The one and only Mr. Mike Collings supplies not only our whisky wants this month with a ten-year-old Firkin Ten Linkwood finished in Madeira-seasoned, hybrid, custom casks – but also our Members Extra RUM! For the first time EVER the Single Malt Whisky Club is featuring ‘NOT a whisky’ in its line-up. Our ‘Members Extra’ is the WORLD EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE of the Firkin Whisky Co. very first bottling of a RUM! It’s a FIRKIN FIRST for all of us!
Now why are we featuring a rum alongside the Firkin Ten Linkwood 2010 you might ask? Well, we also run a fine rum club – The Rum Tribe – as well as the Single Malt Whisky Club and with such an old friend and bottler as Mike Collings dipping his toes into the rum bottling game – it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to pair his exceptional rum with our Malt of the Month and we know that a lot of whisky drinkers also like the occasional rum…and the Firkin Rum First Edition is a fabulous rum!
For our newer members, the Firkin Whisky Co. is the brainchild of a Mr. Mike Collings. Now Mike once used to work for a little company called Diageo, who valiantly scratched a living with one of their brands, Johnnie Walker (you may have heard of it?). Now whilst Mike was employed at said JW, he came up with a couple of products that you may have also heard of, or even seen and tasted. One of these is the Johnnie Walker Blue Label – said to be the finest (and certainly the most expensive) of all blended scotch whiskies. He also came up with the idea of a JW single malt – and hence the JW Green was his baby as well.
Amongst other accolades, he’s also the father of the Diageo Classic Malts Collection, Rare Malts, Distillers Edition, Flora & Fauna series, Cardhu and Royal Lochnagar Brands …< Takes breath!> and it goes on and on and on. Simply put, Mike’s high-end whisky ‘rap-sheet’ could wallpaper your lounge room.
His work in Scotch whisky is both iconic and award winning. But that’s not to say whisky is his only trick.
Mike’s ‘Rum Credentials’ are no less impressive. He was helping supply the Royal Navy with rum in the early eighties working for ‘Saccone & Speed’ – a company that had it’s start supplying Admiral Nelson’s ships with rum at Gibraltar! In fact, Mike’s first sales job (way back in 1973) was selling Navy Neaters Cask Strength Rum to the RN at Portsmouth. Mike has also distributed Cockspur and Pussers Rum in the UK – so he knows his rum too.
For the last few years, Mike has lived in Adelaide, travelling frequently to source for, and promote his Firkin Whisky Co. label. Essentially, the Firkin Whisky Co independently bottles single cask Scottish whisky after finishing it in their own bespoke hybrid casks made of alternating American first-fill Bourbon staves and new French Limousin oak staves with a custom char, seasoned with a variety of fortified wines. The hybrid oak composition plus the selection of cask-conditioning fortified wine – and the result is a FIRKIN good whisky!
Hi there Single Malt Whisky Club,
I’m Mike Collings, founder of the Firkin Whisky Co. The Firkin Ten Linkwood 2010 is a Linkwood whisky distilled in 2010 and it has been in my custom made casks, seasoned with Madeira for the last 2 years.
My favourite Speyside distillery – this is a cracker. Elegant nose with rich Madeira notes. Tasting has glorious earthy oak with Madeira richness & spice.
It really has exceptional balance. Long lingering finish
Simply. Firkin. Delectable.
Our approach is straightforward. Select and mature rare and downright drinkable whiskies. Every drop is a drop of comfort tingling the taste buds from Scotland’s leading single malt distilleries. Each whiskey is bottled from a single cask, which is hand-built for us from American and French Oak, which delivers a great oat profile. Combine this with our selection of cask conditioning wine, and the result is a firkin exceptional whiskey.
They say quality counts, and this dram has my number. This is a seriously sensational whisky. The elegance of Linkwood, one of Speyside’s finest, marries perfectly with the glorious earthy oak, Madeira richness, and raisin spice. Brilliantly rich and fruity notes compliment the hint of toasty oak, with exceptional balance. This dram lingers like a summer lover, complete with a lovely tingle of spicy oak sink.
Mike Collings could have retired with an incredible track record in whisky. He had created Johnnie Walker Blue & Green Labels, The Classic Malts, Rare Malts, Distillers Edition, Flora & Fauna series, Cardhu and Royal Lochnagar. That’s pretty Firkin good as far as CVs go.
Mike’s been working in whisky for 50 years. You couldn’t blame him for packing it in and putting his feet up. That would have been the sensible thing to do. But Mike is many things. Sensible isn’t one of them. Mike stirs the pot. He thinks about things differently and always asks: ‘what if …’.
So, he found himself enjoying a few drams in a Tokyo bar thinking: what if I created a whisky that was unique on the single cask single malt market.
So he did. And it’s Firkin awesome whisky.