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Blog. Balmoral invites Paul to a whisky tasting
How do I turn this down? I didn’t. I wafted along there looking forward to tasting a few drams, maybe meeting a few known whisky associates. Welcomed in by Fraser (who invited me in the first place), then introduced to G&M drams and a quick nose around to see who/what was here. A nice lassie with Highland Park and Auchentoshan beckoned, so I duly obliged taking a dram of Three Wood Auchentoshan to start the evening off. A nice chat and a dram of HP Origins, a good start. I turned around and Ally fae Tomatin was there, I know him from a few tasting before, good man so he is and offered me anything he had! So I took a slug of Tomatin 1995 (excellent value at £99.99) it was superb by the way. A chat and a promise to return (or was it a threat?), I dondered over to Bunny Heaven man, where there was a dram waiting for me; Ceobanach @ 46.3%, this was savoured and needed another just to be sure, the second was as good as the first. It was just about here Fraser came back for a chat, a good evening, many American guests here having a great time, Fraser introduced me to G&M Private Collection; 4 bottles worth £24 the set – he reckons this is the only bar in UK (the world?) with this set.
Mortlach 1951, 63 year old; Glenlivet 1952, 62 year old; Linkwood 1953, 61 year old; Strathisla 1957, 57 year old. I wished I could have sampled these, but they were not available this evening (will need go back for a private tasting soon), there are no too many of these bottles to be found anywhere, it reminds me of a Dalmore collection, BUT BETTER! After a nibble on some cheeses to refresh my palate I wandered back to Ally for a Cu Bocan 1988, peaty, but no too much so, grand! So what else attracted my taste buds? Raasay distillery were there with a sample or two which hit the spot again, their stills are in, All the way from Tuscany. Something to see here in early 2017. Benromach quenched my thirst also with a nice wee 35 year old.
The evening drams were interrupted with a cake cutting ceremony, which I fell for, as you do. I ended my dramming with a Glen Scotia Double cask from Gary, well, after having been there recently it would be rude not to eh? It was a delightful couple of hours dramming away, munching cheeses and cake, a chat with Fraser, Ally, my wee lassie pal at HP and I was off away to bed. It was a great night, am looking forward to next year – 4th birthday dramfest.
THE FAMOUS GROUSE BRINGS BACK THE BIRD THIS CHRISTMAS
There’s already a sense of Christmas in the air but it will all become very real on Monday when The Famous Grouse is back on our screens with a brand new advert.
For over 20 years the famous bird has graced our TV screens, heralding the start of the festive season, and this year sees the brand’s icon return but in his natural habitat, in the Highlands of Scotland.
The UK’s No.1 whisky has created two new TV adverts communicating ‘perfectly balanced’ and ‘smooth’ – two key characteristics of The Famous Grouse – underpinning the quality of the nation’s favourite whisky.
The ‘Perfectly Balanced’ advert will air for the first time on 17 October on various channels and VOD with the second advert set to air in November.
“Our fans tell us they know Christmas is coming when they see our icon on TV” explained Johna Penman, Marketing Controller for The Famous Grouse. “This year he is back and can now be seen enjoying life in his natural habitat, whilst retaining his playful sense of humour.”
About Maxxium UK
- Maxxium is the distributor of The Famous Grouse in the UK.
- The Famous Grouse portfolio includes: The Famous Grouse, The Famous Grouse Smoky Black, The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold, and The Naked Grouse.
- Maxxium UK Ltd is part of the global sales and distribution alliance between Beam Suntory and Edrington.
- Its UK portfolio of premium brands includes: Blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse, Teacher’s and Cutty Sark), malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Auchentoshan, The Macallan, and Ardmore), imported whiskey (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Canadian Club, Red Stag) Japanese whiskey (Hibiki, Yamazaki, Hakashu), cognac (Courvoisier) vodka (Stolichnaya), rum (Brugal), liqueurs and specialities (Sourz, Midori, Bols liqueurs, Galliano, After Shock).
