Archive for July, 2017

Whisky.Auction “Time to Get Bidding” – Whisky News

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Following the launch of the extremely well received 1971 edition last year, we have now released the 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection to the market, the second release in a series of six.

A single malt captured in its prime by our distillery men before too much was lost to the angels, the 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection is bottled at 42.1% abv and has a limited run of only 380 bottles.

The 1972  has a distinct and complex character – with aromas of summer meadow wildflowers and flavours of sweet almond, coffee and winter spices – which have been developed over four decades of maturation, under the watchful waiting of the casks’ dedicated custodians.

This exquisite single malt is part of our Warehouse 6 Collection – a celebration of casks matured in its traditional dunnage warehouse. It has been aged in three sherry hogshead casks (23404, 23405 and 23406), laid low on antique wooden rails, above cool earthen floor, in the very heart of the Tomatin Distillery grounds.

The 1972  is presented in a stunning wooden presentation box. The box is opened by pressing lightly on two rose gold metal buttons found on the side of the box, which allows the top to be lifted off revealing the bottle and glasses. Inside, a wooden podium base holds the hand-blown Glencairn Crystal decanter and glasses decorated with solid copper bands. The bottle boasts a solid copper stopper and a numbered certificate detailing the story of the whisky.

Stephen Bremner, our Sales Director, said, “It is very exciting to finally launch the 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection malt, which has been sitting patiently in some of our most treasured casks, maturing and growing in flavour; just as the Tomatin brand itself has grown throughout the years. We wanted to create a range of whiskies that truly capture the heart of the distillery. This we achieved initially with the 1971, and now with the 1972.”

The 1972 will retail at £2,000 and will be available from luxury whisky retailers by mid-August.

Rare Scotch Enjoys Record Run – Scotch Whisky News

David Robertson and Andy Simpson 2

Rare Scotch Enjoys Record Run

The UK auction market for Scotch malt whisky has enjoyed a record run, with the total value sold at auction surpassing £2 million in each of the last 3 months of April, May and June , according to new data released by whisky analyst, broker and investment experts Rare Whisky 101.

During these past three months, the secondary market for rare Scotch malt whisky has achieved its highest ever average price per bottle of £286.

21,617 bottles were sold on the secondary market during this record-breaking period, versus 12,638 in the same period in 2016, a 71% increase.

A cumulative total of £6.18M has been spent on rare whisky at auction compared to £2.80M in the same period in 2016, an increase of 121%.

The figures underline the continued trend of value growth exceeding volume growth. In the past month (June) alone, RW101 has noted a 54% increase in volume and a 94% increase in value of Scotch malt whisky sold at auction, compared to June last year.

The figures point to another very strong six months’ performance for the UK’s secondary rare whisky market, when RW101’s half year report is published later this Summer.

Whisky investment analyst and co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, Andy Simpson commented: “Any question as to whether the recent increases in the rare whisky market would begin to plateau can, for now, be summarily dismissed. Even we wondered whether the market could continue to expand at such levels, following another record braking year in 2016. The performance of Scotch malt whisky at auction over the past three months has been nothing short of phenomenal.

“The growing popularity of online auctions, combined with recent moves by traditional rare whisky retailers to set up their own auction sites, continues to drive demand.  By joining the secondary market sector, these “bricks n mortar” retailers have finally realised that they can’t afford to lose rare whisky customers to the auction market.

“Anecdotally we have seen growing demand from North America and Asia over recent times.   We have also experienced a dramatic increase in enquiries from Asian and USA professional buyers looking to set up new supply agreements to capitalise on this dynamically growing market.”

To download the last full set of results for the UK rare whisky auction market, click here



Images: Rare Whisky 101 co-founders Andy Simpson and David Robertson

About Rare Whisky 101 Andy Simpson and David Robertson launched Rare Whisky 101 in 2014 with the aim of offering a whisky valuation service, brokerage and consultancy for whisky connoisseurs, collectors and investors. Having tracked every bottle sold at UK auctions over the past 12 years, the business now offers the world’s first, only and most comprehensive online single malt Scotch & Japanese whisky dataset covering almost 240,000 price records across over 30,000 different bottle types. In the last 12 months, RW101 have brokered around 20,000 rare whisky bottles around the globe in addition to trading in aged casks from iconic distilleries such as The Macallan, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Springbank, Mortlach, Talisker, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Rosebank and Highland Park.

The Whisky Exchange “Let’s get quizzical with whisky” – Quizzical Whisky News




Tickets on sale now


University Challenge, Have I Got News For You and 8 out of 10 Cats have all made their mark on the world of team quiz shows. We are looking to join the greats with our very own:


It’s time to show off your whisky knowledge in our very first quiz.

Our team of experts have toiled to bring you an array of testing questions for the geeks, along with classic pub-quiz picture and music rounds and more. The main theme is, of course, whisky, and we will be tasting six drams from around the world along the way.
We welcome teams of 2-4 people and puntastic names are required…

You and your friends versus the world, with six incredible whiskies to taste and a chance of eternal glory.

