Archive for March, 2018






Buffalo Trace Visitor Center Manager Named American Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (March 13, 2018) – Whisky Magazine has named Buffalo Trace Distillery its 2018 Icons of Whisky America Distiller of the Year, and named its visitor center manager, Matt Higgins Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year. The Distillery received these awards Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 at the Whisky Magazine Awards America presentation in New York City. The Distillery was also highly commended for Brand Innovator of the Year, and for Visitor Attraction of the Year.

“We strive every day to make all around quality spirits, so this is a huge honor for us,” Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley said. “From every step of the distilling and aging processes all the way to bottling, distribution, and even the hospitality in our Visitor Center, it truly is a team effort, so this is a great testament to the hard work our team puts in. We could not be more grateful for these recognitions.”

Over the years Buffalo Trace Distillery has received more than 500 awards for its whiskies, distinguishing Buffalo Trace as the World’s Most Award Winning Distillery, which remains a testament to the Distillery’s strong focus on producing quality spirits over volume.

With quality in mind, the Distillery believes that the perfect bourbon has yet to be created, and continues forth with the goal of producing a bourbon that hits that mark.

As such, Buffalo Trace continues to forge new innovative paths through its commitment to experimentation, with more than 17,500 barrels of experimental whiskey currently aging at the Distillery, and is even growing its own corn on its farm to one day create its own Single Estate bourbons.

            Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Visitor Center, under the leadership of Matt Higgins, holds a strong hospitality focus and is continuously working to accommodate its growing visitation. The Distillery offers six different complimentary tours and tastings, and welcomed a record-breaking 201,491 visitors last year alone, an increase of 18 percent over the last calendar year.

Buffalo Trace Distillery will now go on to compete for these two titles on a global level. The global Icons of Whisky awards will be announced March 22 at the Whisky Magazine Awards Dinner in London.

American Icons are determined following nominations from producers, retailers, distributors and importers, which are then voted on by those in the industry before Whisky Magazine’s editorial panel reviews and draws up a shortlist from which the winners are selected.

For more information about the World Whisky Awards and the Icons of Whiskey, visit and 

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit


Fife Whisky Festival for web


Fife Whisky Festival is set to become an annual fixture following the success of the inaugural event.

Organisers Justine Hazlehurst and Karen Somerville announced the move after the festival – opened by Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont – was praised for boosting the local economy.

More than 500 whisky-lovers from across Scotland, and as far afield as Argentina and Germany, attended tasting sessions held at the Corn Exchange in Cupar at the weekend.

They enjoyed drams from a wide range of distilleries and independent bottlers, music from Fife-based duo The Coaltown Daisies and the chance to chat with guest of honour Mr Beaumont.

Mrs Somerville said: “It was a brilliant day and given all the positive feedback we’ve decided to make it an annual event.

“We had visitors from Argentina, France and Germany who were in Scotland on holiday and made the trip to Fife specially to visit the Festival.

“And it was great to have Mark there – he really enjoyed the festival and ended up meeting some of his old school friends.

“We’re delighted with how the day went and looking forward to doing it all again next year.”

Cupar councillor Karen Marjoram praised the event for boosting the local economy.

She said: “I very much enjoyed the day – it was such a friendly event with people who’d never met before chatting away to each other and it certainly put Cupar on the map.

“It was a real boost to the economy and wonderful to see the town so busy with the shops and restaurants full of people who stayed to see more of Cupar after their whisky session.

“I met people who had travelled a long way to come to Cupar and bringing the tourist pound to Fife in this way was a great bonus.

“With all the new distilleries in Fife, having the festival helps put the region on the whisky map so I’m pleased it’s becoming an annual event.”

Endurance cyclist Mr Beaumont also welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a fantastic event for Fife and having partly grown up in the Kingdom I am proud of all it has to offer.

“This festival and events like it are so important in putting Fife firms on the map for travel and business.”

The inaugural festival was launched by businesswomen Justine Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Karen Somerville, managing director of Angels’ Share Glass.

They joined forces to organise the festival in a bid to bring whisky back to the Kingdom of Fife.

Ms Hazlehurst said: “After years of attending whisky festivals around the world, we wanted the chance to bring an exciting new event to Scotland and are over the moon with how it went.

