New Japanese Whisky Labelling Standards – Japanese Whisky News

New Japanese Whisky Labelling Standards

Whisky has been made in Japan for almost 100 years, but until recently it has been relatively unknown. The huge growth outside of Japan in the past few years has started to show cracks in the way that it is regulated and led to calls from both in and outside of the Japanese whisky community to have stricter rules on its production and labelling. Today, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association has announced the steps that it is taking to tighten up what producers mean by the term Japanese whisky.

Global Growth

The rise in popularity of Japanese whisky over the past two decades has led to more and more of the spirit being exported around the world. With that has come an awareness that the Japanese regulations and traditions of whisky making didn’t necessarily line up with that of other countries. This is especially true when it comes to what was allowed to be included when creating a whisky.

The Japanese laws that govern whisky were laid down in the 1950s and haven’t changed much since. They are governed by the tax department and are mostly concerned with collecting the correct duties more than governing how whisky is made. Along with that, the tradition of Japanese whisky blending focused on the resulting blend and its flavour rather than the origin components.

The result has been that even if a bottle of whisky says ‘Product of Japan’ on the label, it isn’t possible to say whether every whisky in the vatting that made up the contents of the bottle was made in Japan. In short, a product that claimed to be Japanese whisky could well be made up partly or even entirely of spirit distilled and matured outside of the country.

While many producers are open about the source of their spirit, many are not. There have been ongoing discussions for years about how to update the regulations, but Japanese bureaucracy moves slowly, and nothing official has appeared yet from the tax office. However, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association is now issuing guidelines for its members to try and increase transparency.

The New Rules

As of 1 April 2021, members of the JSLMA will start to move towards a new standard for labelling their whiskies. Along with the labelling is a commitment not to allude to being Japanese whisky through naming, packaging and advertising. They’ve published full details in English on the JSLMA website. The deadline to follow the new rules is 31 March 2024.

In order for a spirit to be called Japanese whisky it must adhere to the following rules:

Raw ingredients: Malted grain must always be used, but other cereal grains can also be included.

Water: Water used in production must be extracted in Japan.

Production location: Saccharification, fermentation and distillation must be carried out at a distillery in Japan.

Distillation: Must be distilled to less than 95% ABV.

Ageing: Spirit must be aged in Japan in wooden casks of no more than 700 litres for a minimum of three years.

Packaging: Bottling must take place in Japan.

Strength: Bottled spirit must be at least 40% ABV.

Colouring: Plain caramel colouring (E150) can be used.

What does this mean?

While this only affects the members of the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association, it does cover most of the major producers in Japan.

Each producer will be working to a different timeline and will have different ways of handling the new rules. Some will change the composition of their whiskies meet the new rules, others will simply label their spirit as ‘Whisky’ without the new category as well as potentially changing product names and packaging. Some whiskies may even be discontinued.

In the end, the coming few years will lead to greater transparency from the major Japanese whisky producers.

What is The Whisky Exchange doing?

We very much support these changes, and will be updating our website over the coming weeks, months and years to classify all Japanese whisky using these definitions, erring on the side of ‘not Japanese Whisky’ when we are unable to find out.

We are renaming our Japanese whisky category ‘Whisky from Japan’ and will divide all of those whiskies into Japanese Whisky and Whisky – the latter are whiskies from Japan that for one reason or another do not meet the requirements laid down by the JSLMA to be called Japanese Whisky.

This is only a start, and as we continue to develop our website, we will make sure to keep the distinction between these new categories clear.

Bladnoch Distillery Wins in the 2021 World Whisky Awards – Scotch Whisky News

The distillery is thrilled to announce that its three entrants into the 2021 World Whiskies Awards are all proud medal recipients. *Bladnoch 14yo, Category Winner for Single Malt 13 to 20 years *Bladnoch 11yo, Silver Medalist for Single Malt 12 years & under *Bladnoch Single Cask 03, Bronze Medalist for Single Cask Single Malt 13 to 20 years.

