Archive for January, 2019

Kingsbarns Distillery’s Single Malt Takes Flight – Scotch Whisky News

Kingsbarns distillery releases its first single malt whisky.

Kingsbarns Distillery’s Single Malt Takes Flight

New dram celebrates Wemyss family’s Fife whisky dream

 A long held dream to distil fine single malt whisky in the East Neuk of Fife becomes a reality today (24th January) for the founders of Kingsbarns Distillery, as they toast the launch of their first flagship expression: Kingsbarns ‘Dream to Dram’.

Named to mark the Wemyss Family’s vision to bring malt whisky distilling to their Fife home, the new release is a truly local dram, having been slowly crafted with barley harvested exclusively from the golden fields of East Fife.

The result is a beautifully light, clean yet complex Lowland style malt whisky which perfectly captures the essence of this quiet and enchanting corner of Scotland.

Dream to Dram is packaged in gentle shades of blue, gold and brown to symbolise the natural elements of the East Neuk, with a pigeon motif representing the historic ‘doocot’ (Scots for dovecot) that sits at the heart of the distillery – a restored farm steading dating back to the 1800s.

Today, owners William and Isabella Wemyss are gathering friends, neighbours and whisky lovers from around the world at the Distillery to celebrate and share a first taste of Dream to Dram as it is shipped global markets.

The Dream

The Wemyss family has lived and worked in Fife for generations and has a longstanding passion for whisky dating back to the 19th Century, continuing to this day with their successful Wemyss Malts range. Their long held dream however was to make fine single malt whisky in Fife. When approached by former professional Kingsbarns Golf Links caddy Douglas Clement in 2010 with the idea of converting the semi derelict B-listed farm steading at Kingsbarns into a new distillery for the ‘home of golf’, their dream began to take shape. After a three year restoration project which carefully retained the building’s ancient features and charm, the distillery was officially opened on St Andrew’s Day 2014, with the first whisky laid down in March 2015. 

The Dram

The East Neuk enjoys high levels of sunshine, good soil and not too much rain, which creates the perfect growing conditions for barley. Every drop of Dream to Dram is made from barley harvested in these sun-soaked fields. The addition of pure, rich mineral water drawn from an aquifer 100 metres below the Distillery adds to the local character and light, fruity flavour profile of the whisky.

A long, slow production process in copper pot stills is at the heart of distillation: a 3 – 5 day fermentation period, wash stills that run for 8 hours and a slow running spirit still with high cut points. That will never change and the stills will never run any faster.

Maturation is primarily in high calibre first fill bourbon casks (90%), sourced exclusively from Heaven Hill in Kentucky by Isabella Wemyss, with the remainder maturing in shaved, toasted and re-charred wine casks. All Kingsbarns casks are matured in warehouses not far from the distillery in Fife.

The Taste

The natural elements on Kingsbarns Distillery’s doorstep, combined with superior wood choice and long, slow fermentation give Dream to Dram its remarkably complex and distinctive Lowland character: light, intensely fruity, floral and balanced, with colour and richness coming from the wood. On the nose there is banana, pineapple syrup and summer berries, with a slight herbal note. There is soft toffee, custard pastry and redcurrants on the palate, with a finish of ginger syrup.

Speaking on behalf of the Wemyss family as they celebrate the launch of Dream to Dram today, William Wemyss said: ‘This is an immensely proud day for Kingsbarns Distillery and everyone who has been involved in turning our dream of making whisky in Fife into a reality. Dream to Dram is a wonderful single malt that I think perfectly captures the Lowland style and the character of our East Neuk home in Fife. So much hard work, skill and dedication has gone into crafting our whisky over the past three years so my thanks and congratulations go to everyone at Kingsbarns. We’ll be raising a glass of Dream to Dram tonight to toast what I’m sure will be a most exciting future for our new whisky as we share it with drinkers around the world.’ 

Dream to Dram is the first generally available single malt whisky from Kingsbarns Distillery. It follows a limited release of the exclusive ‘Founders Reserve’ for members of the Kingsbarns Distillery Founders Club in December 2018.

Dream to Dram is bottled in 70cl at 46%, RRP £44.95. It is available from the Kingsbarns Distillery online shop and at specialist and independent outlets across the UK.

Twitter @KingsbarnsDist / Instagram @kingsbarnsdist

 Kingsbarns distillery releases its first single malt whisky.

