Archive for August, 2017

The GlenDronach Distillery Releases ‘Whisky Fit for a Kingsman’ – Scotch Whisky News

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Glendronach kingsmen

The GlenDronach Distillery Releases ‘Whisky Fit for a Kingsman’

The GlenDronach Distillery is pleased to announce the exclusive release of The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage, a unique collaboration with Marv films and Twentieth Century Fox to mark the release of ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’.

The GlenDronach was personally selected by Film Director, Matthew Vaughn, for his new Kingsman film as The GlenDronach is his single malt whisky of choice. To create The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage, which marks the birth year of Kingsman agent Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin, only the finest sherry casks were selected by Whisky Maker Rachel Barrie. Unashamedly Highland and endlessly complex, this rare, limited release shares the Kingsman creed of impossible perfection built on unshakeable tradition.

Film Director Matthew Vaughn said:

“A Kingsman is smooth, elegant and packs a punch, as does The GlenDronach – so it felt like the perfect fit. I selected the 1991 vintage as it marks birth year of ‘Eggsy’, who is also known as Kingsman agent Galahad. It’s really special to get a limited edition vintage like this, and even more so as The GlenDronach is my favourite single malt whisky. I hope Kingsman fans around the world enjoy it as much as I do.”

Each of the special individually hand-numbered whisky bottles is presented in bespoke, luxury packaging, featuring a custom Kingsman gold metal charm. Both the Whisky Maker and Film Director’s signatures adorn the bottle’s packaging. Deep walnut brown in colour, with waves of black grapes on a woody vine on the nose, ripe Victoria plum on the palate

with a lingering and warm finish, the whisky is 48.2% ABV, non chill filtered and, as always for The GlenDronach, of natural colour, for authenticity, richness and texture. The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage will appeal to film fans and whisky collectors alike. This rare limited edition will be available worldwide and can be purchased in speciality retailers across the UK from September.

The GlenDronach Whisky Maker, Rachel Barrie said:

“It took over a quarter of a century for The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition to come of age, matured in sherry casks from birth. As we say at the distillery, ‘Cask is King’ and this is evident in the taste experience of The GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage, which is richly sherried, elegant and full bodied to the last. We hope you agree, it is whisky fit for a Kingsman’.”

The GlenDronach Distillery Releases ‘Whisky Fit for a Kingsman’

Glendronach Kingsmen3


Tasting Notes

Colour: Deep walnut brown.

Nose: Waves of black grapes on a woody vine combine with antique leather and maple leaf tobacco.

Palate: Ripe Victoria plum and Seville orange give way to Old Jamaican ginger cake and sticky black treacle.

Finish: Lingering and warm, with ground coffee, dark chocolate and walnut raisin cake.

ABV: 48.2%, non chill filtered and of natural colour, for authenticity, richness and texture.

RRP: £550

Retail: Across speciality retailers including Berry Bros. & Rudd, The Whisky Shop, Gordon &MacPhail, The Whisky Exchange, Royal Mile Whiskies, The Grapevine, and Master of Malt

About The GlenDronach Distillery:

Nestled in the valley of Forgue, deep in the East Highland hills, is The GlenDronach, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. The GlenDronach is of true Highland style: a heavy and robust spirit, perfect for a long maturation period in sherry casks. At The GlenDronach Distillery, we have carried forth the tradition of our founder James Allardice since 1826, maturing our whisky in the finest Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. The award-winning GlenDronach range marries the best of Highland and Spanish skill and heritage to offer whiskies of elegant, complex character with tremendous depth of taste.

About Kingsman: The Golden Circle:

In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, The Kingsman face a new challenge when their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage. Their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organisation in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. The Statesman, based in Louisville, Kentucky, act as Master Distillers to hide their true identity. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organisations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy. The sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars original cast members Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Mark Strong, and introduces new cast members, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore and Elton John.

The ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ world premiere will be in London on 18th September and will be released in UK cinemas on the 20th September.



Glendronach Kingsman2

The Whisky Exchange Quiz of the Year – how’s your whisky knowledge? – Whisky News


The Whisky Exchange Quiz of the Year – how’s your whisky knowledge?

This week saw the inaugural Whisky Exchange Whisky Quiz of the Year. Five intrepid teams gathered in our Covent Garden shop to do battle for the honour of being crowned as the first champions.

