Archive for April, 2011




Devotees of the dram and non-whisky drinkers alike will be able to discover even more about the delights of Scotland’s Malt Whisky country this month as the 12th annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival swings into action, with many new and exciting events added to this year’s programme.

The five-day festival’s packed programme of over 200 events running from 28th April to 2nd May, features something to suit all levels of interest – from the exclusive three day intensive instruction on offer at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky School to a more light hearted look at the world of whisky with stand up comedian Vladimir McTavish.

And many new exciting events have been added to this year’s programme including the opportunity to become a Benromach warehouseman for the day – offering enthusiasts a unique opportunity to be initiated into the ultra exclusive whisky world with the chance to take part in the time honoured preparations of the iconic drink before hand-filling a bottle of Benromach as a souvenir of this unforgettable experience.

Whisky lovers will also have the chance to test out the knowledge accumulated over the course of their connoisseurship at the Cask Strength Challenge quiz at Strathisla Distillery, with the winning team taking away rare limited edition bottles of Deoch an Doras 36 Year Old whisky, produced by the now defunct Inverleven distillery.

For those who want to let their hair down while in Malt Whisky country there are a range of exciting daytime and evening entertainments showcasing the best of Speyside spirit including the Coleburn Distillery Fun Day and Ceilidh, an extravaganza added to this year’s programme offering whisky barrel buggy racing, haggis making and more before some traditional craic at an evening ceilidh.

Other brand new musical highlights include a celebration of contemporary Scottish music at the Celtic Spirit evening at The Glenfiddich Distillery and the Whisky and Jazz event at the Craigellachie Hotel, where Dutch whisky author Hans Offringa will be on hand to sign copies of his book ‘The Road to Craigellachie – Revisited’ which will be officially re-launched as part of the festival programme offering enthusiasts the change to get their hands on a copy of this whisky themed travel book that quickly became a collector’s item after its first edition was released in 2004.

Over the course of the Festival visitors will have the opportunity take part in numerous long-standing favourite events such as guided tours of many of Speyside’s 50+ world renowned distilleries, including some not usually open to the public, as well uncovering the unique appeal of this amazing area of north east Scotland on a range of whisky themed walks and tours.

Outdoor events include the festival’s famed “Dramble” where walkers can sample the spirits on offer at the seven stills of Dufftown by foot, a selection of whisky and wildlife walks guided by local rangers, as well as exclusive motorised tours taking in the backcountry braes that used to conceal the smugglers stills by four wheel drive or even in an amphibious argocat.

Connoisseurs will have the chance to blend their own whisky at the Cardhu distillery as well as sampling some superb single malts and helping to select the winning whiskies at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards prior to the annual opening dinner at Knockando Distillery.

Tastings will also be offered at a range of other events including the foodie friendly Sweet and Savoury Whisky Pairing workshops at Gordon and MacPhail where guests will receive guidance on how to select the top tipples to complement their favourite foods. Whisky and food will also be the subject of some new additions to the festival programme with tasting tours taking place on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. To find out more and book tickets go to, and keep up to date with the Festival programme on or


- Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 runs from Thursday, 28th April-Monday, 2nd May.

- Speyside is easily accessible by rail or air, including a number of low-cost airline options to Aberdeen and Inverness airport

- The Festival runs a subsidised Book-a-Bus service and taxi voucher scheme

- The Festival also runs several competitions and awards including a Photographic Competition and the prestigious Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

- Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 has received funding from EventScotland and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners

- EventScotland is the national events agency.  EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.  For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit

- The Year of Active Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative being delivered by EventScotland and VisitScotland which began on the 1st January 2011. For more information go to

- A series of focus years running from 2010 to 2013 will ensure co-ordinated national activity that will spotlight some of Scotland’s great assets as we journey towards 2014.  The four focus years are centred on domestic and international tourism and the development of the events industry in Scotland. These focus years will celebrate our reputation as a land food and drink, as an active nation, as a place of culture and creativity and as a place of natural beauty.

- EventScotland in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland is delivering Event Team Scotland, a new web – based portal which matches volunteers across Scotland with exciting sporting and cultural events.  For more information please visit

Milroy’s of Soho Stocks Whyte & Mackay Shackleton Release – Scotch Whisky News


Whyte & Mackay

Shackleton Release


Shackleton Release

Shackleton Release

Expertly produced by Whyte and Mackay’s charismatic Master Blender, Richard Paterson. This is your chance to sample the nearest ever thing to the fabled Shackleton Whisky.

 Authentically packaged and crafted, the whisky not only looks the part, but tastes even better!

 £99.95 per bottle

Extremely Limited supply

Lee Tomlinson,  Acting Manager

Milroy’s of Soho

3 Greek Street
T: 020 7437 2385
F: 020 7437 1345

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show Timetable – Scotch Whisky News


The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show Timetable

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show will take place on 7th-8th October 2011 at Vinopolis, London SE1 9BU at the following times.


