Archive for July, 2016

Blog; Whisky Tour in the Highlands & Speyside by Paul Mclean of Whisky Tours Scotland – Scotch Whisky News

2 groups in the Craigellachie, for a time iot was a mcleanscotland bar

Blog; whisky tour in the Highlands & Speyside –

We took two whisky loving Canadians on tour, starting from the Edinburgh hotel at 08 am on Saturday morning. Och another early start, but that’s fine, am used to it. We drove north over the Forth Road Bridge and on into highland Perthshire, taking our time, but hurrying up, to Inverness. Still a way to go, as our first appointment was with a few Dalmore drams. A distillery tour and tasting was happily received by our two whisky fans, even though it was no in production – but this meant photos allowed anywhere! King alec is my favourite dram there, but as driver … say no more, it hurts! Lunch was taken at the Storehouse doon the road, a meeting with some drams at Glenmorangie came next. I do need point out, the young guide got a few things wrong, but here main problem came when asked how they clean the stills out, she said they were sent away to be cleaned by power jets, oh dear! From here we headed back at an easy pace, to Inverness, where we all stayed overnight. I did introduce them to an excellent whisky bar here by the river, a good local pub and another – Irish bar. I left them to enjoy the city while I went away to my hotel and did some work (thanks Liz). Even on tour I cannee get away from work, Liz see’s to that.

Sunday, a day of rest? Don’t think so. Leave Inverness and call in to Culloden Battlefield, walk the moor that Bonnie Prince Charlie and his troops did, discover the “well of the dead”, take time to tour the museum and watch the provocative movie. From here to Clava Cairns, or the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava – a group of three Bronze Age cairns dating back about 4,000 years. The cemetery was used in two periods. At around 2000 BC a row of large cairns was built, three of which can still be seen today. Cawdor castle, Macbeth was born about 1005. Macbeth was crowned High King of Scots at Scone outside Perth, with his Queen. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth during the spring of 1606. Although the murder of Duncan takes place in Inverness Castle, it is often associated with Cawdor Castle. The truth is, Cawdor Castle was not built until the late 14th century, therefore it is impossible for King Duncan to have lost any blood or Lady Macbeth much sleep in this particular house.  Whisky today? To be sure, we always have excellent drams in the car for our stops during the day, I drove long the Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit and called in at Fiddlers, met John whom I know (owner) told him my guest had a birthday, we (I was a driver again, damn!) enjoyed almost 2 hours of personal attention, many drams including a 40 year old, gifts and presents courtesy of myself and John, she went away happy and – tiddly! Returning a final time to Inverness.

Monday: We left Inverness at 10am, driving south to Tomatin. The  Taste of Tomatin tour – an in-depth tour, a tutored nosing and tasting of 6 different whiskies, including two distillery exclusive single cask expressions. I think they enjoyed that!  While they toured I enjoyed the “drivers share” a cup of tea and shortcakes, I did enjoy my chat’s with the girls here, especially young Nicole, whose whole family work here, including cousins, uncles, dad, granny used to. 2 hours later they appeared looking really happy. From Tomatin to Aviemore for lunch picking up Liz at the station.  We departed for Glenfarclas Distillery. This is one of the few privately owned distilleries and one of 3 Grant Family distilleries in Speyside. It’s hard for us to say, but it’s one of our favourites, as most of them are!  They produce excellent drams and bottles. From here around 35 minutes’ drive to Cardhu where we all fed the hairy coo’s.  Another great whisky day ends, guests happy and smiling, Elgin overnight. Liz and myself stayed up in Lossiemouth as usual, we use a nice wee apartment there as a base (office away from home).

Tuesday: We left Elgin at 9.15 heading south to Dufftown, booked on the 10am Balvenie Distillery tour, superb, we know, we have done it many times. The best way to get to know The Balvenie is at the distillery. Tours are very personal each is limited to a maximum of eight people. Bottling your own Balvenie in Warehouse 24 costs £25 (is not a full size bottle, but it is worth it). Only 6 people were on the tour and as usual, it was excellent, thank David (Muir) for your help and see you next month. We took lunch locally at Glenfiddich Distillery, this allowed our guests to see the fabulous ladies bathrooms at the distillery. The Macallan Distillery called our names at 3pm for the 6 Pillars Tour. After a thorough immersion into the world of The Macallan, they enjoyed an experience/nosing and tasting of Macallan whiskies as well as the rich new make spirit. We did call into a fab whisky bar en route to the hotel, where we met up with our other tour that was in, Derek was driving this one, great – we had everyone in the bar on tour with us, a mcleanscotland bar! Elgin again that evening. Liz and myself enjoyed some great food in Lossie and at the apartment a good selection of drams were consumed.

