Archive for November, 2012



Ballantine’s, the No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe, is highlighting its associations with music and personal expression with the launch of Ballantine’s Loud Blue, a social media platform that invites brand fans worldwide to ‘leave an impression through music in a unique and creative way’.

Created with digital partner Work Club, Ballantine’s Loud Blue is an algorithm that turns Instagram photos into music. The platform analyses data from users’ photographs to trigger different musical genres and sounds in order to create music that represents the image itself, resulting in a unique and sharable photo-track. Ballantine’s fans are invited to take a photo using Instagram, tag it #loudblue and share it on Twitter. They will then receive an automatic link back from @loudblue to their own unique piece of music.

Designed to be rolled out across markets over the next two years, Ballantine’s Loud Blue is launching in Brazil this month and sees the brand continue its collaborations with local musicians in key markets. In Brazil, Ballantine’s has teamed up with local DJ duo, Felguk, who have offered their unique sounds to the Ballantine’s Loud Blue algorithm and will also produce a song sampling users’ creations, inspired by the photographic theme “My Brazil”. The project and partnership will be celebrated at a live event where Felguk will premiere their exclusive Ballantine’s Loud Blue track to their fans.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s International Brand Director, says “Ballantine’s is renowned for its dynamic and engaging marketing initiatives and we’re encouraged by the impact they’ve made. We’re making significant in-roads in emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Poland and Russia thanks in part to our innovative marketing activities and we’re confident that Ballantine’s Loud Blue will continue this success and resonate with our target audience.”

Ballantine’s Loud Blue is the latest consumer activation under the brand’s hugely successful global marketing platform, ‘Leave an Impression’, which launched in 2007.

To try Ballantine’s Loud Blue, visit

About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 1 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia Pacific, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 80 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the iconic 30 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.

About Work Club
Work Club is a full service digital & social marketing agency. In 2011, the agency was named Marketing’s Digital Agency of the Year in recognition of its creativity and effectiveness. Work Club helps its clients understand and leverage the impact of digital and social media on their brands and businesses. Its work addresses a wide range of business and brand challenges for global, regional and UK clients, most of which are No.1 or No.2 in their sectors.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

In July 2010 Chivas Brothers launched The Age Matters campaign to help consumers understand the importance of Scotch whisky age statements.

For further information please visit

Your Chance To Get A 15 Years Old ‘Darkest gift set’ For Christmas – Scotch Whisky News


We are looking to our Bowmore friends around the globe to help us spread the word about our magical spirit… We would like you to complete a short survey to help us establish how and where we spread the word about Bowmore. Of course we wouldn’t ask you to do this without a little reward! Everyone who completes our survey will be in with a chance of winning a limited edition, individually numbered 15 Years old ‘Darkest’ gift pack, the perfect Christmas present!

Thank you for your time…

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…at The Whisky Vault – Scotch Whisky News

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

Stuck for gift ideas this Christmas? Call off the search party, we have the perfect gift right here at The Whisky Vault. Whether a connoisseur of fine whiskies or just starting out, the Magic of Islay Gift Set is ideal for the whisky lover in your life. Included inside this stunning black presentation gift box are four excellent 5cl Islay malts; Ardbeg Galileo 1999, Bowmore 1996 13 Year Old, Laphroaig 1994 12 Year Old Highgrove and a Port Ellen 1983 26 Year Old. To complete this desirable set, we have added a Whisky Vault Glencairn Nosing Glass, a Full Colour Information and Tasting Notes Card and a Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible.

If old blended whisky is your thing, be sure to check out our Old Blends Collection Gift Set where we showcase five incredibly rare 5cl blends from the 1950’s and 60’s.

With much more on the site and new stock arriving daily, please take a moment to browse our ever-growing and highly acclaimed catalogue. To view all our latest products Click Here.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year as we head towards 2013.

The Whisky Vault
Twitter: @thewhiskyvault

Aberdeen Malt Whisky Society “Christmas Tasting – 5 December” – Scotch Whisky News

We have one more tasting this year!

 Come celebrate Christmas with us, put your best Christmas jumper on and come in fancy dress!

