Bourbon In Your Sporran

I’m always a little suspicious of so called “travel exclusives” sold in Duty Free. Especially those being pushed by certain well known purveyors of Malt Whisky. With no age statements you’re never quite sure what’s in the bottle.

None the less I’ve been impressed by the recent offerings from Laphroaig, one of my two favourite makers from Islay where the peaty water lends a smokey flavour to a dram.

Having sampled the PX bottling with its first maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks I was recently gifted a bottle of the QA. QA stands for Quercus Alba which translates into American oak. The first maturation starts with ex-bourbon barrels followed by a period spent in charred American white oak casks.


It’s the second maturation which gives the whisky a mix of peat and  spicy vanilla notes. A lingering sweetness finishes with some interesting soft woodiness.

Whilst not as impressive as the aforementioned PX, the QA is a worthy addition to the Laphroaig line up and is certainly worth it’s $85 asking price.



Yamakazi Attack

Hot on the heals of Burn’s Night-the annual feast celebrating the Scots poet, whisky and haggis comes hot news from Japanese interloper Yamakazi, the maker of fine Japanese whisky.

Treacherous though it may seem to a true believer in the virtues of Scottish whisky, malts from Japan are having their moment in the sun.

Suntory’s Yamakazi has announced the imminent arrival of its bespoke Sherry Cask (£200 for 70cl) Limited Edition. The 2013 was awarded the moniker of Sherry of the Year by Jim Murray in his 2015 Whisky Bible so there are high expectations for the latest version which will hit the market next Monday February 1st.


Yamakazi Chief blender Shinji Fukuyo points out that he “did not blend the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 for the novice”.  The result is an uncompromising, intense and tannic brew with a richness exploding with dried fruits, dark chocolate and spicy notes and a long, sophisticated finish.

There are a total of 5,000 bottles released for the world market so get in quickly with your order.