Archive for 2016





Concluding Lagavulin Distillery’s memorable 200th anniversary year on an all-time high, the iconic distillery announced today that an extra special single cask bottling of a 24 year old whisky will be released to deliver a lasting legacy on Islay. The extremely limited edition will see all proceeds, exceeding £0.5M, divided between seven charities on the island.

This extraordinary whisky will enrich everyone lucky enough to purchase a bottle, both through the quality of the whisky and the knowledge that their action is giving back to the very place this was created in.

The Lagavulin 1991 Single Malt Scotch Whisky cask of just 522 bottles was carefully selected by the distillery team and Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo. Bottles can only be purchased via a special ballot on The Whisky Exchange that launches today, 31st December, with bottle No. 1 being auctioned separately to raise even more charitable funds, and one bottle being donated to each of the Diageo Archive and our partners at The Whisky Exchange respectively.

Potential customers can register interest in purchasing a bottle of Lagavulin 1991 priced at £1,494 with The Whisky Exchange. The pricing reflects the significant and historic date that marks the first ever recorded distillation of Scotch Whisky. To ensure that demand for these rare bottles is managed fairly, the ballot on 12th February will be drawn and the bottles allocated at random.

Georgette Crawford, Distillery Manager at Lagavulin comments: “We will all be raising a dram to years gone by and an exciting future ahead of us and this incredible island, as we close a year of spectacular celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the distillery. This whisky is truly memorable in its complexity and unique in the way our distinctive distillery’s character shines through. The range and ambition of the projects we are supporting is something that as an Ileach I feel very deeply about and I am so proud to see the proceeds of our iconic whisky benefit the local community in such an unforgettable way.”

Nick Morgan, Head of Whisky Outreach adds: “We all work in Scotch because we love it. Lagavulin is a whisky and a place that stirs us all both personally and professionally. Being able to launch a bottling like this that will have a deep impact on the magical island of Islay for generations to come is a career highlight. This is just one way in which we want to express our affection for the people who have welcomed us (Ileachs and others) to work and live on Islay for the last 200 years.”

Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of The Whisky Exchange, says of the bottling: “As soon as we heard about this special project, we wanted to be involved. For me, Lagavulin is one of the most amazing whiskies from Scotland, and the 16 year old in particular is a personal all-time favourite. We look forward to working with our friends at Diageo to secure a lasting legacy for the whole of Islay through this historic, one-off limited release.”

To learn more about the charities set to deliver these legacy projects, and for more detail of bottling please visit

To register interest in the ballot, please visit


Tasting notes:

Appearance:      Lovely, deep olive-hued chestnut becoming clear orange-hued amber in sunlight. Fresh and lightly oily with water.

Nose:               Instant and insistent, yet light, clean and detailed throughout. Charred oak and rich, mature fruits are backed by subtle milk chocolate and vanilla. Agitation reveals a recollection of new make and the characteristic Lagavulin note of fresh newsprint, developing burnt caramel, subtle spent match and a slightly sapid note of moist earth. Later, ripe red apple and a fine hint of smoked fish sprinkled with olive oil. Water changes all this, yielding fresh, sweet notes of candied peel, marzipan and sugar icing, of subtle maple smoked foods, and finally of honey and dark chocolate.

Body:                Medium to rich; smooth. Softly fluid with water.

Palate:              Hot and sweet. A moment of woody dryness; then calmer, with soothing, sweetly minty chocolate notes and comforting honey laced with a subtle chilli-like heat. A bitter-sweet, charred astringency rises in the mid-palate, carrying notes of cocoa and espresso toward the finish. Water brings succulent, sweet-spicy warmth and a balancing ripe fruit acidity. Then drying cocoa, crystallised ginger and peppermint lead smoothly to late, silky tannins.

Finish:               Gentle, well balanced and fresh throughout. Quietly persistent with tart, red berry notes, a little cedar and a spicy, smoky-gingery warmth that makes for a pleasing aftertaste.

