Archive for October, 2017




Special release of 10-year-old peated whisky follows news of Society partner bar in Stockholm and increased activity in Sweden 

Whisky fans in Sweden are in for a treat this month as The Scotch Malt Whisky Society [] (SMWS) releases an exclusive single cask malt available only to Swedish spirits enthusiasts.

The 10-year-old ‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’, from the Society’s Peated flavour profile, goes on sale on Thursday 12 October on the Society’s online shop ( and will only be available in Sweden.

As with all Society bottlings of single cask whiskies and other spirits, it is a limited edition, with only 234 bottles available. The Society’s expert Tasting Panel describe the whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead ex-Bourbon cask, as having notes of “pebble beach, seaweed, sun-dried driftwood, bonfire, smoked mackerel and cigar boxes” on the nose, with “blow-torched pineapple and toasted marshmallows” on the palate.

The news comes on the back of exciting times for the SMWS and whisky fans in Sweden.

In August, the SMWS launched its first official partner bar at The Ardbeg Embassy in Stockholm. This relationship sees the world-renowned bar offering an array of Society whiskies and holding monthly Society tasting events.

The tastings take place on the last Wednesday of each month and are hosted by local SMWS ambassador Patrik Axelsson. The next three events are:

  • Wed 25th October: Preview tasting of November’s SMWS releases
  • Wed 29 November: SMWS Single Cask Spirits tasting featuring rum, bourbon and armagnac.
  • Old & rare whisky tasting – sampling old and hard-to-find SMWS whiskies.

The SMWS, which releases around 20 new whiskies and other spirits each month in Sweden, is also staging a tasting at the SPIS restaurant in Kiruna on Saturday 18 November with local SM9WS ambassador Tommy Calner.

In the coming months, the SMWS will announce plans to stage more tasting events in other locations across Sweden, such as Gothenburg.

SMWS is registered for distance selling in Sweden, so members can order from over 90 bottlings online which are delivered with DHL direct to their door, inclusive of all local taxes – as opposed to ordering and collecting from Systembolaget.

Local SMWS ambassador Patrik Axelsson said: “The release of ‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’ exclusively in Sweden is a great opportunity for our existing members and other like-minded spirits enthusiasts to enjoy a classic example of the single cask whisky that makes the Society unique.

“Through our tasting events at our partner bar the Ardbeg Embassy and the new selection of whiskies and other spirits we release each month, this is a really exciting time to be a member of the Society in Sweden.” 

More information:

Full tasting notes & bottle information:

‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’

Cask number: 10.127

Distilled: 01-Dec-06

Age: 10

Cask: Refill hogshead ex-bourbon

ABV: 62%

Outturn: 234 bottles

Region: Islay

Flavour profile: Peated

Bottle – £69

Bottle + membership – £110

Bottle + membership + welcome pack – £160 

Full tasting note:

The nose engulfed us in waves of comforting familiarity and reassuring island peat smoke – the evocation of Hebridean place was enormous – pebble beach, seaweed, sun-dried driftwood, bonfire, smoked mackerel and cigar boxes. The palate was mouth-filling and deeply satisfying – lively peat smoke and plenty of sweetness – blow-torched pineapple and toasted marshmallows, with aniseed balls and a little sherbet and balsamic acidity. The reduced nose brought us peated barley in hessian sacks, coconut, banana and burning scarecrows by the seaside. The palate now had vanilla pod, lemon and chewy, substantial, almost savoury smoke. Punches above its weight for the age. 

Bottle tasting note:

The nose carries island peat smoke, seaweed, driftwood and burning scarecrows. The palate; blow-torched pineapple and toasted marshmallows.

Notes to editors:

About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club that bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
  • The Society only ever bottles single casks – each cask is unique, making every Society bottling a limited edition
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 134 distilleries in its history
  • The Society releases a new batch of around 20 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
  • The Society offers different levels of membership
  • For more information about the Society, visit


Expert hails Distillery’s new permanent release, while Ardbeg Corryvreckan triumphs – Scotch Whisky News

an oa

Ardbeg An Oa is “beautifully delicious”, declares Jim Murray

Expert hails Distillery’s new permanent release, while Ardbeg Corryvreckan triumphs

World whisky authority Jim Murray has given Ardbeg’s newest permanent expression an emphatic seal of approval. In his 2018 Whisky Bible, he lauds Ardbeg An Oa as “beautifully delicious”, awarding the expression 95.5 points out of a possible 100. Murray also heaps praise on other permanent expressions from the Islay Distillery, hailing Ardbeg Corryvreckan as a category winner.

