Archive for May, 2015

THE GLENLIVET EXTENDS THE MASTER DISTILLER’S RESERVE JOURNEY WITH TWO NEW EXPRESSIONS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE AT GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL – Scotch Whisky News

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THE GLENLIVET EXTENDS THE MASTER DISTILLER’S RESERVE JOURNEY WITH TWO NEW EXPRESSIONS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE AT GLOBAL TRAVEL RETAIL

The Glenlivet Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, proudly presents the Masters Distiller’s Reserve range, a signature collection of three exceptional triple-cask matured single malt whiskies. Available exclusively to international travellers from 1st July 2015, the collection elegantly showcases the unrivalled quality and character that has become part of the signature of The Glenlivet’s classic style – ‘the single malt that started it all’.

Existing globally successful whisky, Master Distiller’s Reserve, is the cornerstone of the range and it is joined in 2015 by two luxurious new expressions: Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted and The Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch to become the new permanent range.

Exploring a special journey into craft and cask, the Master Distiller’s Reserve range brings exceptional cask quality and a unique breadth and depth of flavour to the fore. Expert selection of the highest quality Traditional Oak, American Oak and Ex-Sherry Oak casks offers each expression ‘three times’ the character, for a discernibly rich and “three dimensional” quality.

Master Distiller’s Reserve – Traditional oak casks deliver the classic style of The Glenlivet of ripe fruit pear and gentle summer floral notes – while first fill American Oak provides depth, with creamy notes of coconut and soft fudge. Ex-Sherry oak is used to impart dried fruit flavours and spice aromas offering a deeper complexity and richness.

New Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted – To craft this exceptional liquid, the casks – Ex-Sherry, American Oak and Traditional Oak – are brought together in a Solera Vat. The Vat is never emptied, a process which creates a rich and intense whisky, developing greater complexity year on year. A high concentration of first fill American oak casks bring a creaminess and honeyed sweetness to this expression, which has a uniquely velvety character.

New Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch – Each unique batch of this exclusive expression, is created with individually selected casks, chosen from the collection of whiskies maturing in The Glenlivet warehouses. Every single cask is nosed prior to the final selection and the finest first fill ex-Sherry and American Oak casks are combined with Traditional Oak casks to create an exceptional malt, with subtle notes of fruit and delicate spiciness. It is then bottled and released in Small Batches, each with a unique batch number.

The intricacy of triple cask maturation demands an unrivalled expertise that is delivered by Master Distiller, Alan Winchester who comments: “The Master Distiller’s Reserve range is a collection of exceptional single malt whiskies that marries thecraft of the cask and the craft of flavour whilst maintaining the distinct floral characteristics of ‘the single malt that started it all’. A range of this nature can only be created with exceptional quality casks, industry leading expertise and a forward looking mind set; it is an honour that every bottle bears my name.”

Each expression retains the distinctive shape of The Glenlivet bottle and is presented in clear glass to reveal the alluring gold colouring, used to reinforce the quality credentials of the liquid. The new signifier for The Glenlivet, the iconic Packhorse Bridge which crosses the River Livet, features on the bottle ‘cartouche’ as a symbol of authenticity and heritage.

Furthering the premium mark through to the packaging, the range is presented in a luxury carton containing tasting notes and is completed with a bold symbol to signify the three types of wood and the multi-layered characters of the whisky.
Each path of The Master Distiller’s Reserve range bears the signature of Alan Winchester, the guarantor of The Glenlivet, carrying forward George Smith’s original vision with a personal invitation to embark on three exclusive journeys, now and into the future.

Nikki Burgess, The Glenlivet Brand Director, said: “Master Distiller’s Reserve has proven to be a huge success at Global Travel Retail. It has been a natural next step for us to extend this into a permanent travel retail exclusive range to further our credentials in the super premium whisky category. International travellers are a specific group with a thirst for innovation and exclusivity and The Glenlivet is in prime position to deliver this.”

International whisky expert, Gavin D Smith, has been one of the first in the world to try the two new expressions and commented: “These two new additions to The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve range continue the great work begun by Alan Winchester with the original Master Distiller’s Reserve expression, which itself expanded upon and enhanced aspects of the unique The Glenlivet house style, through the use of three different cask types during maturation.

