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Virginia Distillery Co. Releases Second Batch of Courage & Conviction, Dedicated to Dr. Jim Swan – American Whiskey News

Virginia Distillery Co. Releases Second Batch of Courage & Conviction, Dedicated to Dr. Jim Swan

Coinciding with the release, the distillery is planning on sending 120,000 (50ml) samples of the second batch of Courage & Conviction across the country to replace off-premise tastings. 

LOVINGSTON, Va. (September 22, 2020) – Virginia Distillery Company recently released the second batch of its American Single Malt whisky in the “Courage & Conviction” product line. The second batch of Courage & Conviction is dedicated to Dr. Jim Swan, who passed away in 2017 following a 40-year career supporting the science of distilling as a chemist, professor, researcher and author.

Dr. Swan consulted for a number of distilleries around the world, including Virginia Distillery Co., and had a special interest in warm climate whiskies. Dr. Swan was the man behind Courage & Conviction: the distillate, the casks and the maturation strategy.

“It is our honor to dedicate the second batch of Courage & Conviction to Dr. Jim Swan,” said Virginia Distillery Company CEO Gareth H. Moore. “The mark he left behind on our distillery and our products is truly immeasurable. Courage & Conviction wouldn’t be what it is without his consulting.”

Coinciding with the launch of the Dr. Jim Swan batch, Virginia Distillery Co. is planning on distributing 120,000 (50ml) bottles of the new batch to markets across the U.S. The mini bottles will be used for sampling at retailers in lieu of off-premise tastings of the new whisky. 3,233 planned tastings that were scheduled to take place across the country between March and December had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 50ml sampling program will vary in each market, with some markets offering a complimentary mini bottle of Courage & Conviction, where legal, and other retailers will attach a “hitchhiker” mini bottle to other Virginia Distillery Company products in the Virginia-Highland Whisky series. The distillery will offer low retail pricing in markets where it is not legal to give a complimentary 50ml sample. Markets launching a 50ml size for Courage & Conviction sampling include Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, New York, Florida, South Carolina, New Jersey and the military channels. eCommerce partners will also be shipping 50ml samples where legal.

“As the pandemic continues to impact our industry, distilleries, retailers and others are having to adapt and adjust,” added Moore. “We’re excited to be able to offer consumers a taste of our new batch of Courage & Conviction with the mini bottles across Virginia and beyond in a creative and different way. The goal is always to get liquid to lips, and we have conviction that consumers are going to love the samples as much as we do.”

Aged a minimum of three years, Courage & Conviction is distilled on-site using 100% North American malted barley and mountain spring-fed water. The Dr. Jim Swan batch is matured in old world sherry casks, traditional bourbon barrels and re-coopered cuvée wine casks which adds intensity and complexity to the spirit. A 750 ml bottle of Courage & Conviction retails for $74.99.

A total of 115 casks (65 Bourbon, 32 Cuvée, 18 Sherry) were used for the Dr. Jim Swan batch, accounting for a total of 11,500 liters, or 3,038 gallons of whisky. The second batch of Courage & Conviction features notes of caramel and butterscotch and evolves on the palate with hints of bright red fruit, raspberry, cocoa, barrel spice and vanilla. Additional nuances of the Dr. Jim Swan batch include aromas of honeyed apricots, blood orange, milk chocolate, vanilla custard and red berries that mingle with butterscotch and toasted pecans. The finish builds into cinnamon and mouthwatering orange zest. For more information about the distillate and cask data for the second batch of Courage & Conviction, as well as bottling and process information for consumers, visit batch.info.

The first batch of Courage & Conviction, dedicated to Dr. George G. Moore, released earlier this year. Additional releases in the Courage & Conviction line will feature solo bottlings of each cask type, slated for Spring 2021.

Earlier this year, Virginia Distillery Company also launched a complete guide to American Single Malt whisky.

