Archive for 2020

A toast to the island: Tobermory Distillery releases special 23-Year-Old – Scotch Whisky News

A toast to the island: Tobermory Distillery releases special 23-Year-Old

The Artisan Distillery is celebrating the ‘return of an old friend’ – as its popular 15-year-old returns eight years later to the core range

Tobermory 23-Year-Old has rested in Oloroso casks to create an exquisite sherried malt

To celebrate its launch the distillery has collaborated with Mull Silver and Goldsmith on a unique Sterling Silver and Gold quaich to be auctioned for charity  

Tobermory Distillery is today announcing the release of Tobermory 23 Year Old Oroloso Cask Finish (46.3% ABV, RSP £320) – a beautiful deep-gold sherried single malt that will join the distillery’s core malt range.

Originally the revered 15-year-old liquid, Tobermory 23 Year Old has spent more time resting in the finest Oloroso casks at the distillery to create an even more exquisite and full-flavoured whisky.

The deep rose-gold sherried single malt has unique notes of vanilla, ripe oranges, toasted barley and fruitcake on the nose. With an obvious sherry influence on the palate, salted toffee, candied citrus and floral honey are also evident, all tied together with a caramelized walnuts and subtle salty finish.

To commemorate its time on the Isle of Mull, the distillery has collaborated with another of the island’s long-standing stalwarts, Mull Silver and Goldsmith, on a one-of-a-kind sterling silver and gold quaich which will be auctioned alongside the new bottle in the coming months. Silver is a traditional 23rd anniversary gift, and the gold coating signifies the deep liquid-gold of the exquisite 23 year old malt.

The quaich celebrates the creative and expressive nature of the Tobermory distillery and its island home. Funds raised from the auction will go to The BEN – a Scottish hospitality charity that is seeing more demand for ever for their services as a result of Covid-19.

Julieann Fernandez, Master Blender at Tobermory Distillery, said: “Our team at the distillery have been working hard for many years on the return of this old friend, and we’re incredibly proud to be introducing whisky drinkers around the world this exciting addition to the core range.

“Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and the extra years have been spent well, as our whisky has continued to mature into the new sherried expression.

“The Island of Mull is a remarkable melting pot of artistry and creativity. This one-off silver quaich is a visualisation of the expert craftmanship and care that goes into the exceptional spirit we are releasing. By bringing together two makers on the island, we’re celebrating this passion for creativity on the world stage.

“One of the finest expressions we’ve ever made, it’s an honour to introduce Tobermory 23 to markets in Europe, Asia and the UK.

Phil Campbell, founder of Isle of Mull Silver and Goldsmiths said: “It was a joy to work on such a beautiful piece of silver, crafting it into a unique piece of art to mark the launch of Tobermory 23.

“Precision, creativity and attention to detail have defined our offering for the last four decades so it was a pleasure collaborate with this artisan distillery from our island home.“

Tobermory Distillery is the only whisky distillery on the Hebridean Isle of Mull, and sits at the centre of the vibrant island community that is rich with artistry, creativity and nature. The Tobermory 23 Year Old will join the Tobermory 12 Year Old, Ledaig 10 Year Old and Ledaig 18 Year Old in the distillery’s core range of malts.

For more information, you can visit the distillery website at


About Tobermory Distillery

Established in 1798, Tobermory is the Isle of Mull’s only whisky distillery and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. It sits at the centre of the vibrant island community from which it takes its name. Under the Tobermory distillery name, the artisan Hebridean Distiller produces Tobermory Whisky and Ledaig Single Malts. Today, it is a thriving, expressive and unique distillery, true to its idyllic location on the Hebridean island of Mull.


Skene Whisky has just released Black Tartan 88,  a premium blended malt whisky.   Way back in 1988, three Highland malt whiskies (rumoured to be Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes) were ‘married at birth’ and filled into a single hogshead where they matured for 31 long years.  Then, earlier this year, the cask’s remaining contents were filled into just 337 Ibisco-style 70cl decanters at an ABV of 48% with natural colour, no chill-filtration and an RRP of only £248.

On the nose, Black Tartan 88 is very smooth, with sweet vanilla and tropical fruit.  The taste is of spiced butterscotch with balanced oak.  The finish is again vanilla, warming, long and to the rear of the palate.

In his Whisky Bible 2021, world-renowned whisky critic Jim Murray scored Black Tartan 88 at 94/100 (ie in his “superstar whiskies” banding).  Jim commented “This is an old dram which retains a marvellous zest for life but piles on the malt in spades”.

