Archive for February, 2012



Plus Three New Expressions Exclusive To Global Travel Retail

Bowmore, the first Islay Single Malt whisky, today proudly unveils brand new packaging for its entire domestic and global travel retail / duty free range – a premium gift box and refreshed bottle design which will be released in February 2012.

As it enters this new-look era, Bowmore has also announced three new additions exclusive to the global travel retail sector: 100 Degrees Proof, Springtide and the limited edition Bowmore 1983. This new high-quality carton is a bold move by Bowmore, one of the top ten selling Single Malts in the world, as it is a distinct modification from the traditional tube packaging and supports its premium brand positioning and strong brand personality. This exciting redesign follows a hugely successful 2011 performance with continued growth for the brand.

The changes are also in response to consumer demand for a greater level of education on the taste experience and the history of the whisky and as such the new packaging communicates the brand’s unique status as the first Islay Single Malt and its 200 years worth of experience and heritage. The new look reinforces Bowmore’s ‘gift-ability’ as it features a greater level of foiling and gloss embossing thus creating shelf stand-out. The updated distillery illustration has a warmer and more emotive look and feel that strongly conveys the whisky’s roots, that is the magical island of Islay, giving category differentiation and shelf appeal. The design of the bottle has also been enhanced, with the label featuring a sleeker look to ensure back bar stand-out and differentiation.

Bowmore’s recent modifications have also improved the brand’s environmental credentials considerably. The new bottle is made of a lighter weight glass and the new cartons are completely recyclable, all of which significantly reduces the brand’s carbon footprint.

Kirsteen Beeston, Head of Brands at Morrison Bowmore Distillers, comments: “We are excited to be taking Bowmore into a new era with this new gift box and bottle design. This has been a key priority focus for us over the past year as we wanted to ensure the design not only better represents the brand’s core values but also develops a stronger, more defined brand personality that consumers can engage with. We hope that this exciting change will contribute to our continued growth.”

In addition to its current global travel retail/duty free range (Surf, Enigma 12 Years Old, Mariner 15 Years Old and 17 Years Old), Bowmore is also launching three new additions to the collection, which will be available from March 2012.


The term ‘proof spirit’ was first coined by British sailors during the 18th century who would check that their rum rations hadn’t been watered down by mixing it with gunpowder and lighting it. If it would still light, this proved it was 100% proof. There is no need to verify Bowmore’s authenticity or strength; the new small batch release Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof is cask-strength and non-chill filtered.


COLOUR: Rich auburn
NOSE: Fresh Islay sea air, subtle sweet malt and oak smoke
PALATE: Rich luscious smokiness, balanced with sweet caramelised sugar, vanilla and citrus notes
FINISH: Powerful and warm
RRP £49.99


The new expression takes its name from the high tide of spring, when the earth, sun and moon are all aligned. Predominantly matured in first-fill Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, this beautifully rich expression is packaged in a super premium gift pack, the perfect purchase both as a gift and for the whisky enthusiast.


COLOUR: Warm bronze
NOSE: Abound in chocolate and sticky figs, which balance perfectly against the classic sea-salt peatiness
PALATE: Rich in treacle toffee with raisins and dark sherry
FINISH: Lingering smoky finish
RRP £120.00


The Bowmore 1983 will be available in the global travel retail market and marks the launch of the 1980s vintage series for this sector.Decanted from a single hogshead cask, this rare, limited edition has rested, undisturbed in the legendary No.1 Vaults, the maturation warehouse below sea level.


COLOUR: Brilliant bronze
NOSE: Just a touch of fresh Atlantic sea-salt followed by Bowmore’s signature peat smoke with a hint of delicious ripe blackberry
PALATE: Captures the essence of Bowmore – earthy peat balanced by a gentle fruitiness
FINISH: Lingers on with fresh fruit and peat notes at the very end
RRP £500.00


The best-balanced Islay Single Malt whisky is the perfect reward after your outdoor experience. Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest Distillery on Islay, one of the Scottish isles, which make up the region known as the ‘Islands’ in the lexicon of Whisky. The other regions are the Highlands, Speyside and the Lowlands. Islay malts are famous for their characteristic smokiness and Bowmore is no exception; we carefully smoke our malt and use skills handed down from generation to generation to craft a perfectly balanced Single Malt.

