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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 167: Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon – American Whiskey News


Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 167: Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, tries another bourbon. Michter’s creates whiskey and bourbon that really stands out. They toast their casks before charring, they put their spirit in cask at higher proof, they create artificial heat cycles during maturation and they have a secret non-chill filtering process. Mark finds out what that does with their Small Batch Bourbon.


Whisky Show Masterclass Tickets now Available – Whisky News


30 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2017, 11.30AM 6.30PM




Tickets to the first two classes at The Whisky Show 2017 are now on sale. We will be announcing the rest of the masterclass programme over the coming weeks – keep an eye on your emails as we don’t expect tickets to last for long.


New Chita Single Grain Whisky from Suntory Japanese Whisky Launches in UK – Japanese Whiskey News


New Chita Single Grain Whisky from Suntory Japanese Whisky Launches in UK


(London, July 2017) Just in time for the British summer, leading Japanese distiller, Suntory Japanese Whisky will be launching a brand-new single grain whisky, Chita. Reflective of the misty, calm seas of the Chita Peninsula, the whisky hits UK shores this July.

Suntory’s Chita is a whisky with enough complexity for the whisky connoisseur and a mild enough character for those just starting to explore the world of Japanese whisky. Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo chose to age this unique grain whisky in wine, Spanish Oak and American White Oak. The result of doing so creates a more delicate, smoother grain whisky with unparalleled sophistication and a clean, clear finish, making it the perfect choice for a lighter summer serve.

Shinji Fukuyo said “There is a quiet confidence and tenderness in our grain whiskies. These qualities allow them to be their own heroes, whether in a blend of featured as a single grain whisky”.

From July, you can also enjoy Chita at London’s award winning Japanese restaurant, ROKA Canary Wharf, where a bespoke Japanese Terrace Garden pop-up will feature an array of refreshing, Japanese inspired Chita cocktails.

Standing proudly amongst The House of Suntory’s prestigious portfolio, the exceptional Chita Single Grain Whisky is available to purchase in the UK from July 1st.


July 1st, RRP £52.50 70cl

Whisky Exchange Online

Tasting notes – Chita Single Grain Whisky:

Colour:             Bright gold

Nose:                Crème brûlée, cardamon, acacia honey, blossoming rose

Palate:              Mild and smooth, hint of mint, deep honey

Finish:              Clean and clear, spiced oak with subtle bittersweet notes


About Suntory:

The House of Suntory Whisky is the founding house of Japanese whisky. A legacy of three master blenders and three generations of innovators, Suntory was created by the Founding Father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii. Suntory was established in 1899 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Since 1923, as the pioneer of Japanese whisky, Suntory Whisky has been renowned for its House of Master Blenders and for their Art of Blending. Suntory Whiskies are subtle, refined and complex. The portfolio feature two single malt whiskies, one blend and one grain whisky including Yamazaki—Japan’s #1 Single Malt, multi-layered and profound, Hakushu—verdant, fresh, and delicately smoky, Hibiki— the noble blend, Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky and the mild, smooth, single grain, Chita— the serenity of Japanese whisky

K&L Monthly Newsletter – Featuring Whisky – Whisky News


For the past seven years we’ve been traveling to Scotland to find interesting, unique and exciting single barrels of whisky to arouse the taste buds of America’s single malt connoisseurs. During that time we’ve traveled the country extensively—north and south, east and west, and the islands off the coast—in search of the sublime. But I have to be honest here: while we’ve always trusted our palates and followed our hearts, it wasn’t our talent or our experience that recently pushed our spirits department forward and catapulted our company into a position as the nation’s top single malt retailer. It was a political vote on June 23, 2016 that opted to remove the UK from the European Union and sent the British pound into a free fall as a result. All of a sudden, the cost of doing business in Scotland dropped by nearly 25% and the whisky became that much more affordable. We were thrilled to be able to offer our customers the same great whiskies at a discount—but apparently we were the only ones! While the price of K&L’s exclusive single malts reflected the new Brexit pricing, the general Scotch import market absorbed that currency savings and maintained its price points, keeping the margin for itself rather than passing it along to the consumer.