Visit Bladnoch Single Malts HERE

About Bladnoch

Bladnoch Distillery is Scotland’s southernmost distillery, and one of a handful that remain independently owned. Since being purchased in 2015 by Australian entrepreneur David Prior, Bladnoch has enjoyed a renaissance. Their rangee of award-winning Bladnoch Single Malt Whiskies and Pure Scot, their contemporary Blended Scotch Whisky, has been launched in over 30 countries. In 2017, Bladnoch Distillery celebrated its 200 year anniversary making it one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in Scotland. In June 2019, Bladnoch Distillery’s state-of-the-art visitors centre was opened, welcoming guests to the distillery once again after significant renovations. Master Distiller, Dr Nick Savage joined the Bladnoch team in July 2019. Visit or @bladnochwhisky for more information.

Celebrating our Award! – Whisky Award News

Icons of Whisky Awards

HIghly Commended Single Retail Outlet

We are delighted to have been awarded the Highly Commended (runners up) recognition in this years Icons of Whisky Awards 2021!

In what has been a tumultuous year of ups and downs, to finish the year with this accolade has been a huge reward for the hard work our team has put in since we opened in 2015.

It is certainly the pinnacle of our achievements so far, since the start of our little business half a decade ago. While we have also achieved a Specialist Retailer of the Year award and Businessman of the Year Nomination in local business recognition awards, to be recognised by those in the Whisky Industry in one of the biggest ceremonies within the secotre, is truly humbling.

We must put a shout out to the winners, Michael Hanratty and his team at Carnegie Whisky Cellars who have endured the drought of tourism on who they depend. To not only persevere but to enhance their business is no mean feat in the current climate – congratulations!

The Awards, for those who have not heard of them before, are an annual recognition awards ceremony that are chosen by the team behind the UK’s biggest Whisy Magazine – ‘Whisky Magazine.

“The 2021 Icons of Whisky awards honours those who have worked tirelessly for the growth of the industry.”

To simply be in the final against such great names in Whisky Retail such as The Whisky Shop Dufftown, Gordon & MacPhail and Robertsons of Pitlochry was an unexpected honour, however to come Runners Up is simply outstanding.

We now have a target for the year ahead, to maintain the standards we have set and to prove that this was not a flash in the pan. We are now more determined than ever to create a host of new adventures for the Inverurie Whisky Shop and the Aberdeenshire area.

Our team has grown from 3 to 5, such is the success of our Virtual Tasting events and our Online growth, and we cannot wait to bring you, our loyal customers more great events and news in the coming months.

We could not have done this without every one of you, and we cherish every single order that comes in from you, either to be delivered on our doorstep, or sent through the new trials of the European Customs system. We do a little dance every time.

Thank you, and here is to an improved 2021!

See the full list of winners

🥃 Virginia Distillery Co.: Best American Blended Malt – American Whiskey News

VHW Port Cask Finished Whisky: World Whiskies Awards🏅

Bringing home the win! We’re excited to announce that we’ve accepted our fifth World Whiskies Award for VHW Port Cask Finished Whisky.

We won “Best American Blended Malt”, keeping our solid record of success for this award. Always important to celebrate the victories along the way. Thanks to everyone for inspiring us to make world-class whiskies! 🥃

“Honey, red apple, malt, and light spice throughout, with a trailing oak finish. Orchard fruits, maltiness, apple, honey, fig, sweetness, and a light nuttiness that leads to a medium fruity sweet finish.”


Whiskies of the World “Raise a Dram…It’s Almost International Whisky Day!” – Whisky News

In honor of International Whisky Day on March 27th, we have partnered with our friends at Hotaling & Co. to offer YOU an unforgettable experience to celebrate one of our favorite whisky holidays. From Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and beyond, get ready to explore and savor a multitude of whiskies as we take you on a virtual, sensory journey featuring some of the best craft whiskies from across the globe.


Speyburn 10 YO (Scotland)
Old Pulteney 12 YO (Scotland)
Writers’ Tears Copper Pot (Ireland) 
Writers’ Tears Double Oak (Ireland)
Arran Sherry Cask (Scotland)
Kavalan Distillery Select (Taiwan)
Nikka Coffey Grain (Japan)
Hirsch The Horizon (USA)
Lot 40 Rye (Canada)
Old Potrero Straight Rye (USA)


* Not available in the following markets:
AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, IA, ID, MD (Montgomery County only), ME, MI, MN, MS, MT, NH, NC, OH, OR, PA, UT, VT, VA, WV, WY 

The Whisky Magazine Annual – Scotch Whisky News

Scotch Whisky 

The Whisky Magazine Annual

Have you seen our new Scotch Whisky annual?

