Archive for May, 2019





Fresh from widespread acclaim in its homeland, the award-winning and legendary Silkie blended Irish whiskey is now available to UK drinkers. Named after the mythical seals that transform into irresistible maidens when ashore Donegal’s beaches, the whiskey is as smooth as its name suggests.  Available from Amazon, Master of Malt and Whisky Exchange at an RRP of £32.99 for 70cl (40%ABV).

Created by James Doherty, a returning Donegal ‘scatterling’, Silkie is made from a blend of carefully selected malt and grain whiskeys.  By using a higher malt percentage – with malts aged up to eight years including some sherry wood – James is able to produce a signature-soft mouth feel and silken, easy character.

On the nose, Silkie evokes brisk green apples opening to a more honeyed butteryness. On the palate, it suggests orange zest, digestive biscuits and stem ginger, all with the signature softness. The rich, sweet taste provides a sublimely gentle finish.

Commenting on the arrival into the UK, James Doherty, Managing Director, Sliabh Liag Distillers said: “As a young lad, my mother used to tell me all about the silkies emerging from the wild Atlantic ocean and beguiling the men they encountered.  We’ve worked hard to create a blended Irish whiskey that is rich, soft and very easy-drinking and are confident drinkers across the UK who encounter our Silkie will be as equally mesmerised by it as the Donegal seafarers of old were by its namesake.”

Given its soft character, Silkie can easily be enjoyed neat but also works superbly as an Old Fashioned cocktail, especially if rhubarb bitters are used instead of the traditional Angostura variety. For a more refreshing drink, a “Silkie Rua” – Silkie with ginger ale garnished with an orange peel twist hits the spot.


  • Sliabh Liag (pronounced ‘sleeve league’) Distillers is committed to reclaiming the distilling heritage of Donegal. In addition to Silkie, the company also produces An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin at its distillery, near Carrick.  Planning has also been submitted for a new distillery at Ardara, co Donegal.
  • Silkie and An Dúlamán are both distributed by Vine Distribution Services in the UK. Established in 2000, Vine Distribution Services (VDS UK Limited) are importers and distributors of premium drinks and other FMCG brands in the UK. Founded by Steve Brown and Paul Macgregor, VDS is a sales, marketing and distribution company that specialises in the development of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic brands.

The Fisherman’s Retreat launches fourth and fifth edition whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Fishermans Retreat
The Fisherman’s Retreat launches fourth and fifth edition whisky

Following the success of its previous three editions, The Fisherman’s Retreat, located just beyond the picturesque town of Ramsbottom, has launched its fourth and fifth edition single malt whisky.

From buying the first few single malt whiskies to stock the bar back in 1992 to purchasing the first cask in 1995, whisky has always been at the heart of The Fisherman’s Retreat.

Now in its 27 th year The Fisherman’s Retreat now stock over 500 different Scottish single malt whiskies, with the majority of these available to try by the dram or purchase by the bottle from their onsite shop.

Their online shop has just launched which showcases some of the more fine and rare whiskies The Fisherman’s Retreat has to offer.

The 90 litre Octavius red wine cask was filled in 2013 with new make Arran spirit, the smaller cask enabled a faster maturation, thus rendering it ready for bottling after just five years. Bottled at 54% ABV this is a very limited edition at only 191 bottles.

One of the whisky industry’s best-known figures, Jim McEwan, the former master distiller of Bruichladdich, and good friend to the Magnall family has written the tasting notes for the whisky, describing its palate as:

“Amazingly complex for one so young. Layered and seductive. The flavours of the toasted barley, rich wine soaked oak and spicy vanilla is impressive for such a young spirit. Little hints of tangerines & almonds bring this amazing Yalumba matured spirit to a most surprising and satisfying conclusion”

Jim’s notes on the whisky’s aromas focus on the impact of the Yalumba cask:

“Brilliant combinations of mellow oak & concentrated fruitiness from the Yalumba wine cask. No other influence can encourage such an ambrosial intensity. It’s a luscious aroma cradled in a halo of toasted malt with an overture from the Flora & Fauna from this stunning Island”

Edition five has been 10 years in the making. This unique single cask bottling sees a return to Bruicladdich for The Fisherman’s in the form of this heavily peated Port Charlotte. Distilled November 2008 at Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay and peated to 40ppm this Port Charlotte ticks all the boxes when it comes to embodying Islay’s peaty history.

