Archive for January, 2011

Grant’s Scotch Whisky; New Packaging for Sherry Cask Reserve – Scotch Whisky News


New Packaging for Sherry Cask Reserve


This month we see the launch of a new look for Grant’s Ale and Sherry Cask Reserves and I am delighted to be the first to unveil the new bottles.

Amongst the new features, you will notice the introduction of a gift box in certain countries and where these won’t be available, we will be using…(To read the rest of the post please follow the link);

Kind regards,


Ralfy Publishes His Final Springbank Distillery Review – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy13 presents the final Vlog in the Springbank series with WhiskyReview 180 – Hazelburn 12yo


Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Pay-Weekend Trio: Explore and save up to £60” – Scotch Whisky News


Pay-Weekend Trio: Explore and save up to £60

In celebration of the first pay-weekend after Christmas, we’ve put together a mouth-watering parcel at a very generous price – only £99 per parcel.

The three bottles in our Pay-Weekend Trio are sort of a mystery, we can tell you which bottles are in the parcels but we can’t tell you which one you’ll get. We like to surprise you with something wonderful (and may not have sampled).

Those of you that have bought our Mystery Parcels in the past will surely agree, they’re great value, and great for opening the eyes to new experiences – enjoy!

Your Pay-Weekend Trio may include…
– 93.40 Clay and pork sausages (Campbeltown)
– 9.53 A peppery explosion (Speyside Spey)
– 39.79 Delish! (Speyside Lossie)
– 36.48 Waves of pleasure lapping on the tongue (Speyside Spey)
– 44.46 Mouth-watering, lip-tingling, heart-warming (Speyside Spey)
– 121.37 Very tasty Danish pastry (Highland Island)

Parcels will not contain identical bottles
Offer ends: midnight on Mon 31 Jan
Online offer only

Society Tastings & Events (47 Society tastings online)

Whisky Galore with Keith Hewitt – The Vaults, Thu 3 Feb
New Outturn Open Tasting – London, Sat 5 Feb
New Outturn & Sunday Roast Tasting – The Vaults, Sun 6 Feb
New Outturn Open Tasting – London, Mon 7 Feb
New Members’ Tasting – Queen Street, Tue 8 Feb
Whisky Quiz – London, Tue 8 Feb
Penderyn Tasting – The Vaults, Fri 11 Feb
6 Nations Wales V Scotland Lunch – The Vaults, Sat 12 Feb
Valentines’ Champagne & Whisky Tasting – Queen Street, Mon 14
Dining Room Valentine Dinner – Queen Street, Mon 14 Feb
Valentine Dinner at The Vaults – The Vaults, Mon 14 Feb
Wokingham Preview Tasting – Cantley House Hotels, Fri 25 Feb
Harrogate Preview Tasting – Hotel du Vin, Fri 25 Feb
Brighton Preview Tasting – Hotel du Vin, Fri 25 Feb
6 Nations Ireland V Scotland Lunch – The Vaults, Sun 27 Feb

Share your adventure with a friend

“Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life”

Recommend a friend to the Society – we’ll reward you a £15 e-voucher for every friend that joins.  You can use your e-voucher online against any of our whisky, tasting tickets or even your membership renewal. 

There’s no limited to the number of friends you can recommend so spread the word and start saving!

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ
Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm).

Visit the Society at for your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers.

VisitScotland Finds Smokehead Just The Ticket – Scotch Whisky News


Edinburgh: Following successful partnerships with iconic rock brands such as Marshall Amps and Classic Rock Magazine, Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is now celebrating Glasgow’s vibrant music scene with an exciting new competition with VisitScotland. 

Promoted as part of VisitScotland’s seasonal Winter White campaign, Smokehead is now selling all its UK standard bottles with on-pack promotional stickers offering fans the chance to win a luxury two night break in Scotland’s largest, brightest city. Staying at the five star Glasgow Hilton, the lucky winner and guest will also receive their choice of music gig tickets for the SECC, courteous of

The prize also includes breakfast both mornings, evening meals at The Hilton’s stylish Cameron Restaurant and Ashton Lane’s popular Grosvenor Bistro, entry to the West End’s Viper Club,  £300 travel/spending money and of course a special bottle of Smokehead Whisky. 

