The 2018 Whisky Raids “How did that happen?” – Whisky Confiscation News



Another year? How did that happen? 

It’s been nearly 1 year since The Great Whisky Raid of 2018, not much has happened lately but we are trying to work with the government to find a solution to the unlawful seizure of 242 bottles of some of the rarest whisky on earth and to see a policy change whereby bars and restaurants are able to source product from private retailers.

“Bars or Restaurants that specialize in exotic products that they can’t get through the public wholesaler should be able to access that kind of product legally”  David Eby, Attorney General, January 2018. But still no change.

We stand by our concerns surrounding the raid:

1: The manner in which the raid and seizure was handled: we feel that the government agents breached the Canadian Charter and were required to produce a seizure warrant as they seized the whisky “as evidence in an on going investigation”

2: Why the government refuses to allow licensees to purchase products from private retailers.

Last year industry lawyer Mark Hicken was called upon to review BC’s archaic liquor laws and through him, the review panel and submissions from industry stakeholders, of which we made 2 submissions. The final report containing 24 recommendations was handed to Attorney General David Eby on April 30th 2018 and has since been sitting on his desk collecting dust.

See The Report Here

Of all the recommendations in the report the one we have been advocating for is Licensee to Licensee sales (The Sourcing of Product, recommendation #11 on page 18 of the report). With the implementation of this recommendation we would be able to continue adding rare and wonderful whiskies to our collection including the fabulous whiskies from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

#11 The Sourcing of Product:”Hospitality licensees should not be restricted to buying their liquor products from government retail stores. Such licensees should be able to buy from any licensed source in BC including private retailers. In this way, hospitality licensees will have alternative sources for products where the wholesale system minimums are not met. An appropriate reporting mechanism should be established for such sales in order to ensure that the data relating to sales in this channel is not lost.”

To help out there is a petition on line: Free The Whisky

Here are a few links if you’d like to read further: 

Scotch Whisky Magazine          Forbes          Scout Magazine

The Georgia Straight           Vancouver is Awesome          Global News

CBC           The Globe and Mail          CTV

We still have the largest whisky selection in the country and have nearly a 1000 whiskies on our shelves.

The monthly Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show with Joe Leary and Darryl Lamb is still being hosted at The Kitchen. Tune in to TSN Radio 1410 at noon on the first Saturday of each month. you can click here to listen to past broadcasts

Our Partner Scotch Malt Whisky Society retailer is Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village and host to our monthly Society Outturns on the first Tuesday and Thursday of the month. Allura and I present on the Tuesday

Remembrance Day: Lest we forget


Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to our friends in the United States of America!

Remembrance Day: Lest we forget


Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


To all our readers – a big thank-you for supporting World Whisky Day throughout 2016. We’ll raise a dram on Saturday to wish you all a happy and successful new year and we look forward to you all helping us celebrate World Whisky Day in 2017!

Remembrance Day: Lest we forget


Compass Box Whisky “Please Support Our Campaign For Greater Age Transparency in Scotch Whisky.”


Please support our campaign for greater age transparency in Scotch whisky.

Since launching Compass Box we have always tried to be as open with our customers as possible. However, late last year we were informed that the way we’ve been communicating the age of the components in our whiskies is illegal. By offering complete transparency around the age of every whisky we use, we have been breaking UK and EU Regulations governing the marketing and promotion of spirits.

It turns out that Scotch whisky is one of the few products where it is prohibited by law to be fully open and honest with consumers. We believe that Scotch whisky producers should have the freedom to offer their customers complete, unbiased and clear information on the age of every component used in their whiskies. That those customers have the right to know exactly what it is they’re drinking.

For these reasons, we’re launching a campaign today to change the current regulations – and we’re asking for your support. Please visit our website, read our proposed amends and – if you agree with our thinking – sign our Statement of Beliefs. Your support will help lobby UK and EU authorities to change the current regulations for the better.

