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Hidden Gems: September 2021

This week we’re celebrating The Gathering, an annual festival commemorating our club’s rich heritage and the passion for the finest whisky shared by so many members around the world. It also happens to be the beginning of fall, a time when the air begins to thin, the leaves turn to amber and colder weather spreads. There is perhaps no better time to embrace our love for whisky, or perhaps rediscover it all over again, than right now.

And to make a good situation even better, all orders placed by tonight at midnight (PT) will be shipped free of charge, as a support to Society members during The Gathering week!  

But with so many whisky options to choose from, where should you begin? Here are three Society whiskies, currently available to USA members, that I view as the true hidden gems worthy of your attention: 

Cask 48.123 The journey’s end
When choosing a whisky that can be enjoyed by everyone including family, friends, and fellow whisky lovers, it’s hard to go wrong with the Juicy, oak & vanilla flavour profile. These whiskies tend to be full of bright, zesty flavours and typically offer an impressive amount of depth and complexity for their age. Cask 48.123 The Journey’s end represents this flavour profile at its finest. At just 8 years old, it’s shockingly complex with layer upon layer of fresh, fruity notes, vanilla sponge cake and custard, and a delicate array of nutmeg, cinnamon and sawdust. The texture is brilliant and at 60.8% a bottle can last a long time.

Cask 2.124 Making your mind up
Originating from a well-known distillery in Speyside, Cask 2.124 Making your mind up offers some familiar flavours but with a richness and intensity that can only be had in a single cask, cask strength whisky. 14 years in a first-fill bourbon barrel has produced a spirit that is deep, mellow and luscious with amplified notes of coconut, dried ginger and fresh mint. Pour a glass yourself and it will take all of two seconds to recognize just how special this one really is. If you’re a fan of the Speyside style but looking for something that offers a bit more depth, this one is for you.

Cask 10.216 Creels and harbours
Everything I and so many Society members enjoy about Islay whisky is present right here in this young, unassuming whisky drawn from second-fill toasted oak hogshead. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s smoky, it’s truly sublime. The toasted oak hogshead (as opposed to charred) has enhanced, not overpowered, the assertive spirit kept within it. Notes of bonfire smoke, burnt sage and grilled shrimp are intertwined with charred lemon, toffee and maple syrup in a flavour profile that I certainly could not dream up on my own! If I were to introduce a friend to the Islay style for the first time, an almost religious experience for some, this is the whisky I would choose.

Slàinte mhath!
Ben Diedrich