Iain Weir, Marketing Director of Ian Macleod Distillers, brand owners of Smokehead Whisky said: “Glasgow has one of the most exciting music scenes in the UK and working with VisitScotland to promote this is the perfect way for us to build on Smokehead’s growing rock credentials, offering a competition that will really appeal to our target customer base.

“With our continued support for fantastic events such as this summer’s High Voltage music festival and the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest, this is set to be a big music year for Smokehead. The Winter White promotion with VisitScotland is the ideal start to 2011.”

Described as being like a cannonball, Smokehead is an explosive combination of peat, smoke and spice with some delicate sweetness. The single malt flavour is described as fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt. The taste hits the palate at once with cocoa, peat and some honey sweetness, before exploding with peppery spice and more earthy peat.

Smokehead is widely available throughout the UK and worldwide, RRP £31.99. Details of stockists can be found on the website 

In his new book 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, Ian Buxton says of Smokehead 18 Years Old: “I saw Extra Black compared to the amplifier that goes all the way up to 11 in Spinal Tap. It is just as rock and roll as that.”

To enter or for more information visit or

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky encourages responsible drinking

Claymore Newsletter #7 Benromach 10 year old (LCBO # 191817) – Scotch Whisky News

The Claymore Times

~ All The News That’s Fit To Drink ~


Benromach 10 Year Old (LCBO # 191817) (LCBO = Liquor Control Board of Ontario)

Happy Robert Burns day, and at long last we have Benromach 10 year old hitting the LCBO stores today.  I’m very excited about this whisky – it’s an excellent value at $75 for this extraordinary scotch.  What’s exciting about this scotch (apart from the fact Leah and I had our picture taken there – see photo below) is that this distillery, after being closed for many years, is now reopened and it’s the first 10YO to come out of the distillery in a long time. With only 2 stillmen they have managed to produce a crafted product with promise of even better to come in the future.  It’s a testament to the skills involved at Speysides smallest distillery.
Ralfy of  has kindly giving us permission to share his review of the 10yo Benromach. Ralfy (his malty-ness) is an independent whisky taster and his knowledge transcends the surface and takes a good look through the back door to give us his thoughts and a historical education at the same time.  Take 10 minutes and hear what he has to say about this whisky at

Also of note is that this whisky made the LCBO’s Vintages magazine this month, so, if like me you are celebrating Robert Burns day, then this is the whisky to share with your friends, slante! 

Tasting notes

COLOUR: Golden.


NOSE: Rich Sherry influence with fruit & nut chocolate and delicate spice – cinnamon. Fresh green apples, with a malty, digestive biscuit note and light peat smoke in the background.

PALATE: Delicious forest fruits – raspberries and brambles, Sherry, malt creaminess with a stronger peat influence.


NOSE: Charred oak influence and malt. Slightly nutty with exotic fruits – pineapple and kiwi.

PALATE: Mouth coating with toasted malt. Lingering sweet Sherry and delicate peat smoke.

BODY: Balanced.

FINISH: Long and lingering finish with subtle

Sherry and peat.

CASK TYPE(S): 80% Bourbon barrels, 20% Sherry hogsheads.


Benromach’s story

Benromach is the smallest distillery still operating in the Speyside region of Scotland, with a capacity of just 500,000 litres per year and just two distillery staff. It is located in the small town of Forres, on the road between Inverness and Nairn, and is a local landmark with the tall red brick chimney of the distillery used as a marker guide for pilots landing at nearby RAF Kinloss. Benromach is one of the few distilleries that are independently owned. The current owners are the independent bottling company Gordon & Macphail, who are based in the nearby town of Elgin. At Benromach, they are one of the new wave of small, innovative and independently owned distilleries that experiment and explore different cask finishes, new styles and peating levels. They were also the first distillery to release an organic whisky, as certified by the Soil Association, in 2006.

