Archive for February, 2019


Pip Hills #001


The founding member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), Philip ‘Pip’ Hills, will be hosting a special event at the whisky club’s spiritual home, The Vaults where he will be cracking open their first ever single cask bottling 1.1.

As part of the exclusive sold-out tasting on Monday, 18th February, which will explore the Society’s origin story, members will have the rare opportunity to try the bottle that started it all, as well as a selection of other extraordinary drams.

Pip, who was at the forefront of a whisky revolution as he discovered single malt whisky straight from the cask and launched the Society in 1983, will be recalling tales of the rebellious early days.

It began when a farmer decanted a quarter cask of Glenfarclas into a lemonade bottle for him to try, his eyes were opened to the flavourful and interesting world of single cask whisky.

He then wondered why it was so difficult to get hold of quality single malt and bought some of his own, only to be inundated with phone calls from his friends and strangers asking for a taste.

This formed the foundation of what became the world’s leading whisky club, allowing enthusiasts to discover, share and celebrate this exceptional spirit together.

Since its inception, The SMWS, which celebrated its 35th anniversary last year, has gone on to win a number of prestigious awards and has over 26,000 members in the UK and around the world.

In celebration of this, members will be raising a glass to the original pioneer and sampling single cask bottling 1.1 at the event, which will filmed and subsequently available to view online.

Only members of the SMWS can access its exclusive supply of award-winning single casks drawn straight from the barrel and an array of exclusive events and tastings to share whisky experiences with other enthusiasts.

For more information on membership to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, visit:

SMWS Bottle 1.1 [2]


About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
  • The SMWS bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society bottles single malts, unique single casks and exclusive blends
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 137 distilleries from Scotland and beyond
  • The Society offers a new batch of around 30 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
  • The Society offers a variety of membership’s packages which can be tailored. Please see
  • For more information about the Society, visit
  • Twitter: @SMWSUK Facebook: @thesmwsuk Instagram: @smws_uk

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada February 2019 Outturn – Scotch Whisky News



First release from distillery 115 for SMWS Canada

CASK NO. 115.8

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  8 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Sweet, fruity & mellow


CASK NO:  41.105

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  21 years



CASK NO:  35.208

CASK:  1st fill hogshead

AGE:  15 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Juicy, oak & vanilla


CASK NO:  10.151

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  11 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Oily & coastal


CASK NO:  4.242

CASK:  Refill hogshead

AGE:  13 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Lightly peated


CASK NO:  29.245

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  8 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Heavily peated

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada
Suite 160
104 – 1240 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 3P7



2009 Talisker 8 Year Old “Old Particular – K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel Cask Strength – Scotch Whisky News


Limited Availability on an Inspired Single Malt from a Celebrated Distillery
2009 Talisker 8 Year Old “Old Particular – K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($72.99)
“Easily one of the best young Taliskers I’ve ever had.” —David Othenin-Girard

We’ve been exploring Scotland and its 120-plus distilleries for the last decade, and part of that journey is finding new and interesting bottlings to offer our customers. However, sometimes you have to step back and appreciate the pillars of an industry for what they are. Not only is Talisker one of the most recognizable single malts in the world, but it’s widely considered one of the very best distilleries of any kind anywhere in the world. While only a small fraction of the malt distilled will ever be sold as a single malt, the distillery’s releases are roundly lauded as the highest quality.

Today’s featured bottling wonderfully captures all the best characteristics of this cherished distillery. Having bottled a few casks over the years, we’re starting to get a sense of the potential of this incredible whisky. At around the eight-year mark, the spirit takes on a new complexity that the younger versions lacked. Adding to the deep briny Talisker character, expect rich, fresh whole grain bread, roasted lemons, almond butter, camphor, raw honey, and freshly shucked oyster. While Talisker is not the peatiest whisky in Scotland, it does offer the most authentic “Island” experience available, transporting its drinkers directly to the Isle of Skye without the hard edge smoke of the south coast Islay distillers. Of all the incredible casks we’ve sold this year, this might be the most interesting. A truly eye-opening offering from one of Scotland’s true “Grand Cru” distillers.


