Archive for September, 2021

Sherry bomb alert! New Darkness bottles are in stock…at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

New indie sherry bomb alert from Darkness!

Those new to the world of Scotch might find the term ‘sherry bomb’ a bit threatening… But fear not, the reality is actually pleasing, deep red hues and rich, full bodied character – think liquid Christmas cake! The Darkness range are all finished in sherry octaves – very small casks which create intense interaction between the wood and the spirit. Have a gander at the new bottles we have in!

View all new Releases → 

1990 Inchgower 30 Year “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogsheads Cask Strength Single Malt ~ Scotch Whisky News

1990 Inchgower 30 Year “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Hogsheads Cask Strength

Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival)

$249.99 View

Review by: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/10/2021 

I was really not expecting to love this whisky so much. Not that I have any preconceived notion of Inchgower, in fact I think it’s an absolute sleeper of a property and totally underrated. But it’s not known to wow and for $250 -even with the BIG 30 attached- its GOT TO WOW. But jeez this one delivers, although it’s not flashy by any means. The color is deep gold. The nose is VERY old school, not just old malt, but has the feeling of being bottled long ago. The nose is subtle but filled with ripe mango, nougat, dried pear, honey crisps, cherry candies, toasted barley and Tahitian vanilla. On the palate its ripe and round and complete. Strong vanilla still and plenty of honey, pointed with spicy galangal and shisho. Still some ultra ripe tropical fruit toward the finish. With just a drop or two of water this thing explodes with sweet fruit, more creamy nougat candy, wild raw honey and gorgeous pure barley. On the palate is adds a big of spice and some slight menthol and that first bite of a dark chocolate kirsch truffle. This stuff is absolutely exemplary and really very unique. Inchgower is sure to muscle up to the big boy table eventually and this is a big first step toward that moment.

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Kilkerran – Scotch Whisky News

Kilkerran is adored. But what happens when it’s heavily peated…for less than £50. Magic.

A breathtaking combination of delicate peat (84PPM) and remarkable seeetness from some time being open. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a peated whisky that balances these flavours like this. The sweetness is unexpected, but arrived in the nose with aplomb of vanilla sponge and Madeira cake. The smoke is gentle but writhing constantly at corners of your mouth.




Fall Release is a Sensory Showcase of Wood’s Impact on Texture and Mouthfeel

Loretto, Ky. – Maker’s Mark®, the iconic Kentucky bourbon brand, today debuted the latest entry in its innovative Wood Finishing Series, Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Limited Release: FAE-02. The distillery’s newest stave-finished bourbon is the second of a complementary pair of 2021 limited edition releases and was thoughtfully crafted as a texturally rich, softer complement to spring’s FAE-01.

Every whisky in the distillery’s Wood Finishing Series tells a story about the purposeful way Maker’s Mark has been crafted since its inception. Maker’s Mark has never chill-filtered its whisky, a decision that allows the classic bourbon to retain its signature character and depth of flavor by leaving naturally present fatty acid esters (FAEs) in the whisky. Using the distillery’s pioneering wood stave-finishing technique, the 2021 Limited Releases FAE-01 and FAE-02 celebrate and amplify characteristics that stem from that choice – namely dark, woody notes and a rich, full-bodied texture, respectively.

2021 Limited Release: FAE-02 is produced using double-heat-treated virgin French Oak barrel staves that undergo an infrared exposure prior to a flame toast finish. The process yields a Maker’s Mark bourbon that exhibits a distinctly luscious mouthfeel. Unlike FAE-01, which used American Oak staves to amplify notes of dark leathery tobacco and barrel-aged fruit, FAE-02 is characterized by a gentler, mouthcoating palate of light caramel and deep oak.

“Our first 2021 release was crafted to hit you in the face with big, bold aroma and flavor, just like standing in a barrel warehouse – wood, tobacco and spicy dried fruit,” says Jane Bowie, Director of Innovation at Maker’s Mark. “With FAE-02, we wanted to explore the softer side of our 2021 taste vision by placing more of the focus on rich, consistent texture and tone that stems from fatty acid esters. Just like the things we find so comforting about artisanal butters, olive oils and creamy spreads, FAE-02 delivers a fattier, full-bodied, mature Maker’s Mark bourbon that makes for an ideal sip on a Fall evening.”

Like all Wood Finishing Series offerings – including Maker’s Mark 46® and Maker’s Mark® Private Selection – FAE-02 was crafted by finishing fully-matured, cask strength Maker’s Mark in secondary barrels fitted with the proprietary wood staves. The barrels are stored in Maker’s Mark’s limestone cellar for additional aging, where the cask strength bourbon interacts with the wood staves to develop the expression’s unique taste profile.