The quiz in full flow…

Across six rounds, complete with ‘guess which whisky is in your glass’ as the final task in each, our teams put up a valiant fight against quizmaster and shop assistant manager’s Chris Bolton’s occasionally very hard questions and even worse jokes. In the end, while ‘Glenlivet Let Die’ walked away with a bottle of Glenfarclas 15yo for the evening’s best team name, it was ‘For Peat’s Sake’ that took away the grand prize: tickets to The Whisky Show.

The quiz will return next year, but for now, is your whisky knowledge up to scratch? Here are my favourite 12 questions of the evening, a mix of the taxing and comparatively easy. If you score more than eight, then you’d be in with a chance of winning…

Question 1

Who is this former distillery manager?


Question 2

Which Macallan does Daniel Craig drink whilst starring as James Bond in Skyfall?

Question 3

Which whisky distillery holds a Royal Warrant, and who are they ‘by appointment to’?

Question 4

Name the song and artist

Question 5

How many stills are used in Springbank’s complex distillation process?

Question 6

What name is commonly given to the waste liquid left in a wash still after distillation?

Question 7

What is the name of the single malt whisky produced at Pradlo distillery in the Czech Republic?

Question 8


Which distillery houses these stills?

Question 9

Which Indian whisky became the biggest-selling spirit in the world in 2014, replacing Smirnoff vodka?

Question 10

The Girvan grain distillery in Ayrshire was once home to which closed single malt distillery?

Question 11


Who is this?

Question 12

Which family has been associated with the Springbank distillery since it was founded in 1828?

You can find the answers here. How did you do?

You can sign up to our events mailing list to hear about the next quiz and lots of other tastings here, or see what’s available at the moment on our events page.

Craigellachie 21 Year Old 1995 Old Malt Cask at the Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Craigellachie 21 Year Old 1995

Single cask sherry butt expression of the Speyside distillery at the heart of whisky country. Selected and bottle by Hunter Laing & Co, for the OId Malt Cask series. A rich fruity malt with a chocolate and orange finish. Craigellachie 21 Year Old 1995 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whiskey. Single cask sherry butt #13740 bottled April 2017 by Hunter Laing & Co. for the Old Malt Cask series. 587 bottles. Craigellachie Distillery sits in the village of the same name having been designed by the renowned distillery architect Charles C. Doig. It was founded by Alexander Edward and Peter Mackie in 1888 and opened in 1891. Craigellachie is one of the few remaining malt whiskey distilleries that continues to cool its new spirit in traditional worm tubs. Most of this Speyside whiskey flows into White Horse and Dewar’s blends of scotch but it is available in a range of independent bottlings.

Buy – £86.64

TWB 10 Yrs

Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old at Abbey Whisky ~ Japanese Whisky News


Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old

Nikka Taketsuru 17 year old, a vatting of Miyagikyo & Yoichi single malt whisky, with a large percentage matured in sherry casks. A superb multi-award winning dram from Nikka. Worlds Best Blended Malt, Best Japanese Blended Malt & Category Winner – World Whisky Awards 2015 (WWA).

Buy Now!

ex VAT £162.08    £194.50

AA Abbey

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “September Outturn Previews” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS Spice

We’ve released six preview bottles from September Outturn, each with luscious sweetness and lip-smacking spice. Perfectly balanced and full-bodied, these comforting whiskies warm the heart with some stimulating spice – star anise, brandy snaps, ginger, cinnamon, fennel and coriander seeds.

A great opportunity to buy before next month’s First Friday but be quick to order, only a limited number of bottles are available ahead of the full Outturn release on Friday, 1 September at 9am.


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video




Royal Salute launches limited edition 21 Year Old Polo Edition 

The ‘King of Whisky’, Royal Salute, has unveiled an all-new 21 Year Old Polo Edition with a more delicate-flavoured whisky, designed to be enjoyed during the day and the ideal accompaniment to sophisticated sporting occasions such as polo.

Aptly launched at the Royal Salute Sentebale Polo Cup in Singapore on in June 2017, the new blend has been developed by Royal Salute’s Director of Blending Sandy Hyslop and is endorsed by Royal Salute Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick, as a celebration of the brand’s longstanding affinity with polo and its lifestyle. The whisky is housed in a limited edition box signed by Malcolm, a Royal Salute ambassador of more than six years, and features his widely recognised red helmet.

Brighter in texture and tone with notes of honeydew melon, berry jam and creamy toffee, this new expression has been developed from a combination of fragrant grains and fruity malt whiskies for a smooth and sophisticated blended whisky, perfect for basking in the sunshine and outdoor entertaining.

