Press Releases




Members of the iconic whisky club will sample the same five drams from the Society’s flavour spectrum

In celebration of its 35th anniversary, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) will be bringing their spiritual home in Edinburgh, The Vaults, to members across the world through a unique virtual tasting.

The tasting will be streamed live on the SMWS Facebook page ( at 7pm (UK time) Monday 24th September with members invited to join in the tasting of five special drams from across the Society’s flavour spectrum. To get involved, visit 

Join in the live tasting from around the world

Limited edition five-dram Discovery Packs are available to members for £35 to ensure that everyone taking part, regardless of where they are in the world, will taste the same hand-selected drams during the live tasting hosted by Master Brand Ambassador John McCheyne.

SMWS are also offering these Discovery Packs as part of an exclusive membership offer, which includes the five-dram 35th Anniversary pack and Society membership, for £89 here:

This is the first time that the SMWS will be hosting a tasting event that will encompass all of its global members, therefore creating a rare opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts worldwide to have a shared whisky experience and interact directly.

SMWS Master Brand Ambassador, John McCheyne, said: “It’s not often we get the opportunity to bring our global members together, so we’re really looking forward to having this experience and celebrating the last 35 years.

“Creating a community of whisky lovers was something that the Society was founded on and we continue to pride ourselves on that. This virtual tasting is a fantastic opportunity to see the scale which that community has grown over the years.”

Experience the event in person

There is the opportunity to experience this historic moment first hand, by attending the tasting live at The Vaults in Edinburgh. The price of the event ticket includes the five-dram Discovery Pack.

The tasting will also be streamed simultaneously to the Society’s Queen Street and Greville Street Member’s Rooms in Edinburgh and London respectively, giving people the opportunity to enjoy this historic experience in the company of fellow members. For more information on screenings of the event see here:

Separate tastings will take place to allow to different time zones and will be screened to members in other countries, including Australia.

Members taking part in the virtual tastings are encouraged to join the conversation and share their experience of the event using #SMWSat35. 

35th Anniversary Virtual Tasting Discovery Pack includes;

29.249 Sweet black tea in the surgery • Heavily Peated • 2nd fill ex-PX hogshead • 21 years

35.214 Without pretence • Sweet, Fruity & Mellow • 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel • 22 years

63.49 In the dark of the abyss • Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits • Refill ex-oloroso butt • 11 years

93.94 The final trawl • Oily & Coastal • Refill ex-bourbon barrel • 15 years

135.6 Cones vs crones • Spicy & Dry • 2nd fill ex-bourbon hogshead • 10 years

For more information on membership including a special offer on membership and the 35th Anniversary Discovery Pack, visit

Twitter: @SMWSUK  


About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club that bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
  • The Society only ever bottles single casks – each cask is unique, making every Society bottling a limited edition
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 135 distilleries in its history
  • The Society releases a new batch of around 30 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
  • The Kaleidoscope Whisky Bar and Shop has over 200 whiskies on offer and is open to everybody
  • The Society offers a variety of membership’s packages which can be tailored. Please see
  • For more information about the Society, visit




From Chivas Masters UK champion to Global Brand Ambassador 

September 13th 2018 – Bartender, whisky aficionado, and UK winner of the 2017 Chivas Masters Cocktail Competition, Rhys Wilson, has joined Chivas as Global Brand Ambassador. Rhys steps in to a leading role where he will share his passion for Scotch whisky on the global stage and bring to life Chivas’ belief that blended is better, in life and in Scotch.

Rhys brings an incredible blend of industry knowledge, experience and success to the role. Formerly General Manager at London’s Happiness Forgets, winner of Best International Cocktail Bar at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, Rhys will be drawing on his 10 years of industry experience to deliver captivating experiences and tantalising serves for Chivas.

Speaking for the first time as the new Chivas Global Brand Ambassador, Rhys comments: “Taking part in the Chivas Masters was a huge turning point in my career, helping me learn a lot about myself, Scotch whisky and the path towards achieving success as a team. Perhaps most importantly though, it gave me the opportunity to become part of the Chivas family and really be inspired by the brand and its values. I’m honoured to now have the opportunity to help bring these values to life and work with the Chivas community around the world.”

