Press Releases

Secret Spirits Finalist Up for Award – Whisky News

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Secret Spirits is amongst the 5 finalists vying for the Chamber of Commerce Small Business week Innovation award. This award acknowledges outstanding innovation and is typically awarded to companies that forever change the landscape of their industries.

With their Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar and Rum’s Revenge Treasure Chest, Secret Spirits is changing the way spirit lovers enjoy their favourite drink paving a new category in the adult beverage industry.

The awards night is the 19th October and Secret Spirits is proud to be amongst the other 5 top innovative companies in Alberta. Gabriella’s Kitchen, Anyquip Inc, Jobjar and Hifi Engineering Inc.

For more info on Secret Spirits products go to


R&B Distillers win a gold medal in Scottish Field Reader’s Panel Whisky Challenge – Scotch Whisky News

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R&B Distillers is delighted to announce that Borders Highland Single Grain whisky has been awarded a gold medal at the Scottish Field Reader’s Panel Whisky Challenge. The young whisky was placed ahead of Sanaig from Kilchoman Distillery and is now in the runnings for Whisky Of The Year’ at the Scottish Field Grand Final.

Scottish Field Magazine invited ten of their readers – from whisky novices to whisky buffs – to put their tastebuds to the test and blind taste 59 of Scotland’s finest drams.  With prices ranging from £11-£900 and hailing from across all Scottish regions, the panel whittled down whiskies to the top three which will go through to the Grand Final. Borders is now in with a chance of being crowned ‘Whisky Of The Year’ by Scottish Field’s expert judges.

The panel of 10 readers were asked to write tasting notes and score the whiskies, with the top 20 whiskies going through to the next round in the afternoon. Borders was described as ‘a lovely Scottish blend’ and ‘long and complex with notes of fruitcake on the palate’ by the tasting panel.

An uncommon composition, Borders the only single grain Scotch Whisky to contain 50% wheat & 50% malted barley from one highland distillery, matured in a combination of Bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks to represent the style of R&B Distillers’ future Borders distilling. R&B Distillers’ Alasdair Day’s great-grandfather blended whisky in the Coldstream and now, over 150 years since the last distillery in the Scottish Borders, R&B Distillers plan to reinstate whisky in this forgotten region In November 2016 Borders was awards its first international award – a bronze medal in the HKIWSC.


Brown-Forman Makes Commitment to Barrel Making with Investment; Modernization of Facility Requires Reduced Workforce in 2019 – American Whiskey News

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Brown-Forman Makes Commitment to Barrel Making with Investment; Modernization of Facility Requires Reduced Workforce in 2019

LOUISVILLE, KY, September 14, 2017 – Brown-Forman Corporation announced today that it will invest $45 million in the Brown-Forman Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky. The investment will modernize the Cooperage, reduce operating cost by improving efficiency, and allow the continued production of high quality barrels in Louisville.

The new equipment will be focused in the Heading and Staving departments and necessitate the elimination of 70 hourly positions once fully implemented in early 2019. The Cooperage will continue to employ approximately 205 individuals. All impacted employees, determined by the current UAW contract, will be offered a variety of transitional assistance.

“As the only distilling company to craft its own barrels, making this investment will help ensure the long-term viability of our Cooperage in Louisville, reduce injuries, and preserve our unique competitive advantage of barrel-making,” said Alex Alvarez, chief production officer, Brown-Forman. “While the improvements will result in the loss of some hourly positions, we believe this will strengthen the long-term viability of the Cooperage in Louisville.”

Brown-Forman began bottling bourbon nearly 150 years ago and recognized the important role of the barrel and the impact wood has on bourbon. Based on this vision, Brown-Forman established its own cooperage in 1945, resulting in more than 70 years of raising barrels and honing the craft of using wood to impart unique flavour characteristics to bourbon.

“We believe that barrels are more than a container for our whiskey, they’re an important ingredient,” said Alvarez. “We’re proud to continue making these barrels at the Brown-Forman Cooperage.”

The Cooperage will remain open during the construction phase with an expected completion date of early 2019.

