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Scotland’s first female coppersmith picks up the torch of age-old whisky craft – Scotch Whisky News

Rebecca Weir, the first female recruit into the coppersmith trade in Scotland

Scotland’s first female coppersmith picks up the torch of age-old whisky craft

The most traditional of crafts has achieved a new first with a female apprentice taking up the coppersmith’s hammer and torch.

The most traditional of crafts has achieved a new first with a female apprentice taking up the coppersmith’s hammer and torch.

Rebecca Weir, 18, from Alloa has been recruited by Diageo Abercrombie as a first year Modern Apprentice and is believed to be the first female recruit into the coppersmith trade in Scotland.

Rebecca Weir, the first female recruit into the coppersmith trade in Scotland

She is part of the latest apprentice intake at Diageo Abercrombie alongside 16-year-old Calum McTaggart from the famous whisky island of Islay, and Steven Key, who at 34 is a mature apprentice recruit.

For centuries coppersmiths have used the same tried and tested methods to make the famous stills which are at the heart of Scotch whisky distillation.

The apprentices will learn how to hand-beat copper sheets and weld them into whisky stills, as well as being trained in state-of-the-art computer aided design techniques, mastering a blend of strength, skill and patience.

Apprentices Steven Key, Rebecca Weir and Calum McTaggart join the team at Diageo Abercrombie

Apprentices Steven Key, Rebecca Weir and Calum McTaggart join the team at Diageo Abercrombie


Rebecca, who hopes to have a bright future in the traditionally male-dominated field, gained the coveted spot on the Abercrombie apprenticeship programme following an impressive interview.

“My guidance teacher told me about the apprenticeship opportunities with Diageo. I thought it sounded like a really interesting route and I knew I had to go for it. I wasn’t put off by gender stereotypes – I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. It’s really exciting to be part of something which is so important to the whisky industry. I can’t wait to get stuck in and learn more about the essential skills needed to build and preserve the stills which produce some of the world’s most-loved Scotch whisky.”

Rebecca Weir

Rebecca Weir Diageo Abercrombie Modern Apprentice


Rebecca joins a vanguard of female distillers, engineers, blenders and brand ambassadors at Diageo, hoping to inspire other women to join the industry. At Diageo in Scotland, a quarter of all its apprentices are female; 17% of the malt distilling workforce is female and 40% are in management roles, reflecting the company’s focus on diversity in its workforce.

Abercrombie, which hand-crafts bespoke stills for Diageo’s sites across Europe, is experiencing one of the largest peaks in demand for its specialist engineering services in its history. While a traditional product, Scotch is still innovative and new ranges – which require a diverse range of stills in different shapes and sizes – are constantly being launched.

Woodinville Whiskey Company Straight Rye Whiskey – American Whiskey News


Woodinville Whiskey Company


Surprise them with one of the only 100% straight rye whiskies produced: a whiskey with all the traditional rye spice and flavor that rye whiskey drinkers love. And then some…This 100% rye starts with pure, traditionally-grown rye cultivated exclusively for us on the Omlin family farm in Quincy, Washington. The grain is mashed, distilled & barreled in our Woodinville distillery – then trucked back over the Cascade Mountains to our private barrel houses, where Central Washington’s extreme temperature cycles promote the extraction of natural flavors from the oak.

Prior to being coopered, the barrel wood is seasoned in open air, rain, wind, sun and snow for eighteen months softening the wood’s harsh tannins. They are then slowly toasted and heavily charred to further enrich the wood’s desirable flavors. The result of this meticulous process yields a truly hand-crafted whiskey with aromas of cinnamon, clove, and fruit leather, and notes of caramel, wood spice, and honey on the palate with a long, memorable finish that will leave you anticipating your next sip.


WhiskyFest Tickets Make Great Gifts: Special Bonus Offer – Whisky Fest News


Gift The Macallan this Festive Season – Scotch Whisky News


Gift The Macallan this festive season

One of the great joys of whisky is sharing it with friends and family. So whether you’re looking to enjoy a bottle with loved ones during the festive season or choosing a gift for someone special, you can find a selection of different whiskies to suit your taste, direct from The Macallan online shop.

