Archive for August, 2019

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Celebrate fantastic flavours” – Scotch Whisky News

September is just around the corner, marking the start of a week of festivities at our spiritual home for The Gathering at The Vaults. But until then, let’s enjoy a celebration of flavour, with five tantalising new preview bottles being released today from next month’s Outturn.

Showcasing a range of profiles, and packed full of diverse flavours, a limited number of preview bottles are available ahead of the full release on Friday, 6 September at 9am. Get them now before they’re gone.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video


Glengyle’s Micro-Production, Old School Campbeltown Single Malts – Scotch Whisky News

Must-Have Single Malts from the Best Distillery You Don’t Know
“There are few more interesting and important whiskies on the shelf than the wonderful Glengyle Distillery malts.”—David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits Buyer

Among the best-kept secrets in single malt Scotch, the Kilkerran Campbeltown whiskies from Glengyle distillery are produced in minuscule quantities. Indeed, we’re talking some of the smallest production in all of Scotland, producing only a few months a year. Glengyle also holds the distinction of being one of only two Scottish distilleries to employ the highly traditional, inefficient hand-malting process. The other is Glengyle’s sister distillery, the widely renowned and revered Springbank. In fact, it is Sprinkbank’s team that crafts this exceptional dram.

Despite only being established in 2004, Campbeltown’s first new distillery in some 125 years has thrilled the small cadre of aficionados who have had the good fortune to find these insiders’ gems. With their devotion to Campbeltown tradition, Glengyle makes the Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch No. 1 in a purposeful, old-school profile meant to serve as a window into the history of the region and the expression of a long lost style that’s now basically unheard of in the Highlands. Not to be overlooked, the 8-year and 12-year bottlings are some of the most compelling in their price ranges and offer a spectacular show of stylistic diversity from one distillery, a result of the intense labor that goes into Glengyle’s methods. At pricing that beats the current market rates by a comfortable margin, these incredible whiskies are must-haves for any devotée of pure single malt character.

Kilkerran (Glengyle) 12 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($64.99)

Whisky Advocate: “After six Work in Progress releases, Kilkerran from Glengyle Distillery has finally come of age with this core expression. It comprises 70% whisky from first-fill bourbon casks and 30% from sherry casks. Floral on the nose, with honey and a hint of brine, then peaty fruit notes develop. The palate is confident and oily, slightly earthy, with tinned peaches, black pepper, cinnamon, smoke, and a suggestion of medicine chests. The finish is relatively long, with pepper, licorice, and drying oak. (GS, Winter 2016)”

K&L Notes: When the doors opened at the Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery in March of 2004, it became the first new distillery to open in Campbeltown in more than 125 years. Campbeltown, once the center of whisky production for Scotland, had been hit hard over the last century and had dwindled down to two distilleries—Springbank and Glen Scotia. When the SWA threatened to take away the Campbeltown appellation, Springbank was told a region needed at least three distilleries to consider itself a specific locale. The decision was then made to reopen the long-dormant Glengyle distillery located immediately next door to Springbank. Kilkerran is the name that was chosen for the single malt produced at Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery because the name Glengyle is already used for a blended Highland malt and they wished to avoid any possible confusion between the newest single malt to come from the Campbeltown region and a pre-existing blended Highland malt. The flavor of the Kilkerran is a little bit of everything, offering something of a renaissance style that can be described as classically Highland. Very few malts offer so much complexity while remaining absolutely approachable. The quality of this malt is not to be undersold, it truly represents an authentic expression of the old way to make Scotch and delivers more enjoyment than just about any other whisky for your dollar in the shop. A mixture of 70% ex-bourbon barrels and 30% first and second fill sherry butts. A benchmark malt.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 08, 2019

There are few more interesting and important whiskies on the shelf than the wonderful Glengyle Distillery malts. The Kilkerran brand has such an interesting story, basically Springbank’s big middle finger to the SWA for trying to screw them out of a regional designation, but what’s even more interesting than the origin story are the incredible malts themselves. Many of our customers know and love the idiosyncratic malts distilled just down the road at Springbank. The 12 year old Kilkerran is the perfect example of how a slight difference in the process can significantly affect the flavor, texture and character of a whisky. This is essentially a slightly less peated version of the same malt that goes into the classic Springbank. It sees a more modern mashing process and a similar, if slightly cleaner, fermentation in traditional Larch vats. The wash is then distilled on the old Ben Wyvis stills, modified slightly to fit in the stone walls of Glengyle and produce the character of whisky that Mitchell was looking for. Tilted slightly up, the spirit produced here has some oiliness but also a purity that is that isn’t as obvious at Springbank. This is in many ways my perfect malt whisky. The nose billows out of the glass with sweet citrus, mineral/petrol, powerful herbs and deep clean smokiness. On the palate, it’s obviously peated, but not acrid and so wonderfully old school. Chewy texture, lemon balm, lanolin, chalk mineral, salted stone fruit and ocean spray. Tangy, structured, long, salty and satisfying as it finishes- there’s nothing quite like this out on the market this today.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2016

This single malt is very easy to drink and enjoy. It is creamy, rich and soft with an interesting complexity. It also has a lively and fresh nuance to it that helps make it an exciting addition to our single malt selection.Very good.

