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Whiskeys win 2 chairman’s trophies, 3 double gold medals, more than 28 other top awards 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (April 14, 2015) Spring has sprung, and with it have come the results of four recent whiskey competitions in which Buffalo Trace Distillery fared splendidly. The Distillery claimed two Chairman’s Trophies at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and won three double gold medals in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition along with several gold and silver medals. Buffalo Trace also received top awards at the North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition and the Denver International Spirits Competition.

“We are thrilled and flattered to be consistently ranked so highly among such a broad range of prestigious competitions,” Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, said. “We take pride in these whiskeys and are honored by each of these awards.”

2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

Judges awarded Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye each the highest honor of “Chairman’s Trophy” at the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. Selected as Chairman’s Trophy finalists in their respective categories were Blanton’s, Stagg Jr, Weller 12 Year Old, E.H. Taylor Single Barrel, Sazerac Rye and E.H. Taylor Straight Rye.

            Those awarded as “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation” include:

  • Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old
  • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel
  • Stagg Jr.
  • Weller 12 Year Old
  • E. H. Taylor Single Barrel

Those awarded the distinction of “Excellent, Highly Recommended” were:

  • Sazerac Rye
  • Buffalo Trace
  • E. H. Taylor Barrel Proof
  • E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Awarded the distinction of “Very Good, Strong Recommendation” were:

  • E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  • Benchmark

Weller 12 Year Old, Sazerac Rye, Buffalo Trace and Benchmark were deemed to be “Great Values.” Receiving a designation as “Tried & True” were Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old, Thomas H. Handy, Blanton’s, Weller 12 year Old, Sazerac Rye, Buffalo Trace and Benchmark.

This competition, in its sixth year, is judged by a panel of the spirit industry’s most renowned judges including award-winning authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners, who rate each spirit on a 100-point scale.

Complete results for the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge can be found at www.ultimate-beverage.com/usc2015results.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

More than 1,580 entries were submitted for a blind tasting at the 15th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where 41 of the industry’s finest spirits experts reviewed each entry, ultimately awarding Buffalo Trace Distillery three double gold medals, six gold medals, and one silver medal.

Double Gold

  • Sazerac Rye
  • Thomas Handy
  • Stagg Jr.


  • Buffalo Trace
  • Eagle Rare
  • Weller 12 Year Old
  • William Larue Weller
  • E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  • Benchmark

Complete results for the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition can be found at http://sfspiritscomp.com/results/browse.

North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was awarded double gold and designated “Best of Class Bourbon” at the 2015 North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition. Additionally, E.H. Taylor Small Batch and Stagg Jr. were awarded gold, and EH. Taylor Single Barrel and Sazerac Rye were awarded silver.

The results of North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition are decided by a panel of spirits professionals using a 100-point scale. Complete results for the 2015 North American Bourbon & Whisky Competition can be found at www.whiskeycomp.com/results.

Denver International Spirits Competition

Buffalo Trace, Stagg Jr., E.H. Taylor Small Batch and E.H. Taylor Single Barrel were each awarded silver medals at the 2015 Denver International Spirits Competition. This competition, in its fourth year, is also based on a 100-point scale and is judged by a panel of 15 respected spirits authorities. Complete results for the 2015 Denver International Spirits Competition can be found at http://www.denverspiritscomp.com/results.html.

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 17 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named “Brand Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine at its Icons of Whisky America Awards 2015.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 300 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com

Suntory Holdings Limited Named “Advertiser of the Year” at the 18th Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (ADFEST 2015) – Japanese Whisky News


Suntory Holdings Limited Named “Advertiser of the Year” at the 18th Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (ADFEST 2015)
The first Japanese spirits and beverage maker to receive this award

Tokyo, Japan, April 2015 - At the 18th Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (ADFEST 2015) held in Thailand during March 19 to 21, Suntory Holdings Limited was named “Advertiser of the Year,” the most prestigious special award for an advertiser. This was the first time that a Japanese spirits and beverage maker won this award.

Founded in 1998, the Asia Pacific Advertising Festival is one of the largest advertising festivals in the Asia Pacific region. Ranging from the Asia Pacific region to the Middle East, this year there were a total of 3,295 entries in all 18 categories.