With thanks,

Whiskymaker John Glaser



Remembrance Day: Lest we forget


THE FIRST OF THE LAST GREAT MALTS at Royal Mile Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News




AULTMORE 12 Year Old £43.95


 CRAIGELLACHIE  13 Year Old £42.95


 CRAIGELLACHIE 17 Year Old £81.95


ABERFELDY  21 year old £114.95


 CRAIGELLACHIE 23 year old £264.95


 AULTMORE 25 year old £294.95

It’s been a six year labour of love for Stephen Marshall, Bacardi Global Whisky Marketing Manager, developing these new whiskies. Having recently sampled some of them a staff tasting session we can whole heartedly say that his efforts have not been in vain. They are great drams and we highly recommend them.

In the past Bacardi have under-utilised the product from their whisky distilleries, preferring to focus primarily on maintaining the world wide success of their Dewars and Lawsons blended Scotch whiskies. Now, however, you will be able to enjoy some fine single malts from not only Aberfeldy, but also Craigellachie, Aulltmore and in due course The Deveron (Macduff) and Royal Brackla. This is great news for whisky lovers and, contrary to current trends, all these new and beautifully packaged malts will carry an age statement. We can’t help but admire the refreshingly old fashioned approach of letting the whiskies speak for themselves at a variety of different age statements. It’s also quite wonderful to have the chance to try brand new single malts from distilleries that have a history of being highly rated by blenders, but are relatively unknown to single malt drinkers.

Whisky Wednesday Visits “Hard to Find Whisky” – Scotch Whisky News


On Sunday the 9th November I was invited to Birmingham’s Hard To Find Whisky, the UK’s largest whisky specialist retailer, for a bloggers day. 

The new shop is located in the Jewellery Quarter, one of the city’s most historic areas. The frontage exudes style and luxury with a modern glass door and marble steps leading in. The entrance area alone displays some seriously rare Johnnie Walker bottlings and a huge variety of rare Jack Daniel’s bottles. 

Once inside, it’s hard not to be impressed. Over 22 units there are displayed 3,500 bottles, from entry level Grants’ blend to their jewel in the crown bottling, the Macallan 1928 50 Year Old, on sale at £35,000. It is clear from spending an afternoon in this shop that this really is a place for real whisky enthusiasts. 

During the afternoon we were treated to some lovely food, masterclasses, a tour of the most rare and collectable bottles, and a competition where we had to guess the whisky we were drinking! It turned out to be a rather fantastic 17 Year Old Clynelish bottled by Gordon & MacPhail. 

One thing that really sets Hard To Find Whisky apart from other whisky retailers is their huge range of masterclasses. So far they have 14 masterclasses on offer, but owner, Jason Kirby, is already planning to increase this number to offer more and more. During a masterclass in the afternoon I was poured five whiskies without them telling me what they were. The idea behind this is that the experts at the shop pick out flavours and build up your palate without any outside influence from the bottle design/label. I personally think this is a great way of tasting whisky as it challenges you to put aside any preconceptions of what you think you know about a certain bottle/distillery! It’s also perfect for beginners to whisky appreciation. The masterclasses range from £20 for the beginners class to £1000 for the ‘Whiskies Most Wanted’ class. Every single masterclass includes a rare bottle and the Japanese whisky masterclass includes the very much sought after Yamazaki Sherry Cask, which has recently been named the world’s best whisky by Jim Murray. Owner Jason Kirby clearly wants people to drink whisky as well as invest and collect. When he spoke about growing the number of masterclasses he said he wants to put on a masterclass where you get to taste all 14 Port Ellen official releases, the Black Bowmore and maybe even the Macallan 1928 50yo! There is nowhere in the UK where you can experience this level of tasting class at a whisky shop. 

Overall I was incredibly impressed with the shop, the vast array of whiskies on offer and the attention to detail given to making it a whisky-lovers paradise. It’s a great addition to the whisky scene of the UK and anyone who loves drinking, collecting, buying or just talking about whisky should pay them a visit. I will definitely be back!

 HTF 2


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