Archive for October, 2020

Handy & Schiller Barreled Cocktails Awarded at The Fifty Best Competition’s First Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Tasting – American Whiskey News

Handy & Schiller Barreled Cocktails Awarded at The Fifty Best Competition’s First Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Tasting

Barrel-Aged Cocktails Claim Double Gold and Silver Medals 

            New Orleans, LA (Oct. 22, 2020) – In the first year that The Fifty Best wine and spirits competition has held a ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail tasting, both of the Handy & Schiller Barreled Cocktails claimed prestigious honors.

Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned and Handy & Schiller Manhattan competed among 71 contenders for their respective titles. The Old Fashioned was awarded the Double Gold medal, and the Manhattan was awarded a Silver medal.

A panel of judges made up of wine and spirits journalists, spirits professionals, wine and spirit retailers, mixologists, spirits consultants and connoisseurs blind-tasted the RTD cocktails and rated them individually on a five-point scale. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions.

The Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned is made using Buffalo Trace Distillery’s flagship Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Peychaud’s Bitters and is aged in Buffalo Trace barrels. The Handy & Schiller Manhattan is made using the award-winning Sazerac Rye Whiskey, vermouth and Peychaud’s Bitters, and is aged in Sazerac Rye barrels. Both the Old Fashioned and Manhattan are barrel-aged in the warehouses at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Suggested retail pricing for each bottle is $39.99

These two barreled Cocktails are named for two people who had a great impact on the rich cocktail culture in New Orleans, Thomas Handy and John Schiller. Schiller was a New York bartender who found his way to New Orleans and by 1860, began operating the world-famous Sazerac Coffeehouse in the French Quarter. Handy, originally from Maryland, worked for Schiller at the Sazerac Coffeehouse, and later went on to establish a successful importing and wholesale liquor business. Together, in New Orleans, these two people played a role in the early days of cocktail making that helped set the standard and inspiration for cocktails.

Complete results for The Fifty Best, along with tasting notes, can be viewed here:

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 visit

A. D. Rattray “Whisky From The Cask and Personalised by Hand” – Scotch Whisky News


Personalised by hand

The perfect whisky gift. Every bottle is unique.

Our personalised Whiskies From the Cask are single cask whiskies, bottled straight from the cask at cask strength. Once filled, the bottle is dipped in wax and completed with a handwritten label that includes all the whisky details, date bottled and your name or message. Simple choose a whisky, select a bottle size and tell us the message you would like written on the label.




We have delved into our whisky archives and carefully selected the last bottles from several of our previous single casks to create these unique whisky collections. Whether you’re an avid collector or a tasting enthusiast, these one-of-a-kind collections are a fantastic compliment to any whisky portfolio. Each unique set highlights a particular flavour style that can be found in Scotch whisky, from exotic fruits to rich bakery delights. There is only one of each of these single cask collections so grab them while they are still available from our online shop.


1995 Aberlour 25 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt ~ Scotch Whisky News

1995 Aberlour 25 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival)


The gorgeous little distillery at the entrance of the tiny town of the same name has quietly become one of the Scotch-loving world’s darlings. The distillery, owned by blending giant Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard), was built in 1879 and features two 21 thousand-liter wash stills and a pair each of spirits stills, 20 and 15 thousand liters. The distillery’s name means “mouth of the babbling brook,” and indeed a stream meanders next to the distillery, but the distillery’s water comes from Ben Rinnes like many of the other distilleries around the famous mountain. We’ve never been offered a barrel of Aberlour, much less one of such astonishing age. While the distillery itself has been focused on NAS bottlings like their popular A’Bunadh series, the older expressions have become extremely rare. This single hogshead was selected not only for the incredible provenance and rarity, but also its extreme deliciousness. Unlike many modern Aberlours, which have become synonymous with hardcore sherry, this is much more nuanced and idiosyncratic. While by no means a value buy, it does represent a malt that is otherwise unobtainable at nearly any price and its inherent quality and unique character easily merit the price of entry. Only 184 bottles came out of this old hogshead. It was bottled at cask strength without chill-filteration or coloring of any kind.

