Whisky Focus - Annandale Man O’Words & Man O’Sword Single Cask Releases

Annandale Man O’Words & Man O’Sword Single Cask Releases

25th May 2018
Annandale distillery set to release the unpeated Annandale Man O’Words and peated Annandale Man O’Sword single cask whiskies.

Unpeated Annandale Man O’Words and Peated Annandale Man O’Sword single cask whiskies.

Annandale Distillery has announced a launch date for two single malt, single cask whisky expressions, Annandale Man O’Words and Annandale Man O’Sword which they are in the process of bottling at the moment.

The launch of the two single cask whiskies is the culmination of a £14m restoration, redevelopment and relaunch project, and lifelong ambition for co-owners David Thomson and Teresa Church, who bought the derelict former Johnnie Walker site in 2007.

The distillery tell me that both expressions have been carefully crafted to deliver a specific sensory profile that they felt was missing from the single malt landscape.

Annandale Man O’Words, which is unpeated, was inspired by Scotland’s national poet (and Exciseman in Annan) Robert Burns, which the distillery tells me offers excellent balance between fruit and vanilla, and ‘intriguing depth’.

Annandale Man O’Sword, which is peated, challenges the misconception that distilleries in the south of Scotland only produce light and fruity expressions, they tell me it has a distinctive soft and very well balanced smokiness.

At the time of typing this Annandale were still in the process of bottling the two whiskies but I can tell you that they will both be bottled at cask strength which will be around 61.5% ABV and they expect each cask to produce 255 bottles and they plan to release 10 casks of each. Both whiskies will be naturally coloured and non chill-filtered.

Only 188 barrels were filled in 2014, and only these 20 casks from 2014 are due to be released for the foreseeable future. Each cask was monitored, appraised and selected by noted whisky consultant Dr Gordon Steele, together with Distillery owner Prof. David Thomson and each bottle will be individually identifiable by cask, year and bottle number.

When I asked when we are likely to see a permanent core range expression released, the distillery told me that they have no set plan and they are waiting to see how the maturing stock develops. So if you you want to sample Annandale peated or unpeated whisky in the near future then these single cask bottling will be your chance.

Thomson and Church are impatient to launch; "It has been a long haul from first encountering the derelict distillery to seeing our brands on-shelf but it has been a joy and a privilege to be part of this journey. We’re delighted with the character, mellowness and balance of our ‘early release’ whiskies which have already developed a distinctive ‘Annandale style’. We hope that whisky lovers from around the World will enjoy them."

Annandale Man O’Words and Annandale Man O’Sword will each have a RRP of £300 and will be available to buy online from the distillery website and at the distillery shop from Wednesday 13th June 2018.

If you want to try before you buy Annandale Distillery will be pouring Man O’Words and Man O’Sword at Edinburgh Whisky Festival on 16th June, and at this year’s London Whisky Show in September.

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