Bowmore’s adherence to traditional production methods helps to shape the character of our Single Malts. We’re one of only a few distilleries anywhere which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by traditional wooden malt shovel and hand drawn machinery. For our whiskies we draw water from the Laggan River, with its rich peaty overtones, and it’s the same Islay peat that fires the malt-drying kiln.

Bowmore Distillery’s close proximity to the sea is alsalso vital in determining the final character of our spirit. The legendary Bowmore No. 1 Vaults is where most of our whiskies spend their long lives resting quietly in the cool, dark, damp cellars below sea level, oblivious to the waves thrashing the Vault’s sea-facing wall.

They mature in oak casks, previously used for bourbon, sherry or claret, gradually developing rich and mellow flavours.

It’s this combination of peat, barley, sea breeze, water, wood, people and tradition that together create the perfectly balanced warm and smoky character of Bowmore Single Malt Whiskies.

The Bowmore domestic product range:

• BowmoreLegend
• Bowmore 12 Years Old
• Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’
• Bowmore 18 Years Old
• Bowmore 25 Years Old


Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, and is also known as “The Queen of the Hebrides.” Its mild climate and rich peaty soil make it ideal for creating whisky, and despite having a population of not much more than 3,000, it’s home to no fewer than eight distilleries. 

Springbank Open Golf Competition – Golfing Whisky News

Springbank Open Golf Competition

Tee Times 9.06 am – 10.42 am


To book your tee time please telephone: +44 (0) 1586 555492 or email Janet at: 

Entry for non members £31.00 (50% of normal green fee rate). Prior notice is requested if you require either a Caddie or a Golf Cart. Teams of 4. Format Texas Scramble. Handicap allowance 10% of total combined team members. Handicap. Maximum handicap Men 18. Women 25

Prize giving is scheduled for 4.00 pm

Breakfast of bacon rolls and coffee and a carvery lunch following the competition will be available in the clubhouse at a cost of £15 per person

Golf Scotland Image

Tullibardine Coume del Mas Banyuls Finish Soon To Be Available In Ontario – Scotch Whisky News

Tullibardine Banyuls Finish

This single malt has matured in Coume del Mas Banyuls Galateo Barrels for 12 months resulting in a whisky with a wonderful finesse and balance.

Case Size: 6x70cl
ABV: 46%
Bottle barcode: 5060074861018
Case barcode: 05060074861025

Tasting Note:

Coume del Mas Banyuls Galateo is a wine fortified like Port from hand harvested Grenache Noir in southern France. Tullibardine is the first Distillery to use this type of wine cask for a main “Finish” and we are very proud of the resulting whisky. We took some single malt that had been in Bourbon Barrels and for nearly 12 months matured it in casks that held the 2009 Galateo Banyuls. The result is a single malt that has a wonderful finesse with vanilla and light chocolate flavours with a creamy richness and hints of red cherries and barley. ..

“Sweet and fragrant…enduringly fruity” – 3.5 out of 5.

The Whisky Lounge February 2012 Update – Scotch Whisky News

Hi all,

I am hoping this email finds you well and starting to see the light at the end of the winter! But, hey, its been nowhere near as bad as last year so that’s some consolation.

Lots and lots to tell you about, so make yourself a cup of tea, grab a biccie and settle back to read on…

It’s an Irish Invasion!
All over the UK. Including new venue in Leeds!

To celebrate the annual party that is St. Patrick’s Day and also the fact that Irish Whiskey is really making a welcome resurgence, we have decided to put together a series of tastings looking at all things Irish – whiskey, of course. If you are in any of the following places during the dates advertised, get yourselves booked in and enjoy the craic, they are sure to be sold-out soon!