Brown-Forman Cooperage crafts more than 2,500 barrels per day for the aging of spirits such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Early Times, Canadian Mist, el Jimador, and Herradura. It is located on MacLean Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Brown-Forman also has a cooperage in Decatur, Alabama, where it makes barrels for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Slane. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,700 employees and sold in more than 165 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit

Two proud Irish traditions collaborate to produce an exceptional Irish Whiskey with a Californian twist – Irish Whiskey News

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Green Spot Chateau Montelena Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Two proud Irish traditions collaborate to produce an exceptional Irish Whiskey with a Californian twist

Irish Distillers today proudly unveils Green Spot Chateau Montelena, the first Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey to be finished in French oak Zinfandel wine casks. Matured until the combination of wine, whiskey and oak has reached the perfect balance, this new release is the second in the Wine Geese series of Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys that have been finished in unique wine casks.

Green Spot Chateau Montelena has been initially matured in American Bourbon and sherry casks and then finished for one year in casks previously filled with Zinfandel wine from the famed Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley. This rare cask finish contributes pomegranate, cranberry and maraschino cherry on the nose, a dry note to the silky mouthfeel and the finish combines classic long pot still spice flavours with a delicate wine influence, all in perfect harmony.

Green Spot Chateau Montelena also represents the coming together of two stories of Irish endeavour and enterprise. The Mitchells, who bottled and sold the original Green Spot under bond until 1968 and Jim Barrett, who restored the California-based Chateau Montelena to its former glory in 1972. Son of John Barrett, a Waterford man who emigrated to the USA after World War I, Jim Barrett followed in a long list of Wine Geese – Irish migrants that established leading wineries around the world. Today, the time-honoured traditions of Chateau Montelena are upheld by Jim’s son, Bo Barrett.

Crafted at the Midleton Distillery by Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation and long-serving Head Blender, Billy Leighton, Green Spot Chateau Montelena is the second edition in the Wine Geese series following the launch of Green Spot Château Léoville Barton in 2015. Bottled at 46% ABV and without chill-filtration, Green Spot Chateau Montelena will be available in limited quantities each year in the USA, Canada and Ireland (including Ireland Travel Retail).


Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, explains: “Green Spot Chateau Montelena is the celebration of three famous Irish institutions – Midleton Distillery, Mitchell and Son and Chateau Montelena – working in harmony to craft a new and innovative Irish whiskey that will appeal to whiskey and wine drinkers alike.

“Exploring the influence of these prized wine casks on Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was our inspiration. We found that the black-skinned Zinfandel grapes are full of ripe, spicy berry flavours, which imparts a distinctive and refined fruitiness to the wine and also the casks in which they matured. Working closely with Billy Leighton, we monitored the finishing process over the course of one year until we reached the perfect balance of flavours – the result is a rich pot still whiskey with classic Green Spot red apples, pears, vanilla and liquorice complemented by the dry and fruity Zinfandel wine.”


Bo Barrett, Chief Executive Officer at Chateau Montelena added, “It has been a pleasure to work with Billy Leighton, Kevin O’Gorman and the whole production team at Midleton Distillery on this exciting project. We were brought together by a shared heritage and common respect for excellence in craft that has been wholly realised in Green Spot Chateau Montelena. I hope consumers will enjoy the Zinfandel twist to the classic Green Spot single pot still flavour.”


Tasting notes by Kevin O’Gorman, Head of Maturation at Midleton Distillery

Nose: Crisp oak combines with the soft sweetness of vanilla, white chocolate and marshmallow, balanced with signature Green Spot red apples and ripe pears, along with pomegranate, cranberries and maraschino cherries, the contribution of the wine cask.
Taste: Sweet mouth coating takes on a dry note thanks to the effect of the wine cask. Pot still spices subside with zesty citrus leading to ripe orchard fruit and red berries. A touch of marzipan and toasted oak add to the complexity.
Finish: Satisfyingly long with pot still spices in harmony with the delicate dry wine contribution.

About Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish Whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish Whiskey. Jameson is the world’s fastest-growing Irish Whiskey, experiencing 27 years of consecutive growth and hitting sales of 5.7m cases in 2016. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 60 of those experiencing double- or triple-digit growth.
Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Powers & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. In 2015, we completed a €220m investment which doubled our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.

