The Whisky Shop “Jura One for the Road – Order Now!” – Scotch Whisky News

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Jura One for the Road

Released in celebration of Distillery Manager, Willie Cochrane’s 39 year contribution to the distillery, Jura One for the Road is a limited edition 22 year old expression with a Pinot Noir wine cask finish. Presented at a natural cask strength, this non chill-filtered Island Single Malt has a natural mahogany honeyed gold colour.


The nose offers freshly baked bread, moist walnut cake, over-ripe pineapple and vanilla with a whisper of bitter chocolate, coffee and tangy macaroons. The palate is rich in ginger, cassis, frangipane and caramelised peaches. Glazed nectarines, pears in red wine, muscovado and soft cranberry notes follow, while the finish brings Turkish delight, coffee, fig syrup and cherry cake.

Without doubt one of the most exciting limited releases of the year with only 672 bottles released in the UK. Sold on a strictly first come first served basis.


£120 Buy Now

In stock and available for immediate dispatch



Best International Brand Ambassador – Chivas Regal’s Max Warner [photo credit – Doron Gild]


Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has been named the Best International Brand Ambassador at the 10th annual Spirited Awards, held at Tales of the Cocktail. The award is an industry badge of honour, recognised as one of the most prestigious prizes in the spirits world, judged by some of the cocktail industry’s most respected figureheads

Warner accepted the award from Julie Reiner and Ivy Mix (2015 Winners of Best International Bar Mentor and Best American Bartender respectively) in New Orleans on Saturday night, winning in a competitive category that included Dean Callan of Monkey Shoulder, Camille Vidal of St-Germain and Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador.

The Best International Brand Ambassador accolade is testament to Warner’s continued dedication to creating innovative new ways for Chivas Regal to be experienced and enjoyed globally, having represented the brand across the world for 12 years through initiatives such as the Chivas Masters cocktail competition. With the 2016 Global Final being held last month in Shanghai, Warner was instrumental in making this year’s event the biggest and most impactful yet for Chivas Regal. His personal contribution ranged from careful selection of industry recognised judges, the creative evolution of the Chivas Masters platform – which now brings together finalists from different cultures and countries to ‘win the right way’ as a team – and working closely with the team in Pernod Ricard China to curate and host the finalists to ensure that it was a truly exceptional occasion for all.

Max Warner comments on the award: “Winning the title of Best International Brand Ambassador at the Spirited Awards is a huge honour for me and will definitely go down as one of my career highlights. The Tales of the Cocktail festival holds a very special place in my heart; I have visited every year for the past 7 years with Chivas Regal with the aim to increase the voice of this exceptional Scotch to the industry, which always proves to be one of the best moments in the year. The Scotch whisky category needs to be recognised more and I am so proud to be able to stand tall on the International stage in the country which Chivas Regal was launched being acknowledged amongst such a talented pool of ambassadors alongside so many industry icons, an occasion I will never forget.”


About Chivas Regal Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes Chivas 12, Chivas 18, Chivas 25 and the Global Travel Retail exclusive, Chivas Brothers Blend. In October 2014, Chivas Regal announced the addition of a fifth permanent expression in the Chivas Regal family, Chivas Regal Extra, a new blend with a unique richness derived from selective maturation in rare ex-sherry casks. In 2015, the iconic brand welcomed the pinnacle of the range with the introduction of the new ultra-prestige blend, Chivas Regal The Icon. www.chivas.com

About Chivas Brothers Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.1 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch. www.chivasbrothers.com @ChivasNewsRoom

About Pernod Ricard Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,558 million in 2014/15. 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. www.pernod-ricard.com

About Tales of the Cocktail® Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail® has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail® is the industry’s annual meeting place for exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.Tales of the Cocktail® also produces a number of other events and programs such as Tales of the Cocktail on Tour®, Tales 365®, Tales of the Toddy® and New Orleans Daiquiri Month, all to further the mission of supporting and growing the international cocktail community.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society Tales of the Cocktail® is produced by the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit organization committed to supporting, promoting and growing the cocktail industry in New Orleans and around the world. In addition to offering opportunities to learn and acquire new skills through Tales of the Cocktail® events and Tales 365®, the NOCCPS invests the proceeds back into the spirits industry. Since 2008, the NOCCPS has invested more than $600,000 into programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Program, a tuition reimbursement program, the Apprentice medical aid fund, educational scholarships and a new health and wellness program for members of the hospitality industry.

