Archive for 2015

Springbank Society Newsletter December 2015 – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society

Springbank Society Newsletter

December 2015

Dear Society Members,

Today marks our final working day of 2015 and there is a cheery, festive atmosphere among all staff as we look forward to a well earned two week break. All distillery and office staff will finish up today (Wednesday 23rd December) and will return to work on Thursday 7th January, fully rested and ready for another busy year. The busy shop elves will be working up until 5pm on Christmas Eve and will be working from 11am-4pm on the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st of December with a 2pm tour also running on those dates. They will then have a much deserved break until Thursday 7th January.

Before I fill you in with all the latest news I have to tell you that this will be my final newsletter to you as from January 2016, my colleague Julie Jordan will administrate the Springbank Society and be your point of contact for everything Society related. As many of you will know, as well as running the Springbank Society my role also includes a few tourism related jobs such as the administration and organisation of events for Explore Campbeltown and the organisation of our annual Campbeltown Malts Festival. From January, my role will be to concentrate more on the tourism side of the company and I’m looking forward to the new challenges it will bring. I’m very sad to be leaving the Society behind after 2 and a half fun years with you all but feel more than confident that Julie will do a fantastic job with you. Julie has worked within the company for over 9 years, starting her career in the J&A Mitchell office at the distillery before moving to the Springbank Distillers office in 2012. Her current job is to take care of the label and packaging orders for all the products within the J&A Mitchell family and she is very excited to add the Springbank Society to her duties.

I will continue to organise the Campbeltown Malts Festival and will be the main point of contact for all visitors to the distillery so you won’t be getting rid of me that easily! Julie will keep you updated with the festival plans and any other upcoming events and you can email me to boo k tickets or for more information on them. You will be able to reach me at so please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions regarding events or a visit to the distillery.

Reflection on 2015

2015 has been a hugely successful year for us as a company and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this success. As always, the Sales Team were busy bees all year visiting 18 countries, attending 46 festivals and hosting 92 tastings in total. A new addition was added to the Sales Team in September this year when Fraser Milloy joined Ranald, David and Grant while Melanie has temporarily moved over to the Kilkerran Sales to cover Jenny Karlsson’s maternity leave. Tour figures have once again continued to rise by around 17% this year and our tour guides have done a fantastic job of showing visitors round and helping them understand the Springbank way of doing things!

The Springbank Society has also seen a big increase in membership during 2015 with a total of 266 new members signing up. It’s fantastic to see the growing interest in our Society and I’m positive Julie will do a great job of making sure all our new members feel part of the Springbank family.

Other highlights of 2015 include:

• J&A Mitchell & Co Ltd becoming the first Argyll and Bute based company to be credited under the Living Wage scheme

• Director Neil Clapperton winning the Living Wage Leadership Award 2015 for the Scotland region

• Neil also being awarded Campbeltown’s Citizen of the Year by the town’s Rotary Club for his contribution to the community over the past year

• The second hugely successful Campbeltown Malts Festival in May

• 8 fantastic weeks of Whisky School where we welcomed 50 talented students

Sales have also seen a good boost this year and we’ve welcomed a few new additions to the work force so it’s safe to say it’s been a great year for us. 2016 clearly has a lot to live up to but we are certain it won’t disappoint! I’m sure lots of you will be excited to learn that to kick start the new year, we will launch our first general release Local Barley bottling since 2001. Springbank Local Barley is one of the most iconic Springbank expressions ever produced and we are delighted to announce the 16yo Local Barley bottled in January will be the first in a series of five expressions to be released over

five years. Julie will be able to give you much more information on this bottling in January so keep your eyes peeled for that in the new year!

News from the Distillery

Our still men have just finished the 2015 production at Glengyle Distillery where they were distilling for a total of 7 weeks. For the first two weeks of production, heavier peated Longrow-style barley was used and for the final five weeks, lighter peated Springbank style barley was distilled. During the distillation, some S2 pupils from Campbeltown Grammar School came along to film the process for a project in one of their classes. We are very much looking forward to seeing their work when the editing has finished, hopefully in time for the big 12th birthday celebrations next year!

