Archive for October, 2013





Fifteen Year Old Bourbon is Tested with Six Month

And Thirteen Month Stave Drying Time 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Oct. 29, 2013) Barrel stave drying time is the latest focus in Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Experimental Collection program, as two experiments are released, one with the standard Buffalo Trace stave drying time of six months, and one with a 13 month stave drying time.

Both bourbons were put into new, charred white oak barrels produced by Independent Stave Company 15 years ago. Both groups of barrels were charred with Buffalo Trace’s standard number four char, which is 55 seconds. One group of barrels was crafted from staves that had been air dried for 13 months. Air drying, or seasoning, refers to the process of allowing barrel staves to be left out in the open air to experience all of the natural temperature and weather changes that occur around them. The other group of barrels, the “control” barrels, received Buffalo Trace’s standard six month air drying time on its staves.  Then both sets of barrels were filled with Buffalo Trace Rye Mash #1, and left to age.

The taste differences began to show up early in the experimental process, as all experimental barrels at Buffalo Trace are tasted every few months to check in on the progress.  The end result for the standard six month stave seasoned barrels was a well-rounded bourbon that has flavors of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

The 13 month stave seasoned barrels led to a bourbon that tastes of sweet nuts balanced with mild spicy notes, creating a robust flavor.

“What’s normal for us isn’t normal for most,” said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller.  “We have our cooperage age our wood for six months before it’s even made into a barrel, because we’ve found the six months allows our wood to season and bring enzymes to the surface that allow the wood to produce just the right amount of tannins and wood sugars during the charring process.  This allows for the alcohol to extract those flavors efficiently while aging.”

Wheatley continues, “In this experiment, we wanted to explore the changes as the stave drying time was increased from our ‘standard’ six month stave drying to 13 months of stave drying time.  The differences were marked, with the longer stave drying time yielding a sweet, but robust flavor.”

These barrels are part of the more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of these barrels has unique characteristics that differentiate it from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, type of wood and barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, complete with cookers, fermenting tanks, and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The Experimental Collection will be packaged in 375ml bottles and will be packed 12 to a case, with six bottles of each experiment in a case. Each label will include all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. These whiskeys will retail for approximately $46.35 each. These rare experimental bottles should be available in November. For more information on the Experimental Collection or the other products of Buffalo Trace Distillery, please contact Elizabeth Hurst at

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1786 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #406 – Scotch Whisky News

ralf enjoys a classy moment with Whisky Review 406 – Brora 30yo (2010)

A Night of Whisk(e)y in DC with Virginia Distillery Company – Whisky News


An Night of Whisk(e)y

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ristorante i Ricchi

6pm to 730pm

Please join us in Washington, DC for a tasting of four (very) different American whiskies: bourbon, rye, American peated single malt, and our own Virginia Highland Malt whisky. Taste what makes each whisky so unique, experience the whiskies paired with creative fare, and discover how to mix some great whisk(e)y cocktails.

Tickets are $35 and space is very limited. Click here to reserve your seat. 

Ristorante i Ricchi has created interesting and unusual food to pair with the whiskies, including grilled quail and walnut-crusted cheesecake (just to be clear, those are two separate dishes) among other delicious treats.

Our own Dan FitzHenry, who will lead the tasting, has concocted a menu of cocktails displaying the unique character of each of the whiskies, which will be available after the tasting. Watch him mix up a few, and learn what makes a good whisk(e)y cocktail great.

We’re excited to see you there!

1220 19th St NW

Washington, DC 22036


Golden Autumn Whiskies at Royal Mile Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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SPRINGBANK Gaja Barolo £57.95

Should be just as good (if not better) than the long gone Longrow Gaja Barolo. Feisty and fruity, yet another quality combination of casks from Springbank.

BENRIACH 1994 Virgin Oak £79.95

There are an awful lot of chaste whiskies about these days! Exclusive to UK retail only, a divine 19 year old Virgin Oak for your delectation.

GLENDROANCH 1990 Pedro Ximenez £111.95

We love Pedro Ximenez and the amazing complimentary effect it has in making fantastic whiskies even better. Another exclusive to UK retail only.


CARDHU Special Cask Reserve £42.95

A wee while ago there wasn’t enough stock to meet demand. Now there is a great range of single (not ‘pure’) malts. Nothing to do with the collapse of their biggest market then?

GLEN GRANT 16 Year Old £44.95

Major Grant would surely have approved of this addition to the portfolio and undoubtedly kept a bottle in his not-so-secret garden hidey-hole.

OLD PULTENEY Navigator £39.95

Not a permanent addition to the Old Pulteney range, but a great limited edition celebrating the Clipper Round the World Race.


TAMNAVULIN 25 Old Particular £99.95

This single malt has always been hard to get hold of due to intermittent production and primarily being used for blending purposes. Which makes this 25 year old a ‘particularly’ good buy.

GLENUGIE 1980 Deoch an Doras £275.00

Deoch an Doras translates from Gaelic as ‘Drink at the door’ (i.e. savour a ‘last wee dram before you leave’). Better priced than official bottlings from certain other closed distilleries.

INVERLEVEN 1973 Deoch an Doras £285.00

Both this and the Glenugie Deoch an Doras are extremely rare official bottlings from two long gone distilleries. Modestly presented and emminently collectable, both are worthy investments.

“Some like wine and some like hops but what I really love is my scotch It’s the power, the power of positive drinking”(The Power of Positive Drinking, Lou Reed 1942 – 2013)

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Royal Mile Whiskies
Whisky Magazine’s ‘Retailer of the Year 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011’

Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert – Canadian Whisky Is On The Shortlist For Taste Canada 2013 Book Awards – Canadian Whisky News


Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert

 Canadian Whisky is on the shortlist for Taste Canada 2013 book awards.


