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Top Picks at K&L California – Whisky News


  • 1998 Ben Nevis 17 Year Old Exclusive Malts “Ex-Sherry” Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ( $139.99) This lovely cask of Ben Nevis is proof that the oft forgotten distillery can play with the big boys. 17 years in a refill sherry butt and maturation at the foot Scotland’s highest peak have done wonders here. Nevis’ rich malty profile is integrated perfectly with the dense flavors from the Sherry Cask. Grab it will you can, this one is pretty limited.
  • White Oak Akashi Grain Whisky 750ml $34.99
  • Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml $64.99
  • 1998 Ben Nevis 17 Year Old Exclusive Malts “Ex-Sherry” Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml $139.99

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


Ardbeg Supernova SN2015 Committee Release Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

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Ardbeg Supernova SN2015 Committee Release Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Ardbeg Supernova Committee SN2015 Release Islay single malt Scotch whiskey. The final fleeting Supernova bottling heralds the culmination of the Ardbeg experiment in space. Limited edition 2015 release.



Ardbeg Distillery was established in Ardbeg on the Kildalton Peninsular on the Isle of Islay in 1815 by John McDougal. Ardbeg Distillery draws soft peaty water from Loch Uigeadail and Loch Airigh nam Beist up amongst the hills behind the distillery. Ardbeg Distillery is a participant in the world famous Feis Ile, the annual Islay Festival of Malt and Music. Visitors are welcome at the distillery visitor center which offers Ardbeg Distillery tours and serves delicious Scottish fare in the Ardbeg Café.


GlenDronach Batch #12 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

AA GlenD 72

GlenDronach Batch #12

Nine Pedro Ximenez sherry cask expressions from 1972/1990/1995/2003/2004

Shop – Glendronach Batch 12



AA Laphroaig 32



Laphroaig® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky continues to celebrate its bicentenary with the release of the Laphroaig 32 Year Old.  The very special bottling, distributed by Maxxium UK, has been aged for over three decades in a single cask type.

Matured exclusively in a first-fill ex-Oloroso cask, the Laphroaig 32 Year Old is a whisky that has picked up all the flavours so typical of spirit laid down in ex-Sherry casks – the dark Christmas fruits, the nuts and spice, and at the same time possesses the extraordinary delicate balance common to old, excellent whiskies. It is an extremely rare and accomplished whisky.

On the nose the aroma of caramelised brown sugar is predominant, with notes of dark, bitter chocolate and nutmeg leading the palate, followed by a dry and lingering sherried oak finish.

Laphroaig 32 Year Old, an intensely rich single, malt will be available in October 2015 in selected specialist whisky retailers with a RRP of £750.00.



Tasting Notes for Laphroaig 32 Year Old:

  • Colour - Deep Mahogany
  • Nose - Reminiscent of a Christmas fruit cake, the rich, sherry sweetness and the aroma of caramelised brown sugar is predominant. A drop of water reveals notes of cinnamon spiced red apples, with just a hint of bitter dark chocolate.
  • Body - Intense and rich.
  • Taste - The dark, bitter chocolate follows through to the palate, with nutmeg and an intense spicy oakiness. Adding a touch of water allows sweeter, sherry flavours to come through, together with just a hint of salt tang and subtle peat smoke.
  • Finish - Dry, long and lingering, sherried oak finish.

Editors Notes:

  • Laphroaig is the No.1 selling Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky globally
  • Unmistakably peat-smoke flavours are delivered by burning local Islay peat, containing unique traces of seaweed and heather.
  • One of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns.
  • The Friends of Laphroaig programme keeps fans of the brand up to date with special offers and news from distillery manager, John Campbell. On signing up, members are allocated their own square foot of land on Islay, and their names are added to the members’ book in the friends lounge at the distillery. Members who visit the distillery are invited to collect their ‘rent’ – a dram of Laphroaig. The community comprises more than 669,000 like-minded Scotch fans from more than 190 countries.

About Beam Suntory Inc.:

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the flagship Jim Beam bourbon and Yamazaki Japanese whisky, as well as world renowned premium brands including Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s,  Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka, and Midori liqueur.  The company generates annual worldwide sales exceeding $4 billion excluding excise taxes.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and entrepreneurial culture.  Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit http://www.beamsuntory.com/ and www.drinksmart.com.


Irish Distillers CEO Anna Malmhake and Graduate Disitller Karen Cotter 1



Irish Distillers, the largest whiskey producer in Ireland and home to the iconic brands of Irish whiskey – Jameson, Powers, PADDY, Redbreast, Green Spot and Midleton Very Rare, has unveiled a new Microdistillery in Midleton, Co. Cork. The Microdistillery is a key innovation hub that will support the resurgence of Irish Whiskey through experimentation with distillations of new and old styles of Irish whiskey.

