Thought that Turmeaus was just a cigar and tobacco specialist? Think again. We took a tour of their Liverpool whiskey department to get the expert lowdown on the water of life
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” So the famous Mark Twain quote goes, and when it comes to the water of life, Turmeaus has quite the collection. Under the direction of Mitchell Orchant, widely held as the world’s foremost authority on Cuban and other rare cigars, Turmeaus (the retail outlet of Orchant’s Cgars Ltd) has long been a UK leader in hand-made cigars and pipe tobacco. Now, they’re set to become the same for whiskey.
A walk around the Turmeaus whiskey department has a museum-like quality to it. Rows upon rows of whiskies sit waiting to be discovered, all with their own unique story, the rarer ones sitting locked away behind the protection of cabinets. Whiskies from all over the world, many of which are the only bottle of their kind on the continent (sometimes even hemisphere) sit alongside affordable alternatives and bottles in between. Other fine spirits are available in store, but it’s the water of life that sits pride of place. Whiskey is currently one of the most collectible spirits in the world, even some of the more modestly priced bottles in the room will likely double in price over the coming years. The staff recommend always buying two, one to drink, one to save.
If the Turmeaus whiskey department is a museum, then Craig, the department’s whiskey expert is its curator. When it comes to the bottles on show, Craig knows every meticulous detail, from the story of each distillery to how many bottles were produced and what type of cask they sat in. We got him to pick out a couple of his favourites:
1 Macallan 1956 This extremely rare Speyside single malt scotch whiskey was distilled at The Macallan in 1956 and bottled for the UK market by one of the distiller’s official bottlers, Campbell Hope & King of Elgin, in the sixties and seventies.
2 Bowmore Devil’s Cask III This is the third and final edition of the Bowmore Devil’s Cask series, named Double the Devil. Bottled at 56.7% volume, this whiskey has been matured in both first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for an undisclosed number of years and completes a series which is amongst the most coveted in the world. The Devil’s Cask whiskies get their name from a legend nearly as old as the distillery itself. It was claimed that the Devil was once spotted and chased through the town, eventually hiding away in the distillery. After searching, the Devil was nowhere to be seen having made his escape in a whiskey barrel to the mainland.
3 Glen Moray Mastery In Celebration of Glen Moray’s 120th anniversary, the distillery released this very intriguing expression – Glen Moray Mastery. Crafted by their Master Distiller Graham Coull, this single malt was made using five different vintages of their whiskey, with only 1000 bottles produced.
4 Karuizawa 12 Year Old Jazz Club Many Karuizawa’s are presented in exciting labels and this particular bottle, released for Tokyo Jazz Club, is no exception. Distilled on 19th April 1993 and bottled on the 14th October 2006 from a single sherry cask #2501. Only 492 bottles were produced.
5 Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Grand Slam Bottled to celebrate the Scottish Rugby team who won the Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Calcutta Cup in 1990. The back label depicts the score lines of each match in the Five Nations tournament as well as signatures of the squad.