Kilkerran (Glengyle) “Heavily Peated” Batch No. 1 Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($69.99)

The wonderful Kilkerran distillery is one of Scotland’s smallest in terms of production. Like the other J&A Mitchell distillery, Springbank, the malts made the Glengyle distillery are 100% handmalted primarily from local barley and always 100% Scottish barley, making them the only 100% hand malted distilleries in Scotland. The stills were acquired by Glengyle from the old Ben Wyvis distillery, which operated only from 1965 to 1977 and while the hand malting is the hallmark of all the J&A Mitchell’s products, the Kilkerran malts have a distinct character compared to its cousin down the road. This is the first heavily peated (upwards of 45ppm) offering from the small distillery. These small releases are always undervalued when they’re released and coveted once they’re sold out. There isn’t a lot of fanfare around these products because there’s absolutely no marketing budget here, but the real connoisseurs who understand the difference between modern “Scotch” and truly authentic single malt always jump on the special Kilkerran batches. Batch No. 1 of the Heavily Peated series is aged in a mix of 55% ex-bourbon and 45% ex-sherry. Bottled at a heady 118.6 proof, this special whisky is like a window into another time. Heavily peated Highlanders are rare and the only other handmalted one is the Longrow mark made down the road. An absolutely exquisite expression of a long lost style that exemplifies what young Campeltown malt might have been like 100 years ago.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 08, 2019

There are few more satisfying malts than the Kilkerran lineup, and the new Heavily Peated is no exception. This guy is peated up to the level of a Longrow, but trucked down the road to the new old stone distillery. Biggest difference here between Longrow and Kilkerran HP are the mash, fermentation times, still shape, and condensers. Despite the high peat level there’s a restraint that isn’t found in the Longrow products. Perhaps it’s the slightly upturned lyne arms or the quicker fermentation, but the peat is hidden slightly behind a kind of salty earthiness. For the nose, expect subtle salted nuts, kippers, old leather armchair, lightly roasted coffee bean, camphor, and quince. The palate is decidedly more peaty, but this stuff doesn’t start to really speak until you’ve doused it a bit. Now a bit more peat and more camphor, pithy lemon peel, purity, and tension. A feeling of being in a harbor with tugs and fish boats coming and going, the ocean roaring outside the break, the Mull of Kintyre in the distance. On the palate, unctuous and oily, but linear and focused. Big sooty smoke, salted fish, exotic herbs, wild fruit, menthol – analgesic, numbing, and delicious. A fabulous ancient style of whisky that has almost no correlate in the modern whisky world.

Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 13, 2019

This is a Scotch that will put hair on your chest yet still manages to feel balanced. Although I’m not a superfan of peated whisky, I do count Kilkerran among my favorite distilleries, so I was excited to try our new “Heavily Peated” Batch No. 1 Campbeltown Single Malt. I may have initially let out a cough that made me feel like a cartoon dragon and I could have sworn a ring of smoke came out. But with water, this beast is easily tamed. There is an evocative salinity up front, followed by notes of coffee and caramel, tempered by insistent peat. The palate stays earthy and focused, with an extra herbal hit on the finish. This release will satisfy peatheads without overwhelming the senses, although it does conjure up a sense of place more than any other Scotch I’ve tried in recent memory. Plus, Kilkerran is making Scotch the old school way, so you’re essentially drinking history. Well worth the price.

Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 11, 2019

Sweet, oaky, and peaty, this expression has it all. Salted caramel apple, chocolate truffle, pencil shavings, and preserved kumquats waft from the glass and enthrall your olfactory senses. A literal, mmm escaped my vocal chords when I first put this to my lips; it was like drinking a sexy bbq. Light, exotic wisp of smoke entangles with soft layers of caramel chews and bbq potato chips without the cloying sweetness some can have. A mild sweet mint comes in towards the finish and just leaves you with a warm, pleasant tingling that keeps me coming back.

Kilkerran (Glengyle) 8 Year Old Cask Strength Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

The powerful and complex cask strength offering from the excellent Glengyle distillery is one of the most multifaceted and authentic malts on the shelf. Aged exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels for 8 years, this wonderful Kilkerran exemplifies the wild diversity this tiny distillery can offer. The reason every other distiller in Scotland doesn’t make whisky this way is efficiency, but also consistency. Each small batch of Kilkerran can have a very distinct style and that’s why we love them. This naked expression of a truly authentic single malt offers even the most developed palate something exciting. It loves water but doesn’t need a ton to find its best balance.