When the still men return to work in the new year, they will go straight into production at Springbank. The boys will begin mashing for 5 weeks with production split between Hazelburn, Springbank and Longrow and from the end of February until the beginning of May, they will move over to the Malt Barns to make sure we have enough barley ready for the summer production.

Ardrossan – Campbeltown permanent summer ferry service confirmed

We received excellent news a couple of weeks ago that the Ardrossan – Campbeltown summer ferry service has been made a permanent service for Caledonian MacBrayne making it even easier for you all to visit us! The announcement follows a successful pilot service which ran over the past three summers and transported an average of over 10,000 passengers and 2,000 cars per year. The new service will be part of an enhanced summer timetable for CalMac services, which will be confirmed shortly and is due to come into operation next year. Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “I’m very pleased to announce the ferry link between Ardrossan and Campbeltown will become a permanent feature of the CalMac summer timetable. “The pilot service proved incredibly popular and I’m sure this announcement will be welcomed by passengers and the communities at either side of the route. “This will be a real boost for the local economy, enhancing transport links to Campbeltown and the Kintyre Peninsula, as well as supporting the tourist trade by making it easier and more attractive for visitors. “This new service is one of a number of enhancements being brought in as part of next year’s summer timetable, which will increase overall capacity across the Clyde and Hebrides network and make sure we get the most out of our ferry fleet. “The enhanced timetable, along with our order for two new major vessels for the West Coast ferry fleet, underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to essential ferry services for the communities that rely on them and will ensure that our islands and remote communities remain attractive and accessible to visitors.” CalMac’s Director of Operations, Drew Collier said: “Passenger numbers on this route during the trial confirm that the demand is there for a regular ferry link and we look forward to delivering this service next year in support of the local community in Campbeltown.”

As you can imagine, we are all delighted with the announcement and know that it will make a huge difference for both visitors and locals traveling to Kintyre. I will be helping to promote the service as part of my role with Explore Campbeltown and feel confident that we will be able to encourage more people to use this fantastic service in the coming years.

Campbeltown Christmas Weekend 2015

For the second year running, local volunteer groups and businesses teamed up to create the ‘Campbeltown Christmas Weekend’ which took place from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th November 2015 and was solely funded by the people and businesses of South Kintyre. As the finale of the weekend and for the third consecutive year, the Malt Barns at Springbank Distillery hosted the popular Explore Campbeltown Christmas Market which took place on Sunday 29th November 2015.

The Market was a huge success once again and featured over 60 stalls from Explore Campbeltown. Similar to last year, the ground floor of the Malt Barns held around 55 stalls ranging from local craft businesses to charities and local attractions. The upper floor was transformed into a food court where the hungry shoppers could stop for a break and enjoy food and drink from various local food providers. Santa and his elves kept the kids occupied as well as a stall with Face Painting and a special appearance from some friendly Minions and Gru who featured in the animated film ‘Despicable Me’. Pupils from Campbeltown Grammar School and Campbeltown Brass Band provided a festive backing sound to the day and really helped get everyone into the spirit.

Other events happening over the weekend included the annual Campbeltown Christmas Lights Switch-On in the town centre and the return of the Ice Rink in Burnside Square as well as lots of other attractions to get everyone in the Christmas mood. The weekend proved to be a big hit with locals and visitors alike and we are already looking at ways to add even more events to the weekend for 2016.

I think that is you filled in on all the latest news so thank you very much for reading my final newsletter. It’s been a pleasure speaking to you all during my time with the Springbank Society and I really hope to see many of you at the distillery in the future. We will begin to release news on the Campbeltown Malts Festival at the end of January / start of February so I’ll hopefully be in contact with many of you then!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and wishing you all the very best for 2016.



Mairi Paterson

For the Springbank Society

To join the Springbank Society contact Mairi at

Dundee Dell First Scotch Tasting of 2016 – Scotch Whisky News

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Cheers!! Happy New Year!!  

