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The Proof Is Here®: More Than 10 Million Barrels of Bourbon Aging In Kentucky Distillery Warehouses – American Whiskey News


The Proof Is Here®: More Than 10 Million Barrels of Bourbon Aging In Kentucky Distillery Warehouses

Bourbon Industry Calls on General Assembly to Stop Punitive Production Taxes

FRANKFORT, Ky. – For the first time in the modern era of American whiskey, Kentucky has 10 million barrels of Bourbon aging in distillery warehouses across the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today.

Kentucky’s legendary distilling industry also set new production records for the number of Bourbon barrels filled in a single year – nearly 2.5 million – and for the total number of all aging barrels including other spirits such as brandy, at nearly 11 million. These numbers are for calendar year 2020.

“Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry continues to invest in our Commonwealth at unprecedented levels, despite global pandemic disruptions, exorbitant taxes and ongoing trade wars,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “This is truly a historic and landmark record.”

But that milestone comes with a cost, Gregory said.

Distillers will pay a record $33 million in aging barrel taxes in 2021. Kentucky remains the only place in the world that taxes aging barrels of spirits as part of the production process, a discriminatory tax that hampers growth and jeopardizes the state’s ability to attract new distillers.

Barrel taxes have catapulted 140% in the last 10 years alone, Gregory said.

“The Bourbon industry is investing more than $5 billion in this state to increase production, build innovative tourism centers and create thousands of new jobs,” he said. “But punitive barrel taxes are punishing this growth and harming our chances to land new distilleries.

“It’s time for the legislature to take action and make barrel taxes refundable or transferable, which will further incentivize distilling investment in the Commonwealth. Kentucky should not have a tax structure that penalizes growth and investment on any manufacturer.”

Even though the Kentucky legislature passed a corporate income tax credit in 2014 to offset barrel taxes, the escalating number of barrels – and therefore taxes – far outpaces the amount of credit that distillers can take, Gregory said. Some distillers now only realize 30% of the credit.

The new production numbers are based on inventories reported as of Jan. 1, 2021, submitted to the Kentucky Department of Revenue for tax purposes and includes all distilling companies in Kentucky, the vast majority of which are KDA member distilleries.

Here are the specifics:

·     Total barrels of Bourbon: 10,321,793

·     Total inventory including Bourbon and other spirits: 10,880,328

·     Number of Bourbon barrels filled in 2020: 2,437,603

The previous records for all three categories were set in calendar year 2019 and reported on Jan. 1, 2020.

The Kentucky Bourbon revolution has seen tremendous growth since the turn of the century. Production has skyrocketed 436% since 1999. The state’s aging Bourbon inventory has increased 200% during that time while the total number of all barrels has nearly tripled.

The tax-assessed value of all aging barrels is now $4.4 billion, the first time it has surpassed the $4 billion mark and a staggering $589 million increase over the previous year.

Distilling remains the highest taxed industry in the state, paying more than $300 million every year in state and local taxes. Meanwhile, an upcoming economic impact study will show that Kentucky leads the nation in federal excise taxes on alcohol, paying $1.8 billion each year with almost all coming from distillers.

This means that Kentucky distillers pay about $2 billion each and every year to the government in taxes.

Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, an $8.6 billion economic engine that generates more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion. Distillers also are in the middle of a $5.1 billion capital investment campaign to satisfy the global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.

Unfortunately, retaliatory tariffs and never-ending trade wars continue to pose serious threats to those global exports, Gregory said. The European Union imposed a 25% tariff on American whiskey and other goods in 2018 in response to a U.S. tariff on steel and aluminum from the E.U.

As a result, Kentucky Bourbon exports to the E.U. and the United Kingdom – the state’s largest whiskey export market – have plunged nearly 50%, according to data from the state Cabinet for Economic Development.

And it could get worse – the E.U. tariff on American whiskey is set to double to 50% on Dec. 1.

The KDA recently joined a coalition of 50 trade associations representing the entire three-tier chain of the U.S. alcohol industry in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai urging the Biden administration to secure the suspension of tariffs on American whiskey.

