Archive for August, 2016


Bonhams Cropped


A complete set of Karuizawa Geisha Series whisky sold for HK$1,102,500

A complete set of Karuizawa Geisha Series whisky, never before seen at auction, was sold for HK$1,102,500 at Bonhams Hong Kong Whisky sale on 19 August. The sale, which featured more than 260 lots of rare Japanese and Scotch whiskies, made a total of HK$8,889,580 Other highlights included a vertical selection of The Macallan. Offered as one lot, the 29 bottles covered the years 1958-1986 and were sold for HK$514,500. A highly sought-after Macallan 50 year old bottled in a Lalique decanter also made HK$514,500 and a bottle of The Macallan 1961 was bought for HK$220,500.

The Macallan: offered as one lot, the 29 bottles covered the years 1958-1986 and were sold for HK$514,500

Among Japanese whiskies, a set of Hanyu Ichiro’s Malt Clubs flush of malts 3,7,8,9 and 10 made HK$220,500 as did a set of Hearts flush of malts 3,4,8,10 and J. A collection of vintage bottles of Yamazaki sherry wood whisky from 1982 to 1986 sold for HK$171,500. A single bottle of Bourbon Van Winkle-1967 fetched HK$46,650.

A highly sought-after Macallan 50 year old bottled in a Lalique decanter made HK$514,500

Bonhams whisky specialist, Daniel Lam commented “This was a very strong sale with keen bidding both in the auction room and on-line. As expected, the Geisha Series attracted a lot of attention and there were high prices paid for The Macallan which maintained its position as the most desired Scotch whisky among collectors in Asia.”


Enquiries For further information and images call Andrew Currie on +44 (0) 20 7468 5871, or email or NOTES FOR EDITORS Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

The Springbank Society “New Springbank 18yo is Available Now!” – Scotch Whisky News

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Springbank 18yo


Dear Society Members,

Ok, so it has not been that long since I spoke to you last but I have something good to tell you all.

The new Springbank 18yo is available now. Matured in 80% Sherry Casks and 20% Bourbon and bottled at 46% abv.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Earthy, honeycomb, hints of menthol, marzipan and sugar coated almonds. Let it breath to reveal the traditional salt brine notes of a Campbeltown dram.

Palate: Salted caramel to the fore. More of that honeycomb is fairly prominent. Not as earthy as the nose may suggest, more lemon zest, nutty and spicy in character to really get the taste buds working.

Finish: Toffee, salt, brine and hints of peat from this true Campbeltown classic

It is on sale in the UK now, releases in other countries/markets will vary throughout the weeks ahead. Please contact your local retailers and stockists for more information, details of whom can be found by visiting 

To buy it directly from us you can contact our Campbeltown Cadenhead shop by calling +44 (0)1586 551710 or email: 

Springbank 18yo is on sale in the Campbeltown Cadenhead shop for £85.00 and is strictly one per person.

Society members will receive their 10% discount in our Campbeltown shop so can purchase it for £76.50. Discount in all other Cadenhead shops will be at each shop’s discretion. 

As always, you can contact me at the society email address: 

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For the Springbank Society

To join the Springbank Society please contact Nathan at

Springbank Society


Jura One for the Road – Scotch Whisky News

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Willie Cochrane, our celebrated Distillery Manager, has now retired after an extraordinary 39 year career.  It is with much sadness that we won’t see him around the distillery every day but he leaves a legacy that is as much a part of our landscape as the ground beneath our feet.

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Over the years, Willie worked his way up from a young mechanic with little knowledge of whisky to become one of the industry’s most celebrated characters, reputed for his warm character and expertise in crafting award-winning malts.

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In many ways, Willie’s life has great parallels with the distillery’s story: both chose not to take the easy or most expected path to shape Jura’s island, community and whisky, but each have become celebrated parts of the Jura story in their own right.

As such, we could think of no better way to mark his contribution to the island and its community than to release a very special new whisky called One for the Road – a 22 year old single malt and, fittingly, the final expression to be bottled in Willie’s care.

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One For The Road has an exceptional ‘Pinot Noir’ finish and is bottled at cask strength (47% ABV), with a natural colour and is non-chill filtered. Only 5,000 bottles of this limited edition expression will available in selected markets from 1st September, but UK residents have the exclusive opportunity to purchase a bottle from 26th August via our website and The Whisky Shop.

Join us in raising a glass to Willie and his next adventure.

Click here to discover more about Willie’s story and One For The Road.


