Archive for March, 2020




Award-winning Tomatin Single Malt are set to host the Lockdown Whisky Festival alongside industry leading whisky brands

27th March 2020 – Tomatin Single Malt will be hosting the world’s first Lockdown Whisky Festival this April, alongside an array of whisky brands including Glen Moray, Arran and BenRiach, with a view to bringing enjoyment to the general public and the whisky industry which, like many others, has faced event cancellations and postponements in recent weeks.

The festival will be live-streamed on Tomatin’s own YouTube channel on the 4th April from 2pm til 5pm (GMT) and will be hosted by independent whisky influencer, Aqvavitae. The virtual whisky festival will see brand ambassadors from multiple international producers unite to engage with the global audience. Brands to appear on the livestream include Adelphi, Arran, BenRiach, Cù Bòcan, GlenAllachie, Glencadam, Glen Moray, Kilkerran, Kilchoman, Paul John, Tomintoul and of course, Tomatin.

Scott Adamson, Global Brands Ambassador at Tomatin Distillery said: “The greatest benefit to organising the Lockdown Whisky Festival is that it’s virtual, so we can bring the community together to enjoy and learn from some of the best distilleries in the industry, all from the comfort of home at a time when staying in and staying safe has never been more important. 

“It’s exciting to be the first distillery to host a virtual whisky festival and we’re thankful for the other distilleries who have chosen to get involved and support it. We will be encouraging viewers to use #LockdownWhiskyFestival on social when they raise a dram with us next week.”

Aqvavitae, an independent whisky influencer, will be hosting the entirety of the livestream, asking questions and hosting the festival as we virtually explore the expressions on offer during each brand’s mini showcase.

Roy (Youtube: @Aqvavitae) said: “Following weeks of unfortunate postponements and cancellations, it’s really refreshing to be part of the world’s first virtual whisky festival. Spearheaded by Tomatin, what we lose in not sharing the same space we gain in global reach and inclusion. It’s great to see so many distilleries and producers coming together in the spirit of sharing to realise this. Can’t wait!” 

The Lockdown Whisky Festival will begin streaming from 2-5pm GMT on 4th April on the Tomatin Distillery YouTube channel.


Tomatin Distillery has been producing and blending malt Scotch whisky since 1897. Over the last 50 years, the distillery has borne witness to vast change. At its peak in the 1970s, Tomatin was the largest distillery in the world operating 23 stills and producing 12 million litres of alcohol every year. Over the last decade, significant time has been invested in rediscovering the distillery, people and values, and in refining the business model to move away from the formerly lucrative bulk commodity market to now focus on Tomatin’s core range of single malts.

Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands (near Inverness) and is famous for its portfolio of soft and mellow whiskies, including a core range, a limited-edition range and a premium archive range (prices range from £35 – £10,000). In the last ten years, Tomatin has secured over 60 prestigious awards in a variety of categories, and in 2019 the distillery celebrated its most successful year ever at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition, securing seven Double Gold awards and four Gold awards.


The Portable Expert to Over 200 Distilleries and the Spirits they Make (From Absinthe to Whisky, and Everything in Between)
By: Davin de Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips

From award-winning author of Canadian Whisky, Davin de Kergommeaux, comes an up-to-the minute and definitive guide to over 200 distilleries across Canada and the array of spirits they make. 

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries is an indispensable guide to the past, present and future of Canada’s distilleries. Written by bona fide Canadian spirits expert Davin de Kergommeaux, this book covers more than 200 of the most exciting and cutting-edge distilleries, large and small, who are shaping the industry today.

Just a decade ago, fewer than a dozen distilleries, concentrated in two provinces, produced almost all the spirits (mainly whisky) made in Canada. Today, there is a movement afoot in Canada’s spirits world. There has never been a better selection of rich specialty spirits–from gin to moonshine, from flavoured vodka to liqueurs–to tempt the palate and supplement your long-time favourites. Despite flourishing public enthusiasm for Canada’s distillers, other than incomplete and inaccurate web-based information, no one has offered consumers an all-inclusive guide… until now.

