Archive for 2017





Japan’s Oldest Whisky Distillery Releases Limited Edition Offering

Aged For 18 Years Exclusively In Japanese Mizunara Oak

CHICAGO, IL (September 12, 2017) – For more than three generations, the master blenders at Suntory Whisky, the founding house of Japanese Whisky, have devoted themselves to pursuing the harmony of Japanese nature and craftsmanship. One of the most impressive examples of this pursuit is found in Mizunara, the Japanese oak. The wood from this rare and demanding tree inspired Suntory to take a momentous step forward in whisky making, both in perfecting new cask-making techniques and in creating flavors never before tasted in whisky. Suntory’s blenders have brought the essence of the noble Mizunara into a peerless liquid – tantalizingly spicy, redolent of incense and uniquely Japanese.

Revealing their mastery of the Art of Mizunara, The House of Suntory Whisky proudly introduces The Yamazaki® Mizunara 2017 Edition™ available as of October 2017. 

From the House of Suntory Whisky

The Mizunara cask is a perfect expression of “Tsukuriwake” – the art of diversity in whisky making. Diverse grain types, as well as fermentation, distillation and maturation techniques, underpin Suntory’s legendary Art of Blending. This diversity enables Suntory to produce more than 100 different malt and grain whiskies at the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries and allows Suntory complete self-sufficiency in the creation of its blends.

It is at Yamazaki, Japan’s oldest malt whisky distillery and the House of Suntory’s soulplace, where the art of “Tsukuriwake” is pushed the furthest. Built in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the founding father of Japanese Whisky, Yamazaki produces a wide variety of malt whiskies. Only Yamazaki whiskies—and only a few—have had the privilege of maturing in Mizunara casks, creating one of the most uniquely flavored and distinctly Japanese whiskies in the world.

For Suntory’s fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, every creation is a new journey to achieve the exquisite balance of subtlety, refinement and complexity that is the hallmark of all Suntory whiskies. In his pursuit of true “Mizunara-ness,” he tasted a few hundred Mizunara whiskies and made selections with varying ages, from 18 years old and beyond. A very small portion exceed even 50 years of maturation, which give this limited edition an incomparable depth and a flavor that lingers long after the liquid has passed the lips.

Fukuyo knew from the start that the Yamazaki Mizunara 2017 Edition was not intended for a familiar, relaxing moment. He wanted this uniquely Japanese whisky to be dramatic and unforgettable:

“I wanted to reveal the whisky’s soul that is the Art of Mizunara—a heightened sense and awakened palate engaged through aromas and flavors never known before. Encountering it should be a moment of epiphany.”

Pioneering the Mizunara Cask

It is said that in the early 1940s, Suntory’s blenders began small scale experiments with Mizunara. But it wasn’t until the end of World War II, when it became difficult to import wood, that Suntory truly focused on mastering the homegrown Mizunara cask.

Although only found in a few regions within Japan, it wasn’t Mizunara’s rarity that presented the greatest challenge to cask makers. It was the hard, permeable nature of the wood. The name Mizunara comes from the tree’s high moisture content – in Japanese “mizu” means water and “nara” means oak. Its permeable character is less than ideal for cask making since liquid can easily seep through the wood. And because Mizunara is a hardwood, it can be difficult to shape and join with the precision needed to prevent leaks.

Through great perseverance, Suntory’s craftsmen mastered the art of Mizunara cask-making by learning how to identify the right trees to make perfectly true casks. Although rarer, Suntory’s cask makers found that straight grain trees are less permeable. Trees suitable for cask making must have grown perfectly straight and have a diameter of at least 27.5 inches. They also tend to be far older than trees used in other casks.

In keeping with Suntory’s deep respect for the environment, trees are only cut if their removal will not jeopardize the health of the forest.

Taste Blessed by The Passage of Time

Throughout their long history using Mizunara casks, Suntory’s blenders have observed that age is the key to unlocking the signature taste of Mizunara whisky. A long maturation period reveals the distinctive spiciness and incense-like flavor of sandalwood and aloe wood that Suntory considers as the quintessential “Mizunara-ness.”

With many other cask types, whisky usually reaches a maturation peak at some point. But even at 50 years and beyond, the top-note and after-taste aromas of Mizunara whiskies are generally still improving. This unique ability to support long-term aging affords endless opportunities to experience the evolution and refinement of Mizunara whiskies over time.

Tasting Notes

Color:  Amber

Nose:   Rich and elegant fragrance, aloe wood, cinnamon

Palate:  Condensed sweetness, silky texture, dry fruits, coconut, orange marmalade

Finish:  Distinctive spiciness lingers with Japanese incense, aloe wood, cinnamon and tartness

Yamazaki Mizunara Cask 2017 Edition is presented at 48% alcohol by volume (96 proof) with a suggested retail price of $1,000.00 (750ml). The bottle label is 100% handcrafted mulberry Echizen paper produced via a slow process of drying on wood boards (a traditional Japanese method). The wood box that encloses the bottle is made of cask material used in the aging of Suntory whisky.


