Archive for October, 2009

Compass Box Autumn 2009 New Releases! – Scotch Whisky News

Announcing Compass Box Autumn 2009 New Releases! 

We are pleased to announce two new releases for autumn 2009.  One is the return of our much heralded and much talked about malt whisky The Spice Tree, and the other is a limited release, one-off malt whisky called Lady Luck.


It’s back!  The reincarnation of our formerly “illegal” malt Scotch whisky is here after a three year absence. 

(We should clarify that the original release was considered “illegal” by the Scotch Whisky Association, not by us or our lawyers!  This was due to our pioneering use of top quality French oak staves, which the Scotch Whisky Association felt was not traditional enough to their liking.  We now use a different method, but with similarly extraordinary results.  See the website at for full details.)

The Spice Tree is made from 12 year-old Highland malt whisky that has spent the last two years aging on the highest quality virgin French oak.  We buy new oak made for some of the best winemakers in the world and bring it to Scotland where it imparts the most gorgeous flavours to aging malt whisky.

There is no other Scotch malt whisky, single malt or other, with the flavour profile of The Spice Tree.

See our website for the complete and unabridged story and for information.


This is a malt whisky inspired by what we used to refer to as the “lucky blend”—a beautiful whisky made of both very old and rather young Islay malt whisky, released by a well-known independent bottler many years ago.  Lady Luck is a one-off, never-to-be-repeated variation on this theme. 

Earlier this year we came across some beautiful casks of 25 and 29 year-old malt whisky distilled at the Caol Ila distillery on Islay.  Inspired by our memory of the “lucky blend” we set to work experimenting, and eventually found that combining the old Islay malts with some gorgeous 14 year-old Imperial single malt created something very special:  the Imperial brought an ethereal fruit character and structure to the older whiskies and made the sum much greater than the parts.

This, of course, makes this a “vatted malt” as it is a combination of whiskies from two single malt distilleries.  May it be yet another humble lesson that all that is good in the world of whisky need not be single.

We call it Lady Luck.   A one-off and one (we believe) for the ages.

Please visit Compass Box to order both online. 
Contact Information    

phone: +44 (0)20 8995 0899

Dewar Rattray Cask Collection #20 Released – Scotch Whisky News


“Our latest release, Dewar Rattray Cask Collection #20, is the most successful ever with 92% sold on pre orders (i.e. prior to bottling)”. 

The single casks are:
Glenburgie 1983 –  a Chivas Speysider waiting to be discovered
Glen Elgin 1994 –   classic Speyside from a hidden Diageo gem
Highland Park 1995 – a soon to be rare single cask offering from this Edrington distillery
Springbank 1997 –  like the Springbank casks of old….very rare IB offering
Tamdhu 1967 –   42 year old, amazing depth, only 98 bottles and rrp of under £100 in UK
Benrinnes 1996 –  sherry hogshead – a cask revelation!  First class Diageo single cask malt at non-Diageo prices!  (rrp £40 in UK)
All available in usual UK, Europe, and Japanese outlets.  The Springbank, Highland Park and our award winning Arran 1996 cask will be available in Canada:  Alberta and British Columbia in December.”

Visit A. Dewar Rattray at

News From Park Ave Liquors New York – Scotch Whisky News


Exciting New Exclusives From Park Avenue Liquor Shop.

Big news! We are proud to announce that we’ve just received two new whiskies that are exclusive to Park Avenue Liquor Shop. Both are limited bottlings and come from well respected distilleries. But enough fluff. See below to read more about these additions as well some great new prices on other whiskies. 

Hope to see you at WhiskyFest on November 10th in New York City.

If you have any questions about anything please contact us.

Jonathan and Eric
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Four Roses Single Barrel: Private Selection Exclusive to Park Ave Liquor Shop

From Master Distiller Jim Rutledge, the recipe for this  eight and a half year-old beauty is, 35% Rye 60% Corn 5% Malted Barley. The result is a bold combination of fruit and spice. It is a smooth 107.2 proof with a lingering finish that leaves  you wishing there were more than just 200 bottles made.

Our Price:$65

Tuthilltown Spirits: ‘Park Avenue Whiskey’ Exclusive to Park Ave Liquor Shop

P.A.L. Tuthilltown
This is the very first Private Label bottle for a U.S. retailer. It is 100% Rye
and is already creating a considerable amount of buzz from our customers and fans of the Tuthilltown Distillery.

Our Price: $45
– per 375ml bottle

Bushmills 1608
This crystal malt whiskey is carefully blended with classic Bushmills malt whiskey matured in a combination of American oak casks and Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks,  lending notes of vanilla and honey, dried fruit and nuts to the final blend. There is also a small proportion of aged Irish grain whiskey contributing a sweet, fresh crisp note.

Old Price: $115
New Price: $86

Crown Royal Cask 16

Crafted from 50 premium whiskies and finished in rare cognac casks made from Limousin oak. Cask 16 is complex yet well balanced with aromatic hints of spicy pear, dried fruit and oak. The “16” represents the cask’s place of origin.

