Archive for March, 2016

Coast to Coast – Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd Has Exciting Plans – Scotch Whisky News

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Coast to Coast – Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd Has Exciting Plans 

The award-winning Isle of Arran Distillery has plans to establish a second site on the island, at Lagg on the south coast of Arran, as they expand to accommodate increased production and visitor numbers.

Now in its 21st year, the distillery is currently adding the finishing touches to expansion at Lochranza including two new pot stills and a blending room. The potential new location in Lagg will allow for further storage and production as well as a new visitor centre to welcome the growing number of visitors to the island in search of the Arran water of life.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd said: “This is a very exciting time for the business. Demand for The Arran Malt continues to grow and each season visitor numbers to the Lochranza site in the north of the island increase greatly.

“Lagg is steeped in the history of whisky making on the island and we intend to uphold that tradition. The area in which we hope to establish our new facility was the location for a 19th Century distillery. It closed in 1837 and prior to our formation in 1995 was the last legal still on Arran.

“We hope that, subject to planning permission, the Lagg distillery will allow us the capacity to introduce more people to Single Malt Scotch whisky from Arran and provide the same warm welcome on the south of the island that visitors enjoy at Lochranza.”

More information on the new distillery and visitor centre will be released as the project develops.

Notes to editors:

For more information visit

* Accolades for Isle of Arran Distillery include Winner for: Best New Exporter (2004), Queen’s Award for International Trade (2005), Scottish Distiller of the Year (2007) and Scottish Drinks Producer of the Year (2007.)

Product awards include: Best Whisky Liqueur (2007), ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 12 Years & Under’ for The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish (2008) ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for The Arran Malt Sherry Single Cask 1998 (2010) and ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for the Icons of Arran Peacock (2011.) ‘Double Gold Award’ for Arran’s 14 Year Old Single Malt and ‘Gold Award’ for Arran’s 10 Year Old Single Malt at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2012). Double Gold in awards (2012). Double Gold Medal for the 12 year-old Cask Strength in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2013). Double Gold for both the 10 year-old and 12 year-old Cask Strength at the China Wine & Spirits Best Value Awards 2014.

Spirit of Toronto Tickets on sale TODAY at 10:00am! – Whisky News

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Tickets on sale Tuesday at 10:00am

This is your reminder: tickets for Spirit of Toronto 2016 go on sale this morning, Tuesday March 29, at 10:00am!

These may be purchased as follows:

  • In person at Roy Thomson Hall’s box office at 60 Simcoe Street
  • By calling Roy Thomson Hall’s box office at (416) 872-4255
  • Online through Roy Thomson Hall’s website

Buying tickets online for several people? Please keep reading!

Masterclasses: the more, the merrier?

May we make a suggestion based on feedback from our regular guests?

If this is your first time coming to the show, one masterclass will be plenty, leaving you with ample time to explore the tasting halls, sample a cocktail, take in some live jazz and see why everyone is queuing for the prime rib and Yorkshire pudding.

For those determined to attend masterclasses at both 7pm and 8:30pm, please allow enough time to check-in, check your jacket, collect your glass and event programme, and queue for the class itself. But please keep in mind that attending 2 classes leaves little time to enjoy the event itself!


Buying Multiple Tickets Online

If you are buying multiple tickets and wish to attend different masterclasses than your fellow ticketholders, please note that you will be required to build these different selections as separate packages before proceeding to the checkout to pay for the full order.

Furthermore please note that masterclasses cannot be purchased without including a ticket to Spirit of Toronto as part of your package.

For example…

Buying tickets to the show for yourself and a friend, but planning on attending different masterclasses? Purchase your tickets as follows…

Select the following as Package #1 and and click ‘Continue’:

6:30PM-Spirit of Toronto 2016 5:30PM-Early Admission: Dewar’s Fine Whisky Emporium 7:00PM-Old Pulteney, A Maritime Malt

You will then be prompted for the number of tickets being purchased for Package #1, after which you may either “Go to Cart” to pay for your purchase, or “Build Another Package” to select a different grouping of masterclasses as Package #2:

6:30PM-Spirit of Toronto 2016 5:30PM-Early Admission: A Kentucky Derby Social 8:30PM-Legends of Bourbon

When finished building all your packages you may now select ‘Go to Cart’ to review your order and proceed to the checkout page.

There’s always standby…

Didn’t get the classes you wanted? Not much of a planner? There may still be hope: any empty seats courtesy of no-shows will be assigned to those waiting on standby. Note that this only applies to the classes at 7pm and 8:30pm; please review the About section of the website for more details.