Bottled at 109.1 proof, the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2021 Limited Release: FAE-02 is rolling out now in limited quantities to retailers across the country, available while supplies last. The new bourbon will retail for a suggested price of $59.99. FAE-02, along with FAE-01, will also be included in the September shipment of The Whisky Drop, a new direct-to-consumer program from Maker’s Mark available in very limited quantities in Kentucky and Washington D.C. Each season, eligible program subscribers age 21 and older will receive a package containing two hand-selected, limited bottles of Maker’s Mark, delivered right to their doorstep.

About Maker’s Mark® Bourbon

In 1953, in Loretto, Kentucky, Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency, and finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker’s Mark® continues to make its bourbon the same way. In recent years, Maker’s Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio including Maker’s Mark 46®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength, and Maker’s Mark® Private Selection, the brand’s first-ever custom barrel program. In 1980, the Maker’s Mark distillery became the first distillery in America to be designated a National Historic Landmark and has also been decreed as the “world’s oldest operating bourbon whiskey distillery” by Guinness World Records. It remains one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. For more information, visit


Maker’s Mark®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength and Maker’s Mark 46® Bourbon Whisky, 45-57% Alc./Vol.

Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.

Bruichladdich Octomore Edition 12s – Scotch Whisky News


Octomore defies logic. Rewards the unreasonable. It takes courage and belief. But, for the seeker of truth there is light.

The industry norm is not accepted here. Assured in its convictions, Octomore is five years old, super heavily peated and bottled at cask strength. The makers of the world’s most heavily peated spirit challenge you, like the spirit itself, to push beyond the expected and explore new realms of flavour. This endlessly alluring, delicate but powerful, supercharged single malt must be experienced to be believed.

Now entering its 12th series, Octomore demonstrates its 100+ PPM prowess with muscularity in each youthful drop. As with previous editions, the 12.1 acts as the base or control of the experimental range, as a necessary springboard for new domains of discovery. The 12.2 offers an alternative maturation to its .1 counterpart, this time in a sublimely balanced ex-Sauternes cask profile. Finally, the 12.3 explores Islay grown barley and the terroir of the distiller’s home-grown grain combined with sherry maturation for the first time in history.

The troika will appear together in specialist retail stores for the first time ever. Offering a cohesive schooling on Bruichladdich Distillery’s most experimental peat endeavours, this series will become available in October, 2021.


PPM: 130.8


Nowhere is the dualism of the Octomore super heavily peated series more pertinent than in the .1 edition. Never as expected, delicate but powerful, this is unadulterated heavy smoke balanced with vivacious and dynamic, fruity and floral distillate.

While Octomore in itself does not conform to tradition, Head Distiller Adam Hannett is inclined to mature Octomore .1 editions solely in ex-American oak casks for 5 vibrant years. Octomore 12.1 is the necessary control for the rest of the series, as experiments within an experiment, but this baseline should not be underestimated.

Mainland grown Scottish barley is distilled in a patient and considered trickle. The stripped back maturation profile allows a sensory conversation that highlights the cereal-rich, malty notes of this barley-forward single malt. Vanilla, citrus and fudge culminate in an enigmatic challenge to received whisky wisdom.


PPM: 129.7


Octomore 12.2 follows in the footsteps of previous Sauternes legends. The now infamous Octomore 4.2 (Comus) became one of the most acclaimed and sought-aſter whiskies in our distillery’s portfolio, confirming that heavy peat smoke combined with sweet dessert wine of Sauternes is an incredible pairing.

This Octomore 12.2 would spend three and a half years in ex-American oak casks, building a solid foundation of fruity and floral spirit in our lochside warehouses before being recasked in to impeccable quality Sauternes casks.

The pivotal role of the Sauternes casks would add 18 months of supercharged fruit. Melon, white peach, honeysuckle and coconut add a real twist and sweetness to compliment the peat smoke of this heavily phenolic malt.


PPM: 118.1


Octomore 12.3 is single vintage, single field, single malt. Raised in Church Field on Octomore Farm by farmer James Brown, this Islay grown barley was trickle distilled through tall narrow necked stills just two miles from where it was grown.

The terroir-driven spirit would take two separate journeys before being combined; 75% was filled into ex-American oak casks, while the remaining 25% spent five years maturing in genuine Pedro Ximenez Solera casks from Jerez-based bodega Fernando de Castilla.

This Islay barley spirit has breathed slowly and delicately for five aged years, its salty citrus marine note is an ode to where the barley was grown and the warehouse’s proximity to the sea. The Pedro Ximenez casks contribute sweet dried fruit notes which highlight the rich dry peat smoke of Octomore.

