Archive for November, 2015

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “THE CHRISTMAS WHISKY GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING” – Scotch Whisky News




Membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society lasts longer than just another bottle

This Christmas, treat adventurous spirits enthusiasts and whisky aficionados alike to a gift that keeps on giving – membership to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club that bottles the world’s widest selection of single cask, single malt whisky for its members.

Each month, the Society releases around 15 whiskies to its members, with each one coming under one of its 12 unique flavour profiles such as ‘Juicy, oak and vanilla’, ‘Old and dignified’ and ‘Heavily peated’.

Society membership is the first step on an ever-changing sensory adventure that takes members on a mouth-watering journey of whisky discovery.

Membership also provides a perfect present to place under the Christmas tree in the form of a beautifully presented membership gift box, which includes:

  • Three 10cl sample bottles of Society single cask whiskies
  • Member’s handbook
  • Society badge
  • £10 voucher to spend on first SMWS bottle purchase

A membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society costs from £122 and grants members exclusive access to the Society’s monthly releases of single cask, single malt whisky, as well as special grain whiskies, bourbons and even rums. It’s an ever-changing selection, which will satisfy all, from the curious newcomer to the experienced connoisseur.

In addition to receiving award-winning members’ magazine, ‘Unfiltered’, members can also attend special tasting events and gain access to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s beautiful private Members’ Rooms in Edinburgh and London. Members can sign up to three guests into the Members’ Rooms.

To purchase membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for £122, visit or call the sales team on 0131 555 2929  

Notes for Editors: 

About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society  

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club bottles the world’s widest selection of exceptional single cask, single malt whisky for its members – each month it releases new whiskies for its members
  • The Society bottles the finest single malt whisky from around 350 single casks every year from a range of more than 132 distilleries. The very nature of the single cask means that each bottling offered by the Society is limited.
  • The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members around the world with branches in 19 countries.
  • Members can choose from the world’s widest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies with only the very best selected and approved by the Society’s respected Tasting Panel.
  • Exclusive Members’ Rooms are located in Edinburgh and London for tastings, dinners, meeting and presentations.
  • Annual renewal after the first year is £61.50
  • For more information, visit


1995 Benrinnes 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


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1995 Benrinnes 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($99.99)

In our opinion, Benrinnes might be the most underrated distillery in all of Scotland. We’ve purchased a number of casks from the Diageo-owned Speyside producer over the years and we’ve even taken a detailed tour of the space. In just about every interaction with both the whisky and the people who make it, we’ve been completely impressed in just about every way. That being said, the 20 year old cask that we pulled in this year from Benrinnes might be the best whisky yet. It’s a jaw-droppingly delicious single malt that brings big vanilla, big spice, loads of ripe fruit, and a creamy, soft mouthfeel for a screaming deal of a price. Two decades in wood at full proof for $99.99? If the label said Glenmorangie or Glenlivet instead of Benrinnes, you’d no doubt be looking at $180 per bottle or more, but the fact that this is Benrinnes cuts that price point right in half. The irony, however, is that we’d rather have the Benrinnes! The finish even flirts with a phenolic note and hints of smoke, despite the fact that Benrinnes doesn’t make peated whisky. Do not miss this whisky. It might be the best of this year’s Signatory crop.
href=””>Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 15, 2015

After tasting through the new Signatory Cask Strength line up this 20 year old from Benrinnes, a distillery I was not actually familiar with, was my hands down favorite. Elegantly balanced between smooth peat and a little smoke this whisky started and finished super well. The best thing about it was how well the distiller was able to underlay the sweet vanilla notes with a touch of smoke that made me want to immediately take home the bottle.

Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 09, 2015

This whisky is head and shoulders above almost any I’ve tasted this year. I’m not the biggest whisky drinker, but I love complexity, depth and character to my drinks, and this bottle over-achieves in all areas. Of the new Signatory lineup it is by far the softest, and most mild with a lighter body than the others, yet offering subtle complexities of spice and fruit characteristics. Don’t hesitate on this bottle, it is well worth your while

Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 04, 2015

Have you ever attended a party where everyone you met was articulate, fascinating, compelling…yet by the time you left you abruptly realized you had spent virtually the entire night talking with just one person? If so, you have some idea of what it was like tasting through the first wave of K&L barrel selections to arrive from Scotland. The ’85 Linkwood was unbelievably creamy in texture, the ’90 Glen Elgin delightfully spicy, the ’88 Blair Athol decadently rich and sweet, and yet…and yet it was the ’95 Benrinnes I kept going back to. Classic notes of wood spice and vanilla, and something I can only identify as “black cardamom” – at once smoky and lightly herbaceous (though David assures me there is no peat used here). I found this to be the most complex and layered of the whiskies I tasted, revealing more of itself each time I returned to the glass. I asked Kyle and David if they had a favorite and without hesitation they both answered “Benrinnes”. Hmm. I have always been more of a wine guy, but David’s relentless insistence that I taste everything he brings through the door may finally be paying off.

