Archive for 2013

Gordon & MacPhail Managing Director wins Lifetime Achievement Award – Whisky News

AA Michael

Gordon & MacPhail Managing Director wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Urquhart, Managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading malt whisky specialists, has won a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in the United States.

Credited with leading the team who released a whisky “that shone like a beacon round the world”, Michael was awarded the title by Whisky Advocate, the biggest selling whisky magazine in the USA and organiser of WhiskyFest, the largest whisky festival in America.

Michael Urquhart is the final member of the third generation to take on the mantle of Managing Director of the independent family-owned firm which was established in 1895. The company offers more than 300 presentations of own-bottled single malts and exports to more than 55 countries.

Fewer than twenty people, working in the various whisky industries across the world, hold a Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. In conferring the award Jonny McCormick commented: “Michael is impeccably well-mannered and gracious company, yet he commands instinctive, razor-sharp business acumen too: what better qualities to represent Scotland and Scotch whisky around the world?

“A Master of the Quaich, Michael’s tireless energies are focused on driving forward exports of Scotch whisky, particularly Benromach, to new and existing markets. This ensures he is constantly traveling to the fifty or more markets they supply.”

A century on from its beginnings in a shop in Elgin, Gordon & MacPhail bought and subsequently re-opened the Benromach Distillery. Sales of its flagship 10 years old single malt have seen exceptional growth since its launch in 2009 and in this current year sales of the Benromach portfolio have continued the same trend. Total sales for the period March to November are up 23% on the same period last year and export sales have increased by 26%.

In 2010 the company launched its Generations range of the world’s oldest single malt whiskies, one of the reasons cited for Michael’s award.

As Jonny McCormick explained, “For the whisky community, the unrivalled release of the Generations Mortlach 70 year old 1938 and Generations Glenlivet 70 year old 1940 shone like a beacon around the world. It was Michael who led the team that designed and launched these exceptional whiskies.”

Michael Urquhart said: “I am deeply honored to receive this award which I see as recognition for the whole team at Gordon & MacPhail. It’s provided a wonderful finish to what has been an outstanding year for the company, with the visit of HRH The Princess Royal to present our second Queen’s Award for Enterprise.”

Whisky Advocate magazine covers all the whisky industries across the globe including Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey and Bourbon.  It has more than 200,000 readers and its blog attracts more than 125,000 visitors each day.


About Gordon & MacPhail

Gordon & MacPhail is an independent, family-owned Scotch whisky specialist which has been based in Elgin, Moray, since 1895. Four generations of the Urquhart family have continued the tradition of seeking out the best and rarest Scotch whiskies.

Since its foundation, Gordon & MacPhail’s policy has been to send casks to distilleries throughout Scotland, fill them with ‘new make’ spirit and mature them either at the distillery of origin or in the firm’s own bonded warehouses in Elgin.

Now one of the world’s leading malt whisky specialists, Gordon & MacPhail exports to more than 55 countries. It offers more than 300 presentations of own-bottled single malts.  In 2009, Gordon & MacPhail was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

A second Queen’s Award for Enterprise was presented by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in 2013 at the company’s bottling hall in Elgin.

In 1993 Gordon & MacPhail purchased Benromach Distillery and re-equipped it before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998. A four star visitor centre is open to the public throughout the year for tours and tastings. Benromach distillery is a member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail.

In 2010 Gordon & MacPhail made history by bottling the oldest cask ever released – a 70 Year Old Mortlach, distilled in 1938. They followed this up by releasing 100 70cl and 175 20cl decanters of 70 Year Old Glenlivet in 2011. They have now released the remaining 100 70cl decanters from this cask.

Gordon &MacPhail is proud of its Moray roots and the company, its directors and its staff play an active role in their local community by supporting local charities and sponsoring local events.

A Jolly Toper Whisky Tasting January 9th, 2014 Edinburgh – Scotch Whisky News


at The Kilderkin, 65 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 7.30pm – 10.00pm

P/O/U/R/S Thursday 09.01.14 £20/17*

Arran 16yo 97-13 46% sherry butt + Bourbon hogshead 792 bottles Cadenheads

A charmingly delicate example of this boutique west coast island dram.