Packed with interviews, distillery focus features and blind tasting reviews, Scotch Whisky turns the spotlight on distilleries old and new, large and small. Curated by Whisky Magazine’s editor, Christopher Coates, Scotch Whisky is a valuable addition to any whisky lover’s bookshelf.

• 132-page ‘bookazine’

• Available in print and digital editions

• Includes six in-depth interviews with the great and good of whisky

• Distillery features on Highland Park, GlenAllachie, Macallan, Rosebank, Raasay, Glenturret, and many more

• More than 100 blind tasting reviews of the latest whiskies
• Tasting notes and progress reports on unreleased spirits from some of Scotland’s newest distilleries


Waterford Distillery Wins Two Awards at the Icons of Whisky Ireland – Irish Whiskey News

In less than a year of our whiskies being on sale, Waterford Distillery has won an Icon of Whisky Ireland Award 2021 in not just one, but two categories – the coveted Distiller of the Year Award and Brand Innovator of the Year Award.

The Icons of Whisky are announced by Whisky Magazine each year to recognise the people, places and products that complete the whole dynamic of the whisky industry. This year the awards were announced online and a full list of the winners can be seen here

It promises to be a very exciting Spring for Waterford Distillery – they have some major announcements coming later this month…

Longrow Red and Kilkerran 8yo Cask Strength Available Today! – Scotch Whisky News

To join the Springbank Society please contact them at

From today, Friday 12th February the following whiskies will be for sale in the UK.

Due to ongoing delays in shipping, they will not be available in Europe yet but will follow soon. Keep in touch with your local Springbank stockist to alert you when the new expressions arrive.

Due to shipment times, releases throughout the rest of the world will be at different dates.

Longrow Red (52.5%ABV) 

This edition of 10,000 bottles has been matured for 7 years in bourbon casks then a further 3 years in refill malbec red wine casks. The Malbec barriques for this expression have been sourced from De Toren Private Cellar in Stellenbosch, South Africa.


Aromas of chewy vanilla fudge and butterscotch with a hint of tart and sticky stewed rhubarb and grape juice.


Delicate peat smoke is balanced with notes of juicy red apples and ripe black cherries. Freshly baked pretzels, vanilla and sugar-coated almonds offer buttery, sweet characteristics whilst there is a developing earthy hint of tobacco leaves towards the end.


The ashy, earthy, buttery characteristics continue with notes of burnt embers and warm buttered toast.

Available from 10am at Cadenhead’s Campbeltown, Cadenhead’s Edinburgh and for £57.00 .



Please join the Society to reveal the link!

Shipping to UK and Rest of World only. Shipping to EU not currently available. 

Available at local retailers, if you are interested in this edition click below to find one near you.



Kilkerran 8-Year-Old Cask Strength (56.9%ABV.) 

Springbank’s sister distillery, Glengyle, will also be launching a new edition of Kilkerran 8-Year-Old Cask Strength.

This cask strength whisky has been fully matured in fresh sherry oloroso casks, giving it a rich, dark, treacly colour.


Well-balanced, rich and softly peated.

Juicy and sticky with notes of maraschino cherries, vanilla fudge, toffee pudding and coffee beans. Jam and fruit, balanced with a light smoky aroma.


Lovely dark fruit flavours continue with plum, cherry and sweet raspberry. Cooking apples, lemon glazing, a dusting of dark chocolate powder and a dry yet delicate peat smoke towards the end. A familiar coastal brine influence draws out the unique Campbeltown characteristics.


Notes of sea salt, dark cacao, smouldering campfire, sandalwood, BBQ meat and dry peat smoke.
Available from 10am at Cadenhead’s Campbeltown, Cadenhead’s Edinburgh and for £48.00.



Please join the Society to reveal the link!

Shipping to UK and Rest of World only. Shipping to EU not currently available. 

Available at local retailers, if you are interested in this edition click below to find one near you.