2009 Talisker 8 Year Old “Old Particular – K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($72.99)

Talisker has sort of this mythical quality in the pantheon of great malts. The majestic distillery on the banks of Loch Harport has long been a staple of any good Scotch selection thanks to its inclusion in the original “Classic Malt” line-up. While it was always one of the more available high quality malts on the market, Talisker was almost NEVER bottled by independents. Word was that Diageo prohibited the sale of casks to blenders under that name, but a special few bottlers, like Gordon & Macphail, had access to filling contracts which allowed them to use the name. Needless to say, the mark was exquisitely rare and we had never tasted a single cask until our friends at Douglas Laing offered one up a few years back. We’ve since bottled a few of these, but have yet to find one as special as this one. While Talisker is moderately peated (circa 22ppm) it has an ocean quality that is almost unmistakable. It’s difficult to pinpoint just where these mindblowing flavors come from, but it must be some combination of the peat and the unusual five still set up. The extreme saltiness makes you believe it’s peatier than it is, but actually it’s the bold malt that is coming through more than the peat.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

There’s always a risk when you pick rare casks from a blue chip distillery. Not to mention the fact that you’ll need to pay a bit of a premium, but also these sorts of casks receive an extra dose of scrutiny from our discerning customers. It’s not enough to put out a cask of Talisker just because you can. It needs to be special. We’ve done it a few times in the past and while all those casks were good, none broke the threshold for true greatness like this one has. The 8 year age statement from Talisker is a historical one and the distillery has an incredibly rare LE making the rounds in Europe right now. So we thought we’d have a crack at filling the void that product has left for lovers of the old still on Skye. Here is what to expect. The nose is all salt and lemons. Touches of sourdough and pumpernickel. Not at all as spirity as past barrels have been. We’ve really turned a corner here in terms of maturity. Some big salted orchard fruit chopped and wrapped in nori. On the palate, big ripe Meyer lemons and salty smoke. Tons of grip and bold peat. It’s always surprising that Tali shows so much intensity of smoke and salt when the peat levels are only around 16-20 ppm (half of the big boys on Islay). Savory herbs, fennel, lovage, coriander, but very clean and pointed. With water, the brine fully takes over. For those who like ’em salty, you’ve found your malt. Basically seawater. Easily one of the best young Taliskers I’ve ever had.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

While independent casks of Tali are indeed rare, this bottling is perhaps as classic as Talisker gets. Until 1998, Talisker’s predominantly available malt was 8 years of age. Check. The remote distillery on the Isle of Skye with a very long history has always been unique. Its five still setup really utilizes the wash stills’ unique shape to produce a huge amount of reflux without a ton of copper contact. This contributes to the fruity, yet full bodied and peppery nature of the house. Add to that the peat smoke and saline environs and you have a splendid combination that defines the malts of Talisker. All of that is on full display here. Check, check. It’s like sucking down a fresh oyster while sitting on a beach with a blazing fire keeping you warm. Add to that some salty snacks and you have yourself a Talisker afternoon. The malt carries through in a big way here, there is tons of rich cereal to stand up to that incredible and unwavering salinity. Add to that a chance to enjoy it at full proof and you’ve got the real deal.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 07, 2019

From my experience young Talisker selections are really good. They are lively, expressive and delicious. This Old Particular that was distilled in 2009 is no exception. Without the addition of water the nose is smoke and sea and the mouth is sweet and round. It is the addition of water that makes this product shine. The smoke and sea aromas open up and become more pronounced. The flavors are more open to taste with sweet malt, salt and a kiss of smoke coming through.