Benromach’s history

The Benromach distillery was founded in 1898 by Duncan MacCullum from Campbeltown and F.W. Brickman from Leith. They were given land by a local whisky connoisseur called Alexander Edward so as to build a distillery and produce whisky to his tastes. It wasn’t long before Brickman’s company went bust and he had to pull out, leaving MacCullum to struggle on by himself. MacCullum was declared bankrupt in 1909 and Benromach was taken over by London based firm Harvey McNair & Co, who changed the name to Forres Distillery. In 1919 John Joseph Calder, a renowned brewer from Alloa, bought the distillery and changed the name back to Benromach. The distillery was closed between 1931 and 1939, due to the slump that hit the whisky industry following the First World War and prohibition in America. It was re-opened by Joseph Hobbs, formerly of Ben Nevis distillery, and Hattim Attari, a financier from London. They later sold to a group called the National Distillers of America, who in sold to DCL (Distillers Company Limited) in the 1960s. Benromach closed again in 1983 and it was sold to the independent bottling company Gordon & Macphail in 1992. They completely refurbished the distillery and production began in 1998, with the inauguration ceremony attended by Prince Charles.

Also arriving very soon: a 25 year old Glen Grant, we`ll keep you posted

If you wish to have your name removed from the mailing list, please reply to sender and in the subject line say “please remove from list” but if you know someone how would like more information on whisky please forward to that person.



Global Operations Director
Claymore Imports Inc.

NEW Dalmore Rivers Collection At Single Malts Direct – Scotch Whisky News


The Dalmore Rivers Collection


The Dalmore Rivers Collection is a celebration of the partnership between the Dee, Spey, Tay and Tweed, “Scotland’s big four rivers” and the Dalmore single highland malt whisky. Four bespoke and exclusive whiskies have been created, each one crafted to represent and celebrate its namesake. The Dalmore Dee Dram and Dalmore Rivers Collection will be sold widely on behalf of all four rivers, as they are the lifeblood of their communities. Each bottle retails at £40.00 and a Donation from every bottle sold will go to each of the rivers and help them carry out their important work in restoring their respective Rivers and protecting our natural heritage.


The Dalmore Dee Dram

The River Dee is revered the world over for its picturesque beauty, clean crisp waters and of course its exceptional salmon fishing. Deeside and its community were chosen by the Royal family as the perfect location for their sumptuous summer castle, Balmoral.
In Recognition of this remarkable river, one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful salmon rivers, we have created a unique expression of the Dalmore as a celebration of the Dee and those who love her. A generous donation from each bottle sold will be gifted to the Dee Trust in recognition of their tireless efforts to protect and enhance this most beautiful of environments.
Taste notes
Colour – Rich mahogany gold
Nose – Powerful and Positive. Full bodied with vibrant notes of spicy cinnamon, followed with dark roasted  coffee and chocolate.
Taste – Enticing flavours of tangy orange peel, ginger, liquorice and walnuts, followed by ripe plums and wild berries.
The Dalmore Spey Dram


The Spey is world famous for its rich Salmon fishing history and of course as a famous whisky region. In recognition and celebration of the iconic status of the Spey and Speyside we have created an exclusive expression of the Dalmore.
Speyside is a beautiful and delicate environment and the Spey foundation work hard on behalf of all those who love Speyside to protect and enhance the river Spey. A generous donation from each bottle sold is gifted to the Spey Foundation, to support and further their excellent work.
Taste Notes  
·Colour – Walnut, amber gold
·Nose – Warm inviting aromas of patchouli, jasmine and marzipan. 
·Taste – Christmas pudding, orange rind, hazelnuts and ripe cherries, followed by hidden flavours of Java coffee and rich treacle. 

The Dalmore Tay Dram

The mighty river Tay is renowned as the largest of  Scotland’s great salmon rivers. The “Silvery Tay” is steeped in fishing legend and is famous for Salmon of prodigious size. The most famous of these, which weighed in at a staggering 64 pounds, was caught by Miss Georgina Ballantine in 1922. Miss Ballantine’s record remains unbroken, even today.

In recognition of the mighty Tay we have created a unique expression of the Dalmore to celebrate its power and majesty. To support and further their unceasing work, a generous donation is made to the Tay Foundation from the sale of every bottle of this exceptional single highland malt whisky.
Taste notes
Colour – Deep amber gold
Nose – Captivating notes of tangerine with hints of eucalyptus
Taste – Intense flavours of crème brulee, Colombian coffee and bitter chocolate lead the first wave. Yet within seconds enchanting suggestions of honeyed pear, crushed almonds, sweet blood oranges and cranberries provide the perfect finish. Sip and savour.
The Dalmore Tweed Dram


