Archive for August, 2018

Whisky Lounge News and Happenings – August 2018 – Whisky News


Greetings Fellow Whisky-Lovers!

Survived summer? Feeling the change in the air as we approach September? Fear not, we have an opportunity to warm the cooling cockles with a cheeky dram or two at a venue near you. As always, there is plenty going on at TWL HQ, both in the present and in the future, and we thought now was as good a time as any to tell you about a few of those things…


Our first tasting series back after the summer ‘break’ features our good friends from Mackmyra with their tremendous whiskies. However, you won’t be tasting much of their standard range as we will be focussing almost exclusively on their single cask whiskies, which is a great thing indeed. Not only that, but you will have the chance to purchase mature single casks as well as a Whisky Lounge exclusive Mackmyra bottling, on the night!

Dates & Venues

Thursday 13th September
London – Marlborough Arms

Friday 14th September
Manchester – Britons Protection
Newcastle – Blackfriars
York – Brigantes

Tuesday 25th September
Leeds – The Northern Monk
Sheffield – The Sheffield Tap

Wednesday 26th September 
Liverpool – Fly in the Loaf

The guys from Mackmyra’s UK and Swedish offices will be on hand on each night to ensure you get the maximum information and authenticity and these tastings are sure to be a lot of fun too! We challenge you to have more fun anywhere – with your clothes on – for £20!


 Our first festival of the autumn (I know, sorry to mention autumn!) is in one of our favourite venues in one of our favourite cities! If you haven’t been before, please click on the banner to read all about it! For those that have, masterclasses have now been announced and are up and ready for sale!

Liverpool Festival Tickets and Masterclasses

And talking of festivals….

Don’t forget




First 2019 Whisky Festivals Announced!



Our first Whisky Festivals of 2019 have been announced and the first tranch of special offers are under-way. Get in quick to avoid disappointment!

And Finally…

The Gateshead Whisky News
with Gateshead TWL Correspondent, Lee Connors

Gateshead FC’s unbeaten run has now gone a whole three games! AND, it’s time for your weekly whisky news update from the only person you know who would care about that! You lucky lot, take it away Connas…

  • Teeling Bring It Home…

Teeling Single Pot Still will be the first Dublin-distilled whisky available since the 1970’s! With a mash bill of 50:50 Malted and Unmalted barley, the 2015 vintage has been matured in ex-Muscat oak, and you will be able to bid for a bottle at auction from 30th August until 10th September…

  • More Irish Giants…

Distribution company When We Were Giants have been appointed to Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey in the UK and Ireland, hope this means we’ll see more of them!

  • Ailsa Bay 1.2. Re-Sweetened!

Gordon and MacPhail’s Lowland distillery Ailsa Bay have announced their second release. Ailsa Bay 1.2 Sweet Smoke has been designed to be the perfect balance between smoke and sweet flavours, and will be available next month for around £55. I’d like a crack at this one!

  • Dist’ell of a line up…

Distell have announced six limited releases from across their portfolio of Scottish distilleries…

-Tobermory 2005 12yo Fino Cask Finish, RRP £110
-Ledaig 1998 19yo Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish, RRP £130
-Ledaig 1998 19yo PX Cask Finish, RRP £150
-Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish, RRP £60
-Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured, RRP £75
-Bunnahabhain Palo Cortado Cask Finish, RRP £275

I’ve had two of these and they were great! Wonder what the rest are like…

  • The Name’s Bond… No, Daniel…

Jack Daniel’s have a new high strength travel exclusive. Jack Daniel’s Bottled-In-Bond hits shelves this summer in select duty-free outlets in a 1-litre bottle size and will be offered at a suggested retail price around £35-40.

  • The Prince And The Partner…

With the intention of training young people in the local area, Royal Lochnagar have partnered up with The Prince’s Foundation to launch its “Get Into Hospitality” outreach programme at Dumfries House. Fair play one and all…

  • Lagavulin Dig For History, Not Just Peat…

The Lagavulin 200th Legacy Fund has enabled Scottish charity Islay Heritage to undertake an excavation at Dunyvaig Castle next to the distillery. This sounds cool…

(NB, sources confirm that this has nothing to do with a certain whisky evangelist burying a case of lager for safekeeping somewhere on Islay many years ago, which is still unaccounted for.)

  • Worrying News Out Of Invergordon…

Pay cuts and job losses could be on the cards for a significant proportion of the employees at Invergordon Distillery as the premises are “modernised”…

  • Macallan Fracas…

It would seem that some over-enthusiastic customers caused a bit of a to-do at the distillery launch of Macallan’s Genesis… Stay Safe, people…

  • Pulteney Revealed! 

