Archive for 2019

Blair Athol 23 Year Old 1995 Sherry Cask at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Blair Athol 23 Year Old 1995 Sherry Cask

Single cask sherry butt from the Highland distillery bottled in 2019 by Hunter Laing & Co. for the First Editions series. 289 bottles at cask strength, 55.7%. Blair Athol 23 Year Old 1995 vintage Highland single malt Scotch whisky. Single sherry butt #15758 bottled 2019 by Hunter Laing & Co. for the First Editions series. 289 bottles.

Blair Athol Distillery was established in 1798 in Pitlochry and with footprints in four centuries it is one of oldest working malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. Purchased by Arthur Bell & Sons in1933 it is the spiritual ‘home’ of Arthur Bell’s range of blended scotch whisky complete with distillery visitor centre and Blair Athol Distillery tours. Although a large proportion of Blair Athol’s malt whisky cascades into blends, Bell’s to be precise, independent bottlings of Blair Athol single malts feature in the popular Connoisseurs Choice and Signatory Vintage ranges.

Shop – Blair Athol 23 Year Old – £109.58

TWB 337

Whisky Wednesday Reviews GlenDronach 15yo – Scotch Whisky News


Feel like I’ve said this a lot already this year, but, hopefully for the final time…IT’S BACK! Now, i know my review of this is slightly delayed (by five months) – but it’s not a limited release and is now a regular feature, so i didn’t feel the need to rush the review. Also, I’ve tried the older one again for referencing and the differences are quite vast.  Something else I’ve also said a lot this year…Rachel Barrie is god. Cheers!


Whisky Reviews every Wednesday ~ ~ ~


Mister Sam in box (002)


“Mister Sam” Whiskey is a Blend of Sazerac’s Finest American and Canadian Whiskeys and Pays Tribute to Late Seagram’s Leader
Sam Bronfman

Montreal, canada (April 9, 2019) – Sam Bronfman, or “Mister Sam,” as he was affectionately known, was the founder of the modern day distilled spirits industry.  Despite his humble origins as an immigrant to Canada from Imperial Russia in the late 1800s, Bronfman would go on to propel Seagram’s into the then largest and most successful distilled spirits company in the world.  Relentlessly focused on making and blending the finest whiskies possible, maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry, creating cutting edge packaging to appeal to consumers and driving incessant product innovation, “Mister Sam” created some of the world’s most iconic spirit brands while at the helm of the Seagram’s empire until his death in 1971.

Montreal, Canada served as the headquarters of the legendary Seagram Company and its patriarch Sam Bronfman.  The tie between the Seagram and Sazerac Companies was formed in the 1940s, when Sazerac’s owners became one of the first distributors of Seagram brands in the United States, forging a long lasting relationship between the two companies.  Today, Sazerac owns 15 former Seagram’s brands including the iconic Seagram’s V.O., Seagram’s Five Star, and Seagram’s ’83, along with its own Distillery in Montreal.

As a tribute to “Mister Sam” and the vast contribution he made to the industry, the Sazerac Company has developed a highly limited blended whiskey expression made with some of Sazerac’s finest American and Canadian Whiskeys.  The “Mister Sam” blend was created by Sazerac’s Master Blender Drew Mayville whose career included a 22 year stint at Seagram’s where he was the fourth and last Master Blender under the Seagram dynasty. Mayville had the vast array of Sazerac’s American and Canadian Whiskey stocks at his disposal while developing the final blend. This project holds a special place in Mayville’s heart, a native Canadian now living in Kentucky.

“I was thrilled to be able to work on the blend for this exciting tribute whiskey.  Mister Sam was known to say ‘Distilling is a science; Blending is an art,’ and he’s right.  Creating the elusive perfect blend is every bit about experimentation and precision.  We’re very proud of the whiskey we’ve created.”

