Archive for June, 2017

Isle of Arran Distillery “Smugglers Series Vol.3 – The Exciseman” – Scotch Whisky News

Smugglers Series vol.3

Smugglers Series Vol.3 – The Exciseman

The final chapter of our Smugglers Series, Vol. 3 – The Exciseman – is coming soon.

This highly anticipated bottling will be released in selected countries across the world via our network of global distributors in July this year.

It will also be released for sale from our own web shop and in our Visitor Centre from 11am on Wednesday 12th July.

It is also available through selected specialist retailers worldwide. You can check out who distributes The Arran Malt in your country by clicking on the Where to Buy section of our web site.

The sale of this edition from our web shop is likely to be very busy and our web site is likely to experience high volumes of traffic.  We will be monitoring our web site closely throughout the sale and should the site crash at any time we will be working hard to bring it back online ASAP.

Please note that there is a strict limit of one bottle per person going to any one address from our web shop.  If you try to purchase more than one bottle, we will have to refund your multiple purchases. Adding more than one bottle to your basket will also slow down your check out process and you will run the risk of missing out.

Date of release in our web shop: Wednesday 12th July from 11am.

Strength: 56.8% abv.

Price: £92.99.

Limit:  There is a strict limit of one bottle per person from our web shop, and one bottle per person for those purchasing in person from our Visitor Centre shop in Lochranza.

In this Smugglers’ Series Vol.3 ‘The Exciseman’ we conclude our popular series which pays tribute to the exuberant character of those striving to outwit the Government’s representatives in the pursuit of the production of the famed Arran Waters. The Madeira casks used in this final volume, are similar to the ones utilised by Arran’s illicit distillers, who often stored and transported locally produced whisky in old Madeira casks brought over from the continent by their smuggling counterparts. The Quarter Casks are a nod to the type of small casks which would have been the easiest to transport. The resulting liquid is complex, full of character and a wonderful way to end a series which has so perfectly paid tribute to the independent characters of Arran over the centuries.

Tasting Note:

NOSE: The rich honeyed character is immediate on the nose, luxuriously decadent. The fresh coastal character is also evident. Apples, vanilla and a touch of spice are also subtly present with a hint of toasted oak.
PALATE: It coats the tongue and the notes of apple and vanilla are in abundance. No hint of dryness on the palate, it grows in sweet intensity and provides a rounded mouthfeel. The addition of water opens up the complexity beautifully and reveals a lighter sweetness of candied lemon.
FINISH: Long, luxurious and yet delightfully fresh. The notes of apple and citrus give a lightness of character whilst the body remains solidly complex and robust. A typical Arran with an added layer of sweetness.

Suntory Hakushu 18 Year Single Malt at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

KL Hak

Suntory Hakushu 18 Year Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($249.99)

90 points Whisky Advocate: Unlike their colleagues in Scotland, Japanese distillers do not exchange stock for their blending requirements. This means that each distillery is set up to produce a wide range of styles. Hakushu uses four different types of malt (unpeated to heavy) run through four pairs of differently-shaped stills. Each single malt is a different blend of these bases. While still herbal, this example shows more sherried notes along with sour orange zest, tropical fruit, and some smoke. Complex. (DB)” (04/2012)

K&L Notes: From Master of Malt: “A fantastic 18 year old Japanese whisky from the Hakushu distillery, a malty, fruity whisky of real quality. Nose: Orange, pear and a dry smokiness. Fruit salad. Palate: Patisserie sweet, baked goods and baked goodness! Finish: Long and fruity with Manuka honey with subtle smokiness. Overall: A fantastic Japanese whisky that hits all the right notes.”

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


2nd Vancouver Whisky Festival September 16th, 2017 – Whisky News

VANWF 2017 PROMO (1)



VANWF 2017 PROMO 6-03


Tickets go on sale Friday, June 30 2017


Springbank 1995 Port Cask at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


Springbank 1995 Port Cask

An unusual single cask expression from Springbank distillery in Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula. This single malt was distilled in December 1995 and matured in a fresh port cask, no. 15/286-11, for the next twenty years. In October 2016, the cask produced just 216 bottles at a natural cask strength of 51% abv.

