Archive for February, 2016


AA Passport


Passport, the No.1 Scotch whisky in Angola, and No.2 standard Scotch whisky in Mexico and Brazil1has unveiled an innovative new above-the-line campaign designed to build on the brand’s recent success. Passport grew +20% in net sales to reach a record 1.7m cases last year2as it continues to consolidate its relevance among young adults in emerging markets.

Playing on the brand’s name, Your Passport to a new world, captures the free spirited, colourful and approachable personality of the blended Scotch in TV and out of home formats. The campaign was recently introduced in Angola and will be released in Mexico later this year. Passport is also being supported by advertising in Brazil, the world’s fifth market for Scotch whisky by volume3.

In the TV advertisement, a group of millennial friends are taken on a journey. Beginning in a home setting, the camera reveals the group in increasingly aspirational bars and ending in a nightclub. Use of social media among the target audience is brought to life in the creative, with the friends taking and sharing photos of themselves in the different locations.

Strong appeal for the brand among millennials in emerging markets has earned it the position as the fastest growing of all spirits brands that sell more than 200,000 cases per year4.

Mark Thorne, Passport Global Brand Director at Chivas Brothers, commented: “Passport is currently a fantastic success story for Scotch and is leading the way in introducing new consumers in emerging markets to the unique vibrancy, quality, craftsmanship and heritage that the category offers.

“The ‘Your Passport to a new world’ campaign is set to unlock the curiosity of young people in Angola, Brazil and Mexico; millennials in these regions have an increasingly global outlook on life and are using social media and drinking quality international spirits such as Passport to demonstrate their personalities and aspirations. We are extremely proud of the success that Passport has achieved to date and are excited to see how the campaign helps to further spread the word on Scotch whisky around the world.”

AA Passport Qualidade


1 IWSR 2014
2 Pernod Ricard figures
3 SWA figures (April 2015)
4 IWSR 2014

About Passport Scotch
Crafted for the first time in 1965, Passport is the unconventional blended Scotch whisky with an original taste profile and a fruity, creamy finish that is increasingly popular among millennial consumers in emerging Scotch markets around the world. The No.2 standard Scotch whisky in Brazil and performing strongly in Angola, Mexico, Spain, Portugal and Poland, Passport grew +20% in net sales to reach a record 1.7m cases in the year ending in June 2015 – helping to earn its position as the fastest growing blended Scotch that sells more than 200,000 cases per annum.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.1 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.


About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,558 million in 2014/15. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 80 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

The One and Only Irish Bourbon – John L. Sullivan’s Singular Bottling at K&L California – Irish & Bourbon Whiskey News


While our initial intrigue centered around the use of the term “Irish Bourbon” – a term that cannot exist according to U.S. booze labeling laws – our staff was completely caught off guard by the quality behind that label. While these bottles have become instant collector’s items since the TTB finally woke up and realized their mistake (the label has since been terminated), we managed to snag the initial shipment to California before the bottles were sent back. A marriage of 10 year old Irish whiskey with American LDI-distilled Bourbon, we think the John L. Sullivan has created much more than a simple novelty. They’ve created an entirely new genre of whiskey – one we’re very interested in seeing more from. Check out the glowing reviews from our staff, but don’t sleep on this deal. The idea of “Irish Bourbon” won’t exist beyond this initial batch.

John L. Sullivan “Irish Bourbon” Whiskey (750ml) ($32.99)
IMPORTANT: Do not mistake this quirky little whiskey as a gimmicky or one-off collectable. While attempting to introduce something new to the market, the folks behind John L. Sullivan whiskey might have just struck gold. When you taste the Sullivan “Irish Bourbon” (a name that has already been banned by the U.S. Federal Government, so don’t expect to see this label for much longer), you’ll understand exactly what we mean. Imagine all the smooth, easy-drinking, and sweet-barley character of your favorite Jameson bottle, but add in the rich oak flavor of your favorite Bourbon on the finish. Whoever blended these two components together did so with an absolutely masterful touch. The creamy texture of 10 year old Irish goodness (aged in sherry, no less) melds harmoniously and seamlessly with the bold American whiskey character. Rather than losing their identities in the process, these two whiskies elevate one another and improve their finest aspects. In fact, this whiskey is so good you might find yourself adding a bit of Redbreast to your next glass of Buffalo Trace, or vice versa. Beware of buying this bottle, however: it won’t last the week once you open it. This whiskey is simply too delicious and too drinkable to sip slowly.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2016
I was confused by the name at first…”Irish Bourbon…?” But it’s exactly what is says on the tin (or bottle)…a marriage of Irish Whiskey and Bourbon. “But why?” I hear you say…why create such a mutt? Well because it combines the drinkability of Irish Whiskey with the richer textures and flavors of Bourbon! It’s built from up to ten year old base spirits so not only is it deliciously drinkable but at this price point it’s a steal as well. There’s nothing contrived about this bottling, it’s not trying too hard to be cool…it just wants to be drunk and enjoyed plain and simple…

