Archive for January, 2021



Michter’s highly sought-after US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye 2020 release has arrived in the UK, distributed exclusively by Speciality Brands.

This release is a great favourite amongst whiskey enthusiasts globally. As with all of Michter’s limited production whiskeys these are subject to allocation, with only a few bottles of US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye available at selected retailers in the UK.

“The reception that our Toasted Barrel Finish whiskeys have received is a result of tremendously focused work done by our production team led by Master Distiller Dan McKee and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson. Despite the continuing shortages across all our whiskey stocks, we really wanted to make some of our rye available for this special release,” says Joseph J. Magliocco, Michter’s President.

Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is made by taking fully matured Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye at barrel strength and then further aging it in a second custom barrel made to the specifications set by Michter’s Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson.

Andrea Wilson comments, “For this release, we selected rye barrels aged to peak quality and then dumped each single barrel into a second barrel assembled from 24 month naturally seasoned and air dried wood. The second barrel was custom toasted to create a rich and decadent rye whiskey experience.”

The strength of the majority of the barrels selected for this release ranges from 53.6 to 55.6% ABV. The rye whiskey displays enhanced spice notes, delicate chocolate overtones, vanilla, honey, hints of roasted nuts and dates. It has a lingering finish of burnt brown sugar reminiscent of crème brûlée complemented by smokey campfire highlights.

Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye, 70cl, RRP £98 is available nationwide at selected retailers.

Announcement: 2021 Campbeltown Malts Festival – Scotch Whisky News

A statement regarding the 2021 Campbeltown Malts Festival:

Due to the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential Campbeltown Malts Festival 2021 has been cancelled.

As the UK is currently in the midst of lockdown restrictions and it is unlikely that mass gatherings will be allowed by May, we feel that this is the only option for us.

We thank you for your understanding regarding this decision and hope that we will be able to welcome you all back to the distilleries for the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022. Assuming that the festival is able to take place next year, the 2022 festival will run from Tuesday 24th to Friday 27th May.

In the meantime, we are working on exciting plans to share some drams with you in other ways so please keep an eye on our social media for updates in the future.


Springbank and Kilkerran

The Whisky Shop “Save on Dalmore, Macallan and More!” – Whisky Sale News

New bottles added to our biggest sale yet!

Shop top offers on warming drams that’ll see you through winter.

Stock up on Dalmore, Balvenie, Arran and more – on offer for a limited time only and while stocks last!

Shop our Whisky Sale ›

New Linkwood, Glen Grant & Strathisla 30 year old whiskies at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

30+ Year Old Single Cask Whiskies

Four new vintage malts selected by Gordon & MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice series. These won’t hang around for long!

Linkwood 30 Year Old

Glen Grant 30 Year Old

Longmore 33 Year Old

Strathisla 33 Year Old

Plus a smokey Ledaig 12 Year Old matured in Hermitage wine casks.

Shop New Arrivals

Whisky Wednesday Reviews……. – Whisky News

The details we await…….



-Limited Edition wishes a bon voyage to the former captain of the Ardbeg ship-

To commemorate the retirement of Distillery Manager Mickey Heads, Ardbeg has announced the launch of Arrrrrrrdbeg! – an exciting Limited Edition bottling which celebrates his time at the helm.

Captain of the Ardbeg ship since 2007, Mickey retired in late 2020, after 13 whisky-packed and eventful years. During his time at the Distillery, he oversaw the distillation of dozens of fine Ardbeg expressions, took part in Ardbeg celebrations from Islay to Illinois, took home the title of IWC ‘Distillery of the Year’ three times in a row, and was named Distillery Manager of the Year 2014.

Exclusively available to the Ardbeg Committee from 1st February 2021, Arrrrrrrdbeg! is the Distillery’s first whisky wholly matured in ex-rye casks. It has a spicy mouthfeel igniting a blunderbuss of fruity flavours, while the long finish lingers with gentle smoke listing on the palate. The bottle’s striking illustrated label depicts Mickey as a salty seadog and is the creation of Butcher Billy, a renowned Brazilian artist and graphic designer.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Whisky Creation at Ardbeg, said:

“Working with Mickey has been an absolute joy. He’s somebody with a genuine passion for Ardbeg and we hope that this bottling will take pride of place in his collection. He’s presided over many momentous Ardbegs over the years, but this ‘end of an era’ edition is a special one. The spirit inside is pretty special too: Arrrrrrrdbeg! is the Distillery’s first ever ex-rye cask whisky. With notes of smoked banana and pear, sweet toffee and that distinctive Ardbeg smoke, it’s the perfectly peaty parting gift.”

