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Premium spirits agency Speciality Brands has signed an exclusive deal with The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney to distribute its first global whiskey release: Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, in the UK.
The new addition is joining Speciality Brands’ extensive, premium world whiskies portfolio which already includes Nikka from Japan, Michter’s from Kentucky, Kavalan from Taiwan and Irish Single Malt Waterford.

For the last decade, the Irish whiskey category has enjoyed exponential growth gathering consumer interest worldwide. Global Irish whiskey sales grew by +10.9% in 2019 and the UK remains one of its leading export markets accounting for over 4.2 million litres in volume (1).

The Shed Distillery, also home to Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Ireland’s leading gin export brand, has created an authentic, Irish single pot still whiskey with great provenance to appeal to enthusiasts globally. Every drop of Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is slow-distilled by hand at The Shed Distillery, with Head Distiller Brian Taft tasting and hand-selecting every single cask, guaranteeing absolute consistency in each bottle.

(1) Source: Irish Spirits Market Report 2019, Drinks Ireland

The Shed Distillery opened in December 2014 in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, in the heart of rural Ireland, making history as the first distillery in the Northwestern province of Connacht in over 100 years.

Head Distiller, Brian Taft says: “Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is a well-balanced whiskey, which dances effortlessly between sweet and spice, possessing a full, well-rounded creamy mouthfeel that lingers lightly on the tongue.”

“We’re delighted to add Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey to our world whisky portfolio as we’ve been looking to add a traditional Irish pot still whiskey to our range for some time. Provenance is really important to us and the fact that Drumshanbo is 100% hand-distilled and aged at the Shed Distillery is setting it apart from many other brands coming out of Ireland that simply don’t have this level of control or traceability.” Says Chris Seale, Managing Director, Speciality Brands.

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey (70cl, 43% ABV) launches this month and will be available at selected retailers – RRP £50.


Tasting Notes:

Toasted nuts, vanilla, honeysuckle and toffee notes open on the nose, followed by winter spice, redcurrant, almonds and dark chocolate. The whiskey showcases a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel with unexpected depth.

About Speciality Brands:

Speciality Brands is a premium drinks agency representing some of the world’s finest spirits, including Nikka, Kavalan, Michter’s, Diplomático, Cocchi, Beluga, Black Tot rum and Tapatio. A dedicated team of well-respected drinks industry personalities including award-winning mixologists, top brand ambassadors, experienced account managers and marketing experts is led by Managing Director Chris Seale. The agency’s passion is delivering first class products, in-depth educational trainings and impeccable service levels to the premium on-trade and retail sectors.

About The Shed Distillery:

The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney is the first distillery in Connacht in over 101 years & the home of Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Sausage Tree Pure Irish Vodka & other ambitious super-premium ‘Curious’ The Shed Distillery brands. A new €3 million Shed Distillery Visitor Experience has also just opened (September 2020) at the Leitrim distillery, inviting visitors from across the globe into the inner sanctum of the authentic whiskey distillery and on an adventure following in footsteps of PJ Rigney’s Curious Botanical Trail to the Far East, which inspired his now world-famous Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey is the flagship whiskey release from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney in Drumshanbo Co. Leitrim. Every bottle is slow-distilled by hand, sealed and labelled by the proud team at the distillery.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin launched in summer 2016 – it is now in over 60 countries across the world, including every US state, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia, South Africa and the majority of European countries. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey and other The Shed Distillery brands are slow-distilled by hand, hand-bottled, sealed and labelled by the proud team at The Shed Distillery.

Doddie Weir’s Charity Whisky Auction 🥃 – Scotch Whisky News

The Whisky Shop Auctions Presents:
Doddie Weir’s Charity Whisky Auction

Rugby legend, Doddie Weir, is leading the charge against Motor Neurone Disease. Finding a cure is his focus, and positivity his greatest pill.