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Rhys to the team as we have witnessed his charisma and dedication to the brand through his involvement with the Chivas Masters and believe he will bring a fresh new perspective to the role. We’re looking forward to working closely with him as he helps to strengthen our relationships with the bartending community and showcase our award-winning portfolio as we move from strength to strength globally.”

chivas celtic logo


About Chivas

Chivas believes that blended is better, in life and in Scotch. The original luxury blended Scotch whisky, Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art of blending in 19th century Scotland. Since then, Chivas has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide – by bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.

Chivas believes in the power of blending in life, as well as in Scotch. In bringing people together to create a greater whole – which is why Chivas is proud to be the global spirits partner of Manchester United, the world’s biggest football club; and in blending ambition with generosity and using success to enrich the lives of others – which is why the Chivas Venture supports social startups with $1m in annual funding.

Chivas blends its home in Speyside, Scotland, with more than 100 countries across the globe, who together have made Chivas the global success it is today, selling more than 4.2 million 9L cases every year. The Chivas range blends timeless classics with modern innovation, including: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas XV, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 18, Chivas Ultis, Chivas 25, Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

Chivas. Success is a blend.


Bowmore Trilogy


Crafted in One of the World’s Oldest Scotch Maturation Houses, The Full, Collectible Trilogy of Luxury Whiskies is Now Available in the U.S. 

Islay, Scotland (September 11, 2018) – Bowmore, the oldest licensed distillery established in 1779 on Scotland’s isle of Islay, has released Bowmore® 27 Year Old Port Cask, the third and final expression in the Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky Vintner’s Trilogy. Available as of September 2018, the 27 Year Old Port Cask joins Bowmore® 18 Year Old Double Matured Manzanilla and Bowmore® 26 Year Old Wine Matured, both released in November 2017. The now-complete Trilogy was created and matured in the distillery’s famed No.1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest Scotch maturation houses, imbuing the brand’s signature flavor with attributes of the finest ex-wine, ex-sherry and ex-port casks.

The Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy is the result of generations of distilling expertise and the unique, sea-buffeted atmosphere of the No.1 Vaults. The whiskies within the Trilogy have been meticulously aged in manzanilla sherry, port, wine and bourbon barrels, imparting complex layers of flavor to the signature smoky Bowmore profile to produce this range of premium, collectable whiskies.

“We are thrilled to release Bowmore 27 Year Old Port Cask to complete the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy,” says Kale Schnettler, Director Super Premium Whiskey at Beam Suntory. “Steeped in nearly 240 years of heritage, coupled with our No. 1 Vaults aging warehouse has made this brand one of the world’s most coveted Scotch whiskies. This Vintner’s Trilogy exemplifies the expertise of our distiller and blender to produce three distinctly different, wine-matured whiskies meant to be sipped, savored and certainly collected.” 



Released this September 2018 in the U.S., this exceptional limited-edition Scotch whisky is double matured, first for 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then for 14 years in port pipes, resulting in a deep mahogany coloring with flavors of sultanas, sugarplums and salted caramel added to Bowmore’s signature sweet and salty notes with a touch of smoke. To preserve the full flavor, this expression is non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength (48.3% ABV) for a suggested retail price of $520.00.

TASTING NOTES: On the nose, peaty and medicinal with a strong toffee, herbal and spicy character followed by heather and a hint of rosemary and old Port wine notes are complemented by raspberry coulis and red berries. The finish develops into earthy carbolic notes, with salted dates, dried herbs, sweet tobacco, sweet dried cranberries and a touch of white pepper.  


Available as of November 2017, Bowmore 26 Year Old Wine Matured spent its first 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels before a second maturation of 13 years in wine barriques, which gives the whisky a burnt amber coloring. In this expression, the brand’s signature earthy smoke mixes with redcurrant jam, camphor oil and cherry pie. This full-bodied whisky finishes with a hint of salt, resulting from the influence of Bowmore’s maturation warehouse being one of the only, in the world, that is below sea level. This expression is bottled at cask strength (48.7% ABV) and available for a suggested retail price of $540.00.

Tasting notes: On the nose you find spiced oak, papaya and mango and a honeyed sweetness. On the palate, the flavors develop into oak spiced smoke and rich dark chocolate with a long finish.