Glasgow’s First Whisky Boat Sets Sail on the Clyde – Scotch Whisky News


Glasgow’s first whisky boat sets sail on the Clyde

The ‘Murray McDavid’ whisky boat finds a new home in the heart of Glasgow moored next to the ‘The Tall Ship’ at Riverside.

Owned by Aceo Limited, the company behind the Murray McDavid brand, the 60ft traditional wooden boat ‘Murray McDavid’ has been rejuvenated for a new lease of life on the River Clyde. Designed as a floating office for day to day business, it will also be taking guests on board for whisky tasting events throughout the year, introducing whisky lovers to Murray McDavid’s inspired Scotch whisky.

During the summer months, the boat will also take sailing trips to the whisky islands to take part in whisky festivals and cultural events, with a variety of fun whisky destinations. Corporate events and tasting groups can take advantage of the location in the cultural heart of Glasgow, enjoying bespoke tasting sessions and private bookings.

Murray McDavid is a whisky bottler with a long tradition of practising the art of maturation to produce inspired Scotch whisky. We offer the complete range of scotch from vintage single malts and select grains to vatted malts and crafted blends.

For more information on the Murray McDavid brand visit www.murray–mcdavid.com/ or email Brand Ambassador Dean Jode on Dean.Jode@murray-mcdavid.com

MMD Bottle Range


Price Drop Alert – From Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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Price drop alert!

Don’t forget free postage on all orders over £75

AA Bowmore LFW

Bowmore 23 year old Platinum Old and Rare

The Platinum Old & Rare collection is a  selection of the oldest and rarest single malts from the independent bottlers, Hunter Laing.  Each bottle is of exceptional quality, beautifully presented and individually numbered. This 23 year old Bowmore is one of only 195 bottles, with each expression filled from a sherry finished hogshead.

Save £200 Now £295 Click to buy


Port Ellen 1983 32 year old Special Release

Distilled in the final year of Port Ellen production. A whisky that is seen by many as the most collectable in the world – this 1983 Port Ellen is limited to 2964 individually numbered bottles and has been bottled at a cask strength of 53.9% volume.

Save £240 Now £2160 – Click to buy

 AA LFW Macallan

Macallan Gold

The Macallan Gold is part of the 1824 range, and was released in 2012. The colour themed range replaced Macallan distillery’s traditional age-statement expressions. Produced in first fill and refill sherry casks, using 9-15 year old spirit, the result is in a smooth and rich single malt.

Save £5.20 Now £32.75 – Click to buy

 AA LFW Glenlivet


Matured in a mixture of American oak and European oak, both first and second fill, and hand picked by master distiller Alan Winchester. European oak imparts spiciness and brings additional complexity, while first-fill American oak adds soft tropical fruitiness.

Save £5 Now £55 – Click to buy

 AA LFW Bowmore

Bowmore Devil’s Cask III

The third and final release of the Bowmore Devil’s cask became one of our staff picks for 2015! Named Double the Devil, this whisky has been matured in both first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks which allows for a sensational balance between rich dried fruit flavours and that famous Bowmore peat-smoke character. Hard hitting and truly wonderful!

Save £30 Now only £160 – Click to buy

Back in Stock at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News



Glenmorangie 12 year old Nectar D’Òr Extra Matured Range Sauternes Cask (750ml)  $65.99

Mortlach 15 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Whisky (750ml)  $72.99

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
Email: wine@klwines.com
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


Merry Christmas From The Famous Grouse!


Whisky News from Scotland’s Oldest Working Distillery

Santa is now only a few days out and we are gearing up for the last little flurry before the big day.  December has been an absolute whirlwind here, we’ve had so much going on. We launched Ooskabeer which is the extremely successful product of our collaboration with the Inveralmond Brewery. We introduced Glen and Turret (our distillery cats) to the world and we even managed to bring home a few awards in our spare time. We have been so busy that we have been dreaming about a couple of days off, a warm fire, a massive Christmas dinner followed by a wee dram (or two) and some quality family time for days now. Regardless of how you’re spending it, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Above all else we want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at The Famous Grouse Experience. May you all have good health and happiness in 2016. Cheers!

The Famous Grouse Experience

The Glenturret Distillery

The Hosh

Crieff, PH7 4HA

United Kingdom


AA Bunnahabhain range with boxes LR


Bunnahabain’s sought-after collection of un-chillfiltered single malt whiskies offers a lux addition to your festive shopping list. A great gift for new whisky lovers and seasoned aficionados alike, the collection is exclusive to fine-whisky outlets including Whisky Brother situated in the Hyde Park Corner shopping centre in Johannesburg, Wild About Whisky in Dullstroom, as well as Makro and Norman Goodfellows outlets nationwide.

