Archive for November, 2013

Back in Stock at K&L California – Whisky News



Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1 Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 8 available ($179.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon 750ml (Ships as 1.5L) ($27.99)
97 points Wine Enthusiast: “Complex and addictive. Scents of cinnamon, hazelnuts, and dried fruit precede big flavors: cinnamon spice, raisinated and plummy, like Madeira or Sherry. Long finish, with a bit of a bite.” (09/2010) K&L Notes: Medium gold in color. The nose brings notes of butterscotch, clover, vanilla and old leather. The big body displays a palate with an almost wine-like character that balances intense fruits, honey and vanilla with a light spiciness that shows off the distiller’s craft. The finish is long and warm.

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





Jameson Original revealed as ‘Top Irish Blend’ & Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength is named ‘Irish Whiskey of the Year’ and ‘Irish Pot Still of the Year’

Jameson Original has been crowned ‘Irish Blend of the Year’ for the third year running in the recently-released 2014 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Recognising the consistent, crafted quality and smooth taste which has made the whiskey a worldwide favourite, Murray gave Jameson Original an impressive 95/100 points, remarking that he was “blown away as usual” and that “this very special whiskey remains in truly wondrous form”.

In further good news for Irish Distillers, Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength whiskey was once again named both ‘Irish Whiskey of the Year’ and ‘Irish Pot Still of the Year’, with a record score for an Irish whiskey of 97/100 points, reinforcing Irish Distillers’ reputation for crafted excellence across all areas of the Irish Whiskey category. Irish Distillers’ Midleton 1991 Single Cask No. 48750 was Jim Murray’s next highest-scoring Irish whiskey, with 96.5 points.

Murray was also effusive in his praise for the new-strength Powers Gold Label 43.2%, which launched in the USA in September this year, complementing its powerful “big Irish pot still hardness” and stating that it’s balance was “all to do with the extra pot still which here acts as backbone and muscle.”

PADDY Centenary Edition, a pure pot still limited edition which was released in September to commemorate 100 years of the PADDY brand, was also scored highly, achieving 93 points.

Brian Nation, Irish Distiller’s Master Distiller, commented: “We’re over the moon that so many of our whiskeys have been recognized for their high quality by Jim Murray. Plaudits like this mean a lot to all of us at the Midleton Distillery; we take great pride in ensuring the consistency and high standards that whiskey fans have come to expect from our whiskeys, so to receive this recognition from such an eminent figure in the whiskey world as Jim Murray is a great honour.”

The success in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible follows a momentous year for Irish Distillers, which saw the company unveil a host of new initiatives – including its new Garden Stillhouse and the first-ever Irish Whiskey Academy – as it aims to continue the Irish whiskey category’s consistently strong growth.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Award Wins for Irish Distillers:

Jameson – 95 points

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel – 91.5 points

Jameson Gold Reserve – 88 Points

Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve 2007 – 96 points

Jameson Signature Reserve – 93 points

Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve – 91 points 

Midleton Single Pot Still Cask 1991 – 96.5 points

Midleton Single Pot Still Single Cask 1994 – 93 points

Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy – 94 points

Paddy Centenary Edition – 93 points

Powers John’s Lane Release Aged 12 Years – 91 points

Powers Signature Release – 91 points

Redbreast 12 Year Old – 89 points

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength batch1/11– 96 points

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength batch1/12 – 97 points

Redbreast Aged 15 Years bottle 12 – 96 points

Green Spot – 94.5 points

Yellow Spot Aged 12 Years – 88.5 points 

Jameson 700ml Glass

About Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Irish Distillers Group was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers, John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the board of directors decided to close the existing distilleries in Cork and Dublin, and to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility.

