Archive for April, 2013

New Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old A.D. Rattray Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 375ml ($72.99)
  • Bunnahabhain 40 year old Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 2 available ($2,999.99)
  • Caol Ila 21 Year Old A.D. Rattray Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 3 available ($119.99)
  • Mortlach 22 Year Old A.D. Rattray Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 375ml – 6 available ($67.99)

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

Scotch Whisky Auctions – Scotch Whisky News

The 25th Auction which is now underway will end May 5th, 2013

Vist the 25th Auction HERE

Highwood 25 Year Old Calgary Stampede 100th Anniversary Whisky – Canadian Whisky News

Highwood 25 year old Calgary Stampede 100th anniversary whisky

This 25 Year Old Calgary Stampede Whisky was distilled and bottled at Highwood distillery in May 2012 in High River Alberta, in the heart of the Canadian Foothills. Bottled to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, This commemorative … Continue reading

University of Aberdeen Malt Whisky Society “Ticket sales for Tasting May 1st” – Scotch Whisky News

There will be a Club tasting on Wednesday 1st May

Wednesday 1st May: Tasting at 6.30pm in Bookends, @Butchart
Tickets will be on sale between 12-2 in Alfies, Butchart on
Monday, 29th April

ALL members must pay their membership for this year.
Please see details below about how to do this.
HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MALT WHISKY SOCIETYWe also need to get EVERYONE to become a member of the Malt Whisky Society.
To do this follow these simple steps:
1. Go to
2. Register a new account
3. Search for “Malt Whisky Society”
4. Add “Malt Whisky Society Student Membership” (£2) to your basket (like
5. Go to your basket – you MUST add “Societies Union” membership (£1) before you can pay
6. Follow payment instructions – you NEED a credit/debit card to pay.
7. Bring along your reference on a bit of paper/your mobile phone to the next whisky event and we will give you your membership card.Yes, we relise that this is INCREDIBLY stupid/inefficient/difficult/unnecessary but it is THE ONLY WAY that you can become a member. This also includes previous members.

It is possible to pay for membership with cash at the Butchart Recpetion desk during opening hours.

£3 = 4 whiskies!
Date: Wednesday 1st May 
Time: 19:00
Where: Bookends in Butchart Centre (University Rd)
What to bring: £3 for event and money for raffle

Please come along early – we can only fit so many people (legally) into Bookends
Come early to avoid disappointment 

You can still come to this event without becoming a member.
You should become a member as soon as possible.

University of Aberdeen Malt Whisky Society

The Butchart Centre

University Road

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB24 3UT

United Kingdom



BARDSTOWN, kENTUCKY (April, 2013) –The winners from the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, held in New York City last month have been announced, and three bourbons distilled at the Barton 1792 Distillery won high honors.

1792 Ridgemont Reserve was awarded a rating of 92 points and given an “Excellent, Highly Recommended” rating. Consumer favorite Kentucky Tavern garnered a rating of 90 points and was also given the accolade of “Excellent, Highly Recommended.”  A new entry in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Zackariah Harris Bourbon, was not only also honored with the “Excellent, Highly Recommended” accolade, with 94 points, but named a Finalist for the Chairman’s Trophy in Bourbon.  In addition, both Kentucky Tavern and Zackariah Harris were named “Great Values.”

Tasting notes from the judges for 1792 Ridgemont Reserve describe it as, “A heavy bouquet of toasted oak, cherry and vanilla open up into a gentle array of brown sugar, baked cherries and dried stone fruits.”

2013 was the fourth year for the Ultimate Spirits Competition, founded by noted spirits writer Paul Pacult.  This year, 49 different bourbon brands were entered in the prestigious competition. Full results of the USC can be found at

About Barton 1792 Distillery 

Barton 1792 Distillery is part of Barton Brands of Kentucky, with facilities in Bardstown, Ky., Carson, Calif., and Baltimore, Md. Barton Brands is owned by the Sazerac Company, a family-owned company based in New Orleans, La. Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and continues today as the oldest fully-operating Distillery in the “Bourbon Capital of the World.”  1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon whiskey is produced at Barton 1792 Distillery.  This small batch Bourbon whiskey is the recent winner of a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. To learn more about the Distillery visit



The makers of premium whisky brand Wild Turkey are introducing an exciting honey-flavoured bourbon, American Honey to the UK this month. American Honey, is blended with real Kentucky Wild Turkey bourbon and hand-selected American honey and has been developed to be shared with friends, chilled from the bottle as a shot.

Unlike other honey flavoured bourbons, American Honey retains the taste and kick of straight bourbon but introduces subtle notes of sweet honey, caramel and orange giving it a much smoother finish. American Honey was the first ever bourbon liqueur with honey to launch in the US and is one of Wild Turkey’s signature drinks made in their distillery near Lawrenceburg in Kentucky, USA.

