Archive for May, 2009

A Bumper Day @ Loch Fyne Whiskies

Some new bottlings that have come available today;

Smokehead Extra Black 18yo

Arran Pomerol Cask

Arran Bourbon Cask

Tomintoul 14yo

Bruichladdich WMDII Yellow Submarine

Old Pulteney 1970

Laphroaig 18yo

Caol Ila Cask Strength

Visit to secure yours today!



London, May 27 , 2009 Fragrant and bursting with intriguing new whisky flavours, Suntory’s range of Yamazaki single malts makes the ideal present for Father’s Day especially if your dad is something of a whisky connoisseur.

The Yamazaki single malt whisky range from Suntory, Japan, is among the most honoured single malt whiskies in the world having won awards for its taste and high quality consistently in the past five years. And a great way to honour your father too.

Ten silver, gold and Trophy awards have been bestowed on the Yamazaki 10 year old, 12 year old and 18 year old single malts since 2003.*

The nose of the Yamazaki 10 year old has been described as conveying fresh green apple, sweet creamy vanilla and cinnamon stick. Creamy sweet on the palate, the finish lingers and is a little woody

Yamazaki 12 year old is Japan’s leading single malt whisky, much prized for its delicate and elegant taste. The nose of green apple, pine, cedar, honey and orange peel becomes spiced wood, orange marmalade and honey on the palate. The finish has a lingering woody character.

The premium Yamazaki 18 year old is all richness and depth. The nose of sherry, raisins, maraschino cherries and coffee cream chocolate rewards the palate with dark chocolate, rum, raison toffee and dark coffee beans. As you might expect, the finish is long, rich and dark.

While the inspiration was Scotland, Yamazaki single malt whiskies have developed their own unique style and position within the world of whiskies over the years.

Long maturation in wood such as the local Japanese oak called Mizunara it imparts aromas of incense – and American oak help to create complex aromas and tastes much sought after by whisky connoisseurs.

Yamazaki is a whisky with a long heritage which dates back to the 1920s when Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii built Japan’s first and now oldest distillery. Using copper pot stills the Yamazaki distillery was the first of its kind outside Europe. The distillery is situated in the green and wooded Vale of Yamazaki on the outskirts of Kyoto in a calm and natural environment with an exceptional source of pure water.

Yamazaki is the most popular malt whisky in Japan and is now increasingly appreciated in Europe and the USA as reflected in the Yamazaki honour list.

The Yamazaki honour list:

Yamazaki 10 YO

2005 ISC Silver

2006 ISC Silver

2006 IWSC Silver

2007 ISC Silver

Yamazaki 12 YO

2003 ISC Gold

2008 SWSC Gold

Yamazaki 18 YO

2005 SWSC Double Gold

2006 ISWC Trophy

2007 ISC Gold

2008 SWSC Double Gold

Yamazaki single malt whiskies are available from: Oddbins, Selfridges, Harvey Nicolls, The Whisky Exchange, independent specialist retailers and priced from:

Yamazaki 10 year old – £26.99

Yamazaki 12 year old – £34.99

Yamazaki 18 year old – £60.00

The Yamazaki range of single malt whiskies from Suntory is distributed in the UK by Cellar Trends. For all sales enquiries contact:

Blackadder Bottlings at Federal Wine in Boston

Scotch Notes
Last of Our First Release of Blackadder

Very Limited – Last Bottles

Blackadder Single Cask – Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Joe writes,
The Blackadder Single Malts are a very special line of single cask whisky with very little or no filtering (The Raw Cask Line) We have very little left, in some cases only a few bottles.
The Blackadders are very special for the real single malt lover, if you have not tried them yet, I recommend you do so before they are gone. They are also great rarities for gifts.
The Raw Cask bottlings are as close as one can come to tasting pure scotch straight from the cask.

Smoking Islay 45% $76.95

Peat Reek 10 Y.O. 46% $76.95

Macallan 14 Y.O. 45% $104.00

Macallan Raw Cask $140.00

Clynelish 16 Y.O. 45% $101.95

Clynelish Raw Cask 16 Y.O. $140.00

Caol Ila 14 Y.O. 45% $104.95

Visit for details or contact Joe at and/or Phone: (617) 367-8605.

News From The Springbank Society – Scotch Whisky News


The new Society bottle has been on offer for a few weeks now to give all the members a chance to order it.   Again this bottle has been very popular, we are getting some very positive feedback from those members who have bought and sampled it.

We do have a few bottles left, so if anyone would like another bottle, please let me know.   These will be sold on a first come first served basis, so don’t hold back in case you miss out!!   As usual – e mail me at or telephone on 01586 552009, or the shop at 01586 551710 option 1.


If you were there we hope you had a good day!!!   We were very busy all day, from opening time until the last visitors were dragged away.   The Masterclasses with Stuart and Frank were very popular, as we expected they would be.   Stuart’s class incorporated a tour of Springbank Distillery with several stops along the way to sample the “goods” – quite a technical class I understand with facts and figures galore!   Frank’s class was more along the lines of a story – a very informative one, I’m sure – with again plenty of “samples” to add to the enjoyment of the whole experience.

