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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is celebrating after a large haul at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards 2014. The Society was named Independent Bottler of the Year for the second year running, and saw 13 casks win individual awards across the board.

The news has rounded off a stellar year for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, who have seen membership figures rise, a sell-out ‘Glorious 12’ whisky and game pop up bar in Shoreditch, London, and the re-launch of their magazine, Unfiltered.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club and bottler which bottles the world’s widest selection of exceptional single cask, single malt whisky for its members.

The Society bottles the finest single malt whisky from around 350 single casks every year from a range of more than 132 distilleries. The very nature of the single cask means that each bottling offered by the Society is limited.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society saw a large array of flavours released over the year, with Irish, extremely rare Japanese grain whiskies and a Bourbon released. The most recent outturn includes their oldest ever single cask Scotch bottling at 48 years old.

Helen Stewart, UK Brand Manager for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society comments on the wins – “We are very excited to be named Independent Bottler of the Year for a second year in a row. Our members choose from the world’s widest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies. All our whiskies are selected and approved by our respected Tasting Panel, who know a great whisky when they try one. These thirteen awards really highlight their skills.”

AA SMWS 1.183

The full list of awards for The Society single casks below shows the quality of the whisky bottled from around Scotland:


Independent Bottler of The Year 2014


  • Campbeltown bottler of the year award
  • 93.61 – Bronze 13-20 yrs
  • 93.57 – Gold 21 yrs +


  • 26.101 – Bronze 12yr and under
  • 59.48 Silver 21 yrs + 


  • 4.189 Silver 13 to 20yrs


  • Islay bottler of the year award
  • 10.76 Silver 12 yrs and under
  • 53.184 Gold 13 to 20 yrs
  • 3.203 Gold 21yrs + 


  • 130.1 Gold 12yrs and under
  • 131.2 Silver 13 to 20yrs 


  • 2.85 Bronze 12 yrs and under
  • 21.28 Gold 21 yrs and over
  • 7.100 Silver 21yrs and over

To purchase membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for £122, visit www.smws.co.uk or call the sales team on 0131 555 2929 


About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society  

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club and bottler which bottles the world’s widest selection of exceptional single cask, single malt whisky for its members
  • The Society bottles the finest single malt whisky from around 350 single casks every year from a range of more than 132 distilleries. The very nature of the single cask means that each bottling offered by the Society is limited.
  • The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members around the world with branches in 19 countries.
  • Members can choose from the world’s widest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies with only the very best selected and approved by the Society’s respected Tasting Panel.
  • Exclusive Members’ Rooms are located in Edinburgh and London for tastings, dinners, meeting and presentations.
  • Annual renewal after the first year is £59
  • For more information, visit www.smws.co.uk

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada December Outturn – Scotch Whisky News

AA SMWS  of C Xmas

Waiting is the hardest part this time of year so we’re pleased to release December’s decadent drams!

For full tasting notes and to purchase please visit www.smws.ca but for now here are the bottle notes to get you in the spirit:

Cask No. 28.25 Sweet nutty personality
Spicy & dry
23 years old; refill hogshead; 51.9%
The nose weaves creamy sweetness (crème Anglaise, chocolate éclairs) and some fruit through linoleum, sandalwood, new car and allotment shed. The palate is sweet and nutty – Crunchy Nut cornflakes, peanut brittle ice-cream, hazelnuts, muesli and digestive biscuits – more honeyed with water.

Cask No. 36.72 Zorba’s dram
Sweet, fruity & mellow
16 years old; refill barrel; 57.2%
Before water; raspberry muesli with peach yogurt. To taste bread and butter pudding with sugared almonds. With water the scent of Amalfi lemons and ice cream. To taste wax dipped pineapple and mango.

Cask No. G10.4 A witch’s Christmas tipple
Old & dignified
23 years old; refill hogshead; 57.9%
A Christmassy nose – oranges, pecan pie, Brazils, pine trees, floral perfumes, dark chocolate, coconut fudge and spice. The palate is medicinal (menthol, throat lozenges) with a bubbling cauldron of dark sweetness (molasses, sticky marmalade, treacle scones, cinder toffee and coffee dregs).