“The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch Reserve is extremely quaffable, with a complex, characterful and engaging flavour profile, while the quintessential fruity characteristics of The Glenlivet are spiced up and given additional depth and dimensions in the Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted.”

NOTES

Master Distiller’s Reserve Range Tasting Notes

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The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve
RRP: From US$52
Colour: Bright and lively gold
Nose: Full and bursting with ripe, fruity pear and soft
fudge aromas. Incredibly sweet and smooth
Palate: Fruity pear flavours with a spicy orange marmalade tang
Finish: Creamy and smooth with marzipan and fresh hazelnuts

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The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted
RRP: From US$75
Colour: Gentle Amber
Nose: Bursting with ripe, orchard fruit aromas, and gentle notes of creamy, soft caramel
Palate: A luxurious, velvety character, with a honeyed sweetness and flavours of juicy pears
Finish: Balanced and complex

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The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch
RRP: From US$150
Colour: Amber, with hints of copper
Nose: Subtle fruit notes of peaches in syrup, with a hint of ginger spiciness
Palate: Perfectly balanced, with warm, fruity, orange marmalade flavours, and subtle notes of vanilla and liquorice
Finish: Long, with hints of spiciness

About The Glenlivet
Created by George Smith in 1824, The Glenlivet is the original single malt Scotch whisky, renowned for its smooth and fruity flavour profile. Today, The Glenlivet is the No.2 single malt Scotch whisky in the world and the No.1 single malt Scotch whisky in the USA, the world’s largest malt whisky market. The Glenlivet is also the biggest contributor to the volume growth of the single malt category worldwide, adding more than any other single malt whisky brand over the last five years. As the single malt that started it all, The Glenlivet is committed to continuing its legacy for crafting single malt whiskies of outstanding quality and has led innovation within single malt in recent years. Standout initiatives include the release of The Glenlivet Alpha, a mystery single malt, and the creation of The Guardians of The Glenlivet, an online hub for fans to engage with the brand and each other. www.theglenlivet.com

@TheGlenlivet

About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €7,945 million in 2013/14. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Spirit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector and employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people, operating through a decentralized organization with 6 ‘Brand Companies’ and 80 ‘Market Companies’ established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index. www.pernod-ricard.com

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.2 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch. www.chivasbrothers.com

The Dufftown Break by Paul Mclean of MCLEANSCOTLAND – Scotch Whisky News

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The Dufftown Break.

Liz and Paul (owners of mcleanscotland, whisky tours Scotland and angels whisky club) took a break into deepest darkest Speyside (again). Why? A pre – arranged meeting with Ingvar Ronde and a brush up on distillery visits. A wee story fae Paul.

AS I left Perth around 8am on the Thursday, driving up to Broughty Ferry to pick up Liz, the weather was totally Scottish, as anyone who has been here knows, it can be 4 seasons in one day, it was! All in the space of 35 minutes. No matter, we headed towards Aberdeen (we don’t much like trawling through this city – no by pass) we were chatting as usual about whisky – is there any escaping it?  Driving through all the 30mph zones until past the airport, we then took a road to Old Meldrum. Oldmeldrum is a small town north east of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire known as the ‘Granary of Aberdeen’ for its production of high quality barley. Which is very handy for one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch founded in 1797.  With a growing population of over 2000, Oldmeldrum is in Scotland’s top 300 centres of population! Eh? The Battle of Barra was fought in May 1308 near the Hill of Barra (no far away) between the armies of Scots King Robert Bruce and John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan.

