Archive for March, 2011

Old Pulteney WK209 “Good Hope” 46% (Distillery Sample) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Old Pulteney WK209 “Good Hope” 46% (distillery pre production sample)

Old Pulteney WK209 ‘Good Hope’
• Follows a highly successful WK499 ‘Isabella Fortuna’ as Old Pulteney’s travel retail offering
• Limited to only 1,600 cases (of 6 x 1 litre bottles)
• Unchill-filtered, natural colour
• Bottled at 46% ABV
• Matured entirely in European sherry casks
• Named after a steam Herring Drifter WK209 ‘Good Hope’ built in Wick in 1948, first boat in Wick to use echo sounder

Malt and honey on the nose to start although the malt is of the ‘dusty’ variety like when you scoop a handful of dry malt from the kiln. There‘s also a little meatiness in the background just behind some leather notes and then moments of clove, but just moments. A little hand warming intensifies the afore mentioned characteristics nicely. The taste is brilliantly honeyed and malty at the same time with just hints of the leather which is now some really good oak spice and cocoa. This is very nice, the oak spice, cocoa, honey, sherry and malt work really well together.  Ah, some orange notes also. The finish consists of blasts sweet sherried malt quickly followed by the other notes, it is quite long and it holds together very well and after a number of minutes the malt and the orange notes are the last impression.

Very drinkable and moreish.

Score 88 points


Loch Fyne Whiskies Soon To Stock Shackleton Whisky – Scotch Whisky News





– Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt – Limited edition bottling

• Special commemorative bottling of a truly unique blended whisky liquid.
• Faithful reproduction of the actual Mackinlay’s whisky taken on the ill-fated Shackleton Antarctic expedition to the South pole in 1907.
•Presented in a replica bottle and wooden case – just as Shackleton left it “The most exciting find of scotch whisky since days began”
• 1907, Explorer Ernest Shackleton took 25 cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt on his famous, ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, and left 11 bottles behind, buried in the ice.
•2007 Two priceless cases discovered and one taken to NZ by the heritage trust.
•2011 Richard Patterson of W&M analyses the liquid and reveals a truly awesome whisky.
•2011 Richard recreates this sensational blend, lost for over a century
•Malts from Speyside, Islands and Highlands including Glen Mhor from 1983, the year the distillery closed.
•Limited edition – Only 50,000 bottles will be produced
•Each bottle sold will generate a £5 donation to the Antartica Heritage Trust

Tasting Note:

Colour – Light honey, straw gold with shimmering highlights.
Nose Soft, elegant & refined. Delicate aromas of crushed apple, pear and fresh pineapple arouse the senses. The spirit is exciting and vibrant with attractive notes of oak shavings that release hints of buttery vanilla, creamy caramel and nutmeg. A whisper of marmalade, cinnamon and even a tease of smoke, ginger and muscovado sugar completes this spectrum of delight.
Taste – With a generous strength of 47.3% this gives the spirit plenty of impact on the palate but in a mild warming manner. Harmonious and exhilarating. Whispers of gentle bonfire smoke slowly give way to spicy rich toffee, treacle and pecan nuts. These enticing flavours linger lovingly on the palate but are soon combined by a sensual, complex array of creme brulee, orange rind and freshly baked bread. It is a remarkable tapestry of tantalising taste sensations which truly rewards the palate.

RRP £100.00 due with Loch Fyne Whiskies Soon


Ralfy Publishes Episode #193 – Scotch Whisky News


… whisky review 193 – Glenlivit Nadurra 16yo (ralfy @ introduces a big Producer’s ‘craft’ version of a globally available Malt,    … and a decent result too!)


BACK IN STOCK – Whisky for Royal Wedding 2011 At Single Malts Direct – English Whisky News


Due to a high demand of you looking for this very collectable whisky, we have managed to get our hands on more. Don’t miss out this time………..


Tasting Notes:

Nose: Light, delicate and subtle. Floral, grassy armoas developing into a sweet malted barley. A hint of almonds (think marizipan, amaretto biscuits). Delicate liquorice as well as raisins and sultanas. Slight hint of vanilla and tropical fruits; bananas and mangos. A waft of peat smoke in the background.

Palate: Starts very soft and creamy with notes of vanilla, honey and sultana; then peppery chilli-like spice kicks in followed by caramel, toasted almonds and liquorice. Light smoke again present. Palate runs from sweet to spicy and then dry.

Finish: Hot, spicy and long. Tangy and refreshing with prominent notes of sweet barley, peppery bonfire smoke and woody vanilla oak dryness. Very moreish!

£70.00 inc VAT




Whisky fans around the world have been putting their money where their favourite dram is and snapping up tickets for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in their thousands since this year’s programme was announced on 14th January.