 •  Friday, 7 October

  –  12pm-4pm Trade Session:  For industry and press only.

  –  4pm-9.30pm Public Session:  An afternoon-evening slot to allow London-based whisky fans to visit the Show after working hours.
  Capacity – 500

 •  Saturday, 8 October

  –  12pm-6.30pm Public Session:  A conveniently-timed afternoon session.
  Capacity – 500

Tickets for both Public Sessions will be available shortly at a price of £95 each. 

Please note that event details are subject to change at any time and that exhibitors will stop serving 20 minutes before the end of each session.

Purchase your tickets via

New Scotch Whisky Arrivals at K&L in Redwood City California – Scotch Whisky News


Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

1998 Glen Ord 12 Year Old Signatory Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml (ships as 1.5L) – 6 available ($95.99)

2000 Laphroaig 10 Year Old Signatory Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 6 available ($56.99)

1993 Tullibardine 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 4 available ($59.99)

1991 Balblair Highland Single Malt Whisky 750ml (ships as 1.5L) ($99.99)

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 2 available ($52.99)

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Bowmore 36yo 1972 (45.4%, Signatory, C#3890, 540 Bts., +/-2009) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Bowmore 36yo 1972 (45.4%, Signatory, C#3890, 540 Bts., +/-2009)

An aged Bowmore from the famed Islay distillery. On the nose there is an immediate waft of peat smoke and sherry however the combination does offer some calming influence on the peat smoke. The two together are a sublime combination evoking memories of glistening Christmas cake and sherry wine while the oak influence presents as some really good dark chocolate and a lumber yard strewn with wood chips. Very, very rich and quite an excellent collection of aromas. The taste is a sensational facsimile of the nose with some really good black pepper thrown into the mix and some dryness however the heady combination of peat smoke and sherry are a success story. Late hint of coal smoke and some really good sweetness in the form of warm Lychee (right off the tree) and Bing cherries in syrup. The finish is slightly austere and dry but then the chocolate and the peat smoke come rushing in quickly followed but some oak spice. An excellent finish here, all points of the compass represented.

Many thanks to Andrew Ferguson of Kensington Wine Mart Calgary for the sample, Andrew describes this whisky as the poor man’s Black Bowmore and fault cannot be found with this description.

Score 93 points





Consumers will have chance to submit artwork to be featured on 2012 commemorative bottle
Louisville, Ky (April 26, 2011) – For the past 24 years, the Early Times Mint Julep has proudly served as the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby®.”  In celebration of this, Early Times Kentucky Whisky continues its tradition with the release of the 2011 commemorative Kentucky Derby bottle.

The 2011 Early Times Mint Julep commemorative bottle features the artwork of Marita Walizer from Oklahoma City, OK. Walizer won a national artist search contest conducted by Early Times to find the artwork featured on the 2011 Kentucky Derby bottle. Her painting, “Derby Cheers”, was selected from hundreds of entries from across the country. She also received $5,000 and a trip for two to the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

“It’s an incredible honor to have my artwork selected to be on the Early Times Mint Julep commemorative bottle,” said Walizer. “I grew up in Louisville and have been around horses my whole life so this really is a dream to have my painting chosen and to attend the Kentucky Derby.”

From now until May 8, 2011, fans can text the keyword ETDERBY to 68405 from their 2-way text messaging capable wireless phone for a chance at winning one of 10 reproduction prints of the 2011 Early Times Mint Julep Bottle label designed by Walizer. Consumer may also enter online by visiting

Early Times is once again giving consumers the opportunity to submit their artwork for the chance to be featured on the 2012 Kentucky Derby bottle. Beginning May 2, consumers can log on to to submit their artwork, as well as to see official rules and contest details.  The winner will win a VIP trip for two to the 2012 Kentucky Derby, $5000 in cash, along with having their artwork featured on the 2012 Early Times Mint Julep bottle. All submissions must be received by June 28, 2011 at midnight.

During this year’s Derby week, more than 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are expected to be served at Churchill Downs®. Over the past 24 years, more than 2.5 million Early Times Mint Juleps have been served between Kentucky Oaks® and Derby Days at Churchill Downs. This year’s Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands will take place Saturday, May 7, 2011.

The newly labeled Early Times Mint Julep commemorative bottle is available now in limited quantities throughout the United States for a suggested retail price of $14.99.