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2016
This is just supremely drinkable whiskey, plain and simple. It’s everything you love about Irish whiskey with an extra kick. A no-brainer.

David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 19, 2016
Just like I have no desire to eat at the French Laundry every single night of the week, I have no desire to drink Macallan 30 or Pappy Van Winkle after work on a Wednesday. I like coming home to a beer and a shot at 7:30 PM most days and this bottle of Sullivan “Irish Bourbon” just became my new go-to. They pretty much did the impossible here. They improved what was already a classic style of whiskey. I may start combining all my Midleton Rare into my Wild Turkey editions from now on. I’m hooked.

Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 18, 2016
This unusual blend of Irish & Bourbon Whiskey surprised me with its round, easygoing, and completely delicious drink-ability. This isn’t just for the whiskey guy that has to try everything, this great tasting easy going drinking for anyone who loves brown water. The clean, refreshing, light Irish side of this bottle is the perfect match for the sweet oak and extroverted corn sweetness of its Bourbon side. Yum!
K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Scotch Whisky Auctions 59th Auction Newsletter – Auction Whisky News

SWA header

SWA B&W LogoHello and welcome to our 59th Auction,

You can catch up with our very own Big Peatrie as he takes us through the stars and interesting bottles of this month and you can see his vLog here.

We have a wonderfully deep and flavoursome collection this month of some of the world’s best loved, most sought after and highly thought of whiskies.

In the spirit of Dickens we are visited by three Ghosts from Hanyu, Karuizawa and Kawasaki, these wonderful whiskies were bottled by Nonjatta and have gained mystical status in a very short space of time.

Yamazakura brings us a bottle released for its 250th Anniversary and there are some lovely Yoichi single cask releases from 1988, 1990 and 1991.

Johnnie Walker presents a powerful presence with Director’s Blends from 2012 and 2013 as well as the Sir Alexander Walker release from their Master Blender Collection and finally two sets from the Johnnie Walker Houses of Taiwan and Singapore.

Glen Grant is represented by two bottlings by Gordon & MacPhail from 1954 and 1956 as well as a dark and mysterious 1964 bottling from Cadenhead’s.

Glenfiddich has whisky distilled in 1955 and two 40 year old bottlings one from Hart Brothers and an official bottling released in 2002.

Macallan brings us a Sir Peter Blake and Mario Testino, as well as a mini distilled in 1948 and an independent bottling from Douglas Laing’s Old & Rare range.

There is a wonderful range of spring cap bottles from Haig, Black & White, Crawford’s and Dimple that offer an insight into the rise of blend whisky across the world and a Irish Crawford’s Special Old Irish Whisky from before the adding of the ‘e’.

From the islands comes a Talisker Single Cask 34 Year Old, a Jura 40 Year from 1966 and 1957 Highland Park from Cadenhead’s.

As always there is a plethora of great drinking drams and great examples of liquid history available for you all to peruse at your leisure and bid away to your hearts’ content.

All the best from us here at SWA HQ!

First New Single Malt from Ailsa Bay Distillery at Royal Mile Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Click on the banner above to read all about the exciting new Ailsa Bay Single Malt Whisky. The first release from William Grant & Sons’ (renowned makers of Glenfiddich and Balvenie) newest distillery. It’s a peaty little number that is receiving plaudits from far and wide, not least from ourselves.


AA Party Source


Recent Arrival: Evan Williams TPS Single Barrel Serial #5007719 – We are so happy to have a private barrel from Heaven Hill once again. This barrel was chosen because overall, we think it’s just a damn good bourbon. Oak is very present and dominating on the nose, but subtleties of baking spice can be picked up in the background. On the palate, this bourbon is very well balanced. There is harmony in the baking spice, caramel, and fruit flavors all wrapped in a soft smooth texture with a nice chocolatey finish. At $26.99 it sips great right out of the bottle, but also makes a mean Manhattan.

