Archive for December, 2016

Laphroaig 2016 “Cairdeas” Madeira Cask at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


Laphroaig 2016 “Cairdeas” Madeira Cask Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)


Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)


K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA

San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


Bourbon Tastings and New Year’s Sales at the Whisky Shop #SFO – Whiskey News


Wednesday, December 28th 5-7PM

Belle Meade Bourbon

Enjoy a holiday spirits tasting with Belle Meade Bourbon! Known for its spicy high rye content, Belle Meade Bourbon’s signature recipe was designed to be a versatile Bourbon to be enjoyed whether served neat, with a splash, on the rocks, or in a well-made cocktail.

With each hand-selected batch being made from only four barrels of whiskey, Belle Meade is a truly small-batch bourbon. An extensive selection process is utilized to make sure every batch is perfectly balanced before release, resulting in a smooth, award-winning whiskey.

Click Here to RSVP on Facebook

Abbey Whisky “A big thanks – 10% off all stock! (24hrs only)” – Scotch Whisky News


Boxing Day Flash Sale!

We’d like to say a big thanks for your continued support during 2016, by offering you 10% off all stock* for the next 24hrs!

Use discount code AW-BOX-10 when processing through the cart. Merry Christmas & a Happy New year.  Slàinte The Abbey Whisky Team

*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offers. Offer ends midnight GMT 27th December 2016. 

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

AA Abbey

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Cask End Parcels: Don’t miss out” – Scotch Whisky News



We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and shared an SMWS dram or two with loved ones.  A quick reminder, limited numbers of our Cask End Parcels are still available in our online shop.  In true Boxing Day style, we have also added a new 10% discount to three of our Christmas Parcels. Don’t miss out, order NOW before they vanish.

10% Parcel Discount:  simply use promo code BOXING10 at the checkout to redeem your discount against the three parcels listed below.  The promo code applies to these three selected parcels only. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or vouchers and cannot be applied retrospectively. Limited parcels are available on our whisky page »

R&B Distillers in Scotch at The Balmoral – Scotch Whisky News


R&B Distillers in Scotch at The Balmoral

Proud to pioneer handcrafted whiskies of uncommon provenance, R&B Distillers, an exciting new whisky brand, launched their new premium whiskies in November 2015. Firmly ingrained in family history whilst simultaneously being a taste of the brand’s evolving future, Raasay While We Wait and Borders, two distinct and characterful whiskies, mark a new chapter for R&B Distillers.

R&B stands for Raasay and Borders, two unique landscapes brought together through one unique whisky company. Co-founder Alasdair Day embodies this coupling. His great grandfather, Allan MacDonald, hailed from the Hebrides while his other great grandfather, Richard Day was a master-blender in the Borders in the early 19th Century. It is this history that has prompted R&B’s ongoing project to build distilleries at these twin roots in the Isle of Raasay and in the Scottish Borders.

R&B have now been granted permission by the Highland Council to bring the first legal distillery to Raasay in the Inner Hebrides, an island where illicit distilling was once rife. While the distillery is being built, R&B Distillers have released the aptly named Raasay While We Wait whisky, a preview of the calibre and flavour of whisky yet to come – every sip certain to transport the drinker to the rugged island of Raasay.

With Raasay While We Wait, R&B Distillers have crafted a single malt whisky by bringing together two expressions from one distillery: one peated, one un-peated. This precise combination is a tantalising prediction of the flavours that will be produced at the new distillery on the Isle of Rasaay, off the remote west coast of Skye. The smoky peat aroma is softened in the finishing process which occurs in French oak Tuscan red wine casks and results in a unique, lightly fruity aroma and a heather hue. Raasay While We Wait has now been awarded three prestigious international awards: In May 2016, Raasay While We Wait received a bronze medal in the International Spirits Challenge (ISC), in August this was followed with a Silver Medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) and in November a bronze from the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HKIWSC). The awards are tremendous accolades for such a young whisky.

