Whisky:  The Oldest Port Ellen to Ever be Released

Whisky: The Oldest Port Ellen to Ever be Released

Wednesday 13th March 2019
by Tod Bradbury

This April, Port Ellen will unveil the oldest liquid ever to be release from their stock. Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe. 

A 39-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the first exclusive release in a series of high aged whiskies from this revered distillery. The Port Ellen Untold Stories Series is an exploration into the innovative and trailblazing background of this iconic Islay distillery. Closed over thirty years ago in 1983, set to remain silent for all time, it is now to be reopened in 2021. While the world waits for it to start production again, only a finite amount of its original stock remains, having gained cult status with collectors and connoisseurs alike.

The 39-Year-old will represent one of the last chances to own a piece of Port Ellen history, before the distillery begins creating new legendary whiskies. The ultimate expression of Islay, the copper stills that made this unique tasting malt may be long gone, but the people of the Port Ellen distillery carefully kept these memories alive.  Distilled in 1978, this elegant and complex Single Malt Scotch Whisky, expertly married from a selection of ex US-Bourbon and ex European Sherry refill casks, is one of extraordinary character.

A Very Special Evening with Chateau Lafleur in Scotland

A Very Special Evening with Chateau Lafleur in Scotland

Monday 11th March 2019
by Alex Turnbull

It is not every day that I get the privilege of drinking Chateau Lafleur. In fact most days I would consider myself lucky to drink Pensees de Lafleur, or even the Guinaudeau’s superb family estate Chateau Grand Village

So to drink two vintages of Pensees and three vintages of Lafleur in one evening was always going to be a special occasion.

On an uncharacteristically warm February evening a small group of wine lovers and collectors (coordinated by one private client to whom we owe tremendous thanks) gathered at the Cromlix hotel in Perthshire for an intimate dinner with Julie and Baptiste Guinaudeau. Kicking off with a glass of Dom Perignon 1990 from our private client’s cellars, the stage was set for a memorable and eventful evening appreciating the wines of famed Pomerol property, Chateau Lafleur.

We began with a brace of whites. First, A Louima 2012, which was the first vintage of what is now known as Les Champs Libres, from magnum. Les Champs Libres is an ambitious project that revolves around the Guinaudeaus identifying specific plots within their Fronsac estate that would be better suited to growing white grape varieties and replanting these sites with Sauvignon Blanc clones from Sancerre. The result is an unbelievably complex Bordeaux white that easily rivals the top names at a fraction of the price. A Louima 2012 is drinking beautifully – the tropicality and freshness of the Sauvignon balancing perfectly with the toastiness of the oak. Les Champs Libres 2014 at first was the more closed of the two, but as it sat in the glass it quickly came in to its own. Exuberant and supremely well balanced, this is still a baby and requires further cellaring.

Whisky: The Old and Rare Show, Glasgow

Whisky: The Old and Rare Show, Glasgow

Monday 11th March 2019
by Tod Bradbury

This year Justerini & Brooks attended The Whisky Exchange’s Old & Rare show in Glasgow. Celebrating the great and good of the rare spirits collecting world, Justerinis rubbed shoulders with the very best connoisseurs, independent bottlers, auction houses and collectors.

With the likes of G&M, Whisky auctioneer, Auld alliance and Whisky Auction in attendance it was an incredibly exciting, vibrant and busy show this year! Featuring a hand-picked selection of over 30 of some of our finest Single malts and blends from across Scotland. With over 10 malts from our Rare Malts collection alone It was clear that our stand was going to be popular. *

In my opinion It was some of the old blends that stole the show. Both 1940s White Horse and Johnnie Walker red were two of the most popular (is the cat out of the bag that these actually contain 1920s distilled Lagavulin, Port Ellen or even the ultra-rare and mythical Malt Mill?).  Alongside our very own J&B 1749 limited edition bottling. Featuring a 1749 replica bottle (we have some originals in St James dinning room if there is any interest – just don’t drop them please!)

Acte Masterclass

Acte Masterclass

Monday 4th March 2019
by Tom Jenkins

We were thrilled to have Omri Ram hosting the Acte Masterclass. Here is a few words from Omri about Acte and his thoughts on the new vintage.

"We just finished the very first ever masterclass of the Acte project with Justerini & Brooks. It is the first time we have presented a vertical of Acte externally. Until now, this has been an academic exercise to help the technical team to evaluate the project.

The thing with Acte is it’s an ambition project. It is a long-term project. It’s creating someone thing from zero. It’s not a new label but a new vineyard. A vineyard that may become a new cru that people will recognise in the future, but it takes a lot of time and decision making.

The genesis of this project starts long before Acte 1 (2009). Years of soil studies, sourcing and negotiation were required to locate the finest, five-star terroirs of Fronsac. The vision was to find the greatest clay and limestone parcels, suitable for making wines in the Lafleur mould. That is not to say Acte is intended to be a replica. Lafleur is a unique terroir in Pomerol. The best soils of Fronsac are more reminiscent of the Cote and plateau of St Emilion. The ambition was to create a new cru using Lafleur genetics and best terroirs in the commune.

Welcoming Raul Perez

Welcoming Raul Perez

Monday 11th February 2019
by Mark Dearing

Despite the freezing darkness and the rain lashing against my windscreen, the notoriously wet winter conditions around Santiago de Compostela could do nothing to dampen my spirits.

 It was early, and I was en route to Bierzo to meet Raul Perez at his winery in Valtuille del Abajo. There I would hop from my rental car in to Raul’s 4x4 Shogun and together we would traverse the mountains around Bierzo for the day, variously jumping out to look at special plots and dive in to cold cellars to taste his latest wines. I was on my own pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, but rather than a waypoint, Bierzo was the destination.

It was hard not to feel a little nervous, for all references to Raul Perez and his influence on the Spanish wine scene over the past decade routinely accede to superlatives. To his legions of fans, both consumers and fellow winemakers, he is a real visionary, cut from maverick cloth, whose determination has revolutionised the way the world looks at Spanish wine. To others, he is wild, unpredictable and impossible to get a handle on. Both are right.

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