Lagavulin Legacy Charity information


The proceeds received by Diageo from the sale of the Lagavulin 1991 bottling will be donated to the following registered charities in the following proportions, to fund projects on Islay which are designed to enhance the understanding of the rich and diverse history of Islay and enhance the life of the local community.

Islay Heritage(OSCR No. SC046938) A wide ranging scope to include: research at Dunyvaig Castle, the creation of an Islay Heritage trail to help more people understand its rich history, conservation work focusing on Kildalton chapel and education.FUNDING AMOUNT: £310,000
McTaggart Cyber Café(OSCR No. SC028306) Some upgrade works to the fabric of the building including heating, new doors & windows and improvements to the Bistro Café area to allow for more activities for a wider range of people.FUNDING AMOUNT: £60,000
Islay & Jura Community Enterprises Limited McTaggart Leisure Centre(OSCR No. SC015815) Some fundamental works are required for the swimming baths to upgrade equipment and improve energy efficient.FUNDING AMOUNT: £60,000
Finlaggan Trust(OSCR No. SC000821) Refurbishment and modernisation of the existing visitor centre and development of the Finlaggan Bridge.FUNDING AMOUNT: £60,000
Islay Arts(OSCR No. SC000272) Funding will enable Islay Arts to increase the scope of events it funds.FUNDING AMOUNT: £20,000
Islay Festival Association(OSCR No. SC004390)


Funding will help support the organisation to develop its events programme.FUNDING AMOUNT: £10,000
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds(OSCR No. SC037654)

(Charity Commission No. 207076)

RSPB is actively engaged in peat restoration on its estates on Islay at The Oa and Loch Gruinart. The funding will be used to fund peat restoration and conservation on the island.FUNDING AMOUNT: £60,000

 The origins of Lagavulin

Local records suggest that Lagavulin was already a centre of whisky production in the early 18th century. There had almost certainly been many other illicit stills before John Johnston founded the first legal distillery at Lagavulin Bay in 1816. As with all Scottish distilleries, it passed through the hands of different owners, including the celebrated Sir Peter Mackie, whose company became White Horse Distillers, forever associated with Lagavulin. White Horse joined The Distillers Company Ltd. (eventually Diageo) in 1927. In 1989, Lagavulin, now normally bottled at 16 years rather than the original 12, became one of the six Classic Malts of Scotland™

About Diageo:

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 and Windsor 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, 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 LAGAVULIN word and associated logos are trade marks. © 2016

Visit for further information.

ABOUT THE WHISKY EXCHANGE             Tel: 020 8838 9388 

Founded in 1999, The Whisky Exchange is the leading global retailer of whiskies and fine spirits, with an award-winning online shop and a flagship store in Covent Garden.

As a family company, The Whisky Exchange believes in excellent products at competitive prices and exceptional service. The company’s philosophy is simple – never rest on your laurels. The team, led by founders and brothers Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and buyer Dawn Davies MW, is constantly trying to find new products with genuine heritage and quality in all drinks categories, while continuing to innovate and ensure its website and shop are the best in the business. Above all, the company is built on its amazing range and its people. It is responsible for the loyal and ever-expanding fanbase from around the world.

The Whisky Exchange is the most-awarded company in the industry, including Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year and Whisky Magazine’s Online Retailer of the Year.

The Whisky Exchange in numbers: 4,000 whiskies including 3,000 single malt Scotch whiskies; 500 Cognacs and Armagnacs; 400 rums; 300 gins; 200 bourbons; 150 Tequilas; one retailer.

London Shop 2 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9HH. Tel: 020 7100 0088.

AA Lagavulin

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “New Year Previews: January Outturn” – Scotch Whisky News



As we count down the days until the New Year, we’ve released 5 new preview casks from January’s Outturn. Enjoy an interesting mix of mouth-watering flavours, unusual casks and the return of a distillery favourite. There are only a small number of bottles available from each of the preview releases. The full January Outturn will go on-sale 9am on Friday 6 January.