A site alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork was chosen as the location for the new distillery, as there was no room for expansion in Dublin. Both the Old Jameson Distillery and the Old Midleton Distillery currently operate as visitor centres attracting over 330,000 visitors annually. Following an early unsolicited takeover offer and one of the most protracted battles in Irish corporate history made by GrandMet, Allied-Lyons and Guinness, Irish Distillers was taken over by Pernod Ricard in June 1988 with the support of the management and employees.  

Irish whiskey brands within the Irish Distillers’ portfolio include Jameson, Paddy and Powers, with Single Pot Still brands, Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Redbreast and the much-revered Midleton, which includes prestigious expressions such as Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy and Midleton Very Rare.  

Black Friday Deals Start 10AM GMT November 2th, 2013 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

 AA Black-Friday-Deals-2013-11-29 (1)

Black Friday Deals start 10AM GMT Friday November 29th, 2013 at The Whisky Barrel. 

Top Picks at K&L California – Whisky News


1995 Glendronach 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single PX Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($149.99)
Good grief, Glendronach keeps bringing the hits. We’ve been obsessed with Glendronach since our first visit to the distillery in 2011. They’ve revamped this distillery, investing in the highest quality wood, using meticulous warehouse management to get the very most out of old stock and continuing to pump out some of the finest juice in Scotland. This year’s offering was aged in Pedro Ximenez casks and shows a totally different type of sherry influence from last year’s powerfully masculine dry oloroso cask. What we have here is the perfect sweet sherry nose, filled with dense dried plums, spiced pears, subtle flintiness, and a rich creamy core. On the palate, the baking spices really explode fresh clove, nutmeg, and freshly dried stone fruits. This balance between spices, dark exotic oak tones, and powerfully rich fruit is the hallmark of Glendronach. I think this cask will be the best received Glendronach yet.

Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($109.99)
The 2013 limited edition is here, loaded with the Pedro Ximenez sherry from the double barrel maturation. Big, cakey, and round with tons of richness. This whisky is always a big hit. We’ve been getting about five requests a day for this lately, so it appears the DE Lagavulin is the new hot thing on the street! Personally, I have always felt that the DE over did it on the PX sherry, but I finally got around to tasting this year’s expression and I was quite taken aback. This 2013 edition is exactly what I hope Lagavulin with extra sherry will taste like, but never seems to actually do. A burst of rich raisiny sherry comes first with all the classic Lagavulin smoke and brine on the back end. The fudge lingers long on the finish, mingling between cocoa and campfire smoke. I’ve found that previous editions have overdosed on the sherry and drowned out the peat. Not this one. It’s perfectly harmoneous. It’s totally balanced and right where it need s to be. I think it might be the best Lagavulin I’ve tasted in years. Much better than the standard 16 in my opinion. Fans of the distillery will be very pleased. This whisky is delicious. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Elmer T. Lee Single Barre l Bourbon 750ml (Ships as 1.5L) ($27.99)
97 points Wine Enthusiast: “Complex and addictive. Scents of cinnamon, hazelnuts, and dried fruit precede big flavors: cinnamon spice, raisinated and plummy, like Madeira or Sherry. Long finish, with a bit of a bite.” (09/2010) K&L Notes: Medium gold in color. The nose brings notes of butterscotch, clover, vanilla and old leather. The big body displays a palate with an almost wine-like character that balances intense fruits, honey and vanilla with a light spiciness that shows off the distiller’s craft. The finish is long and warm.

Anchor White Christmas White Whiskey 750ml ($49.99)
K&L was the first store to have this in stock and we took as much as we can get of it! Anchor Steam releases a Christmas Ale every year and it’s always one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I’ve been drinking this beer with my dad every Xmas since I was 21. Last year Anchor had a few hundred bottles left over that they decided to distill secretly into a very, very, very small batch of bierschnapps, or white whiskey – depending on which title sounds more appealing to you. I got the chance to taste it this morning and, while I don’t often advocate on behalf of white dog, this tastes very much like the beer itself. That clove, nutmeg, and foresty goodness are all there within the spirit itself. Now please note: this isn’t going to go down as the best whiskey of the year. It’s just a super-limited, fun experiment from a Bay Area legend. An iconic beer distilled into something fun for fans of the brand. LIKE ME! Anchor made around 600 bottles: TOTAL. We’re getting a large chunk of that, but that’s still not very much! (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