The nose has banana and tropical fruits with some deliciously rich treacle. The palate brings dark chocolate notes and angel delight, with hints of Campbeltown’s coastal notes. The finish has just a hint of smoke, balanced by more treacle.

£295 Buy Now

Only available while stocks last

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Arran Malt & Music Festival 2017 – Scotch Whisky News

Arran Malt & Music Festival

Arran Malt & Music Festival 2017

The annual Arran Malt & Music Festival takes place from Friday 30th June ’til Sunday 2nd July 2017.

Friday 30th June 2017

A guided walk up to our water source Loch na Davie will take place from 11am – 3pm. Packed lunch and special dram are included. Tickets for this are still available from Arran Events priced at £50 each. A few spaces still available.

The White Stag Dinner will be held in the Grand Marquee in the grounds of the Distillery at  7pm. Tickets for this wonderful event are already sold out and we look forward to enjoying a wonderful evening with many of our Arran White Stags, tasting some very exclusive drams!

Saturday 1st July 2017
The main Festival takes place on Saturday 1st July 2017 from 11am – 5pm. Masterclasses, mini tours and tastings, live music, a specialist rare whisky bar and a cocktail bar will be available. Food will also be available to purchase on the day. Entry is free of charge.

Masterclass tickets are mostly now sold out, however there are still a few places left on the following classes:

Arran Cocktail Masterclass – hosted by the team from The Devil’s Advocate 

Arran Whisky & Chocolate Pairing Masterclass

Arran Whisky & Food Pairing Masterclass

Arran Whisky & Beer Masterclass

The annual ceilidh will take place on the Saturday evening in the Grand Marquee in the Distillery grounds, from 8pm. Tickets for this are already sold out!
Sunday 2nd July 2017
The Survivors Lunch will be held on the Sunday 12.30 – 14.30 with Master Distiller James MacTaggart. Tickets are priced at £25 and a few are still available. Click here to buy a ticket.

We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend, celebrating all things Arran Whisky and music over the course of the 3 days.

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show “Design your own whisky label” – Scotch Whisky News


30 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2017, 11:30AM – 6:30PM

Design your own Whisky label

We’ve been getting creative with whisky for years and now we want you to do the same.

Show us what The Art of Whisky means to you and you could see your art on a whisky label!


Our expert panel will select one entry to adorn the label of one of the Whisky Show bottlings.

The winner will receive:

Two tickets to The Whisky Show on Sunday 1 October
Two tickets to the private viewing of The Affordable Art Fair on Wednesday 18 October
A bottle of the special whisky labelled with their artwork.


Entries must be submitted by 19 July 2017

Full competition details are available on our website

The Exclusive Malts & Tipperary Tasting at The Whisky Shop #SFO July 8th, 2017 – Scotch Whisky News

The Exclusive Malts & Tipperary

Come by for a tasting of Tipperary and The Exclusive Malts whiskies! We’ll be sampling some rare drams as well as new and best selling releases from both distilleries, with distillery representatives and whisky experts will be present to answer all your whisky questions.

Click Here to RSVP



Tomatin Cu Bocan on special at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

AA Abbey

Whisky Special  Save £16.82!



Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review #662 – American Whiskey News


Ralfy goes bird-watching with Ralfy Review 662 – Eagle Rare 10yo Bourbon @ 45%vol



Chivas Masters Finalists




21 June 2017: Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has revealed the 15 national winners who will compete to be crowned the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, at the Chivas Masters Global Final taking place next month in Tokyo.

Now in its fourth year, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final (1st – 5th July) will focus for the first time on the celebrated traditions of Tokyo’s bartending scene – whose unique cocktail customs continue to fascinate and inspire bartenders across the world. Throughout the week, the contestants will take part in a number of individual and team challenges, and will need to showcase both exemplary bartending skills and team spirit to impress the judges.

