Archive for September, 2009

Glenugie 1977 31yo bottled by Signatory Vintage at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Loch Fyne Whiskies News has posted a new item, ‘Glenugie Signatory 1977 31yo’

Glenugie 1977 31yo bottled by Signatory Vintage
‘Oloroso finished for 84 months’
£135.00 inc vat
£117.39 ex vat

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Best regards,
Loch Fyne Whiskies




28 September 2009

The Glenrothes single malt is launching a limited edition John Ramsay Legacy bottling to mark the Malt Master’s retirement this month.

His final gift to The Glenrothes, the John Ramsay Legacy bottling is a non-Vintage selection of 30 casks personally chosen by John to create an impressive single malt in celebration of his longstanding relationship with the Speyside distillery. The casks are all 2nd fill American Oak sherry casks from Vintages ranging from 1973 to 1987.

Bursting with aromas of spice, blood orange and vanilla, this limited edition single malt has a rich palate of fruit and mango with a long, mature unmistakably American oak finish.  Only 100 bottles of this Legacy bottling (46.7% abv) are available in the UK.

John Ramsay, Malt Master for The Edrington Group, says: “My signature and tasting notes have been on each and every label of The Glenrothes since 2004.  This final bottling has given me a wonderful opportunity to craft a single malt which embodies the exceptional quality and distinctive style of The Glenrothes and I am truly delighted with the result.”

Since joining The Edrington Group in 1991, John Ramsay has held the esteemed position of overseeing the quality of the Group’s whisky portfolio, including The Glenrothes’ Vintages and non-Vintage Select Reserve.

Ronnie Cox, Global Brand Ambassador for The Glenrothes, says: “John Ramsay’s outstanding efforts have resulted in a fine selection of The Glenrothes Vintages, each with their own and unique personality. In 2005, John also created a house style non-Vintage single malt that truly typifies the character of The Glenrothes distillery with ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice. In creating The Glenrothes Select Reserve, John has enabled us to make our single malt more accessible to whisky lovers around the world.

“With the John Ramsay Legacy bottling, he continues to impress.  As with all expressions of The Glenrothes, this limited edition should be shared with likeminded friends. Together with everyone at the distillery, I would like to raise a toast to John for his exceptional contribution to The Glenrothes single malt and the legacy he leaves us with.”

Each 70cl bottle of the John Ramsay Legacy limited edition is individually numbered and beautifully presented in a bespoke oak box designed to showcase the rare single malt. A booklet scripted by John Ramsay, including tasting notes, is also kept in a hidden drawer at the base of the box.

The Glenrothes John Ramsay Legacy bottling is available from the start of October at specialist retailers across the UK and on The Glenrothes website (RRP £699).

For further information please visit 

Please enjoy our brand responsibly.
For press enquiries or photography, please contact:

Linda Edstrand / Pam Wils, The BIG Partnership

Tel: 0131 555 5522


Notes to editors:

Tasting notes for The Glenrothes: John Ramsay:

Appearance:     Medium golden, clear and bright

Bouquet:            Rich, spicy, blood orange and vanilla

Palate:               Rich, full flavour, balanced oak and fruit, mango

Finish:                Long, mature and tactile, unmistakably American oak

About The Glenrothes

The Glenrothes is also available in a limited range of Vintages. Rare and finite, Vintages are selected on their own unique personality and include Vintages 1978, 1985, 1991 and 1994. The Glenrothes Select Reserve is a non-Vintage specific selection and typifies the distillery house character of ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice. 

The Glenrothes was founded in 1879
Little more than 2% of the distillery capacity is bottled as Single Malt to ensure exceptional quality
Of the 16 Vintages released to date, 12 have entirely sold out
It is matured in a combination of Spanish and American oak casks – the best of both worlds.

The Glenrothes Select Reserve was voted Best in Class at the World Whiskies Awards 2008 and won two Double Golds at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007

The Glenrothes 1978 Vintage was voted Best Speyside Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2008

The Glenrothes 1975 won a Double Gold award at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2008

“I have always felt that Glenrothes deserved to be more widely appreciated. Beautifully rounded.sophisticated after-dinner malt.” Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion

Jim Murray, in his Whisky Bible 2007, refers to The Glenrothes Select Reserve; “One of the softest deliveries on Speyside, the silky barley and citrus caress the tastebuds with rare tenderness” and scores it 24 out of 25

About John Ramsay

•       John Ramsay was born in Glasgow in 1949 and educated to Licentiate of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

•       John joined the Scotch whisky industry in 1966, working in the laboratory at Strathclyde Distillery.

•       John is a member of the judging panel for the International Spirits Challenge and became Chairman of the Scotch whisky judges in 2003.