Spending all its life maturing in a warehouse on the windswept shores of Loch Indaal this whisky has endured everything the elements have thrown at it and used them to create something exceptional. The former Haut-Brion red wine cask has also played an immense role in the making of this whisky, imparting its unique characteristics over many seasons to leave us with a deeply rich and well-rounded malt, accompanied by the unmistakable flavors that can only be found in an Islay aged whisky. Hand bottled in December 2018 at 54%ABV this release has produced 360 bottles.

Tormore 29 Year Old 1988 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

TWB Tormore

Tormore 29 Year Old 1988

Single cask refill hogshead bottled by Hunter Laing & Co. for the Old Malt Cask series. Just 62 bottles from the Speyside distillery. Tormore 29 Year Old 1988 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Single refill hogshead #15352 bottled August 2018 by Hunter Laing & Co. for the Old Malt Cask series. Only 62 bottles.

Flavours of raspberry jam, strawberry fondant and plums.

Tormore Distillery was established in 1958 in the Speyside whisky region to supply malt whisky to blending houses. It was designed by Sir Albert Richardson, President of the Royal Academy and is set in stunning landscaped gardens. Resplendent with green-coppered roofs, decorative pagoda roofs, a clock tower and clock which still chimes Scottish tunes, a rectangular curling pond, topiary and houses for the staff. Tormore Distillery is now operating with eight stills in its tall still house and Tormore malt whisky is still mostly flowing into scotch blends. Whilst official bottling are sparse it features amongst the ranges of a number of independent bottlers including Signatory Vintage and Connoisseurs Choice.

Shop – Tormore 29 Year Old – £129.95


Father’s Day from Tomatin II – Scotch Whisky News

ham 1988


Asian slow cooked ham hough with slaw & brioche coupled with Tomatin 1988 

1 smoked ham hough
100ml apple juice
50ml soy sauce
50 ml runny Scottish honey
25ml rice wine
1 red chilli de seeded
1 Clove garlic

  1. Half full a deep pot with cold water
    2.    Pour in apple juice and add other ingredients
    3.    Slowly simmer ham for 2-3hrs
    4.    Remove hough check water not too salty
    5.    Then reduce In a high heat until a sticky glaze
    6.    Brush the sticky glaze all over the ham
    7.    Allow to sit


1 carrot peeled & cut into julienne
1/4 Chinese cabbage finely shredded
1/2 red onion finely sliced
1″ ginger cut into julienne
1 red chilli de seed & finely chop
2 lime zest & juice
2tbs toasted sesame seeds

To serve slice some brioche bread and toast, Flake the ham hough over the brioche and serve the slaw on the side

Tomatin choc 18YO


Scotch raspberry and dark chocolate chilli tart with a clotted cream ice cream paired with Tomatin 14 year old 

Pastry case
250g of plain flour
100g of icing sugar
35gr ground almonds
125g of unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 egg & 1 egg yolk
Chocolate and chilli filling
400g of 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
350ml of double cream
3/4 tsp chilli flakes
150ml of milk
2 eggs, beaten

  1.  To begin the chocolate tart, prepare the pastry case. In a mixing bowl, crumb the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and butter together
    2.    Add 2 eggs and blend together, handling as little as possible, until just mixed. Wrap in cling film and rest the pastry in the fridge for 1 hour
    3.    To begin the filling, heat the double cream and milk to the boil, then add the chilli flakes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour
    4.    Grease and line your tart ring. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Push the pastry into the corners evenly and then line with baking parchment before filling with baking beads.  Blind bake at 190˚C/gas mark 5 until the pastry is lightly golden, around 10 minutes. Remove the baking beads and return to the oven in order to colour the base until the pastry is golden brown, around 10-15 minutes
    5.    After removing the pastry from the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze it with the remaining egg yolk. This will seal the case for the chocolate mixture
    6.    To make the chocolate mixture, place the chocolate in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Strain the infused chilli cream and bring back to the boil. Once boiled, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has fully melted. Slowly add the beaten eggs and mix well
    7.    Preheat the oven to 150ºC/gas mark 2. Pour the mix into the prepared pastry case and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake until the mix is just set, approximately 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool but do not refrigerate
    8.    Served with Clotted cream ice cream & Scottish raspberries with Honeycomb spikes