 Wednesday 5th of December: Last Society Tasting of the Year (6.30pm in Bookends, @Butchart )

Tickets will be on sale on Friday, 30th of November between 12 and 2pm in Alfies, @Butchart

Come along to the last whisky tasting event of the year.
We will have some super whisky on offer.

ALL members must renew their membership for this year.
Please see details below about how to do this.


We also need to get EVERYONE to become a member of the Malt Whisky Society.
To do this follow these simple steps:
1. Go to
2. Register a new account
3. Search for “Malt Whisky Society”
4. Add “Malt Whisky Society Student Membership” (£2) to your basket (like
5. Go to your basket – you MUST add “Societies Union” membership (£1) before you can pay
6. Follow payment instructions – you NEED a credit/debit card to pay.
7. Bring along your reference on a bit of paper/your mobile phone to the next whisky event and we will give you your membership card.

Yes, we relise that this is INCREDIBLY stupid/inefficient/difficult/unnecessary but it is THE ONLY WAY that you can become a member. This also includes previous members.

It is possible to pay for membership with cash at the Butchart Recpetion desk during opening hours.

 Our mailing address is:

 University of Aberdeen Malt Whisky Society
The Butchart Centre
University Road
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB24 3UT
United Kingdom

November/December Pre Christmas Drams in Perth, Or “How to survive winter” – Scotch Whisky News

November/December pre Christmas drams in Perth.
Or; How to survive winter.

Well here we are again. Drinking on whisky intelligence! This is a wee chat about our pre – Christmas drams and thoughts, it’s really a “suggestion” or two for surviving the winter months.

My first suggestion for the winter months;

Barley & Oats. Nothing like a grand mixing of cereals, I like my oats on winter mornings (even winter evenings). A dram in a bowl of porridge never misses the target. Here I have shown some samples of a decent whisky to liberally pour into the mix, any whisky of choice is good, easy drams for the morning, maybe a peaty one for winter evenings. For those of you like myself, who dinnae have an open fire (as Liz does), I cosy up to my pc with a moving video of a roaring fire. Bowl of porridge, readily spiked with whisky, big fluffy slippers, wee willie winkie hat and Sarah Brightman ( )

Part two; Scottish nosh at its best, Maclean’s bakery up in the Highlands, does the best shortbread and oatcakes (see, back to oats again). Take a few oatcakes and maybe a shortbread, dribble liberally with your favourite dram, or dram of the moment. Leave a minute to settle doon, then enjoy! Grand for those winter evening tasting sessions, a dinner end, or anytime. All these glorious products shown available on tour with mcleanscotland.

My second suggestion for the winter months;

A Bruce, a battle & an Aberlour. A read and a dram (or six) never fails to stimulate the brain cells. Me? nothing better than a Scottish history book accompanied by some whisky. You can never go wrong reading the life and times of one of our better Kings – The Bruce. Aye, he did change sides somewhat over his time, but “the end justifies the means” seems to work well here. Here in Scotland, we do not use King of Scotland. NO, we use King of Scots. Our kings were kings of the people not the land, unlike our neighbours doon there. King Robert Scotch Whisky (Ian Macleod) is a consistent and complex blend of “first class” grain and malt whiskies. The malts used are only selected when mature and are usually older than the malts used in competitors’ standard brands. King Robert Scotch thus tends to be much more smooth and mellow. Also well worth a sup or two’; Douglas Laing King of Scots, a rare ole blend!

That’s it for the noo, I hope you enjoy these suggestions and “give em a try”, please do let me know how you got on and if you have your own suggestions for those winter months – apart from going to the Maldives of course!

Bye for now

Paul McLean, www.mcleanscotland



Jameson Irish Whiskey has reinforced its position as the world’s No 1 Irish whiskey with the announcement today that it has reached the significant landmark of four million case sales globally. This figure includes the sale of more than one million cases in the United States alone and underlines 23 years of consecutive growth for the brand.