•       He is a visiting lecturer on Scotch whisky at the Université des Eaux de Vie – the spirits university near Cognac in France.

•       John is married with no children, and enjoys golf, music and reading, particularly Scottish history and Robert Burns poetry.

John Ramsay CV

•       1966, Lab Assistant, Strathclyde Distillery

•       1971, Chief Chemist, Wm. Lawson Distillers

•       1981, Blender/Chemist, Wm. Lawson Distillers

•       1990, Production Controller, Highland Distilleries

•       1991, Group Whisky Quality Manager and Master Blender, The  Edrington Group
About Gordon Motion

·         Gordon Motion was born in Edinburgh in 1969 and gained a degree in Computer Science from Herriot Watt university.

·         In 1991 he decided on a career change and went back to study a Brewing and Distilling course from 1992-93.

·         Gordon is actively involved with the Scotch Whisky Research Institute’s technical liaison groups and was a previous secretary of the International Brewers’ Guild (Scottish Section).

·         Gordon is a keen sportsman and has represented Scotland at small-bore target shooting for the past eight years winning eight Scottish caps and one for Great Britain.

Gordon Motion CV

·         1993-1998 – Employed by a number of breweries including Mount Murray (Isle of Man); Tom Hoskin’s (Leicester) and Belhaven (Dunbar) before becoming Assistant Malster with Paul Malt Glenesk Maltings (Montrose)

·         Feb 1998, Assistant to Whisky Quality Manager, The Edrington Group

·         June 1998, Whisky Quality Technologist, The Edrington Group

·         March 2007, Master Blender Designate, The Edrington Group
Linda Edstrand
Account Manager

The BIG Partnership

Suite 4/3, Great Michael House, 14 Links Place, Edinburgh, EH6 7EZ

Tel: 0131 555 5522
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Gauntleys Whisky Newsletter 30 – July 2008

Whisky Intelligence has reproduced (with permission) The Gauntleys Whisky Newsletter for July 2008. The author, Chris Goodrum, has some excellent insights into the whiskies being commented on which makes for excellent reading on a Sunday.  Enjoy!

Dear Whisky Customers

It’s been a relatively quiet period since the last newsletter as far as sales go, with the obvious exception of father’s day. There are two rather obvious reasons for this, firstly the so-called ‘credit crunch’ is obviously having an impact. It comes as no surprise that when ones income is being squeezed by rises in food, fuel and mortgage repayments then it is luxury items, which are the first to be sacrificed. The majority of customers that I speak to in the shop are now looking to pay around the £30 mark, whereas last year it would have been considerably more. The second reason is that the retail price of a number of whiskies has increased well above the level of the recent duty increase. As one sales rep said to me, we are seeing the end of the sub £30 decent malt. Is this just plain profiteering on the part of some distillery owners? Obviously they are not immune to the increased cost of raw materials, but one has to ask if rises of in some cases nearly £10 per bottle if they are in the end jeopardising sales?

This means that malts that are going to retail in the £40 or £50 category really have to be worth spending that bit more on, and in my recent tastings there are a number that fall into the price category that, being well made are definite not worth forking out for.


Many in the industry believe that Dalmore is White & Mackay’s best whisky, and has been described as Scotland’s biggest sleeping giant and has long been due an overhaul. Thus David Robertson, the former distiller at Macallan has been given the job of awakening the sleeper and the owners have their reps on the road extolling the changes to there range, from the packaging right through to what’s in the bottle. There is an interesting article on this in the latest issue of the Whisky Magazine (Issue No 72) to coincide with this flurry of promotional activity.

However all these changes come at a price and the 12 year old has jumped in price from £ 29.95 to £37.95. Is it worth it? That’s really only a question that you the consumer can really answer, but I would say that the evidence of my recent tasting would lead me to believe that the 12 year old is far better value for money than the 15 year old, and I have no problem recommending it to anyone looking to spend that amount on a malt.

Dalmore New Expression 12 year old 40% £37.95
Aged for 6 years in American white oak, followed by 6 years in Oloroso Sherry butts
A nicely balanced nose between the two casks. Rich and spicy with apricot, dried fruit, and raisins with late toffee and mature honey notes. Very spicy on the palate, smooth and deliciously fruity. Mouthfilling and smooth with the Oloroso fruit evident. Slightly tropical with apricot and dried fruit. It seems older than 12 years and is balanced by a lively citrus edge.

Dalmore 15 year old 40% (approximately £54.95) – Not Stocking
Aged in 100% sherry casks (matusalem, apostoles and amoroso from Gonzalez Byass).
Quiet a perfumed nose with violet notes. Surprisingly delicate for a spirit aged entirely in sweet sherry butts. Quiet pleasant with honey, apricots in syrup, cinnamon and ginger notes. On the palate it is mature and delicate like the nose again nicely balanced by its citrus edge, yet somehow it’s less challenging than the 12 year old. Finishes quiet dry with noticeable wood tannins.

