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Whisky Hammer March 2018 Auction Now Live – Whisky Auction News

AA Whisky Hammer


(ends Sunday 25th March)

…place your bids at www.whiskyhammer.co.uk

With an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits there is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest, enjoy!



AA Party Source


Our friends at The Cure Starts Now Foundation are raffling off a once-in-a-lifetime selection of whiskeys and we wanted to make sure our bourbon-loving audience is well aware of the opportunity. Don’t delay on this amazing opportunity to support a great cause. Click the link below for more info and to purchase raffle tickets directly from The Cure Starts Now.

The first ticket drawn will win the collection of 5 bottles and the second ticket drawn will win the grand prize Old Rip Van Winkle bottle.

5 Bottle Pappy Van Winkle Collection includes:
• 10-year bottle
• 12-year bottle
• 15-year family reserve bottle
• 20-year family reserve bottle
• 23-year family reserve bottle
Grand Prize Bottle: Old Rip Van Winkle 25 year

Once a ticket is drawn it does not get reentered into the raffle, so purchase multiple tickets for multiple chances to win!

Winner must pick up the bourbon in person for age verification.



A Grooves


Ardbeg Day falls on Saturday, 2nd June 2018. This year, the Islay distillery will be rolling back the years to the Ardbeg Village of the late 1960s 

Each year, Ardbeg Day marks the end of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt, Fèis Ìle, with a global celebration of the untamed spirit of Islay. Eagerly anticipated by Ardbeggians and smoky malt whisky enthusiasts the world over, this year will take them back in time for a celebration of all things ‘Peat & Love’.

Inspired by the alternative lifestyle and unorthodox spirit of a previous generation, Ardbeg will release this year’s celebratory Limited Edition, Ardbeg Grooves. In his latest experiment, Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks has used re-toasted red wine casks to mature a portion of the whisky. While still sticky with the residue of the wine, these casks were intensely charred to produce heavy grooves into the surface of the wood, a technique that has produced more intense flavours. The result is a whisky aromatic with smoked spices, distant bonfires and chilli-seasoned meats.

Meanwhile, all across the world, Committee Members and lovers of smoky malt will be invited to don their flares, channel some ‘flower power’ and celebrate their passion for the peaty whisky they “dig” above all others.

Distillery Manager Mickey Heads said: “The Ardbeg Village of the 1960s was a very different place – a groovy wee community, with its own post office, billiards hall, two choirs and even a football team. These days the Ardbeg community is a worldwide one, and Ardbeg Day is the best way for us all to come together and raise a dram to the ultimate Islay single malt.”

Ardbeg Day in the UK will play host to a live online tasting, broadcasting to all Ardbeg Embassies nationwide, uniting them in a celebration of Islay’s peatiest malt. The day will also see the launch of Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat & Love Campaign, where Ardbeg’s own 1960s inspired VW van will tour the country making stops at a number of leading music festivals, bars and Ardbeg Embassies serving smoky drams to the masses, spreading a taste of Islay’s ‘Peat & Love’ and good vibes along the way. More details on Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat & Love will be released in the forthcoming weeks.

The Committee release of Ardbeg Peat & Love bottled at 51.6% goes on sale at 9am on 14th March 2018, RRP: £89. Committee Members will receive a link to purchase their own special bottle. www.ardbeg.com

Follow Ardbeg on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ardbeg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ardbeg_com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ardbeg/ 


Ardbeg Day:

Every year, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music takes place in May or June on Ardbeg’s island home. On the Festival’s final Saturday, Ardbeg Day, the Distillery traditionally throws open its doors to welcome fans from all over the world. In 2012 Ardbeg Day became a global event, enabling the whisky’s passionate international following to take part in a worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg in their own country. Recent Ardbeg Day themes have included the Islay-limpics and the Peat Football World Cup, while in 2015, Ardbeg Day celebrated the single malt’s 200th anniversary by looking forward 200 years to a retro-futuristic version of Islay in 2215.  For 2016, Ardbeg Day became Ardbeg Night, as fans across the globe recalled Islay’s dark past as a smugglers’ haunt. And in 2017, Ardbeg Day plunged deep under the sea for another legendary celebration.