ralfy review 848 – Three great single malts for 2020

ralfy review 848 – Three great single malts for 2020

Sotheby’s and The Macallan Unveil The Red Collection: A New Collection of Six Classic Aged Single Malt Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

Sotheby’s and The Macallan Unveil The Red Collection:

A New Collection of Six Classic Aged Single Malt Whiskies

from The Macallan Distillery, Launching Today

 *Featuring The Macallan 78 Years Old,

The Oldest Aged Whisky Ever to be Sold at Auction*

Sotheby’s to Offer a Complete Set with Hand-Signed Labels by

Spanish Artist and Illustrator Javi Aznarez

*The Only Artist’s Label Set to be Released by The Macallan*

– Auction in London on 31 October 2020 –

 *Proceeds to be Donated to Food Charity, City Harvest*  

LONDON, 15 October 2020 – Sotheby’s and The Macallan today unveiled The Red Collection, a new classic aged collection of single malt from The Macallan Distillery. The complete set of six whiskies is anchored by The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old, which are joined by two further highly aged bottles at 71 Years Old and 74 Years Old. The sixth and final bottle in this collection has been matured for 78 Years, making it not only the oldest bottle released from The Macallan Distillery, but the oldest age statement whisky ever offered at auction.*

An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in London on 31 October 2020, after being gifted by The Macallan to City Harvest to raise funds for the food charity which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. Estimated at £200,000-800,000, the unique lot will open Sotheby’s first annual sale of Spirits to fall on day that Halloween is celebrated around the world, The Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II + More.

This set differs from the standard release and can be identified by its exclusive labels, which are illustrated and signed by Spanish artist Javi Aznarez. Only two sets contain these labels: Set #1 will remain in The Macallan’s archives and Set #2 is being presented in the Sotheby’s auction – as such, it is the only complete set of its kind to be made available to collectors around the world. The Sotheby’s set also uniquely includes two exclusive display cases and two bespoke tables.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: “We are thrilled to partner with The Macallan to offer The Red Collection, alongside our second offering of The Ultimate Whisky Collection, as part of our inaugural Halloween Spirits sale. This is the only opportunity for whisky collectors to own a truly special Red Collection set with labels hand-signed by Javi Aznarez. This unique event also marks our third charity-related partnership with The Macallan in recent years, following record-breaking prices for The Macallan M Constantine and The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection in Hong Kong. We look forward to continuing this success with the sale of The Red Collection, the proceeds of which will benefit City Harvest London, which has enabled quality surplus food to be redistributed for free to those unable to access food during COVID, providing support for vulnerable people across the city.”

Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship. Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature copper stills, each expression in the collection has been matured in the distillery’s oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, they developed into extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.

The colour red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan, beginning with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824, whose surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.  In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range, which was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies, which featured black labelling.  Almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.

These three characters are featured in an animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with Javi Aznarez, acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several films, including director Wes Anderson’s forthcoming feature, The French Dispatch. The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the most sought-after classical musicians of her generation.

Each bottle in The Red Collection is encased in a hand-crafted oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s oak casks. These boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands across the globe.

Three of the bottles in the collection are also hand-signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 – the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand. The remaining three bottles – The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old – are hand-signed by Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan.

The Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II will bring together whiskies from renowned distilleries in Scotland, Ireland and Japan. Last October, Sotheby’s made history in the world of collectible spirits when the sale of The Ultimate Whisky Collection achieved £7.6 million ($10 million), the highest total for any whisky collection ever offered at auction. Headlined by a bottle of The Macallan Fine & Rare 60-Year-Old 1926, which set an auction record for any bottle of wine or spirit at £1.5 million ($1.9 million), the sale was 100% sold, with all 391 lots snapped up by collectors eager to acquire sought-after and iconic bottlings. Assembled by a private American Connoisseur over some 20 years, it was the most comprehensive catalogue of whisky ever to be offered by a single owner in a single auction. Featuring a roll-call of over 35 distilleries, this year’s offering is estimated to bring in the region of £800,000. The forthcoming sale will also include further lots from other important collectors.


*A whisky’s ‘vintage’ refers to the year the spirit was distilled; its ‘age statement’ denotes length of time it has been matured for in oak casks. 

