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New Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News



Kilchoman “Evolution” Islay Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)10$139.99 View

Kilchoman “Sanaig” Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)19$69.99 View

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


Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #580 – Scotch Whisky News


www.ralfy.com offers a triple-whammy with Whisky Review 580 1 + 2 + 3 of 3 – Kingsbarns Wemyss Glen Scotia 23yo malt  and interviews at Kingsbarns Distillery.

World’s Malt Whisky Capital Prepares to Party as Curtain Rises on Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – Scotch Whisky News

AA Whisky Shop Dufftown Mike Lord

World’s malt whisky capital prepares to party as curtain rises on Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Set against rolling hills and surrounded by lush countryside, Dufftown would appear – on the face of it – to be just another picture-perfect little town in the heart of Speyside’s whisky country.

But this unassuming little community with a population of only 1,600 is actually a powerhouse of Scotch whisky production – and is globally renowned as the malt whisky capital of the world.

If that wasn’t enough of a claim to fame, for five days every year Dufftown also becomes the epicentre of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – an event that draws thousands of whisky lovers from home and abroad.

There are over 500 different events at this year’s Festival, which kicks off on Thursday (April 28), and dozens of them will be taking place in Dufftown. From whisky tasting and whisky WAGs to barrel racing and ceilidh dancing, the town offers a programme of events like no other in the Festival.

Festival manager Pery Zakeri says, “The ingenuity of event providers in Dufftown never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think they’ve done everything possible, they’ll come up with something completely new.

“The really great thing is how the community gets behind the event, and that’s important to us as a Festival because it all helps to give visitors such an authentic experience.

“They can come and meet the people who actually produce the whisky they drink, and then visit towns and villages and meet the locals for whom whisky is not just a product – it’s their lifeblood.”

Dufftown is renowned as the malt whisky capital because there is nowhere else with such a high concentration of distilleries: there is a saying that Rome was built on seven hills, but Dufftown stands on seven stills.

Whisky is produced in such significant volumes within its catchment that it’s believed the town raises more revenue for the Treasury per head of population than any other part of the UK.

There have been nine different distilleries operating out of Dufftown at various points in its history, but not all of them are still running. Even those who are not aficionados will have heard of globally renowned brands like Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, but there is also Mortlach, Parkmore, Glendullan, Convalmore, Dufftown, Pittyvaich and Kininvie.

Visitors will be able to see these distilleries in a walk organised by local tour guide Michelle Myron. But, being Dufftown, this isn’t just an ordinary walk – Whisky and WAGS is a 6km hike around the village for women-only during which they will taste drams from the distilleries paired with exquisite chocolates from Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatiers.

There are still some places available on the walk, which takes place on Saturday and sets out at 4pm.

“Dufftown is always a very special place to visit at any time of the year, but there is always a fantastic buzz during the Festival. We have some great events lined up, and lots going on that will bring both local people and visitors together,” says Michelle.

Festival-goers will also have the chance to sample specially created whisky ice cream at the Balvenie Street Ice Cream Shop, enjoy live music and a ceilidh on board the Keith-Dufftown Railway Line, learn how to blend whisky at Glenfiddich, and even snag some genuine whisky memorabilia at a pop-up shop organised by Speyside Rotary Club.

There will be a carnival atmosphere on Sunday, May 1 as the Dufftown Whisky Street Festival takes place throughout the afternoon. There’s live music, a 10K race between the distilleries, the chance to take part in barrel racing and sample a range of whisky cocktails and cupcakes.

Mike Lord is owner of The Whisky Shop Dufftown – a veritable Aladdin’s cave of whisky which many visitors make a pilgrimage to during the Festival. He is one of the Festival’s most prolific event providers, and has been responsible for introducing some of the most unusual events to the programme.

He’s masterminded competitions where visitors find the best whisky to pair with bacon rolls and haggis, organised bus tours to distilleries that only open to the public during the Festival and also stages numerous special events and tastings at his shop.