Ardbeg Grooves:

Ardbeg Grooves is a limited-edition bottling created to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2018. It is the Distillery’s first whisky with a heart matured in wine casks that have been intensely charred to carve heavy grooves in the surface of the wood. The result is a whisky with perfect harmony between smouldering, smoky cinnamon and the sweetness of vanilla popcorn, treacle and pear – with an intensity Ardbeg lovers will adore.

Tasting notes:

Ardbeg Grooves is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV. 

Nose: Intense aromas of smoked cinnamon and paprika, antique leather and saddle soap, with classic Ardbeg scents of pine resin, tar and briny sea spray in the background. A distant hint of a fragrant bonfire by the shores of the distillery and, finally, an unusual savoury note, like chilli-seasoned meats. A little splash of water releases some beautiful, unexpected aromas: lavender scented soap, ground white pepper, floral and herbal notes entwined. Fresh flowers mix with coriander leaves and mint.

Taste: A powerfully salty mouthfeel drifts into sweet vibes of treacle toffee, vanilla popcorn, salted fruits with soot and tar. Again, those distinctive savoury notes of smoky BBQ, paprika and mustard spice, fading into an unexpected haze of smoked pears and apples, almost like pear cider. 

Finish: Smoked paprika and bonfires with a mellow sweetness throughout.


Ardbeg is The Ultimate Islay Single Malt Whisky. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by whisky lovers around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most intense of all the Islay malts.  Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until it was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.  

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee.  The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers in 130 countries worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.  Committee members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings. Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at ardbeg.com.


Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions. Ardbeg was voted ‘World Whisky of the Year’ twice by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (2008, 2009) and has twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013). At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’. The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100. Meanwhile, both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2017 Ardbeg Kelpie, released to celebrate Ardbeg Day, was named Whisky of the Year International Whisky Competition.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt whisky and Ardbeg Islay Single Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Spirit of Toronto 2018 Full Details Online – Whisky News


Website now fully updated!

Tickets go on sale this coming Monday March 26 at 10am, and the Spirit of Toronto website has now been fully updated including the schedule for our 2018 Masterclass Series. For those of you attending the show for the first time, these are sit-down tastings presented by a variety of guest speakers on the lower level of Roy Thomson Hall.

Masterclass seats may be reserved when buying tickets for the show. Those opting for Early Admission can attend one of the pre-show sessions starting at 5:30pm, and enjoy priority entry into the main tasting hall when the class is over.


Spirit of Toronto Goes Global

Get set for an edition of Spirit of Toronto that is truly international in scope, from a Taste of Italy courtesy of the Italian Trade Commission, to our World Whiskies showcase being presented by SofT friends Johanne McInnis and Graham MacKenney, to a stellar line-up of masterclasses that spans Canada, Scotland, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Italy and the Caribbean.

We are further excited to be hosting twin entrepreneurs Joyce and Raissa de Haas for the Canadian launch of Double Dutch, their award-winning range of premium mixers billed as the perfect twin for your spirit.

In the mood for more jetsetting? Then don’t miss ‘le cinq à sept’ as imagined by Martell Cognac, or the chance to soak up the sounds and flavours of Cuban nights, thanks to our friends at Havana Club.

2018 Masterclass Series

The schedule for our 2018 Masterclass Series is now online and we’re happy with the variety it offers, be it something that appeals to seasoned connoisseurs, novice tasters or those simply looking for an adventure on the palate.

Kicking off our 2018 series is another exceptional opportunity to taste and learn with Angus MacRaild as he presents ‘That ’80s Tasting’. Dr. Don Livermore also returns to present a sneak preview of his 2018 Rare Release and fans of Lot 40 will once again not be disappointed.