Meanwhile, Borders echoes the soft rolling landscape of its future location in the South of Scotland. This single grain whisky is lighter and softer in flavour than the smoky peat dram of Raasay While We Wait. Matured in Bourbon casks and finished in Oloroso sherry casks, Borders has been produced to reflect a lowland style. Alasdair Day’s great-grandfather blended whisky in the Coldstream and now, over 150 years since the last distillery in the Scottish Borders, Alasdair is returning to his roots and planning to reinstate whisky in this forgotten region. In 2015, Peebles was selected by the Scottish general public as the preferred location for the new distillery. In November 2016 Borders was awards its first international award – a bronze medal in the HKIWSC.

As a precursor to the new distilleries being built, R&B Distillers also unveiled membership to their Na Tùsairean club (Scots Gaelic for ‘The Pioneers’) – an exclusive offering for whisky aficionados. The inaugural 100 casks of Raasay whisky will be bottled exclusively for Na Tùsairean members who will receive one bottle each year for ten years, gradually acquiring up a rare collection of R&B Whisky. Members will also receive miniatures so they can experience a dram of the whisky without breaking into their collector’s bottle, are entitled to the equivalent of one night’s stay per year for the duration of their membership in the luxury members accommodation.

Raasay While We Wait, priced at £56.95 and Borders priced at £49.95 are available to buy directly from the R&B Distillers website:

T: 0131 564 0761 E:

For trade prices and further press information, please contact Kapranos PR

T: 020 3659 8914 E: &



 Master of Malt (online)

 Whiski Rooms (Edinburgh shop)

 Oban Whisky & Fine Wines (Oban)

 Shop4Whisky (online)

 JL Gill (Crieff)

 Royal Mile Whiskies (Edinburgh & online)

 Raasay Community Store (Raasay)

 Jeffrey Street Whisky & Tobacco (Edinburgh)

 The Whisky Shop (Dufftown)

 Mainstreet Trading Co. (St Boswells, Scottish Borders)

 Oblo Bar (Eyemouth, Scottish Borders)


 Whiski Rooms (Edinburgh bar)

 Teuchters Landing (Edinburgh Leith)

 Teuchters West End (Edinburgh West End)

 Drysbrugh Abbey Hotel (Drysbrugh)

 Raasay House Hotel (Raasay)

 Sconser Lodge (Skye)


‘While We Wait’

Aroma: Surprisingly very little smoke on the nose but instead light fruity notes come through.

Colour: Natural colour, heather tinted imparted from Tuscan red wine oak casks.

Taste: Instantly there is peat smoke and spice (a distant campfire, black pepper, liquorice, oak and then the sea breeze) slowly this is balanced with the dry fruit from the Tuscan red wine casks (black currant, blackberry, raspberry and cherries).

Finish: A long lingering finish.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with Sconser Scallops, Smoked Salmon, game, grouse, woodcock, venison, creamy blue cheese, bacon, haggis.

ABV: 46% Non-Chill Filtered

Year released: November 2015 – 1st Release Limited Edition


Aroma: Prominent sherry notes on the nose, hints of sugar-coated nuts.

Colour: Natural colour, lightly golden taken from sherry finishing casks.

Taste: Surprisingly dry on the palate with the sherry influences dominating. Walnuts balanced with vanilla, herbaceous and floral notes coming through towards the end, and just a touch of warm spice.

Finish: Lingering, dry and complex.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with Cocoa Black dark praline chocolates.

ABV: 51.7% Non-Chill Filtered

Year released: November 2015 – 1st Release Limited Edition

Happy Holidays from the Springbank Society – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society

December Quarterly Newsletter

Are you there Society? It’s me, Nathan.

Some of you haven’t heard from me in a couple of months, I hope you are all still well. Things have been very busy here at Springbank Towers, and for me specifically (I’ll address that in the next section of this newsletter) so it hasn’t always been easy to keep in touch. Therefore, I thought it best to send out the next edition of our “regular” Quarterlies before the Springbank office closes for the holidays; from Wednesday 21st December 2016 until early next year.