About Virginia Distillery Company

Staffed by a local Virginia team mentored by Scottish consultants with decades of experience, Virginia Distillery Company is the largest dedicated American Single Malt whisky distillery in the U.S. The distillery has a current annual production volume of 80,000 4.5L cases and growing. At full capacity, the distillery can produce over 8,000 casks yielding 350,000 4.5L cases annually. The distillery produces Courage & Conviction American Single Malt on-site using malted barley from North America and water from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition, the distillery offers the award-winning Virginia-Highland Whisky series, made with 100% malted barley. Showcasing both Old and New World whisky-making, the award-winning line marries whisky made on-site in Virginia with whisky from Scotland.

Whisky Hammer September 2020 Auction Ends Soon! – Auction Whisky News

Our September auction ends soon!

Place your bids until Sunday 27th September.


Every month, we present an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits to our members right across the globe. You will find everything here from limited edition releases and vintage bottles to whole casks of rare whisky. There is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest or enjoy!

Macallan – 50 Year Old (1928)

Mortlach – 75 Year Old 

Brora – 40 Year Old 

Talisker 24 Year Old (1953) & Talisker 21 Year Old (1951) 

Selling whisky? Why not arrange the pick-up of your bottles using our global courier service? If you’re based in Scotland, you might want to arrange the personal collection of your bottles. Wherever you’re based in the world, we will make getting your bottles into our monthly auction as simple as possible. Get in touch with the Whisky Hammer team now by dropping them a message at sales@whiskyhammer.co.uk.



Two Bourbons Win Gold Medals and One Awarded Silver 

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (Sept. 22, 2020) – Three A. Smith Bowman bourbons received medals at the 2020 North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition (NABWC). John J. Bowman Single Barrel and Bowman Brothers Small Batch each received Gold medals, and Isaac Bowman Port Finish received a Silver medal.

“We are thrilled to accept these awards,” Master Distiller Brian Prewitt said. “These medals are a testament to our team’s commitment to producing quality spirits, and we are honored for that dedication to be recognized.”

The NABWC promotes excellence in bourbon, whiskey, and moonshine through a double-blind competition and is based on a 100-point scale. The spirits are judged by styles and price categories, and this year’s competition was judged virtually in light of COVID-19.

For more information about the 2020 NABWC, visit http://whiskeycomp.com/. For more information about A. Smith Bowman brands, visit https://asmithbowman.com/spirits/.

About A. Smith Bowman

  1. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date back to the years before Prohibition when the Bowman family had a granary and dairy farm in Sunset Hills, Virginia. They used excess grain from the family estate to distill spirits. In 1934, after the Repeal of Prohibition, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons continued the family tradition and built a more modern distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia called Sunset Hills Farm.  The Distillery was moved in 1988 and is now nestled in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location.

As a small and privately owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery continues the time-honored traditions on which it was founded. Considered a micro-distillery by today’s standards, A. Smith Bowman produces an assortment of hand-crafted spirits distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and using the latest technology. This micro-distillery focuses on the production of premium spirits honoring the legacy of Virginia’s first settlers. As Virginia’s oldest and most award-winning distillery, its various brands have earned numerous prestigious awards over the years, including John J. Bowman Single Barrel, which received a gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. For more information on A. Smith Bowman, please visit www.asmithbowman.com.

K&L California “A Rare, Single Cask Exclusive at an Unbeatable Price” – Scotch Whisky News

A Excellent Speyside Malt at an Unbelievable Price
1995 Tormore 22 Year Old “Munros” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)
“A fun, unique whisky that should not be overlooked.” — David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

NOTE: Our walk-in retail locations are currently closed. We have curbside pickup and low cost (often free) delivery options available in ZIP codes where we can ship lawfully, including anywhere in California. We can also include any new or existing will call orders in your delivery batch. Choose local delivery at checkout to learn if you qualify.

