Archive for August, 2011

Glenglassaugh Launches “Chosen Few & Visitor Center News – Scotch Whisky News


• Glenglassaugh distillery’s “Chosen Few” launches
• Visitor centre refurbishment under way

Glenglassaugh distillery at Portsoy on the picturesque Moray firth coast proudly announce the release of the first bottling from their “Chosen Few” series of single cask expressions. The Chosen Few series, explains Ronnie Routledge, Customer Account Manager for Glenglassaugh, allowed our team, based here at the distillery, the opportunity to sample various casks from our small portfolio to discover his or her favourite cask of Glenglassaugh Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky and get the once-in-a-lifetime experience of having it bottled with their own name on the label.

The team of ten have each given an indication of which whisky they would like to bottle and we will release these over the next 2 – 3 years. Some of them are carefully watching casks of spirit which we distilled and laid down after re-opening the distillery in November 2008 and anxiously wait for them to mature into whisky, while others prefer the greatly aged Glenglassaugh whiskies. “I was very privileged to be asked to choose the first release which is one of the finest single malts I have ever tasted and I’ve tried an awful lot”, says Routledge who is well known in the whisky industry, is a “Keeper of the Quaich” and ex whisky judge. “This particular expression delivers everything I look for in well-balanced single malts: complexity, depth, tropical fruit in abundance, chocolate and good sherry character, balanced perfectly with oak spice”.

This very limited expression of only 654 bottles is from a 1976 vintage sherry butt, bottled at 35 years old at a natural strength of 49.6% abv and is available through all good whisky stockists with a RRP of £299.99. “It was quite an honour and privilege to be presented with bottle number # 2 from the release, it almost felt like a lifetime achievement award” said Routledge.

The team at Glenglassaugh are also busy renovating their new dedicated visitor centre which they are determined to open before the end of 2011 to coincide with the release of their very first single malt, distilled since the new owners took over in 2008 after a closed spell of 22 years. “Distillery tours at the moment are by appointment only so it will be great to have proper facilities in place for the many visitors who make a pilgrimage to Glenglassaugh and expand on what we are currently offering”, explains Stuart Nickerson, MD for Glenglassaugh distillery. “The Banffshire region as a whole will benefit from Glenglassaugh’s visitor centre and attract thousands of tourists into the area each year”.

Glenglassaugh has a range of whisky available from 26 years of age to a 45 year old and more information on these and how to purchase them as well as your very own 50 litre Octave cask can be found on the distillery web site .


The company also has a range of Spirit Drinks and more information on these can be found on .

Further Information

About Glenglassaugh

The Glenglassaugh Distillery is situated on the Banffshire coast in the North-East of Scotland, close to the small village of Portsoy. The distillery was built in 1875 by local businessmen to satisfy the growing global demand for Scotch Malt Whisky and the site was chosen due to its close proximity to a high quality water supply and easy access to the nearby barley fields. After a visit in the late 1880s, the highly-regarded Victorian commentator Alfred Barnard described Glenglassaugh as “too well known to need any praise.”

More recently, spirit from Glenglassaugh was used primarily in blends such as Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse. In 1986 the then owners mothballed Glenglassaugh as part of wider cutbacks in production and the distillery has remained silent thereafter. In 2008 The Scaent Group of Amsterdam purchased the distillery and have invested more than £1m to recommence operations and to reintroduce to discerning customers the distinctive and high quality attributes of The Glenglassaugh Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.


The refurbishment and reopening of the Glenglassaugh Distillery have been managed by Stuart Nickerson, a renowned whisky expert, who was the sole consultant during the acquisition. Nickerson has worked in the Scotch Whisky industry since 1981 with a significant part of his career being with William Grants, where he was Distilleries Director. Previously, he managed Highland Park Distillery, Glenrothes and Glenfiddich Distilleries in succession. He was appointed the new Managing Director of the Glenglassaugh Distillery Company in February 2008.

Production at Glenglassaugh was restarted on 24th November 2008 by Rt. Hon Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister and the distillery’s MP. Distilling was thus commenced under the guidance of Stuart Nickerson and Graham Eunson, the new management team, who have now released a number of innovative new products.