“Advertiser of the Year” is a special award that began from 2008. It awards the advertiser with the highest score, which is determined by scoring the number of awards received and the number of finalists among 15 categories and the awards received in the LOTUS ROOTS* and then totaling those scores. With a total of 15 category awards (2 Grand Prix, 3 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze), Suntory Holdings was able to receive this special award.

  • * A special category traversing all 18 categories. Awarded to work that represent regional values (culture, faith, religion, tradition, words, etc.).

Overview of the 18th Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (ADFEST 2015)

Special Award

“Advertiser of the Year” Suntory Holdings Limited

Category Awards

Title: HIBIKI Harmony Bar with HIBIKI Glass

Summary: Featuring HIBIKI Glass, the world’s first interactive whisky glass that mixes Japan’s traditional glass design and an innovative sensor technology. The plot involves sound and images inside the bar that convey a sense of the seasons linked with the motions of touching the glass, tipping it, waying the ice and drinking. It provides a virtual experience of the HIBIKI’s view of the world on the Web.


Title: SUNTORY WHISKY 3D on the Rocks
Summary: Using cutting edge 3D technology to create beautiful ice of various objects and shapes, such as the Kinkaku-ji Temple and a guitar, to make it into a whisky on the rocks. A new world of whisky can be enjoyed through the images.

Summary: A pair of normal looking high school girls appear. As the two friends are filming on a smartphone their usual day of having fun in the classroom, an epic game of tag can be enjoyed when the two rush out of the school and begin jumping around freely all over town like ninjas.

Springbank Society – UK Single Cask Release & Spirit of Freedom ’45 Plus’ – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society


Dear Society Members,

Firstly, thank you for your patience with my replies since the latest Society Bottling was released. As imagined, my inbox has been a very busy place since the bottling was announced and although I’ve been working through the orders as quickly as I can, there are a handful of members who are still waiting for a reply. I can confirm that if you have emailed to order a bottle of the new Society Longrow 13yo up until this date then you have definitely got a bottle reserved so I will contact you for payment as soon as I can.

On top of the Society orders, I’ve also been getting everything finalised for the Malts Festival (I promise I will be sending new details on Friday – thank you again for your patience) and organising a Wedding Fayre! As many of you may already know, part of my job is also to administrate and organise the events for Explore Campbeltown and the next event is the Wedding Fayre which is taking place this Sunday (26th April). We have over 30 businesses exhibiting on the day with stalls, demonstrations and a catwalk all happening so it’s been a bit manic recently to say the least!! I love my job as there is never a dull or uneventful day in the office but at times like this, it can be pretty hectic!

UK Single Cask Bottling – AVAILABLE NOW!!

I know a lot of you have been very excited about the release of the new UK exclusive Single Cask bottling. I can confirm this has now been bottled and is available for purchase in our Campbeltown shop from this afternoon and other UK retail outlets (including our Edinburgh and London Cadenhead shops) from Friday 24th April.

This new bottling is a Springbank 12 year old Port Wood and a nice wee fact is that it was distilled in 2003 which was the 175th anniversary of Springbank Distillery. It has been bottled at a cask strength of 58.3% and is extremely limited with only 696 bottles available. The price for this bottling is £60.00 and unfortunately no Society discount will be available as it is just so limited.

If you would like to order a bottle from the Campbeltown Cadenhead shop then can I ask you to please get in touch with the shop directly as I will not be taking orders for this – simply because I will not be able to keep track of how many bottles they have available. Each shop will only have a very small allocation and I imagine they will sell very quickly. You can contact our shop by calling +44 (0) 1586 55 1710 (option 1).

The tasting notes for this bottling are:

Nose: Mineral – granite, oily, bees wax and salty. Hints of almonds and banana skins then port – winey notes come through.

Palate: Cloved oranges, orange bitters, roasted coffee beans. Malty with hints of oak.

Finish: Dark chocolate and orange then becoming fairly dry towards the end.

**With water the port influence is more prominent.

I’m still waiting on the product shot for this whisky but I will put it onto the Springbank Distillers Facebook page as soon as I get it (hopefully tomorrow).

Spirit of Freedom ’45 Plus’ Auction

Springbank Distillers Ltd have just released our latest Spirit Of Freedom Blend, ’45 Plus’, a follow up to November’s ‘The 45’. The new bottling contains more than 45 different whiskies from across Scotland and has been bottled at 52%vol. This bottle will retail at £27.50 per bottle and Society members will receive their discount on this meaning it will cost members £24.75.

