Archive for March, 2012

Maker’s Mark Spring Cocktail – American Whiskey News

Top Spring Cocktail Trends

Celebrate the Season with Maker’s Mark

It’s time to retire winter favorites like mulled wine and hot toddy’s, and drink up this season’s spring cocktail trends. Welcome the warm weather with a behind the bar innovation: fresh produce cocktail.


Similar to chefs, mixologists are now sourcing cocktail ingredients from their local farmers markets. Sugary mixes and artificial syrups are out and fresh fruits, herbs and veggies are in. From vegetable infused Bloody Mary’s to unexpected combinations like Thai basil and strawberries, farm fresh ingredients are brightening up the cocktail scene. In New York City, bars including Macao Trading Co., Saxon and Parole, and Ward III serve renowned fresh produce cocktails made with Maker’s Mark.

The Ward 3

Recipe by Ward III, New York


Muddled Fresh Strawberries

¾ part Fresh Lime Juice

½ part Simple Syrup

1 Egg White

2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon


1. Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice.

2. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass.

3. Garnish with a shaving of nutmeg.

Today is the 5th International Whisky Day

From our friend Serge at Whisky Fun…

Like we do every year since 2008 at WF and elsewhere, let’s simply raise our glasses to pay tribute to the great Michael-Jackson-in-the-Sky since it’s his birthday today. Please, please, let’s also keep this wee yearly celebration free of mercantilism and of any lousy stunts by self-promoters. I’m sorry but I don’t think Michael did deserve any kind of parasitical (okay, discourteous) ventures, especially not by the loud ones who are everywhere all the time anyway. Santé, angel Michael!…

Read Serge’s review of “One Single Dram For Michael Jackson” a Macallan 15 yo 1946 (80°proof UK, OB, R Kemp, Campbell Hope & King, +/-1961).

Bowmore Launches “Magic Happens on the ‘Darkest’ Nights” To Highlight Core Expression: Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ – Scotch Whisky News

Bowmore Launches “Magic Happens on the ‘Darkest’ Nights” To Highlight Core Expression: Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’

MARCH 2012 – This year Bowmore, the first Islay Single Malt whisky, is launching an exciting marketing campaign Magic Happens on the ‘Darkest’ Nights to support the growth of its multi-award winning core expression, Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’. The new integrated campaign will see a series of innovative activities rolled out globally and will span advertising, digital, PR and on-trade/off-trade marketing activity.

Bowmore whisky is widely acknowledged to be the most perfectly balanced in the world; the new campaign will support the trade in offering this interesting and complex (not just smoky) Islay expression to Single Malt enthusiasts as well as expand distribution. Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ is the outcome of 12 years maturing in American Bourbon casks,followed by a three year finish in Oloroso sherry casks, resulting in warmth, depth and a burnt sienna colour – all providing inspiration for Magic Happens on the ‘Darkest’ Nights. This consumer proposition allows the brand to explain the meaning behind the name ‘Darkest’.

Kicking off the campaign is the consumer event Magic Happens on the ‘Darkest’ Nights in London in April; a theatrical and immersive experience where guests will be taken on a sensory–filled journey that brings to life Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’, Islay and its myths and legends in a multi-roomed venue. The event partners with Master Chocolatier Paul Young from Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, stargazing experts from the Kielder Forest StarCamp Observatory, pop-up culinary experts Hidden Dining, and Gideon Reeling, purveyor of bespoke theatrical interactive experiences.

Similarly in May, Bowmore will host the only headline event at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York – the annual festival of cocktails and culture. Here, Bowmore will present a performance of cult phenomenon immersive theatre Sleep No More by Punchdrunk, the pioneers of immersive theatre.

Bowmore’s collaboration with Paul A Young will also continue through 2012. For one of the darkest and most magical nights of the year – Bonfire Night – the groundbreaking Master Chocolatier is creating the perfect hot chocolate serve using Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’. The expression is incorporated into a dark chocolate ganache bon bon, which the consumer thenstirs into the hot chocolate drink and watches as the ganache and whisky melt away.

