Archive for October, 2009

Whyte & MacKay 30yo (40%, OB, +/- 2009) – Scotch Whisky Review & Tasting Note


Whyte & MacKay 30yo (40%, OB, +/- 2009)

The Best Blended Whisky at the International Spirit’s Challenge 2009 and on the 26th of November it will also be receiving the William Grant Independence Trophy for Best Blended Scotch Whisky. Let’s see what all the fuss is about (splendid packaging too!). The nose is at first quite closed but after a minute is opens up very nicely with dark dried fruit (think of raisins, prunes and black currents), some further sweetness, oaky dry notes, leather and Christmas cake. After a few minutes is evolves some more revealing cocoa and coffee. A nose of an aged single malt interestingly. The taste quite gentle at first and very earthy, think of a damp earth floor followed by some sweetness wonderfully intermingled with the leather, warm brown sugar and dry oakiness. There is also some of the Christmas cake along with some brown sugar and some slight hints of malt. What a lovely taste. After a short while some bitter chocolate arrives and it’s still quite lovely. The finish is warming, long and goes from sweet to dry to tobacco and back to dry along with the dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa. Some new information; the finish is actually exceedingly long and is superb.

Two Awards? If Whisky Intelligence gave Awards this whisky would earn a third.


Score 91 Points


A New Ralfy Scotch Whisky Video Review(s) #86, 87a & 87b Available on line – Scotch Whisky News

New Ralfy Scotch Whisky Video Review  now available on line; Whisky Review #86 Old Time New Year Liquor and the 88a & 88b – finding Ralfy busy coming up to the 31/10/09 when he will take part in the first ever Zombie Whisky Review followed by a Zombie Walk in Glasgow’s west-end.

Sounds a bit eccentric, but it will all make sense on the day !!!

Ralfy banished the zombies
Ralfy banished the zombies

Visit Ralfy at Click on “Whiskyreviews”

Glenglassaugh 40yo Scoops another award – Scotch Whisky News



Glenglassaugh Distillery, Portsoy. 30 October 2009.


 Glenglassaugh 40yo Scoops another award.
 Jim Murray awards Glenglassaugh ‘Best 35-40yo Single Malt Scotch in latest ‘Whisky Bible’.
 Jim Murray, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010, on Glenglassaugh 40yo: “One of the great World Whiskies for 2010”

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company is delighted to announce that Glenglassaugh 40yo Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky was awarded ‘Best 35-40yo Single Malt Scotch’ in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible World Whisky Awards 2010. Jim described the Single Malt as being “One of the great World Whiskies for 2010”.

Managing Director Stuart Nickerson commented “We have always known of the quality of Glenglassaugh and it is great to see that it is now being more widely appreciated and rightly receiving top accolades by distinguished whisky experts.”

This award comes only 2 months after the Single Cask, Cask Strength 40yo Glenglassaugh was honoured with the title of ‘Best 40yo Scotch Whisky’ by the International Wine and Spirits Competition. The world’s premier independent spirits competition also awarded the 30yo Glenglassaugh with the trophy for ‘Best Cask Strength Scotch Whisky’.

Glenglassaugh also recently offered consumers the chance to buy an Octave cask (50 litres, £500) of new make spirit and a Limited Release of 8,160 individually numbered 50cl bottles of new make spirit under the title “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™”, as well as “The Spirit Drink that blushes to speak its name™ “ which is new spirit matured for 6 months in Californian red wine casks both are available internationally from leading specialists at a RRP of £30 for a 50 cl bottles at 50% abv.

“All are selling very fast through our international distributors,” reports Nickerson “giving me great confidence in the future of Glenglassaugh. Perhaps purchasers of our Octave casks will find they have award-winning whisky in just a few years.”

Background/Further Information

Tasting Notes for Glenglassaugh 40yo Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Jim Murray, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010

Nose: The kind of oak that you would expect at this age – (if you are uncommonly lucky or have access to some of the most glorious-nosing ancient casks in all Scotland) – but there is so much else on the fruity font besides: grape, over-ripe yam, fat cherries. And then there is a bourbon element with molassed hickory and sweetened vanilla: wake-me I must be dreaming, on second thoughts don’t.

Taste: Pure silk on delivery. All the flavours arrive in one rich wave of consummate sweetness, a tapestry celebrating the enormity of both the fruit and the oak, yet condensed into a few inches rather than feet: plenty of soft medium roast Jamaican Blue Mountain and then at times mocha: on the fruity front there is juicy dates mulched with burnt raisin.

Balance: It is as if this malt has gone through a 40 year marrying process: the interlinking of flavours and styles is truly beyond belief. One of the great world whiskies for 2010.

