Archive for December, 2011

MCLEANSCOTLAND December 2011 ‘Final Whisky Tour’ – Scotch Whisky News


December 2011 saw the final whisky tour of 2011 for MCLEANSCOTLAND.

A lucky couple from Johannesburg won the trip organised by Diageo/Brandhouse in South Africa.



“Paul met the couple at Glasgow airport, then transferred to Edinburgh, where the couple stayed their first night in Scotland, an exclusive hotel – one not to forget!

He checked them in then dropped them to the city for some shopping. Next day 09.30 they set out to cross the River Forth on the road bridge, heading to Perth where I (Liz) joined them. WE all set out for the highlands, travelling through beautiful countryside to Tynedrum, stopping at the Green Welly Shop, not only for food, but sampling whisky in their fine whisky shop. By now we were in white conditions, heavy snow had fallen, we travelled on to Oban for the first distillery; Oban of course, where we had a private VIP tour and quite a few drams (not Paul, he was still driving), eventually dropping the couple off at their 4 star hotel overlooking Oban Bay to Mull.


Saturday – day 3, we all headed to Rannoch Moor and Glencoe, giving our guests a great view of Scotland in the snow. They were well and truly amazed! Through the glen to Fort William where we took a good lunch at the Crannog restaurant, snow, loch and seafood! Then driving through wonderful scenery to meet the ferry at Mallaig, to take us to Skye. Once there dropping our guests at Kinloch Lodge, home to the Clan Chief of MacDonald of Sleat, a very impressive wee private hotel, dinner awaited them here also. Paul and myself travelled on to Portree, the roads were a wee bit icy so we took care and time here. Back to meet our couple next day and an island trip lay ahead, the road became very tricky after reaching the “old man of Storr” so here we turned back to Portree for lunch and a few pub visits, even watching the game on tv. Returning to their hotel and wee two back to Portree, roads very bad tonight! One large lorry and 5 cars came off the road tonight.

Monday; first call of the day; Talisker distillery, for a grand tour and tasting of several drams. The Talisker 18 year old was the most popular dram here. Then a long drive to the mainland, stopping at Spean Bridge for lunch, another taster dram here and some whisky purchases. Whilst we all sampled drams in the car, poor Paul was driving, being driven mad by the wafting aromas of certain drams! We arrived at Dalwhinnie for some photos etc before heading down the road to Pitlochry, where they stayed the final night in the turret suite of an excellent hotel. Paul took me home from here, that was my last day on tour. Next morning Paul meet them and took them to Blair Atholl distillery, the final one of the trip. Then, sadly the drive to the airport and farewells!”

Paul; “we are always happy working with Diageo and many other whisky experts, this was our final tour of the year, I must say at times we were driving at 15mph! No the best conditions to tour, but fantastic scenery. We now have new friends in Jo’berg who have promised to return – for more whisky! They are also now members of our Angels Whisky Club. At superb ending to the touring year for us, looking forward to 2012 where we have tours booked in.

Liz and Paul  


Whisky Tastings at the Tolbooth Tavern Edinburgh Fist Quarter 2012 – Scotch Whisky News


Here is the program of tastings in Edinburgh for the first quarter of 2012. Details will be posted as they emerge.

7.30pm Tolbooth Tavern 167 Canongate Royal Mile Tel. 0131 556 5864 or 07952136490 informative & entertaining, relaxed but structured, tastings include oatcakes, shortbread & chocolates.

Thursday 12.01.12 P/O/U/R/S

Wednesday 25.01.12 P/O/U/R/S

Friday 03.02.12 Japanese No.2 with Iain McLune at Kilderkin 65 Canongate

Thursday 09.02.12 Amrut

Saturday 18.02.12 at the Kilderkin

Thursday 23.02.12 P/O/U/R/S

Friday 02.03.12 at the Kilderkin

Thursday 08.03.12 P/O/U/R/S

Friday 16.03.12 at the Kilderkin

Thursday 22.03.12 Closed Lowland distilleries No.2 Littlemill January 1991 – July 2001 refill Bourbon barrels 43% G&M Linlithgow (St. Magdalene) 05.10.1982 – April 2011 57.3% McKillop’s Choice Rosebank 1990 – 2011 21yo 5886 bottles 53.8% Caledonian 1965 – 2011 45% single grain Scott’s Selection Inverleven 1984 – 1996 40% G&M