Mike says, “Dufftown is the beating heart of the malt whisky industry, producing something like 40 million litres of pure alcohol per year. Over 10% of the industry’s capacity is in our town – that’s the same amount of alcohol as in over 140 million bottles of whisky.

“Breathing in all that angelic air is probably why each year we come up with so many different events from the norm for The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Whether it’s finding the best malt to go with a bacon a roll or an in-depth tasting on the influence of different woods on the maturation of whisky we have it all. We try and make whisky fun and informative for everyone.

“Some other whisky retailers have told me my shop is in the middle of nowhere but all that The Malt Whisky Capital of the World has to offer is only an hour from the airports in Aberdeen and Inverness.

“Those other shops don’t get a still man from Glenrothes popping in to buy some beer, the head of distilling for Chivas Brothers dropping by in for a chat, Diageo’s key production guy for Speyside wanting an opinion on flanged stills or the visitor centre manager for Glenfarclas dropping off some stock. These are all local people: visitors can meet them in my shop, in our restaurants, in our pubs and our shops.”

As one of the world’s biggest festivals celebrating of Scotland’s national drink, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival features a packed programme of almost 500 events, with music, crafts, and food themes running alongside a wide range of distillery tours and tastings.

Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including The Glenlivet Over the Decades, are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com/. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

Picture caption: Mike Lord of The Whisky Shop Dufftown is one of the Spirit of Speyside Festival’s most prolific event providers.

Notes to editors

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is committed to promoting responsible drinking. Visitors travelling to and from festival events can take advantage of a range of transport options. Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has received funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 to 2020. The Scottish Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will run from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.

Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed fashion, textiles and design sector.

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, supported by partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate

Whisky Month 2016

  • May is Whisky Month in Scotland, inviting visitors and locals to sample Scotland’s national drink and explore the subtle blend of stories and provenance behind our vast array of marvellous malts.
  • In 2016, Whisky Month will also celebrate the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, turning the spotlight on other related areas, such as the famous feats of engineering and innovation in today’s whisky industry as well as the distinct architecture of many of Scotland’s wonderful distilleries.
  • To encourage even more visitors to sample Scotland’s whisky a series of eBooks are available. Each book focuses on one of the country’s five distinctive whisky-producing regions in Scotland – Campbeltown, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Highland.  VisitScotland’s The Land of Whisky guides can be downloaded at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/distilleries
  • Find out more and search for events, recipes and trails at visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/whisky-month and join the conversation using #WhiskyMonth




2016 London Diageo Learning for Life hospitality and bartending students graduate following a six week training course

Young unemployed Londoners complete bartending qualification

15th April 2016, London: Last night the 2016 cohort of students from the London Learning for Life Hospitality and Bartending Course celebrated the completion of the course with a graduation ceremony at Diageo’s Global HQ in Park Royal, London. The scheme aims to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are struggling to find a job find their way back into the jobs market.

The young people were joined by friends and family, charity training partner Springboard, placement providers and Diageo staff to celebrate their achievement.

Over the last six weeks the students have taken part in the course which has already transformed the lives of over 100,000 people in 35 countries worldwide. The course prepared the young people for work in the hospitality industry with a mix of technical and vocational qualifications, industry visits and soft skills development (for example CV writing and confidence building). This was followed by a two week work placement in a London pub or bar, organised by Springboard through their business partners, and then a guaranteed interview with a local employer.

The Diageo Learning for Life programme is delivered in partnership with the Springboard Charity. Springboard helps young people achieve their potential, nurtures unemployed individuals into work and helps alleviate poverty by supporting people into sustainable employment in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.

At the graduation ceremony, students talked about their experiences of the course, as well as their aspirations for the future. Graduates include:

Baljinder Jagdev, 28, Ealing

Juggling job hunting with being a full time mum is no mean feat and Baljinder has had to tackle both since leaving her last job as a recruiter. Despite an impressive CV and a degree in law, she had struggled to get back on the career ladder.

