Scotch Malt Whisky Society “The 1920 summer Olympics” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS 66.114

66.114 – The 1920 summer Olympics

“Aromas hurdled out of the glass with the scintillating energy of a gold medallist clad in fur and smoking a cigar. The intensity became a sprint through clouds of hickory smoke and Pedro Ximenez sherry vapourising on hot coals. “

Age: 16 years

Price: £69.00


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: sales@smws.com or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video


HAPPY CANADA DAY! July 1st, 2018


Whisky Hammer June 2018 Auction Ends Soon – Whisky Auction News

AA Whisky Hammer


(ends Sunday 24th June)

…place your bids at www.whiskyhammer.co.uk

With an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits there is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest, enjoy!


2018 Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino – Scotch Whisky News


I’m thrilled to announce that we’re ready to launch our annual Cairdeas release. Mark your diaries for Monday 11th June at 5pm BST when the 2018 Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino will be available to purchase at www.laphroaig.com.

Those who were lucky enough to attend this year’s Fèis Ìle celebrations had the chance to share a dram of this unique whisky with myself and the distillery team. With Cairdeas meaning ‘friendship’ in Gaelic, it was certainly a fine way to welcome friends old and new to our home.


Laid to rest in Warehouse 8 and 10, Cairdeas Fino showcases a special double maturation in first fill bourbon casks then Fino Sherry Casks.

Tasting Notes

Notes of toasted almonds, dried fruit and sea salt perfectly complement Laphroaig’s signature peaty flavour.


Barrier filtered and non chill filtered, no matter how you drink your whisky, this unique expression is best enjoyed with dear friends.

John Campbell
Distillery Manager

The Whisky Exchange “Islay Festival woes – the queues” – Scotch Whisky News


Islay Festival woes – the queues

This week is the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, aka Feis Ile. For eight days, the small, southern Hebridean island doubles its population with an influx of people from around the world, almost all of them whisky fans. Compared to the rest of the year, the island gets crowded – you will occasionally see another car on the road, you can’t always get a table in the pub and the Co-op runs out of avocados much faster than normal.

One of the tell-tale signs of having become a jaded whisky geek is the desire to avoid the island during the festival. Unfortunately, I’m not that jaded yet – I’m not on Islay and I’m jealous of those who are. But, it’s not all plain sailing during the festival. There’s one thing I’m definitely not missing: the queues.

Each day of the week is an open day for at least one distillery. Kilchoman shares Thursday with nearby Jura, but otherwise the assembled whisky hordes descend on a single distiller. One thing is certain: queuing. The best known queues of the festival – other than the daily wait for a plate of scallops cooked with whisky by the inhabitants of the roving Islay Seafood Shack trailer – are at Lagavulin and Bowmore.



I’ve been lucky with the weather when I’ve visited Lagavulin

Lagavulin has the first Saturday of the festival as its open day and the crowd is still keen to get in a line. A long and snaking queue appears as the sun rises and stays in place through the day, slowly moving forward as people buy the limited-edition festival bottling. The thing that the queuers don’t seem to realise is that Diageo produce lots of bottles of the festival release and, while it is limited, it’s rare for it not to last for at least a couple of days. I was stung by them running out by Tuesday a few years back, but you can normally buy a case or two after the festival has finished…



Bowmore at sunset, a sight often seen by queuers at Feis Ile

The most famous queue these days is the one at Bowmore. While the distillery trickles out a few special bottles on the first Saturday, the distillery’s open day on Wednesday unofficially starts on Tuesday night, with a procession of people with camping chairs setting themselves up outside. The queue begins in the evening and grows during the night, with sleeping bags, camper vans and an occasional tent popping up. This year, only those who arrived before 3am were lucky enough to receive a golden ticket from the distillery, guaranteeing them a bottle in return for their diligent queuing.

Queues of times past

The weather has been excellent on Islay this week, with baking sun and clear skies, and both Lagavulin and Bowmore queues were easy. But Islay’s reputation for rain is not undeserved: previous years have seen fans huddled under umbrellas and moving their chairs to dodge impromptu rivers. Those bottles were much harder-won.