About Glenglassaugh

Glenglassaugh Distillery was founded in 1875 by local entrepreneur James Moir. Seeking a steady supply of high quality Malt Whisky for his Wine and Spirits business, he built his own Distillery at the foot of the Glassaugh burn.
Purchased by Highland Distilleries in 1892, Glenglassaugh was re-built in 1960 producing continuously until 1986 when it was mothballed.
However, a change of ownership in 2008 has seen the distillery re-furbished with an investment of more than £1m, and Glenglassaugh has reopened with a distinguished distilling team, once again producing a renowned spirit.
Since reopening, Glenglassaugh has won a number of awards in its first year of operation and a variety of exciting new products have been released including the Octave and 250 Club private cask sales programmes.
For more information, please visit


The refurbishment and reopening of the Glenglassaugh Distillery have been managed by Stuart Nickerson, a renowned whisky expert, who was the sole consultant during the acquisition. Nickerson has worked in the Scotch Whisky industry since 1981 with a significant part of his career being with William Grants, where he was Distilleries Director. Previously, he managed Highland Park Distillery, Glenrothes and Glenfiddich Distilleries in succession. He was appointed the new Managing Director of the Glenglassaugh Distillery Company in February 2008.

One of Stuart Nickerson’s first actions was the appointment of Graham Eunson as Distillery Manager, effective from 1st April 2008. Graham joined the Distillery from Glenmorangie where he was Manager of the world famous distillery for the last 12 years. Graham has also worked at Glendronach and Scapa distilleries.

Production at Glenglassaugh was restarted on 24th November 2008 by Rt Hon Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister and the distillery’s MP. Distilling was thus commenced under the guidance of Stuart Nickerson and Graham Eunson. “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™” was the first product released to be made by the new management team and rapidly followed by the Octave cask and 250 Club private cask sales programmes.

Highland Park Distillery Newsletter – Scotch Whisky News


It is fair to say that everyone at Highland Park is a whisky romantic. If you are the same way inclined, you will relish Bottled History by Iain MacIlwain, a stunning fine art photographic portrait of a disappearing world, showing the remnants of Scotch malt whisky distillation prior to the advent of automation.

Over a five year period the author has photographed over 50 distilleries, focussing on disused buildings, obsolete and endangered equipment, and has complemented the pictures with stories collected from retired distillery employees. The pictures and stories encapsulate the working climate of the period between 1950 and 1980, making a perfect accompaniment to a glass of Highland Park.

Design and layout is by Eddie Ephraums – well-known in the world of photographic book production; Bottled History by Ian MacIlwain is a 12 x 12 inch 144-page book ( and costs £30. I recommend it highly. Signed copies of the hardback limited edition are also available as a slip–cased Collector’s Edition with an original signed and numbered fine art print at £75. We’ve bought a couple of copies for the growing whisky library at the distillery.

For more information about the Best Spirit in the World visit




Head of Brand Education, Highland Park


Dailuaine & Glenrothes at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Loch Fyne Whiskies News has posted some new items;

Dailuaine CC 1994
43% abv
£26.50 inc vat
£23.04 ex vat


Glenrothes 1978
43% abv
£385.00 inc vat
£334.78 ex vat


Best regards,
Loch Fyne Whiskies

Visit Loch Fyne Whiskies at

Milestone Day for the LEXINGTON DISTILLERY DISTRICT! – Whiskey News


Lexington Distillery District one step closer to revitalization

City approved for $45.8 million tax increment financing to boost historic preservation, urban entertainment, and tourist area adjacent to downtown Lexington, Ky.

Lexington, Ky., October 29, 2009 – KEDFA (Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority) has approved $45.8 million for the Lexington Distillery District to support a major re-development of the historic bourbon distillery area. The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) will assist with the development of Lexington’s former bourbon heritage corridor with new commercial, residential and tourism opportunities.

Secretary Marcheta Sparrow, Kentucky Secretary of Tourism, Arts and Heritage, stated “Lexington has a wonderful asset and opportunity with the mixed use redevelopment of The Distillery District. The project will help boost the impact of local tourism; it will help improve the area and will be a formidable connection to the Bourbon Trail. This is a superb project and I am enthused to support it.”

Nearly 300,000 square feet of industrial architecture at the National Register James E. Pepper Distillery and newly renovated Old Tarr Distillery will anchor the new arts, entertainment and urban residential district. Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association stated, “This project couldn’t come at a better time. Bourbon is experiencing an incredible resurgence around the world and that popularity is drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to the Bluegrass. The Distillery District will be a tremendous gateway for our famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which has grown into one of the Commonwealths’ most beloved
tourist attractions.”


Gregory stated, “The KDA also is discussing the creation of an interactive “Bourbon Education Center” at the Distillery District to inform visitors of Bourbon’s rich heritage and significant economic and tourism impact. We’ve been impressed with the Distillery District’s work to promote our signature Bourbon industry and build upon Lexington’s Bourbon history.”