Manchester – Friday 16th March
York – Saturday 17th March
Newcastle – Saturday 17th March (yes we are in two places at once!)
London – Monday 19th March, Albannach
London – Tuesday 20th March, Red Lion
LEEDS (NEW VENUE!) – Wednesday 21st March

Click here to be taken directly to the page you need in order to find out more or to book.

Brighton Whisky Fest 2012
Saturday 31st March
Hilton Brighton Metropole
King Street
£25 per ticket

Our 3rd year in Brighton and it should be a vintage one! Exhibitors and drams galore all on the sunny south coast – what more can you ask for? Well, for the first 100 people, you can take advantage of a 2 for £30 offer we have up at the moment – but be quick as this will be all sold and then the regular price will apply. We may also put an offer out using Groupon and/or Living Social, so keep an eye out for that on our Twitter and Facebook pages…

Click here to be taken to the festival page where you can find out more about the event and book tickets.

London Whisky Fest 2012
Saturday 21st April
Royal Horticultural Halls
St. Vincent’s Square
11am-3pm, 4pm-8pm
£40 per ticket, per session

At last. The Whisky Lounge rolls back into the capital with a festival to remember. A real celebration of all things whisky with exhibitors from around the world and lots of surprises too. Comedy, cocktails, food pairing and women in whisky will all be on the agenda – as well as simple draming for those that want it – so truly something for everyone. BUT WAIT! Before you go ahead and book you should know that we will be running a SUPER-SPECIAL OFFER on ‘Groupon’ next week! In order to find out about when this will take place you will need to follow us on Twitter or Facebook as this is where it will be announced!..

Whisky Mission #2
As our main objective is to ‘bring whisky to the people’, we thought it was high time we did exactly that! Our first employee, Joe, went out on his own in January with a few bottles and did a bit of tweeting for #1 – it was a valiant effort, but we thought the idea had legs and needed more meat. Joe and I both went out onto the streets of our home town of York on the 3rd February and had some fun. We picked random folks and asked them the question, ‘have you ever tried whisky?’ We filmed this extraordinary afternoon and the resulting video is now finished and on YouTube, as well as our website – click here to view it. Just a bit of fun, but some interesting results…


Our new membership has proved extremely popular we are happy to report. At only £50 for the year with the following benefits;
– 10% off all online event purchases (excepting 2 for 1 or similar offers!)
– 2 free £20 tasting tickets
– Free entry to selected events within our Whisky Fests.
– Advanced notice and opportunity to purchase new bottlings

We still have a few bottles of the 20cl Laphroaig 1998 which we will include for the next 20 people to join – but once their gone, that’s it!.. Click here to view and/or purchase membership.

Newcastle Whisky Fest – February 2012
Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who turned out for our 4th (wow, is it four already?) Newcastle Whisky Fest. It was a great day and by all accounts our best yet. The balance of exhibitors and customers seemed about right and the new initiatives such as the ‘Speakeasy’ certainly seemed to go down well. If you would like to view the video of the event and a write-up by our very own Joe Clark, please click here to be taken to the relevant page on the blog. Enjoy!

Phew, that’s it for now I think. Lots to look at, lots to think about and even more to do! We look forward to seeing you at a Whisky Lounge event soon.






Eddie Ludlow
Whisky Evangelist

WhiskyCast Publishes Episode #358 – Scotch Whisky News

WhiskyCast EPISODE #358

Each year, Glenmorangie releases a special edition finished in fine wine casks. This year’s edition is Artein, and takes the flavors of Sassicaia wine casks from Italy. We’ll hear from Ferdinando Fiori, an Italian whisky connoisseur who suggested the idea…and distillery manager Andy McDonald takes us to the Tarlogie Springs, the source of the distillery’s precious water supply.  In the news, Gillian Howell leaves Penderyn to join Bill Lumsden’s team, Chivas Brothers plans to reopen Glen Keith for the first time since 1999, and Campari announces plans for a new Wild Turkey bottling plant in Kentucky.   