Exclusive Arran 20 Highland Laird at Milroys of Soho – Scotch Whisky News

Arran 20 Year Old Highland Laird

Free UK Shipping

This bottling of Arran by Highland Laird is one of the shop’s favourite sherry matured Island whiskies. A favourite of Milroys owner Simo for its ‘big sherried profile’, we were fortunate to find the last remaining bottles to share with you, our favourite whisky collectors and drinkers.


Stocks are limited.

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 272: Caol Ila 22 Year Old Feis Ile 2019 – Scotch Whisky News

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 272: Caol Ila 22 Year Old Feis Ile 2019

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, got his hands on the Caol Ila for Feis Ile 2019. He had to wait for it for a little while, but thanks to a Scottish pal he was finally able to get his hands on this Feis Ile 2019 release from his favorite distillery on Islay. Very refreshing to see that they very transparently put on the label that the whisky matured on ‘sherry-treated American Oak casks’. And guess what? Mark says it’s out of this world!

Johnnie Walker introduces Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal – Scotch Whisky News

Johnnie Walker introduces Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal

Unveiled today, Johnnie Walker announces the third in a series of special editions – Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal – crafted using irreplaceable “ghost” whiskies and other incredibly rare whiskies from the unparalleled reserves used to create the award-winning Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

This latest addition to the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare series is made using the exceptional Highland single malt Glenury Royal, from the “ghost” distillery of the same name that shut its doors in 1985.

In making this whisky, Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team also hand-selected two exceptionally rare whiskies from the “ghost” distilleries of Cambus and Pittyvaich perfectly balancing their creamy toffee and butterscotch notes with the sumptuous orchard fruits, sweet apple and delicate apricot notes of Glenury Royal.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal bottle shot and glass

Five other rare whiskies from Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge and Glenkinchie bring waves of vanilla, heather honey and dried fruits that weave through smooth dark chocolate and nutty layers to create an exploration of the inimitable Glenury Royal – making this limited edition our most indulgent yet.

Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge, said: “Shining a light on this hidden treasure of the whisky world is something we’ve wanted to do for some time. This indulgent new limited edition provides us with a wonderful opportunity to explore the remarkable layers of rich fruit found in every drop of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.”

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal follows the release of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Brora in recent years. Each edition in the series offers a fleeting opportunity to savour the depth of character of whiskies from distilleries whose spirit lives on in their dwindling stocks.

To find out more, click here. 

Introducing Brora 40-year-old: 200th anniversary limited edition – Scotch Whisky News

Introducing Brora 40-year-old: 200th anniversary limited edition

From August, the ghost distillery Brora will reveal one of its oldest ever releases, a year ahead of its re-opening.

Brora 40-Year-Old is a limited-edition Single Malt whisky bottled to commemorate two centuries in the lifetime of a distilling icon. Drawn from one dozen casks of vintage stocks from 1978, each of the 1,819 bottles, reflecting the year the distillery opened, offers a rare glimpse into a golden era of Brora’s past.

Encased in a deep burgundy velvet display case, the bottle is adorned with the Brora emblem of the Scottish Wild Cat – crest of the distillery’s founder, the Duke of Sutherland.

From 2020, Brora’s gates will open after some 36 years of quiet, following meticulous, brick-by-brick restoration currently underway to bring the legendary whisky house back to life. To welcome this new era and celebrate the past craftsmen that made Brora over its 200-year history, comes this new release 40-year-old expression. Diageo Master Blender Dr Craig Wilson has selected just twelve American oak hogshead casks from Brora’s vintage stocks to celebrate a moment of the distillery’s history: The Age of Peat.

In searching for the casks for this release, Dr Wilson worked alongside the Diageo Archive Team that had unearthed original Brora production records as part of their ongoing work to assist in the distillery restoration.  This allowed the master blender to identify the years at which this now revered smoky style of Brora was at its peak, and following careful nosing of the individual casks, Dr Wilson made his selection: a 1978 40-year-old Single Malt of immense complexity that perfectly reflected this moment of Brora’s past.

“Of all the stories of Brora, there is one that seemed particularly fitting to tell on its 200th Anniversary. From 1969-83, there was a new experimentation phase in production and the Brora distillers created a smoky malt used heavily-peated Northern Highland barley. Used primarily in blends at the time, the few casks that are left from this Age of Peat, matured remarkably well and what remains is a multi-layered and complex Single Malt of astonishing quality. Little did the craftsmen at the time know, they had created a masterpiece. It is emblematic of the varied past of the distillery that makes it so special to all that know it: a humble story of experimentation, craft and happy coincidence.”

