Archive for August, 2018


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The innovative range has paved the way for single malt whiskies for five decades

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range, family-owned whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail is enhancing the range with a series of single malts aged 30 years and above.

George Urquhart, second-generation member of the Urquhart family that owns Gordon & MacPhail, first pioneered the ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range in 1968 at a time when very few whiskies were bottled as single malts.  Presenting these new releases as a range effectively invented a category in a market which, up to then, had been dominated by blends. In the late 1960s the ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range provided a platform for many of Scotland’s single malt distilleries, some of which had never before been released as single malts.

Over the past five decades, almost 100 of Scotland’s distilleries have been represented across more than 2,000 separate bottlings under the ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ banner, encompassing the entire spectrum of single malt flavours and profiles and featuring spirit from many distilleries that have been closed for decades.

Today’s range remains true to George Urquhart’s original vision and philosophy – the perfect marriage of liquid and cask to deliver exquisite whiskies in small batches often from single casks.

The new series of ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ releases is aged to a minimum of 30 years and features single malts from distilleries such as Mortlach, Caol Ila and Linkwood, among others. Available in decanter-style bottles inside engraved wooden presentation boxes, each whisky has been selected for bottling by Associate Director of Whisky Supply, and grandson of George, Stuart Urquhart at its peak, a skill handed down through four family generations.

The premium expressions are complemented by 30 further ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ single malts. Matured in Gordon & MacPhail casks in small batches, all are non-chill filtered and bottled at natural colour.


Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and a fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail said:We’re proud to be the curators of Scotland’s liquid library – the world’s most diverse stock of single malt whiskies. When my grandfather first launched ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ in the 1960s he was considered eccentric for taking such an approach. Today, he is heralded as one of the industry’s pioneers having provided whisky lovers with the opportunity to explore many whiskies never readily available as single malts. Our new releases celebrate this proud heritage, presenting unique expressions from revered distilleries that will appeal to a wide range of tastes around the world.”

Gordon & MacPhail is also releasing three new expressions in its new ‘Discovery’ range, designed as an ideal starting point for whisky drinkers to explore the wide diversity of flavours that exist within single malt Scotch. Under the ‘Discovery’ banner, Gordon & MacPhail groups new expressions in three distinct colour-coded profiles; ‘Smoky’, ‘Sherry’ and ‘Bourbon’. The latest releases are from the Ledaig, Bunnahabhain and Tomatin distilleries.

Prices for the new ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ releases start at approximately £75 RSP, rising to around £500 for the premium expressions, dependent on taxes and import duties. Whiskies in the ‘Discovery’ range retail at £50.

Earlier this year, the 123-year-old, family-owned company streamlined their existing portfolio into five new ranges, with ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ the first to be relaunched in April 2018, specifically coinciding with the 50th Anniversary. The second range to be launched was ‘Discovery’ in May, with ‘Distillery Labels’ following in July. ‘Private Collection’ will be revealed to consumers later in the year. The launch of the next ‘Generations’ release is yet to be revealed.

For more information about the new ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ and ‘Discovery’ range and the streamlined portfolio, visit


Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies

Established in 1895, family-owned Gordon & MacPhail is curator of some of the world’s finest and rarest single malt Scotch whiskies from over 100 distilleries. Four generations of the Urquhart family have continued to pursue the perfect partnership between spirit and cask.

Since its foundation, Gordon & MacPhail has carefully matched spirit to the highest quality oak casks which are sent to distilleries throughout Scotland, filled with new-make spirit, and matured either at the distillery of origin or in the firm’s own bonded warehouses in Elgin.

It is this simple but endlessly complex pairing that creates an intriguing and unique portfolio of expressions – single malts that Scotch whisky lovers will not find anywhere else.

In 2018, the company unveiled its new portfolio:

  • DiscoveryUtterly dependable, this flavour-led range is the perfect introduction to our portfolio of quality single malt Scotch whiskies.
  • Distillery Labels – A range celebrating our long-standing relationships with Scotland’s distilleries.
  • Connoisseurs Choice – The heart of our portfolio – always unique, these non-chill-filtered, natural coloured, small batch expressions are genuine one-offs.
  • Private Collection – Greatly-aged single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries specially selected by members of the Urquhart family.
  • GenerationsA prestigious collection of old, rare, and exclusive masterpieces.


