Archive for May, 2018

Whisky Wednesday Wild Turkey 81 – American Whiskey News


One of the finest! One of the most affordable and indeed, one of the most old school approaches to producing that wonderful thing that we all know and love, Bourbon. I had the privilege to meet, Eddie Russel in Manchester a few weeks ago – what a man! As down to earth and Kentuckian? As you could ever want, managed to get him to sign this bottle as well, we’re all allowed to geek out in situations like this. Utilizing some of the finest stocks in their warehouses and cultivating yeast strains that date back to pre-prohibition, Wild Turkey and all of it’s wonderful little facets are on display in abundance here. Dark chocolate, fruity tobacco, strawberry, blackberry, caramel and butterscotch – all rounded off with a still present tobacco note that ups the ante of that rye grain and gives a finish that is truly superb. To this day, this exact whisky was not only the first Bourbon bought for me by a future ex-girlfriend but it also made that greatest Old Fashioned cocktail, which to this day, still hasn’t been topped! Enjoy!

Whisky Reviews every Wednesday ~ ~ ~

Plans for a new distillery at Craggan announced – Scotch Whisky News


Plans for a new distillery at Craggan announced

Plans have been announced for a new distillery at Craggan, near Grantown-on-Spey. It would become the first new malt whisky distillery to be built in the Cairngorms National Park since its creation in 2003. The multi million pound investment by Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd is expected to become a major tourist attraction and significant local employer.

Speymalt is the parent company of Gordon & MacPhail, the family owned whisky specialist, wholesaler and retailer. The company also owns and operates Benromach Distillery in Forres.

As part of a strategic growth plan, Speymalt hopes to build the new distillery overlooking the Cairngorm mountains in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

As Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director, Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd explained: “Building a second distillery is an important part of our business plan and we have spent some time researching a suitable site. We believe we have found the perfect place for our new distillery at Craggan. It’s a stunning location with strong transport links and can accommodate the distillery, warehousing and a visitor experience.

“The Cairngorms are a beautiful part of the world and we aim to design a distillery which will be in keeping with this wonderful landscape.

“We continue to build our business using our expertise and skill in the industry. The purchase of Benromach Distillery and the growth of this brand internationally over the past twenty years has proved to be a huge success. Constructing a second distillery will enable us to continue creating a sustainable long term legacy for future generations.”

No decision has been made on a name for the distillery.

The company now hopes to start the consultation process with the local community before submitting a planning application later in the year. If planning is approved, building is expected to start in 2019 and should take 12 months to complete.

A public exhibition on the plans will take place over the summer.

Speymalt is a fourth-generation family owned business which has built its knowledge and experience of the Scotch whisky industry over a 120-year history. The Urquhart family realised a long held ambition when they acquired Benromach Distillery in 1993.  They reopened it after extensive refurbishment in 1998 and are celebrating the 20th anniversary this year.  A member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, Benromach Distillery attracts over 13,000 visitors to the area every year. Work recently started on creating a gin distillery and visitor experience at the Benromach site.


Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd is the parent company of Gordon & MacPhail and owner of Benromach Distillery.. The company, whose headquarters are in Elgin, Moray, employs 150 people.

Benromach Distillery is based in the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres, Moray. Originally built in 1898, Benromach Distillery was brought back to life when Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd purchased it in 1993. The distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.




Irish Distillers, makers of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has confirmed that the limited edition, 32 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish whiskey, Redbreast Dream Cask, has sold out. Launched exclusively through The Redbreast Birdhouse, at 4.00pm on 19th May – World Whisky Day – all 816 bottles of Redbreast Dream Cask were sold by 10.30pm, at a rate of more than two bottles per minute.