“Our industry is collateral damage in trade disputes that have nothing to do with Bourbon,” Gregory said.

“We reiterate our request that the Biden administration secure the immediate suspension of tariffs on American whiskey before more long-term damage is done. It’s been more than three years. The time to act is now.”

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Visit www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com to learn more. 

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, BOURBON TRAIL™, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™, ORDER OF THE WRIT®, KENTUCKY DISTILLERS’ ASSOCIATION®, and KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL OFFICIAL SPONSOR® and associated designs and logos are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please enjoy responsibly.

Whisky Hammer October 2020 Auction is Now Live – Auction Whisky News

Our October auction is now LIVE!

Place your bids from Friday 15th October until Sunday 24th October.


Every month, we present an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits to our members right across the globe. You will find everything here from limited edition releases and vintage bottles to whole casks of rare whisky. There is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest or enjoy!


Karuizawa – 38 Year Old & 34 Year Old (Ruby Geisha)

Glenfarclas – 48 Year Old (1967) Pagoda Reserve

Chichibu – 2015 (Single Cask #4316) Intergalactic Edition 5

Glen Grant – 67 Year Old (1953) First Edition

Aberlour – 21 Year Old (1958) Centenary Decanter   

Selling whisky? Why not arrange the pick-up of your bottles using our global courier service? If you’re based in Scotland, you might want to arrange the personal collection of your bottles. Wherever you’re based in the world, we will make getting your bottles into our monthly auction as simple as possible. Get in touch with the Whisky Hammer team now by dropping them a message at sales@whiskyhammer.co.uk.

A 25-Year-Old Exclusive Single Sherry Cask from the Incomparable Hart Bros. – Scotch Whisky News

A Stunning Old Sherry Cask from a Rising Speyside Star
1995 GlenAllachie 25 Year Old “Hart Brothers Finest Collection” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Sherry Butt Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($349.99)
“They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. It is a true beauty and easily one of the finest casks we’ll sell this year.” — David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits Buyer

The concerted effort that our spirits team has put into building and maintaining our relationships with the whisky world’s finest independent bottlers continues to pay off in the form of exceptional offers like today’s. Hart Brothers has been a go-to source for many, if not most, of our rarest and most distinctive single-cask Scotch bottlings, and GlenAllachie’s 1995 Speyside 25 Year Old Single Sherry Butt Single Malt is one more in a long line of inimitable drams that have emerged from their vast warehouse stocks in recent years. While many of its contemporaries in the high-end, aged Sherry cask space have skyrocketed in price over the past couple of years, this sublime 25 Year Old remains a relative steal in an environment where going market rates can make even the most seasoned collectors blush. We’re once again thrilled at the superlative quality for price on offer here, and we know our most fanatical Scotch enthusiasts will find the same measure of compelling value and character in this one-of-a-kind single-cask beauty, once they get their hands on it.

1995 GlenAllachie 25 Year Old “Hart Brothers Finest Collection” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Sherry Butt Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($349.99)

K&L Notes: An incredible find by any measure, the GlenAllachie has recently become the darling of Sherry-loving Scotch geeks worldwide. Why, you ask, could this random Speyside distillery go from completely unknown to widely sought-after? One name stands out—Billy Walker. We’re not so cynical (and certainly he isn’t either) to believe that he’s the only reason we’re seeing great malt out of this distillery suddenly, but it’s his astute consideration and deft purchase of this special distillery that have allowed it to flourish. Billy made waves more than two decades ago by taking over the Glendronach and Benriach distilleries. He spent the subsequent decades refurbishing their images, not with sleek marketing campaigns, but by barreling and bottling exceptionally high-quality whisky and selling it to us at a fair price. Now he’s set his sights on this underappreciated Speyside gem and no one is surprised that he’s finding some exceptional juice in those warehouses. We’re grateful that our relationship with the incomparable Hart Bros. has afforded us an opportunity to sell this exquisite cask of Sherry-matured GlenAllachie. While compared to many other heavily sherried, old Speysiders, the distillery bottlings being released currently look rather affordable; this exceptional cask beats their prices by nearly half. We’re not sure how many more of these might be hiding in the Hart Bros. warehouses, but we’ll buy every last one given the chance, and all the Sherry-loving fiends should too.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2021