We’ve been thrilled with the gems coming from Glasgow Whisky Company. Not only does this firm have a knack for picking out extra-special drams, but they offer them at highly competitive prices. The 1995 Tormore 22 Year Old “Munros” highlighted here is a perfect example of this team’s undeniable prowess. In a nutshell, this is Speyside malt at its very best. Pure and focused, it is adorned with a heavenly array of dried fruits, roasted cereal, wildflower honey, and cream. These elements are wonderfully framed by the unmistakable, but never overpowering, woodsy influence of the American oak hogsheads. No water or color has been added, meaning you are getting an unadulterated spirit that wonderfully captures the very essence of Speyside. We rarely see Tormore here in the States, making this an excellent opportunity to experience one of Scotland’s best hidden gems. You’ll find this 22 Year Old elsewhere priced north of $200, but because we are bringing it in exclusively to the California market, we are able to offer it for a fraction of that price. Its user-friendly approach means it is the perfect Scotch for almost any occasion. Based on its razor-sharp price and limited availability, we expect our allocation to be gone in a flash, so don’t waste any time in securing your bottles of this noteworthy dram.

1995 Tormore 22 Year Old “Munros” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

The lovely small batch bottlings in the “Munros” line up are selected by the small Glasgow Whisky Company and represent some of the best values in single malt Scotch today. This small outfit has become an increasingly important player in the sale and bottling of small scale lots of high-quality Scotch. The Munros line is a reference to Scotland’s 282 mountains over 3000 feet. Explorers across the UK had long considered climbing each peak a rite of passage and likewise the great malts represent the heights of achievement in the eyes of whisky lovers across the world. This exceptional expression of the famous Speyside distillery, Glen Grant, was distilled entirely on July 26th, 1995. Filled into refill American oak ex-bourbon barrels, it’s been allowed more than 22 years to mature in the cool climate of northern Scotland. Bottled on the 30th of October, 2017 without chill filtration, there is addition of water or color whatsoever. The resulting whisky is one of the most honest and quintessential expressions of the classic Speyside style available. A cornucopia of dried fruit, sweet cereal, orchard fruit and creamy texture makes this the perfect whisky for any occasion. Thanks to incredible work securing these stocks at unbelievable prices, we’re able to offer the Munros line-up significantly below market value. While this is an exclusive in California for K&L, you might see the same bottle in other markets fetching upwards of $200.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 31, 2020

The odd and delicious spirit coming off the stills at Tormore is not something we see very often stateside. It is one of the most beautiful new distilleries in Scotland, having been built in only 1960, and the gorgeous tall white walls are contrasted by the stunning varnished green of its copper roofs. And like the odd dichotomy of the distillery itself, this whisky is another idiosyncratic and understated example of what is produced there. This whisky was aged for 22 years in American oak hogsheads. Let’s see how it tastes. The color is old gold. The nose is packed full of deep red fruit, with a curious orange peel component. Surrounding that is a roasted cereal quality that touches ever so slightly on nutty aromas. Tiny hints of wood glue are actually weirdly inviting. On the palate, the lower-than-typical proof is not at all to its detriment in terms of texture—instead we have a round rich body and which adds some wild honey and subtle floral flavors to the bouquet on the nose. The finish is medium long and satisfying with some almond extract and vanilla bean showing up. A fun, unique whisky that should not be overlooked because of its low proof or unusual provenance.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “HOW BAZAAR!” – Scotch Whisky News

This week we’ve transformed our Members’ Rooms into bustling Sensory Bazaars where our members can share an intriguing evening of delicious food and exclusive whisky.

But as always, we want to share this experience with as many members as possible, so we’re bringing you some extra special whiskies to create your own sensory experience at home.

There’s something for every palate in this spectacular selection, including some rarely seen distilleries but beware – these special gems won’t be about for long so don’t delay.


*Please be aware, our queue system will be in place for the sale of these bottles. Members on the bottle pages or the Latest Outturn page of the website will be randomly placed in a queue five minutes before the sale starts at 1.55pm.

We’re continuing to test this new queue system as we explore alternative measures that help prevent our website crashing during busy times. The move comes from our recent member survey, if you’d like to offer feedback on the queue system and basket timer please email us here feedback@smws.com.