Browse all whisky on


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video

Allocated Whiskeys Unleashed: Act Fast on Some of Whiskey’s Rare Gems – Whisky News


In order to finish out 2016 with a bang, we put together a few last minute deals with some of our most beloved suppliers to take normally limited and allocated whiskies and unleash them with hardly any restrictions for your New Year’s party needs and well beyond. We’re talking about some of the whiskey world’s greatest gems including WL Weller, Sazerac Rye, and Blantons. We even have more of our previously sold out High West Midwinter’s Dram and a standard-setting Laphroaig 2016 Cairdeas. If you’ve been without any of the following selections these past few months, now is the time to load up while the shackles have been removed! While supplies last…


W.L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) ($21.99)

K&L Notes: This Special Reserve is the bottle of bourbon that our staff take home and enjoy! W.L. Weller replaces the rye in their bourbon recipe with wheat, creating a Kentucky straight bourbon with an exceptionally smooth, full-bodied taste.

Sazerac 90-Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml) ($29.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: “*Best Buy* The aroma entices with bold caramel and vanilla. The palate is brisk and relatively dry, despite the succulent aroma, showing vanilla and oak up front, and rounding into nutmeg, almond, vanilla and bitter orange on the finish. Versatile for cocktails, including its namesake Sazerac. (KN)” (07/2016)

K&L Notes: The K&L Sazerac Cocktail: 1/2 oz Kubler absinthe, 2 oz Sazerac Straight Rye, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 2 dashes of Peychaud bitters, Lemon – twist as garnish. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Add the absinthe to the glass. Combine all other in a shaker and mix over ice. Discard the ice and absinthe from the old fashioned glass, letting the absinthe coat the glass. Strain shaker ingredients into prepared old fashioned glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2015

The ultimate rye whiskey for the money. It doesn’t get better.

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) ($49.99)

96 points Wine Enthusiast: “Bold and well structured, this Bourbon features warming vanilla and caramel accented by orange peel, stone fruit and a dry baking-spice finish. Sip it with a chunk of ice, or mix up a round of juleps. The trademark round, faceted bottle with the horse-topped cork is perfect for Derby Day. (KN)” (09/2014)

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 06, 2016

The special Blanton’s single barrel has been a staple of any solid back bar since its release in 1984. Truly a pioneering effort from the new owners of the George T Stagg distillery as it was known at the time, Blanton’s was indeed the first single barrel to be marketed by any Kentucky distillery since before prohibition. Despite coming from the standard “Buffalo Trace” recipe, Blanton’s is unique for being drawn from Warehouse H, the only warehouse on the property built from metal. The metal warehouses absorb more heat and therefor add something extra special to the aging liquid inside. Appropriately enough this warehouse was commissioned by Albert Blanton, one of the early owners of this very old distillery. Despite spending decades under the radar the recent explosion in interest in bourbon has hit the Blanton’s stocks hard. Production on this brand is capped due to the single barrel requirements, each barrel must be dumped and bottles filled by hand. Needless to say, we’ve had a very hard time keeping it on our shelves, often seeing several months without a single bottle to sell. More recently, the product has been allocated to levels similar to the ultra-popular Weller brands, i.e. 12 bottles per week. Blanton’s being a single barrel is never quite exactly the same, but it’s ALWAYS delicious. Certain bottles, coming from the cherry casks, are absolutely exquisite. Expect rich caramelized sugar, strong notes of vanilla, and spicy drie

Laphroaig 2016 “Cairdeas” Madeira Cask Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

Each year Laphroaig’s Master Distiller, John Campbell, handcrafts a limited edition malt to celebrate friendship (“Cairdeas” in Gaelic). The 2016 bottling features fully-matured Laphroaig aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being blended together for a second maturation in Madeira-seasoned traditional hogsheads. The result is a classically smoky Laphroaig with accents of sweet fruits and honey around the edges. Bottled at 51.6%, the extra kick helps balance out the additional richness.

