The Whisky Exchange Virtual Tastings – Scotch Whisky News

Virtual Tastings – June 2020

The summer is rapidly approaching and with it a need for some interesting drinks. While we’re not meeting up in person yet, our virtual tastings program is bigger and better than ever, with four more lockdown lock-ins for you to enjoy. Here’s to a June of great drinks and great chat, all from the comfort of your sofa.

Virtual tastings

With in-person tastings cancelled, we’ve moved ours online. There’s a new tasting every Thursday at 5.30pm, broadcast live on our Facebook page and available to watch again immediately afterwards. All of our tastings have a tasting pack available, and if you buy one in advance you’ll also get an invite to a private Zoom room where you can chat with the hosts and ask questions in person during the tasting.

Our June Tastings – Dawn Davies, Billy Abbott, Michael d’Souza from Paul John, and Tal Chotiner and Tomer Goren from Milk & Honey

All of our previous tastings are up on Facebook, but if you aren’t signed up, they’re also up on our YouTube page.

You can find all of our virtual tasting packs on our Virtual Tastings page. This includes the packs from our previous tastings, and you can taste along at any time using the video on a tasting pack’s page.

The June Line-Up

Thursday 11 June 5.30pm – Port Askaig with Oliver Chilton and Billy Abbott: Our second tasting is one that I’ve been looking forward to since we started going virtual – I’ll be joining Elixir Distillers master blender, cask selector and all-round spirits guru Oliver Chilton for a delve into the Port Askaig range of Islay single malts. Not only do you get me and Ollie talking, but the final dram is the rare Port Askaig 45yo which normally goes for £1,500 a bottle. And £10 from the sale of each pack goes to The Ben, the charity that supports Scotland’s drinks industry. What more could you want?
Get the tasting pack >

Thursday 18 June 5.30pm – The Dalmore with Richard Paterson and Dawn Davies: Richard Paterson, aka The Nose, aka ‘Mr P’, is a long-standing friend of The Whisky Exchange, and we’ve been trying to find time in his schedule for a virtual tasting since lockdown began. We’ve finally pinned him down and he’ll be joining TWE head buyer Dawn Davies for a taste of the Dalmore range. While he may not be able to throw ice or whisky at you over a virtual video link, be ready for shenanigans as he and Dawn are an excellent double act.
Get the tasting pack >

Thursday 25 June 5.30pm – Whisky and Chocolate with Dawn Davies: Dawn’s back for our final tasting of the month, showing you how to pair whisky with great chocolate from Prestat – veteran London chocolate maker and Royal Warrant holder. Dawn is a Master of Wine and has years of experience as a sommelier, so pairing food and drinks is something that she knows more than a little bit about – join her for an evening of pulling apart the flavours you find in whisky and chocolate, as well as putting them back together again, and doing a bit of eating and drink.
Get the tasting pack >

What’s Next?

Plans are still being planned, but we have July tastings almost ready to go and are looking further ahead to Whisky Show in October – we’ve not got it all confirmed yet, but we will have virtual activities in addition to the in-person show, so keep an eye on the Whisky Show website for more details when they are confirmed.

Apart from that, stay safe, have fun and see you online.

Saturday, May 30th, 5:30PM: Sagamore Rye Virtual Tasting – American Whiskey News


Saturday, May 30th, 5:30PM:

Sagamore Rye

Discover the mysterious (and delicious) legacy of Maryland Rye whiskey at our expert presented virtual tasting! 

Proudly considered ‘Bourbon’s Older Brother,” Sagamore’s whiskies have been highly reviewed since release, earning Double Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition among many accolades. This virtual tasting will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into distilling and bottling Sagamore Rye, plus expert answers to all your whiskey questions.

Click Here to Reserve your Ticket

Thursday, May 28th 5:30PM: Glyph Molecular Whisky at The Whisky Shop – American Whiskey News

Thursday, May 28th 5:30PM:

Glyph Molecular Whisky

with exclusive pre-release mystery tasting sets!

Located in the historic Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco just a few miles away from The Whisky Shop, Endless West distillery is best known for their unique method of whisky creation – whiskey made from the molecule up. To make Glyph, distillery Endless West begins by mapping out a desired flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel, then selecting the exact molecules from sources like fruit, citrus, yeasts, and sugars to build their spirit, eschewing traditional aging and distilling methods to create a delicious whiskey in record time. This virtual tasting will give an in-depth look at the mysterious molecular methods that go into making Glyph, PLUS a very special bonus for our customers!

