Archive for September, 2014

Sullivan’s Cove “Buy Trent’s first batch of Double Cask” – Tasmanian Whisky News

  AA Trent

Buy Trent’s first batch of Double Cask

Ladies and Gentlemen we have a treat for you. Our main man, blender and bottler extraordinaire Trent Bowring, is very proud to present his first batch of Double Cask, and so are we! After some careful selection involving a lot of sipping and sampling he settled upon a mix of one FRENCH OAK and three AMERICAN OAK barrels.

French Oak Cask HH0597 was chosen for its rich, oily mouth feel and gives structure to the body. It also brings a deep fruity nose. American Oak Cask HH0169 adds balance in the finish. American Oak Cask HH0147 fills out the body with some beautiful fruity notes and finally American Oak Cask HH0074 supports the body with spicy notes and underpins the finish with caramel and raisin notes.

Double Cask 71 Tasting Notes
Colour: Light golden straw
Nose: Fragrant and floral with vanilla sponge cake drizzled in honey. Oak rounds out while spice lingers.
Palate: A medley of basket fruit with fresh cut pears and green apples bursting through. Rum, raisins and oak spice soften out the palate.
Mouth feel: Lightly oiled, well coated.
Finish: Dark dried fruits, raisins and caramel intermingle, warming and sweetening over time. Medium finish, inviting another sip soon after!

Click here to buy now

The Whisky Exchange TWE London Shop Hours – Whisky Show Changes – Scotch Whisky News

Whisky Exchange Header

The Whisky Exchange

TWE London Shop Hours – Whisky Show changes

With The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show rapidly approaching, we have some work to do in our London shop to get ready. As such we will be changing our opening hours over the coming week to avoid any banging and crashing while our customers are perusing the shelves.

PLEASE NOTE: web orders are unaffected by these changes.

It won't be quite as extreme as this...

It won’t be quite as extreme as this…

Here’s the schedule:

Friday 26 September: Midday-9pm
Saturday 27 September: 10.30am-8pm
Sunday 28 September: CLOSED
Monday 29 September: Midday-7pm
Tuesday 30 September: Midday-7pm

We’ll back to normal as of Wednesday 1 October, but will be running slightly different hours over the show weekend:

Saturday 4 October: 10.30am-8.00pm
Sunday 5 October: Midday-8.00pm

Monday will be business as usual, although after a weekend of Whisky-Show-related exertion, running up and down ladders may not be as fast as normal.


Billy – The earliest TWE photograph of me, with our customer service queen Ali and Diageo’s Colin Dunn

Balblair 2000 – TWE exclusive first-fill sherry butt

Time has rolled on a bit. It seems like only yesterday that I was a balding computer programmer, sat at a table in The Whisky Exchange shop in Vinopolis, confronted by 10 excellent whiskies. It was the company’s 10th anniversary tasting, and I was a punter who liked whisky.

Move on five years to the present day. I’ve got even less hair and while I still sit in front of a screen all day, I now do so at TWE HQ and attempt to write words that make sense to people rather than computers. That extra five years also means that TWE has now hit another milestone – we are 15.

To celebrate our birthday, we’ll be releasing a few whiskies over the coming months, and the first is something special: a Balblair 2000 single cask, fully aged in a first-fill sherry butt.

It’s special because sherry casks are not really Balblair’s day-to-day business. They’re well known for their bourbon-cask-matured whiskies, and other than occasional indies it’s rare to see a fully sherry-matured dram – distillery manager John MacDonald specially selected this cask, as he reckoned it would be to TWE Director Sukhinder Singh’s taste. He was right, and it was a must-have as soon as we tasted it.

Balblair 2000 #1343

Balblair 2000 #1343
Natural colour, of course.

Balblair 2000. First Fill Sherry Butt #1343. 53%. £95

Nose: Rich and heavy ginger cake, studded with burnt raisins and maraschino cherries, and covered in bitter-sweet dark chocolate. Dry oloroso sherry, the kind they love in Spain, provides a heavy, vinous backbone, with cherry-jam-slathered black bread, rich earth, liquorice and dark sugars – demarara and molasses. Damp and charred notes develop, with flamed orange zest, charred oak and driftwood bonfires, doused by a rainstorm. Water brings out chocolate-fudge-brownie sweetness, sweet leather and brown toast. The fruit is subdued, but the raisins are less burnt and the cherries sweeter.

