Archive for February, 2014



CARDHU Single Malt Scotch Whisky is adding a new, highly crafted variant to its popular and successful range of Speyside whiskies, Diageo has announced.

CARDHU AMBER ROCK™ has been double matured in toasted American Oak casks, to deliver richer notes of vanilla and spice. Elegant and deeply flavoured, it still retains the impeccable balance and the clean sweet notes that are a hallmark of CARDHU, and are faithful to the tradition of generous single malt whiskies created by the distillery’s remarkable founders, Helen and Elizabeth Cumming.

Cardhu Amber Rock

Cardhu Amber Rock

Official tasting notes announce that “the classic CARDHU notes of citrus and honey are deepened by fruit, spice and sweetness: superbly balanced and well-paced, with consistent intensity and texture and a tasteful mingling of silky tannins and clean, fresh vanilla flavours and aromas.”

Master Blender Dr Matthew Crow, who worked on the new CARDHU AMBER ROCK, said:

“The Bourbon nuances that develop from the second maturation in toasted casks seasoned with Bourbon whiskey add an even greater silkiness and roundness to the already balanced and delicious CARDHU, bringing vanilla and spice notes along with hints of oak. We are very pleased with how this has turned out.”

CARDHU AMBER ROCK joins the CARDHU family of Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, which was recently expanded with the addition of 15 and 18 year old expressions.

Destined mainly for distribution through whisky specialist stores, CARDHU AMBER ROCK will be available in France and the Belgium from spring 2014, and more widely in Western Europe [UK, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece & Netherlands] from late summer onwards. The launch will be supported by in-store publicity, advertising and promotion through digital channels.

“Western Europe remains a major market for our single malts, including CARDHU”, commented Nik Keane, Diageo’s Global Brand Director for Malt Whiskies. “We are excited and confident that this very original new variant will appeal both to existing CARDHU drinkers and to whisky drinkers new to the category or the brand.”

The name “CARDHU” means “black rock” in the Gaelic language; “CARDHU AMBER ROCK” has been chosen as the name for the new CARDHU as a variant on the distillery’s name and to reflect the golden jewel-like colour of the new expression.

The Recommended Retail Price of CARDHU AMBER ROCK in the UK market will be £41. 


The Cumming family and CARDHU

The Cumming family owned, cherished and developed the CARDHU distillery over several generations, and for many critical years the growing enterprise was managed by two pioneering women – Helen Cumming, and then her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth.

John and Helen Cumming took a lease on a farm at Cardow in Speyside in 1811, and soon Helen started to make whisky for sale to neighbours and in the local town of Elgin.

At the time, whisky was often made on farms and was the responsibility of the women in the household. Until the 1823 Excise Act made it commercially viable for small enterprises to distil and sell legally, distilling at CARDHU and in the neighbourhood was illegal and subject to raids by the tax inspectors or excisemen. (The CARDHU bottle cartons carry a graphic reference to Helen Cumming, the first distiller at CARDHU, waving a flag to warn other local distillers of the presence of the official tax inspectors.)

Helen Cumming, with her husband and then her son, ran both the farm and the distillery until 1872. But in that year, when Helen Cumming was already very old, her son died and his much younger widow Elizabeth rose to the challenge of running the farm and the distillery, developing expanding sales with whisky blenders who valued this fine balanced single malt for their blends.

Elizabeth Cumming, and in due course her son John Fleetwood Cumming, proved hugely successful in managing and developing the distillery and sales of its whisky. In 1893 they finally agreed, after many approaches, to sell the business to John Walker & Sons, thus making it the first distillery to be acquired by that ambitious and famous family.

Elizabeth died in 1894, mourned in the region for her kind heart and for being a “true friend of all the poor”. John Fleetwood Cumming continued to run the distillery, whilst also serving as one of the Directors of the expanding John Walker & Sons. He retired only in 1923 when John Walker & Sons became a public company.

John Cumming died in 1933, but his son Ronald had followed his father into John Walker & Sons with the position of Export Director. As Sir Ronald Cumming, he became Chairman of John Walker & Sons in the 1960s. He died in 1982 as chairman of The Distillers Company, one of the most powerful men in whisky in Scotland.

In 170 unbroken years and just four long-lived generations, the Cummings of Cardhu had gone from small-scale farm distillers to international success. 

