Archive for June, 2011




29 June 2011, Edinburgh:  Ian Macleod Distillers, the independent, family-owned distiller, blender and bottler has purchased Tamdhu distillery in Speyside from the Edrington Group.

Established in 1897, Tamdhu’s distillation capacity of four million litres of alcohol per year will support the continued growth of Ian Macleod’s existing brands, including Isle of Skye, Lang’s and the King Robert II blends. The Tamdhu Single Malt brand is also included in the sale, and Ian Macleod Distillers plans to significantly develop its sales both within the UK and abroad.

Leonard Russell, Managing Director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “Having purchased Glengoyne Distillery from Edrington in 2003, we are delighted to be acquiring a second distillery from them, safe in the knowledge that it has been maintained to a very high standard and comes with a reputation for producing exceptional quality single malt.

“I am also pleased that we will be securing and creating new local employment during these uncertain economic times. We are looking forward to developing the Tamdhu single malt following our successful growth of Glengoyne”.

Ian Curle, Chief Executive of The Edrington Group, said: “The Edrington Group is delighted to complete the sale of Tamdhu to Ian Macleod Distillers. Edrington and Ian Macleod have a good relationship stretching back many years, and we know the Tamdhu Distillery and brand will be in good hands.  From Edrington’s perspective, the sale will further de-complex our business, allowing us to continue to focus on the growth of our five key brands, The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Brugal, Cutty Sark and Highland Park.”

Since purchasing Glengoyne distillery in 2003, Ian Macleod Distillers has more than doubled sales of Glengoyne Single Malt. Ian Macleod has built four additional maturation warehouses, capable of housing up to 5 million litres and has invested in the visitor experience with renovations and improvements increasing visitor numbers to nearly 50,000.

The Glengoyne brand is currently promoting a new long-term marketing initiative based on the fact that Glengoyne is ‘distilled more slowly than any other Scotch Whisky for the highest quality’ and is investing upwards of £1 million in the UK drive alone over the next two years.

Ian Macleod Distillers recently announced improved financial results for the eighth consecutive year, with group turnover increasing 22% to £31.9 million in 2010. The purchase of Tamdhu Distillery was concluded on 28 June for an undisclosed sum.

Alan Anderson’s Whisky Fir Dummies at Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Scotch Whisky News


Alan Anderson : Whisky Fir Dummies

Venue: Just The Tonic @ The Tron (Venue 51) Hunter Square, Edinburgh
Time: 9pm (55mins)
Dates: 4th – 28th August

‘Impressive… amusing… bargain of a night out’
Adelaide Advertiser

‘Hilarious… not just for whisky drinkers’  Glaswegian comedian Alan Anderson loves Single Malt Scotch Whisky and he wants you to love it too. Anderson is trying to dispel the stereotype of the cheap Scot by giving away high quality booze. During his show there are six whiskies to be tasted and many laughs to be had.

A former architect, DJ and tour guide, Alan Anderson has been one of the most in-demand comedians in Scotland for over a decade, with six years of sell out shows at the Glasgow Comedy Festival. Whisky Fir Dummies is his Edinburgh Fringe debut.

Whisky Fir Dummies premiered at Australia’s Adelaide Fringe Festival in February 2011. Alan Anderson performed Whisky Fir Dummies for 18 nights, receiving rave reviews and sell out audiences… probably something to do with the free whisky he hands out during the show to his favourite audience members.

There is no denying that Scotland has a drink problem. That problem is that too many Scots drink poor quality cheap alcohol such as alcopops, methadone and Buckfast. Whisky however is Scotland’s greatest export, 2010 was a record year with over £3Billion’s worth of Scotch being exported around the world. This helped HMRC rake in over £1Billion in tax. Anderson asks what whisky – compared to golf, Sean Connery or Nessie – says about the Scots, and will minimum pricing kill the golden goose?

Hae a dram, some cheeky banter and learn about Scotland’s greatest export with Glaswegian comedian Alan Anderson. Every show a new, unique whisky sodden tale.

‘delivered in boisterous and friendly manner… Anderson educates his audience… keeping them rolling with laughter…. a warm and hilarious get-together.’ Chortle

‘Excellent show. Excellent whisky. Excellent chat.’

‘Scottish Comedy Veteran’ Daily Record

‘Festival institution’ Evening  Times

‘There was whisky to be had. And laughs too, of which there were many. I can find no other way to describe Whisky Fir Dummies other than to say that it is the best way to have a dram of whisky in a room with strangers. ’ Adelaide Art Beat

For more information please visit Alan Anderson is managed in-house and is represented by Ha Ha Comedy. For further information email or call 07930312135

Loch Fyne Whiskies Stocks ‘Tweeddale 12yo Blend’ – Scotch Whisky News


Loch Fyne Whiskies Stocks, ‘Tweeddale 12yo Blend’

Tweeddale Blend OB 12yo 46%alc.