Tomatin cheese 18YO b


Barwheys cheddar with homemade oatcakes with celery, apple & a pear chutney coupled with our Tomatin 18 year old

200gr Barwheys cheddar
225gr Oats
60gr wholewheat flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
60gr butter
1tsp salt
60-80ml boiling water

  1. Mix all ingredients together and shape into large rounds or squares for oatcakes
    2. Bake at 180c Gas 5 for 20-25 minutes. They will come out of the oven crisp
    3.  Serve with celery sticks apple & pear chutney and a big chunk of Barwheys cheddar

Tomatin Logo

Ralfy Review 778 – Mortlach 16yo @ 43.4%vol – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy-crown like this Mortlach !

thanks Lawrence !


Hunter Laing & Company Limited - FINAL design

Scarabus_BottleTube (Credit - Ralph Dunning) (002)


Hunter Laing & Co reveals newest brand from the famed whisky island

The family owned Scotch whisky distiller, blender and bottler Hunter Laing & Co. releases Scarabus Specially Selected at Feis Ile 2019, the Islay Festival of Music and Whisky held at the end of May. The Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is bottled at 46% ABV and will be available worldwide from mid June. In the UK it has an RRP of £38 (70cl).

The first drams of Scarabus will be poured at a number of tours and tastings throughout the festival at Hunter Laing & Co.’s newly opened distillery on the island, Ardnahoe. It will also be available exclusively for purchase there until next month.

Scarabus, meaning ‘rocky place’ in Nordic, is named after a mystical area of Islay and is described as a whisky for those with a curious mind and an eye for detail. The Scarabus Specially Selected tasting notes read: “Aromas of Islay peat smoke and sea salt, followed by warming leather notes, stewed rhubarb and a wonderful vanilla sweetness on the palate, leading to a rich lingering finish.”

The whisky creates a sense of mystery and discovery through the mantra “Only those who seek shall find”, with the symbols found on the bottle being intentionally ambiguous. The look and feel drew inspiration from the work of Islay born John Francis Campbell, who created the sunshine recorder, a device that tallies the hours of sunshine in a day, as well as creating a vast collection of Celtic folklore tales.

Commenting on the release of the new expression, Stewart Laing, Managing Director, said: “We’re extremely proud of the Scarabus whisky and the Feis Ile Festival is the perfect place to release the first bottling. We aimed to produce an expression that showcases a traditional Islay whisky style, and the unmistakable Islay smoke matches wonderfully with the rich, sweeter notes that linger on the finish.”

Adding to his father’s comments, Andrew Laing, Export Director said: “Our new brand is mysterious, which we know will create intrigue with the ever-loyal following of Islay whisky fans. Our family has such a strong connection with the island and we can’t wait for people to discover Scarabus at Feis Ile.”

“Our new release is bottled at 46% and will be available in 70cl, 75cl & 1L in the UK and international markets as well as in selected travel retail and duty free stores. We are very proud of the first release from the Scarabus range and are confident we will receive a positive reaction at the festival,” said Scott Laing, Business Development Director.

Facebook: @scarabuswhisky
Instagram: @scarabus_whisky

Scarabus-3174 (Credit - Ralph Dunning) (002)


• Hunter Laing & Co is an independent distiller, blender and bottler based in Glasgow and run by the Laing Family – father Stewart with sons Andrew and Scott
• Hunter Laing has been operating since May 2013 and owns a portfolio of much-loved whisky brands including Kinship, Old Malt Cask, Old & Rare, Hepburn’s Choice and Sovereign.
• It distributes to 65 markets around the world in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia.
• Hunter Laing & Co reported pre-tax profits of £2.3m on a turnover of £8.4m for its last full year of trading (end April 2018).