Friday 30.03.12 at the Kilderkin

Thursday 05.04.12 P/O/U/R/S

P/O/U/R/S = Peaty/Old/Unusual/Rare/Sherried

We can provide private and corporate tastings; visit the forum at  for tastings write-ups and feed back. ENTRY BY PRE-PAID TICKET ONLY. *£3 discount for first timers and members, membership is £10 for 13 months

The Whisky Lounge Burns’ Night Tasting & Dinner Wednesday January 25th 2012 – Scotch Whisky News


Burns’ Night Tasting & Dinner
Wednesday January 25th 2012, 7.00pm

Blackfriars, Friar Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne

These dinner events are perfectly formed for our esteemed regular customers, but also their partners/wives/husbands who may not be quite so familiar or partial to the Uisgea Beatha. Whilst there is obviously a heavy bias towards whisky at any of our events, this one is designed to involve anybody who enjoys good food and drink in general.

This one is a real ‘earthy’ Burns’ dinner with the traditional three-courses of Cock-a-Leekie soup, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and Cranachan, plus a whisky tasting to boot!

Whisky will be served with each course although wine will be available at extra cost.

Your £30 pays for the meal itself, a dram with each course plus a shortened whisky tasting at the end of the night.


Blackfriars Restaurant has been at the top of many North-East of England eatery lists including The Observer, Metro and Hi-Life Dining Club. It is also in the Michelin, Harden and Which? Good Food guides as well as holding an AA Rosette. The food is good and hearty and eminently appropriate for the whisky to come.

If you would like to order tickets for this tasting as a gift, we can email you a PDF with ticket/s for you to print and pop in a card. Just email us at after placing your order.

The Malt Maniacs Publish A New E-pistle – Scotch Whisky News


The Malt Maniacs have just published a new e-pistle by Paul Dejong called “The Cleaning of the Augian Stables Or, How to tackle an Herculean Task” and it can be read here

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America ‘January Sale Outturn Offerings’ – Scotch Whisky News


January Sale Outturn Offerings

Cask No. 3.180 
Wet coal and peppermint tea bags
Islay, Loch Indaal

A mild nosefeel, then an early scent of fixative in a photographer’s dark-room – ‘clean as Harpic’ – with confusing traces of plastic bottles, chalk, pastel crayons and cucumber. Strong, sweet and very salty to taste at natural strength, with artificial lavender and cooling Trebor mints. Water brings up the whisky’s character: wet coal sacks, dripping fir trees (we thought of Ted Hughes), heather, moss and bog, but the mint note still there now as a box of peppermint tea bags. Not so sweet, salty or smoky to taste, but still faintly mouth-cooling. A poetic example of the make from Islay’s oldest distillery.

Drinking tip: A wet day in the woods

Colour: Pale gold    
Cask: Refill hogshead    
Age: 15 years    
Date distilled: October 1996
Alcohol: 61.2%


Cask No. 72.22
Spiced infused
Highlands, Speyside (Lossie)

With aromas of bath bombs, Murray Mints, rosemary, vinegar, and a musty perfumed scent (likened by one Panellist to a sweaty farmworker) this evoked considerable discussion. The palate was hot, sweet, juicy, with damson jam, orange-oiled oak, but left a dry, tannic, musty aftertaste. Water (much needed) brought out baked apples, wine gums, black jam, orange shortbread, and mulled wine spice. To taste it was still juicy, hot and tannic but floral notes and peaches, nectarines and strawberries (with the bitterness of apple skins) and a light spiced-infused-milk made it very pleasant. This distillery lies in the Glen of Pluscarden.