Also released in November 2017, Bowmore 18 Year Old is first matured in ex-bourbon barrels and then goes through a second maturation in ex-manzanilla sherry barrels. The sherry aging imparts an antique, gold coloring, while providing layers of fruity blackcurrants, spicy citrus and vanilla fudge to Bowmore’s legendary peat smoke. This expression is bottled at cask strength (52.5% ABV) and available for a suggested retail price of $127.00.

Tasting notes: On the nose, treacle, salted caramel, ripe blackcurrants, soft stone fruits, spiced Seville oranges with subtle hints of menthol and chamomile. On the palate, bitter oranges and a burst of smoke. 


Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest licensed distillery on Islay, one of the Scottish isles which make up the region known as the ‘Islands’ in the lexicon of Whisky. The other regions are the Highlands, Speyside and the Lowlands. Islay malts are famous for their characteristic smokiness and Bowmore is no exception; the malt is carefully smoked in a peat-fired kiln, using skills handed down from generation to generation to craft a perfectly balanced Single Malt.

Bowmore adheres to traditional production methods which helps to shape the character of its single malts. Today, it prides itself as one of the rare distilleries which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by a traditional wooden malt shovel and hand drawn machinery. Water for the whiskies is specially drawn from the Laggan River, with its peaty overtones, the same Islay peat that fires the malt-drying kiln.

Bowmore Distillery’s proximity to the sea is also vital in determining the final character of its spirit. The legendary Bowmore No. 1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouses, is where some of the whiskies spend their long lives resting quietly in the cool, dark, damp cellars below sea level, oblivious to the waves thrashing the vault’s sea-facing wall. They mature in oak casks, previously used for bourbon and sherry, gradually developing rich and mellow flavors. It is this combination of peat, barley, sea breeze, water, wood, people and tradition that together create the perfectly balanced warm and smoky character of Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Bowmore domestic product range: Bowmore 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 18 Year Old and 25 Year Old.; Facebook | Twitter | Instagram: BOWMORE 

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

Glenmorangie Beyond the Cask Surfboard Launch – Scotch Whisky News




Glenmorangie takes to the waves:

Whisky casks reimagined as limited edition handmade wooden surfboards

Glenmorangie Original goes Beyond the Cask in a creative partnership born from the love of wood

In the latest of its Beyond the Cask creative collaborations, Glenmorangie takes to the waves in partnership with Grain Surfboards of Maine, New England USA – visionary creators of hand-built wooden surfboards.

The signature white oak casks for Glenmorangie Original are only ever used twice in their whisky-making lifetime, guaranteeing this single malt’s famously complex and multifaceted flavour. Now, to celebrate the wood that makes the whisky, the dedicated craftspeople at Grain Surfboards have built a series of exclusive limited-edition Glenmorangie Original wooden surfboards using reclaimed staves from Glenmorangie barrels.

As Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, explains, such special wood deserves another chapter in its story:

“Distillation in Scotland’s tallest stills, and ten years of maturation in our ex-Bourbon casks, used only twice, gives Glenmorangie Original an incredibly smooth and round character. 

“But people often ask us what happens to those casks after their whisky-making life is over. Beyond the Cask is our way of working with people who share our creative vision, passion and patience, to take this wood on another step in its journey. 

“Grain Surfboards are true experts in their field and, like us, they believe in taking time to truly understand the character of wood. Working with them is a great way to reinvent the casks that give Glenmorangie Original its depth of flavour, and give them a new lease of life beyond the Distillery. ”

The partnership brings together for the first time two brands who live the ideals of true craftsmanship: the iconic distillers whose ‘Men of Tain’ have been perfecting the art of whisky-making for 175 years; and the surfing artisans inspired by traditional boat-building techniques whose love of wood is embodied in surfboards like no other. The connection runs deep, for both New England and the Scottish Highlands offer some of the most prized cold-water surfing in the world.

Like Glenmorangie Original, Grain’s surfboards are a product of time, patience and a true affinity for the qualities of wood. Hand-finished and meticulously “bookmatched” to showcase continuous patterns, Grain Glenmorangie Original surfboards represent a step away from mass-produced boards and a return to handmade values. Each board unites Grain’s signature material, Maine-grown northern white cedar, with reclaimed western red cedar and wood from 12 oak staves – so surfers will be riding the waves on approximately half a cask.


