Archive for September, 2016




£8m Ardnahoe will be first distillery on the island for more than a decade


Hunter Laing & Co. has been given the green light from Argyll and Bute Council to build a new malt whisky distillery on Islay. The family-owned Glasgow whisky company led by Andrew and Scott Laing, along with their father, Stewart, expect to start work on Ardnahoe distillery in November and the first drop to flow from their stills in early 2018.

Hunter Laing & Co., which was established in May 2013 and distributes whisky to 65 markets around the world, submitted its planning application earlier in the year and will now proceed with plans to build Ardnahoe distillery on a four-acre piece of land at Ardnahoe, on the north east coast of Islay near Port Askaig. The land has been purchased from Islay Estates.

The distillery, which will focus on creating a single malt Islay whisky, will be the ninth on the island and the first to be built since Kilchoman was established in 2005. The distillery will draw water from the nearby Ardnahoe Loch and production of around 200,000 litres of alcohol is planned for the first year.

Commenting on the new distillery, Andrew Laing, Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our plans for Ardnahoe have been approved. Since starting our company, we’ve seen a huge demand for Islay whisky around the world and now is the perfect time to make the progression from blenders and bottlers to distillers and secure our own supply of Islay single malt.”

Adding his thoughts, Scott Laing, Director, said: “Our father spent time on Islay early in his career while working for a brief spell at Bruichladdich. He has always had a natural affinity with the island and we’re all fans of the peaty style of whisky it is renowned for so it’s wonderful to be able to build a distillery on the island.”

The building of the distillery will see a visitor centre comprising of a café, tasting room and shop. The distillery will create many full-time positions on the island, as well as a number of seasonal roles.

Remarking on the distillery, Stewart Laing, Managing Director, said: “This is the natural next step in the journey of Hunter Laing & Co. To be able to work with my sons on the new distillery is a real joy, as is the opportunity to be part of the incredible tradition of whisky-making on Islay, the whole experience is a dream come true.”


  • Hunter Laing & Co has been operating since May 2013 and owns a portfolio of much loved brands including Old Malt Cask, Old & Rare, Hepburn’s Choice and Sovereign.
  • Hunter Laing & Co is an independent bottler and blender and distributes to 65 markets around the world in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia.
  • Hunter Laing & Co reported pre-tax profits of £1.4m on a turnover of £6.4m for its last full year of trading (end 30 April 2015).
  • Heathgreen Ltd is a whisky business wholly owned by the Laing family under the Hunter Laing & Co. group. Planning application for the new distillery has been submitted under the Heathgreen Ltd company.

London art lovers get flavour of Cairngorms from Speyside Distillery art – Scotch Whisky News


London art lovers get flavour of Cairngorms from Speyside Distillery art 

The ‘wildlife’ of the Cairngorms was taken to central London for an exhibition at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery. 

Wildlife images created by Speyside Distillery’s artist in residence were hanging at the Kings Road gallery and museum, bringing a flavour of the Cairngorms to the heart of the capital city. 

Prints by Joanna McDonough were part of an exhibition of works from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) and Spey, the deluxe malt whisky produced at Speyside Distillery. 

Joanna’s work is inspired by the flora and fauna around the boutique distillery, set near Kingussie in the Cairngorm National Park, and her prints of otters, hares and house martins were selected for the collection of works submitted by PSTA students past and present earlier this month. 

Joanna finds the environment in which she lives and works stimulating for her screen printing and delicate pen and ink works. 

She says: “Otters can be found in and around many of the tributaries of the River Spey and are a wonderful sight to behold and I created ‘Otter Frolics’, a three-colour screen print with pen and ink drawn onto the print itself. 

“One of my favourites is of two beautiful hares. There was a hare living in the garden of the Speyside Distillery Gallery cottage and I often saw him lying in the summer sun. 

“In spring we had a very determined young house Martin trying to enter our home in Aviemore and it became quite a battle when the back door was let ajar, and my final print shows young house martins on a branch.” 