Visit WhiskyCast at



Highland Park single malt whisky, distributed by Maxxium UK, is increasing investment by 75% into brand activation around a new platform of food and gastronomy. The brand has forged an exciting partnership with Slow Food UK, is a sponsor at this year’s prestigious The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards and will also be implementing a significant sampling programme across some of the UK’s biggest foodie events.

With shared beliefs and values, promoting a passion for flavour and craftsmanship, Highland Park and Slow Food UK have launched a dynamic new initiative, the Slow Food Chef Alliance. The new initiative will engage with Britain’s chefs in actively supporting Slow Food UK, by championing small scale producers and sustainably sourced, quality produce. A number of leading names have already signed up to the scheme including Slow Food UK Chef Alliance ambassador Richard Corrigan (Corrigan’s of Mayfair), Brett Graham (Ledbury), Michael Roux Jr (Le Gavroche), Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons) and Sam Harris (Zucca). Top regional chefs including Colin McGurran (Winteringham Fields) and Tony Singh (Oloroso) have also attended launches in Yorkshire and Scotland with more regional events being rolled out across the country.

Reinforcing the partnership with Slow Food, Highland Park will be sponsoring the Slow Food Restaurant of the Year Award at the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, now in its 10th year and known in the industry as the ‘foodie oscars’. This new award, judged by Slow Food, Restaurant Magazine and Highland Park, will go to the restaurant that creates pleasurable food with a strong commitment to community and the environment.

The brand activation investment will also see a significant sampling programme take place at key events across the UK including The Great Yorkshire Show and the three day festive foodie extravaganza, Taste of Christmas. The brand’s experiential sampling at these events will integrate the Slow Food partnership, showcasing local chefs and producers alongside Highland Park’s award winning single malt, and aims to reach over 30,000 consumers.

Peter Sandstrom, marketing director, Maxxium commented: “Highland Park’s brand strategy very much focuses on our partnership with Slow Food, which is a natural fit. Our shared values and promoting a passion for the importance of taste and flavour has been integrated across all of our brand activation. The Slow Food Chef Alliance is going from strength to strength and we are extremely excited about our involvement with The 50 Best Restaurants of the World and this annual gathering of the world’s culinary greats. We are also looking forward to giving consumers a fantastic food and drink experience through our UK sampling programme.”

Catherine Gazzoli, Slow Food UK CEO, commented: “ Our close relationships with leading chefs and UK consumers who are genuinely concerned with the quality and provenance of the food and drink they enjoy gives us a strong basis on which to reinforce the compatibility between Highland Park’s production values and the Slow Food ethos.

“We’re thrilled that Highland Park and its agencies have the vision to work with us on some of the most exciting and visible projects that Slow Food UK has ever undertaken.”

On a local level at home on Orkney, Highland Park has shown support by helping to establish Slow Food Orkney which was successfully launched at the distillery this week and hosted by Slow Food CEO Catherine Gazzoli.

Highland Park:

Five keystones contribute to making the Best Spirit in the World:
• Hand-turned malt adds to the deliciously succulent, balanced layers of aromatic character found in Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky.
• Aromatic peat gives a delectably seductive, luxuriant floral sweetness to Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky.
• Cool maturation enhances the smooth character of Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky.
• Sherry oak casks contribute to the distinctive richness and multi-dimensional complexity of Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky
• Cask harmonisation ensures consistency and balance in Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky.

Established in 1798 on Orkney, Highland Park is one of the most remote Scotch whisky distilleries in the world.  For over 200 years, the distillery has combined time old tradition and the very best craftsmanship to achieve perfection.   Its core range of 12, 18, 25, 30 and 40 year old single malt is consistently acclaimed by connoisseurs and experts. 

Slow Food UK:

In the fast modern junk food environment, Slow Food, a non-profit organisation, is the voice of calm reason and quality. We work to promote the greater enjoyment of food through a better understanding of its taste, quality and production, Working with local member groups across the country, our network of chefs and artisan producers, we deliver educational projects and events to reconnect people with where their food comes from, how and where it is produced and the implications of the choices we make on the environment, biodiversity and our own health.