Using a trademark (and witty) blend of narrative, tasting notes, inventive cocktail recipes and vibrant photos, de Kergommeaux shares the unique genesis of each of these distillers who are pushing the boundaries and flavours of spirits of all kinds. Divided geographically with suggested distillery routes, and filled with key tour information as well as breakout features of the most exciting people and spirits today, The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries is a treasured souvenir and fun companion to the distilleries in every corner of the country, and a must-have guide for curious drinkers and expert connoisseurs alike. 


Author Bio: DAVIN DE KERGOMMEAUX is a drinks writer, public speaker and spirits judge, recognized as the world expert on Canadian whisky. He has travelled to four continents to visit spirits producers and distilleries, and make presentations about Canadian spirits. In 2016 the Globe and Mail named him one of the 50 most influential Canadians in food and drink, then in 2018 the New York Times said his significance in the revival of Canadian whisky could not be overstated.

BLAIR PHILLIPS is a lifestyle and spirits writer specializing in Canada’s growing landscape of spirits and distilleries. He is the Canadian contributing editor for Whisky Magazine and writes for the popular Distiller app. He also contributed features for during the TV Series’ three season run. He judges several spirits competitions including the World Whisky Awards and Canadian Whisky Awards.

Two Highly Anticipated Cask Strength Releases from Kaiyo — Mizunara Oak Aged Whisky at K&L California – Japanese Whisky News

New Exclusives from the Most Exciting Project in Japanese Whisky

NOTE: In accordance with local directives, our walk-in retail locations are currently closed. We have low cost and free delivery options available in ZIP codes where we can ship lawfully, including anywhere in California. We can also include any new or existing will call orders in your delivery batch. Choose local delivery at checkout to learn if you qualify.

We’ve featured several different bottlings from the Kaiyo brand in recent years, all of which have been exceptional and count among the most interesting (and delicious) expressions out of Japan that we’ve had the good fortune to taste. We are especially excited to feature two new exclusives that have been bottled at cask strength. These bottlings, as is standard for Kaiyo, have been aged in Mizunara oak and spent months in the hull of a ship while traversing the globe. It may sound like a lot of effort to put into a bottle of whisky, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. While many of the details behind this pair remain frustratingly scarce, what we do know is that they will satisfy one’s craving for the best in Japanese whisky, and at a very affordable price. Each possesses its own distinctive stamp, while offering a layered complexity only found in bottlings that cost three to four times the price. It goes without saying that these whiskies are very rare and are already causing a stir among collectors. If you’ve enjoyed Kaiyo in the past, then you simply must treat yourself to this breathtaking pair. For us, they represent the very pinnacle of Japanese whisky. Quantities will not last, so make sure to secure your bottles today.

Like so many Japanese whiskies that have come to the market in recent years, Kaiyo remains an enigma. It tastes delicious, there is a tantalizing background story to the brand, but the level of detail a whisky geek desires always seem in short supply. No matter, ultimately when the price is right and the whisky tastes great, we are here to pull the trigger. The two casks are similar in their story, but very different in the final profile. Both are Japanese in origin, presumably teaspooned malt from the same source. They were placed into Mizunara oak for nearly 7.5 years and then each made Kaiyo’s hallmark ocean voyage. The gentle rocking, salt air, temperature and humidity changes are all a part of the whisky’s story. Once they disembarked from their ship their stories diverge. Cask #541 sees a year long finishing in a refill hogshead barrel. This adds a bit of complexity to the profile yet preserves the Mizunara oak as the defining characteristic. It’s a masterclass in Mizunara. Over time in glass you can pick out a wide array of sweet tropical notes ranging from juicy fruits to toasty coconut and a cabinet full of exotic spices. At 56% ABV and unchillfiltered, there is power, weight, and texture to bolster what is otherwise an elegant and complex dram.