William Beare | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

Step forward and give yourself to the embrace of the ocean. Shake hands and mingle with Leviathans, Krakens and Cthulus, while you share in this mystically wonderful sea-sprayed scotch. The nose of the 8 Year Old Particular Talisker Single Barrel is a powerful melding of seaweed and pepper, with some rich, smoked fish pâté both on the nose and the edges of the palate. Touches of candied citrus rind (more bitter than sweet), with another big dose of smashed peppercorn on the finish. I love Talisker, and found this to be a serious treat, not to mention a re-affirmation of the truly special quality on display at this distillery.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

The first sniffs of this bottling remind me of going to the deli and getting cured, pepper-crusted meats. This is Talisker at its full robustness – it’s bold, brash, and unflinching. Because of the young age, the peat feels fully present and this quality pairs perfectly with Talisker’s core characteristics of black pepper spice and sea salt brine. But underneath all that power, there’s a delicacy here as well. There’s soft vanilla notes and some honey sweetness, and there’s scents and flavors of candied tropical fruits and dehydrated pineapple. The more I nose my glass, the more prominently these fruity dessert elements come out. The palate reverses this power-to-delicacy dynamic with the initial flavors focusing on those tropical fruit notes before the spice and smoke come out and build. As the finish comes on, the spice warms the entire mouth and leaves me with the flavors of ash and smoldering campfire embers.


Whisky Hammer February 2019 Auction Ends Soon – Whisky News

AA Whisky Hammer


(ends Sunday 24th February)

…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!


Whisky Wednesday Reviews ……… – Whisky News


Not this week, apologies…..

Cotswolds Distillery tops the ‘English Single Malt’ category at the World Whiskies Awards – English Whisky News

Founders Choice Whisky


Cotswolds Distillery tops the ‘English Single Malt’ category at the World Whiskies Awards 

Not one, but two Cotswolds Distillery whiskies have triumphed at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards.

Cotswolds Distillery Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky was the overall winner in the ‘English Single Malt’ category, and the distillery’s flagship Single Malt Whisky also took home a gold in the same category.

Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky, released in December 2018, is made using shaved, toasted and re-charred American Oak red wine barriques. The uniquely active casks provide the whisky with a rich and intense maturation with notes of toffee, oak and red fruits, giving a beautiful and deep colour.

Based in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Cotswolds Distillery has become a leader in English whisky production since the inaugural launch of Cotswolds Distillery Single Malt Whisky in 2017, the first-ever distilled in the area. It uses 100% locally grown, floor-malted barley and has been aged in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and reconditioned red wine casks. The whisky is rich, fruity and sippable.

The World Whiskies Awards are global awards which select the very best of all the internationally recognised whisky styles; and promote to consumers and trade across the globe.

Dan Szor, Founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery said: “We are delighted to win gold and the overall title for ‘English Single Malt’. Our whisky offerings come following years of hard work using the best-in-class Cotswolds ingredients to produce some truly remarkable whisky. We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved so far.”

Founder’s Choice is bottled at cask strength (60.9% ABV) non-chill filtered and with no added colouring. The whisky is available in specialist retailers and the Cotswolds Distillery website with an RRP of £64.95.

Cotswolds Distillery Single Malt Whisky is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV and is available from Waitrose and online with an RRP of £44.95 for 70cl.

Single Malt Whisky


The Cotswolds Distillery 

Located in Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, the distillery has become a premier local attraction, offering tours and tastings daily, and now receives 30,000 visitors a year.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017. Each bottle lists the barley variety, harvest year and local Cotswolds farm it was grown on. It recently won Gold at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and took 2 stars (one of only two whiskies to do so) in the 2018 Great Taste Awards.

In Jim Murray’s 2019 Whisky Bible, the Cotswolds Distillery received 5 ‘Liquid Gold’ awards. Three of Cotswolds’ whiskies scored 95 points, with all of the distillery’s samples scoring over 88 out of 100.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is available nationally and in 26 countries across the world. Key UK retailers include Waitrose & Partners, Majestic Wine, The Whisky Exchange, Harrods and Laithwaites.

The distillery also produces Cotswolds Dry Gin, which was named Best London Dry at the 2016 World Gin Awards and received the top Gold Outstanding award in the 2017 International Wine and Spirits Competition. Difford’s Guide recently ranked the Gin as one of the top 20 Gins available in a survey of 450 brands.

The Cotswolds Distillery featured at number 8 in report compiled by independent research agency Beauhurst and SyndicateRoom revealing the 100 fastest-growing private companies in the UK.