All consumer activities will be housed on a newly designed microsite focusing on the ‘magic’ of ‘Magic Happens on the Darkest Nights’. The site will feature Bowmore influenced online magical illusions that use video, interactivity and animation to create an immersive experience. The microsite will also incorporate information aboutsampling events and competitions.

To support the on-trade, a new series of intimate consumer events Darkest Nights will take place at premium accounts across the country, where guests can experience stargazing, in-depth whisky tastings and food pairings. Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ chocolate perfect serve kits have also been specially designed to create a memorable and theatrical serve experience. To complete the support, three classic whisky cocktails – Rob Roy, Rusty Nail and Blood & Sand – have been tailored to complement the ‘Darkest’ fruity notes and smokiness.

Unique sensory sampling activities using Bowmore branded blindfolds and bespoke chocolates will also be available for select off-trade accounts. The activity will allow consumers to explore the depth of taste with dark chocolate and communicate the Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ flavour notes.

Cara Laing, Brand Manager of Bowmore, comments: “We are hugely excited to be showcasing our 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ as a core member of the Bowmore range. The spirit is truly exceptional and a firm favourite with trade and consumers alike. The new campaign allows us to explore new marketing platforms such as chocolate pairing and even astronomy!”

Rachel Barrie, Master Blender of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, comments: “To me Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ is the dark and alluring side of Bowmore; a rich and beguiling malt that fusessherry and peat smoke together in perfect harmony. Seductive smokiness is balanced by rich dried fruit, treacle toffee and chocolate sweetness, with a drizzle of lime and sprinkle of sea salt to slice through the indulgence. With its wonderfully warming and velvety texture, it is perfect to warm your soul as darkness descends. Relax, sink into your chair and savour the spirit of ‘Darkest’.”

For more information, please visit and

UK Distributor: Cellar Trends


Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ – Tasting Notes

Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ is matured in not one, but two types of cask: North American bourbon and Spanish Oloroso sherry. Over time, the bourbon barrels help to bring out the classic Bowmore smokiness, but it’s the final three years spent maturing in Oloroso casks that have the most profound effect. These wonderful hand-selected sherry butts give our 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ the rich, deep amber colour reflected in its name, as well as its deliciously warming finish.

Colour:burnt sienna

Nose: delicious dark chocolate, rich, dark fruits and a tell-tale wisp of Islay smoke

Palate: wonderful cedar wood and rich treacle toffee

Finish: robust and warming with a hint of sherry tannin

Tasting Tip: Bowmore 15 Years Old ‘Darkest’ has real warmth and depth. Warm the glass in your hands before sipping to bring out the classic Bowmore smokiness, dark chocolate and raisin aromas.


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 also 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:

Bowmore Legend
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.

Spring Arrivals at Miner’s Delight Inn – Scotch Whisky News

Spring arrivals at Miner’s Delight Inn

Winter 2011/2012 put on a pitiful performance, snow-wise. This one-footer on Memorial Day last May was the last big snow we received. In a place where we average more than 200 inches of snow a year, we’ve had barely more than 80 inches so far this season.

Luckily the single malt Scotch whisky has come on a more predictable schedule, and on the first day of spring 2012 four new expressions arrived.

Glenfarclas 105, Glengoyne 10 year, and Glenrothes 1988 were three whiskys we tasted at the Victoria Whisky Festival in January. They comprise part of a dozen whiskys we’ll add to the backbar thanks to the opportunity to taste so many at the festival.

Arran 14 year is the fourth whisky that arrived, part of our expanding line from that terrific young distillery.

Happy Spring, and if you live in a place where you have more snow than you want, please send some our way.

All the best,


Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America March 2012 Offerings – Scotch Whisky News

March 2012 Outturn Offerings

 Cask No. 53.154 – President’s Choice 

Surfer’s sundown dram 

Cask No. 53.154                   


Unreduced the nose was like the soft smoke of burning driftwood on a distant dune. Damp coarse sand, seaweed and brine fill the nostrils as if one were laying prostrate on a wet beach after an energetic swim across the bay. On the palate it sets the tongue ablaze with hot smoke and black peppercorns cracked between the teeth. With water the nose softens as if a mist has fallen; pleasant, cooler with a hint of eucalyptus. Citrus, tar and swirling smoke cover and console the palate. The narrows of the Sound of Islay remain visible through the mist. 