Full Tasting Notes

Strength: 40% ABV
Region: Speyside
In brief:
A compelling, joyous and flavourful CARDHU that starts citrus-fresh thensmoothly reveals deeper notes of spice, stewed fruit, vanilla and creamy chocolate, rounded off by a spicy, sweet finish.
In a sentence:
Great at natural strength with a little water on the side, the classic CARDHU notes of citrus and honey are deepened by fruit, spice and sweetness: superbly balanced and well-paced, with consistent intensity and texture and a tasteful mingling of silky tannins and clean, fresh vanilla flavours and aromas.
In full:
Vivid, clear amber.
Sweet, full and vibrant, with fresh pear and lychee notes dancing above buttery pastry. Through this rise balancing citrus notes of sweet tangerine, lemon balm or a lively old-fashioned lemonade. These soften in turn into a rich syrupy- smooth maltiness with sweet toffee, honey and barley sugar. There are notes of fragrant vanilla and toasted marshmallow here too, as the palate rounds further to apples and pears in syrup, spiced
with clove, then to deeper creamy white chocolate and almonds.
Medium. Coating. Almost fizzes with life.
Sweet and spicy from the start, like a fresh fruit salad with pears and sweet apples in lemon juice finished with a splash of cream from fresh-toasted oak. Then drier, with a balancing tangerine sharpness, before soft, smooth fruit syrup emerges on the subtle mid-palate, beneath which an underlying grassiness and toasty oak intensity is never far away, until smooth marshmallows, creamy milk chocolate and vanilla notes
come finally to the fore.
Quite long, spicy-sweet, creamy and comforting; a fizzing bitter cherry-bomb with smooth, drying cocoa, dark chocolate, toasty oak, and finally, a lingering note of citrus.  


Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ci ̂roc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

The CARDHU™ and CARDHU AMBER ROCK™ word and associated logos are trademarks

Mystery Solved?

From the K&L Blog;

So you want to know all our secrets, eh? Where do we get the whisky from and how do we get our own labels? To help you all understand exactly what we do, I’ve embedded the above video that should explain most of the process. The real magic happens on the boat coming across the Atlantic, where we hire Jack Lemmon, Henry Fonda, and William Powell to concoct a secret formula.

It’s really quite amazing. Check it out.

-David Driscoll

Visit the K&L Blog here

Perhaps they simply copy the labels from Diageo (in some cases)?

K&L Faultline

K&L Faultline

AA convalmore36yearoldlrg

Diageo Bottling

2 Gingers® Irish Whiskey and The Big Ginger® Go National – Irish Whiskey News

2 Gingers® Irish Whiskey and The Big Ginger® Go National

Deerfield, Ill (February 12, 2014) – 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey – the fastest growing Irish whiskey in the U.S.* from the award-winning Kilbeggan Distilling Co.™ – has grown beyond its Minnesota roots and is now officially available across the United States. The brand has experienced exponential growth, expanding from limited Midwest markets  one year ago to all 50 states this month. 

2 GINGERS® Founder and CEO Kieran Folliard, former owner of one of the country’s top-selling Irish whiskey pubs, originally created the whiskey and its signature cocktail, the BIG GINGER®, with inspiration from his mother and aunt – the two fiery gingers (red-heads) featured on the bottle. Backed by Folliard’s passion and category expertise, 2 GINGERS® has quickly become the fastest growing Irish whiskey in the U.S.* since its launch in 2011. After experiencing remarkable popularity and success among women and men within limited regional markets in 2013, the premium blended whiskey – aged 4 years and double-distilled – has increased distribution once more, this time expanding nationwide.

“At its heart, 2 GINGERS® is about following up on a hunch and pursuing your dreams,” said Folliard, who is soon hitting the road in a custom 2 GINGERS® trailer that, like any Irish pub, will ring with stories (most of them true) in cities across the country. “We hope to encourage others to pursue their dreams, to demonstrate what we stand for and to pose the question: ‘Why not try something big?’”

Beam Inc. (NYSE:BEAM) acquired 2 GINGERS® in December 2012, and since that time has rapidly expanded distribution. To support the national launch, Folliard will use the customized 2 GINGERS® trailer to meet with bartenders, distributors and consumers looking to discover the BIG GINGER® cocktail in stops from coast to coast, including: Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL,  Hoboken, NJ, New Orleans, LA, Dallas, TX, Austin, TX, San Diego, CA, Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, St. Louis, MO, Indianapolis, IN, and Columbus, OH.