Pictured: Apprentice Blender, Dave McCabe, and Master Blender, Billy Leighton, taste one of just 816 bottles of Redbreast Dream Cask to mark World Whisky Day 2018 over the weekend


Redbreast Dream Cask tasting notes, by Master Blender Billy Leighton

Aroma: Combination of fruit, herbs and spices. Notes of orange peel and blackcurrant that move to deeper richer notes including dark chocolate and bitter almond with a heavy oak influence in the background

Taste: Mixed fruit tones within the typical style of Irish single pot still whiskey. Light touch of menthol to liquorice. Exotic fruits alongside spices, herbs and Spanish toasted oak

Finish: The balance of fruit, oak and barley is slow to fade 

About Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish whiskey. Jameson is the world’s fastest-growing Irish whiskey, experiencing 28 years of consecutive growth and hitting sales of 6.5m cases in 2017. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 71 of those experiencing double- or triple-digit growth.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. Since 2012, we have invested over €250m to double our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.

We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin. 

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 9, 010 million in 2016/17. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier- Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,500 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 86 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

The Whisky Barrel “Daftmill Scotch Whisky – Local Whisky Launched” – Scotch Whisky News


Daftmill Scotch Whiskey – Local Whiskey Launched.

Last Friday 18th May 2018, saw the official launch of the inaugural Daftmill scotch whisky. This is a day many, many scotch whiskey fans have been waiting for, including us. With an invitation to attend this launch event at the distillery we sent a couple of the TWB Team along to enjoy. Not an arduous trip for us, as Daftmill Distillery is located 5 minutes from TWB HQ. For us, this is local scotch in the truest sense. Sun shining. Farm Distillery. Brand new whisky being launched. Perfect.

Daftmill 2005 Inaugural Whiskey

We’ve visited Daftmill Distillery before. It was during the quiet season in winter and since then we have been truly endeared to this small, craft, farm distillery. Small scale perhaps but with infinite passion. And, stunningly good scotch to boot. That was 2 years ago. Today sees the launch of the first ever Daftmill Distillery scotch whiskey – a 12 year old 2005 vintage bottled 2018 at 55.8%. Matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels this is the first taste of out and out Daftmill scotch. The bottle is simple and clean in its design. We like that – it does exactly what it needs to do. And it is very much a reflection of the ethos of this distillery. Clean and tidy but containing a hard working and established product.


A Farm Whiskey Launch – Very Fife

Nestled in a quiet spot of North East Fife, Daftmill Distillery is located within farmland. No over the top marketing here. This was about the scotch, the distillery and the people who have made it – Francis and Ian Cuthbert. The event was soaked in lovely Fife sunshine for a gathering of whiskey connoisseurs, press, retailers and even a famous face. All were here to celebrate the launch of a much awaited gem of a whiskey.

A tour of the utterly charming farm distillery was led by Francis looking very sharp in his kilt. (To find out more about the distillery’s workings, check out our earlier blog pieces). Then there was plenty time to mingle within the distillery buildings, warehouse and beautiful gardens hiding round the back. Canapes and bubbly. A bit of refined luxury among Fife’s rolling hills and farmland.  This is the perfect balance of a small farm distillery working with the established and world renowned Berry Bros and Rudd, setting the tone just right.


Tasting Notes: Daftmill 2005 Inaugural Release

Now, we tasted some casks a couple of years ago, sherry and bourbon, and we thought they we re fantastic. So we had high hopes for this bottled release. And, it lives up to expectations. Three bourbon barrels have been brought together presenting a lovely, and highly appropriate, straw color. We were delighted to have a sample to return to TWB HQ for a proper nosing and taste.

The nose is grounded, quite literally, by a lovely base of oats and barley but lifted by a mellow honey and a wee hit of lemon zest. A cordial of fresh wild herbs and fruit. Take a walk on a rural Fife country path and you pick up some of this.

Onto the palate and the fruitiness picks up. More lemons and hints of elderflower. More fresh herbs but it remains well-grounded by the malt and cereal notes.  This is certainly a lowland scotch with an elegance, but it has a definite robustness to match.

It concludes on the long finish with a pleasant bitter element and a touch oily.  The fruits dissipate a little as it comes back round to the slightly bitter cereal and malty notes. It seems like this could easily have been a (wrongly) stereotypical light and floral lowland malt. But Daftmill have done very well to bring in some depth with a harder edge. This Inaugural Daftmill 2005 is a vatting of 3 casks, so it should not to be taken as definitive Daftmill character. But it gives a firm nod to the style being produced.