So too is F. Paul Pacult, publisher/editor of F. Paul Pacult’s Spirits Journal, who has reviewed the “Mister Sam” blend and has given it Five Stars and notes that it is “An Instant Classic” with a finish “that’s hugely satisfying.”

Pacult’s complete “Mister Sam” tasting notes are as follows:

Nose:  Cigar box, pipe tobacco, Madeira cake, toffee in that order of ascent, but then there’s a rush of oaky vanilla, limestone, flint and sweetened breakfast cereal.  Hearty but elegant, woody but grainy, and floral yet spicy, quite an achievement.


Entry: Wow, this whiskey is high octane and scintillating, meaning there’s a lot happening here between the spirit fire and the oaky flavor and the lush texture, all pulling the taste profile forward.

Midpalate:  the majestic flavors blanket the palate with lush tastes of raisins, prunes, mince pie, candied walnut, chocolate covered cherry, heather honey, toasted marshmallow, praline, nougat, pecan pie.

Texture: Full bodied; oily; viscous

Finish: The aftertaste merely underscores all the attributes and virtues identified in the aroma, entry, and midpalate, bringing them into a grand finale that’s hugely satisfying.

Bottled at Sazerac’s Old Montreal Distillery in Montreal, Quebec, “Mister Sam” is 133.8 Proof and will be released once a year.  The recently bottled 2019 release features just 1,200 750ml bottles and will be sold only in the United States and Canada.  Suggested Retail Price is $249.99.  Bottles of “Mister Sam” will be housed in an elegant wooden box which will include a copy of the legendary “From Little Acorns” book which Sam Bronfman penned in 1970 and which details the history of the Seagram’s company.

The Old Montreal Distillery, located adjacent to the Port and Old Montreal, dates back to 1929. Sazerac purchased the Distillery in 2011 and brought distilling back to Old Montreal for the first time in decades when it installed a still and began producing whisky in early 2018. The Distillery employs more than 100 employees and is currently undergoing renovations to add a  visitor center and gift shop. It plans to start offering tours by the end of 2019.

About Sazerac

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




 The Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey lives up to its name with three medals

Donegal’s Sliabh Liag Distillers today received the highest industry recognition from some of the most renowned names in the UK bar industry in which the Legendary Silkie Irish Whiskey from the distiller is lauded with Silver medals for Design and Taste and a Bronze for Value.

The Bartenders’ Brand Awards is a unique blind tasting, design and value-tested competition for spirits, wines and beers within the UK bar industry. Now in its second year, the event provides independent and honest reviews for drinks brands targeting the UK bar trade.  The judging panel consists of 50 renowned bartenders from some of the world’s best known bars and each product is scored on its aroma, complexity, taste and versatility in cocktails.

Commenting on the win, James Doherty, Managing Director, Sliabh Liag Distillers said, “The success of a drink product can live or die by the recommendation of bartenders, so to have come out as top dog amongst such a revered panel of experts is truly humbling.  It’s an incredibly exciting time for us right now in the planning of the new Ardara Distillery opening 2020, and this award adds to our confidence in producing great-tasting spirits from our beautifully rugged corner of Ireland.”

The legendary Silkie blended Irish whiskey is made from a blend of carefully selected malt and grain whiskeys.  By using a higher aged-malt percentage – with malts aged up to eight years and finished in oak casks formerly used to mature sherry – Sliabh Liag Distillers is able to produce a signature-smooth mouth feel and silken, easy character.

On the nose, Silkie evokes brisk green apples opening to a more honeyed butteryness. On the palate, it suggests orange zest, digestive biscuits and stem ginger, all with the signature smoothness.   The rich, sweet taste provides a sublimely gentle finish. 