The award-winning range is also available from www.vinoteque.co.za, an online retailer of fine wines and spirits offering free delivery on purchases above R 1 100.

Bunnahabhain has in recent years developed something of a cult following amongst aficionados for the relative rarity of its whiskies and their singular flavour that is quite unlike the peaty, smoky malts traditionally associated with the island of Islay that is home to the Bunnahabhain distillery.

The distillery is the only one on the island which uses a natural spring water source and unpeated barley in the production of most of its malts, including its 12-, 18- and 25-year-old expressions that are sold in South Africa.  Lacking the influence of Islay’s peaty moors, these malts are far lighter on the palate than their Islay counterparts. They are also un-chillfiltered in a return to a very traditional technique that gives rise to a rich depth of colour, aroma and flavour – as natural as when they come out of the cask.

Bunnahabhain, founded in 1881, is pronounced Bŭ-na-ha-venn and means mouth of the river in Scots Gaelic, referring to the Margadale River that flows close by.

The price of Bunnahabhain ranges from R580 to R900 to R2 600 for the 12-, 18- and 25-year-old whiskies respectively.

Product descriptions and recent awards 

Bunnahabhain 12-year-old


Colour:            Gold.

Nose:               Aromatic with subtle smoke.

Taste:               Light fruit and nuts leading to a spectacular malty sweetness.

Finish:             Full-bodied and lingering.

Recent awards:

2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: silver medal

2015 Scotch Whisky Masters: gold medal

2015 International Spirits Challenge: silver medal

2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: double gold medal

2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC): silver outstanding medal

2014 World Whisky Awards: Best Islay single malt whisky (12 years and under).

Bunnahabhain 18-year-old


Colour:            Rich gold.

Nose:               Honeyed nuts and a slightly salty tang, followed by rich toffee and leathery oak aromas.

Taste:               Mellow sherried nuts and shavings of the finest natural oak.

Finish:             Dry notes interspersed with mixed spices leading to a light salt and sherry finale.

Recent awards:

2015 World Whisky Awards: Best Islay single malt whisky (13 to 20 years)

2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: silver medal

2015 Scotch Whisky Masters: master

2015 International Spirits Challenge: silver medal

2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC): silver outstanding medal

2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: gold medal.

Bunnahabhain 25-year-old


Colour:            Amber gold.

Nose:               Sweet caramel dessert aromas with subtle suggestions of oak and polished leather.

Taste:               Sweet berries and cream progress to roasted nut and malt.

Finish:             Soft yet dry, with a sense of lingering flavours of sugar and spiced oak.

Recent awards:

2015 World Whisky Awards: Best Islay single malt whisky (21 years and over)

2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: double gold medal

2015 Scotch Whisky Masters: master

2015 International Spirits Challenge: gold medal

2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC): silver outstanding medal

2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: silver medal

2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC): gold medal.

Follow Bunnahabhain on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BunnahabhainSA) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/BunnahabhainSA).  Alternatively, visit the website: http://www.bunnahabhain.com/.

Join the conversation using: #TasteIslay

 This article in a Tweet: Festive gifting for aficionados: buy @BunnahabhainSA 12-, 18- and 25YO from http://www.vinoteque.co.za/ or specialty liquor retailers. #TasteIslay

Whisky Intelligence Nominated in Icons of Whisky! – Whisky News


We are proud to announce that Whisky Intelligence (and editor Lawrence Graham) has once again been nominated in category of “Rest of the World” World Whisky Ambassador of the Year  in the prestigious Icons of Whisky competition hosted annually by Whisky Magazine.

The competition is currently accepting votes and you can do so by registering here http://www.iconsofwhisky.com/vote/ with the closing date on Thursday, 26 November (You have 2 days left to vote!)

It will take about 2 minutes of your time; we thank you for supporting Whisky Intelligence!


K&L California “Our Annual Holiday Release of Glenlivet is Back!” – Scotch Whisky News


It’s becoming an annual tradition at this point. We head over to Scotland each Spring in search of unique and interesting casks for our whisky-loving customers, and every November we seem to come back with a decadent, rich, and heady barrel of sherry-aged Glenlivet. We always tell the guys at the Signatory warehouse: “As long as you have these 1996 vintage casks around, we’ll keep buying them.” That’s because every year when we send out this email, the whisky sells out in the blink of an eye! This November’s barrel is now 19 years of age, up from the 16 year old we started with a few years back. Those extra three years have made quite a difference. There’s more cocoa, more spice, more richness, and more texture. Don’t know what to get your whisky-loving loved one this year? We’ve got you covered, just like last year and the year before.