CLYDE MAY’S INTRODUCES NEW STRAIGHT BOURBON AND CASK STRENGTH WHISKEY
New Products Deliver Premium Quality and Taste While Celebrating Alabama Iconoclast
GARDEN CITY, NY, (September 20, 2016) — Clyde May’s Whiskey is pleased to introduce its newest premium spirits – a non-chill filtered, 92-proof STRAIGHT BOURBON and a 117-proof, 8-year CASK STRENGTH whiskey. Clyde May was a moonshiner by trade and a craftsman by heart, and in continued celebration of his legacy to craftsmanship, these smooth-tasting new products will debut on store shelves nationwide during September — Clyde’s birthday and National Bourbon Heritage Month.
5-year, Non-Chill Filtered, 92-proof Straight Bourbon Paying homage to Clyde May himself – a moonshine icon who made the best whiskey Alabama ever tasted – and his dedication to his craft, this non-chill filtered straight bourbon is a classic 5-year-old, easy drinking spirit. Using simple and traditional ingredients, the bourbon mash is patiently aged in heavily “alligator” charred new American oak barrels to produce exceptional flavors that feature a soft, sweet nose of brown sugar, baked apricot, wild strawberry and nutmeg. Its soft palate delivers complex aromas of barrel spice, fruit and oiled leather, while the finishes are robust, long and delicious.
Clyde May’s Straight Bourbon recently earned a Gold Medal in the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and received a 93 rating in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. It is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in a carefully crafted cocktail.
8-year, Cask Strength
This 8-year old whiskey is bottled at Cask Strength to release a full nose of citrus, peach and cedar. At 117 proof, the Cask Strength delivers layers of rich spice, apple and oak on the palate, and finishes with a lingering complexity of zesty orchard fruits and white pepper. A spirit this pure is best served with just one large piece of ice to help bring out its natural flavors without watering it down.
Much like when Clyde May distilled his renowned original moonshine, he did it in small quantities, and given the level of craftsmanship involved in creating Clyde May’s Cask Strength, only 3,000 bottles of this unique spirit were produced.
“Using a lot of great care and consideration, both the Straight Bourbon and the Cask Strength Whiskey stay true to Clyde May’s heritage and his craftsmanship,” said Ron Call, Clyde May’s Whiskey Master. “I’m delighted that these two carefully-crafted spirits deliver such great character and intensity, while being exceptionally smooth and appreciated by whiskey drinkers of all calibers.”
Jay Liddell, Clyde May’s National Marketing Director, said, “These new products both reflect the same great craftsmanship and passion that made Clyde May’s the Official State Spirit of Alabama, but also represents the future and potential of this brand.”
The Straight Bourbon began national distribution in early September with a suggested retail price of $39.99, while the Cask Strength will hit shelves on October 1 and will retail for around $89.99. These two line extensions follow the brand’s first-ever line extension in October 2015 – a Special Reserve Whiskey for $59.99.
For more information about Clyde May’s – the whiskey and the man – and to get delicious cocktail recipes, visit the website at www.clydemays.com.
About Clyde May’s Whiskey
Clyde May was an Alabama farmer, war hero, moonshiner by trade, but a craftsman by heart who set out to make the best whiskey Alabama ever tasted. Using copper stills, fresh Alabama spring water and the finest local grains, Clyde perfected his own unique finish – Alabama Style – by aging small batches in charred oak barrels, adding oven-dried apples to produce a hint of green apple that made his whiskey particularly smooth and set Clyde May’s Whiskey apart. Today, Clyde May’s Whiskey, www.clydemays.com, is an award-winning portfolio with four distinct product lines – 85-proof Whiskey, 110-proof Special Reserve, 92-proof Bourbon and 117-proof Cask Strength. Clyde May’s is owned by Conecuh Ridge Distillers, LLC, and was named the Official State Spirit of Alabama in 2004.
We are delighted to welcome Charles to the Dornoch Whisky Festival and you can be assured of some entertaining and informative company over the weekend! Charles Maclean was trained in ‘the sensory evaluation of potable spirits’ by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute in 1992 and has presented numerous tastings and talks in the U.K. and abroad for whisky companies, corporations, universities and clubs, and on radio and TV. He is a member of the Judging Panel (Spirits) of the International Wines & Spirits Competition, and was runner-up as ‘Communicator of the Year’ in the 2003 IWSC Awards.
See below to find out what events Charles will be attending!