We want to keep the celebration going with our New Year’s Scotch Tasting!

This Sunday, January 3rd at 4pm is when the scotch will start to pour.

You will sample 10 scotches and maybe more for the price of $50 per person.

 (not including tax or gratuity)

Dundee Dell | | 

Dundee Dell 5007 Underwood Omaha, Nebraska


Whisky.Auction “Our December auction is now LIVE!” – Whisky News

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Our final auction of the year is now live, and will end on Thursday 7 January – please note that this is two days longer than normal, to give people plenty of time to place their bids over the Christmas period.

We hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed some good bottles from our previous auctions – but now is the perfect time to restock your drinks cabinet!

We have a full set of Pappy Van Winkle – a six-bottle lot ranging in age from 10 to 23 years old; we also have the Nikka 70th Anniversary set, comprising four engraved bottles of cask-strength whisky, released in 2004. You’ll also find a good selection of Irish whiskey and rum including some from the now-closed Caroni distillery. There is also a strong line-up of old blends and bourbon. Our miniature selection is top-notch, too: we have many old Irish miniature bottles, a Glenlivet 12 Years Old from the 1950s, and a very rare 1920s Grant’s Liqueur, a pure malt containing just Balvenie and Glenfiddich single malt. Look out for the following bottles, and good luck with your bids!

Ardbeg 1976 Sherry Cask #2398
Bowmore Bicentenary
Karuizawa 1980 & 1981, Artifices Series LMdW 2014
Highland Park 1967 (Bot.1991)
Port Ellen 1979 22 Years Old, First Release
St Magdalene 1970, 23 Years Old Rare Malts
Springbank 1968, 37 Years Old The Whisky Fair

You can bid in two ways: either increase the highest bid by a fixed amount, or place your maximum bid straightaway – ideal if you can’t be online on the last day of our auction. Be the first to bid!

Get bidding, and good luck! The Whisky Auction team.

Ralfy Publishes His “Malt of the Year” – Whisky News

ralfylarge has a message for the end of the year with Whisky Review Malt of the Year 2015.



Dennis Malcolm


–           Glen Grant (10 Year Old) wins two of the highest accolades by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016, including Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks)

–           Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm is honoured with the IWSC 2015 Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Award

–           Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm receives Whisky Advocate’s 22nd Annual Lifetime Achievement Award

Glen Grant is celebrating tremendous success after receiving not one, but four of the whisky industry’s most prestigious awards, recognised for both its high-quality whisky and its hard work and dedication to the industry.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Glen Grant 10 Year Old Single Malt whisky has won the coveted Single Malt of the Year 10 Years and Under (Multiple Casks) category, in the 13th edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, which launched in November 2015. Building on this success, this year also saw the Glen Grant 10 Year Old taking home the guide’s top honour for single malts by winning overall Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks).

On top of this achievement, Dennis Malcolm, Glen Grant’s Master Distiller with more than 50 years of experience was recently recognised for his exceptional life’s work at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2015, where he received the Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Award. Just days later, Dennis was named the recipient of Whisky Advocate’s 22nd Annual Lifetime achievement award.

Dennis began his career in 1961 and is one of the longest serving Master Distillers in the Scotch Whisky industry. Born in the grounds of the distillery in 1946, these highly-respected accolades pay homage to Dennis’ longstanding passion and dedication for the brand, as well as his unmatched Scotch whisky experience and outstanding contributions to the industry which has led to praise from many professionals, including that of Jim Murray.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is the world’s biggest-selling and most influential annual whisky guide. Industry renowned, the compact guide contains roughly 4,500 detailed, professionally analysed and easy to understand tasting notes on the world’s leading and lesser-known whiskies. Each whisky is tasted by Murray himself and graded with an overall score out of 100. This year Murray awarded the Glen Grant 10 Year Old a “Liquid Gold” score of 96 out of 100.