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


Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #844 – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 844 – Talisker 15yo @ 57.3%vol (Special Release 2019)

Smoke Wagon Small Batch At K&L California – American Whiskey News

Smoke Wagon Small Batch Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $49.99 View

Email: wine@klwines.com
Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)
K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

A toast to the island: Tobermory Distillery releases special 23-Year-Old – Scotch Whisky News

A toast to the island: Tobermory Distillery releases special 23-Year-Old

The Artisan Distillery is celebrating the ‘return of an old friend’ – as its popular 15-year-old returns eight years later to the core range

Tobermory 23-Year-Old has rested in Oloroso casks to create an exquisite sherried malt

To celebrate its launch the distillery has collaborated with Mull Silver and Goldsmith on a unique Sterling Silver and Gold quaich to be auctioned for charity  

Tobermory Distillery is today announcing the release of Tobermory 23 Year Old Oroloso Cask Finish (46.3% ABV, RSP £320) – a beautiful deep-gold sherried single malt that will join the distillery’s core malt range.

Originally the revered 15-year-old liquid, Tobermory 23 Year Old has spent more time resting in the finest Oloroso casks at the distillery to create an even more exquisite and full-flavoured whisky.

The deep rose-gold sherried single malt has unique notes of vanilla, ripe oranges, toasted barley and fruitcake on the nose. With an obvious sherry influence on the palate, salted toffee, candied citrus and floral honey are also evident, all tied together with a caramelized walnuts and subtle salty finish.

To commemorate its time on the Isle of Mull, the distillery has collaborated with another of the island’s long-standing stalwarts, Mull Silver and Goldsmith, on a one-of-a-kind sterling silver and gold quaich which will be auctioned alongside the new bottle in the coming months. Silver is a traditional 23rd anniversary gift, and the gold coating signifies the deep liquid-gold of the exquisite 23 year old malt.

The quaich celebrates the creative and expressive nature of the Tobermory distillery and its island home. Funds raised from the auction will go to The BEN – a Scottish hospitality charity that is seeing more demand for ever for their services as a result of Covid-19.

Julieann Fernandez, Master Blender at Tobermory Distillery, said: “Our team at the distillery have been working hard for many years on the return of this old friend, and we’re incredibly proud to be introducing whisky drinkers around the world this exciting addition to the core range.

“Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and the extra years have been spent well, as our whisky has continued to mature into the new sherried expression.

“The Island of Mull is a remarkable melting pot of artistry and creativity. This one-off silver quaich is a visualisation of the expert craftmanship and care that goes into the exceptional spirit we are releasing. By bringing together two makers on the island, we’re celebrating this passion for creativity on the world stage.

“One of the finest expressions we’ve ever made, it’s an honour to introduce Tobermory 23 to markets in Europe, Asia and the UK.

Phil Campbell, founder of Isle of Mull Silver and Goldsmiths said: “It was a joy to work on such a beautiful piece of silver, crafting it into a unique piece of art to mark the launch of Tobermory 23.

“Precision, creativity and attention to detail have defined our offering for the last four decades so it was a pleasure collaborate with this artisan distillery from our island home.“

Tobermory Distillery is the only whisky distillery on the Hebridean Isle of Mull, and sits at the centre of the vibrant island community that is rich with artistry, creativity and nature. The Tobermory 23 Year Old will join the Tobermory 12 Year Old, Ledaig 10 Year Old and Ledaig 18 Year Old in the distillery’s core range of malts.

For more information, you can visit the distillery website at www.tobermorydistillery.com.


About Tobermory Distillery

Established in 1798, Tobermory is the Isle of Mull’s only whisky distillery and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. It sits at the centre of the vibrant island community from which it takes its name. Under the Tobermory distillery name, the artisan Hebridean Distiller produces Tobermory Whisky and Ledaig Single Malts. Today, it is a thriving, expressive and unique distillery, true to its idyllic location on the Hebridean island of Mull.