Wednesday: We departed Elgin at 9am to Dalwhinnie Distillery to call in for drams (tour not included), 6 Dalwhinnie drams including a dram from the £350 bottle, then down to Pitlochry for free time, lunch and Edradour Distillery. We saw Andrew wandering doon so hailed him, all hello’s and intro’s, as he guided us to the shop/bar, then introduced us to several drams (not me!!!) and spent maybe 40 minutes with us, before back to the shop for purchases, an good Edradour for Liz, an Imperial for Gary. Thanks Andrew.

From here we take a scenic route back to Edinburgh, dropping our guests at their Edinburgh hotel. Took Liz home and got back myself into the second half of the Euro Cup Final, Liverpool lost out! Another good whisky tour done and dusted.

Written by Paul McLean,

Liz (mcleanscotland owner) with Andrew (owner) at Edradour distillery




The Famous Grouse has released the winners of its ‘Famous Fridays’ headliner competition. The competition which launched at the beginning of July by Scotland’s favourite whisky gave four talented artists or bands the chance to win a headline slot like no other and earn the right to say they have played on stage at The Famous Grouse House this Edinburgh Festival!

The winners; Edinburgh based electronic pop rock band DMS will be joined by psychedelic pop band The Mink Stoles, Livingston born Adriana Spina, who will perform her unique brand of alternative acoustic Americana – some of which has enjoyed immediate critical acclaim including being listed as “Single of the Week” on BBC Radio Scotland, as well as folky indie pop singer-songwriter Lou Mclean, who combines her exceptional voice with original acoustic guitar – providing an array of musical talent to the famous venue.

Scottish entertainer and Forth 1 radio presenter Grant Scott was joined by Edinburgh born musical director, writer and producer David Whitmey, who has worked with the likes of The Wanted, Mika and The Saturdays, to lend their ears and help The Famous Grouse team to help choose the lucky shortlist before the going through to the next stage – the public vote via The Famous Grouse Facebook page.

David Whitmey, who is currently working with Gary Barlow and Sony Records projects, said : “This was an amazing chance for unsigned bands and artists to win a prime slot to headline on one of the most coveted stages at the Edinburgh Festival this August. The quality of entries was exceptional and it was a tough call when it came to selecting the shortlist. The winners all have huge potential and we can’t wait to have them perform on the stage. They will be joined by some of Scotland’s best up and coming bands and breaking acts from all over the globe” 

The competition was launched to celebrate the return of The Famous Grouse House for its second consecutive year to Scotland’s Capital and Edinburgh’s International Festival Fringe this August (Wednesday 3rd August – Saturday 27th August 2016)

The winners will be joined by some of Scotland’s best music acts and musical fringe performances from all over the globe, as part of the eclectic festival programme at The New Town Theatre. Located just outside this popular festival venue, on a pedestrian friendly section of George Street, The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from 11:00am to midnight and include performances from the hugely popular Posable Action Figures, Glasgow based indie rock band Kelvin and the hugely admired solo artist Luke Carey taking to the stage. With critically acclaimed new music, a festival vibe and a fresh sense of fun, The Famous Grouse House is going to be the perfect place to soak up the best of the festival.

Johna Penman, Marketing Controller, The Famous Grouse commented: “Congratulations to our four winners! The Famous Grouse House made its name at the festival last year with a combination of great live music every day and a variety of refreshing summer serves. We can’t wait to welcome DMS, The Mink Stoles, Lou McLean and Adriana Spina to our famous venue – there’s no better place to be this August.”

The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from the 3rd to the 27th August, from 11am until midnight, with live music every day, situated outside New Town Theatre, 96 George Street.

Please enjoy our whisky responsibly

For more information visit For the latest news follow on twitter @TheFamousGrouse or Facebook at: TheFamousGrouseUK #famousgrousehouse #famousfridays


The Famous Grouse House Headliner Competition

Bands entered the competition by sending their YouTube video to:

The competition opened on Monday 20th June and closed Friday 8th July at 12pm. A shortlist of acts was selected by the panel of x4 judges on Friday 8th July and this shortlist was then put to a public vote on The Famous Grouse UK Facebook page for fans to decide who would win the headliner slot. Winners were notified on Monday 18th July. 

Full terms and conditions are available on The Famous Grouse website. 