We had music –  which we hope the visitors enjoyed – the staff didn’t get much of a chance to lounge about and listen – which shows how busy we were.   The farmers’ market were busy selling their produce (we did take time off for a quick burger) and another local – John Brown was also there selling some very interesting wood carvings.

Grant MacPherson from Cadenhead’s was promoting the new line from Duthie’s which again received a bit of attention from the visitors, although Grant was hijacked into pouring from the Kilkerran casks and selling from the shop.    A member of our bottling hall – Ian Rich – very kindly gave up his afternoon to come along and fill bottles for the hungry mob waiting for the Kilkerran – his knees will never be the same again!!

Frank was coerced into signing bottles after his masterclass – I think he enjoyed it really and would have been upset if you guys hadn’t asked him to do it.

All in all we thought the day was a great success and hope that everyone who managed to come along had a good time with us.   We are having a Springbank open day next year, on the Thursday before the Islay festival, and  perhaps we can persuade even more of you to come along and spend a day with us.


for Springbank Society

Visit to join the Springbank Society

Amrut in Detail….

The whiskey diaries
An Indian distiller changes with a country’s more sophisticated palates.
By Jason Overdorf – GlobalPost
Published: May 26, 2009 06:28 ET-A +ANEW DELHI — A funny thing happened while Scottish whiskey makers were fighting to pry open India’s tightly controlled, protectionist liquor market: A mass market Indian booze maker in Bangalore decided to develop its own premium, small-batch single malt — and launch it worldwide.

What’s more, the stuff is pretty darned good.

Indian owned and operated Amrut Distilleries has been distilling malt whiskey since the early 1980s, because India’s excise laws prevented it from sourcing it abroad, and the company needed malt to mix with molasses-based alcohol to produce what’s known in the trade as “Indian whiskey.”

As Indian consumers grew more sophisticated, though, the company started aging its malts longer and longer. And then one day, the patriarch of the family-owned business, chairman Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, pulled the trigger. “It was around ’98 or ’99, when we had enough [quantity] of matured malt whisky, that we thought, ‘Why can’t we look at the possibility of producing our own single malt?’” Jagdale said in a telephone interview with GlobalPost.

Drawing on the expertise of Scottish consultants and a large network of professional tasters, the company spent the next four years developing its first single malt, and another two years developing a marketing plan. The first bottles hit shelves in the United Kingdom in 2004 with little fanfare. But over time, the Indian distillery — which produces nearly a million cases of mid-range Indian whiskey for every case of single malt — has slowly been collecting accolades. So far, it has won silver and bronze medals at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, at the Wine & Spirits Magazine International Spirits Challenge, and last year its Blackadder single malt was awarded the top prize in the sub-50 euros categories by Malt Maniacs.

Frankly, nobody was more surprised than the Indians. “Being an Indian and having tasted only molasses-based Indian whiskies for decades, you normally scoff when somebody says that India has produced a decent dram,” said Krishna Nukala, a Hyderabad resident who has rated more than 1,000 single malts from Scotland, Japan and other countries as a member of Malt Maniacs. “[But] Amrut’s whiskey is as good as any SMSW (single malt Scotch whiskey) that is produced any where in the world.”

And like Japanese Scotch makers, Amrut is succeeding. “Currently we are selling in the UK, where we have our global office, as well as in France, Germany, Belgium, a little bit of Italy and Holland as well,” Jagdale said. “The only major market that we have yet to enter is the United States.”

And India.

It may sound weird, but Amrut’s single malts are only for export. That’s because India has to be the strangest liquor market in the world. Due in part to the famous “Patiala peg” (the frightening large serving favored in the Punjab), India is the globe’s biggest whiskey consumer — downing about 90 million cases a year. But that doesn’t mean it always goes down smooth. Thanks to Gandhi’s ideas on prohibition, booze is banned in Gujarat and attracts punitive taxes in other states. The sugar lobby has ensured that traditional tipples (a.k.a. “country liquor”) remain illegal. And though the premium market segment is growing fast, ludicrously high taxes on imported spirits still ensure that so-called Indian-Made Foreign Liquor — the locally produced, molasses-based, artificially flavored versions of vodka, gin and whiskey known in these parts as IMFL — remains the unrivaled king of the hill.
Now, that looks set to change. Scotch exports to India rose 19 percent to a value of £7 million in 2008, according to Scotch Whiskey Association estimates, even though genuine Scotch made up less than 1 percent of India’s spirits market and the association has approached the European Union about making an official complaint to the World Trade Organization over India’s prohibitive taxes. Single malts, too, are on the rise. Forecasting near 50 percent growth rates in single malt consumption, Bacardi launched Dewar’s White Lable, Dewar’s 12, Dewar’s Signature, Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21 in India last year, and there’s plenty of competition.