Stunning New Whisky from BenRiach & Glenturret! Available at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

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BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1

AA BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1

New from BenRiach distillery is Batch 1 of their new cask strength Scotch whisky offering. Bottled in limited numbers, the first batch has been bottled at 57.2% vol.


Glenturret 2002

AA Abbey 1

Lovely rich colour on this 2002 vintage Glenturret, bottled in 2015 by Independent whisky bottlers Gordon & MacPhail. Released as part of ‘The MacPhail’s Collection’ and bottled at 43% vol; if it’s as good as the previous 2000 release, we’re in for a treat!


BenRiach 16 Year Old

AA Abbey 2

The new BenRiach 16 year old, now bottled at 43% vol and presented with new look label and packaging.


Abbey Whisky Ltd
Registered Office
Dollar, FK14 7AS
United Kingdom

Whisky Auction “Our March auction is now LIVE!” – Scotch Whisky News

AA Whisky Auction

AA WA March

March auction is now LIVE!

Our latest auction is now live and will end on Tuesday 5 April.

We have two stunning single malts both distilled in the 1950s: Bowmore 1955 – 40 Years Old and Glenfiddich 50 Years Old Second Release.

We also have 10 different Special Release bottlings from Port Ellen, including the First Release. You’ll find some terrific bourbons from the legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery, including Pappy Van Winkle 15 and 20 Years old. And keep a lookout for Johnnie Walker Directors Blend 2009 and 2013. From our miniatures selection, don’t miss out on Midleton Very Rare Pearl – 30th Anniversary. Good luck with your bids!

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.

To find out more, please email, call Enrico Gaddoni on +44 (0)20 8838 9381 or visit the website

Scotch Whisky Auctions 60th Auction Now Live – Auction Whisky News

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Hi folks. The 60th auction is now live!




Scotch Malt Whisky Society “MARCH & EARLY APRIL TASTINGS” – Scotch Whisky News

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TONIGHT – April Outturn Preview – The Vaults, Thu 31 Mar  More >

Steak & Whisky Tasting – 19 Greville St, Mon 4 Apr  More >

Burger & Chips Tasting – The Vaults, Fri 8 Apr  More >

Sheffield Preview Tasting – Leopold Hotel, Fri 8 Apr  More >

Cheese & Whisky Tasting – 28 Queen St, Sat 9 Apr  More >

Island Tasting & Dinner – 28 Queen St, Fri 15 Apr  More >


Sherry & wine Cask Lovers’ Theme Drop-in – Tue 19 Apr  More >

Browse All Events & Tastings >



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

Laphroaig Launches Exquisite New Single Malt – Laphroaig Lore. “The richest of the rich” – Scotch Whisky News


Laphroaig launches exquisite new single malt – Laphroaig Lore. 

“The richest of the rich”

Tuesday 22 March 2016: To celebrate a legacy of producing the world’s most richly flavoured single malt, Laphroaig announces the highly-anticipated launch of Laphroaig Lore, known as the richest of the rich.


A body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.

Distributed by Maxxium UK and crafted by Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell, Laphroaig Lore is drawn from a variety of casks including first-fill Bourbon barrels, quarter casks and Oloroso Sherry hogsheads to create a unique richness.

As the name suggests, this new expression is inspired by traditions and tales passed down from generation to generation of Laphroaig’s Distillery Managers since 1815.

Legend has it the Laphroaig lore began around 1800 when brothers Alexander and Donald Johnston invented and crafted a recipe for an extraordinarily rich single malt, even before the Laphroaig distillery officially existed in 1815. The recipe was further developed and refined in the 1920s by Laphroaig Distillery Manager, Ian Hunter, who pioneered the use of ex-Bourbon casks. Further chapters were added by the 20th century’s only female Scotch whisky distiller, Bessie Williamson, and by luminaries such as Iain Henderson.

Campbell comments: “Over the generations, distillery managers like me have made their own contributions to the quality and character of Laphroaig. From the founding of Laphroaig, these custodians have each made their own mark, whether it was drying the malting barley at lower temperatures than most, using two sizes of spirit still, pioneering the use of ex-Bourbon barrels, or reintroducing the quarter cask to Scotch whisky-making. Each of these decisions have made Laphroaig the unique, premium whisky it is today. We make the whisky we make because of what has been passed on down to us.”

Campbell adds: “Laphroaig Lore is the story of Laphroaig itself. It’s a massive whisky, as bold as it is deep, and one that I sincerely hope does justice to the many generations of Laphroaig distillery managers. It’s our story, bottled, the richest of the rich.”

Tasting notes:

COLOUR: Deep mahogany.