Although Bal had never considered working in the drinks industry, she came into the programme with an open mind. The fact she could gain six new qualifications was a big part of the programme’s appeal to her.

Thanks to the skills she has gained from Learning for Life, Bal plans to follow her dream and set up her own bar with her business partner. She’s already been accepted onto the Prince’s Trust enterprise programme to begin setting up her own company over the course of the next year.

Bal is due to finish her placement with Gather & Gather, a catering services at BBC Studios.

Bal said: “Learning for Life has helped me to turn my life around. The process of signing-on was a hugely disheartening experience, especially when you’re used to having your own money and freedom. One of the best things about doing the Diageo programme is that it has restored my sense of purpose. You’re thrown into an intense learning environment from day one and surrounded by enthusiastic people, so you can’t help but look forward to going to work.

“The programme has helped me develop into a calmer and humbler person. Now I want to use my positive experience to help others improve their lives.”

Shane Quest, 23, Hammersmith

Shane lives on his own and although he has worked previously as a cashier, he longs to find a more inspiring job. Despite being highly motivated, Shane’s dyslexia has made it difficult to show his full potential when filling out job applications.

Determined to try his hand at something different, with the help of the job centre, Shane put himself forward for the Learning for Life programme.

Shane has shown a real talent when it comes to cocktail making. From understanding how to strike the perfect balance between flavours, sugars and garnishes, to providing top quality customer service, Shane’s ability has shone through.

Having gone into the programme with no prior experience, Shane completes his placement at the London Cocktail Club full of confidence and well equipped to pour the perfect pint and create his own high quality cocktails.

Shane said: “Having spent most of my time in retail, I was ready to have a go at something new and the Diageo programme has allowed me to do that. Not many 23 year olds can say they’ve created their own cocktail.

“Taking part in the programme has been a huge confidence boost. I was surprised to see the level of people, organisation and expertise that goes into running a successful bar and even more surprised that I excelled in that environment.”

Konrad Toney, 18, Shepherd’s Bush

At 18 years old Konrad is one of the youngest of the graduates. With limited work experience, Konrad has found it hard to secure a job. He spent some time in a part time role at Queens Park Rangers FC, but now has his sights on something more challenging.

During the programme he has been overwhelmed by the supportive nature of his peers and found the business side of things fascinating. He has learnt how to make advanced cocktails and understand the ingredients that go into them. He has also improved his CV and developed his experience, making him better positioned to be considered for future roles.

Konrad completed his placement at Babylon bar at Kensington Roof Gardens and is looking into taking up a vocational course in hospitality so he can apply all he’s learnt over the recent months.

Konrad said: “Learning for Life has given me the confidence, skills and experience that I need for the world of work. As a result I’m considering taking what I’ve learnt a step further and applying to do a course in hospitality or business at college.

“The nature of the programme means you’re constantly learning on the job and the networking opportunities help you meet some of the most exciting characters in the industry.”

Andrew Cowan, Country Director of Diageo GB said:

“For many young Londoners, searching for a job can be a daunting prospect. However, exciting opportunities within the hospitality industry are ripe for the taking for any individual with the right talent and drive.

“Now for the second year, I couldn’t be happier that Diageo is playing a role in providing Londoners with the skills and confidence needed to make a success within the vibrant hospitality industry we are so passionate about.

 “From becoming a master cocktail maker to starting their own bar, who knows what these students will go on to achieve!”

Anne Pierce, MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Springboard said:

“Springboard is pleased to partner with the Diageo Learning for Life programme and of our key role in delivering the programme not only in London, but throughout Scotland and also in Runcorn.  Over 600 graduates have participated on 55 courses to date, with 71% going into sustained employment.  The course offers great opportunities to young unemployed people by providing them with key employability skills, on-the-job work experience, industry qualifications and on-going support and mentoring. 90% of graduates say the course increased their self-confidence and motivation to work.

“As a result of Springboard’s support the graduates have developed their hospitality skills and knowledge and can all be extremely proud of their achievements. The skills they have developed will open doors to amazing opportunities with many of the hospitality business partners we work with and it’s great to see the positive transformation in these young adults.’’


