Archive for June, 2019

Farmers and whisky and famous names – Scotch Whisky News


Farmers and whisky and famous names

Just how many of our Scottish distilleries were founded, set up by farmers?

Dailuaine is a single malt whisky distillery in Charlestown-of-Aberlour, Strathspey, Scotland. Diageo owned these days. No. of stills: 3 wash stills (18.700 litre), 3 spirit stills (20.500 litre). Capacity: 3,370,000 litres

Dailuaine Distillery. Founded in 1853 by farmer William MacKenzie in a hollow by the Carron Burn. The name he chooses means ‘the green vale’ in Gaelic. In 1863 The Strathspey Railway arrived, bringing the Dailuaine nectar to the world. Two years later William MacKenzie died and the distillery is let for a number of years to James Fleming. 1884 – Thomas Mackenzie sets out to modernise the distillery. Five years later it is one of the biggest in the highlands in terms of production. In 1889 it becomes the first Scottish distillery to be fitted with architect Charles Doig’s pagoda roof. Note, the photo shown was taken by my pal Ian fae Wick, it shows Balblair distillery.

I detour here a wee while … Charles Chree Doig, the man responsible who designed the Chinese-style, kiln pagoda so many distilleries have today, regarded as a symbol of Scotch whisky distilling throughout the world. Doig was born on a farm (farmers again) in 1855, the son of a Kirriemuir agricultural labourer. When he was 25, Doig married Margaret Isabella Dick, in 1882 the family moved to Elgin, where Doig joined the practice of a land surveyor named Harbourne Marius Strachan Mackay. Specialising in distilling projects, he ran his own practice by 1890, designing the stills and other equipment to fit into them. In total, he is credited with involvement in no fewer than 56 distilleries. Doig’s creation came about at a site meeting at Dailuaine distillery on 3 May 1889. Sadly, Doig’s original pagoda head at Dailuaine was destroyed by fire in 1917. As a wee end to this detour, can I say, I have stayed at Westfield House in Elgin, Doig’s hoose! Macleans have lived there since 1862, and there are 500 peaceful acres of farmland.

Back to Dailuaine … MacKenzie & Co converted to a new company Dailuaine-Glenlivet Distillery Ltd in 1891. The distillery merged again to form Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd. Thomas MacKenzie had a substantial interest in Talisker distillery and so becomes chairman and MD of the new company. Thomas MacKenzie died in 1915 and the business was bought by a consortium of Buchanan, Dewar and John Walker and sons. The distillery expanded in 1960 from four to six stills, and over the next five years the stillhouse is modernised. Recently I delved into the heart of this distillery with my friend Ingvar Ronde.  Check out

One of my favourite drams.  We went to see Archie, ex Royal Marine (we have an ex Marine as one of our driver guides; Andy) and not the typical manager for a Diageo distillery.   He was forthcoming, very humorous, said his piece and made me laugh every few minutes. A great guided tour of all areas even those not now used, it is always good when someone at a distillery says “(I know your face”, happy worker in the still room told me this, he knows me from his earlier job at Speyside Cooperage, as a Cooper, nice to be recognised eh!)  Like his pal Andrew, he gave us a dram and a long chat in his office to end the tour.  Not the most good looking distillery but a great informative and refreshing tour, but you see, it was never intended to be on the Speyside visitor trail, I was lucky. To end this piece of drivel, think on this … how many famous whisky names have been involved with this distillery? Set up by a farmer, now run (manager) by an ex Royal Marine! And while we are at it, just how many distilleries were designed, built and run by farmers?  Answers please to (grandson of an Irish farmer)





The contribution of the Scotch Whisky industry to the UK economy has grown by 10% since 2016 to £5.5bn.