Drinking tip: One to take to a country manor Christmas

Colour: Golden syrup    
Cask: Refill hogshead    
Age: 29 years    
Date distilled: November 1981
Alcohol: 53.7%



Cask No. 123.6 
Rhubarb and custard
Highlands, Southwest Highlands

Creamy vanilla custard/crème brulée on the nose to start with, with the brulée bit increasing to crystalline sugar in espresso coffee and then the custard being joined by raspberry, plum and rhubarb crumble. Behind all this is a light winey note. At unreduced strength, the taste is sweet and tannic – Assam tea leaves and red fruits (plums) with some tobacco in the aftertaste. Water suggests European oak: gunpowder, scorched fruitcake, over-caramelised buttery sugar. Now it has an oily texture; sweet then tannic, spicy and acceptably bitter (burnt sugar again). The distillery, on Loch Lomondside, has enjoyed a considerable revival since being acquired by Ian Macleod & Co.

Drinking tip: With rhubarb crumble

Colour: Pale amber with pink lights  
Cask: Refill port pipe    
Age: 10 years    
Date distilled: April 2001
Alcohol: 59.5%


Members will receive $10 off every bottle of Society whisky purchased is the month of January.

Please click on the LINK to read further and visit the SMWS of America at  for information on how to join.

Loch Fyne Whiskies Stocks, ‘Abhainn Dearg 2008 – Scotch Whisky News


Loch Fyne Whiskies stocks, ‘Abhainn Dearg 2008 50cl 46% with additional FreeWee’

Something special for you: The first (legitimate) whisky from the Outer Hebrides, the western-most single malt Scotch ever and the first release from the Abhainn Dearg (Red River) Distillery. We’ve opened one and are offering an additional FreeWee with each bottle so you too can have a taste.

Abhainn Dearg 2008 50cl with additional FreeWee taster 46%


Best regards,
Loch Fyne Whiskies

Ralfy Publishes The LAST Whisky Review of 2011 – #240 – Scotch Whisky News


I can’t believe that a year has gone by since my last end-of-year fireside recommendation and message!

So here is the latest with Whisky Review #240 Whisky Of The Year 2011

Have a good New Year when it comes malt-mates.



Vignettes – Moments in Whisky – Whisky News


Whisky Intelligence has added a new category called ‘Vignettes – Moments in Whisky’ which will feature whisky moments as experienced by the readership. If you have a whisky moment please feel free to submit your moment and we’ll do our best to publish it.

Go on, you know you want to be famous….




the perfect midwinter malt

TODAY (December 22), on the winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, BenRiach is delighted to announce the launch of its new 17 year-old Solstice single malt.

It’s the Elgin distillery’s second Solstice expression,following the heavily-peated Solstice 15 year-old launched this time last year which Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible describes as spellbinding.

Just like the original Solstice release, this BenRiach has been distilled from heavily peated malted barley, then matured in ex-bourbon casks before finallybeing finished in tawny port casks.

The winter Solstice is the point at which the Earth is tilted atits furthest from the sun and it’s the day of the year with the fewest day light hours. Worldwide, many cultures regard the Solstice as representing rebirth and festivals and Billy Walkers tasting notes confirm the 17 year-old is the perfect celebratory midwinter malt.

In appearance, it shows distinct rose characteristics, with a bright copper crest.

On the nose, lascivious fruits with a fabulous aroma of stewed summer berries including strawberries, blackcurrants and red currants. The berry component is richly locked together by a muscular peaty blast. Latter traces of fortifiedwine and grape-like qualities become apparent.

On the palate, initial dry-roasted nutty notes advance to become a heavy peaty affair. Subtle notes of dried raisins and candied fruit. Clean and very enticing with the dominant peat flavours lingering on the palate. Smooth and very long. A unique mix of fruit and peat which marry with extraordinary precision in classic proportions.

SalesDirector Alistair Walker said: “Our new malt is a superb marriage of peat andfruit, a worthy successor to our 15 year-old…and just as spell binding.

With the wind howling and the rain battering against the window, it’s a wonderfullywarming late-night dram. The original Solstice was one of our most popular releases over the last couple of years, so hopefully the second edition will beas well received.”