Earlier this year Joanna’s art formed a showcase of students’ work for the PTSA in Taiwan, an exhibition sponsored by SPEY. She will be returning to Asia to exhibit with the PSTA at The Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in November. She also has plans to show her work in selected galleries in the Scottish Highlands this winter. 

John Harvey McDonough, CEO of Speyside Distillery says: “Joanna is producing some wonderful art. With our partners The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts , Joanna’s beautiful art merges naturally with the art of distilling – which is the beating heart of our boutique Speyside Distillery . As Joanna’s husband I am very proud of her and her skills as an artist.” 

The luxury malt whisky firm is a keen supporter of the PSTA, a post-graduate academic institution in London which was founded by the Prince of Wales and seeks to promote the traditional arts. 

The whisky brand has a strong presence in Asia, particularly Greater China, and it has sponsored Asian students to study at the PSTA, including the institution’s first Chinese national, who graduated this summer. 

Speyside Distillery, home of the SPEY brand of malt whisky, has been in production since 1990 and is operated by Speyside Distillers Ltd. For further information about Speyside Distillery, visit Follow Speyside Distillery on Twitter @SpeySingleMalt and on Facebook at


Singularly Spectacular Whisky From The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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Singularly Spectacular Whisky

This week we have two spectacular new whiskies to share with you. In fact, they are so good we bought the whole cask! With only a hundred or two bottles produced, these single cask expressions are available exclusively at The Whisky Shop.

Free delivery on orders over £75

Next day delivery available on UK orders



This limited edition single cask expression from Aberfeldy distillery in Perthshire was distilled in 1991 before spending 24 years in cask no. 6394. Bottled on 1st October 2015 at a strength of 53.5% abv, only 195 bottles are available, each one exclusive to The Whisky Shop. A delicate sweetness in the mouth with smooth creamy toffee notes, desiccated coconut mingling with a twist of lime and a wisp of smoke to finish.

£320 Buy Now

Aultmore 1996 Single Cask


Only 101 bottles of this limited edition single cask expression exist. Distilled at Aultmore in 1996, this Speyside Single Malt has spent 19 years in the cask before being bottled exclusively for The Whisky Shop on 2nd October 2015 at a strength of 50.4% abv. Finished in a Rioja wine cask for 8 years, the colour is a deep burning amber, the aroma rich and intense with crisp burnt sugar, followed by sublime creamy vanilla. On the palate the jammy fruity notes exert their influence, warming and smooth gliding effortlessly to a sweet, biscuit finish.

£240 Buy Now

New Rare Vintage Whisky – 60’s, 70’s, 80’s at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

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Longmorn 1973 – Rare Vintage


This incredible Longmorn single malt Scotch whisky from Gordon & MacPhail was distilled in 1973, aged in a refill sherry butt and bottled in 2015, making it approximately 42 years old!


Longmorn 1983 – Rare Vintage


A 1983 vintage Longmorn aged for around 30 years in a refill sherry puncheon before being bottled in 2014.


Longmorn 1967 – Rare Vintage


A 1967 vintage Longmorn matured in a refill sherry butt. Longmorn is derived from the Gaelic, Lhanmorgund, which means ‘place of the holly man’. A beautiful sherried, Speyside malt.


Strathisla 1972 – Rare Vintage


Another beautiful release from Gordon & MacPhail, bottled as part of their Rare Vintage series. This 1972 Strathisla was bottled in 2013 after spending around 40 years in first fill sherry hogsheads.


Strathisla 1970 – Rare Vintage


Gordon & MacPhail hold some very impressive stock within their warehouses. This Strathisla whisky from 1970 was matured in a first fill sherry butt before being bottled in 2014 at 43% vol under their Rare Vintage series. A big, robust & very moreish Speyside single malt Scotch whisky.


News From St Georges Distillery – English Whisky News


Breaking News
We are very excited to unveil our new look packaging and branding.