Whisky enthusiasts from nearly 100 countries worldwide have already checked out the Festival website, with 20 different nationalities taking advantage of the online booking system to ensure they have a ticket for their favourite event. Topping the ticket sales for this year’s Festival, which runs from 28th April 2nd May, are whisky fanatics from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Advance ticket sales show a 15% increase on this time last year exceeding a value of £50,000 and representing a welcome low season boost to Speyside, Moray and the wider Scottish economy.

More than 40 of over 200 events, which cater for whisky lovers as well as their friends and family, have already sold out. Specialist whisky events and tours have proved the most popular, particularly visits to distilleries not normally open to the public such as Mortlach, Auchroisk, Dailuaine, Glendronach. Also sold out are tours around the Seven Stills of Dufftown and the Five Stills of Elgin, as well as some of the unique train tours to Strathisla Distillery and several of the whisky and food pairing events.

The five day ‘dramfest’, now in its twelfth year, is one of Europe’s largest whisky festivals. It annually attracts around 26,000 visits to events generating around £750,000 for the local economy, with tourists arriving from both home and abroad.

This year’s programme also features a selection of new events. Whisky lovers can become a Benromach Warehouseman for the day, take part in Food and Whisky Tours, try their hand at whisky themed craft taster sessions and choose from a selection of traditional musical events and ceilidhs.

Organisers are delighted at the response to this year’s Festival so far. Chairman Jim Royan extended a warm welcome to all visitors who plan to include the Festival in their travel plans this year, with a special invitation to Scots around the country from the Borders, to the Central Belt to the Highlands to come and experience the region and its world famous product during the Festival.

“The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival highlights the rich variety of landscapes, history and leisure opportunities that the area has to offer. It’s the blend of whisky, music, food and fun that guarantees Festival visitors are immersed in the culture of Whisky Country and experience the true taste of the Speyside spirit of hospitality.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “As supporters of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, EventScotland are delighted to see that the festival continues to attract large numbers of visitors from such a diverse range of countries.

“The event, which is amongst Europe’s largest and most-recognised whisky festivals, continues to seek out inspiring and innovative ways to showcase the very best of Scottish food and drink. Set against Moray’s picturesque landscapes and featuring events at some of the world’s most renowned distilleries, it’s a fantastic example of why Scotland is the perfect stage for the best food and drink events”


– Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 runs from Thursday, 28th April-Monday, 2nd May.– Speyside is easily accessible by rail or air, including a number of low-cost airline options to Aberdeen and Inverness airport

– The Festival runs a subsidised dial-a-bus service and taxi voucher scheme

– The Festival also runs several competitions and awards including a Whisky Cocktail Competition, Photographic Competition and the prestigious Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

– Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 has received funding from EventScotland and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners

– EventScotland is the national events agency. EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit

– The Year of Active Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative being delivered by EventScotland and VisitScotland which began on the 1st January 2011. For more information go to– A series of focus years running from 2010 to 2013 will ensure co-ordinated national activity that will spotlight some of Scotland’s great assets as we journey towards 2014. The four focus years are centred on domestic and international tourism and the development of the events industry in Scotland. These focus years will celebrate our reputation as a land food and drink, as an active nation, as a place of culture and creativity and as a place of natural beauty.

– EventScotland in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland is delivering Event Team Scotland, a new web – based portal which matches volunteers across Scotland with exciting sporting and cultural events. For more information please visit

Scotch Malt Whisky Society April Outturn: Previews – Scotch Whisky News


April Previews: 30.65 & 36.52
Be well-prepared for the holidays with our April Outturn previews releases.  Buy 30.65 & 36.52 together for £85 and save £15

30.65 A well-made Cosmopolitan
Speyside Spey
£58.10 inc free p&p
Lion’s Golden Syrup on toast, with traces of maple syrup and stale wine or pommace, on the nose, but the taste at natural strength has dark chocolate-orange

36.52 Cheeky and beguiling
Speyside Spey
£42.10 inc free p&p
The nose delighted us with raspberry, apple, lemon sherbet, vanilla custard, barley fields, rice paper, tea, pencil shavings and
abundant tobacco

March Recommendations:
Heavenly Pair
Buy 121.40 & 7.63 for £85 (save £17.50)

Transcendental Trio:
Buy 4.149, 29.96 & 9.59 for £125
(save £24.90)

Spiritual Six:
Buy 121.40, 7.63, 4.149, 29.96, 9.59 & 26.76
for £241.30 (save £50.00)

March Offers End: Thu 31 Mar

Society Tastings & Events (31 Society tastings online)

New Outturn Open Tastings – London, Sat 2 Apr
Mother’s Day Carvery & Tasting – The Vaults, Sun 3 Apr
New Outturn Open Tasting – London, Mon 4 Apr
London Eye Society Tasting – London, Thu 7 Apr
Hidden Treasure Tasting – Queen Street, Thu 7 Apr
All things whisky wth Annabel – The Vaults, Tue 12 Apr


Society Whisky Tastings
Whatever and wherever our tasting or event, the main focus is to give members an informal, enjoyable and relaxed night out..with a taste of the single cask good stuff!