This expression (together with the Skene’s everyday Black Tartan blend) is now available from Skene Whisky’s online shop HERE

Bottle Name Black Tartan 88. Bottler Black Tartan Whisky Ltd. Bottler’s Website . Category Single Cask Blended Malt. Cask Number 16. Cask Type Hogshead. Size 70cl. Strength 48.0%. Number of Bottles 337.  Distilled / Vintage 1988. Bottled 2020. Age 31 year old. Release September 2020.  Unchillfiltered & Natural Colour. Region Highlands. Retail Price £248.

Where available  SKENEWHISKY

Nose Very smooth, sweet vanilla with tropical fruit
Taste Spiced butterscotch with balanced oak
Finish Vanilla, warming, long and to rear of palate
Comments Three Highland malts blended at birth – Macallan, Highland Park & Glenrothes

Notes about Skene Whisky – After a few years away from bottle sales, Skene Whisky plans to release a number of new ranges later this year.  “Skene Reserve” will be single cask premium bottlings of vintage malt whisky (eg Macallan 30yo).   “Skene Sherry Editions” will be sherry-matured single malts (48% ABV) aimed squarely at drinkers.  “Skene American Oak “Editions” will be ex-bourbon single malt bottlings (again at 48% ABV).  “Skene Peated Malt Editions” will be peated single malt expressions (yet again at 48% ABV).

Discover how we made Compass Box Hedonism Felicitas – Scotch Whisky News


A vibrant and stately re-imagining of the whisky that launched Compass Box…


In 2000 we created Hedonism, the whisky that started the Compass Box story. Our latest limited edition is both a celebration of where we have come from, and the beginning of another exciting chapter.


What makes up Hedonism Felicitas? The largest single component hails from the now-closed Port Dundas Distillery. Distilled in 2001 and aged – as we later learned – in Sherry butts, it provides notes of sweet wood spice, toffee and honey. These flavours are balanced by the graceful vanilla creaminess and orchard fruit intensity of whisky from the Strathclyde Distillery, distilled in the 1980s, and the passion fruit, cardamom and coconut notes of two small parcels from the North British Distillery produced in the nineties. The majority of the components were distilled before we released the very first Hedonism.


James Saxon explains: “The whisky from the Port Dundas Distillery proved a crucial component, yet it came in disguise. The casks had been identified on our records as first fill ex-Bourbon barrels and they behaved like especially active examples of this cask type. Clarification revealed them to be refill Sherry butts, an unusual cask in which to mature grain whisky. With these Sherry butts included, Hedonism Felicitas suddenly found its anchoring richness. And then there was the bottling strength – at 53% ABV the flavours really sang.”


To celebrate our 20th anniversary, our Founder John Glaser is hosting a live interactive tasting of the new limited edition on 27th September 2020. We’d love you to join us, either with your own bottle, with our signature Hedonism, or just to hear more about the story of this whisky. To sign up, please see below. For those who have already registered, we will share more details with you next week ahead of the tasting. We look forward to seeing you there!


Canadian Distilleries News “Alberta Premium Cask Strength Named World Whisky of 2020” – Canadian Whisky News

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Named World Whisky of 2020

Long-time favourite Canadian rye whisky, Alberta Premium is gaining world renown after beating out over 1250 other whiskies, to be named World Whisky of the Year in the popular Jim Murray Whisky Bible for 2021.

According to Mr. Murray, Alberta Premium Cask Strength (61.5% abv) will delight “any whisky lover on the planet looking for a huge but nearly perfectly balanced experience. And with rye at its most rampantly beautiful, this is something to truly worship.”

We’ve been praising Calgary’s Alberta Distillers Limited for along time, and so has Mr. Murray who named Alberta Premium his Canadian Whisky of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

A Gold Medal for Alberta Premium Cask Strength and an Award of Excellence for Distillery of the Decade, won by Alberta Distillers Ltd. at the Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria last January foretold this latest accolade.

“On behalf of the entire Alberta Distillers team, we are honoured to have Alberta Premium Cask Strength named “World Whisky of the Year,'” said George Teichroeb, General Manager of Alberta Distillers Limited. “We are incredibly proud of our Alberta Distillers team for creating such a unique and beautiful world-class whisky, and continually pushing the boundaries of what Canadian whisky can be.”

For more information on Alberta Premium Cask Strength and Alberta Distillers, visit Or, for a real deep dive into Canadian whisky pick up a copy of the book, Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert.

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

If a copy of our book has found its way to you, why not post a photo of it along with a few notes on social media and help us spread the word. Include your favourite spirit and tag us @davindek and we’ll publish a selection of your photos online and in our next newsletter.