After last week’s teasersOld Pulteney have confirmed their new range! Interesting…

  • Auction Stuff…

Massive prices are expected for these rare Glenlivet and Macallan bottlings… Eddie’s on holiday, otherwise I’m sure he’d be right in the running!

  • And Finally…

They could never afford Gateshead FC…

Well that’s all for now, enjoy the rest of the summer and we look forward to seeing you over a dram soon.

Amanda, Guy, Rupert, Vicky, Connas, Chris
The Whisky Lounge Team


We turn 10 years old in 2018
Come and help us celebrate in style at one of our nationwide festivals or tasting events.

Loch Fyne Whiskies “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CASK!” – Scotch Whisky News

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It’s all about the cask!

The Magic of the Wood

There are many factors that influence the taste of the dram in your hand – the strain of barley, the method of firing the kiln, the water used by the distillery, the climate of the warehouses, the length of maturation and of course the type of cask.

This week we have two new cask-finished expressions from Deanston and its sister distillery Tobermory, available to pre-order. Each one has been aged for more than a decade with two years ‘finishing’ in ex-wine casks. The influence is striking and both are limited editions so get your order in while you can!

Next day UK delivery available
We ship all over the world

Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish


Orders will be dispatched week beginning 27th August

Tobermory 12 Year Old Fino Cask Finish


Orders will be dispatched week beginning 27th August

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Scotch Whisky Auctions 89th Auction Now Live – Whisky News


Hi folks, that’s us live with the 89th auction! Happy bidding!

Happy Bidding!

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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 212: Yamazaki Limited Edition 2017 – Japanese Whisky News


Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 212: Yamazaki Limited Edition 2017

Mark Dermul, Belgian whiskyblogger, tastes the coveted Yamazaki Limited Edition 2017. It is Suntory’s yearly returning NAS-whisky that showcases what Japanese whisky is all about. Beautifully layered, mouth coating and flavorsome, it is a liquid delight. Tasting it in the ancient French city of Avignon only adds to the experience.




World-leading Scotch whisky producer, Chivas Brothers yesterday battled it out on the football pitch with sister company Pernod Ricard China in what was arguably the second most important tournament of the summer.

Teams from the two businesses went head to head at Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC’s Stadium, overseen by none other than Douglas Ross MP – an accomplished referee who has previously officiated in the Scottish Cup Final and Champions League.

With 44 footballers making up four teams, the players came from all areas of the business – from warehouse operations to marketers and distillers to site engineers. The chance to play on a Scottish Premiership pitch fired up both teams, with 10 goals scored in four games, in what was a fun and relaxed afternoon. The final score was a draw, with Team Scotland presenting its guests with the coveted tournament trophy.

The match was an important part of an itinerary of activities arranged as more than 750 Chinese guests from Pernod Ricard China visited Scotland for an immersive Scotch whisky experience. The visitors have also enjoyed several Speyside distillery tours, internal conferences and a traditional Highland dinner, all designed to build an even stronger working relationship between the two affiliates.

Alex Robertson, Whisky Ambassador and Education Manager at Chivas Brothers, said: “Scotland and China unfortunately didn’t qualify for the World Cup, and so we took matters in our own hands by organising a friendly tournament during our guests’ stay.  I would like to thank Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. for hosting us at their club.

“Over the last few days we’ve had a wonderful time entertaining our colleagues and showing them everything that Scotland has to offer. The trip has been hugely rewarding for both parties and has helped cement our already strong working relationship, something we’ll continue to benefit from long into the future.”

Douglas Ross, MP for Moray and referee of the match, said: “I was delighted to referee yesterday’s tournament, all teams were very sporting and seemed to have a lot of fun – what better way to build bonds across the business than play in a few friendlies? It has been encouraging to welcome such a large delegation of guests to our country and this visit is testimony to the global nature of the Scotch whisky industry and its significance to the Scottish economy.”

Team Scotland member Graeme Gardiner said: “The match was certainly very spirited, and it was great fun for everyone involved – it’s not every day you get to play a friendly international at a Scottish Championship Club! Football may not have come home for England, but today the spirit of the game was certainly alive in Scotland!”


Build an advantaged route to consumer: China Premium scotch brands leading the way to consumers in South China – Scotch Whisky News

Build an advantaged route to consumer: China Premium scotch brands leading the way to consumers in South China


We want spirits consumers in China to choose our premium and super premium scotch brands. To achieve this, we identified two provinces in China, Guangdong and Fujian, to further build our route to consumer capabilities in liquor stores.