2 GINGERS® is a smooth, malty and slightly sweet premium, blended Irish whiskey. Distilled with mixability in mind, the brand created and trademarked two balanced and simple cocktails, the BIG GINGER® and SKINNY GINGER®. Genderless and appropriate for all seasons, these cocktails combine the refreshing bite of ginger ale with the caramel, vanilla and citrus undertones of 2 GINGERS®, creating the perfect recipe for anyone who may not yet consider themselves whiskey drinkers.


  • 2 parts 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Lime Wedge

METHOD: Pour the 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey into a pint glass with ice. Top with ginger ale, followed by a wedge of a lemon and lime. 


  • 2 parts 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey
  • Diet Ginger Ale
  • Lemon Wedge
  • Lime Wedge

METHOD: Pour the 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey into a pint glass with ice. Top with diet ginger ale, followed by a wedge of a lemon and lime. 

For more information on 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey, which sells at a suggested retail price of $19.99 for a 750ml bottle, please visit, like us or follow @2GINGERSwhiskey

About Beam Inc.

As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Pinnacle Vodka, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher’s Scotch Whisky, Skinnygirl Cocktails, Cruzan Rum, Hornitos Tequila, Knob Creek Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC and DeKuyper Cordials.  Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2013 sales of $2.55 billion (excluding excise taxes), volume of 37 million 9-liter equivalent cases and some of the industry’s fastest growing innovations. 

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index.  For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

Auchentoshan 1992, 21yo “Laure Prouvost” by McLean’s Artist Malts – Scotch Whisky News


Auchentoshan 1992, 21yo “Laure Prouvost” by McLean’s Artist Malts

Auchentoshan 1992, 21yo by McLean’s Artist Malts. Second maturation in a sherry infused octave and bottled at 45.8% bottled in 2013. Artist Laure Prouvost, title: Ideally This Will Make You Forget. Box with inscription “IN SIDE THERE IS A GATHERING … Continue reading


Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #434 – Scotch Whisky News

Ralfy_zpsf0666f22 identifies a decent malt at a decent price and with decent presentation with Whisky Review 434 – Balvenie 12yo Single Barrel @ 47.8% whisky

Whisky Sailing Thalassa 2014-Meet Masterblender Richard Paterson – Scotch Whisky News


Whisky sailing trip Tall Ship Thalassa 2014

Meet Masterblender Richard Paterson on board!

Make the once in a lifetime trip and sail with tall ship Thalassa! Sail along with us to the best single malt distilleries. Discover Scotland’s coastal distilleries, enjoy the company of whisky lovers and learn from whisky professionals! See Scotland and its isles from a different angle and discover its beauty.

*** NEWS***

Richard Paterson 2

The journey this upcoming May 17th is going to be most special because you will be enabled to meet masterblender Richard Paterson in person! Richard Paterson is well known for his enormous knowledge about whisky and for his spectacular presentations. He is an entertainer in flesh and blood, a masterclass of Richard is something you will never forget, a once of a lifetime experience!

Meet Masterblender Richard Paterson!

During our first whisky journey of 2014 we will visit the distillery of Jura where a guidance tour by both Richard Paterson and distillery manager Will Tait will take place.

Richard Paterson is known as The Nose and a very prominent personality in the Scottish whisky industry. During the rest of the journey he will remain on board as one of our guests. For the other guests a special opportunity to meet in person and learn from this authority on whisky in an informal setting. We, Hollands Glorie and Thalassa’s crew, are absolutely delighted that Richard will be on board during this trip and are sure that he will be happy to contribute to a very special whisky journey.

alg 4

Would you like to join us?

Do hurry please, there are only a few places left open for booking!

Program whisky sailing trip 1

Embarkation: Saturday May 17th 2014 from 14:00 in Oban. Disembarkation: Saturday May 24th 2014 at 10:00 in Troon

Day 1: Embarkation in Oban, departure to Tobermory
Day 2: Visit distillery Tobermory, bustour Mull
Day 3: Departure via Corryvreckan to Jura, overnight stay in its bay
Day 4: Visit distillery Jura, departure to Port Ellen
Day 5: Possible visit distilleries Islay, overnight stay in Port Ellen
Day 6: Departure direction Campbelltown, visit Springbank distillery
Day 7: Tour Glenscotia, departure for Arran, visit distillery, departure for Troon
Day 8: Disembark at Troon

The definite sailing route depend on wind and weather conditions. The captain of the vessel is authorized to modify the schedule, if necessary due to circumstances as described above. In such case the captain and his crew will make suggestions for a fair alternative route.