Our first stop GLENGARIOCH Distillery. The location chosen by John & Alexander Manson for their malt whisky distillery in 1797 in the’Valley of the Garioch’. The distillery originally incorporated a brewery and tannery. The Garioch — pronounced ‘Geery’ by the way – where barley and crystal springs have been abundant for over a thousand years. In 1968 the production of Glen Garioch was suspended on account of ‘chronic water shortages’, however in 1972 a manager was appointed with a brief to find another water source. A spring was discovered on a neighboring farm. It came to be called ‘The Silent Spring’ as it could neither be seen nor heard. So how did he find it the question must be? It is operated by Morrison Bowmore Distillers, which is owned by the Japanese company Suntory.  After introductions, we set out with Alistair for our private tour, he took us into every nook and crannie, even inside the old kilns! Not a distillery such as Glenfiddich this one, much more of a true working distillery, dust, muck and grime – we loved it! Liz found this to be one of the best distillery tours she has had, so there you are. As per usual we ended up at the tasting desk with Alistair and a few other onlooker staff members, and – as usual myself being the driver, looked on with envy as Liz tucked in to drams, her favourite being the Renaissance .  So much so I bought her a bottle, leaving an eighty pound hole in my wallet!  But it IS a good dram!  Bidding everyone farewell we drove north to Huntly, almost persuaded ourselves to call in again at Ardmore, but we resisted – though we did bump into Alistair Longwell (Ardmore dist. Manager) in the car park, said hello etc, before leaving for Keith then Elgin.  Just the two of us today so no need for tourist stops or dramming stops with our whisky guests. Back to our hotel from the other week (Spirit of Speyside) to collect a case of whisky we couldnee manage to take with us before, grand stuff – another story. Then another pre planned visit, this time near the RAF base at Lossiemouth; Windswept Brewery.  Aye, a brewery, we also operate and offer whisky & beer tours, with a tour booked in later this year (whisky & beer & curling) requesting beer, I chatted to Natassia and arranged our visit. A look around and a taste (Liz) and a chat about bringing wee tour groups here. We just cannot visit Elgin without calling in at Glen Moray, one of our favourite distilleries, so we did!     Ah but no whisky this time, just needed a jacket for our coach driver Mark, so a quick hello to Iain and away again.

Driving south now, we stopped at Glen Grant Distillery for another arranged visit.  A great Single Malt’s true personality is the reflection of its Master Distiller. No one knows Glen Grant more than Dennis Malcolm, who started at the distillery as an apprentice cooper at just 15 years old. For the past 50 years Dennis has dedicated his life to maintaining the quality and integrity of Glen Grant. Another private tour, a short one though, Marilena took us round, where once again Liz was impressed, no time for the gardens today, but she (Liz) did find time for drams!  Liking them so much she bought a bottle Major’s Reserve @ £22, er just a mo, I pay £80 and Liz sorts out £22, something no right here.  From here to our digs in Dufftown and our evening to look forward to with Ingvar and Peter his friend fae Edinburgh (though, also Swedish) who takes the photographs for the yearbook. Can I say just noo, our digs; it was like stepping into an old hippy joint in the 60’s (aye I can remember), what a weird place, my room was definitely haunted, Liz had a note in her bathroom saying if she wanted to use the bath it was £10 extra!  We both had dead flowers in the bidet, my bathroom had a red light!  Our host was just as “different”. When we met up with Ingvar and Peter we told them of our plight, even Allan (owner of their guest house) said our place was “strange” apparently everyone in the wee town knows this – we didnee – before we got there.  Anyhow, the meal was great, the drinks even better and of course the company was excellent! Over three courses, several large drams and bottles of wine, we tried hard to enjoy ourselves! We managed it!  A great dinner/drinks evening, then a return to hippyland. If you don’t like 12 towels of different colours, wee lace doily’s everywhere, overly fussy things, ribbons and bows everywhere and strange people, dinnae go there! We will NOT be back, that’s to be sure. Each of us was worried about being alone at breakfast next morning, so decided to share breakfast at 9.30 as agreed with miss hippy.  It took us til half ten before we could escape, and escape we did. Back doon the road and home to the Ferry, laughing at our experiences along the way. Was it worth the long drive for one night?   YOU BET.  See you again soon Ingvar.

New Zealand Whisky to Commemorate Air Force Helicopter Fleet – New Zealand Whisky News

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New Zealand Whisky to Commemorate Air Force Helicopter Fleet

Oamaru, New Zealand – May 27, 2015 – For just over 49 years, the UH-1H Iroquois helicopter fleet has served the RNZAF, NZDF and New Zealand. On May 2015, a formal function will mark the retirement of the Iroquois (Huey) and bottles from the New Zealand Whisky Company will be auctioned to commemorate each helicopter.

“ We are thrilled to support the Air Force in support of their Missing Wingman Trust and the retirement of their Iroquois helicopter fleet. We have provided 16 bottles, one for each of their aircraft,” says Operations Manager, Grant Finn.