American Honey is smooth without being overly sweet and is perfect straight out of the bottle as a shot, chilled or over ice, or works well with mixers like cola.

American Honey will be touring University Student Unions around the UK with a branded American Honey photobooth and will also be offering the chance to win a US Road Trip in summer 2013. For more details go to

Southern Comfort Releases Limited Edition World Series of Poker® Gift Pack – American Whiskey News

Southern Comfort Releases Limited Edition World Series of Poker® Gift Pack

LOUISVILLE, Ky – April 15, 2013 –  Southern Comfort 100 proof has released a limited edition gift pack in conjunction with its partnership with the World Series of Poker. The gift pack contains a 750ml of Southern Comfort 100 proof, a deck of playing cards and 10 poker chips. It is available in 13 markets (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Virginia) across the US.

Southern Comfort is the presenting sponsor of the 2012-2013 season of the World Series of Poker Tour. The season-culminating National Championship event takes place at Harrah’s New Orleans from May 21-23, 2013.


The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2012, the event attracted 74,766 entrants from 101 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $222 million in prize money.  In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.  The WSOP Circuit Tour is entering its ninth season in 2012-13.  For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit


Southern Comfort®, a fruit, spice, and whiskey flavored liqueur, was created in New Orleans by bartender M.W. Heron in 1874. Today, it is enjoyed by friends in over 100 countries around the world and continues to grow as an icon brand.  Please visit us at and




“Competitions held in London, Chicago and San Francisco” 

Little Rock, AR – (April 15, 2013) – Phil Brandon, founder of Rock Town Distillery, Arkansas’ first legal distillery since prohibition, is happy to announce his hand crafted spirits have won top honors in recent prestigious spirits competitions.

Early in March, Rock Town was awarded the rating of “Exceptional – Gold Medal” for both our Arkansas Young Bourbon and our Hickory Smoked Whiskey by the highly respected Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago.  The Beverage Testing Institute’s International Review of Spirits Competition is one of America’s oldest and most influential spirits competitions operating since 1994.

“On March 21st we were stunned to learn our Bourbon was awarded Best Bourbon (no age statement) at the World Whiskies Awards in London, England” said Phil Brandon distillery founder.  The World Whiskies Awards had more than 300 whiskies battling it out during three intensive blind tasting rounds, for the coveted title of ‘2013 World’s Best Whiskies’. Judges for Whisky Magazine’s independent editorial panel were drawn from the best drinks journalists and retailers across the world, with industry representatives made up of master blenders, distillers and brand ambassadors in the final round.

On March 24th Rock Town received more great news from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition that our Bourbon won the top award of Double Gold Medal in the ‘Small Batch Bourbon up to 10yrs Old’ category.  The annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition commends the finest spirits from across the globe.  More than 1,400 spirits from 63 countries were judged this year as part of the largest competition in the event’s 13 year history.

“Receiving these accolades really is a testament to the hard work, dedication and craftsmanship we put into our whiskies” said Phil Brandon.  “We’re very proud of the fact that we use locally sourced Arkansas grains to make world class whiskies”.

For a complete listing of winners online:

World Whiskies Awards 2013 –

San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013 –

International Review of Spirits 2013 –

Rock Town Distillery is also proud to announce it has also recently partnered with Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) and is now available in Georgia and Florida through RNDC.  Soon RNDC will distribute Rock Town’s products in Texas and Louisiana as well.  Rock Town’s products are also distributed in Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Oregon, and Oklahoma.


Rock Town Distillery, Arkansas’ first legal distillery since prohibition, produces the award winning Brandon’s Vodka, Brandon’s Gin, Arkansas Young Bourbon Whiskey, Arkansas Hickory Smoked Whiskey, Riverboat Rum, as well as three moonshines called Arkansas Lightning, Apple Pie Arkansas Lightning and Lightning Hot Arkansas Lightning.  The distillery located in downtown Little Rock at 1216 E 6th Street, Little Rock, AR 72202.  The distillery is open for tours and tastings.  For more information please visit



Fredericksburg, VIRGINIA (April, 2013) The winners from the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, held last month in New York City, have been announced.  A. Smith Bowman Distillery was honored with two of its craft whiskeys winning high accolades in the prestigious competition.

John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon was awarded 94 points and the rating of “Excellent, Highly Recommended,” and named a Finalist for the Chairman’s Trophy.

Tasting notes from the judges describe this bourbon as, “Incredibly smooth and delightfully sweet. Polished and refined finish referring back to baked cherries and almond butter while maintaining its delicate sweetness. Fantastic.”

Also scoring highly was the Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon, with its 88 points and a “Very Good, Strong Recommendation.”