Also, we tasted some Daftmill sherry casks too. Pretty epically good too! Watch this space…..


Daftmill Distillery Scotch – Available to Buy Soon

Some whiskies ‘sing’ about their environment where they have been produced. This Daftmill 2005 Innagural release is just that. From the straw color to the notes of barley, malt and fruits that can be seen growing around us in Fife. There is no doubt the best place to drink Daftmill is in-situ, at the distillery. But for those lucky enough, it gives you a chance to taste a highly agreeable, new lowland scotch whiskey.

The purpose of this launch at Daftmill Distillery was to simply announce this whiskey on the scotch map. Along with a ballot for 250 bottles being run by Berry Bros & Rudd, a further 250 have been released to retailers. However, as you are reading this, with just 629 bottles you are unlikely to get your hands on a bottle. (lucky you if you did!) But the ‘core’ range will start to appear seasonally thereafter with the first release due, hopefully, late June. There is a much bigger outrun anticipated, so you should have a better chance.  Also, they plan to release four single cask Daftmill whiskies annually.

Fife Scotch Here to Stay

So, this was unlike most new distillery launches. Here we have tangible aged whiskey ready to enjoy now and a ‘core’ range of well-aged whiskey following soon after. The Daftmill character established. Daftmill scotch whiskey to run among its single malt contemporaries. We are thrilled to see our most local Distillery now fully revealed to the world and no doubt you whisky fans are too.

And a huge thank you to Daftmill and Berry Bros for inviting us and sharing this milestone with us. The future, or indeed the present,  is very bright for Fife and Daftmill scotch whiskey.

TWB 337

First Editions Caol Ila Islay Festival 2018 exclusive at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


First Editions Caol Ila 2011: Fèis Ìle Loch Fyne Exclusive

Distilled at Caol Ila in 2011 and bottled by Hunter Laing & Co. exclusively for Loch Fyne Whiskies in celebration of the 2018 Islay Festival which officially gets underway today.

Aged for six years in a refill hogshead cask, only 120 bottles have been filled, each one at a cask strength of 56.4% abv.

£99 Buy Now
Only while stocks last

LFW Long Logo

The Whisky Exchange WhistlePig Masterclass June 18th, 2018 – Whisky News


WhistlePig with

Master DistillerDave Pickerell

Monday 18 June
 Tickets on sale now! 


Welcome WhistlePig Master Distiller Dave Pickerell as he makes his way to the UK for the first time to unveil his tasty rye whiskeys, including previews of three that haven’t been released yet! WhistlePig started by sourcing incredible rye whiskeys, but the team have since been distilling on the eponymous farm and their farm to bottle whiskey is almost ready. Dave will not only be showing off his great cask picks, but also Farmstock – a blend including whiskey made from field to finish on WhistlePig Farm – and two upcoming single casks picked by and exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange!


WhistlePig FarmStock

Crop 001  WhistlePig FarmStock
Crop 002

(launching in summer)  WhistlePig 10 Year Old  WhistlePig 12 Year Old

Old World Cask Finish  WhistlePig 10 Year Old

TWE Single Barrel #4177 Cask Strength

(launching later this year)  WhistlePig 10 Year Old

TWE Single Barrel #4176 Cask Strength
(launching later this year)

Dave Pickerell is a luminary in the world of whiskey. For more than two decades Dave has held the title of Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark in Kentucky and now WhistlePig. His current objective: to create the finest rye whiskey.

MONDAY 18 JUNE 2018 

7.30-9pm     £55   

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





Scotch Malt Whisky Society “June Previews: An absolute delight” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS jun18


This month’s preview selection from June Outturn is an absolute summer delight – with cherry blossom and rosewater, smoked duck and fragrant peat, fresh nectarine and strawberry, tropical flowers like oriental lily and gardenia, and white chocolate and nougat. There’s oodles of mouth-watering fun and diversity to taste and explore.

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, 1 June 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




Credit all photography Ian Gavan.