About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories.  These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.  The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).  For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com/.  Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

About The Springboard Charity

The Springboard Charity helps young, unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their prospects in life through a career in hospitality, leisure and tourism.

Springboard provides a range of opportunities for sustainable employment, or vibrant careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism through;

  • Free specialist careers information
  • Taster work experience opportunities
  • Development programmes to help maximise the chances of obtaining sustainable employment
  • Pre-employment and mentoring programmes
  • Educational teaching resources, information, support and student activities to teachers in schools and colleges

Springboard equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential.

Springboard also works closely with the industry to help attract more talent and address skills shortages. In doing so, it has the support of over 180 different industry establishments and suppliers.

For more information about Springboard, visit: www.springboard.uk.net/

Reawaken the Spirit of Outlander at The Scotch Whisky Experience – Scotch Whisky News

Scotch Whisky ExperienceReawaken the Spirit of Outlander at The Scotch Whisky Experience

outlander-whisky-tasting (under 1mb)

As the second series of Outlander hits TV screens, Edinburgh’s five-star visitor attraction, The Scotch Whisky Experience, has launched a unique package to awaken the spirit of times gone by.

The new Outlander Whisky Tasting has been created in response to interest from visitors from across the world about Scotland’s hidden past, with a focus on the country’s ‘ghost distilleries’.

This exclusive tasting is hosted by a Master of the Quaich in the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky, which comprises 3,384 bottles and gives a snapshot of the drink’s long and illustrious past.

Julie Trevisan Hunter, Master of the Quaich at The Scotch Whisky Experience, explains: “Some of Scotland’s most famous distilleries have been closed and dismantled over the years, but their spirit and character remain in bottlings which lay unopened, until now. This tasting offers whisky lovers the one-off opportunity to travel back in time and experience some rare and unusual whiskies, which are now part of the drink’s extensive 500-year history.

“Whether as a toast at clan gatherings, or a dram by the fire, Scotch Whisky has maintained its presence in Scotland’s cultural and historic landscape for centuries and its flavour truly captures the spirit of our country. We hope that our new Outlander Whisky Tasting will help awaken the spirit of time gone by and allow our visitors to experience a small slice of the country’s past.”

Whiskies included in the tasting are: The Cally 40 year old; Port Ellen; Brora 35 Year Old; and Ghosted Reserve Blend. The experience is available for between two and twelve guests and is accompanied by an exclusive price tag of £485 per person.

Located at the top of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, The Scotch Whisky Experience has been educating visitors about Scotland’s national drink for more than a quarter of a century, with more than 300,000 people passing through its doors each year.

For more information, log-on to www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk or call 0131 220 0441.


You can find The Scotch Whisky Experience both on Twitter and Facebook.

Whisky Auctioneer April Auction Live – Scotch Whisky News

AA WA 1.jpg


Whisky Auctioneer has been a hive of activity these past few weeks, setting up our new premises and overseeing the website redesign but that hasn’t stopped us from putting together another fantastic sale for you! From the oldest to the newest and everything in between April’s Auction has it all. And when we say oldest and newest we really do mean it, take a look at the proof below before heading over to our new look website to see the in between!




This incredible Mortlach is the oldest whisky ever bottled having been matured for 75 years in a single first-fill sherry butt. Gordon & MacPhail released only 100 of these as part of their Generations range. Presented in a crystal decanter with accompanying presentation plinth, glasses, book and leather bag, it is simply stunning!



Laphroaig this age is incredibly rare! Presented with a certificate, this is the first release from Oddbins and by far the more limited of the two with only 300 bottles produced.



From the now closed Daly’s distillery this well aged Irish whiskey was bottled by Cadenhead’s at cask strength. Very rarely seen at auction, a fantastic opportunity to diversify your collection!



An exclusive Sestante bottling for Antica Casa Marchesi Spinola, this auction features all six superb bottles in the collection including a Port Ellen 1974! With their dashing traditional Scottish tartan kilted labels this really is a collection you want on your shelf!