Smoky, sweet and singularly rounded, Ardbeg An Oa is the first new permanent expression to emerge from Ardbeg for almost a decade. Released from September 2017, it is inspired by the Mull of Oa – the most untamed part of The Ultimate Islay Malt’s remote Scottish island home – and is uniquely created in Ardbeg’s Gathering Vat. There, parcels of whisky which include the richness of spirit matured in Pedro Ximénez casks, the spice of a parcel aged in virgin oak, and all the hallmark intensity of Ardbeg matured in ex-bourbon barrels, come together to form an single malt far more complex and rounded than the sum of its parts.

In the latest edition of his Whisky Bible, considered the world’s leading whisky guide, Murray delights in Ardbeg An Oa. He describes its nose as “Ardbeg at its driest and most sooty”. The whisky’s taste is “sublimely textured with an immediate roll call of sugars”, he says, adding: “The transformation from the delicate, molassed sugars into a softer vanilla is… effortless and easy. It is also beautifully delicious… I’d never say ‘whoa’ if someone poured me An Oa…

Other permanent expressions from Ardbeg also continue to win praise from Murray. He hails “deep and perplexing” Ardbeg Corryvreckan as the winner of the Single Malt Scotch No Age Statement (Multiple Casks) category, with a score of 96.5. Meanwhile, the “disarming allure” of Ardbeg Ten Years Old contributes to its exceptional rating of 97, as Murray urges whisky lovers: “Just close your eyes and enjoy…”

Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “We are delighted to receive these positive accolades and the consistently strong reviews of Ardbeg whiskies are testament to the skill and craftsmanship we put into every bottle of Ardbeg.”

The First of Two New Maker’s 46 Barrels at K&L California – American Whiskey News


The First of Two New Maker’s 46 Barrels

Earlier this year, I went out to Kentucky with my co-worker Julio Santos to put together another barrel of Maker’s 46—the amazing custom cask program at Maker’s Mark that allows each participant to choose the exact recipe of staves for the additional maturation enhancement. Coming off one of the most successful and fastest-selling single casks in K&L history, I was toying with the idea of doing the same recipe again, seeing that so many people seemed to enjoy the last batch. Knowing that there was so much potential, however, to create something new and interesting for our Bourbon customers to try, the creative side of me eventually gave in and we sat down to make something entirely different. On top of that, when another retailer pulled out of their appointment earlier that same morning, we were given their barrel allocation so we ended up with two casks.

Last time around I did all American oak, hoping to dial up the inherent sweetness already present in Maker’s Mark, but with all those French options I knew we had to find a way to bring them into the equation. For this barrel, we kept a high proportion of baked American oak staves (6 in total), but buttressed that sweetness with 4 seared French cuvee staves to add richness and spice rather than simply add additional sweetness. The result is a high proof wheated Bourbon that’s big on the nose, supple on the palate, but drier and earthier on the finish (a la some of the older Jefferson’s 18 editions of the past). While you get all that creamy wheated goodness in the middle, the French oak contrasts that supple sweetness with drier notes of toasted oak and savory spice. The result is a damn fine bottle of whiskey.

I hope you all like it as much as I do! ~ David Driscoll

Maker’s Mark 46 “K&L Exclusive – #1″ Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) – $69.99


Introducing Macallan Exceptional Single Cask – Scotch Whisky News

AA  Macallan 1



A story that starts at The Macallan’s legendary whisky making bench and celebrates the art of discovery. Get ready to take a step into the world of our Whisky Makers and explore the full spectrum of The Macallan single malt whisky…



Whisky Hammer October Auction Now Live – Whisky Auction News

AA Whisky Hammer


OCTOBER AUCTION NOW LIVE (ends Sunday 29th October)

…place your bids at

With an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits there is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest, enjoy!


Abbey Whisky “Incredible Benromach aged for 39 years!” – Scotch Whisky News


Benromach 1977 – 39 Year Old | Cask 1268


Distilled in 1977, this stunning single malt Scotch whisky from Benromach distillery has been aged in cask for an incredible 39 years. Bottled in 2017 at cask strength 56% vol, only 225 bottles have been filled from cask 1268.

As with previous vintage releases from Benromach, this 1977 bottling has been beautifully presented in a unique bottle decanter, wooden presentation box and comes complete with history book outlining the distilleries past.