Summer Sale: Early Bird WhiskyFest Tickets. Don’t Miss Out! – Whisky News


Last Chance! Amrut & Ashok – taste the latest whiskies from India at The Whisky Exchange September 11th, 2018 – Indian Whisky News


Amrut and Ashok

Nectar of the Gods

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Tickets on sale now!


In the run up to the much anticipated 10th anniversary Whisky Show, join us as we discover Amrut – ‘Nectar of the Gods’ in Sanskrit – and be the first in the UK to taste a brand new release: Amrut Madeira Cask Finish. Amrut brand ambassador Ashok Chokalingam will guide us through six whiskies, including the multi-award-winning Fusion, the new batch of the super-rare Naarangi and the brand new Madeira Cask Finish, flown to the UK specially for the tasting. Discover how Amrut’s whiskies are different to those from the rest of the world, and taste why this award-winning distillery continues to break Indian whisky stereotypes.

We’ll be trying:

Amrut Single Malt
Amrut Fusion
Amrut Peated Cask Strength
Amrut Portonova
Amrut Naarangi (new batch)
Amrut Madeira Cask Finish (new release)


Ashok is a well-known character in the whisky world. He was the Icons Of Whisky Rest Of The World Ambassador Of The Year in 2012 and 2016, and has a reputation for fantastic tastings. He spends most of his time in India these days, so don’t miss out on the chance meet him in person.

Tuesday 11 September


Please arrive at the venue from 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start



Brown’s Covent Garden

82-84 St. Martins Lane
Covent Garden
WC2N 4AG London


Macallan & Deanston at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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We have some pretty fantastic limited editions that reveal the importance of the wood in whisky-making, from the much-revered sherry casks of The Macallan, to unusual cask finishing techniques like the brandy cask finished Deanston 2008.


Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish



Macallan 25 Year Old Sherry Oak


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Kilchoman 9 year old 100% Islay Barley K&L Exclusive Cask #549 Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News


Kilchoman 9 year old 100% Islay Barley K&L Exclusive Cask #549 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)


SKU #1375494

When Kilchoman opened in 2005 it was the first new distillery in 124 years on Islay. Their founder, Anthony Wills, had a special approach in mind for a new kind of distillery. He wanted to create something with purpose and intention. His dream was to engage with the entire process of whiskey making. He bought a farm and opened a distillery making whiskey in the same way it was always made: grow your own barley, malt it yourself, make your own whiskey, age and bottle it on site, and deliver a product that shows an incredible sense of place, quality, and the heart and soul of the people who made it. Kilchoman is a true farm distillery in every sense. We were fortunate enough to peruse the dunnage warehouses with Anthony himself this past May and after tasting many casks, we settled on this beauty. For one, it’s just simply an outstanding whiskey. But just as importantly, it tells the story of Kilchoman from start to finish in a way that many others didn’t. Laid down in 2008, just a few short years after opening, this dram was bottled just shy of it’s 10th birthday making it one of the oldest Islay Barley bottles out there. It encompasses everything about Kilchoman that makes it unique. From the salt breeze, fresh cut grass notes of newly harvested barley grown within eyesight of the stills, to the sweet smell of wood from the exclusive Buffalo Trace barrel, to the lighter peat treatment in their own malting barn and kiln, this whiskey is a pure expression of people and place.



Yamazaki 50



First edition of Yamazaki-50 year old. Sold for: HK$2,695,000 (estimate HK$1,800,000-2,400,000.

A rare first edition of Yamazaki-50 year old became the most valuable Japanese whisky at auction when it sold for a new world record of HK$2,695,000 at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Hong Kong on Friday 17 August. It had been estimated at HK$1,800,000-2,400,000.  It overtakes the previous world record of HK$2,450,000 set at Bonhams Wine and Whisky sale in Hong Kong in May 2018. In total, the sale made more thanHK$26,000,000.