50% single grain and 50% malt

Batch 2 12yo

‘In batch two the single grain whisky is 15 years old from a sherry butt. Seven of the eight single malts are from the same casks as batch 1 but a year older 12 years old to 21 years old. One of the malts in batch 2 is 14 years old from a different cask.’

Scotch as Scotch should be.

First twist on a shop favourite, a bit more age and a bit more sherry influence make this a very accomplished 12yo blend and highly recommended. Round, mellow and well flavoured – lovely!

Blends by definition don’t figure on the Flavour map but if they did it’s rich with a dash of delicate.

Price excluding VAT: £26.25
£31.50 Including VAT at 20%

Loch Fyne Whiskies


The Whisky Exchange Blog at Spirit of Speyside: Pt.1 – Scotch Whisky News


The Whisky Exchange Blog at Spirit of Speyside: Pt.1

Now and again, working in the whisky industry and trotting out the occasional overly verbose blog throws up some spectacular fringe benefits that fully justify the grinding rectal ache of the three hour daily commute required to trek between southeast and northwest London for work. The honour of being invited to join a group of .…(please click on the link below to read the remainder of the article)…



Ralfy Publishes Masterclass Episode 1 of 7 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy presents his anticipated (and requested) Masterclass, …. the most comprahensive to ever appear on the internet.

Whisky Review #209 (1/7) – Whisky Masterclass (Preparation) … six more episodes to go.

See for yourself at


Tomatin Celebrates Master Distillers 50th Year – Scotch Whisky News


Tomatin Celebrates Master Distillers 50th Year

Tomatin Distillery is delighted to announce the release of a special limited edition bottling to celebrate Douglas Campbell, the current Master Distiller, 50th year of service with the company. Native to Tomatin, Douglas Campbell had worked for the distillery since 1961 in a number of positions before taking on the role of Master Distiller in 2008. In his current role, he spends much of his time assessing the thousands of casks that lie maturing in the vast warehouses of Tomatin or travelling around the world promoting the distillery’s single malt.

In recognition of his 50 years service at Tomatin, Douglas has created a Single Malt using whiskies distilled in each of the 5 decades he has worked at the distillery. Starting with a 1967 cask and moving through each of the subsequent decades to the year 2005, Douglas has chosen whiskies that not only have very distinctive individual characteristics but are also versatile enough to marry together to create a single malt that is a genuine one off.

Called simply ‘Decades‘, this single malt is a marriage of maturity and youth. It is a coming together of sherry and bourbon influenced whiskies, of differing ages, to create a single malt that has great depth of flavour but also a youthful charm that helps to invigorate the taste buds.

Decades has been limited to a world wide release of 9000 bottles, is non chill filtered and bottled at 46%abv. It comes in a prestigious gift box which has been designed to look like the internal char of a bourbon cask. It is expected to retail in the UK at 69.95GBP and across Europe at 80.00 Euros.

Robert Anderson, Chief Executive at Tomatin commented “This is a fitting compliment on the life and participation of Douglas in the evolution of the Tomatin style. Douglas, an inspiration to me when I took up my post in 1988, had already contributed 27 years to our distillery – quite an accomplishment”.

Tomatin has also confirmed that they are enhancing their standard range by replacing the current 25 year old with a 30 year old Single Malt. Due to limited stocks the distillery plans to release 2000 bottles annually. This Single Malt has been crafted using both North American and European oak casks, it is non chill filtered, bottled at 46%abv and will retail for £125.00GBP in the UK market and 145.00 Euros across Europe.

Stephen Bremner Sales Director commented “this change has come about because of the phenomenal reception that our 30 year old release received back in 2007. By the time Tomatin reaches 30 years of age it has become very rich and full bodied and has a unique character that is dominated by a wealth of deep fruity aromas that you don’t pick up in the younger expressions”.

Tasting Notes



Aroma – A lovely sweet maltiness gives way to juicy, fruity aromas of fresh peach, apple and pear with gentle hints of dried apricots and raisins. Delicate flowery notes sit on top of rich pine and robust oak wood. The hint of a distant smouldering fire wafts about in the background.

Palate – The taste buds are tantalised by intense flavours of tropical fruit, rich Christmas cake, aniseed, cinnamon and creamy fudge. The rich malty sweetness returns with a nutty edge.

Finish – Mellow and memorable, like the man himself.


30 year old


Nose – Intense juicy aromas arouse the senses – Green Apples, Passion Fruit, Honey Dew Melon, Blackcurrant and Blueberries. Citrus notes come to the fore all the while a candy sweetness drifts along with hints of polished leather in the background.

Palate – Gooseberry, Ginger and Hazelnuts make way for spicy oak which hits the middle of the tongue. The oak is balanced beautifully by a honey sweetness that drifts to the back of the palate.

Finish – Long, clean and pleasurable.


