Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween from BIG PEAT – Scotch Whisky News

Tomatin Celebrates Best Drink Accolade – Scotch Whisky News

Tomatin Celebrates Best Drink Accolade

Tomatin Distillery is celebrating success as winner of the ‘Best Drink’ award at the Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards last week. Over 260 people from food and drink businesses in the Highlands and Islands gathered at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness for the eighth annual awards hosted by Celebrity Masterchef finalist and television presenter Kirsty Wark.

The core range of Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (12, 15 and 18 year old expressions) was entered into this brand new award category, aimed at identifying businesses that can demonstrate success in the drinks market. Fighting off competition from another distillery and two breweries, Tomatin was announced the winner with Kirsty Wark citing the “smooth flavour” and “bold packaging” as elements of the entry which most impressed the judging panel.

Stephen Bremner, Sales Director, said: “We are very proud to have won this award. These Awards showcase and celebrate the contribution that Highland and Islands food and drink companies are making to the UK economy, something we should all be proud of.

Our core range of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky contains multi‐award winning expressions, but this is the first award for the range as a whole. The Tomatin brand has been growing from strength to strength in recent years and we look forward to continuing this in the coming years.”

 The other shortlisted entries for the ‘Best Drink’ category were Bruichladdich Distillery, Black Isle Brewery and Cairngorm Brewery.
 The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd is a producer and blender of Scotch whisky, boasting a strong core range of single malt whiskies along with a range of popular blends.
 Website:  Facebook:  Twitter:
 The distillery was established in 1897, and while historically the whisky produced was primarily sold for use in other brands of blended whisky, the company is now very focussed on growing the Tomatin single malt brand in its own right.
 The company’s most popular blends are The Antiquary, The Talisman and Big ‘T’.
 The distillery is owned by Japanese company Takara Shuzo:

Angels fly into Perth – Whisky News

Angels fly into Perth.

Angels whisky club; a flight of angels recently landed upon Perth, Scotland. Reason; celebrations! 1; Pre Halloween dramfest, and 2; Celtic Barcelona pre fixture challenge.

Halloween; a flight of angels pounced on Christies pub again, myself (Paul), Ming, Boab, Lizzie & Kev. With a little help from our friends (Ron, Billy and Irish Paul). Settlin doon at the usual corner of the bar (it’s a round bar in here) we set upon a pre fest thirst quencher. A mix of Dark Island (suitable for all Hallows), Black Bush and a pear cider (apples you see), telly was on sky sports. Ahead of us lay some weird animals, may the Lord be truly thankful. First dram was a refreshing Sheep Dip; The name came from Scots farmers –  a time when farmers distilled their own whisky, to avoid paying taxes to the excise man they put the whisky in barrels marked “Sheep Dip”.  A golden colour,  floral and fruity, pear, orange the main accent from the Highlands (Dalmore) and Speyside Glens. A nice easy start, we all dipped again! Then moving on to a Pigs Nose; came to the market in 1977 as a stable pal for Sheep Dip… the whisky in the bottle was as smooth as a pig’s nose. 16 different malts go into Sheep Dip, while Pig’s Nose has a high malt content of 40 per cent. Enough from the farm, we moved onto the water and sampled an Alligator; one of a brood from Islay with a bite and a snap to it. Flowery, chocolate notes, yer granny’s out of date humbugs and smokey bacon crisps (er, that could be Boab with his damn bag of prawn cocktail) developed into peat/smoke, this alligator is perfectly happy out of water! So what did we do? Added a wee pool of water to our glasses. Ardbeg’s drams always sing goin doon.

Time for a breather, Lizzie was getting tearful (farmers girl so she is) with all these animals consumed. As part of the brand campaign for Black Bottle Whisky a new Halloween party has been announced at Film City Glasgow in October. The campaign has been launched on the Black Bottle Whisky facebook pages. Further online and offline activities will be revealed at a later stage pre and post the event.  – be quick! So we tried one, much to Boab’s displeasure, its his bottle!

After a few snacks from Helen & Billy, we dived into Halloween again, Raven’s Blood cocktail; grenadine, a good slosh of Black Bush whiskey  a lemon/lime to taste, many thanks go to Karen behind the bar for this concoxion. It certainly woke us all up! Reminded me of a Grouse with ice and appletise. This drink created some amusement in the bar, or was it us? Anyhow, onwards, on the “broom”stick trail with my first ex (she will be flyin aboot anytime noo) … see what we are doin here? Actually there is no need to introduce Dave Broom. He is one of the best whisky writers out there, you have read at least one of his books or magazine things already. So he does like a good whisky; “a Cutty Sark and soda in a bar about half an hour ago. The perfect drink for the moment”. See, even a credible expert admits to a soda! So we had to try it, (Paul just happened to have a bottle of the new Cutty Sark Storm). Too clever I know; witches, brooms and storms. Just then the local black cat wandered in through the open front door, took one look, and wandered back oot.

