Archive for March, 2019

Meet the all-female management team running the Talisker distillery – Scotch Whisky News

AA Talisker

Meet the all-female management team running the Talisker distillery

In celebration of International Women’s Day go inside the Talisker distillery to meet the all-female management team leading the production of this iconic Scotch brand, in a new short film released today. As the world comes together to celebrate International Women’s Day this Friday, we celebrate the inspirational women at the helm of one of the world’s most iconic distilleries. In a short film released today, viewers are transported to the Isle of Skye to take a tour of its oldest working distillery – the Talisker distillery – to hear from the women responsible for protecting the quality and heritage of this world-renowned whisky.

Talisker is a brand with an extremely rich heritage dating back to 1830 and is produced by the sea on the Isle of Skye.

The film features three women that head up the Talisker distillery team. These include:

  • Diane Farrell, Senior Site Manager: Diane oversees the working of both the distillery and the visitors centre, leading a diverse team at this iconic site.
  • Fiona Macintyre, Brand Home Manager: Fiona is responsible for the visitor centre, which brings to life the story of Talisker for up to 90,000 visitors from around the world each year.
  • Jackie Robertson, Site Operations Manager: Jackie manages the production process of Talisker whisky from grain to glass, which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week.

These women serve as custodians for the Talisker brand and ensure that the distillery is not only producing the highest quality liquid but also playing its part within the wider community of the Isle of Skye.

Commenting on the all-female team, Diane Farrell, Senior Site Manager, Talisker Distillery, said:

“It’s very rare to have an all-female team in the malt distillery industry so I’m extremely proud of the fact that I’ve got an all-female management team.”

Fiona Macintyre, Brand Home Manager, said:

“It’s not just men that are running the industry, females are involved and there are now more and more women in the whisky industry.”

Jackie Robertson, Site Operations Manager, said:

“Talisker plays a huge role on the Isle of Skye. We have between 75,000 and 90,000 visitors come to Talisker each year so from an economy perspective it brings a lot of business to the Island.”

At Diageo we view diversity as a key enabler that helps our business to grow. Women have always and continue to play a leading role within our Scotch business, from 1893 when John Walker & Sons bought Cardhu distillery, the home of Johnnie Walker, from its owner Elizabeth Cummin, to the present day where almost half of our 12-strong Johnnie Walker blending team are female.

Find out more about the Talisker brand here. 

Diageo Supply Apprenticeships now open – Scotch Whisky News


Supply Apprenticeships now open

Our Apprenticeship Programme will challenge and inspire you to reach your full potential.


Your future could be truly extraordinary at Diageo. Join our Apprenticeship programme and you’ll open the door to a wide range of roles right across Scotland. Head to our Apprenticeship page today to see what opportunities we have available.

Diageo recruits the first female coopering apprentices – Scotch Whisky News


Diageo recruits the first female coopering apprentices

The ancient craft of creating oak casks has been part of Scotch whisky for centuries, but the industry has celebrated a new first with the recruitment of two female coopering apprentices.

First-year coopering apprentices Angela Cochrane and Kirsty Olychick – recruited by leading Scotch distiller Diageo at its Cambus Cooperage in Clackmannanshire – are breaking down the gender barriers and blazing a pioneering trail in the once male dominated trade.

The news marked the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, with Diageo celebrating having women employed in every part of its business in Scotland, from senior management roles, to distillery managers, master blenders, electrical and mechanical engineers, and in the traditional crafts of coppersmith and coopering. Last year Diageo celebrated another diversity break-through in a traditional whisky craft when Rebecca Weir became the first female apprentice at the company’s Abercrombie Coppersmiths.

The announcement also coincides with International Women’s Day, taking place on Friday 8th March, where the world will come together to celebrate the achievements of women far and wide as well as calling for greater gender balance across the board.

Angela and Kirsty are part of team of 16 coopering apprentices in the Coopering School at Diageo Cambus, learning the tried and tested skills that have been used for centuries to make the oak casks for the maturation of Scotch whisky. The physically demanding four-year apprenticeship, which integrates theory with hands on experience, will allow the apprentices to master the traditional hand-craft skills of the cooper.