Nevertheless, please be assured that Springbank (and Glengyle) continues to march forward as steadily as we always have. The nights get darker, the wind gets colder and the days get shorter but we are a hardy sort in Campbeltown so we keep on keepin’ on, dreaming of the warmth of spring.

Actually, once we get to spring time, it won’t be long until a certain festival…

More on that next time. First though, let us discuss these pesky Society bottles.

Society bottle update 

I can happily say that, after initial delays caused by waiting on the lottery draw to happen, there has been substantial progress in getting people’s society bottles out to them and many of you have your bottles or, at the very least, have confirmed arrangements regarding how you are going to obtain them in the future. If this sounds like you (and it should sound familiar to many of you) and you have your bottles, feel free to skip forward to the next section of this email.

Everyone else, this section is for you. If you emailed me at the start of November (especially if you contacted me on the 1st or 2nd of November) and have not heard back from me, please send me an email at and I shall get back to you as soon as possible in the new year.

Also, if you have received confirmation from me that you have secured a bottle/bottles and would like it delivered to your personal address, please get in touch at the same address and I shall do my best to get your order to you as soon as possible.

Lastly, if you are having your order sent to one of the European Cadenhead shops (Cologne, Berlin, Odense or Salzburg) I shall be in touch with you as soon as I can to let you know when you can pick up your order.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it; to everyone that does not then I hope you enjoy the holiday period in whatever way you wish. With a dram or two, perhaps?

Have a happy new year and I look forward to speaking to you all in January. I will not be in the office during the dates I mentioned above (21st Dec – early January) so if you email me please do not be alarmed if you do not receive a reply during this time. I will reply to you as soon as possible upon my return.

Year in Review

What a year 2016 has been and while it is nearly gone, it will never be forgotten. Obviously, the highlight of the year happened in April as that is when I joined the company…

No? Ok then, lets have a look at some of the more memorable events, facts and figures of 2016.

Almost 400 new members joined the Society; welcome aboard all of you. I’m sure you’ll love being a part of the Springbank family, and Mairi Paterson, who wrote you all a Christmas message last year, has told me that the number of people going on distillery tours has gone up by 16% (excluding December figures). We are continuously delighted that people enjoy coming to our distillery and our town. Thank you to everyone that came in 2016 and if you didn’t make to Campbeltown this year, I hope we see you in 2017.

Away back in January we had the first Local Barley general release since 2001. I wasn’t working at Springbank then but I am told that went down rather well, especially amongst Society members. Should we wait another 15 years before releasing the next one?

We celebrated the 12th birthday of Kilkerran in March, followed by the release of Kilkerran 12yo in August which was a proud moment for so many people at J&A Mitchell.

We featured in a BBC documentary entitled “Scotch! The Story of Whisky” that I am sure you can still find it online if you look. The presenter, David Hayman, came to Campbeltown to film during the Malts Festival. The Campbeltown Malts Festival, and our Springbank Open Day within, continues to grow and is now an immovable centrepiece of the Springbank year. I met many of you for the first time at this year’s festival and I am sure I will meet so many more of you in May 2017.

Over the course of the year our sales team, Manager Ranald Watson along with David Allen, Grant Macpherson, Melanie Stanger and Fraser Milloy, visited 21 countries (challenge: name them all), attended 61 whisky shows/festivals and conducted approximately 100 tastings; including one Grant did on a nuclear submarine.

Melanie’s year could almost be split in half: the first half of the year was all about Kilkerran before her attention returned to Springbank.

And David did a bungee jump; he wanted me to mention that.

Upcoming Trips and Events 

This section is dedicated to listing the upcoming events our sales team shall be attending in the early part of next year. When I did this for the last quarterly, the list went on for about a thousand pages but thankfully Jan-Mar is a much quieter period of time in the whisky world.

13th-14th January – Grant is attending the Harrow Whisky Festival

14th January – David is in Tromso, Norway for the Arctic Whisky Festival.

18th January – Melanie starts a tour of Canada, beginning at Edmonton Whisky Fair.