Guangdong and Fujian have the highest penetration of foreign spirits consumption in China. Focusing on Johnnie Walker Blue Label, The Singleton and our malts portfolio, we trained our sales team and worked with local distributors and liquor outlets to set minimum activation standards for our premium scotch brands. Using data and insights, the sales team is now able to make real-time decisions to ensure we are reaching the right consumers with the right products and that our brands are presented at their best at point of sale. During sales calls, our team is able to take images of displays. Our system logs the images and our central team is able to evaluate and better determine the best sales drivers.

Additionally, during occasions such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year, we are recruiting and re-recruiting Johnnie Walker Blue Label customers through personalisation and gifting.

This year, we have seen sales of scotch in mainland China grow strong double digit driven by Johnnie Walker and The Singleton.

Isle of Arran Distillers claim four top prizes at international competition – Scotch Whisky News

 Isle of Arran 10 yo single malt

Isle of Arran Distillers claim four top prizes at international competition

The team at the Isle of Arran Distillers is celebrating four coveted awards at this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition. The independent whisky maker picked up two gold medals for its Arran 10 and 18-year-old Single Malts. The Bothy Quarter Cask and Lochranza Reserve claimed silver outstanding medals.

The International Wine & Spirits Competition is now in its 49th year and sets the international benchmark for quality. Entries are received from nearly 90 countries and each product is sampled by the judging panel, which consists of over 400 global experts.

The gold medal for the 10-year-old Single Malt at the International Wine & Spirits Competition is another in a long list of sought-after accolades that the classic expression of Arran has received. Earlier this year the dram collected the Double Gold accreditation at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, a Gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards and an impressive 91 points out of 100 at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, where it also received a cocktail commendation for the ‘Rob Roy’ cocktail.

Expert judges from across the world have been impressed with the 10-year-old’s initial rush of rich vanilla sweetness that gives way to a touch of cinnamon that adds a spicy edge to the soft and sweet texture. The citrus notes have rounded with age and reveal new depths of character against a background of sweet oak.

The 18-year-old Single Malt, that claimed a gold award at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, following a Gold Medal at the World Whiskies Awards earlier this year, is a favourite among whisky lovers for its renowned depth of character. Caramelised citrus and tropical notes on a background of toasted oak have created an intense, well rounded dram with charm and personality. This Single Malt also utilises a balanced mix of the finest aged ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks to offer a full and unique maturation of the classic expression of Arran.

Speaking about the awards, Euan Mitchell, Managing Director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said: “It’s always exciting to see our whiskies perform so well on the international stage, and there aren’t many more prestigious than the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

“Our whisky represents much more than just a great taste, they also characterise the heritage of our island. The local water, microclimate and air quality all influence the spirit as it’s distilled and matured. The whisky we create couldn’t come from anywhere else but the Isle of Arran. Everything we make reflects a range of regional influences yet achieves a rare and unique personality all of its own.

“We look forward to the next stage of the company’s growth with the opening of our Lagg Distillery in Spring next year. The whisky produced at Lagg will be a heavily peated Single Malt in contrast to the unpeated style produced at Lochranza and it will remain true to our ethos as an independent whisky maker. It will continue exploring the incomparable characteristics of our home island that has seen our whisky acclaimed across the world.”

The most recent milestone for the Lagg Distillery is the completion of the steelworks. With the structure now in place, the Distillery has begun to take on its distinctive shape, overlooking the south coast of Arran and the Firth of Clyde. The new distillery has been positioned next to fields of barley that provide a portion of the malt currently used in distillation at Lochranza.

Come this autumn the copper pot stills will be installed, followed in early 2019 by the first production run of the new heavily-peated (50ppm) spirit that will become, in time, the flagship Lagg Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The Isle of Arran Distillers has released 700 of the first casks of this whisky for purchase. Each of casks, priced at £6,000, will remain at the distillery for a minimum of ten years of maturation under the careful eye of the Lagg Distillery team. The casks owners will then have the opportunity to bottle the spirit, complete with a limited-edition Lagg Cask society label, or pay an annual fee to continue the maturation process until the desired age is attained. It is expected that the casks will be laid down in early 2019. No further casks will be made available for sale to the public during the first ten years of production at Lagg.