The opening of the new facility marks the return to distilling in the Old Midleton buildings for the first time since 1975. An innovative array of whiskeys, featuring a mix of cereals, will be distilled using a manual operation during the first year, while in phase two a microbrewery will be introduced that will enable the Microdistillery to craft whiskeys using a wider range of cereals and yeast strains.

The first Distiller of the Microdistillery at Midleton has been announced as Karen Cotter – one of eight alumni of the Jameson Graduate Distiller Programme and the only female distiller in Ireland. Karen joined Irish Distillers in 2012 and has been mentored by Midleton Master Distiller, Brian Nation – an ongoing relationship that will ensure that Karen has the support she needs to carry on the proud tradition of distilling in Midleton.

Anna Malmhake, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, commented: “As Jameson continues to underpin the success of the Irish whiskey category, we are looking at new ways of building on our tradition while also forging the future of Irish whiskey. We are delighted with the opening of the Midleton Microdistillery which, when fully operational, will produce 400 casks of Irish whiskey per annum, from brewing through to maturation. These will be innovative, small batch expressions that will play a key role in the development of the category.

“Our Archivist recently uncovered a notebook personally used by John Jameson II in 1826 which he used to take note of special recipes and ingredient mixes used by the original Jameson distillers. The Microdistillery will enable us to bring these old Irish whiskeys back to life in the modern era, as well as experiment and innovate with new ingredients mixes.

“In addition, it will be a key feature of the Jameson Experience Midleton. We currently welcome over 410,000 tourists per year to the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin and the Jameson Experience Midleton. As Irish whiskey tourism continues its rapid expansion, it is essential that we develop our tourist offering so they get an authentic, Irish experience.”

Karen Cotter, Distiller at the Midleton Microdistillery, added: “I am honoured to take up my new role as Distiller at the Midleton Microdistillery – my own distillery! I had my first taste of Midleton during a six-month work placement and found the story of what we do in Midleton and why we do it fascinating. I wanted to be a part of an industry that respects the traditions of old while using environmentally sustainable ways to ensure quality whiskey production for the future.”

“Craft and innovation are at the core of everything we do and Irish Distillers have had the foresight to invest in an experimentation hub that will enable us to study cereal mixes, resurrect old Irish whiskey recipes and be a centre of excellence for training up-and-coming Midleton distillers. For me, the Microdistillery presents a fantastic opportunity to be at the cutting edge of innovation in Irish Whiskey and, with a steady hand guiding me, the future really is bright for us. Who knows – maybe we will find the next Jameson here!”  


About Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers, John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the company decided to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork. Irish Distillers was bought by Pernod Ricard in June 1988 and today, Jameson is the No.1 Irish whiskey in the world, selling over 4 million 9L cases worldwide and contributing more than any other Irish whiskey brand to the phenomenal global growth of the category. Irish Distillers is committed to driving continued, sustainable growth of the Irish whiskey category.

Irish Distillers’ portfolio of whiskeys is comprised of Jameson, the world’s no.1 Irish whiskey; Irish favourite Paddy; Powers, the robust super premium whiskey for discerning drinkers; and the much-acclaimed brands that comprise the Irish Distillers’ Prestige Collection – the Single Pot Still Whiskeys of Midleton which includes the Spot range (Green Spot, Yellow Spot) and Redbreast, Ireland’s most awarded single pot still whiskey brand – and the pinnacle of the Prestige Collection, Midleton Very Rare.


About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader 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 80 “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.


The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show – this weekend! – Late Breaking Whisky News

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The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show – this weekend!

It’s that time of year again. The office is really busy, new whiskies are appearing in every corner, emails containing huge lists of things are zipping around and I’m working on a weekend – it’s time for The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show.

Lots more details have appeared on the Whisky Show website since we last wrote about the event in February. Back then all we knew was that the venue had changed and that the theme was Legends of Whisky. Now, we’ve only got a few masterclass tickets left, we know what’s on the brasserie menu, have a lists of Dream Drams and special guests (including some proper legends of the whisky industry), know what food pairings and cocktails we’ll have, have a published schedule and map, and even have a list of all of the whiskies available to try.

It’s going to be excellent.

We’ll have TWE exclusive whiskies dotted around the show, with new whiskies from Arran, Kilchoman and The English Whisky Company all selected by us and available to try on their stands. The exclusive single casks of BenRiach and Glendronach that appeared a few weeks back will also be on the BenRiach Distillery Co stand, if you’ve not had a chance to taste them yet.

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The show bottlings, available to try at the show for the first time

 On the Show Bottlings stand we’ll have some new exclusive whiskies bottled specially for the show. They are so new that I’ve not had a chance to try them yet, but reports from those who have are very good. Sherried drams from Ledaig and an anonymous family-run distillery in Speyside, a 22-year-old Irish single malt, and the latest in our Masterpieces series, as chosen by TWE director Sukhinder Singh.