K&L Wine Merchants

Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)

Email: San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


The Whisky Exchange “Win The Last Great Malts!” – Scotch Whisky News

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Win The Last Great Malts!

Dewar’s have a great selection of distilleries, but other than Aberfeldy, until recently they’ve been quiet about them. No longer! Starting in late 2014, they have been revamping their range under the banner of The Last Great Malts. With Royal Brackla on the market and The Deveron (aka Glen Deveron aka Macduff) coming very soon (after being launched at The Whisky Show in October), the series is complete, and we’re celebrating with a prize draw:

Buy any two different Last Great Malts from Aberfeldy, Aultmore or Craigellachie and we’ll enter you into a draw to win one of each of them.

That’s eight bottles of whisky worth more than £1,000, which is not to be sniffed at.

The three distilleries whose whiskies we’ve chosen to be in the draw are very different. Aberfeldy is well known for their weighty and sherry-heavy style, while Craigellachie produces a meaty spirit but focus on bourbon casks, creating a whisky that’s far from light, but is packed with tropical fruit and a hint of smoke. Aultmore straddles the spectrum, with the light and elegant 12 Year Old and the rich and earthy 25 Year Old. All in all, something for everyone.

Head to the prize draw page now for full details – the draw will close at 11.59pm on 10 January 2016.


First Dibs on French Oak HH435 With Sullivans Cove Barrel Purchase – Australian Whisky News

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The perfect Christmas Gift

A personalised 20l barrel of French Oak is one of the best things a whisky lover could dream of…we fill a cask for you, put your name on it and let it mature in our bondstore before bottling and sending it to your home where you can enjoy the fruits of our labour. The only downside is you have to wait a few years while the whisky matures, and that’s why this Christmas you get front-of-queue access to our latest French Oak release, the delicious cask HH435, when you purchase a barrel. Offer closes at midnight on the 31st of December, so hurry to get your hands on a bottle now.


Tasmania Distillery
Lamb Pl
Cambridge, TAS 7170

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #120 – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Ramblings Via Video #120

Mark Dermul, Belgian Whiskyblogger, tries a Glenallachie. It is a Speyside distillery that produces almost exclusively for the blending industry. Being founded in 1967 it is a very young distillery indeed. The name is derived from Gaelic and means as much as the rocky valley. It is currently owned by Chivas Brothers. If you want to try it as a single malt, you will need to look at independent bottlings. The one Mark tries today is some such, bottled exclusively for a Belgian whiskyclub called Maltlovers. This is a 9 year old single cask at a whopping 50,7% ABV.

An Educational Whisky Trip to Speyside – Scotch Whisky News

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An educational whisky trip to Speyside

It was a Wednesday evening, Shona was picked up from Eden.Mill distillery in St Andrews by Liz (mum). Timezone 4pm in the late afternoon, the skies are getting a wee bit dark, driving over to Perth to collect Paul (and more importantly – some may say – the whisky). From Perth thery set off north to Aviemore in the highlands, where they turned for Spesyide, passing Glenfaclas in the dark, en route to Elgin. As a staff educational visit it was decided to stay 4 star, well, why no? After the girls drammed a wee bit in the car, the hotel appeared out of the gloom in Elgin, a quick check in then, what all whisky tour operators do, hit the bar. A catch up for Paul, more for the girls, a 3 course dinner followed. Relaxing later in the lounge (you guessed it – with a bottle), chatting over the next day itinerary, could things be better? Decant to the rooms, select the largest one, start the whisky tasting – all for educational purposes you understand. Drams aplenty followed, Paul stopped at 9pm, the next day driver!