Suntory was established in 1899 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Since 1923, as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, Suntory Whisky has been renowned for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. The founding father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii, built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in Yamazaki, near Kyoto—a region known for the purity of its water, where the traditional Japanese tea ceremony was born. Torii dreamt of creating an authentically Japanese whisky by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to that of Scotland, thereby cultivating unique conditions for maturation.

In 1972, Torii’s son Keizo Saji, Suntory’s second master blender, built the Chita grain distillery near Nagoya to produce more of their own high-quality grain whiskies. In 1973, Saji founded the Hakushu distillery amidst the deep forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps. Its high altitude and lush environment is what differentiates Hakushu from other distilleries.

With three distilleries and a great diversity in whisky making (different still shapes, five types of cask, and three varieties of wood), Suntory produces over 100 malt and grain whiskies which amounts to the whole of Scotland’s production.

With respect to heritage and a commitment to innovation, third generation master Blender Shingo Torii, and grandson of Shinjiro, now leads this most highly awarded House of Japanese Whisky. Today the House of Suntory Whisky has been named four-time Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge in London, UK (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).

Suntory Whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The portfolio includes two single malt whiskies:  Yamazaki – Japan’s N°1 Single Malt, multi-layered and profound, Hakushu – verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky; and two blends: the noble blend, Hibiki – Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky and Suntory Whisky Toki – ideal for Japanese highballs.        #SuntoryWhisky   @SuntoryWhisky


As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

Introducing Speyburn 15 Years Old – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky from the heart of Speyside

Introducing Speyburn 15 Years Old

We’re thrilled to introduce you to a new limited release expression, Speyburn 15 Years Old.

The 15 Years Old is created using fresh spring water from the Granty Burn, a stream flowing with soft and clear spring water and a major tributary of the River Spey. This unique expression has been matured in American oak and Spanish oak casks, adopting the fragrant Speyside air and surrounding rich woodland over time to become a full-bodied and vibrant dram.

The distinctive amber liquid with golden highlights, has the aroma of subtle dark chocolate, vanilla, orange, raisins and spice. The rich taste is bursting, with notes of citrus fruits and has a creamy, warm and long-lasting finish.

Click here to discover more about Speyburn 15 Years Old

For the first time in five years Speyburn has a new look

To complement the launch of Speyburn 15 Years Old we are also excited to reveal that the complete Speyburn collection has also had a make-over.

The refreshed packaging pays homage to Speyburn Distillery and it’s 120 years of whisky-making traditions, whilst also showcasing the natural landscape of the distillery’s home in the heart of Speyside. Each release in the collection features photography of the iconic distillery and the stunning surrounding Speyside landscape. Each pack continues to carry the brand’s iconic leaping salmon emblem, a tribute to the River Spey which is as famous for its salmon fishing as it is with its relationship with whisky.  The bottle is now presented in a premium carton, perfect for any gifting occasion.

The new packaging will be rolled out Globally over the coming months but why not click visit our website now for an opportunity to see our new look now!

Buy Port Ellen 33 Year Old at Milroys of Soho – Scotch Whisky News

Port Ellen XOP

Port Ellen is the name for collectors Islay whiskies. The distillery closed in 1983, having enjoyed a phenomenal reputation amongst whisky drinkers, the remaining stocks are in serious demand.

This release in the XOP range has been ageing slowly in refill casks for 33 years, making it from the last year of Port Ellen’s distillation. With such a demand, future releases will only become more valuable as scarcity will drive this wonderful spirit off our shelves.

Nose: Soft peat, with delicate vanilla spice and a hint of lemon sherbert.
Palate: Smoky, charred pineapple intertwined with sweet barley and toffee apple.

Web Exclusive Price: £1329.05

Buy Port Ellen 33 Year Old


This is an excellent example of a beautifully aged, single cask Bowmore. Douglas Laing have tirelessly selected this extremely rare whisky for us to taste.

Nose: Sear air, gentle peat and soft parma violets.
Palate: Smokey and rich with vanilla and fudge.

Late 80s Bowmores are a shop favourite, and with time these will be harder to find. This week it is at this exclusive web price.

Web Exclusive Price: £255.95

Buy Bowmore 25 Year Old

Vintage Glenrothes: brand new single casks at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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New Releases

The new releases are coming thick and fast with three new single cask vintages from Glenrothes in Speyside arriving this week. Now available to order online, only a few hundred bottles of each have been produced, each one exclusive to the UK market.