It has been a number of years since I last tasted Isle of Jura (the superstition bottling excepted). In fact the last time was when it was still only an 8 year old, and I remember it being pleasant but somewhat simple. So it would be interesting to see if an additional couple of years had added any noticeable complexity to it. The truth is that it obviously hasn’t. It is still pleasant but simple, and like I said at the beginning the older expressions, in my opinion are not worth shelling out the extra money for. The superstition bottling still stands head and shoulders above the rest of the range, yet even this, like the rest of the range tastes a lot younger than it’s components would have you believe.

Isle of Jura 10 year old 40% (approximately £29.95) – Not Stocking
Crisp, clean aromas of barley, a touch of honey and a whiff of smoke, brine and a pervasive chlorinated note. Nice base of rich orange fruit and wood notes. The palate is dry and soft, slightly watery with barley sugar and honey with a touch of brine and smoke in the finish. Simple and straightforward, the chlorine note on the nose was a bit off putting.

Isle of Jura Superstition 45% £32.95
A blend of old unpeated malt approximately 21 years old and young peated malt, which is approximately 13 years old. A soft, delicately fruity, aromatic nose. Sherry, pine, salt with a young oily edge and hints of peat. On the palate it is young, yet soft, sweet and fruity with tangy caramelised orange, peat and salt. In time it opens up to display spicy honey, peat and salt, exiting with a crisp, tangy, marine ending. Young and exuberant but with lovely rounded edges.

Jura 16 year old 40% (approximately £47.95) – Not Stocking
Deeper and oilier aromas than the 10 year old. Again there’s that brine and chlorine note. It seems a bit dumbed down with a lanolin/ wool fat character although there it has a pleasant spiciness. Soft on the palate with rich, honeyed fruit and butter. Once again it is all a bit simple, yet there is a good salinity and light spice note. Frankly I was hoping for more complexity and intensity.

Jura 18 year old 40% (approximately £55.95) – Not Stocking
Here we go again with the lanolin, followed by wood, orange oils, mature butter, earth and honey notes. Lovely sweet spices intermingle but it seems quiet a lightweight. Again there’s a lack of weight to the palate, with rich toffee and honey, however the fruit is again somewhat simplistic. Polite, sweet spices drift in and it finishes with a crisp salinity yet the alcohol cuts it short.


If you have been following the Ardbeg saga you will know that since being taken over by Glenmorangie they have been releasing their endeavours in steps, starting with the ‘Very Young’ in 2004 at 6 years of age, followed by ‘Still Young’ in 2006, ‘Almost There’ in 2007 and this year we have reached the ‘Renaissance’ at the ripe old age of 10 years of age. I have written about each release over the years and it’s been a fascinating journey of progress from the intense rawness of the ‘Very Young’, through the slightly dodgy patch of ‘Still Young’ it has shown that whisky evolution is anything but straightforward. The ‘Renaissance’ shows a remarkably greater depth than the ‘Still Young’, which by comparison now seems crude and almost harsh. It has more toffee-fruit and a greater roundness of character than it displayed in the ‘Almost There’, and it goes to show how even a year can make a marked difference.

I have included my tasting notes on the other bottlings for no other reason than it should perfectly illustrate this remarkable spirits evolution. I was also fortunate to recently taste the Corryvreckan, the latest ‘Committee Bottling’, which is only available through the distillery and I suggest that if you can get hold of a bottle you won’t be disappointed.

Ardbeg ‘Very Young’ 6 year old 58.3% – No Longer Available
Very pale in colour. Very pungent and almost overwhelming aromas of earthy-peat, charcoal, drift wood bonfires, more smoke and all things Islay. This is not mucking about, it’s an ‘in yer face’ Islay malt. Yet it is not all smoke and peat there is a beguiling citrus fruitiness beneath There is no let up on the palate. Intense, raw (yet smooth), lots of smoke, peat and charcoal fires, combined with a lovely depth of slightly sweet, tangy citrus fruit. If this whisky was a celebrity it would call itself ‘Jordan’ and crash your party.

Ardbeg ‘Still Young’ 8 year old 58.3% – No Longer Available
Clean, rounded aromas of smoky-peat, coastal bonfires, coastal fruit, along with a note of rubber wellies, fisherman’s friends, oily orange fruit and tarry old rope. The nose is displaying a lot more depth; it is mellower, a lot less ‘in your face’. On the palate it has a lovely complexity, opening with peat smoke, oily rubber notes and Arbroath smokies. Very intense and mouthfilling, still youthful but it is monumental in its intensity – Powerful peat, smoke, coal, blood oranges and oily kippers fill the senses. Two years has made a huge difference. It is mellower, more rounded, but it still has more front than Jordon!