Thursday morning: Shona and Paul appeared for breakfast, Liz? Dinnae ask. Around 9am all three departed for Cardhu distillery, where we had called into previously (Liz and Paul the week before) to set this up. In 1811 John and Helen Cumming sited their first still at Cardow Farm on the Mannoch Hill, above the River Spey. It is alleged that Helen Cumming distilled the first gallon of Cardhu, the only malt whisky to be pioneered by a woman. For many years Helen Cumming produced only the smallest quantity of malt whisky in Cardhu’s little still as quality was her chief concern. She continued to contribute to Cardhu’s success well into her 90’s. Cardhu is not only a world renowned brand but has a close connection to Johnnie Walker – the biggest selling blended whisky in the world. By the way, all three are Friend of the Classic Malts.

From here a wee detour (just to look) to Dalmunach distillery, a superb new distillery in the Chivas family, Liz and Paul had a private tour here a while back – it has been said, ALL what they produce will go to blends, so hard luck Imperial lovers (it’s on the old Imperial site). Doon the road the next stop was Macallan. Work is well on at the new site – Edrington Group boss Ian Curle hailed “an exciting new chapter” in the whisky firm’s history as work is under way on a £100million new distillery and visitor centre. It is one of the core brands of Glasgow-based Edrington, whose other products include The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark blended whiskies and Highland Park single malt. Designed by international architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), the new home of The Macallan is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2017, from what there is to see – including the wooden model – it will be another superb place to visit. The design is essentially a series of a grass-covered undulating roof forms that are sympathetic to the area.   “LUNCH followed at Glenfiddich – just to keep the theme going strong!” Paul McLean.

With full bellies they drove the short distance to the Cooperage to see coopers at work, a favourite stop on their tours, like all visits before, they know them well with many friends and contacts. The trip finale arrived at Strathisla distillery. Of the many whisky distilleries you will find in Speyside, none is older or lovelier than Strathisla in Keith.   The smooth, flavourful single malt whisky for which Strathisla is famous has been produced here since 1786. James and John Chivas never actually owned the distillery themselves. It was only later, in 1950, after many twists and turns, that the company was finally able to purchase the distillery – safeguarding the precious stocks of Strathisla single malt whisky for Chivas Regal. After a tour and tastes, the road to Broughty Ferry beckoned … the girls happily ensconced in an alcoholic haze while Paul sat there driving homewards totally sober!

PS He caught up when they got home!

Liz and Paul own/run and and Shona (Gillespie) works at Eden.Mill distillery/brewery/gin palace.

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Here is the same trip as told by Shona Gillespie (Liz’s daughter) …

This week I had the luxury of spending twenty four hours in the marvellous region of Speyside. As a budding whisky fanatic I was thrilled to be shown the root of several of my favourite drams. Paul and Liz selecting the most adorable accommodation – Mansion House, in Elgin. Historic and classic, this quaint hotel has open fire places, heavy curtains and creeky doors, the ideal setting for an atmospheric whisky tasting. Paul, the whisky master, brought a selection of unusual whiskies from his private collection including some extremely niche spirits paired with chocolates! We sampled whiskies from across the globe, the most surprising spirit was actually all the way from Paul John Distillery in Goa, India! This particular whisky was less than seven years old, mellow and peated, at 59.7% it was exceptionally smooth, delicious.  My top three drams were definitely Speyburn, Octomore and Balvenie 22!

Thursday morning was beautiful- a perfect cold, sunny Scottish day to explore the best of Speyside distilleries. First stop was Cardhu, the first distillery in Scotland built and run by a woman – what a sister! We sampled three single malts, the Amber Rock and the Special Reserve were particularly memorable. Special thanks to Lorraine for a lovely tour, a great addition to this distillery was the takeaway drams and the nosing of malts. Our travels took us next to Macallan, who are currently in the process of building their new distillery. Coming from such a traditional distillery like Cardhu to the modern giant that is Macallan was quite a jump. I was pleasantly surprised by the Sienna, an incredibly rich whisky which appealed to my sweet tooth- definitely worth the stop for this dram alone!

The highlight of my day was without a doubt Speyside Cooperage. The video played at the beginning of the tour sets the scene beautifully and the photography is stunning. I was completely fascinated with the coopers, their skill and speed. Towards the end of the visit I had a go at making my own cask, surprisingly I was actually good at it. There may be a career as a cooper for me yet. After a few more wee drams in the car and lunch at Glenfiddich (poshest toilets in the world) we found ourselves at Glenmoray for a tasting! Glenmoray is the biggest selling whisky in France, it is clear why – delicious whiskies with incredibly memorable flavours. Their port finish stood out to me particularly as it reminded me of strawberry jam. Now all I need is the rice pudding to drizzle the whisky over.