Order by 17th December for guaranteed delivery to Europe before Christmas.


Full details of our shipping countries and pre-Christmas delivery dates can be found here.


KWM Whisky Advent Day 14 – Writers Tears Copper Pot – Irish Whiskey News

KWM Whisky Advent Day 14 – Writers Tears Copper Pot

Today’s is the first whisk(e)y in the 2017 edition of the Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar not to be from a single distillery. For Day 14 of Advent, we are delving into our second Irish whiskey, but a more traditional one than the first. The Writers Tears Copper Pot is a blended Irish whiskey, composed of 60% pot still and 40% malt. There is a lot to unpack here, but before we go any further let’s quickly discuss the Irish spelling of the word whisk(e)y. The Irish, along with the Americans, are the only people in the world to employ an “e” in the spelling of whisk(e)y. The difference relates to Anglicizations of uisge beatha Scots Gaelic and usice beatha Irish Gaelic for “water of life”.

Single Pot Still, formerly, Pure Pot Still, is the most Irish of whiskey styles. The first whiskies in Ireland and Scotland were made from malted barley, essentially distilled beer. Unlike corn or wheat, barley has enzymes which can convert insoluble starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. Barley is also a hardy grain, so it is ideal for storing in cool, wet climates like Scotland and Ireland. Scottish and Irish whisk(e)y production in the 1700s did not escape the eyes of the government in London. Westminster sought to curb excessive drinking and tax its production. One way of doing this was by taxing malted barley by the ton. Although the alcohol yield per ton of barley can vary by strain and by harvest, taxmen could estimate the amount of whisky that would result from a given ton of barley. They could also estimate a distillery’s production for the purposes of taxation.

Over the course of the 18th Century the British imposed a series of “punishing malt taxes”. No one knows when or where the practice began, but Irish distillers began using a blend of malted and unmalted barley in their mashes as a way of avoiding or reducing their exposure to the “hated malt tax”. As is common in Canadian and American whiskies made principally from corn, you only need a small quantity of malted barley in the mash bill, 10-15%, for an efficient fermentation. So Irish distillers began making whiskey from a small amount of malted barley, and a greater amount of unmalted barley, or green malt. A uniquely Irish style of whiskey, Pure Pot Still, was born. In 2010 the style which had at least two other common names was legally re-categorized as Single Pot Still Whiskey.

Due to the Irish whiskey industry’s contraction, all Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey available today comes from the New Middleton Distillery in Cork. Some Single Pot Still Whiskey is bottled pure, under labels like: Red Breast, Powers, Green Spot, Writer’s Tears and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy. But as with the bulk of single malt whisky production in Scotland, most pot still whiskey is produced for Blended whiskey. Many other distilleries in Ireland are making Single Pot Still whiskey, but none of them have yet produced whiskies old enough to bottle. Curiously Shelter Point on Vancouver Island has produced the closest thing we know of to Irish single pot still whisk(e)y, the Shelter Point Single Grain Montfort Lot 141.

Writers Tears is produced by Walsh Whiskey, which opened their own distillery in June of 2016 at Royal Oak, County Carlow. It is the first distillery to be built in this region of Ireland in over 200 years. The distillery was founded by Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, who started the Hot Irishman in 1999 to blend and bottle the perfect Irish Coffee. In 2007 the branched into whiskey with “The Irishman”, releasing “Writers Tears” for the first time a few years later.

Writer’s Tears Copper Pot – 40% – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy with loads of cooked apple, white chocolate Hershey’s kisses, a touch of juicy malt and fresh almond croissants; a touch of that distinct, dusty but oily pot still note. Palate: round, oily and coating; more cooked apple, under-cooked pie crust and dewy flowers; steely, a bright copper note and citrus; more white chocolate and light coloured Jujubes. Finish: more white chocolate, almond croissants and Jujubes; light but lasting and fresh. Comment: this is not mind-blowingly complex, but it is dangerously drinkable, especially on a hot day!” - $52 for a 700ml or $7 for a 50ml

Benromach Distillery team expands as global popularity soars – Scotch Whisky News


Benromach Distillery team expands as global popularity soars

Assistant distillery manager joins historic Speyside team 

Benromach Distillery has added to its team with the appointment of an assistant distillery manager.

