Archive for March, 2011

Cooley in US Gold Rush – Irish Whiskey News


Cooley in US Gold Rush

Irish distillery collects 12 Gold Medals at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

This week Cooley Distillery, Ireland’s only independent whiskey distillery, continued its phenomenal strike rate on the international circuit by claiming 12 gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The 11th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition brought together a panel of 33 judges from across the industry to taste and score a record number of entries, 1,106 products from 61 countries.  The judges awarded Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to the participating brands and special awards to the most outstanding spirit in its class.

Cooley won the top award, the coveted Double Gold Medal for its Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt, Tyrconnell 10 Yr Old Madeira Finish Single Malt, Tyrconnell 10 Yr Old Port Finish Single Malt and topped it off with a Double Gold Medal and Best in Class for the Michael Collins 10 Yr Old Single Malt it produces for US importer Sidney Frank.

In addition, Cooley collected Gold Medals for its Kilbeggan 15 Yr Old, its Tyrconnell 10 Yr Old Sherry Finish Single Malt and for two further expressions of its Connemara brand.

Jack Teeling, Managing Director of Cooley Distillery, commented, “This latest success proves that Cooley is consistently producing some of the finest whiskeys in the world today.

These awards will further elevate the profile of Cooley Distillery in the US which is now the largest market for Irish whiskey in the world and continues to grow by double digit figures year on year. In 2010, we doubled our sales of whiskey to the US and our recent awards will help us continue this growth in 2011.”


About Cooley Distillery

Cooley Distillery is the only independent Irish whiskey distillery. Established in 1987, Cooley takes its name from the location of its distillery, situated at the foothills of the Cooley mountains, in Co. Louth. Cooley has an awarding winning portfolio of Irish whiskeys including Kilbeggan Irish whiskey, Tyrconnell Single Malt, Connemara Peated Single Malt and Greenore Single Grain Irish whiskey. To learn more about Cooley Distillery visit

About San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Celebrating its 11th year of awarding spirits excellence, the 2011 Competition was held at the distinguished Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco on March 18-20th. A record number of entries, 1106 products from 61 countries, were evaluated by 33 of the finest palates from the spirits industry.

The judging panels were comprised of spirits experts from noted restaurants and hotels, well-known spirits journalists from major national media, spirits buyers for large purveyors, and spirits consultants.

Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure ensuring competitive integrity, making this competition one of the most reputable and recognized competition in the spirits industry.


Cooley Distillery San Francisco World Spirits Competition award winning whiskeys: Double Gold Medal & Best in Class, Michael Collins 10 Yr Old Single Malt Double Gold Medal, Connemara Cask Strength Irish Whiskey Double Gold Medal, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Madeira Finish Double Gold Medal, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Port Finish Gold Medal, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Sherry Finish Gold Medal, Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey Gold Medal, Connemara 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey Gold Medal, Kilbeggan 15 Year Old Irish Whiskey Silver Medal, Connemara Turf Mor Irish Whiskey Silver Medal, Greenore 15 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Silver Medal, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Silver Medal, The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Bronze Medal, Greenore 8 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Highland Park 1998/2010 (40%, OB) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Highland Park 1998/2010 (40%, OB)

“Created Exclusively For Global Travel Retail” and in a 1 Litre bottle. Big. The math says a 12 year old (1998/2010). The nose is quite gentle at first quickly followed by some rich earthy & wood notes.  After a minute or two in the glass the smokey notes begin to emerge along with hints of citrus. The more time in the glass the more it opens up and improves with some really good gentle smoke and (now) some malt.  There are also some hints of unlit cured tobacco lurking in the background. The taste is indeed smokey and malty with the citrus. And the smoke does grow quite quickly but the citrus really does throw its weight around a fair amount. Again a gentle start however this changes quickly. Vibrant, malty, smokey and the afore mentioned citrus.  Also some really good wood spice and a tinge of unsweetened cocoa. The finish is malty along with the smoke (which is not so much of a contributor) but the citrus plus the malt work well together. The finish is quite long but once again quite restrained in some ways but all very nice. Lashing of more smoke and malt after 5 minutes.