As the sun went down, our final distillery was Strathisla, picturesque and beautiful, it felt more like visiting a five star hotel than a distillery. Strathisla’s own single malt was lovely, I will most definitely go back to sample their currently maturing Japanese oak cask whisky.  After an extremely busy trip Paul and Liz chattered the entire journey home as the final drams began to send me off to sleep! Aside from the vast amount of new knowledge I have acquired from the dynamic duo I now have a new found respect for coopers and those who can drink over twenty drams in a day.  An exceptional trip around Speyside with even more exceptional company.

Whisky Auctioneer November Auction Now Live – Whisky News

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November Auction Live!

Our November auction is now live! With over 2000 bottles there are plenty of winter warmers to choose from so if it’s getting a little nippy where you are why not pick up a wee nip or two to keep the cold at bay. With such a huge array of bottles it wasn’t easy to limit ourselves to just six highlights, take a look at our top picks below before heading over to our website to see the full auctionYamazaki 35 Year Old


Bringing a little SUNtory to a winter’s day is this Yamazaki 35 Year Old. As one of the oldest Yamazaki’s currently available this very rare whisky was distilled between 1966 and 1970 before being bottled in 2006. Matured in special 90 litre Spanish second fill sherry casks and presented in a stunning hard wooden case, we’re sure you’ll agree that this is one hot bottle!

Glenfiddich 1964 Private Vintage

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An incredible single cask Glenfiddich, distilled in 1964 and aged for 42 years. This bottling is part of the Private Vintage range, presented in a fine cherry wood case it represents craftsmanship in every sense of the word. 

Karuizawa 1967 Single Cask 42 Year Old #6426

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This highly acclaimed Karuizawa is one of the oldest ever released. Distilled in 1967 and aged for 42 years it is little wonder this whisky has achieved legendary status since it was bottled in 2009 for the 10th anniversary of the Whisky Exchange.

26 Malts SMWS Collection

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Comprising of the full 26 bottles and including a poster and book, this collection from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is exceedingly rare with only 20 others worldwide. Taking inspiration from individual single cask whiskies, 26 writers and graphic designers/artists were paired and tasked with creating labels and artwork, the result being this stunningly unique collection.

Glenugie 1966 Samaroli 33 Year Old

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Distilled by Glenugie in 1966 this 33 year old was then released by renowned Italian bottler Samaroli in 1999. With only 108 bottles in existence this really is a rarity and an opportunity not to be missed!

Kawasaki Ichiro’s Malt Selection 1976/1981/1982

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Three releases from the popular Ichiro’s Choice range! With such a limited bottling this is a great chance to get your hands on these long-aged single grain whiskies from this now closed distillery.

There is no registration fee, our commission structure is very competitive and we offer worldwide shipping. For our terms and conditions please click here.

With close to 20 years of experience in the whisky industry, Whisky Auctioneer specialises in auctioning whisky whether it be fine, old, rare, collectable or affordable. Formed in 2013 and based in Perth, central Scotland, we aim to be the most comprehensive website for the buying and selling of whisky online.

Happy Bidding!

5 Star Award for The A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience – Scotch Whisky News

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5 Star Award for The A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience 

The exceptional service offered by the team at the A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience & Shop has been recognised by Visit Scotland when they recently awarded it 5 stars. This is a clear reflection of the hard work and commitment of Manager, Raphael Marinoni, and Tasting Host, Emma Handsley, to provide visitors with an outstanding experience.

In their report, Visit Scotland noted the high quality of this visitor attraction, adding, “ …the staff are the really essential element here, and both Raphael and Emma displayed the pro-activity, friendliness and product knowledge we would expect at a 5-star level”.  Tim Morrison, the owner of the premises, praised their dedication and congratulated them both on this achievement.

The A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience opened in 2011 in the old village school in Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire, the iconic building with its distillery-style pagoda roof makes the ideal setting to experience everything about Scotland’s national drink. Inside, visitors can explore, nose and taste whisky from barley to bottle including experiencing a traditional dunnage warehouse where they can fill and label their own bottle from a choice of casks. No visit would be complete without making use of the private tasting room to taste a selection of exceptional whiskies followed by a browse in the well-stocked independent whisky shop.


