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The whisky world, it seems, has exploded in recent years. While you could be forgiven for thinking that the spirit du jour is gin, and certainly that category has had exponential growth, it’s whisky that is changing the world; the world record for the highest price paid for a single bottle (beating all wines and spirits before it) was recently set by a rare 60-year-old bottle of Macallan single malt at Christie’s auction house for £1.2 million.
In this climate, luxurious and interesting bottles are what can separate one whisky selection from those surrounding it, and finding these was very much the objective when at the Beaufort Bar we launched our new list in October 2018.
It’s always seemed a shame to me that it often seems that you can find the same 15 whiskies in most bars in London, so veering off the beaten path quickly became the name of the game – however, with whisky drinkers often being creatures of habit, we needed to make sure there was comfortable ground in the balance as well. This balance is struck well with a Glenfiddich 19-year-old release from their Age of Discovery series, an expression finished in South American red wine casks, in celebration of Charles Darwin’s historic expedition to the continent. It is distinctively Glenfiddich, with their characteristic flavour profile, but bolstered by wonderful fruit and spice from the cask selection.
Further off the beaten track, we have seen great whiskies coming from countries you might not have expected, such as Karnog from France, Kavalan from Taiwan and Starward from Australia, which can give the more adventurous whisky fan a genuinely special experience. Alongside intriguing selections, we found that we were able to acquire bottles that enthusiasts may not be able to get through consumer channels, and have added to our list nine different releases from the closed and legendary Port Ellen distillery, as well as one of only 188 bottles of a 1975 Ardbeg aged in a single ex-fino sherry cask for 31 years, to name just a few of the rare jewels in the crown
As we now move to curate our list, finding more ways to surprise and delight whisky fans that pay us a visit, we are always on the hunt for something special.