Old Price: $105
New Price: $65

Crown Royal XR

XR is impeccably crafted at the venerable Waterloo Distillery. The whisky is remarkably smooth, full-bodied and rich. The golden amber liquid is creamy with slight notes of vanilla. Limited availability.

Old Price: $225
New Price: $160


The Reincarnation of the “Illegal” Scotch Whisky

October 2009 – London, UK

Scotch whiskymaker Compass Box announces the return, reincarnation and relaunch of their much talked-about and much heralded malt whisky The Spice Tree. “The original Spice Tree created quite a following due to its flavour profile, so after the Scotch Whisky Association forced us to stop making it, I was determined to find a more “acceptable” way to achieve the
same style,” explains whiskymaker John Glaser. “It’s taken almost four years, but we’ve done it.”

First launched in 2005, Compass Box was forced to discontinue production under a legal threat by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) for their pioneering use of the highest quality French oak inner staves.

This, despite rave reviews from consumers, trade and press. They agreed to disagree with the SWA and halted production. (For the full story, see Over the past three years whiskymaker John Glaser has developed a new maturation process which yields similar if not superior results to the previous method, and this new process is  something the SWA can’t take any issue with.1 The new SPICE TREE also features a very bold new pack. (See photograph, attached.)

The Spice Tree is a 100% malt whisky from northern Highland distilleries, (notably and primarily malt whisky distilled at the Clynelish distillery). The whiskies are all a minimum of ten years-old, primarily from first-fill American oak casks, before being re-racked into bespoke barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads for up to two additional years.

The Spice Tree returns to market globally throughout this autumn with a recommended price of £35 per bottle in the United Kingdom.


1 Rather than using inner stave inserts, as they did for the original Spice Tree, they rack the whisky into barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads. They have created a method for getting a super heavy toast on the cask heads which imparts a flavour profile similar to the flat staves used for the original Spice Tree. It is a similar technique used for their Oak Cross whisky, except the toasting is much heavier and the whisky stays on the wood much longer, up to two years.


Woodford Reserve Releases Limited Edition Bourbon Featuring Specially-Aged Barrels – Whiskey News

FOR Immediate Release                                                            


Svend Jansen, Brown-Forman


Woodford Reserve Releases Limited Edition Bourbon Featuring  Specially-Aged Barrels

Exclusive Master’s Collection Bottling Available Beginning November 1

October 27, 2009, Louisville, Ky. – Woodford Reserve announces the latest extension of its acclaimed Master’s Collection which will be released on November 1. Called ‘Seasoned Oak Finish,’ it is the fourth in the series of limited edition bottlings and continues Woodford Reserve’s tradition of crafting rare whiskeys that extend the category in bold new directions.

Barrels play a key role in producing bourbon, with approximately 70 percent of the spirit’s flavor and aroma and all of its color provided by the oak barrel. Woodford Reserve’s new offering, Seasoned Oak Finish, features bourbon finish-aged in unique barrels crafted with wood that has been seasoned longer than any previously used in the industry.

“Of all the distillers in our industry, we are the only bourbon company that crafts its own barrels, giving us unique knowledge and control of the process,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “As the rough oak staves are exposed to seasonal weather changes and subsequently dried, this natural cycle develops a new range of flavors in the wood.”

 This seasoning progression changes the wood by reducing tannins and ultimately creates a new range of flavor compounds. The staves for most bourbon barrels are seasoned for three to five months; however, Seasoned Oak Finish combines fully-matured Woodford Reserve with barrels crafted from wood that has been exposed to the outdoors for three to five years — the longest seasoning known in the bourbon industry.

 “By ‘finish aging’ Woodford Reserve in barrels that have been crafted from oak and seasoned for several years, we created a bourbon unlike any other in the industry. It’s the most robust bourbon we have ever made,” said Wayne Rose, brand director for Woodford Reserve. “This special Master’s Collection release emboldens Woodford Reserve with ‘extra-aged’ oak character resulting in a new and complex flavor profile.”

Seasoned Oak Finish is the fourth in the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection series following the Four Grain, Sonoma-Cutrer Finish and Sweet Mash products. Released periodically at the master distiller’s discretion, the Master’s Collection whiskeys are extremely limited in quantity and bottled only once in a proprietary package inspired by the copper pot stills of The Woodford Reserve Distillery.

The inspiration for the Master’s Collection is rooted in the rich history and tradition of what is today known as The Woodford Reserve Distillery. In the mid-1800s distillery owner Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow studied and recommended use of key processes like sour mashing and charred barrel maturation at the historic Woodford County distillery. These practices are still maintained in the bourbon industry and, today, the distillery receives more than 80,000 visitors annually and is the only one in America to triple-distill bourbon in copper pot stills.

Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak Finish will be sold in 44 U.S. markets, and a limited quantity will be available in Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. Each bottle is individually hand-numbered and presented at 100.4 proof. Available in major metro markets, only 1,337 cases are available with a suggested retail price of $89.99 for a 750ml bottle.