As with all cask strength whiskies I like to taste them neat to begin with and then add a drop of water to see how the character evolves. However sometimes it kills the nose stone dead, just like it did with this one. It brought out a soapy, earthy, vegetal note – which wasn’t unpleasant, just a bit disappointing. However on the palate it adds sweetness and brings out a menthol/ eucalyptus note and a touch of vegetation. It reminds me of a classic British sports car. Looks good, is fun to drive, but being British inevitably it would be a flawed beauty. So here it is flawed, yet beautiful, and maybe its flaws make it more real?

Ardbeg ‘Almost There’ 9 year old 54.1% 36.95
Oh so clean, textbook aromas of rich, oily orange fruit, coastal peat, fisherman’s sowesters and tar. Compared to the ‘Still Young’ it has a more pronounced oiliness. It’s amazing what a couple of years has done to the depth and complexity. It has been a fascinating journey from the ‘in yer face’ brashness of the ‘Very Young’ through the flawed excellence of the ‘Still Young’ to where it is now. On the palate it is silky, quiet oily with a citrus sea fruit entry, followed by gentle peat and coal smoke wafting in. It really builds on the tongue and without water it is so silky smooth. Lovely length with the tar, fisherman’s outer garments, a touch of grapefruit and bonfires partying on the palate. This is really showing it fruitiness now. Again it is a lot more oily than the ‘Still Young’, less orangy and quiet mellower, the peatiness is a lot subtler, now playing a supporting role rather than screaming at you.

Ardbeg ‘Renaissance’ 10 year old 55.9% £47.95
Amazingly fruity to begin with, aromas of apricot, banana and pineapple are followed by gentle-ish peat, bog myrtle, vegetation, rubber, orange, brine and earth. It appears to be mellowing nicely and there are delicious hints of toffee, violet and coffee. On the palate it is rich and fruity like the nose suggests, opening with fleshy apricot and banana, followed by sooty/ earthy peat and building majestically in the mouth – coastal bonfires, brine, slightly medicinal notes and alcohol. Incredibly intense and complex. Now there’s a fishy-rubber element and a touch of tar. It finishes with peat smoke and a soupcon of mocha/ coffee and coats the tongue quiet nicely. A drop of water emphasises the brine on the nose and moulds it into the unmistakable Ardbeg aroma, whilst on the palate it brings out the natural oils and a touch of spice. Damn it’s good!

Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57.1% – Only available from the distillery
The Corryvreckan is named after the fierce whirlpool to the north of Islay, and the Viking prince who braved the perilous tumult for the love for an Islay princess.

One sniff and there’s no denying the complexity and youthfulness of this spirit. I would guess that it is around 8 years old and my god it’s fishy! All the classic elements are present – Monstrous peat, rubber, smoked kippers, orange marmalade and a late touch of spice. On the palate it is rich and fruity, opening with orange marmalade followed by peat smoke and coal soot. Again it is very fishy with a lovely rubberiness. Then, hang on, what this? Good God! It’s become incredibly meaty, smoked bacon/ ham with a side salad of medicinal bog myrtle and a sprinkling of charcoal. Unbelievable! A drop of water emphasises the soot, tar and salt encrusted rope on the nose along with hessian and the peat! The palate now screams brine at you, pure and crystalline! – Yes this is Ardbeg and its one hell of a whirl-pool of flavours, a very apt name I think.


Longrow CV 46% £34.95
The CV stands for Curriculum Vitae for some reason! The story with this new bottling is that while Frank McHardy and Stuart Robertson were working on the Longrow Gaja, they noticed that the younger Longrow casks were displaying lots more peat/smoke than they were getting from the 10 year old. They wanted the opportunity to play around with vatting young longrow with older stuff to maximise these flavours and this is the end result. Thus it follows a path similar to things like the Bruichladdich 3D3 and the Isle of Jura Superstition.

The aromas begin with a sooty, earthy peat note, which to me is classic Longrow. Its quiet phenolic and briny. It’s the peatiest Longrow I’ve come across, however in saying that it is definitely not monstrous. There is a definite, rounded, mature toffee, butter and marzipan core over which the crisp, youthful apricot, orange and barley sore. This is exquisitely balanced. The palate follows the nose in opening with the sooty, earthy peat followed by sweet barley, malt and mellow, mature fruit, brine and spice. It builds into a lovely smoky middle and finishes with a tangy/ fresh coastal finish – pure sea salt and a late peppery bite.