NOSE: Rich and smoky with seaside minerals and a hint of ash and bitter chocolate drops. Vanilla follows with oily unroasted chestnuts and a hint of fudge with a malty sweetness. A drop of water adds a creamy clotted cream note with fruit appearing in the form of unripe citrus in a flan glaze.

PALATE: Richly peaty with a spicy chilli bite.

FINISH: Short dry finish and a long sweet aftertaste.

This finest of Scotch whiskies is bottled at 48% ABV and will be available in luxury retailers and whisky specialists including Hedonism and The Whisky Exchange from 22nd March 2016 (700ml) priced at £85 (RRP).


  • Laphroaig is the No.1 selling Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky globally
  • Unmistakably peat-smoke flavours are delivered by burning local Islay peat, containing unique traces of sea-weed and heather.
  • One of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns.
  • The Friends of Laphroaig programme keeps fans of the brand up to date with special offers and news from distillery manager, John Campbell. On signing up, members are allocated their own square foot of land on Is-lay, and their names are added to the members’ book in the friends lounge at the distillery. Members who visit the distillery are invited to collect their ‘rent’ – a dram of Laphroaig. The community comprises more than 700,000 like-minded Scotch fans.

ABOUT BEAM SUNTORY INC As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

The Whisky Exchange “Laphroaig Lore – peaty knowledge” – Scotch Whisky News


Laphroaig Lore – peaty knowledge

With a year of 200th birthday celebrations behind them, you’d think that the folks at Laphroaig might want to have a rest. That’s not their style, and they have kicked off 2016 with a new ongoing release – Laphroaig Lore.

The idea behind Laphroaig Lore comes in two parts – the taste and the name. The former comes from Laphroaig’s tagline: ‘the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies’. While Laphroaig is typically pretty rich – smoky and intensely flavoured – there isn’t a whisky in the lineup designated ‘the most richly flavoured of all Laphroaig whiskies’. With the release of Lore, that has changed: its tagline is ‘the richest of the rich’.


It’s sometimes sunny on Islay

The name comes from how Laphroaig has run over its 201-year life. According to the dictionary, ‘lore’ means:

‘a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth’

That’s the way that many distilleries, Laphroaig among them, pass on the skills required to make their whisky rather than anyone else’s. Bessie Williamson, who inherited the distillery from the last of the founding Johnston family, is considered the final generation of family ownership, but since she retired in 1972, the knowledge of how Laphroaig is made has been passed down through a series of managers. John Campbell is seventh in that line and was part of the team who created Lore.

To build Lore, John and the blending team pulled apart from the core flavours of Laphroaig, dividing them up into four categories. As John put it:

‘Laphroaig needs to be peaty, which is a bit of a no-brainer. For me, it needs to be fruity as well. It’s probably third or fourth flavour down the list, but you also get floral notes. And while I don’t generally like dry whiskies, all the best Laphroaigs are dry.’

It’s a mix of different casks types and ages – first-fill sherry, first-fill bourbon, refill bourbon and whisky finished in European-oak sherry casks are all in the recipe, with each element reinforcing one of the core flavours – older bourbon-cask-matured whisky for floral, refill bourbon and sherry for different kinds of fruit, younger whisky for dryness, and rich peat smoke from all of them.



Nose: Oily and sweet – soft olive oil, baked apples and touches of sweet sultana. Warm leather and coal smoke sit behind, with carbolic soap, TCP, freshly laid tarmac and dry ash. Between those two extremes is a rich grassy note, a combination of chlorophyll bitterness, sweet green grass and peppery olive oil. Candied sweetness as it sits in the glass – banana chips and dried tropical fruit.

Palate: Richly textured and, again, oily on the palate. It starts gently, with soft spice, honeysuckle and lightly sweetened lemonade, before the richness rolls in: charcoal, ash, tar, sweet-smelling leather, pungent pipe tobacco, raisins, stewed plums, toasted marshmallows, and sharp apples and their skins. After the initial burst of flavour, things settle down and reveal a dry and ashy core with a mineral, coastal and medicinal character – classic Laphroaig.

Finish: A burst of sweet apple is joined by ash and forest puddles. The darker flavours fade, leaving anise, apple, green grass and a hint of riverbank earth.

Comment: A Laphroaig that definitely fulfils the brief – it’s rich. Not rich as in ‘heavily sherried’, but intense and powerful, with excellent complexity.

Its dry smokiness reminds me of last year’s Islay Festival bottling, which only used peaty barley malted on Laphroaig’s own traditional malting floor; the fruitiness is reminiscent of older bottlings; and the ashy core is typical of more modern releases – it’s a combination of Laphroaig styles from over the years and combines them well. A worthy addition to the range.