BBQ pioneer teams up with Johnnie Walker Black – Scotch Whisky News

JW Logo

Johnnie-Walker-BerberQ-JustinDeSouza-size (002)

BBQ pioneer teams up with Johnnie Walker Black

Introducing Berber & Q’s Johnnie & Ginger  –

“Celebrate National BBQ Week with a Johnnie & Ginger at Berber & Q Grill House”

Get down to Berber & Q this National BBQ Week to experience their Johnnie Walker Johnnie & Ginger; the perfect pre-dinner drink for your BBQ banquet!

The limited edition cocktail was crafted by Josh Katz, founder of London’s trendy BBQ joint, Berber & Q, to celebrate National BBQ Week. Expertly designed to complement Berber’s famous Joojeh Chicken Kebab, the charred and smokey notes of the chicken are perfectly countered by the light and summery cocktail.

Available at Berber & Q Grill House from 27th May – 2nd June and priced at £9 the Johnnie Walker, Johnnie & Ginger is a smooth start to your barbecue and works wonderfully well for al fresco dining and summer sunshine.

No fear if you miss the rush to get a table at Berber & Q, the Johnnie Walker, Johnnie & Ginger is easily recreated at home with every day, store bought items – please find the recipe below.

Josh Katz, founder of Berber & Q commented: “What a taste experience, the Johnnie Walker Johnnie & Ginger is the perfect start to a barbecue and pairs perfectly with our house Joojeh Chicken Kebabs. The smokeyness of the charred chicken is offset by the smooth whisky and is given a spicy lift by the inclusion of ginger ale. You’ll have to move quickly if you want to sample the Johnnie Walker, Johnnie & Ginger in its true home, although, it’s a cinch to make at home if you can’t make it to our restaurant.”

Berber & Q Grill House is an East London BBQ restaurant by barbecue pioneer Josh Katz. Inspired by the ingredients and flavours of the Middle East, North Africa and across the Ottoman, Berber & Q is flourishing in the ever popular BBQ market.

Berber & Q

338 Acton Mews



E8 4EA

Johnnie Walker – Johnnie & Ginger (2 units):

The recipe:

50ml Johnnie Walker Black

15ml lime juice

35ml pressed Granny Smith apple juice

35ml ginger ale

And a little pinch of Zaatar for that Berber touch

The method:

Shake the mix with one ice cube for no longer than 5 seconds

Place the mix in a High-ball glass filled with ice

Top it all up with ginger ale

Garnish with a dehydrated apple wheel and mint sprig

Please drink responsibly and do not forward to anyone under the age of 18.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere

Feis Ile 2019: Ardbeg Drum – Pre-order Now From Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


A Taste of the Islay Festival

Festival season is in full swing and the biggest of them all kicked off this week on Islay. Every year, the Queen of the Hebrides sees its population swell with whisky lovers from around the world, all eager to get their hands on the highly sought-after festival bottlings from each of the island’s distilleries.

Didn’t make the trip? Not to worry – we’ve got the limited edition Ardbeg Drum available to pre-order now so you can get a taste of the festival from the comfort of your own home!

Ardbeg Drum

70cl / 46% abv

Every year Ardbeg release a limited edition to celebrate Ardbeg Day at the Islay Festival and 2019’s release is Ardbeg Drum, inspired by Islay’s history of carnivals. In a first for Ardbeg, this release has been matured in ex-bourbon casks and then rested for a time in ex-rum casks from the Americas.


Expected w/c 3rd June

Pre-Order Now

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The Whisky Shop #SFO “Double Tasting Day!” – Whisky News


Friday, June 7th: 

Double Tasting Day! 


Cotton Hollow with 

Master Distiller Darren Lincoln

More Details & RSVP 


SIA Blended Scotch Whiskey

More Details & RSVP 

Try popular scotch blend SIA and award-winning bourbons & ryes by Cotton Hollow, with a special visit from Cotton Hollow distillery’s founder and master distiller.


WhiskyFest Tickets For Father’s Day–Great Idea! – Whisky News


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