Now celebrating its third year running, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was founded by Doddie in 2017 – following his diagnosis with MND – and set up to raise funds to aid research into the causes of Motor Neuron Disease and investigate potential cures.

The Whisky Shop Auctions is delighted to host Doddie’s Whisky Auction online from Wednesday 11th November to Sunday 22nd November, where a wonderful collection of unique and highly sought-after bottles will come under the hammer to raise funds for Doddie’s charity, including treasures from The Dalmore, Littlemill, Glenfiddich and many, many more.

The site is now live and ready for whisky fans to view and learn more about the foundation, the auction, and about Doddie himself, featuring an exclusive interview from Whiskeria magazine back in the summer of this year.

The page will be continuously updated to include bottle highlights in this very special auction, including the lots pictured above.

Learn more about Doddie’s Charity Whisky Auction ›

NEW RELEASE – Laphroaig 30 Year Old – The Ian Hunter Story at Hard To Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Introducing the second release of the Ian Hunter Story series: a non-chill filtered Whisky with sweet Sherry notes underscored by Laphroaig‘s characteristic peatiness, aged for 30 years in Spanish Oak Oloroso Sherry casks.

Set into a beautifully crafted book that will document a part of Ian’s rich legacy. Every year a new chapter will be told, uncovering the extensive history behind Laphroaig and the characters who created it, making this a collection unlike any other, and one that is treasured by Laphroaig fans across the world.

The second book of the five-part story starts with Warehouse No.1. With the different cask types being brought by Ian Hunter, including ex-bourbon barrels and Sherry cask, Ian recognised the need for more capacity to house them. Ian selected the location by the Atlantic shore that would have its influence on the casks and planned a five-phased extension between 1910 and 1924.





Dried dates and figs, cigar box with toffee and dark chocolate, liquorice with medicinal notes, pink peppercorns and all spice.

Adding water brings out pipe tobacco and orange peel.


Manuka honey; sweet, smoked stone fruit.


Long and mouth drying.


Burnt umber

Kilchoman Christmas at Tyndrum Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Brings you


New Cask Strength for Machir Bay, with a Christmas twist is back in stock, but don’t wait long, we can’t see it lasting. Before reducing a batch of their Machir Bay to its regular bottling strength of 46%, this release was bottled at cask strength to appreciate the full power and character of Kilchoman’s core range whisky. Machir Bay, named after Islay’s most spectacular beach, is a vatting of Kilchoman matured in both bourbon and sherry casks. The high proportion of bourbon barrels creates a unique balance of aromatic peat smoke, citrus sweetness and tropical fruit. This limited edition Cask Strength Machir Bay is released for the festive season. Before reducing a batch of their Machir Bay to its regular bottling strength of 46%, this release was bottled at cask strength to appreciate the full power and character of Kilchoman’s core range whisky.

Order Now >

Ralfy Review #849 Extras – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 849 Extras – GlenDronachology

Diageo Leaders Recognised for Championing Women in Business 2020 – Whisky News

Diageo leaders recognised for championing women in business 2020

Ivan Menezes, CEO and Mairéad Nayager, Chief HR Officer, are named in the Yahoo Finance and HERoes Women Role Model Lists 2020.

We are thrilled that, as in previous years, Diageo has been recognised in the HERoes Women Role Model Lists. This year two members of our Executive Committee are included in the prestigious ranking, which celebrates business leaders who act as role models to improve gender equality and champion women in business.

Mairéad Nayager features in the HERoes 100 Women Executives List which is made up of women who are leading by example to drive change, while Ivan Menezes is named in the HERoes 50 Advocates List, who are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment for women.

To be recognised in the HERoes Women Role Model Lists reflects our ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity. At Diageo, we understand that the most successful businesses are those that embrace a diverse workforce with a range of backgrounds, skills and capabilities. We are proud that 50% of our Board and 38% of our Executive Committee are women. 39% of our global senior leadership team positions are held by women and we continue to work towards our 2025 target of 40%.