The 15 finalists, who have each excelled in their national competitions running across four continents, will be hosted in Tokyo by Masahiro Urushido, the first ever Chivas Masters Global Champion. They will be mentored by a distinguished panel of internationally-acclaimed judges, who will share their expertise through a series of inspirational masterclasses. The panel comprises:

  • Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd;
  • Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group (Aviary Chicago & NY) and renowned ‘ice chef’;
  • Chris Lowder, spirits evangelist and ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender 2015’ (StarChefs);
  • Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; worldwide Cocktail Mentor and spirit creator
  • Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench, celebrating the modern interpretation of Japanese bartending

Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, comments: “Our 15 national winners have already hugely impressed us with both their skill and character, but there’s still much more to do if they want to be crowned our 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. The values of community, collaboration and generosity lie at the very heart of this competition, and successful participants must not only impress a world-renowned panel of judges, but demonstrate that they embody these values every step of the way.”

The Chivas Masters cocktail competition is built on Chivas’ belief that great bartending is measured not only by the achievements of an individual, but by the ability to work in harmony with others. The ultimate winner will not only impress with their individual bartending skills, but – crucially – will also prove their ability to work collaboratively with an international bartending team, and inspire others to achieve shared success, through the Chivas Masters Collective team challenge.

Max Warner continues: “I cannot wait to put our contestants through their paces in Tokyo, and see who will walk away with the 2017 title – and beyond that, watch as they, together with their Chivas Masters Collective, take what they have learned to further develop and inspire their bartending communities back home.”

The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion will be decided on the evening of Wednesday 5th July, and will win an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team will walk away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

Follow the Finalists

Follow the finalists’ journey in Tokyo and tune in live to the Global Final (05.07.17) through our Instagram Stories: @chivasregal / 

Meet the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Finalists

Sandra Šalatová (Czech Republic)

Prague’s Sandra Šalatová has already achieved the remarkable feat of qualifying for the final by winning her first ever major competition – the Czech Republic regional heat. Sandra now has her eyes firmly set on a new first, becoming the first ever female Chivas Masters Global Champion.

“So far I would consider my biggest achievement to be reaching the final, competing alongside some of the greatest bartenders in the world. I’m going to go one better in Tokyo, as I hope to be crowned the first woman to win the Chivas Masters.” 

Ryan Nightingale (Hong Kong)

Representing Hong Kong, Ryan Nightingale loves the variety of bartending, experienced both through the drinks that he makes, and in the exciting mix of customers coming through the door. With plentiful experience of crafting his own creations, Ryan takes his greatest enjoyment from watching his customers enjoy what he has worked tirelessly to perfect.

“The constant aim for perfection is a cornerstone of the Japanese bar community. I’m heading to Tokyo ready to gain a better understanding of this, which I then hope to express in my final serves.”

Atsushi Suzuki (China)

Having started bartending as a means to an end as a 17 year old, China’s Atsushi Suzuki’s work behind the bar has rapidly developed into a career that has enabled him to travel the world. Runner-up in 2016’s Chivas Masters China heat, Atsushi went one better in 2017, and now has his sights set firmly on Tokyo.

“Teamwork and respect are definitely a must to run a bar well. But for me the most crucial aspect to bar work is the desire to learn.” 

Masato Sakurai (Japan)

Masato Sakurai first encountered cocktail-making after the tragic passing of his grandfather, devoting his time to craft his skill as a bartender to help him deal with the grief. As a proud son of Japan, and with the hometown support fully behind him, Masato is hoping to honour his grandfather’s faith in him by being crowned the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion.

“I am obviously determined to be crowned Chivas Masters Global Champion, however the greatest experience that I can take away from the final will be the brotherhood that I will gain with my fellow finalists.”

Benjamin Boyce (United Arab Emirates)

Like many of this year’s finalists, Benjamin Boyce’s first experience of bartending was a chance encounter, which has blossomed into a fruitful and impassioned career. For Benjamin, the key to success for any bar team is the application of the three Ts: training, teamwork and trust.

“The Chivas Masters is an amazing opportunity to learn from the experiences of different bartenders, all coming from a wide range of countries and cultures, to experience Japanese culture, and to have a lot of fun while doing so.”

Hyacinthe Lescoët (France)

Parisian Hyacinthe Lescoët thrives amidst the pressures of his craft, providing everyday creativity in a socially demanding and highly competitive environment. But above all else, the greatest value that Hyacinthe finds in bartending is achieving the appreciation of those around him.