Kingsbarns Distillery

Kingsbarns Distillery began life as a semi-derelict farm steading – built around 1800 by Thomas Erskine, the ninth Earl of Kellie, as part of East Newhall Farm to service the adjoining Cambo Estate. Its centrepiece is a doocot, made with over 600 neatly formed terracotta nesting boxes which, at the time, would have housed pigeons to supply the laird’s kitchen with meat and eggs.

A three year restoration project involving specialist architects, engineers, designers and whisky specialists restored this historic building into the beautiful distillery and visitor centre that is now in place today – including the immaculately restored doocot in pride of place.

The distillery has 4 washbacks and 2 stills (wash still 7.5k litres, spirit still 4.5k litres) which have been designed to fit snugly into the low distillery space, using long lyne arms for maximum copper contact. The distillery has a capacity of 34 barrels per week and can produce 200k litres of alcohol per year.

The Kingsbarns team is aiming to make the distillery as green as possible and sustainability is at the heart of production. Waste water goes through reed beds and is returned clean into the local burn; local farmers use waste as fertilizer, and spent grain is used as cattle feed on neighbouring farms. Nothing is wasted and everything goes back into the local environment to the benefit of local businesses.

Distiller Peter Holroyd has been at the helm of distillation since the very beginning, sharing his passion for whisky and turning the Kingsbarns dream into a reality with the Wemyss family. A native of Glasgow, Peter graduated from the Heriot Watt Brewing and Distilling Course in Edinburgh, working in a number of small breweries before joining the Kingsbarns Team in his first whisky role.

The Kingsbarns Distillery Founders’ Club was launched on the first anniversary of the Distillery on 30th November 2015 and is still open for membership.  Members enjoy a welcome pack with a small bottle of Kingsbarns New Make Spirit, a glass and membership badge, plus five exclusive bottles of cask strength single malt whisky, including the distillery’s inaugural Founders’ Reserve expression.

The Wemyss Family drinks portfolio 

Wemyss Malts: Edinburgh based independent bottler, Wemyss Malts is owned by the Wemyss family. Their family seat is Wemyss Castle in Fife where they’ve lived since the 1300s.  Wemyss Malts is primarily known for its award-winning range of blended malt Scotch Whisky which uses names inspired by the natural flavours and aromas of the whiskies: The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney. 

Springbank Society “Springbank 12yo Cask Strength” – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank 12yo

Springbank Society

Springbank 12yo Cask Strength 54.8% (Available from Friday 1st February 2019)

Welcome to the first Society Newsletter of 2019!

We are pleased to announce the upcoming release of the new Springbank 12yo Cask Strength.

The latest edition of the Springbank 12yo Cask Strength departs from the typical maturation recipe and has been matured in 50% Bourbon and 50% Sherry casks.  The ABV is 54.8%.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Old fir trees – pine needles. Just like when you’re cleaning up all the pine needles from your Christmas tree. Werther’s original sweets, digestive biscuits, heather and honey.

Palate: Rich & Malty; milk chocolate, honey, creme brulee and caramel shortcake. Then sandal wood shavings with typical Springbank coastal notes of sea salt and brine.

Finish: Fruit notes with lemon zest, orange and hints of ginger.

This bottling will be available from Friday 1st February – please note that the release date in various markets and countries is likely to vary. For details on when the Springbank 12yo Cask Strength is available near you please consult your preferred Springbank retailer or visit the “Where to Buy” section of our website to find a Springbank stockist.

  • The Campbeltown Cadenhead shop will be selling this bottle for £49.50
  • The 10% Society discount can be applied to this bottling.
  • This is not a Society exclusive release.

Coming Soon…

As if the announcement of the new Springbank 12yo CS is not enough excitement for one Society email we are also delighted to confirm our next two distillery releases.

In February we will also be releasing the next Springbank 25yo and the latest edition in the Longrow Red series, the 11yo Pinot Noir cask matured bottling.

We will be announcing full details of both of these bottlings in the next Society Quarterly Newsletter, which will be sent out to you soon.


The Springbank Team

To join the Springbank Society please contact them at

Springbank Society


Celebrate The Chinese Year Of The Pig With Johnnie Walker at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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Celebrate Chinese New Year With Johnnie Walker


This Chinese New Year Johnnie Walker are celebrating the Year of The Pig with a limited edition bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

This exquisite bottle has been designed by famed illustrator Chrissy Lau. Her signature delicate lines and intricate patterns are instantly recognisable and inspired by Chrissy’s Chinese heritage. This year’s release features a beautiful illustration on three of the four faces of the iconic square bottle. Presented at a strength of 40% abv, each bottle is individually numbered.