Drinking tip: Outside on a cool autumn evening 

Colour: Dried pasta in a glass jar                                  

Cask: Refill sherry butt                                    

Age: 17 years                                        

Date distilled: July 1993

Alcohol: 59.8% 



Geologist’s Dream 

Cask No. 26.81                     

Highlands,Northern Highlands 

The cooling Icelandic nose brought thoughts of tundra and sea with lemon splashed on dry stone; an empty beach with dew, grass and rock salt followed by fresh lime, balsam and pine resin. The neat palate was almost Chablis-like, licking lemon off flinty rocks or ‘sucking a pebble’ said the tour guide. With water, the nose became clean with a sherbet-like fizz; washing powder on clean linen laundry drying on hot rocks; botanicals of juniper, coriander and angelica brought depth. The reduced palate continued the effervescent theme with sherbet lemon, moondust, cremola foam and candy floss. This distillery has beautiful views over theNorth Sea and sources its water from the Clynemilton burn. 

Drinking tip: Forget the gin and tonic – have this when you need something more interesting 

Colour: Platinum gold                                       

Cask: Refill hogshead                                       

Age: 11 years                                        

Date distilled: April 2000

Alcohol: 58.6%



The Roly-Poly Pudding 

Cask No. 66.32                     

Highlands, Speyside (Bogie) 

Raw dough with a whiff of smoke. Dusty, coal smuts: we thought of Beatrix Potter’s story about Tom Kitten… Over time the smokiness increases, soon joined by light medicinal notes (sphagnum moss, Swarfega hand wash), while the dough becomes more buttery, like Aberdeen ‘rowies’ (a buttery form of croissant). The taste is sweet, clean and hot, with light sulphur, antiseptic and peaty elements. Water raises European oak notes (struck matches) for a moment, then bread and butter pudding, and now the taste has treacle toffee, salty butter and charred toast in the finish. Famously smoky for an Aberdeenshire malt. 

Drinking tip: Reading Beatrix Potter beside an unlit fireplace

Colour: Pale amber                                           

Cask: Refill gorda, ex sherry                            

Age: 13 years                                        

Date distilled: March 1998

Alcohol: 58.6% 



Greta Garbo 

Cask No. 125.47                   

Highlands,Northern Highlands 

Another superb example of ‘Scotland’s favourite malt’. Hazel nuts and sappy wood give way to honeysuckle and jasmine, with traces of unlit cigarettes, and later a faint wisp of smoke. A thick, creamy nose, with soft fudge and hints of coconut – and the creaminess is repeated big time in the mouth. The taste is sweet, with Amarillo liqueur; mid palate and smooth. Water makes it more floralrose petals with fresh coconut, and a hint of cigar ash; the texture is still silky smooth; the taste sweet (tinned peaches) and the medium finish is ashy. We thought of a classy dame in a silk negligee, lounging in her suite at The Savoy. 

Drinking tip: Lounging at The Savoy 

Colour: Mid gold                                               

Cask: First-fill ex-Bourbon hogshead                

Age: 15 years                                        

Date distilled: December 1995

Alcohol: 56.1% 


John Climbs Ben Lomond To Taste HIS WHISKY (Very Cool!) – Scotch Whisky News

John climbed up Ben Lomond because he figured it would be the BEST place to do a tasting video for his whisky

Take a look for yourself at

Well done John and thank you Emma!

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #260 – Scotch Whisky News

A word to the wise malt-mates, some of the most characterful of all Scotch malts come from the East coast Highland region, including Whisky Review 260 – Clynelish 14yo @

World Whisky Day at Single Malts Direct – Scotch Whisky News

WORLD WHISKY DAY – 27th March 2012

Today sees the first ever World Whisky Day, a new event celebrating the global admiration for Scotland’s national drink. And to help celebrate we are giving away a FREE Whiskies of Scotland Map with every order for today only. 