About Early Times Kentucky Whisky:

Early Times Kentucky Whisky, 40% ABV, is the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby” made at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Early Times Kentucky Whisky is one of the fine spirits produced and marketed by Brown-Forman Corporation, a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Tequila Herradura, el Jimador Tequila, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, Old Forester, Fetzer Wines and Korbel California Champagnes.  Early Times reminds you to drink responsibly. For more information on Early Times Kentucky Whisky visit

About Churchill Downs®:

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875.  Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2011. The track’s 2011 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 4.  Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record seven times and the event will return to the track for its next renewal on Nov. 4-5. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

Churchill Downs®, Kentucky Derby® and the Twin Spires design are registered trademarks of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Boston’s Best Whisky Event – The Whisky Guild – Whisky Tasting and Dinner Cruise – Scotch Whisky News


Boston’s Best Whisky Event.
Boston’s Best Whisky Event? You be the judge.
Whisky Tasting and Dinner Cruise
Aboard The Spirit of Boston
May 18th 7:00-9:30 PM

A Big Boat

A Big Boat

The Whisky Guild and Jeff Karlovich return for this special annual event. In under a month we’ll embark upon a spectacular harbor cruise with nearly 200 different whiskies available to taste – and a buffet dinner. This is one of the best events to come to Boston. It promotes whisky; yet in my eyes this is an event for consumers, novice to aficionado, to not only taste and talk about malts, but to engage with ambassadors, distillers, blenders, and distillery managers. They attend not just to promote their wares, but to get the chance to hear what you are looking for. They take the input you give them very seriously, so speak up, ask questions, and get your money’s worth.

VIP access gives an extra hour to sample the offerings and more of them beginning at 6 PM. This was a great time in the past and one we’ve been anxiously anticipating all year.

We’re extremely grateful to Jeff for bringing this superlative event with a broad range of whiskies to our neighborhood. We believe that our customers in particular will appreciate and enjoy this unique event. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be out on the water, sipping scotch, and enjoying a cigar (smoke ‘em if you got ‘em) on the deck of a luxury cruiser. Did you miss Whiskyfest Chicago? Whisky-Live New York? No worries, you have this- every bit as good, -no, better: – you’re out on the harbor.

Tickets may be purchased directly from  The Whisky Guild Federal customers will receive at 10% discount with the code: federal.

The boat leaves from 200 Seaport Boulevard at 7:30, please bring a valid ID.
Joe Howell
Federal Wine & Spirits
Phone: (617) 367-8605

Whisky Magazine Names Federal Wine & Spirits National ‘Retailer of the Year’ – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Magazine names Federal Wine & Spirits National ‘Retailer of the Year’

Whisky Magazine is based in the UK, but is the international journal of record for scotch whisky. We’re proud (and I’m humble) that they have given us this honor, the first time to our knowledge for a Massachusetts store. It was against some pretty impressive competition, too: Park Ave in New York, Town in Rhode Island, Party Source in Kentucky etc., but Whisky Magazine was probably impressed that we could fit so many malts in so small a space. If you haven’t already, this might give you a reason to come in to see us.

…and so we enter the 21st century

In an effort to remain on the cutting edge in these fickle times we are pleased to announce that we have a Twitter. Also a facebook. We would really appreciate it you would “like”, “friend”, and “follow” us on these exciting new platforms such that we are better able to communicate with you, our friends whom we like and follow. We will be using these fancy mediums to increasingly keep you up to date on events, new arrivals, and to answer any questions you may have. The addresses for these thingies are as follows:


We look forward to traveling with you on the information super-highway, I guess we get to use the carpool lane!

Joe Howell
Federal Wine & Spirits
Phone: (617) 367-8605


NEWSFLASH – The First Annual Springbank Society Golf Competition – Scotch Whisky News


The First Annual Springbank Society Golf Competition

Friday 20th May 2011

8.30 am Shotgun Start

Reception and Trophy Presentation to follow golf


Round of golf at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club “the world’s most natural golf course”

Transport between Springbank & The Village at Machrihanish Dunes

Buffet Reception following golf with presentation of prizes

Competition open to non Society members

For special Society Member Rates for The Ugadale Golf Cottages, including breakfast £79 per person based on 4 guests to a cottage, and to book golf please contact



For the Springbank Society

J & A Mitchell and Co Ltd, The Tasting Room, 9 Bolgam Street, Campbeltown, Argyll, PA28 6HZ
Tel :   + 44(0) 1586 552009   Fax :  + 44(0) 1586 553232  website 

Contact Janet via  for your details on how to join the Springbank Society.

Isle of Jura 18yo (40%, OB, +/-2010) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Isle of Jura 18yo (40%, OB, +/-2010)

Matured in a combination of American white oak and Oloroso sherry casks. The nose show some green, slightly solvent notes followed by some good malt along with apricot, heather and roses. Palm olive sap, furniture polish and brown sugar., a whiff of the farm yard. A little hand warming helps and brings out some welcome richness. The taste is quite good, vanilla, some caramel, a good dollop of malt and lots of notes from the oak side of the house along with the welcome sherry. Some light varnish, cinnamon and short bread however the sherry notes bind things together nicely. Mandarin orange. The finish is Hessian cloth, the Mandarin orange, some really good malt and short bread (light on the butter) and lots of happiness. Quite a long finish, mildly extravagant and pleasing. Later moments of malt and none of the industrial. After a few minutes a good moment or two of dark unsweetened bitter chocolate.

A bit of a tussle here and there but it all comes together nicely in the end.

Score 79 points


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