I don’t like queueing at the best of times, so am happy to have avoided the lines this year. That said, a whisky queue isn’t like other queues. We whisky geeks are a well-prepared bunch, and on Islay its rare to find a fan who doesn’t clink when they walk, every pocket full of sample bottles and hip flasks. The queue isn’t just a shuffling line, it’s a mobile tasting. Bottles are passed up and down, whisky is drunk, new friends are made, tall tales are told. It’s a party in one dimension. It’s fun.

You know, I think I do miss the queues. Just a little bit…

To celebrate this year’s festival, we’ve got offers on whiskies from each distillery on the island – Islay Festival Offers. Don’t wait, the deals only last until the end of the festival on Saturday 2 June!


Speyside Distillery Tasting at Federal Wine & Spirits Boston April 26th, 2018 – Scotch Whisky News


Single Malt Scotch Tasting
This Thursday, April 26th
4:30 OR 6:00 PM
Speyside Distillery
with Ed Kohl


We’re excited this week to have importer and industry veteran Ed Kohl joining us for a rare appearance to lead a tasting of his new partner, Speyside distillery!

Speyside Distillery (which is in Speyside, the region) was the ongoing dream of submarine captain, George Christie. Construction on the distillery was started in the 1960’s and was completed in 1987, with distillation beginning in 1990. Fermentations are long and distillation is slow, everything goes at its own pace at Speyside.

The distillery is now in the hands of The Harvey Family, who have strong ties to the whisky industry (Lord Byron presented his friends with “Harvey’s Spey Whisky” upon his wedding in 1815, though obviously it was a different “Spey”). These days, most of the whisky is destined for Asian markets, especially Taiwan, though Ed Kohl may have swayed them to work more with the States.

Pricing for this week only will be as follows:


Cuveé – Regular Price – Sale Price

Tenne – $49.99 – $44.99
Trutina – $56.99 – $51.99
Fumare – $56.99 – $51.99
Chairmen’s Choice – $114.99 – $100.00
18 Tear Old – $134.99 – $114.99
Benn Dubh – $58.99 – $52.99
Six Isles – $49.99 – $44.99

Joe Howell




Over 200,000 Guests Visited Historic Distillery in 2017, Expansion Set to Accommodate More

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Jan. 18, 2018) Bourbon sales continue to grow, and bourbon tourism is growing at an equally rapid pace, at least for Buffalo Trace Distillery. In 2017, this National Historic Landmark Distillery set a new record for visitation, ending the year with 201,491 guests. This is an increase of 18% in visitation over last calendar year, and a total increase of 287% since 2010.

“It took us 15 years to get to 100,000 visitors, but only three years to get to 200,000, so the momentum just keeps going,” said Meredith Moody, marketing services director. Buffalo Trace is already looking at ways to expand its Visitor Center, which was just expanded in 2015 to accommodate its ever-increasing needs. The expansion is part of the $1.2 billion dollars Buffalo Trace plans to spend in the next ten years to accommodate not only more visitors, but more bourbon barrels and more bottling lines.

As previously announced, Buffalo Trace is building new barrel warehouses on the farm it owns adjacent to the Distillery, at a rate of one new warehouse every four months for the next ten years. These new warehouses will hold 58,000 barrels, and construction on the first one is nearly complete.

Buffalo Trace will also expand its distilling operation, which includes new mash cookers, a boiler and fermenters. In order to make room, the existing bottling hall will be moving to another area on site starting this spring/summer and the bottling lines will be modernized to allow for more efficiency and better capacity. This is the first large scale structural expansion at Buffalo Trace Distillery’s campus since the 1950s.

“We are bursting at the seams, so to speak, in all areas, distillation, bottling and tourism, so we’re looking forward to our new expansion,” added Moody.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018. Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.

Scotch Whisky Auction 82nd Auction Now Live – Scotch Whisky News


Hi folks,

that’s us live with the 82nd auction.

Happy Bidding!


SWA header

Balblair launches new 1991 and 2000 limited editions – Scotch Whisky News

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Balblair launches new 1991 and 2000 limited editions 

Premium global whisky brand, Balblair, is, this month (January 2018) unveiling the limited-run second release of its 2000 vintage and the third release of its 1991 vintage.