Kaiyo K&L Exclusive Cask #541 Cask Strength Japanese Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 24, 2020

The first selection ever of a Kaiyo single cask. After 7.4 years in Mizunara oak, this beauty was transferred to a 2nd fill hogshead for a little mellowing. It’s chockablock full of vanilla, coconut, honey and sandalwood. The stylistic preference in Japan for whiskies that are balanced and nuanced is clearly present, but this is not a shy malt. The barley shines from the get go, but add a little water and it explodes. At 56% ABV it’s a robust and full throttle whiskey that screams of its time in Mizunara with its bold and spicy wood profile.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 24, 2020

The enigmatic and opaque Kaiyo whisky has become a staple on our shelves. It does a lot of things right in the very complicated Japanese whisky genre while maybe skirting some of the most obvious pitfalls. And I still have no information about what is actually in these bottles, but we can assume that these have been aged in Japanese Mizunara and are likely sourced from malt distilled in northern Japan (Hokkaido & Sendai). And while these distilleries are some of the world’s finest, it is clearly the barrel who is the star of the show here. Interestingly, the two barrels we purchased (541 & 543) are pretty different despite having the same proof and specs on the bottle. This cask is the most quintessential expression of the flavors I’d expect from Mizunara. The nose is tight at first and needs a drop or two of water to open up. Now we get tons of sandalwood, ceremonial incense, plum wine, coconut husk. On the palate, tons of red cherry and big spice – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg etc. It’s long, bold and peppery. This one is really pretty intense, designed for those who like more intense flavors. Adding water doesn’t necessarily diminish that but adds some depth and sweetness.

Kaiyo K&L Exclusive Cask #543 Cask Strength Japanese Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

Cask #543 has a much more unique finishing than #541. After its ocean stint the whisky was transferred to a ruby port pipe for a year. The dark red fruited wine cask has lent a wide array of flavors to frame the initial Mizunara aging. Dark chocolate, dried dates, ripe currants, and sweet raisins all meld with the sandalwood and coconut of the oak. Unchillfiltered and bottled at 56% ABV.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 24, 2020

Like its sister cask, this comes from some of Kaiyo’s oldest stocks. After nearly seven and half years in Japanese Mizunara oak the whisky was transferred into a ruby port pipe for another year of finishing. The result is a spectacular array of red fruits and raisins to frame the spicy yet tropical flavors of Mizunara oak. The hallmark sandalwood notes are particularly persistent on the finish. It’s amazing how much power the famed Japanese wood carries into the spirit, and to see it with a unique finish that compliments it so well is a real treat. With a dash of water a much more complex array of red currants, dusty cocoa, and candied nuts come forward on the nose and palate. It’s as though that water is the key that unlocks the port pipe’s Mizunara cage.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 24, 2020

These wild casks of Japanese Mizunara Oak aged whisky have been are a bit of a mystery, but tasting them side by side is a really interesting experience. While cask 541 had tons of spice, this one has much more fruit. The nose starts with classic Mizunara plum spice, but melds into a complex bouquet of wild honey, baked apple, earthy malt and fresh oak. The softer nose doesn’t translate to the palate and we’ve still got that bold oak and spice from the Mizunara taking over. Yet here more subtlety, more malt and a bit more sweetness. There’s something that reminds me distinctively of Ben Nevis, which would be appropriate considering the assumed source. A very interesting offering indeed.

The Singleton – Paragon of Time Collection at Hard to Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

The Singleton

Paragon of Time Collection

1964 · 53 Year Old



A sensational release from The Singleton brand. Matured in a single hogshead cask and bottled at 40.6% abv, The Singleton of Dufftown 53 Year Old 1964 Vintage is the first in the whisky brand’s new Paragon of Time Collection.  This is a real rarity and a real collectors piece for those looking to add to their collection.

The 53 Year Old will be presented in a crystal decanter and housed in a wooden presentation case, with a piece of the original cask incorporated into the packaging.

The Singleton has also partnered with award-winning artist Cai Zhi Song to celebrate the release by creating a commemorative sculpture called Blossom. It surpasses the brand’s previous oldest release by some way.  Previously it was  the 40-year-old Glendullan single malt from the whisky’s Forgotten Drop series released in 2018.

The whisky is said to feature ‘scented hand-cream, rose water and exotic tropical and berry fruit’ notes on the nose, with ‘dried figs and a suggestion of toffee’ on the palate

ralfy review 819 – Macallan 10yo (circa 2001) – Scotch Whisky News visits 2001 to uncork a single malt !

From USA to France and From UK to Mexico, Bacardi Diverts Global Production to Increase Hand Sanitizer Supply for Local Communities

From USA to France and From UK to Mexico, Bacardi Diverts Global Production to Increase Hand Sanitizer Supply for Local Communities

Brands across company’s portfolio including BACARDÍ®, MARTINI®, GREY GOOSE®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, DEWAR’S® and ANGEL’S ENVY® unite to help produce more than 267,000 gallons (1.1 million liters) of hand sanitizers.