A. D. Rattray was founded in 1868 and has a reputation for their extensive knowledge and expertise in the whisky industry. They are best known for their Stronachie and Cask Islay brands and a range of top quality single cask bottlings, the A. D. Rattray Cask Collection.

True Whiskey Lover’s Dream Becomes Reality ~ Experience Your Beloved Drink Straight From the Barrel – Whiskey News


True whiskey lover’s dream becomes reality. Experience your beloved drink straight from the barrel.

What do men and true whiskey lover’s dream of? – Drinking the purest whiskey from an old cask.

London, UK, Nov. 18, 2015 – ZOOTY design workshop has just launched their new product on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. OKA – handcrafted wooden whiskey tumbler that brings a completely new way of experiencing your whiskey. Charred oak enhances all the flavors whiskey already has and reveals new ones.

Drinking whiskey from this charred oak tumbler is like drinking cask strength whiskey out of a 25 year old oak barrel stacked deep in a cold dark aging cellar. It’s what men and true whiskey lovers dream of. This wooden tumbler doesn’t replace your glass tumbler. Glass tumblers are pretty. But when you’re done feeling pretty, a mouthful of whiskey sipped from your wooden tumbler reminds you of the man that you are after a long day of doing the hard things in life a man does. The sense of the wood, the scent of the char, they speak to your soul. The soul of a man.

“Men drink whiskey because they like the taste,” said Kristopher K., COO of ZOOTY design workshop. “Our goal was to create experience that’s the closest possible to drinking straight from a cask by enhancing all those sweet, toasty and spicy aromas.”

When tasting whiskey from OKA tumbler you will notice that the scent is much softer and more pleasant compared to a glass tumbler. It is because charred oak interior absorbs part of strong alcohol aroma therefore allowing to feel the true characteristics of whiskey.

“Our tumbler is not meant for aging your whiskey,” said Toms Liepkalns, CEO of ZOOTY design workshop. “It is meant to flavor your drink instantly.” When relatively small amount of whiskey interacts with a large surface area of charred oak the results are incredible. All the flavours are increasing rapidly.

Round shaped bottom fits very comfortable in hand while the narrow top provides the best tasting experience. OKA not only flavors your whiskey but prevents it from warming as well.

This new product is available now on Kickstarter.



Mr Toms Liepkalns

5a Kenninghall road, London E5 8BS, UK


Tel.: +44 745 304 2222

Scotch Whisky Auctions Update – Whisky News

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Welcome to the first auction Newsletter where we will give you a sneak preview of the wonderful bottles that are coming up in this months record breaking auction.

Record breaking you say? Indeed, this month’s auction is our biggest ever with more than 3400 lots and with that we have a truly wonderful depth of quality of lost distilleries, rare and hard to find drams as well as the usual selection of everyday drinking drams.

Our very own Big Peatrie takes us through the stars and and our favourites and you can see his vLog here (

First up this month we have the Johnnie Walker Directors Set which contains six bottles of these incredibly hard to find bottles starting from 2008 to the 2013 release. These were only ever given to the directors of Diageo and never offered for general release.

A one pint bottle of Bourbon hailing from 1914 is next up. Distilled before prohibition and bottled after this bottle contains liquid that is over 100 years old. The is a bottle of Haig that was bottled in the mid 1930s, as well as Macallan and Linkwood, both distilled in the decade of the Great Depression.

Glenfarclas once again brings us some stellar bottles with a 60 year old and one distilled on Christmas Day 1959.

Age is just a number, but here are some wonderful numbers, a Dalmore, two North British and a Talisker that are all 50 years old. A 49 year old Glenlochy, 48 year old Lochside, an Invergordon that is 47 years old, 46 year old bottlings of Lochside and Probably Speyside’s Finest Distillery and 45 year old offerings of Caledonian, Glenglassaugh and Linkwood.

There are also several bottles entered to raise money for one of the mashmen at Glenfarclas who was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. His dream was always to cycle across the USA, so all the staff have banded together to help raise money to send him across to America for a dream holiday. This, along with many of the other bottles, were collected by the man himself as he cycled to each of the distilleries he’s worked at on a specially adapted tricycle.

All the best from us here at SWA HQ!

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