The Famous Grouse (

  • The Famous Grouse is the no. 1 whisky in UK and no. 4* standard blended whisky worldwide (*IWSR data 2014).
  • The Famous Grouse has been the best-selling whisky in the home of Scotch whisky, Scotland since 1980.
  • The Famous Grouse is exported to over 100 countries.
  • Created in 1896 by founder Matthew Gloag, it was originally called The Grouse Brand.
  • The brand became so popular that on August 12th 1905 it was renamed The Famous Grouse.
  • The Famous Grouse Experience is located at Scotland’s oldest working distillery – Glenturret. Originally established as a single malt distillery in 1775, today The Famous Grouse Experience is the most visited distillery in Scotland.(


About Maxxium UK

  • Maxxium is the distributor of The Famous Grouse in the UK.
  • The Famous Grouse portfolio includes: The Famous Grouse, The Famous Grouse Smoky Black, The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold, and The Naked Grouse.
  • Maxxium UK Ltd is part of the global sales and distribution alliance between Beam Suntory and Edrington Group.
  • Its UK portfolio of premium brands includes: Blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse, Teacher’s and Cutty Sark), malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Auchentoshan, The Macallan, and Ardmore), imported whiskey (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Canadian Club, Red Stag) Japanese whiskey (Hibiki, Yamazaki, Hakashu), cognac (Courvoisier) vodka (Stolichnaya), rum (Brugal), liqueurs and specialities (Sourz, Midori, Bols liqueurs, Galliano, After Shock)

The Lost Distillery Company Strengthens Team with New Global Ambassador – Scotch Whisky News

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The Lost Distillery Company strengthens team with

new global ambassador

Boutique drinks business, Crucial Drinks, has enhanced its team with the addition of well-known whisky connoisseur, Ewan Henderson, in the newly created role of Global Brand Ambassador for its portfolio.

Ewan will focus initially on raising the profile of The Lost Distillery Company, as well as other luxury spirit brands included in Crucial’s award-winning portfolio, such as Six Saints Rum from Grenada and West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants single barrel and regional rums.

A whisky food pairing expert and ambassador of Scottish food and drink overseas, Ewan brings invaluable knowledge and experience to the Ayrshire-based company.

He has previously spent 15 years in the hospitality industry, with the last 10 years demonstrating his entrepreneurial flair setting up a restaurant, delicatessen & events company. Ewan has led multi-sensory taste experiences at Whisky Live South Africa, press events in Shanghai and Malt Masters Hong Kong, Nobu Doha & MIPIM Cannes. Closer to home, he is the man behind quirky whisky science events for both Edinburgh & Glasgow Science Festivals and most recently, he helped create a premium gin brand’s new cocktail range.

Ewan will represent the Crucial Drinks portfolio in over 40 markets worldwide to promote the company’s brands.

The Lost Distillery Company hand crafts whiskies styled on long closed distilleries. Half of Scotland’s distilleries have closed over the last century with renowned brands silenced through the impact of wars, prohibition, globalisation or plain bad luck.  The brands include modern day interpretations from legendary lost distilleries such as Auchnagie, Towiemore, Stratheden, Jericho, Gerston and Lossit, representing all of Scotland’s whisky producing regions.

Commenting on his new role, Ewan Henderson said: “It’s a great privilege to be rediscovering and sharing the long lost whiskies of Scotland around the globe.

“Whisky continues to grow in popularity, its rich heritage and provenance adds to its international appeal. The Lost Distillery Company offers a fascinating portal into Scotland’s pioneering whisky heritage with outstanding Whisky that’s gathering huge traction overseas. I’m very much looking forward to working alongside the archivists and tasting panel to bring the stories of famed distilleries and their people back to life, offering handcrafted Scotch whiskies from the past with a contemporary twist.”

Scott Watson, Co-Founder of Crucial Drinks and The Lost Distillery Company, said: “With his obvious passion for championing heritage and telling long forgotten stories, Ewan will be a real asset as we continue to grow our brand and launch in new international markets.

“Each resurrected brand is the subject of an in-depth research project to understand the original character of the long lost distillery and how that special whisky might taste today if still alive. As our brand custodian, Ewan will delve into the company archives and further bring to life the stories of Scotland’s lost Whisky legends.

The Lost Distillery Company is a key part of Crucial Drinks, a boutique drinks business based in Ayrshire, Scotland specialising in world class whisky and rum with unique brand stories.

Notes to Editors

You can find more information on TLDC at:

For more information on Crucial Drinks, visit:

Brand Social Media Accounts:

The Lost Distillery Company –



Instagram –

Six Saints –




West Indies Rum & Cane

About Crucial Drinks:

Crucial Drinks is a boutique drinks business based in Ayrshire, Scotland that ‘reimagines spirits’ to create innovative, stand out brands across the malt whisky and rum categories.