  • Sliabh Liag (pronounced ‘sleeve league’) Distillers is committed to reclaiming the distilling heritage of Donegal.  In addition to Silkie, the company also produces An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin at its distillery, near Carrick.  Planning has also been submitted for a new distillery at Ardara, co Donegal.
  • Silkie and An Dúlamán are both distributed by Vine Distribution Services

Loch Lomond & Glen Scotia at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

AA Loch Lomond


Loch Lomond 19 Year Old Royal Portrush

Created in partnership with 2011 Open Championship winning golfer Darren Clarke, this 19-year-old single malt from Loch Lomond has been matured in American oak casks from the distillery’s onsite cooperage and bottled as part of the Open Course Collection from Loch Lomond Whiskies. This is the second release in the series from Loch Lomond, the official Spirit of the Open, and it bears the signature of Mr Clarke who worked with Master Blender Michael Henry to craft the expression.

£160.00 – Buy Now


Glen Scotia 2003 Festival Edition 2019

Distilled at Glen Scotia in Campbeltown using peated barley, this 2003 vintage single malt has been specially selected as the distillery’s festival bottling for the 2019 Campbeltown Malts Festival, which takes place 21st-24th May. Matured for at least 15 years and finished in a rum puncheon, this limited edition is bottled at a natural cask strength of 51.3% abv.

£70.00 – Buy Now


Glen Scotia 2005 Single Cask – Loch Fyne Exclusive

Distilled at Glen Scotia in March 2005 and matured in a single cask (no. 17/413-10) for 13 years, this Campbeltown single malt has been selected and bottled exclusively for Loch Fyne Whiskies by the good folks at the distillery. Only 330 bottles have been filled, each one at a natural cask strength of 55.6% abv and free from chill-filtration.

£85.00 – Buy Now

LFW Long Logo

Littlemill 30 Year Old at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Littlemill 30 Year Old

1988 vintage sherry cask for the Hart Bros Legends Collection. Just 100 numbered bottles. Littlemill 30 Year Old 1988 vintage Lowland single malt Scotch whisky. Single cask sherry butt bottled March 2019 Hart Brothers for the Legends Collection series. 100 numbered bottles. Sweet and slightly spicy on the palate. Smooth with a long lasting warming finish. Dark chocolate and treacle. Heather honey, vanilla, custard, banana and summer fruits. Tangerines with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Littlemill Distillery was established in 1772 to the west of Bowling by the north shore of the River Clyde and on the main road into Glasgow. Subsequent modifications during the 1930s resulted in a number of novel features including double ventilation towers which sat over a single drying kiln and pot stills with rectifiers rather than the traditional swan necks. The combination of pot and column stills in Littlemill Distillery was designed to produce malt whisky which was expected to mature quickly. When production ceased in 1992 Littlemill Distillery was the oldest working malt whisky distillery in Scotland. Closed in 194 and demolished in 2006 and now Littlemill is a lost Scottish distillery although the shell of the manager’s house remains.

Shop £1,385.10

TWB 337

Glen Moray Tasting at The Whisky Shop #SFO April 26th, 2019 – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, April 26th 5-7PM: 

 Glen Moray

Made in the heart of Speyside, Glen Moray distillery has been producing and perfecting single malt scotch since 1897. Each dram is distilled in pot stills entirely from water and only malted barley, then carefully matured in American oak casks. The result typifies the Single Malt character of Speyside,  soft and fruity with a large range of flavor, rich, decadent, elegant, and refreshing.

Click Here to RSVP




SMWS Small


The iconic whisky club will take show on the road to Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay 


May is a month to celebrate for whisky lovers, with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) taking its colourful events and characterful cask strength whisky to the Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay festivals.

The whisky experts, with branches and members across the world, have an extensive programme of events and an exceptional range of special celebratory bottlings.

The Society will begin its festival tour at the start of May at the Spirit of Speyside festival (1 – 6 May), before its first appearance at the Campbeltown Malts Festival (21 – 22 May) and finishing at the renowned Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt (24 May – 1 June).

Firstly, the Society’s Speyside shenanigans will include partnering with whisky writers Hans Offringa, Charlie MacLean and Dave Broom to host a series of events at the Dowan’s and Craigellachie hotels as well as hosting a special drop-in bar with rare drams.