An enjoyable dram and a little different from many Highland Park but still enjoyable.

£36.99 at World of Whiskies

Score 85 points


MCLEANSCOTLAND Interview with Mark Watt – Scotch Whisky News

Paul and Mark

Paul and Mark

Paul McLean recently interviewed Mark Watt of Duncan Taylor, Speyside, a friend of MCLEANSCOTLAND and Angels Whisky Club. Over a dram or two they chatted away asking hard questions on what he does, what he likes and where does he see whisky in years’ time!  In this exclusive interview, Mark gives us a good insight into what he thinks and what he does and how he does it! 
When did you first get involved in the Whisky Industry and why… “I got into the industry by several strokes of luck! I grew up at Macallan distillery so was always surrounded by whisky but it wasn’t until I turned 18yo that I got a job behind the bar at the famous Craigellachie Hotel – Quaich bar which at the time had around 800 whiskies in the bar.  It was then just a short (6 year) jump from their via Edinburgh and Royal Mile Whiskies, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Napier University to working for Duncan Taylor where I have been now for nearly 7 years.”

Read the full story at

For Scotch Lovers Discounted Tix to Whisky Live NYC 2011: Wed April 6, Chelsea Piers – Scotch Whisky News


Hello Fellow Scotch Lovers –

We spent this past weekend in San Francisco, at the Whiskies of the World Expo.  This was really an exceptional evening tasting some amazing whiskies, catching up with my FSL friends who I normally interact with via email…and meeting new people and making new friends…just a terrific time.

Next up: Whisky LiveNew York 2011. For those of you in the New York City or who are looking for a great reason to visit, I urge you to attend this years event on April 6that Pier 60/ Chelsea Piers. From what I here there will be over 170 different whiskies this year, including Amrut from India.

There will also be whisky cocktails at several different booths, and Ward III will have the Ward III Lounge;  Iron Bartender Competitions, cocktail demonstrations and great atmosphere.

And as you would expect, ForScotchLovers will be there again this year, and since we will have a booth we can offer you great discounts on tickets (see below).

I hope you’ll attend Whisky Live New York, and stop by the booth to say hello, and have a taste or two of Wasmunds Single Malt with us.

Doug Stone



Whisky Live New York 2011, during New York Tartan Week, in its 7th year, returns to the spectacular Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street on the Hudson River, in the heart of the city, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.  

Whether you are a seasoned whisk(e)y lover or a novice, you can expect to experience an incredible and in-depth insight into the world of Scotch, Bourbon and Whiskies (Irish, Kentucky, Japanese, Canadian and American) along with great food and fantastic entertainment. Whisky Live New York will bring the world of Scotch, Bourbon and Whiskies to life, increasing your knowledge of whiskies and a chance to meet the whisk(e)y experts.

Book your tickets in advance, and use the special ForScotchLovers discount code “fsl2011” to receive 10% off normal ticket prices for Whisky Live New York 2011

Whisky Intelligence To Publish Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet Decades & Generations 70yo Tasting Notes Sunday April 3rd, 2011- Scotch Whisky News


Whisky Intelligence will publish their own tasting notes for Gordon & MacPhail “Private Collection Glenlivet Decades” (Glenlivet 1954 50.6%; Glenlivet 1963 40.6%; Glenlivet 1974 50.1%; Glenlivet 1980 48.5%; and Glenlivet 1991 54.4%.) and Glenlivet Generations 70 year old on Sunday April 3rd, 2011.




The James Sedgwick Distillery, situated at the foothills of the Bain’s Kloof Pass in the Boland town of Wellington, has been named Best Brand Innovator in Whisky Magazines’ Icons of Whisky competition. The award is in recognition of the state-of-the-art facilities at the distillery as well as the innovative whiskies produced here.