Former psychiatric nurse, Angela Cochrane, 31, gained the coveted spot on the Cambus Cooperage apprenticeship programme after noticing the advert on Facebook. She said:

“I researched a bit about the trade online and thought it sounded like a really interesting career option, so I knew I had to go for it. It’s a lot more complex than I thought it would be and I’m knackered when I get in at night but everything from handling the barrels to swinging the hammer is already starting to feel a lot more natural.

“I’ve never been put off by gender stereotypes. I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. And knowing you’re contributing to the growing whisky industry is an amazing feeling.”

Kirsty Olychick, 38, left her home in Canada to pursue a career in the Scotch whisky industry. She said:

“I’ve always been inspired by the Scotch industry, so it is something I’ve always wanted to be involved in but living in Canada I hadn’t ever been exposed to the coopering craft. Having family members who’d previously completed trade apprenticeships helped give me the confidence to go for it. My dad always told me that if I had an opportunity to get into a trade I should jump on it.

“I like the fact that you learn the skill by hand – you get the satisfaction of seeing the job done rather than reading about it in a book.

“Coming into a male-dominated workplace didn’t put me off at all, in fact I found it really empowering to be one of the first women to take up the craft and make my mark in history. It’s such an exciting prospect to think that I’ll be contributing to the next generation of Scotch. You shouldn’t let anything hold you back.

Having started in the industry as an apprentice himself, and spending the next 30 years mastering the craft, coopering tutor John Carberry is helping to foster the next generation of talent. He said: 

“It’s been brilliant for everyone here to welcome Angela and Kirsty to the Cambus Cooperage team. They’ve made a great start to their coopering apprenticeships and it’s a pleasure to help tutor them.

“There is incredible precision involved in the cooper’s craft. Our apprentices need to master a blend of strength, skill and patience, learning how to hand repair casks with no glue or nails, as well as calculate different oak depths, ratios and specific measurements.

“The craft of making and rejuvenating the casks is something that has to be cultivated and refined so it’s great to see our apprentices are so passionate about the craft. The traditional coopering skills take 10 years to master but once mastered, it’s a rewarding career which will last a lifetime.

“While a lot has changed since Cambus opened its doors, the core skills have stayed the same. You can’t learn this out of a book so you can see how important it is for us to nurture the next generation.”

Ewan Andrew, Director of Diageo International Supply Centre, said the recruitment reflected the efforts across the company to enhance inclusion and diversity across all areas of its operations in Scotland. He said:

“We’re delighted to have recruited Angela and Kirsty and celebrate the landmark of having our first women in the coopering trade. But this is just the start of the journey. Across every part of our business we want to go further and faster in making diversity and inclusion a reality.”

Diageo has invested significantly in its coopering operations in Scotland in recent years, opening the £10 million state-of-the art Cambus Cooperage in 2011.

Drawing on generations of skill and knowledge, and combining it with the state-of-the-art engineering, the cooperage is now able to process more whisky casks than ever before, producing over 400,000 casks each year to be used to mature spirit from Diageo’s portfolio of single grain and single malt distilleries.

Secret Spirits Crowdfunding Whisky Adventures – Scotch Whisky News


Secret Spirits Crowdfunding Whisky Adventures

Having passed the first goal  of their Indiegogo Campaign, Secret Spirits is gaining momentum continuing towards the ultimate target of 500 calendars.

Husband and wife team Jonathan and Cindy Bray are excited to be sharing the entire journey with everyone this year. Regular updates and videos will document the adventure from start to finish and bring a new dimension to the their engaging brand.

Along with the 6th edition calendar, Secret Spirits have also released the single cask remnants from the 5th edition in full bottle format. This is the first time that these whiskies have been available and they are in very limited supply.

For all the details of the Indiegogo Campaign head to

Every penny helps and contributors can win referral prizes and also be included as a Secret Spirits Champion in the 6th edition tasting booklet.

“This is a brand new way of producing our calendars and engaging our whisky loving community” said taster of Secrets Jonathan Bray.

