Archive for September, 2018

Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review #745 – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy-crown debuts a blended Islay review with . ralfy review 745 – Islay Mist 17yo Blended Scotch @ 40%vol:

Evan Williams is Bourbon Done Right – American Whisky News

EW_BourbonDoneRight_CaseCard_EW10018_2018 (3)

Evan Williams is Bourbon Done Right

BARDSTOWN, Ky. – Evan Williams Bourbon today launched a new marketing campaign titled “Bourbon Done Right.” The flagship Bourbon brand of Heaven Hill Distillery, the world’s second largest holder of aging Bourbon, will utilize the new positioning to showcase real, everyday satisfaction from a real, everyday Bourbon.

As the second largest selling Bourbon in the world, the new campaign conveys the commitment to quality and the esteem with which consumers have held Evan Williams over the last decade. The new campaign showcases people enjoying their hobbies, whether building a deck or polishing their car, it shows how Evan Williams Bourbon can be used to celebrate the small moments of satisfaction that are found in everyday life and the pride that comes with it. The Bourbon Done Right campaign is brought to life across all programming platforms including a new national cable TV spot, social media, point of sale materials, and updated website at National cable TV advertising will run on MLB World Series coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, TBS/TNT, MLB Network, as well as on the History Channel. Watch the new Evan Williams TV spot hitting screens this fall here.

Evan Williams is among the leaders in the rapidly growing American Whiskey segment. Evan Williams is a proud sponsor of Major League Baseball and the World Series, first forming a partnership with the national pastime in 2016. As an American-made and American-owned brand, Evan Williams has recognized true American heroes through their exceptional stories of honor and bravery on special edition American-Made Hero labels for the past four years. The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience ( celebrates the legacy of Evan Williams through an immersive visitor’s center experience which brings to life the history and tradition of Kentucky’s native spirit as an official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

“As a leader in the category, Evan Williams is a prime example of commitment to excellence and quality when it comes to Bourbon,” said Julie Cole, Evan Williams Brand Manager. “The new campaign establishes Evan Williams as the Bourbon that provides satisfaction for the consumer on their own time and in their own terms. Evan Williams invites fans to celebrate their passions with ours.”

At a suggested retail price of $14.99 for the 750ml size, Evan Williams Black is a smooth, easy to drink Bourbon named after Evan Williams who, in 1783, opened Kentucky’s first commercial distillery along the banks of the Ohio River. Today, Evan Williams is distilled at Heaven Hill Distillery’s Bernheim facility, the largest single-site Bourbon distillery in the world, located just a few blocks from the site where Evan himself built his distillery.

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERY: Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.4 million barrels aging in 57 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection. Heaven Hill Distillery currently holds the title of 2017 Whisky Advocate Whisky of the Year, and previously held the titles of 2016 Whisky Magazine Distillery of the Year, 2016 Whisky Advocate American Whiskey of the Year and 2016 Rye Whiskey of the Year from “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” For more information, please visit

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

Wolfburn Poppyscotland Bottle – Scotch Whisky News


Wolfburn Poppyscotland Bottle

The partnership between The Carnegie Whisky Cellars and Wolfburn Distillery are excited to announce a limited edition bottle of Wolfburn to commemorate the Centenary of Armistice. A total of 1918 bottles have been produced by the Thurso based, Wolfburn Distillery and will be sold exclusively from the distillery and through the Carnegie Whisky Cellars in Dornoch. Both companies have agreed to give £5 to Poppyscotland for each bottle they sell through the joint 1918 Poppy Pledge, which will raise a combined total of £9,590.  The bottles will be available from both businesses on October 10th 2018 for £75 and will be sold on a strictly first-come-first-served basis.


This project is important to both companies and was proposed to Wolfburn Distillery due to the owners of Wolfburn being former British Servicemen and the importance of the Poppy Appeal to all service personnel and their families.

Shane Fraser, manager of Wolfburn Distillery commented: “This is a project that we’re all very proud of – Poppyscotland is an excellent cause, and we’ve crafted a truly special dram for the occasion. It’s made from lightly peated spirit, which has been subtly married with a small proportion of whisky matured in sherry casks, so it’s a lovely mix of sweet aromas and smokey flavours. The initial reaction has been hugely positive.”