Friday 28 October
The Dornoch Whisky Festival opens this year on the 28 October at 5pm with a tasting at Balblair run by well known whisky writer and taster, Charles MacLean. He starred in the film ‘The Angel’s Share’, based at Balblair Distillery. You are invited to take part is the unique opening event with Charles leading a welcome tasting prior to the viewing Angel’s Share! See the Angel’s Share trailer here. This exclusive event is limited to 16 places. Booking in advance is essential. The costs is £80 per person, which includes transport from Dornoch.
After the tasting and film, Charles will be hosting a dinner at Links House in Dornoch. This has now sold out but there are other venues around the town who are holding opening night dinners including the Royal Dornoch Golf Club and the Dornoch Castle Hotel.
On Saturday 29, Charles will be attending the Gala Tasting event at the Dornoch Castle. He will be drawing the tombola for the Chocolate and Whisky Paring Masterclass and be around all afternoon to chat to the attendees and join in with the fun! Charles has described the Gala Whisky Tasting as a ‘rolling party’! See Charles talk about the Gala Tasting here and come along and join in the fun!
After the Gala Tasting, Charles will be doing a Taste of the Highlands masterclass at the newly opened Carnegie Whisky Cellars in the old Courthouse building. The atmospheric tasting room is housed in the 200 year old original court record vault – complete with steel security door and Caithness slab flooring. 16 places are available at this exclusive event, at £150 per person
For all of the above events and more: www.dornochwhiskyfestival.com
We’ve collaborated with one of Scotland’s finest contemporary artists to help save one of our most iconic landmarks: the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art. We asked artist John Lowrie Morrison – known as Jolomo and famous for his striking landscapes – to create a collection of seasonal paintings inspired by the distillery. He used to sketch here as a student, and the Dumgoyne landscape means almost as much to him as it does to us.
Each painting will be printed on a limited edition gift tin. And for every gift tin sold we’ll donate a contribution to The Mackintosh Appeal, which was set up after a tragic fire damaged the art school in May 2014. ‘Autumn Moon over Glengoyne’ is the first painting in the series – a burst of orange and gold inspired by the season. Inside the tin you’ll find a bottle of the 10 Year Old, so you can raise a dram, and raise funds while you’re at it. With your help, we hope to reach £50,000. You can buy the special limited edition tin from the online shop.
Laphroaig 30 Year Old 2016 Edition
Laphroaig 30 Year Old 1985 vintage Islay single malt Scotch whiskey. 2016 limited edition double matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Laphroaig Distillery was established in 1815 on the rocky south coast of the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. This malt whiskey distillery continues to malt barley using its traditional malting floors and malt kiln. In 1994 the distiiley was awarded the Royal Warrant. The core range is quite extensive and supplemented by limited releases including a 21 year old was issued in 2015 to celebrate 21 years of Friends of Laphroaig. Independent bottlings are also available from Signatory, Cooper’s Choice and Hunter Laing. Laphroaig distillery also participates in Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music.
An independent, family-owned whiskey makers with a world-class distillery in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. All of the ingredients (corn, wheat and barley) that go into the Wyoming Whiskey are non GMO, are sourced from inside the state and the water is pulled from a natural limestone aquifer that gives the whiskey a very unique texture and minerality. 5 years old at 44% ABV
COLOR: dark amber.
NOSE: floral, with a hint of vanilla bean and caramel pudding.
PALATE: floral with brown baking spices and browned butter, vanilla crème, caramel, and a hint of cinnamon.
FINISH: medium length finish with toffee. Spice and vanilla fade.
Fountana Beverage Corp.
LONGMORN UNVEILS LUXURY PORTFOLIO OFFERING
Introduction of Longmorn 23 Year Old and a definitive new reinterpretation of the iconic Longmorn 16 Year Old completes single malt’s luxury portfolio
Longmorn single malt Scotch whisky has unveiled two new expressions to complete the Longmorn portfolio; Longmorn 23 Year Old and a luxurious reinterpretation of the renowned Longmorn 16 Year Old. The bottlings join Longmorn The Distiller’s Choice in the line-up, offering Scotch whisky connoisseurs around the world the ultimate single malt Scotch whisky experience that pushes the boundaries of luxury, quality and craftsmanship.
The new Longmorn 23 Year Old is the culmination of more than two decades of maturation in the finest traditional oak casks, chosen to complement the soft, creamy and rich flavour profile of the Longmorn spirit. Longmorn 23 Year Old is the peak interpretation of the distillery’s inimitable character and is bottled without chill-filtration, offering flavour notes of ripe pear and soft red apples that give way to a long, smooth finish. The expression is available at the RRP of $1,450.