“it is so exciting to be able to live what we love and take so many others along for the ride every year”.


Brand New Release – Loch Lomond Royal Portrush – Available Now at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


Loch Lomond Royal Portrush

Part of The Open Course Collection from Loch Lomond Whiskies, the official Spirit of the Open, this Highland single malt has been matured in American oak casks from the distillery’s own cooperage for at least 19 years. This expression was created in collaboration with 2011 Open Champion golfer, Darren Clarke, whose signature it bears. Bottled at 50.3% abv, this expression has the characteristic fruitiness of Loch Lomond Whiskies, with a rich mouth-feel and sweet notes of honey and tropical fruits.

£160.00 – Buy Now

In-stock now


Loch Lomond 1999 Paul Lawrie Autograph Edition

This limited edition from Loch Lomond Whiskies has been released in celebration of Scottish golfer and 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie. Lawrie was ranked 241st in the world in 1999 when he went on to capture the iconic Claret Jug at Carnoustie. As The Open returns to Carnoustie in 2018, official ‘Spirit of The Open’ Loch Lomond partnered with Lawrie to create this 1999 vintage, bottled at cask strength and adorned by his signature. Matured in American oak casks to maintain the fruity Loch Lomond character, this Highland single malt has a rich and complex flavour with honey sweetness and tropical fruits to the fore.

£150.00 – Buy Now


Loch Lomond 18 Year Old (Engraved)

Matured in the finest oak barrels chosen by former Master Cooper, Tommy Wallace, this 18 year old has been allowed to experience the sweeter character of the wood, taking on a subtle hint of peat and smoke to ensure a balanced finish. The nose fuses green apple and grapefruit aromas before sweeter honeysuckle notes emerge with mature oak. The palate is full-bodied and rounded with notes of toasted oak and cigars developing into green fruits with apple and gooseberry. The finish is long with dried tea and tobacco leaf balancing a soft medicinal peatiness and wood smoke.

Personalise your bottle with our bespoke engraving service

£88.00 (With Engraving) – Buy Now


Inchmurrin 2001 Single Cask Exclusive

Distilled at Loch Lomond distillery in Alexandria in August 2001 and matured in a single cask (#4049) for 17 years before bottling in October 2018 exclusively for The Whisky Shop. Only 200 bottles have been filled, each one at a natural cask strength of 54.1% abv.

Crisp with a syrupy sweetness and some orange peel followed by barley sugar notes. There is toffee, ginger spice and creamy oak vanilla at the end. A syrupy sweetness at first, then a touch of lemon peel, some brown sugar, creamy vanilla and gentle waves of ginger spice at the end.

£85.00 – Buy Now


Inchmurrin 18 Year Old

This expression from Loch Lomond Distillery has been matured for 18 years in casks hand selected by Master Cooper, Tommy Wallace, to allow the sweeter notes of the whisky to emerge. Bottled at 46% abv, this Highland Single Malt is presented non chill-filtered.

The nose is rich in heather honey, perfectly balanced with crafted oak wood notes. The palate is full-bodied with a strong oak character harmonising with tropical fruit notes of pineapple, mango and kiwi. The finish is long and warming, with elegant oak and stem ginger notes.

£84.00 – Buy Now


Read our interview with Loch Lomond Whiskies Master Blender Michael Henry

Combining centuries old craft with an innovative approach to whisky-making is all in a day’s work for Loch Lomond Distillery’s Master Blender, Michael Henry

Read the full interview here

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Macallan 1824 Masters Series “M” Lalique Decanter Single Malt at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

The Macallan1

Macallan 1824 Masters Series “M” Lalique Decanter Single Malt

The ultimate in luxury Scotch whisky, Macallan M is the apex of the storied distillery’s line. From the luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report: “The rich amber-brown of the Macallan M single-malt whisky—a special iteration of the Macallan contained in a hand-blown 750 mL Lalique crystal decanter—is noticeably deeper and darker than even the Scotch maker’s iconic 25-year-old whisky. Yet there is no age statement on this bottle, for the spirit is composed of whisky from seven casks selected by the Macallan’s master whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, after more than two years of searching through the Macallan’s vast cellars of over 195,000 barrels. The oldest whisky in it was distilled in 1940, and all of them were matured in first-fill oloroso-sherry casks. In the M, Dalgarno has produced something unlike anything the Macallan has ever offered. The Macallan’s classic resiny, raisiny richness is abundant in the M, as are plump cherry and fruit-filled sherried overtones, but then comes notes of lemons, leather, cedar, apples, violets, and a long, tobacco-laden finish. Bottled in 2013 at 89 proof, the Macallan M is intended to be an ongoing (albeit rare) addition to the brand’s 1824 series of top-tier whiskies.”