Springbank 12yo 06/01-11/13 53.5% port cask 300 bottles Springbank Society

A single cask from Scotland’s oldest family owned distillery.

Caol Ila 33yo 90-10/13 58.2% Bourbon hogshead 222 bottles Cadenheads

A venerable cask of one of the Islay stalwarts.

Chivas Royal Salute 21yo 26 2/3 Fluid Ounces – bottled in the 1970s

A look into the past with Chivas’s deluxe blend

Mystery dram

Something unique and totally different to the other whiskies in the tasting…

*£3 discount to first timers & members. P/O/U/R/S = Peaty/Old/Unusual/Rare/Sherry


Early Bird Offer – Midlands Whisky Festival – Whisky News

Need Help? Call Us: (0)1384 394518

Ardbeg | Macallan | Benromach | Dalmore | Plus many more...

Buy a festival ticket before 1st January and you'll receive it at the discounted price of £35 instead of £40. Rest assured, our Early Bird Tickets include all of the same great features of a standard ticket. Even better... The Early Bird offer now applies to premier tickets! For just £70 you get all of the great features of a standard ticket plus early access to the festival, an extra dream dram token and an exclusive masterclass.


Scotch Malt Whisky Society 1st Friday Tasting Victoria, BC (January 10th, 2014) – Scotch Whisky News

Style: "Ektachrome"


Here are the details for the event:

Date: Friday January 10th, 2014

Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: The Strath Ale Wine & Spirit Merchants, 919 Douglas Street, Victoria

(Please check in the Store for the exact room location)

Price:$35 each for Members & Partners, $45 for Non-Members/Guests 



1.    Space is limited so you must register 

2.    To secure your place you need to pre-pay

Please email, drop into the store or phone with credit card details

Email: or phone: 250-370-9463 

3.    Once your seat(s) are paid for you will receive an email confirmation from me  (This is your virtual Ticket)


Please remember these are cask strength whiskies,so you should not be driving home after the tasting. 



Colin Southcombe
General Manager
The Strath Ale Wine & Spirit Merchants
919 Douglas Street, Victoria BC, V8W 2C2
Tel: 250-370-9463

SMWS Membership Kit

Scotch Whisky Auctions “33rd Auction” Runs Until Sunday January 5th, 2014 – Auction Whisky News

SWA header

From our friends at Scotch Whisky Auctions;

Welcome to the 33rd auction, the last of 2013 and the first of 2014! We’d like to thank everyone for their support over the past 12 months and wish you all the very best for the new year.

We end the year with yet another cracking auction, with a jaw-dropping range of very rare and exclusive bottles and a plethora of very drinkable drams to suit every pocket. Stars include a magnificent 1965 Ardbeg 40 year old. Only 261 bottles were released for sale. There is a mini version of it as a separate lot. Another Ardbeg is a 1978 which, following an error in the bottling process, resulted in the whisky being cut to 42.4% instead of the standard 43%. There were approximately 200 bottles released in 1999. Definitely one for the Ardbegophile.

Balblair features with a 1965 34 year old, and a 1966 38 year old. Dalmore is to the fore with a 40 year old Astrum. There’s a 40 year old Dufftown-Glenlvet, a 41 year old GlenDronach and a 44 year Recherché single cask from the same distillery.

The Roaring Forties theme continues with Caledonian 45 year old from 1965 and a 40 year old Clan Denny from the same year. Glenfarclas pitches in with a 1966 42 year old, a 1966 46 year old, and a simply stunning Glenfarclas from 1953, bottled at 58 years of age. There is also a 50 year old 1955 ‘farclas, celebrating the bicentenary of John Grant. Master of Malt chips in with a 50 year old Speysider and a 50 year old North British from Douglas Laing’s Director Cut.

Three Glenfiddich Spirit of a Nation bottles make their début. Only 250 bottles were produced to raise funds for service personnel wounded in conflicts. Four servicemen and women who had been wounded took two of the bottles in a trek to the South Pole, accompanied by Prince Harry. We also have the début of Balvenie Tun 140 Batch #9, released in very limited numbers in the US only. And finally, from its sister distillery Kininvie, which almost never produces a single malt for the market, comes a 23 year old, released exclusively for Taiwan, and making a special guest appearance on Scotch Whisky Auctions! 