CULINARY NARRATIVES (winner to be announced Nov 4)

Vote here for the CBC People’s Choice Award





 Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert is published by McClelland & Stewart and distributed by Penguin Random House. It is available from most book shops and on-line book sellers.

World Whisky Day 2014 – Whisky News

AA WWD 2014

200 Days to Go – Let the countdown begin

World Whisky Day – Saturday 17th May 2014

Start getting excited
World Whisky Day falls on the 3rd Saturday in May so for 2014 this means it will be on Saturday 17th May. Mark that in your diary now and tell the next person you meet to mark it in their diary too. 200 days may seem like a long time but it will be here before we know it.

But isn’t every day a whisky day?
Now you may be thinking ‘isn’t every day a whisky day?’. Well kind of, however, World Whisky Day is about celebrating whisky/whiskey and about giving whisky global stage and global media attention for not just a day but for a considerable amount of time around this date. The purpose of this is to introduce whisky to people who have never tried it before and for those that already enjoy whisky to have something special.

All for one and one for all
World Whisky Day is a day for:

• all types of whisky/whiskey.
• everybody, of any background, to enjoy whisky responsibly.
• people new to whisky and people who already enjoy whisky.

All whiskies great and small
World Whisky Day is working with the biggest distilleries in the Scotland and the newest tiniest distilleries in world to make sure that World Whisky Day celebrations can showcase all whisky producers in the world in a fun and open platform available to all.

New to whisky or never tried it before?
If you are new to whisky then World Whisky Day might just be the excuse you need to try whisky for the very first time, as you have always put it off in the past. Why not just give it a go? There could not be a more fitting day to try whisky for the first time. Find an event near you on the World Whisky Day website and learn about the best drink in the world.

Are you a whisky geek?
If you are already a whisky fan then why not open something extra special on World Whisky Day? Everyone has a bottle of something in their cupboard that they have been holding on to for years. Well, why not open it on World Whisky Day and share that special whisky with your friends and family? Hundred’s of people have already done this during the 1st and 2nd World Whisky Day celebrations. Alternatively you could look for a World Whisky Day event happening near your home. Or better yet why not host your own World Whisky Day event?

What has been happening since this year’s WWD in May?
Well, I graduated in July and a week later I was awarded a £50k grant from the Scottish Government to grow and develop World Whisky Day. Since my graduation I’ve been working full time on World Whisky Day to help build what I believe to be an excellent day for the global whisky community to come together and celebrate whisky, the thing we all love.

So what will be happening on WWD 2014?
We are getting a great new website built that makes it much easier to find and add events. We are working closely with distilleries to get them engaged and involved in the global celebrations. We are also working closely with Scottish Government and VisitScotland to help promote World Whisky Day to a worldwide audience.

We hope that World Whisky Day 2014 will be the biggest celebration yet and will see even more whisky enthousiasts than ever before enjoying a glass of whisky on 17th May 2014.


Get Involved
Venue Owner?
You will be able to register your World Whisky Day event in early 2014 but get your thinking caps on now and tell your regulars to save the date for World Whisky Day on 17th May 2014.

Whisky enthousiast?
Please tell your favourite bar and all your whisky friends about World Whisky Day. Make sure you follow us on Twitter (@worldwhiskyday) and Facebook ( for the latest news and some very exciting competitions.

Whisky Distiller or Whisky Brand?
We endeavour to have as many distilleries and brands involved as possible. If you have not heard from us yet we will be in touch very soon. But if you want to let us know about an exciting idea then by all means please drop us a quick message to

That’s all for now but I’ll keep you updated with exciting developments and announcements planned for early in the New Year.

In the meantime if you want to discuss your plans or find out more about getting your venue or whisky involved then please email or call +44 (0)131 208 2582.

Kind regards,
Blair Bowman

World Whisky Day

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and very exciting competitions.

Tomintoul 1977 / Single Cask #3691 / 36 Year Old at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

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Tomintoul 1977 / Single Cask #3691 / 36 Year Old

Following on from the success of their first ever single cask release (single bourbon cask #5985), Tomintoul distillery have released this rare single sherry cask edition.   Distilled in 1977, single sherry cask #3691 has been aged for 36 years, it was bottled in 2013 at 54.9% vol.

Only 297 bottles were produced, each bottle has been individually numbered.

£415.00 (£345.83 ex vat)  

Click here to buy Tomintoul 1977 Single Cask 3691

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Whisky Live Toronto – Whisky News


Toronto’s all-new, re-launched Whisky Live kicks off whisky season with a bang. In a classy new venue at the Harbour Castle Westin Hotel and under new ownership the festival has done away with tasting vouchers and has an extensive demonstration area for each of the five steps in making whisky. Sample whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa.  Tickets available at

The Whisky Exchange “Tasting Notes: Redbreast 21 Year Old” – Irish Whiskey News


Tasting Notes: Redbreast 21 Year Old

It’s a matter of record that I’m a huge fan of Irish Distillers, as evidenced by all manner of embarrassing fanboy gushing across the virtual pages of this blog.  I was obviously over the moon, then, when I heard that … Continue reading >>


Whisky Wednesday Reviews Mackmyra Special – Swedish Whisky News


UK vlogger Joe Ellis a.k.a Whisky Wednesday reviews Mackmyra Special 10 Kaffegok.

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