New Wood Finishes from BenRiach and GlenDronach at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

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GlenDronach 14 Year Old – Virgin Oak

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New for the Summer of 2016 we have this 14 year old GlenDronach finished in the finest of American virgin oak casks. Bottled at 46%, non chill filtered and at natural colour.


BenRiach 17 Year Old – PX Sherry

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One of two new wood finishes from BenRiach, released Summer 2016 (the other being a 21 year old Port Wood finish). This BenRiach from Speyside has been aged for 17 years then finished in casks that previously held Pedro Ximénez sherry. Bottled at 46%, non chill filtered and at natural colour.


BenRiach 21 Year Old – Port Finish

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A new wood finish release from BenRiach distillery, bottled in limited numbers. This Speyside single malt Scotch whisky has been aged for 21 years and finished in casks that previously held the finest of Tawny Port.


Macallan 1998 Speymalt

Malt of the Month

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Another superb release from Independent whisky guru’s Gordon & MacPhail. Distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2016, this Speymalt from Macallan distillery offers tremendous value for money, considering the whisky has been matured in cask for around 18 years.


Whisky Wednesday is All About Change…- Whisky News

Joe Ellis

This week Joe announces his retirement from Whisky Wednesday as a new presenter of the channel takes over!


12yo Gift Pack LO


Highland-based Tomatin Distillery have launched a trio of special edition bottlings including a 14 year old Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 year old Caribbean Rum and 21 year old Oloroso Sherry single malt.

Each of the expressions are bottled at a strength of 46% and are set apart by the distinctive cask maturations.

The distillers’ focus on creativity shines through with a punchy medley of exotic flavours across the limited editions from the tropical explosion of the rum cask to the Oloroso sherry honeyed oak spice.

Opening the set is the 9 year old, fully matured in Caribbean rum casks and is the very first rum release from the distillery. It is described as enticing aromas of coconut and pineapple developing into creamy banana and vanilla custard on the palate, relaxing with lingering tropical fruits at the finish. There are only 6600 bottles available with an RRP of £39.99.

Next up is the 14 year old spirit, finished in red wine barriques. Tomatin explain that the whisky presents flavours of red fruits, honey and citrus spices, rounded off with a punchy fruit jam. Bottles are limited to 2436 with an RRP of £69.99.

Rounding off the series is the 1995, finished in Oloroso sherry casks which has also just been awarded one of the top 10 spots at the Whisky Fringe awards. According to the distillery the malt has flavours of heavy dried fruits, rich sherry, honeyed oak spice and dark chocolate. With only 1908 bottles available, this complex whisky it is the rarest of the trilogy and has an RRP of £99.99

Stephen Bremner, Sales Director commented:

‘Our dedication to continuous development of our products has been reflected in our growth of 60% in branded goods over the past 4 years. We are constantly striving to experiment and push boundaries with our Tomatin single malt to produce unique creations that appeal to our existing customers and a wider audience. The array of tropical notes, citrus spices and rich sherry infusions will entice a range of enthusiasts to sample the new products.

Recent triumphs at a number of prestigious awards including this year’s competitive Whisky Fringe which saw 3 of our malts in the top 10, are testament to our ongoing commitment to the brand.’

In addition to the limited editions, the distillery has also recently launched a 12 year old gift pack containing the flagship malt plus two free 5cl bottles of Tomatin Cask Strength and Tomatin 14 year old. Retailing at £39, the product will be available across retailers worldwide ahead of the festive period.

For more information about the new releases and to find your local retailer visit
1995 Tomatin
Tomatin 1995 bottle with box low res


  1. The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd is a producer and blender of Scotch whisky, boasting a strong core range of single malt whiskies along with a range of popular blends.
  2. Website:



  1. The packaging was designed by Pocket Rocket Creative Ltd – award-winning design agency
  2. Press Kit can be downloaded here:
  3. The distillery was established in 1897, and while historically the whisky produced was primarily sold for use in other brands of blended whisky, the company is now very focussed on growing the Tomatin single malt brand in its own right.
  4. Tomatin Distillery produces Tomatin Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Cù Bòcan Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
  5. The distillery is owned by Japanese company Takara Shuzo:

Love Whisky? Love the Dornoch Whisky Festival! – Scotch Whisky News

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The Whisky Festival is now less than 3 months away! We have such an exciting line up of events throughout the weekend, read on for more details about what is happening and how to get involved!

Below is some information about what is happening on each day but for the full program of events and to book, go to: Book your tickets now as most events have limited spaces.

