For my second review of my favourite whisky independents, I go straight to That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Boutique-y have many great, more difficult to source whiskies from Scotland, the U.S.A, Ireland and most other of the great whisky countries. Most are single malts but there are also some really exceptional blends and some amazing grains. Boutique-y bottles are easily recognised as they have distinctive labels in a sort of 80’s retro pop art style each with significance to the whisky insider, puns, in-jokes and a bit of history besides.
I am constantly struck by their sourcing of such tasty drams. They are always a joy and often stunning beyond belief. They offer some older whisky but it sells on quality not age. If you have never tasted a Boutique-y grab one quickly or search out their much lauded brand ambassador Dave Worthington at your local whisky fair, he’s the one with the beard!
I have brought together a group of different Boutiquey Whiskies which I have reviewed over the past year.
I have reviewed these 7 whiskies from a broad geographic spread. If you follow my Twitter account you will have seen quick reviews for many of these.
I have selected these to showcase the breadth of the range and depth of quality.
You often have to move fast to get a particular expression. They are widely available from the major UK suppliers like Masters of Malt, Selfridges, Harvey Nicks, Nicholls & Perks and Amazon. Overseas fans can contact Boutiquey direct at the email address on their web site.
Säntis 10yo 51.4 ABV
Whisky from Switzerland, really? I remember being surprised at some of the best red wines I had tasted so my expectations of Swiss whisky is high. The Swiss epitomise detail, care and craft. At the first nosing I realised that this was fabulous stuff and I would not be disappointed. Rich and complex. Sweet but strong with treacle toffee oozing through the nose, with a beery note.
Nose: Treacle toffee with a chocolate brownie tinge balanced by mellow fruits, polish and coffee.
Palate: More red winter fruits balanced with ginger spices and a lovely hazelnut note.
A lovely unique winter type dram with depth and flavour that keeps on going.
That would go well after a days ski-ing the moguls for sure.
Cameron Bridge 39 year old 44.6%ABV
Nose: Vanilla, tablet, toffee, white chocolate maybe dried fruit sugar and coconut but almost exclusively sweet.
Palette: Vanilla, ginger, toffee, iced-caramels – the chewy ones you could bite through the shell like crust, coconut dried raisins a touch of prune, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg.
The balance of sweet and fine pervasive oak-delivered spice is great. A lovely grain with an almost rye finish, quite woody.
I have enjoyed many older grain whiskies but this has younger fresh complex flavour which I love – Boutiquey never fails!
10mins later I am still smiling savouring the lingering flavours.
This is now only available from retailers but the 24 year old is available and there are always new batches on the web site.
Boutiquey Cotswolds 3 yr old Batch 1 50.4%
Nose: grassy, roses, clementines, marzipan, almonds and finally grapefruit taking a long time to fully develop into something quite lovely.
Palate: caramels, warm spices, cloves in a hint of gluwein, bramble jam, vanilla and mint. A serious whisky with lots of complexity not as spirit led as I anticipated. the spices really coated my gums which is great. Really interesting lots of flavour almost Xmas morning finishing in ginger nut biscuits.
Another English distillery delivering the highest quality Whisky.
Three Ships 6yo 53.7% ABV
I knew nothing about this dram. I learnt it was from South Africa from James Sedgwick Distillery and had matured in Bourbon and PX casks. PX is always enough to get me excited. Its my age, it doesn’t take much.
I was quickly engaged into what is a fabulous dram – I am so glad that I now buy my whisky based on taste and nose not on geography, age, reputation or any other prejudice which I probably held over the years. It gives me so much more enjoyment of my daily dram.
Purely and simply this is an exceptional dram by any measure.
Nose: Red fruit compote, coffee, buttered toast. Quite earthy tones, creme brûlée. Interesting and unique but fulfilling.
Palate: Golden syrup, treacle toffee, pastry soft spices and a hint at first salty then smoothing to underlying fragrant spring grass and mint.
