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Artfully-designed, limited edition bottle represents both celebration and shared happiness with a kimono-inspired tabane-noshi pattern, released just in time for the 2018 Holiday Season

CHICAGO, IL (September 18, 2018) – The House of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese Whisky, has announced the release of a specially-designed bottle of Hibiki® Japanese Harmony™. Designed to represent both celebration and shared happiness in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Suntory Whisky Hibiki® brand, the limited edition bottle will be available widely in the United States at a suggested retail price of $100 (750ml) as of October 1, 2018.

Inspired by a traditional kimono pattern, the bottle is embellished with the tabane-noshi, a traditional Japanese symbol of celebration that has often adorned precious gifts since ancient times. Several noshi are bundled together to make Hibiki Japanese Harmony’s tabane-noshi design, which is extremely auspicious and symbolizes shared happiness with others.

“Since the brand was first established, Hibiki has been a representation of Japanese art and design,” said Takahiro Itoga, Senior Global Brand Director at Beam Suntory. “This specially-designed bottle honors that spirit, utilizing traditional Japanese symbols to create a design representing both celebration and shared happiness. The bottle in and of itself is a work of art, making it the perfect gift for the holiday season.”

The Hibiki brand was introduced to the world in 1989 and since then has been embraced as the paragon of the Art of Japanese Whisky. It is not only Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, but also among the most prestigious and honored whiskies in the world. Introduced in 2015, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a harmonious blend blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship. Inspired by the riches and subtleties of Japan’s 24 seasons of the traditional Japanese lunar calendar and mastered by Suntory’s Art of Blending, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a meticulous blend of the finest selection of malt and grain whiskies from the House of Suntory Whisky’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries. This delicate blend creates a oneness unfolding a full orchestra of flavors and aromas. 


Luminous. Delicate. A transparency that unveils complexity.

Color: Amber

Nose: Rose, lychee, hint of rosemary, mature woodiness, sandalwood

Palate: Honey-like sweetness, candied orange peel, white chocolate

Finish: Subtle, tender long finish, with hint of Mizunara (Japanese oak) 


Suntory was established in 1899 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Since 1923, as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, Suntory Whisky has been renowned for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. The founding father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki. Nestled in the outskirts of Kyoto, this region was the birthplace of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and is known for the purity of its waters. Torii dreamt of creating an authentically Japanese whisky by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to that of Scotland, thereby cultivating unique conditions for maturation.

In 1972, Torii’s son Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender, built the Chita grain distillery near Nagoya to produce more of their own high-quality grain whiskies. In 1973, Saji founded the Hakushu distillery amidst the deep forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps with the goal of producing malt whiskies distinct from those made at Yamazaki. Its high altitude and lush environment are what differentiates Hakushu from other distilleries.

At each of these distilleries, a diverse array of whiskies are produced through various fermentation techniques, shapes and sizes of giant copper pot stills, and the wide variety of cask types used. Today, roughly 1,200,000 casks of whisky are quietly maturation in Suntory’s aging cellars. This tsukuriwake—variety in the making—allows for the blending opportunities that are essential to achieving the subtle, refined yet complex taste signature to Suntory Whiskies.

With respect to heritage and a commitment to innovation, third generation master Blender Shingo Torii, and grandson of Shinjiro, now leads this most highly awarded house of Japanese Whisky. The House of Suntory Whisky has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).

The portfolio includes two single malt whiskies:  Yamazaki – the pioneer of Japanese Single Malts, multi-layered and profound, and Hakushu – verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky; a single grain whisky: Chita—sublimely smooth, versatile and complex; and two blends: the noble blend, Hibiki – Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, and Suntory Whisky Toki – ideal for Japanese highballs.

whisky.suntory.com                            #SuntoryWhisky                  @SuntoryWhisky


As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.

Whisky Lounge Events and News – Whisky News


Greetings Fellow Whisky-Lovers!

As I write this the wind and rain is battering TWL HQ, ushering in autumn proper. We hope you are all safe as Bronagh continues to batter us.

Thoughts now turn to whisky! Our first festival of the autumn takes place tomorrow in Liverpool and from then on we have another festival every few weeks – more about how you can still get involved in these later.