A new report by the Scotch Whisky Association, building on research carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), also reveals Scotland’s national drink generates two-thirds of all spirits Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK. The industry has been buoyed in recent years by record exports, reaching £4.7bn in 2018, and several new distilleries beginning production and opening their doors to tourists.  This success comes despite the industry continuing to pay the fourth highest duty rates in the EU, and one of the highest of spirit producing nations globally. Recent freezes to UK duty have helped the industry to reinforce its vital importance to the UK economy.  Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the SWA, said: “This research shows the Scotch Whisky industry’s huge contribution to both the Scottish and UK economies. Significantly, the research shows that our industry’s GVA increased by 10% to £5.5bn between 2016 and 2018, as a result of Scotch Whisky companies’ continued export success and the industry’s consistent investment at home – with over £500 million going into production, distribution, marketing and tourism in the last 5 years.  Despite the challenges of Brexit, this investment continues to flow, with further projects planned and more distilleries set to open – a sign that the Scotch Whisky industry remains confident about the future.  This is great news for our many employees, our investors, our supply chain and, of course, for consumers all over the world who love Scotch.  This report also highlights the high rate of domestic tax that Scotch Whisky faces in the UK. In the US, Scotch and other whiskies are taxed at just 27% of the rate that HM Treasury taxes us here at home. We will continue to press the Chancellor for fairer treatment for Scotch Whisky in our domestic market, which reflects the vital economic contribution the industry makes to the UK economy every day.”

Paul whisky-sales

Scotch Whisky provides £3.8bn in direct in GVA to Scotland – helped by regulations in place that requires all Scotch Whisky to be distilled and matured for at least three years in Scotland. This means Scotch Whisky contributes more than double than life sciences (£1.5bn) to the Scottish economy, supporting more than 42,000 jobs across the UK, including 10,500 people directly in Scotland – including MCLEANSCOTLAND Liz & Paul and our drivers, no to mention hotels etc and vehicle hire, calmac and everything else, and 7,000 in rural communities.  The sector was found to perform a crucial role in driving productivity across Scotland. The manufacturer of beverages in Scotland – dominated by Scotch – produces £210,505 GVA per employee. Comparatively, the industry is more productive than the energy sector (including renewables) at £173,511 per head, life sciences at £93,735 per head, and creative industries at £60,712 per head.  A summary of the report’s findings: The Scotch Whisky industry was estimated to provide £5.5 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy, up from £5bn in 2016. The direct impact of Scotch Whisky in the economy is estimated to be £3.8billion with additional indirect and induced effects of a further £1.7 billion. For every £100 of added value the industry produces, another £45 is generated in the broader economy. Scotch Whisky contributed 21% to the value of all UK food and drink exports and 1.3% of the value of all UK goods exported in 2018. For every £1 billion worth of goods exported from the UK, £13 million is Scotch Whisky. Without Scotch Whisky, the UK’s balance of trade deficit would have been £145.7 billion, more than its current level. In 2018, UK spirits excise duty receipts  (saxon tax) accounted for £3.8 billion, over 31% of all alcohol revenues – a proportion which has steadily increased in recent years having overtaken beer receipts in 2016. In the last five years, excise (tax) receipts increased to HM Treasury (HMT) by 23% or by £735m during a period where the net increase to the excise rate was only 52p per litre of pure alcohol (LPA).

We are doing our share, taking guests on whisky tours every month.


Pernod Ricard adds Bourbon to its portfolio with super premium brand Rabbit Hole – American Whiskey News

Rabbit Hole

Pernod Ricard adds Bourbon to its portfolio with super premium brand Rabbit Hole 

Partnership with fast-growing, high-potential brands is the latest in a series of
successful deals illustrating the Group’s active portfolio management,
part of its three-year strategic plan “Transform & Accelerate”

Pernod Ricard, through Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures division, is delighted to announce yesterday’s signing of the agreement for the acquisition of a majority share of Rabbit Hole Whiskey, produced and based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rabbit Hole, an award-winning range of Kentucky spirits, is particularly recognized for its iconic, state-of-the-art distillery in the heart of Louisville. The brand’s Straight Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are crafted with a mix of carefully selected grains, distilled in copper Vendome column stills and aged in native oak barrels by Louisville’s hot summers and cold winters.  The Bourbon category is currently undergoing a renaissance; new consumers are discovering its quality and versatility as Bourbon can be appreciated neat and has also recently earned its rightful place in modern mixology.

As was the case with previous successful partnerships such as Monkey 47 super premium gin, Smooth Ambler West Virginian whiskey and Del Maguey mezcal, Pernod Ricard is joining forces with a passionate entrepreneur, Kaveh Zamanian. The founder of Rabbit Hole left his day job as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst to fully dedicate himself to the art of crafting whiskey in the very heart of Kentucky’s whiskey culture. As part of the strategic partnership, Kaveh is keeping the majority of his shares in Rabbit Hole and will continue to operate the company.