“There’s a lot of room for growth, because the alcohol industry itself is changing from lower quality spirits and country liquor to higher quality alcohols,” said Jagdale, who also revealed that Amrut plans to start selling its own single malts in India by the beginning of next year.

That said, the jury is still out on whether Amrut will be able to call its single malts and other whiskeys “Scotch.” Last year, under pressure from the Scotch Whiskey Association, China agreed to prohibit any whiskey makers whose products are made outside of Scotland from calling their beverages Scotch, and a similar campaign is underway in India — which might be more amenable to the Scots’ argument if its own claims on Basmati rice had been successful.

But to Jagdale, a malt by any other name, if it’s a top-quality one that is, would smell as sweet.

Longmorn 16yo (48%, OB, +/-2008)

longmornLongmorn 16yo (48%, OB, +/-2008) Lot 2008/05/12 12:22 LW30509

It always takes a while for new whiskies that are introduced in the UK to be finally released in North America which explains why the new official bottling (OB) of Longmorn is just becoming known on this side of the Atlantic. The 16yo replaces the venerable and much loved 15yo bottled at 45% ABV. The nose has banana, apricot, marmalade and malt with spicy pepper. Clean, malty and what one would expect from a Speyside whisky. The taste is dusty malt with oak, more pepper (perhaps from the higher ABV), some mild hints of rum like sweetness and various tree fruits along with dried fruit; richer with a turbo oak spice kick. The finish is long and warming with all the notes as previously described. No off notes in the finish and quite dry at the very end along with wood and malt and rich dried fruits once again. Excellent.

For a distinct lack of information on Longmorn visit . One of the very few bottles these days that does not have a web address on the label; bet that makes the distillery staff proud.

C$100 and non-chill filtered and an improvement over the 2007 bottlings. However one does have to wonder about the dramatic price increase versus the 15yo……….

Score 86 Points

Scotch Malt Whisky Society UK – Share the adventure = Share the reward

From the Society;

Introduce a friend to the wonders of the Society and we’ll give you a £10 voucher to spend on drams, bottles, lunch, dinner or a Society whisky tasting that tickles your fancy.

Even if you don’t buy your friends and family membership you can still receive a £10 Society voucher for each new member who joins up and mentions your name.

So why not forward this email to everyone you know and invite them to become a Society member? Why not indeed, especially when you see what’s on offer…

Homecoming Scotland Membership Offer: FREE Society bottle
Until the end of May only, in celebration of Homecoming Scotland’s Whisky Month, we are delighted to offer a FREE bottle of our finest single cask, single malt whisky when buying Society membership online – any bottle up to the value of £50.

Simply use the promotional code BURNS followed by the bottle number you would like i.e. BURNS – 3.146.

Once you’ve received your FREE bottle remember to return the favour to the friend that recommended you by sharing (the adventure!).

Only available online at

Balblair Vintage 1997/2007 (43%, OB)

Balblair is a favourite and finally we’re starting to see more of the product line although it is limited. Happily Balblair has not followed the finishing craze. American oak is used for maturation of the Vintage 1997. The nose is fragrant and light with malt and lemon, peaches and hints of white pepper.  The taste is inviting with notes of leather, tobacco and sweet malt. Chewy, mouth smacking and hints of vanilla orange and very smooth. Quite rich in the mouth, very nice, an excellent whisky. The finish is medium long with spicy wood notes combined with malt and fruit. After a few minutes there remains dry oak and sweet malt, the mind commands you to pour another dram.

All in all very well balanced from nose to tail. C$99 Visit for further distillery details.

Score 85 Points

WhiskyCast EPISODE 201: MAY 24, 2009

From the WhiskyCast website;

It’s festival week on Islay, and thousands of people are on the island for this year’s Islay Festival of Malt & Music. The festival is more than just a celebration of the island’s 8 distilleries…it celebrates a unique cultural heritage as well and Feis Ile chairman Kevin Murphy will explain. In the news, U.S. Senators are eyeing whisky and other alcoholic beverages with an eye to raising taxes, there are new 40-year-old malts from Glengoyne and it’s sister label Chieftain’s, Suntory releases a new 12-year-old Hibiki in the U.K., and we’ll get an update on the revival of Glenglassaugh from Stuart Nickerson.

Visit to listen to this episode.

Glenmorangie ASTAR NAS (57.1%, OB, +/-2008)

A no age statement (NAS) whisky from Glenmorangie bottled at 100 Proof (57.1% ABV)  which focuses on the type of wood used in maturation; white oak Quercus Alba. The nose reveals citrus, dry oak, pepper, very strong. Lots of wood notes, pine paneling, resin and rosin.  The taste is a continuation of the nose with increased fragrant wood; cedar? Like the paneling inside a blanket box of old. Cream soda, creamy mouth feel at times and then a very strong attack of a variety of flavours, very nice. A great departure from sherry. The finish is very long and loaded with oak, spice, fruit, dark chocolate and at the very end dry, dry oak.

No use banging on about it forever, it’s an interesting  & delicious whisky.

Happily non chill-filtered. £51 for further information.

Score 87 Points

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