About Sotheby’s Wine

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide sales in 2019 significantly exceeded $100 million for the second consecutive year, led by a 20% increase in auction sales to a total of $118 million – the highest-ever annual total in Sotheby’s history.

Sotheby’s Wine, with a store located within the auction house’s worldwide headquarters on New York’s Upper East Side, offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions. Expertly assembled by Sotheby’s’ experienced specialists, the everevolving selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with prices beginning at just $13.95. With bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages, each wine is chosen for its expression of its region and value for money. Each bottle selected by Sotheby’s specialist team must pass the brand’s signature “three-glass” tasting guideline, meaning that the tasters must like it enough to want to drink three glasses, or the standard amount enjoyed when sharing a bottle.

The Sotheby’s Wine Store in New York City is located at 1334 York Avenue, and is open Monday through Friday from 10AM to 7PM and Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. Along with a retail location in Hong Kong Sotheby’s Wine also offers all bottles online, 24 hours, at



Smokehead Whisky have announced they’ll be present across the on & off trade in the UK and globally for Halloween 2020 

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky will be emerging in the on and off trade across the UK as well as globally this Halloween. Smokehead-themed Halloween window displays will pop-up in specialist off licences across the UK, with the brand’s Freakishly Tasty Halloween Cocktail range available in Smokehead partner bars.

In time for Halloween 2020, bars and specialists across the UK have stocked-up on the original Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky expression, as well as High Voltage, Sherry Bomb and our brand-new Rum Rebel, which in typical Smokehead style, disrupted International Rum Day on 16th August 2020 with a rebellious launch.

The brand’s bold Freaklishly Tasty Halloween Cocktail range includes the Killer Kimchi, Don’t Bite Snow White and the Frankenshake. These cocktails are not for the faint of heart.




o   50ml Smokehead Original

o   1 tbsp finely chopped kimchi

o   4/5 dashes jalapeno tobacco

o   4/5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

o   Dash of smoked paprika

o   Top up with tomato juice 

Method & garnish

Combine all ingredients and drop in ice. Use half a celery stick, some chives, cherry tomato and a red chilli sliced in half to garnish.



o   50ml Smokehead High Voltage

o   25ml apple liqueur

o   25ml cranberry juice

o   2tbsp honey

o   Top up with cider

Method & garnish

Combine all ingredients and muddle, serve with plenty of ice and fresh green apple to garnish.



o   50ml Smokehead Original

o   25ml coffee liqueur

o   75-100ml banana milk

o   1tbsp smooth peanut butter

o   1 tbsp honey

o   1 scoop chocolate ice cream

o   6/7 drops of doughnut reduction

Method & garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, stir, mix, drop ice in and top with whipped cream, sweets and chocolate sauce.

Commenting on Smokehead’s Halloween 2020 plans, Iain Weir, Smokehead Brand Director, said: “Just like Halloween, Smokehead is not for everyone. We’re looking to cause a spooky stir in the trade this Halloween with our eye-popping off trade window displays and scarily tasty cocktails.

Obviously there have been and may well be further restrictions in the on-trade, but we’ve had a strong year for Smokehead under tough conditions. We’re delighted to see such an eager & enthusiastic response to Smokehead from the trade and will obviously continue to support our partners where we possibly can.

We believe this brand is custom-built for Halloween, and I’m sure our ever-growing tribe of Smokeheads would agree with us.

Enjoy Smokehead neat or in one of our freakishly tasty cocktails. Whatever works for you. After all, it’s your whisky.”   

*Smokehead always encourages responsible drinking*





About Smokehead:

  • Smokehead is an Islay Single Malt Whisky and has been given a bold new look by Ian Macleod Distillers.
  • Smokehead has been labelled the wild one of Single Malt Whisky and is not for everyone.
  • Award-winning premium Scotch whisky that has an attitude-led positioning and smoky taste. 

About Ian Macleod Distillers:

  • Established in 1933, Ian Macleod Distillers is one of Scotland’s leading independent, family-owned distillers, blenders and bottlers.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers is the world’s 10th largest Scotch Whisky company, producing and selling over 15 million bottles of spirits every year.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers has built up an enviable portfolio of premium quality spirits and is proud brand proprietor of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Rosebank and Smokehead Scotch whiskies and Edinburgh Gin to name but a few.