The definitive Longmorn 16 Year Old is now the ultimate version of what made the classic expression so revered; crafted using a higher proportion of rare first-fill American oak casks, the new Longmorn 16 Year Old offers a more luxurious mouth-feel, drinking experience and increased smooth, vanilla flavour notes. Rested in a combination of ex-sherry, American and traditional oak casks and still bottled without chill-filtration, Longmorn 16 Year Old has an enriched flavour profile of ripe orchard fruits, sweet vanilla and smooth milk chocolate and is available at the RRP of $252.
Founded in 1894, the Longmorn Distillery has a rich history of crafting exceptional single malt Scotch whiskies. Built during the golden age of industry, its founder John Duff ensured it would emblemise his pioneering insight into craft distilling and use the latest technology available. Established to cater for a growing appetite for fine whisky and luxury, each bottle of Longmorn single malt reflects this dedication to innovation and excellence and has been crafted to offer the ultimate luxury Scotch whisky experience, the product of exceptional talent and precision.
As part of the renaissance of Longmorn today, each expression in the range is presented in distinctive packaging that better befits its quality and reputation; the glass bottles have high, broad shoulders, a long pouring neck and are largely transparent to showcase the quality of the whisky inside. Other modern luxury cues reflect the golden era of luxury and the Industrial Revolution, when the distillery was founded. Longmorn 23 Year Old, is presented in a lacquered wooden gift box, underpinning the indulgence of the portfolio.
The completion of the Longmorn range follows the release of Longmorn The Distiller’s Choice in January 2016, whose name was inspired by the legend that Longmorn was every distiller’s favourite dram apart from their own. Longmorn The Distiller’s Choice offers a new way to enjoy the renowned classic toffee flavours found within the spirit from the distillery and has been well-received in 27 markets to date. The introduction of the Longmorn range is set to excite luxury spirits drinkers and is in response to an increasing demand for the most indulgent Scotch whiskies.
Trevor Buckley, Longmorn Master Distiller, adds: “It is a great honour to be able to share two new prized creations from the Longmorn Distillery, Longmorn 23 Year Old and Longmorn 16 Year Old. The craft production methods at Longmorn have not changed since the days of John Duff and today we reap the rewards of this commitment, as they have allowed us to push the boundaries of quality and luxury in Scotch whisky.
“Longmorn 16 Year Old has long been a firm favourite among Scotch whisky connoisseurs, but we wanted to make it even more luxurious than it was before and the Longmorn team has certainly achieved this. Similarly, Longmorn 23 Year Old offers the pinnacle presentation of the inimitable Longmorn spirit and provides the ultimate luxury Scotch whisky experience. I very much look forward to seeing whisky connoisseurs the world over discover one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets and I hope they enjoy these new expressions of this Speyside icon.”
Miriam Eceolaza, Longmorn Brand Director at Chivas Brothers, comments: “Through the addition of Longmorn 23 Year Old and the new Longmorn 16 Year Old, we are excited to unveil the newly complete Longmorn range to Scotch whisky aficionados around the world as it represents the ultimate luxury Scotch whisky experience from the distillery. Building on the unmistakable characteristics of excellence laid down by John Duff, who founded the distillery in the late 19th Century, the new Longmorn family has pushed the boundaries of luxury and quality and offers a new journey of discovery for discerning drinkers through the prestige whisky category – it’s certainly Longmorn’s time to shine.”
Longmorn 16 Year Old tasting notes (48% ABV)
Nose: Stewed orchard fruits, layered with indulgent notes of sweet vanilla crème brûlée
Taste: The palate is rewarded with the rich flavours of ripe fruity pears and luxuriously smooth, creamy milk chocolate
Finish: Full-flavoured and exquisitely drawn out
Longmorn 23 Year Old tasting notes (48% ABV)
Nose: Soft vanilla fudge and creamy caramel, dipped in milk chocolate and honey
Taste: The taste leads with ripe pears and sweet red apples interlaced with tantalizingly spiced ginger cake
Finish: An exceptionally long and velvety smooth finish. A fitting reward for the patience and perfection that its founder put into its creation
Founded in 1894 by pioneering Scotsman, John Duff, Longmorn is the ultimate luxury single malt whose spirit is revered for producing a Scotch whisky with a unique depth and intensity. In setting up the distillery, Duff embraced the philosophy of intelligent luxury to combine the adventure, ambition and craft of the late 19th Century with emerging technologies to create a whisky for the growing luxury appetite. Known as the best-kept secret in Scotland, Longmorn has long been considered top class by whisky distillers, blenders and connoisseurs.
