1995 John McCrae 22 Year Old "K&L Exclusive - Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1330635


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Tasting Notes

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. For that reason, we can’t call the whisky by its name or reveal where it was made, but we can give you a few hints! This round, luscious, soft-textured 22-year-old malt whisky is from Scotland’s Speyside region, made at a very famous distillery renowned for its doublewood expressions and its famed wooden blending vats, sometimes referred to as tuns. While there’s no sherry maturation in this single hogshead, this whisky is grace and elegance defined: golden grains, supple vanilla, richly-textured stone fruit, and generous oak on the finish. Independent casks from this distillery are almost never available, making this John McCrae a true rarity for those in the know.

Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This single barrel has a lot to offer.It has a wax and floral nose that is absolutely pretty. In the mouth it is pure ,soft and direct with nice malt flavors and a very subtle hint of spice. There is a long finish. It is hard not to like. I tasted this with a touch of water.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    This struck me as my favorite of the 3 new Sovereign casks. It's lovely, rich, clean, and bright. There is an easy fruitiness full of apples and stone fruits. The spices lean towards the baking type, not peppery or savory. The palate is creamy and smooth, almost like a caramelized marshmallow. The finish is long and clean. All in all a special cask of whisky.
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    We have to be very careful revealing the source of this particular barrel as we got in trouble last time around from the distillery who wanted to know where we had tracked it down and how it made its way into our hands! All I can tell you for right now is that it was made by one of the most famous producers in the Speyside and that it tastes every bit as soft, creamy, succulent, and refined as all of the official distillery releases. If you're a classic Highland fan who loves the purity of single malt that tastes like fruit, barley, oak, and spice, then you're going to treasure this bottle. It's simply Scotch whisky perfection without gimmicks, barrel enhancements, or any other unnecessary additions.


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