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


New Karuizawa 1981 – On Sale Wednesday and Thursday at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News


New Karuizawa 1981 – On Sale Wednesday and Thursday

A quick heads up for you loyal blog readers: we have a new Karuizawa going on sale tomorrow (Nov 27th). There are a few bottles appearing elsewhere, but it’s pretty much a TWE exclusive and we’re rather pleased to have snagged this … Continue reading >>

AA Karuizawa1981

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #70 – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Ramblings Via Video #70

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, tries the Arran 16 Year Old 1996 Private Cask bottling for Jan Vissers, the proud ambassador for Arran in Belgium. And guess what: not only is it the darkest Arran he has tried, it is even the best.


AA Tales of the Sea - Final Design


Bunnahabhain offers Fishermen’s Mission support line

Bunnahabhain Islay single malt Scotch whisky has announced the winner of its UK design competition in partnership with The Fishermen’s Mission, a charity which cares for the families of fishermen lost or injured at sea.

The announcement comes at the start of the most perilous time of the year for commercial fishing, which is commonly recognised as one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

The Tales of the Sea challenge was set up to nurture emerging design talent while also raising funds to help The Fishermen’s Mission, the only charity which provides emergency support alongside practical and emotional care to help fishermen and their families.

Topping hundreds of entrants, winner Mathilda Holmqvist will see her label produced on a limited-release Bunnahabhain expression which will be launched during the Feis Ile 2014 in support of the charity, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to the Mission.

Over 13,000 men and women are employed in the UK’s toughest and most dangerous peacetime occupation – inshore and deep sea commercial fishing. They face fatal injury on a daily basis and are 115 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than the rest of the nation’s workforce.

The competition, which launched in April, was open to amateur and professional designers who were asked to design a contemporary label based on the return of the brand’s iconic travelling Helmsman to the safety of Bunnahabhain Distillery.

Tales of the Sea drew a high calibre of entries from across the UK including submissions from Glasgow School of Art, Leeds College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. The judging panel included:

• Alison Godfrey, Director of Fundraising, The Fishermen’s Mission
• Ann Cleeves, crime author
• Brian Ferguson, Arts Correspondent, The Scotsman / Scotland on Sunday
• Rob Alderson, Editor, It’s Nice That
• Michelle Lansdowne, Senior Brand Manager, Burn Stewart Distillers
• Kirstie McCallum, Global Brands Ambassador, Burn Stewart Distillers
• Zoe Patterson, Programme Director of Graphic Design and Director of Undergraduate, Design School, Edinburgh College of Art
• Malcom Stewart, Creative Director, Tayburn

Alison Godfrey , Director of Fundraising for the Fishermen’s Mission, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this project with Bunnahabhain. Their enthusiasm and commitment to helping promote and support our work has been wonderful. The image selected is an exceptional depiction of some of the realities of fishing; being exposed to the elements of the sea and the weather and the physical efforts still involved in being a fisherman are well represented.”

Fishing remains the most dangerous peacetime occupation in the UK. In the past week, for example, five fishermen were rescued from their sinking boat off the Cornwall coast in the early hours of the morning and taken to The Fishermen’s Mission Newlyn centre to be cared for; just a few days later, a fisherman lost his life in North Shields.

Alison continues: “As well as working with active fishermen, we also support retired fishermen and their families. This is a significant part of our work which is sometimes sad and often difficult, but absolutely vital. Our thanks go to our friends, such as those at Bunnahabhain, for their help.”