“Great bartending is all about passion and sharing. Once those are instilled in your work, the rest will flow.”

Wouter Bosch (The Netherlands)

Winner of the regional final in The Netherlands, philosophy graduate Wouter Bosch’s love for bartending centres upon the memories and experiences that his drinks create. Rather than be the star of the show himself, Wouter’s bartending style is all about letting the drink do the talking.

“Nothing is as rewarding as having people coming up to the bar and telling you that you’ve made their night. I’m inspired by that, and hope to create many lasting experiences for my guests.”

Adam Schmidt (USA)

Representing the USA, New York native Adam Schmidt enjoys mixing his sense of humour into his drinks. Having previously spent time exploring Barcelona’s vibrant cocktail scene, Adam can’t wait to get out of his comfort zone again in Tokyo.

“What inspired me to be a bartender? As a youngster I had a part-time job dishwashing in a local bar. To me it always looked like the bartenders were having the most fun. I was right.”

Rhys Wilson (United Kingdom)

An actor by trade, the UK’s Rhys Wilson’s bartending style stems from his belief that performance on the stage, and that behind the bar, are not too dissimilar. Rhys is already looking forward to all that he can take away from the experience in Tokyo, especially having the opportunity to collaborate with his fellow finalists.

“A great bar is not just about what’s in the glass, it’s about the whole show. I love taking care of my audience and putting on a great show for them.”

Aloisek Rodríguez Martínez (Cuba)

Winner of the national final in Cuba, Aloisek Rodríguez Martínez is a bartending purist. The art of mixology is Aloisek’s greatest passion, allowing him to showcase his creativity and share the pride that he has for his culture.

“A great bar team is one in which everyone is working for the same purpose and vision, making each individual bartender a complement of the other.”

Abner Barrientos (Puerto Rico)

Having originally taken up bar work to support his studies, Abner Barrientos’ perfectionist qualities were realised through bartending, soon transforming into a passion for the trade. Abner’s flexible and open outlook to his work has enabled him to embrace new cultures and perspectives from all of the customers that he has served on his bartending journey.

“As a bartender, every day is a challenge, however every challenge should be viewed as an opportunity to grow and develop.”

Patryk Biadacz (Poland)

Poland’s Patryk Biadacz place in the final is the culmination of ten years of hard work crafting his bartending skill. Patryk’s passion for the trade stems from his love for every aspect of bar work, and he is eager to prove that in Tokyo.

“Just like the mixing of cocktails, a perfect balance of ingredients is crucial to a great bar team.” 

Daniel Huggins (Germany)

As Germany’s representative in the global final, Daniel Huggins’ love for the craft of cocktail-making is cemented by his passion for hosting – forever seeking to provide the perfect experience for his customers. For Daniel, the camaraderie and respect found within bartending is what makes it so special.

“I want to be known as a bartender with empathy and expertise, always willing to turn your evening into a great experience.”

Roger Grüter (Switzerland)

Hailing from Basel, Roger Grüter is dedicated to perfecting his craft as an expert cocktail-maker, a dream that he hopes will come true in Tokyo. Roger is looking at the final as an opportunity to enhance his bartending skills, taking away all that he can from the much-revered Japanese culture. 

“Attentiveness and authenticity are key ingredients to the cocktail experience. I always work to ensure that my guests leave happier than they came.”

Haydée Barron Flores (Mexico)

With dreams of being considered an ambassador of Mexican bartending, Haydée Barron Flores’ love for her work comes from the creativity that it allows her, and then having the opportunity to share her creations with others and witness the moment that the drinks create first-hand.

“In learning my craft I believe that I have learnt more about myself, my flaws and my strengths. It has all lead me to this moment – the chance to represent my country in the Chivas Masters Global Final.” 


About Chivas Regal

Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes Chivas Regal 12, Chivas Regal Extra, Chivas Regal Mizunara, Chivas Regal 18, our first blended malt Chivas Regal Ultis, Chivas Regal 25, the pinnacle of the range and ultra-prestige blend Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.1 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.


About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,682 million in FY16. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin and Malibu, Mumm and Perrier- Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of 18,500 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 85 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

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