Archive for February, 2021

The Dram Team Partners With 6 Inspirational Whisky Women for Charity Tasting Event – Whisky News

The Dram Team Partners With 6 Inspirational Whisky Women for Charity Tasting Event

The Dram Team, a Bristol based leading whisky tasting subscription company, has teamed up with six inspirational women from the whisky industry to host a one-of-a-kind virtual whisky tasting. In celebration of International Women’s Day falling on the 8th of March, this special whisky tasting set features 6 whiskies where women played a key part in their creation. Tasting set boxes will be available throughout March, and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

The Women in Whisky virtual tasting will take place on Wednesday 10th of March at 8pm on The Dram Team’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Dram Team Head of Marketing Harri Sharman will host the event and be joined by an impressive array of (female) representatives from Nc’nean, Compass Box, Tamnavulin, J.J. Corry, Penderyn, and Cardrona.

The tasting offers participants a rare chance to meet a wide range of whisky pros, ask questions, and taste six high-quality whiskies, all from the comfort of their own home.

Not only that, but everyone who takes part will be supporting two charities tied to the Women in Whisky theme, with the Dram Team donating proceeds equally to Bristol Women’s Voice – an equality focused charity local to their offices in Bristol – and The Drinks Trust – an industry charity supporting hospitality workers throughout the pandemic.

One of the tasting panel guests is Annabel Thomas, founder and CEO of Nc’nean Distillery. She says, “I’m so excited to be participating in this event – both to be supporting two fantastic charities and to be part of an awesome line up of whiskies. Looking forward to sharing some stories and a dram!”

Chris Borrow, founder of the Dram Team, believes whisky should be enjoyed by anyone: “People who work in whisky know that women are very much at the heart and soul of the industry, but a lot of daft, sexist myths still persist despite this. The Women in Whisky box aims to dispel these myths and send a clear message that whisky is for everyone.”

Harri Sharman, who will be hosting the event, agrees. “This event, to me, is not just about recognising and celebrating some of the amazing work that women are doing in the whisky industry, it’s also a fantastic whisky tasting in its own right. I was so excited to work on this project because of the great quality of the whiskies, the variety of flavours, and the talent of the women involved, and I think the two charities we’ve chosen do so much to support all types of people in both the whisky industry and the wider world.”

The tasting is open to all, but those interested in tasting the whiskies as well can pre-purchase their whisky tasting boxes for £34.99. They’ll also have the option to make an additional donation to these charities should they wish.

While this special edition tasting box is available as a one-off whisky box, participants can also opt to join The Dram Team’s whisky tasting club, saving £5 off subsequent whisky tasting boxes. For the full list of tasting panel guests and the whiskies included, visit The Dram Team’s website.

Event Information

Event: Women in Whisky – Virtual Live Charity Tasting

Time: Wednesday 10th March 2021, 8pm – 9:30pm

Price: £34.99 (with whisky box)



ST. MAGDALENE (LINLITHGOW) DISTILLERY 31 Year Old Dynasty Decanter at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

Dynasty Decanter with real gold and silver decoration

31 Year Old St. Magdalene

A lost Linlithgow distillery bottled in hand-blown ATLANTIS crystal


St. Magdalene 31 Year Old Lowland single malt Scotch whisky. The Dynasty decanter was created to celebrate the evolution of Scotch whisky distilling during the 200 years spanned by seven Stuart monarchs. Cast in silver and decorated with pure gold medallions of the heads of the seven Stuart monarchs. The hand-blown decanter comes from one of the world’s leading crystal-glass manufacturers; ATLANTIS. Bottled by Hart Brothers.

A malt that is both vibrant and complex in nature. The nose is rounded with notes of ripe citrus fruit, almonds and sherry-soaked sponge. There are also hints of menthol and a slight peat aroma.

A soft Lowland character layered with sweet sherry spice. Brown sugar, toffee, more fruit and salted dark chocolate with a warming spice.

The finish is considerably long and reflects the palate. More fruit, toffee and spice, with a lingering finish of barley sugar.

St. Magdalene’s malt whisky distillery was established by Adam Dawson at Linlithgow in 1824 and opened shortly thereafter. The Union Canal flowed right by on its southern doorstep and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway steamed right past on its northern flank ensuring easy access to rapidly expanding markets. St. Magdalene’s Distillery closed in 1983, later converted into private housing and is now a lost Lowland malt whisky distillery. All the whisky from St. Magdalene’s four stills went into blends during its working life, the few single cask bottlings are a modern development and listed amongst their limited number is Carn Mor’s 1982 vintage.