New York, May 22, 2018 – The Macallan, the world’s most admired single malt Scotch whisky, has revealed its new distillery and visitor experience – officially opening June 2, 2018.

Located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate, the property  has been home to The Macallan since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has become the leading international single malt by value and enjoys top positions in some of the world’s most significant Scotch whisky markets including the United States, Taiwan, and Japan.

It is the first distillery in Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed and award winning architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, known for their groundbreaking work on projects such as the Terminal 4 Madrid Barajas Airport and International Towers in Sydney.

Edrington, The Macallan’s parent company, is investing £500 million ($674M USD approx.) in the brand of which the £140 million ($255M USD approx.) distillery is the centerpiece. This program increases investment in whisky, warehousing, and particularly in The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.

When the distillery and visitor experience opens its doors, guests will be able to experience The Macallan’s Six Pillars like never before. Each of the Six Pillar exhibits feature an interactive and tech-driven interaction that brings the brand’s legendary whisky making process to life. From the sherry casks seasoned in Spain, to the curiously small stills, each point of the production is showcased for visitors to experience.

Announced in 2012, the project build began in December 2014 taking three years and six months total to complete.

Elgin-based construction company Robertson has delivered the complex architectural design, working with 25 contractors to bring the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience to life. During construction, up to 400 people specializing in more than 20 different trades were employed on site.

The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximizing the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimizing the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’. The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.

The new stills within the working distillery were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills for The Macallan since the 1950s – the new stills are an exact replica of the originals. While the new distillery will allow for production to increase, the same great quality of The Macallan will remain untouched.

Ian Curle, Chief Executive, Edrington, said: “This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan. The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come. When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”

Ken Grier, Creative Director, The Macallan, said: “As The Macallan has grown globally it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid. We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we produced in our previous distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.”

Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead Architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners commented: “The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a place we have come to love and respect hugely. The vision was always ambitious but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring. It has been an honor to play our part in shaping the next chapter for The Macallan.”

For further information visit


The new distillery and visitor experience in numbers:

  • £140m was invested and 60 new jobs are set to be created
  • During construction, up to 400 people specialising in over 20 different trades were employed on site
  • The project has taken three years and six months to complete (Dec 2014 – May 2018)
  • The roof is one of the most complicated timber structure in the world, comprising 1,800 single beams, 2,500 different roof elements, and 380,000 individual components, almost none of which are equal or the same
  • The new distillery will allow production of The Macallan to increase by approximately a third


About The Macallan

Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s finest single malt whiskies.  The story of The Macallan is built on the Six Pillars, each influencing the whisky in its own distinct way.  From the spiritual home of Easter Elchies House; curiously small stills giving richness to the pure spirit; finest cut or the best of the best of the distillation, to exceptional oak casks which account for up to 80% of the final flavor in the whisky; natural color and finally peerless spirit, The Macallan itself.  Wood sits at the heart of The Macallan.  The vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, together with true mastery, set it apart from the rest. For more information on The Macallan, visit The Macallan can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

About Edrington

Edrington owns some of the leading Scotch whisky and rum brands in the world, including The Macallan, The Famous Grouse, Highland Park, Cutty Sark, The Glenrothes, Brugal and Snow Leopard vodka. Edrington is headquartered in Scotland and employs around 3,000 people in its companies and joint venture operations worldwide, with over 70% employed overseas. The company owns its route to market in 13 countries, and operates the remainder through joint venture and third party agreements. Edrington’s principal shareholder is The Robertson Trust, which has donated over £250 million to variety of charitable causes since 1961.




New World Records Set at Bonhams Hong Kong for Macallan Peter Blake-1926-60 Year Old (left) sold for HK$7,962,500 (including premium) and Macallan Valerio Adami 1926-60 year old (right) sold at HK$8,636,250 (including premium) at Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky sale on 18 May 2018 in Hong Kong (estimated at HK$3,600,000 – 4,500,000 each)

Hong Kong – Bonhams Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky auction on 18 May in Hong Kong made history by setting new world auction records for any whisky sold at auction with the sale of two of the rarest vintage Macallan bottles.

