How do we choose our whisky and when do we decide to bottle?
We work with brokers and are in contact with distilleries all across Scotland. We hunt down and hand pick spirits from distilleries that we trust to deliver a quality that we can shape into something amazing through years of maturation in our choice of casks. Most of the time this means re-racking said casks into high quality first fill bourbon casks or “real”, not seasoned Sherry/Wine casks and closely following its maturation. We sample our casks once a year and when we decide they are ready to bottle, we discuss if we bottle as is or if we give it a finish. Sometimes that finish is supposed to harmonize notes that we see as suboptimal but which cannot be harmonized through longer maturation alone. However, most of the instances in which we finish a whisky it will be because it’s fun, it’s never been done before and we want to offer something new that nobody would be able to try otherwise.
What does the future hold?
Future bottlings will be a mixture of honest bourbon cask maturations, some wine or sherry heavy whiskies, and wacky or not so wacky cask finishes because in all honesty: We like all of these kinds of whiskies if done right. There will be the occasional very young smoker to capture the effect, that a West Islay Distillery often impressively shows in black bottles. There will also be older bottlings. You can always trust that every whisky we bottle has been tried and considered to be exceptional by all of us. You might not share our taste in all instances, but there is excitement in this subjectivity. We will always push the envelope to deliver something unique and exquisite. Of course, we will be ecstatic when people share our love for the whisky we choose bottle, but we know that won’t always be the case. After all, whisky would be boring if everyone liked the same ones.