As Grain Surfboards founder Mike LaVecchia explains, the two companies came together over shared ideals:

“We’re both strong brands with true craftsmanship at our core, so we were thrilled to work with Glenmorangie on this project. We’re really proud of these boards. It’s incredible that you can take a piece of wood that’s already worked hard and then give it a new life as something absolutely beautiful.”

Together, Glenmorangie and Grain Surfboards present a surfboard that’s not just a piece of sporting equipment, but an object with a rich history that brings together many different elements in harmony.

This is the third collaboration in Glenmorangie’s Beyond the Cask series and follows the world’s first sunglasses made from ex-whisky casks, produced by British brand Finlay & Co in 2016, and the world’s first bicycles made from ex-Glenmorangie casks, launched in 2017 with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles of Portland, Oregon.

The limited-edition Grain Glenmorangie Original surfboards are available to order from from September 2018, at $5,500 (approximately £5,000 pending exchange rate).  You can also view a film about the collaboration, directed by Sébastien Zanella, at

Follow Glenmorangie on:



Glenmorangie Original tasting notes:

Colour: Bright gold

Aroma: The scent of citrus and ripening peaches is softened by the aroma of vanilla.

Taste: First, vanilla is detected on the tongue before it ripples along the palate bringing a burst of flowery fruitiness.

Finish: About a minute after tasting, you are left with a clean and salving aftertaste with hints of orange and peach. RRP: £37,

Glenmorangie The Original has a host of accolades to its name. Most recently, in 2016, Glenmorangie The Original was awarded gold at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition and at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Glenmorangie Original was last year again awarded 94 out of 100 by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, which describes the single malt as “complexity at its most complex”.

About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at
the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland for a purer spirit, expertly matured in the finest oak casks for great depth and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field, uniting tradition with innovation.

About Grain Surfboards:

Established in 1999 in Maine, USA, Grain Surfboards formed from a desire to create classic surfboards for an environmentally conscious generation of surfers. With an appreciation for sustainability and heritage at its core, Grain Surfboards create hand-built wooden surfboards using boatbuilding techniques, renewable resources and craftsmanship. 

Responsible Drinking:

The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savour Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Please note this press release is not intended for distribution in France




         MONTREAL, CANADA (Sept. 12, 2018) – Judges awarded four Canadian whiskies from the Sazerac Company with high honors at the 2018 International Wine & Spirit Competition, awarding one Gold, one Silver Outstanding, and two Silver medals.        

Gold medal:

  • Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whisky

Silver Outstanding medal went to:

  • Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky

Silver Medal winners were:

  • High River Canadian Blended Whisky
  • Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Blended Whisky

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed chemical and microbiological analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Complete results for the 2018 International Wine & Spirits Competition can be found online at

About Sazerac

Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit


ASmithBowmanDistillery Logo


Fredericksburg, VIRGINIA (September 6, 2018) Judges awarded two spirits from A. Smith Bowman Distillery with one Silver Outstanding and one Silver medal at the 2018 International Wine & Spirit Competition, held earlier this summer in London, England.

Awarded a Silver Outstanding medal was John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Silver Medal winner was Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed chemical and microbiological analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Complete results for the 2018 International Wine & Spirit Competition can be found at

About A. Smith Bowman

  1. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date back to the years before Prohibition when the Bowman family had a granary and dairy farm in Sunset Hills, Virginia. They used excess grain from the family estate to distill spirits. In 1934, after the Repeal of Prohibition, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons continued the family tradition and built a more modern distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia called Sunset Hills Farm.  The Distillery was moved in 1988 and is now nestled in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location.

As a small and privately owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery continues the time-honored traditions on which it was founded. Considered a micro-distillery by today’s standards, A. Smith Bowman produces an assortment of hand-crafted spirits distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and using the latest technology. This micro-distillery focuses on the production of premium spirits honoring the legacy of Virginia’s first settlers. Its various brands have won more than 100 awards in the past five years, including “World’s Best Bourbon” in 2016 for its Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon and again in 2017 for its John J. Bowman Single Barrel at the World Whisky Awards.  For more information on A. Smith Bowman, please visit


Barton 1792



BARDSTOWN, kENTUCKY (September 5, 2018) – Eight bourbons from Barton 1792 Distillery received high honors at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition held in London, England earlier this summer. Among those honors received were five Silver Outstanding Medals for Barton 1792 Distillery.

