An unspecified decade old Highlander drawn from a single ex-bourbon hogshead. Bottled at 58.4% ABV and available for £79.95 from The Whisky Exchange.
Mystery Highland whisky that The Whisky Exchange have listed within the Glenmorangie section of their website. Hmmm. This Watt Whisky release has been matured since 2005 in a refill sherry butt – 628 bottles at 57.1% is the result. Currently available from TWE for £87.95.
I still find it fairly baffling that drinkers will happily snaffle up non-age statement whiskies, sometimes devoid of any specific cask information and yet at the same time snub bottlings purely because the distillery of origin is not named. ‘Mystery’ single malts are streadily reflecting better value propositions (at least in terms of ‘drinking whisky’) as the market willingly pushes itself upwards towards what is increasingly looking like an unsustainable zenith. Regardless, I’ve always enjoyed clandestine bottlings – they stand to challenge perceptions based on taste, not on brand.
Released together and sold as a pair alongside Edition 59A, Pride of Sponge (59B) shares almost identical stats to its Cream sibling – 1993 distillation, 28 years in a refill hogshead and bottling at cask strength. However, this release clocks in a slightly higher ABV (and with 23 more bottles produced) and does indeed offer notable profile differences to its mystery partner. It is still available alongside Cream of Sponge as a pair via Decadent Drinks for £300.
In no real surprise to anyone, this year’s Black Friday looks a lot more like a Cyber Monday amid COVID. More toilet paper or another discounted TV? Tough call. And as such, throughout the wider world of retail, what was previously a short pre-Christmas fire sale has morphed into near month-long series of mini promos. But whilst one never expects snaking cues and stampedes for whisky (except when one does), chase-y online bottle sales have been part and parcel of the whisky world for some time. Indeed, they seem now to be an almost daily occurrence. And to my mind the events of this year have both heightened and exacerbated this phenomenon.