Now K&L’s prices for single-barrel, cask-strength, mature Scotch whiskies look downright unreal. Halfway into 2017, the story remains the same: we’re tearing up the American whisky scene with top-quality selections, exciting new discoveries, and now pricing that can’t be beat from coast to coast. The most successful of our exclusive labels has been Old Particular, a partnership with Douglas Laing in Glasgow that’s resulted in a consumer frenzy unlike any we’ve experienced since we began buying our Scotch directly in 2010. It’s not uncommon for a single barrel of Old Particular whisky to sell out within twenty-four hours, leaving some K&L customers dazed and confused by the insane demand. The combination of age, rarity, and price we’ve been able to provide has sent whisky drinkers from all over the country flocking to our website (almost more than we can handle at times!). We’re pleased to report that a new crop of casks has come in for 2017 and the same great Brexit pricing we began offering in 2016 will continue through the current year as well. Take a look at three of our new editions and see what you think. Just don’t sleep on this newsletter, as history has a way of repeating itself each time we release a new batch of Old Particular barrels.

David Driscoll – K&L Assistant Head Buyer


Wathen’s Private Barrel “K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) ($39.99)

This exceptional single cask from the Medley Family is on another level. The Medleys are Kentucky legends and some of the few NDPs (non-distiller producers) who actually get to dictate how their distilling partners produce the whiskey that they contract. That means truly taking over a distillery and produces bourbon to their exact specification. The result is a portfolio of whiskies with unique character at exceptional prices. This single cask was selected with Sam Medley and is easily one of the “smoothest” whiskies in the store. I don’t love to use that term because it’s essentially meaningless in real terms, but what I mean here is that there isn’t a sharp edge anywhere in this bottle. Round, supple, rich and comforting without being cloying or overtly sweet, this is a real drinker’s whiskey. Notable are the aromatics of spiced honey, deep exotic mahogany, baked vanilla beans and subtle candied citrus. The palate is Crème brûlée over pepper and spice. The finish is easy and long without a hint of heat. This one was Sam’s favorite of the day and it was without a doubt ours as well. A superlative cask by any measure. (David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits buyer)

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 04, 2017

This wonderful cask of Wathen’s is definitely one of those sleeper whiskies. When we get a barrel of Weller, Eagle Rare or even Buffalo Trace people jump out of their seats to get one of the 200+ bottles. But Wathen’s hasn’t got the name recognition for the non-nerds and so it usually goes out on a real slow simmer. People slowly decided to try a bottle and then three or four weeks later they show up praying that we still have it. Objectively though, this cask bests every single Buffalo Trace single barrel we’ve received in the last 2-3 years. That’s kind of the beauty of the Wathen’s/Medley brand is that they can offer something that’s superlatively good and nobody seems to notice. While they won’t share the age statements here I’m happy to guess that this is at least 10+ years old. A big nose of vanilla bean, cacao nibs, maple syrup and barrel spice. Exotic woods and freshly varnished antique furniture meld perfectly with the candied fruit and savory spice. It feels totally mature. It’s RICH! Palate coating and forwardly sweet on the front. Then meanders toward and long spicy dry finish. Awesome texture and length here. This will likely be most peoples new favorite for the very short time that we get to enjoy it.


2001 Auchroisk 15 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)

Most people still picture sherry matured malts when they think of the Speyside district (formerly known as Glenlivet until that got too confusing), but the region’s bread and butter is still the soft, fruity, charming, malt-driven style you’ll find inside this bottle of Auchroisk 15 year old. Part of the Johnnie Walker empire, we occasionally see Auchroisk here in the states as a Diageo limited edition release, but rarely as a consistently-bottled single malt expression. This particular specimen is like a fresh blast of summer with a huge dose of peaches and apricots on the nose that continue to emanate from the bottle once it’s been opened. The palate is seductively sweet, but also light on its feet, with flavors of stonefruit, maple syrup, and bit of compote on the finish, before it turns malty once again and beckons another taste. Bottled at 54.5%, you’d never know this whisky was running at full proof. It’s as relaxing and airy as a summer breeze, making this the perfect dram for your backyard barbeques and July campfire evenings.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