Barton 1792 Distillery bourbons awarded “Silver Outstanding” include:

  • 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 High Rye Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Other Barton 1792 Distillery bourbons receiving awards include:

  • Very Old Barton 90 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Silver Medal
  • Very Old Barton 80 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Bronze Medal
  • Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Silver Medal

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed chemical and microbiological analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Complete results for the 2017 IWSC can be found at

About Barton 1792 Distillery

Barton 1792 Distillery is part of Barton Brands.  Barton Brands has facilities in Bardstown, Ky., Carson, Calif., and Baltimore, Md. Barton Brands is owned by the Sazerac Company, an American family-owned company based in New Orleans, La. Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and continues today as the oldest fully-operating Distillery in the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” The Distillery is located on 196 acres and includes 28 warehouses, 22 other buildings, the Morton Spring and the Tom Moore Spring.  Distilling, aging and bottling fine Bourbon whiskey are hallmarks of the historic Barton 1792 Distillery. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is produced at Barton 1792 Distillery. This whiskey is named for the year Kentucky became a state and is the recent gold medal winner at the 2017 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. To learn more visit

The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive bottling, an Orcadian Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive bottling, an Orcadian Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. 

Specialist online whisky shop,, is proud to release a very limited Orcadian Blended Malt Scotch Whisky from the parish of St Ola.

The Orkney Islands, located off the north coast of Scotland, are full of mystery and intrigue. The island was in many ways shaped by the Vikings who settled in Orkney over one thousand years ago. There are age-old tales of Viking settlers, the striking St Magnus Cathedral (or ‘Light of the North’) and even Pictish ruins.

As well as the striking ‘Light of the North’, St Ola is home to both Highland Park and Scapa Whisky Distilleries. In other words, St Ola is the home of Orcadian whisky. could not possibly pass up the chance to take the very first St Ola Scotch Whisky. This blended malt might only be eight years old but it is full of flavour and certainly a credit to Orkney.

With an ABV of 66.2%.  There are 82 numbered bottles available so there will be a limit of two bottles per customer.

Available exclusively from The Whisky Barrel, shipping to customers Worldwide including the United States of America, Canada and Japan. 

St Ola® Orcadian Blended Malt 8Year Old Exclusive |2010|| 66.2%

Tasting notes 

Colour: Light golden straw.

Nose: A lovely sweet nose, accompanied by notes of Crème brûlée and heather honey. 

Palate: There are traces of light peat smoke, along with traditional leather and burnt orange. 

Finish: Long and oily. 

Price: £58.00 GBP / $62.60 USD (+ P&P) 

The Whisky Barrel E: Visit T: +44 (0)845 2248 156

Find us on: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

TWB 337


SB gold award


Steel Bonnets, The Lakes Distillery’s blend of English and Scotch malt whisky, has been awarded a Gold Medal in the World Whisky Ultra-Premium category (whiskies priced over £51) by the prestigious Spirits Business Awards.

The Luxury Masters competition aims to reward the finest luxury spirits on the global stage.  Chaired by The Spirits Business and assessed by a panel of leading spirits specialists, Steel Bonnets was the only World Whisky in its category to secure a Gold Medal award.

Speaking following a blind-tasting, the panel of whisky experts from across the globe commented that Steel Bonnets was ‘full and warm’ with ‘green apple, slight wood smoke’ and a palate of ‘cinnamon and plum.’ 

Created with the highest quality malt whiskies from both sides of the border, Steel Bonnets is a combination of The Lakes Single Malt from England and some of the most respected malts from Scotland.  It is the world’s first blend of English malt and Scotch malt whisky.

The name pays homage to the memory of the English and Scottish people who lived in the Border Marches from Berwick-upon-Tweed in the East to Carlisle in the West during the 13th – 17th centuries.

Paul Currie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Lakes Distillery said:  “I’m incredibly proud that Steel Bonnets has been recognised by some of the world’s leading whisky experts for its excellence. Our Master Whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi has created something very special.

“This is the third year of the competition and the excellence demonstrated in our category confirms the emphasis leading whisky makers are putting on taste and quality.  With the growing trend for customers to spend more and drink less this is an increasingly important award for premium spirits.