For more information about 50 Best Restaurants of the World please visit:

Vignettes – Moments in Whisky ‘Official Highland Park ’Thor’ Launch in Sweden’ – Scotch Whisky News

Here’s a report from the official launch of the Highland Park ’Thor’ in Stockholm.

‘Thor’sday February 16 saw the day of the official European launch of the latest Highland Park – their ‘Valhalla’-collection that promises to office whisky in the character style of the old Norse Gods.

A very exciting and also a hard project according to Martin Markvardsen – the Danish brand ambassador for Highland Park. Martin tells me it has taken a lot of research into old Viking writings and chronicles to come up with the profile for this whisky – but they have released the first edition – the ‘Thor’

The launch of Highland Park ‘Thor’ was set in the capitol city of our Swedish brothers – Stockholm and at the Viking theme restaurant of Aifur ( a through and through concept with traditional long tables and benches, cutlery and the right décor and therefore also the right place for a launch of a whisky in this style. Aifur is located in Stockholm’s ‘Gamla Stan’ (Old town) with it cobbled streets starts to build up your expectations when you approach the place.


Inside Aifur the décor was much more alive like this guy with his Highland Park shield:

Martin Markvardsen said hello upon arrival and after getting a welcoming drink in my hand I quickly found a seat and started chatting with a guy from a local Stockholm whiskyclub.

Shortly after we were treated to a 3 course meal and a lecture about Viking travels by Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson from Stockholms University. To accompany the starter there was Highland Park 12yo + 18yo – 2 nice classics which was given a short introduction by Martin.

…and after the starter, it was time for the official launch of the ‘Thor’

Gerry Tosh gave an introduction to this new series and the concept behind before 2 tough looking Vikings in full armor carried a large chest down the stairs and hands Martin the keys.

He then unlocked the chest and in an old-religious style lifts out a bottle of ‘Thor’ and raises it above his head.


At the same time – a dram of the ‘Thor’ is passed around…

So let us de-mystify this much talked about latest release from Highland Park:

Highland Park ’Thor’ 16yo 52,1%, 23.000 Bottles
Cask ratios for this one deserves a mention as it’s not the normal Highland Park style. The ‘Thor’ is 90% refill American oak sherry casks and 10% first fill European oak

My own notes are:

Clearly peated, but not in the heavy islay-style, but still significant compared to the normal Highland Park peating level. At the same time it comes across light and fresh and with an earthy note I can only describe as a dunnage warehouse style. Also very fruity, citrus style, flowers in an orange grove?

Taste: The peat hits right away, but like on the nose, its light and disappears to the back of the mouth and lets a large amount tropical fruits and citrus (grape fruits?) notes and some vanilla and oak play on the palate. Also a little spicy and salty in the aftertaste – all which dries out to allow a whiff of trademark Highland Park honey to appear. All in all a whisky with a huge mouthfeel that also allows for finer notes to appear… and what really impresses me with this one, is its incredible freshness all the way on to its medium short finish again with the peat present.

It’s a nice piece of work by Highland Parks whiskymaker Max Mcfarlane for sure.

The next release will hit the streets before the end of the year, but it has still not been decided if it’s going to Freya or Loki that’s next

After the tasting there was a photo-op – here’s Martin Markvardsen and Gerry Tosh and the star of the evening – Thor:


Then it was time for mains and wine and music and entertainment, incl. an demonstration of how the Vikings passed time during the long winter nights. One of the games was ‘cheek pulling’… and the one who gave up first lost, of course – see a demo of it here:


After that it was time to lets some of the impressions settle a bit and have another taste of the ‘Thor’ from the bar and some of the local brew also. Martin and Gerry had commitments with Italian TV so it was a perfect time to indulge myself in another dram.

Before I left for the evening, Martin and I spend some time talking about the whisky scene incl. their business agreement with cooperage at the Sherry Bodega of Gonzales Byass, that does all the cask seasoning for them. Sometimes all the sherry is just poured away or sometimes its reused for another seasoning of new European oak casks. We alsos talked about the craftmansship involved in putting together these casks when a guy almost juggles this 500 liter butt around the coopers yard.