Davin & Blair
Authors of The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

Amazon Canada · Chapters/Indigo · Amazon US · Barnes & Noble ·
Independent book sellers in Canada

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries is available in e-book too. Huge thanks to Amazon and Chapters for supporting this.

Here too is a list of independent bookstores in Canada that offer delivery.

And, a quick reminder to whisky producers that entries are now open for the 2021 Canadian Whisky Awards

Introducing Edition No.6 – Tales of The Macallan River – Scotch Whisky News

The sixth and final release in The Macallan Edition series, Edition No.6 is a celebration of the River Spey, the iconic river that flows through the heart of The Macallan Estate. This distinct single malt delivers a multifaceted experience; from the appealing rich brass natural colour, to the layers of aroma, followed by the deep and rewarding flavour. A day on the River Spey, with its pure water, stunning wild landscape and calmness, is a once in a lifetime experience. The Macallan Edition No.6 brings together The Macallan Ghillie, Robert Mitchell; Hardy, the world’s most renowned fly fishing brand; and The Atlantic Salmon Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience in salmon conservation.



New Waterford at Tyndrum Whisky – Irish Whisky News

Brings you


Sheestown 1.1
Ballymorgan 1.1
Ballykilcavan 1.2
Bannow Island 1.2

Waterford – a voyage as ambitious as it’s pioneering. The destination is to create not just the most compelling Irish whisky, but the world’s most profound single malt. Waterford is definitely a work in progress, but to taste this progress from the start is amazing.

Order Now >

American Whiskey Tasting with Hirsch, Potrero, and JH Cutter at The Whisky Shop #SFO – American Whiskey News 


Saturday October 3rd, 5.30 PM:

 American Whiskey Tasting:

 Hirsch, Potrero, and JH Cutter, 

Explore the world of American whiskey at our free virtual tasting! This expert presented tasting features Indiana distillery Hirsch and San Francisco based distillery Hotaling and Co. We’ll discuss whisky history and distilling secrets through our featured whiskeys, followed by a Q&A with our expert presenter.

Tasting Pourlist:

Click to purchase

Hirsch Bourbon

JH Cutter Whiskey

Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey

 Click Here to RSVP

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 339: Waterford Bannow Island Edition 1.1 – Irish Whiskey News

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 339: Waterford Bannow Island Edition 1.1

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky vlogger, tries the new releases from the Irish Waterford distillery. After Bruichladdich was sold Mark Reynier moved to Ireland and founded the new Waterford Distillery there. His search for terroir goes one. The first releases sold out immediately, but new bottlings are underway already. This Bannow Island was produced from barely from the eponymous farm and matured in a mix of casks: American oak, American virgin oak, French oak and French Vin Doux Naturel casks. It was cut to 50%.

Elijah Craig Bourbon Launches Old Fashioned Week in Partnership with PUNCH – American Whiskey News

Elijah Craig Bourbon Launches Old Fashioned Week in Partnership with PUNCH

Inaugural celebration pledges up to $100,000 to Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

BARDSTOWN, Ky. – Elijah Craig and the Old Fashioned embody the centuries-old histories of Bourbon and classic cocktails. Today, the two pair together not only for a great cocktail, but for an even greater cause. In partnership with PUNCH, Elijah Craig Bourbon is launching the inaugural Old Fashioned Week from Oct. 16 – 25, 2020.

In 1789, Rev. Elijah Craig did not set out to become the Father of Bourbon when he first charred oak barrels, but his ingenuity proved a pivotal moment for Bourbon. Less than twenty years later, a spark ignited with what was first known as ‘the whiskey cocktail,’ paving the way for cocktail culture. The renaissance of classic cocktails over the last two decades rejuvenated desire for spirit-forward cocktails that are both balanced and complex, a setting ripe to celebrate an Elijah Craig Old Fashioned. Two classics in their own right, Elijah Craig Small Batch provides a 94-proof Bourbon canvas with a signature warm spice and subtle smoke flavor that complements the sweetness and spiciness of the Old Fashioned’s key ingredients.

“We are inspired by the lengths at which the hospitality industry is joining together to support each other,” said Max Stefka, Elijah Craig Senior Brand Manager. “For ten days we are raising a glass for the greater good by celebrating one great cocktail to lift up one great community through Elijah Craig’s Old Fashioned Week.”

The initial philanthropic goal for Old Fashioned Week will be donating up to $100,000 for the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF), an advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers. Donations will go toward direct financial assistance, grants to non-profit partners, and to a zero-interest loan program for small businesses. Starting on Oct. 16, Elijah Craig will host a lineup of live activations designed to be both educational and entertaining in support of RWCF. In partnership with PUNCH, Elijah Craig will also highlight bartenders’ unique stories and signature Old Fashioned cocktails on

A national sweepstakes that offers a chance to win one of 500 home bar kits will also run from Sept. 1 – Nov. 15. Elijah Craig will match $1 for every online submission at or match $5 for every social media submission by posting an image of a ‘virtual cheers’ using the hashtags #OldFashionedWeek or #Sweepstakes and tagging @ElijahCraig. To get involved, donate, or enter to win, consumers are encouraged to visit for more information.