The UH-1H Irozuois (Huey) currently being operated by No.3 Squadron RNZAF are scheduled to retire this year, following operations in Singapore, East Timor and Antarctica. The fleet also responded to crises throughout the Pacific, SE Asia and on New Zealand soil, the Christchurch earthquake. Many have been saved courtesy of Huey’s search and rescue capability. Operations for counter terrorism and coast guard have also added to Huey’s mark in New Zealand’s history.

Finn will present 16 bottles of New Zealand whisky at the RNZAF Base Ohakea as part of a formal function on May 30. The bottles will be auctioned, each dedicated to a specific RNZAF Iroquois. It is expected bottles will be highly sought by those current and previous serving Commanding Officers of No.3 Squadron.

Proceeds of the auction will be donated in entirety to the Missing Wingman Trust, established to support families of those killed while serving in the RNZAF. The registered charity performs valuable work and it is hoped the auction will generate significant funds.

Each bottle is boxed and labeled with a bespoke design, showcasing the airport and its tail number. In addition, the recipient will find a personalised history of the aircraft enclosed including its introduction to service, hours flown and notable events in its service career.

Background:

The New Zealand Whisky Company is a success story that signals a revival of the whisky industry in New Zealand. The whisky was once distilled by Seagram’s in Dunedin before the distillery was sold to Fosters in 1997 as part of a global rationalisation.

Fosters mothballed the distillery and inexplicably closed it. But fortunately, more than 400 barrels of this whisky remained, and were bought by the New Zealand Whisky Company, set aside to mature and sweeten. Since then, the company has worked hard to revive the century-old industry and the whisky has been met with wide acclaim.

In London during 2013, the New Zealand Whisky Collection’s DoubleWood won the category for Best Australasian Blend, while the South Island Single Malt was voted the best aged Single Malt from Down Under.

The Company has also been awarded ‘liquid gold status’ by the man believed to have visited more distilleries than anyone on earth. Jim Murray placed the South Island Single Malt 21 y.o. in the top percentile of some 4,500 whiskies worldwide in his 2014 Whisky Bible, the first time a NZ whisky has reached such status.

As well as regaining the foothold once held across New Zealand by Wilsons, the whisky is now exported from Oamaru and available across Canada, the UK, Australia and Europe.

Images are available at www.thenzwhisky.com/media. More information about the New Zealand Whisky Company is available at http://www.thenzwhisky.com/. Reply via email for interview with CEO Greg Ramsay or contact direct on +61 409 595 702.

More information about the Missing Wingman Trust can be found here: http://www.missingwingmantrust.org.nz/

Scotch Whisky Auctions “50th Auction Now Live” – Scotch Whisky News

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In their usual verbose fashion our friends at Scotch Whisky Auctions announce their latest;

Auction is now live folks. Enjoy.

THE 50th AUCTION

 

Kind regards from Glasgow – The SWA Team

Bryan Wood Named Florida Regional Manager for Heaven Hill Brands – American Whiskey News

 

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Bryan Wood Named Florida Regional Manager for Heaven Hill Brands

Wood comes to Heaven Hill with more than eighteen years of industry experience in Florida. His distilled spirits career began with Southern Wine & Spirits in Florida.

“Bryan is an accomplished professional and I know his passion and extensive knowledge of the industry will serve us well,” said Steve Alexander, United Division Manager.

Wood attended the University of Akron and majored in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minor in Culinary Arts. He lives in Jupiter, Fla., with his wife and their nine-year-old daughter.

About Heaven Hill Brands: Founded in 1935, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Brands (www.heavenhill.com) is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams Bourbon; Larceny, Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna Bourbons, Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; The Christian Brothers Brandies; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur; Lunazul Tequila; Cinerator Hot Cinnamon Flavored Whiskey and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky. Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

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New Ardbeg at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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Nothing sells faster at K&L than a new Ardbeg whisky release. We’ve been peppered with phone calls, emails, and questions for the past month about the release of the new Perpetuum, and we’re happy to tell you it’s finally here! We’ve been solid partners with Ardbeg for the last decade, which means we always have a healthy supply of their special editions, but unfortunately never enough to meet demand.