I was thinking that they should do the same with Springbank as the current 10 year old is quiet disappointing and as we know it doesn’t really start to become anything like a classic until the spirit is into its teens. However I doubt that it will happen due to the fact that more money can be made from bottling older sprirt on its own.

Bruichladdich 15 year old ‘Birkdale Links’ 46% £TBC
Bourbon Oak
Another wonderful, unfettered expression! My favourite! It has that classic ‘laddie nose of honeysuckle, green apples and lashings of coastal notes. It has a lovely depth of fruit, slightly tropical and buttery. The palate is crisp and briny. Fleshy with honeysuckle, green apples, a slight spice and floral note. Lovely length with a touch more maturity than the 12 year old and a pure sea salt finish.

Macallan 15 year old Fine Oak – Not Stocking
Quiet a pleasant, soft, smooth orangey nose with citrus fruit and a touch of spice. Slightly gristy with barley and malt notes. The palate is also soft and smooth, pretty much like the nose, with a touch of marzipan. Simple and straightforward, no faults, but personally I would stick with the 10 year old as far as value for money goes.

Balblair 12 year old 46% (Wee Dram bottling) – Not stocking
Sherry Cask.
A pleasant nose of banana fritter, coffee cream, sweet spice, syrup and toffee. Very sweet! Dry, rich and fruity on the palate, quiet deep, the flavours mirror the nose. Intense with an awful lot of wood tannins (not unexpected) and an alcoholic burn on the finish (very unexpected). With a drop of water the nose descends into a sulphury mess, the palate become quiet watery and very disappointing. If I didn’t know, I would have assumed this had been bottled at cask strength or a minimum of 50%.

Red Breast 12 year old £34.95
Quiet a deep nose of orangey fruit, marzipan, baked apples, spice and vanilla. Very big for an Irish with loads of buttery oak. On the palate it is quiet full and soft, intense and spicy with orange, marzipan and vanilla. It has an intriguing milky/ lactose middle and a crisp grainy finish. Not your average Irish whisky and definitely one to explore!

Well I hope you have found this edition of the newsletter entertaining and hopefully enlightening, I’m now off for a spot of Tai-Chi whilst I dabble with my Feng-Shui and listening to the Vapors (those of you of certain age will get that reference straight away!).

Until next time

Chris Goodrum

Ben Nevis 8yo (43%, Duncan Taylor, Battlehill, +/-2009) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


An independent bottling of Ben Nevis by Duncan Taylor under the Battlehill line. The nose is sweet, fat and oily with citrus, pear and apricot plus vanilla bean, big brown sugar, barley, very slight hints of Marmite and some whiffs of smoke and bung cloth. The taste is gentle at first and rises in strength and is very sweet with the brown sugar making a welcome appearance, stewed fruit, raisins, toffee followed by wood in the form of oak that has some spicy qualities. Very oily in the mouth and syrupy also. Quite and excellent dram so far. The finish is very malty and of the Marmite which is now stronger, no as sweet the nose and the taste but much more of the cask and dry at the very end, just before some more malt arrives plus some really nice smoke. The finish is very long with a continuation of the malt, fruit and mild smoke. It is also very dry and malty after a number of minutes. Good bitter oak delivery.

What a great dram. Try and find a bottle, it’s excellent.


Score 87 Points

Battlehill Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Named after the famous 16th century clan battles in our home town of Huntly, Battlehill has been produced as an entry level malt for those consumers wishing to move up from blends. Within the range are our finest 6 to 10 year old single malt whiskies that have been selected for their exceptional characteristics. The range includes whiskies from Imperial, Auchentoshan, and Miltonduff amongst others. The whiskies are bottled at 43% ensuring that they are accessible for all to enjoy. Bottlings available in 700ml & 750ml.

Visit Duncan Taylor at

Visit Ben Nevis Distillery at


Two New Ralfy Scotch Whisky Video Reviews #77 & 78 Available on line – Scotch Whisky News

Ralfy is at it again, this week he has published two reviews; #77 – Mini-Independent Bottlers & #78 – ‘the bottlers’ Springbank Cask 180

Ralfy at Work

Ralfy at Work

Visit Ralfy at Click on “Whiskyreviews”

Compass Box: Orangerie is back at the Park Avenue Liquor Shop


Compass Box “Orangerie” has been gorgeously re-designed and bottled as a 750ml. Orangerie had previously left the market after whiskymaker Compass Box founder, John Glaser realized he was too busy to continue hand zesting each batch. (Rumor has it he also developed a bad case of ‘Zest Elbow’) Now after enlisting a crew of new ‘official zesters’ – people can stop asking, “Where is Orangerie?” Orangerie is a whisky infusion made of smooth, sweet Scotch whisky instilled with the hand-peeled zest of Navalino oranges and subtle accents of Indonesian cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves. In addition to Orangerie’s fascinating aroma of fresh-peeled oranges, it has soft, rich whisky flavors with a hint of vanilla (from casks of Vosges oak) as well as  playful, exotic spices. Compass Box recommends enjoying Orangerie with a splash of cold spring water, swirled over ice or chilled. As it says on the box, “Share and enjoy Orangerie. It makes people smile.”