Wow is this a fresh and fruity whisky! I had to rinse my glass out after tasting this one, thinking that maybe some of the residue from the peach brandy I’d been drinking before had unfairly influenced this crackin’ edition of Auchroisk, but it was not the case! Smell the bottle after you open it; it’s oozing with aromas of summer stonefruit and peach pie. The light and surprisingly sweet palate continues from there, lithe and lean, but never dull or lacking in any way. This is a rare breed of whisky in today’s market. It reminds me of some of the better Bladnoch bottles of the past with a vivacity and pure fruitedness that gets lost in blended editions.

AA Lagavulin 8yo

Lagavulin 8 Year Old Limited Edition Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)

Whisky Advocate: “Light in color it may be, but this is no wimp. The nose goes straight to the shore with mineral and salt, but its also sweet, which allows it to be fresh, lively, yet balanced. The palate delivers some menthol, bay laurel, more brininess, a hint of malt, and Parma violet. Everything remains very breezy, with peat smoke being blown from a kiln into salt-laden air. I prefer it to the 12 year old and the price is fantastic. (Summer 2016, Dave Broom)”

K&L Notes: The 200th anniversary bottling of Lagavulin is finally here! A limited edition eight year old single malt whisky that packs all the peat, smoke, salt, and classic Islay flavor of the beloved distillery into a younger, brighter, more assertive expression. Sure to sell fast and sure to be one of the more popular whiskies we sell this year! The special edition celebrates a visit to the distillery be Alfred Banard (author of the classic “The Whisky Distilleries of Scotland”), where he recollected tasting a delicious eight year expression.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 06, 2017

This 8 year version of Lagavulin is even more quintessentially Islay than the 16. It’s fresher, livelier, peatier, and simply more dynamic on the palate. I also love that Lagavulin paid homage to the classic whisky travel book “The Whisky Distilleries of Scotland” by Alfred Barnard, a writer who visited all 150 active distilleries in the UK back in the late 19th century. He specifically mentions an “exceptionally fine” Lagavulin 8 year expression, and it’s clear from tasting the modern rendition why he felt so strongly. It’s a lovely whisky and it very much speaks to the strength of what may be Scotland’s top producer.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 28, 2017

Absolute magic! I’ve always been a bigger fan of the out of control cask strength 12 year old over the (still wonderful) standard 16 year. To be able to get an affordable, if slightly tame version of that is an exceptional score! There’s just SO much going on here. This is real deal stinky briny, sooty oily Lagavulin. I’m not even going to bother attempting to describe this further, but this is without a doubt one of the best peaty whiskies on the shelf at any price. Forget the age and focus on the flavor. $60? Laphroaig Cask Strength and Ardbeg Uiggy have another for contender here for best bang for your buck peater in the store and I’m leaning toward the man in the middle. Good old laggy, lag, we don’t deserve you.

AA Hibiki

Suntory “Hibiki Japanese Harmony” Japanese Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: ” *Best of 2016* The newest blended whisky offering from Hibiki is burnished gold in the glass and has a bold aroma that mixes vanilla, fresh pear and a hint of smoke. The smokiness comes forward at the first sip, wrapping around a core of oak and vanilla custard and finishing long, with a mouthwatering bitter chocolate note. (KN)” (03/2016)

Wine & Spirits: ” *Best of 2015* You cant be a Japanese whisky enthusiast without having noticed that theres a shortage of the stuff. What once was readily available is now hard to find. What once was affordable now costs various bodily limbs. It is due to more than a fad. The best Japanese whisky is remarkable stuff, and none are better than the top single malts from Suntory, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the blended whisky Hibiki. Hibiki comes in 12-, 17- and 21-year-old expressions, but even the youngest of these is now allocated. Harmony, the newest release, carries no age statement, indicating that it contains younger whiskies than other bottlings. Nevertheless, this is a welcome concession, with Suntorys classic sense of balance, nuance and delicacy. (JM)” (11/2015)

K&L Notes: The newest incarnation of Suntory’s hugely popular Hibiki series, this time without an age statement attached. The same soft, mellow, vanilla-laden flavor is still here, however. It’s a true harmony of pure Hibiki flavor.