Founded in 1840 by brothers John and James Grant in Rothes, in Speyside, Scotland, Glen Grant boasts a remarkable, unique double distillation process which sets its award-winning 10 Year Old Single Malt apart from the competition. Created using tall, slender stills and distinctive purifiers, invented over a century ago by the ingenious James ‘The Major’ Grant and still used to this day, it captures only the finest vapors, producing the refined and seductively smooth taste for which Glen Grant is renowned.

Dennis Malcolm, Glen Grant’s Master Distiller, commented: “I am honoured to receive the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2015 Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry Award and so humbled to receive Whisky Advocate’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I live and breathe the whisky industry every day and to be recognised for my work is something for which I am extremely grateful.” He added, “To receive the Jim Murray accolade for the fourth year running is a huge achievement for Glen Grant, however to receive the award for Single Malt Scotch of the Year (multiple casks) is an affirmation of the love, passion and care that goes into producing our distinctively smooth, golden liquid. We’re very proud of our journey to success to date and look forward to an exciting future!”

For more information visit:

10 YO

Tasting Notes:

Glen Grant 10 Year Old:

The Glen Grant 10 Year Old Single Malt brings an added intensity to the familiar orchard fruits. Rich in colour, its taste lingers in the mouth with a soft, almond finish. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 states that the 10 year old is the best bottle they have ever tasted from Glen Grant. For the last four years, the Jim Murray Whisky Bible awarded the Glen Grant 10 year expression as the winner of the “Best Single Malt Scotch: 10 Years and Under” category. In 2016, the Jim Murray Whisky Bible crowned the Glen Grant 10 Year Old as the Single Malt of The Year (multiple casks).

Tasting Notes:

  • Colour    Bright gold
  • Aroma Sweet pastry, pear drops and hints of vanilla
  • Taste Orchard fruits and rich malt notes
  • Finish Long and complex
  • Style Elegant, refined and complex

About Glen Grant:

Glen Grant’s story began in 1840, in Rothes, Speyside – Scotland’s premier region for whisky production; by brothers John and James Grant. Still produced in Rothes today, Glen Grant is currently the world’s number 5 selling Single Malt Whisky and holds a range of prestigious industry awards, including being awarded Jim Murray’s Best Single Malt Scotch: 10 Years and Under for four years in a row.

The unique and seductively smooth taste for which Glen Grant is renowned, is the result of the innovative tall slender stills and special purifiers that James ‘The Major’ Grant, son of founder James Grant, invented over a century ago. Still used to this day, this lasting legacy continues to distinguish the brand.

Today, Dennis Malcolm, the Glen Grant master distiller, directs and presides over the amber liquid. Born in the grounds of Glen Grant in 1946, he has worked for Glen Grant for over five decades, with an uncommon passion and unrivalled knowledge of the industry. Dennis’ unmatched Scotch whisky experience ensures that every expression in the Glen Grant range makes the absolute best of the complex alchemy of spirit, wood and time.

Glenfarclas MND Fundraiser – Scotch Whisky News

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Ballindalloch, 18th December 2015

Over the past couple of months J. & G. Grant have been fundraising for an employee who was recently diagnosed with MND. James Coombe, mash man at Glenfarclas distillery, has worked in the industry for 26 years and dedicated his working career to whisky production. In honour of his work ethic and in an attempt to help realise his dream of biking across the USA, the team at Glenfarclas rallied up support and funds to help send him and his family on the trip of a lifetime.

A sponsored cycle across Speyside (Approx. 40 miles) taking in the Five Distilleries that James worked at was organised by Production Manager, Callum Fraser. Staff began the cycle at Glenfarclas, and onward to Macallan, Glen Moray, Glenrothes, Tamdhu and back to Glenfarclas, collecting a bottle at each distillery for auctioning towards the fund raising effort.

The fundraiser has had huge success and has gone far further than the initial target of £6,000. Together with the Justgiving Fundraising page, the team at Glenfarclas, distributors & suppliers, distilleries, local businesses, the local community, friends & family, we have raised over £20,000 for the cause. Thanks to these donations James and his family are making his American road trip a reality, unfortunately James will not be biking the route but instead travelling across the USA by train.