The Springbank Team

To join the Springbank Society please contact them at

New Arrivals and Back in Stock at K&L California – Whisky News

Dalwhinnie “Winter’s Frost Game of Thrones House Stark” Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $48) $21.99 View

Part of Diageo’s line of eight single malt whiskies to commemorate the eighth and final season of HBO’s hit television series Game of Thrones that is based on the novel of the same name, and the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, by George R.R. Martin. House Stark is located in the northern part of Westeros, and is known for its cold temperatures. Dalwhinnie is one of the highest-altitude distilleries in Scotland and resembles Winterfell in its remote and frigid location.

Doc Swinson’s “Alter Ego Triple Cask” Sherry & Cognac Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $54.99 View

One of the latest additions to Doc Swinson’s lineup of whiskies aged in a variety of different cask types, the Triple Cask is finished with two different types of Sherry Butts (PX & Oloroso), Cognac Puncheons and a long resting period in ex-Cognac Foeders. The Sherry Butts come from Montilla-Moriles Spain where their Sherry Solera Pyramids date back to the 1920’s.

Heaven Hill Bottled In Bond Whiskies Collector Set (5x750ml) (Elsewhere $212) $149.99 View

Outer quote mark In 2018, Heaven Hill discontinued its 6 year old bottled in bond bourbon that was sold only in Kentucky, but now has roared back with this widely available 7 year old. While the bottled in bond designation isn’t necessarily a quality guarantee, this whiskey more than proves its merit. It’s explosive, bold, and buttery, with warm flavors of honey-roasted peanuts, caramel, chocolate, corn muffins, licorice, and cinnamon, all accented by notes of savory herbs, cloves, white pepper, tobacco, and an earthy undertone. Well-integrated big oak, sweetness, and spice combine to create grace, power, and length. This is pure bourbon bliss, at a very approachable price. *Number 4 in the 2019 Top 20* (DF, Winter 2019) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

*NB: Partial Returns not accepted, all 5 bottles required* The Bottled In Bond Act was passed on March 3rd, 1897. This is perhaps the most important piece of spirits related legislation in the history of the United States. Not only did it establish the most rigorous standard for any distilled spirit in the world, it was also a critical change to tax law that allowed us to have great and relatively inexpensive whiskey. To be bottled in bond a spirit must meet a number of requirements. Most importantly for today’s whiskey consumer, spirit that is BIB must be a minimum of 4 years of age. In addition it has to be distilled in a single distillation season (Jan-Jun or July-Dec) by a single distiller at one distillery. That single season whisky must then be aged in a bonded warehouse and ultimately bottled at exactly 100 proof. The label must identify where it was distilled and who bottled it. In the case of Heaven Hill, no one has a larger or better portfolio of Bottled In Bond whiskies. This item includes 5 full-sized bottles: Henry McKenna – winner of best in show at SF Spirits in 2019. This bottle alone averages about $85 bucks since this prestigious award was bestowed upon it. A bottle of Heaven Hill 7 year – #4 on Whisky Advocates Top 20 Whiskies of 2019 (elsewhere $70). This 5 pack is rounded out by 3 other extraordinary whiskies: Even Williams BIB Bourbon, Rittenhouse BIB Rye, and Mellow Corn BIB Corn Whiskey. All stone cold classics and staples in any well stocked bar.

J&B Rare – The Unexpected Whisky at Hard To Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News




Blended Scotch Whisky

70cl 40% ABV

Easy to drink and even easier to mix, no drinks trolley is complete without J&B Rare. A beautifully balanced blended Scotch whisky, made from a unique blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies, each one intrinsic to its subtle, smooth and complex flavour. The result is a light-bodied, fruity whisky with delicate smoky notes that will perfectly compliment your favourite whisky cocktails.

Few whisky brands have a history as gripping and original as J&B Rare, a Scotch that bears the name of a love-struck Italian (Justerini) and a canny Englishman (Brooks), made world famous in the 1930s. At the heart of J&B Rare are whiskies from some of the finest Speyside malts including Knockando, Glen Spey, Auchriosk and Strathmill, which provide the fruity, fresh quality and give J&B Rare its light colour. Added to that are some of the finest grain whiskies Scotland has to offer to create a fresh and vibrant blend.

Fruity and aromatic on the nose with notes of soft apple and pear, J&B Rare is naturally pale in colour, with layers of rich vanilla and a well-balanced, smooth finish. Matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years, the finer ‘heart malts’ are aged for longer to add fullness and depth of flavour, creating the unique taste of J&B Rare.




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