It would not be autumn without our autumn tastings series’! The perfect excuse to get out of the house for a couple of hours and socialise with fellow whisky lovers or loungers. In September we have the last few remaining dates of the hugely popular Mackmyra series. October sees our second outing of what we hope will become a regular thing with the Whisky Lounge Quiz, and November is our ever-popular Blind Islay.
See details for all of these below…


Our next series, in October (apart from Manchester), sees the return of our popular, but still new, Whisky Lounge Quiz Night!

The aim of these tastings are to not only give you some tasty drams to get your lips around, but to also see what you have learned so far in your whisky journey.

This takes the form of an easy-going and, most of all, fun, pub-style quiz between whiskies.
Bring your friends and form a team or come on your own and we’ll find you a team.

Prizes await the winning teams…

Dates & Venues

Thursday 11th October
London – Marlborough Arms
Newcastle – Blackfriars

Friday 19th October
York – Brigantes

Monday 29th October
Sheffield – The Sheffield Tap

Tuesday 30th October 
Leeds – The Northern Monk

Wednesday 31st October
Liverpool – Fly in the Loaf

Thursday 1st November
Manchester – Britons Protection

Book Now



Our final tasting series of the year sees us looking at, and tasting, all things Islay.

With the weather normally closing in by November, what better way to warm the cockles than sampling some delicious, smokey uisgea beatha?

Join us as we salute the beautiful island and her whiskies.

Oh, and as the name suggests, the tasting is blind in order to both test your palate and remove preconceptions…

Dates & Venues

Saturday 17th November
Newcastle – Blackfriars

Wednesday 21st November
Sheffield – The Sheffield Tap

Wednesday 28th November
Liverpool – Fly in the Loaf

Thursday 29th November
London – Marlborough Arms

Friday 30th November
York – Brigantes
Manchester – Britons Protection


A few places are still available for the final legs of this fantastic series that has been brilliantly received.

Come and taste single cask whiskies from Sweden’s premier single malt. With the opportunity to purchase casks or pre-order a very special TWL Exclusive bottling…

Dates & Venues

Tuesday 25th September
Leeds – The Northern Monk
Sheffield – The Sheffield Tap

Wednesday 26th September 
Liverpool – Fly in the Loaf

The guys from Mackmyra’s UK and Swedish offices will be on hand on each night to ensure you get the maximum information and authenticity and these tastings are sure to be a lot of fun too!

We challenge you to have more fun anywhere – with your clothes on – for £20!


After Liverpool this weekend, we look forward to our home festival in York! There are still come tickets available for both sessions but not too many, so don’t hang around if you haven’t already booked yours…

Yorkshire Festival Tickets and Masterclasses

And talking of festivals….

Don’t forget the following taking place soon!

Don’t forget to read…

The Gateshead Whisky News with Gateshead TWL Correspondent, Lee Connors

(It’s well worth reading, but don’t take our word for it as our blog is now a top 10 UK whisky blog…)

The latest edition is now out and can be read HERE!

And finally…

Competition Time!

As some of you may know 2018 marks our 10th Birthday and we have been doing various things all year to celebrate. Now we would like you to do something for us! We have a burning desire to get both our Facebook likes and our Twitter followers up to 10,000 in our birthday year. So we would like you to send us your favourite TWL related photos via email. Each week we will post our 3 favourites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Then the photo with the most likes or comments will win 4 golden wristsbands to a festival of their choice in 2019. Simples! We are starting this competition today and it will run every week until the end of the year so you have plenty of time to get involved.Well that’s all for now, stay out of the wind with a dram in hand and sing hallelujah!

Amanda, Guy, Rupert, Vicky, Connas, Chris
The Whisky Lounge Team


We turn 10 years old in 2018
Come and help us celebrate in style at one of our nationwide festivals or tasting events.

Isle of Jura Tasting with Kimberly Drake at The Whisky Shop #SFO Sept. 28th, 2018 – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, September 28th, 5-7PM:

Jura with Kimberly Drake

Learn more about the mysterious Isle of Jura distillery at this tasting, presented by whisky expert Kimberly Drake! Originally founded in 1810, Jura Distillery is well known for their award-winning and highly sought after single malts, distinguished by their unique flavor profile and nods to Jura’s magical history. “Prophecy,” “Superstition,” and “Elixir” are some of their most beloved whiskies, leading some to believe there may be a bit of magic happening at the distillery today…

More Details & RSVP


Personalised Whisky at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Personalised Whisky

Give the perfect gift with a personalised bottle of whisky. Each of our own Loch Fyne whiskies and liqueurs and a select few other bottles can be engraved with a personal message to add that special touch to your gift. Whatever the occasion, say it with whisky!