Last year we launched an ambitious parental leave policy offering all female employees globally six months fully paid maternity leave and offering the same benefit to men in a majority of markets. Since launch, the average number of paternity leave days taken by men increased from 23 to 105. We are working to increase the number of women in STEM roles through apprenticeships, returnships and a scholarship at Herriot Watt University for female brewers, distillers, and mechanical engineers.

We also sponsor the Creative Equals Returners programme, which supports women returning to the creative industries after a career break, and we are members of the World Federation of Advertisers’ Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce.




The brand-new Smokehead gift tin contains 3 x 5cl bottles of the Smokehead original, High Voltage and our latest release Rum Rebel 

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky reveals a brand-new addition to their line-up with 3 x 5cl bottles from the Smokehead range packed into one stylish gift tin. Available from www.smokehead.com and many UK and International specialist and online retailers priced at £22.99 RRP.

Each tin features 3 x 5cl bottles of Smokehead original, High Voltage and the brand-new expression Rum Rebel. 5cl bottles are the ideal measure to sample and enjoy Smokehead neat or mix it up in one of the brand’s bold cocktail suggestions.


In typical Smokehead style, the brand disrupted International Rum Day on 16th August 2020 with the launch of Rum Rebel. The rich, smoky, salty Islay whisky rebel is finished in spicy, sweet Caribbean rum casks creating culture colliding carnage and a melding of mouth-watering tastes.

The Smokito is a brand-new cocktail crafted as a toast to International Rum Day. The warm dried spices and fruity sweetness come thundering through with Smokehead’s signature extremes of peat and punch.


o   50ml Smokehead Rum Rebel

o   25ml lime juice mixed with 25ml water

o   2 teaspoons sugar

o   Fresh mint

o   Few flakes smoked Maldon sea salt  


Add mint and sugar to the glass and stir for 2 minutes. Add the lime and water and stir for a further minute until all the sugar has dissolved. Add ice and pour the Smokehead into your highball glass. Sprinkle with a few flakes of smoked Maldon sea salt and enjoy!


Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the original expression, an intensely rich yet subtly sweet dram. With immense smoke and notes of sea salt and spice, this is a vigorous whisky that stands out from the crowd.

If Smokehead is an assault on your senses, then High Voltage is an all-out attack. The breath-taking intensity of the peat and smoke is a red light for the faint of heart.

Cocktail recipes for these bold expressions such as ‘Smoked Fashioned’ and ‘Smoked Ginger’ can be found here: https://www.smokehead.com/

Commenting on the new gift tin, Iain Weir, Smokehead Brand Director, said: “We have seen such excitement generated through our range of Smokehead whiskies, that it made sense to offer our range in one accessible tin.

The new Smokehead gift tin is the ultimate way for whisky-fans to enjoy our bold and smoky expressions, and become part of our Smokehead tribe.

Whether buying for a personal gift, or eyeing-up that faultless Christmas present for a peat-loving pal, we’re encouraging everyone to take the leap to see if you are in fact a Smokehead. Our whiskies are not for everyone, but they might well be for you!

Enjoy Smokehead neat or in a cocktail. Whatever works for you. After all, it’s your whisky.”   


f: www.facebook.com/smokeheadwhisky

i: www.instagram.com/smokeheadwhisky



About Smokehead:

  • Smokehead is an Islay Single Malt Whisky and has been given a bold new look by Ian Macleod Distillers.
  • Smokehead has been labelled the wild one of Single Malt Whisky and is not for everyone.
  • Award-winning premium Scotch whisky that has an attitude-led positioning and smoky taste. 

About Ian Macleod Distillers:

  • Established in 1933, Ian Macleod Distillers is one of Scotland’s leading independent, family-owned distillers, blenders and bottlers.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers is the world’s 10th largest Scotch Whisky company, producing and selling over 15 million bottles of spirits every year.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers has built up an enviable portfolio of premium quality spirits and is proud brand proprietor of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Rosebank and Smokehead Scotch whiskies and Edinburgh Gin to name but a few.