Unique | Different | Interesting


Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year Of The Pig
Limited Edition

Every bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the pinnacle of Blended Scotch Whisky making from Johnnie Walker. Only 1 out 10,000 casks is deemed to be of sufficient character to deliver its remarkably smooth signature taste, and these casks are drawn from the largest reserves of whisky in the world.

Blue Label is a big flavoured whisky that reflects the Walker belief that neither whisky age alone, nor whisky from a single location, is enough to achieve the creation of a masterpiece.

£194.90 Pre-Order Now

Pre-orders being dispatched W/C 4th February, the week we celebrate Chinese New Year.

Learn more here

Great Old Single Grain Whiskies – Garnheath, Dumbarton & Invergordon at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Great Grain Whiskies.

Single Cask. Single Grain. Scotch Whisky.

Single grain Scotch whiskies each have their own unique styles and are highly prized by whisky enthusiasts. The Whisky Barrel has a selection of great value old vintages and grain whiskies from closed distilleries, all regularly bottled by our independent bottlers. Here is our choice selection of the ones not to miss.

Start Shopping – Grain Whisky

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Ralfy Publishes Ralfy Review #761- Scotch Whisky News


ralfy has an awkward moment with a Bowmore !

Glenmorangie unveils its first whisky created using wild yeast to mark tenth anniversary of Private Edition Series – Scotch Whisky News

Allta bottle & box on white

Glenmorangie unveils its first whisky created using wild yeast to mark tenth anniversary of Private Edition Series 

— Rich and fruity single malt celebrates tenth anniversary of Private Edition series —

29th January 2019: The first whisky created from yeast growing wild on Glenmorangie’s own barley, marks the tenth anniversary of the Highland Distillery’s pioneering Private Edition series. For a decade, Glenmorangie has invited whisky aficionados to explore its passion for innovation through this acclaimed series of rare and intriguing limited-edition single malts. Now, in the collection’s rich, fruity tenth release Glenmorangie Allta (Scots Gaelic for ‘wild’ and pronounced ‘al-ta’), the Distillery reveals the importance of yeast to Scotch whisky’s myriad flavours.

Yeast has always been a key ingredient in Scotch whisky. But over the years, its impact on taste has been all-but forgotten and emphasis placed on other aspects of whisky-making instead. With a background in yeast physiology, however, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, has always remained keenly aware of yeast’s potential. Years ago, he recalled a little-known story the late, great whisky writer Michael Jackson had told him, about a unique ‘house’ yeast Glenmorangie was said to have possessed. And he began to further explore yeast’s influence on flavour.

As Dr Bill walked the barley fields near the Distillery, he was inspired to collect a few ears of Cadboll barley and take them to the laboratory for analysis. There, he discovered Saccharomyces diaemath – a species of wild yeast unidentified until that point – and which, crucially, could be used for creating whisky. Dr Bill was intrigued to discover this wild yeast’s effect on Glenmorangie’s spirit. So, he arranged for the yeast to be cultivated and, when the barley on which it had grown was ready for use in the Distillery, he brought them together in the whisky-making process, to create an exceptionally fragrant spirit. He then transferred this spirit into superior ex-bourbon barrels, including many second-fill casks, to showcase the fruity character given by the yeast. The rich, creamy whisky which emerged years later, unveils a new seam in Glenmorangie’s character.

This landmark malt embodies Glenmorangie’s creativity. Since 2009, the series has allowed the Whisky Creation Team to explore rare cask finishes, experiment with raw ingredients and give their imagination free rein. Dr Bill said: “Glenmorangie Allta is a worthy whisky with which to mark the Private Edition’s tenth anniversary. Yeast’s influence on taste has been overlooked for years, but it’s an area ripe for exploration. With a nose of biscuit, baking bread and floral notes, and rich tastes of vanilla, orange syrup and sweet chilli, Glenmorangie Allta opens up compelling possibilities for the future of Scotch whisky.”

Bottled at 51.2% ABV, and non-chill filtered for extra body and texture, Glenmorangie Allta is available from from 29th January and from department stores and specialist whisky shops from 5th February, RSP: £79.