Read more…

Information and online booking

More information about our trips can be found here. For online booking click here. For further questions please contact us by email or phone: +31-10-4156600.

Welcome on board!

Liesbeth Wammes – de Graaf
Brigitte Beckers


AA Brora 40 Year Old is today unveiled for travellers

‘A rare survivor from a closed distillery’
Only 160 bottles will be available exclusively through partnership with World Duty Free Group UK

Scotland, February 2014; Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME) today announced the release of just 160 bottles of BroraTM 40 Year Old, the most expensive Single Malt whisky ever released by Diageo. Drawn from a single cask, the bottles are priced at GBP £6,995 and are available today as a worldwide exclusive for pre-order through World Duty Free Group’s online outlet

The Brora distillery closed in 1983, yet some of the famous liquid has been slowly maturing to perfection in a Scottish warehouse. This fine, pale gold Single Malt, taken at the natural cask strength of 59.1% from a single cask distilled in 1972, is the first 40 year old Brora whisky ever to be bottled, and the oldest and rarest Brora expression ever released. It has been drawn from what is considered to be the most brilliant of its highly-peated bottlings – the famous 1972 reserve.

The exquisite packaging of Brora 40 Year Old reflects the true quality, craftsmanship and luxury credentials of the rare Brora liquid. The decanter is presented in a beautiful wooden case, an interpretation of the closed Brora distillery, skilfully handcrafted by the Queen’s cabinet makers at N.E.J Stevenson Ltd1. The bespoke designers were appointed to craft the case because of their expertise, which is evident in other highly respected creations, such as the unique chests that house the Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons.

The whisky itself is housed in an exquisite crystal decanter that bears the golden emblem of the Scottish Wildcat2, the legendary guardian of the closed distillery and crest of the distiller’s founder, the Duke of Sutherland. The unique crystal stopper is etched with the number ‘40’ and the decanter has an engraved copper neck detailing the 1972 distillation year.

Steve White, Global Marketing Director of Diageo Global Travel and Middle East, said: “We have chosen to launch Diageo’s most expensive Single Malt whisky, Brora 40 Year Old, through our exclusive partnership with World Duty Free Group UK. We are confident that the supreme quality and rare nature of this whisky will delight and excite Single Malt collectors and aficionados who will want to add a bottle of this prestigious whisky to their prized collection.”

David de Miguel, Global Head of Liquor at World Duty Free Group comments, “It’s great to be partnering with Diageo on this worldwide exclusive malt whisky launch, which showcases our ability to consistently offer a range of unique whiskies across our stores. The exceptional quality of this rare whisky will attract and intrigue whisky connoisseurs, helping to highlight our reputation as whisky specialists with the finest expertise”.

Brora 40 Year Old is available for pre-order from today, exclusively at, at a recommended retail price of GBP £6,995 for 70cl, and will be available for collection from selected UK World of Whiskies and World Duty Free Group stores from 21st April 2014.


About N.E.J Stevenson Ltd 1

N.E.J. Stevenson Ltd is cabinetmaker to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Holder of a Royal Warrant. A Royal Warrant is personally granted by one of three ‘Grantors’: HRH Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Scottish Wildcat 2

A proud survivor, of which fewer than 400 remain in the wild today. Impressed by its ferocity, it is said, early settlers and Highland Clans made the wildcat their symbol, to proclaim a fierce independence of spirit, tenacity and resilience. The wildcat featured on the Duke of Sutherland’s family crest and in time became the distillery emblem.

History of the Brora Distillery

The distillery was first founded in 1819 as the Clynelish distillery in the town of Brora in Sutherland. A new Clynelish distillery was built on an adjacent site in 1967 and two years later the old one re-opened under the name Brora Distillery. During the 1980s the whisky industry suffered at the hands of a slowing global economy and, along with several other malt distilleries in Scotland, Brora closed down, shutting its doors for the final time in May 1983.

Brora 40 Year Old Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pale gold
Nose: Soft and smoky with notes of gently rising honey, fruit, musk and menthol. With water, the nose gives rise to a harmonious fusion of ground white pepper, toasted hazelnuts and toffee, followed by an appetising smoke.
Palate: Concentrated wood-smoke and ash closely followed by soothing honey and a hint of liquorice, giving way to toasted hazelnut notes. Cereals form an undercurrent of tangy clarity against smoke, salt and toffee flavour.
Finish: Hints of eucalyptus and spice, followed by a long, smooth and savoury smoke. With water, sweet wood smoke lingers with hints of dark chocolate.