Winner, Mathilda Holmqvist, who grew up in rural Sweden, said: “I am fascinated by storytelling and love how images can help convey stories in a more personal way. I am interested in the direct relationship that illustration has with the viewer, how an image can offer inspiration, comfort, joy or even an element of surprise and how it communicates an idea in a different way than words alone.”

Judge Michelle Lansdowne of Burn Stewart said: “After careful deliberation from the judges, the winning design was chosen for its atmospheric representation of the Helmsman returning home to the shelter of Bunnahabhain and the clear message it portrayed of the challenges faced by fishermen.

“Islay’s link with the fishing industry dates back centuries and we are thrilled to be able to support The Fishermen’s Mission. To drive awareness of the project and encourage support for the charity we have asked Mathilda to attend the Islay Whisky Festival next year to talk through her design with the hundreds of international visitors that annually attend and to sign individual bottles, which will make this special edition even more exceptional.”

Mathilda recently visited Scotland to take part in the production of the label at Tayburn design studios in Edinburgh, followed by a trip to Islay to visit Bunnahabhain Distillery. The Tales of the Sea film can be viewed here

AA resized


About Bunnahabhain: The multi-award winning Bunnahabhain is the flagship malt whisky from Burn Stewart Distillers and is exported to over 30 countries globally. Unlike its neighbouring distilleries on the Island, Bunnahabhain embodies “the gentle taste of Islay”, as it is the only non-peated Islay malt. Situated on the northern shore of Islay, Distillery Bunnahabhain was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and brothers James and William Greenless. Bunnahabhain is Gaelic for ‘mouth of the river’ and the distillery is situated right at the shoreline, close to where the Margadale River flows into Bunnahabhain Bay.

About Fishermen’s Mission

The Fishermen’s Mission is a national UK charity founded in 1881 to support Fishermen and their families. We are the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical and emotional care. We help all fishermen, active or retired, and their families. We do this by:

• Offering immediate assistance, day or night, to the families of fishermen who have been killed or seriously injured
• Looking after the survivors of fishing boat accidents• Helping injured or ill fishermen to find medical help• Finding emergency housing and food if necessary
• Supporting fishermen’s families in the case of illness, distress or financial difficulties•
• Alleviating loneliness by visiting retired fishermen and their families at home or in hospital
• Offering welfare and support to overseas fishermen, working in the UK fishing industry, especially those who have to live on board boats• Providing Christian pastoral and practical help, including problems with debt, sickness, bereavement, family difficulties, debt and addiction problems.
• In 2012, The Fishermen’s Mission met with 3,300 fishermen, conducted 233 funerals, helped 1,748 fisherfolk access grants totalling £896,866 and made 7,351 welfare visits.

The Fishermen’s Mission is a national charity registered in Scotland as SC039088 and England and Wales 232822.

Further details about the Fishermen’s Mission can be found at

A. Smith Bowman Distillery Releases Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon – American Whiskey News

ASmithBowmanDistillery Logo

A. Smith Bowman Distillery Releases Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon

Fredericksburg, VA. (Nov., 2013) – A. Smith Bowman Distillery announces the last release in its Abraham Bowman line for 2013, the Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon.

This bourbon is 12 years old, and the barrels used to age it have had a long journey. In October of 2011 four used bourbon barrels that had held Bowman Brothers Bourbon since 2007 were given to a local Fredericksburg winery. The winery in turn aged their port wine inside these barrels for 15 months. The barrels were then returned to A. Smith Bowman in April 2013 and subsequently filled with bourbon that had been made in March 2001. The bourbon was finished inside the port barrels for an additional four months. In August of 2013, the A. Smith Bowman team tasted the bourbon and felt it was ready to bottle.

“The Port Finished Bourbon has aromas of dark cherry and dried stone finish with brown spice, vanilla, and caramel. It has a great palate weight and body, with a silky smooth mouth feel, said Brian Prewitt, master distiller, A. Smith Bowman Distillery. “The flavors of grain and spice pleasantly linger on the palate in the finish.”