We ended our travel to Halloween with a Satsuma tangerine each, a perfect citrus finale.

Celtic Barcelona pre fixture challenge. we all were surprised and delighted we were only beaten 2 – 1 at the Nou Camp, Barcelona. Even then, it was 3 and a half minutes into extra time before the second fell into our net. So we end today with a salute to Celtic Football Club, with a suitable dram – a Wild Geese hot toddy – it started to snow here so we thought it apt!

Patrick Sarsfield’s army is defeated at the decisive Battle of The Boyne (July 1st 1690). From this point on, his attempts to oust the English and place James II (see the Scottish link here) on the throne, were doomed. There followed the Treaty of Limerick where Sarsfield’s army was given a stark choice. Those that chose to live under English rule filed one way, others like Sarsfield and his followers turned the other way, to board French ships to take them to France. They took the name The Wild Geese in the hope and belief that this would be a temporary strategic exile in Europe much the same as Celtic’s season last time in Europe. Come on the hoops, lets give the Barca’s something to remember us by! Slainte!

Story written down (as remembered) by Paul McLean,

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #25 – Scotch Whisky News

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #25

Mark Dermul, Belgian Whiskyblogger, tries a young rum finished Laddie (Bruichladdich 8 Year Old 2001 Rum Cask), bottled especially for the Belgian market. Not a big fan of finishes, he has to admit that this one gets it right!

Great King Street – New York Blend Now Available! – Scotch Whisky News

We are delighted to announce the release of the first in a series of one-off, regional Scotch whisky blends under the Great King Street label: the “New York Blend”. Created for the 2012 New York Whisky Fest, the whisky is dedicated to Patrick J. Duffy, the man who legend has it was responsible for the first branded and bottled Scotch whisky to arrive in New York in 1894. The blend is based on an actual recipe from the 1890s.

John Glaser has created only 1,800 bottles of this unique, smoky, full-flavoured Blended Scotch whisky. The New York Blend uses lots of peaty single malts, plenty of sherry cask-aged single malts, and a much higher proportion of malt to grain whisky (80%/20%) than is typically used today. Just as the finest blending houses would have done in 1894.

Bottled at a higher strength of 46%, Great King Street – New York Blend will only be available in the US, primarily in the New York Metropolitan area, following its launch on Saturday 27th October. However, we are also offering a few bottles for sale on an exclusive basis from our UK-based web shop so if you would like to pick up a bottle, don’t delay!

Rafly Publishes Whisky Review #315 – Scotch Whisky News tackles the confusion surrounding Blended Scotch and Blended Malt,  both being blended Scotches, but only one is a blended Malt.

Whisky Review 315 – AD Rattray’s 19yo malt-blend Batch No: 1

Benromach Single Malt “Trio Of Tinned Malts a Tempting Tipple” – Scotch Whisky News

Trio of tinned malts a tempting tipple

Speyside’s smallest distillery, Benromach, has launched a gift pack which will allow whisky lovers to sample three of its most popular expressions.

The gift pack, with contemporary tin plate packaging and Benromach’s sophisticated branding, contains three 20cl bottles of the distillery’s flagship single malt, Benromach 10 years Old, along with the Benromach Peat Smoke and the Benromach Organic, which was the first certified organic single malt Scotch whisky.

Michael Urquhart, joint managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, the family-run company that owns Benromach, commented: “Gift packs are the ideal present to introduce people to whisky or for whisky lovers to try different expressions.

“The three malts included in the gift pack showcase the finest qualities of Benromach and all are award winners. The 10 Years Old has an excellent mellow character, while the Organic has a delicious oak influence and soft fruit flavours. Peat Smoke is a seriously smoky experience, balanced with the elegance of Speyside.

“Benromach is Speyside’s smallest distillery but we produce a range of whiskies that each offer a unique tasting experience. This gift pack will give people who aren’t yet in on the secret of Benromach a chance to discover how special and varied our single malts are.”

The Benromach Distillery, nestled in Speyside, employs just two men who make Benromach by hand, using the finest Scottish barely and the purest spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. They fill new spirit into the highest quality casks before being left to mature at the distillery for many years.