The announcement reflects recent sales figures which highlight the success of Jameson as an Irish export, where it is sold in over 120 markets. Sales volumes have increased by +15%, while value has increased by +18%*. Jameson’s largest market, the US, is growing at +29% with 49 of the 50 states in double digit growth. Key markets such as Russia and South Africa, where Jameson is now the second biggest international premium whiskey brand, also enjoyed huge success.

As one of Ireland’s most successful exports, Jameson is playing a key role in the export led recovery of the Irish economy. The whiskey has been distilled in Midleton, Co Cork, since 1975 where a recent €100 million investment was made by Irish Distillers to expand the distillery in order to cater for future growth, as it is now operating at full capacity. There is an additional €100 million investment in a new maturation site in Dungourney, Co Cork.

Anna Malmhake, CEO, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Anna Malmhake, CEO, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard commented, “We are delighted and proud to have reached the four million cases milestone. To think in 1988, when Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, Jameson sold just 466,000 cases globally, with Ireland as its main market. Since then, Jameson has witnessed consistent and sustained investment, with a long-term strategic outlook based on premiumisation and innovation coupled with strong and targeted marketing. The result has been incredible global success with 50 markets now in double digit growth worldwide. To have reached the four million cases milestone, which equates to over 1.3 billion glasses of Jameson consumed around the world last year, is a true reflection of the growing international success of Jameson, and the future potential of the company’s entire Irish Whiskey portfolio.”

“I wish to pay particular tribute to everyone in Irish Distillers from the distillery in Midleton; the bottling plant at Fox and Geese in Dublin, our Visitors Centres and our head office. It is through the support and dedication of our employees in the home of Jameson that this great Irish success story continues to grow.”

* Pernod Ricard figures 2011/12

About Jameson:
Jameson is the world’s No 1 Irish whiskey. Award-winning as a result of its exceptional smoothness following its unique triple distillation process, Jameson is enjoyed in more than 120 countries worldwide. The core Jameson range includes Jameson; Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve; Jameson Gold Reserve; Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve; Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve; and Jameson Signature Reserve (Travel Retail exclusive).

About Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard
Irish Distillers Limited, part of Pernod Ricard Group, distils and distributes a range of famous Irish whiskey, gin and vodka brands internationally, including Jameson, Powers, Paddy, Midleton Very Rare, Redbreast, Cork Dry Gin and Huzzar Vodka.

For further information visit:

New Arrivals & Back in Stock at K&L California – Scotch & Japanese Whisky News

Japan – Single Malt Scotch

Nikka 12 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky 750ml ($59.99)
Malt whiskies matured for 12 years or more at the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries are blended in vats to produce this outstanding pure malt whisky.

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

2003 Bruichladdich K&L Exclusive Peated Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($72.99)
Originally slated for Bruichladdich’s short-lived 3D3 Peat expression, this malt began its life in Bourbon casks until it was dumped into a refill Sherry butt for extra maturation. That classic Bruichladdich tang is on the nose, the briny aromas that meander between rich, earthy, and tart. The peat shows itself first, bringing bright smoke and peat moss similar to Laphroaig, before the mild dose of Sherry kicks in, finishing more like Lagavulin with some nice oak and caramel. After a disasterous recall on last year’s Chenin Blanc barrel, this new offering from Bruichladdich comes just in time for the holidays to fill the hole. Now that Remy Martin has acquired the once-independent distillery, we’re not sure if this will mark the end of the independent cask program at Bruichladdich. Is this the last time we team up with our friends on Islay, or is this just another great chapter in an incredible relationship? We hope to continue our business with Bruichladdich , but if this peated cask is the last of its kind, it’s a hell of a way to go out. Big smoke, big flavor, tons of complexity, lots of chewy richness. This is Islay through and through. It’s Bruichladdich at its smoky best. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

