Hazelburn 13 Year Old at Loch Fyne Whiskeis – Scotch Whisky News


Hazelburn 13 Year Old

Limited to only 12,000 bottles worldwide this Hazelburn 13 Year Old Sherry Cask is full of sweet notes that will keep you coming back for more. Notes of orange and strawberry jam are apparent throughout. Look out for a touch of chocolate and even a hint of creme brulee.

£62 Buy Now

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Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #644 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy plays spot-the-malts in Ralfy Review 644Johnnie Walker Platinum 18yo @40%vol

The Whisky Exchange “The story of Kilchoman whisky distillery in five stages” – Scotch Whisky News


The story of Kilchoman whisky distillery in five stages

Many people dream of starting their own whisky distillery, but the Wills family went ahead and did it, founding Kilchoman on Islay back in 2005. George Wills was our host for a tasting of the entire Kilchoman range. He told us the five key stages that sum up the distillery’s 12-year-history…

Kilchoman Distillery, located at Rockside Farm in north-west Islay

1. Ambition

George explained the reason Kilchoman exists is because the family wanted to ‘take whisky back to its traditional roots’, and that the distillery started like so many others on Islay: small farms, growing a little bit of barley. He said: ‘When we came to Islay, people thought we were mad – there’s a reason why no one had built a new distillery there for 120 years – but it’s working. And we were surprised by the warmth we’ve received from the industry, and especially from other Islay distilleries.’

2. The whisky

Kilchoman’s house style is different to most other Islay whiskies. It’s peated to approximately 15 parts per million (‘depending on who lights the fire’, said George), but the predominant character is clean, fresh, and citrus-led. He added: ‘People think of peat as bonfires, chewing on ash and so on, but we’re looking for lighter, sweeter flavours with more citrus – this is what drives Kilchoman.’


The Wills family (from left): Peter, George, Anthony, James

3. Setbacks

Like most new companies, Kilchoman had its fair share of teething troubles:

  • an exploding boiler (‘we bought a second-hand one – who does that?’)
  • burst pipes
  • a sherry butt weighing half a ton that fell off a fork-lift truck, denting a warehouse wall.

One incident, however, had potentially catastrophic consequences. George’s dad Anthony had gone to Edinburgh to watch a rugby match, leaving his sons in charge. In his absence, rather than adding bags of coal to the fire one by one, the sons just threw a couple on before heading home. The next thing they knew, the fire brigade was on the phone: ‘The kiln roof was on fire and the kiln was destroyed,’ said George, ‘but there was a beautiful smell!’

4. THE Young pretender

Another hurdle Kilchoman had to overcome was the fact that it had no stocks of mature whisky to draw on, and everything it released had to be distilled from scratch. George explained: ‘At the start, it was a slog to get people to drink three-year-old Kilchoman. We were trying to put out NAS or very young whiskies when not many people were doing it, but now we’re looking around and people are releasing younger whiskies. Consumers are now far more open-minded as to what they’re tasting.’

5. Small steps

Kilchoman makes the same amount of spirit in one year as its Islay counterpart Caol Ila does in one week: approximately 200,000 litres of alcohol, which works out at 20 bourbon barrels’ worth a week (‘22 in a good week’). And George’s favourite expression? 100% Islay: ‘It’s the closest one to my heart. It’s everything that’s great about Kilchoman – the freshness, the saltiness, it’s like being by the seaside.’



Kilchoman 100% Islay – beautifully clean, grassy notes with a barley, brine and biscuit character

Machir Bay – fruity and aromatic, with clean, fresh red fruits, honey and malt biscuits, as well as punchy peat

Sanaig – silky mouthfeel with rich spice, soft peat and weighty dried fruits. Notable sherry influence

Loch Gorm – winter spices, notes of cinnamon, brioche, dark chocolate and cocoa, with peat and dried fruit in the background

Original Cask Strength – subtle and clean, with lemon, sea spray and woodsmoke

100% Islay PX Finish (the result of a mix-up in the distillery) – treacle toffee, dates, orange peel and cloves, with warm peat lurking

A big thank you to George for his very honest appraisal of what it takes to start your own whisky distillery. Kilchoman is now very much part of the Islay whisky scene, and its bottlings are much in demand. You can see our full Kilchoman range here.

Tormore 2002 Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Tormore 2002 Private Collection

Matured in first fill bourbon casks before double maturation in Coté Rôtie wine casks and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail. Sweet and creamy with soft spiced apple, butterscotch, and tangerine flavours.