Pre Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

Our spirits team is building their next container out of Scotland; as a result, we have a bevy of exceptional pre-arrival finds. Craigellachie, Glengoyne, Caol Ila, and Glenfiddich are but a few of the brands represented. Buying on pre-arrival is always the smart choice, as not only are you assured the bottles you want, but you also are getting exceptional savings. Our team has carefully vetted these, so no matter which direction you take, you’ll be rewarded with an exceptional dram.

This week’s highlights include:

2006 Behind The Highlander (Craigellachie) 14 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $59.99 View

If you’ve ever been to the Highlander Inn you’ll know all to well that’s it’s dangerously close to two of Scotland’s best distilleries. One has become so ubiquitous that it’s name does not even connote Scotch any longer, but simply luxury. The other is the rugged and rustic dark horse (formerly owned by White Horse!) Craigellachie. They’re putting out some of the very best malt anywhere in Scotland to little fanfare. The still house has been reconstructed in the modern era and looks similar to Glendronach’s, a stone and glass box, which isn’t so pretty from the outside, but gives the distiller plenty of air and space to work. It wasn’t until recently that the owners, Bacardi, began marketing this excellent malt on its own although the vast majority of this whisky still ends up in the Dewars blend. Built in 1891 on the cliffs across from Macallan, if you miss the turn off to Dufftown, you’ll miss Craigellachie, but the next road takes you right to the Highlander Inn. There you should stop and taste the local dram of choice. Or save a trip and try this awesome little cask. Age for 14 years in a refill sherry butt, the malt has all the classic hallmarks of this awesome distillery. Dense and chewy, without being totally overtaken by the sherry, the malt offers plenty of deep herbal character, powerful savory spice and complex cacao flavors. This malt was teaspooned with a homeopathic quantities Dailuaine to declassify it, but the flavors and quality remains at the highest level.

2008 Glengoyne 11 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive PX Sherry Finished Single Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $69.99 View

Glengoyne is all about patience. Everything they do is slow. The picturesque little distillery sits on the border of the highlands and lowlands. In fact, the road that divides the distillery and its warehouses IS the border. They sport some of the longest fermentation times in all of Scotland and some of the slowest stills as well. These longer processes coupled with a massive amount of available copper lead to an unabashedly fruity and super clean spirit. The real magic of Glengoyne is in the fact that it retains enough stuffing to play perfectly with heavy sherry influences. Indeed the distillery bottling nearly all focus on sherry maturation. This particular exclusive bottling from Old Particular has been finished in PX Sherry leading to the very best of both worlds. Not only do you get the ripe stone fruits and vanillas of the spirit and hogshead maturation, you also get to savor the deep, sweet, nutty flavors of Spain’s finest dessert wine and Scotch fan’s favorite finishing cask.

2010 Islay Straight (Caol Ila) 10 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $69.99 View

Anyone who has taken the fairy to the Isle of Islay from Kennacraig to Port Askaig has seen this special distillery from a unique vantage point. As you motor up the Islay Straight to the port the ferry begins a big sweeping turn into harbor and you get a spectacular view off the starboard side of Caol Ila’s warehouses and massive distillery. It’s a special introduction to the spectacular beauty of Islay. If you were to skip the port and carry on up the straight you find Bunnahabhain, and so it was a natural choice for the teaspoon of liquid gold we needed to add to the cask and bring the price of this 10 year down far below the $100 mark. Caol Ila’s natural fruity and smoky profile meshes wonderfully with a sherry butt finish that adds an impressive dark color and nutty flavor to a perennial favorite.