Mulberry bank Auctions Spring Whisky Sale April 2nd, 2019 – Whisky News

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The catalogue is available to view now on our Website ; through EasyLiveAuction ; or on The-Saleroom so you have no excuse not to view our sale.

We have some wonderful drams available including: Lot 25 – A rare Mortlach 1936 bottled at 43 Years of Age by Gordon & MacPhail as part of their Connoisseurs Choice series; Lot 100 – The Macallan Anniversary Malt distilled in 1958/59; together with some great bottlings from Silent Distilleries, such as Banff 1975 (Lot 48); Glen Albyn 1978 (Lot 52); Coleburn 1972 (Lot 21); and St. Magdalene 1966 (Lot 19) amongst others.  We also have a number of cases of Port Charlotte 2008 Single Malt Scotch Whisky bottled as a Private Cask at 3 Years of Age (Lots 13; 35; 53; 76; 102; 131) and a number of expressions of the Bruichladdich Futures bottlings.

So whatever your interest or taste, we have a great selection for auction on Tuesday 2nd April.  Remember the auction starts at 10am and you need to be registered to bid before the auction begins.



Three Ships Airbnb LR (1) (002)


Imagine being one of only a handful of people in the world to spend a night sleeping at a whisky distillery. Not close, but breaths away from where the whisky is being crafted.

In a first for Africa, Three Ships Whisky is offering whisky-lovers the ultimate experience of staying at Africa’s only commercial whisky distillery, The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington.

Stargaze at night across the open Wellington horizon, uncluttered by buildings and sheltered from city-buzz whilst the whisky quietly slumbers in the maturation cellar right on one’s doorstep.

It simply is the finest way to immerse oneself in the art of whisky making.

Three Ships Airbnb LR (9) (002)

This once in a lifetime two-night stay with luxury tented accommodation set overlooking the distillery dam, is only steps away from the distillery buildings with the soothing hums of distillery-life.

Thoughtful touches such as whisky-infused products, private seating areas, indulgent dinners, afternoon tea and whisky tasting, completes the unique getaway.

During their stay whisky-lovers will experience the lifeblood of the distillery, the maturation cellar with its ever-present Angel’s Share, be able to stand proud next to the aw-inspiring potstills that distil the award-winning Three Ships 10-Year-Old Single Malt spirit, and relax with the quiet hums of distillery-life at night.

Three Ships Airbnb LR (10) (002)

Guests start their 2-night stay with a gourmet South African braai and after a restful sleep and breakfast, start their Three Ships Whisky distillery experience with a private guided tour of the distillery and food and whisky pairing.  Post some leisure time to stretch out on the comfortable seating areas, an indulgent afternoon tea is served with some delicious whisky cocktails followed by an exceptionally paired whisky dinner.

The second morning will arrive far too soon and after a light breakfast, the town of Wellington waits for some exploration of the town, numerous nature walks and mountain trails.

Three Ships Airbnb LR (2) (002)

Bookings are made through Airbnb (Airbnb link – at a cost of R10 000 per couple and is inclusive of two nights’ accommodation, all meals, beverages, whisky tastings, tours and experiences at the distillery. Profits from bookings will be donated to the Volunteer Wildfire Services who combats dangerous and devastating runaway wildfires. Their 200 strong volunteer members located at four stations (Newlands, Jonkershoek, South Peninsula and Grabouw), have assisted a number of national parks and districts across the Western Cape in saving lives and natural habitat.