“People loved it and were asking when the next one will be held so we are pleased to announce it will be an annual event.”

The Festival, sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, showcased the renaissance of whisky-making in Fife with exhibitors including the Kingdom’s well-known Kingsbarns Distillery, Creative Whisky Company, Glen Moray and Isle of Arran Distillers.

Nearly 300 whisky-lovers attended the first session with 250 at the second taster while drinks specialists Luvians, who have bottleshops in Cupar and St Andrews, were on hand as on-site retailer.

Graeme Dempster, from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “We were delighted to support the inaugural Fife Whisky Festival and having our Corporate Ambassador Mark Beaumont there to open the event was particularly special.

“As well as great entertainment, it was a chance for us to meet our existing Distillery clients and talk to owners of private whisky collections who were there to support this exciting new event.”

Plans for the second Fife Whisky Festival will get underway later this month with dates for the next event announced soon.

For more details about the Festival visit

FWF - Shilton Almeida

Something Special at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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Something special…

We have so many fantastic whiskies at Loch Fyne it can be difficult to choose! That’s where we come in. We love talking about whisky and with our range of great value everyday drams, free gifts, single casks and limited editions, we can help you pick the perfect bottle whatever the occasion.

Only available while stocks last
We ship all over the world!

Macallan Rare Cask


£175 BUY NOW

Springbank 25 Year Old


£425 BUY NOW

Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review #718 – Irish Whiskey News


Ralfy celebrates St Patrick’s Day with Ralfy Review 718Glendalough 13yo Mizunara cask whiskey.

Enjoy Irish Whiskey at The Whisky Shop #SFO! Friday, March 23rd – Irish Whiskey News


Upcoming Tastings at The Whisky Shop

Enjoy Irish Whiskey at The Whisky Shop!

Friday, March 23rd 5-7 PM:

Barr an Uisce & Egan’s 

Discover the world of Irish Whiskey at our tasting of two notable Irish Distilleries, the ancient celtic-inspired Barr an Uisce and 6th generation Irish distillers Egan. We’ll be pouring a variety of drams from both distilleries, with whiskey experts present for all your whiskey questions.

Click Here to RSVP 





  • The Isle of Lewis native spent the last two years as The Balvenie Ambassador for East Coast USA
  • Gemma will take over the reins from previous Global Ambassador Sam Simmons

The Balvenie, the world’s most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, today announces an important decision for the custodianship of the brand, as it appoints Gemma Paterson to be its next Global Ambassador.

Born in the Scottish Highlands, Gemma Paterson grew up in the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, Scotland. After graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a degree in Russian Language and Slavonic Studies, Gemma spent time at The Balvenie distillery, where she gained first-hand experience studying the art and science behind scotch malt whisky production. During her time at the distillery, Gemma also obtained a General Certificate in Distillation from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, where she is currently working towards her three-year Diploma.

Gemma’s tenure at the distillery earned her a place on the William Grant & Sons’ Nosing Panel, where she had first-hand experience working with David C. Stewart MBE at his tasting room in Glasgow.  Eventually Gemma’s love of single malt scotch and her passion for sharing this love led her to New York in May 2016, where she took up the post of The Balvenie Ambassador, United States East.

Commenting on her appointment, Gemma says: “Words can’t express how excited I am to start this next chapter in my career with The Balvenie. I feel so privileged to take up such a prestigious role and be given the opportunity to play a part in the history of this great distillery.”

Gemma will be taking over from current Global Ambassador Sam Simmons. Sam, a respected whisky expert and Keeper of the Quaich who often goes by the moniker of ‘Dr Whisky’, has been with the Speyside distillery since 2008, initially as The Balvenie Ambassador USA, and subsequently as Global Ambassador, which he was appointed to in 2010.

“Sam has provided a wealth of support and guidance to me throughout my time with The Balvenie and I’ve thoroughly enjoy our recent handover period,” Gemma continued. “We’ve followed a similar path from USA Ambassador to Global Ambassador, so he’s been the perfect mentor for me as I transition into my new role.”

Commenting on his successor, Sam Simmons says: “Having known Gemma for a number of years now, it’s abundantly clear that she has all of the credentials needed to succeed within the role of Global Ambassador. Gemma’s dedication to the distillery and passion for sharing the wonderful world of scotch whisky will set in her good stead for the future. I hope she invites me to a tasting soon!”