Dive into the detail of Orchard House by Compass Box – Scotch Whisky News

We know many of you share our delight in the details of whiskymaking. So as we launch Orchard House, we’d like to dive into some of the geekier aspects of its story. The fruity, spirit-forward style of Orchard House is a result of key decisions we’ve made in the whiskymaking process, as well as changes in barrel profiles over time. Here’s our whiskymaker James Saxon to explain more…

Finely judged filling strengths
Many years ago, the late, great Dr Jim Swan inspired us to begin filling spirit at 58% ABV, rather than the industry standard 63.5%. Research had found more sugars – many derived from the breakdown of cellulose and hemicellulose – can be drawn from the oak at strengths below 60% ABV. Orchard House is a great example of this, and with nearly two-thirds filled at the lower strength, you get added vanilla creaminess and citrusy sweetness. Also, once maturation is completed, less water is required to reach bottling strength and the finished whisky experiences less dilution.

The changing face of Bourbon barrels
Orchard House uses whiskies aged in ‘water-rinsed’ first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butts and our French oak custom barrels. Water-rinsing barrels after they are emptied of whiskey in the US before shipping to Scotland has become widespread in recent years. This process extracts the maximum amount of alcohol from the barrel to the benefit of the American distillers, but also removes a degree of the oak’s intensity.

The sweet spot between first and second fill
This is serendipitous whiskymaking. We thought we were sourcing classic ‘first fill’ barrels, but the maturation profile of the casks falls somewhere between first and second, offering comparable quantities of vanilla and honey notes with less intense oily spice and creamed coconut flavours. This has opened up a whole new world to us, perfectly preserving and enhancing the fragrant nature and syrupy texture of our sourced spirits, enabling the delicate deliciousness of Orchard House to come to fruition.

Share & Enjoy!

James Saxon

P.S. You can buy Orchard House in Europe and other select regions now and from mid-October in the US. Please get in touch if you need any help finding your nearest stockist.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society ‘Great Gathering Giveaway’ – Scotch Whisky News



We’ve enjoyed exceptional whiskies this month, in the company of our members around the world – a huge thanks to everyone who got involved. Now, as an exciting finale to our Gathering celebrations, we’re offering great savings on some extra special whiskies.

There’s still time to enjoy our Gathering celebrations, and from now until Thursday, 30 September we’re offering members these juicy savings.


Never be without something wonderful in your whisky glass. Use our Great Gathering Giveaway coupon code online to enjoy a 15% saving on Society bottles priced £80 and over.


Apply coupon code to your online basket, your discount will be applied automatically against bottles priced £80 and over. Coupon code can be used multiple times. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, applied retrospectively or exchanged for cash.

Available online until Thursday, 30 September


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video


This Saturday: Taste Glengoyne in-store tasting at The Whisky Shop #SFO – Scotch Whisky News

Single Malt Saturday Returns!

Weekly In-store Tastings featuring Single Malt Whiskies

Saturday, October 2nd,



Established in 1833, Highland distillery Glengoyne creates wonderful, award-winning drams through Scotland’s slowest distillation. Their unhurried approach to whisky begins with exclusively air-dried barley, never heated or peated, contributing to the whisky’s smooth, sweet taste. Discover the whiskys yourself at this expert presented tasting. We’ll have a variety of Glengoyne’s award winning drams poured just for you!

Click Here to RSVP

(or email us at

As per city ordinance, we are now required to ask all guests for Proof of Vaccination before attending our tastings. Please be prepared to provide this when you arrive. More details can be found HERE This is a San Francisco ordinance – The Whisky Shop does not have control over this rule. If we don’t implement the new laws we face the possibility of being fined, shut down, or losing our business license. Thank you for your patience & understanding! We look forward to sharing a dram with you.

Collectible Gems: Limited Availability and New Releases at K&L California – Whisky News

Collectible Gems: Limited Availability and New Releases

Collectible spirits don’t have to be sold out to be special. We have a few absolutely brilliant examples that speak loudly to this, from George Dickel’s award-winning 13 Year Old to Daftmill’s treasured “Summer Batch.” For a piece of history, don’t miss Leopold Bros’ amazing Three Chamber Rye crafted around pre-prohibition era recipes.

2007 George Dickel 13 Year Old “2021 Release” Bottled In Bond Tennessee Whisky (750ml) $44.99 View

Wild Turkey “Rare Breed” Small Batch Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml) $59.99 View

Calumet Farm 15 Year Old “Single Rack Black” Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $119.99 View

2009 Daftmill “Summer Batch Release” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $229.99 View

Leopold Bros. “Collector’s Edition” Bottled In Bond Three Chamber Rye Whiskey (750ml) $249.99 View

ralfy review 895 Extras – The Bruichladdich Album – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 895 Extras – The Bruichladdich Album

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