High West “A Midwinter Night’s Dram” Limited Edition Whiskey (750ml) ($89.99)

98 points Wine Enthusiast: “This limited-edition blend of straight rye whiskeys finished in French oak and former port barrels offers huge, rounded notes of rich toffee, dark fruit, orange peel and mulling spices. Its almost like a wintry whiskey punch in a bottle. The language on the label winks at Shakespeare, making this a special gift for a theater lover as well as a whiskey lover. (KN)” (07/2015)

K&L Notes: The rye forms a beautiful base of vanilla, caramel and cinnamon; the port barrels enhance with plums and dried fruits; the French oak provides a spice accent.

Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637) Email: K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA

San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CAKL-emailheader


Cask & Barrel Club “Saying “SIA” to 2016 – 10% off – Top Rated Blended Scotch Whisky” – Scotch Whisky News



Use discount code “SIA2016” for 10% off SIA blended scotch whisky purchased 12/31


Ralfy Ends 12 Months with Malt of the Year 2016 – Whisky News


Ralfy ends twelve long months with Whisky Review Malt of the Year 2016

U.S. Success For Wolfburn – Scotch Whisky News


U.S. Success For Wolfburn

Wolfburn whisky has won a Double Gold Medal in its first American competition. Entered into the prestigious “Fifty Best” awards, Wolfburn’s Northland expression beat numerous other single malt whiskies to take the highest accolade.

“We’re over the moon,” commented Shane Fraser, Wolfburn distillery manager. “Sales in North America have been very strong in our first year but we never expected to win an award this quickly. Needless to say, we’re chuffed to bits.”

The Fifty Best is a long-established competition with entries from all over Scotland – and the world. Full results can be found at

“When we built Wolfburn distillery we did it with the aim of producing world class whisky,” states Iain Kerr, deputy manager. “We’re all of us stickers for detail, and in keeping an eye on every production process we’ve managed to craft some truly superb whisky. And there’s plenty laid down for future releases too, so we’re set fair for the future too.”

Wolfburn’s Northland expression is made via a long and gentle production process, which creates a sweet, smooth spirit. This is matured in top-quality ex-bourbon quarter casks, which impart a mellow flavour to the spirit, making a wonderfully easy-drinking and enjoyable whisky. The results are “I’ve enjoyed it from the very first dram,” says Shane, “It’s lovely to see it gaining worldwide recognition so quickly.”


The original Wolfburn Distillery was founded just to the west of Thurso by William Smith in 1821. In its day it was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, producing, according to HMRC records, 28,056 “gallons of proof spirit” in a single year. Taking its name from the stream that provided the water – the Wolf Burn – the distillery operated until around 1870. The reasons for its closure are lost in time, but by 1877 the newly produced Ordnance Survey maps showed it being in ruins.

In 2011 plans were laid to resurrect the old distillery. Construction began in mid-2012 and in January 2013 the new Wolfburn Distillery commenced production, thereby becoming the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. Situated 300m from the site of the original distillery, the new Wolfburn operates in much the same way as the old: craftsmen use traditional methods to produce fine spirit, which is laid down in best quality oak casks to await the day when it is bottled as single malt scotch whisky. Wolfburn’s first expressions were launched globally in 2016.

Wolfburn Distillery, Henderson Park, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7XW

Chivas Brothers Success at the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards – Whisky News

Chivas Brothers Success at the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards

We are very proud to announce two members of the Chivas Brothers family were successful at the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Scotland awards recently. The prestigious ceremony was held at Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh on 2 December.

Master Blender for The Glenlivet Alan Winchester was named Master Distiller / Master Blender of the year, and Rikki Scott of Aberlour Distillery won Visitor Attraction Manager of the year.

We are sure you will join us in wishing both many congratulations on these well-deserved accolades.

Full list of winners and biographies here. 