1988 North British 28 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Grain Whisky (750ml) ($69.99)

Our mission to bring fine Scottish grain whisky to the world continues forth, as we offer you another 25+ year old gem for well under $100. This 28 year old cask strength edition of North British, Scotland’s pre-eminent source of all things grain, is like a decadent dose of everything sweet from cotton candy, to maple syrup, to a finish that runs the gambit from sugary cereal milk to a mocha latte finale. On the nose, it almost comes across like a lighter, yet more concentrated Bourbon with the oak dominating the sense, but the elegance at 51.3% ABV is unmatched by any American whiskey currently available. This is a silky and rich whisky from start to finish, made even more attractive by its ridiculous price point to age ratio.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

This is decadence in a bottle; a non-stop movement of your favorite sweets from the first sip to the incredible finish. Chocolate, maple syrup, sugary cereal on Saturday morning, and an incredible malted milk note on the finish that makes me think I just drank a latte from Starbucks. This is dynamic Scotch whisky that absolutely wows considering the price. I’d suggest bourbon drinkers jump all over this as it carries a lot of similarities to some of the older and harder-to-find mature expressions.


2001 Bowmore 15 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)

Oh, the allure of pure Bourbon barrel-aged Bowmore! It’s been quite a while since we’ve found a pure American oak expression of the legendary Islay malt, but we’re back with a vengeance with the arrival of this 15 year old cask strength edition from Old Particular. Fans of the whisky stalwart will go absolutely bonkers for this one as it’s hands-down one of the best Bowmore casks we’ve ever bottled. The nose is warm wave of sweet oak and gentle phenols, the smoke swirling just faintly behind all that vanilla. The palate is oily, then concentrated with more vanilla, then salty, then smoky, before finally releasing the peat and campfire elements that make Bowmore one of the most distinct whiskies in the world. It’s the sweetness from the Bourbon cask on the finish that won’t quit, however. While you may be imagining a heavy dose of Islay grit, this is one of the rounder and more oak driven Bowmore editions we’ve ever tasted. At 58.5% you might expect a grizzly island beast, but what you actually get is a polished and stunningly rich expression of Bowmore that simply dazzles from the moment it hits your lips.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

There’s a reason Bowmore = LEGEND in the Scotch whisky industry. When the whisky is on, it’s unbeatable. The very best single malt whiskies I’ve tasted in my career have all been from Bowmore. The best distillery visit I’ve ever had was at Bowmore. My favorite distillery to send customers to is Bowmore. It’s etched in my memory for eternity as some of my most formative moments as a whisky buyer happened inside that heralded facility. This 15 year old single Bourbon cask edition is another legend. It’s going to go down as one of the best casks of 2017, and it’s going to be remembered as one of the most impressive Bowmore editions we’ve ever offered. Unbelievably rich and round on the palate, the smoke and phenolic elements weave seamlessly into that foundation, creating something essentially Islay. This is nostalgia in a bottle for me. It’s a reminder of how unbeatable Bowmore can be when you get the right barrel or batch.


1995 Glen Garioch 20 Year Old “John Milroy” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)

The wonderful John Milroy’s line of Single Malt Single Cask Scotch is finally back and we’re proud to be the exclusive purveyor of this special brand in California. The legacy of the Milroy’s name goes back to 1964, when John “Jack” Milroy opened a little wine shop at #3 Greek St in an upscale neighborhood on the west end of London. Over the next 30 years, the Milroys and their talented store manager, Doug McIver would make the Milroy name synonymous with exceptional single cask scotch. Eventually, Mr. McIver moved on to become the head of the venerable Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits Department and Jack Milroy struck out on his own creating the equally well regarded “John Milroy Selection” brand of single cask single malts. In 2009, Jack tapped Doug as his pick to take the special line of scotch into the new century – partnering with Berry’s would ensure that only the very best whisky would be bottled under the Milroy name. Doug takes this spiritual legacy seriously and he’s finally put together a portfolio of exceptional single casks and we’re proud to be his partners in California. The wonderful historic Glen Garioch is one of the oldest active distilleries in Scotland. Founded in 1797 behind the tiny hamlet of Old Meldrum, it was in the Morrison Bowmore portfolio when it was acquired by Suntory in 1984. Distilled in early 1995, it’s some of the final spirit distilled before its closure. This ultra malty style transports you directly to barley fields of Aberdeenshire.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2017