We have plenty of other collectible bottles, including the latest offering from Macallan’s Easter Elchies releases, and from the newest to the other end of the Macallan spectrum, a 1948 51 year old, one of only 366. In between, there are plenty of easy to buy, easy to drink whiskies and a whole heap of great bottles for putting away for a rainy day.

As usual, our advice is to browse through the bottles, mark the ones you fancy, and get bidding!

Kind regards from Glasgow

The SWA team 

Found 1632 products.

SWA B&W Logo

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America “Late December 2013 Offerings” – Scotch Whisky News

Late December 2013 Offerings 

Cask No. 26.89                                            $185 

An exotic tearoom experience 

Highland, Northern 

Lemon drizzle cake, dried pineapple cubes and waxiness on the nose give way to fresh ginger, gorse flowers and wood glue. Tasted neat, there was a spicy pepper heat and the waxy notes. The taste also offered peaches, vanilla pods and an apricot cake. Adding water led to notes of vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce, lemon sorbet, spiced apple tea and an indulgent orange spiced soap! The taste was warming and exotic introducing Turkish delight, old fashioned perfume (lavender) and a hint of ras el hanout spices. This cask comes from the Brora distillery, whose name means ‘sloped garden’. 

Drinking tip: A dram for after church high tea 

Colour: Polished pine                               Date distilled: November 1984

Cask: Refill Sherry butt                               Alcohol: 56.6%

Age: 27 years                                              USA allocation: 120 bottles 

SMWS Green Logo II

Cask No. 29.142                                          $135 

Rock Pooling and beach barbeque 


It is a warm sunny afternoon on the beach and we are rock pooling, exploring diverse marine life; starfish, anemones, crabs, limpets, small fish and seaweed – exposing a possible meal every low tide. Talking of a meal there is also aromas of lamb chops sizzling on a barbeque with a hint of rosemary and the freshness of mint sauce. The taste is ashy to start, oak smoked mackerel, cold smoked salmon and the sweetness of honey glazed ham. With water turning into sweet cured herring with a dill sauce and gravlax with a honey mustard marinade. The taste is now hickory sweet smoked fish, beer battered calamari and roasted marshmallows over an open fire – hungry yet? 

Drinking tip: Take a hint from the title

Colour: Polished copper                         Date distilled: April 1995

Cask: Refill barrel                                        Alcohol: 58.6%

Age: 18 years                                              USA allocation: 108 bottles

 SMWS Green Logo II

Cask No. 63.29                                            $160 

Charcuterie board in a carpenter’s workshop 

Speyside, Spey 

We all moved into a carpenter’s workshop with warm, deep and woody aromas of chestnut, cedar, pine, oak and cinnamon bark. At the same time wood shavings, glue, felt tip pens and a glass of freshly pressed apple juice. The taste turns the juice into Calvados, very mouth coating and moreish with a pleasant semi dry finish combined with the chewy sweetness of blackcurrant wine gums. Adding water, still plenty of aromatic wood besides tobacco and banana leafs and a quince jelly. The taste is now more oriental wood, alongside a well brewed Lapsang Souchung tea accompanied by a charcuterie board served with oatcakes. 

Drinking tip: Whilst getting things ready for hosting a party 

Colour: Polished brass                              Date distilled: December 1989

Cask: Refill barrel                                        Alcohol: 53.0%

Age: 23 years                                              USA allocation: 84 bottles

 SMWS Green Logo II

Cask No. 73.52                                            $160 

Speakeasy perkiness     

Speyside, Deveron 

The nose hinted at uniforms and boots in a wooden chest, musky perfume in a leather handbag, calvados, sherry-soaked fruit cake, molasses, syrup, crême brûlée and a distant bonfire. With water it remained fascinating and perky – perhaps fruitier (apple, pear, peach, orange) but with some bitterness, burnt notes, wood and hessian. The palate delivered a surge of sweetness and a spreading glow of warmth – marmalade, aniseed, apple pie, black coffee and traces of smoke. The reduced flavours suggested humbugs and a gangster’s moll sipping espresso in a 1920’s speakeasy. The distillery contributes to Dewar’s and sits between Keith and Buckie. 