The sudden rise to prominence of GlenAllachie is as much a result of the historic lack of availability as it is the current quality of the distillery’s offerings. It’s not as though the sudden sale of the distillery magically resulted in an increase in quality—we simply had no reference point since it was almost non-existent before the modern era. I believe we once sold a young ‘Allachie aged in refill hoggies from Hunter Laing, but procuring a quality first- or second-fill cask was nearly unheard-of until the distillery changed hands. And due to the that change, whether it be the bottler’s relationship with the outgoing regime or the current one, we’re lucky enough to be selling this gorgeous butt. Needless to say, it’s a special cask not only because of that rarity but mostly thanks to the stupendous complexity it delivers. Here’s my take. The color is a vibrant chestnut. Immediately, the nose opens with a blistering attack of musky exotic wood, fine incense, persimmon jam, grapefruit marmalade, kaffir lime, ginger tea, and roasted nuts. The perfect balance between malt, cask, time, and wine. It’s not so dark as to be obviously first-fill (it’s most likely second-fill), but the sherry character is front and center, tempered by decades of aging and the rich character of this underappreciated single malt.

On the palate, a stupendous tension exists between the raw power of the spirit at 110 proof and the strangely vibrant fruit. An enveloping spice and rich texture give way to calming sweetness of the malt. Pointed and linear at first, the sherry spice and old oak dominating the malt, but with some air, dried fruit takes hold and fights back against the savory onslaught. Add just a few drops of water and it relaxes into a seamless quilt of complementary flavors. Big, fudgy notes on the nose now, with more oxidized oloroso (leather, coffee, earthy herbs), much more fruit, mostly stones and reds. On the palate, the rich texture remains and some tension remains, adding peppermint and chili oil, caramel candies, honey, yellow fruit, and the perfect denouement of exotic spice, which holds you through the warm comforting finish.

This is no sweet and simple one. No, no. This filled with power and complexity and begs you to take a few hours with the bottle to sit and reflect. Of course, it’s expensive, but considering the state of Scotch and the absolute lab-created NAS that is easily the same price, if not more, this represents one of the finest and most interesting casks we’ve ever had the pleasure of selling. I wrestle between whether the sample is better with or without water and have ultimately decided that while I believe it holds its water extremely well, I prefer it with either none at all or with a heavy dollop or two. Something magical happens when proofed down to about 46% in glass with a few minutes to open up, and it’s a window into a lost era of scotch. Take it just to the moment the oils come out of solution and you’ll experience a complete transformation. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. It is a true beauty and easily one of the finest casks we’ll sell this year.

Single Cask Whisky from Berry Bros & Rudd at Inverurie Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


With over 75 years’ experiencein selecting, tasting and guidingfriends and acquaintances throughthe world of whisky, Berry Bros. &Rudd has a family of experts thatcannot be matched.The team, led by Doug McIvor, hasselected a unique range of styles,regions and ages of whisky andrum that allows our customers toexplore the breadth and depth ofeach category.

“They stand like temptations, ready to reveal their personalities– from the softly silky to the bold and powerful, the heat of theAmericas to the coolness of Scotland. Their allure comes fromthe idiosyncrasies and nuances of the cask, compared to the usualdistillery bottlings.

We’ve been selecting casks for over 200 years;while experience alone doesn’t necessarily make our judgement anybetter, it certainly helps us in our continual search for outstandingquality and excellent value.”

Whisky Releases

Milroys Christmas Packages! – Christmas Whisky News


This year why not have your Christmas gathering at Milroys of Spitalfields?

This year we are hosting a series of private “Whisky Tasting & Food Pairing” experiences, perfect for a meet up with friends or a Christmas party with colleagues.

We have a library of over 1,000 whiskies to choose from, everything from your day to day, to Fine & Rare and Dream Drams.

All of our experiences are customisable and suitable for all budgets!

Tasting & Canapes

£80 per person + (12.5% service charge)

A bespoke flight of 5 whiskies expertly paired with 5 handmade canapes.