19th January –  Then she is off to Calgary for their Whisky Fair

21st January – Melanie attends the Victoria Whisky Festival

23rd January – And to finish, Melanie is at the Whiskey Classique in Vancouver

16th-18th February – This time it is Sweden for our Dave; he is at the Viking Cinderella Whisky Fair.

10th-11th March – Whisky Lounge Newcastle takes place and Grant will be there

11th March – Melanie will be at Whisky + Friends in Warsaw, Poland

17th-18th March – Grant is on the road again; he is at the Midlands Whisky Festival for Nickolls and Perks

31st March – 1st April: Melanie is our representative at Whiskyschiff Luzern

And finally, I wanted to remind everyone that has not signed up to the Society section of our website that they are missing out if they don’t!

As well as keeping the general news section of our website up to date with news from the distillery and new releases as they happen, we also have a dedicated news section for our special Society Members. In this section you will be able to keep up to date with the latest special Society bottlings and be the first to find out news. Of course, when we have very important information to give you such as a new Society bottling or any new release from the distillery then this information will continue to be emailed but other day-to-day news will be added to the website.

I would urge all members to register for an online account to keep up to date with the news as it happens. To create an account please follow these instructions:

  • Go to
  • Click on the ‘Society’ tab along the top of the page
  • Click on the ‘Confirm Log-In Details’ orange tab
  • Please enter all the information that is required
  • Once you have submitted this information, a notification should be displayed to tell you that an email has been sent to your given email address and it will ask you to verify this email address
  • Please open this email in your email account and click the link to verify your email
  • Once you have done this, I will receive a notification informing me that a new member has signed up to the website so I will then activate your account for online use
  • When your account has been activated, you will be able to read all news stories in the Society section. To log in, just click the ‘Log-In to Society News’ tab where you will just be asked to enter your username and password for access.

And so, we have reached the end of both this newsletter and this year. I have attached the opening times for the Campbeltown Cadenhead Shop to the bottom of this email for your attention.

Campbeltown Cadenhead Shop Contact Details:


phone: +44 (0)1586 551710

I will be back in touch with you all in January when everything begins again.

But not everything will be the same.

#Change Jan2017



For the Springbank Society

For information on how to joint he Society please contact Nathan via

Whisky of the Year Winners, Now Available at K&L – Whisky News


The Whisky Advocate has unveiled their award winners for 2016 and in response we’ve scrambled to make sure our shelves are stocked-up with the top picks. After some urgent calls to our distributors, we’re thrilled to announce we’ve secured the winners for the following categories: Speyside Single Malt, Islay Single Malt, Highland Single Malt, Irish Whiskey, and Japanese Whisky.

2016 has been a banner year for spirits as we’ve seen a meteoric rise in both quality and diversity. The top award winners here reflect the very best in an increasingly competitive market. These category defining benchmarks and are absolute must-haves for collectors. As you would expect, quantities for many of these bottlings are limited, so you’ll need to act quickly to secure these award winners.


Glenrothes Vintage Reserve Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $44.99) ($32.99)

Whisky Advocate: “The 1989 whisky is said to bring mellow oak and dried fruits to the overall composition, while 1998 whisky accounts for more than 25 percent of the total makeup and gives soft, mature, sweet vanilla notes. The youngest whisky (from 2007) adds lemon citrus character. The overall effect is a beautifully harmonious, complex dram in classic Speyside style. Purists may prefer individual vintage year bottlingsand 1995, 1998, and 2001 expressions are currently available in the U.S., but the price of Vintage Reserve makes it an attractive alternative and allows the imbiber to appreciate all the varying facets of this single malt.”

K&L Notes: The Whisky Advocate’s choice for 2016 “Speyside Whisky of the Year,” the Glenrothes Vintage utilizes whiskies distilled 1989, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 that have been married together in wood.

Redbreast “Lustau Edition” Sherry Finished Irish Whiskey (750ml) ($64.99)

Whisky Advocate: “Theres something special about the oloroso influence on the single pot still style that works beautifully here. The sherry sculpts the whiskey, giving it definition and producing a clean, refined elegance. The nose is intensely fragrant, bursting with fat dates and squidgy prunes, red apple and Battenburg cake. Its fruity, yet delectably bone dry with oak, walnut, and spices. In the mouth, there are red berry fruits, apples, and marzipan, and the whiskey delivers a creamy yet oily consistency with a clean, sweet oloroso finish.”