The bottling strength for the Solstice 17 year-old is 50%. It’s presented in a rigid gift box and a limited quantity is available worldwide.

For more information –


The Party Source Has One More WHISKEY Gift For You! – American Whiskey News


Happy Holidays Whiskey Enthusiasts,

Please read this email carefully as there are terms and conditions that apply and will strictly be enforced.

Santa Source found a couple more items for those who have been really nice this Holiday Season and he wanted to give them an opportunity for something special. Santa Source with his infinite wisdom knows all the good boys and girls shop at The Party Source. With that said, The Party Source is pleased to announce a limited offering of a scarce number of very elusive whiskeys. Our aim is to give every Party Source online customer an opportunity to enjoy these very sought after Whiskeys. In order to spread Holiday cheer from near to far, we’re keeping track of who is naughty and who is nice. The naughty ones will have their orders canceled in their entirety without notice and the nice ones will move to the front of the line. To be nice please follow the bottle limitations as they will strictly be enforced.

VAN WINKLE Wheated Bourbon

Our first limited offering is the Van Winkle line of classic Bourbons. As the First Family of Wheated Bourbon, these legendary whiskeys need no introduction.

Sales of Van Winkle Whiskeys are limited to only one bottle of Van Winkle Bourbon per person/per household.

Please choose only one of the following:

OLD RIP VAN WINKLE 10 Year 90 Proof
OLD RIP VAN WINKLE 10 Year 107 Proof
PAPPY VAN WINKLE 15 Year 107 Proof

>>> Click here to for our Van Winkle Wheated Bourbon Selection

E.H. TAYLOR Single Barrel

In 2010, Buffalo Trace acquired the rights to one of the great names in Bourbon history: E.H. Taylor, credited as the father of the modern Bourbon industry and the founder distillery known today as Buffalo Trace. They have wasted no time in creating some dynamic whiskeys for the Taylor name, and this single barrel, bottled-in-bond 100 proof whiskey is no exception.

Sales of E. H. Taylor are limited to one bottle per person/per household.

>>> Click here for our E. H. Taylor Selection

BUFFALO TRACE Single Oak Project

Buffalo Trace’s other project of late is a stunner, probably the most ambitious project ever launched in the Bourbon industry. It’s called the Single Oak Project, and it is a whopper: 192 barrels of Bourbon, each in a barrel that was selected from a single tree for certain special characteristics, such as fine/coarse grain, or top-of-the-tree/bottom-of-the-tree. On top of the special barrels are such variables as wheated or rye-recipe Bourbon, and low or high barrel entry proof. The barrels are released 12 at a time, and all the barrels in a given release will vary from each other in only a few variables, allowing the taster to draw comparisons between any two barrels in a given release. These 192 barrels will be released quarterly over the next four years, and to spread the wealth, BT bottles them in 375 ml bottles only. Buffalo Trace has a dedicated website for Single Oak, where tasters can register and record their own tasting notes. Please visit the Single Oak Project website for a full description of this incredible program.

The Party Source is offering a limited amount of each Single Oak release online. Due to the unusual nature of this project, we are selling the bottles only in pairs. We cannot fulfill requests for specific barrel numbers, but we do promise you will receive two barrels from the same release, which will allow a close comparison of the variables between the two barrels. We also hope everyone will fully participate in the online tasting note program, and help Buffalo Trace gather information about these special barrels. Sales of the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project are limited to only one release per person/household. The price of each pair is $111.98 ($55.99 per bottle). Currently available are Single Oak release No.1, No. 2 or No. 3. Please do review the story of this astounding adventure in Bourbon whiskey and consider participating.

Sales of Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project are limited to only one Single Oak Release per person/per household.

Please choose only one of the following:

BUFFALO TRACE SINGLE OAK PROJECT First Release (two bottles)
BUFFALO TRACE SINGLE OAK PROJECT Second Release (two bottles)
BUFFALO TRACE SINGLE OAK PROJECT Third Release (two bottles)

>>> Click here for our Buffalo Trace Single Oak Selection

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season,
The Party Source

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