The tasting notes for this bottling are:

Nose: Malty, creamy, vanilla and buttery with hints of marzipan. Then dried apricots and muesli.

Palate: Dried fruits, dates and lime cordial. Heather and parma-violets.

Finish: Subtle hints of peat smoke come through towards the end, finishing with a long malty, honey sweetness.

We are currently auctioning off a limited edition pair of Spirit of Freedom ‘45 Plus’ bottles – one of which has been signed by the former First Minister, Alex Salmond alongside Argyll & Bute SNP candidate Brendan O‘Hara and the other by Springbank & Glengyle Distillery Manager, Gavin McLachlan. Funds raised by the auction will be donated to the Kintyre Kidney Dialysis Campaign. This campaign has recently started in Kintyre to persuade NHS Highland to provide much needed dialysis facilities within Campbeltown Hospital. This will save many locals the tiring and traumatic 3.5 hour trip to the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria three times per week for life saving dialysis.

The auction began on Friday 17th April 2015 and ends at 4pm BST on Friday 24th April 2015 with the current highest bid sitting at £150.00. To bid, send your offer, along with your name, address and contact telephone number to: auction@springbankwhisky.com. An update is made every day on the Springbank Distillers Facebook page and the winner will be notified shortly after 4pm on Friday. Happy Bidding!!



Mairi Paterson

For the Springbank Society

To join the Springbank Society please contact them at


Lovely Old Grain Whisky at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Strathclyde 25 Year Old 1989

Single grain Scotch whiskies are growing in popularity, try some of these golden oldies while you still can!

Strathclyde 25 Year Old $107.22

AA Strathclyde

The Famous Jubilee Limited Edition at The Famous Grouse Experience – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky of the Month at The Famous Grouse

Due to popular demand we have extended this offer to run until the end of April.  To purchase The Famous Jubilee Limited Edition 70cl 40% click here


AA Laphroaig 15 Year Old


20 April 2015: Established in 1815, this year sees the 200th anniversary of Laphroaig® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. To commemorate this landmark celebration, Laphroaig is proud to announce a very special and limited release of Laphroaig 15 Year Old.

A long revered expression in the Laphroaig range, Laphroaig 15 Year Old was originally launched more than 30 years ago, with a lower level of peat and a higher bottling strength of 43% all combining to give the whisky a mellow, rounded taste, its briny orchard fruits adding bite and depth, the overall feel rich and smoky.

Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell decided to re-release this product, one of his long-time favourites, in celebration of Laphroaig’s 200th anniversary. Beautifully made, Laphroaig 15 Year Old pays homage to the original edition, answering the call for its return by many a long term friend, while at the same time introducing new fans of Laphroaig to a whisky that they have yet to taste.

Laphroaig has been dividing opinions for 200 years, always garnering strong and interesting points of view through the years. Some of these varying opinions are featured in videos as part of the Laphroaig Opinions Welcome campaign, which can be viewed at www.laphroaig.com/opinions.

Laphroaig 15 Year Old will continue to welcome a multitude of different global perspectives on the divisive whisky with the launch of ‘200 Opinions Wanted’ – a competition to celebrate the very best Laphroaig opinions from around the world. Two-hundred of the most unique opinions will be displayed as individual tiles on the distillery wall and the authors of the very best of them will be rewarded with a trip to Islay to attend “Laphroaig Live,” a global whisky event held at the historic Laphroaig Distillery for the first time in nine years.

In addition to the distillery’s 200th anniversary, this year also marks the 21st birthday of Friends of Laphroaig, the brand’s loyal group of fans and supporters. Much of this year’s Laphroaig Live is designed with them firmly front of mind. All the more reason to celebrate!

Laphroaig 15 Year Old will be available in May 2015 in all good whisky retailers with a RRP of £75.00 with additional new releases planned across the year.