You can never go wrong with the classics and with that in mind we are pleased to be showcasing some of Scotland and Ireland’s finest whiskies including Benromach, anCnoc, Old Pulteney, Aberlour, Redbreast, The Glenlivet, Greenspot and the Last Great Malts that make up John Dewar’s Fine Whisky Emporium. Closer to home Forty Creek and Canadian Club are set to present the best in Canadian whisky.

Those of you looking to explore something different will certainly find it in the ‘History and Mystery of Absinthe’ presented by Ted Breaux, distiller Patrick Zuidam’s collection of outstanding Dutch whiskies, the flavours of rum-rhum-ron presented by Benjamin Jones, or Luca Cinalli’s 5pm class on Italy’s contribution to the art of the cocktail.


Automatic Ticket Notification

Those subscribed to this list will receive an automatic notification the night before tickets go on sale. We’re often asked about the best way to purchase tickets in order to secure your first choices but regrettably we can offer no guarantees as tickets will be available online, by telephone and in person, and all three purchase methods are certain to experience a queue. Nonetheless, we look forward to welcoming you back on May 5 — see you then!

Ruby is the pinnacle of The Macallan Ruby ~ Secure this jewel of a Macallan now – Scotch Whisky News


Ruby is the pinnacle of The Macallan 1824 Series and we are pleased to tell you that we have a limited quantity available of this hard-to-find liquid.

Designed to showcase and celebrate The Macallan’s commitment to natural colour, Ruby is the most rich and deeply coloured single malt in the series, with glinting hues of red that speak to its intense flavours.

Secure this jewel of a Macallan now.



The Macallan Gold, Amber and Sienna are also now available to purchase from The Macallan Online Shop.


New Arrivals & Back in Stock at K&L California – Whisky News


Four Roses K&L Exclusive OESK (9 Years Old, 7 Months) Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $64.99

Lagavulin “Distiller’s Edition” Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $125) $109.99 

Redbreast 21 Year Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml) (1 bottle limit) 96 $219.99 


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Exotic Cargo Batch Two” – Scotch Whisky News



Prepare your senses for sherry-soaked bliss, batch two of Exotic Cargo has landed on Leith shores. With overwhelming approval from members on our first bottling, we’re continuing our journey into flavour by releasing another batch of our blended malt. This second bottling is also from a selection of ex-sherry casks containing whisky distilled in 2006 and matured from day one in first-fill Spanish oak hogsheads. We selected these casks due to the intensity of their sherry influence, giving this new 11-year-old blended malt bottling an added richness and a longer finish.

With a Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile, members can expect an enticing mix of intense sweetness and exotic fruity splashes. Bottles are likely to sell fast, please order now before this new batch sets sail.

In order to share this bottling with as many members as possible, purchases are limited to 2 bottles per member.  Additional or duplicate orders exceeding this limit will be cancelled and refunded.


“A sumptuous nose! A banana sprinkled with brown sugar and gleefully blowtorched followed by suggestions of trail mix, malt loaf and touches of mint tea. Water brings earth after rainfall, bracken and still-warm coal hearths. The palate is dense and chocolatey with notes of various cured meats, wet earth, sorrel, dried herbs, turmeric and pears baked in cognac. There is a beautiful and curiously old-school aspect to the sherry. ”

Age: 11 years
Casks: First-fill Spanish oak hogsheads
Price: £47


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



Becky and Georgie


London, UK, 6th March 2018, Becky Paskin, Editor of Scotchwhisky.com and Georgie Bell, Global Whisky Specialist, have partnered to launch #OurWhisky – a new movement designed to challenge perceptions of the stereotypical whisky drinker.

This is the world’s first campaign to unite the global whisky industry and whisky lovers in a combined bid to dispel common myths of who modern whisky drinkers are.