Events range from step by step instruction in how to get the most from tasting single cask, single malt whisky to more adventurous couplings of whisky with food.

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. 

Drams Under The Hammer – Scotch Whisky News


Drams Under The Hammer

It’s enjoyed all over the world and is worth billions of pounds to the British economy. But Scotch whisky is also undergoing a boom as an investment.

Last October, Whyte & Mackay launched its Dalmore Trinitas at £100,000 a bottle, only to be topped the following month when Macallan released a 64-year-old single malt in a crystal decanter, which sold at auction in New York for $460,000 (£288,000). Earlier this month Gordon and MacPhail released 100 bottles of a 70-year-old Glenlivet, costing £13,000. Very few are likely ever to be opened.

Limited editions and whiskies from now silent distilleries can command premium prices and the amber nectar is turning into liquid gold for many collectors.

Now two Scottish businessmen have set up the country’s first internet-only auction site to handle the sale and purchase of rare, old and collectible whiskies. is the brainchild of Tam Gardiner and Bill Mackintosh. Tam is the owner of Tam’s Drams, a specialist whisky shop in the Finnieston area of Glasgow. Bill is a director of Glasgow’s Whisky Festival, which held its inaugural event last year. It returns to the Arches in November.

The two believe their Scottish-based Internet site will provide a safe and secure environment for collectors and sellers alike. The first auction will be held on Saturday, April 2, and run for four weeks, closing on Saturday, April 30.

Tam said: “I don’t think collectors are being best served at the moment. Charges by traditional auction houses can be sky-high. Because we are internet-only, we are able to pass on cost savings to our customers.”

Bill added: “Other auction houses handle everything from furniture to furs. We will be concentrating on whisky only. Our pricing structure means charges will be fairer for purchasers and sellers alike.”

The Scottish Whisky Association, the trade body for distillers, said: “Collectors’ interest in rare bottlings of Scotch whisky has risen over recent years. It is a niche but growing market, with specialist auctions increasingly being held in the UK, United States and Hong Kong.”

For further information contact

Tam Gardiner on 07853 898223

Bill Mackintosh on 07821 107212 

Icons of Arran Series: The Westie At Single Malts Direct – Scotch Whisky News


Visit Single Malts Direct at

WhiskyCast Publishes Episode #309 – Scotch Whisky News


Five generations of the William Grant family have been making Grant’s Scotch whiskies, and we’ll look at the entire Grant’s range with Ludo DuCroq in this episode. In the news, Decanter #1 of Gordon & MacPhail’s Glenlivet 70 goes on the auction block for Japanese earthquake relief, the UK government sticks whisky lovers with the annual tax increase, and much more!

Visit WhiskyCast at

Angels Whisky Club Islay Trip March 2011 – Scotch Whisky News


Liz and Paul have been away to Islay (March 2011.) It’s a must for us to catch up on the local gossip, news and new events. Says Paul “A long overdue trip we are making “just for our members” – honest! We need sample drams and places so we can pass on all this glorious info to you.  It’s a hard thankless job, but some one has to do it, dinnae worry, we will struggle through”. Liz; “it’s a first for me and I am really looking forward to it, hope there isn’t too much peat!”  THE BLOG/DIARY of our ROAD TRIP goes like this; we started the trip from Perth, after an Angels corporate whisky tasting, taken by Willie and Don (we couldnee join in – driving y’know).


Leaving Perth approx 7.30pm Wednesday driving to Inveraray where we stopped overnight, a dram or three here in a friends hotel! Early start to Kennacraig … to catch the ferry to Islay … with 8 distilleries to check and several other “must do” not to mention meeting people and, trying to get to Jura, it was a whistle stop trip! WELL, WE ARE HOME AGAIN IN ONE PIECE. It was a grand trip, over two nights, three days on the island we visited all 8 distilleries (Bowmore twice) and Jura making 9 in all. Staying at Bowmore distillery was a good idea, fall asleep and awake to the sweet niff drifting in the slightly open windees… Lagavulin was shut when we got there, but, we were there and its their loss they were shut! Apart from distilleries, we were checkin oot accommodations, visits, historic sites, shops, grub and of course meeting people! Wait for the photos! Kildalton Cross and Kirk were immense, we ate at Holy Coo in Bowmore and a couple of take – away’s!