 In addition to the rebrand, we have launched the first two expressions to feature the new refreshed look.

The English Original 43% ABV &  The English Smokey 43% ABV

Commenting on the rebrand, Andrew Nelstrop, Director of The English Whisky Company said, “We have invested a lot of time in rediscovering our distillery and our values. Much has changed in the world of whisky over the last decade and we now have a far stronger voice, relevance and sense of identity in our rebranded packaging” Both bottles will be available from specialist retailers and St George’s Distillery next month

Evan Williams Bourbon and Major League Baseball Announce 2016 Partnership – American Whiskey News


Evan Williams Bourbon and Major League Baseball Announce 2016 Partnership

BARDSTOWN, KY – Evan Williams Bourbon, the second-largest selling Bourbon in the world, is partnering with Major League Baseball to sponsor the 2016 World Series. As a proud sponsor of the 112th World Series, Evan Williams will launch the largest sponsorship program in the Bourbon brand’s eight-decade history, including presenting sponsorship of MLB Network’s Emmy Award-winning program, MLB Tonight, during the Postseason.

The sponsorship will be supported nationwide through digital and traditional media. National advertising will feature a new co-branded television spot running on networks including ESPN, FS1, MLB Network, among others. A custom MLB-themed display featuring an Evan Williams jersey, hat and Louisville Slugger baseball bat will also bring the program into retail stores nationwide. 

As part of the World Series sponsorship, Evan Williams will send the grand prize winner and three friends on an all-expenses paid trip to one game of this year’s World Series. The World Series Sweepstakes is open now on the Evan Williams website at and runs through October 14th (Official sweepstakes rules here). An Evan Williams World Series Happy Hour featuring specialty cocktails will also be held around the World Series sponsorship. 

“As an authentic American brand, we are proud to support the national pastime by sponsoring Major League Baseball and the 2016 World Series,” said Chris Ratterman, Brand Manager, Evan Williams Bourbon. “Evan Williams has formed a strong partnership with MLB, focusing on the most exciting time of the year for both Bourbon and baseball to provide fans nationwide with new ways to experience seriously good Bourbon.”

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is the #2-selling Bourbon in the world. The brand is among the leaders in the rapidly growing American Whiskey segment. For the past three years, Evan Williams has been recognized by Beverage Information Group and Impact for sales growth. Additionally, Impact named Evan Williams Bourbon a “Blue Chip” brand – reflecting total value in the industry.

Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.2 million barrels aging in 52 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection. Heaven Hill Distillery currently holds the titles of Whisky Magazine’s Distillery of the Year, Whiskey Advocate’s American Whiskey of the Year and Rye Whiskey of the Year from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. 

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely.  Drink Wisely.”

The 2017 Malt Whisky Year Book – Malt Whisky News


This year covering 442 distilleries around the world!

* The Distillery Section completely revised with all the latest news
* The chapter on Distilleries Around the Globe now bigger than ever
* New exciting articles by distinguished writers such as Charles MacLean, Ian Buxton, Gavin D Smith, Becky Paskin, Neil Ridley and Jonny McCormick
* Completely new and expanded Japanese chapter by Nicholas Coldicott and Stefan Van Eycken
* More than 250 tasting notes, including Japanese malts and independent bottlings
* New feature – The State of Scotch
* A listing of more than 150 of the world´s greatest whisky shops
* The Whisky Year That Was – the most comprehensive summary you´ll find of the news and trends in the industry
* All the latest info on bottlings, web sites, books as well as the latest statistics and figures
* More than 500 colour photos All in all – the most updated whisky book on the market

Published by MagDig Media Ltd.
Publication date; 1 October 2016
Number of pages; 300
ISBN 978-0-9576553-3-1
Recommended retail price in UK; £13.95

Dornoch Whisky Festival: Gala Tasting – Scotch Whisky News

The Gala Tasting. Dornoch Castle Hotel. Saturday 29th October. 12pm until 4pm.