The new Scotch whisky is housed in Royal Salute’s iconic hand-crafted porcelain flagons with a distinct polo theme, unique to the limited edition expression. It was officially launched to a 300-strong crowd of distinguished guests at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup earlier this summer, an annual event benefitting the Sentebale charity, which was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to support vulnerable children and adolescents living in extreme poverty and affected by HIV in southern Africa.

To further the fundraising effort, Royal Salute held an exclusive auction for the very first flagon of Polo Edition – traditionally kept as the treasured possession of the Director of Blending, Sandy Hyslop – wrapped in a bespoke piece of artwork. Hand-illustrated by British artist Natalie Reid, the artwork celebrated the emotional milestones and transformative initiatives achieved through the work of the charity. Bidding was officially opened at the Sentebale Polo Cup, where guests of Royal Salute were treated to a preview of the exclusive flagon, before online bids were welcomed from those not in attendance at the prestigious event.

Royal Salute Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick commented: “I’m really excited about the Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition; it’s unlike anything we’ve seen from a Scotch whisky with its lighter and more delicate taste and it makes for the perfect daytime drink. Royal Salute has a longstanding relationship with polo, sponsoring more than 15 international tournaments around the world so it was fitting to unveil this exquisite new expression at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, arguably the highlight of our polo calendar.”

Royal Salute Brand Director, Peter Moore, added: ‘‘Polo is a noble game of honour, skill, integrity and respect – all values inherent in Royal Salute. We wanted to continue to celebrate the iconic pairing of our ‘King of Whisky’ with the ‘Sport of Kings’, and this new Polo Edition does just that in a more

delicate tasting blend ideal for outdoor, daytime enjoyment. We’re thrilled to bring it to whisky aficionados around the world.”

In celebration of the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, the Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition is exclusively available in Singapore Duty Free throughout June. It will be available globally from September for an RRP of USD $140.

For more information about Royal Salute, visit

Instagram | @royalsalute

Twitter | @royalsalute

Facebook | RoyalSalutePolo

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The Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition Signature Serve

Introducing the Royal Salute Polo Spritz

A refreshing champagne whisky cocktail, the Royal Salute Polo Spritz is perfect for those long, summer days. Here’s how to create it:

  • 1cl of chilled Spritz Syrup
  • 2.5cl of Royal Salute 21 Year Old Polo Edition
  • Top with 12cl of champagne
  • Express an orange zest on top
  • Add to the glass and stir 

About Royal Salute

Royal Salute is a careful blend of malt and grain whiskies – with its youngest blend matured for a minimum of 21 years. Created to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the 21 gun salute that honoured her, the brand is steeped in tradition and proud of its royal lineage, but is firmly engaged in the modern world by constantly pushing the art of blending into new, creative and ambitious forms. Royal Salute is deeply involved in polo – the world’s oldest surviving team sport and a game that’s expanding in the modern era. The brand sponsors more than 15 international tournaments from the UK and the USA through Argentina and China to Korea.

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader 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.

About Sentebale

Sentebale is a charity co-founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006. The charity aims to rewrite the future for the impoverished population of Lesotho, a small, landlocked country in southern Africa, providing the thousands of children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS with vital access to care, education and critically psychosocial support.

In 2015, Sentebale announced plans to expand into several southern Africa countries by 2020, delivering psychosocial support to 10 to 19 year olds who were struggling to come to terms with living with HIV. In December 2016, Sentebale launched the first weeks of camp in Botswana, providing psychosocial support to 150 young people. Additionally, during the financial year ending on 31st August 2016, the charity in partnership with the Ministry of Health delivered adolescent-friendly HIV testing and counselling services to over 16,500 people. That year, Sentebale more than doubled the number of children and adolescents attending residential camp at the newly opened ’Mamohato Children’s Centre in Lesotho to over 1,000 children and increased the number of children attending Saturday clubs by 18%.

Despite Sentebale’s progress to date, there remain many more adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa unaware of their HIV status and afraid to get tested. In line with UNAIDS Fast-track targets, Sentebale’s new Let Youth Lead advocacy programme aims to encourage all youth in sub-Saharan Africa to know and manage their HIV status by 2020. Through youth-led campaigning and advocacy, the ambition is to allow the voices of youth affected by HIV and AIDS to be heard and to change adult attitudes to these young people. The programme will also address the lack of youth-friendly health services and sexual reproductive health taught in schools, and will aim to strengthen leaders’ commitment to help young people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Sign up to received news from Sentebale at

Twitter/Instagram: @Sentebale

Facebook: SentebaleOfficial


Bonhams Cropped



Complete set of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection. Sold for HK$3,797,500


A complete set of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection sold for HK$3,797,500 at Bonhams Whisky sale in Hong Kong last week. It had been estimated at HK$3,600,000-4,600,000.