The Icons have been established to acknowledge the people and the places behind the world’s best whiskies and an independent panel compiles a shortlist from the entries received for the various categories.  The winners are chosen by vote and this year, only a few votes separated the winners from the rest of the pack.

According to Andy Watts, manager and master distiller of The James Sedgwick Distillery, it is great to see South Africa now seriously competing against the best in the world.

“The award reflects the global nature of the whisky industry and today, people are taking note of countries such as ours, realising South Africa has the facilities and skills to produce exceptional whiskies.”

Watts is only the sixth manager in the distillery’s 125 year history. Under his watchful eye the production facilities were recently upgraded and a new tasting room was created. Watts, has since his appointment in 1991 as manager of the distillery, been instrumental in shaping a South African whisky platform. He has established many firsts for South Africa on the whisky front with a single malt and a 100% locally blended whisky for the Three Ships brand and more recently the first single grain whisky, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.

The distillery is named after Captain James Sedgwick, who settled at the Cape as a purveyor of quality liquor, tobacco and cigars and in 1886 his company purchased the buildings which today house the distillery. 

The award-winning whiskies produced include the Three Ships whisky range of Select, Premium Select 5-year old, Bourbon Cask Finish, the limited edition Three Ships 10-year old single malt and the 100% single grain Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky.



Glencadam 21yo (46%, OB, +/-2010) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Glencadam 21yo (46%, OB, +/-2010)


“Unchillfiltered and No Added Colouring” What a great start. The nose presents as quite sweet but with a strong back ground that is both gently of heather and tinned fruit cocktail (with the syrup). There are also some pleasant green notes much like a green head of plump barley. The taste is warming and again sweet with a good solid taste, hints of leather and tobacco along with oak spice and of course the sweetness. A flash of coconut. A very ‘big’ feel in the mouth, loads of flavour. Quite excellent actually.  Some what of a different style from many whiskies  and not ambushed by the oak influence, all in harmony. The finish is quite long, mildly fragrant, chewy malt. Some ginger something pops up in the finish to give the whole picture a bit of a twist. Sweet malt at the very end.

A damn fine dram, impress your friends. Refined and still vibrant. Well done.

£50 at Loch Fyne Whiskies

Score 87 points


Grant’s Scotch Whisky & WhiskyCast – Scotch Whisky News


Grant’s on WhiskyCast

Hi all,

I met with Mark Gillespie from the world-famous WhiskyCast, while on a short visit to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. Now in its sixth year, the internet’s best whisky podcast comes to life a few miles outside Philly in ‘the charming yet regrettably dry town of Haddonfield’, as Mark so eloquently puts it….(click on the link below to read the rest of the post)…

Kind regards,


Spirit of Toronto 2011: Masterclasses Now Online – Scotch Whisky News


Masterclasses Now Online

Tickets for the show go on sale Monday, April 4th through Roy Thomson Hall’s box office at which time masterclasses may be reserved when making your purchase. The full line up for this year’s Masterclass Series is now online, with an expanded line-up of twelve tastings sure to offer something for everyone.

So now comes the hard part… decisions, decisions. Without a doubt the most popular tastings are from ‘grand cru’ distilleries, and perennial favourites such as Glenrothes, Highland Park and Remy Martin have never disappointed. We are further chuffed to also be welcoming one of Scotch whisky’s most respected statesmen, Willie Tait from Isle of Jura.

The opportunity to meet the whiskymakers in person doesn’t come along often, so it’s equally tempting to savour 10 years of innovation with John Glaser of Compass Box Whisky, or taste cask samples of the whiskies John Hall uses to blend Forty Creek.

Others believe that variety is the spice of life: they will be handsomely rewarded by the independent bottlings of Gordon MacPhail being presented by Michael Urquhart. Fan favourite Regis Lemaitre will also be conducting his own Scottish tour, sampling peated whiskies alongside their non-peated siblings as he visits the islands of Arran, Mull and Islay.