Want to taste Whisky from 16 local distilleries all in one place? Like good food and a great atmosphere? Then book your tickets now for the Gala Tasting event at the Dornoch Whisky Festival!

Set in the grounds of the historic Dornoch Castle HotelThe Gala Tasting is sure to be popular with Whisky connoisseurs and novices alike! This grand tasting event is the heart of the Dornoch Whisky Festival and will be taking place from 12pm unitl 4pm on the 29th October. Tickets are only £25 so it is an affordable day out for all whisky lovers.

Come along and sample a wide range of malt whisky from local distillers including Balblair, Clynelish, The Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Glen Ord, Old Pulteney & Wolfburn, as well as Gordon & Macphail, Benromach, Glen Scotia, Glenturret, Annandale and Douglas Laing. And we are very excited to announce that our very own Dornoch Distillery will have gin to sample!

Our very special guest Charles Maclean will be attending the tasting and be meeting and greeting everyone who comes along. Charles has written many books on Scotch Whisky and runs tastings and masterclasses world wide. He is very knowledgeable will be a fantastic person to spend the afternoon with!

Tickets are £25 each which includes 20 vouchers to be used on the drams of your choice as well as a plate of cheese, bread and grapes to be enjoyed at your leisure! You will receive a Goody Bag with a voucher card to be exchanged for drams (with option to purchase more) a Glencairn tasting glass, pen, program and a bottle of water. You will also receive a tombola ticket which enters you automatically into a draw for a place in the Chocolate and Whisky pairing masterclass run by Whisky Corner. We are very excited about this event and Whisky Corner are working with local distilleries and Cocoa Skye, a local chocolate producer, to create a very exclusive Chocolate and Whisky pairing workshop. Only 25 lucky people (chosen at random by Charles Maclean) will get a chance to attend this 45 minute workshop which will take place a 2pm. We can’t wait!

Alongside the Whisky tasting stalls we will also have chocolates, cake and Whisky flavoured candles!

In the evening after the Gala Tasting the Castle are hosting there a BBQ followed by a Traditional Ceilidh

Book your tickets now:




Balvenie Whisky Tasting November 11, 2016 at Nickolls & Perks – Scotch Whisky News

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Balvenie Whisky Tasting November 11

On Friday, 11th November, James Buntin will be joining us for a tasting of all things Balvenie! The event will take place in the 16th century cellars below Nickolls & Perks on Lower High Street, Stourbridge. We’ll be tasting a number of different whiskies from the distillery, featuring some interesting finishes and some well-aged expressions too. Discover the hidden depths of the spirit with the help of leading Balvenie expert, James Buntin.

– Tasting Lineup –

Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel – First Fill
Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask
Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask
Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old
Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood Finish
Balvenie TUN 1509 Batch 3

– Tickets £25 – 


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Whisky Auction – Whisky News



Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PP

Wednesday 12th October, 10am

An exceptional range of fine wines, whiskies and select spirits will be on offer from 10am on 12th October 2016 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ London base, Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street, W1S 1PP.

Of particular note is lot 105, a very rare bottle of Glen Grant from 1952, commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Contained within a Glencairn decanter and stoppered with a Swarovski crystal this utterly exceptional single malt whisky is housed within a box made from a Scottish Elm, felled at Holyrood House, and nestled in its own Harris Tweed bag. It carries an estimate of £8,000-£9,000. On February 2nd 1952, four days before the ascension of Her Majesty to the Great British throne, the barrel, cask number 465, was filled under the instruction of George Urquhart. The liquid then remained ensconced within this sweet Oloroso sherry cask for exactly sixty years, before being bottled into one of just 85 decanters.

Alongside this exceptional lot are two bottles of iconic A.H. Hirsch 16 year old Reserve Whiskey (Lot 18 & 19, est. £900-£1,100). Distilled in 1974, and no longer produced, the popularity and quality was such that it evolved in a ‘viral fashion’ to its current status as a Bourbon icon.

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