“Our ambition is to establish The Lakes Distillery as a luxury global whisky brand and this recognition is another significant step towards this. Steel Bonnets now sits alongside world brands including Sullivan’s Cove of Tasmania and Chivas Regal Ultis, both Gold award winners and I’m absolutely thrilled.”

The Lakes Distillery Master Whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandhi, said: “I’m honoured that Steel Bonnets has received a Gold Medal. It is very rewarding that the knowledgeable tasting panel appreciated this unique whisky.”

For more information, please visit: 


The Lakes Distillery employs 85 people and is led by a team of four: 

Paul Currie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, as one part of the father-son team behind the Isle of Arran Distillers, Paul has whisky in his veins!

Nigel Mills CBE, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, was the driving force that saw the Mills convenience store brand grow from 11 newsagents to a chain of 77 convenience stores and eight supermarkets.

Dhavall Gandhi, Operations Director and Whiskymaker, joined the Distillery after fine-tuning his skills at Macallan and is instrumental in crafting the Lake District’s only single malt whisky.

Alan Rutherford OBE, Chairman, a leading figure in the whisky world, as testified by his OBE for services to the Scotch Whisky Industry and as the former production director at Diageo.

Bourbon Distilleries Add New Features to Attract and Enhance Guests Experiences – American Whisky News



Bourbon Distilleries Add New Features to Attract and Enhance Guests Experiences 

KENTUCKY, September 6, 2018: Kentucky has long been hailed as the epi-center of the bourbon industry. As America’s only native spirit (as declared by Congress in 1964) and Kentucky its birthplace, bourbon-tourism is one of the leading economic drivers for the state that is currently responsible for crafting 95% of the world’s supply.

A $8.5 billion industry, bourbon tourism has generated a distillery building boom within the state, with bourbon companies expanding their production facilities to accommodate tours and building state-of-the-art visitor centers which include restaurants, tastings, classes and interactive exhibits, all destinations within themselves. With interest soaring, distilleries across the U.S. are extending their visitor experiences beyond spirit tastings to bourbon-themed trails, festivals, museum exhibitions, boat tours and train rides.

Please see below for an array of new and upcoming bourbon experiences available in Kentucky:


Kentucky River Tours at Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort – The bourbon industry’s only boat tour  begins at the Buffalo Trace Gift shop where riders will then be transported by shuttle to a private boat dock to board the 27 foot open deck, open air vessel and being their journey down the Kentucky River. A portion of each ticket sale will be donated to Woods and Waters, a local non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the lower Kentucky River watershed.

Spirits of the Bluegrass: Prohibition and Kentucky, Bardstown – This exhibit, which is on loan to The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown by Louisville’s Frazier Museum, opened May 2018 and will remain open for two years.  The collection includes artifacts, a bar, figures in the Prohibition movement and videos.

Bardstown Bourbon Company, Bardstown – This new $25 million, 45,000-square-foot distillery located in the Nelson County Industrial Park became operational in September 2016. The distillery opened a whiskey library, bar and full-scale restaurant, Bottle & Bond in June 2018.

Rabbit Hole Distillery, Louisville – This husband-wife owned craft distillery is located in the trendy Nulu section of Louisville.  The hour-long, fully immersive tour down the rabbit hole concludes with a unique five-sense tasting experience featuring the distillery’s bourbon, rye, and gin. This state-of-the-art distillery which opened on Derby Eve 2018 plans to break ground on a new restaurant soon.

Lux Row Distillers, Bardstown – The bourbon capital of the world added another distillery, which is owned by Luxco, a St. Louis-based company.  This 18,000 square-foot distillery opened in April 2018 and offers tours complete with a bourbon tasting seminar.

Old Forester Distillery, Louisville – The Brown-Forman Corporation opened the Old Forester Distillery and bourbon experience for its founding brand, Old Forester, in two historic buildings on West Main Street in Louisville’s Whiskey Row in June 2018. Building on the company’s strong bourbon whiskey heritage, this world-class distilling operation and visitor destination showcases the craftsmanship and authenticity of Old Forester, the first bottled bourbon.

Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery, Pikeville – Bourbon distilling has finally made its way to Eastern Kentucky with this distillery, which opened in late June 2018.  Owned by Alltech, its name is tied to the famous Hatfield & McCoy feud.  Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery offers moonshine, bourbon, beer and ale.