Michael from Carnegie Whisky Cellars added “Everyone we have spoken to about this project has been very excited to see the final product. Since we opened in 2016, Wolfburn distillery has been a fantastic seller for us and the distillery has been very supportive of what we are doing.  On two previous occasions they have provided the Dornoch Whisky Festival bottling, which was also split between our two companies. We are excited for what is to come from this partnership and glad to be doing this project with Wolfburn and to help raise money for the great cause that is Poppyscotland.”



The original Wolfburn Distillery was founded just to the west of Thurso by William Smith in 1821. In its day it was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, producing, according to HMRC records, 28,056 “gallons of proof spirit” in a single year. Taking its name from the stream that provided the water – the Wolf Burn – the distillery operated until around 1870. The reasons for its closure are lost in time, but by 1877 the newly produced Ordnance Survey maps showed it being in ruins. In 2011 plans were laid to resurrect the old distillery. Construction began in 2012 and in January 2013 the new Wolfburn Distillery commenced production, thereby becoming the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. Situated 300m from the site of the original distillery, the new Wolfburn operates in much the same way as the old: craftsmen use traditional methods to produce fine spirit, which is laid down in best quality oak casks to await the day when it is bottled as single malt scotch whisky. Wolfburn’s single malt scotch whiskies are now available in 26 countries globally.

Wolfburn Distillery, Henderson Park, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7XW



The Carnegie Whisky Cellars opened in June 2016 and has quickly established a reputation for excellent service and product knowledge. Since opening the Carnegie Whisky Cellars has become a multi awards winning independent shop and became the first Scottish shop to win “Newcomer of the Year 2018 at the Drinks Retailing Awards.” We stock a large selection of both official and Independent bottled single malts from across Scotland, alongside a range of Scottish craft gins and other bespoke items.

The Carnegie Whisky Cellars, The Carnegie Courthouse, Castle Street, Dornoch, Sutherland IV25 3SD

The Whisky Show Charity Auction – Charity Whisky News


29-30 SEPTEMBER 2018

The Whisky Show 2018

Charity Auction

This year at the show we are hosting a preview of a charity auction that will raise thousands of pounds for Plastic Oceans to help safeguard our seas from plastic waste.


This year’s show theme is The Future of Whisky and we have also been looking at the future of our planet. We are actively striving to eliminate the use of single-use plastic at the show and, working with Plastic Oceans, hope to make a difference to how the drinks industry uses plastic.

The sale is being run by Whisky.Auction from 18 November to 27 November 2018 and features exceptionally rare whiskies and rums from round the world. All of the bottles will be on display at The Whisky Show, for buyers to examine before bidding and to give whisky fans a chance to see some of the world’s rarest bottles of whisky.


Bottles already confirmed:

The Balvenie 1973 Vintage Cask – bottle one of one
Glenlivet 1948 50 Year Old by Gordon & MacPhail
The Dalmore Rare 45 Year Old
Karuizawa 50 Year Old – specially created for the auction

You can find more details and the latest auction line-up over on our website.


Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old at Milroys of Soho – Scotch Whisky News


Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old, 46.3%


(Customers outside the UK please contact the shop for shipping costs)

Buy Bunnahabhain 18

Bunnahabhain is situated on the Islay. Unlike the majority of its neighbours, the distillery does not make use of exclusively heavily peated whisky. The 18 Year Old is a shop favourite, which displays a flavour profile of black cherry, honey, dried fruits and sea salt. This is a must for your whisky shelf, especially as the weather gets colder. Enjoy with oysters, dark chocolate or cheese….


The Good Dram Show – Episode 283 ‘Tomatin, Teeling, Balblair & Tomintoul’ – Scotch Whisky News

Chris Goodrum

The Good Dram Show – Episode 283 ‘Tomatin, Teeling, Balblair & Tomintoul’ – This weeks episode of the show is a round up on new and new-ish stuff!




Tomatin distillery brings back hauntingly good tour

Highland whisky distillery Tomatin, is gearing up to host its infamous spook-tacular Fright Night tours in celebration of Halloween on Friday 26th of October.

The two frightful distillery tours will see 20 brave visitors picked up in Inverness on Friday evening before travelling to Tomatin where they will be in for a spine-chilling evening.

First hosted in 2016, the infamous and terrifying tours see the Tomatin transformed into a haunted distillery and staff becoming bloodcurdling ghosts and ghouls for the event.

Enjoying a cocktail on arrival, visitors will start their tour in the Malt barns, before being taken into the Mash house. Brave attendees will then go through the Stillhouse and around the Cooperage, enjoying several drams along the way, before finally ending in the Warehouses – all the while things go bump in the night.