Friday 28 October

The Whisky festival begins with a fantastic evening jam packed with tastings and amazing menus throughout the town and in local distilleries.

Book onto a tasting at Balblair Distillery followed by showing of Angel’s Share film. Head back to Dornoch and enjoy a Gala dinner at Links House (in partnership with Balblair Distillery)

Alternatively there is The Dalmore Masked Dinner at The Royal Golf Hotel, The Glenmorangie Gala dinner­ at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Dinner and Traditional music at the Dornoch Castle Whisky Bar and Castle Bistro as well as live music at the Dornoch inn and Eagle Hotel! Time to get those dancing shoes on!

Saturday 29th October The main event of this year’s Whisky Festival takes place today- The Gala Tasting in the Castle Hotel.

Featuring local distillers; Balblair, Clynelish, The Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Glen Ord, Old Pulteney, Wolfburn & The Dornoch Distillery as well as Gordon & McPhail, Ben Nevis and Douglas Laing. For just £25 per person you will be able to sample a range of Whiskies in the wonderful setting of the historic Castle Hotel. This event runs from 12 midday until 4pm

But this is by no means the only event taking place today! There is also an Independent Bottling ­ Master Class at The Carnegie Whisky Cellars, Tours of Glenmorangie and Dalmore, a Dinner at Links house, a Ceilidh and BBQ at The Castle Hotel.

Sunday 30th October

The final day of the 2016 Dornoch Whisky Festival begins with the Whisky Festival Open Stableford Golf Competition. Taking place at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club with tee times available from 10:30am to 12 midday. There will be prizes for the best scores and each competitor will receive a Glenmorangie Miniature, and a Royal Dornoch bag tag and Course Planner.

There will also be tours of Glen Ord, Teaninich (A chance to visit a unique distillery not normally open to the public) Balblair and Clynelish distilleries. You could visit the Eagle Hotel for a Tasting of Local Malts, the Castle Hotel for an ‘Old and Rare ­Balblair Bottle Tasting’ or go on a Guided Archaeological tour of Ferintosh, the site of an 18th century distillery.

Food wise there will be a Whisky Themed 3 Course Sunday Lunch at Links house, a Sunday Carvery with Scottish theme at the One Up Restaurant at the Dornoch Inn and Dinner in the Castle Bistro.

All events have restricted numbers, so book now!

Hope to see you there!

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America “Late August 2016 Outturn Offerings” – Scotch Whisky News


Late August 2016 Outturn Offerings  

Cask No. 63.35                              $220

Exotic fruits and polytunnel flowers

Speyside, Spey

Exotic fruits flattered our noses (mango, rhubarb tarts, cherry pies, sherbet lemons, jellied fruits) but it had interest and weight too – brown sugar, craft workshops, sandalwood and perfume samples in women’s magazines. Even more fruits arrived on the palate – strawberry, blackcurrant, kiwi, fig and plum – all held down to earth by deeper notes of fortified wine, dark chocolate, Strepsils and sugar-coated fennel seeds. The reduced nose was simply delightful – perfumed pear and elderflower sorbet and flowers in polytunnels. Lots to discover on the palate now too – honey sweetness balancing fruit and floral perfumed bitterness – we agreed it was elegant and rounded.

Drinking tip: A summer’s day in the garden, bees humming in the flowers.

Colour: Bright amber

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 25 years

Date distilled: November 1989

Alcohol: 50.7%

USA allocation: 90 bottles

Flavour profile: Old & dignified

*President’s Choice*

SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 1.200                              $140  

Enigmatic and masculine

Speyside, Spey

An interesting nose; floral, pot-pourri and grassy notes balanced fruitiness (pineapple, blackcurrant, raspberry, foamy bananas). We also discovered a contrapuntal interplay between sweetness (syrup sponge, white chocolate, vanilla, toffee) and charred oak and clove. The palate was muscular, powerful and tasty; masculine flavours of balsamic, aniseed, pepper and various toasted notes (hazelnut, coconut, pizza crust) slightly overshadowed the Madeira cake and fondant icing sweetness. The reduced nose brought sugar-coated fennel seeds and bicycle repair shops. The reduced palate was slightly enigmatic – we found stem ginger, walnut whips, and chocolate digestive biscuits – but unquestionably moreish – a good cask, and a good dram.

Drinking tip: Interesting and unusual enough to be a conversation piece – or just to provide some early evening distraction.