Old World Spirits Gold Run California Rye Whiskey750ml – 11 available ($49.99)
Finally, after almost a year of hype, local Belmont distiller Davorin Kuchan is ready to release his 100% white, organic rye whiskey, giving California its first real home-made option since Old Potrero. The Goldrun is about one year old, but already has a complexity and depth of flavor that places it much further beyond many of its upstart peers. Spicy, peppery, and full of bready yeast, there’s perhaps not another whiskey out there that tastes more like actual rye bread. Getting the yeast to fully ferment the rye was a challenge (which is why most distilleries add some barley and opt out of the 100% recipe), but the result was worth the effort. Davorin has always been an eau-de-vie distiller, so the purity of the rye was more important than say the vanilla from the wood. The question now is will there be enough to supply local demand? Rye whiskey has already been short in supply this year, so the appetite is definitely there. Luckily, our close relation ship with Davorin has allowed us to get to it first! These half-bottles allow us to package what is an expensive and labor-intensive process into something more affordable for the consumer. Grab one, get a glass, sit back and sip some local rye whiskey made just down the street! Supply is limited. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Willett 11 Year Old Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon 750ml ($73.99)

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Four Wood Finish 750ml – 1 available ($89.99)
The well-regarded Woodford Master’s Collection has always been difficult to get. Here we have an interesting experiment that draws partially from previous bottlings. Their contention is that finishing in a single wood type provides only a one-dimensional change to the flavor profile. By finishing in three different barrel types, the blender is able to achieve more complexity and character, so the story goes. I’ve had plenty of barrel finished product that are certainly more than one dimensional, but I’ve never had an American whisky finished in three types of barrels. Here we get Oloroso Sherry adding nutty sweetness, ruby Port giving red berry fruit, and the maple wood providing woody sweetness and spice. This stuff is always incredibly limited and inevitably someone will be disappointed when it runs out. (David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits Buyer)

Back in stock

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

• 1988 Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $150) ( Price: Hidden )
Whisky Advocate: “The hue is deep amber and the nose is equally resonant and rich. This is Glenrothes in its most muscular guise, so that while you have the normal layers of fruity complexity, there is an extra weight. Think of citrus peels, sticky dates, walnuts, and fruit leather. The palate is soft and rolling with light tannin. For me, it’s at its best au naturel. ” K&L Notes: All of the creamy textures and soft sweetness of the beloved 1985 vintage in a new 1998 release. More vanilla, less sherry, with nutty toffee on the finish. Delicious.

 United States – Bourbon and Rye

• Willett 4 Year Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon 750ml – 3 available ($41.99)

• Willett 5 Year Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon 750ml – 3 available ($49.99)
This small, independent bottler is super-secretive, so there’s very little we can tell you about this specific bottling besides that it’s unique, small batch and going to sell out fast.

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

News from The Whisky Lounge – Scotch Whisky News

No wait, don’t panic or re-adjust your set, this really is The Whisky Lounge email news!…

After years of the plain old email – which served very well by the way – we have finally been dragged into the 21st Century. We can now give you all the information you need but also give you flashy images and up to date news and info at the same time.This month, with Xmas approaching, we thought it would be remiss of us to not point you in the direction of some whisky-related gift ideas, as well as keeping you bang up to date with what events we have planned in for the rest of 2012 and into 2013. Chief among these are our first festivals of the year, in Newcastle and Brighton, and our fabulous ‘Whisky Schools’. Read on….

With us busy completing the final sessions of our sold-out ‘Islay Blind Fury’ tastings this week, it seems only appropriate to have a look at what is left in 2012 and into early 2013 for whisky-lovers everywhere.


You have been asking and now we are in the position to tell you! The Newcastle Whisky Fest, now in its 5th year, takes place on Saturday 9th March and will no doubt be bigger and better than ever. We have some exciting new developments in store and for the first 100 lucky punters who book-up, a stunning ‘early-bird’ special just in time for Xmas! Exhibitors and classes will be added as we get them confirmed but please keep checking back.

The 4th Brighton Whisky Fest takes place on Saturday 6th April and as ever, is a great chance to meet the makers and producers that help to make whisky great! As with Newcastle, there are some exciting developments to keep the most ardent whisky-fans happy, plus an early-bird special for you south-coasters too.