1998 Archiestown Adjacent (Dailuaine) 22 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $109.99 View

Dailuaine was built in 1852 in the tiny hamlet of Charlestown-of-Aberlour. The water for fermentation comes from the Bailliemullich Burn and it boast 3 sets of stills and the wash stills feature an unusual pinched neck design that gives the lower neck a lip adding to the refluxive properties of the still. Despite our best efforts, Dailuaine remains an underappreciated Speyside glory. That’s mainly because the owners do so little to promote this great malt as it’s so crucial to the structure of their many popular blends. It sits in a little valley just across the River Spey from the tiny village of Archiestown, hence the moniker, which will be otherwise lost on even the most travelled Scotch lover. Archiestown, is of course a beautiful little place to visit, but not really on the road to or from any of the major public distilleries and Dailuaine is not open to visitors either. But, if you’ve ever made the journey into Speyside through the town Aberlour, you’ve travelled by this excellent distillery, just off the A95 and within striking distance of several other classics – Glenfarclas, Benrinnes, Knockando, Tamdhu, Cardhu, Glenallachie. It was teaspooned with a molecularly insignificant amount of Glendullan to demote it to a lowly “blended malt,” but this excellent whisky tastes impeccable nonetheless. Dark malt and complex fruit coupled with the perfect kiss of creamy American oak from this refill hogshead.

2003 Craigellachie 16 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $109.99 View

One of the most distinctive malts in all of Scotland. Craigellachie utilizes worm tubs with a very low copper content that, in combination with very long fermentation times, contributes to a rare and desirable sulfurous trait in whisky (not to be confused with the strong and undesirable sulfurous notes occasionally found in older sherry butts that were treated to prevent spoilage). The end result is a pungent aroma that when young is often described as meaty or like boiled cabbage, but when matured works its way into complex sweet fragrances such as pineapple and other tropical fruits and floral notes. These beautiful flavors offer aromatics in combination with palate weight and make Craigellachie a prized malt for blenders and single malt enthusiasts alike. When in combination with sherried wood, there is nothing else like it. The tropical flavors mingle with the nuttiness of the sherry to make a whisky unmatched in flavor, weight, and aromatics. These rare casks typically command astronomical prices, but as always, thank to our long standing direct relationships in Scotland, we’ve been able to secure a cask or two that offer unparalleled value in the single malt category.

1997 Hector Macbeth (Glenfiddich) 23 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $119.99 View

One of the original teaspooned malts here at K&L that longtime customers may already be familiar with is Hector Macbeth. While nearly all of this year’s blended malts had another distillers spirit dropped into it right before bottling, this was teaspooned at the time of production by the original maker with the intention of being sold off to the independent market. This is really how teaspooning came to be a thing in the first place. Blue chip distilleries, like Glenfiddich in this case, don’t want a bunch of people trading on their name. They do however, still want to sell casks into the blending market to raise quick cash. While we don’t know what they put into the cask in this case (although my money is on the sister distillery next door – Balvenie) we do know that it tastes just like you’d expect sherry finished Glenfiddich at cask strength to taste. If you’ve ever had the excellent Glenfiddich 15 Year Sherry Solera bottling and thought, ‘I wish this was full proof,’ this is the malt for you. The extra 8 years of aging doesn’t hurt either.

Email: wine@klwines.com
Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)
K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Scotch Whisky Auctions “Not Long Now” – Scotch Whisky News

Loch Fyne Whiskies “Delicious drams for your Christmas countdown!” – Whisky News

Delicious drams for your Christmas countdown!

Drinks by the Dram’s spirit-filled Advent Calendars are still available for pre-order! It’s all flying by fast, isn’t it?

Chocolate advent calendars are timeless favourites, but why not elevate your Christmas Countdown this year with daily delicious drams? Whether you’re into whisky, or XX or XX or XX there’s a calendar for even the biggest scrooge out there.

These dramtastic calendars also make the ultimate festive gift for the curious imbiber in your life. Make their Christmas come early by sending a calendar directly to their doorstep – we’ll deliver UK orders over £50 for free!

Stock expected to land 23rd October.

Shop & Pre-order Now ›

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