Cotswolds Dry Gin is on sale nationally and in over 25 countries.  Key national accounts include Waitrose & Partners, Majestic, Oddbins, Laithwaites, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason.

For more information, please visit

Sullivans Cove *NEW RELEASE* Double Cask DC101 – Tasmanian Whisky News




After a long wait, our new Double Cask (DC101) is ready to be released.

DC101 is comprised of American and French oak casks, six in total, ranging from 10 to 12 years old.

“This whisky is a big, warm, round, malty hug. The nose has heaps of creaming soda, canned peaches and rose petals with lots of lovely warm malt too. On the palate we taste toffee apple, warm spices, white chocolate and a hint of pencil box, then on the finish there’s an explosion of malty chocolate with more ripe stone fruits and lemon curd.” Heather Tillott, Production Manager



Three New Mortlach Releases at Federal Wine & Spirits – Scotch Whisky News


 Three New Mortlach Releases

Everyone should have a Morty


“There is not perhaps a distillery in Scotland that has so many private customers as Mortlach from whisky spirits are sent not only over the three kingdom’s to families, but to America, India, China and Australia, in all of whisky Mr. Cowie has customers that prefer his distillation to others.” Elgin Current 1868

Mortlach Distillery dates from 1823, But it was not till railroad surveyer George Cowie came in 1853 that its reputation began to soar. He became sole owner in 1867, and began a tradition that continues to this day. George’s son Alexander took over in 1897 after studying at the University Aberdeen and medical service in Vienna and Hong Kong. Working with distillery architect Charles Doig he expanded the distillery expanded and and put the 2.81 distillation process in place.

The distillery is in Dufftown, the first of seven in that highland town.

Mortlach Distillery is special as is the whisky, good portion of which goes into Johnnie Walker.

They use worm tubs for body and distill the whiskey 2.81 times. A smaller still is called The Wee Witchie .

s nice to see that they are releasing so very nice bottling. You will not go wrong with any of them. 

The 12 Y.O. is a wonderful sherried single malt is called The Wee Witchie good balance, nice all around, very nice finish. Has a little heat but a few drops of water puts it in a very nice place. Also Good Price.

The 16 Y.O. The Distiller’s Dram – Is going to be the sweet spot, it is the heaviest on the sherry, it has the heat as well, not in a bad way,and adding a little water really opens it up, nice balance, the finish is long and inviting, sit back for the ride. – A Cracker

The 20 Y.O. Cowie’s Blue Seal – 1973 Glenrinnes Lodge,                  This is an intricate whisky, recreating Dr. Alexander Cowie’s Private Stock, 12 bottles of a deliciously complex dram dating back to 1909 that his daughter found hidden when his house was renovated .

I have a feeling that there are single malts in this bottling older than the 20 Y.O. Statement maybe by 3-5 yrs., maybe even by 5 – 10 years. Could this blend contain whisky up to 30 Y.O.? – I am not sure.

I am sure that all 3 of this distilleries bottling are Very Good – Very Good All Around . You will not regret any of them. I will recommend to you what you will appreciate the most. You would regret having to wait for the next shipment to arrive.

Mortlach 12 Y.O. 43.4% Ex Sherry and Ex Bourbon casks.

Rich, fruity and vibrant with hints of umami, light spice, dark chocolate and cherries, leading to a smooth dry finish.    $57.99

Mortlach 16 Y.O. 43.4% 100% Ex Sherry cask

  Intense, rich and spicy with hints of clove, nutmeg and dar berries, leading to a lingering, surprisingly sweet yet dry finish.  $109.99

Mortlach 20 Y.O. 43.4% Ex Sherry and Whisky Refill

 Deep, complex and savory with hints of cedar wood, aromatic citrus, cocoa nibs and berries, leading to a long spicy finish.    $214.99

Click to Order


New Arrivals at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


1990 Port Dundas 28 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) $99.99 View

1988 Cambus 29 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) $109.99 View

Johnnie Walker Blue “Ghost and Rare Port Ellen Edition” Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml) $249.99 View


Ralfy Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of His Show! – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy-crownralfy’s 10th !

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