We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin.

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,682 million in FY16. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier‐ Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 85 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.




 Treat your loved one to one of the finest, most unique single malt whiskies with  Lore, Select and 27 Year Old from Laphroaig

The award-winning, heavily-peated Single Malt Scotch whisky has been dividing opinions since 1815. It is not your everyday whisky for everyday people so this Christmas, get into the spirit and give the gift of history with three unique bottlings from the world’s No.1 Islay single malt.


Laphroaig Select’s unique character is derived from the special selection of casks chosen for maturation. The heart of the spirit is drawn from a final maturation in new American Oak casks, rarely used for Scotch whisky.

Representing a subtle blending of peat, oak and sweetness, Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell has selected the spirit from Laphroaig Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood (European Oak casks) and a final addition of 10 Year Old to create San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 silver medal award winning Laphroaig Select.

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Sparkling gold in colour, on the nose Laphroaig Select is reminiscent of burning embers of peat in a crofter’s fireplace with hints of coconut and banana. Full bodied, the whisky offers deep, complex and smoky flavours on the palate with a surprising gentle sweetness and a dry, spicy, finish, making it a great foil to smoked salmon, rich mince pies beside the fire or strong blue cheese this festive season.

For something extra special, give your loved one a limited edition Laphroaig Select gift pack including two bespoke Laphroaig nosing glasses alongside a full-sized bottle.

Laphroaig Select and the Laphroaig Select gift set are available in selected whisky specialists and retailers. RRP £35



A double-gold medal award winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017, Laphroaig Lore is shaped by Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell, and drawn from 5 different casks including first-fill Bourbon barrels, new American Oak quarter casks, refill Laphroaig and Oloroso Sherry butts to create a rich Laphroaig like no other.

As the name suggests, this offering from Laphroaig is inspired by the knowledge and traditions passed down from generation to generation of its distillery managers, blenders and craftsmen.

Deep mahogany in colour, on the nose Laphroaig Lore is rich and smoky with seaside minerals, a hint of ash and bitter chocolate drops. Vanilla follows with chestnuts and a hit of fudge with malty sweetness – flavours reminiscent of Christmas treats. This develops into reach peat and a spicy chilli bite on the palate with a long, sweet aftertaste. A special gift from our family to yours, Laphroaig Lore will match well with a variety of foods over the festive season – it’s the perfect dram to sip alongside (or even pour over) your Christmas pudding, dark chocolate, or game meats.

Laphroaig Lore is available in selected whisky specialists and retailers. RRP £84

Laphroaig 27


In 2015, to celebrate its 200th anniversary, Laphroaig launched a 32 Year Old exclusive – the highest aged whisky it had released in over 8 years. This formed the start of a super premium series which the limited release 27 Year Old Double Matured Laphroaig continues.

To make this exquisite liquid, mature Laphroaig previously aged in hogsheads was transferred into first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and refill quarter casks. Patiently aged in the famous Warehouse No. 1, these casks were then specially selected for a final maturation and bottled at cask strength.

Burnished gold in colour, on the nose Laphroaig 27 Year Old offers ripe tropical fruit, toasted nuts, vanilla cream and fresh leather, which develops into smoke on the palate tempered by limes and stone fruit, giving way to sea salt and mild spice on the finish. Or in Distillery Manager John Campbell’s opinion it is like “dreams of stewed fruit and old potato sacks in the baking sun woken with carbolic soap. Ahh, lemony fresh!” Presented in a white wooden box with hand-carved images of the Laphroaig distillery inside, this exceptional bottling is perfect for that special someone and is the ideal dram to round-off your Christmas feast.

Laphroaig 27 Year Old is available in selected whisky specialists and retailers.

John Campbell, Distillery Manager comments: “Christmas is about sharing what you love with who you love. These three bottlings showcase our passion for making exceptional whiskies and offer Laphroaig lovers something extra special this festive season.”

To find out more information about Laphroaig or how to become a Friend of Laphroaig, please visit Please enjoy our brand responsibly




Our Speyburn 10 year old whisky is a belting wee dram we have bottled in our latest, and continuing range of independent Whiski Bottlings. Carefully selected by our own staff after the arduous task of sampling different whisky casks (yes, we know its hard work) we bring you the 6th release in our series of own exclusive whisky bottlings.