The oldest expression from the famous Japanese distillery, the Yamakazi-50 year old was matured in casks made from mizunara (Japanese Oak) before being bottled and released in 2005. Only 50 bottles were produced, making it one of the scarcest Japanese whiskies.

Earlier this year, Bonhams established a world record for the most valuable Scotch whisky – and the most valuable whisky ever sold at auction – of HK$8,636,250 for the Macallan Valerio Adami-1926-60 Year Old.

Bonhams Head of Fine Wine and Whisky in Hong Kong, Daniel Lam, said: “The Yamazaki-50 year old is an exceptional whisky and, of course, very rare indeed. This new world record for a bottle of Japanese whisky – just a few months after we set the previous one –  and the world record we set for Scotch whisky in May demonstrate that the auction market for single malt whisky is in good health.”

Other highlights of the sale included:

  • A bottle of the Yamazaki-35 year old, sold for HK$551,250 (estimate: HK$350,000-500,000);
  • A bottle of Karuizawa-1965, sold for HK$490,000 (estimate: HK$330,000-380,000)
  • A bottle of the Suntory-Rolling Stone 50th Anniversary from the Yamazaki distillery, sold for HK$465,500 (estimate: HK$280,000-360,000).
  • A bottle of The Macallan Fine & Rare-1937-37 year old, sold for HK$428,750 (HK$260,000-320,000)
  • A vertical collection of Port Ellen Annual Release – 17 bottles from 2001-2017 – sold for HK$367,500.  (Estimate: HK$280,000-360,000)
  • A bottle of Macallan Fine & Rare-1946-56 year old, sold for HK$392,000 (HK$250,000-300,000).
  • A bottle of Hibiki-Arita-35 year old, produced to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Japanese porcelain production. Only 150 bottles were released. Sold for HK$196,000 (estimate: HK$100,000-140,000).
  • The Karuizawa Sumo Trio Distilled in 1981, 1982 and 1983, framed within a crafted humidor designed by Ukiyo-e artist Hachisuka Kuniaki. Only 340 sets were produced. Sold for HK$183,750 (estimate: HK$90,000-120,000)
Sale: Whisky
Location: One Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Date: Friday 17 August at 4.30 pm
Specialist: Daniel Lam


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

Patrick Maguire inducted into global Icons of Whisky *Hall of Fame* – Whisky News



We are proud to share the news that our Head Distiller, Patrick Maguire, was inducted into the global Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night in Adelaide.

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the highest recognition possible that an individual can receive in the whisky industry.

Drawn from distillers, blenders, company owners and writers, the Hall of Fame is a permanent tribute honouring individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the whisky world. It welcomes legendary individuals who have helped shape the whisky landscape during their long and illustrious careers. Patrick is the 50th person ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and he joins Bill Lark as the only other Australian.

Patrick has overseen production at Sullivans Cove since 1999 and is one of the founders of the booming Tasmanian whisky industry. During Patrick’s time with us we have won, not one but two “World’s Best” awards for our single malt whisky; the first in 2014 for our French Oak and again this year for our American Oak – a feat only a small number of distilleries around the world have ever achieved.

Congratulations also to our Production Manager, Heather Tillott, who was awarded Highly Commended in the Master Distiller/Blender category for the Icons of Whisky Australia at the same ceremony.

“It’s humbling to be included in such an incredible group of people from the world of whisky. When we were playing around with stills and barrels in the early days, I never would have imagined that I’d end up here. We just made the whisky we wanted to drink, and we’re so proud that other people from this industry around the world think that’s a thing worth celebrating. I’d like to thank everyone I have worked with at the distillery, our supporters, suppliers within Australia, and importers and distributors globally for their contribution to our success.” Patrick Maguire

Your support for us along the way has been instrumental to this achievement

– Thank you!

Bunnahabhain 2008 Moine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


2008 Moine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask

A limited edition 2008 vintage from Islay’s Bunnahabhain distillery, this expression has been crafted from the distillery’s peated spirit, Mòine, and matured in red wine casks from France’s Bordeaux wine region for a warming fruity character. Presented at a natural cask strength of 58.1% abv, free from chill-filtration and artificial colouring.

£75 Order Now
Limited number back in stock – only available while stocks last!

It’s all about the cask… part 2!