Although the consensus within the industry is that whisky is a drink with widespread appeal, the perception remains among many consumers that whisky is still a “man’s drink” – an opinion perpetuated by decades of male-oriented advertising.

As an on-going global project, #OurWhisky aims to showcase the inclusiveness of whisky and the diversity of its drinkers through a photographical social media series, launching on 6th March in the run-up to International Women’s Day (on 8th March).

For the launch, Georgie and Becky have invited women from across the global whisky industry – ambassadors, distillery managers, blenders, whisky lovers, journalists and bartenders – to participate. By showcasing the diversity that exists within the whisky industry, Becky and Georgie are hoping to inspire whisky lovers all around the world to join the #OurWhisky movement.

The initial drive for the campaign will be to encourage women to tag @OurWhisky in a photo of themselves that illustrates how they like to drink whisky – at a bar, at home with their partners or with friends, and use the hashtag #OurWhisky. Their photos will then be retweeted, regrammed and shared with fellow whisky enthusiasts to build a digital community that reflects the face of the modern whisky drinker.

Becky comments: “We are asking whisky lovers all over the world to take a photo of themselves that illustrates how they like to enjoy whisky, whether in a cocktail, from a hipflask on a wintry walk, as an accompaniment to their favourite meal, wrapped in a blanket on the couch, hanging out with friends or doing something more adventurous!”

“The campaign is called #OurWhisky as our first and foremost priorities are equality, gender parity and inclusiveness. Whisky is a drink that can be enjoyed by everyone, and we feel it’s important to demonstrate that by celebrating the gender and cultural diversity of the modern day whisky drinker.”

Georgie says: “Whisky still widely succumbs to misconceptions amongst consumers. The more people we get involved in spreading the message that whisky does in fact have a broad appeal, the stronger it will become.”

She adds: “This is something we both feel really strongly about, a true passion project – it’s not a branded piece but instead a rally cry to unite whisky lovers and the industry together.”

Following the initial launch, the #OurWhisky campaign will evolve to encompass diversity, highlighting different ethnicities and cultures, to move forward against preconceived notions of what a whisky drinker ‘should’ look like.

The tagged photos will be collated and published on the @ourwhisky Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.


OurWhisky is an on-going global campaign to highlight the diversity of the whisky industry, the inclusiveness of whisky and the variety of its drinkers. The project is designed to challenge opinions of what a whisky drinker looks like through a photographical social media series. Spearheaded by Becky Paskin, Editor of Scotchwhisky.com, the leading online whisky magazine, and Georgie Bell, Global Whisky Educator, they hope to inspire people all over the globe by showcasing how diverse the whisky industry really is.

About Becky and Georgie:

 Becky Paskin

Becky Paskin is editor of online magazine Scotchwhisky.com, the world’s leading website for whisky lovers. She was the first journalist to gain a General Certificate in Distillation with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling – a qualification usually reserved for distillery operators. Becky has been writing about drinks for over 10 years, is a member of exclusive society Keepers of the Quaich, and is an expert in all manner of spirits. She regularly presents educational whisky seminars at global drinks shows including Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and The Whisky Show in London.

Georgie Bell
Georgie Bell, Global Whisky Specialist, started her career in the drinks industry as a cocktail bartender. Going on to study for a diploma in distillation at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling she achieved the highest mark globally, leading to The Worshipful Company of Distillers to grant their International Award and accepting her in to the exclusive society. Georgie began educating through her various whisky brand ambassador roles starting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, before moving to Diageo and now as a Global Malts Ambassador for Bacardi.

The Whisky Exchange “Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon” – Irish Whiskey News


Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

Irish whiskey is booming. For a long time it has been seen as Scotch whisky’s less-popular sibling, but the past few years have seen it explode in popularity. The biggest driver is Jameson, a blended Irish whiskey, but also growing is a style of whiskey not found anywhere else: pot still whiskey.

Pot still: isn’t that what you use to make malt whiskey?