Buy Now

LFW Long Logo

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 214: Teaninich 10 Year Old 2006 Cadenheads – Scotch Whisky News


Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 214: Teaninich 10 Year Old 2006 Cadenheads

Mark Dermul, Belgian whiskyblogger, tries a Teaninich. While this Highland distillery celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, and opened a whole new stillhouse this year, Teaninich is still largely unknown. This has everything to do that this is one of Diageo’s workhorses that produces almost exclusively for the blending industry with Johnnie Walker Red Label as biggest customer. There are hardly any official bottlings. I will taste a vatting of two bourbon hogsheads, bottled at drinking strength by Cadenheads in their Small Batch series.


Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Beloved Tour Guide, Freddie Johnson, Inducted to Bourbon Hall of Fame – American Whiskey News


Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Beloved Tour Guide, Freddie Johnson, Inducted to Bourbon Hall of Fame 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Sept. 14, 2018) – In 2002 Buffalo Trace Distillery received a rare gem when Freddie Johnson joined the team as a tour guide. Freddie was in the middle of a successful career as a network/operations engineer in Atlanta, GA when he put all of it aside to fulfill a promise made to his father, Jimmy, more than 20 years earlier. He had promised his father that he would work at the Distillery during his lifetime so they could say they had three generations of the Johnson family that worked at Buffalo Trace. Freddie took early retirement and moved back to care for his father and brother. Jimmy got him a job as a tour guide at the Distillery in 2002 but Freddie had been in and around the Distillery since he was five years old, coming to work with his father and grandfather and playing on the grounds and in the old warehouses.

Little did Buffalo Trace Distillery know it had gained a future star of the bourbon industry. This year, 16 years after Freddie started at Buffalo Trace, he received one of the bourbon industry’s highest honors by being inducted to the Bourbon Hall of Fame on September 14, 2018.

Freddie is a man of honor, knowledge, kindness, compassion and humor.  Not a person walks by Freddie without a big smile and wave.  Freddie has become a celebrity around the National Historic Landmark Distillery.

Freddie weaves together his childhood memories with the Distillery’s rich history as he entertains thousands of guests each year on various tours around Buffalo Trace. One of the Distillery’s most popular and highly sought after tour guides, Freddie is  a third generation employee, by his paternal grandfather, Jimmy Johnson Sr., and father, Jimmy Johnson Jr., all working at what is now known as Buffalo Trace Distillery. This past April Freddie carried on another family tradition by rolling away the Distillery’s seventh millionth barrel of bourbon produced since Prohibition, an honor his father started with the first millionth barrel produced, and continued until the sixth millionth barrel in 2008.

  The Bourbon Hall of Fame honors remarkable achievements that continue to drive the bourbon industry’s new Golden Age. Recipients have world-class leadership, vision, dedication and integrity that has forever transformed this country’s signature spirit. These qualifications come naturally to Freddie.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association created the Hall of Fame in 2001, in conjunction with the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant and transformational impact on Bourbon’s stature, growth and awareness.

Being inducted to the Bourbon Hall of Fame is the highest honor given by Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

“The Hall of Fame is a great honor, and only fitting for it to be bestowed on Freddie, said Matt Higgins, visitor center manager. “We’ve known and our guests have known for years what a special individual Freddie is; it’s so nice he’s being officially recognized for his dedication to the craft.”

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com

Yellowstone® Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon 2018 Launches this Month – American Whiskey News


Yellowstone® Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon 2018 Launches this Month

(Lebanon, Ky.) September 12, 2018 – Limestone Branch Distillery introduces the 2018 variety of Yellowstone® Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the third and final barrel finishing experiment by Limestone Branch Distillery, set to hit the market in October. This year’s final limited edition combines hand-selected, Kentucky Straight bourbons, ranging from four to 12 years in aging and finished in No. 3 char wine casks. Same as with the 2017 edition, this year’s special edition also includes Limestone Branch Distillery’s own distillate, carefully made with their signature heirloom white corn.

“The Yellowstone Limited Edition variants have been an incredible outlet for my creativity and flair for experimenting,” says Steve Beam, president and distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery. “We started the process in 2016 and I am proud of the three limited editions we created – and how they are linked to each other.”