One of our resident whisky specialists will guide you and your guests through the tasting and share their knowledge of the whiskies being showcased.

Sample Menu

Whipped Goats Cheese | Honey | Walnut

London Cured Salmon Charcoal Cracker| Red Apple | Tarragon | Honey | Cream Cheese Chickpea & Aubergine Bite | Sriracha Yogurt

Smoked Duck Taco Flower| Asian Slaw | Japanese Plum | Toasted Sesame

Whisky & Coconut Snowball

Buy Now

Deluxe Tasting & Small Plates

£120 per person+ (12.5% service charge)

A bespoke flight of 5 deluxe whiskies expertly paired with 5 small plates.

One of our resident whisky specialists will guide you and your guests through the tasting and share their knowledge of the whiskies showcased.


Porcini Mushroom Pate | Sourdough | Truffle Salt | Confit Garlic | Olive Oil

Poached Heritage Beetroot | Cider Apple Gel| Pickled Pear | Whipped Goats Cheese | Seaweed Salt

Confit Duck Doughnut | Espresso | Blackberry | Champagne Vinegar | Smoked Sugar | Orange Salt

Brie & Camembert Croquette |

Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam | Watercress

Whisky & Coconut Snowballs

Buy Now

Rare Whisky & Tasting Menu

£200 per person + (12.5% service charge)

A bespoke flight of 5 Old & Rare whiskies expertly paired with a 5 course tasting menu.

One of our resident whisky specialists will guide you and your guests through the tasting and share their knowledge of the whiskies showcased.


Dorset Crab | Lemon Zest | Lime Zest | Angel Hair Chilli | Confit Garlic | Truffle Salt

Whipped Goats Cheese | Roasted Pear | White Truffle Honey | Pistachio | Sourdough

Confit Duck Doughnut | Espresso | Blackberry | Champagne Vinegar | Smoked Sugar | Orange Salt

Whisky Beef Short Rib | Winter Truffle Cauliflower Puree | Honey Roasted Kingdom Carrots | Dark Chocolate Reduction

Cranberry Curd Tartlet | Meringue | Cinnamon | Pink Peppercorn | Toasted Hazelnut

Buy Now

THE BALVENIE STORIES at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News

New whisky


Five whiskies that offer a different twist on the Balvenie’s fruity, honeyed character. The range, inspired by the people and places significant to the distillery, includes the sweet yet smoky Week of Peat and the buttery, full-bodied Sweet Toast of American Oak. A great marriage of tradition and innovation.


Auction Record for a Bottle of the World’s Oldest Single Malt Scotch Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Auction Record for a Bottle of the

World’s Oldest Single Malt Scotch Whisky

 Designed by Architect and Designer Sir David Adjaye OBE,

Decanter #1 of Gordon & MacPhail Generations 80-Years-Old

Sells for HK$1.5 Million (US$193,000) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, 7 October 2021 – Today at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, spirited whisky collectors from Asia and beyond competed to lay claim to a bottle of the world’s oldest single malt Scotch whisky – Decanter #1 of the Gordon & Macphail Generations 80-Years-Old, housing spirit from the Glenlivet Distillery originally laid down in 1940 in a bespoke oak cask by whisky creators Gordon & MacPhail. Bidders from across Asia and Europe drove the final sale price to HK$1,500,000 / US$193,000 / £142,000 (est. HK$800,000-1,500,000 / US$100,000-200,000 / £80,000-140,000), establishing an auction record for a bottle of the world’s oldest whisky. The winning bidder was a European private collector, new to Sotheby’s.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: “From the moment news broke of the existence of a whisky matured in oak for eighty years, it generated a huge buzz of excitement. For those lucky enough to taste it, myself included, this is an exceptional whisky that not only lingers on the palate but also long after in the mind. As we have seen, exceedingly rare Single Malts are highly coveted, and when collectors are presented with something truly special, they are prepared to go the extra mile.”