Mickey Heads, Distillery Manager, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to spend the last 13 years heading the crew at the greatest Distillery on earth. I had the best team of people anyone could wish for and I’m proud that we’ve been responsible for producing so many wonderful Ardbegs along the way. As for this bottling, well I’m honoured that a place that has already given me so much would celebrate my retirement in such a thoughtful way. And to have my image on a bottle, that’s a dream come true!

“Who knows what retirement holds for me, but I know I’ll be spending a lot of time out fishing. And, as ongoing Chairman of the Ardbeg Committee, I’m sure I’ll be dropping by the Distillery often.”

As part of the Arrrrrrrdbeg! launch, Mickey has recorded a farewell tasting film and Q&A, which fans can watch from the comfort of their own homes. And to help them get into the swashbuckling spirit, Ardbeg have also put together a downloadable kit full of pirate props, available from

While he is stepping down as Distillery Manager, Mickey will not be disappearing from the world of Ardbeg altogether. To the delight of fans, he will be continuing in his role as Chairman of the Ardbeg Committee.

Arrrrrrrdbeg will be available through and Ardbeg embassies from February 2021, RRP: £145.

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Tasting Notes 

Colour: Straw

Nose: On the nose, aromas of smoked banana and pear drift into hints of rye bread, sweet vanilla toffee and the gentlest breeze of aniseed. With a splash of water, citrusy lemon and lime course through the senses, while refreshing notes of sherbet and sweet pastry come to the fore.

Taste: A spicy mouthfeel hoists up and ignites a blunderbuss of fruity flavours, such as melon and kiwi. An armada of aniseed appears, tailed by notes of smoked toffee and a distant hint of sourdough biscuits.

Finish: Finally, the long finish lingers, leaving seaspray, brazil nuts and faint smoke listing on the palate.

ABV: 51.8%

Cask type: Wholly matured in ex-rye casks. A first for Ardbeg.

Non age statement.

RRP: £145 


Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky.  Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts.  Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.  During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee.  The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.  Today there are more than 100,000 members of the Ardbeg Committee in over 130 countries.  Committee Members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings.  Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at


Ardbeg is the world’s most highly awarded smoky single malt whisky.  Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions.  Ardbeg was twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013).  At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’.  The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100.  Meanwhile, both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2019, Dr Bill Lumsden was awarded Master Distiller of the Year for the third time in four years. Ardbeg 10 Years Old also won the Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Year Old at the International Whisky Competition 2019, while the Ardbeg Distillery won the Distillery of the Year 2019. In 2020, the International Whisky Competition awarded Ardbeg Corryvreckan first place for Best Single Malt Scotch, Best Single Malt Scotch (No Age Statement), Best cask Strength (Over 57% ABV), Best Peated Scotch and Best Islay Single Malt. Ardbeg Wee Beastie also earned first place for Best Single Malt Scotch Under 10 Year Old and The Ardbeg Distillery achieved another Distillery of the Year award.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Impex Beverages “A Look Back on 2020 as We Look Forward to 2021” – Whisky News

As we embark upon a New Year and a new us, we wanted to follow our tradition of looking back at the year we’ve just left behind and the promise of the year ahead!

2020 was a year of many challenges but from those challenges came some of the best successes.  We learned new ways to interact with each other, found ways to be kinder to ourselves, to our neighbors, and even to strangers.  We forged new relationships at virtual events and had the opportunity to bring people from all over the world into our homes as we learned more about each other and the things we are passionate about.  Most of all we learned how important it was to make the most out of what was important to us.

At ImpEx we saw many blessings come out of 2020. As we grew and added new brands and expressions to our portfolio our team had the pleasure of virtually meeting with many of you to share a dram, some knowledge, great stories, and some laughs.  We came together as an industry and community to support each other and the industry itself.

These carefully curated relationships, events, and efforts helped to pave the way for what turned out to be quite a rewarding year for ImpEx, our brands, our suppliers, our distributors, and our customers.

We thank all of you for your continued support and look forward to seeing each other soon and feeling the energy that comes with in-person events and interactions!

~Sam Filmus, President and CEO
ImpEx Beverages

A few words from Chris Uhde, Vice President of ImpEx Beverages

A few words from Joshua Hatton, National Sales Director.