1996 Glenlivet 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($89.99)

The next round is finally here for one of the most-beloved Fall whisky editions in K&L history. We’ve been picking off these first-fill sherry butts of Glenlivet from Signatory ever since we first started visiting the Scottish bottler more than five years ago. While the vintage always stays the same (1996) the whisky gets older each time around! The most recent iteration has spent 19 years in cask, giving the whisky a dark amber hue and plenty of richness. The fudge and cocoa flavors from the sherry have sunken deep into the liquid, permeating it with spice cake, dried figs, and bits of ginger dipped in dark chocolate. Soft on the palate and smooth as silk, this whisky continues to get better as time goes by. Don’t wait around, however, because the annual Glenlivet Signatory release is also one of the fastest selling whiskies in K&L history, as well as one of the most popular. For your holiday parties or gift-giving needs, you won’t find a better whisky at a better price.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 09, 2015

This is always one of the biggest no-brainer deals we bring in every holiday season. Mature, smooth, full-boded, sherry-aged Glenlivet from a single barrel so concentrated and complex that even casual whisky fans stop and take notice. Part of the reason it’s such a success each year is because the whisky is from a name people know. Yes–this whisky was distilled at Glenlivet! But it was bottled for us by an independent warehouse because in the branded world of Glenlivet there is no such thing as a 19 year old single sherry barrel release. That’s why these single casks of whisky are so exciting for our customers. It gives fans of these distilleries the chance to try something rare and unique, outside of the standard editions. This is a sure-fire success for holiday gifts, holiday parties, or for a nice simple dram on a cold winter’s evening. It’s full of baking spice, fudge, Christmas cake, all that sherry goodness. There’s a reason this is the fastest-selling whisky each year: great distillery, great whisky, great barrel, great price. Pretty straightforward.

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
Email: wine@klwines.com
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2015 – Three Legends of Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2015 – Three Legends of Whisky

‘This is a moment in history. This will never be repeated.’ A dramatic introduction from our host Dave Broom, but fully warranted. The final Masterclass of the 2015 Whisky Exchange Whisky Show featured more than 150 years’ experience in the whisky industry, nine unforgettable whiskies, and three legends of whisky – a trio of the biggest names in the business. Each one presented three whiskies: one they were involved in making; a whisky they consider legendary; and a whisky brought specially for the masterclass.

AA Legends

From left: Jim McEwan, Richard Paterson, David Stewart, Dave Broom (Photo: © Simon J Hanna)


Jim McEwan – master distiller, Bruichladdich (recently retired) Richard Paterson – master blender, Whyte & Mackay David Stewart – malt master, The Balvenie


Dave Broom – whisky writer


Richard Paterson: ‘My father took me to some whisky warehouses in Stockwell Lane [in Glasgow] and from then, I got something that stirred inside me. We all share this one love: Scotch whisky.’

Richard’s first whisky for the masterclass was Shackleton’s Discovery, a recreation of the whisky discovered under explorer Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctica hut in 2007. Richard took three of the bottles back to Scotland – stored in a case that was handcuffed to his wrist throughout the journey – and the whisky was analysed. Richard created his take on this historic whisky by blending more than 25 single malts from Speyside.

David Stewart: ‘My first memory of whisky was in 1962, when I was 17. I’d never drunk whisky before; I drank rum and Coke, because it was the 1960s…’


NAS whisky was alive and well in the 1980s…

David’s first dram for the tasting was a special no-age-statement bottling, The Balvenie Classic, a mixture of eight- to 12-year-old malts, matured in American oak then finished in European oak. ‘The term “finish” wasn’t really around in the 1980s,’ said David. ‘We didn’t come up with the word – that was Glenmorangie.’ Dave Broom quickly interrupted, commenting on this ‘typical understatement from the man who invented finishing’. The whisky itself was a thing of beauty, loaded with ginger, cinnamon, stewed fruit and candied orange peel.

Jim McEwan: ‘I was born and raised in Bowmore and like every lad on Islay, it’s your ambition to work in a distillery; that was the holy land. I was 15 years old, working at Bowmore, and I became very good at stealing whisky. I used to use Heinz salad cream bottles attached to a piece of string – they must have designed them to fit through any cask bunghole. We didn’t steal the cheap stuff, either – we stole Black Bowmore!’

Jim’s first dram was a 1984 Bruichladdich: ‘This is elegance; this is sophistication; this is rock and roll! A key note of this whisky is the citrus, the lemon. Why? Because it matures near the ocean. I totally fell in love with this whisky. The distillery closed six times, but this little gem survived.’