Latest Release from Little Brown Dog at the Inverurie Whisky Shop – Whisky News

Liten Brun Hund Single Cask 2008 Mackmyra

Our local friends at Little Brown Dog have done it again! A stunning Single Cask release selected by Andrew and Chris from the Mackmyra Warehouses in Sweden. Liten Brun Hund was distilled in 2008 and bottled earlier this month from a Virgin Oak Single Cask. Bottled at a natural 49.8% and all natural colour it is an exquisite dram. Extremely limited and only available from a handful of retailers (including us!), these Doggies won’t be in the window very long!



New Loch Lomond Releases at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

Loch Lomond
The Open Special Edition


Created in partnership with Colin Montgomerie, professional golfer and ambassador for Loch Lomond Whiskies, this expression has been matured in three types of American oak casks before being treated to a partial finish in Virgin American oak. This expression has been bottled at 46% abv without chill filtration or added colouring.

On the collaboration, Colin says: “Working with Michael Henry [Master Distiller] once again has been an incredible experience. I know that both golfers and whisky fans will love that we’ve been able to produce.”


Buy Now ›

Loch Lomond 20 Year Old
Open Course Collection
Royal St. George’s


Loch Lomond’s Open Course Collection Royal St Georges, a 20-year-old single malt, is the result of a collaboration between professional golfer Darren Clarke and Loch Lomond Whiskies Master Blender Michael Henry.

Michael’s choice of casks, specially commissioned English Virgin Oak, bring out the signature fruit character created by the innovative stills at the Loch Lomond Distillery. Bottled in a traditional artisanal manner, this expression comes at a cask strength of 50.2% abv, without chill filtration or added colouring.


Buy Now ›

ralfy review 865 – Deanston 12yo (Madeira finish) – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 865 – Deanston 12yo @ 55.6%vol (Madeira finish)

Canada’s Best Whisky Is Canadian Club! – Canadian Whisky News

Canada’s Best Whisky Is Canadian Club

It is official: Canada’s oldest whisky is also its best. On February 25, 2021, nine independent whisky experts named 43-year-old Canadian Club Chronicles as Canadian Whisky of the Year at the eleventh annual Canadian Whisky Awards. Canadian Club 43 also took top honours as Connoisseur Whisky of the Year.

“This is truly a remarkable whisky, so deserving of the accolade,” said Davin de Kergommeaux, head judge and founder of the awards. “Canadian Club has been shortlisted for best whisky in past years, and for 2021, the judges awarded Canadian Club 43-year-old the highest overall score among over 130 Canadian whiskies entered in the competition.”

Other major winners include Pendleton Director’s Reserve which was named Connoisseur Whisky of the Year in the multi-market category. J. P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye, which is a US exclusive, took home Sippin’ Whisky of the Year in the export-only category, while Gibson’s Finest Bold was named Sippin’ Whisky of the Year for the Canadian market.

J.P. Wiser’s 22-Year-Old Port Cask Finished claimed Cask Strength Whisky of the year, and the sensational Lot No. 40 Dark Oak was named Best New Whisky.

Windsor’s Hiram Walker Distillery is the 2021 Distillery of the Year, while Devine Distillery and Winery in Saanich, British Columbia was awarded Artisanal Distillery of the Year. Devine distiller, Ken Winchester received accolades for Lifetime Achievement in distilling. Shelter Point Distillery from Campbell River BC and Two Brewers from Whitehorse Yukon tied for Best Single Malt.


About the Canadian Whisky Awards: The annual Canadian Whisky Awards, broadcast online in 2021, are normally held in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival. The awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies, and are intended to encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, each whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada.

An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. In keeping with current trends in whisky connoisseurship, the jury includes both women and men tasters, who have made significant contributions to understanding Canadian whisky.

Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

For further information please contact:

Davin de Kergommeaux (613) 563-0254 or

For full results

Photo caption: The 43-Year-Old Canadian Club Chronicles has been named Canada’s best whisky at the eleventh annual Canadian Whisky Awards.

Photo Credit: Canadian Club



First Midleton Very Rare vintage from Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman is unveiled  

Irish Distillers, maker of some of the world’s most enjoyed whiskeys, has opened a new chapter in Irish whiskey as they reveal Midleton Very Rare 2021 – the 38th edition in the renowned and highly collectable range and the first in the series to be masterfully created by Irish Distillers’ new Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman.

The Midleton Very Rare legacy began over four decades ago when the then masters, ever keen to create exemplary expressions, began setting aside small amounts of exceptionally performing whiskey for a new luxury offering in the world of Irish whiskey. Today, Midleton Very Rare is globally renowned as the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.  In keeping with tradition, Midleton Very Rare 2021 is a balanced blend of rare and hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys from Midleton’s extensive inventory. It includes whiskey aged between 15 and 36 years and matured in lightly charred ex-bourbon American oak barrels.