The Tweed is the most prolific salmon river in the British isles,  flowing majestically through the beautiful and historic Borders countryside from its source high in the open hills above Moffat. Tweed is at its most scenic in the latter half of the year as the leaves begin to turn, the air gathers a chill, and the world famous autumn Salmon run arrives.
Protecting and preserving the delicate balance of Tweed and its precious resources is the challenging role of The Tweed Foundation. In recognition of Tweed and its rich history we have created a unique expression of the Dalmore.  A generous donation is gifted to The Tweed Foundation from the sale of every bottle sold, to support and further the excellent work it does on behalf of all who love this great River.
Taste notes 
Colour – Honey gold
·Nose – Warm and inviting. Seville oranges, crushed pear, bergamot and apple. Marzipan and rich caramel follow completeing the bouquet.
Taste – Tantalizing flavours of spicy ginger, marmalade and cinnamon followed by Whispers of nutmeg and toffee leaving the perfect after taste.

Visit Single Malts Direct at

Glenfarclas at Malmaison Aberdeen – Scotch Whisky News



The next Whisky dinner at Malmaison Aberdeen has just  been confirmed as Glenfarclas, 3rd of March at 7.30pm, £60pp for four courses including whisky,  The evening will be hosted by the Brand Ambassador for Glenfarclas, Mr George Grant. Contact Bar Manager Bernt Staber for further information and reservations.


For Scotch Lovers Winter 2011 Clearance Specials – Scotch Whisky News


Hello Fellow Scotch Lovers –
This weeks email is about inventory clearance. Below you will find some great deals on some amazing whiskies. But each offer is on a very limited number of bottles.  

So if you see something you like, or want try, be sure to act fast.  Once the inventory is gone, the special pricing ends.

I wish you a warm and wonderful week.


Doug Stone

Tuthilltown Hudson Single Malt Whisky
Regular Price $49.95

On Sale $40.00

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Glass Set*
(Includes 2 Whisky Tasting Glasses)
Regular Price $39.95

On Sale $35.95

Sheep Dip Blended Scotch Whisky
Regular Price $44.95

On Sale $39.95

Glenallachie 1992 Bourbon Finish 14 YO Whisky
Regular Price $65.95

On Sale $50.95

Tomatin 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky
Regular Price $69.95

On Sale $59.95

Brown-Forman Releases New Early Times 354 Bourbon – American Whiskey News


Brown-Forman Releases New Early Times 354 Bourbon


Joins Early Times Kentucky Whisky in an expansion of the famous Early Times brand

Louisville, Ky. – Brown-Forman announces the Early Times brand is returning to its bourbon roots with Early Times 354 Bourbon. Crafted with pure water, select grains, proprietary yeast and carefully distilled and matured in select oak barrels, it’s the newest (and in a way, the oldest) member of the Early Times family. After an absence as a bourbon in the US market since 1983, Early Times 354 joins Early Times Kentucky Whisky in an expansion of the presence of the famous Early Times brand.

At the tender age of 15, Jack Beam began working at his family’s distillery. In short order, he was running the operation and in 1860 built his own distillery at a place called Early Times Station, Kentucky. Beam named his whisky Early Times, both as a tribute to its place of origin and as a nod to the old-world craftsmanship that goes into making it. He believed in the “early times method” of whisky-making – mashing grain in small tubs, boiling the beer and whisky in copper stills over open fires. It’s an abiding belief that has stayed with the Early Times brand all along, continuing long after Early Times became part of the Brown-Forman family of brands in 1923.

By the 1950s, Early Times was the best-selling bourbon in the world. As the vintage advertising from that era proclaimed, Early Times is “the whisky that made Kentucky whiskies famous.” Steeped in bourbon history, Early Times Distillery’s federal permit, No. 354, is the longest held in Kentucky.

As the only distilling company to own its own cooperage, Brown-Forman changed Early Times from a Kentucky bourbon to a Kentucky whisky in 1983 – allowing the company to achieve a perfect mix of seasoned and new barrels and create the smooth, mellow taste of Early Times whisky.

“Early Times is the second oldest continually produced Kentucky whisky on the market – second only to Brown Forman’s Old Forester,” said Chris Morris, Brown-Forman Master Distiller. “Early Times 354 Bourbon takes as a part of its names the distillery’s famous permit number – 354. This is the longest held operating permit in Kentucky. Everything about Early Times 354 supports the brand’s historic past and reputation for great taste.”