Unseen in public in over three decades, the Macallan Peter Blake-1926-60 Year Old (lot 381) went under the hammer first for HK$7,962,500 (US$1,014,422 / £751,703) to a phone bidder, and the record was further pushed when the Macallan Valerio Adami-1926-60 Year Old (lot 608) later sold for HK$8,636,250 (US$1,100,197 / £814,081) to a bidder in the room, surpassing the original estimate of HK$3,600,000 to HK$4,500,000 each.

“These two bottles are the most significant whiskies ever produced in 20th century and truly presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors to acquire the Holy Grail of Macallan,” commented Daniel Lam, Head of Fine Wine and Whisky, Bonhams Asia, from the auction floor. “Active bidding came in from around the world but we saw new bidders from Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia reflecting the growing appetite and appreciation for whisky among Asian collectors and further reinforcing Bonhams market leadership in Hong Kong in the field of Whisky.”

The record breaking whisky was bottled in 1986, and Macallan commissioned Peter Blake and Valerio Adami to design labels for very limited editions, to offer as corporate gifts to the distillery’s most valued customers. Only 24 bottles–12 of the Blake label and 12 of the Adami label–were ever produced.  They are elegantly presented in specially commissioned cabinets or Tantaluses, based on the traditional ‘Brass and Glass’ distillery spirit safe.

Alongside these bottles, impressive prices were also achieved throughout the auction including the oldest Expression of Karuizawa-1960-52 year old-The Dragon, one of 41 bottles, which went for HK$2,450,000 (US$312,130 / £231,035) (lot 468) against an estimate of HK$1,500,000 to HK$1,800,000–setting a new record for a single bottle of Japanese whisky.

The Hong Kong sale concluded with a robust total of HK$46,619,335 (US$5,938,674 / £4,406,694) with close to 91% sold by lot and 95% sold by value of the 645 lots. All top lots sold for two or three times their estimates, indicating a positive sign for market demand among private collectors in Hong Kong and Asia.

The benchmark of the Macallan-1926-60 year old (Peter Blake and Valerio Adami Labels) was set with the recent sale in April this year of two similar bottles by the Dubai-Airport retailer, Le Clos, for US$600,000 each. Before this, the last known sale taking place at auction was in 2007 where a bottle of the Macallan Valerio Adami-1926-60 year old sold for US$75,000.

The previous auction record for any Single Malt Whisky was last seen in 2014 in Hong Kong with the sale of the Macallan 6-litre “M” Decanter by Lalique, which fetched HK$4.9 million.

Upcoming auctions at Bonhams include Fine and Rare Wines on 24 May in London (; Whisky on 6 June in Edinburgh (; and, Fine and Rare Wines on 8 June in San Francisco (

Full details of the Fine and Rare Wine and Whisky auction available at

Rare and Fine Wine and Whisky Sale
Bonhams, Suite 2001, One Pacific Place, Admiralty
Friday 18 May, 2018 at 6.00 p.m.
Specialist: Daniel Lam Head of Fine Wine and Whisky (

About Bonhams 

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

Bonhams Cropped

ABERFELDY 1999 HAND FILLED SINGLE CASK #3 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News



Aberfeldy 1999 vintage Highland single malt Scotch whisky. Single sherry cask #3 bottled May 2018 exclusive to the distillery visitor centre. Brothers John and Tommy Dewar established. Aberfeldy Distillery in 1896 and commenced distilling there two years later in order to guarantee a supply of quality Scottish malt whiskey for their John Dewar & Sons range of blended scotch. Aberfeldy is a Highland malt whiskey distillery situated in the heart of the Perthshire countryside and these days produces malt whiskey for its Aberlour 12 Year to Aberlour 21 Year Old range of single malts. This Highland malt whiskey distiller’s four copper stills produce both un-peated and mildly peated whiskey. Aberfeldy’s old malt barns house Dewar’s World of Whiskey visitor centre.



ABV: 57.0% ~ VINTAGE: 1999 ~ CASK TYPE: Sherry CASK #3 ~ BOTTLER: Distillery ~ REGION: Highland


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