Our Price:$45/per 750ml bottle

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us about any item.
Jonathan & Eric
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017


New Bottlings from Douglas Laing Independent Bottler – Scotch Whisky News


September 2009

Dear Customer

As we approach the Christmas Season(!) we have an interesting selection of two (2) new bottlings for OLD MALT CASK, as well as two (2) bottlings of OLD & RARE packs plus two (2) ANNIVERSARY BOTTLINGS – and one with a new brand (see below). Beyond them, and as indicated last month, such has been the success of the DOUBLE BARREL bottling of MACALLAN/LAPHROAIG that the range has been extended to include
ARDBEG/GLENROTHES and HIGHLAND PARK/BOWMORE bottlings – already well received from samplings carried out with visitors to our office.

For “something completely different” from the Laings, we are introducing you to BIG PEAT from Islay – a really colourful personality full of Islay Malts including (amongst others) ARDBEG, BOWMORE, CAOL ILA and PORT ELLEN. BIG PEAT really lives up to the name and taps into the enthusiasm for Islay Malts which we hope will establish a long term presence with its “small batch” bottlings at 46% alc vol, its uniquely quirky packaging, and aggressive pricing due to the depth we have of Islay stock.

Meantime, the OLD MALT CASK Tasting Notes follow:

Nose: Starts sweet, warms to barley, tails to peat.
Palate: Heavily and sweetly phenolic, now tarry/creosoted
Finish: Sweet with soft tar, plus light smoke ‘n’ spice (F)

Nose: Fresh / clean & gristy sweet + eucalyptus + home baking
Palate: Complex, creamy, vanilla’d with late gently peated smoke
Finish: Smokey and sweet, very mellow with soft tar and ashes (J)

OLD & RARE Tasting Notes as follows:

The nose is complex with leather, dried fruit and comes over rather mentholated. The full bodied and mouthcoating palate opens dry and fresh, almost saline, lightly peated and develops to a rich herbal character with dried plums. The finish remains complex with a beachy style, sweet spices and an oak tang. (J)

This “middle-aged” Laphroaig opens with citrus, developing a character of freshly malted barley, with ripe bananas and marzipan appearing as it opens further. The rich, mouthcoating palate opens sweetly and evolves in a tarry, smokey style. The finish is medium long with a burning wood smokiness, more tar and a salty, beach quality. (J)

We hope you find some interesting and exciting expressions not only from our traditional single cask bottlings with which you are already familiar, but also from the extended selection offered under DOUBLE BARREL allied to the interesting character that BIG PEAT will offer you.

Beyond them our 60th ANNIVERSARY BOTTLING for September is a fabulous cask of undoubtedly FDL’s favourite Malt, being a Port Ellen (in this case 30 years old) and as Stewart and Fred also wanted to make their own contribution Fred is releasing “his” 36 year old ARDBEG, being the last at this age in the Douglas Laing stock. We hope these Malts will excite you and send you our best regards,

Yours faithfully

Fred Laing

Speyside’s Smallest Distillery Toasts New Addition to the Family Benromach 10 Years Old is Launched – Scotch Whisky News


Speyside’s smallest distillery has revealed the first bottling of its ten-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Benromach distillery, in Forres, has launched Benromach 10 Years Old, a golden malt with rich fruit, sweet chocolate and delicate spicy aromas.

Benromach distillery, which employs just two experienced distillers, is owned by Elgin-based whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail.

The distillery went through many changes of ownership and closures before being ‘rescued’ and restored by Gordon & MacPhail in 1993 and was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in 1998.

David and Michael Urquhart, Joint Managing Directors of Gordon& MacPhail, said:

This is a milestone for us – our family have been whisky specialists for generations, so to finally unveil our own ten-year-old single malt is the fulfilment of a dream. We think that Benromach 10 Years Old displays a big taste from a tiny distillery and we hope that people will enjoy our whisky as much as we do – and share the secret of Benromach with fellow whisky-lovers.”

The launch of Benromach 10 Years Old comes just six months after Gordon & MacPhail was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its export success. The company made malt history in 2006 by launching the world’s first certified organic whisky – Benromach Organic.

Benromach 10 Years Old will be available from whisky shops and fine wine and spirits retail specialists worldwide, as well as selected bars and restaurants in the UK. It will have an RRP of £27.99 but will be released with a special introductory price of £24.99 in the UK.