Map - WOS


It maybe a bit late for our international customers to travel all the way to us in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland for World Whisky Day but if you are in Huntly today and would like to help us celebrate, you will be welcomed in our shop with a nice dram. Slainte!



from subtly-peated malts to peat so thick you could dance on it, the four are sure to become firm favourites!

INTRIGUINGLY, BenRiach’s revamped range of peated single malts shows the award-winning Speyside distillery going back to its nineteenth-century roots to give its twenty-first century customers a truly unique and authentic taste experience.

Back in the 1800s, the majority of Speyside distilleries were producing pungent, peated whiskies, but this trend changed in the 1960s when the US market emerged and a softer, easier-drinking style of whisky was preferred.

BenRiach was one of the first Speyside distilleries of the modern era to release a peated expression, with the 10 year-old Curiositas in 2004. The majority of the distillery’s output is the more traditional, non-peated style that most people associate with Speyside, but the peated range certainly represents a unique selling point.

Over the last few months, the distillery has been working to come up with a revamped, definitive range of four peated expressions that will be available on an ongoing basis. The final line-up can now be confirmed as Birnie Moss, Curiositas aged 10 years old, Septendecim aged 17 years old and Authenticus aged 25 years old.

From subtly-peated malts to peat so thick you could dance on it, the four are sure to become firm favourites!

Birnie Moss is an area of windswept moorland close to the BenRiach Distillery and it’s this wild place that gives our single malt its name. This is a younger expression of peated BenRiach, capturing the peaty, phenolic characteristics at their most pronounced. It’s also something of a “first” under the new owners, as it’s the first core expression that uses whisky distilled under the new stewardship of BenRiach. Initially launched around three years ago, Birnie Moss has recently been re-packaged to synchronise it with the rest of the BenRiach range.

Curiositas, the 10 year-old, is BenRiach’s core peated expression and has been available since the company formed in 2004. Traditionalists believe that peated malts achieve optimum balance of peat-bittersweet and oak infusion after ten years’ maturation, and Curiositas proves that point superbly.

Septendecim, the 17 year-old, was only launched in January and already has acquired a reputation for being a magnificent, moody, multi-layered malt with fantastic length. On the palate, it gives sweet, concentrated peat flavours which dominate from the start. Bold and intense, the peaty heart is united with honey-infused raisins, roasted nuts and a luxurious leather impression. Overall, it’s a real robust heavyweight, full-bodied and beautifully balanced with enormous impact. Septendecim is non chill-filtered and bottled at natural colour, with a strength of 46% vol.

And completing the impressive quartet is the full-bodied and audacious Authenticus, formerly available as a 21 year-old and now available and re-packaged as a 25 year-old peated single malt. At 46%, it’s bright, warm and amber gold in colour. On the nose, it offers elegant aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh mountain herbs and a profusion of sweet peat. On the palate, it’s a fantastic fusion of rich peat and smouldering embers bound together by fresh herbs – oregano, aniseed and chicory in particular. Overall, it carries terrific weight and development which leaves a powerful lasting impression long after the glass has been drained.

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “Peated malt whisky production only represents approximately six weeks’ worth of the annual production at BenRiach, but the peated whiskies have become an important part of the distillery’s portfolio as they offer something new and unexpected from the Speyside region.

“We wanted to offer our consumers a range of peated BenRiachs that would span the age range – one that would both allow the development of the malt to be charted and also be available on a regular basis. Hopefully, with these four expressions, we will achieve that.”

Grant’s Scotch Whisky “Whisky fact of the day” – Scotch Whisky News

Whisky fact of the day

Hi all,

Part of my role as a Global Ambassador for Grant’s is to share the many interesting facts and stories that surround our whisky.  I do a lot of it in person – meeting fans wherever I go. But the world is a big place and there’s only one of me.

Thankfully, social media sites have…(please click on the link below to read the remainder of the article)…


Kind regards,

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