Teaninich 19yo 48.6%
The distillery I most often misspell. It is located at Dalmore not far from Dalmore Distillery itself, on the north side of the Moray Firth between Evanton and Invergordon. The only current distillery with a hammer and mash system installed in 2000 by Diageo, producing a much clearer wort tending to the floral blossom notes of Japanese spirit.
This malt is everything you would expect from a ‘Flora and Fauna’ Distillery – a walk in an early summer barley field.
Nose: Apply strüdel with buttery pastry, and raisins sprinkled with cinnamon and warm spices.
Palate: Floral and Fruity. Summer wild flowers at first – moving back to the apples and pear fruit tart with an intense honeyed syrup.
No doubt this is a tasty high class malt. It is great. I really enjoyed it but it is not my own preference in Highland Malts which tends toward Boutiquey’s 24 year old Clynelish.
Balcones 3 year old Batch 2 Tequila Cask 51.2%ABV
I do enjoy Balcones Whisky – note the spelling. This is their single malt. Balcones is the true craft whisky and like their Baby Blue and True Blue it is distilled from Mexican blue corn, in Waco Texas, hence it is a Texas Whisky!
Nose: malty opening, anise, leather polish, Turkish delight chocolate, pineapple, bananas, citrus ,cinnamon, nutmeg, treacle toffee fabby nose!
Palate: sharp ginger more malt hints of salted caramel, peaches and marmalade. Some major brownies action going on here toast and savoury the balance and complexity is amazing spicy sweet and more .
I loved this whisky the spirit notes and power of youth plus great maturation in obviously special casks. The dark Mahogany colour could be from the Tequila cask (most probably), it is completely at odds with its age, even allowing for the heat in a Texas rackhouses which accelerate maturation. Straight Kentucky Bourbon cannot have colour added, but the guidelines for Texas whisky also suggest not. I don’t mind how they do it this is a top whisky which I expect to buy.
Glengoyne 17 Batch 1 49.1%
I am biased with this whisky. I love Glengoyne, I trust Boutique-y, a great combination. Glengoyne still use Golden Promise Barley for me the holy grail of whisky ingredients. I think they combine it with a hybrid called Optic.
They are unique in that the distiller sits astride the Lowland highland dividing line. The distillery in the Highlands, the Warehousing in the lowlands. I live on the same line at the side of the A91.
This is a lovely dram even by Glengoyne’s high standards. A 17 year old is a difficult pitch by Boutique-y as the standard 18 and 21 year olds are of the highest quality. No worries, this cask has been well chosen.
Nose: malt loaf sherry, majool dates, gingerbread, boiling strawberry jam
Palate: sticky toffee pudding, fruit and nut chocolate, oranges, smarties – no specific colour just the shell.
A winner, one of my favourites yet from Boutique-y . So fine. Moreish!
Many thanks to Boutiquey and the dram club for these fabulous samples.
I have probably now tasted 30 or 40 Boutiquey Whiskies and some of their Rums. You cannot go wrong with them. I have loved every dram. It lets the fan with a well managed budget enjoy some exceptional whisky from all over the world. Their craft Bourbons are the best, their European whiskies and Irish whiskeys are grand. The range of well matured Scotch unsurpassed.
My one and only bitch is that they get finished too fast. They sell in 50cl bottles and I always want more. But that is just me.
Their labels are highly collectable and are all designed by Emily Chappell. All as distinct for their immaculate research as their artistry. If you have not read the ‘About the Artist’ post on Boutiquey web site then you could be in for a treat – great story!
Boutique-y is the fun side of Whisky but with the utmost sincerity when it comes to everything there bottle. Boutique-y is class from the design to the whisky selection and market engagement and Banjo playing Brand Ambassador Dave Worthington. From your first sip, it feels like a club, a welcoming club where you the customer matters.
I have no hesitation inviting you to join if you are a lover of the finest whisky, Rum or now Gin.