The ferry to Jura is a landing craft but we just had to have a go! There will soon be some new faces near the distillery, girls, it must be something in the air! Our very best wishes to all the “expecting” mums to be. Back on Islay we met our pal big Lamie, who drove us in his bullet proof Merc, bullet proof on Islay? must be a story there (aye there is), shared a few drinks and stories with him, a few good belly laughs too (if you have seen Paul and Lamie you’ll know how big belly laughs can be!). Just goes to show what whisky can do; a Campbell and a McLean getting on very well and best o friends! While the TV coverage of the darts in Glasgow SECC carried on relentless, we drank with Peter the younger and his lovely mum Linda exploring the wood in the bar, no to mention their own personal collection of excellent bottles.

So many nice people and a special hello to our man at Calmac on the way out of Port Ellen, made us a special place on the ferry. Hello also to the lovely lass at Spar in Port Ellen (from Mull and Dalmally!). Thanks for the butties.  S’funny isnee it, all except Kilchoman are on the water and all with a pier or slip, did they get deliveries by sea? Who is out there who knows?  Now then, who agrees with Liz and Paul, Islay needs a chip shop, a clothes shop (where do they buy socks, undies and jeans?) and a travel agent. We also need start trying to get all restaurants to lower their food costs a wee bit. We are no saying put in a KFC but something needs be done guys.  We also thought (rightly or wrongly) that after doing our best and spending money actually getting there ( no cheap ), that everyone should be made to accept a free bottle of their choice upon arrival or departure! Just as a thanks y’see.  Angels would be very happy to take you to the isle any time you wish. With our tour company MCLEANSCOTLAND you get so much packed in, real value for money and a great experience.


ARDBEG; Current owner: Glenmorangie plc.  Distillery Manager: Michael Heads What a clean and tidy place this is! Our first call right off the ferry, well, after Kildalton. Our first “spend!” here. Some work going on at the centre, grand wee place, lovely stuff to buy and great views, drams are no bad either! Their marketing and overall packaging matches the drink.

LAGAVULIN Current owner: Diageo. Distillery Manager: Graham Logie.  Shut!!!

CAOL ILA Current owner: Diageo. Distillery Manager: Billy Stitchell. Doon by the water, chatted with other distillery tourists (on bikes). I would say, the least attractive distillery, big is no always beautiful. Come on Diageo.


LAPHROAIG Current owner: Allied Distillers Ltd. Distillery Manager: John Campbell Loved it! Big Lamie’s look – alike looked after us! Liz is now a land owner like Paul, enjoyed this distillery and its visitor centre with  museum and so on, enjoyed our drams, we left with gifts.

KILCHOMAN Current owner: Privately. Distillery Manager: Malcolm Rennie. Eventually got there after our Dutch comrades, we detoured to see the ruined Kirk (Paul wanted this), back at the distillery; past the coos and horses into the barley floor, small but well formed. Our Canadian group coming in May, have a cask here. Some chattin and photos etc before we left for Bowmore.


BRUICHLADDICH Current owner: Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd. Distillery Manager: Duncan McGillivray Chatted with Mary, shared a dram or several, bought the t shirt and enjoyed it all! Mary; we will be back! But – Dinnae carry on wi that gin! You get a nice feeling here, you know its not a big corporation who owns it and it shows, in a nice way, staff very happy!

BUNNAHABHAIN Current owner: Burn Stewart Distillers plc. Distillery Manager: Vacancy A real “workin distillery” dirt an all, its what we thought  and much more, some purchases here at the Barlinnie of the isles. As a wee note Liz and Paul both thought this reminded them of prison, er, that’s another story. A nice drive doon a winding road that leads you to their door, all the time we were there one happy chap was whistling away driving his fork lift, a sign of a good happy workforce and aye, we would go back.

BOWMORE Current owner: Suntory, Japanese Whisky Co. Distillery Manager: Eddie McAffer what can we say? we stayed there, enjoyed there, drank their drams there, laughed with the lassies there, had a special tour which we both appreciated thank you, and felt at home! Great relax area and bar overlooking the water to Port Charlotte. I tended to favour this one, probably as we were staying with them, wanderin aboot at 7am, the distillery is quiet, you can peep into places, its good to be the only person around at times, och the weather was good too!
AYE WE KNOW, Jura is a different isle altogether, aye but it’s nearby and we shall do our best! Jura Prophecy is the fourth of Jura’s classic bottlings and the first to be ‘profoundly’ peated. The whisky takes its name from one of the island’s most famous legends. In the early 1700’s the hated Campbells of Jura evicted a wise old seer. Bristling with resentment, she prophesised that the last Campbell to leave the island would be one-eyed with his belongings carried in a cart drawn by a lone white horse. Was the old seer a Maclean? wouldn’t surprise us. 1938, Charles Campbell, blind in one eye from the Great War, fell on hard times and led his white horse to the old pier for the last time. Ha!  Prophecy is bottled without chill filtration for an authentic taste of 1938. Flavours of peat, smoke, cinnamon and sea spray with bonfire notes give way to soft liquorice and nutmeg. and

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