GlenDronach Halloween Whisky and Chocolate Event at The Whisky Shop #SFO – Scotch Whisky News

Friday October 30th, 6:30 PM:

GlenDronach Halloween Whisky and Chocolate Event

with Rory Glasgow

Celebrate Halloween with The Whisky Shop at our expert presented virtual tasting! We’ve pulled out all the stops for our first virtual holiday tasting, with single malt, chocolates, distillery gifts, and whisky expert Rory Glasgow presenting. Our tasting pairs the award-winning Highland dram with Berkeley based chocolate maker TCHO’s richly flavored sweets, a luxurious experience for any palate and perfect for Halloween.

Tasting sets are sold out!

However this event is still free to view and join.

Click Here to RSVP

If you would like to buy GlenDronach in advance, all bottles are 10% off with the code ‘VIRTUAL‘ at checkout.

Bunnahabhain 12 Year for Only $74.99 — An Unpeated Islay Treasure – Scotch Whisky News

Unparalleled Value in a Classic Islay Single Cask Exclusive

2007 Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask

Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99)

NOTE: Our walk-in retail locations are currently closed. We have curbside pickup and low cost (often 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 couldn’t believe our good fortune when we happened upon this cask of Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old. Bunnahabhain is one of Islay’s most respected distillers and, with a large and devoted following, their 12-year-old expressions such as this usually command top dollar. But thanks to our strong relationships with many of Scotland’s best producers, we are able to ferret out remarkable casks at unheard of prices. Known for its pure, zesty, and unpeated style, Bunnahabhain delivered a real stunner with this engagingly complex dram. It’s a 12 Year that exudes pure freshness and vitality and is perfect for those who enjoy a more nuanced Scotch. At the same time, this single cask exclusive possesses an understated power, due in no small measure to the superb quality of the malt that goes into it. Bunnahabhain has been around since 1881, and little has changed since those early days, so this is a classic old-school Scotch that makes traditionalists swoon. This hogshead produced a mere 262 bottles, so there’s not a lot to go around, and at only $75, we don’t expect this cask strength stunner to last for long. Like the 28 Year Old Cameronbridge bargain that we offered last week, we expect this Bunnahabhain to sell out in a matter of hours, so you’ll need to act quickly to make this your own.

2007 Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99) —This product is expected to arrive for shipment or pickup by late November 2020.

This excellent cask of Bunnahabhain is proof that even with the incredible demand for Islay malt (both peated and unpeated) and the additional costs due to recent tariffs, we’re still able to secure single casks from top-tier distilleries at absolutely unbelievable prices. This legendary distillery on the shores just north of Port Askaig is one of Islay’s most unique. Not a lot has changed there since it was built in 1881. Located at the bottom of a steep cliff overlooking the Paps of Jura, it was once the perfect spot to load ships with the distillery’s excellent spirit. Famous for being the unpeated Islay whisky, Bunnahabhain uses 100% Concerto malt ground on their antique Porteus mill. Their massive mash tun (12.5 tonnes) feeds 6 Oregon pine fermenters holding more than 66 thousand liters of wash. Fermentation is a long slow 100 hours before distillation on their odd onion-shaped stills. Capacity is a relatively small 2.5 million liters per year. Much of that capacity is still dedicated to blending for various brands including Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Black Bottle. Typically when we see old malt from this excellent distillery, the prices are absolutely astronomical, but we were very pleased to see this mature barrel offered at a very solid price point. Even more lovely is the freshness of the spirit itself, which is brimming with zesty citrus, ripe orchard fruit and subtle ocean spray. This hogshead turned out 262 bottles at cask strength.

The Whisky Shop “PRICE DROP: new bottles added!” ✨ – Whisky News

Bag a whisky bargain!

From Highland Park’s award-winning 18 Year Old to Caol Ila’s Distillers Edition – here’s a sneak peek at what’s on sale this week. Shop the sale to discover the rest and snap these prices up before they disappear!

Shop the Sale ›

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