Cask No. 35.111 A chalet girl’s dram
Deep, rich & dried fruits
12 years old; refill chardonnay hogshead; 59.3%
Be transported to an alpine cabin with pork crackling with red currant jelly. Rich sherried ginger snaps. Hot ski wax. A meaty feast of biltong and coq au vin. Hot chocolate and tangerines in brandy. A leather pig skin football. Curious and quirky.

Cask No. 3.219 Never far from the sea
13 years old; first fill barrel; 54.3%
The nose has seaweed, whelks and ship’s timbers; wood-smoke, syrupy pancakes, lemon peel, pepper and minty toothpaste – fresh laundry with water. The palate delivers sweet, floral smoke, marmalade, smoked salmon with lemon and pepper and tobacco and eucalyptus to finish.

Cask No. 29.151 Polished violins and vintage cars
24 years old; refill sherry butt; 54.3%
The nose exudes excitement (vintage cars, Iranian rugs, polished violins) – also hibiscus flowers in syrup, sticky dates, honey cake and oysters. The palate is lip-smacking, delightful and integrated – barbecued ribs, honey-smoked ham, cigar ash, treacle toffee, clove, leather and heathery smoke.

Cask No. 10.77 Beware of the monster
Heavily peated
6 years old; refill hogshead; 61.4%
Wine gums, mackerel skins and antiseptic on the nose. Smoke is present but something bigger is lurking… Take a sip to unleash the full wrath of this peat monster, tongue singeing with hot charcoal and lavender ash. Tamed with water to bring heather, gorse, mussels and spare ribs.


Season’s Greeting From The English Whisky Company – English Whisky News


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It is that time of year again when I get told I am to sit and write a newsletter and begrudgingly I start, wondering how I am going to fill the page, only to find that I have so much to tell you that space becomes a rare commodity rather than a problem.

In some ways this has been the longest year ever and in others it has gone in the blink of an eye. Let’s start at the beginning; after another cracking Christmas period and a rather good Jan / Feb, suddenly the brakes slammed on and it seemed the public of Britain simply stopped shopping. Luckily, you kept visiting the distillery, so no harm done. Slowly over the summer, you all appeared to realise your drinks cupboards were empty and life has returned to normal just in time for us to be able to turn on the heating – so thank you to all of you for your continued shopping habits!

The distillery has seen lots of changes. The first change this year was the building of Bond 3, which is our latest maturation warehouse. This extra space should allow us to mature over 4000 casks on site – which if you were to bottle them all at once would be well over a million bottles of whisky! Quite extraordinary really. Sadly we will never get to see all that whisky for a couple of reasons; the Angels in Norfolk are rather greedier than their northern relatives, taking nearly 3 times as much and some of the whisky will be in the sheds for 50 years, which may be beyond my expiration date. We have also put a little extension onto Warehouse 1 to allow a lovely covered doorway that you, our customers, can use. This is a great change to our distillery tours, the old video has been retired and in its place is a visit to Bond 1. A great improvement and appears to have been a good decision judging by the feedback from those of you who have done the new and improved tour. Bond 1 has even had some cool lighting installed to give a lovely atmospheric feeling to the area.

New arrivals at the distillery… lets start with the most fun and sometimes most annoying arrival – George. When George first arrived in Norfolk, he was adorable, a bit goofy and gangly but spent most of his time dozing or eating; somehow since July he has turned into a rather large, very handsome Labrador. He is the new distillery dog! We are still undertaking his training and he adores seeing people at the distillery, but he appears to have decided that the best way to welcome people to the distillery is with a very loud woof. Slightly intimidating for those who aren’t sure about dogs – so I am working on this. Also he hasn’t worked out that the coffee shop is a perpetual source of food – which worries me as I am taking this as an indication of slightly below average Labrador IQ!

We have been fairly restrained with new releases this year with just 2 new batches of chapter 13 and a chapter 16. The autumn Chapter 13 is fantastic and allows us to support the poppy appeal which seemed appropriate this year. We have also re-launched our Norfolk Nog after a brief absence. It is much improved as it is now made with full matured single malt and is a slightly gentler 21%, well worth trying.

By the time you get this newsletter – we will have a brand new swanky website up and running. It should make life easier for you to find out what is going on and to buy stuff. Please email or call us when you find a bit that doesn’t work or the obligatory spelling mistake. I will write and tell you all about the new website in the new year. It has some very cool new features.

