaty water in it and it's what we require for making our bold whisky. So it's vitally important."
Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from malted barley, which is peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million. Once the peated barley arrives at the distillery, it is milled and mashed with water sourced from Loch Uigeadail before being fermented in washbacks made of Oregon pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and more rich whisky. In addition, the wooden washbacks contribute estery, carbolic compounds to the whisky.
Following fermentation, which lasts for 55 hours, the wash is distilled twice, first through a copper-pot wash still and then again through a copper-pot spirit still. The spirit still is equipped with a purifier, which acts as small condenser and causes a portion of the evaporating vapors to be pumped back into the pot and then re-distilled. This purification process, which is rare in the industry, results in whisky that has a signature fresh and malty flavor.
Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from a marriage of Ardbeg Whisky that has matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The bourbon casks contribute notes of honeyed oak, cinnamon and baking spices to the whisky, and provide it with Ardbeg's notorious intensity. The sherry casks contribute notes of dried fruits, berries, figs and caramelized oranges to the whisky, and contribute an unparalleled depth and complexity.
Pick up both award-winning bottles, along with your copy of Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible for 2015, today!
Yamazaki: 86 (43% ABV); Uigeadail: 108.4 (54.2% ABV)
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Yamazaki: Golden honey color, along with a floral aroma that is accented by touches of spice and fruit. Rich and lush, the whisky has notes of dried stone fruits, toffee, buttered toast and pepper on the palate, which lead to a long and profound finish.