To enjoy the Old Fashioned in its purest form, start with the below cocktail recipe:


2 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

.25 oz. Simple Syrup
3 Dashes of Bitters
Orange Swath
1 Brandied Cherry (optional)


In a mixing glass add bitters, simple syrup, Elijah Craig Small Batch, and ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain cocktail over a large ice cube in a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a swath of orange and an optional brandied cherry.

ABOUT ELIJAH CRAIG BOURBON: Elijah Craig Bourbon bears the name of the Reverend Elijah Craig, known as “The Father of Bourbon,” who established his distillery in 1789 on the banks of Elkhorn Creek in modern day Georgetown, Kentucky. He is credited with being the first distiller to age his wares in charred oak barrels. The clear, unaged corn liquor became transformed into a bold amber liquid with a distinctively smooth flavor that makes Bourbon what it is today. Produced by Heaven Hill Distillery, the family of whiskeys includes Elijah Craig Small Batch, Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey, Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Elijah Craig Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

First brought to market in 1986, Heaven Hill Distillery’s Master Distillers were selecting a small number of barrels of the finest Bourbon to make Elijah Craig Small Batch long before the term “small batch” even existed. It is this attention to detail and superb craftsmanship that give Elijah Craig an ideal balance of age, robust body, and rich flavor. Elijah Craig accolades have included Whisky Advocate’s Whisky of the Year, Best Small Batch Bourbon and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and Excellent Highly Recommended honors at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. For more information, please visit

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERY: Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.7 million barrels aging in 60 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection. Heaven Hill Distillery currently holds the title of 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Distillery of the Year, Best in Show Whisky, and previously held the titles of 2018 San Francisco Spirits Word Spirits Competition Best Bourbon, 2017 Whisky Advocate Whisky of the Year, 2016 Whisky Magazine Distillery of the Year, 2016 Whisky Advocate American Whiskey of the Year and 2016 Rye Whiskey of the Year from “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” For more information, please visit



HONG KONG, September – Global whisky expert and spirits writer, George Koutsakis, has been appointed as Rare Finds Worldwide’s new Investment Specialist and Marketing Director. Based in Taiwan, Koutsakis will spearhead Rare Finds Worldwide’s industry webinars, influencer partnerships and branded content.

As a half-Greek Scotsman who previously worked in Japan’s whisky industry for years, Koutsakis is involved in most sectors of the whisky and spirits industry, from social media and marketing to product development and rare whisky trading. He has hosted and launched several expressions for Highland Park in Hong Kong and written for over 20 world-renowned spirits and lifestyle publications. His in-depth features have been published in top lifestyle publications such as Forbes, Financial Times, Wine Enthusiast, Japan Times, and South China Morning Post.

Among his accomplishments in written works, George also collaborates with renowned organisations; he worked as a spirits specialist with Spink Auctions Hong Kong and hosted the opening ceremony at Whisky Live Hong Kong 2019, while also hosting a masterclass. Koutsakis shared more insights as a TEDxTalk Speaker in 2019, and was featured in “The Most Expensivest” TV Show alongside 2Chainz.

Acting as Whisky Expert for the brokerage, George will share his wealth of experience in the whisky industry to effectively cater to the business’ growing clientele, and also be involved in the fund’s expansion across Asia. With Hong Kong as its headquarters, Rare Finds Worldwide comprises a team of experienced banking and alternative investment professionals with a passion for whisky, serving a unique customer journey from sourcing and building premium collections to providing exit strategies, which includes bottling.

For a one-on-one consultation with our whisky investment specialists or to find out about our rare whisky casks and collections, please fill in this form.

About Rare Finds Worldwide

Rare Finds Worldwide is a tailored whisky brokerage that offers collectors and investors the opportunity to increase wealth with rare Single Malt Scotch Whisky. We offer our private client’s exclusive access to some of the oldest and most prestigious single malts in the world as well as taking advantage of ultra – premium cask procurement from Tier 1 distilleries such as Macallan, Dalmore and Bowmore to name a select few. Our team comprises of experienced investment banking professionals and alternative investment specialists, whose passion for whisky has evolved into a consultancy that focuses on delivering only best in class product, with authentic provenance to our family of whisky investors and collectors.

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