-# # #-

Woodford Reserve is one of the fine spirits produced and marketed by Brown-Forman

Corporation, a producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Fetzer, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, and Bonterra. Please enjoy your bourbon responsibly. For more information on Woodford Reserve, visit

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 45.2% Alc. by Vol., The Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY ©2009.

Tasting Notes for Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak Finish

Color:            Rich mahogany.

Aroma:         Deep, complex and subtly sweet; hints of cinnamon, clove, rich caramel and pipe  tobacco, with a nutty oak character.

Taste:            Full-flavored and robust oak with layers of anise, dark berries and cherry fruit,  warming cinnamon and clove spice notes, all with a caramel nut sauce.

Finish:          Velvety and long with a hint of crisp dryness.



 Svend Jansen

PR Manager – Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, Early Times & Old Forester


850 Dixie Highway

Louisville, KY 40210

Office, (502) 774-7825

Mobile, (502) 744-0462


ANNUAL PREMIUM WHISKIES RELEASE in British Columbia – Scotch Whisky News


Oct. 27, 2009

Liquor Distribution Branch
Ministry of Housing and Social Development


VANCOUVER – BC Liquor Stores is releasing a special collection of premium whiskies on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009 at BC Signature Liquor Stores and other select BC Liquor Stores across the province.

This year’s premium whisky release brings together 39 rare and highly recommended whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Japan, India and the U.S. The release features whiskies of interest to the collector and
the whisky novice, and includes aged malt whiskies, vintage releases,unique and limited cask offerings, and a variety of whiskies that have been finished in casks from some of the world’s most esteemed distilleries.

BC Liquor Stores has published a 2009 Whisky Release booklet listing the whiskies available in this release, along with detailed tasting notes and information about specific bottle limits. This booklet is available in all Signature BC Liquor Stores as well as online at

Limited quantities per customer will apply on some whiskies, and buyers are advised to shop early to avoid disappointment. This event operates on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete list of participating BC Liquor Stores and hours of operation, please visit


Michèle Mackintosh
Manager, Communications
Liquor Distribution Branch
604 252-3029

New look for Tomatin Single Malt Scotch Whisky – Scotch Whisky News



October 2009

New look for Tomatin Whisky

Tomatin Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been given a radical new look. Established in 1897 and located south of Inverness in the Monadhliath Mountains, the Tomatin Distillery Company has opted for a ‘less is more’ approach with a really clean and fresh look for its branding and packaging. In addition to the 12, 18 and 25 Year Olds in the range, a new 15 Year Old is now available. All four malts have different wood finishes, enhancing Tomatin’s unique flavour.


Craig Mackinlay of Breeze Creative redesigned the branding, embellished bottle and packaging and is working on additional materials to promote the brand at point of sale.


The relaunch comes at a time when international scotch whisky sales are really helping to boost Scotland’s economy. Markets are expanding as consumer interest increases in this diverse and fascinating spirit.

For further information, please contact Craig Mackinlay of Breeze Creative on 01360 449347.

Or visit Breeze Creative at

Visit Tomatin at

Jolly Toper Tasting Edinburgh November 5th, 2009


Next tasting Thursday 5th November (remember, remember) £20/17:-

Cadenheads Laphroaig bourbon hogshead 11yo 61.3%

Cadenheads Rosebank bourbon hogsheasd 20yo cask strength

Cadenheads Royal Brackla bourbon barrel 16yo cask strength

Wood and Winters Garnheath single grain 35yo cask strength

Duthies Clynelish 14yo 46% sherry cask

+ a mystery dram

Tollbooth Tavern, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 24th September 2009 7.30pm
£20/17 (discount for first timers/members)

Check for further details on these tastings as well as Bladnoch forum- events- Canongate tastings

New Wild Scotsman Single Cask Selections for 2009 – Scotch Whisky News


New Wild Scotsman Single Cask Selections for 2009
Posted Oct 17, 2009 by The Wild Scotsman

New Wild Scotsman Single Cask Selections for 2009
by Jeffrey Topping

I am pleased to unveil the new image for Wild Scotsman Single Cask Selection for 2009 with two great single Cask offerings from the Caol Ila and Glen Grant Distilleries. These offerings are in very limited quantities. The Caol Ila 27yr Single Cask at 50% alc./vol will have an offering of 108 Bottles. The Wild Scotsman Glen Grant 12yr at 50% alc./vol. will have an offering of 138 bottles. These new labels are all hand signed and numbered as a sign of my commitment to you the consumer.

The new image was inspired by the Scottish Highland Targe which until the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Scottish Highlander’s main means of defense in battle was his targe. After the disastrous defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden, the carrying of the targe would have been banned. The Targe is back and we will defend your right to enjoy ‘Old World’ production whisky which is not colored, Not Chill-filtered, or watered down beyond the flavors of its peak enjoyment.

Product will be available in mid November at select retailers. For those in the UK and Europe please contact Cumbrae Supply in Scotland for product availability (must be ordered before Nov).


Jeffrey Topping, The Wild Scotsman

CHRISTMAS AT BLADNOCH Distillery – Scotch Whisky News



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