Follow Glenmorangie on:





Tasting Notes:

Glenmorangie Allta is non-chill filtered and bottled at 51.2% ABV.

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Rounded, with biscuity, yeasty tones. Gentle floral notes of carnations and Parma violets, baking bread, very gentle vanilla, soft raisins and sweet mandarin orange.

Taste: A crisp citrus bite to the mouthfeel. Butter candy, creamy vanilla, orange syrup with slightly yeasty background. Gentle mint, the tiniest hint of sweet chilli and delicate, dancing, floral notes.

Finish: Long and earthy with hints of bittersweet orange and peppermint.

About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at
the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland for a purer spirit, expertly matured in the finest oak casks for great depth, and perfected by the Men of Tain, who have passed their skills down the generations, often from father to son.  These select craftsmen go to unseen lengths to ensure that Glenmorangie is made in the same unhurried, uncompromising way as it always has been.  The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field, uniting tradition with innovation.

The Glenmorangie Private Edition series:

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Glenmorangie’s award-winning Private Edition series provides an annual opportunity for whisky lovers to experience a rare and intriguing single malt. Its acclaimed releases include:

Glenmorangie Sonnalta (International Spirits Challenge ((ISC)) 2009 and International Wine and Spirits Competition ((IWSC)) 2010 Gold Medals)

The first Glenmorangie finished exclusively in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. 

Glenmorangie Finealta (IWSC 2012 Gold Medal)

Uniquely inspired by a Glenmorangie recipe from 1903. 

Glenmorangie Artein (IWSC and ISC 2013 Gold Medals)

The first Glenmorangie to be finished in Super Tuscan wine barrels. 

Glenmorangie Ealanta (IWSC and ISC 2013 Gold Medals and World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2014)

Matured in virgin American white oak casks from the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. 

Glenmorangie Companta (San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014 Gold Medal)

The first Glenmorangie whisky to be part-finished in Clos de Tart casks. 

Glenmorangie Tusail (ISC 2015 Gold Medal)

The first Glenmorangie created using rare floor malted Maris Otter barley, to explore the impact of the grain on the flavour of single malt. 

Glenmorangie Milsean (ISC 2016 Gold Medal)

The first Glenmorangie to be extra-matured in deeply toasted red wine casks. 

Glenmorangie Bacalta (IWSC 2017 Gold Medal)

The first Glenmorangie to be extra-matured entirely in bespoke Malmsey Madeira casks. 

Glenmorangie Spìos (ISC Trophy 2018)

The first Glenmorangie to be fully matured in ex-American rye whisky casks. 

Glenmorangie Allta

The first Glenmorangie created from wild yeast discovered on the Distillery’s own barley.

About Dr Bill Lumsden:

Dr Bill Lumsden is Glenmorangie’s acclaimed Director of Whisky Creation, Distilling & Whisky Stocks. Dr Bill is regarded by the malt whisky industry as an innovator, creating whiskies which have revolutionised the single-malt market. In recognition of his team’s work, The Glenmorangie Company was named Distiller of the Year at the IWSC in 2012. Dr Bill, who has a PhD in biochemistry, has combined art and science in his work since he joined The Glenmorangie Company in 1995. He is renowned for his groundbreaking wood management techniques, experimentation with exceptional casks at various ages, and use of wood-finishing. Dr Bill has won a series of prestigious awards and accolades. In 2015, he was named as the ISC’s Distiller of the Year. He was honoured with the title of Master Distiller/Blender of the Year, at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky 2016 awards. He also won the International Whisky Competition’s award for Master Distiller of the Year 2016 and 2017. In 2018, he was again named ISC Distiller of the Year.

About yeast:

Yeast is one of the three ingredients in Scotch whisky, alongside barley and water. It is added to the wort during the fermentation process, in which yeast converts those sugars present into alcohol. Many years ago, Scotch whisky distillers would have used their own ‘house’ strains of yeast. As times changed, many distillers began using a particular strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (the species used by the drinks industry), which is very efficient in creating alcohol, and provides a neutral flavour. Whisky makers looked to other parts of their craft, such as maturation, to influence taste. Dr Bill, however, who has a PhD in yeast physiology, was aware that yeast’s ability to impact flavour was being overlooked. And in Glenmorangie Allta, he determined to showcase its influence.