For more information and product images please contact Linda Bruce or Kate Trussler at Platform PR – 0131 226 3000/ 07920 529 138.





The Glenrothes Select Reserve, distributed by Maxxium UK, is set to hit the shelves in 245 Sainsbury’s outlets throughout the UK from mid-October 2009

As the first confirmed listing within the multiple grocery sector, the deal comes as an extremely positive move for The Glenrothes within the UK off trade.

Jen McLaren, Maxxium UK’s assistant brand manager for The Glenrothes, said: “The launch of The Glenrothes Select Reserve into Sainsbury’s outlets throughout the UK is an incredibly positive and exciting step for the brand and will allow more whisky drinkers to discover the secrets of this exceptional single malt.”

The Glenrothes is an award winning Speyside Single Malt Whisky of exceptional quality. Its portfolio includes a limited range of Vintages, each selected on their own unique personality, and the non-Vintage specific Select Reserve. The Glenrothes was among the first whisky distillers to adopt this unusual vintage approach. The vintage concept means bottling by year (rather than age) and casks are only selected when they have reached absolute peak of perfection.

Introduced in 2005, and produced to the same exacting standards as the Vintages, The Glenrothes Select Reserve is a vatting of casks distilled in different years and typifies the distillery house character of ripe fruits, juicy citrus, creamy vanilla and hints of spice. Previously only available in specialist retailers, Select Reserve is presented in the iconic Glenrothes bottle and is the very essence of The Glenrothes range.

The Glenrothes Select Reserve has been a resounding success amongst whisky connoisseurs and has already picked up a number of awards including Best in Class at the World Whiskies Awards 2008, Winner and Platinum Q at The Quality Drink Awards 2008 and a double gold medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007.

The Glenrothes is also available in a limited range of Vintages, currently including 1978, 1985, 1991 and 1994.

For further information please visit 

For press enquiries or photography, please contact:

Linda Edstrand / Pamela Wils, The BIG Partnership

Tel: 0131 555 5522



Notes to editors:

About The Glenrothes

·         The Glenrothes was founded in 1879

·    The Glenrothes is also available from Oddbins, Thresher and whisky specialists nationwide and on The Glenrothes website

·         Little more than 2% of the distillery capacity is bottled as Single Malt to ensure exceptional quality

·         Of the 16 Vintages released to date, 12 have entirely sold out

·         It is matured in a combination of Spanish and American oak casks – the best of both worlds

·         The Glenrothes Select Reserve was voted Best in Class at the World Whiskies Awards 2008 and won two Double Golds at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007

·         The Glenrothes 1978 Vintage was voted Best Speyside Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2008

·         The Glenrothes 1975 won a Double Gold award at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2008

·         “I have always felt that Glenrothes deserved to be more widely appreciated. Beautifully rounded, sophisticated after-dinner malt.” Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion

·         Jim Murray, in his Whisky Bible 2007, refers to The Glenrothes Select Reserve as; “One of the softest deliveries on Speyside, the silky barley and citrus caress the tastebuds with rare tenderness” and scores it 24 out of 25


Maxxium UK:

Maxxium UK Ltd is part of the global sales and distribution alliance between Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc and The Edrington Group.

Its UK portfolio of premium brands includes: blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse and Teacher’s), malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Ardmore), imported whiskey (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Canadian Club, Tullamore Dew), cognac and brandy (Courvoisier and Fundador), sherry (Harveys), port (Cockburn’s), vodka (Stolichnaya), tequila (Sauza), rum (Brugal and Cruzan), liqueurs and specialities (Sourz, Bols liqueurs, Galliano, Vaccari, After Shock, Carolans and Irish Mist)

 For further information on our brands and how to enjoy them, log on to

The Glenrothes Select Reserve 700ml

The Glenrothes Select Reserve 700ml

Macallan Distillery Releases a Rare 57 year Old Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

The Macallan 57 year old single malt whisky in Lalique decanter

(Perth, Scotland) Iconic luxury brands The Macallan and Lalique have launched the third decanter in The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection. The Macallan in Lalique Finest Cut decanter contains an exceptionally rare 57 years old single malt whisky valued at USD$15,000 and goes on sale in September 2009.

The Finest Cut decanter has been designed by the legendary French crystal house Lalique, exclusively for The Macallan.  A limited edition of just 400 have been produced, each individually numbered and available in selected outlets in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia.

David Cox, Director of Fine & Rare Whiskies for The Macallan comments: “This is the third collaboration between The Macallan and legendary crystal makers Lalique. It is a truly stunning addition to the Six Pillars decanter collection.  As a reflection of the beauty of the decanter we chose to fill it with a particularly rare 57 years old Macallan single malt whisky. It is the second oldest ‘vintage’ Macallan whisky ever released, only surpassed in age by the legendary 1926, a 60 year old Macallan bottled in 1986.