Official Tasting Notes:
A touch of water releases salted caramel, with signature Islay peat smoke underlying sweet orchard fruit aromas.
• Nose – Scents of grapefruit and fresh mint greet you when you first open the bottle
• Palate – The first taste is of pink peppercorns with light peat smoke and a soft dryness that resolves to the flavour of tobacco. Just a faint hint of the sea follows, testimony to 15 years of maturation next to the Atlantic Ocean.
• Finish – The prolonged mellow finish, with a smoky aftertaste, will ensure your experience is fulfilling and unforgettable

• Laphroaig is the No.1 selling Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky globally
• Unmistakably peat-smoke flavours are delivered by burning local Islay peat, containing unique traces of seaweed and heather.
• One of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns.
• The Friends of Laphroaig programme keeps fans of the brand up to date with special offers and news from distillery manager, John Campbell. On signing up, members are allocated their own square foot of land on Islay, and their names are added to the members’ book in the friends lounge at the distillery. Members who visit the distillery are invited to collect their ‘rent’ – a dram of Laphroaig. The community comprises more than 669,000 like-minded Scotch fans from more than 190 countries.

About Beam Suntory Inc.:
As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the flagship Jim Beam bourbon and Yamazaki Japanese whisky, as well as world renowned premium brands including Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka, and Midori liqueur. The company generates annual worldwide sales exceeding $4 billion excluding excise taxes.

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 entrepreneurial culture. Headquartered in Deerfield, 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.

22nd Annual “The Whisky Extravaganza” Spring 2015 Schedule – Whisky News


Ladies and Gentlemen are cordially invited to enjoy a connoisseur’s evening featuring rare & exceptional single malt, Scotch and unique whiskies from around the world. The evening includes unlimited tastings, epicurean food, a selection of premium imported cigars for our guests’ later enjoyment, souvenir snifter glass and much more. The Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery.

The Whisky Extravaganza has kindly offered Whisky Intelligence readers a 10% discount on tickets to the Extravaganza.

Please the promotional code “EXTD2015″. You man purchase tickets directly from the link here and by visiting www.thewhiskyextravaganza.com or by calling 800.990.1991.

All events from 6:30pm-9:00pm. Registration begins at 6:30pm.

HoustonWednesday, April 29, 2015

The Royal Sonesta Houston

2222 West Loop South

Houston, TX 77027


Dallas – Friday, May 1, 2015

The Intercontinental Dallas

15201 Dallas Parkway

Dallas, TX 75001


Denver – Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Brown Palace Hotel

321 17th Street

Denver, CO 80202


Whisky Fight Night April 29th, 2015 – Scotch Whisky News


For centuries, two things have kept the peace in the Highlands of Scotland: One, the sweet nectar running off the crofter’s stills and two a good punch in the face. For one night only, these two pacifying forces will be in London for your tasting and viewing entertainment.

‘Simply Whisky Fight Night’ is a unique and unmissable event where two whisky industry personalities show off their rival whiskies in a series of 3 rounds.  With 6 dynamite whiskies to try in a blind tasting format, the audience decide the victor…it all comes down to taste.  The overall winner of the 3 rounds wins the ‘Simply Whisky Fight Night’ battle belt, the adoration of the audience and stays on to face their next challenger.

Join us on Wednesday 29 April at The Gallery in Vinopolis, London for this special evening of boxing ring-bound whisky tasting, as Dr Sam Simmons from The Balvenie (the returning champ) takes on Dr Bill ‘The Bruiser’ Lumsden from The Glenmorangie, for a no-holds barred whisky battle of wits, wisdom and wicked throw-down’s.  Doors open at 6:45pm.  You can get your tickets from http://www.whiskyfightnight.com/. There are still a few spaces left, but they will sell out before the show, so don’t wait too long. The evening starts with Douglas Laing whisky cocktails to fire the spirit!

Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors Van Winkle Tasting May 2nd, 2015 – American Whiskey News


Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors is hosting a Van Winkle and American whiskey tasting at our Main St. Location (894 Main St. Waltham, MA) on May 2nd from 12:00pm to 3:00pm in honor of the 141st Kentucky Derby. The tasting is free but you must reserve a ticket to taste the Van Winkle. We will have open 2008-2012 bottles of Van Winkle 10 and 12 year old. We will be sampling Sazerac Rye 6 year, Stag Jr., Whistle Pig Boss Hog, Whistle Pig Old World and many more whiskeys. Go to barrelsandkilts.com to reserve your spot.

The Famous Grouse Warehouse Experience – Scotch Whisky News


Experience a “Special Offer” this Month

From April 21st to April 30th only we are offering a special introductory rate of £25 per person for our daily 2.30pm Warehouse Experience. Limited spaces available. Phone 01764 656565 to book your place now. Click here for more details.



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