This year, the boss has gone for a 2002 vintage Bruichladdich matured in a bourbon cask. The previous releases have not lasted long, and we don’t expect this one to hang around, either. If there are any show bottlings left after the weekend then they’ll appear on The Whisky Exchange website, so keep your eyes peeled.

AA TWE Show 3

Daryl Haldane from Highland Park introducing the room to Dark Origins last year

 Along with all the whisky, food, cocktails and special guests, we have our famed masterclasses. While many are already sold out, we do have a few tickets left for some of them:

The Science of Whisky with Ian Buxton and Paul Hughes, authors of The Science and Commerce of Whisky, comparing and contrasting whiskies from Royal Lochnagar, Dalwhinnie and Mortlach
Benromach: The Making of the Classic Speyside Malt with distillery manager Keith Cruickshank, deconstructing the excellent Benromach 10 Year Old and trying the 15 Year Old
Arran: The Coming of Age with brand manager Louisa Young, celebrating the distillery’s 20th birthday with a selection of new and upcoming limited-edition whiskies
Cigar Pairing with Dalmore and Hunters & Frankau, pairing up a Cuban cigar and one of Dalmore’s drams three times a day – once with a light cigar, once with a medium and once with a heavy, featuring a different dram each time
Whisky and Cheese with Balvenie and La Fromagerie. Balvenie’s James Buntin and cheese expert Bruno d’Abo will be bringing along six cheeses and three whiskies each day at the show to teach us how the two can complement each other

There’s also a whole program of free seminars and Q&A sessions through the weekend, many with a few special drams thrown in for good measure. As mentioned before: it will be excellent.  If you’ve not got a ticket yet, head over to our ticketing partner Billetto and grab one – we still have a few left for Sunday 4 October. Just click the oversized button below:

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If you already have a ticket, then make sure to pop by Stand 8 to say hello. Even if you don’t want to talk to me, the whiskies are worth the trip.

Impex Beverages “Just in: New Batch of The Exclusive Malts!” – Scotch Whisky News


We are delighted to announce that the newest batch release of the widely popular Exclusive Malts has arrived in US soil. Individually and carefully selected by David Stirk, founder of the Creative Whisky Co, these 8 new bottlings show some of the best single cask whisky to come out from Scotland. 

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Ben Nevis ‘96 17 yr Highland (Ex-Sherry Matured) 102.4 proof

Ben Nevis Distillery, situated at the foot of, and named after, the highest mountain in Scotland, is a rather unique Highland Scotch Whisky. Brimming with thick malt and dense fruit flavours, it has long been sought after by blenders as their backbone for a high-class Scotch Whisky. This refill ex-Sherry butt has been maturing next to the distillery, untouched since 1996 and is a classy example of what this distillery can offer.

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Glen Garioch ’95 19 yr Highland (Ex-Rum Finished) 112.6 proof

The closest distillery to the ancient city of Aberdeen is Glen Garioch distillery (pronounced ‘Gearie’). This small Highland malt whisky was often overlooked in the past couple of decades as more attention was given to its sister distilleries in Glasgow and on Islay. This meant there were few offerings from this exceptional distillery. Thankfully this is changing as more and more attention are given to malts. This cask had previously held Rum from Guyana which has imparted a sweet and fruity character to the spirit.

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Deanston ’97 17 yr Highland 104.60 proof

Deanston Distillery, situated near Perth, was originally a cotton mill in the latter part of the 18th Century. It only recently began life as a distillery, being converted in 1966. Most of its whisky is intended for blending but occasionally casks find their way, untouched, into the bottle as a single malt whisky. This refill hogshead has sat, slowly maturing, for 17 years, retaining the full malty, earthy character that is the essence of Deanston whisky.

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Bruichladdich ’04 11 yr Islay 111.20 proof

The most Westerly distillery in Scotland is Bruichladdich Distillery. Famed for making a quality spirit, without the peat smoke of its neighbours, it was long favoured by the Ileach (the people of Islay). This cask was made not long after the distillery returned to former glories and the whisky in this cask does its reincarnation credit. Full of rich, sweet malt and heavy fruit with perhaps just a hint of the sea-air where it matured for 11 years.

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Girvan ’88 27 yr Lowland 106.8 proof

The Girvan Distillery was completed in 1963 and was built by the William Grant & Sons Company to satisfy their demand for grain whisky for their many blends. At the time of completion it was the largest distillery in Europe and also makes a very well known gin. This ‘Coffey Still’ distillate was laid down in 1988 and has been bottled as naturally as possible to retain all of the soft American oak flavours.