John Grant, Chairman of Glenfarclas, agreed to double the total sum as a donation towards the charity MND Scotland. The cheque was presented to MND Scotland charity representative, Iain McWhirter, who travelled to the distillery on the 17th December 2015 to meet John Grant and Glenfarclas staff. Mr McWhirter commented that the donation of £20,000 was the largest donation they had received this year and that the money would greatly help those affected by MND. On behalf of James and everyone at Glenfarclas we would like to extend a special thanks to all those who supported the cause.

Tel: +44 (0) 1807 500257
Fax: +44 (0) 1807 500234
Address: Glenfarclas Distillery, Ballindalloch, Banffshire AB37 9BD, UK

50 year old Scotch Whisky Exclusive to K&L – Scotch Whisky News


The last time we unveiled a 50 year old Scottish grain whisky from the Sovereign label the bottles sold out in less than two hours and we were left scrambling to find more. The problem with fifty year old Scotch is that there isn’t a whole lot of it floating around, especially at a price this affordable. We did manage to track down another on last trip to Glasgow, but we expect the same results this time around. Don’t wait on this one. Fifty year old whiskies that are within this kind of reach don’t come around that often.

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1964 Invergordon 50 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml ($299.99)

Fresh off our most recent delivery are two new single barrels of Invergordon, a Whyte & Mackay Highland grain distillery that sits along the waters of the Cromarty Firth north of Inverness. For those of you who still can’t wrap your heads around grain whisky, just imagine Bourbon distilled to a higher proof and aged like single malt in various types of refill barrels. It’s basically high proof, column still whisky made from corn, wheat, or unmalted barley that’s pumped out in mass quantities to mix into blended Scotch. Because of that rather dubious reputation for quality, prices for grain whisky remain low. But because of our extensive tasting and sampling in the genre, we’ve learned that very old grain whiskies can be like liquid gold; smooth, round, and complex whiskies that are wood-dominated and creamy on the palate. This 50 year old is unlike anything we’ve had in the grain department before, something in between the Port Dundas and Cambus bottlings we’ve done in the past. Five decades (yes, fifty freakin’ years!) in a Bourbon cask have brought out incredible richness here. It’s so rich it’s bordering on the nutty rancio flavors one typically finds in sherry-aged Scotch with dark toffee and complex layers of oak. Then there’s the incredible price: $299. Try walking into your local liquor store and finding a fifty year old single malt for less than $600. Better yet, try finding a fifty year old whisky at all.

And if you want to try a fun comparison, we’ve got a second cask of Invergordon grain whisky at around half the age, and at less than half the price. We found the side by side comparison quite fascinating!

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1989 Invergordon 27 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml ($129.99)

Fresh off our most recent delivery are two new single barrels of Invergordon, a Whyte & Mackay Highland grain distillery that sits along the waters of the Cromarty Firth north of Inverness. For those of you who still can’t wrap your heads around grain whisky, just imagine Bourbon distilled to a higher proof and aged like single malt in various types of refill barrels. It’s basically high proof, column still whisky made from corn, wheat, or unmalted barley that’s pumped out in mass quantities to mix into blended Scotch. Because of that rather dubious reputation for quality, prices for grain whisky remain low. But because of our extensive tasting and sampling in the genre, we’ve learned that very old grain whiskies. This 27 year old is textbook grain whisky, nothing more and nothing less. It’s fruity and round on the entry with a soft mouthfeel and a lovely note of vanilla on the finish. It’s no frills, no fuss whisky. It’s just flat out delicious.