Colour: Sauternes

Cask: First-fill barrel

Age: 15 years

Date distilled: May 2000

Alcohol: 55.7%

USA allocation: 84 bottles

Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow

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Cask No. 4.218                                       $145

A Little Warmth

Highland, Island

We all noticed, when pouring into the glass, the wonderful beads forming and lasting for a long time. The colour had a glow and so had the aroma; ember, aromatic charred wood, a freshly brewed steaming hot cup of nettle tea and making blackberry compote. The taste was herbal, salty, dry and quite some heat, but all in perfect balance with flavours of roasted chestnuts and dry cured Black Forest ham. Water brought out more sweetness like toasting marshmallows or caramelizing sugar on a Crème Brulee. The taste was soft and sweet, a Peach Melba with pistachio and almond caramel cream.

Drinking tip: When in need of a little warmth

Colour: Brass trumpet

Cask: First-fill barrel

Age: 16 years

Date distilled: October 1999

Alcohol: 55.9%

USA allocation: 90 bottles

Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet  

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Cask No. 42.19                                       $100

Smoke threatening the laundry

Highland, Island

Our noses detected laundry (wooden tubs, washboards, mangles) with lemon soap; some sweetness developed (lemon bonbons, Moffat toffees, Oddfellows) while smoke, coal bunkers and creamy goat’s cheese rolled in ash arrived later. Water highlighted the savoury, spicy notes – chilli onion jam, humbugs, cinnamon swirls and pork belly cooked with five-spice. The palate however, was big and smoky from the word go – wood ash, tar and carbolic; quite a bit of wood (sweet oak, old tarry ship’s timbers) with sweetness (Edinburgh Rock) that was sometimes deeper and darker (syrup of figs, liquorice, sherbet fountains, sweet and sour, soy sauce, char sui).

Drinking tip: Either while doing the laundry – or with a suitable book (Tales of Para Handy).

Colour: Lemony gold

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 9 years

Date distilled: October 2006

Alcohol: 58.2%

USA allocation: 60 bottles

Flavour profile: Peated

Visit The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America at

The Whisky Exchange “Glenrothes tasting with Ronnie Cox” – Scotch Whisky News


AT 7.30PM
Tickets on sale
Monday 29 August at 3pm



Try one of Speyside’s treasures! We’ll not only be trying the range, including the newest release, but also a sample from a cask of whisky distilled in the 1970s that’s still maturing in the Glenrothes warehouses.

AA TWS Ronnie

Our host for the masterclass is brand heritage director and whisky expert Ronnie Cox – the seventh generation in his family to work in whisky. Ronnie is one of the most charismatic characters in the industry and we look forward to hearing the inspiration behind the current success of Glenrothes, with hopefully a few insights into his colourful past, too.


Glenrothes is known as one of Speyside’s treasures and today is most famous for its release of vintage whiskies. Established in 1878, it produces highly regarded single malt whiskies which are bottled according to the year of production, ensuring each reaches its peak of maturity and quality.

Ronnie will be taking us through:

Glenrothes Cask Reserve
Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve
Glenrothes Vintage Cask Reserve
Glenrothes Vintage 2001
Glenrothes Vintage 1995
Glenrothes Vintage 1988
Glenrothes Cask Sample 1970s

A wonderful opportunity to taste this Speyside malt and meet a whisky legend – make sure you don’t miss out! The tasting will take place on Monday 12 September at 7.30pm £35 per ticket


Tickets on sale Monday 29 August at 3pm




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

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AUGUST auction is now LIVE!

Auction ends on Tuesday 6 September.


Karuizawa – Why So Popular?

The Karuizawa whisky distillery was founded in 1955 by Miraku Brewing Corp to diversify its sake portfolio. Karuizawa was built beneath the formidable volcano of Mount Asama where the climate was deemed particularly attractive for whisky production – it was even claimed that the ivy that covered the warehouse kept the temperature and humidity at perfect levels to mature whisky.

Sadly for us, production was mothballed by the turn of the millennium; the owners, without the benefit of a crystal ball, decided production was no longer financially sustainable, and by 2012 the land the distillery rests on was sold. Now, due to their scarcity and intense, savoury, sweet spiciness, Karuizawa bottlings have exploded in value in a final salute to the Spirit of Asama.

We have no fewer than 36 Karuizawas to bid on; take a close look at Karuizawa 1971 Noh #1842, Karuizawa 1981 Cask #78 Prendre Le Rhythme LMdW and the Karuizawa 1990 Cask #679 and Karuizawa 1984 Cask #3663 Sherry Cask.

Be the first to bid!

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

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