Like buses, you wait ages for one and three turn up at once... In this case, it's three special bottles. Two first bottlings from a distillery (Eden Mill, St George's) and a closed distillery (Caperdonich)!
They'll all be sold by ballot, so get your entries in now! (Update: I didn't win in any of the ballots. See? I don't get special treatment...)
The star of the list was the St George's, which showed how good the English Whisky Company has become at their craft. Smoky, sweet, floral and herbal - it's a great cask.
The other new distillery was technically even better, but an odd dram with almost Armagnac notes. The Eden Mill is well worth trying before it leaves the bar...
Caperdonich returns after an absence of four years, providing a lovely soft dram with fruit and floral notes and a hint of old oak or tobacco. Not a big experience, but one worth trying before casks from this closed distillery are never again available.
Looking at the ones I'd like bottles of, let's start the the surprise - the Caol Ila. It's smokey and honeyed with some fruit - and turns ashen with water. I doubt it will last long on the bar! And also peated is the Croftengea, which smoke, fruit and walnuts. Surprisingly complex for 7 years old! Which brings us to the Strathclyde, another surprisingly young whisky at 12. Pineapple, hoisin sauce and toffee show that a well treated young grain can do very well... Finally, we should mention the Inchmoan, which was filled with violets, peach, leather and marzipan. Very satisfying!
An honourable mention from my previews would be the Glen Grant. It's just got a little too much ginger for me to love it, but that won't stop me from recommending it as it's still a very good dram!