The Benromach gift pack is on sale now, RRP £34.99. For more information about Benromach visit


Benromach 10 Years Old

Tasting note
Benromach 10 Years Old is created from the finest Scottish barley and pure spring water from the nearby Romach hills. After being matured for at least ten years, it emerges golden in colour and displays rich fruit, sweet chocolate and delicate spicy aromas. With a rich sherry influence, the mouth-watering palate coats the senses with exotic fruit flavours, toasted malt and a delicate hint of smoke.

Benromach 10 Years Old was awarded gold at the 2011 and 2010 Great Taste Awards and in November 2011 it gained gold at awards in New York. For the full list of Benromach 10 Years Old’s awards, visit:

Benromach Peat Smoke

Tasting note
Full bodied, intense and challenging with a smoky character, yet balanced with the fruity elegance of Speyside.

The Peat Smoke won gold in the Scotch Whisky Masters 2012.

Benromach Organic

Tasting note
A fresh, vibrant whisky with strong oak influence. The Benromach Organic was the world’s first bottled single malt to be fully certified as organic when it was launched in 2006. The whole process, including the use of the raw ingredients, distillation, maturation and bottling, is certified to the rigorous standards set by the UK Soil Association.
The whisky is matured in virgin American oak casks from environmentally managed forests which has added a unique robustness and depth which complements the traditional Benromach spirit.

The Organic won silver at the Scotch Whisky Masters 2012.

Caol Ila 10yo 2009 (58%, SMWS, Refill Hogshead, 53.157, +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Caol Ila 10yo 2009 (58%, SMWS, Refill Hogshead, 53.157, +/-2012)

Peat smoke rockets out of the glass. Actually the tasting note could end right here. Need one say more? However discipline must be maintained, also on the nose is nice cocoa, more of the peat smoke and some subtle hints of the cask. It’s very good, not massively complex but very good. With water the chocolate malt which has suddenly appeared changes to coal smoke and us deep and foreboding which of course for a peat lover is great news. The taste is big, citrusy, aggressive, slightly violent and well continues in the theme of being very good and very much in the classic style of the distillery needs some water added. Water allows he whisky to become significantly approachable and the coal smoke is very much in evidence. The finish is big and filled with cocoa, chocolate, malt and peat smoke although the peat smoke and chocolate are pretty well intertwined. The finish is very large and very long with mouth smacking malt; don’t over do the water!

Well balanced (even if the notes don’t reflect this) with lashings of coal smoke and good malt. Great vibrancy and enjoyable

$95 and 120 bottles for the US branch of the Society

Score 90

Part 4 of 4 featuring the excellent single cask single malts of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America. Samples kindly provided by the SMWS of A.

Please visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America at for further information on their single cask bottlings.

Grant’s Scotch Whisky “Meet Our Ambassador in Poland” – Scotch Whisky News

Meet Our Ambassador in Poland

Hi everyone,

Following John in Ecuador, Valentina in Russia and Cruz Mario in Venezuela, I would like to introduce another member of our team of ambassadors. Mateusz Zabiegaj has been working with us in Poland for the past three years. His background is a little different from our other ambassadors; he’s an experienced mixologist. I asked him…(please click on the link below to read the remainder of the article)…


Kind regards,


Whiski Rooms Seeks General Manager – Whisky News

We are looking for a pro-active and focused General Manager to join our vibrant team here at WHISKI Rooms. Joining a young but already award winning venue – this is a high profile position. Dedicated to offering the highest levels of service to our customers and ensuring the venue runs smoothly to company standards. You will report to the directors of the business and have full accountability for all aspects of the business and all staff.

Experienced Restaurant manager essential
Friendly outgoing personality a must with the ability to inspire staff
Financially driven with strong business acumen
Excellent written and spoken English
Computer literate and Social Media savvy
Confident with staff and the ability to train and inspire a team
Bar experience with a knowledge and passion of whisky a bonus
Personal Licence Holder

Management and Training of all staff
Meeting and exceeding targets and working to budgets
Controlling the venue and all communications
Focusing on offering the highest levels of service to our customers
Driving the business forward
Managing all events and dealing with customers

New concept venue with restaurant and bar operations
Open less than 18 months and already award winning
High profile venue specialising in whisky and fine Scottish food

Good rates of pay, share of tips and staff benefits.

If you want to take over the reins here at WHISKI Rooms, please email your CV with recent photo if possible and we look forward to hearing from you.

4 – 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP
Tel: +44 (0)131 225 7224

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