“The 57 year old has been vatted together from two casks; the first, a 1950 American oak sherry butt, the second a vatting of Macallan from Spanish oak sherry butts originally filled in 1949, 1951 and 1952.  The result is a softly sumptuous single malt, showing off the classic dried fruits, spice and hints of peat redolent of The Macallan house style of the early 1950’s. Due to the rarity of the liquid, only 400 decanters will be produced.”

The third decanter in The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection takes its inspiration from The Macallan’s Finest Cut, that fraction of the new make spirit which is filled into casks for maturation.  At The Macallan, this fraction is a mere 16%.  It is the heart of the run, the best of the best, delivered at a very slow rate of distillation to maximise flavour and deliver the distinctively rich, fruity, linseed oil character of The Macallan’s new make spirit.

The decanter has been designed by Lalique’s Design Studio who were inspired by the legacy of Rene Lalique to design a decanter featuring the ‘stilligoute’ of a perfume bottle, the long piece of pure crystal flowing down to a point from the base of the bottle stopper.  A portion of the stopper has been left completely clear and not “satinee”, running from the top down to the point.  This clear portion represents the 16% ‘finest cut’. When inserted into the elegantly tapering decanter, the stilligoutte, bathed in the rich whisky, reflects the natural colours of The Macallan through the play of light; when withdrawn, you can appreciate the full, heady aromas exuded by each drop as it slowly runs down the crystal stem.

Silvio Denz, President and CEO of Lalique, comments: “We are delighted to be working with the world’s finest single malt as it has given us the opportunity to design a series of decanters which reflect all the best attributes of our brand – creativity, heritage and craftsmanship.  The Finest Cut decanter was created by our design team in Paris and hand crafted at Lalique’s crystal making facility in Wingen-sur-Moder, Alsace. Each piece was worked on by up to 15 craftsmen, many of whom have attained the ‘Meilleur ouvrier de France’ – the Finest Craftsman of France Award.   Each decanter bears the esteemed ‘Lalique France’ signature, which symbolises authenticity and over 100 years of creativity, heritage and craftsmanship, and comes in a beautifully designed lacquer presentation box, with a crystal stopper and a collectors guide, detailing the craftsmanship that has gone into producing this beautiful object d’art.”

The Macallan has been working with Lalique since 2005 to produce an exclusive series of limited edition decanters based on The Macallan’s Six Pillars. The first two decanters in the series, Exceptional Oak Casks and Natural Colour, have proved hugely popular with both whisky consumers and collectors of Lalique crystal.

Respected and admired by discerning whisky lovers and named ‘Distiller of the Year 2008,’* The Macallan remains the single malt against which all others must be judged.

*Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2008 Star Awards.

For further information or photography, please contact:

Linda Edstrand / Pamela Wils, The BIG Partnership

Tel: 0131 555 5522


Please enjoy our brands responsibly.


The Macallan 57 years old in Lalique – tasting notes:

 Colour            Mahogany

 Nose               Ginger, raisin, orange, vanilla, oak notes in the background

 Palate             Rich in spices, sweet fruit, toasted oak

Finish             Long and full bodied

Alcohol Strength 48.5% abv

The timeless reputation of The Macallan is founded upon Six Pillars:

The Spiritual Home

Easter Elchies House proudly watches over The Macallan distillery in Speyside, Scotland. Built in 1700, this Jacobean manor house is The Macallan’s spiritual home.

Curiously Small Stills

The Macallan’s curiously small and uniquely shaped copper stills help to concentrate the flavour of the ‘new make’ spirit.

The Finest Cut

The ‘cut’ is the amount of distilled spirit collected from the stills as ‘new make’ spirit. The Macallan takes one of the finest ‘cuts’ of any distillery in Scotland; typically just 16% goes forward to fill or our casks. 

Exceptional Oak Casks

The Macallan’s unfaltering obsession with selecting exceptional oak casks brings an unsurpassed, timeless quality to The Macallan.

Natural Colour

The Macallan insists upon Natural Colour. It is the interaction of spirit and wood alone which delivers the rich variety of colour, aroma and taste evident through out the range.

Peerless Spirit

The Macallan remains the single malt against which all others must be judged. It is celebrated far and wide by experts and discerning drinkers as the world’s most precious whisky.

Pamela Wils

Account Executive

The Big Partnership

Suite 4/3, Great Michael House, 14 Links Place, Edinburgh, EH6 7EZ

Macallan 57 Year Old Lalique

Macallan 57 Year Old Lalique

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