To house this most precious of liquids, Gordon & MacPhail commissioned internationally acclaimed architect and designer, Sir David Adjaye OBE to design a unique decanter and oak case around the theme ‘Artistry in Oak’ – a fitting tribute to this landmark moment for the industry, the longest-matured ‘expression’ ever to be released featuring spirit from a Scottish distillery.

The lucky recipient of this special lot will also enjoy a whisky tasting experience for four in London, conducted by Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige, Stephen Rankin and attended by Sir David Adjaye, in addition to the framed original cask head of Cask 340 which cradled the spirit for eight decades, and a one-of-one signed lithograph of Sir David’s original, concept drawings.

As part of their release of 250 decanters (the remaining 249 decanters will be sold at retail), Gordon & MacPhail is supporting a local charity, Trees for Life whose mission is to rewild the Caledonian forest. Proceeds from the sale of Decanter #1 will be donated to resource the Trees for Life nursery which grows 100,000 rare, native trees, including oaks, from seed each year.

On February 3rd 1940, George Urquhart – from the second generation to own Gordon & MacPhail, founded in 1895 – had the foresight and vision to place into an oak cask a spirit to be enjoyed after his lifetime by future generations. Urquhart passionately believed that each cask needed to be left to reach its full potential, and only when the whisky was deemed ready should it be shared. On 5 February 2020, the decision was taken to bottle the cask’s bounty, which had been nurtured over eight decades by four generations of the Urquhart family.

Previous auction sales for bottles of the oldest whisky ever to be released include The Macallan 78 Year Old and the Gordon & MacPhail Generations 75 Years Old from Mortlach Distillery.

About Sotheby’s Wine

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury.  Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.

Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide auction sales of wine and spirits totaled an outstanding $92 million in 2020, with over 15,000 lots sold across 41 sales – a nearly 50% increase in the number of auctions held in 2019. Over $60 million of wine and spirits were sold to online bidders in 2020 versus $28 million in 2019, with 85% of all lots offered finding online buyers. Demonstrating continued strength in Asia, Sotheby’s led the market in the region for the third consecutive year, with over 70% of the total bid amount in all Wine and Spirits sales attributed to collectors in Asia.

Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.

Sotheby’s Wine launched its retail business in 2010. With a retail store located in Sotheby’s New York headquarters and e-commerce at www.sothebyswine.com, Sotheby’s Wine offers a carefully curated selection of wines from the world’s most prestigious producers and important regions, with prices beginning at $13.95. Expertly assembled by our experienced specialists, the ever-evolving selection is built upon lasting relationships with winemakers from across the globe, with bottles that are ready for immediate consumption, in addition to investment-worthy wines from highly sought-after vintages. Each bottle selected by Sotheby’s specialists must pass the brand’s signature “three-glass” tasting guideline: they must enjoy the wine enough to want to drink three glasses, or the standard amount consumed when sharing a bottle. A second retail location opened in Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries in 2014.

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

About Gordon & MacPhail Generations Range

For more than 125 years, Gordon & MacPhail has been driven by a simple mission: to create single malt Scotch whisky of exceptional quality. Through four generations of family ownership, the company has matched its own bespoke casks with spirit from over 100 Scottish distilleries. Managing a portfolio of casks is a complex level of expertise which Gordon & MacPhail has honed to fully understand cask maturation matched to different styles of spirit. It is this cask curation that allows Gordon & MacPhail to consistently deliver a range of perfectly matured whiskies. Their expert maturation management creates unique, complex but perfectly balanced single malts found nowhere else. At the very heart of business lies the sample room – an exceptional liquid library spanning more than a century of Scotch whiskies featuring a wide range of age profiles and character. But these exceptional snapshots in time are not heirlooms there to impress, they exist to help inform and shape future decision-making and provide an invaluable guide for generations to come.

The name ‘Generations’ signifies the many decades these whiskies have been left to mature and the four generations of company ownership by the same family. Gordon & MacPhail’s Generations range presents some of the longest-matured single malt Scotch whisky ever to be bottled representing iconic moments of Scotland’s liquid history. Previous ‘Generations’ releases include: Generations 70 Years Old from Mortlach Distillery; Generations 70 Years Old from Glenlivet Distillery; Generations 70 Years Old from Glenlivet Distillery (release two); Generations 75 Years Old from Mortlach Distillery.