Coming Soon:

  • Maker’s Mark 46 TPS Blend expected in March
  • Four Roses expected in March (OESK, OESO, OESQ)
  • Copper & Kings Butchertown Reserve TPS Barrel expected in March*

*Not that we don’t get all giddy about every barrel selection we do, but it’s especially cool to take a barrel of something from Copper & Kings that has never been offered as part of any private barrel program before!

Diary of a Whisky Lover, Paul McLean on a Wick Whisky Week – Scotch Whisky News

AA Perth1

Diary of a whisky lover, Paul McLean on a Wick Whisky Week.

Leaving Perth on the Wednesday morning, I headed north through typical Scottish weather – rain, wind, sunshine and snow – arriving for a late breakfast at Grantown on Spey, calling into Maclean’s Highland Bakery. A good start, beans on toast and tea. From here via B0102, following the River Spey on my right, passing Cardhu distillery and on to Craigellachie, a great road. From here to my first meeting, with Sandra yapping about a curling/whisky tour we are planning later this year. A quick lunch, called into Gordon & MacPhail to collect my three Paul John bottles, courtesy of Michael D souza in Goa (many thanks once again). Then dropped back doon the road to Coleburn and a look at their dunnage warehouse and filling hall, this is another story coming soon. On to Forres and another meeting, Vic Cameron this time, chatting on Spirit of Speyside festival and what he is doing for us there. Finally away to Inverness and my hotel, sitting on the river, a superb whisky bar and a good man there Robert Beaton. Dinner, drinks, bed.

AA Perth2

Thursday saw me heading north, past the Black Isle, Dalmore and a quick call into Glenmorangie. Heading north again to Dornoch, a quick stop here then Brora, where I met up with Kate at Clynelish – a wee warning, this distillery is having major work and from late April will be out of bounds really for 10 months. Stopping here and there to admire the scenery I ended up in Wick, knocked on the door of Ian and Elaine (two wonderful pals o mine), big hello’s and luggage in, this was my home until Sunday morning. Was I made welcome you ask? Is the Pope Catholic I reply. Great to see them again. They took me to dinner, I supplied the whisky for later!

AA Perth5

Friday and Ian took me out and about as only a local whisky/photographer/tour guide can do! Some great photos will appear from that morning. Afternoon we called into Mackays hotel to chat on my whisky tasting night, all good. More donderin aboot until 5.30 when we met up with a couple of their friends and all had a good dinner at Mackays, then set up for the tasting. Eight (10ml) drams with food and good craic with 21 people who bought tickets for the evening. I went through the drams, told a few whisky tour stories, enjoyed a question and answer couple of hours as I took them through the 8 drams … Tullamore Dew; Irish, Angels’ Nectar; a Scottish blend, Kavalan single malt from Taiwan, Old Pulteney 12yo local dram, Paul John Classic single malt; India, Stronachie 12 yo Scottish, another Indian; Paul John Peat finish, Angels Nectar blend Peat, which ended the drams, along with the food, 99% of everything had disappeared! The Tullamore surprised many people how easy and smooth it was, a good start, most have never tried the Nectar, Kavalan nor the Indians, all went down really well, especially the Paul John peat, which many likened to an Islay. The Nectar peat also drew applause. A couple of comments – “Cracking night, thoroughly enjoyed it as did my pals” and “Have to agree with Chris, never thought I would be drinking Indian whisky:-)” To end I asked if anyone would like another Indian? Of course, another peated dram, followed by a final introduction; Eden Mill distillery, St Andrews, new make spirit, I was taken aback by how many people loved it!  The evening ended as I wandered around the tables chatting, oh, I offered another dram to anyone who wished, the bottles on the table took a battering!  So I think it was a good night! Relieved, I went back with Ian, Elaine and a few friends to their house, where more drams were waiting to be tried! That was a late night.