About the creation of Glenmorangie Allta:

Although yeast is all around us – in the soil, on plants, such as barley, and even on our skin, not all species are suitable for use in distilling. Acting on his intuition, Dr Bill sent a sample of the  barley grown in fields near Glenmorangie’s Highland home, Cadboll, to be tested in the laboratory. There, he found that the yeast those ears harboured –  Saccharomyces diaemath – was ideal for creating whisky. He arranged for Saccharomyces diaemath to be cultivated by Glenmorangie’s yeast supplier. Then, when the barley on which it had grown was ready for use in the Distillery, he brought them together in the whisky-making process, to create an exceptionally fragrant spirit, which would perfectly demonstrate yeast’s impact on flavour. 

About Michael Jackson

Widely recognised as a leading authority on whisky, Jackson was a writer and journalist as loved by those in the industry as he was (and still is) renowned throughout the world. As well as writing about beer, Jackson wrote a series of books on whisky, including: Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion and Whisky: The Definitive World Guide. He received numerous accolades for his work and was named as a Master of the Quaich, by the exclusive, international society Keepers of the Quaich, which recognises outstanding commitment to the Scotch whisky industry. Jackson died in 2007, aged 65. 

Responsible Drinking:

The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savour Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Isle of Arran Distillers announce official poem of new Lagg Distillery – Scotch Whisky News

Arran Logo Brown

Isle of Arran Distillers announce official poem of new Lagg Distillery

The official poem for the Lagg Distillery on the Isle of Arran, which will be displayed at the new site, has been announced.

Following over 80 entries from budding writers across the world, who were tasked with capturing Arran’s history, landscape or spirit, the winning entry is a piece written by David Cover entitled ‘From The Grain’.

The chosen poem is well suited to feature at the new island distillery as it details stages of the whisky making process in a beautifully creative manner and was described as a ‘wonderful, playful piece of work’ by competition judge Kenny Smith, Editor of Scottish Field magazine.

As well as the poem being immortalised at the distillery, it will be exclusively published in the next edition of Scottish Field magazine, released at the end of February. David will also be invited to the official opening of the new Lagg Distillery & Visitor Centre in Spring this year.

The two runners up, who have been announced as Bobby Ronnie and Etienne Guilloud, will also receive an exclusive Lagg Distillery goodie bag.

The winner and runners-up were chosen by the expert judging panel, which alongside Kenny Smith included Hamish Whyte, honorary research fellow in the Department of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, Jim Carruth, Poet Laureate of Glasgow since 2014, Rachel McCormack, a renowned chef and author of Chasing the Dram, Graham Omand, the Lagg Distillery manager, and Faye Waterlow, the Lagg Visitor Centre manager.

Full winning entry by David Cover:

From The Grain

Grain plucked,

Grain smoked.

Damp peat,

Fire stoked.

Hot water,

Sugar steeped.

Creature added,

Flavour creeped.

Fired copper,

Metal manned.

Infant spirit,

Wood to hand.

Rest for years,

Oak and time.

That we may drink

And whisky shine.


Construction is continuing at the site for the Lagg Distillery on the south of the island, with it’s distinctive shape now a fixture on the coastline, overlooking the Firth of Clyde, and the copper pot stills in place.

The distillery is expected to be fully operational later this year, increasing Arran’s production capacity to 2 million litres and producing heavily-peated (50ppm) spirit that will, in time, become the flagship Lagg Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

As well as the poetry competition, there are further opportunities for whisky aficionados to become part of the exciting story of the Lagg Distillery, by becoming member’s of the Lagg Cask Society, which includes ownership of one of the first casks to be filled at the new distillery. For more information, visit

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)

Best Visitor Experience – Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (2018)

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) Scottish Field Whisky Challenge – Gold Award for Best Whisky £50-100 (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)

American Single Malt at its Finest: K&L Exclusive Westland “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead – American Whisky News


A Very Rare Opportunity to Secure the Best in American Single Malt
Westland K&L Exclusive “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
“It’s safe to say that the Westland Distillery deserves its spot atop the Craft Distilling pyramid.”
—David Othenin-Girard, K&L SoCal Spirits Buyer

Easily among the most exciting projects in American whiskey is the work being done at Westland Distillery in Washington state. This is a group that’s so committed to their craft that they absolutely refuse to cut corners or spare any expense. The resulting whiskies are among the most heavenly we’ve experienced and rival some of the finest drams out of Scotland. It is for these very reasons that we count ourselves fortunate to partner with such a very special team.