Palate: Intense treacle toffee, baked apple and bitter coffee. Cinnamon bark is joined by freshly sawn oak, driftwood and clove, leading to a drier palate than the sweet nose suggests. There is still sweetness, with plump raisins and touches of brown sugar joined by fruity dark chocolate and cinnamon sugar. Water adds more sweetness, but also sharpens the wood, bringing more oak, with sweet butter, nutmeg and bitter-but-balanced barrel char.

Finish: Lingering char notes, with liquorice pastilles, plump raisins, cinnamon sugar and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of Murray Mints develop as you consider your next sip.

Comment: The biggest and boldest sherry cask matured Balblair I’ve ever tasted. Rich and dark with controlled sweetness – a grown-up whisky. Drams like this make me lament the small amount of sherried Balblair available.

To go with the launch, we’re also running a prize draw:

Buy a bottle of the 2000 or any of the other core vintages from Balblair’s range and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a trip to the distillery, including a tutored tasting with distillery manager John MacDonald.

You can find full details over on our competition page, but the most important bit is that it closes at 11:59pm GMT on 14 November 2014. To whet your appetite, here’s my blog post from when I visited a few years back. They’ve finished building their visitor centre now, and it’s even more worth a trip.

Visit Balblair Distillery – Scotch Whisky News

Balblair - Vintage timed to perfection


Visit Balblair

The Balblair Distillery visitor tour is intimate and personal – an insight into our pursuit of producing the finest quality Vintage Malt Whisky, using methods that have changed very little over the years.

To find out more about visiting our Distillery click here

Ralfy Is Back At It With Whisky Review #488 – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy cheers himself up with Whisky Review 488 – Springbank 12yo cask @54.3%

A SMOKY SENSATION From Wolfburn Distillery – Scotch Whisky News

AA Wolfburn Logo

Thurso, Caithness, 18 September 2014.


Wolfburn Distillery has today announced the completion of its first batch of peated spirit. Made with subtly smoky malted barley, the spirit has a distinctive aroma and a wonderfully peaty flavour.

“There’s a big demand globally for peated whisky,” says Shane Fraser, production manager. “We wanted to maintain the uniquie profile of Wolfburn’s spirit, which has already received hugely positive reviews, but at the same time produce a distinctive peaty expression. We used a lightly peated malt, with ten parts-per-million phenol, and the results have been fantastic.”

The peated spirit laid down in 2014 will be ready for limited bottling 2017 – and the Wolfburn team is planning to produce a similar peated expression on an annual basis each year thereafter. “Making best quality malt whisky is a process that can’t be rushed,” explains Shane. “We’ll only release it when it’s good and ready.”

Wolfburn’s inaugural whisky is expected in the first quarter of 2016. It will be made from spirit laid down during the early part of 2013. “There’s still a long way to go until we start bottling,” says production operator Iain Kerr, “but our production rate is ahead of forecast, and we have lots of truly exceptional spirit laid down already. We’re very much looking forward to being able to share our whisky with the world.”   


The original Wolfburn Distillery was founded just to the west of Thurso by William Smith in 1821. In its day it was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, producing, according to HMRC records, 28,056 “gallons of proof spirit” in a single year. Taking its name from the stream that provided the water – the Wolf Burn – the distillery operated until the 1860s after the passing of William Smith Sr and the family gave up the lease.

In 2011, plans were laid to resurrect the old distillery. Construction began in mid-2012 and in January 2013 the new Wolfburn Distillery commenced production, thereby becoming the most northerly whisky distillery on the Scottish mainland. Situated 350m from the site of the original distillery, the new distillery operates in much the same way as the old: craftsmen use traditional methods to produce fine spirit, which is laid down in best quality oak casks to await the day when it is bottled as whisky.

Scotch Whisky Legend to Visit Australia in October – Scotch Whisky News


Scotch Whisky Legend to Visit Australia in October.

The Master Distiller for Bruichladdich Distillery, Jim McEwan, returns to Australia from the 30th September until 14th October this year.

Throughout the tour Jim McEwan will provide audiences with an insight into the world of whisky production gained from 50 years of experience. He will take his audience through a tasting of seven drams including his legendary Black Art and the most heavily peated whisky in the world, Octomore 6.1.

Loved for his story-telling and charisma, McEwan has thrilled Australian audiences in the past and will be visiting every state in Australia.

Jim McEwan is the only person to be named Whisky Distiller of the Year on three occasions.  

This is a rare opportunity and one that should not be missed!

All shows are as shown below. Follow the link to purchase tickets.