Next day UK delivey available
We ship all over the world!

Glenrothes 1976


 Glenrothes 2000


Glenrothes 2006


Diageo Special Releases 2017 at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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New & Limited Releases

Each year, whisky giant Diageo releases a series of rare and limited whiskies from their many distilleries. This year’s Special Releases includes collectable bottles from closed distilleries Convalmore, Brora, Port Ellen and Port Dundas, limited editions from Islay’s Lagavulin and Caol Ila, as well as rare bottlings from Blair Athol, Teaninich and Glen Elgin. There’s also a first for the Special Releases with a blended malt made from each of Diageo’s operational malt distilleries. Pre-order online now to avoid missing out.

Orders will be dispatched w/c 18th September Only available while stocks last


Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire. Good, bad, or a journey into the unknown? – Scotch Whisky News


Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire. Good, bad, or a journey into the unknown?

A wee blog by Paul McLean of MCLEANSCOTLAND & WHISKY TOURS.

I have known Tony for a long time, have visited the distillery from the start, have sent guests there on distilling courses, have had guests buy casks there – aye, we know them, they are a half hour doon the road. Mind last year, they released their first 3 years and a day dram? It sold out, the bottle number one for over £4000 – for an untested brand new dram from a brand new distillery, am unsure whether to say well done, or a numpty bought it??? Anyhow that was last year, now release two is available. Am still unsure, is this a credible whisky or is it a new spirit? The distillery began distilling in 2013, and has a range of whisky styles that vary from batch to batch.

This second batch is comprised of two single cask bottlings from Cask 028 and 044, both of which are small 50-litre octaves. Tony Reeman-Clark, founder of Strathearn distillery, said: ‘Strathearn spirit is all about quality and flavour.’ As the man said, “spirit” – if the whisky differs in every batch, how then will he sustain a whisky that is “their own”? If every batch is different – I am confused, is he the only distiller to be doing this? With 75 bottles of Cask 028 and 70 of Cask 044, both are £145 each for a 50cl bottle. Each batch of whisky released by Strathearn will vary, due to the selection of peated or unpeated malt, and varying cask type used. Can you recall anyone else doing this? Is it a credible whisky? He is more well known for his gin, and now rum. He sells on gin to many other “gin people” used for own label. I think he is just a good ideas man and marketing items very well, expensive to my mind. It will be very interesting when my pal fae Finland bottles his cask at Strathearn, again, a wee cask that will mature faster than large ones, how long mate before you bottle? Do you get samples every year? Well – he is here later this month so I will sit him doon (with a good dram) and quiz him on this.

To end; another local (to me) distillery also tries new ideas, experiments, but – he has the facility to repeat or retain the large cask – Edradour. Making a new idea dram work and can be repeated, not changing every batch so unrecognisable each time. I know if I buy a whisky and think “that was good and I want another”, it is useless if that second bottle/batch is very different. Bring in Old Perth, a really good range, brought back fae the dead and every batch is fab! Over to you …………………..


Just Whisky Auction Ends Tonight (September 17th) – Scotch Whisky News

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Auction Ending

Bidding Ends from 8pm Sunday 17th

Time is nearly up to bid on Just Whisky’s 46th auction. Many of the lots are still at very attractive prices – don’t miss your chance and log in now to place your bids.


Lots include:

Glen Mhor 28 Years Old 1976 – Rare Malts

From the Diageo Rare Malts Selection, a very collectable bottle from silent distillery Glen Mhor, Inverness, Scotland. Bottled at natural cask strength this Limited Edition 28 years old whisky was distilled in 1976 then bottled in April 2005.


Bowmore 34 Years Old 1971 – Limited Edition

A excellent expression of a cask strength 34 year old single malt from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1971 and matured in ex-sherry casks before bottling as part of an outturn of just 960 bottles. The colour is rich and dark and hints at what is a very spicy, rum-like single malt.


Hanyu 1988 – 2009 For Full Proof ‘Big Butt’ Cask No.9306

Distilled in 1988 then bottled in 2009 by independent distributors Full Proof Europe. This is a limited edition of 200 numbered bottles. Bottled at full proof from Big Butt 9306.

A very sought after bottle and featuring one of the most original label designs we’ve seen.

No chill filtration and no colour added.

The full auction is available at

LAGAVULIN™ launches limited edition 2017 Jazz bottling – Scotch Whisky News


LAGAVULINlaunches limited edition 2017 Jazz bottling

Lagavulin today launches its brand new limited edition Single Malt Scotch whisky release, Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2017.

6000 bottles are being produced following the popularity of previous Jazz festival bottlings. The whisky is a blend of refill American oak hogsheads and first fill American oak standard barrels and is bottled at natural cask strength.