Westland’s master distiller, Matt Hofmann, graduated from the same prestigious university in Edinburgh that the masters in Scotland attend. He brought his craft to the Pacific Northwest and committed to doing it better than anyone else. He examined every input and calculated every variable. His system allows for extremely interesting experimentation, within the parameters of what he knows will still create quality malt. He’s tweaked and improved on every aspect of the Scottish process, adopting previously discarded standards with a goal of creating the most delicious possible whisky. Westland isn’t afraid to spend more if the final product benefits from that investment. Quality and character over efficiency and profit.

That’s why we’re so proud to partner with Westland for a second time. This rare Pedro Ximenez Hogshead spent less than half a decade in the damp Cascadian climate, but has still developed into one of the most intense and undeniably delicious craft whiskies we’ve ever sold. Few malt whiskies will compare to this unctuous beast, and none that we’ve found stateside.


Westland K&L Exclusive “#2479” Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

The exceptional Westland distillery is easily considered one of the United States top single malt distilleries. That’s something that’s hard to believe considering they only opened their doors in 2010, just eight short years ago. But what Westland did right was commit. They committed to making the very best American single malt that they possibly could. They took what Scotland had perfected centuries earlier and instead of upending the tradition like so many craft distillers, they improved and adapted it to make this uniquely Scottish whisky distinctly Pacific Northwestern. In a lot of ways Westland is one of the most traditional single malt distilleries in the US. They put their unique twist on the thing in subtle but effective ways. And we noticed years ago when we first tasted this whisky, just how incredible this distillery truly is. We immediately sprang into action, visiting this special place and learning more about the incredible people running it. Somehow we acquired one of the very few single casks to ever make it out of Washington, a fino butt. In the years that followed, the distillery won accolades and top-tier investment from Remy Cointreau, but we never managed to snag another one. Now after pestering our friends on the Sound for years, they finally relented. They distilled this 100% WA state Pale Two Row and filled it into a fresh PX hoggie at 125 proof. After years maturing in the Pacific Northwest’s humid climate, we’ve got another stunner. We’re honored.

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

I think it’s safe to say that the Westland Distillery deserves its spot atop the craft distilling pyramid. The craft spirits category is dominated by distillers who are trying to do it all. That worked for St. George because they started 30 years ago and CAN actually do everything well, but very few people will ever replicate that model. So instead, distillers search for a way to do it different, to stand out, to change a category. The problem with changing a category like say single malt, is that it’s been changing for hundreds of years. It’s hard to argue that the Scottish haven’t figured it out pretty well. SO the question shouldn’t be, “how can we change this?” It should be, “how can we make it better?” And that’s exactly what Westland has done. They’ve stayed dedicated and focused completely on producing exceptional and eclectic single malt. They examined closely every possible aspect of the process and adjusted subtle quality components to create a product that is uniquely theirs, yet falls well within the boundaries of acceptable/traditional single malt. The results are no less than astonishing than their rise to prominence. I’ve always appreciated what they were able to achieve within their core range, but having been to the distillery and tasted countless single cask versions, there’s little doubt the true heights are only achieved with these singular expressions. So when Matt phoned up to say he’d be in town with samples, I cleared my schedule. It’s been YEARS since we’ve even been considered as a potential partner for their single cask program and the huge majority of single casks seems to sell in and around the distillery. It wasn’t an easy choice. There were some big bold peaters in the bunch and some elegant aromatic American Oak barrels, but there was just no way that I could let this sweet little number walk away. This ultra-concentrated Pedro Ximinez sherry hogshead is the total package. Dense nose full of dried fruit, deep malt, and spiced cakes. The absolutely jaw-aching texture belies the youth of the whisky, which can’t be very old, but packs a punch like Mike. With water this stuff builds intensity and some salinity, while staying sweet enough to keep from being astringent. I’m sort of loving this with only the tiniest drop added. If more whisky came out of Westland like this, we might have to call it the Kavalan of Cascadia, but I think this one is a bit of an outlier. And that’s just where we like ’em—off the charts.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

It’s no secret that Westland makes the finest American single malts. What I think flies under the radar is why. After training in Scotland, the founders considered how they could take the best of the Northwest and apply it to whisky making for the better. Obviously there is a rich beer culture in Washington and that history played a large role in creating Westland. The long-standing tradition of using different levels of roasted malt for beer production has been applied to Westland’s whisky making with incredible success. Using five different malts, they achieve an incredibly rich and complex base spirit that is perfectly on display in the classic American oak single malt in their core lineup. That same mash was used here, and elevated to an even richer level by the fresh PX cask. Under the sweet rancio blend of dried fruits, brown sugar, and crème brûlée, the chocolate tones of roasted malt meld with the brighter golden hues of classic whisky malt. While the distillery is still young, it has an incredible track record of success and this cask is one more piece of the foundation supporting Westland’s reign at the top of American single malt.