Jolly Toper Tastings Edinburgh – Fall 2011 Schedule – Scotch Whisky News


Jolly Toper Tastings Edinburgh – Fall 2011 Schedule – Scotch Whisky News

Future dates:-

Thursday September 8th 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday September 22nd 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday October 6th 7.30pm Bladnoch £t.b.c. :-

Rare Malts 23yo 1977 53.6%
Cadenheads 17yo 55.1% Bourbon hogshead
Peated- details t.b.c.
Sherry cask- details t.b.c
Flora and Fauna 10yo 43%

Thursday October 20th 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday November 3rd 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday November 17th 7.30pm Ben Nevis £t.b.c. :-

Cadenheads 1996 – 03/2009 12yo 57.1% Bourbon hogshead 256 bottles
10yo 46%
Single blend (hopefully!)
Single grain(!!!)
Cadenheads ‘dumpy’ 06/1965 – 12/1981 16yo 46%

Thursday December 1st 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday December 15th 7.30pm £20/17* P/O/U/R/S

Thursday December 29th 7.30pm, theme: to be confirmed £t.b.c.

Future Themes:

Peaty blends 40%: Islay Mist, Islay Hallmark 8yo, Black Bottle 10yo, Black Grouse, Black Bottle, plus a special guest (Brora or Port Ellen).

All of the Jolly Toper’s whisky tastings take place on Thursday nights from 7:30pm until approximately 10pm at the Tolbooth Tavern, 167 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, meals available up to the time of the tastings. For more details on the tastings themselves, please click here

*P/O/U/R/S = Peaty, Old, Unusual, Rare and Sherry cask matured

Visit the Jolly Toper at

Labor Day Libation: Refreshing Cocktail to Toast the End of Summer – American Whiskey News


Labor Day Libation: Refreshing Cocktail to Toast the End of Summer

The last blast of summer is almost here so it’s time to plan one more final BBQ. You’ve got the hotdogs, burgers and potato salad. All that’s missing is a chilled cocktail that embodies the flavors of summer. The following recipe from Maker’s Mark is elegant yet easy for anyone to make and pair well with food from the grill. 



Recipe by Dale DeGroff, Master Mixologist


· 2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon

· 4 mint leaves

· ¾ lemon

· 1 part simple syrup

· Lemon wheel, for garnish

· Sprig of mint, for garnish


Muddle all ingredients except Maker’s Mark® Bourbon in a bar glass. Add the bourbon and shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lemon wheel.

Maker’s Mark® is one of the finest Kentucky Bourbons with a soft, smooth flavor which stems from the use of red winter wheat in the mash bill instead of rye. In keeping with the founder’s dedication to heritage and handcraftsmanship, Maker’s Mark is aged to taste at its historic distillery in Loretto, KY.

The Whisky Exchange Blog ‘Port Askaig Harbour 19 Year Old’ – Scotch Whisky News


Port Askaig Harbour 19 Year Old

It’s with great regret that we must announce that the Port Askaig 17 year-old – Speciality Drinks’ superb mystery single Islay malt which became the whisky version of a soundtrack [a tastetrack? – Ed.] to TWEBlog & Caskstrength/ManDate’s momentous 2009 trip to Feis Ile – is no more. No, no, I’m alright – I’ve just got something in my […please click on the link below to read the remainder of the post…]

The Link


Peaty Malts is Launched – Scotch Whisky News


18 year old business man, Sam Coley launches a new Islay whisky retailing business, Peaty Malts. Sam wanted to launch an online malt retail shop where it is easy to choose and buy a wide range of Islay malt whisky. Inspired by a visit to Islay and particularly the Kilchoman Distillery, Sam is dedicated to grow the business to help newcomers to find the great taste of Malt whiskies and no doubt will expand into other regions. Peaty Malts offers a unique way to choose the taste of your Islay malt as well a traditional search facility. Sam is not a heavy drinker by any stretch of the imagination and strongly supports responsible drinking; he believes education and experience of fine malts will encourage people to enjoy a drink responsibly. Peaty Malts is based in Dunoon, Argyll serving customers UK wide.  




AS SUMMER slips away, the thought of long autumn and winter nights becomes slightly more bearable thanks to BenRiach and GlenDronach issuing new batches of limited release single cask bottlings.

As with previous batches, each vintage is hand-numbered and bottled at cask strength, at natural colour and non-chill-filtered.

The new BenRiach batch boasts twelve special bottlings ranging from 18 to 40 year-old – including a monster 1976 Classic Speyside at 57.8% proof which on the nose offers “a wave of stewed plums, damsons and sweet sultanas interwoven with fine leather and well-toasted oak”!

Meanwhile, over at GlenDronach, the six bottlings range from 17 to 40 year-old, and they include a superlative 1994 from an Oloroso Butt at 60.1% proof which on the palate gives “liquorice, aniseed and toasted hazelnuts developing around a foundation of chocolate orange sauce and rich old Oloroso sherry”.