There will be a series of exclusive Spirit of Speyside bottlings available at the festival and then on sale to members from Friday, 3 May. This will feature an 11-year-old from the Sweet, Fruity & Mellow flavour profile and a 21-year-old named ‘Succulent, scintillating and substantial’.

In the West of Scotland later in the month, the SMWS will be taking over the Ardshiel Hotel in Campbeltown from Tuesday, 21 May, with celebratory malts available throughout.

The Campbeltown festival experience will also be shared with the Society’s global membership through a virtual tasting, meaning if they can’t attend in person they can take part in the event with fellow whisky enthusiasts online. For more information on the Campbeltown virtual tasting, visit;

Ambassadors John McCheyne and Matt Bailey will join forces to taste drams of exclusive festival whisky live from Campbeltown, which will be broadcast to members via Facebook.

For the first time, there will be a dedicated SMWS bottling specially for the Campbeltown Festival, which will be a Lightly Peated 10-year-old whisky with lovely sweet mellow notes backed up with peatiness to give it added complexity.

An essential fixture in any whisky fan’s diary is Feis Ile, the annual Islay Festival of Music and Malt, where distilleries and venues across this magical whisky island open their doors for tastings and events.

Much like previous years, the SMWS will be hosting a variety of events throughout the festival and producing an exclusive range of bottles, kicking-off with its open day in the splendid surroundings of Islay House, where members and non-members alike are all welcome.

In what promises to be a memorable experience for members, the Society is also hosting a ‘Tour de Islay’, which will see a peloton of whisky fans cycle around the island, stopping off at each of the nine distilleries and collecting stamps as they go. For information on how to sign-up, contact

In between masterclasses, guests can also fulfil any fantasies of taking part in a Highland Games with two rounds of Islay-inspired games on the grounds of Islay House, which will include hi-jinks, soft landings, and liquid gold prizes for the winners.

The coveted Islay Festival bottlings for 2019, which range from 10 to 27-years-old and include four different cask types, will go on sale to members on Friday, 24 May. The first is called ‘Cuquillo black olives’, and is a full-term bourbon maturation of unpeated spirit, giving it an Oily & Coastal character. By contrast, there’s no mistaking the Heavily Peated character of ‘Cooking for Hades’, which has spent eight years in an ex-bourbon hogshead.

Those looking for a big bruising Peated Islay dram should be delighted by ‘A beachcomber’s stash’, whereas the final bottle, named ‘A visceral, elemental experience’ is incredibly dark, fruity, smoky and sweet.

For more information on SMWS membership, festival bottles and activities, visit


About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
  • The SMWS bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society bottles single malts, unique single casks and exclusive blends
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 138 distilleries from Scotland and beyond
  • The Society offers a new batch of around 30 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
  • The Society offers a variety of membership’s packages which can be tailored. Please see
  • For more information about the Society, visit
  • Twitter: @SMWSUK Facebook: @thesmwsuk Instagram: @smws_uk





It’s not every day that a 19-year old gets to race a Lamborghini, but Sandy Mitchell from Forfar is doing that on a regular basis.

Thanks to sponsorship from Black Bull Scotch Whisky, the global spirits brand based in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Mitchell is set to race in not 1 but 2 of the biggest platforms for GT racing.

The intense, high-speed six-round championship is fought out on a number of America’s iconic racetracks, including Road America and Laguna Seca. The season gets underway this weekend (April 5-7) at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, before heading to Watkins Glen in June.  After that, he will head back into the Blancpain Endurance Cup at Monza on 13th and 14th April, driving for the Black Bull Barwell Racing Team.  Competing in two different Lamborghini Squadra Corsa cars will test the limit of the young racing driver but he’s well prepared.  “I know the Lamborghini really well having driven for the Black Bull Barwell Racing Team last year and so I know how to handle it.” said Sandy,  “The car in the Trofeo Championship is different, but I’ve been out there testing it with the Wayne Taylor Racing team and feel confident that I can produce race winning pace from the start.”