With this strategic partnership, Pernod Ricard expands its newly created portfolio of specialty brands, gathering smaller brands with unique and comprehensive value propositions and select distribution. In the United States, Rabbit Hole will be part of the New Brand Ventures portfolio along with
recently-acquired brands Smooth Ambler and Del Maguey.

For Alexandre Ricard, CEO of Pernod Ricard, “This partnership is the perfect implementation of our long-term investment strategy to create sustainable value. Kaveh and I embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit.  Rabbit Hole is a fast-growing brand, strongly rooted in its terroir and very well positioned in the high-end Bourbon and Kentucky whiskey categories. We are excited to take the brand to the next stage of its very promising development.” 

Kaveh Zamanian added, “Pernod Ricard and I share the same entrepreneurial values and our ethos and strategic visions are fully aligned. By leveraging Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network to reach new consumers, we are able to strengthen Rabbit Hole’s position as a brand and amplify its presence as a new voice in American Whiskey. In partnership with Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is poised to reach new heights. I am very excited about this partnership and our future together.”
This transaction is expected to close shortly.

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8, 987 million in FY18. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier- Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,900 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 86 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.  Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

Discover BenRiach Batch 16 At The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News


BenRiach have just released Batch 16 of their highly regarded bottling program, showcasing the rich depth of character inside their Speyside warehouses. Batch 16 brings 24 different casks, hand-selected by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie. This batch contains 18 unpeated and 8 peated liquids in different cask types; Tokaji wine, oloroso sherry, pedro ximénez, port, claret, madeira, sauternes, virgin oak, South African red wine, Jamaican rum, rioja, Sicilian Marsala, and bourbon.

Click the button below to shop the range.


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The GlenAllachie Wood Finish Series consists of signature expressions of the fines single malts. Master Distiller, Bill Walker, works with niche producers around the world and sources batches of outstanding casks that compliment the GlenAllachie spirit. Bottled at 48% and limited to around 2000 bottles of each expression, these are great additions to the GlenAllachie range and are sure to go down an absolute storm with fans of Billy’s spirit.

Inverurie Whisky Shop

1 Burnside, Inverurie, AB51 3RY, United Kingdom


Don’t miss out on the new 2019 Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak 2019 

Discover the brand new 2019 edition of the famed annual 18 Year Old Sherry Oak from Macallan. Available to order from The Whisky Shop today. This annual release of The Macallan’s popular 18 Year Old Sherry Oak is matured exclusively in sherry seasoned casks, built from both Spanish and American oak, providing a beautifully dark flavour with rich aromas. A beautifully crafted dram rich in dried fruits, spices, orange, cloves and wood smoke with hints of ginger, sweet toffee and a slight smokiness.

70cl / 43% abv


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The Whisky Show “Benromach masterclass now on sale” – Scotch Whisky News


On sale now


Benromach have sworn us to secrecy but we can say you definitely don’t want to miss out on this masterclass! You’ll have the opportunity to taste Benromach’s newest but oldest release with distillery manager Keith Cruickshank. Until then our lips are sealed…

AA Benromach

Benromach Unveiled
with distillery manager, Keith Cruickshank
Saturday 28 September, 12.30pm-1.30pm


Benromach was built in 1898 and operated with only a few interruptions until 1983. However, it then closed and sat unused until 1998, when new owner Gordon & MacPhail reopened the refurbished distillery and started to distil. While we cannot disclose much about this class, we can say you don’t want to miss this launch. You will have the opportunity to taste Benromach’s latest release with distillery manager, Keith Cruickshank… we’ll leave it at that.

The Line-up

Benromach Cask Sample
Benromach Heritage 1973
Benromach Heritage 1975
Benromach New Release

Book now

<Please note: you must also have a Saturday ticket to Whisky Show to attend this class.

Show Details

28-29 SEPTEMBER 2019
11.30AM – 6.30PM

Old Billingsgate
1 Old Billingsgate Walk, London EC3R 6DX

Book now

Glen Scotia unveils Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish – Scotch Whisky News

Glen Scotia Rum Cask Finish 2003 Bottle

Glen Scotia unveils Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish 

Glen Scotia has introduced a new Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish Single Malt to celebrate its Campbeltown Malts Festival programme.