Click here to Reserve your Ticket

Get 50% Off Glyph Whiskey PLUS an exclusive mystery tasting set!

In connection with our virtual Glyph Molecular Whisky tasting on May 28th, we’ve partnered with Endless West distillery to get exclusive pre-launch tasting bottles of their upcoming expressions, now only $9.99 while supplies last.

The pre-release tasting set includes:

– (1) 375 ML bottle of Glyph Whiskey (normally $18.99!)

– (2) 50ML small exclusive pre-launch bottles of brand new whiskeys from Endless West.

Previously intended to be released in-store later this year, you’ll be among the first to try these brand new mystery whiskies.

Limited quantity available! 

Click here for more details and to Purchase the tasting set

The Whisky Exchange Islay Festival 2020 – Scotch Whisky News



Islay’s wonderful annual festival might not be able to go ahead as planned this year, but we think the Queen of the Hebrides and its famous spirit are still well worth celebrating. As such, we’ve collected all the most exciting whisky-related bits and pieces we can from our favourite Scottish island, so that even if you can’t be at Fèis Ìle in person, you can at least feel like you’re there.

On the blog


Islay’s distilleries are determined not to let lockdown ruin a good party, and are running virtual events so that as many people as possible might join in the fun. Rather generously, TWE drinks ambassador Billy Abbott has called around, collated all the info he can get his hands on, and compiled it all in one, easy blog post. Want to join in with the festivities? Click below to get the lowdown.


Special offers


As ever, we’ve got some great deals on the go to ensure that you’re well-stocked with Fèis-appropriate drams. Pick up an old favourite or try something new from one of Islay’s younger distilleries – we’ve got all bases covered.


Port Askaig 12 Year Old Limited Edition

The joys of spring just got a little peatier thanks to the latest limited-edition release from Port Askaig. This 12-year-old single malt is brimming with notes of barbecued lemons, soft smoke and toffee, with hints of mint. Will it last until summer? Probably not.


Old & Rare Islay Whisky

It’s not just new bottles we’ve been stacking our shelves with in recent weeks – a quick look at our new products will show that we’ve had more than a few old and rare Islay whiskies land in our warehouse. Come in and take a look around.


Top picks

Top 10 Islay Whiskies

Looking for a new bottle without scouring reviews and descriptions to ensure you’re getting great whisky? Think no more – any one of our Top 10 Islay Whiskies, hand-picked by The Whisky Exchange co-founder Sukhinder Singh and head buyer Dawn Davies MW, is sure to put a smile on your face.




Popular event raises over £8,000 for cancer charity Maggie’s

18th May 2020 – Tomatin hosted its second virtual whisky festival on 9th May to raise much-needed funds for its charity partner, Maggie’s Highlands.

The event, which was live-streamed on Tomatin’s own YouTube channel, saw over 5,000 individuals tune in across the globe. The Highland distillery partnered with several other whisky brands, with a view to giving back to the community as they share their expertise and insights, and managed to raise over £8,000 for Maggie’s through the virtual event.

Maggie’s, a charity which provides free practical and emotional support to people living with cancer, is currently unable to see people face to face at their 26 centres across the UK and abroad, including its centre in Inverness, close to the Tomatin distillery, which offers support across the Highland’s region.

Maggie’s experts are now supporting people by phone, email and through their online community as they live with the added stress and anxiety of living with cancer, plus changes and delays to treatment and self-isolation.

Jennifer Masson, Head of Brand for Tomatin Single Malt commented: “We were so disappointed to not be able to support Maggie’s Highlands with their golf day last month, which usually raises around £60,000 in one day and unfortunately had to be cancelled. They require over half a million pounds a year in donations to operate so it really was a no-brainer when it came to who we would support.

“This event and the funds it has raised has made a huge difference to them, as well as providing entertainment to whisky fans the world over. We were amazed by the generosity shown by our viewers on the day, and beyond. We aimed to raise £5,000 and this was achieved during the live stream, and the donations continued to come in until today.”

Andrew Benjamin, Centre Manager of Maggie’s Highlands, added: “We feel very lucky that, even with everyone’s attention turned to other issues, Tomatin and other whisky brands have chosen to continue to show support. We have been humbled at how much of the support has come from Tomatin’s global audience, and we can’t thank them enough for doing this. It’ll go a long way to helping us to support people with cancer and their families over this difficult time. “

The recorded streams of both Lockdown Whisky Festivals are available to watch on the Tomatin Distillery YouTube channel.