This is a single cask scotch malt whisky Speyburn 10 year old and it is bottled at 46% – limited to just 150 bottles available exclusively at Whiski Shop

This 1st fill ex Bourbon Cask Speyburn whisky surprised us with its character – oak and Caramac bars on the nose and a subtle sweet peat note finish with a long lingering note of fresh vanilla pods.



Speyburn whisky distillery has been producing spirit since Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and like many of the whisky distilleries of Scotland, it was designed by Charles Doig. Speyburn whisky distillery came with all the mod cons not only located in the beautiful location of the Rothes Glen it also was the first distillery in Scotland to use drum maltings. Today it produces around a million litres of spirit a year.


Over the years we have had a few amazing malt whiskies that we have bottled: from a Single Cask Bunnahabhain whisky sherry bomb to an oily and earthy 14 Year Old Craigellachie whisky, to a spicy 11 year old Benrinnes and even a Glenygone 10 year whisky with citrus lemon notes. We are continuing to search out wonderful casks to bottle and this wee Speyburn whisky is a wonderful whisky to add to our growing range.

Our Speyburn 10 year old whisky is priced at £49.95 – which we find is a fair price to try a single cask whisky – 1 of 150 bottles! This is a Whiski Shop exclusive and can be found in store in Edinburgh or on our web shop

Whiski Shop



Bourbon Cask Reserve_The Steamship Collection FINAL Small



Bushmills, Co. Antrim, Monday 2nd October 2017: Bushmills® Irish Whiskey has announced the launch of BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE the third and latest edition in THE STEAMSHIP COLLECTION® a rare and unique range of Bushmills Irish Whiskeys inspired by the extraordinary voyages of the steamship SS BUSHMILLS.

As a Global Travel Retail exclusive, this new variant follows the successful launch of Bushmills Irish Whiskey PORT CASK RESERVE and SHERRY CASK RESERVE, marking the 125th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the SS BUSHMILLS.

In 1890, the SS BUSHMILLS set course for America to deliver Bushmills Irish Whiskey to new corners of the globe.  On her extraordinary maiden voyage she established knowledge and relationships with some of the world’s finest wine and spirits producers, before returning home with a variety of their finest seasoned casks. It is these relationships that have served the Old Bushmills Distillery to this day, helping Bushmills master distillers explore the potential of whiskey maturation in exclusive and rare casks.

Helen Mulholland, Master Blender of Bushmills Irish Whiskey, said; “At Bushmills we are known for centuries of innovation, continuously exploring the nuances that different casks impart on our whiskey. BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE is the result of our long-standing relationship with master coopers from Louisville, Kentucky who reserve only the finest American white oak, custom-charred bourbon casks to mature this unique whiskey.

“The amount of char you give a cask has a significant impact on the flavour and this is what makes BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE so special. The seasoned casks are emptied of bourbon and re-charred before being shipped to the Old Bushmills Distillery where we fill them exclusively with triple-distilled Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey.  By using a custom char we are able to draw out incredible spicy, honeyed vanilla flavours from deep within the fine grain American white oak.  The resulting whiskey has subtle notes of toasted oak, spices and crème brûlée with a long, rich and smooth finish.”

PROXIMO Global Travel Retail Director David Phelan added: “We know shoppers within travel retail seek unique products they cannot get in their domestic markets so BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE demonstrates our passion and commitment to meeting this consumer demand. To date, THE STEAMSHIP COLLECTION has been a firm favourite with travellers and we’re looking forward to the response we get from this exquisite new liquid once it goes on sale in early 2018.”

Priced at RSP £50 for 1L, travellers can pick up a bottle of BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE from early 2018, alongside the SHERRY CASK RESERVE and PORT CASK RESERVE editions at selected global travel retail outlets.


  • BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE is available in 1L
  • BOURBON #3 CHAR CASK RESERVE has an ABV of 40%

BOURBON #3 CHAR  CASK RESERVE will be available to sample from the PROXIMO stand (16 Bay Village) at the Tax Free World Exhibition, Cannes (1st-6th October).  Visitors to the stand will also have the opportunity to sample a range of innovative spirits from the wider PROXIMO portfolio.