The festival, which was held last month, showcases all that is unique and special about single malts from the region. In the Victorian era the town was home to more than 30 distilleries and known as ‘whisky capital of the world’.

Today Glen Scotia is one of just three surviving local distilleries and its award-winning whiskies are known for their distinctive Campbeltown character.

To mark its biggest ever festival events programme, the distillery has released its Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition Rum Cask Finish.

A 2003 Vintage, this wonderfully peated single malt delivers sea spray and sweetness on the nose, with notes of melted brown sugar, pineapple and citrus fruits developing before delivering a long dry finish, with spice and sweet peat.

Non-chill filtered, it has been bottled at cask strength, 51.3% ABV, to ensure this exquisite single malt is enjoyed as nature intended. Around 9,500 bottles of this highly collectible limited edition release will be available worldwide.

Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “Our new limited edition rum cask single malt offers whisky fans something very special, bringing together the maritime influences associated with Campbeltown and the sweet, tropical notes of rum – another sea-faring spirit.

“As someone who was born and bred in Campbeltown, I am very proud of our distinctive history and heritage. I hope whisky lovers have fun discovering our latest exceptional single malt.”

Hundreds of visitors from all over the world took part in tours, tastings and more at Glen Scotia as part of its packed programme during the Campbeltown Malts Festival. Highlights included tastings at its historic dunnage warehouse and two sold-out whisky dinners held at the Ardshiel and Ugadale Hotels.

The distillery also hosted local MSP Michael Russell to launch its new campaign to recognise Campbeltown, the fifth and smallest of Scotland’s official malt-producing regions, as the ‘whiskiest place in the world’. Glen Scotia is has introduced new branding as part of the global campaign.

To find our more visit

Glen Scotia Festival 2019 (2) -Iain McAlister Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia (002)


About Glen Scotia:

  • Independent distiller Glen Scotia has been producing single malt whisky in Campbeltown since 1832.
  • Glen Scotia is one of three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown.
  • Glen Scotia was named Best Campbeltown Distillery of the Year at the 2017 Berlin International Spirits Competition
  • The Glen Scotia 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the prestigious 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Almost 30,000 spirits were judged by the competition, the largest number of entries in its 19-year history.



Ardbeg MOS 2019 image (002)


–Iconic Islay single malt launches global education campaign–

18 June 2019: Ardbeg has launched a mission to spread the word about the “delicious possibilities” of smoke, through a new bartender education programme.

In an industry first, Ardbeg Masters of Smoke will deliver in-depth training on the complex science of smoke to on-trade professionals worldwide, sharing knowledge from the world of whisky – and beyond.

As smoke as a flavour continues to rise in popularity, Ardbeg will curate an ever-evolving repository of smoke-related content and tools to help bartenders understand and complement its nuances. Those participating in the programme will be fuelled with creative insights from experts across a variety of disciplines – from barley ‘maltsters’, to barbecue chefs – to allow them to harness the power of smoke in inventive serves and in-bar experiences.

Ludo Ducrocq, Ardbeg Education & Advocacy Director, said:

“Whisky lovers have long appreciated the peaty power of Ardbeg, but we think there’s an opportunity to further explore the intricacies of smoke as a flavour.

“Through Masters of Smoke, we hope to spread the word about the delicious possibilities of smoke through rich, in-depth training which is really rooted in science.

“From Port Ellen, to Portland, we want to unleash the power and potential of smoke in the on trade, working with bartenders worldwide to lead a glorious smoky revolution.”

Masters of Smoke training sessions will roll out across markets worldwide from September 2019. To register interest in less than two minutes, bartenders should visit

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Guest Bartenders, 18 June Launch Event, Kachette (London)

We’re delighted to welcome five guest bartenders from around the world to London, to help showcase some creations inspired by the Masters of Smoke programme.

The Medicinal Smoke Bar

Bartender: Jon Hughes, The Lucky Liquor Co. /Bramble, Edinburgh

Creation: Smoke Oil Salesman

Ingredients: Ardbeg Ten Years Old; Homemade bramble& honey liqueur; China China; Cherry Heering

Served in chilled vials, to be decanted into glasses sprayed with absinthe.