Maggie’s Highlands are continuing to raise money to fund their online support capabilities, donations can be made at


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.

Participating brands:

That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Douglas Laing
Old Pulteney
Tomatin Highland Single Malt

The Whisky Exchange “Feis Ile 2020 – The Islay Festival online” – Scotch Whisky News

Feis Ile 2020 – The Islay Festival online

The end of May is usually a time for celebration in the whisky world – it’s time for Fèis Ìle, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music. A week-long celebration of Scotland’s most distillery-packed island, with whisky, music, dancing and more. It’s a great week, but not one that’s particularly compatible with current social distancing policies. So, the distilleries have taken the party online and into your home – it’s time for The Virtual Fèis Ìle.

Festival week (Saturday-Saturday: a long week) is usually very simple: there are nine distilleries on Islay, and each gets a day of celebration – newcomers Kilchoman and Ardnahoe share the Wednesday. Things are sticking to the usual schedule in 2020, but now there’s no running around the island to get to your tours and tastings – you just need to open a new tab in your web browser.

Here’s what’s going on:

Friday 22 May – and so it begins

The Islay Festival committee are kicking things off on Friday, with an opening event live on Facebook. They’ve fully embraced the wonders of technology this year, and are organising events and keeping everyone up to date with the latest information via their Facebook page – Fèis Ìle.

The opening event kicks off at 7pm with some chat from the committee and announcements from the distilleries about what they’ll be doing all week. You can tune in via their Facebook event. Keep an eye on the page – it’s the centre for all festival announcements, and it’ll be updating all week with news of what’s going on.

When the announcements are all done, it’s time for the first whisky event – the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Virtual Pub. They’ll have music, a quiz, cocktails and drams all over on the SMWS Facebook page from 8pm. From the lineup in the image above, it’ll be a good night.

Saturday 23 May – Lagavulin

The whisky side of the festival all kicks off with Lagavulin day. Diageo’s distilleries have been surprisingly quiet on the virtual front, but hopefully, that will all change with Friday’s opening announcements.

However, The Friends of the Classic Malts, Diageo’s whisky fan club, is continuing its series of live sessions on Saturday at 4pm, with ambassador Ewan Gunn joined by former Lagavulin manager and Port Ellen revival project manager Georgie Crawford on Facebook, for a session of whisky news and stories – head over to the Facebook event to learn more.

Sunday 24 May – Bruichladdich

Usually the biggest party of the week, Sunday is Bruichladdich day. Being Sunday, it’s the day that’s normally full of off-work locals, and the distillery’s courtyard is packed. This year, the distillery is going to be a lot quieter, but they’ve still got a packed program – it’s time for the Laddie Lock-in.

The distillery has things popping up on its Instagram page every day leading up to the festival, but as I write the Sunday schedule isn’t up – you’ll need to join the Laddie mailing list to find out more. They’ll be live from 2-6pm, so keep an eye on all of their online channels to make sure you don’t miss out.

Monday 25 May – Caol Ila

Normally a day of recovery from Laddie day, Monday is also Caol Ila‘s turn in the spotlight. There’s a virtual festival booked in for 6pm on their Facebook page, but details are few and far between – tune in to the Islay Festival opening event to learn more…

Tuesday 26 May – Laphroaig

Tuesday is Laphroaig day, my favourite day of the festival. Rather than sitting on the beach in front of the distillery, I’ll be logging on to the Laphroaig website at 6.15pm Islay time (which probably means sometime between 6 and 6.30pm – they’re quite relaxed on Islay) for some live chat with distillery manager John Campbell. I might even have a dram…

Wednesday 27 May – Bowmore

Bowmore takes on the centre of the week, and for the first time in years, the streets of Islay’s capital won’t be full of people camping out to get the distillery’s festival bottle. Instead, the distillery is throwing an online party over at You’ll need to sign up to the website to find out what’s going on, but expect a program of tastings, tours and more. And if you want to make it a truly authentic experience, sleep on your doorstep on Tuesday night.

Thursday 28 May – Kilchoman

Thursday is shared between relative newcomer Kilchoman and definite newcomer Ardnahoe. While the latter has been very quiet lately, Kilchoman has made up for it with a day of activity.

Head over to the Kilchoman website at midday to join in, with talks, tours and tastings running through the day. Tasting packs sold out in seconds when launched, but there’s still lots going on – you can find the full schedule on the Kilchoman website.