As popularity for the traditional Speyside malt continues to grow across the globe, Benromach today (6 December 2017) announced that Jessica Haworth has started work at the historic Forres distillery.

Jessica Haworth, (31) has lived in Forres for the past four years and is originally from Colchester. She studied Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh before moving to Crisp Malting Group and later Diageo, where she gained knowledge and experience in both the operational and technical aspects of the malting and distilling processes.

Jessica will be responsible for daily distillery management and operations while also supporting the team in the delivery of new and innovative projects for which Benromach is famed.

Keith Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said: “Jessica’s appointment is a significant step forward and opens another new chapter in Benromach history. She joins us with considerable knowledge and expertise and will be an invaluable member of the team.

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve enjoyed considerable growth and, as the popularity of our award-winning whisky continues to grow, we have significantly expanded production to meet the international appetite for our whiskies.

“Ours is an industry that requires carefully forward planning and patience so the spirit that Jessica lays down today will not be bottled and tasted by our consumers for at least ten years or more.”

Jessica, who has worked in the whisky industry for eight years, added: “I was attracted to the role at Benromach as I have long admired the distillery’s commitment to the handcrafted techniques and time honoured methods that have been handed down through the generations. I love being hands on and I am already enjoying learning about the true and traditional Benromach way.

“The distillery has enjoyed an award winning year to date and I look forward to supporting its continued success.”

The Urquhart family revived Benromach Distillery, restarting production in 1998 after a five-year extensive refurbishment. The family decided to create a traditional single malt in a style that draws its influence from pre-1960s Speyside whiskies.

Sales of whisky from Benromach Distillery increased by 27% following an increased investment in marketing and brand building across the world.

For more information about the distillery, the range and the visitor centre, please visit www.benromach.com.


Originally built in 1898, Benromach Distillery was brought back to life when the Urquhart family purchased it in 1993. The distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.

In reopening Benromach Distillery, the Urquharts decided to create a classic Speyside single malt – a style that draws its influence from Speyside whiskies pre-1960s.

Benromach Distillery is located on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres. A four-star visitor centre is open to the public throughout the year for tours and tastings. Benromach Distillery is a member of the world-famous malt whisky trail.

Cotswolds Distillery appoints Richard Watling to its Board – English Whisky News


Cotswolds Distillery appoints Richard Watling to its Board

Industry veteran to serve as Director of Sales & Marketing Strategy

The Cotswolds Distillery today announces the appointment of Wine & Spirits industry veteran Richard Watling to its Board of Directors. Watling will serve as Director of Sales & Marketing Strategy, helping the award-winning young distillery continue its growth in both national and international markets.

The Cotswolds Distillery began production on its idyllic North Cotswolds site in September 2014 and its ‘outstanding natural spirits’ are now on sale in over 30 countries. It’s self-titled Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017 and is the first ever whisky to be created in the region. The distillery is also home to the globally acclaimed Cotswolds Dry Gin.

Richard Watling’s career in the spirits industry spans more than 25 years. He ran International Marketing for Hiram Walker, after which he become Marketing Director of Allied Distillers. Watling later worked with International Distillers and Vitners (IDV) in both Europe and Asia, and when IDV became Diageo he returned to the UK to become Chief Executive of their Justerini & Brooks (J&B) division. His last post at Diageo was as Scotch Whisky Director, which he held for 5 years. During the past year he served as the Master of Worshipful Company of Distillers, spearheading many industry and charitable initiatives. 

Daniel Szor, founder and CEO, Cotswolds Distillery commented: “We are very honoured to have such a highly respected industry veteran as Richard join our board. I’ve come to know him through the Distillers’ Company and have always been impressed by his great knowledge and drive. Richard will help us chart our course as we grow our market share and expand trade sales in whisky and gin.”  