We haven’t finished yet for 2012 and are cheekily proposing a couple of £15 tastings with whiskies from our friends from Balcones, Texas in London, Manchester and Newcastle! If you haven’t heard of Balcones yet, you soon will. The first commercially available ‘craft-distillery’ from Waco, Texas has received amazing plaudits and countless awards in the short time they have been producing. The dates are on the left column BUT will take place only if we have enough interest…
First up in 2013 we have a series of Burns-inspired tastings in January. In various locations in the UK we will be tasting our way through some of our favourite drams along with some tasty tid-bits at each of these venues. These range from some small, but perfectly formed canapes, to full-blown dinners, depending on location and cost. Have a look here to get a better idea of what is going on close to you.


Next up we have our ‘Whisky School’. This is a project Eddie has been working on for years and has only now found the right format and venues worthy of this venture. The first ‘prototype’ took place in Newcastle in September and was a fantastic success with ‘students’ delighted with the combination of a serious amount of information in tandem with fun stuff, such as the blend your own whisky section. These are now being rolled out right across the UK – from Glasgow to Brighton – and are superbly priced for gifting or otherwise, click here for more…


Our latest series of single-cask or small batch whiskies. Bottled at at least 46%, non-chillfiltered and non-coloured. Whisky as nature intended. Whisky bottled in 20cl so that everyone can afford to drink the likes of our 1974 Glen Grant… Click here to find out more.

Also in the same section you will find gift vouchers and Whisky Lounge memberships…

Anyway that’s all for now, thanks for reading and happy shopping!

The Whisky Lounge Team
Eddie, Amanda & Joe

Whisky Galore @TGWS Stocking Whisky Top Trumps – Whisky News

Whisky Galore @TGWS Stocking Whisky Top Trumps

New in stock:
Whisky Top Trumps, a fanastic Christmas Gift idea, they are ideal for Whisky Tasting nights, Parties and after dinners, or even for teaching the mere mortals on the values of Whisky….

Order yours in time for Christmas: WHISKY TRUMPS

Remember we also ship internationally, so don’t delay – order today for Pre Christmas Delivery (Before 1st December)


Whisky that recalls Queen’s visit to Distillery

Bonhams Whisky Sale on December 4th in Edinburgh provides the ideal place to stock up for Christmas on something that will have your guests talking for years – no fewer than 263 lots of distinguished bottles and decanters of the good stuff are listed in this sale.

One of the top lots is a glass decanter from Bowmore, a single malt Premier-Over 42 years old 1965, lot 70. This limited edition item, one of just 57 bottled comes with a presentation case. It is estimated to make £6,000 to £7,000.
An older bottle of very special whisky, Lot 154, The Macallan-52 year old 1950, bottled in 2002, is estimated to sell for £4,000 to £5,000.

Bowmore also offer lot 55, a bottle commemorating The Queen’s Visit-30 year old from 1980 at £1,000 to £1,500. This very elegant bottle in a presentation case and with a certificate recalls a visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabveth II on 8th August 1980 to the Bowmore Distillery. Morrison Bowmore Distillers Chairman and co-founder, James Howat hosted the royal visit. He marked the occasion by buying for himself hogshead 5774 which was filled that day. On his death in 2008 ownership of the cask passed to The JTH Charitable Trust.

Another special item is a dark rich whisky, lot 192, a decanter of Aberlour-Glenlivet Centenary-Over 21 year old 1958, bottled to commemorate the centenary of the distillery (1879 – 1979) is estimated to sell for £400 to £600.

Martin Green, Bonhams Whisky Specialist, comments on what to look for if you are investing in whisky or starting a collection: ”It depends to some extent on your motivation. If it’s to drink, then buy what you like drinking and gradually refine your palette as you become more experienced. If it’s to collect, the usual advice is to buy the best you can afford but, of course, some collectors will be buying to plug gaps in their collections.

If it’s an investment, do your homework as you would with any purchase. Start with the main range, available in any good whisky specialist. Then progress on to a Distillery exclusive bottling – this is a great place to start as by their very nature they are limited. These are available at a range of price points to suit any budget.

And, of course, exercise the normal precautions. Forgeries, for example, are not common but if you are in any doubt consult the relevant distillery. They are usually happy to provide information to anyone who asks.”

Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London, London W1S 1SR United Kingdom

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