About The Balvenie: 

  • The Balvenie is a unique range of single malts created by David Stewart MBE, The Balvenie Malt Master was awarded an MBE for services to the Scotch whisky industry by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016. Each expression has a very individual taste, but is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie.
  • The Balvenie is dedicated to the five rare crafts that are used to create The Balvenie’s distinctive taste. It is the only distillery that still grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and keeps both coppersmiths and coopers on site – making The Balvenie the most handcrafted of single malts.
  • The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd, an award-winning independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today run by his direct descendants.

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Looking up – landscape’s starring role at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – Scotch Whisky News

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Looking up – landscape’s starring role at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

It’s an environment that has sheltered illicit whisky makers of the past, and it’s one of the best places in Britain from which to study the night skies – little wonder the natural landscape has a starring role in the 2018 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

The festival programme boasts its greatest ever mix of events exploring the natural environment that has spawned some of the world’s best loved whisky brands.

From rugged hills to fertile plains, trickling burns to fast flowing rivers, the unspoilt nature of Speyside’s landscape can be explored on foot, by canoe or on board an eight wheeled Argocat during the five-day dram-fest.

Whisky author Blair Bowman and #LoveScotch’s Stephen Martin will deliver a Speyside by night experience – and what better time to enjoy the amber nectar than after the sun has set and darkness has fallen?

It will be a case of digging out a cosy sweater and pulling on stout boots for this guided night exploration, featuring whisky tasting and chat. Different drams will be encountered along the route, and a few surprises too, before returning to the warming fireside of the Copper Dog Pub at the Craigellachie Hotel.

The Glenlivet Off Road Smugglers’ Trails will head off into the hills on board an unstoppable eight-wheel drive vehicle to retrace the steps of Robbie McPherson, one of the area’s most successful smugglers, who hid his whisky through the winter in camouflaged pits dug in the hillside, then sold his smooth, matured spirit in the spring.

Off-road Argocat adventurers will travel to the Peat Reek Bothy to view a reproduction Pot Still and see a copy of McPherson’s last will and testament before being driven to the summit Carn Ghrantaich for a breath-taking 360-degree panoramic view of an area where scores of illicit stills were hidden throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Speyside’s soft, pure water has made the region a world leader in whisky production, but remote parts of the region would have undoubtedly have been a difficult place to live in the past, given the bleak and sometimes hostile environment and its remoteness.

An award-winning young adventurer will lift the lid on the plants and trees on which Speysiders of the past used to survive within this landscape. Passionate about outdoor education, conserving wild places, and retaining traditional wilderness living skills, 18-year-old Zeki Başan won the John Muir Conserver Award in 2016 and the Young Scot Award 2017 for the Environment.

He will lead a foraging walk around The Glenlivet Distillery, talking about the many ways that plants, fungi and tree bark were used. This will include natural fire lighting and explaining how people used to carry embers.

Botanicals aren’t just for gin – they will help give whisky lovers a sense of the place where Aberlour malt is made during a walk exploring the historic, medicinal, culinary and beverage uses of plants. Expert historical ecologist Dr Kathy Ader will lead the group along the Lour Burn to the Linn Falls exploring the aroma and flavours that make Aberlour single malt whisky unique with a rewarding dram at the end.

Every ticket has been snapped up for the canoe and whisky journey which is a hugely popular annual event with Spey specialist David Craig leading the canoeists from Knockando to the landmark Telford Bridge at Craigellachie, with a picnic lunch and dram en-route.

John Blyth, manager of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, says the region recognised as being the spiritual home of Scotland’s national drink, with over 50 malt whisky distilleries, is also a place of great environmental beauty too.

John adds: “Whisky, heritage and landscape go hand in hand. The remote hills and glens of Glenlivet offered places to hide illicit whisky making while today, the rich fertile landscape provides the water and barley that create some of the finest whiskies in the world.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer unique experiences to give Festival-goers the chance to discover this distinctive environment and to develop an appreciation of the intrinsic links between whisky and the landscape in which it is made.

“As well as the opportunity to explore and learn more about the region, many of these events include a welcome dram along the way. There could be no more appropriate way to toast Speyside than enjoying its most famous liquid export in the natural environment where it is created.”