Chairman of sponsors, Black Bull Scotch Whisky, Euan Shand commented; “We’ve sponsored Sandy long before he could legally drive on the road.  Aged 15, we saw Sandy’s potential and we have backed his racing career since then.  We think Sandy has the ability to reach the ultimate prize which is Le Mans and the European and American platforms he will race in this year prepares him beautifully for that opportunity.”

The Scots teenager will drive the No. 1 Prestige Performance Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo (Pro), in partnership with 26-year-old Italian, Andrea Amici.

Mitchell, a race winner in both Blancpain and British GT championships, is part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Program and a member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star scheme.  “This is a fantastic opportunity to further my career, and I have to thank both Black Bull Whisky and Wayne Taylor Racing, plus Prestige Performance, for the opportunity,” Mitchell said.  “I felt it was important this year to increase my seat time in a competitive environment, and to be able to race in one of the highest-profile championships in America will significantly develop my experience.”

Wayne Taylor Racing has a winning record in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, having clinched seven North American Pro-Driver, team and dealer championship titles.  They were also crowned the overall 2017 Lamborghini Champions at the World Finals in Imola, Italy.

Black Bull Scotch Whisky dates back to 1864.  The award-winning brand boasts 6 aged blended whiskies within their portfolio and exports to 50 countries globally.

BB home_slide_13

New releases from Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


New releases from Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series

Each Authors’ Series release is dedicated to a particular figure in literature, featuring a photograph or drawing of them on the front label and a paragraph detailing their history on the back. The wax-sealed, decanter-like bottles are presented in a handsome hinged gift box and the whiskies themselves are selected by Andrew Laing as especially rich and complex casks from distilleries across Scotland.



A single cask release from the highly collectable authors series range, this Campbeltown single malt was distilled at Springbank in 1997 and matured in a single sherry cask for 21 years. Bottled at 52.9% abv, this edition has been paired with legendary author Oscar Wilde.

Nose: Intense notes of sherry-maturation are immediately apparent, with raisins, plums and oranges combing with a wonderful wood polish/old library note.

Palate: Christmas cake, dark chocolate, cherries, pepper and a faint hint of smoke.

Finish: Beautifully dry and smoky.

£625.00 – Buy Now



A new expression of the highly acclaimed authors series, this limited edition has been paired with legendary author William Thackeray. Distilled at the Highlands’ Tullibardine distillery in 1993 and matured in a single cask for a quarter of a century, this expression is bottled at a natural cask strength of 53.3% abv.

Nose: Vanilla custard, apricots, barley sugar and the sweetest of oak.

Palate: Malty and mouth-filling with caramel, apple crumble and a touch of honey.

Finish: Long, sweet and satisfying.

£395.00 – Buy Now



The latest limited edition from the much coveted Authors’ Series paired with legendary author Charles Baudelaire, this single malt was distilled at the Tormore distillery in 1988 before being aged for three decades in a single cask.

Nose: Honey, apples, toffee and hints of melon on the nose.

Palate: Slightly waxy with orange, pineapple and rich malty notes.

Finish: A long finish with hints of strawberry combining with the sweetest of oak.

£425.00 – Buy Now



The latest release from the much coveted Authors’ Series this Glenfarclas 50 year old has been matured in a sherry cask and bottled at a natural cask strength of 50.2%. This whisky is partnered with the legendary author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Nose: Rich notes of the finest Oloroso sherry maturation with chocolate, sultanas, raspberries, plums and even coffee.

Palate: Intense red fruits with more ripe plums, cherries, hints of liquorice, orange and Jamon Iberico.

Finish: Incredibly long with the sweetness of the red fruits lingering on the tongue.

£2,750.00 – Buy Now

TWS Logo

Powered by WordPress