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Have you tried whisky from Tasmania? Or
how about Sweden? If you haven't, odds
are you probably soon will. "People are
more open to trying whisky from esoteric
countries now," says Lee Tomlinson, general
manager of whisky institution Milroy's of
Soho since 2011. "Five years ago Japanese
whisky was still unknown and it was a hard
sell. Now people use it as a stepping stone
to whiskies from other countries. They'll say
'Well, if you like Japanese whisky, why not try
this one from Taiwan?'"
Indeed, much-awarded Taiwanese brand
Kavalan produces liquids of incredibly high
quality - whisky writer Jim Murray named its
Single Malt Whisky his Asian whisky of 2015.
As for other countries, Tomlinson says
we should be keeping an eye out for Swiss
whiskies: "There's incredible stu over there.
We're just about to import Santis Malt from
the Locher brewery." Another spot to watch
is Tasmania, where a clutch of distilleries
have opened in the past 24 years, and are
releasing spirits that are causing whisky fans
to sit up and take notice.
TWO TO TRY:
Overeem Sherry Cask No 30 (43% abv)
A tiny, family-run distillery in Tasmania
producing whiskies matured in port, sherry
and bourbon casks. This sherried release is
all orange peel, star anise and sherry-soaked
currants before milk chocolate and a dried
red chilli ake heat come in towards the end.
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No 1 Dubhe
From a Swedish distillery based on the island
of Ven, this boasts a really pleasing, waxy
mouthfeel with distinct dark chocolatecoated
coee bean avours and cigar box
spices on the nish.
No age statement
One of the most prevalent Scotch trends is
that of no age statement (NAS). These are
whiskies that don't come bearing a label
declaring that the liquid is a particular age,
such as 10 years old.
For some, NAS is a contentious category
created by whisky brands in the face of
increasing demand for their products at a
time when older stocks are running low.
With NAS, both young and old stocks can
be blended together to create the desired
avour prole, with no real clarity as to the
age range of the blend.
But there's a lot to be said in favour of
NAS whiskies. As Dr Nick Morgan, head of
whisky outreach for Diageo, points out, "This
xation on NAS whiskies is quite particular
to the single malt category, which itself is a
relatively recent phenomenon. It was created
by William Grant in the 1960s, and then
Fancy a rye whiskey from the US or a single malt from
Switzerland? A winter dram from the Scottish Highlands
maybe? We round up the latest trends in the whisky world
MALTWORDS LAURA FOSTER ILLUSTRATIONS STEPHEN COLLINS