A life in drinks: From wine to whisky

Archive for June, 2012

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky.


I am told this whisky is made up from several casks from the 1990s, the earliest being 1991 and the oldest apparently is not 1999, so 14+ it must be then. With only 2012 bottles available, this won’t last long on the primary market.

So to the whisky:

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White


Dark golden – mid caramel.


A light toffee note comes just before the alcohol kicks in. Then dried fruits of apricots and plums, a little heather and caramel.


Smooth at first with apricots and honey. The 52% gives a warming heat which is not overpowering and ideal for the style and richness of the whisky, nether too powerful or too light. After the warmth subsides a little marzipan laps over the already prevalent sherry flavours and a touch of orange peel. There comes a small amount of sweetness of flowers and smoke.


A long finish with waves of rich sherry and higher floral notes interweaving with each other and with wisps of smoke.

Overall a wonderfully complex whisky and very moreish. Whisky of which (unfortunately) very little will actually touch the lips of mere mortals. I suspect there will be more bottles placed neatly on a shelf than ever will be opened except by those who can easily afford the current £350 ticket and probably quite a bit more, once this sells out and hits the secondary market.


The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

The Macallan Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

My advice: If you can’t afford simply to buy and drink one, buy two. Drink one and in a while sell the other to pay for the first. Or raid the piggy bank. I think as many people as possible should have the chance to drink this great dram.

The English Whisky Company. St Georges Diamond Jubilee Whisky

The English Whisky Company. St George’s Diamond Jubilee whisky.

St Georges Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

Of all the distilleries in the world one would have been very surprised had St George’s not released a whisky for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. And it’s priced at a very reasonable £60 as well (Whisky Exchange http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-16794.aspx).As with their previous decanter bottled releases, there is a limited run, this time of only 3,300 bottles.

Well, one has to think about whether this bottling is simply a gimmick, so let’s get to the whisky.

Nose: Firstly, lots of fresh and dried fruit comes forth, marmalade flavours of citrus and apricot. There is an underlying sweetness of boiled sweets and top notes of alpine flowers, bringing a lightness and fragrance to the whisky.

Palate: Harmonious. The dried fruits come through more with the apricots taking centre stage and touches of orange to follow. It is fresh with a slightly herbal edge, mixed with floral notes and moments of honey.

Finish: Quite a long finish, with the fruits subsiding to leave the herbal and floral flavours.

St Georges Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

St Georges Diamond Jubilee Whisky © Colin Hampden-White

The overall complexity for a whisky of such a young age is impressive. The sweetness is nicely balanced with a fresh appeal. A whisky perfect for summer evening drinking (if we ever get a summer here in the UK!).

The whisky coming out of the St George’s distillery seems to go from strength to strength. Their whiskies have lovely differences yet manage to keep an underlying style which is imparting a distinct identity upon the distillery amongst the rest of the field. Well, I did buy a bottle of this and having reminded myself of how much I liked it, I’m off to find another!