Hamilton, Bermuda, March 25, 2020 – Family-owned Bacardi has expanded its commitment across countries and brands to help produce more than 267,000 gallons (1.1 million liters) of hand sanitizers, as worldwide demand continues to exceed supply in efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This week, eight Bacardi-owned manufacturing sites across the United States, Mexico, France, England, Italy and Scotland are joining the efforts, following last week’s announcement that Bacardi in Puerto Rico would supply alcohol to make hand sanitizers. Across the sites, Bacardi is diverting its global production power, resources and processes to supply the much-needed alcohol essential for the increased production of hand sanitizers.

Bacardi is also playing a part in donating these products to local organizations and emergency responders, as well as its employees and contractors. In addition, the company is providing alcohol at cost to select partner companies looking to ramp up their production of hand sanitizers for commercial sale. These temporary, emergency actions at all locations will not disrupt the supply of brands in the Bacardi portfolio.

“Over our 158-year history, we have risen to many challenges and we are doing the same again in response to COVID-19,” said Jean-Marc Lambert, SVP Global Operations for Bacardi. “All our brands and partners involved in this initiative will help people most in need benefit from the supply of these hand sanitizers. Our goal is to make a very real difference in the fight against COVID-19.”

The current list of sites providing support either immediately or in the coming week are:

  • DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky in Aberfeldy, Scotland – is helping to produce a small quantity of hand sanitizers for the Scottish Ambulance Association among other local community groups;
  • ANGEL’S ENVY® Kentucky Straight Bourbon in Louisville, KY, USA – is supplying nearly 1,000 gallons (3,800 liters) of alcohol to create approximately 16,000 8-ounce (250 ml) bottles of free hand sanitizers for first responders and healthcare professionals.


  • BACARDÍ rum in Puerto Rico – partnered with Puerto Rico based manufacturer Olein Refinery to provide raw materials that will enable the production of more than 1.7M units of 10-ounce (300 ml) hand sanitizers. Donated product to local USPS, firefighters, police and non-profit Somos Unidos (United Way);
  • Bacardi Bottling Corporation in Jacksonville, FL, USA – is planning to help produce approximately 23,000 gallons (87,000 liters) to make 120,000 units of 25-ounce (750 ml) bottles hand sanitizer for donation to local hospitals, firefighters and police. In addition, the team will supply 7,600 gallons (29,000 liters) to nearby manufacturers.
  • BACARDÍ rum in Tultitlán, Mexico – supplying more than 5,200 gallons (20,000 liters) of alcohol to nearby manufacturer, Grupo Sterk, to help increase production of hand sanitizer by approximately 6,300 gallons (24,000 liters), of which 2,100 gallons (8,000 liters) will be donated by Bacardi to local communities in Tultitlán, Arandas and Atotonilco;
  • GREY GOOSE® vodka in Cognac, France – will supply 7,600 gallons (29,000 liters) of alcohol per day to French companies to increase supply of hand sanitizers by 9,500 gallons (36,000 liters) for local pharmacies, hospitals and the emergency services;
  • BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin in Hampshire, England – is helping to produce a small quantity of hand sanitizers that will be donated to local doctors, chemists and care homes;
  • MARTINI in Pessione, Italy – is supplying alcohol for the production of 1,000 7-ounce (200ml) hand sanitizers for the local community, Red Cross and local emergency services;

All hand sanitizers produced in collaboration with Bacardi contain more than the minimum alcohol content recommended by the World Health Organization for containing the spread of the virus.

About Bacardi
The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, PATRÓN® tequila, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Scotch whisky, ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur, and ERISTOFF® vodka. Founded more than 158 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit or follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or Instagram .


Bimber goes virtual to keep the spirit alive


Bimber goes virtual to keep the spirit alive

London’s Bimber Distillery has today announced that it will be “keeping the spirit alive” as part of the industry’s wider response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The distillery will be moving towards significantly broadening its digital offerings by producing a range of virtual tours and online tasting events so that enthusiast communities can continue to enjoy the Bimber experience from the comfort of their own homes.

