"Rites of Passage" - The new Independent Whisky Cask Bottlings from Epicurean Selection

Always exciting to see IB Mannochmore.

Do you have tasting notes for that, @Sarah_Kirschbaum ?

We haven’t done a full tasting on the final bottles yet, other than a quick sip to check (see above in the thread for a few initial words). We took all of January and February off drinking, and have found our palates very rusty since starting again. We are planning to taste with a friend this weekend, though, so I should have notes after that.

Tapping my foot, waiting for these to hit CA retail shelves …

Don’t tap your foot. Ask your favorite retailer to order them from Skurnik. Otherwise who knows when they will arrive. Skurnik isn’t great about CA.


Some friends, Jonathan and I tasted through the lineup over a few hours on Saturday night. I think the biggest takeaway is that all the bottles are still waking up. It might be surprising to some, but whisky does open up with air, and bottles open a few weeks often do relax and gain complexity, provided they have only a moderate amount of headspace.

I think the most flamboyant and impressive immediately is the Williamson, it’s really very good and very interesting, with a lot of personality. The Bunnahabhain is exactly what you would expect and want it to be. I know that one is expensive, but honestly I think it’s underpriced for what it is. How many 30 year named distillery single cask strength bottlings are out there for well below $1K?

So without further ado, here are our group’s impressions. And they are exactly that - impressionistic.

Mannochmore 13 year - Flinstones’ vitamin, hint of grape Nehi, crushed pine needles, bouillon cube, salt water taffy, a touch of the scent of playdough, guava. Beautiful caramel back and some black olive brings a tang. This really did not improve with a drop or two of water. With water: white chocolate, sharper on the nose, tightened up a bit.

Orkney 16 year - Gingerbread, pencil lead, candied lavender, floral but not perfum-y, some savory of roasted onion, no band aid at all, more bouillon cube here, dried herbs. Nose opened up with water, body remained on the lighter side.

Williamson 17 year - right in my sweet spot. Lots of smoke, concentrated camphor, bright citrus, sea spray, salty seaweed, fire-burnt orange, smores. Some iodine, first aid kit. Loved a drop of water, really exploded.

Bunnahabhain 30 hear - classic sherry cask, elegant, root beer float, pork belly, 5 spice, not woody, needs to relax a bit, still tight. Christmas spice, machine shop, Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla bean, some sweetness. Seamless, refined. Also benefitted from a small drop of water,


Hi Sarah, that Williamson seems up my alley! Been a South Islay fan for over a dacade now. Any pointers where I can find some in stock?

Any California distribution yet?

It will be coming via Skurnik. If you ask your favorite retailers to order, that might speed the process.

We are trying to be honest about all of these. It’s not what you were able to do back in the day. Nor what we were. But it’s so much better than what most are doing.

We can also hook you up with a shipment from a retail store in NY.

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Im interested in the shop info for NY. My brother lives there so I can have it posted to him, and I’ll be visiting in the not too distant future!

Fresh off the truck


That’s so exciting! Thank you for being among our first customers :blush: Can’t wait for you to taste them.

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Hi Sarah, are the Williamson still available from the retail shop in NY? Would like to get an order in as soon as ppssible. Thanks!

Yes, will DM you.

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I’m looking forward to it. Planning to pack a bottle of the Mannochmore with me for a visit with my 92 year old grandpa in a couple weeks who’s a Speyside fan. Either way, it will be special.

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