We have some pretty fantastic limited editions that reveal the importance of the wood in whisky-making, from the much-revered sherry casks of The Macallan, to unusual cask finishing techniques like the brandy cask finished Deanston 2008. This week we’ve also been lucky enough to get more stock of Bunnahabhain 2008 Moine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask. This limited edition sold out pretty quickly the first time round so we were pleased as punch to get a hold of some more! Next day UK delivery available. We ship all over the world

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Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review 741 – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy-crown finds a happy malt-haven with ralfy review 741 – Isle Of Arran 10th Anniversary 10yo @ 54.2%vol





Kingsbarns Distillery has unveiled its very first single malt Scotch whisky release; The Founders’ Reserve Inaugural Release.  Bottled solely for the pleasure of the Kingsbarns Founders’ Club, this is the first ever single malt to be released by the fledgling, family owned, Lowland Distillery. It is the first in a series of five, exclusive, annual bottlings and will be delivered directly to Founders in December 2018.

Kingsbarns Distillery was initially founded by a Fife-born golf caddie and with the support and expertise of the Wemyss family, who have a long standing passion as Scotch whisky makers; the distillery was opened in November 2014. The single malt Scotch whisky is produced from barley grown on only a handful of local Fife farms to ensure that it is truly a spirit of the Kingdom of Fife. It is slowly fermented using two yeast strains and meticulously distilled to produce a remarkably clean, complex and light spirit.

The Founders’ Reserve Inaugural Release comprises several casks filled in 2015 using the wood policy set under the expert consultancy of the late Dr Jim Swan. Each cask was carefully selected by Distillery Manager Peter Holroyd and the Wemyss family. 1st fill bourbon barrels, supplied by Heaven Hill Kentucky distillery, were chosen as they imparted succulent wood tannins that balance well with the complex Kingsbarns spirit to represent this new single malt Scotch whisky in its lightest style.

All future Founders’ Reserve releases will be drawn from a combination of different cask types and ages, as well as always being bottled at cask strength, non chill-filtered and in their natural colour. Each release is bottled in a bespoke, 700ml Kingsbarns single malt bottle and presentation box, both of which draw their inspiration from the ‘Doocot’ (or Dovecot) which is the oldest, most striking feature of the restored farm steading in which Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre is accommodated.

William Wemyss; family owner of Kingsbarns Distillery addressed members today:

“Over the past few years the development of Kingsbarns Distillery and its long awaited single malt has been an enthralling experience and the next chapter in the history of Kingsbarns Distillery is almost complete. I am sure the Founders’ Reserve will meet all expectations and I look forward to sharing this Inaugural Release with fellow Founders’ Club members later this year.”

The first Founders’ Reserve release will be delivered to club members in December of 2018 and for whisky fans interested in obtaining the inaugural bottling and the rest of the five exclusive releases, membership to the Kingsbarns Founders’ club is still available to join at for £500 plus postage.

Non-members can look to early 2019 for more releases of Lowland single malt Scotch whisky from Kingsbarns Distillery.

Twitter: @KingsbarnsDist            Facebook: Kingsbarns Distillery & Visitor Centr



  • Kingsbarns Distillery was officially opened on St Andrews Day 2014, 30th November. Since opening, the Visitor Centre has been awarded a 5 star visitor attraction award by Visit Scotland.
  • Distillery Manager, Peter Holroyd, is a graduate of Heriot Watt University Brewing and Distilling, and was formerly head brewer at craft brewer
  • The Wemyss family owners are from Scotland and their historic family seat is Wemyss Castle in Fife where they’ve lived since the 1300s.
  • The family already own Wemyss Malts which is an independent bottler with a whisky range including the blended malt whisky range comprising: The Spice King, The Peat Chimney and The Hive; single malt single cask bottlings and the blended Scotch named Lord Elcho after one of the Wemyss family’s ancestors; all of which are avilable for tasting and sale at The Kingsbarns Distillery.
  • Darnley’s Gin Distillery is also located at Kingsbarns Disillery and daily gin tours are available.
  • The Wemyss family also own the premium wine estate of Rimauresq Cru Classé in Cótes de Provence.

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