First off, the terminology is confusing. In Ireland, along with blended, grain and malt whiskey, you also have pot still whiskey. Distillers make malt whiskey in a pot still, but it’s not pot still whiskey. Confused yet?

A pot still used to make pot still whiskey. It’s deliberately confusing

The difference between pot still and malt whiskey is the ingredients: pot still uses both malted and unmalted barley.

On top of that, all pot still whiskey you can currently find is single pot still whiskey. The ‘single’ just means that it’s made at one distillery.


The history

In classic fashion, the development of pot still as a style of whiskey comes from taxation. Back in the 1700s, the government started taxing malt. Enterprising distillers, keen to save money, replaced some of the now-expensive malt with cheaper, unmalted grain. The result was pot still whiskey.

Barley, happily malting away with no interference from the tax man

Historically, distillers also threw in oats, rye and wheat as well as barley. The legal definition of pot still allows up to 5% other grains, but it’s rare to see them used these days.

How is it made?

It’s made in almost exactly the same way as malt whiskey. The main difference is that the grain used is a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

As usual, the distillers mill the grain and steep it in hot water. They then strain off the sugary liquid, add yeast and leave the mixture to ferment.

The resulting boozy liquid – wash – is then distilled.


Triple distillation

As is traditional in Ireland, all the distilleries currently producing pot still whiskey triple-distil their spirit.

The three stills at Slane distillery – wash, intermediate and spirit

Triple distillation is talked about a lot in whisk(e)y circles, and there are a few myths to be busted:

  • there are several distilleries in Scotland that triple distil – it’s not only an Irish thing
  • triple distillation does not necessarily lead to a high-strength, low-flavour spirit.

The latter point is especially interesting. Each distillation typically increases the purity of the spirit – it removes flavour. However, pot stills are inefficient beasts, and that inefficiency gives the distiller options. They can emphasise and quieten flavours in the final distillate: the third distillation is a polishing of the spirit.

This is especially true of pot still whiskey, where the unmalted barley adds in large amounts of flavour. The spirit needs sculpting to create the fruit, grass, grain and spice character that the distiller and drinker expect.

How does it taste?

Only Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery has pot still whiskey on the market, but expect to see more appearing soon. Ireland has loads of new distilleries and many of them are planning on making pot still whiskey, if they aren’t already.

For now, the two classics of pot still are Green Spot and Redbreast.

Green Spot focuses on bourbon-cask maturation, giving a very clean insight into pot-still character. Redbreast is all about the sherry casks, adding in layers of spice and dried fruit.


Redbreast 12 Year Old

Nose: Rich spiced fruit, hints of orgeat sweetness, toast with generic red jam and creamy porridge with brown sugar.

Palate: Softer and creamier than the nose suggests. Spiced sponge cake packed with dried fruit and smothered with soft, buttery icing.

Finish: More cream and fruit, fading into dark and spicy wood.

Comment: This is the ‘entry level’ whisky in the Irish Distillers Single Pot Still range? An excellent whiskey.


Green Spot

Nose: Big green apple notes, candle wax, olive oil and some raisiny sweetness with a bit of cereal hiding underneath.

Palate: Soft and creamy apple – baby-food apple purée? Fresh and piney edges with green rhubarb and tropical fruit squash.

Finish: A big hit of both real apple and apple chews, slowly fading to leave sweet grain.

Comment: A very different whiskey to the Redbreasts – very fresh and green, but with a heavy oiliness as well. My favourite of the range.

Redbreast was the whiskey that made me fall in love with Irish spirit, and Green Spot was the one that kept me hooked. With new distilleries now getting into the pot still game, we can expect lots more to try in the future. I look forward to trying them.

You can find a wide range of Irish whiskey, including lots of pot still, over on our website.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #717 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy finds a beefy-sherry bomb in Ralfy Review 717 - Ben Nevis 14yo Single Cask @ 46%vol (2007)

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