Making his first selection as Master Distiller, Kevin O’Gorman took several months to explore the finest casks in the Midleton inventory as he sought to put his own mark on this eagerly awaited annual limited-edition release. Drawing on his experience in both distillation and maturation, O’Gorman elevated the grain whiskey contribution for the 2021 vintage to create a delicate and elegant whiskey. In order to maintain a luxurious, balanced aroma and taste profile, O’Gorman selected a perfect mix of first fill and second fill casks to enhance the wood contribution while allowing the pot still component to express itself.

The result is a whiskey of great finesse, with a floral, perfumed character. The higher selection of grain whiskeys extends the spectrum of flavours and aromas to include baked orchard fruits, lime zest and kiwi, perfectly rounded off with mild pot still spices and soft waves of vanilla from the exceptional bourbon casks.

Celebrating the launch of Midleton Very Rare 2021, O’Gorman comments: “It is a great honour to become the custodian of this extraordinary Irish whiskey family and to have my signature adorn our 2021 vintage.

“The journey to launching this vintage began almost 40 years ago. Continuing the work of my predecessors was both a daunting and extremely enjoyable process that allowed me to explore some of our rarest casks and create an exceptional blend that sits seamlessly within the family.

“I am particularly proud to have been able to include distillate that was laid down in 1984, the year the collection was first conceived by Master Distiller Emeritus Barry Crockett, from who I have learned so much.

“For me, this vintage adds a new dimension and elegance to the style and quality for which the range is renowned. I couldn’t ask for a better way to begin my chapter as Irish Distillers’ Master Distiller.”

Beginning a new tradition under the guardianship of Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman, the Midleton Very Rare 2021 vintage will be the first to be launched at the start of the year, in response to consumer demand. As the new Midleton Very Rare calendar establishes this year, Ireland, online platforms and select markets will retain an allocation for a second sales period in late autumn to ensure availability before the festive period, in keeping with customer expectations.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Midleton Very Rare 2021 is available online and in Ireland now, and will hit shelves in the UK, USA, Global Travel Retail, Australia, Germany, France and Canada in the coming months at the RRP of €180.


IG: @MidletonVeryRare

Shop online: 

Tasting Notes 

Opens with a delicate floral perfume closely followed by roasted coffee beans, salted caramel and honeycomb coming to the fore. Hints of nectarines that linger in the background evolve over time along with freshly grated ginger and nutmeg spice. The American oak provides structure throughout, ranging in depth from fresh woodland notes to aged charred oak.

Baked orchard fruits with a touch of lime zest and kiwi. Mild pot still spices continue to build along with soft waves of vanilla, sweet coffee liqueur and cocoa powder. The texture initially round and full, gains additional wood spices with a delicate touch of clove oil and nutmeg adding a mild heat, giving balance to the sweetness.Finish
Lingering finish with the pot still spices and soft fruits eventually fading, allowing the oak to have the final say, highlighting the many years of maturation.


About Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines, and producer of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish whiskey. Jameson is the world’s bestselling Irish whiskey, experiencing 30 years of consecutive growth up to 2019 and hitting sales of 7.6m cases in 2020. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. Since 2012, we have invested over €400 million to double our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.

We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin.

About Pernod Ricard 

Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €9,182 million in FY19. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has developed through organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: 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’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 19,000 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s three-year strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders. The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics. As illustrated by the 2030 roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “We bring good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis and is ranked No. 1 in the beverage sector in Vigeo Eiris. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nation’s Global Compact LEAD company.

Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

New Japanese Whisky Labelling Standards – Japanese Whisky News

New Japanese Whisky Labelling Standards

Whisky has been made in Japan for almost 100 years, but until recently it has been relatively unknown. The huge growth outside of Japan in the past few years has started to show cracks in the way that it is regulated and led to calls from both in and outside of the Japanese whisky community to have stricter rules on its production and labelling. Today, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association has announced the steps that it is taking to tighten up what producers mean by the term Japanese whisky.

Global Growth

The rise in popularity of Japanese whisky over the past two decades has led to more and more of the spirit being exported around the world. With that has come an awareness that the Japanese regulations and traditions of whisky making didn’t necessarily line up with that of other countries. This is especially true when it comes to what was allowed to be included when creating a whisky.

The Japanese laws that govern whisky were laid down in the 1950s and haven’t changed much since. They are governed by the tax department and are mostly concerned with collecting the correct duties more than governing how whisky is made. Along with that, the tradition of Japanese whisky blending focused on the resulting blend and its flavour rather than the origin components.