The English Whisky Co. was a lifelong dream of my father James and having built the distillery in 2006, he watched with great pride as our whisky found market places around the world and picked up award after award. He was also very proud of the fact that we appear to have spearheaded a revival of the English whisky industry, with a potential 5 distilleries in the pipeline at present. Perhaps the thing he loved most though was the fact that a lot of you visited the distillery and he had a chance to meet you and say hello. James Nelstrop sadly passed away in September but will be immortalised by his whisky and his founding role in the emergence of an English whisky industry. He would have been incredibly chuffed to know that Chapter 14 has been awarded ‘Best European Whisky 2015′ beating our friends from Scotland and Ireland!

On a lighter note… I hope you have all had a great 2014, are looking forward to Christmas – hopefully to be spent in good company, with good food and good drink. We are very proud to have you as our customers and obviously hope you find time to enjoy a little English Whisky over the hols or even better – come and visit us. We are having a half day on Christmas Eve, will be shut Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years day, but any other time we will be open and delighted to see you.

Andrew Nelstrop

Managing Director
English Whisky Co. Ltd
St George’s Distillery
Harling Road Roudham
Norfolk NR16 2QW



Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #508 – Scotch Whisky News


www.ralfy.com needs direct action with a feisty malt with Whisky Review 508 – Glenfarclas 105 single malt @ 60%vol

Malt Maniacs Awards 2014 – The Winners – Whisky News


Malt Maniacs Awards 2014 – The Winners

This year (2014) sees the 12th edition of The Malt Maniacs Awards and once again we’ve seen some very strong competition throughout the three different categories for those prestigious awards. Our three categories are based on high street price and are as follows:

Daily Drams – Whiskies with a retail price up to €50

Premium Whiskies – Whiskies with a retail price between €51 and €150

Ultra Premium Whiskies – Whiskies with a retail price over €150

Within each category we offer five Awards; Supreme Winner, Best Sherried Whisky, Best Peated Whisky, Best Natural Cask Whisky and a “Thumbs Up” Award for a whisky we believe deserves a special mention. The competition is judged 100% blind, using only numbered samples and also judged only by a panel of our amateur members.

So, without further ado here are our deserving award winners for 2014:

Supreme Champion (Winner of Winners) Kavalan Solist (OB), Sherry Cask No. S060904031

Scoring an average 92 points across all our judges

AA MM 2014 2

AA MM 2014 1

Daily Drams category

Supreme Winner – Blackadder ‘Smoking Islay’ Cask No. BA2013/451

Best Sherried Whisky – Nantou Cask No.852

Best Peated Whisky – Blackadder ‘Smoking Islay’ Cask No. BA2013/452

Best Natural Cask Whisky – Boutique-y Whisky Company Inchmurrin

Thumbs Up – Lagavulin 16y – A Classic in excellent shape for 2014

Premium Whiskies category

Supreme Winner – Kavalan Solist (OB), Sherry Cask No. S060904031

Best Sherried Whisky – Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask No. S060821047 (OB for LMDW)

Best Peated Whisky – Kavalan Distillery Reserve “Peaty Cask”

Best Natural Cask Whisky – Blackadder “Raw Cask” Bowmore 13y

Thumbs Up – Adelphi Glenrothes 7y Cask No.3529 – So young but already so good

Ultra Premium category

Supreme Winner – Yoichi 21y Heavily Peated Madeira Finish Cask No. 129459

Best Sherried Whisky – Glen Grant 59y “Book of Kells” Cask No.845 (G&M for LMDW)

Best Peated Whisky – Benriach Tawny Port Finish Cask No.451

Best Natural Cask Whisky –Karuizawa 34y Ex-Bourbon Cask No.6476 (No.1 Drinks for LMDW)

Thumbs Up – Glengoyne 25y (OB) – Only standard distillery bottling in the top ranks

In addition to our Awards we recognize quality with our Medals based upon the average attained scores across all our judges, with our coveted Gold Medals being given to any whisky achieving an average of 90 points or more.