AA Perth4

Saturday, more travelling with Ian to places I hadnee been before in Caithness, I do urge all readers to explore this area well, or, ask me to take you, as we do arrange tours of all types here! It is full of old, wee harbours, great scenery and many historic landmarks and monuments, with a good herd of deer spotted up on the hills, a real good day, with a spot of gold panning also, honestly!  Ian and myself ventured out to the far distant paths of Dunnet Bay! Calling in (as you do) to meet Martin, Director at Dunnet Bay Distillers, where the Rock Rose is produced – it’s a local flower don’t you know. Also coming out of Dunnet Bay is the Holy Grass vodka, another local product. Now as I dinnae like gin I was reluctant to sample (Ian driving) but I went ahead, y’know I was totally shocked when I liked it! well there you go. So a good Scots drink produced as far north as you can go without falling into the sea. Martin is a nice fella, look out for expansion there soon. The evening saw us head into town for the Wick Pipeband Burns Supper, a week late aye, but many of the pipers in the band were working on Burns night, piping at other suppers, so this was their own night, and it was good. Another late night, hit my bed around 4am.

AA Perth3

Sunday, left Wick mid-day, got 40 minutes down the road when Ian called, I had left my house keys at his! What a numpty, I turned around and Ian met me half way at Lybster. Atrocious weather hounded me all the (5 hours or so) way home. Home, tired but happy. The story ends with a comment from Wick; “will you come back and do another night?”  To be sure I will!


Whisky Mash Goes Bigger and Better for 2016 – Scotch Whisky News

AA WM2016

Whisky Mash Goes Bigger and Better for 2016

Aberdeen’s Whisky Mash Festival is aiming big for this year’s event on Sunday 1st May. After the success of last year’s inaugural Whisky Mash, the team behind the whisky tasting festival with a difference are looking to recreate the atmosphere that towed the line between informal and informative.

CASC – the event organisers – are already well-known in the city for providing the crowds with excellent drams from their impressive gantry at CASC Bar, a dedicated craft beer and whisky venue in the heart of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter. For Whisky Mash 2016, however, the team will be moving the event outside the confines of the bar itself and into a larger venue, the Carmelite Hotel.

“The move has allowed us a more spacious venue so we’ve invited even more exhibitors to the Mash this year,” said CASC’s Whisky Ambassador, Aly Mathers. “It’s all about the drams, and by using the Carmelite we can make sure to cram in as much excitement as possible.”

“The best thing about last year’s event was that we focussed primarily on independent bottlers and local producers of Scotch whisky. We always like to showcase everything that is available in the world of whisky and not just the major players, so you can expect a few surprises this year.”

Not only will attendees be able to sample some amazing drams from specially selected producers of Scotch whisky, rum and gin but there will be a series of exclusive masterclasses being held on the day too.

With tickets for this year’s event set to be released on Tuesday 1st March the team are expecting the event to prove popular with locals. “We know there are a huge amount of whisky lovers in the North East of Scotland, just like ourselves. We can’t wait for them to come down and enjoy their day with us at Whisky Mash 2016,” said Mr. Mathers.

For more information on Whisky Mash 2016 (and tickets from 01/03/16) –

For more information on CASC – and




Comprehensive Website Aims to Help Bourbon Whiskey

Gain Respect Around the World 

LOUISVILLE, Ky (Feb. 16, 2016) Although bourbon has certainly been become more popular of late, Scotch whisky remains king of worldwide whiskey sales.  Granted, Scotch whisky has enjoyed a few hundred years head start on bourbon whiskey and ranges of fine Scotch are commonplace in bars around the world, while the selection and appreciation for bourbon whiskey is often limited.

As a result, the Sazerac Company founded the American Bourbon Association in 2012 to educate people around the globe about bourbon whiskey. The website,, was launched in 2015 with a mission to become the best source of bourbon news and information online. Curious consumers are invited to learn about distilleries and bourbon brands, not just made in Kentucky, but from all over the United States.

The website gives the history of bourbon, written by esteemed bourbon historian Mike Veach, and explains what it is, how bourbon is made, bourbon myths, daily news, and lists of great bourbon bars and retail stores. Links to bourbon-related blogs, bourbon societies, brand and distillery websites, publications, trade associations and much more are also included.

“We realized there was a gap in appreciation between bourbon and other types of whiskey,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Sazerac Company. “Bourbon whiskey deserves every bit of respect as other whiskeys. Distilleries in Scotland have benefitted from the Scotch Whisky Association promoting, protecting and educating people about Scotch since the turn of the 20th century, but no one has taken up the cause for bourbon. While the majority of bourbon is made in Kentucky, there are distilleries popping up all across America, and the bourbon industry has grown beyond just the state of Kentucky. Someone needs to be looking after bourbon’s best interest on a national and global scale, which is how the American Bourbon Association came about.”