Matured and bottled at one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland, Balblair whiskies are crafted and timed to perfection, and bottled at the exact point of optimum maturation.

The second release of the 2000 has been matured for 13 years in American oak, ex-bourbon casks and five years in first fill Spanish oak butts. The liquid is bright copper in appearance and the nose is full-bodied with aromas of seasoned oak, baked red apples and fruitcake, followed by warming vanilla and ripe tropical stone fruits.

The second release of the 2000 features ground spices and old hardwood which build up to brighter flavours of tinned pineapples, bitter orange peels and honey. The finish graduates slowly with lasting sweetness, creaminess and notes of bitter chocolate.

The third release of the 1991, matured for 24 years in ex-bourbon, American oak casks with a further three years in first fill Spanish oak butts, does not disappoint.

Bright amber in colour with rose gold highlights, the nose is expansive and complex with rich citrus fruits and vanilla notes as well as toffee and chocolate. Notes of honey, winter spices and apricot, with a hint of liquorice are imparted from the bourbon barrels and Spanish oak butts used in the maturation process.

The palate features Balblair’s signature citrus orchard flavour profile and is followed with rich creamy chocolate and layers of poached apples and pears, Christmas pudding and hot vanilla sauce. It finishes with sparkling orange and toasted coconut overtones accentuating full-bodied sweetness of vanilla and caramel creating a rich and celebratory dram.

Matt Jamieson, Balblair Global Brand Manager said: “At Balblair, we only release our whisky when its ready and these new vintages are no exception. Both featuring a very different nose and palate, the 2000 and 1991 are exquisite drams which are sure to appeal to the most discerning of whisky drinkers.”

 Established in 1790, Balblair distillery is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. Its location on the Dornoch Firth is intrinsically linked to the process with its water source in the Allt Dearg burn water flowing nearby.

Balblair 2000 and Balblair 1991 will be available globally online, and in independent and specialist retailers.

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Balblair distillery is the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands, initially established in 1749 and the first official records of it from 1790. The distillery building and its warehouses sit on the original site to this day.

Balblair whiskies are only released when they have reached their exact point of ‘optimum maturation’, the peak of perfection.

About International Beverage Holdings

International Beverage Holdings (www.interbevgroup.com) was established in 2005 as the international arm of ThaiBev, one of South East Asia’s leading alcohol beverage companies. With a network of regional offices in Asia, Europe and North America, the company is responsible for the production, sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of premium global brands in over 80 countries and territories.

Diageo in 1999 – Johnnie Walker launch ‘Keep Walking’ campaign – Scotch Whisky News

Boxes of Johnnie Walker in a row with the Striding Man symbol embossed in the middle

Diageo in 1999 – Johnnie Walker launch ‘Keep Walking’ campaign

On 17 December 2017, Diageo turned 20 years old. To celebrate this milestone Diageo is looking back over 20 years of its history and highlighting memorable moments since it was formed back in December 1997. 1999 marked the launch of the iconic Johnnie Walker ‘Keep Walking’ campaign that transformed the brand as it was rolled out globally.

In 1999 Johnnie Walker launched ‘Keep Walking’ – the brand’s first ever global advertising campaign. This new global positioning transformed Johnnie Walker into a global leader and saw the brand grow from strength to strength. The pioneering campaign saw Johnnie Walker’s famous Striding Man icon change direction to appear to be walking forward, and was launched in every market around the world.

The first ever ‘Keep Walking’ TV advert starred Harvey Keitel and first aired in 1999.

First created in 1908, the Striding Man has become one of the world’s most recognised brand icons and is symbolic of progress for all those who enjoy Johnnie Walker.

To this day, Keep Walking uses the metaphor of a journey to deliver real stories of achievement. It inspires people to think of their own journey of progress – and do something about it.

As the biggest whisky brand in the world, Johnnie Walker and its slogan has been adopted and embraced everywhere, as a rallying cry for progress, as encouragement in adversity, as a joyful expression of optimism and as the best piece of advice you’re ever likely to hear.

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