About Bushmills® Irish Whiskey

Bushmills® Irish Whiskey is crafted with care at the Old Bushmills Distillery in the village of Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. As Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery – making triple distilled malt whiskey and producing both blended and single malt whiskey – our unmatched malt is at the heart of all Bushmills® Irish Whiskeys and creates a unique combination of smoothness and richness.


PROXIMO is a global innovator of quality spirits that create excitement with every sip. Its unique portfolio of brands includes the world’s largest selling tequila, Jose Cuervo®, Bushmills® Irish Whiskey, The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum, TINCUP® American Whiskey  and Boodles® British Gin.




The Macallan Select Reserve 52 year-old-1946. Sold for £15,625 (estimate £7,000-9,000)

A bottle of The Macallan Select Reserve 52 year-old emerged as the top lot in Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh yesterday, 4 October selling for £15,625. It had been estimated at  £7,000-9,000. The sale made a total of £523,963, the highest ever for a Bonhams whisky sale in Edinburgh.

Other highlights included:

  • The Macallan-1961 which sold for £13,125. One of only 379 bottles, it had been estimated at £8,000-10,000.
  • Glenfarclas-60 year old: one of only 360 bottles produced this unique 60 year made £12,500 having been estimated at £10,000-15,000.
  • A crystal bottle of Port Ellen-36 year old-1981 bottled in 2017. Drawn from a single cask as part of Diageo’s Casks of Distinction programme it was estimated at £4,500-5,000, but sold for £9,375.
Sale:         The Whisky Sale
Location:    22 Queen Street Edinburgh
Date:          Wednesday 4 October 11.00 pm
Specialist:  Martin Green


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with sales also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

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Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour. Pictures Simon Price/Firstpix Photography


Billy Walker-led team unveil vision to launch single malt and create premium blends  

The new owners of The GlenAllachie Distillery, near Aberlour, have unveiled their ambitious expansion plans for the business after completing the acquisition of the Speyside site from Pernod Ricard in a multi million pound deal.

Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage, who came together as The GlenAllachie Distillers Company Ltd to make the purchase, plan to launch a range of premium quality yet affordable whiskies in domestic and export markets.

Key targets include emerging markets as well as more established markets such as France, Germany and the United States.

The GlenAllachie Distillers Company will work with distributors that share its focus on quality drinks brands.  Plans include releasing a range of aged whiskies from a 10 year old to 25 year old.

In future, a range of single cask bottlings and special edition whiskies will be developed.

Experienced team 

Across the senior team the three directors of The GlenAllachie Distillers Company have almost 100 years’ experience in the Scotch whisky industry.

The consortium has also bought MacNair’s and White Heather, a pair of blended Scotch whisky brands, which it plans to rejuvenate with a various range of ages.

Majority shareholder Billy Walker served with Ballantine’s, Inver House and Burn Stewart before forming the BenRiach Distillery Company in 2003.

The company was ultimately sold to American drinks giant and Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman last year, earning Walker the accolade of “Entrepreneur of the Year” at the 2016 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. 

Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour. Pictures Simon Price/Firstpix Photography

Exciting opportunities ahead

Walker said:  “There are so many exciting opportunities in the whisky industry and the outlook for Scotch in emerging markets has never looked brighter. 

We want to create a boutique Scotch whisky company that is truly independent, Scottish-owned and managed. The team have all been in corporate roles previously and this is our opportunity to step away from that. At this stage in our careers we simply want to create a company that is fun to work with and passionate about making great whisky. 

“The GlenAllachie Distillery has been in good hands and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to become the custodian and continue the development as a single malt. 

“At fifty years old, it may be one of the younger distilleries on Speyside but the range of casks we have warehoused is tremendous, with whisky dating back to the 1970’s. Our aim is to nurture this liquid, develop the single malt and a range of blends that will be admired both home and abroad.”

Trisha Savage worked with Walker at both Burn Stewart and BenRiach, while Graham Stevenson is a former managing director at Inver House Distillers.