The six decanters, made exclusively by the renowned French crystal house Lalique, were issued in strictly limited numbers between 2006-2016, and contain very rare Macallan whisky aged, in order of release, 50, 55, 57, 60, 62, and 65 years old.

Bonhams Whisky specialist in Hong Kong Daniel Lam said, “I am not surprised that this complete set of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection sold so well. The individual bottles are, of course, highly sought after, but the opportunity to acquire all six bottles at once like this, very rarely comes along.”

Elsewhere in the sale:



Seven bottles from The Ghost Series. Estimate: HK$270,000-350,000.

Seven bottles from The Ghost Series. Estimate: HK$270,000-350,000.

  • Seven bottles from The Ghost Series sold for HK$882,000. Illustrated by images from New Forms of 36 Ghosts, by the 19th century master of Japanese woodblock printing, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, the bottles had been estimated at HK$270,000-350,000)
  • A vertical series of Macallan – 40 bottles from 1958-2006 inclusive – sold for HK$ 735,000 having been estimated at $600,000-800,000)
  • A collection of whiskies bottled specifically for the Conti Brothers grocery store in Sacramento sold for HK$269,500. Made up of 15 single malts personally selected by the brothers and bottled for them in the 1970s and ‘80s, the collection had been estimated at HK$220,000-260,000
  • A single Macallan Millennium Decanter estimated at HK$210,000-250,000 sold for HK$257,250.

In total, the sale made HK$13,624,818.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with sales also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Pre order Special! – Whisky News


Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Pre order Special!

If you pre-order the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar before September 30th, 2017 the price will be $340+GST and you will save a total of $35+GST. After September 30th the price will increase to $375+GST. We have endeavored to keep pricing down for this year’s version. The 2017 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar is $25 less than the 2016 – even before taking into account the early bird offer.

Our Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar makes a great gift – for yourself or somebody you know. The 2017 edition contains the following:

– A custom logo Glencairn Scotch Glass

– 24x 50mL bottles of whisky for December 1st to 24th (or whenever you want to drink them of course!)

– 1x 100mL special bottle for December 25th/Christmas Day. This is an exclusive Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky, specially selected for the KWM 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar. We even had the opportunity to name the whisky! Full bottles of this special whisky won’t be available for purchase to Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada members until 2018!

– Whisky Advent Discount Card good for 10% off any of the non-society bottle in the Calendar (subject to availability).

The whiskies in this year’s version are all new – none of them were featured in the 2014 thru 2016 editions. More information can be found on our website You are welcome to order through our webstore or phone us at 403-283-8000 (toll free 1-888-283-9004).



Littlemill 26 year old, 1988, Old & Rare, 54.6% Exclusive to The Whisky Barrel ~ Scotch Whisky News

WB Littlemill

This Littlemill 26 year old 1988 single cask is a bottling from 2015 we are quite chuffed with. A cask selected by Hunter Laing & Co. we knew we were on to a winner. With a fantastic 86 points awarded last month on Whisky Fun its reputation has grown further. A blog article on this Littlemill, exclusive to us at The Whisky Barrel, had been on the agenda. However, in July 2017 a surprise review from the venerable Serge Valentin of fame pushed this one up the to-do list.

Littlemill Distillery was established in 1772 to the west of Bowling by the north shore of the River Clyde and on the main road into Glasgow. Subsequent modifications during the 1930s resulted in a number of novel features including double ventilation towers which sat over a single drying kiln and pot stills with rectifiers rather than the traditional swan necks. The combination of pot and column stills in Littlemill Distillery was designed to produce malt whisky which was expected to mature quickly. At the time of closure in 1994 Littlemill Distillery was the oldest working malt whisky distillery in Scotland.  Demolished in 2006 and now Littlemill is a lost Scottish distillery although the shell of the manager’s house remains.

Please click here to read the complete article.

TWB 10 Yrs

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 172: Vega 23 Year Old 1993 North Star Spirits – Scotch Whisky News


Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 172: Vega 23 Year Old 1993 North Star Spirits

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, tries Vega, the new blended malt from North Star Spirits. It was distilled in October 1993 and bottled in May 2017, composed of only Speyside malts that matured on American oak and sherry casks. The result left him flabbergasted. Vega, by the way, is the 5th brightest star in the sky – in the constellation Lyra – some 25 light years away from earth, twice the size and twice as hot as our own sun. That’s good to know…

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