Drinking tip: While watching favourite gangster movies 

Colour: Autumn gold                               Date distilled: May 1989

Cask: Refill Sherry butt                               Alcohol: 57.5%

Age: 23 years                                              USA allocation: 90 bottles 

Please visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at

Quite A Bit At K&L California – Whisky News



Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • 1978 Bunnahabhain Samaroli Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 6 available ($419.99)
  • Oban 15 Year Distillers Edition Montilla Fino Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 10 available ($89.99)
  • SMWS 35.100 (Glen Moray) “Rare Release” Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($115.99)
    The illustrious Scotch Malt Whisky Society finally comes to a retail store. Do not fret if you’re already a member, the amount of whisky being released to the public is a tiny drop in the bucket, just a taste to show the world what the Society has for those who are not aware. We were lucky enough to be selected as one of the four retailers to carry SMWS, along with a few key on-premise accounts, and will be your only source for SMWS bottlings for non-members. This outstanding cask is highly collectable not simply because it’s the 100th cask from this little distillery to be bottled by the Society, but also because it’s one of the best whiskies I’ve had all year. Glen Moray is not a well known distillery in the states, but I think the utter freshness of this whisky will shock even those who know it well. Vibrant and brimming with life, it spent 10 years in a fresh bourbon barrel. The Society’s stringent cask selection system is on display h ere, so it will certainly be sought out by SMWS members who pride themselves on procuring special casks like this one. Get yours now or wait and lose out on one of our most interesting casks of the year. SMWS tasting notes, “Fruity and Fresh, the nose has lime pastilles, apple sours and Midori, coriander leaf, flowers and rhubarb tart – refreshing as a waterfall. The palate has lime, orange sherbet, apple turnover and kiwi – wood shavings, pepper and chilli provide a punchy finish.”

United States Bourbon & Rye

  • Redemption 6 Year Old Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey 750ml ($69.99)


Ireland – Irish and Blended Scotch

  • Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750ml – 4 available ($33.99)

Scotland – Irish and Blended Scotch

  • Samaroli Evolution 2012 Multi Vintage Pure Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml – 6 available ($319.99)

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Glenlivet Archive 21 year old Single Malt Whisky 750ml *ships as 3L in box ($159.99)
  • Glenlivet XXV 25 year old Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $390) ($349.99)
  • Macallan 25 Year Old Distillery Bottling Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 9 available ($799.99)
    Extremely Limited! Macallan’s 25 year old sherry casks are a modern classic.

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


Manatawny Still Works “Craft Distilled Spirits” – American Whiskey News


The Whisky Exchange “Glenfiddich Spirit of a Nation” – Scotch Whisky News


Glenfiddich Spirit of a Nation

December saw the official launch of the Glenfiddich ‘Spirit of a Nation’ 29 Year Old Limited Edition. The bottling was produced to commemorate their sponsorship of the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Challenge 2013. This is the second year … Continue reading >>

Chivas Brothers Wins Rocco Award for ‘Journey to Zero Waste’ – Scotch Whisky News

Chivas Brothers Wins Rocco Award for ‘Journey to Zero Waste’

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has been recognised for its green commitments with the ROCCO award for Journey to Zero Waste.

The accolade highlights the company’s pledge to send zero waste to landfill by 2015. Chivas Brothers has already made significant strides towards this goal, with a current recycling rate of 98%, up from 78% in 2006. This has been achieved through a reduction in packaging waste, improvements to the manufacturing process, employee awareness campaigns and events, and the replacement of standard bins with recycling bins in all areas of the business – from warehouses and distilleries to canteens and offices.

The ROCCO awards are the annual business awards of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, and this year celebrated their 10th anniversary with a glittering awards dinner at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew. This is not the first ROCCO win for Paisley-based Chivas Brothers – last year the company won the ROCCO award for International Trade.Chivas Brothers Environment Manager Ronald Daalmans, who collected the award on behalf of the company, said: “The award recognises the hard work being done at Chivas Brothers to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. It is a great honour to have this acknowledged so close to home, by the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

“Our strong environmental performance could not have been achieved without a shared commitment from all employees in all areas of the business, of which we are incredibly proud. That said, we are determined to keep improving and reach our target of zero waste to landfill by 2015.”

 Chivas Logo Pernod Ricard

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