In addition, in conjunction with a number of other spirit distilleries, Bimber will be assisting local front-line workers by producing 200 litres of much needed supplies of hand sanitiser from its stock of new make spirit.

Master Distiller Darius Plazewski said “We are gravely concerned about the significant threat that COVID-19 presents. By taking these steps to pivot our business to support both the nationwide health effort, and those staying at home, we hope we can make a difference and at the same time keep the spirit alive.”


  • Hand sanitiser production 

200 litres of hand sanitiser will be offered free of charge to local front-line workers. The distillery will not be producing sanitising products for commercial sale. 

  • About Bimber 

Bimber Distillery produces world-class single malt whisky, handcrafted with passion in West London. As a leading distiller of English whisky, we combine generations of rich distilling heritage, with the finest quality ingredients to create the ultimate craft whisky experience.

Sullivans Cove Wins Best Australian Single Malt at World Whiskies Awards! – Tasmanian Whisky News

Sullivans Cove Named “Best Australian Single Malt”
at World Whiskies Awards

Sullivans Cove Single Malt Tasmanian Whisky has again achieved remarkable success at the World Whiskies Awards, this year claiming the title of Best Australian Single Malt for our 25th Anniversary Special Edition!

The announcement was made at the World Whiskies Awards 2020 ceremony in London last night where Sullivans Cove also received the award for Best Australian Single Cask Single Malt Whisky in the 12 years and under category. This year’s awards follow back to back “World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt” titles in 2018 and 2019, and the award for “World’s Best Single Malt” in 2014.

Hosted by Whisky Magazine, the World Whiskies Awards are the most prestigious and well-respected global whisky competition. The annual contest sees thousands of entries from around the world blind-judged by a large panel including journalists, distillers, retailers and other experts from across the whisky industry. To gain the award for Best Australian Single Malt, Sullivans Cove had to beat out over thirty other entries from distilleries across Australia.

The winning whisky was released last year to commemorate Sullivans Cove’s 25th anniversary, and is to date the oldest ever official distillery bottling of Australian single malt. A total of 502 bottles were released, comprising liquid from four 21-year-old American oak ex-bourbon casks, a length of maturation unprecedented in the still young modern Australian whisky industry.

Sullivans Cove Head Distiller Heather Tillott said about this release, “The 25th Anniversary bottling was an immensely rewarding project. Although our methods have changed somewhat since this whisky was distilled 21 years ago, it’s still distinctly Sullivans Cove and is a wonderful representation of our philosophy, which is to let the spirit speak for itself. Learning the fingerprint of these older casks and putting in the work to perfect the balance and strength of the final product to allow the whisky to express its true self was a pleasure, and we’re hugely proud of the result. To see it do so well on an international stage is a lovely validation of that work and pride.”

Sullivans Cove Managing Director Adam Sable says, “Our team worked tirelessly on this historic release to ensure it was befitting of such a milestone for Sullivans Cove and the Australian whisky industry. Winning “Best Australian Single Malt” overall is a testament to that hard work, and to the fact that good things come to those who wait.”

We’d also like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the other winners and nominees, especially our friends over at Archie Rose Distillery for winning World’s Best Rye Whisky – an incredible achievement for the Aussie whisky industry!

From all of us at Sullivans Cove, thank you for your ongoing support!!

Distillery Focus: Laphroaig at Hard to Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Located on Islay’s south coast, Laphroaig is one of the most iconic of all Scottish distilleries. The profound and unique character of these oily, smoky, medicinal whiskies has divided opinion since the distillery was founded in 1815.

Once highly prized by blenders, Laphroaig is now the best selling Islay single malt, enjoyed by whisky enthusiasts the world over, including Prince Charles who awarded the distillery a Royal Warrant in 1994.

Loved and loathed in equal measure, the whiskies are bold, pungent, intense, and not for the faint hearted!


Meet the people behind the Cotswolds Distillery – English Whisky News

Continuing our series to introduce you to the hard-working individuals at the Cotswolds Distillery, meet Connor, our Events Coordinator.

Have a read on our latest blog to learn more about Connor’s role and to find out his favourite pubs in the Cotswolds for a bite to eat!


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