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Cambus ’88 26 yr Lowland 96.2 proof

Cambus Distillery was one of the largest in the world when founded in 1813 in Clackmannanshire. It closed in 1993 when its owners decided that their requirement for grain whisky could be satisfied by other distilleries in their portfolio. Sadly, it joins the list of numerous grain distilleries closed for good. This cask was filled in 1988 and has slowly maturing for 26 years but shows off the delicate and complex nature of the spirit.
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Glen Keith ’96 19 yr Speyside 100.2 proof

Situated in the small town of Keith and a few hundred yards from Strathisla Distillery, Glen Keith closed around the late 90s and re-opened in 2013 to make whisky entirely for the export blend market. This meant that the only single malt available was the rare single cask bottling like this one. This refill hogshead shows the fruity-sweet style so favoured by blenders.

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Allt-A-Bhainne ’93 22 yr Speyside 101.40 proof

Allt-a-Bhainne, which means ‘Milk Burn’ in Gaelic, Distillery is nestled in the hills behind Dufftown. The distillery was built in the post Second World War boom for Scotch Whisky and was built entirely to contribute to the large blends of the parent company, Seagram’s. Even today, its malt whisky is almost never bottled un-blended as a single malt. It is up to the rare single cask offerings to show what this distillery can do. This refill hogshead is full of candy floss and sweet fruits.

Please feel free to reach out for more detail on the Batch #9: office@impexbev.com


ImpEx Beverages Inc.

360 Swift Ave

Side B # 9

South San Francisco, CA 94080


Arkwright’s “COMPASS BOX WHISKY TASTING – WEDNESDAY 28TH OCTOBER 2015″ – Scotch Whisky News



It is the 15th Anniversary of Compass Box Whisky Co this year and we are delighted that we will be able to join in the celebrations as, on Wednesday 28th October, Herman Van Broekhuizen, Brand Ambassador, will be coming along to present a tasting of some of the wonderfully rich, smooth and complex whiskies that they produce.

Founded by John Glaser, Compass Box are a small, independent, specialist whisky company whose philosophy is that drinking Scotch whisky should be a pleasure – hence their motto of ‘Above All, Share and Enjoy’. Their award winning whiskies are created through the art of blending or vatting, and John Glaser’s extensive knowledge of the way oak casks interact with whisky, combined with his innovative thinking, results in a contemporary approach that builds on the great traditions of whisky making. Their range has something for everyone, from soft and fruity to spicy to full on peat, and whether you’re new to whisky or a connoisseur this is an ideal tasting to come along to as not only will there be a broad spectrum of Scotch whisky styles but also you will learn a lot about the important role of wood and maturation in whisky production. And if you have had the pleasure of attending a Compass Box tasting before then, don’t worry, there will be some new treats in store for you to try!

Tickets are £15 per person and will be available to buy online from 1.15pm on Friday 2nd October. Please note, no bookings will be taken before this time and the maximum number of tickets per booking is 6.

See below for all the details and if you have any queries just contact us.

Fran and Ken
Arkwrights Whisky and Wines


Name Compass Box Whisky Tasting
Date Wednesday 28th October 2015

Time 7.00 for 7.30pm
Venue Stanton House Hotel, Stanton Fitzwarren

Details Admission to the tasting is by ticket only, and the whiskies tasted will be available to purchase on the night. Tickets are £15 per person, and this also entitles you to a discount of £3 against a bottle of one of the featured whiskies if bought or ordered on the night of the tasting.

Tickets are very strictly limited, and allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Arkwrights reserve the right to restrict the number of tickets per customer and as these tastings usually sell out within hours it is best to book as soon as the tickets are released. To buy tickets just log on to www.whiskyandwines.com from 1.15pm on Friday 2nd October and place an order for the number you require. Please note that tickets cannot be reserved without payment and are non-refundable.

N.B. We have negotiated special rates at Stanton House Hotel for anyone who wants to stay overnight after the tasting – just quote ‘Arkwrights- whisky tasting’ when booking by ‘phone or email.

New Arrivals & Top Picks at K&L California – Whisky News


United States – Kentucky

Pikesville Straight Kentucky Rye 750ml  $49.99 


Arran 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 750ml  $119.99 

Balvenie 25 Year Old Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml $599.99 

Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml $109.99

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


Whisky Ramblings Via Video #118 – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Ramblings Via Video #118

Mark Dermul, Belgian Whiskyblogger, tries another distillery only cask. Whenever you visit Auchentoshan, the Lowland distillery near Glasgow, you always have the opportunity to bottle your own from a cask in the warehouse. It makes for a nice souvenirs. Even more so when the cask is of exceptional quality – which it usually is. This most recent cask was a Bordeaux wine cask, filled in 2006. Quite young and yet full of flavor!


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