Tuesday 30th Sept – 6:30pm
The Tattersalls Club –

Thursday 2nd Oct – 6:30pm
Sir Stamford Circular Quay –

Saturday 4th Oct – 12:00pm
The Gresham Bar –

Saturday 4th Oct – 6:30pm
The United Services Club –

Sunday 5th Oct – 12:00pm
Nant Whisky Bar –

Monday 6th Oct – 6:30pm
Blue Diamond –

Wednesday 8th Oct – 6:30pm
The Kelvin Club –

Thursday 9th Oct – 6:30pm
The Shoreline Hotel –

Friday 10th Oct – 6:30pm
ARKABA hotel –

Saturday 11th Oct – 6:30pm
Rob Roy Hotel –

Sunday 12th Oct – 6:30pm
The Oxford Hotel –

Monday 13th Oct – 6:30pm
Fremantle Navy Club –

Wolfburn Distillery “The Laydown” – Scotch Whisky News

Wolfburn - The Laydown

As we fast approach the official end of British summertime and the kids go back to school, we’re getting all nostalgic here at Wolfburn. The sun beams in onto our faces from the open roller shutters, and one can’t help but shut the eyes, take in a deep breath of malty air and wonder about all the previous summers that have been before this. Did the manager of Wolfburn of yesteryear take in the same summer flavours back in 1820-something? This summer the Stillhouse smell has had an edge of peat to it, as some of you will already know, we experimented with a month’s run of peated malt. Find out what happened here.

It’s highly likely, being that peat was the main fuel available in those days, that the original Wolfburn had a smoky aroma.
We’ll never know of course, as there is nothing left for us to sample and so far, no record of the taste. We’ve been doing a bit of digging in the archives, and found some very interesting stuff on the people involved though. Check out our history article for more.

Lastly, a bit of fun to tempt your inner artist and a bit of nostalgia put to words. Read ‘Reprise’ written by our fabulous photographer Brian Hamilton here.


The Wolfburn Team

The Wolfburn Team

The Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup Limited Edition – the final few bottles available online at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

The Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup Limited Edition – the final few bottles available online at The Whisky Shop. 

The Whisky Shop is proud to present the brand new limited edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ryder Cup bottling.

Johnnie Walker celebrates 2014 Ryder Cup with Johnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Ryder Cup Limited Edition’ in celebration of The Ryder Cup’s return to Scotland.

Each bottle of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label “Ryder Cup Limited Edition” is individually numbered, making it a rare and unique keepsake or gift. The distinctive design of both the packaging and the bottle depicts the unforgettable, classic view of the iconic Gleneagles Hotel and celebrates the return to Scotland after 41 years of The Ryder Cup, the world’s leading match play competition.

All orders will also receive a three pack of limited edition Ryder Cup Titleist golf balls!

Tasting notes:

Nose: A mellow, rounded nose, with a dry smokiness (a Johnnie Walker signature flavour) mixed with raisin sweetness.

Palate: The first sip reveals a velvety mouth-feel, then an explosion of flavour – hazelnuts, honey, rose petals, sherry and oranges. Subsequent sips reward you with more hidden secrets like kumquats, wispy aromatic smoke, sandalwood, tobacco, and dark chocolate.

Finish: A rich and uniquely long and satisfying finish of smoke and pepper, ending with a glorious touch of spice.

£225 Simply Click Here to buy

The Parade Continues at K&L California – Whisky & Whiskey News


New Arrivals

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • 1983 Glenfarclas Family Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 6 available ($349.99)
  • Kilchoman Machir Bay (2014 edition) Islay Single Malt Whisky (w/ Glencairn glasses) 750ml (cannot ship gift pack) ($54.99)
  • 1991 Macallan Samaroli Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 5 available ($299.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Bowman Bros Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon 750ml (1 bottle limit) ($29.99)
  • John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon 750ml (1 bottle limit) ($49.99)

Back in Stock

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Bowman Bros Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon 750ml (1 bottle limit) ($29.99)
  • John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon 750ml (1 bottle limit) ($49.99)