TWB 10 Yrs

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso – Scotch Whisky News


Words can’t really summarize this whisky. A limited edition, heavily peated, all sherry, cask strength BunnahabhainMoine Oloroso. Rich with raisins, sultanas, white chocolate, seaweed, BBQ smoke, hickory and a warming wash of spice. Truly outstanding, no more need be said about it. Enjoy!

Whisky Reviews every Wednesday

Glengoyne – The perfect malt. The perfect setting. The perfect prize – Scotch Whisky News

AA Glengoyne

What’s your perfect Glengoyne Moment?


Where’s your favourite place to enjoy a dram of Glengoyne? At home with a crackling log fire for company? With friends on a picnic? Or in that gem of a pub after a long day on the hills? Show us your perfect Glengoyne Moment by sharing a photograph on our Moments mosaic page.




Tell us your name, where you’re from and where you took the shot; every quarter we’ll pick a winner to receive a special bottle of Glengoyne 10 Year Old – personalised with your name and the name of your Glengoyne Moment.

Our last winner Emma (and her lovely furry friend Bonnie) shared their favourite Moment – curled up by a crackling fire with an extra dash of warmth for Emma thanks to a wee dram of our 21 Year Old!

Use #GGNMoment to share yours and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see our favourite Glengoyne Moments along the way.

As if that’s not enough, we’ll choose the best-of-the-best shots and display them right here at our home,– Glengoyne Distillery in Dumgoyne



Glengoyne Distillery, Dumgoyne, Near Killearn, Glasgow G63 9LB

Tel. +44 (0)1360 550 254




Booker’s & Lot 40 Rye at K&L California – Whisky News




For as long as we can remember here at K&L, Booker’s Bourbon has been the quintessential high proof $50 whiskey-the standard by which other power-oriented American whiskies have been judged. Unfortunately, however, due to shortages and demand the age statements have continued to decline while the juice is being consumed faster and faster. Because of that unsustainable pace, the folks at Beam have decided to raise the price of Booker’s Bourbon and eventually turn it into a $100 bottle with an older age statement and a more limited availability. When we heard that news a few months back, we bought in as deeply as we could. Then we got the news this week from the distributor-the wholesale price was now higher than our retail! That means the next time we buy Booker’s Bourbon at K&L the price will likely be in the mid-sixties until we eventually run through that inventory and the price goes up again. It’s the end of an era, but that era doesn’t have to end just yet. We’ve got one last allocation of the Kentucky legend at the standard $50 retail-while it lasts!

Booker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $49.99


Lot 40

Our spirits buyer David Driscoll was out at Hiram Walker in Canada this past week getting a firsthand look at how Lot 40 rye whiskey is made and what makes the distillery so unique. You can check out his adventures here on the spirits blog, but in the meantime check out our new low price for what is still a benchmark rye whiskey at K&L

Voted Canadian Whisky of the Year by the Whisky Advocate, Lot 40 is considered by many to be the quintessential Canadian rye whisky, garnering heaps of praise and a cult-like following. Distilled by Hiram Walker, now run by Pernod Ricard, it was briefly discontinued in the early 2000s, which set off a Pappy-esque manhunt by consumers who knew of its excellence (not in CA, however, where we were deprived of its presence). Now that it’s been relaunched by Pernod, we’re lucky enough to start getting a healthy supply in the U.S. It’s clear after tasting it why the Lot 40 has the reputation it has. The flavors of rye are unbelievably pure, while the palate remains soft and creamy underneath. It moves from rye bread into a peppery note so intense that it almost transcends into sweet citrus before finishing rich and floral. It’s the most exciting rye we’ve seen hit the shelves in more than year. We think it’s going to be a HUGE hit. Esteemed Canadian whisky writer Davin de Kergommeaux calls it “a contemporary masterpiece, seven generations in the making. This is one powerfully flavorful whisky that boldly mingles the galvanizing piquancy of distilled rye grain with the soaring floral fragrance of malted rye, and a fruitiness that comes with age.” We call it the best rye whiskey we’ve tasted since stalwarts like Sazerac 18 and older Willett bottles became dreams rather than reality. This is can’t-miss stuff. This is the kind of whiskey where you buy three bottles rather than one.

Lot 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky (750ml) $29.99

Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)

Email: K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA

San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Join Liz and Paul of MCLEANSCOTLAND on THE exclusive whisky trip!

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A long weekend whisky tour, full of whisky to sample, distilleries to visit, plenty of fun with hotels, lunches & dinners. Join Liz and Paul of MCLEANSCOTLAND on the exclusive whisky trip.