Skene Whisky has just released Black Tartan 88,  a premium blended malt whisky.   Way back in 1988, three Highland malt whiskies (rumoured to be Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes) were ‘married at birth’ and filled into a single hogshead where they matured for 31 long years.  Then, earlier this year, the cask’s remaining contents were filled into just 337 Ibisco-style 70cl decanters at an ABV of 48% with natural colour, no chill-filtration and an RRP of only £248.

On the nose, Black Tartan 88 is very smooth, with sweet vanilla and tropical fruit.  The taste is of spiced butterscotch with balanced oak.  The finish is again vanilla, warming, long and to the rear of the palate.

In his Whisky Bible 2021, world-renowned whisky critic Jim Murray scored Black Tartan 88 at 94/100 (ie in his “superstar whiskies” banding).  Jim commented “This is an old dram which retains a marvellous zest for life but piles on the malt in spades”.

This expression (together with the Skene’s everyday Black Tartan blend) is now available from Skene Whisky’s online shop HERE

Bottle Name Black Tartan 88. Bottler Black Tartan Whisky Ltd. Bottler’s Website www.skenewhisky.com . Category Single Cask Blended Malt. Cask Number 16. Cask Type Hogshead. Size 70cl. Strength 48.0%. Number of Bottles 337.  Distilled / Vintage 1988. Bottled 2020. Age 31 year old. Release September 2020.  Unchillfiltered & Natural Colour. Region Highlands. Retail Price £248.

Where available  SKENEWHISKY

Nose Very smooth, sweet vanilla with tropical fruit
Taste Spiced butterscotch with balanced oak
Finish Vanilla, warming, long and to rear of palate
Comments Three Highland malts blended at birth – Macallan, Highland Park & Glenrothes

Notes about Skene Whisky – After a few years away from bottle sales, Skene Whisky plans to release a number of new ranges later this year.  “Skene Reserve” will be single cask premium bottlings of vintage malt whisky (eg Macallan 30yo).   “Skene Sherry Editions” will be sherry-matured single malts (48% ABV) aimed squarely at drinkers.  “Skene American Oak “Editions” will be ex-bourbon single malt bottlings (again at 48% ABV).  “Skene Peated Malt Editions” will be peated single malt expressions (yet again at 48% ABV).

Discover how we made Compass Box Hedonism Felicitas – Scotch Whisky News


A vibrant and stately re-imagining of the whisky that launched Compass Box…


In 2000 we created Hedonism, the whisky that started the Compass Box story. Our latest limited edition is both a celebration of where we have come from, and the beginning of another exciting chapter.


What makes up Hedonism Felicitas? The largest single component hails from the now-closed Port Dundas Distillery. Distilled in 2001 and aged – as we later learned – in Sherry butts, it provides notes of sweet wood spice, toffee and honey. These flavours are balanced by the graceful vanilla creaminess and orchard fruit intensity of whisky from the Strathclyde Distillery, distilled in the 1980s, and the passion fruit, cardamom and coconut notes of two small parcels from the North British Distillery produced in the nineties. The majority of the components were distilled before we released the very first Hedonism.


James Saxon explains: “The whisky from the Port Dundas Distillery proved a crucial component, yet it came in disguise. The casks had been identified on our records as first fill ex-Bourbon barrels and they behaved like especially active examples of this cask type. Clarification revealed them to be refill Sherry butts, an unusual cask in which to mature grain whisky. With these Sherry butts included, Hedonism Felicitas suddenly found its anchoring richness. And then there was the bottling strength – at 53% ABV the flavours really sang.”


To celebrate our 20th anniversary, our Founder John Glaser is hosting a live interactive tasting of the new limited edition on 27th September 2020. We’d love you to join us, either with your own bottle, with our signature Hedonism, or just to hear more about the story of this whisky. To sign up, please see below. For those who have already registered, we will share more details with you next week ahead of the tasting. We look forward to seeing you there!


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