An amazing whisky! Extremely rare with only 143 bottles in existence it has been matured for an astounding 48 years. Easy to see why it is one of the most sought after Karuizawa’s ever released! 



A new committee release for 2016, inspired by the history of illicit distilling on Islay. New release Ardbeg always prove popular, with its ‘dark’ sherry cask finish this bottle is sure to cement this!

There is no registration fee, our commission structure is very competitive and we offer worldwide shipping. For our terms and conditions please click here.

Happy Bidding!


We will be in the Speyside area on Friday 29th April. If you would like to take advantage of our very low 5% sellers commission and have bottles that you would like us to collect to be entered in our May Auction please get in touch –

01738 245576 or info@whiskyauctioneer.com

With close to 20 years of experience in the whisky industry, Whisky Auctioneer specialises in auctioning whisky whether it be fine, old, rare, collectable or affordable. Formed in 2013 and based in Perth, central Scotland, we aim to be the most comprehensive website for the buying and selling of whisky online.


The Whisky Exchange ‘Taste the Kavalan Range with Master Distiller Ian Chang’ – Tawain Whisky News



Tickets on sale  27 April at 3pm


Join us for an evening of whisky from one of the most exciting new producers in the world – Kavalan from Taiwan. We will be joined by master distiller Ian Chang, who will talk us through the whiskies and explain how they are made.

Kavalan doesn’t do anything by halves, as its huge distillery in Yilan, northern Taiwan, will attest. Built next to a natural spring, already used by parent company King Car as a source for its mineral water, it has been operational since 2005, and its first whisky hit the market in late 2008. After years of waiting, it burst on to the international market in 2011, and has been winning awards for its excellent whiskies ever since.

AA Ian

Our host for the evening will be Ian Chang. A graduate of Reading University, Ian joined Kavalan in 2005 and helped start production. Since then he has developed the Kavalan range of whiskies and acts as global brand ambassador, travelling around the world to teach whisky fans about the distillery.

We will be trying six whiskies from the Kavalan range, including the World Whiskies Awards World’s Best Single Malt Whisky 2015: Solist Vinho Barrique.

AA Kavalan

Kavalan Classic
Kavalan Concertmaster Port Cask Finish
Kavalan King Car Conductor
Kavalan Solist Bourbon
Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique

The tasting will take place on Monday 9 May at 7.30pm

£35 per ticket


Tickets on sale Wednesday 27 April at 3pm


 Please arrive at the venue from 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start

Whisky Auction April Auction Now Live – Whisky News

AA WA Logo 1



APRIL auction is now LIVE!

Our latest auction is now live and will end on Tuesday 3 May. This month we have some of the rarest Japanese whiskies from closed distilleries Karuizawa and Hanyu.  You’ll find some terrific bourbon and old blended Scotch, as well as some miniatures like Springbank 1952, too. Good luck with your bids! 

You can bid in two ways: either increase the highest bid by a fixed amount, or place your maximum bid straightaway – ideal if you can’t be online on the last day of our auction. Be the first to bid!

Get bidding, and good luck! The Whisky Auction team.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “April & Early May Tastings” – Scotch Whisky News

AA SMWS May 2016


The Vaults Extras Tasting – The Vaults, Thu 28 Apr  More >

May Outturn Preview Tasting – The Vaults, Thu 5 May  More >

Pacari Chocolate Tasting – 28 Queen Street, Fri 6 May More >

Chivas Brothers Tasting with Ian Logan – The Vaults, Mon 9 May  More >


Free Live music with Jack of Diamonds – Tue 26 Apr  More >

Island & Campbeltown Lovers Night – Tue 17 May  More >

Browse All Events & Tastings >

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


Whisky Wednesday Reviews the Hakushu 18 Year Old – Japanese Whisky News

Joe Ellis

This week Joe Ellis reviews the Hakushu 18 Year Old Japanese Single Malt.




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