Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
There seems to be a bit of a Caroni-boom at the moment. For their first new rum bottling in three years, Shinanoya teamed up with A.D. Rattray to do a split-bottling (like they did with their Bowmore release a while ago): they have bottled half of the cask now (Barrel #105, 1997) and that is batch 1 (125 bottles) and leaving half in the cask for an additional four-month maturation period (meaning batch 2 will be ready after December). Reasonably priced at 8,980 yen a bottle, this is sure to be an instant hit.
Talking of instant hits… here’s another one. Single cask Islay malts are becoming harder and harder to source. The guys at Shinanoya managed to persuade The Whisky Exchange to let them bottle a special 15yo Laphroaig (a first-fill barrel) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Yokohama bar ‘Sheep’. This yielded 175 bottles – it’ll be interesting to see how many minutes it will take for those to be gone!
The last offering is a 26yo ‘Celebration of the Cask’ Tomatin (1987 hogshead #508), sourced by Morrison & Mackay. Ridiculously priced at 13,800 yen a bottle (where else can you find a single cask of this caliber at a comparable price?), this is bound to attract a lot of attention, too. They are not making life easy, the folks at Shinanoya… hard choices!