The result has been that even if a bottle of whisky says ‘Product of Japan’ on the label, it isn’t possible to say whether every whisky in the vatting that made up the contents of the bottle was made in Japan. In short, a product that claimed to be Japanese whisky could well be made up partly or even entirely of spirit distilled and matured outside of the country.

While many producers are open about the source of their spirit, many are not. There have been ongoing discussions for years about how to update the regulations, but Japanese bureaucracy moves slowly, and nothing official has appeared yet from the tax office. However, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association is now issuing guidelines for its members to try and increase transparency.

The New Rules

As of 1 April 2021, members of the JSLMA will start to move towards a new standard for labelling their whiskies. Along with the labelling is a commitment not to allude to being Japanese whisky through naming, packaging and advertising. They’ve published full details in English on the JSLMA website. The deadline to follow the new rules is 31 March 2024.

In order for a spirit to be called Japanese whisky it must adhere to the following rules:

Raw ingredients: Malted grain must always be used, but other cereal grains can also be included.

Water: Water used in production must be extracted in Japan.

Production location: Saccharification, fermentation and distillation must be carried out at a distillery in Japan.

Distillation: Must be distilled to less than 95% ABV.

Ageing: Spirit must be aged in Japan in wooden casks of no more than 700 litres for a minimum of three years.

Packaging: Bottling must take place in Japan.

Strength: Bottled spirit must be at least 40% ABV.

Colouring: Plain caramel colouring (E150) can be used.

What does this mean?

While this only affects the members of the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association, it does cover most of the major producers in Japan.

Each producer will be working to a different timeline and will have different ways of handling the new rules. Some will change the composition of their whiskies meet the new rules, others will simply label their spirit as ‘Whisky’ without the new category as well as potentially changing product names and packaging. Some whiskies may even be discontinued.

In the end, the coming few years will lead to greater transparency from the major Japanese whisky producers.

What is The Whisky Exchange doing?

We very much support these changes, and will be updating our website over the coming weeks, months and years to classify all Japanese whisky using these definitions, erring on the side of ‘not Japanese Whisky’ when we are unable to find out.

We are renaming our Japanese whisky category ‘Whisky from Japan’ and will divide all of those whiskies into Japanese Whisky and Whisky – the latter are whiskies from Japan that for one reason or another do not meet the requirements laid down by the JSLMA to be called Japanese Whisky.

This is only a start, and as we continue to develop our website, we will make sure to keep the distinction between these new categories clear.

Bladnoch Distillery Wins in the 2021 World Whisky Awards – Scotch Whisky News

The distillery is thrilled to announce that its three entrants into the 2021 World Whiskies Awards are all proud medal recipients. *Bladnoch 14yo, Category Winner for Single Malt 13 to 20 years *Bladnoch 11yo, Silver Medalist for Single Malt 12 years & under *Bladnoch Single Cask 03, Bronze Medalist for Single Cask Single Malt 13 to 20 years.

Visit Bladnoch Single Malts HERE

About Bladnoch

Bladnoch Distillery is Scotland’s southernmost distillery, and one of a handful that remain independently owned. Since being purchased in 2015 by Australian entrepreneur David Prior, Bladnoch has enjoyed a renaissance. Their rangee of award-winning Bladnoch Single Malt Whiskies and Pure Scot, their contemporary Blended Scotch Whisky, has been launched in over 30 countries. In 2017, Bladnoch Distillery celebrated its 200 year anniversary making it one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in Scotland. In June 2019, Bladnoch Distillery’s state-of-the-art visitors centre was opened, welcoming guests to the distillery once again after significant renovations. Master Distiller, Dr Nick Savage joined the Bladnoch team in July 2019. Visit or @bladnochwhisky for more information.

Canadian Whisky Awards 2021 Broadcast Links – Canadian Whisky News


Canadian Whisky Awards Broadcast Links

 The results of the 2021 Canadian Whisky Awards will be broadcast live on the internet on Thursday, February 25 at 9:00 PM Eastern time, 6:00 PM Pacific time.

To view the awards on YouTube please go to this link:


To view the awards on Facebook please go to this link:


We have set up a YouTube channel called Canadian Whisky Awards, and a Facebook page, also called Canadian Whisky Awards,  If you are have trouble connecting please go to one of those pages.

Thank you to all for supporting the 2021 Canadian Whisky Awards, and good luck!



Davin de Kergommeaux

Coordinator, Canadian Whisky Awards 2021

Canadian Whisky Awards February 25  at 9:00  PM Eastern

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