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


Winter 2016 Whisk(e)y School Program at The Brandy Library – Whisky News

brandy library


Winter 2016 Whisk(e)y School Program

buy seats

9 classes available for your education:

Saturday, January 23rd at 2:30 p.m.: Cask Strength Scotch Whisky $120
Tuesday, January 26th at 6:00 p.m.: 15 year old Scotch $90
Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:00 p.m.: Rye Whiskey $90
Tuesday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m.: Single Barrel Bourbon $90
Saturday, February 20th at 2:30 p.m.: Japanese Whisky $120
Saturday, February 27th at 2:30 p.m.: Barrel Proof Bourbon $120
Saturday, March 12th at 2:30 p.m.: Modern Scotch $120
Saturday, March 19th at 2:30 p.m.: 18 & Gorgeous Scotch $120
Tuesday, March 22nd at 6:00 p.m.: Rare & Precious Bourbon $120

we guarantee full credits on each class!

Brandy Library | 25 N. Moore Street | New York | NY | 10013

Merry Christmas from The Whisky Lounge!


We just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your custom over the past year.

Have a great time and enjoy a dram or two!

Slainte, Eddie, Amanda, Joe and Olly and all of The Whisky Lounge Team

Our mailing address is:

The Whisky Lounge Ltd

Unit 3

61a Osbaldwick Lane

York, North YorkshireYO10 3AY

United Kingdom

Merry Christmas from The Whisky Exchange!


Merry Christmas from The Whisky Exchange!

Another year is almost over, and it’s been another cracker for whisky and spirit drinkers, with all sorts of wonderful things launched in 2015. As you can see from our photo, Billy and I are rather obsessed with Star Wars (but not as much as our dear colleague Hector, who can name every single bounty hunter – impressive, eh?). We’ve both seen the The Force Awakens now, so we can enjoy a spoiler-free Christmas (all right, get on with it – Rocky).

The Force is strong with the TWE blog team (well, two of them). From left: Billy, Rocky, Stuart.

 We’ve also chosen some of our favourite whiskies and spirits we’ve tasted over the past year – here’s our selection. Thank you for your support this year, and we hope that you all have a very merry Christmas. See you in 2016!



In the interests of balance, I’ve gone for two entry-level whiskies, and a couple of splash-out bottles. I absolutely loved the two new bottlings from Benriach: the 10 Year Old and the 12 Year Old Sherry Wood. The 10 Year Old, for me, typifies gentle Speyside whisky: clean, very fruity and an absolute joy. Even better, though, is the 12 Year Old, with the extra maturation in sherry casks adding Christmas-cake spiciness and fruity richness. Both are excellent drams, and offer fantastic value for money.

Moving up the price scale, I was impressed by Midleton Dair Ghaelach, an Irish whiskey finished in Irish virgin oak. Ideal for those who look for whiskies that offer a big hit of toasty, spicy oak. My final whisky was the pick of Diageo’s 2015 Special Releases. I really enjoyed the Dalwhinnie 25 Year Old, but for me the star was Dailuaine 34 Year Old – big flavours of rich dried fruit, leather, tobacco and chocolate orange. Perfect for sipping on Christmas night.


This year has seen a selection of interesting tipples that have tickled my fancy, from things that have been pointed out to me the second they arrive, normally with a ‘you’ll obviously like this’, to those that I have been coaxed towards, and even one that I am semi-ashamed to own up to.

To start with, Tamdhu launched Batch Strength, their assault on the A’bunadh market – cask-strength, sherry-matured whisky. And, much to my delight, it’s good. Good enough that Whisky Advocate gave it their Speyside Single Malt of the Year award this month. I’ve been championing Tamdhu 10 Year Old since it appeared in 2013, and this latest addition to the range makes me feel further justified in doing so.



Many of my 2015 highlights have been from spirits tasted on visits to distilleries around the world. Two that stood out were the Rye Whiskey from Rock Town in Arkansas and Glen Els Distillery Edition Sherry Cask from the Hammerschmiede distillery in Germany’s Harz mountains. Both are prime examples of the high-quality whiskies made outside the traditional regions. The former is a complex and spicy rye that’s young but well integrated and full of flavour; the latter has classic sherry-cask character that Scotch fans will love, but with some added smokiness from the use of 5% wood-smoked malt.

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