In order to understand the secret contained inside this very special Sovereign bottle, you have to understand a bit about how the Scotch industry works and what teaspooning means. There’s a long history of barrel trading and brokering between blenders and distilleries in Scotland, and some producers are very protective of their name brand. As you’ve likely noticed, we’ve been able to secure single cask selections from top names like Bowmore, Caol Ila, and Highland Park over the years, and those distilleries allow us to use the name, but others take more drastic measures. By adding a teaspoon of a second single malt whisky into the barrel, the whisky instantly becomes a blended malt rather than a single malt, rendering the labeling of that whisky as a single distillery illegal. This 20 year old Hector MacBeth single barrel comes from one of the Grant family's famous Glens and it only takes one sip of this rich, supple, and oak-laden whisky to instantly recognize that classic profile. While the 21 year old distillery version of this whisky will run you $150 or more, this cask strength, single barrel 20 year old release offers a serious bang for your buck proposition in exchange for the anonymity. The initial flavors are oily with vanilla and sweet resin and brandied peaches, moving quickly into concentrated oak, toasted barley, and creme brulee. The finish is dry and spicy and at 56.4% the heat is on! There's no three-sided tin with this bold edition, just superb value!
By: Jeffrey Jones
K&L Staff Member
This single barrel has a beautiful golden color. The nose is complex with honey, wax and floral notes. In the mouth its is full bodied and concentrated, packed full of many flavor nuances. This selection has a lot going on. There is no smoke. I tasted this with a touch of water.
By: Andrew Whiteley
K&L Staff Member
If you're not excited by the value proposition of a teaspooned cask - read David's explanation and you will be. The Hector Macbeth is a home run. I found it surprisingly salty on the nose with a touch of pretty and fresh herbs. The mouth is rich and velvety, loaded with baked bread, cinnamon, and apples. It's basically an American Apple Pie in a scotch. There is a little sandalwood on the finish which is long and full. This is an absurdly good deal.
By: David Driscoll
K&L Staff Member
Of the three Sovereign teaspooned casks we have to offer this December, the Hector MacBeth is the darkest, oakiest, and most concentrated of the bunch and when you taste it there's really no doubt about where it was made. You've seen the ubiquitous green tins for the 12 year lining the major liquor stores and airport duty free shelves all over the world, the mark of the deer above the distillery name. This is a 20 year old, single barrel cask strength edition of that classic Highland profile for a cool $99.99. Why the deal? Because of the small teaspoon of a second whisky added into it. I'll take that deal every time, however. I'm guessing at least 200 other fans of the Glen will take the plunge with me.
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