Archive for April, 2016

New Releases from The Spirits Embassy – Scotch Whisky News

The Spirits EmbassyAA Glenkinchie 1

The Glenkinchie 12 Year Old replaces the discontinued 10 year-old as the main expression of the Lowland style. Glenkinchie distillery was founded in 1825 in the farmland around Edinburgh as Milton distillery. It was renamed to Glenkinchie in 1837 and had became a global sensation by the end of the 1980s.

 Glenkinchie 12 Year Old || £35.00 incl. VAT

AA Benrinnes 1

The only Speyside dram to be triple-distilled like a Lowland malt or Irish whiskey.This is a very interesting dram and with a lot more body and character than Lowland and Irish Whiskey – making this spirit pretty impressive on the palate.

Benrinnes 15 Year Old || £49.50 incl. VAT

AA Glenkinchie 2

This 2000 vintage Glenkinchie Distillers Edition was bottled in 2014 at 43% ABV. The whisky was finished in Amontillado Sherry casks and harbors spicy aromas and a depth of dark fruit on the palate, which highly compliments the freshness and honey notes of Glenkinchie single malt.

Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition || £53.50 incl. VAT

Single Malts Ltd 36 Gordon Street | Huntly | Aberdeenshire | AB54 8EQ | Scotland UK

+44 (0) 845 606 6145 | mailto:info@singlemaltsdirect.com

Exclusive Malts Tasting with David Stirk May 5th, 2016 San Francisco – Scotch Whisky News

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Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Appoints Two New Volunteer Directors to Board – Scotch Whisky News

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Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival appoints two new volunteer directors to board

Two new faces have joined the board of volunteers behind the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, helping to ensure that the 17th edition of the event later this month will be one of the best on record.

Industry stalwart Linda Mellis – who spent four decades with drinks giant Diageo before her retirement – has become a director of the Festival, along with Speyside Cooperage visitor centre manager Gill Reid.

Both women have been responsible for delivering first class visitor experiences in their careers, and plan to use their skills and expertise to benefit the Festival and its many thousands of guests from home and abroad.

The curtain rises on the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival on April 28, signalling the start of five days packed full of whisky, music, food and fun at locations throughout the region.

Although the Festival is managed by one full-time member of staff, the volunteer board of directors is responsible for ensuring its continued growth and position as one of the leading events of its kind in the world.

James Campbell, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, believes that Linda and Gill will be excellent additions to the board due to their vast knowledge of the whisky industry and customer service fields.

He adds, “The Festival aims to marry the opportunity to appreciate and learn more about our local whisky industry with a first-class visitor experience. Both Linda and Gill will be instrumental in helping to guide us as we move forward and grow the Festival in future years.

“Many of our visitors are quite staggered to learn that the driving force behind the Festival are volunteers who willingly give up their time to help because they feel so passionate about whisky and what the Speyside region has to offer.

“It’s through their vision – and the sterling efforts of our festival manager Pery Zakeri in turning the vision into a reality – that the Festival has evolved into the leading event that it is today.

“As we prepare to raise a glass in toast to another successful Festival, I would like to thank all of our volunteer directors, past and present, for their outstanding commitment to making the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival an event like no other.”

Linda worked for Diageo for 43 years, having started out as a typist before moving up the ranks. Before her retirement earlier this year, she was responsible for managing brand support malt distilling and marketing the distillery visitor centres and brand homes.

A long-standing supporter of the Festival since its inception in the late 1990s, she was recognised by the organisers for her commitment when they named her Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Ambassador of the Year last year.

Gill has been the manager of Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre – a five-star attraction welcoming around 22,000 people annually – for two years. She has been responsible for raising the bar on the visitor experience by developing a 4-D extra-sensory film presentation and mini-cinema on site.

Prior to taking up the post, she was a partner in her family business – one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of oak barrel garden products. She was responsible for developing the firm’s export market and is a previous winner of UK Trade & Investment’s Young Exporter of the Year.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme comprises almost 500 different events including distillery tours and tastings, outdoor activities, arts and crafts, food, music and comedy.

Tickets for events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy at www.spiritofspeyside.com/. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

Picture caption: Linda Mellis (left) and Gill Reid who have joined the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival board of directors.

Notes to editors

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is committed to promoting responsible drinking. Visitors travelling to and from festival events can take advantage of a range of transport options. Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has received funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 to 2020. The Scottish Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will run from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.

Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed fashion, textiles and design sector.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, supported by partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Whisky Month 2016

  • May is Whisky Month in Scotland, inviting visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink and explore the subtle blend of stories and provenance behind our vast array of marvellous malts.
  • In 2016, Whisky Month will also celebrate the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, turning the spotlight on other related areas, such as the famous feats of engineering and innovation in today’s whisky industry as well as the distinct architecture of many of Scotland’s wonderful distilleries.
  • To encourage even more visitors to sample Scotland’s whisky a series of eBooks are available. Each book focuses on one of the country’s five distinctive whisky-producing regions in Scotland – Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Highland.  VisitScotland’s The Land of Whisky guides can be downloaded at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/distilleries
  • Find out more and search for events, recipes and trails at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/whisky-month and join the conversation using #WhiskyMonth

Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Hakushu 18 Years Old and Hakushu 12 Years Old Win a Double Gold Medal at “San Francisco World Spirits Competition” – Japanese Whisky News

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Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Hakushu 18 Years Old and Hakushu 12 Years Old Win a Double Gold Medal at “San Francisco World Spirits Competition”

Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Hakushu 12 Years Old and Hakushu 18 Years Old from Suntory Spirits Limited won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SWSC), an international spirits competition held in the United States.
Winning these prizes is highly significant, as it further cements Suntory’s reputation for the high quality of our malt whisky and unblended grain whisky as well as our excellent blending techniques.
From Beam Suntory’s spirits portfolio, Knob Creek, Laphroaig 10 Year Old and so on also won Double Gold Medal awards.

●About the “San Francisco World Spirits Competition”
Now in its sixteenth year, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the global spirits competition in the United States. Panels of judges include restaurants, buyers for large purveyors and journalists who assess the entries and select the winners of Double Gold Medal, Gold Medal, Silver Medal and Bronze Medal awards in each category.

●About Hibiki Japanese Harmony
Inspired by the riches and subtleties of Japan’s 24 seasons of the traditional Japanese calendar and mastered by Suntory’s Art of Blending, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a meticulous blend of the finest select whiskies from the House of Suntory Whisky. This distinguished blend creates a luminous harmony of flavors and aromas and a taste of mild and deep.

●About Hakushu 18 Years Old
This single malt whisky is made from carefully selected malt whiskies aged over 18 years from the mountain forest distillery “Hakushu”. This is characterized by a rich and deep aroma reminiscent of ripened fruits. With a brilliant harmony of complex richness, sweetness and woodiness, the gently smoky scent of the Hakushu brand echoes pleasantly through you.

●About Hakushu 12 Years Old
This single malt whisky is made from carefully selected malt whiskies aged over 12 years from the mountain forest distillery “Hakushu”. A distinctive flavor with fresh and green aroma, gentle smokiness followed by fruity and crisp aftertaste.

The Whisky Exchange “In Their Own Words – Colin Dunn, Whisky Ambassador, Diageo” – Scotch Whisky News

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In Their Own Words – Colin Dunn, Whisky Ambassador, Diageo

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Diageo whisky ambassador Colin Dunn

Colin Dunn has done more than most to get people switched on to whisky. After a spell with Suntory, he moved to Diageo in 2008, educating drinkers about the delights of the company’s numerous single malts, as well as the Johnnie Walker range. Here he talks about his life in whisky…

‘When I first tried the Classic Malts, I was amazed how different they all were, and how I needed to know more about them – it was like Howard Carter opening the tomb of Tutankhamun

I’m not Scottish, but I’m Cornish, so there’s a bit of Gaelic there. But people would say “You’re not Scottish, what do you know about whisky?”!’

‘In the early tastings I did, all the people I spoke to were over 50 and male. Trying to teach them how to taste whisky was very difficult’

‘In this country [the UK], Japanese whisky didn’t exist 15 years ago

I still get a buzz trying whiskies from Lark or Kavalan, not just Diageo whiskies’

‘I think of bartenders as alchemists; they create new flavours. We’ve moved on from the Martini and the Mojito

The first time I tried Laphroaig, it put me off whisky for a good 10 minutes!’

‘There are many times I’ve been given a 50-year-old whisky and the person who gave it to me told me it was fantastic just because it was a 50-year-old whisky. But I’ve tasted 50-year-old whiskies that have done nothing for me; it’s all about how the whisky evolves’

Cardhu is the most bourbonesque distillery in the Diageo portfolio’

‘I remember the first time I tried Japanese whisky; I realised it was the missing link between bourbon and Scotch

Where will I be in five years’ time? Please welcome Colin Dunn. He used to work for Diageo; now he works for the Cornish Whisky Company!’