Thursday 31 August. We meet you at Inverness airport at noon. With your first Scottish dram in hand we drive to Speyside in time for a two course lunch with a drink included at The Delnashaugh Hotel. It’s then a short distance to Glenfarclas Distillery where you take a tour and taste. Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to open a dedicated visitor centre in 1973. After your tour relax with a dram or three. Then on to Grantown on Spey, where you check in to The Garth Hotel. This evening we host a 3 course dinner with thee whiskies. Also this evening, Spud the Piper in full highland dress entertains you. In 2000 Madonna and Guy Ritchie came to Scotland for their wedding ceremony. Spud piped for her. On their arrival the press, asked him to play ‘Like a Virgin’ on the pipes. So he played for Madonna as she came down the steps of her jet. The next day he was on the front page of every paper known to man! We then introduce Robert Ransom founder of Angels’ Nectar “Blended by Angels, to be Shared with Friends”, Angels’ Nectar Blended Malt Scotch Whiskies are vibrant and fresh, just the way the Angels enjoy their drams. Relax with a presentation and samples from Robert.

Pagodas at Glenfiddich Distillery Dufftowm Speyside

Friday 1 September. After a sumptous highland breakfast we travel the short distance to Craigellachie, where we visit the Speyside Cooperage; the only cooperage in Britain with a visitor centre. An experienced Cooper will  show how Coopers still use traditional methods and tools. Although shipped across the world, many of the casks remain in Scotland, providing a vital ingredient in Scotland’s whisky making process. From here its five minutes to Glenfiddich Distillery, where we have arranged lunch. Then a half hour drive to Elgin where we visit Glen Moray Distillery, a private tour and taste, a French owned distillery, one of our favourites. A superb tour followed by drams, some direct from the cask. The shop has (in our opinion) the best value for money whisky to purchase anywhere! Ten minutes to the hotel, check in, relax, have a bite to eat. This evening at the hotel, we introduce Derek Hancock.   A Senior Executive responsible for Single Malt Scotch Whisky exports for over 40 years. Derek has travelled the world for over 25 years and has presented many master classes, tastings and high level presentations to customers in every continent. Let Derek escort you around the region and impart stories and insights into the distilleries, brands, drams and people who make this such a fascinating topic. Overnight Elgin.

Spud the Piper with a whisky toast

Saturday 2 September. After breakfast we relax a while, then attend our very own MCLEANSCOTLAND whisky school with Vic Cameron. Vic (BSc DipDist)  has over 23 years experience in the distilling industry, working in a number of roles for Diageo. He has worked in production management at both malting and distilling sites. Vic is proud to have been the 4th International Malt Whisky Nosing Champion. He is now on the organising committee for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival whisky school and also the Whisky Lecturer for the University of the Highlands and Islands. Starting at 10am, we break for refreshments at 11am, continuing after the break until 12.30.  This is a very informative humorous take on the whisky industry – with chocolates!  FREE time follows, allowing you a lunch break. You have a ticket for the Distilled whisky festival at Elgin Town Hall, running from 1pm – 5pm; the team behind the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival brings this event to the sampling table – the best Speyside whisky distillers (at least 50 of them) are uniting under one roof. But that’s not all. Speyside’s whisky distillers will be in good company as award-winning brewers, gin crafters, food producers and others, will be joining them. Overnight Elgin.

Sunday 3 September. After a deserved lie in, we transfer back to Inverness airport for 12 noon.

Included in this tour; Liz and Paul are your MCLEANSCOTLAND hosts, coach transport for 3 days, 3 nights en suite accommodation, 3 fully cooked Scottish breakfasts, lunch at Delnashaugh and Glenfiddich, 3 course whisky dinner, entry to distilleries as shown, ticket for the whisky festival, whisky presentations by Robert, Vic and Derek, whiskies as shown, extra drams on board the mini coach, plus – a take home 20cl bottle of superb Spey whisky. Cost  £715  per person sharing a twin or double room. Single extra £110

all enquiries

Liz and Paul of mcleanscotland whisky tours sharing drams with Ingvar Ronde

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #643 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy examines sherry and colouring in Ralfy Review 643Bowmore 9yo sherried @ 40%vol

Direct Import Single Casks at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

Great Direct Import Single Casks not to miss…

Vintage Item Name Retail Link
1996 Arran 20 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) $89.99 View
2006 Mortlach 10 Year Old “John Milroy” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $59.99 View
2000 Benrinnes 16 Year Old “John Milroy” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $59.99 View
1996 Glen Moray 19 Year Old “John Milroy” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $79.99 View


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