Dr Craig Wilson

Diageo Master Blender

Iconic “lost” distilleries revived in major scotch investment

In October 2017, we announced that Port Ellen and Brora, two of the most revered “lost” distilleries in the global spirits industry, were to be brought back to life in a powerful statement of confidence in the future of Scotch whisky.

The distilleries, which have been silent since they were closed in 1983, will be brought back into production through a £35 million investment by Diageo.

In the 34 years since Brora and Port Ellen were closed, the whiskies they produced have become some of the most highly prized and sought after liquids in Scotch whisky, renowned for exceptional quality and character; elevating the lost distilleries to cult status amongst whisky enthusiasts and collectors.

Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, it is expected the distilleries will be in production by 2020.


Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Aged 17 Years at Bartels Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

– Blended Malt Scotch Whisky –
Aged 17 Years


Blended 2001 – Bottled 2019 – 45.0%vol – Cask No. 17- 50 bottles

We are so excited to release our new bottling.  To celebrate ten years of brokering as Bartels Rawlings Int Ltd.  Natural colour, cask strength (as always) and from a single cask (cask no. 17) just 50 bottles are available for sale on our website.

All bottles are Free, Next Day Delivery.
(Anything purchased over the bank holiday weekend will be despatched Tuesday for delivery Wed in UK)

Redwood Empire at The Whisky Shop #SFO Friday September 6th, 2019 – American Whiskey News

Friday September 6th 5-7PM: 

Local Spirits: 

Redwood Empire 

A true California spirit, Redwood Empire whiskies are crafted among the Northern California Redwoods that inspire them. Their portfolio of rye & bourbon whiskeys aim to reflect of the spirit and landscape of their Northern California home – rugged, pioneering, adventurous, and aesthetically beautiful.

Click Here to RSVP

The Whisky Shop is closed September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. Our online store remains open 24/7, at

ralfy review 790 – Mortlach 15yo by Gordon & MacPhail – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 790 – Mortlach 15yo @ 43%vol: (G&MacP)

introducing the beast of Dufftown.

Johnnie Walker announces two new limited edition whiskies celebrating the enduring legacy of Game of Thrones – Scotch Whisky News

Johnnie Walker announces two new limited edition whiskies celebrating the enduring legacy of Game of Thrones

Johnnie Walker and HBO Licensing & Retail are introducing two new Scotch Whiskies to the realm in honour of the enduring legacy of the critically acclaimed HBO® series Game of Thrones.

A continued collaboration with HBO, these limited edition whiskies are inspired by the iconic and powerful houses of Westeros – House Stark and House Targaryen – and are successors to the White Walker by Johnnie Walker limited edition blend launched in 2018.

This is a tale of two great houses represented by two ancient creatures. One is a house descended from the First Men. Rulers of the North and builders of the wall, they thrive in the icy-cold climate of the Direwolf. The other, a noble family of Valyrian descent and the first royal house of the Seven Kingdoms.

From House Stark comes A Song of Ice, from House Targaryen A Song of Fire. Together, the two whiskies celebrate the dynamic relationship between the houses, represented by their house sigils – the Direwolf and the Dragon – which fiercely adorn each bottle. As another nod to the complicated interactions between the two great houses in the show’s storyline, Johnnie Walker’s iconic Striding Man uncharacteristically faces backwards on the A Song of Fire bottle, revealing a face-off with the Striding Man on the A Song of Ice bottle when paired side-by-side.

Bottle shots of two new Johnnie Walker liquids

Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice features single malts from Clynelish, one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries, and exudes a crisp, clean taste like the unforgiving force of ice that shapes mountains and stops rivers. The new Scotch has an ABV of 40.2% and the bottle design evokes an icy setting with frosted blue and grey colours inspired by the North, known for its cold winters and frozen landscapes. Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire is rich and spicy, boasting flavours of subtle smoke from the peated malts of the Caol Ila distillery with an ABV of 40.8%. Inspired by the dragons of House Targaryen, feared for their fire breathing, the bottle design evokes a fiery setting with deep-red colours.

We were very proud to partner with Johnnie Walker again to bring more whiskies to the realm. The Game of Thrones audience continues to both engage with the culture fostered around the series and look for the special collectibles that let it live on. After seeing the excitement there was for White Walker by Johnnie Walker, we are thrilled to celebrate the end of an epic tale by offering more quality whisky for fans of the show and whisky enthusiasts to collect and enjoy,” said Jeff Peters, Vice President, Licensing & Retail at HBO.

Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire will available globally in October 2019.

For more information about Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire, please visit

Find out more about White Walker by Johnnie Walker and the limited edition Game of Thrones® – inspired Single Malt Whisky collection.

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