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.
About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,682 million in FY16. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier‐ Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 85 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 – the winners
Jim Murray knows how to surprise. Two years ago, he named Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 as his World Whisky of the Year, while last year saw that honour go to Canada, with Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye taking the top gong. And now, the 2017 winner has just been announced. Jim Murray’s best whisky in the world is: Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old. Jim described it as having a ‘brain-draining, mind-blowing’ nose with a finish of ‘amazing depth’, adding that it is a ‘staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whiskey actually means’, scoring it 97.5/100 points.
Producer’s Tasting Notes An intense flavour profile with pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer ageing process. The deep amber liquid offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill. This uncut rye has a big bold flavour, but is not overpowering. It can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
The other big news of the 2017 Whisky Bible is that a Scottish whisky has made Jim’s World Whiskies of the Year shortlist for the first time since 2014. The runner-up is Glen Grant 18 Year Old – here is the top three:
JIM MURRAY’S 2017 WORLD WHISKIES OF THE YEAR
The full winners list
Scotch Whisky of the Year Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks) Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask) That Boutique-y Whisky Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5
Scotch Blend of the Year The Last Drop 1971
Scotch Grain of the Year Whiskyjace Invergordon 24 Year Old
Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Edition
Single Malt Scotch
No Age Statement (Multiple Casks) Glenlivet Cipher
No Age Statement (Runner Up) Port Askaig 100 Proof
10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks) Glen Grant 10 Year Old
10 Years & Under (Single Cask) Kilchoman Guze Cask Finish
11-15 Years (Multiple Casks) Lagavulin 12 Year Old
11-15 Years (Single Cask) The Single Cask Glentauchers 2002 14 Year Old
16-21 Years (Multiple Casks) Glen Grant 18 Year Old
22-27 Years (Multiple Casks) Dalwhinnie 1989 25 Year Old Special Releases 2015
22-27 Years (Single Cask) The Boutique-y Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5
28-34 Years (Multiple Casks) Port Ellen 1983 32 Year Old Special Releases 2015
28-34 Years (Single Cask) Cadenhead Caol Ila 31 Year Old
35-40 Years (Multiple Casks) Brora 37 Year Old Special Releases 2015
35-40 Years (Single Cask) Cadenhead Glentauchers 38 Year Old
41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks) Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1952
41 Years & Over (Single Cask) Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1950 65 Year Old
No Age Statement (Standard) Ballantine’s Finest
No Age Statement (Premium) Ballantine’s Limited
5-12 Years Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old
13-18 Years Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak
19 – 25 Years Royal Salute 21 Year Old
26 – 50 Years The Last Drop 1971
Irish Whiskey of the Year Redbreast 21 Year Old
Irish Pot Still Whiskey of the Year Redbreast 21 Year Old
Irish Single Malt of the Year Bushmills 21 Year Old
Irish Blend of the Year Jameson
Irish Single Cask of the Year Teeling Single White Burgundy Cask 2004
Bourbon of the Year William Larue Weller 2015 Release
Rye of the Year Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old
US Micro Whisky of the Year Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon 2009
US Micro Whisky of the Year (Runner Up) Koval Four Grain
No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) William Larue Weller 2015 Release
No Age Statement (Single Barrel) 1792 Single Barrrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
9 Years & Under Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon 2009
10 Years & Over (Multiple Barrels) Blade & Bow 22 Year Old
No Age Statement Thomas H Handy 2015 Release
Up to 10 Years Pikesville 110 Proof 6 Year Old Straight Rye
11 Years & Over Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old
Wheat Whiskey of the Year Bernheim Original
Canadian Whisky of the Year Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
Japanese Whisky of the Year Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Release
Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Barrels) Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Release
European Whisky of the Year (Multiple) English Whisky Co. Chapter 14 Not Peated
European Whisky of the Year (Single) Langatun 6 year Old Pinot Noir Cask
Asian Whisky of the Year Kavalan Solist Moscatel
Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year Heartwood Any Port in a Storm