Laphroaig Lore is now available on The Whisky Exchange website. You can learn more about the history of Laphroaig in this post from last year’s Islay Festival.

Cadenhead’s London “Celebrate our 21st Anniversary with a Prize Dram Draw” – Scotch Whisky News

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AA Cadenhead


Hi everyone, this is a just a quick email to say sorry…with all the excitment of our upcomming 21st Anniversary we gave you conflicting dates in yesterdays email. We are in fact celebrating our 21st Anniversary on Friday 6th May 2016, and to mark this milestone we have a special draw taking place on the evening of May 6th at around 7:30PM. The evening starts at 4:00PM and will finish at around 7:45 to 8:00PM with an open night tasting event that is totally free to all those who wish to attend.


Entry to the prize draw is still from the moment you received yesterdays newsletter until 6:30PM on May 5th 2016, anyone who buys either on-line or in the shop will be entered automatically. If you buy several times during the period we will keep adding you to the draw. The draw will be done by someone attending the tasting at 7:30PM and the prizes are as follows…

Winners within the UK will have their prize posted the following Monday, if you live outside the UK we can hold the bottles to one side for you or arrange posting to a UK address.

1st Prize

A 31 year old Caol Ila worth £175.50 (Yes that special London edition)

2nd Prize

A Bottle of Miltonduff 20 worth £89.90 (London Special Edition)

3rd Prize

6 spaces for a private whisky tasting for the winner and friends with myself (Ok the booby prize) you can choose an evening or Saturday daytime slot to force me into the tasting!

For those who missed yesterdays email, heres a quick reminder of the top 10 limited lines that I think you should consider as we head into those long days and short night’s…

No 1 Creations Vatted Grain 26 year old 57.7% This dram is so creamy smooth yet nicely complex. With a fantastic price point of £64.30. One the point of grains I can’t say it enough but they are all rather amazing if you enjoy the smooth range of tastes, well worth digging into the web site to check out the range. View Now

No 2 Tullibardine 22 Small Batch 47.3% Yes the one that scored high on whisky fun. with it’s spiced flavours balanced out with shortbread and clotted cream. £72.20 View Now

No 3 Glenallachie 22 48% Small Batch. One of the under the radar vintages we have used on the tasting room to show people who think all speysides are the same. Yes it’s very smooth but it’s also refreshing making it a No1 for those who like to sit and relax with friends after dinner as they dig into some amazing artisan chocolates (Or is that just me?) £66.80 View Now

No 4 Auchroisk 27 48.6% Authentic collection 258 bottles in the world Always a favourite in my own house simply because it’s so smooth and so very rich. I should re-think about telling you about this dram. Why let the secret out!!£108.00 View Now

No6 Back to Whisky with our private corporate event tastings top dram, Girvan 26 56.6% Authentic collection. We did this as a special tasting for a rather large group of whisky fans holding a gathering on the Greenwich exhibition site this season, to our surprise 90% of those attending selected this exceptional smooth dram as the No 1 beating even old Islay’s. £83.90 View Now

No 7 Off to Islay with a lighter style dram from the dark Isle Bruichladdich 22 48.9% 228 bottles in the world. It’s another great example of the old style Bruichladdich that people love so much, soft coastal notes with just a hint of sweet smoke. £79.95 View Now

No 8 is one of 2 Campbeltown drams this one is Hazelburn 12 46% Sherry cask matured. This wee dram will soon be a thing of the past as we head towards the end of 2016 it will become unavailable to order. The rich nose of dark fruits with the long dry yet smooth palate deliver a stunning dram. £49.90 View Now

No 9 Almost at the end now! This one is Mortlach 26 56.1% What can one say about this distillery that’s not been said before. The malt from this great distillery has never been anything but superb when we come to the Cadenhead be it the 8 year old we had back in the 1990’s in Covent garden (Anyone remember that?) to this delightful 26 year old. I managed to grab a few extra cases for the web shop in the hope it will stick around for a few weeks more also with a slight reduction on the price now at £108 View Now

No 10 the one and only Springbank 15 year old 100% sherry cask possibly the best malt in the world in my book anyway. It’s running short so if you want a bottle best grab it soon or wait until August/September when it comes back again. £54.90 View Now

It’s not easy selecting a top 10 at anytime simply because it’s all down to personal taste, the selection above is a little different as it’s based on customer feedback mainly following tastings and of course what they purchased after the tasting, the top buy was Springbank 15

See you in the Spring!

Stephen W.

The Spirit of Toronto 2016 Masterclasses – Whisky News

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Our friends at the Spirit of Toronto have published their 2016 Masterclass line-up; tickets go on sale March 29th, 2016!


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