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Ardbeg Auriverdes Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky – 6 available ($199.99)
  • Big Peat Islay Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml – 10 available ($55.99)
  • Oban 18 Year Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $150) ($99.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Faultline Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml ($39.99)
    We’ve been doing gin and single malt for years, and now rum, so why not throw our hat in the Bourbon pool? One of the obstacles that kept us from making a Faultline Bourbon earlier was availability: the current demand has made the extra barrel a thing of the past. One of the only distilleries that would sell us a cask for a private label was the old LDI distillery in Indiana, but with the already overcrowded LDI market (Bulleit Rye, Templeton Rye, High West, etc) we didn’t think our product would be different enough, or of the quality we desired, for the Faultline name. That’s when John Little from Smooth Ambler stepped in and said he’d be happy to help us do something special. If we were going to work with LDI casks, then we needed the capability to blend something special to taste – the specs wouldn’t sell this baby. John had some incredible 10 year old low rye formula that we used in conjunction with some 7 year high rye. We kept tastin g and tasting until we found the sweet spot at 100 proof. It’s FAR better than I ever thought it would be. I hoped we could provide something fun and different, but the final whiskey is phenomenal. It’s rich, with sweet fruit right on the entry, a full-bodied mid-palate, and a long, rich, spicy finish. It tastes like it came from Four Roses or somewhere fancy and at 50% it pops in all the right places. I hope we can make another batch like this because this Bourbon is the new king of K&L. Taste it if you don’t believe me. (David Driscoll)
  • Stranahan’s Colorado Small Batch Whiskey 750ml (1 bottle limit) – 3 available ($54.99)
  • Tuthilltown Hudson Baby Bourbon (375ml) – 11 available ($42.99)

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



AA Striding Man for Pre Event Press Release


Luxury Scotch Whisky brand invites fans to celebrate the return of The Ryder Cup to Scotland with the creation of its exclusive JOHNNIE WALKER EXPERIENCE. 

Scotland, September 

Fans of whisky and golf are in for a treat when the spectacular JOHNNIE WALKER® EXPERIENCE opens its doors at this year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. While the professionals battle it out on the PGA Centenary course a short walk away, guests of the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPERIENCE can test their own golfing prowess by playing the four holes of the bespoke JOHNNIE WALKER Mini Golf Course, which is located inside the exclusive venue. 

Whether they are backing the boys from Europe or the USA, supporters’ rivalries will be left at the door as they get the opportunity to have fun and sample a ‘Free Drop’ at the bar once they have completed the course. 

Guy Escolme from Diageo, which owns JOHNNIE WALKER and Gleneagles, said: “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland greatest gifts to the world and what better way to celebrate them than with a thrilling game of Mini Golf at our spectacular pop-up house? 

“Our bespoke JOHNNIE WALKER Mini Golf Course tells the story of how our whiskies travelled from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world in a fun and relaxed environment. We’re looking forward to welcoming Ryder Cup fans to experience it for themselves and advise them to book their tee-off time in advance.” 

Golf enthusiasts attending the 2014 Ryder Cup, who would like to visit the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPERIENCE for a round of Mini Golf, can book their tee-time by signing up at Players will receive score-cards and make their way around the course, while discovering fascinating facts about the brand’s history, before enjoying a ‘Free Drop’ at the bar when they have completed their round. 

The JOHNNIE WALKER Mini Golf Course consists of four holes (three Par 2s and a Par 5) inspired by the JOHN WALKER & SONS story. The four holes have been named: The Grocery Store; The Four Corners; Scotland’s Finest Exports and Keep Walking and each hole has been inspired by different elements of the JOHNNIE WALKER story. 

The Grocery Store is inspired by the brand’s founder, John Walker, who operated out of a grocery store in Kilmarnock in the 1800s, about 65 miles from Gleneagles. He imported rare and exotic flavours from around the world and it is thought that he used his tea blending skills to craft some of the first (and finest) blended whiskies in Scotland. 

The Four Corners tells the story of how JOHN WALKER & SONS crossed oceans and continents to export their whiskies from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world. Scotland’s Finest Exports celebrates the fact that whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world and Keep Walking references the Striding Man logo and the brand’s pioneering spirit. 

Guy Escolme said: “We’re very excited about the opening of our spectacular JOHNNIE WALKER EXPERIENCE and look forward to inviting guests to test their skills on our Mini Golf Course while the superstars from Europe and the USA face-off during what promises to be a fantastic few days of golf.” 

As part of its Ryder Cup plans, JOHNNIE WALKER is also hoping to get 25,000 people to ‘Join the Pact’ during Ryder Cup week by challenging them to make a commitment to Never Drink and Drive. 


About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories.  These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. 

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.  The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).  For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at  Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. 

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere. 

The JOHNNIE WALKER words, the Striding Figure device and associated logos are trademarks © John Walker & Sons 2014. 

Please Drink Responsibly. 

PHOTO CAPTION: The iconic JOHNNIE WALKER ‘Striding Man’ is a feature of the JOHNNIE WALKER Mini Golf Course, situated inside the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPERIENCE, Gleneagles, at this year’s Ryder Cup

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