Milroys of Soho Tasting Events January & February 2017 – Scotch Whisky News


Milroys tasting events January & February 2017


We are delighted to announce our forthcoming tasting events for January & February 2017. Christmas is far behind us & it’s whisky weather! First up we have Starward whisky from Melbourne, Australia. The event will tie in with the Australia Day and will be held at Milroys on Monday 30th January where we will also have an outside BBQ & Tripple J top 100 playing on the radio. Strewth!

Next up we have ambassador events from the wonderful Bruichladdich on 13th February & the inimitable Mr. Ronnie Cox will be here on the 20th February for a Glenrothes Masterclass. These events are followed by one of our ever popular “Intro to Whisky” tastings hosted by our own expert Milroys staff which will be held on 27th February.

All tickets are now available to purchase online via our website, link attached in the buy now section below.

Wishing you a very happy new year.



Our mailing address is:
Milroy’s of Soho
3 Greek Street
London, England W1D 4NX
United Kingdom

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “CELEBRATE: EDINBURGH HOGMANAY AT THE SOCIETY” – Scotch Whisky News




Location: 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh



Location: The Vaults, Leith



Location: 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh



The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video




Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the ‘Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul’ distributed by Maxxium UK, celebrated Winter Solstice with two events for over 700 consumers.

The brand hosted its Midwinter Social events on 24 and 25 November at The Old Truman Brewery’s Boiler House, London, to mark the upcoming Winter Solstice and the official start of winter. The narrative of Highland Park is deeply rooted in Nordic traditions. An important time in the Nordic calendar and at Highland Park’s home on Orkney, Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and is typically celebrated with good friends, bonfires, music and dance.

The celebrations, designed to bring to life the brand’s magnificent Viking heritage, were hosted by global brand ambassador Martin Markvardsen and included Highland Park whisky tastings around a fire pit for over 400 people. A selection of Highland Park cocktails were served including the warming Highland Park Hot Toddy and Orkney Old Fashioned, with Nordic inspired food curated by Root + Bone, music from Kipps and live sets from DJ Finnebassen and Eelke Kleijn.

The celebrations were broadcast to a global audience with the first event streamed live globally on Highland Park’s Facebook page, resulting in over 21,000 fans tuning in to watch.

Several trade accounts in and around Shoreditch also featured special Highland Park Winter Solstice serves on their bar menus, including Bull in a China Shop, Cocktail Trading Co. and The Culpeper. The bars which delivered the greatest upweight in sales will be rewarded with a trip to the Highland Park distillery on Orkney in the New Year.

Mike Mackenzie, Highland Park Brand Manager said: “Our Midwinter Social celebrated Highland Park’s Viking heritage in the lead up to the Winter Solstice and we had two fantastic evenings. It was the perfect environment to give consumers a taste of Orkney and our Viking soul. It was also great to see several bars in Shoreditch taking part in the celebrations, creating their own Highland Park winter inspired serves.”



For more information on Highland Park please visit

Please enjoy Highland Park responsibly, visit for the facts.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with #VikingSoul

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About Highland Park

Established in 1798 on Orkney, Highland Park is one of the most remote Scotch whisky distilleries in the world. For over 200 years, the distillery has combined time old tradition and the very best craftsmanship to achieve perfection. Its range of 12, Dark Origins, 15, 18, 21, 25, 30 and 40 year old single malts is consistently acclaimed by connoisseurs and experts. Highland Park has won a string of prestigious awards across its portfolio, most recently Highland Park ICE Edition was awarded 99 points and the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge. While Highland Park 12, 15 and 18 Year Old were all awarded 96 points or above and the Tried and True Award at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge.

Bars that supported Highland Park Midwinter Social activity: 

  • Bull in a China Shop
  • Cocktail Trading Co.
  • The Culpeper
  • Translate
  • Looking Glass


 Eelke Kleijn

Eelke Kleijn is a Dutch producer and DJ hailing from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He is known mostly for his electronic dance music, but nowadays also produces music for other media, such as television series, commercials, movie trailers and animations. 


Finnebassen is a Norwegian DJ on the worldwide electronic music scene, in both performance and production.


Kipp$ is a DJ and producer of house music.

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