About Sir David Adjaye OBE

Sir David Adjaye OBE is an award-winning Ghanaian-British architect known to infuse his artistic sensibilities and ethos for community-driven projects. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke designs and visionary sensibilities have set him apart as one of the leading architects of his generation. In 2000, David founded his own practice, Adjaye Associates, which today operates globally, with studios in Accra, London, and New York taking on projects that span the globe. The firm’s work ranges from private houses, bespoke furniture collections, product design, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centres, civic buildings, and master plans. His largest project to date, The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by The New York Times. In 2017, Adjaye was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was recognised as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by TIME Magazine. He is the recipient of the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Gold Medal is considered one of the highest honours in British architecture for significant contribution to the field internationally. Sir Adjaye is also the recipient of the World Economic Forum’s 27th Annual Crystal Award, which recognises his “leadership in serving communities, cities and the environment.”

About Trees for Life

Founded in 1993, Trees for Life is an award-winning charity with a vision of a revitalised wild forest in the Scottish Highlands, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. “It is our passionate belief that rewilding can help us achieve this vision,” says chief executive, Steve Makeweight. “It enriches the landscapes, wildlife and people who call these places home. Rewilding is about working with nature, natural processes and seeing human activity as part of an intricate system in which everything is connected.” The Gordon & MacPhail partnership with Trees for Life is a commitment to both the wild Caledonian Forest and to future generations. An initial 250 oak trees planted in Glen Affric on behalf of Gordon & MacPhail have the potential to live for more than 500 years, as well as providing a vital seed source, ensuring a lasting legacy for centuries.

Speyside’s top whiskies revealed at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards – Scotch Whisky News

Speyside’s top whiskies revealed at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

Celebrating the best whiskies from Speyside as chosen by whisky enthusiasts from around the world, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards unveiled their 2020/2021 winners at a ceremony that saw the Glenfarclas 25YO coming out on top as the overall favourite Speyside malt.

Attended by industry representatives and specialist retailers, the ceremony took place at the Station Hotel in Rothes, hosted by event sponsor, Forsyths. Alongside announcing the winners, the judges also took part in a blind tasting to select the finalists for the Spirit of Speyside Awards 2022. The presentation was streamed via Facebook to allow whisky lovers from around the world to join the celebrations.

Using a combination of in-person and virtual sessions, over 1,600 votes were cast across 15 panels and three new venues across the globe were added to the tasting mix. With sessions from New Brunswick, Canada to Mumbai, India and from Dublin, Ireland to Cologne, Germany, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards are the only industry awards in the world to give consumers the final say when it comes to recognising the best Speyside whiskies.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2020/2021 winners included:

12YO & Under

Gold Award – Aberlour 10YO

Silver Award – Cardhu 12YO

13YO – 20YO

Gold Award – Glenallachie 15YO

Silver Award – Benromach 15YO

21YO & Over

Gold Award – Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO

Silver Award – Glenfarclas 25YO

Non-Age Statement

Gold Award – Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition

Silver Award – Cardhu Amber Rock

To identify the finalists for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2022, the independent judging panel carried out a rigorous blind tasting of entries from 50 qualifying Speyside distilleries, before scoring each whisky on its character and flavour. 

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2022 finalists includes:

12YO & Under

Benriach 12YO

Benromach 10YO 

13YO to 20YO

Glenlivet 15YO

Aberlour 16YO 

21YO & Over

Aultmore 21YO

Balvenie 21YO 

Non-Age Statement

Aberlour A’bunadh

Tamnavulin Spanish Grenache Cask Edition

These whiskies will now go forward to be tasted and judged by whisky drinkers and enthusiasts around the world over the coming months. The final winners will be announced at the Spirit of Speyside’s Gala Dinner on 27th April 2022, which also marks the beginning of the 2022 Whisky Festival.

George McNeil, chairman designate at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said:

“It’s the first time I’ve been involved in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards and it’s been great to see our judging panels in awe of the standard of whisky produced here in Speyside by our local craftsmen and women.