Scotch Malt Whisky Society ‘PEATY PRE-PREVIEWS & PERSONALITY PAIRS’ – Scotch Whisky News

AA SMWS May 2016

PEATY PRE-PREVIEWS & PERSONALITY PAIRS

We’re so excited by May’s peaty propositions we just couldn’t wait a moment longer to pass them on to you – ta-dah! Meet the Peaty Range: three diverse whiskies at different levels on the peaty spectrum and all wrapped up at a special price. Not a peat freak? Get stuck into one of our sweet pair recommendations, bursting with personality. Smoky (and sweet) treats are never around for long; if you want one, stick it in your basket now…

May’s Peaty Range Trio – £195

3.260 Delicate perfumed sweetness
Age: 15 years
Flavour: Lightly peated

10.93 Sweet but dangerous
Age: 9 years
Flavour: Peated

29.180 An apothecary shop on the shore
Age: 16 years
Flavour: Heavily peated

BUY May’s Peaty Range Trio >

Playful & Bouncy Pair – £110.90

Young & spritely

39.113 An explosion of playfulness
Age: 15 years

5.46 Peachy & perky
Age: 14 years

BUY Playful & Bouncy Pair >

Sweet Nostalgia Pair – £99.50

Sweet, fruity & mellow

39.118 Sweet memories
Age: 8 years

28.27 Autumn feelings
Age: 10 years

BUY Sweet Nostalgia Pair >

Mouth-watering Pair – £108.00 >

Sweet, fruity & mellow

112.11 Nostalgic & comforting
Age: 15 years

36.94 Young & spirited
Age: 16 years

BUY Mouth-watering Pair >

Naughty but Nice Pair – £104.00

Spicy & sweet

44.72 Slightly wicked sweet treats
Age: 12 years

36.95 The joy of jelly
Age: 15 years

BUY Naughty but Nice Pair >

Browse Current Outturn >
Browse All Bottlings >

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

Diageo Whiskies at The Spirits Embassy – Scotch Whisky News

The Spirits Embassy

Is your favourite dram back in stock?

You can find our full range on The Spirits EmbassySingle Malts Direct’s brand new website. 

Wish to see daily updates from us? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!

For many of the Alexander & James team, Lagavulin is the absolute Islay malt and arguably the most intensely smoky of all whiskies. This limited edition was double matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for a richer, smoother taste. Distilled in 1998, bottled in 2014.

AA Lagavulin

Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 1998  || £73.00 incl. VAT

Complex and bold with an exquisite balance of sweetness and dryness. A superbly structured whisky in which fruit and floral notes on the nose introduce a rich, complex, energetic palate and a magnificent finish.

AA Mortlach O&R

Mortlach Rare Old || £44.00 incl. VAT

A quietly assured extra-mature whisky. Opens with real finesse to reveal an exquisite structure. Cardhu Distillery nestles in a picturesque setting in the heart of Speyside. Speyside is known all over the world as whisky country. The Cardhu distillery which is the only distillery started by a women, really does stand out from all the other distilleries in the Speyside area. The light character of our 12yr old Cardhu is an excellent starting point for anyone starting on their whisky journey and our new additions to the family the Cardhu 15 and 18yr offer flavours for those for that are looking for something a little more complex. The Cardhu range of whiskies are an  excellent representation of a Speyside whisky and are enjoyed by people in a variety of countries.

AA Cardhu 18

Cardhu 18 Year Old || £73.00 incl. VAT

Single Malts Ltd., 36 Gordon Street, Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 8EQ United Kingdom

 

New Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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Scotland

Kilchoman “Evolution” Islay Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)10$139.99 View

Kilchoman “Sanaig” Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)19$69.99 View

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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Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #580 – Scotch Whisky News

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www.ralfy.com offers a triple-whammy with Whisky Review 580 1 + 2 + 3 of 3 – Kingsbarns Wemyss Glen Scotia 23yo malt  and interviews at Kingsbarns Distillery.

World’s Malt Whisky Capital Prepares to Party as Curtain Rises on Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – Scotch Whisky News

AA Whisky Shop Dufftown Mike Lord

World’s malt whisky capital prepares to party as curtain rises on Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Set against rolling hills and surrounded by lush countryside, Dufftown would appear – on the face of it – to be just another picture-perfect little town in the heart of Speyside’s whisky country.

But this unassuming little community with a population of only 1,600 is actually a powerhouse of Scotch whisky production – and is globally renowned as the malt whisky capital of the world.

If that wasn’t enough of a claim to fame, for five days every year Dufftown also becomes the epicentre of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – an event that draws thousands of whisky lovers from home and abroad.

There are over 500 different events at this year’s Festival, which kicks off on Thursday (April 28), and dozens of them will be taking place in Dufftown. From whisky tasting and whisky WAGs to barrel racing and ceilidh dancing, the town offers a programme of events like no other in the Festival.

Festival manager Pery Zakeri says, “The ingenuity of event providers in Dufftown never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think they’ve done everything possible, they’ll come up with something completely new.

“The really great thing is how the community gets behind the event, and that’s important to us as a Festival because it all helps to give visitors such an authentic experience.