Friday 29 May – Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain takes the Friday spot and has a lineup of tastings and tours. The tasting packs (and their festival bottlings) flew off the shelf when The Coterie – the distillery fan club – was told they existed, but there’s still lots going on.

Tune in to the Bunnahabhain Facebook page on Friday at 7pm to join in.

Saturday 30 May – Ardbeg

Last, but far from least, comes Ardbeg with the final bash of the festival – Ardbeg Day. It’s usually a bit party, with fans filling the distillery’s courtyard and taking part in a usually ridiculous day of fun and games. While that’s not possible in person, Ardbeg Day continues as The Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials.

Named after this year’s festival bottling – available on our website on Saturday: Ardbeg Blaaack – it’ll be two hours of virtual Ardbeggery, MC’d by distillery manager and Ardbeg Committee head honcho Mickey Heads. Head to the Ardbeg Facebook page at 7pm to find out what trials they’ll be setting…

More Virtual Tastings

Virtual tastings are really taking off, and there are loads happening around the world. We’re continuing our virtual program, and we’ll be announcing the June lineup very soon – expect whisky, a bit of ‘hello, how are you?’, gin and maybe a bit of chocolate pairing…

If you’ve missed our previous tastings, you can catch up with them all on YouTube or Facebook, and we’ll have a new one going out live every Thursday at 5.30pm on our Facebook page.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – Feis Ile 2020 – The Islay Festival online

Laphroaig “Join us for FÈIS ÌLE 2020: #LaphroaigLive from Islay” – Scotch Whisky News


Hope you are all safe and well. It’s incredibly quiet here at the distillery. Whisky production on pause. Everyone self-isolating. Fèis Ìle cancelled.

However, as ‘glass-half-full’ kind of people, we are delighted to announce that our Fèis Open Day will go ahead – bringing our Friends around the world together virtually. Register at the link below to join our live tasting event on May 26th from 18:15pm (BST).


Master Ambassador Simon Brooking and I will host tastings of 10 Year Old, Quarter Cask and Lore and discuss whisky, friendship…and…well, whatever you would like to suggest… Whilst we can’t open our distillery gates on ‘Open Day’, we will be open to any questions you have on the day. Submit your questions to Simon and I as we taste and we will answer as many as we can. Think of it as an informal #LaphroaigLive: No camera crews, no script, no room full of Friends… but a chance to sip a dram and share a toast together through the wonders of technology.

For those who need to restock, we have some tasting bundles here.

We can’t guarantee delivery before the live event due to the current situation we all face, however we will record the tasting which will be available for you to replay and enjoy again.

With Simon and I joining from our respective homes, we also wondered where you will be celebrating Fèis this year? Perhaps you have never been? Perhaps you go every year? Either way, we want to see your home bar, your armchair, your life-size replica of the Laphroaig kiln – whatever but always together with your favourite bottle of Laphroaig. Post your pictures on Instagram or Facebook with the tag #MyLaphroaigMoment for your chance to win a bottle of Càirdeas 2020 edition, 15 sample bottles to share with friends and an exclusive, private virtual tasting with me for you and your friends in July. We will choose the winner and our favourite image during the live session on May 26th!

…and if you still have time on your hands after posting your #MyLaphroaigMoment image, perhaps try this at home.

John and the Laphroaig Distillery Team


Scotch Malt Whisky Society “WHAT’S ON AT THE SOCIETY” – Scotch Whisky News


We’re already looking ahead to our next virtual tasting, where we’ll be enjoying a flavour safari round Scotland’s whisky regions. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a Festival Discovery Pack, with five 25ml drams from this year’s festival bottlings then join us online for an evening of untamed entertainment on 29 May.

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


Japanese Whisky Lockdown Episode 6 – Watch Now – Japanese Whisky News

Episode 6 of the Japanese Whisky Lockdown is just minutes away. Tune in now.

Discover the famous whisky from one of Japan’s most renowned distilleries.


Win a Year’s Supply of Wemyss Malts Whisky! – Scotch Whisky News

Win a Year’s Supply of Whisky!

Happy World Whisky Day!

In honour of our 15th anniversary year, we’re giving one lucky person the chance to win a Year’s Supply of Whisky!

There’s two ways to enter: 

1. Buy a bottle of our Batch Strength blended malts and use the code YEAROFWHISKY at checkout for 10 entries into our competition. We’ll also give you £5 off delivery when you use YEAROFWHISKY at checkout.

2. Complete the form on our website for 1 entry into the competition


A Year’s Supply of Whisky is equal to one bottle of whisky per month.
Terms and conditions apply – see website for details


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