Limited Stock Available


Gaja Capital Backed John Distilleries Announces Strategic Investment by the Sazerac Company – Indian Whisky News


Gaja Capital Backed John Distilleries Announces Strategic Investment by the Sazerac Company 

LOUISVILLE, KY  (Oct. 19, 2017) John Distilleries Private Limited (“JDPL” or “Company,”) a leading Indian spirits company, today announced that The Sazerac Company (“Sazerac,”) the largest family-owned spirits company in the United States and owners of Fireball, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and E.H. Taylor Bourbon, has acquired an equity stake in JDPL from Gaja Capital, who will continue to remain partially invested in the Company.

JDPL is a leading spirits company in India with gross revenues of over INR 28 billion in FY17. With sales of more than 13 million cases, JDPL’s portfolio includes Original Choice Whisky, the seventh largest selling whisky in the world, Bangalore Malt, the fastest growing millionaire brand in the world, Paul John Single Malt (PJSM), an award winning super premium whisky, and Big Banyan wines, one of India’s leading premium wine brands.

Sazerac is one of the largest spirits companies in the United States and the world with a product portfolio of more than 350 brands spanning all spirit categories. Sazerac’s E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was just named “World Whisky of the Year” for 2018 by the much revered Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. In the past 15 years, whiskeys from its iconic Buffalo Trace Distillery have won “World Whisky of the Year” no less than six times. This strategic partnership marks Sazerac’s entry into the Indian market, one of the largest and fastest growing markets for spirits in the world.

Paul John, JDPL’s Chairman and Managing Director, said, “Sazerac’s technological expertise coupled with a global portfolio of brands spread across all spirit categories, will be an added advantage for JDPL both in domestic and in global markets. We look forward to this partnership with Sazerac and in continuing to make our brands even stronger. We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Gaja Capital who will continue as shareholders. They have made important contributions to our success through their deep understanding of the Indian consumer, substantial operating value-add and an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Sazerac and JDPL are both family-owned companies and both have taken similar strategic paths, initially developing leading regional brands, followed by launching global premium brands. “We are extraordinarily excited to be able to establish this partnership in India, and look forward to working with Paul John and his team in supporting JDPL’s iconic brands,” said Mark Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Sazerac Company.

Ranjit Shah, Managing Partner at Gaja Capital, said, “Guided by Paul’s strategic vision, the Company has seen its scale and profitability grow rapidly in India and abroad on the strength of an increasing brand portfolio backed by a robust manufacturing back-end.  We welcome Sazerac to India and are excited about the significant value that this partnership can create in what is one the most attractive spirits markets in the world.”

Jefferies India acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Gaja Capital and Sazerac was advised by Rabobank.

About JDPL

Founded in 1996 by Paul John, JDPL has operations in 13 states/UTs in India and its brands are available through more than 15,000 outlets across the country and its super premium brand PJSM sells in over 30 countries around the world. For more information on John Distilleries Private Limited, please visit & 

About Sazerac

Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit 

About Gaja Capital

Gaja Capital is one of India’s leading independent private equity firms providing growth capital to mid-market companies. Founded in 2004, Gaja Capital’s team of sector and functional specialists combine investing, entrepreneurial and operating experience to deliver tangible value beyond capital. For more information on Gaja Capital, please visit




ROSEBANK REBORN – Scotch Whisky News

IMD Rosebank



Ian Macleod Distillers has today revealed plans to resurrect one of Scotland’s most cherished distilleries. “Rosebank is one of the most respected and sought after single malts in the world,” declared MD Leonard Russell. “As such, this is an extraordinarily exciting project for us. To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

In its home town of Falkirk, on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal, Rosebank has been dubbed ‘the King of the Lowlands’ and the late whisky writer, Michael Jackson had no doubt that it was one of the ‘greats’. He described its demise as “a grievous loss”, while fellow critic, Gavin D Smith, wrote of the region’s whiskies having: “subtle charm, and none is more charming than the elegant, floral, aromatic Rosebank produced by a triple distillation process in the traditional Lowland manner.”

All this will be preserved, as Leonard Russell explained: “The distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we are committed to ensuring this is the case. We will produce Rosebank Lowland single malt in exactly the same way as it is known, using the famous triple distillation and worm tub condensers. This way we ensure the revival of its classic style and taste.”

“Our investment goes way beyond production,” he continued. “We are looking to develop a Rosebank Visitor Centre to help tell the story of this remarkable whisky – as well as safeguard the atmospheric Canal side Bond and its important heritage.”

