Archive for May, 2021



The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) have teamed-up with long-standing BBC Radio Scotland presenter, Vic Galloway, to pair his favourite music with SMWS whisky flavour profiles.

Vic, who has been broadcasting weekly on BBC Radio 1, BBC Scotland and BBC 6 Music for over 22 years, is also an author of two music books, a DJ and musician. He also happens to be an avid malt whisky fan and member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Using his knowledge of both music and whisky, Vic explores the relationship between the two worlds. He has come up with his pick of perfect genres to match the Society’s flavour profiles.

In the mix is the Society’s ‘Young & Spritely’ flavour profile being likened to the genre ‘Dream Pop’, with its “effervescent and sweet, joyous and uplifting exuberance that seems utterly timeless and forever young”.

Whisky fans can view Vic’s full SMWS pairing list here:

The Scottish broadcaster said: “Music and whisky go together like, well, music and whisky! There’s nothing better than sitting back with like-minded friends and sharing experiences. And that is what The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is all about.

“Enjoy an SMWS dram and check out my music & whisky pairings online. It’s been a lot of fun… and you might find a few surprises in there! If you’ve not already, I encourage you to become a member of this phenomenal organisation, which in my eyes really is the world’s most entertaining whisky club. Slainte!”

Vic will be chatting all things music and whisky on the SMWS ‘Virtual Pub’ being streamed to members on Friday 7th May. The Vic Galloway campaign launches at an ideal time to support the Society’s impressive May events listings as excitement builds around the SMWS Members’ Rooms re-opening.

Events include a ‘Welcome Back to The Vaults Tasting’, as well as a Whisky Festival Tasting which brings exclusive festival bottlings to The Vaults, the spiritual home of the Society in Edinburgh.

There will also be a flurry of tasting events taking place at Glasgow’s Bath Street Members’ Room throughout May, where members can bring guests to get a taste of what being part of the SMWS is all about.

Curious whisky explorers can view the full event listing here:

Membership to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society includes access to exclusive Members’ Rooms, partner bar discounts, colourful tasting events, whisky education and a monthly members magazine Unfiltered, all for only £65:







About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 27,000 members and branches around the world
  • The SMWS bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society bottles single malts, unique single casks and exclusive blends
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 146 distilleries from Scotland and beyond
  • The Society offers a new batch of around 20 single cask, single malt whiskies every month
  • The Society offers a variety of membership packages which can be tailored. Please see
  • For more information about the Society, visit
  • Twitter: @SMWSUK Facebook: @thesmwsuk Instagram: @smws_uk

A Last Chat with Jim McEwan – to support Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance – Scotch Whisky News

A Last Chat with Jim McEwan – to support Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance

 Sunday, May 23rd @ 9PM BST/ 1PM EDT/ 4PM PDT

 Come and help us raise a toast to Jim McEwan before he takes a step back from public life. An evening of Film, stories and conversation which will take you on a journey through the life and whiskies of Jim McEwan for one final event to support Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance

 LOS ANGELES – APRIL 30, 2021 – Following his final tasting Masterclass on May 22nd join Jim McEwan on Sunday, May 23rd, for a farewell chat in aid of one of Islay’s most valuable services: Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

After a lifetime spent creating some of the world’s finest whiskies, Jim has decided it’s now time to take a step back and be a full-time husband and grandfather.  Jim has inspired a generation of distillers, blenders, and fans. He feels that it’s now time for them to carry the message forward.

So, join us for one more chat with the man himself. One more night with Jim, his stories, insights… and a raise a toast to the man who has touched so many lives.

Over the past four months Jim McEwan’s story has been told through film in Blacksmith & Jones’ The Water of Life – a whisky film; through drams with Dramfool’s Jim McEwan Signature Collection; and in print with Jim’s biography, A Journeyman’s Journey, co-authored by Udo Sonntag and published by Plassen Verlag.

Today the companies who have helped share Jim’s story with the world have come together with Jim to help support Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

The event has two ticket options. Both tickets include access to The Water of Life Film for 48 hours (May 22nd & 23rd), a link to join a virtual online chat with Jim on Sunday, May 23rd, and tasting kits you can enjoy while watching the film (But make sure you save one dram so that we can send Jim off with a hearty and heartfelt “sláinte mhath!”).  The Gold Collection ticket also includes a copy of The Journeyman’s Journey along with a personalised printed letter by Jim.

This is not a tasting or a masterclass. These drams are meant to be enjoyed while viewing the film or reading the book. Or kept as souvenirs. This event is a celebration of Jim, including a wee surprise or two.

Gold Collection Ticket – Available to purchase through Dramfool

Limited to 50 tickets – £185 (£25 from each ticket will be donated to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance)

 With this collection you’ll receive access to The Water of life Film, a copy of The Journeyman’s Journey (German or English edition) along with a personalised printed letter from Jim, a Gold Collection tasting kit and access to a zoom link to join the chat with Jim McEwan on Sunday, May 23rd.