The first nosing of this stupendous cask takes me right back to Old Meldrum and our first visit to Glen Garioch. Here we have that wonderful Garioch maltiness, that’s almost unmistakable. It could easily be a helping of skirlie ir mealie (oats fried in butter) if it weren’t for that deep gravelly malt note in the background. With a bit of air and a drop of water, the beautiful flinty character of Garioch shines through, almost on the level of the best trocken Rieslings. The nose is vibrant with waxy fruit, grapeseed oil, lemon peel and tiny hints of camphor. The palate is so open, yet wildly complex with the waxy fruit gaining hold culminating in a long finish of herbs and green tea. An absolute treat and a great value for a rare blue chip distillery.


1982 Miltonduff 34 Year Old “John Milroy” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $300) ($229.99)

The exceptional Miltonduff distillery, located in the tiny hamlet of the same name, is a rarity on the independent bottler scene due to its importance in the Ballentine’s blend. The blenders must have misplaced this cask because none of them need their Miltonduff this old! Legend says that Miltonduff is located in the old mill for the Pluscarden Abbey, which was erected near by in 1236. That means they’ve likely been making whisky at this site well before the legal production was authorized by the 1823 Excise Act. The distillery was registered in 1824 and eventually purchased by Hiram Walker in 1936 to eleviate pressure on stocks for their popular blended brand Ballantine’s. This stupendous single cask of ultra aged Speyside malt actually represents an incredible value for malt whisky this old. There’s a reason why companies are able to take whisky that’s been around for 3 decades, slap an age statement on it and charge $1000 a bottle. No other product achieves the nuance and complexity of good single malt, particularly one not obstructed by heavy oak or wine influence, after 30+ years in a cold damp Scottish warehouse. Here we have this incredible depth and vibrancy on the nose. Expect notes of quince jelly, fresh apricots, shiso leaf, navel oranges, exotic honey and flinty Riesling. We rarely see malt quite like this and almost never something so old and intellectual at this price. An absolute must have for lovers of the old school style of single malt.

Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2017

Like so many of the Milroy line this bottle of Miltonduff is all about beautiful complexity and elegance, the finesse of a master rather than the punch of youth. Slightly sweet floral notes with hints of mint and citrus give way to a layered mid palate of dried orchard fruit, a touch of vanilla and toffee with a long finish. This is the magic of old Miltonduff, this is beautifully matured Scotch.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 18, 2017

This older single malt is still alive with energy and flavor and is not over the hill. The nose offers notes of honey and caramel. In the mouth it is complex with caramel, malt and honey flavors. With the addition of a splash of water there is a creamy mouthfeel but one does not need water to enjoy this whiskey. This is one of the better old single malts that I have tasted.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2017

This old Miltonduff really got me going. It’s not some sherried old monster, but instead the most delicate and complex old style malt. I normally wouldn’t bother with water on something this old, but I found the tiniest possible addition of water served this whisky well. The nose is heady with lemony herbs, linseed oil, fresh Mirabel, and touches of mint. The palate has this dense tropical fruit, deep fudge chocolate, oatmeal with a touch of brown sugar on top. An absolutely lovely old malt in a very delicate restrained style. Totally magical and a must have if you can spare the coin.