With support from business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark, founders Scott Watson and Brian Woods, set up Crucial Drinks in 2011 to offer world class whisky and rum portfolio that was differentiated through its heritage and unique brand stories.

Now five years old, the thriving company distributes to 40 markets worldwide delivering over £2 million revenue.

Its award-winning portfolio of luxury spirit brands includes The Lost Distillery Company, Six Saints Rum and West Indies Rum and Cane Merchants.

Whisky Auctioneer July Auction Now Live! – Whisky News

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Our July Auction is live and it is yet again our biggest to date with over 2,900 lots! This month features some stunningly old bottles from across the decades. Wherever you stand on the ‘Age Matters’ debate you can’t argue that these older vintages are fascinating snapshots of whisky history.



This fantastic Bowmore 1965 is a very highly regarded vintage and a real rarity with only 57 bottles released!



A vintage gem from the 1940s / 50s! Produced at the old Jameson distillery on Bow Street, it oozes old school class!



Matured in rare Japanese Mizunara Oak casks, this is an award winning whisky presented with stunning simplicity!



An outstanding single cask bottling! Aged for over forty years and beautifully presented in a cherry wood case with certificate.



Produced in the famous and now lost Stitzel-Weller Distillery way back in 1955, bourbon of this vintage is incredibly sought after at the moment!



One of the most desirable and sought after whiskies in the world this amazing bottle was released to celebrate the turn of the millennium. With a standard of presentation equal to the stunning whisky contained within Macallan truly excelled themselves with this release!

Auction runs Friday 29th July to Monday 8th August

There is no registration fee, our commission structure is very competitive and we offer worldwide shipping. For our terms and conditions please click here.

Happy bidding!

Mitchell & Sons Dublin Whiskey Appreciation Courses – Irish Whiskey News

AA Mitchell

Irish Whiskey Appreciation Course – CHQ

Wednesdays at 7.00pm from 5th October 2016 The CHQ Building, IFSC, Docklands, Dublin Tel: 01 612 5540 Email: €160 per person

The aim of our ’Irish Whiskey Appreciation Course’ is to explore and understand the vast array of Irish Whiskeys on offer today in Ireland. The course will provide an opportunity for whiskey drinkers of all levels to explore Irish Whiskey with a strong emphasis on tasting, so as to gain an appreciation for the vast array of flavours available in the Irish Whiskey Industry today. We will taste 6 whiskeys per class, with the possibility of a few special extras.

Course Content:

Session 1 (Wednesday October 5th) Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Session 2 (Wednesday October 12th) Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Session 3 (Wednesday October 19th) Single Grain Irish Whiskey/ Independent Bottlers

Session 4 (Wednesday October 26th) Blended Irish Whiskey

To reserve your place on this course or for more information, please contact our CHQ shop on 01 230 2301, send us an email at or click here to book online.

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Whisky Worth Shouting About From Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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New Releases

We have some spectacular new whiskies that have just come through our shop door. With some new releases from GlenDronach and Longmorn, as well as a 21 year old release from the now lost Caperdonich distillery, we can’t help telling everyone we know!

GlenDronach 12 Year Old  Sauternes Finish



Longmorn Distiller’s Choice



Caperdonich 21 Year Old Old & Rare



Loch Fyne Whiskies

tel: 0141 427 2919

KILKERRAN 12 YEAR OLD at Cadenhead’s London – Scotch Whisky News

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Distillery Focus Glengyle Distillery home of Kilkerran Part 1

This is the first part of the main release whisky due on August 12th 2016


What we call Campbeltown today was indeed called Kilkerran, and if my history is correct the Loch was also named Kilkerran town loch.

While the stock is not due in the store for sale until August 12th we wanted to give you a little more information about the distillery ahead of the open day tasting here in London, Campbeltown and Edinburgh.

Glengyle distillery was founded in 1872 by William Mitchell who’s family was well known in the town for another distillery you might have on your radar; SPRINGBANK, anyone know it?! Between 1872 and 1919 the distillery like so many others operated quite well as a private concern until it passed into the hands of West Highland Malt Distilleries Ltd who ran the site until it closed a few years later in 1925.

The distillery became a garage around 1929/30 not quite what the founders had in mind but this did protect the site in many ways. In 1941 the site was purchased with a view to return the site into a fully operational distillery, sadly it never happened even when it was purchased again in 1957 when talk of distilling emerged, still no sign of a distillery.

After a while talk of distilling stopped until Hedley Wright the owner of Springbank decided to purchase the land and buildings with the view to opening the distillery once more, this seemed only fitting given it was his own family’s distillery back in 1872. Once the site was in the hands of the family again no time was wasted in planning the new oldest distillery in Scotland the first to open this millennium.