K&L Notes: Winner of the Whisky Advocates 2016 “Irish Whiskey of the Year” award. Redbreast’s classic pot-still Irish whiskey collides with rich and round Lustau sherry in this new Midleton distillery edition. What I particularly love about the whiskey is that the sherry is artfully and gracefully integrated into the true Irish character. It’s more like a light frosting on a delicious Midleton cake. The soft vanilla notes are still present, the light fruits and gentle grains that real Irish whiskey fans hold so dearly, but they’re elevated, enhanced, and lifted by the sherry, particularly on the finish where the richness combines to create an oiliness with the grainy notes. I’d drink this over the Green Spot any day of the week. To me, it’s a vast improvement. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits buyer)

Nikka “Yoichi” Japanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

Whisky Advocate: “A compelling nose of black earthy peat, smoldering fires, a turned-out pocket of briny seashells, whole lime, lemon twist, sugared orange, ground ginger, and licorice. Silky smooth on the tongue, with light, fruity sweetness developing into tangy Spangles, kiwi, and lime juice. The smoky peat is the weft woven through the fruit structures warp. Menthol, peat, and leather go the distance. This Japanese whisky is delicious, elegant, and affordable; perfectly pitched for cogitative drinking by those loyal to the Japanese single malt scene.”

K&L Notes: Winner of the Whisky Advocate’s 2016 “Japanese Whisky of the Year” award! Nikka’s latest release from Yoichi distillery no longer carries an age statement, but it does bring a classically Japanese whisky profile back to the market. All the delicacy, grace, and subtle complexity is alive and well in this release, buried deeply into a whisper of malt for those who take the time to let it be heard. The first sip is almost ghostly, but it’s the second and third return that yield the slightest hint of peat smoke, the creamiest of malts, and the lovely roundness of sweet stonefruit. This is textbook Japanese whisky: a flavor reserved so as not to overwhelm potential food pairings like sushi or other delicate offerings, yet a wonderful depth of flavor done with the slightest of hands. Yoichi is located on Japan’s Hokkaido island where such food pairings are prevalent. It’s definitely a single malt with a sense of place. The gentle smell and flavor of the sea linger long on the finish.

Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 21, 2016

This may be my favorite offering from Nikka, which is saying something. The whisky opens with fruit, hints of spice, and of course a lovely layer of peat. Unlike some of the other Nikkas, this whisky plays on a more fruity note, loaded with baked pears and green apple, and baking spices like cinnamon and cardamom finish it off. The peat here is more smoldering than outright smoke and adds to the complexity. The lack of age statement here in no way diminishes from how good this bottle is, working well either neat or as a highball.

Lagavulin 25 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($1,149.99)

Whisky Advocate: “The 25 year old is fascinating in its complexity, both on the nose and palate. Aromas of new leather, tropical fruits, brittle toffee, and brine are backed by spicy peat smoke, while smoky sherry notes develop in time. It is at its best neat, with the strength being no deterrent. The palate is rich and confident, with sweet peat, brine, muted sherry, figs, gentle spices, tangerines, and lemons. The finish is lengthy, with a barbecue note, malt, and lots of gentle smoke. An extremely fine Lagavulin.”

K&L Notes: The Whisky Advocate’s 2016 choice for “Islay Whisky of the Year,” this 25 year old edition of Lagavulin commemorates the 200th anniversary of the legendary Islay distillery. Aged in prime sherry butts.