James E. Pepper Distillery, Lexington – The historic 1776 James E. Pepper bourbon label was revived with this distillery, located at the west end of formerly abandoned, now repurposed Pepper Campus, which is also home to Ethereal Brewery, Barrel House Distilling, Crank & Boom Ice Cream, Kentucky Knows and Middle Fork Kitchen.  The James E. Pepper Distillery recently opened for tours in mid-July 2018.


Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center & Exhibit, Louisville – The Frazier History Museum and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association have finalized a partnership to mutually develop a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center & Exhibit that will be located at the Frazier along Louisville’s famed Whiskey Row. The interactive, state-of-the-art experience opening in late August 2018 will include Kentucky bourbon-related historical exhibits and will educate visitors on why the Bluegrass has the perfect mix of water, climate, corn and natural conditions that make it the one, true, authentic home of America’s only native spirit. 

Michter’s Micro-Distillery, Louisville – Michter’s is renovating the historically and architecturally significant Fort Nelson Building, targeting a third quarter 2018 opening. Michter’s Micro-Distillery will be located on Louisville’s Museum Row. The Fort Nelson building’s striking exterior is a classic example of 1890s cast iron architecture.

Bulleit Distilling Company, Shelbyville – Bulleit Distilling Company opened its second location in Shelby County in March 2017. It has the latest technology in warehousing and distillation, including enhancements that help conserve and reuse resources, resulting in improved efficiency and less impact on the environment. In 2018, Bulleit Distilling Company broke ground on an environmentally-conscious 11,570 square-foot Visitor’s Center expected to open to the public in 2019. The new Visitor Center will include interactive educational experiences, a tasting area, and gift shop.

Kentucky Owl Park, Bardstown – Kentucky Owl Park, a nearly $150 million lakeside complex, broke ground in November 2017.  The first phase, which includes the distillery to produce Kentucky Owl Bourbon, is targeted to open in in 2020.  Long-term plans include a freshwater lake for fishing and recreation, a gourmet restaurant, convention center and hotel, and a vintage passenger train and refurbished train station.

Castle & Key Distillery, Millville (Woodford Co.)  – The former Old Taylor Distillery has been rediscovered and renamed Castle & Key. While a botanical gin and vodka can be sampled on site today, a Rye whiskey is planned for release in 2018, with a traditional bottled-in-bond Bourbon to be available later. The gardens are being restored by Jon Carloftis and there are plans to turn the grounds’ red brick train station in to a full-service restaurant.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown – The Kentucky Bourbon Festival® is a weeklong celebration of the storied history and art of distilling America’s native spirit. Each year this event promotes and educates the public on the history and production of Bourbon and supports local non-profit organizations. This year’s event will take place September 12-16 in the Bourbon Capital of the World- Bardstown, Kentucky.

Bourbon & Beyond, Louisville – The Second Annual Bourbon & Beyond festival returns to Louisville’s Champions Park September 22-23, 2018. This premier bourbon, music and food festival will feature over 40 bourbon brands offering workshops and demonstrations, along with celebrity chef demonstrations and pop-ups from many of Louisville’s favorite restaurants.  A lineup of world-renowned performers will also be taking the stage including Sting, John Mayer, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, David Byrne, Lenny Kravitz and Counting Crows.

The Bourbon Country® Burn, Lexington – Riders can choose their adventure with one, two or three days of biking to distilleries during the day and sipping Bourbon in the evenings for The Bourbon Country Burn. Bikers will embark on their journeys September 28 from the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and will ride between 25 and 100 miles each day.

The Bourbon Chase, Lexington – This 200-mile relay race through Kentucky will take attendees across horse country, into Kentucky’s small towns and along The Kentucky Bourbon Trail. This October 12-13, runners will take their marks at the Jim Bean Factory across the finish line, 200 miles later, at Triangle Park near Alltech Brewery & Distillery.

Click HERE for a full list of ways to experience Bourbon in Kentucky. 


Long known as the front door to the South, Kentucky offers a world of outdoor adventures, vibrant arts scene, expansive distilleries and micro-breweries, and an explosive culinary scene. From legendary Horse Country and the grandstands of America’s most storied thoroughbred racing tracks to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Kentucky invites you to come and explore. For information, please visit Follow us on socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

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