Are you up to the challenge?



Please arrive at the venue from 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start




Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review #670 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy unearths a monster with Ralfy Review 670 – Laphroaig 6yo @ 58.3%vol Single Cask (G.S.Co:)

Scotch Malt Whisky Society August Outturn Preview – Scotch Whisky News


SMWS Tapestry

We’ve released five preview bottles from August Outturn, a rich tapestry of flavour, each of these preview bottles celebrates the diversity that the single cask brings. A great opportunity to buy before next month’s First Friday but be quick to order, only a limited number of bottles are available ahead of the full Outturn release on Friday, 4 August at 9am.


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: 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


Polar Whisky


Limited edition Islay whisky containing Arctic iceberg water

 will appeal to collectors with nose for adventure 

The launch today (Sunday 23 July) of a limited edition 12 year-old Port Charlotte single malt Islay whisky that includes drops of pure blue, millennia-old iceberg water from the Sermilik Fjord in Eastern Greenland, is certain to appeal to the international whisky collector with a nose for unique expressions and adventure.

From this Friday (28 July), bids with an expected starting price of £100 can be placed through Whisky Auctioneer for one of ten individually numbered bottles of the Polar Explorer single malt whisky. All monies raised from the auction of each bottle will directly benefit the work of The Polar Academy – a Scottish charity.

Following the auction, donations can also be made directly to the charity for one of an additional 190 bottles of the limited edition single malt whisky.

Craig Mathieson, Scotland’s greatest living polar explorer and one of only 12 polar explorers in the world to have skied to both the south and north poles, founded the charity in 2014. Its life-changing work helps young people afflicted by low self-esteem to unlock their potential and redefine their physical and mental limits through expeditions to the Arctic. The charity has already engaged more than 50,000 young people across Scotland.

Mathieson’s remarkable journeys have also inspired the Polar Explorer.  It is the first single malt whisky from Scotland to reduce its natural cask strength to 50% ABV by incorporating water from Scotland andmelted pure blue iceberg water from Greenland.

In the summer of 2016, while exploring by sea-kayak, Mathieson carefully collected samples of iceberg calved from the ancient glaciers and now adrift in the stunning and remote Sermilik Fjord.  Meaning ‘place of glaciers’ in Greenlandic, its serene waters form one of the largest fjords on the south-eastern coast of Greenland.

The internationally acclaimed whisky expert Charles MacLean described the Polar Explorer as ‘a cracking dram’ and went on to explain:  “It is a very interesting whisky with real depth and a very good texture.  It’s an exceptionally good Port Charlotte with a base note of smoked honey glazed ham and salty seaweed.  It was a real honour to meet Craig and learn more about his Polar exploration.  I have scored the Polar Explorer an impressive 8.1 out of 10.”

The journey to produce every precious drop of the Polar Explorer single malt whisky began when a single sherry cask of matured Port Charlotte single malt whisky was generously gifted to Craig Mathieson by Steve Thom, a director of Edinburgh-based Cornhill Building Services Ltd.  A heavily peated single malt whisky with a long finish, Port Charlotte is an expression expertly crafted by the renowned Bruichladdich Distillery on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Islay.

From the single privately owned cask of Port Charlotte, a limited number of bottles subsequently received the addition of pure iceberg water.  A very small amount of ice was carefully hand harvested in the same way the local Inuit population has collected ice for water for centuries.

Mathieson, who is also the first Explorer in Residence of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 129 years, has signed each individually numbered bottle of Polar Explorer.  Designed by Wolffe in Edinburgh, Polar Explorer is presented in a wooden box and wrapped in an eye-catching sketch map of Arctic Greenland.  The necktie and beautifully illustrated label tell the story of the explorer’s bonds to both the wild waters and landscapes of the Isle of Islay and Arctic Greenland.

Commenting on the launch of the Polar Explorer, Craig Mathieson said: “Supported by Trustees of The Polar Academy and private donors, today I am immensely proud to announce the first release of individually numbered and signed bottles of the Polar Explorer limited edition single malt whisky.

“The Polar Explorer is truly unique, a bottle that reflects both its spiritual home in the Isle of Islay and bond with the wild Arctic landscape.  Both are close to my heart. To support the work of The Polar Academy, I invite purveyors of this fine single malt Scotch whisky to bid at auction, or subsequently make a donation to the charity for a bottle of the whisky and share my taste for a fine malt and adventure. Slainte!”


The Poar Academy rare polar iceberg whisky bottling

Polar Explorer – Tasting Notes

Courtesy of Blair Bowman, whisky consultant and author (

Colour: Bright copper Nose: Salted caramel with macaroons and pear drops at first, followed by soot and sea salt. More green fruit notes, crisp granny smith apples and very tart gooseberries.  Balanced with sweet and soft smoke.  Palate: A chewy and juicy mouth feel gives more delicious apples and pear notes, combined with burnt marshmallow and smouldering charcoal BBQ smoke. Followed by more sea spray, waxy ropes and oily soot.