This year four whiskies have won our coveted Gold Medals and they are:

Kavalan Solist (OB), Sherry Cask No. S060904031 92pts (91.89)

Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask No. S060821047 (OB for LMDW) 91pts (90.89)

Yoichi 21y Heavily Peated Madeira Finish Cask No. 129459 91pts (90.75)

Glen Grant 59y “Book of Kells” Cask No.845 (G&M for LMDW) 90pts (90.33)

Full details and scores for MMA 2014 can be found on the Malt Maniacs website http://www.maltmaniacs.net/ and also our Malt Maniacs & Friends (MM&F) facebook page 


AA Palm Bay


December 3, 2014 – Leading wine & spirits importer Palm Bay International has been appointed exclusive U.S. importer for artisanal spirits producer Wemyss Malts. Based in Scotland, the Wemyss Malt spirits offerings include Wemyss Malts and Darnley’s View London Dry Gin.

The team at Wemyss Malts believes that much of the malt whisky terminology can be difficult to decipher, even for a knowledgeable consumer.  The expressions from the Wemyss Malt whisky range are boldly named using the aromas and tastes of the whiskys to uniquely identify each bottling. Wemyss Malts whisky range includes blended malts such as Peat Chimney, The Hive and Spice King. Additional U.S. exclusives include the Single Cask and Single Malt bottlings of Heathery Smoke and Winter Larder.

Darnley’s View London Dry Gin celebrates the meeting of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley at the family seat of Wemyss Castle in 1565. The London Dry gin has six key botanicals, including juniper, elderflower, orris root, coriander, angelica and lemon peel. The elderflower, which grows at the Castle, inspired the choice of botanicals for this London Dry Gin.

William Wemyss, Founder and Managing Director of Wemyss Malts, commented; “The U.S. is extremely important for us due to the rising interest in craft spirits, and we’re delighted to announce our agreement with Palm Bay International. Palm Bay® will bring us additional coverage in this market and we look forward to growing with them as they increase focus on craft imported spirits.”

Palm Bay International will import the following expressions from the Wemyss Malts portfolio. Prices noted are approximate suggested retail per 750ml:

  • Blended Malts: Peat Chimney, Spice King & The Hive: 12 year ($74.00) & 8 year ($45.99)
  • Single Malts: Picnic in the Park ($115.00), A Day at the Coast ($115.00), Smoke on the Rocks ($135.00), Winter Larder ($135.00), Matter of Smoke ($138.00), Beachcomber ($138.00), The Dunes ($189.00), Heathery Smoke ($249.00)
  • Gin: Darnley’s View London Dry Gin ($32.99)
  • Malts available in the following states: NY, NJ, CT, MA, CA, WA, PA, NH
  • Darnley’s View available in the following states: WA, MD, DC, NJ, NY, TX, OR, FL, GA, MA, NV, CA, MO, CT 

About Wemyss Malts

The Wemyss (pronounced ‘weems’) family seat is Wemyss Castle in Fife where they have lived since the 1300s.  The family’s connection with the whisky industry dates back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig’s first distillery was built on family land. Even today, barley from their estate in Fife is grown for many of Scotland’s leading distilleries.  The Wemyss Malts whisky and gin portfolio is available in over 20 markets worldwide. The Wemyss family built a new single malt distillery in Fife at Kingsbarns which opened on December 1st 2014.

About Palm Bay International

Palm Bay International, a dynamic family-owned company offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive portfolios of imported wines and spirits, including over 50 suppliers from around the globe. Among Palm Bay International’s most valued assets is its remarkable network of long-term partnerships with the foremost wholesale companies in all 50 states, as well as Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. With the crucial collaboration of these partners, Palm Bay International’s portfolio is able to meet the needs of every level of the industry, from independent restaurants and retail stores, to chain accounts, supermarkets, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, duty-free accounts and U.S. military bases. This impressive roster of brands, accounts and relationships positions Palm Bay® as a major source of fine wines and spirits and an industry leader in the U.S. marketplace. For more visit http://www.palmbay.com/.

AA Wemyss


AA Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky with Ice bucket (LR)


Whether you’re looking for a gift for your boss, best friend, your dad or simply to thank the hosts at a Christmas dinner, the proudly South African Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky gift set won’t fail to impress.

Awarded the title of the World’s Best Grain Whisky at the 2013 World Whisky Awards, the whisky in addition also took gold for the fifth consecutive year at the 2014 International Spirits Challenge held in London recently.