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “BenRiach’s uniqueness is found in the diversity of our whiskies. Our warehouses boast a stunning array of ages and styles, and when we select the casks to be bottled as single casks, not only are we looking for excellent quality but also to offer the consumers some variety. Batch 8 alone covers the Classic Speyside style, various finishes (including less traditional finishes such as Sauternes, Barolo and virgin American oak), and of course a couple of peated, smoky BenRiachs.”

The twelve BenRiach bottlings are:

1971, July 2011, 40YO, cask 1947, Hogshead, Classic Speyside
1972, July 2011, 39YO, cask 802, Hogshead, Classic Speyside
1976, July 2011, 34YO, cask 6942, Butt, Classic Speyside
1977, July 2011, 34YO, cask 1034, Pedro Ximinez Hogshead, PX Sherry Finish
1978, July 2011, 32YO, cask 4387, Virgin Oak Hogshead, Virgin American Oak Finish
1979, July 2011, 31YO, cask 11195, Bourbon Barrel, Peated
1980, July 2011, 31YO, cask 2531, Virgin Oak Barrel, Virgin American Oak Finish
1984, July 2011, 26YO, cask 7193, Virgin Oak Hogshead, Peated / Virgin American Oak Finish
1989, July 2011, 22YO, cask 4813, Sauternes Hogshead, Sauternes Finish
1989, July 2011, 22YO, cask 5620, Virgin Oak Hogshead, Virgin American Oak Finish
1992, July 2011, 19YO, cask 972, Tawny Port Hogshead, Tawny Port Finish
1993, July 2011, 18YO, cask 7415, Barolo Hogshead, Barolo Finish

The GlenDronach Distillery is famous for producing richly sherried single malts. The range of fruit flavours in this latest bottling is exceptional – from brambles and raspberries, citrus notes of mandarins and clementines to nuts, chocolate and dried Mediterranean fruits such as figs, dates and sweet raisins.

Alistair picked out the 1972 which exemplifies the classic GlenDronach taste.

“From an Oloroso butt, it’s a big and full-bodied 39YO. As you would expect from such a mature malt, it’s incredibly concentrated and packed with sweet, fruity flavours. Delicious, and the perfect antidote to cold winter nights.”

The six GlenDronach bottlings are:

1971, July 2011, 40YO, cask 1436, Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon
1972, July 2011, 39YO, cask 712, Oloroso Sherry Butt
1989, July 2011, 21YO, cask 2917, Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon
1990, July 2011, 20YO, cask 1032, Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon
1992, July 2011, 19YO, cask 161, Oloroso Sherry Butt
1994, July 2011, 17YO, cask 97, Oloroso Sherry Butt

BenRiach, and more recently GlenDronach, have become known for their annual ‘batch release’ of single cask whiskies, and these bottlings have gathered quite a following around the world. Alistair commented:

“We have a cult following for our single casks, and these releases sell out very quickly. It’s an important part of what we do, and being a relatively small independent enables us to engage with these small production runs.”

The eighteen releases follow hard on the heels of the company’s success at last month’s IWSC awards. The BenRiach 12 year-old sherry-matured won the Single Malt Scotch whisky (15 years and under) Trophy, the Single Malt Scotch whisky (Special Edition) Trophy and the Gold Medal / Best in Class (category – Scotch whisky, Single Malt, Speyside, Cask Finish, 12 – 13YO)

In total, BenRiach collected an impressive nine IWSC awards this year.

The Whisky Exchange BLOG ‘A Trip To Knockdhu’ – Scotch Whisky News


A trip to Knockdhu

[This is Part 4 of Billy’s trip around the Inver House distilleries. If you haven’t already, you should check out his scribblings from Balblair, Pulteney and Speyburn] After leaving Speyburn we hacked back over to Elgin to find our hotel, not knowing what to expect – the usual hotel that the International Beverages folk use […please click on the link below to read the remainder of the article…]



Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Tasting – American Whiskey News


We have a veritable plethora of exciting tasting events lined up for you all this coming September, so apologies in advance for the slight increase in the number of emails you’re about to receive from us. It’s all in the name of education though, and this month we’re confident we’ve got something lined up that will get you salivating, whatever your poison!

Here’s a quick overview of what we have planned for the month:

Monday 5th September

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Tasting

Monday 19th September

Glendronach Tasting

TICKETS for the Woodford Reserve Tasting are on sale immediately and tickets for the Glendronach Tasting will be available from 3:00pm, Wednesday 7th September.

A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery is based in the scenic, horse-rearing bluegrass lands of Versailles, Kentucky. The standard expression from the distillery, Woodford Reserve, has long been a TWE favourite. It works well in all manner of whiskey-based cocktails, but also serves as a great “sipping whiskey”, as our North American cousins say, to be enjoyed with friends, after a meal, or even over a good ol’ game of Texas Hold ‘em.