For more information visit and 

Accolades for Isle of Arran Distillery include Winner for: Best New Exporter (2004), Queen’s Award for International Trade (2005), Scottish Distiller of the Year (2007) and Scottish Drinks Producer of the Year (2007)

Scottish Field Visitor Experience of the Year 2014 & 2015

Drinks Business Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism (2017)

Best Brewery/Distillery Tour – Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards (2017)

Product Awards include:

Arran 10 year -old: San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold Medal (2018). International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal (2018). Category Winner and Gold Medal ‘Best Scotch Under

12 Years’ Islands Non-Islay at the World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018). Ultimate Spirits Challenge 91 points (2018). Ultimate Spirits Challenge Cocktail Commendation for the Rob Roy (2018). Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Best Value Awards (2014)

Arran 18 year-old: International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal (2018) Category Winner & Gold Medal ‘Best Scotch 13-20 Years – Islands (Non- Islay) World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018)

Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy: Category Winner & Gold Medal ‘No Age Statement Single Malt’ for The Bothy Batch 3 World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Wine & Spirits Competition Silver Outstanding Medal (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018)

Arran Lochranza Reserve: International Wine & Spirits Competition Silver Outstanding Medal (2018), International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018)





Port Ellen 12 Year Old / Queen’s Visit 1980

Thought to be the only official bottling of Port Ellen released while the distillery was active, this expression was produced to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the island on 9th August 1980. We are honoured to present at auction one of the most iconic whiskies ever produced.


Macallan 50 Year Old 2018 Release 75cl / US Import

Like all the great Macallan before it, this 50 year old was matured in only the finest handcrafted, hand-selected, sherry-seasoned European oak casks, all the way from the bodegas of Spain.  Allowed to interact for five decades with this wood, it is sure to have an incredible rich and full flavour.


Bowmore 1964 ‘Black Bowmore’ Trilogy

An icon of the whisky world, it’s hard to fathom where whisky collecting would be today without the Black Bowmore. This month we have each of the three releases of the renowned series combined as one lot. What a great chance to own some of the most important spirit to ever grace our beloved industry.


Karuizawa Single Casks

Karuizawa produced outstanding whiskies, many of which have received international acclaim. They have released almost 300 single casks which are becoming increasingly rarer and rarer as demand soars. This month we have a fantastic selection of some of their best bottlings.


Macallan Genesis

Genesis is a special and highly limited release from the recently revamped Macallan distillery. Released in August 2018, the special edition bottling commemorates the unveiling of the brand new Macallan distillery just two months prior


A.H. Hirsch 1974 Reserve 16 Year Old Bourbon

This month we feature two special lots which are the same spirit bottled under different owners at different times. The blue wax seal indicates the original bottling in the early nineties by Julian Van Winkle III. The other is a Buffalo Trace bottling done in 2003.


Teeling Celebratory Single Pot Still Exclusive Auction


Islay Defibrillator Charitable Fundraiser

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Say hello to the Peat Faerie” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS Peat 1


The wait is finally over! We’re continuing our month of bold discoveries with a new release from our collection of blended malts, and it’s a little piece of magic, for members only. Our journey into blended malt started with two batches of Exotic Cargo and, after resounding approval from you, we’ve arrived at a new flavour frontier of peat and smoke with our latest bottling, Peat Faerie.

SMWS Peat 2

A harmonious marriage between first-fill Speyside casks and a collection of hand-selected Islay casks, Peat Faerie showcases a perfect balance of earthy peat smoke, farmyard muscle and coastal freshness. Spirits manager Euan Campbell produced separate regional recipes before combining them in different proportions and strengths and putting them all in front of the Society’s Tasting Panel. The Panel assessed the samples blind and we bottled the highest scoring recipe, reduced to 50% abv to achieve the perfect drinking strength.

We’ve created only 2,948 bottles of this special blend, so intrepid whisky explorers should grab one fast, before they’re all gone (maximum two per member).

Peat Faerie

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


From Speyside to Shimamoto at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


From Speyside to Shimamoto!

Scotland is known as the home of whisky, and Speyside has to be its heart with more than half of the distilleries in the country found there. Of course the Scots are fiercly proud of their national drink – and rightly so! – but on the other side of the globe, a nation is beginning to mount a challenge to the dominance of Scotch in the whisky world.

Japanese whisky is still a relatively new category, with the first distillery founded in the 1920s, but the Land of the Rising Sun is home to multi-award winning brands from Suntory and Nikka, not to mention younger up and coming distilleries like Chichibu.

Fortunately, whether you favour Scotch or Japanese, you can enjoy some delicious whisky from both camps at The Whisky Shop!

Next day UK delivery available
International shipping

Yamazaki 12 Year Old


£129 Buy Now

Hibiki 17 Year Old


£495 Buy Now

The Macallan 18 Year Old
Sherry Oak 2018


£325 Buy Now

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