The Festival takes place from May 3 to 7, with over 500 events taking place over the five days across Speyside.

The programme for the Festival, which attracts both connoisseurs and the curious, also features behind-the-scenes tours at internationally renowned distilleries not usually open to the public, whisky tasting masterclasses, whisky and food pairing. It has traditional music, outdoors activities and heritage events, meaning the festival offers something for die-hard whisky fans and those who have never tried it before.

For further information and tickets visit The Festival is also active on social media: and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #dram18

Photograph: Let it flow – Speyside’s natural environment is the toast of the 2018 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

Longmorn 23 Year Old Single Malt Scotch – Now Available at the LCBO – Scotch Whisky News


Longmorn 23 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Now available at and In-Store

Ever the perfectionist, Longmorn founder John Duff took every step to ensure the best for his whisky. Longmorn is the product of exceptional talent and precision.

Known for its great quality and taste, natural ingredients give Longmorn its unique Speyside character, using water from the local springs, barley from Moray and peat from nearby sources.

Longmorn 23 year old is the pinnacle of the Longmorn range, full of richly profound flavours. A rare and exquisitely crafted single malt, rested for more than two decades in the finest, hand selected traditional oak casks chosen to complement the flavours of the Longmorn spirit.

Now available online and in select LCBO stores in limited quantities, this is a perfect addition to your single malt collection.

Glenfarclas Family Casks Winter 2017 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Glenfarclas Family Casks Winter 2017

The very latest batch of Family Casks from the Speyside distillery in Ballindalloch. Vintages from 1970s to 2000s with some real sherry beauties included.

Buy – Family Casks W17



#barstraws - oldfashioned



Luxury Scotch whisky brand Chivas Regal, which is enjoyed in millions of cocktails every year, has pledged to stop using single-use plastic straws and stirrers in over 100 countries – and is now calling on cocktail lovers and bar owners around the world to go strawless too.

Through its #BarStraws campaign – which encourages people to show their support through straw-free ‘selfies’ – Chivas estimates that it will save many millions of plastic straws and stirrers every year. Cocktail lovers are urged to simply take a selfie while sucking on their drink through an invisible straw, and post to Instagram tagging @chivasregal #BarStraws. For every post, Chivas will donate US$1 to the Marine Conservation Society.

Chivas Regal is committed to using business to change the world for the better, and has launched the #BarStraws campaign in support of parent company Pernod Ricard’s ongoing mission to preserve the oceans and protect the life within them from plastic.

Sandrine Ricard, Head of Sustainability & Responsibility at Chivas, commented: “Plastic straws spend a moment on our lips, and then a lifetime in the ocean or in landfill. We wanted to demonstrate that plastic no longer has a place in Chivas drinks, and that small acts – such as refusing the straw – can make a big difference. “We created the #BarStraws selfie as a simple way for cocktail lovers to make a positive impact while having fun together. Through #BarStraws, everyone can be a part of this important conversation, and can help fund conservation too.”

The Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading marine charity, wants to see a reduction in the volume of single use plastic in everyday use, and is challenging businesses and individuals to refuse the straw.

“A plastic straw is used for such a short time before it is thrown away”, said Chief Executive, Sandy Luk. “Chivas Regal is showing real commitment to deal with this unnecessary waste pollution, and we now need many other businesses to follow their lead”.

To prove that cocktails taste better when sipped, not sucked, Chivas Regal Global Brand Ambassador Max Warner has created a #BarStraws signature cocktail: the Strawberry Sipper. And the only straw in this cocktail is a strawberry.

The Strawberry Sipper

  • 50ml Chivas Regal 12 Year Old
  • 20ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 10ml Strawberry Syrup
  • 50 ml Ginger Ale
  • 50 ml Soda Water

Build all ingredients in a glass over ice; garnish with a fresh strawberry.

To discover more about Chivas’ #BarStraws campaign and to see how you too can help protect our oceans, visit the Chivas website.


About Chivas Regal
Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes: Chivas Regal 12, Chivas Regal Extra, Chivas Regal Mizunara, Chivas Regal 18, our first blended malt Chivas Regal Ultis, Chivas Regal 25, pinnacle of the range and ultra-prestige blend Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

About the Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. MCS involves thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as the Great British Beach Clean.

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