To host this tasting evening, we have the great pleasure of Nidal Ramini – Woodford Reserve’s main man in the UK – to take us through their Master’s Collection. This is a series of very special releases that are highly praised amongst Bourbon aficionados for their ground-breaking and experimental innovations, and the evening will include:

Sonoma-Cutrer Finish

1838 Sweet Mash

Maple Wood Finish

Seasoned Oak Finish

Most of the above have passed into the realms of whiskey lore, and are highly sought after by collectors, so it is a great privilege to be able to taste them all together. Of course, we will also be sampling Woodford Reserve, as well as their “White Dog”, which is what the Kentuckians call new-make spirit, plus an exclusive 2 year-old cask sample.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be kicking off the festivities with one of Kentucky’s most iconic cocktails, the Mint Julep – as well as a short demonstration from an expert mixologist showing how to make it yourself. After this, Nidal will take us through the Masters Collection, before finishing off with another cocktail and some truly delicious American-style canapés, which will be very kindly and carefully prepared for us by Borough Market’s famous Roast restaurant.

Tickets for this rare tasting opportunity are priced at £25 and are available as of now by calling us on +44 (0)207 403 8688 with payment details. As always, they are limited to 2 per booking on a first-come, first-served basis.


Soho Whisky Bar Update – Scotch Whisky News


A message from Mike at Soho Whisky Bar;

Building works progressing, not as fast as we would like, with a little bit of luck we will be opening late October. Our website will soon have full details of bar opening and membership. Thank you for your patience, it should be worth the wait.





America’s 2nd Largest Selling Bourbon Teams with Big Green Egg® and Chef Grady Spears for Major Retail Promotion

BARDSTOWN, KY – Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the second largest selling Bourbon in the US and the world, announces a Fall promotion sure to fire up Bourbon fans and grilling aficionados—the Evan Williams and Big Green Egg “Grill With the Greats” Sweepstakes. Offering a grand prize of an all expenses paid trip to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, Kentucky, a private dinner with celebrity chef Grady Spears and Heaven Hill Master Distillers Parker and Craig Beam, and a large Big Green Egg cooker, the “Grill With The Greats” promotion hits all the hot buttons for Bourbon consumers and retailers looking to create compelling merchandising displays.

Evan Williams, the fastest growing premium Bourbon in the country according to A.C. Neilsen, has created a fully integrated marketing program designed to draw in and motivate the Bourbon-buying demographic. Using large and impactful mass retail display point of sale, on-the bottle neckers, as well as print advertising in key national consumer magazines and web and social media, Evan Williams will motivate Bourbon drinkers to enter a Fall sweepstakes to win an ultimate “mancation” getaway—a trip for two to “The Bourbon Capital of the World®”, Bardstown, Kentucky, to visit the Heaven Hill Distilleries, producers of Evan Williams Bourbon. The lucky winner will enjoy a private dinner grilled by celebrity chef Grady Spears, known as “The Cowboy in the Kitchen”, along with the 6th and 7th generation Master Distillers at Heaven Hill Distilleries, Parker and Craig Beam. And the winner will also take home a large size Big Green Egg cooker, the ultra popular ceramic cooker that is a smoker, a grill and an oven all rolled into one.

For retailers, the “Grill With the Greats” promotion means that highly motivated Bourbon consumers will be drawn in by the football-themed floor displays or the on-the-bottle neck hangers (available on 750ml and 1.75l bottles, where legal), and will continue to make Evan Williams the hottest brand among top Bourbons. In addition, compelling print ads and sweepstakes information will appear in top national men’s publications like Maxim, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone, as well as on the Evan Williams website and Facebook page and the Big Green Egg website and Facebook page.

“We know that grilling, Bourbon and football are complementary Fall passions for a lot of our Evan Williams consumers, and competitive Bourbon consumers as well,” noted Susan Wahl, Evan Williams brand manager at Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. “The ‘Grill With the Greats’ promotion brings these together for our consumers, along with iconic brands and names such as Big Green Egg and chef Grady Spears, and presents a great merchandising opportunity for Evan Williams retailers.”

The “Grill With the Greats” promotion will be available nationally (where legal), and will run through mid October, when the drawing for the Grand Prize package will be held. Consumers can learn more through the Evan Williams website (, the Big Green Egg website (, bottle neckers on select 750ml and 1.75 liter size bottles, and Evan Williams print advertisements in select national consumer magazines.


Founded in 1934, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes The Christian Brothers Brandies; Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Hpnotiq Liqueur; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul and Two Fingers Tequilas, and Dubonnet Aperitif.

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