David’s second dram was a 25-year-old Balvenie which had that typical elegance and fruit and spice you expect from this distillery. Easy drinking, with a soft mouthfeel, it was classy stuff. Distilled in 1974 and bottled in 2000, the whisky was aged in American oak.


Dalmore King Alexander III is matured in six types of cask

Richard’s next whisky was at the other extreme: Dalmore King Alexander III, which spends time in no fewer than six types of cask: French wine, Madeira, sherry, Marsala, port and bourbon. ‘You must find the cask that will suit and enhance the spirit,’ he said. ‘The Dalmore stills are big, fat and bulbous; this is the DNA of Dalmore.’

Jim described his second whisky as ‘a one-man protest’ against whisky marketing. ‘I decided to make a whisky and not tell anyone about it. Just drink it.’ The whisky in question is Black Art and we were given a tasting of its latest prototype, Black Art 5, which was matured in casks containing some/none/all of some of the world’s greatest wines, including Château d’Yquem, Sassicaia and Château Lafite but Jim was keeping quiet. ‘This is a fruit bomb. It’s a mystery of history. I hope you enjoy it but I can’t tell you anything about it.’


A very personal selection for David’s special bottling – a vatting of Balvenie from the three birth years of his children: 1980, 1982 and 1986. The 1980 was a refill bourbon barrel; the 1982 a refill hogshead; and the 1986 a refill sherry butt. Again, this showed beautiful balance, and bundles of fruit – apples, pears and mangos – along with Demerara sugar, honey and cinnamon. Dave Broom’s verdict? ‘A sumptuously beautiful whisky.’


Hello. How are you? Quite well. Thank you very much.’ (Photo: © Simon J Hanna)

The eighth whisky of the masterclass was a staggering lesson in blending from Richard. It contained:

  • 50% Invergordon 50th Anniversary Special Selection 1961 • 13% Dalmore 52 Year Old (distilled 1926) • 11% Dalmore 1964 • 10% Glen Scotia 1972 • 10% ‘rare blended malt’ (distilled 1 July 1957) • 5% ‘blended malt’ (Scapa and Fettercairn, distilled 15 August 1957) • 1% Dalmore 62 Year Old (a vatting of 1868, 1878 and 1926)

‘This is an assemblage of many types of wood, and an assemblage of very rare whiskies,’ said Richard, who couldn’t resist a pop at Jim’s Black Art bottling: ‘You can take your Château Lafite and Yquem and shove them up your backside; this is what Scotch whisky is all about!’


Jim McEwan, ‘the oldest hipster in town’ (Photo © Simon J Hanna)

Unruffled, Jim took to the stage for the final dram of the day: a never-seen-before whisky from the first-ever cask of Octomore, the most heavily peated whisky of all time. ‘People said “you can’t go higher than Laphroaig or Ardbeg”. Well, I just did,’ said Jim. ‘People also said to me that Bruichladdich isn’t a real Islay whisky because it’s unpeated. Octomore answered the critics.’ The whisky was distilled in 2002, matured in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, and described by Jim as ‘like dancing with Tina Turner on speed. The smoke combined with the sherry is unbelievable.’

When our masterclasses were announced, this is the one that I got most excited about, and it didn’t disappoint. As expected, Richard and Jim jostled and fought like two battle-hardened knights, while David quietly let them get on with it. The whiskies were fantastic; the atmosphere electric; and there were a lot of happy people gathered in one room.

Beatlemania comes to @TWEWhiskyShow! #legends #TWEshow pic.twitter.com/JGfCWdCthP

— The Whisky Exchange (@WhiskyExchange) October 4, 2015

I tweeted the above photo once the Masterclass finished, likening it to Beatlemania. That was a touch over the top, but I have never attended a tasting where everyone in the room rushed forward with a camera, desperate for a selfie with their whisky heroes. Oh, and there were plenty of one-liners that were unrepeatable in this blog, including the one involving Richard, a condom and an aroma test, but we’ll save that one for another day…


A very difficult decision, but for me The Balvenie Classic was the highlight. It didn’t shout the loudest; it wasn’t a sherry or peat monster; it was just an excellent whisky.


Jim, having been introduced by Dave as ‘the oldest hipster in town’, replied: ‘I’m a hipster because I have two articificial hips, not because I’m cool.’


Jim berating the ‘sub-standard’ casks at Bruichladdich before he took over. Yes, the same Bruichladdich that used to be owned by Whyte & Mackay. Yes, the same Whyte & Mackay that a certain R Paterson worked for at the time…

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