We launched some amazing new brands:

Single Malts of Scotland, GlenAllachie, the M&H Core Range and had some amazing Limited Releases and Single Casks from Kilchoman, Penderyn, Port Askaig, Single Cask Nation, M&H, Kurayoshi, Tottori, Fukano, and Ohishi.

We have had the opportunity for our brands to be recognized in some very prestigious competitions and publications in 2020

  • Kilchoman U.S. Small Batch No. 1 – Double Gold, 92 Points
  • Port Askaig 110 – Double Gold, “Best Independent Merchant Single Malt”
  • Port Askaig 8 year old – Gold
  • Ohishi ex-Brandy Cask 10 year old – Double Gold, “Best Single Grain Whisky” in the World!
  • Ohishi Islay Cask Finish – Double Gold
  • Penderyn The Peated – Double Gold
  • Penderyn Rich Oak – Gold
  • Penderyn Portwood – Gold

You can view results for SFWSC using their search function by Clicking here.

  • Port Askaig 8 year old – Gold Outstanding, Best in Class, Best in Show
  • Kilchoman Machir Bay – Gold

The full list of award winners can be found here.

  • Gouden Carolus Belgian Single Malt – Gold
  • Ohishi Tokubetsu Reserve – Gold
  • Kilchoman Machir Bay – Gold

Full results can be found here.

…and we rounded out the year with Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 of 2020 with new comer M&H Classic winning the hearts of the judges on the discerning blind tasting panel.

The prestigious International Spirits Competition, 50 Best, World Whisky Masters, Frankfurt International

We launched our ImpEx 3D seriesDistillery Deep Dives with more to come in 2021!

We joined Groups of Whisky Lovers, Facebook Fans, Instagram Collaborators, Podcast Pioneers, and Consumer, Retailer, Distributor teams in numerous virtual events to share in the joy of socially distanced celebrations and knowledge sessions.

None of this could have been accomplished without our amazing team of professionals, our suppliers, our distribution and retail partners, and the consumers that make it all worth it.

Thanks for being a part of our journey the last year, we look forward to sharing an even more amazing 2021 with you as the year drinks on!

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don’t hesitate to email

Scotch Whisky Auctions “Contactless Doorstep Collection & Delivery – Whisky Auction News

Due to the latest Covid restriction our office is closed to the public and we are unable to host our monthly collections throughout the UK. This has resulted in customers being unable to drop bottles for future auctions or collect their purchases from previous auctions.

In February we will be offering a free contactless doorstep collection to customers sending 10+ bottles or bottles to the value of £1000 and above. If you would like to be included in this please complete the form which can be found here. As this is a contactless doorstep collection, we will require your bottles to be boxed with your name and registered email address clearly marked on the front of the box. Additionally a submission sheet should be completed and packed with your bottles.

We are also offering a delivery service, there is a small fee for this. The delivery charge is £12 (inc VAT) per delivery regardless of the number of bottles to be delivered. Please complete the form which can be found here to request this, we will then be in touch with your invoice.

Please complete the request form as soon as possible. This service is subject to availability and only available to our mainland UK customers.

Stay Safe

The SWA Collection Team

Collection/Delivery Request Form

Submission Sheet

Berry Bros. & Rudd Exceptional Casks #6011 – 1975 45 Year Old Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Glenburgie – Vintage 1975 – 45 Year Old Whisky

44.1% ABV | 70cl

This wise old Speysider initially gives musty aromas of old leather, dusty attics and cigar boxes, however a little time in the glass, and perhaps a little warmth from one’s hands reveals a deeper fruity side. The palate is truly mouthcoating, with an old-style tropical fruit and waxy character building to an immensely complex and balanced experience. The long finish shows all the personality this spirit has built up over a near half century of maturation. Immense, unique and mindbogglingly good.



Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 367: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight – Scotch Whisky News

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 367: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, was secretly hoping for a fourth release in the Ghost & Rare Series and this one actually would fit in that series (same luxurious packaging and it has some ‘ghost’ distilleries in the mix), but for the 200th anniversary Johnnie Walker launched this Blue Label under the banner Legendary Eight. That tells us three things. One: the blend is composed of legendary whiskies, being the malts Lagavulin, Oban, Teaninich, Blair Athol and Brora, upholstered with the grains Port Dundas, Cameronbridge and Cambus. Two: if you are going to call your whisky legendary, it needs to contain liquid from closed distilleries. Yep: Brora, Port Dundas and Cambus fit the bill. Third: it will not come cheap. This release will set you back some 300 EUR.

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