After a few jump-scares, the tour will end at just before the witching hour in the Visitors Centre with another much-needed dram to calm the nerves.

Louise Taylor, Visitor Centre Manager at Tomatin, said: “We’re excited to host our fright night, an event that has proved very popular with our visitors in the past. This year we’ve made sure our hair-raising tour is scarier than ever with more ghouls and ghosts than ever before.

“Tomatin boasts buildings that are over 100 years old, meaning there is no end of eerie tales and fables surrounding the distillery. We look forward to having visitors take part in our creepy tour… if they dare!”

Packed with the longstanding history of Tomatin and an in-depth insight into the process of creating whisky, the tour is not for the faint of heart and is strictly for over 18s only.

Two spine-tingling tours are available: 6:30pm or 7:30pm, with each taking just over an hour. Tickets costs £20 per person and include four drinks and transport.

Spaces are limited and expected to sell fast, to purchase tickets please phone: 01463 248 144

Tomatin Distillery lies just 16 miles south of Inverness and 15 miles north of Aviemore on the A9. For additional information please visit:

Tomatin Logo


Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands (near Inverness) and is famous for its portfolio of thirty soft and mellow whiskies, including a core range, a limited-edition range and a premium archive range (prices range from £35 – £2,500). Tomatin is one of the fastest growing whisky brands in the UK and ranks within the Top 10 Single Malt brands in the USA. Tomatin recently reported its turnover increased by almost 25% during the company’s most recent financial year (Dec 2016 – Dec 2017). Tomatin won Distiller of the Year 2016 and Brand Innovator of the Year 2017 at the Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards.

New edition of Malt Whisky Yearbook – Whisky News

MWY 2019 cover

New edition of Malt Whisky Yearbook


The Distillery Section completely revised with all the latest news

New exciting articles by distinguished writers such as Charles MacLean, Gavin D Smith, Neil Ridley, Jonny McCormick, Joel Harrison, Becky Paskin, Ian Buxton and Ian Wisniewski

Completely new Japanese chapter by Stefan Van Eycken

More than 250 tasting notes, including Japanese malts and independent bottlings

New feature – Whisky, the way I see it

A listing of more than 150 of the world´s greatest whisky shops

The Whisky Year That Was – the most comprehensive summary you´ll find of the news and trends in the industry

All the latest info on bottlings, web sites, books as well as the latest statistics and figures

More than 500 colour photos All in all – the most updated whisky book on the market!

This year covering 526 distilleries around the world!

Published by MagDig Media Ltd.
Publication date; 1 October 2018
Number of pages; 300
ISBN 978-0-9576553-5-5
Recommended retail price in UK; £13.95

New Single Malt Exclusives from the Master: Michel Couvreur – Whisky News


Best-Selling Single Malts from a Whisky Pioneer

Item Name Retail Link
Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) $79.99 View
Michel Couvreur 16 Year Old “Mrs. Couvreur” Single PX Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) $299.99 View

“The magnificence that is Michel Couvreur has always been clear.” – David Othenin-Girard

For those familiar with Michel Couvreur, we urge you to read our recent blog post on what makes the bottlings featured here so special. And for those who may be new to these very special single malts—a bit of explanation is due. The late Michel Couvreur was a Belgian wine dealer who moved to Beaune in the 1950s. Then, in the 1960s, following his passion, he moved to Scotland to become more involved with the Scotch whisky industry, having developed a taste for sherry-aged single malt. He worked out a few contracts from suppliers and began purchasing whisky to mature in his own sherry butts that he secured from Jerez. In the 70s, Michel decided to move back to Beaune, in order to focus more on quality cooperage (Beaune was closer to Spain and easier to work out of) and that’s when he decided to mature his own casks, in his own cellar, built deeply into the side of a nearby hill. Michel would contract whisky from Scotland, barrels from Spain, and make his own expressions of single malt whisky from the heart of French wine country. These single malts, while not technically Scotch, soon became the stuff of legends. When our spirits team finally got a chance to taste coveted single malts, an exclusive deal was struck immediately. Fast forward several years, and the single malts Michel Couvreur have become one of our fastest selling spirits. Recently arrived into inventory is a long time favorite, the “Peaty Overaged,” as well as a special release, the 16-Year-Old “Mrs. Couvreur”— a favorite of Michel’s wife. Both are gorgeous expressions that sure to delight novice and the season Scotch drinker alike. While Michel may be gone, his brand lives on and as the pair here shows, it lives on gloriously.


Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special K&L whisky project was something that we had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-make spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to insure only the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jawdropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it)

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 14, 2014

The magnificence that is Michel Couvreur has always been clear, but it wasn’t until we stepped into the special cave, carved out of the rock, in Bouze-Les-Beaune that you can full appreciate the incredible endeavor in process at this fine producer. While this is by definition NOT Scotch, because it is aged outside of the country, the old school practices utilized at here are unusual back in Scotland. The fact that these guys literally drive to Jerez to pick out fresh sherry casks (from Equipos Navazos no less) is totally unique in modern times. In fact, no producer of malt whisky is getting access to fresher barrels than these guys. Not being able to use the famous moniker does not preclude this from being one of the most authentic and absolutely delicious malts on the market. Stupendous depth and complexity even at 86 proof, while the sherry is toned down from the standard version a subtle fino/amontillado quality exists in the back ground. This is pointed by a fabulous smokey sweetness, which hints at the source whisky. Maybe an island somewhere, maybe a drop of Islay, wildly high-quality Highland whisky with a French sensibility. A truly unique gem.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2016

This Michel Couvreur Malt Whiskey is a perfect marriage of smoke and sherry-aged spirit. There is a nice amount of smoke aromas and flavors that are integrated well with the richness from the sherry barrels. On top of this, it is complex and will surprise and delight.

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 22, 2014

One of the best bottles of “Scotch” I have had in a long while. I have been moving away from peated malts recently…but this bottle has the perfect marriage of smoke and sherry. The malt has a beautiful chewy texture and richness on the palate (perhaps owing to the fact that they don’t remove any of the first fill sherry barrel residue before bottling). It is brimming with red forest fruits, sweet rancio tones, wood spice and earthy nuances. A really complete drop and serious value for the money, in my book.

Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 07, 2014

I love it! Super creamy with a mild peat, lovely sherry character and an absolutely wonderful sexy texture on the palate. What an amazingly charming whiskey!


Michel Couvreur 16 Year Old “Mrs. Couvreur” Single PX Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($299.99)

The ultimate offering from Couvreur was selected by the late master’s wife. Her involvement with this special whisky house is generally fiduciary in nature, but in this case she’s put her personal approval on one of the most extreme and delicious single casks to come out of the magical Couvreur cellars. Starting with Golden Promise that is peated to 45 ppm, Mr. Couvreur filled a very old Pedro Ximenez sherry butt from the famous Bodega Malaga Virgen. These ultra-mature American Oak sherry butts have spent decades being impregnated with sweet PX sherry and while they’re not as dark and rancio as those from Bodega Toro Albala, they provide the perfect frame for the powerful peaty malt. After years in the deepest, dampest part of the Couvreur’s cavernous cellar, this exceptional whisky was bottled by hand without any filtration or dilution whatsoever. Couvreur has drawn from this cask a total of three times and the final batch of the Mrs.’ special cask is a full 16 years of age. Only 60 bottles (45 liters) of this unprecedented offering is for exclusive sale in the U.S. While the price is not inexpensive, a single cask of whisky from an Islay distillery of this quality at this age and full strength would easily command a similar price point had it been bottled in Scotland. Add the impressive vessel, Couvreur’s magical cellars, and the incredible rarity of this old glory and the price makes perfect sense. A one of a kind specimen from the wizard in Bouze.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018