1984 Caol Ila 33 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($349.99)

What’s left in this post-Pappy world of whiskey that’s actually worth your hard-earned money and not simply priced according to market scarcity, pop culture desire, and a point-driven collector hysteria? When it comes to purchasing casks of costly, three-figure bottles of booze for our K&L customers, we’ve very, very picky because there are few occasions where we feel that an entire barrel of expensive malt whisky is worth shelling out for. This is one of those occasions. The magic of Islay’s Caol Ila distillery has been shaped, forged, and concentrated for 33 long years inside this very special cask of Old Particular, bringing forth one of the most decadent whisky experiences we’ll have the pleasure of offering you this year. The nose carries with it the very essence of Islay: brine, bogs, wet earth, peat, salt and the sea, all mingling slowly and methodically through the glass. The palate is instantly soft and supple, but at 51.9% it kicks into gear mid-way through and unleashes a wave of ocean spray, sweet barley, smoke, tar, soot and freshly cut peat that still shines through despite more than three decades in wood. While we might normally reserve this type of offering for the holidays, we had to grab this rare edition while we had the chance. Gone are the days of legendary casks like this, which is why costs for 30+ year old Caol Ila generally hover in the $400-$700 range. Hence, don’t miss out on this one; it’s worth every penny of the price.

Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 05, 2017

Coal Ila is one of those distilleries that is simply magical in my books. When it is young it can be a little overwhelmingly Islay for my taste, and I am someone who drinks a lot of Islay Scotch. However, unlike some whiskey, when it gets up there in age especially north of 30 it becomes some of the best whisky I have ever tasted. This bottle of 33 year old Coal Ila has not lost anything, rather that age has brought all of the notes from this amazing distillery into balance. Seriously, all of the punchy brine and smoke from here has finally come together and brings such complexity, elegance, harmony, and finesse that I can only think of what I originally stated, it is magical.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 03, 2017

This bottling is lively and is not too old . The age has helped integrate all of the flavor components and to provide some concentration. With this Caol Ila, you get what you want from a single malt from Islay. In the nose there are notes of brine, sea and smoke that are complex and seductive but not too heavy. In the mouth it is bright and rich with malt flavors that are fruity and there is some smoke to complete the picture. With small touch of water, the aromas and flavors all soften up a little.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: June 30, 2017

Every time I’m able to track down an old barrel of Islay single malt, I wonder to myself: “Is this the last one?” I remember in the case of Port Ellen, perhaps the most famous of Islay rarities, we were able to do one last cask at $500 a bottle. But when the prices jumped up over $1000, I said “forget it.” For some reason, perhaps because of the availability or the lack of general awareness concerning the distillery’s greatness, I’ve been able to dig out an ultra-mature barrel of Caol Ila about once every two years and negotiate a price that makes sense. This particular Caol Ila whisky, a 33 year old distilled in 1984, is one of the better expressions I’ve found in some time. It’s still fresh, lively, and brimming with Islay character. Supple on the palate and lifted on the finish, it’s everything an peated whisky lover could ever ask for. It’s luxurious, complex, and utterly beautiful from start to finish. Given the current market forces at play, it’s also quite reasonable in price. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. The older I get, the pickier I get about my purchases (ironically in a market where one can’t afford to be picky). This is as good of a single malt as we’ll sell this year. Trust me – there’s nothing on the Scotland schedule for the rest of 2017 as awesome as this 33 year Caol Ila.




Your chance to bid on the world’s rarest whisky!

Originally released exclusively by The Whisky Exchange, the most recent release of Karuizawa will go under the hammer at online whisky auction “Whisky Hammer” on Friday 21st July www.whiskyhammer.co.uk

This pair of exclusive single-cask bottlings showcases the Karuizawa character perfectly. Long maturation in sherry casks has produced rich, deeply flavoured whisky that is almost black in colour.” (The Whisky Exchange)

The auction for these stunning whiskies is sure to be popular, additional details are as follows:

Karuizawa 33 Year Old – Sherry Cask #3579

ABV: 63.4%

Number of bottles released: 129

Karuizawa 31 Year Old – Sherry Cask #3667

ABV: 59.4%

Number of bottles released: 225

Bidding starts at 7pm (BST) on Friday 21st July – register to bid now at www.whiskyhammer.co.uk!



