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Exclusive: First look at new bottler The Heart Cut 

Focusing on small-batch releases of world whiskies, The Heart Cut also aims to educate drinkers and explore the stories behind the brands. Laura Foster finds out more. 

A new independent bottler selling cask-aged spirits has launched with the aim of demystifying and bringing the spirits industry to life for consumers. 

Called The Heart Cut, it will be selling single cask and small batch releases, with an initial launch of three world whiskeys from Stauning in Denmark, East London Liquor Company in England and Kyrö in Finland. 

The company was started by two drinks industry veterans, each with over a decade of experience in the field. 

‘There’s a lot of jargon and expecting people to know [complicated] stuff, and what we wanted to do with The Heart Cut is introduce people to this world and educate them in a fun way,’ said The Heart Cut co-founder Fabrizio Leoni. 

‘There’s a different educational angle with each release, but ultimately this is good whiskey to enjoy with friends. We’ve put them at affordable price points and made the bottles colourful and attainable because we want people to enjoy them.’ 

Of the initial releases, Stauning (Alc 52%) is a heather-smoked single malt whisky aged in ex-bourbon cask and finished in Madeira casks. The East London Liquor Company (Alc 49.9%) release is a rye whisky that’s been aged in a chocolate stout cask. While Kyrö’s (Alc 52%) is a 100% rye whisky aged in a new American oak cask. Each release has roughly 350 bottles available. 

Every The Heart Cut bottle has a QR code that takes drinkers through to the company’s website, where there is plenty of information on the brands, their history and the context of how they relate to the environments they’re operating in.

Bottles each have a simple tasting note of three things. For example, Stauning’s declares: ‘Tastes like: beach bonfire / sweet bbq sauce / sticky toffee pudding.’ 

‘Whisky tasting notes are really long and all say the same thing,’ says Leoni. ‘What coffee shops do really well is to have three simple tasting notes for their products. We wanted to make [ours] really appealing and easy to understand for the novice.’

The company’s website also includes a blog that features write-ups of the duo’s trips to these distilleries and their areas, with information on how to get there, where to stay and where to eat. 

‘We travel to each distillery so we can first hand tell the tale of where these casks come from – rather than just buying from whisky brokers [as most bottlers do]. Where it’s not geographically possible [to get there] we jump on Zoom with the distiller to taste samples sent to us, and friends of ours in those cities go for us,’ explains Leoni.

‘Everything we’re doing is a collaboration with the distilleries, telling their stories in a different guise, and helping other people to discover them. We love these people, and we want to share that love with other people too.’ 

£66.50-£74/50cl bottle, theheartcut.com 

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