AA Brora 40 Year Old Bottle Shot

About Diageo:
Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people and its brands, visit For Diageo’s global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.


World Duty Free S.p.A., is the holding company of World Duty Free Group, one of the world’s leading travel retailers, operating mainly in airports and with a broad geographical reach. It has operations in 21 countries and more than 140 locations with over 500 stores, from its heartland in Western Europe, to the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. In 2012, the company posted a turnover of more than 2,002 million Euros.

World Duty Free Group’s core business is tax and duty free shopping and its proposition covers the complete spectrum of airport shopping including Beauty, Wines & Spirits, Food & Confectionery, Tobacco, Sunglasses, Watches & Jewellery and Souvenirs.

World Duty Free Group operates some of the most exciting and engaging airport shops in the world, with focus on the customer and innovative marketing programmes, including multi channel digital and live in-store interactive promotions.

World Duty Free S.p.A. is listed on the Italian FTSE MIB 40 since 1 October 2013 with the ticker symbol WDF:IM.

World Duty Free Group has been awarded as Airport Retailer of 2013 by Frontier Magazine. For more information, please visit

AA Brora 40 Year Old, a rare Single Malt, is released today from the now silent Brora distillery

Arran Malt & Music Festival Friday 27th-Sunday 29th June 2014 – Scotch Whisky News


Arran Malt & Music Festival:

Preparations have begun for our annual Malt & Music Festival which will be held in the Distillery and Visitor Centre on Friday 27th-Sunday 29th June 2014.  The White Stags are holding a VIP whisky dinner on the Friday evening hosted by Distillery Manager James MacTaggart, before the main day event on Saturday.  You can expect whisky masterclasses, fantastic food, island produce and craft, local musicians and distillery exclusive bottlings.  All this will be followed in the evening by a ceilidh and fantastic live band.  The Sunday will see the survivors lunch take place and a special masterclass with Euan Mitchell.  Tickets will be available very soon and we will be updating our web site with the link on where to buy them!  In the meantime, accommodation is booking up fast so make sure you make your plans ASAP! You can read all about last year’s event on our web site.

CASC Aberdeen “GOT WOOD?” – Scotch Whisky News

AA mon-10th-mar

Aberdeen’s newest whisky and craft beer bar launches it’s second Monthly Whisky Club Tasting event of the year – GOT WOOD? For details find us on facebook at CASC Aberdeen or on twitter @CASCb

TOP PICKS & BACK IN STOCK at K&L California – Whisky News



  • Glenmorangie Companta Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($99.99)
    Glenmorangie’s 2014 special edition Companta is finally here! Hot off the heels of winning “Best Whisky of the Year” from Jim Murray for their 2013 special edition Ealanta, this year’s limited release utilizes red wine barrels from both Burgundy and the Rhone to infuse a red-fruited character that marries beautifully with the supple texture of Glenmorangie whisky. Using both American oak and cooperage from Clos de Tart winemakers, Dr. Bill Lumsden (Glenmo’s head of whisky creation) managed to transfer all of the fresh cherry and raspberry aromas of the legendary Pinot Noir over to the nose of the Companta whisky. The color is a pale burgundy in the glass and a delicate note of cherry cordial is present. The palate, however, delivers classic whisky character, albeit rather desserty in style: spice cake, fudge, and cocoa dominate the flavor profile, but the finish is dry and spicy. Overall, it’s a wonderfully-balanced malt and a huge f eather in the cap for Lumsden; taking a style of whisky (red wine enhanced single malt) that has rarely offered greatness and making it absolutely great. Whereas we had plenty of last year’s Ealanta in stock up until the “Best Whisky” award was announced, we doubt our customers will have that luxury this time around. Companta is one of the most anticipated limited releases of 2014 and it’s a great way to start off the year. There might be back-to-back accolades in Glenmorangie’s future. These will go fast.


Japan – Single Malt Scotch

  • Suntory Yamazaki 12 year old Japanese Single Malt Whiskey 750ml – 5 available ($59.99

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 12 available ($84.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml – 1 available ($74.99)

United States – Other Spirits

  • Balcones Single Malt Whisky 750ml – 4 available ($74.99)

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


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