After an introduction to Gerry Tosh, Martin also let me know that Gerry is quitting as Global Brand ambassador to work fulltime in marketing. His job is taken over by Darryl Haldane, which btw is the guy with the mobile in the picture with the 2 cheek-pullers.

It was a very enjoyable evening indeed…and the next day snowy Stockholm showed itself from its beautiful side with the sun coming out just before noon and by that creating the perfect conditions for a walk around the ‘Old Town’ in Stockholm… it is recommended for sure – just as the Highland Park ‘Thor’… so good I just had to have one myself 


Finally a thanks to Martin for the invitation to the event.

Claus ‘BigMac’ Rasmussen,
Chairman, Aalborg Whisky Club, Denmark 

The Black Grouse ‘LIGHTS, CAMERA, COCKTAILS’ – Scotch Whisky News


With Oscar night around the corner (26th February 2012), The Black Grouse Blended Scotch whisky has created some cocktails worthy of their own award nominations inspired by the film world’s distinctive characters and the actors that play them.

All of these serves are easy to prepare at home and would make the perfect way to toast this year’s winners.

The smooth-talker

Made with our famously smooth whisky, this serve is named after the legendary George Clooney who is nominated for best actor for his outstanding performance in The Descendants.


· 25ml The Black Grouse

· 1 wedge of orange

· Top with cola


Fill a high ball glass with ice and pour in The Black Grouse. Add a wedge of fresh orange, top with cola and enjoy.

Silence is golden

This cocktail celebrates The Artist, a stylish and elegant movie which brought the glamour of a bygone era to modern cinema audience gaining a nomination for best picture in the process.


· 25ml The Black Grouse

· Freshly pressed apple juice

· A squeeze of fresh pink grapefruit


Pour a measure of The Black Grouse over plenty of ice in a highball glass. Top up with apple juice and add a squeeze of pink grapefruit.

Dragon’s breath

Inspired by the rebellious anti-hero Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, our cocktail reflects Rooney Mara’s fiery performance which sees her as a contender for best actress.


· 25ml The Black Grouse

· 1 wedge fresh lime squeezed

· Ginger beer


Fill a high ball glass with cubed ice and pour over The Black Grouse. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the ice and drop into the glass. Lengthen with ginger beer and serve.

The Black Grouse is available to buy from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons (RRP £17.50). For further information visit


Please enjoy our whisky responsibly

About The Black Grouse

· It is a blended whisky made from grain and malt whisky.

· It is a unique blend of The Famous Grouse mixed with peated malt whisky to create a rich smoky, peaty blend with the trademark quality and smoothness of The Famous Grouse.

· Awarding The Black Grouse 94 points* (out of 100) Jim Murray described it as a ‘real treasure’ and of the finish he said that it was ‘so gentle, with waves of smoke and oak lapping on an oaky shore….brilliant’. (Source: Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2008)

· Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is a highly successful and innovative annual book that was first launched in 2003. Now well-established, the book takes account of all the latest developments in the world of the wee dram containing tasting notes on over 3,800 whiskies.

A Taste From the Past – Grant’s Royal 12 Year Old, 1973 to 1976 – Scotch Whisky News

A Taste from the Past – Grant’s Royal 12 Year Old, 1973 to 1976

Good evening all,

Another day, another whisky and what a dram today brings – a bottle of Grant’s Royal from the 1970s.

This 12-year-old blend was bottled between 1973 and 1976 and was the first version of Grant’s Royal. It replaced Grant’s Best Procurable as our older blend but came before another Grant’s Royal which I tasted…(please click on the link to read the remainder of the article)…


Kind regards,


The Whisky Shop Stocks Dalmore Cigar Malt – Scotch Whisky News

The Whisky Shop

The Dalmore Cigar Malt Now In Stock – 24 February 2012. Discontinued in mid-2009 the Dalmore Cigar Malt is…(Link to full article)  

The Whisky Shop

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