Ian Macleod Distillers has entered into a binding agreement with Scottish Canals to purchase the site and has separately acquired the Rosebank trademark. The company is proud to be investing in Falkirk by adding to the town’s flourishing economy and tourism scene.

But perhaps most exciting for whisky lovers as they wait for the reborn Rosebank to mature, is the acquisition of some precious existing casks. “Over the coming months we will carefully review Rosebank’s rare stocks with a view to releasing some truly scarce and extraordinary whiskies,” said Leonard Russell. “We have no doubt that demand for these releases will be exceptionally high so we already have plans in place to make sure collectors and Rosebank lovers can keep up to date.”

With this in mind, all the latest developments will be revealed on a new, dedicated website where those who sign up will be the first to hear about the release of the rare and collectable bottlings of Rosebank Lowland Single Malt.

For more information, please visit

In conclusion, Leonard Russell said: “We would like to express our gratitude to Diageo for their support in transferring the Trademark and to Scottish Canals for their assistance in our endeavours to revitalise the home of Rosebank.” 

Please drink responsibly.


About Rosebank Distillery

Rosebank Distillery is located beside the Forth & Clyde Canal at Camelon, on the outskirts of the town of Falkirk, between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Its history on the present site begins in 1840, when James Rankine acquired the maltings of the Camelon Distillery, which were on the opposite side of the canal to the main distillery.

By 1886 Rosebank was operating on both sides of the canal with the Camelon building producing malt which was then transferred over a swing bridge to the distillery building. In the 20th century it was considered one of, if not the, premier Lowland malts. In 1993, owners, United Distillers, mothballed the building. Rosebank’s single malts are now some of the most sought-after in the connoisseur’s and collectors’ market.

About Ian Macleod Distillers:

Established in 1933, Ian Macleod Distillers is one of Scotland’s leading, independent family-owned distillers, blenders and bottlers. The company currently produces and sell over 15 million bottles of spirits per year. Ian Macleod Distillers became a fully integrated distiller, blender and bottler in 2003 when it purchased Glengoyne Distillery. This was followed by the acquisition of its second distillery, Tamdhu, in 2011 and most recently, Edinburgh Gin in September 2016.

The Whisky Exchange “In Their Own Words – Stewart Buchanan, Glendronach” – Scotch Whisky News


In Their Own Words – Stewart Buchanan, Glendronach

Glendronach brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan led a great masterclass at this year’s Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in which he delved into the distillery’s past and showed various drams from yesteryear as well as more modern bottlings. This is what he had to say:

Stewart Buchanan, brand ambassador for Glendronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh

‘Anyone who knows Glendronach will say it’s “sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry”, but it wasn’t always that way – we used to use bourbon barrels, too

‘We were the last coal-fired distillery in Scotland – we removed the coal fires in 2005’

‘Glendronach means “valley of the brambles”

Glendronach has a lovely oily nature to the spirit, and there’s also a delicious stewed-barley element, too. ‘In Alfred Barnard’s The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom which was published in the 1880s, he described Glendronach 8 Year Old as “like a brandy liqueur”, and people do tell me that Glendronach has a Cognac-like feel to it’

‘You can fill 100 oloroso sherry casks and leave them to age, and in one of them the whisky will be as light as tea, while the whisky in another will be as dark as Coca-Cola! Some of the oloroso casks we buy are more than 80 years old and they give great complexity’


Glendronach is known for its big, rich style, accentuated by maturation in ex-sherry casks

We don’t have much of the 33 Year Old left. We’ve only got about three bottles. [Former head honcho] Billy Walker wasn’t happy with us because we drank one of them one day!’

‘A grapefruit note is a great sign of an old, vintage whisky

‘I’m very conscious that what we’re making now, people will be drinking in 40 years’ time

You know life is good when you’re sitting in an armchair with a glass of Glendronach 18 Year Old in your hand’

Peated Drummond Glenturret Distillery Exclusive – Scotch Whisky News


New Release


Peated Drummond… Distillery Exclusive

We are delighted to announce the hugely-anticipated release of The Glenturret Cask 100 Peated Drummond Edition.

This highly collectable expression, which is available only from the distillery shop, is the first new bottling to be hand signed by the new Distillery Manager Ian Renwick.

The Peated Drummond is a cask strength single malt whisky with hints of dry almonds and fired oak. Priced at £145, and presented in a tweed gift bag, there are only 315 bottles available.

Find out more HERE

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