This no hiding the fact that I’m completely in love with what Couvreur is doing. The quality and complexity of each offering is reshaping how we look at blended whisky, but occasionally they’ll put together a product so superlative and over the top that we just can’t resist even if the prices are high. Yes on paper this whisky seems crazy. 16 -year-old malt whisky from a single cask for $300? We’ve had high-end offerings from Couvreur before and they’re often met with skepticism, but as soon as you taste them all disbelief is suspended. The initiated usually know right away that this is something they should strive to acquire, but for the uninitiated it can seem almost farcical. Why would we pay a French man extra for Scotch that I can get from the Scottish for less? But the truth is, you CAN’T get this from Scotland. There are so many reasons why these whiskies are so unique and this particular bottling doubly so. Mrs. Couvreur’s choice represents the absolute best evidence that little house in Bouze-les-Beaune’s hypothesis is correct: the old ways were BETTER! Yes, entry into their highest level isn’t cheap and on paper you might find better values from the Scots, but in the glass no whisky on the market today will deliver what this special whisky offers at this price. Not to mention that the US release is sold exclusively at K&L and is two years older than the European version that sells for the same price. Beyond its incredible rarity, the idea that exemplifies this whisky most accurately is the word balance. Yes it’s from one of Scotland’s peatiest distillers—my money is on Laphroaig or Ardbeg although Couvreur won’t come close to confirming those suspicions—but the peat is not out of control. Instead it melds and mingles so perfectly with the sweet, nutty, sherry character and provides backbone against which the rich maltiness unfolds. The nose is one of the most complex things I’ve ever come across, reminding me of some of the true ancient legends I’ve had the incredible privilege of tasting. On the nose fresh plum preserves, ozone, dried yuzu peel, ripe pear, crushed oyster shell, roasting nuts from afar. Entry is surprisingly peat driven but not at all rugged. It proceeds to open up to the sweet stewed fruits of the sherry tamped down by an invigorating briny sea spray. More yellow plums build to a long, smoky, ultra-pleasurable finish. It feels like a privilege to be selling this whisky and I can already see the future of me nursing my last bottle in terrible fear of never tasting this wonderful whisky again. That terrible feeling is well worth with it considering the pure joy the rest of the bottle made me feel.

Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 06, 2018

The phrase “one of a kind” gets bandied about excessively these days, but it truly applies to this bottling from Michel Couvreur. The elusive Pedro Ximenez cask finish alone should have single malt aficionados clamoring for a dram of this nectar, and the juice does not disappoint. Elegantly complex, it starts on the nose with salty smoke that gives way to honeyed sweetness of candied dates kissed by sea breeze. The malt itself leans toward the savory, with hazelnut and smoky bacon adorned by tropical nuance and a lingering fire. All the elements are perfectly integrated, displaying a deft balance and creating a voluptuous texture that is not overbearing. The finish is full, maintaining the exquisite character of the sherry and the richness of the malt but offering a touch of toffee and spice as a final farewell. I implore, if you have the opportunity, to taste this bottle immediately —you will not regret it.

Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 05, 2018

It’s not often that we get to try something this extraordinary and those who even deign to read this far down the page have probably already made their commitment to this whisky. Let me be the first to tell you, you are right! The Couvreur whiskies are a reflection of a time long gone when whiskies were aged in pure unadulterated sherry cask and that may be hard to wrap our modern heads around these days. You already know that so much sherry cask is rushed to market with inferior Sherry aging in it and though it imparts some character it is seldom that we see something like this. An authentic Pedro Ximenez barrel that had been part of a long aging solera intensifying and sweetening its charge. Again, you already know the story about this crazy French guy, Mr. Couvreur, driving to Jerez to buy his casks, settling for nothing less than the real thing and loading them on his little truck and driving them back to his cellar. So much detail in the procurement alone was enough to peak your interest. The added fact that it is aged in a cave in the middle of France instead of the salt caked island of Islay makes the malt even more transparent and adds to its mystique. The whisky itself was expressive barley first on the nose but as you dive further in, the smoke builds in a subtle way As a first fill PX Sherry cask, it rounds out the flavors allowing the malt to shine through with a nose of toasted spelt, candied dates and sweet tea. The cask frames the smoke, not the other way around. It is complex and detailed on the palate and has a long savory finish. The Couvreur is top tier and worthy of any collector’s shelf. One of the best peated styles I’ve tasted this year. Thanks for reading, now enjoy that bottle.

Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 05, 2018

It only takes one whiff of this spirit to know that you have something very special in your glass. While I have the fortunate opportunity to sample world-class spirits on a weekly basis, few have caught my attention like this one did. It’s quite an unusual spirit as it’s a white whiskey from Scotland aged in Sherry casks in the cellars of Burgundy. The effect of the “magical” sherry butts imparts an almost Cognac-like sweetness to the palate. This spirit possesses the hallmarks of a Scotch whiskey but its informed by a French sensibility. It almost seems like a more complete, seamless beverage. I must say that this is the most intriguing and compelling whisky I’ve tasted this year. I enthusiastically give it a strong BUY recommendation.

Whisky Hammer September 2018 Auction Ends Soon – Whisky Auction News

AA Whisky Hammer


(ends Sunday 30th September)

…place your bids at

With an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits there is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest, enjoy!


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