RRP: £99

ABV: 57.6%

Available from: only available to purchase at Lagavulin distillery

in brief… Initial blast of smoke gives way to a deep oily/tar background, sweet raisin and dried fruits along with hints of almond & brazil nuts and a white pepper, ashy background

Georgie Crawford, distillery manager at Lagavulin distillery adds: “It’s been a special time for Lagavulin, as in 2016 we celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the distillery. This Jazz bottling is set to be another sell-out edition marking one of the best and busiest times on Islay.”

No other spirit offers the same breadth and depth of flavours as Scotch. It truly is the world’s favourite whisky and the annual Islay Jazz festival is a key moment in the whisky calendar to bring together Scotch lovers from all corners of the globe.

The limited edition Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2017 release has syrupy notes of dried banana with the definitive Lagavulin bonfire smoke in the background. Once mixed with water, the initial blast of smoke gives way to maritime notes, sweet raisin, dried fruits and almonds, with hints of white pepper and tobacco in the background.

Bottles will be available for sale only to visitors at the Lagavulin Distillery from 15th September at an RRP of £99. Due to the popularity of the Jazz bottling, customers are limited to 2 bottles per person.



Tasting notes:

Neat – Syrup/fruity, dried banana, wet bonfire smoke in the background.

With Water – Initial blast of smoke gives way to a deep oily/tar background/seaweed of the beach/iodine, sweet raisin/dried fruits, jammy. Hints of almond & brazil nuts Pears soap/medicinal, hints of smoked ham. Fresh fruit way in the white pepper/ ashy background.

Taste – Immediate smoke burst that mellows to a sweet ripe apple, ashy/tobacco.

The origins of Lagavulin:

Local records suggest that Lagavulin was already a centre of whisky production in the early 18th century.

So there had almost certainly been many other illicit stills before John Johnston founded the first legal distillery at Lagavulin Bay in 1816. As with all Scottish distilleries, it passed through the hands of different owners, including the celebrated Sir Peter Mackie, whose company became White Horse Distillers, forever associated with Lagavulin. White Horse joined The Distillers Company Ltd. (eventually Diageo) in 1927. In 1989, Lagavulin, now normally bottled at 16 years rather than the original 12, became one of the six Classic Malts of Scotland™.

About Diageo:

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

The LAGAVULIN word and associated logos are trade marks. © 2017

Visit for further information.

Isle of Raasay Distillery Now Open – Scotch Whisky News

Isle of Raasay Distillers

On Saturday 16th September 2017, whisky makers R&B Distillers will officially open the Isle of Raasay Distillery, the first (legal!) whisky distillery on this small Scottish island.

The distillery will be opened by renowned spirits writer and whisky expert, Dave Broom. The much-lauded spirits writer and founder of, will cut the ribbon into the production room of the distillery and join co-founders of R&B Distillers, Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie, along with friends, family and islanders to celebrate the opening of island’s first distillery.

Young distilling graduate and Head Distiller, Iain Robertson, with the guidance of Master Distiller Chris Anderson, commenced whisky production this week and guests to the opening will be able to witness the first whisky making in action. The distillery will officially open to the public in October and visitors will be taken on a fascinating tours around this unique distillery: they will learn about the unusual geology that influences the flavour of Raasay Scotch; spot the resident bat population in the ‘Bat Hotel’ and visit the Celtic Well that provides water to the distillery. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, friends, family, industry figures, press and all the island’s residents have been invited to join the founders in a ceilidh at neighbouring Raasay House.

Born in Glasgow, Dave Broom has written regularly about all spirit categories. Of his twelve books, two: ‘Drink: Never Mind the Peanuts’ and ‘Rum’ won the Glenfiddich award. His Whisky: The Manual was awarded Best Spirits Book at the Spirited Awards in 2015 and the ‘World Atlas of Whisky’ has been called “a landmark publication”. His book ‘Rum: The Manual’ was published in 2017 and ‘Whisky-do, a Journey into Japanese Whisky’ will be published in October 2017.

Tomatin Legacy Gift Pack – Scotch Whisky News


Ahead of Christmas, Highland whisky distillery, Tomatin are issuing the Legacy Gift Pack (RRP £34.99). The pack comes with two branded Tomatin glasses, as well as a bottle of the award winning Legacy, matured in a combination of Bourbon barrels and Virgin Oak casks which bring a light sweetness.

Legacy boasts aromas of vanilla, marshmallow, pineapple and lemon. On the palate, gentle flavours of candy, pine, lemon sherbet, apples and sponge cake emerge ahead of a light, clean finish. Perfect for those after a light, post-Christmas meal winter warmer!

The pack is available in the UK & Europe and is available from selected retailers from Monday 18th September.

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