This is the fourth year for the Ultimate Spirits Competition, founded by noted spirits reviewer Paul Pacult.  Other esteemed judges include Sean Ludford, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, and Dave Wondrich.  Find a complete list of winners online at

About A. Smith Bowman

A. 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.  In response to the rapid rise of taxes in Northern Virginia, 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. For more information on A. Smith Bowman, please visit

Angels Whisky Club INTERVIEW Caroline Martin, Master Blender, Diageo – Scotch Whisky News

Caroline Martin, Diageo.

Hi again Caroline, your tasting session recently in Edinburgh prompted me to ask you more questions! (asks Paul Mclean)

I know you have been with Diageo for umpteen years, but – What first got you interested in whisky?  I started working with the company in the New Products Innovation area in 1986, primarily working with flavours, colours, thickeners and different spirit types. From that starting point I became involved with whisky from the perspective of developing whisky liqueurs. I enjoyed being able to blend different flavours together as I had done previously when I studied Home Economics at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh with food recipe development.

What exactly does a whisky master blender do? A wide variety of things on a daily basis, there is no “typical” day at work. Mostly I ensure the consistently high quality standards of our established brands are fully met – including Johnnie Walker, Bell’s J&B Rare. I also am involved in the creation , crafting and innovation of new whisky blends. The key skill required is the ability to nose, taste and describe whisky attributes – known as sensory capability. I manage a small team of highly motivated whisky technical specialists too.

How did you become a master blender?
My journey to become a Master Blender happened over quite a few years. I built up of lots of experience of nosing whisky samples over time. Being knowledgeable and keen to understand the new make whisky characters and then appreciating what the different casks can bring to the flavour styles in the maturing spirit. The ability to then craft new blends by understanding how the different whisky flavours interact to produce something exceptional and unique.

When did you realise you had a “nose” and “taste” for whisky?
I was always keen to be able to put descriptors to what I nosed and tasted in different whiskies. In fact my interest in this area took me on a different career path for a while, where I actually managed and trained sensory panellists for the company. Sensory skills are paramount for a master Blender and I benefitted greatly from investing my time in this role. I also had a keen interest in aromatherapy, blending essential oils, around this time and qualified as a Clinical Aromatherapist after two years of studying and completing case histories.

How hard is it to nose/taste so many whiskies each day? Most whiskies are nosed and not tasted. With experience you learn to be aware of your own tolerances to nose effectively and I pace myself accordingly. If I feel my nose is becoming exhausted when nosing a large number of whisky samples, especially if they have strong peaty notes, then I will take a break and come back to them when my nose is refreshed and able to perform as required.

What happens if you have a cold? I have the reassurance that there are other expert whisky panellists onsite who perform as a trained sensory panel alongside me. So when I have a cold there is no real cause for concern – just frustration on my part!

What do you look for in a new whisky? A new whisky blend for me has to deliver something exceptional from an aroma and flavour perspective. Its ability to stand up to different serves on different occasions is also important to me – it should be adaptable! Once I’m intrigued enough to try it, and assuming I like it, the blend must then be consistent in quality.

Are you working on anything new/special just now? I’ve always got a few new projects in progress, but like all good Master Blenders they’re not spoken about until they’re available on the market!

What is the best blend you have achieved? I am delighted with the positive feedback I received on the Johnnie Walkers Directors Blend for 2011. I put considerable time and effort into this blend to create very soft, mellow fruity flavours with a subtle hint of smoke in the background. I’m glad that the guests invited to a recent Director’s Blend event in Edinburgh found it to be very enjoyable.

Can you briefly outline a typical day? The variety within my role means that there is no real typical day. I could be travelling to Elgin one day to nose new make malt whiskies and the next day travelling to Fife to nose new make grain samples. On other days I may be assessing mature cask samples with a view to using them to create new blends. Ongoing quality assurance is an important part of the role and training sensory panels at our production sites is crucial. I also manage a small team of 4 people who are also contributing to the world of whisky at Diageo.

What skills and qualities do you need to become a master blender? The key skill is sensory capability – you have to be able to nose and taste whiskies and describe them in detail. This skill either allows you to be able to create new blends or highlight when something is wrong in a blend –and more importantly why! Accuracy and repeatability are other important aspects of the role and an understanding of the inventory too!

Apart from our membership (of course) is there anyone in the whisky world you wish to meet? Past or present.
I’d love the opportunity to meet up with the original Arthur Bell or Johnnie Walker and ask them what they think of the whisky industry today. I wonder what advice they would offer us……?

Many thanks for being honest and putting up with all of my questions, do you have a parting shot? Peoples’ tastes change over time – I’d encourage you to be aware of this. Because you don’t like a particular whisky today doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Keep trying new blends- they bring with them new flavours. And keep trying them on different occasions, in different serves. The world of whisky offers much in the way of variety of flavours. Finding your favourites is all part of the enjoyment!

Caroline Martin, Master Blender, Diageo, interviewed by Paul McLean, Angels Whisky Club.

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