Beam tells the story of the evolution of these three variants. “In 2016, we finished our Limited Edition bourbon in specially selected new wine barrels, which lent their special flavor to that year’s celebrated bourbon, but their journey had barely begun. Later that year, after the bourbon was dumped and bottled, the same 28 barrels were lightly charred and we filled them with our 2017 Limited Edition bourbon. This year, we took the very same barrels – now rich with complexity – and deeply charred them before filling them with our 2018 Limited Edition.”

The barrel journey, and the hand-selected bourbon used in these products, created a rich flavor profile. Beam notes that the heavy char over bourbon-wet oak produced a rich palate of burnt sugar, deep caramel and a lingering essence of crème brulée.

Bottled at 101 proof and available in 750ml bottles signed by Steve Beam and nestled in commemorative tubes, the 2018 Yellowstone Limited Edition marks the final piece of this award-winning trilogy.

Approximately 12,000 bottles of this bourbon are being produced this fall at Limestone Branch Distillery, and the suggested retail price is $99.99.

About Limestone Branch Distillery

Steve Beam and his brother Paul Beam opened Limestone Branch Distillery in 2011, with the goal of crafting the finest whiskey in small batches, honoring their long family heritage. With a history of distilling on both sides of their family – Beam and Dant – the brothers are seventh-generation distillers. In 2015, by partnering with Luxco, they brought the Yellowstone brand back to the family, just in time to commemorate the brand’s 105th anniversary. As one of the founding members of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail, Limestone Branch Distillery is located in Lebanon, Ky., in the heart of bourbon country.  The distillery is well known for its handcrafted products, including Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey.

For more information on Limestone Branch Distillery and Yellowstone, please visit  www.limestonebranch.com, www.yellowstonebourbon.com or  www.facebook.com/limestone-branch-distillery.


SMWS 33.136a


The next bottling in our 35th anniversary series, 33.136 Halcyon tarfest brings mineralic bluster, tarry rope, kelp, simmering peat oils, cured meats and pine resin. A wonderful taste experience for the peat lover.

HOW TO BUY: Due to the anticipated excitement and demand for 33.136, we’re inviting members who would like to buy a bottle to enter our lucky draw, where we’ll pull names at random from our hat. We’re introducing this based on members’ feedback on similar releases. We know some members will be disappointed, but we feel this is the fairest option for everyone interested in buying a bottle.

Please note: All entries must be received by midnight on Monday, 24 September, as we’ll be notifying winning members the next day. All winners must then contact us within 48 hours to purchase their bottle (that’s 10am on Thursday 27 September), otherwise we’ll pull another name from our hat. It’s one bottle per member, which we strongly suggest you open and enjoy – don’t be that member who puts their bottle straight into auction!


Email us: ballot@smws.com

Ballot closes: Monday, 24 September, midnight

Winners contacted: Tuesday 25 September

Winner Reply: Thursday 27 September, 10am


SMWS 33.136


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: sales@smws.com or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video


Bartels Whisky “Enjoy 10% off online over the weekend” – Scotch Whisky News




Please use code ‘sep10′ at the checkout.

See some of our bottling’s that might take your fancy below.












Bartels Whisky
4 The Old Glebe
Loughborough, Lec LE12 8LB
United Kingdom

Penderyn Madeira Has A Sexy New Look! – Welsh Whisky News

ImpEx Logo

Penderyn Madeira Now Comes in a Sexy New Bottle!

Even though these expressions have recently won Gold awards, they don’t need all that bling to look sexy.


Nose: A classic freshness with aromas of cream toffee, rich fruit and raisins.

Palate: Crisp and finely rounded, with the sweetness to balance an appetizing dryness.

Finish: Notes of tropical fruit, raisins and vanilla persist.

Balance: Oaky vanilla tones; dry sweetness.

As always, Penderyn expressions in the U.S. are non-chill filtered and have natural, golden color.  


Nose: aromas of dark fruit and rich toffee mingle with green apples and hazelnuts to create a deeper mystery.

Palate: rich sweetness gives way to refreshing dryness.

Finish: sweet notes of toffee and sultana persist in the long finish.

Balance: Sherry and oak; winter spices.

If you’ve made it this far in the article, then here’s a beautiful video about the bottle from the designer, Glenn Tutssel.  Enjoy!

Thanks again for being part of our family and enjoying these fine whiskies with us!

We’ll be in touch about other exciting news as the year drinks on … 

Please feel free to reach out for more details on the bottlings: office@impexbev.com

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