William Beare | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

This American single malt is so good I think I just felt an uncommon rush of patriotism. Could we as a country finally be entering the single-malt big leagues? Probably not. But Westland is! This does not feel in any way like a bastardization, nor does it feel like a lesser copy. This is something new. It is innovative—but at the same time remains a whiskey that clearly respects its history. The first wave of flavor packs candied chestnuts, cigar box spice, and the exotically piquant elements we love sherry for for bringing to the table. Lining that illustrious flavor profile is the incredible aroma of the roasted malt, adding layers of chicory coffee and chocolate.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

The nose begins with a heap of molasses and burnt sugar accompanied by a rich mix of baking spice and some breadiness. The Pedro Ximenez character comes through in a distinct and complex rancio. At the same time, this whiskey bombards with earthy forest floor notes, rich overripe fruits, and some wonderfully funky oxidized aromas. The palate keeps with this strong mix of sweet and savory. Theres a nice nutty character that fades into roasted nut shells; theres caramel that fades into burnt sugar; theres cinnamon candy that becomes a spice blend toasted on the stove top and dark rye loaf.

Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2018

Before I could even put my nose to the glass, the aroma was already overtaking the room. Prunes and candied plums followed by a distinct sherry note reminded me of the comfort of being with my late grandmother and put me in a nostalgic mindset. After the addition of some water, nutmeg, tobacco, and oak became more prominent on the nose. The palate was a little tight going in so I added a splash of water to see how it would open up. Initially I got some fruity and oaky esters and with the addition of water, cherry pits and brown sugar notes started to emerge. The finish was long with some nice spice and red fruit to it with a familiar coco nib nod at the very end.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2018

People who like sherry-aged or finished whiskeys should love this single-cask bottling. The sherry influence comes forward in a nice way, adding flavor and complexity. In the mouth, this whiskey is rich , round, and juicy. It is complex and easy with a nice mouth feel. There is a wonderful nutty finish. It is good both straight or with a touch of water.

Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2018

This is A LOT of whisky packed in a 750 ml bottle… I love the effect of the PX hogshead as it hits the senses twice: once on the nose, where the hazelnut rounds out the richness of soft, silky, caramel; and again on the lingering finish, where walnut and pecans sit around your tongue for a long time. The whisky is deliciously full bodied, but not cloying, round, and super flavorful. Put one in your cart or stop in for a holiday sipper!

Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)

K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


Get The Gift That Says “I Love You” – Personalised Bottle Engraving At The Whisky Shop – Whisky News

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Get the perfect gift that says “I Love You” this Valentines Day with personalised bottle engraving at The Whisky Shop.

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Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select

The highest standard is maintained when crafting and selecting Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. In fact, just one out of every 100 barrels is set aside to mature in the highest reaches of the barrel houses, where dramatic temperature changes cause the colour and taste to deepen further. The Distillery says “It’s not easy making a whiskey like Single Barrel. But easy never interested us in the first place.”

Make it personal

£50.00 (Engraved) – Buy Now

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Highland Park Whisky Shop Exclusive – Scotch Whisky News


Limited edition single barrels are plenty at the minute, be it in England, Germany, Netherlands and, well, everywhere really. This one though is a little different. Highland Park have been on a run with a lot of releases in the last 12 months, this has been hand selected by The Whisky Shop because of it’s remarkable complexity…also it’s 67%! 67%!! Now, this is one of the only whiskies where I’ve added water to both a little and large degree and it’s one of the only liquids where the ‘classic’ style is found once it’s taken down to 50% ABV, 45% ABV and 40% ABV –  but before that, it’s a tropical, almost rum flavoured, toffee and banana bomb with exotic spices fuelling it’s presence and power. It’s in all honesty, one of the finest examples of complex and big flavoured whisky I’ve ever come across.

Whisky Reviews every Wednesday ~ ~ ~

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