Unlike the previous Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon that was released in the fall of 2012, this year’s release has been aged four more years (12 years and four months total) but spent less time in the used port barrels – four months this time, and eight months last year. A different winery was used as well for the barrel exchange.

The Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Whiskey Port Finished Bourbon is part of a series of limited edition whiskies. Each edition is a different expression that is released a few times a year. “The Abraham Bowman brand is a fun line to experiment with, and I’m looking forward to coming up with more creations in the future,” added Prewitt. The Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon will be available starting in late November. It is a very limited supply. Suggested retail pricing is $69.99 and Alcohol by Volume is 50% (100 proof.)

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

First Friday Scotch Sipping at Six at Miner’s Delight Inn – Scotch Whisky News


First Friday Scotch Sipping at Six

Miner’s Delight Inn, 1st Friday, every month, 6 – 9 p.m.

no reservation required for tastings, but we appreciate advance notice for groups

Here’s what you get for $40:

♦ 5 half-ounce pours of single malt Scotch whisky:

♦♦ 3 Friday features (10% off bottles of your favorite Friday Feature)

♦♦ 2 Connoisseur’s Choices from our single malt menu

♦ hors d’oeuvres to freshen your palate between pours

Friday Features:

10% off bottles of your favorite Friday Feature 

December 6, 2013     
Longmorn 20

Kilkerran Work in Progress 5 (2013) Sherry Wood
Laphroaig Cáirdeas (2013) Port Wood Edition

January 3, 2014   

Kilkerran Work in Progress 5 (2013) Bourbon Wood

anCnoc 22

Laphroaig Cáirdeas Origins 

Second Saturdays, monthly, we feature 3 malts. You’ll roll a die and select a regional malt whisky then pick a connoisseur’s choice for your 5th dram. $25

Angels Club Member Story; by James R. Miller Jr. Fort Worth, TX – Scotch Whisky News

AA Mclean

Angels club Member story; by James R. Miller Jr. Fort Worth, TX

Prior to my wife and I leaving for Scotland, my wife commented that we needed to try some Scottish Whisky since this was supposed to be the Gold Standard. We went to the liquor store and came home with a bottle of a 10 year old Glenfiddich. Instantly I fell in love and must say it hasn’t been the last bottle I’ve purchased of Glenfiddich. During our visit to Scotland I had several “Wee BITS’ of Whisky, mainly Glenfiddich, but an occasional OBAN. I have yet to meet a whisky I didn’t love. Our Travel Agent/Friend, Liz Gillespie (mcleanscotland), told us Loch Fynne Whiskies in Inveraray was a great place to get an education on the different whiskies. We walked into Loch Fyne Whiskies, the gent behind the counter asked if he could help us. I responded with “I was told that you were the man to teach me about Whisky. He chuckled, then began to do his magic. He chose 4 different whiskeys and I began tasting each one. I ended up having 6 bottles sent home to be added to my bar. My new additions are: Glenfiddich 21 year old Gran Reserva Rum Cask Finish. Auchroisk 20 Year Old. Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 PX 21 Year Old. Longrow 18 Year Old. Caol Ila 1982 30 Year Old Cask #6487 Signatory. And of course we had to buy a bottle of the Loch Fyne Liqueur in honor of Loch Fyne Whiskies.

Two of the bottles I had sent home will be put away for safekeeping. The other 4 bottles will be enjoyed and when the bottle is empty I will re-stock with the help from Loch Fyne Whiskies. I enjoy all types of whisky. The younger whisky because of picking out the individual flavors and the older ones for the richness and singular great taste. My new drink of choice is a nice ale with a wee bit of whisky or wee bit of whisky with a nice cigar.

AA I do 2

Paul’s note; A lovely couple, we arranged their Scottish tour, including a renewal of wedding vows in a castle! I think, apart from whisky, the castle was a highlight! see more;



Powered by WordPress