“Every year we see more and more people from around the world get involved in the final tasting to have their say in which Speyside Malt takes home the gold.That’s what makes The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards truly an award like no other – it’s the real whisky experts, whisky consumers from around the world, voting for the final winners of Speyside’s best whiskies.”

For further information on The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards or to find out how to host a voting session in 2022, visit www.spiritofspeyside.com.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2020/2021

12YO & Under

Gold Award –  Aberlour 10YO

Silver Award  – Cardhu 12YO

13YO – 20YO

Gold Award – Glenallachie 15YO

Silver Award – Benromach 15YO

21YO & Over

Gold Award  – Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO

Silver Award – Glenfarclas 25YO

Non-Age Statement

Gold Award – Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition

Silver Award – Cardhu Amber Rock

Overall Winner – Glenfarclas 25YO

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2022 Finalists

 12YO & Under

Benriach 12YO

Benromach 10YO

13YO to 20YO

Glenlivet 15YO

Aberlour 16YO

21YO & Over

Aultmore 21YO

Balvenie 21YO

Non-Age Statement

Aberlour A’bunadh

Tamnavulin Spanish Grenache Cask Edition

About the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards is an awards like no other. The judging process takes place in two stages. The first round is a blind nosing and tasting of Speyside’s finest malts by selected judges.

Following this, two whiskies from each of the four categories are  shortlisted to go forward for the Roving Whisky Awards Judging  and Tasting, when visitors and locals can cast their vote during the Festival and many tasting and voting sessions take place all over the world. The Spirit  of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards are the only whisky  awards where the real experts – whisky consumers – have the final vote, and with over 1000 people from many different countries expected to vote in the coming six months we will arrive at a true “ people’s choice” for this year’s Best Speyside Whiskies. 

About the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

First launched in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival’s annual celebration of Scotland’s national drink has developed into one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world. The Festival is a mecca for the curious beginner and the whisky connoisseur alike. Over the past 20 years, festival events have taken place throughout Speyside, the biggest whisky producing region in Scotland, located in the Moray area in the North-East of the county between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Over the years, the Festival has developed close links with many Speyside businesses and communities who help to fund the festival. It is a true team effort to deliver an ever-improving range of events and services to make the Festival a truly unforgettable experience.

The company is limited by guarantee, it runs the festival with a voluntary board of directors drawn from key areas of the whisky industry along with other local businesses and tourism organisations.

For further information please visit:

Website:  www.spiritofspeyside.com

Facebook: WhiskyFestival

Instagram: spirit_speyside

Twitter:  spirit_speyside

NEW: Introducing ‘The Sherry Hogshead’ from The English Whisky Company – English Whisky News

Gordon & MacPhail Strathisla 35 Years 1985 Vintage Private Collection at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

Strathisla 35 Years


35 Year Old 1985 Private Collection

Cask #1482 £1,100.00

1985 vintage Private Collection. only 104 bottles at 57.8% from a refill bourbon barrel. Strathisla 35 Year Old 1985 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Single refill bourbon  barrel #1482. Distilled June 1985 & bottled April 2021 by Gordon & MacPhail for the Private Collection series. Just 104 hand-blown crystal decanters have been produced.

Aroma: Ripe red apple aromas combine with butterscotch and seville orange peel. Subtle dried tobacco notes come to the fore alongside banana and a hint of white chocolate.

Taste: Flavours of vibrant citrus zest give way to rich vanilla pof, balanced by mature oak. Cocoa powder comes to teh fore accompanied by demera sugar and tropical fruit.

Finish: A medium bodied finish of lingering lemon peel and subtle white pepper.

Shop Strathisla 35yo »

Strathisla Distillery was founded in 1786 and is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. This distillery was built on the site of a brewery on the banks of the River Isla in Speyside. Now equipped with two pagoda roofs over the old malt kilns, classical stone walls and slate roofs, a water wheel now catching your gaze from the front wall and pulling you into the splendid heather garden Strathisla participates in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. The Gordon & MacPhail distillery labels range includes vintage 1960s and 1970s well fine malt whisky releases.


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