About The Lexington Distillery District

The Lexington Distillery District is the largest adaptive reuse project to date in Lexington, Kentucky. The District begins at a key intersection of the Newtown Pike Extension (NPE), Lexington’s largest roadway project in a generation. Now under construction, the NPE will connect the Blue Grass Airport and the Kentucky Horse Park, with the first phase along District expected to be complete before the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The District will allow Lexington, renowned as Horse Capital of the World, to further attract consumers, conventions and tourists by capitalizing on the District as a gateway to the already famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The District is slated to become a tourism driver with experiences such as an interactive Bourbon Center, active distillery, Town Branch Trail, and downtown Lexington’s first cohesive arts and entertainment district. The redevelopment to date includes several new businesses, including Barrel House Distilling, which is the maker of Pure Blue Vodka, Buster’s Billiard’s and Backroom music and entertainment venue and several art galleries. The District’s urban stretch of the Town Branch Trail, an eight-mile walking and biking greenway, is currently under design study and may now be accelerated by today’s TIF approval.

Dalmore King Alexander III – Scotch Whisky News



In 1263, an ancestor of Clan Mackenzie saved King Alexander III of Scotland from being gored by a stag whilst out hunting. The grateful King granted him the right to bear a stag’s head – a ’12 pointer’ or ’Royal’ – in his coat of arms. Every bottle of single malt whisky from our Highland distillery was, and is, adorned with this proud emblem, symbolising the supremacy of The Dalmore.

The Dalmore King Alexander III commemorates this act of daring spirit. This exceptional malt has been filled to no less than six different casks, including French wine barriques, Madeira drums, sherry butts from Jerez, Sicilian marsala barrels, port pipes from the Douro and bourbon barrels from Kentucky. The King Alexander III unites each of these to form a rich deep spirit.


The legend of Clan Mackenzie has been immortalised by Benjamin West in his painting ’The Death of the Stag’.

Visit the Dalmore at

New Scotch Whisky Bottlings at Kensington in Calgary Alberta – Scotch Whisky News


Some new bottlings are now available at Kensington in Calgary;

1.       Bruichladdich Black Arts – $135

2.       Kilchoman First Release – $90

3.       Kilkerran Work in Progress – $70

4.       Duthies Cragganmore 15 – $94.99 – Exclusive

5.       Duthies Caol Ila 13 – $87.49 – Exclusive

6.       Duthies Glen Scotia 17 – 101.99 – Exclusive

7.       Duthies Auchentoshan 19 – $108.49 – Exclusive

8.       Signatory Bowmore 1972 – $634.99 – Exclusive – This was one of  the highlights of the KWM fall Speyside tour, only 10 bottles.

9.       Douglas of Drumlanrig Port Ellen 1983 – $249.99 – Exclusive – Only 6 bottles!

The following whiskies are also going to be back in stock:

1.       Bunnahabhain 12, 18, and 25

2.       Tobermory 15

Contact Kensington at 403.283.8000 or toll free 888.283.9004 

and via

Auchroisk 15yo 1992/2007 (46%, MMcD, Bourbon/Syrah, 2050 Bts.) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Auchroisk 15yo 1992/2007 (46%, MMcD, Bourbon/Syrah, 2050 Bts.)

An independent bottling of a Speyside single malt that was first matured in Bourbon barrels and then finished in Guigal Cotes Rotie Syrah casks for an undetermined amount of time which one has to presume is the explanation for the deep red colouring. And unusually for a Speyside single malt it was bottled on Islay at Bruichladdich distillery. The nose is both meaty (think of Marmite) and floral (think of heather, mint) along with a good back bone of sweetness along with some vanilla. There is a very slight hint of mustiness hovering, wraith like, in the distant back ground. After a few minutes mushed peas pop up, unexpectedly. The taste is dry, and mildly sour at first but quickly opens up with a wonderful sweetness backed by Marmite and black pepper. After a short while the taste becomes creamy and slightly reminiscent of roses, coconut and the very slightest hint of a wet dog sneaking into the room. Bananas pop up briefly along with candied banana.  The finish is malty, mouth smacking and a revisit of the wet dog and the Marmite. After a number of minutes it becomes quite dry and malty after the wine influence has dropped off. Spicy also and after a few minutes there is loads of black pepper and a faint mustiness.

Despite the collection of odd descriptors it’s actually good.


Score 79 Points

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A New Ralfy Scotch Whisky Video Review #85 Available on line – Scotch Whisky News

A New Ralfy Scotch Whisky Video Review  now available on line; Whisky Review #85 – How to cope with bad Whisky  …. perhaps a bit controversial  but with the right perspective and balance. 

Ralfy is not fudging an increasingly important issue for buyers.

Visit Ralfy at Click on “Whiskyreviews”

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