  The website is being maintained and updated by the Sazerac Company. Any liquor stores, bars, brands or bourbon distilleries that would like to be added can apply on the website.

About the Sazerac Company

            Sazerac is one of New Orleans’ oldest American family owned, privately held companies and has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Lewiston, Maine; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Montreal Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America “Late February Outturn” – Scotch Whisky News


Cask No. 85.29                               $140

Best of the Med

Speyside, Lossie

Different panel members got different associations nosing this one. China Martini liqueur was one, flavoured with cinchona bark, herbs and spices. Sambuca an aniseed flavoured liqueur was another and finally Jaegertee –over proof rum, black tea sugar and spice. This carried on in the taste; mead (fermenting honey with water, fruit and spices), Krupnik from Poland and an Amontillado sherry from Andalucía. With water aromas and flavours of Torrone, better known as nougat made from honey, egg whites, vanilla, walnuts and almonds as well as a light, sweet, creamy Crema Catalana. This was like a trip around the best the Mediterranean can offer in a glass.

Drinking tip: Reading a Mediterranean cook book

Colour: Strawberry blonde

Cask: Refill hogshead

Age: 15 years

Date distilled: October 1999

Alcohol: 54.2%

USA allocation: 120 bottles

Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow

 SMWS Green Logo


Cask No. 70.12                              $100   

Heady, Zingy and Fizzy

Highland, Northern

A strong exhilarating aroma greeted the Panel and got us all very excited. It was an array of different heady aromas; sweet-smelling scented flower bouquets, poached pears in white wine, rose water as well as freshly polished new leather. Refreshing, slightly minty on the palate like a cool and green fruit salad with honeydew melon, grapes and kiwi accompanied by a glass of ice cold apple cinnamon water. With water, white chocolate covered peanuts, pecans and almonds arrived and the herbal aroma of sage rubbed between one’s fingers. Fizzy with a minty, slightly salty mouthfeel and a zingy finish of herbal iced tea.

Drinking tip: Watching the sun go down

Colour: Summer moonlight

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 9 years

Date distilled: May 2006

Alcohol: 56.8%

USA allocation: 60 bottles

Flavour profile: Young & spritely 

 SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 4.211                               $190

Sun, Sand, Surf and Serenity

Highland, Island

This sample had personality and character and brought up evocative descriptors on the nose neat. To mention just a few; grilled pineapple and lobster salad, barbequed langoustines in garlic and herb butter, tarry ropes and like lying in warm sand with a ’salty dog’ (the animal and the cocktail). The taste did not disappoint; salty, oily and sweet like skewers of barbequed scallops wrapped in crispy pancetta on a bed of lentils. With water a teasing light perfumed smoke appeared from a distant bonfire on the beach and in the taste the sweetness mingled with the smoke of lychees stuffed with smoked salmon. 

Drinking tip: In your duffle beach bag

Colour: Sand dunes in late afternoon sun

Cask: Refill hogshead

Age: 24 years

Date distilled: May 1991

Alcohol: 52.2%

USA allocation: 90 bottles

Flavour profile: Oily & coastal

SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 29.167                     $170



The nose brimmed with peat smoke, coal cellars, Germolene, coal-tar soap, salted liquorice, toasted coconut, treacle, sea-shells and a Barber’s leather strop. The palate produced at least one ‘Wowf!’ (between a Wow and a Woof, apparently), with its kiln-smouldering peat, roasted coffee beans, figs, honey-flavoured Fisherman’s Friends, and walnuts and lavender in a coal sack – rather unusual, but good. The reduced nose was tamer – brown sugar meringues, banana chips, salted almonds, honeyed lemon and salty olives. The palate found honey cake and dry hay, but still the heavier memories of salty coal and sweet smoke weighed satisfyingly on our manna-receiving tongues.

Drinking tip: Would probably work with food – preferably a spread of tapas in the open air

Colour: Antique gold

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 20 years

Date distilled: April 1995

Alcohol: 58.6%

USA allocation: 120 bottles

Flavour profile: Peated

Visit the Scotch malt Whisky Society of America at

The 59th Auction is Live at Scotch Whisky Auctions – Auction Whisky News

SWA B&W Logo

Hi folks. The 59th auction is now live!




Powered by WordPress