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Ardbeg “Perpetuum” Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($99.99)

The 2015 limited edition Ardbeg release is here, and from what we’ve heard, Dr. Bill Lumsden dug deep into Ardbeg’s remaining stocks of past projects and blended some of them with younger stocks of future projects to create a whisky showcasing both old and new single malt whiskies. Here are the notes from Ardbeg: “The past, present, and future in a glass. Classic notes of Ardbeg’s yesteryear on the nose as mellow, rich, and enticing Ardbeggian flavors mingle with dark chocolate, treacle, and nutty oak. Then, like standing on Ardbeg’s pier this morning, water brings forth briny sea-spray with a pine resin lime top note for a remarkably fresh bouquet. On the palate, robust peat smoke and savory smoky bacon meet creamy sweet vanilla, milk chocolate with the hint of sherry casks, culminating in a taste of the future…and aftertaste that is never ending.” VERY LIMITED.

K&L Wine Merchants
http://www.klwines.com/
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
Email: wine@klwines.com
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

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Ardbeg Perpetuum Review – Scotch Whisky News

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Nick at Gordon’s Wine had the pleasure of filming a review of Ardbeg Perpetuum with David Blackmore, global brand ambassador for Ardbeg, on May 27th.

 

The Whisky Warehouse Cystic Fibrosis Trust Challenge – Scotch Whisky News

What do you get when you mix two whisky enthusiasts that have a heart for charitable giving? You’d never guess so we shall tell you. A tour throughout all Scotland visiting every single malt producing distillery in the space of one month! A feat never attempted before or certainly not the way these two chaps are attempting it. The Whisky Warehouse Limited owners Mike Little and William Morin shall set off from Kirkwall in Orkney on June 30th for a 3000 mile journey ending at Gretna Green with every mile upon two 50cc scooters! The only support being provided by a man in a van and the gents shall be camping throughout the journey.

The question is why? Very simply Mike and William chose the ‘The Cystic Fibrosis Trust’ as their adopted charity through which their spirits retail business supports but they felt strongly that they could achieve so much more. ‘My cousin Nicole has suffered from this horrific disease from birth and I have always looked to do something meaningful for the charity but have never found the perfect option until now’ William says. Each distillery who join in with the tour have agreed to donate a bottle of their whisky signed by their managers which will go to a one off online auction which is being hosted by Mctear’s Auctioneers Glasgow. Visiting over 100 distilleries in such a short space of time seems impossible but both Mike and William believe they can do them all with time to spare! Every distillery will be visited during this historic event even with just a quick photograph for social media as we intend this record has been submitted to the Guinness World Records say’s Mike.

The spirited duo have approached every distillery in the country to support the venture and have so far had 62 pledge to donate a bottle. ‘We’ve got most onboard now but still waiting to hear an answer from a few more including Diageo if their brands can support this but we’re confident some will join in’ Says Mike. The boys aim to raise a minimum of £50,000 for the charity which supports over 10,000 Cystic Fibrosis patients in the uk and their families. The money raised will go towards the much needed research to beat the disease which results in those diagnosed with a much shorter life expectancy than those with a normal life.

Supporting the tour couldn’t be easier! Simply contact either Mike or William using the details underneath. Their Go Fund Me link is also below. The business has put up half of the costs to achieve the journey with the hope to raise the remaining £3000. You can follow the boys throughout their journey on their Twitter and Facebook pages, plus they will be uploading numerous video logs on YouTube with various tours of the distilleries and interviews with distillery managers.

http://www.gofundme.com/CFtrustScotland 

Mike Little: mike.little@twwltd.com 07703804663

William Morin: william.morin@twwltd.com 07547882197

Scotch Malt Whisky Society EARLY JUNE TASTINGS & EVENTS – Scotch Whisky News

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EARLY JUNE TASTINGS & EVENTS

June Outturn Preview Members Tasting

The Vaults – Thu 4 June

Sample 5 drams with supper and get your bottles before they run out

More >

New Outturn Open Tasting

19 Greville Street – Sat 6 June

Try out five single cask whiskies from this month’s new list with cheese from Ian Mellis

More >

Steak & Whisky Tasting

19 Greville Street – Mon 8 June

Sample five whiskies from this month’s Outturn with delicious rib-eye steak

More >

Steak and Chips Sampling Session – ‘New Style’

28 Queen Street – Tue 9 June

NEW – Explore an even wider range of flavours with an unprecedented SEVEN sample drams