Drams of the Rising Sun at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Japanese Whisky News


The Chita

The first single grain release from Suntory Whisky, completing the single distillery trio (along with Hakushu and Yamazaki) that create the award-winning Hibiki blend. Aged in wine and Spanish oak casks in addition to American White oak casks for a milder, but complex flavour.

£55 Buy Now


Yamazaki 12 Year Old

This Japanese single malt whisky boasts delicious notes of sweet vanilla and fruitiness that is derived from white oak casks which are accented with fine aromas of spirits aged in sherry and Japanese oak casks.

£75 Buy Now

AA LFW Header



We are now in the final Weeks before our Michter’s Celebration of the Cask Lottery is drawn.   Tickets are not limited so if youre feeling lucky, grab yourself another and double your chances! We still have Tickets available for this once in a lifetime opportunity to win this truly sensational bottle. 4 runners up will also win a bottle of the exquisite Michter’s Core Range. Tickets are only £25. Not an opportunity to miss.

Enter Raffle Now





Inspired by the resilient townspeople of its namesake, Kilbeggan Distilling Company honors both tradition and innovation with its newest expression

Chicago, IL (June 28, 2017) – For more than 200 hundred years, the humble town of Kilbeggan produced a whiskey beloved the world over. As Ireland’s oldest licensed distillery since 1757, Kilbeggan has always been more than just a stone building with a water wheel to power it and its copper pot stills. It has been the townspeople’s heart and soul, their pride and joy.

Today, the town of Kilbeggan celebrates the announcement of another beloved whiskey: Kilbeggan® Single Grain Irish Whiskey. Released in the U.S. this month, the newest addition to the Kilbeggan Distilling Company offers a premium whiskey for enthusiasts and bartenders alike.

When Prohibition in the U.S. and other factors contributed to the shuttering of Kilbeggan Distillery’s doors, the residents banded together to save the whiskey that defined their town. They pooled funds to pay for the distillery license and put in years of hard work, late nights and weekends to restore it until eventually the distillery came back to life and its stills were once again filled. Every bottle of Kilbeggan, an original Irish whiskey built on the strong bond between the town that birthed it and the distillery producing it, is proof that their spirit has never left. It is the townspeople’s dedication to honoring the whiskey-making traditions of the past while creating a better future that inspired the creation of Kilbeggan Single Grain. It can be said that this is a single grain made by a proud many.

“The passion and dedication that the citizens of Kilbeggan put into keeping this distillery alive is truly inspirational,” says John Cashman, Beam Suntory Global Brand Ambassador, Irish Whiskey. “Kilbeggan Single Grain is born out of this resilience and we are proud to offer a whiskey to be enjoyed by all – whether that’s as a traditional neat dram or in a modern craft cocktail. The folks at Kilbeggan Distilling Co. are happy to share it with you any way you like.”

The notion that “single grain” describes a whiskey made with just one grain is a common misperception. Rather, the term refers to whiskey made in a single location using malted barley and at least one other grain. Kilbeggan Single Grain is made of 94% meticulously-sourced corn plus 6% malted barley.

Distilled at 86 proof, Kilbeggan Single Grain is a delicate spirit that absorbs the flavors of the casks in which it is aged. After aging in ex-bourbon barrels, it is finished in a marriage of ex-bourbon and various fortified wine barrels. It possesses Irish whiskey’s trademark versatility and smoothness, making it the ideal for modern or classic cocktails, like a Whiskey Sour, but with enough depth of flavor to be sipped neat.

“Kilbeggan enjoyed a tremendous heyday back in the 1800s when Irish whiskey was thriving and distilleries abounded, before the devastation to the industry that came with Prohibition and other challenges,” says Cashman. “A few years ago, I’m happy to say, the world rediscovered the beauty of Irish whiskey. And Kilbeggan once again is rising to the top and setting the standard through innovations like Kilbeggan Single Grain. We can’t wait to see a bottle on every bar, just like in the good old days.”

With the booming consumer interest in brown spirits, Irish whiskey has seen substantial growth over the last decade. Per the Distilled Spirits Council, the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S., Irish Whiskey volumes rose 18.7% in 2016 to 3.8 million cases and revenues were up an impressive 19.8% to $795 million. The Council reports that much of this growth is fueled by the rise of high-end and super premium Irish whiskeys, which grew an astounding 737% and 3,455%, respectively, since 2002.