Social media =              @ThreeShipsWhisky          #ThreeShipsWhiskyAirbnb            #MadeExceptionalMadeHere

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The Arran Malt 21YO: Packaged with Purpose – Scotch Whisky News

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The Arran Malt 21YO: Packaged with Purpose

IPL Packaging manufactured a rigid-board box for the 21 YO Arran Malt (recently made available by Isle of Arran distillers) that subtly communicates the characteristics of the whisky, the oldest bottling in the Arran Malts core series.

The outer surface of the pack features black and plum coloured paper-wrapped board complete with a textured finish, as well as rustic copper print and foiling and emboss.

The colouring and detailing of the packaging echo the rich and complex expression of the Arran whisky, with its delicious sherry notes on the nose and its elegant palate of bitter orange, spice and dark chocolate.

Anti-scratch UV and matte lamination protect the packaging and provide an understated yet palpably high-end feel. Metpol paper is utilised between the lid and body of the box, with a satin ribbon attached for ease of opening. The bottle is held in place by an inner black EVA fitment.

Only 9,000 bottles of the 21-year-old Arran Malt have been made available worldwide as a ‘finite batch’, with the next batch due to be released in Autumn/Winter 2019.


The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive single cask bottling – the GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007 61.3% – Scotch Whisky News

TWB Glenallachie-11-Year-Old-2007-Signatory-Exclusive label

The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive single cask bottling – the GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007. 

Specialist online whisky shop,, is proud to release an exclusive single cask malt whisky distilled at the Speyside distillery, GlenAllachie.

GlenAllachie Distillery is a Speyside distillery sitting on the eastern edge of the Ben Rinnes mountain where it is exposed to the elements and is often to be seen sitting within the snowline. The name GlenAllachie comes from the Gaelic, Gleann Aileachaidh, meaning ‘valley of the rocks’, hence the cleverly designed logo!

The GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007 was matured in first fill sherry hogshead cask #900169 and bottled in February 2019 by Signatory Vintage exclusively for, yielding 324 bottles.

Available exclusively from The Whisky Barrel, shipping to customers Worldwide including the United States of America, Canada and Japan. 

GlenAllachie 11 Year Old | 2007 | Signatory Vintage Un-Chillfiltered Collection for | 61.3% 

Tasting notes 

Colour: Natural colour; copper orange.

Nose: A much sharper experience to the Glenlivet with less of the usual sugary sweetness and much more of the classic bitter sweet sherry influence. Hints of cereal and slightly burnt malt. 

Taste: Stewed plums, milk chocolate coated raisins, nutmeg and sweet sherry. There are also subtle notes of bees wax. 

Finish: A long dry and sweet finish. 

Price: £79.95 GBP / $88.00 USD (+ P&P) 

The Whisky Barrel E:
Visit T: +44 (0)845 2248 156
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Q) What is the product called?
A)  GlenAllachie 11 Year Old 2007 Signatory Vintage Un-Chillfiltered Collection.

Q) When will this product be released/was it released?
A) Tuesday 26 March 2019.

Q) Where is it available?
A) Scotland, off-trade,

Q) Is this product already available in other markets?
A) Scotland only, ships worldwide.

Q) How much is it?
A) £79.95 GBP / $88.00 USD (+ P&P)

Q) Who handles the product’s distribution?
A) In-house at

Q) What is the ABV of this product?
A) 61.3% ABV natural cask strength.

Q) Why has this product been launched?
A) Limited Edition single cask distillery exclusive for The Whisky Barrel. 

The Whisky Barrel is a specialist online whisky and spirits merchant based in Fife, Scotland and  was established in 2007. The Whisky Barrel won Whisky Magazine Online Retailer 2018 and was International Wine & Spirits Competition runner-up in 2016.

N.B. Prices correct at the time of publishing and are subject to currency fluctuation.

The Whisky Barrel – Your Specialist Online Whisky Shop, Scotland

Celebrating 10 Years | 2007-2017 | 01334 650 353 | Find us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Whisky Magazine’s Online Retailer of the Year Award 2009-2016

International Wine & Spirits Competition Best Online Retailer 2015-2016

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