Richard Watling added: “I am delighted to be joining fellow Liveryman Daniel Szor in this exciting venture. The foundations of this Distillery and brand are very strong, giving great potential for the future”. 

For more details on The Cotswolds Distillery please visit www.cotswoldsdistillery.com


  • The Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, made using locally grown barley, gained early attention following three consecutive years rated as ‘Liquid Gold’ (94/100 points) in noted whisky writer Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
  • Prestigious accolades for the Cotswolds Dry Gin include ‘Best London Dry’ at the World Gin Awards 2016 and a Gold-Outstanding award at IWSC 2017. Difford’s Guide recently ranked the Gin as one of the top 20 Gins available in a survey of 450 brands.
  • Cotswolds Dry Gin is on sale nationally and in over 23 countries.  Key national accounts include Waitrose, Majestic, Oddbins, Laithwaites, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason.
  • The distillery has become a premier local attraction, offering tours and tastings daily, and receives nearly 30,000 visitors a year.  It represents an investment of nearly £7 million by the founder, backed by a group of passionate local investors, as well as its highly successful ‘Angels’ Share’ crowdfunding round in 2016.

Edradour 14 Year Old 2002 IBISCO at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Edradour 14 Year Old 2002 IBISCO

Single cask sherry butt #1413 bottled August 2017 into stunning IBISCO decanters, the ideal gift for the festive season. 693 bottles of the Highland single malt brimming with flavours of sweet sherry, raisins, chocolate and fudge. Edradour Distillery was formed in 1825 by a group of eight local farmers. Situated at Milton of Edradour near Pitlochry and still just a farm sized distillery equipped with a Morton refrigerator to cool the worts and two wee stills with their spirit cooled in a single worm tub. Whilst ranked amongst the small working distilleries in Scotland its owners Signatory Vintage have plans to increase its size and output. Official distillery releases include the Edradour 10 Year Old, Barolo Cask and Sherry Cask Ibisco decanters.

Shop – £83.41

TWB 10 Yrs

Just Whisky December 2017 Auction Now Live! – Scotch Whisky News


Auction Live!

Bid on over 2,100 lots

This month Just Whisky celebrates its 4th Birthday. To celebrate, they are holding their largest and most diverse auction ever! From full cases of Macallan Gran Reserva to brand new releases from Arran & Highland Park – they’ve got it all in this fantastic auction.


Just Whisky has partnered with Annandale Distillery this month to offer 4 fantastic lots for auction during their December auction, with the aim to raise money for two charities; the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation which raises funds to aid research into Motor Neurone Disease and Doddie Weir’5 Trust. All commission (from buyer & seller) is being donated to the charities, as well as the entire sales price of the bottles.


On December 1st 2014, Scotland and British & Irish Lions rugby legend, Doddie Weir filled the first cask of Annandale’s Man o’Sword peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Cask #2014 040). Accompanied by Finlay Calder and Gary Armstrong, two other rugby giants, Doddie returned on December 1st 2017, to fill the first 5 bottles of Annandale’s Man o’Sword from Cask #2014 040.


Doddie has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Inspired by his courage, Annandale Distillery has gifted Bottles 2 – 5 to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation (Registered Charity No. SC047871) and to Doddie Weir’5 Trust. These rare bottles feature a silver-chrome collar engraved with Doddie’s signature, unique ‘Doddie Weir’s a Man o’Sword’ branding and each is presented in a bespoke, handcrafted box (by Cameron-Smith Designs, Kirkcudbright).

Bidding Ends from 8pm on Sunday 17th December. View the entire auction at:


Whisky Wednesday Reviews Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye – American Whiskey News



This is an absolute gem of a single barrel! A very recent addition to the JD line-up and it’s an absolute stunner of a bottle,  with such a high rye content, you’ expect this whisky to be as varied as something such as Bulliet Rye or Sazerac, but no, this Rye fills it’s own unique place in the American whisky market. Delicate and balanced with winter spices with subtle notes of caramel and vanilla, this is a real stand out, especially at £50 a bottle! JD have done a cracking job with this product and I’m beyond impressed with every element of this bottling. Cheers!

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