Speaking of variety, this year’s series also includes a rum education courtesy of Ian Burrell, the UK Rum Ambassador. The chance to have him sample the solera aged Ron Zacapa, or Brugal finished in ex-Macallan casks, was just too good to pass. Rum is being touted as the new “malternative” so we look forward to having Ian profile the depth and complexity of whisky’s spiritual cousin.

Sticking closer to home, Matt Jones will be discussing the do’s and dont’s of handmade bourbon in a tasting that features top shelf American whiskey including the recently released Makers 46 that I just can’t put down.

And speaking of home, this year’s Spirit of Toronto presents a very special masterclass: “The Golden Age of Canadian Whisky” hosted by whisky writer and Malt Maniac Davin de Kergommeaux of Davin will be travelling back in time to 1950’s and 1960’s when Canadian whisky still reigned supreme.

The Fine Print

Early admission is $29 (HST included) and reserves seating in any one of the pre-show masterclasses starting at 5:30pm, with priority entry into the main tasting hall when the class is over. The remainder of the classes are scheduled for 7:00pm and 8:30pm and may be reserved at a cost of $10 (HST included) per person per class.

Seating is limited so if you are interested in a masterclass, do make your reservation as soon as tickets go on sale.

Please note that reservations in any one time slot are limited to the number of tickets purchased for the show. As an example, purchasing 2 tickets to the show entitles you to reserve a maximum of 2 masterclass seats at 5:30pm, 2 seats for the 7:00pm sessions and 2 seats for the 8:30pm sessions.

Visit the Spirit of Toronto at

Bruichladdich Whisky – Under the Influence of Stars – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky – Under the Influence of Stars

Single malt is enjoyed by Hollywood stars, astronauts may reach for stars, drunks may even see them, now the greenest whisky ever made is distilled under the influence of stars.
The world’s first ever biodynamic whisky has been distilled at Bruichladdich Distillery from barley sown, grown and harvested according to an astral calendar.

Biodynamic Bruichladdich is über-organic, the barley being grown according to the controversial agricultural principles of the messianic Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925).
Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, educationalist, spiritualist and lecturer, is considered the ‘Galileo of organic science’; to critics, he was just a cosmic nutter.

To counter the over-dependance on agrochemicals, Steiner set out an holistic approach to agriculture, where the farm unit becomes “biologically dynamic”.

Steiner codified the 18th century farming ways, an accumulation of 8,000 years of agricultural know how, when Man was more in tune with earth’s natural cycles.

Farmers are guided by a cosmic calendar, where phases of the lunar and astral cycle indicate the ideal time for sowing, pruning or treating – not only the tides.

Whisky is an agricultural product and barley is key. Thanks to industrial production, the basic tenet – its provenance – has been lost. We have been busy working to reconnect it and this is the Holy Grail.

100% of our whisky comes from 28 farms – an unprecedented 50% of is grown on Islay, and 50% is organically grown on the mainland.

Biodynamics, what with astral calendars, nettle insecticides and cow horn fertilisers, sounds far too hippy and alternative. But there’s method to this madness: 

Stripped down, it’s essentially a modern farming creed based on ancient knowledge, know how that was lost when folk left the land for the cities.

We are very proud to have produced Biodynamic Bruichladdich, to be the first people to distil such an extra-ordinary spirit, and an Islay single malt at that.

8 of the world’s 10 best wine makers  (Leflaive, Bize-Leroy, Romanee Conti, Zind Humbrecht etc. ) produce wines from biodynamically grown grapes.


100% Scotch: 28 Scottish farms – an unprecedented 50% of Bruichladdich’s barley is grown on Islay, and 50% is organically grown.

Spring 2011 pioneering Anaerobic Digestion project provides 100% of power needs from pot ale waste stream.

Top 10 winemakers: Gault & Millot

Biodynamic Bruichladdich certified by Demeter will not be available until after several years of maturation, until at least 2018

The Organic is available from whisky specialists and on line at

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