More >

Afternoon Whisky & Ice Cream Tasting

The Vaults – Sat 13 June

Sample the Society’s specially commissioned ice creams, created by S. Luca using our unique single cask whiskies

More >

Eats, Malt and Staves

19 Greville Street – Tue 16 June

Grab your anorak! If you want to learn about the production and general overview of Whisky this event is going satisfy your appetite

More >

FREE ENTERTAINMENT AT THE VAULTS

Big Screen Sport – Motherwell v. Rangers >  Sun 31 May

Monday Night drop-in: Islands & Campbeltown Lovers Night >  Mon 1 June

Leith Jazz Festival at The Vaults >  Sat 6 & Sun 7 June

Browse All Tastings >

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ Contact: sales@smws.com or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video

ISLAND FIRST: MULTIMILLION-POUND WHISKY DISTILLERY PLANNED FOR ISLE OF RAASAY – Scotch Whisky News

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ISLAND FIRST: MULTIMILLION-POUND WHISKY DISTILLERY PLANNED FOR ISLE OF RAASAY 

A tiny Hebridean island off the coast of Skye is set to become the location of Scotland’s newest distillery. 

The multimillion-pound Raasay Distillery and visitor experience centre will be independently owned & operated by R&B Distillers and hopes to open in January 2017, if planning permission is granted later this year. 

The development would become the island’s first legal distillery and is expected to generate employment for eleven of the island’s 120 residents.  

The creation of a state-of-the-art visitor experience centre and luxury accommodation – which will include the restoration of the island’s currently derelict Victorian hotel, Borodale House – is hoped to put Raasay on the map for whisky lovers around the globe.  

Driven by a desire to make ‘handcrafted whiskies of uncommon provenance’, R&B Distillers hope to release the first batch of Raasay whisky by 2020 and produce up to 150,000 bottles of whisky a year thereafter. 

Bill Dobbie – Scots entrepreneur and co-founder of online dating site ‘Cupid’ – and business partner Alasdair Day – who currently produces Tweeddale whisky – founded R&B Distillers in 2014. 

Managing Director, Alasdair Day, shared his excitement: 

“It’s incredible to think that there are still areas of Scotland completely ‘forgotten’ by whisky. 

“The Isle of Raasay is one of those unique locations and the perfect home for R&B Distillers to handcraft whiskies of uncommon provenance. 

“We’re now working hard to engineer a whisky destination unlike any other. From the magnificent views over to Skye, to experiencing craft distilling first hand, we can’t wait for visitors to discover our whiskies, the island and the community here on Raasay.” 

Following a pre-planning application that was submitted to Highlands & Islands Council in January 2015, R&B Distillers are currently undertaking a protected species audit for bats, otters and the Raasay vole.  

A wildlife report is expected at the end of August with a view to the full planning application being submitted by September. 

Around 12,000 people are expected to visit the Raasay Distillery in its first year, where tourists and whisky enthusiasts alike can witness the craft distilling process first hand. 

A private tasting room and public café bar will offer uninterrupted views of the Cuillin mountain range while five luxury en-suite rooms in the restored Borodale House will be exclusively available to members of the Distillery’s ‘Na Tùsairean’ club; Scots Gaelic for ‘the pioneers’. 

Plans are also afoot for R&B Distilers to open a distillery in the Scottish Borders; where the last whisky distillery closed over 150 years ago. 

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NOTES 

R&B Distillers was co-founded in 2014 by Scots entrepreneur Bill Dobbie and whisky blender, Alasdair Day. 

Alasdair Day currently produces Tweeddale whisky – reproduced to the same recipe created by Day’s great-grandfather. 

An award-winning small batch, limited edition whisky, Tweeddale is a blend drawn from nine single casks. In keeping with the original blend, Tweeddale is not chill filtered, is bottled at 46% ABV and has pronounced sweet, sherry notes. 

Tweeddale is currently available in the UK, US, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands and Taiwan. 

Bill Dobbie is the sole investor in the project. Further funding is currently being sought from a number of different grants organisations. 

The first batch of Raasay whisky is forecast to be ready by 2020 and is expected to be a three-year-old single malt with a lightly peated profile. 

In September 2015, R&B Distillers hope to release ‘Raasay While We Wait’. Blended from two highland whiskies from one distillery, it is hoped the whisky will be representative of the Raasay Single Malt due for release in 2020.

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