Finish: A wonderfully long finish that perfectly balances elements of sweet and smoke.

Overall: A fantastic dram with plenty of fruitiness and smoke, though not too much smoke, to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. A cracking dram to sip and savour with friends after a meal (or after an arduous expedition!) letting the combination of sweet and smoke dance on your tongue. 

About Craig Mathieson

After a career in the military, Mathieson went on to lead the first dedicated Scottish expedition to the South Pole in 2004, The Scot100 Expedition.  The route took him from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. In temperatures below minus 55°C, he hauled a 180lb sledge for 56 days over a total distance of 730 miles.

He has since completed many expeditions, including skiing to the North Pole. Yet he gains the most satisfaction from training and inspiring the young adults he annually selects to join him on Arctic expedition in Greenland.  It’s a life-changing journey for the participants, redefining their physical and mental limits. In the Arctic wilderness, self-confidence soars with every step. 

The label of the Polar Explorer limited edition single malt whisky reads

Craig Mathieson’s senses are enlivened when paddling amidst Greenland’s icebergs and circumnavigating Islay’s challenging waters. Islands close to his heart, it’s fitting that every precious bottle from the Polar Explorer’s malt cask is informed by pure drops of iceberg and the sea air of the malt’s spiritual home. Slainte!  


Da Mhile


After the success last year with the sale of a cask of Da Mhile Springbank 24 Year Old Organic Single Malt Scotch Whisky, when we achieved a world record price of £88,750 (inc. buyer’s premium) for a cask of organic whisky, we are delighted to announce the sale of a sister cask to last year’s in our August Whisky and Wine Sale.  The cask is current stored under bond at the Da Mhile Distillery’s own warehouse in Ceredigion, South West Wales.

The cask details are as follows:

Distillery: Springbank

Age: 25 Years Old

Specifics: Organic – fully accredited by the Soil Association.

Cask No: 232

Original Fill: 243 Litres

Regauged Contents:           180.1 Bulk Litres

                                                90.23 L/A

Temperature: 15.5°

This lot is being offered for sale as Lot 100 with an estimate of £50,000 – £60,000.

Interested parties should contact us as soon as possible for further details and a limited number of samples are available.

We will also be offering a complete collection of whisky bottlings from Da Mhile, including the early bottles of Springbank Organic Single Malt from sister casks to this cask.


Highland Park 18 Year Old 1997 Old and Rare Whisky at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Highland Park 18 Year Old 1997 Old and Rare Whisky

Highland Park – Very Northern Whisky

Orkney Whisky. You can’t get Scotch Whisky from any further north on this planet than here. The Orkney Islands lie off the very northern tip of the Scottish Mainland. Islands with a history perhaps more akin to Norse gods and the Vikings, than it’s mainland compatriots. This gives the likes of Highland Park and Scapa, the islands only to distilleries, something of an obvious USP. When single cask, 18 year old releases become available they are well worth a look.  Although largely classed as Highlands whisky, there is no doubting this is truly whisky from the Scottish islands. The Highland Park brand is well known and well loved. With peat cut from the island, Highland Park whisky is known for its sweet, heathery and smokey character.


Owned by the Edrington Group – Macallan and Famous Grouse – there has been an ongoing battle between the age old traditional methods at Highland Park and brand driven, marketing approach. Various limited releases have hit the market in recent years with the aim of growing the fan base. Has the whisky suffered for this. It seems not, as Highland Park is still highly regarded and admired as a single malt whisky.

Please click here to read the remainder of the article.

TWB 10 Yrs

Don’t look now, the Exciseman is coming! The Loch Fyne Arran Smugglers’ Series Vol 3 BALLOT! – Scotch Whisky News


Don’t look now, the Exciseman is coming!

Named ‘The Exciseman’, volume 3 pays tribute to the character of those who strived to outwit the Government’s representatives in pursuit of the production of the famed Arran Waters in the 18th and 19th centuries. This final volume has been matured in both ex-Bourbon quarter casks and ex-Madeira casks, similar to those used by the illicit distillers of the day. Madeira casks would have been brought from the continent by smugglers, while quarter casks would have been preferred for ease of transport.


The third and final limited edition in the series is once again bottled at cask strength (56.8% abv) and worth saving for the packaging alone. Presented in a hollowed-out book with vintage-style labels, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it! If you dare to open this one, you’ll find rich honey, apples, vanilla, spice and toasted oak on the nose. The palate coats the tongue with apple and vanilla, growing in sweetness, before a long and luxurious finish with notes of apple and citrus.


Only a couple of bottles have washed up on the shores of Loch Fyne so we’ve decided to hold a ballot. If you’re interested in adding this final limited edition of the series to your own collection, click the link below and send us your contact details. We’ll draw names at random after Friday 28th July and contact the lucky few one by one until all our bottles are gone. Good luck!


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