Early Times 354 will launch an ad campaign to coincide with the product’s release in several trade magazines focused on a national, independent, blind preference taste test in which Early Times 354 was preferred to Jim Beam White Label by male, Jim Beam drinkers ages 25-55.*

“The results of the taste test were what really told us we had a winner,” said Joe Murray, Early Times Brand Manager. “Early Times 354 is a premium line extension offering a quality product, at an accessible price point, capitalizing on the growing number of consumers entering the bourbon category.”

With a unique retro-classic package similar to the 1930’s Early Times bottle, Early Times 354 will initially be sold in 17 U.S. markets with more to follow in 2011. Each bottle is presented at 80 proof with a suggested retail price of $15.99 for a 750ml bottle.

*Independent study, national blind preference test; preferred to Jim Beam White Label by male Jim Beam drinkers ages 25-55. Tragon Corporation, 350 Bridge Parkway, Redwood Shores, CA 94065

Tasting Notes for Early Times 354 Bourbon

Color   –                deep amber

Aroma –                spicy with sweet fruit, fresh oak and delicate corn notes underscored by a layer of vanilla and caramel.

Taste    –               a lively entry with spice, caramel and vanilla that melt into a mixture of fresh and dried fruit notes.

Finish   –               warm with subtle hints of apple and corn

About Early Times

Early Times is enjoyed in 28 countries around the world and the Early Times Mint Julep is the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby™.” For more information visit Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky, is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Woodford Reserve, Tequila Herradura, el Jimador Tequila, Canadian Mist, Old Forester, Fetzer wines, and Korbel California Champagnes.

BFET 6746 ETB 354 Experience Trade Ad


anCnoc, Old Pulteney and Balblair With Ian Baxter at Federal W&S in Boston TONIGHT – Scotch Whisky News


Single Malt Scotch Tasting with Ian Baxter Thursday, Jan. 27th. 4:30 or 6:00P.M.

Joe writes,

Please look at the time change on the first tasting. If you’re attendin the 6:00 P.M. tasting please do not show up before 10 Minutes of 6:00. Thank You!!!!

Ian Baxter, the marketing director for Inverhouse, will taste single malts from three of their distilleries: Balblair, Old Pultney and anCnoc (Knockdhu Distillery). Old Pultney is probably the best known in the U.S but all these distilleries produce wonderful malts that should be seen by many more single malt fans. This is a tasting that we have been trying to work for well over a year because they’re all very good malts that not many customers know. They show very good value. Nothing less should coax you out on a cold winter evening. Take a little time for you. Bring a friend, a co worker, your boss, or just come yourself. We may have a belated Birthday Toast for Robbie Burns. 4:30 P.M. or 6:00 P.M.

Balblair 1997 (12 Y.O.) 43% Hints of oak, spice and raisin combine with the sweetness of vanilla to create a long, lingering, creamy smooth finish on the palate.

Regularly: $59.99 Sale: $51.99

Balblair 1991 (18Y.O.)43% Rich with vanilla, coconut cream, citrus (orange, tangerine), pineapple, and sultana. A soothing mouth-coating texture lingers, with some polished oak on the finish

Regularly: $142.99 Sale: $129.99

anCnoc 12 Y.O. 43% Sweet to start with a fresh appetizing fruitiness and a long smooth finish.

Regularly: $47.99 Sale: $39.99

anCnoc 16 Y.O. 46% Light and zesty with a hint of spice, warming up to what can only be described as “stick to your teeth” toffee. A long and lingering finish leaving you ready for the next sip. A very moorish whisky.

Regularly: $67.99 Sale: $59.99

Old Pultney 12 Y.O. 43% Dry, medium bodied and smooth with a clean finish; faintly salty with a slight sherry note.

Regularly: $47.99 Sale: $41.99

Old Pultney 17 Y.O. 43% Full bodied, with hints of vanilla and floral notes in the backround; a long-lasting, memorable finish.

Regularly: $104.99 Sale: $92.99

Old Pultney 21 Y.O. 43% Sweet to start with a light fruitiness; hints of honey and vanilla followed by a dry finish.

Regularly: $134.99 Sale: $119.99

Sale Pricing ends Feb. 2nd. 2011

Please pass this on to any friends who are scotch enthusiasts.

Joe Howell
Federal Wine & Spirits


Phone: 617-367-8605


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