The GlenAllachie Distillery was designed by William Delmé-Evans – the architect behind Jura, Macduff and Tullibardine – and was built in 1967 by Mackinlay McPherson, the distilling arm of brewers Scottish & Newcastle.  It sits within a 20 acre estate and uses water sourced from Hangman’s Craig and Black Banks on the slopes of Ben Rinnes. It has four stills but unusually it also has two separate spirit safes, one for each set of stills.   Further information on the distillery and company can be found at

Two World Records Broken by Whisky Cask at Spink Auction – Scotch Whisky News


Two World Records Broken by Whisky Cask at Spink Auction 

EDINBURGH — 4 October 2017 – A full cask of Macallan 1987 Single Malt Scotch whisky has fetched HK$2,928,000 (£282,890 or US$374839) at Spink China auction house, with Scottish whisky specialists Cask 88 acting as the advisor, setting a new world record for both the sale of a whisky cask and for the most expensive per-bottle cask sold at auction.

As part of an Evening of Fine and Rare Whiskies at Spink’s prestigious Hong Kong facilities on 3 Oct 2017, lot 88 was a showstopper: Distilled by The Macallan Glenlivet Distillery on 13th April 1987 (Cask number 3335) and matured in a sherry hogshead, this record-breaking whisky is currently stored at The Macallan bonded warehouse in Scotland and measured 102 RLA 50.5% as of April 2017.

This recent sale exceeds the previous record of just under HK$2 million, also held by a cask of Macallan whisky sold at Spink auction house China, set on Friday 4 July 2014. The in-demand cask does not only hold the title of most expensive cask sold at auction, but it is also the most expensive per-bottle cask sold in auction worldwide. It would produce only 228 bottles at cask strength, coming to a price of HK$10,166 per bottle.

Patrick Costello is the Director of Cask 88, Scottish whisky specialists and advisors for this twice record-breaking cask. “We’re delighted to continue a strong and ever-developing relationship with the fine team at Spink auction house,” said Patrick. “This historic sale has brought about a trifecta of world-recognised achievements for Cask 88 this week. It comes on the heels of our appearance at Fine Art Asia, where we were the first ever company to exhibit whisky at an international art fair. It is evident that demand for fine and antique whisky is rising across the globe, and I’m very proud that Cask 88 are leading the way.”

“We estimated that it would sell for around HK$2.3 as it is very rare to see an aged Macallan sherry cask, never before has anything like that been offered to the public, as after all – it is a rather small barrel yielding less than 300 bottles even if you flip the cask upside-down!” said Angie Ihlo Fung, Auctioneer and Whisky Specialist of Spink. “As the action went on, we saw determination from buyers participating from different parts of the world, and it reached a price it certainly deserves, we are most content.”

Tasting notes by Scotland’s leading whisky expert, Charles MacLean describe the cask as having the appearance of “deep umber; old polished oak.” He describes the aroma as having “a mild nose-feel effect, and a relatively closed nose initially. A warm and welcoming aroma – mellow and gentle, with top notes of dry oloroso sherry, mid notes of Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) and a slightly burnt base note.” As for the taste, “At natural strength the mouth-feel is drying. The taste is sweet, but not cloying – indeed there are traces of crystallized orange peel and angelica and some cooking spice in the long finish.” He concludes by commenting “This is a terrific, understated, example of The Macallan. Gentle, sophisticated and unassuming, but still vivacious.”

Notes :

About Cask 88

Founded in 2007, Cask 88 is now internationally recognised as one of the world’s foremost whisky experts, selling old and rare casks and bottles from world-renowned distilleries. An extensive inventory and expansive global network provide an unparalleled selection of fine whiskies, which attracts a wide clientele from London, Hong Kong, Beijing to New York. Cask 88 believes that buying vintage whisky should be fun and offers its clients a bespoke service where they are given an opportunity to select, purchase, label and package their own exclusive whisky drawn from the finest Scotch casks.

Follow Cask 88 on Twitter: @88Cask                        

Like Cask 88 on Facebook:

About Spink

Spink is the world’s leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide.  Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year.  Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website ( or via the Spink App for iPhone and iPad.

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