Brora 38 Year Old Limited Edition Special Release Single Malt Whisky (750ml)  ($2,199.99)

Whisky Advocate: “It possesses all the balance, variety, and complexity along with the robust, old-fashioned coastal, oily, smoky virtues that make Brora such a consistently high scorer, but there is a greater emphasis on ashy peat than in last years equally excellent bottling. Lost distilleries such as Brora tend to attract a sense of mystique and romanticism simply because they are no longer active and, in many cases, have disappeared beneath shopping malls and housing developments. Brora, however, remains intact with its old, riveted pair of stills in situ, and visitors to Clynelish may get a peek into the stillhouse, if they ask nicely! Mystique and romanticism apart, Brora stands up to any scrutiny as a fantastic whisky”

K&L Notes: The Whisky Advocate’s 2016 “Highland Whisky of the Year” selection, Brora has always held a soft spot in the hearts of single malt’s most devoted drinkers. The distillery was founded in 1819 as Clynelish, and traded as such until the construction of a ‘new’ Clynelish alongside the old two-pot operation during 1967-68. At that point the Clynelish name was brora-38transformed to the shiny, modern version, and ‘old’ Clynelish was briefly mothballed before being resurrected in 1969 as Brora. The 2016 Special Release of 38 year old Brora was the fifteenth, and the oldest house bottling to be released. It was matured in a mix of refill American oak hogsheads and refill European oak butts.

Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637) Email: K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA



It’s here – The Rare Casks Release 6 Glen Garioch 21 Year Old – 1994 at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Glen Garioch 21 Year Old – 1994

We continue The Rare Casks story with this magnificent Glen Garioch, the sixth release in the series. Distilled in 1994 and fully matured in a refill hogshead until 2016, only 126 bottles have been filled exclusively for Abbey Whisky.

As with each previous release in The Rare Casks series, the whisky has been bottled in it’s natural form, at full cask strength, without chill filtration or colour additives.


AA Abbey

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #616 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy gets an upgrade with Whisky Review 616 – Aberlour 18yo @ 43%vol

English Whisky – My end of year ramblings – A Christmas Letter


Merry Christmas 

I cannot believe we are already buying Christmas trees. This year has gone by in a blur so unprecedented, I am a little bit shell shocked. Apparently this is normal as one gets older but as I like to think of myself as only recently out of shorts, so I hate to think what a year is going to feel like in 40 years’ time.
What news for 2016 at St Georges? It has quietly turned out to be a truly momentous year. On a personal level Katy (that’s Mrs Nelstrop) did terribly well and had a little boy which we named Alfred, which has signed off my brief population increase exercise with a perfect duo of 1 girl and 1 boy – couldn’t be happier. That will do though as I can’t do any more sleepless nights.

In May we thought the world would end as Sarah finally decide to leave the distillery after 8 years but contrary to fears the world didn’t end and Julian arrived to fill the gap and with the help of his team has moved us on to bigger and better things. Phew

Back to time racing along – can you believe it is 10 years since we opened? Which means 10 year old whisky. Not much of it yet as we didn’t make much in 2006 but enough for our Fellow & Librarian members to get a bottle of England’s 1st ever 10 year old single malt whisky!!!! I also get to take a bottle home and am very proud we have got this far. I am sure my father is sat on a cloud lapping up the Angels share and I hope he feels chuffed to have founded a whisky distillery that has kick started a national industry.


A few of you will have noticed the start of a re-brand. I felt it was time for a smarten up as we celebrated our 10th birthday. The Dragon has been retired, as too many people thought it was rather Welsh and poor old St George was a little lost without his dragon, so an all new design has been put together. The roll out of the new branding has started with Original & Smokey and will continue over 2017, I am very excited about some of the new packaging that is due out soon. It is very smart.

2016 also saw some more awards added to the trophy cabinet. Most pleasing was our distiller David was awarded Distillery Manager of the Year in the Icons of Whisky awards for the rest of the world; he automatically proceeds to the finals for global distillery manager. Good luck to him. Also our whisky was voted best whisky in Europe again for the 3rd time which is unprecedented.

The design for the new Shop & Bistro is nearly finished and if the weather allows we will start digging in January, I am a little nervous as I haven’t run a restaurant before but the team are confident – so hopefully by late summer, we will be able to feed you as well as pour you whisky. We will soon be advertising for chefs etc – so if you know of anyone…

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us and to wish you a Merry Christmas.


Andrew Nelstrop, Managing Director.

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