The Herbal Smoke Bar

Bartender: Armin Azadpour, Hunky Dory, Frankfurt

Creation: Dr Watson

Ingredients: Ardbeg Corryvreckan; Lemon Juice; Hay Lavender Syrup; Fino Sherry Lustau; Celery Bitters

Served in a glass pipe with dry ice and fresh herbs.

The Wood Smoke Bar

Bartender: Bobby Hiddleston, Swift, London

Creation: Foster

Ingredients: Ardbeg An Oa; Banane Du Bresil; Honey; Angostura Bitters; Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters; Giffard

Served on the rocks, in a glass smoked with walnut and Cherrywood. Garnished with umeboshi and cherry.

The Coal Smoke Bar

Bartender: Cameron George, Ardbeg Brand Ambassador, USA

Creation: Coal Miner’s Punch

Ingredients: Ardbeg Ten Years Old; Miner’s Punch Base (Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, Pineapple Gum Syrup, Amaro D’ell Erborista, Whole Milk); Activated Charcoal

Served with crushed ice, and a dehydrated pineapple, mint and smoked paprika garnish.

The Savoury Smoke Bar

Bartender: Robby Radovic, Ardbeg Brand Ambassador, Sweden & Partner at Liquid MGMT

Creation: A Bloody Mystery

Ingredients: Ardbeg Uigeadail; Manzanilla Sherry; Tomato Juice; Pickle Juice; Lemon Juice; Worcestershire Sauce; Red Tabasco; Celery Juice; Celery Salt; Black Pepper

Served with a rim of salt and black pepper, with sliced pickle garnish.

Masters of Smoke

Through the Ardbeg Masters of Smoke programme, dedicated Ardbeg ambassadors will deliver workshops on the ‘delicious possibilities of smoke’ to bartenders worldwide. During an immersive training session, on-trade professionals will be introduced to the science of smoke, with insights from the Ardbeg Whisky Creation Team and experts from a variety of disciplines. The programme will be rolled out from September 2019 onwards. Bartenders can register interest at

Programme tools include:

  • The Smoke Schematic

The Smoke Schematic is one of the building blocks of the Masters of Smoke programme, which illustrates the learning that there is more than one type of smoke. The schematic gives a vivid and visual description of the five flavour worlds of smoke – Savoury, Wood, Coal, Herbal, and Medicinal –  relating each world to tangible sensory profiles.

  • The Peaty-odic table

The Peaty-odic Table reveals the chemistry behind Ardbeg’s smoke. This tool allows bartenders to quickly identify the colour, smoke flavour and non-smoke flavours of each of the whiskies in our core range, which is especially useful for drawing inspiration to create cocktails and food parings that complement the complex flavours of Ardbeg.


Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky.  Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts.  Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.  During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from possible extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.  

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee.  The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.  Today there are members of the Ardbeg Committee all over the world, who are regularly consulted on new expressions and offered exclusive Committee bottlings.  Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

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

*NEW RELEASE* Sullivans Cove French Oak White Wine – Tasmanian Whisky News

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French Oak White Wine TD0097

French Oak White Wine – the latest edition of our Cask Variations series – is now available exclusively to our mailing list members. TD0097 was matured for 12 years in a 225L French oak cask previously used to age Australian white wine. The result is an exceptional and uniquely Australian whisky that combines the richness of Sullivans Cove single malt spirit with the bright fruit of Australian white wine. Bottled at 46.7% abv, this cask yielded only 327 bottles.

“This remarkable whisky has a nose of rich honeycomb, milk chocolate and apricot along with muscatels and ripe red berries. The silky texture is immediately apparent across the palate, with flavours of vanilla, ripe strawberries and peaches. There’s also a note that comes through the mid palate similar to the snow pea and toasted sourdough notes of many fine Champagnes. On the finish, there’s spicy oak and a sweet floral character of Turkish delight and apricot blossom that develops and lingers long, round and warm. This is a beautiful whisky, and it’s redefined for us the balance between herbal, sweet, fruity and spicy.”
– Heather Tillott, Production Manager

As with our previous Cask Variations (like last year’s American Oak Tawny release), the background colour denotes the kind of oak (blue for French in this case), and the stripe denotes a different previous fill than we would normally use (white wine instead of tawny). Click the link below to purchase now from our web store.


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