First things first, where will they get the stills from? The answer came via a now defunct distillery called Ben Wyvis. The stills arrived in Campbeltown then it was a case of some re-shaping before installing, more equipment was installed until finally the work was done for the rebuilding.

The first distillation of the new spirit took place on March 25th 2004 with a plan to release a series called ‘Work In Progress’ when the liquid reached 5 years old.

Check back with the next Newsletter due August 12th for the rest of the story behind Scotland’s oldest new distillery.

Cadenheads Whisky Shop & Tasting Room 26 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 7QF

Ezra Brooks® Launches New Seasonal Variant and Updates Packaging – American Whiskey News

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Ezra Brooks® Launches New Seasonal Variant and Updates Packaging

Brand Releases Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream® 

(St. Louis) July 22, 2016 – Luxco announces a new look for iconic brand Ezra Brooks® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the launch of Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream®. The brand, which dates back to 1957 and has been a part of Luxco’s portfolio of whiskeys since 1993, will continue to provide four variants for consumers with a taste for adventure.

“The domestic whiskey category continues to grow rapidly – more than four percent in the past 12 months –  and the Ezra Brooks brand is keeping pace with this growth*,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “This is the perfect brand family for anyone who enjoys bourbon, as the Ezra Brooks family of bourbon offers a few choices on proof and flavor profiles.”

The brand is also launching the new Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream, available seasonally in the fall and winter. This creamy addition to the family of products offers a buttery, caramel and toffee flavor with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. It will be available in 750ml bottles, at 25 proof with a suggested retail price of $12.99-$14.99.

Ezra Brooks’ new look includes a new corked bottle with a premium matte-finish closure capsule. In addition, a higher end label offers the bottle a craftier look and feel. The brand has recently earned top honors at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, taking Gold for Old Ezra Seven Year and Silver for Ezra Brooks Black Label and Ezra B 12 Year Single Barrel in 2015.

Ezra Brooks is aged the old-fashioned way and then charcoal filtered for an unmistakable flavor. The brand family – all offered in 750ml bottles and ranging in suggested retail prices of $11.99 to $26.99 – includes:

n  Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, bottled at 90 proof and offering a mellow flavor with hints of spice and chocolate and a smooth finish.

n  Ezra Brooks Blended Whiskey, bottled at 80 proof and offering a genuine Kentucky sour mash recipe with a light, warm finish.

n  Old Ezra Seven Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, bottled at 101 proof and aged a full seven years for a buttery long finish and deep, rich taste.

n  Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream, bottled at 25 proof and offering a rich caramel and toffee flavor with a smooth, creamy finish.

For more information about Ezra Brooks, please visit

*Source: NABCA and DISCUS 9L R12 through December, 2015

About Luxco

Luxco, Inc. is a leading producer, importer and marketer of beverage alcohol products. Our mission is to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our consumers, associates and business partners. Founded in St. Louis in 1958, where it is headquartered, it is owned and operated by the Lux family. Its portfolio of brands include: Juarez Tequila & Triple Sec, Pearl Vodka, Everclear Grain Alcohol, Arrow Cordials, El Mayor Tequila, Ezra Brooks & Rebel Yell Bourbons, Lord Calvert Canadian Whisky, St. Brendan’s Irish Cream, Salvador’s Cocktails, Yago Sant’ gria and other well-recognized brands. For more information about the company, visit


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Scotland Grindlay are delighted with their new offering DALRIADA. A full bodied Blended Scotch Whisky at NATURAL COLOUR.   DALRIADA Scotch Whisky Blend at NATURAL COLOUR is a well-rounded, smooth blend with a high Malt content.  Scotland Grindlay are pleased that DALRIADA at NATURAL COLOUR has received such a warm reception from the Marketplace.

AA Grindlay


For more information, contact

Tomatin Cu Bocan & Glenlivet Cipher at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

AA Abbey

Tomatin Cù Bòcan 1988

Limited Edition!

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Tomatin have released a new beast from their Cù Bòcan whisky range. This 1988 vintage release was created by marrying a refill hogshead and a refill sherry butt, both distilled 2nd December 1988. What makes this slightly different is that these casks previously held a popular, heavily peated whisky from Islay…


Genlivet Cipher

AA Glenlivet Cipher

On the back of Alpha released back in 2013 – Cipher is the latest limited edition single malt whisky from Glenlivet. Complete with black attire stealth uniform – no tasting notes, no cask info – it’s up to you to decode the whisky riddle???


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