The following originally appeared on Guid Scotch Drink on May 11, 2012:
Bottled at 43% Alc. and limited to 1000 bottles worldwide, this Special Blend, created to honor famed whisky and beer writer, Michael Jackson, donated a portion of the bottle sales to The Parkinson's Disease Society. From the front label:
"Michael Jackson was perhaps the most admired whisky writer and taster the world has ever seen. He travelled relentlessly, seeking out whiskies from far-flung places and brought their flavours to life with unrivalled eloquence. This extremely limited world whisky produced in his honor has been blended from Michael's private collection containing whiskies from many countries and adjusted for balance to produce a very fine drop that we he would be proud to drink."
The project was headed by Rob Allanson (Editor, Whisky Magazine) and Doug McIvor (Spirits Manager, Berry Bros & Rudd). Originally sold for £70 in 2009 I won this at auction late last year for about the same price.
I tasted this with my Palouse whisky society and we were sure to honor Mr Jackson early and often. The following notes represent the impressions of the members:
C: Apple juice
N: Quite decadent, rich, and expressive for a 43% blend: warm honey, butter rum, toffee, spicy ginger, cloves, poached pears, raisins, and cinnamon
P: A little thin across the palate but again presents enjoyable flavors: ginger ale, freshly minced ginger, chocolate coated cherries, tobacco leaves, lemon slices steeped in hot water, and even a little bit salty
F: Short to moderate with dark chocolate, a little dried ginger, cumin, ground grey pepper, and distant burning fields (a common state of affairs on the Palouse during the summer)
In conclusion: A pleasant blend that (given my constant readings of his Companions) speaks to some of Mr Jackson's favorite qualities in whisky. Really quite an achievement. It's worth tracking down at auction and toasting the great man!
Serge Valentin, friend of Mr Jackson, offers his review (sans score) here.