The gift sets are all unique and together with a bottle of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky range from glassware to ice buckets, water carafes and ice rocks, beautifully packaged in a bespoke box.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is made from only three natural ingredients – water, yeast and grain – and owes its exceptional smoothness and distinctive flavour profile to the double maturation process in carefully selected oak barrels previously used for maturing bourbon. It spends three years maturing in these barrels whereafter it is transferred to a fresh set of ex-bourbon barrels in order to extract the maximum flavour from the wood. Regular tastings by the master distiller and his team ensure the maturation produces the desired quality and style.

The result is a delicious combination of floral, banana, honey, toasted hazelnuts and toffee aromas and by adding a splash of water the whisky opens up to include wood, vanilla and spice. Beautifully balanced vanilla, cocoa butter and light spices from the oak casks lead to a warm mouth-feel and long, smooth finish.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is distilled and matured at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Boland and is inspired by the natural beauty of the Bain’s Kloof Pass. The whisky is crafted from the finest South African grain and pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain, the pioneer road builder who built Bain’s Kloof Pass in 1853 to connect Wellington to the interior.

The Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky gift sets are available from leading liquor outlets and retails for about R199.

The Whisky Shop Dufftown 12 Days to the 25th 25% Off Christmas Sale on 12 Stunning Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

AA WS Dufftown

The Whisky Shop Dufftown 12 Days to the 25th 25% Off Christmas Sale on 12 Stunning Whiskies

At The Whisky Shop Dufftown we are counting down to Christmas with a very unique sale which started on 13 December. With 12 (ish) days to go to 25th December we have selected 12 stunning whiskies and discounted them by 25%. And we are offering free delivery to UK addresses until the end of the year.

These whiskies are in very short supply so don’t delay!

Day – Whisky –  Price –  Sale – Price

1 Glenfarclas 1963 Family Cask Rifle and Shot Gun Cleaning kit  £ 7,500.00 £ 5,625.00
2 Benriach 1966 46 Years Old Vestige £ 3,995.00 £ 2,996.00
3 Glendronach 1968 Recherche £ 2,750.00 £ 2,062.00
4 Private Collection Glenlivet 1954 £ 1,825.00 £ 1,368.00
5 Highland Park 40 Years Old £ 1,686.00 £ 1,264.00
6 Glen Garioch 1958 46 Years Old £ 1,500.00 £ 1,125.00
7 Old Pulteney 40 Years Old £ 1,490.00 £ 1,117.00
8 Director’s Cut Port Ellen 35 Years Old £ 840.00 £ 630.00
9 Dalmore 25 Years Old £ 600.00 £ 450.00
10 Isle of Jura 1976 £ 500.00 £ 375.00
11 Director’s Cut Ardbeg 1991 23 Years Old £ 485.00 £ 363.00
12 Old Malt Cask Macallan 1988 25 Years Old £ 455.00 £ 341.00

We have loads more offers in our festive sale. Check out all of our Special Offers here.

The prices are quoted inclusive of VAT. Shipping charges will apply but we are offering free delivery in the UK on all purchases made up until December 31st. No further discounts can be applies to any of our Special Offers.


The Whisky Shop Single Cask Specials – Scotch Whisky News


The single cask bottles from independent bottlers Hunter Laing are of some of the most noteworthy Scotches in the market. Every cask is hand-picked and bottled at the peak of its flavour. This Douglas of Drumlanrig Mortlach 9 year old is one of only 381 bottles, distilled in November 2005 and bottled in April 2014 from a refill hogshead.

Mortlach 9 year old Was £63 Now £45 Click here to buy

Talisker 5 year old Was £72 Now £55 Click here to buy

Caol Ila 17 year old Was £129 Now £85 Click here to buy

Arran 18 year old Was £120 Now £85 Click here to buy

The Whisky Shop Banner

News from The Whisky Belle – Scotch Whisky News

The Whisky Belle

The nights are fair drawing in and so what better time of year to think about a comforting dram. I’ll soon set about the task of writing my Christmas cards for friends and family and I usually have a wee libation to keep me going. The last few months have been a whirl of distillery visits and tastings so here is a round up to distract you.


Thank you for your support over the year and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2015.


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