The U.S. will be the first country in the world to introduce Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey. Available beginning in late June 2017 with a suggested retail price of $29.99 (750ml), it joins the U.S. portfolio alongside Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey (40% ABV), an approachable, smooth blended whiskey that is still made using traditional methods. With the new expression, Kilbeggan Distilling Company’s portfolio now features several whiskeys that appeal to and are available across a variety of consumer targets, price tiers and whiskey occasions.


NOSE: Coconut cream, vanilla, jellied fruit and summer red berries

PALATE: Wafer-like biscuit sweetness, hazelnut and light spice with nice oak tannins drying on the side of the mouth

FINISH: Crisp and fruity, glazed cherries drying with a lingering spice 

The Wheel

2 parts Kilbeggan® Single Grain

½ part of Aperol®

¾ part lime juice

¾ part simple syrup

2 dashes of absinthe

Combine ingredients, shake and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lemon peel or thyme sprig.  

The Brosna Sour

2 parts Kilbeggan® Single Grain

¼ part lemon juice

¾ part grapefruit juice

¾ part simple syrup

1 egg white

Combine ingredients, shake without ice, then add ice (1/2 tin) and shake again.

Serve in a coupe glass without garnish.

Still Steam

2 parts Kilbeggan® Single Grain

½ part lemon juice

½ part genepy (alpine liqueur)

½ part simple syrup

1 black tea bag

Combine ingredients, top with hot water and steep for 3-5 minutes. Garnish with a thyme sprig or lemon peel. 

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

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 commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, 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.

The Whisky Barrel “Billy Walker- GlenDronach No More; Glenallachie to the Fore” – Scotch Whisky News


Billy Walker- GlenDronach No More; Glenallachie to the Fore

Billy is back; Glenallachie Distillery. Billy Walker, the main man behind the revival of GlenDronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh Distilleries. In 2004, Billy and two other investors purchased BenRiach Distillery under their BenRiach Distillery Company.  2008 came along and they purchased The GlenDronach Distillery. Finally in 2013, Glenglassaugh Distillery added. Now as you know, these distilleries, GlenDronach in particular, have established themselves among the scotch whiskey elite. GlenDronach Distillery’s reputation as a sherry cask matured scotch producer with the highly acclaimed and sought after Single Cask releases has soared in the past 5 year or so. Also, with American company Brown-Forman stepping in with a tasty £285m offer in 2016,  the figures show the level Billy and his team reached with their whisky production. But what next?

Billy Walker and Glenallachie Distillery

For these 3 distilleries, life will go on. But what route they go down remains to be seen. And with a smaller release of single casks vintages in the latest batch (#15) in May this year, are they heading down a different, more brand led path with GlenDronach? Who knows. However, last week brought exciting news. Billy and a small consortium purchased Glenallachie Distillery from Chivas Brothers; the Scotch Whiskey arm of the gigantic French Pernod Ricard drinks company. There had been a rumour in the air that Billy was keen for a new project but few would have guessed on Glenallachie Distillery. Built in 1967 this is a relatively new Scottish whiskey distillery and has a less than glamorous history. Mothballed for half the 1980s, in 1989 it restarted and the number of stills doubled to 4, to meet the demand for blended whiskey. This is not a renowned single malt whiskey distillery. It’s history is largely as a factory of production. With Billy Walker now at Glenallachie, its future looks bright and certainly interesting.

Please click HERE to read the remainder of the article.


TWB 10 Yrs

The Macallan Tasting The Whisky Shop #SFO July 21st, 2017 – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, July 21st: 5-7PM

The Macallan

Established in Speyside in 1824, Macallan has produced some of the most highly-sought after whiskies in the world. We’ll be pouring a variety of new and rare releases, with distillery representatives and our own in-store whisky experts present for all your whisky questions. Pour list will be revealed as the event approaches – be sure to follow The Whisky Shop on facebook to stay up to date!

Click Here to RSVP


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