You may remember me tasting the Private Barrel Co range from Checkers at the launch event they held last year. When in my local Checkers LiquorShop last week to stock up on my supply of the Private Barrel Co Mortlach 14yo (love it!), I spotted a new whisky in the range, called No. 39. So what exactly *is* No. 39 then?
Checkers are doing for their House of Fine Whisky selection what they’ve done for wines when they introduced the Odd Bins range which they tout as “famous wine brands at a fraction of the price”. Odd Bins works on the premise that Checkers source top class wines from well known wine estates/brands and then bottle them under a unique bin number, not revealing where the wine was sourced. By not revealing the original label, Checkers is able to sell the wine at a fraction of the cost.
And now that concept has been brought across to the Private Barrel Co range. The good news is that this won’t be replacing their named brand whiskies like the Mortlach, Benrinnes, Glenlossie and Glen Grant, but will instead be an addition to the range. Will there be future No. XX releases? I don’t see why not – if Checkers can source good quality whisky at the right price.
Let’s have a look at what’s on the bottle first before I share my own tasting notes…
Official Tasting Notes for No. 39
My Tasting Notes for No. 39
My Final Impressions
A very nice, easy drinking single malt. I prefer the fruity nose when water isn’t added, but a couple of drops are needed to smooth out the oak notes and make this a really pleasant dram.
I’ve tried to figure out what distillery this whisky is from and I would hazard a guess (blind tastings, which this essentially is, are notoriously hard) that we’re looking at something from The Balvenie, Dalwhinnie, Glenlivet or Glen Ord. Distilleries known for having a sweet / fruity / honeyed / floral / malty / spicy taste profile.
I guess we’ll never really know – I’ve tried asking the folks at Checkers and their lips are sealed – but I’m keen to hear what your thoughts are. Which distillery do you think this whisky is from?
Where can I buy No. 39 and how much will it cost?
I confirmed with the Checkers team that No. 39 should be available countrywide at their Checkers LiquorShop stores, but because there are only 1600, they’re bound to sell out relatively quickly.
As for cost, they’re running a promotion at the moment selling it at R229.99 a bottle. Yup, you read that right! A single malt selling for around R150 (or 40%) less than you’d pay for a Glenfiddich 12 year old! I don’t see how they can be making any money on this, but hey, I won’t complain at that price.
Hats off to Checkers for bringing us another really well-priced single malt that is a worthy addition to the Private Barrel Co. range.
So there you have it – an inexpensive, easy-drinking single malt that ticks a lot of the right boxes. Enjoy folks.
Disclosure: My review sample was provided by the folks at Checkers. That however, did not influence my tasting notes or review.