“They can come and meet the people who actually produce the whisky they drink, and then visit towns and villages and meet the locals for whom whisky is not just a product – it’s their lifeblood.”

Dufftown is renowned as the malt whisky capital because there is nowhere else with such a high concentration of distilleries: there is a saying that Rome was built on seven hills, but Dufftown stands on seven stills.

Whisky is produced in such significant volumes within its catchment that it’s believed the town raises more revenue for the Treasury per head of population than any other part of the UK.

There have been nine different distilleries operating out of Dufftown at various points in its history, but not all of them are still running. Even those who are not aficionados will have heard of globally renowned brands like Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, but there is also Mortlach, Parkmore, Glendullan, Convalmore, Dufftown, Pittyvaich and Kininvie.

Visitors will be able to see these distilleries in a walk organised by local tour guide Michelle Myron. But, being Dufftown, this isn’t just an ordinary walk – Whisky and WAGS is a 6km hike around the village for women-only during which they will taste drams from the distilleries paired with exquisite chocolates from Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatiers.

There are still some places available on the walk, which takes place on Saturday and sets out at 4pm.

“Dufftown is always a very special place to visit at any time of the year, but there is always a fantastic buzz during the Festival. We have some great events lined up, and lots going on that will bring both local people and visitors together,” says Michelle.

Festival-goers will also have the chance to sample specially created whisky ice cream at the Balvenie Street Ice Cream Shop, enjoy live music and a ceilidh on board the Keith-Dufftown Railway Line, learn how to blend whisky at Glenfiddich, and even snag some genuine whisky memorabilia at a pop-up shop organised by Speyside Rotary Club.

There will be a carnival atmosphere on Sunday, May 1 as the Dufftown Whisky Street Festival takes place throughout the afternoon. There’s live music, a 10K race between the distilleries, the chance to take part in barrel racing and sample a range of whisky cocktails and cupcakes.

Mike Lord is owner of The Whisky Shop Dufftown – a veritable Aladdin’s cave of whisky which many visitors make a pilgrimage to during the Festival. He is one of the Festival’s most prolific event providers, and has been responsible for introducing some of the most unusual events to the programme.

He’s masterminded competitions where visitors find the best whisky to pair with bacon rolls and haggis, organised bus tours to distilleries that only open to the public during the Festival and also stages numerous special events and tastings at his shop.

Mike says, “Dufftown is the beating heart of the malt whisky industry, producing something like 40 million litres of pure alcohol per year. Over 10% of the industry’s capacity is in our town – that’s the same amount of alcohol as in over 140 million bottles of whisky.

“Breathing in all that angelic air is probably why each year we come up with so many different events from the norm for The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Whether it’s finding the best malt to go with a bacon a roll or an in-depth tasting on the influence of different woods on the maturation of whisky we have it all. We try and make whisky fun and informative for everyone.

“Some other whisky retailers have told me my shop is in the middle of nowhere but all that The Malt Whisky Capital of the World has to offer is only an hour from the airports in Aberdeen and Inverness.

“Those other shops don’t get a still man from Glenrothes popping in to buy some beer, the head of distilling for Chivas Brothers dropping by in for a chat, Diageo’s key production guy for Speyside wanting an opinion on flanged stills or the visitor centre manager for Glenfarclas dropping off some stock. These are all local people: visitors can meet them in my shop, in our restaurants, in our pubs and our shops.”

As one of the world’s biggest festivals celebrating of Scotland’s national drink, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival features a packed programme of almost 500 events, with music, crafts, and food themes running alongside a wide range of distillery tours and tastings.

Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including The Glenlivet Over the Decades, are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com/. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

Picture caption: Mike Lord of The Whisky Shop Dufftown is one of the Spirit of Speyside Festival’s most prolific event providers.

Notes to editors

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is committed to promoting responsible drinking. Visitors travelling to and from festival events can take advantage of a range of transport options. Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has received funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 to 2020. The Scottish Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will run from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.

Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed fashion, textiles and design sector.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, supported by partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate

Whisky Month 2016

  • May is Whisky Month in Scotland, inviting visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink and explore the subtle blend of stories and provenance behind our vast array of marvellous malts.
  • In 2016, Whisky Month will also celebrate the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, turning the spotlight on other related areas, such as the famous feats of engineering and innovation in today’s whisky industry as well as the distinct architecture of many of Scotland’s wonderful distilleries.
  • To encourage even more visitors to sample Scotland’s whisky a series of eBooks are available. Each book focuses on one of the country’s five distinctive whisky-producing regions in Scotland – Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Highland.  VisitScotland’s The Land of Whisky guides can be downloaded at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/distilleries
  • Find out more and search for events, recipes and trails at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/whisky-month and join the conversation using #WhiskyMonth

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