Visit Tomatin Distillery at



In a time of financial uncertainty, Scottish crystal company,  Glencairn Crystal are bucking the trend with the announcement of a  £500,000 expansion programme over the next 3 years and a recruitment drive for additional staff.
The recent purchase of Collins Crystal combined with new factory space  and the expansion of glass and bottle decorating facilities, including  new Lehr and specialised decorating equipment are just the first steps in the company’s expansion plans.
Glencairn are also investing in New product development and building new clean room facilities at their East Kilbride factory and hope to create 6 new jobs in the area.
For the family run business the future is crystal clear, with Managing Director, Paul Davidson confident that the increase in growth and staffing levels over the next few years will continue,
He said: “We have made a good start on our investment plan of over £500,000 over the next couple of years and I imagine we will continue to expand in all areas at this rate especially in the overseas markets. Over one third of our total sales are outside the UK and through the scotch whisky companies, over 65% of our business is international.”
For Glencairn, a heady mix of rare and expensive whiskies and an innovative approach to product design and quality presentation packaging looks set to ensure that the turnover at East Kilbride based, Glencairn Crystal, will grow to over £5million during the next year – with current new business increasing staff by 15% so far this year .
For the Davidson family, their combined blend of expertise in crystal, design, packaging, with more than a dash of innovative product development, has ensured that Scottish based Glencairn  Crystal has secured pole position as the largest supplier of crystal to the Scottish Whisky industry in the UK and Ireland, as well as supplying their products and gaining interest in over 30 countries in the global market.

The Famous Grouse Festival – Scotch Whisky News


Dear Famous fan,

We are getting very excited about our brand new upcoming Festival and wanted to update our loyal friends.

The very first Famous Grouse Festival takes place on Friday 12th & Saturday 13th August 2011. Set outdoors at Scotland’s oldest and most visited distillery; Glenturret, an eclectic blend of music and whisky is set to transpire.

There are only 1,200 tickets available for each day and they are on sale now and selling fast.

Rocking the stage on Friday evening is the legendary Donnie Munro and Eric Faulkner with supporting acts including Jill Jackson, formerly of Speedway, Michael Marra and The Gospel Truth Choir.

Saturday 13th will see the Celtic band Skerryvore headlining with blazing bagpipes, fiddle and accordion fused with funky rhythms and soulgripping songs. Piperactive, Manran, Mike Lee and Jill Jackson will also be making an appearance.

We are also running a battle of the bands competition in conjunction with Radio Tay ( to find the final up and coming Scottish band or artist that will complete the Saturday line-up.

Festival goers will be treated to three free drams of whisky with every ticket and learn about The Famous Family (The Famous Grouse, The Black Grouse & The Snow Grouse). Gordon Motion, The Famous Grouse Master Blender will be running master classes and TV celebrity mixologist Andy Gemmell will be shaking up some whisky cocktails.

Tickets are £30 per day and are on sale from, until stocks last. We are expecting the event to sell out in advance.

Tickets are restricted to those aged 14 and above and all over 18s will be treated to three free drams (25ml measure). Disabled access and parking is available on prior request.

For all the latest festival news please visit:

We hope to see you there!
Yours famously,
The Famous Grouse Team



The Whisky Exchange “The Balvenie Whisky Academy Tasting” – Scotch Whisky News


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the main July tasting event here at TWE Vinopolis, our good friends at The Balvenie Distillery in Speyside have offered to host an evening of malted merriment, purely in the name of education. And, of course, who better to present such a tasting but the incredibly knowledgeable and superbly qualified Dr. Andrew Forrester (Head Honcho for all things Balvenie in the UK), and TWE alumnus Sam Simmons, aka Dr. Whisky – famous for his wonderful blog… and we understand he now does something or other for Balvenie, too.

The Balvenie Whisky Academy Tasting,
with Dr. Forrester and Dr. Whisky
Monday 11th July, 7:00pm


The chaps will be pouring a few select gems from The Balvenie range and are also currently liberating a few samples from Warehouse 24 at the distillery for our enjoyment. They will be including elements from their recently launched Balvenie Whisky Academy, which aims to bring a better understanding of our favourite spirit with Charles MacLean, Gavin D. Smith, David Stewart and others discussing the history, science, and enjoyment of Scotch whisky. Check out the intro on youTube

Whether you are a complete novice or have been drinking Balvenie for years, this is a great chance to learn a lot about whisky in general and a rare opportunity to spend an evening in the delightful and engaging company of the fine gentlemen mentioned above.

In a slight change to our usual Monday arrangement, places for this evening will be released from 3:00pm, Wednesday 29th June. As always, they are limited to 2 per booking and sold on a first come, first served basis. You can reserve a place by calling us on +44 (0)207 403 8688 with payment details to hand.


The Team



Kilchoman 100% Islay – Pre-order at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News



Inaugural/100% Islay

Produced from barley that has been grown, malted and distilled on Islay. The Inaugural 100% release has been aged on the island for over 3 years in a combination of fresh and refill bourbon barrels, then finally bottled at the distillery.

Pre-order only.


Remember!  We don’t charge for postage to the UK mainland when you spend over £100! £16.00 to most of Europe. Great Prices to the USA.


Mike & Peter
Are looking to sell? Get in touch, auction prices paid!

Abbey Whisky

Specialist supplier of rare, collectable and exclusive malts.

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