The tasting kit has 6 drams which are a liquid timeline of Jim’s career – from his era at Bowmore, through some of his unique Bruichladdich drams (including Jim McEwan Signature Collection Journey’s End dram and a rare Lochindaal), and ending with Jim’s newest and yet to be bottled single malt from The Cape Byron Distillery in Australia. This will be a unique opportunity to taste the dram that Jim says will be his final whisky. It’s not going to be bottled for at least another year, but he’s eager to share an advanced taste with you all.

  • Bowmore 20 – 50.7% ABV – 20 year old David Simpson, Double Matured in Oloroso and PX Sherry Casks
  • Bruichladdich – 46% ABV – Resurrection 2001/2008
  • Bruichladdich – 40% ABV – 10 year old, 1990’s bottling pre reopening
  • Jim McEwan Signature Collection – Journey’s End – Islay Barley 2010 – 55.9 ABV – 16/09/2010 1st fill Banyul Cask
  • Dramfool – Lochindaa l 2009 – 62.1% ABV – 01/09/2009 1st fill Bourbon
  • Cape Byron – 48% ABV – Cask #17, Ex Bourbon Cask

Please note: The German version of the book will be dispatched straight after purchase. The English version of The Journeyman’s Journey will not be dispatched until late June as it has not been released yet.  Once printed, you will be sent one of the first 50 English versions of the first release – a real collector’s item!

Silver Collection Ticket – Available to purchase through Dramfool

Limited to 300 tickets- £50 (£10 from each ticket will be donated to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance)

This collection includes access to The Water of Life film, a Silver Collection tasting kit and access to  a zoom link to join the chat with Jim McEwan on Sunday, May 23rd.

The tasting kit has 4 drams which takes you through Bowmore and some of Bruichladdich’s finest drams:

  • Bowmore 15 year old – 43% ABV
  • Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012 – 50% ABV
  • Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 – 50% ABV
  • Octomore 11.1 – 59.4% ABV – 5 year old 136.9PPM

Click here for information about of The Journeyman’s Journey

Click on link to find out more about Dramfool

Click on link for information on the film

Click on Link to see the trailer

About The Water of Lifea whisky film

The Water of Life is a feature documentary that focuses on the craftsmen, chemists, and renegades at the heart of the whisky revolution that turned the stagnant scotch whisky industry of the 1980s into the titan it is today.

Starting behind the locked gates of an abandoned distillery, Jim McEwan and Mark Reynier share their personal experiences of the risk-taking and wild experimentation they used to turn Bruichladdich into a creative and financial powerhouse.

The film also takes you on the journeys of visionaries like Gordon & MacPhail, Billy Walker, Rachel Barrie and David Stewart, whose mixture of talent, chemistry, hard work, grit, and a little sprinkle of magic paved the way for the next generation of innovators like Adam Hannett, Kelsey McKechnie, Liam Hughes, Iain Croucher, and Eddie Brook.

The Water of Life is a uniquely personal perspective on the evolution of whisky by those who lived it – the story of those who played a key part in rediscovering the crafting of the ancient spirit.

About Blacksmith + Jones

Blacksmith + Jones is a media production company that puts story first. Their primary focus has been in documentary style television and short form projects.  Principals Trevor Jones and Greg Swartz have decades of experience and have produced shows for NatGeo, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. They have been partners for more than 10 years. The Water of Life is their first feature documentary.

About The Dramfool

Dramfool have been delighted to be chosen by Jim McEwan, an industry legend in and personal whisky hero, to bottle his personal collection of casks. Distilled at hi time at the helm of Bruichladdich Distillery the spirit an casks all chosen to represent the best of what he and his team achieved.

To raise a toast with not just with him but his personally selected ‘Journey’s End’ dram to mark this occasion adds even more excitement to this event.

Dramfool have been independently bottling cask strength, un-chill filtered whisky since 2015. The reputation that we have gained around the world for our bottlings gives us great and continued pleasure. With this in mind the founder, Bruce Farquhar’s, mantra from day one to ‘only bottle whiskies that I like’ is key. More so now than ever.

About Plassen Verlag, a brand of Boersenmedien AG

Since 2012, popular non-fiction books on exciting, current topics by well-known authors and proven experts have been published under the “Plassen” label. The label’s authors speak volumes: from George Soros to Michael Bloomberg to Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences Robert J. Shiller and Paul Krugman, from bestselling authors Andrew McAfee to Scott Galloway. The topics: Business, politics, current affairs and much more. But personalities from the show business have also published their books with Plassen Verlag. Besides singer Roberto Blanco, Michelin-decorated TV star chef Alexander Herrmann is also one of the prominent authors.

About the Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

SCAA currently operates two helicopters, both EC135-T2is, and two rapid response vehicles – taking expert paramedic care to the scene of time-critical emergencies.  SCAA then transports patients to hospitals all over Scotland to receive the most appropriate medical care.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), SCAA is an integral part of Scotland’s frontline emergency response network, responding to trauma incidents and medical emergencies across the country, covering an area of more than 30,000 square miles.

As Scotland’s only charity air ambulance, SCAA is funded by the people of Scotland, primarily through donations, fundraising, events and our life-saving lottery.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “May Outturn alert” – Scotch Whisky News

It’s finally here – the month we all look forward to – the month of Scotland’s whisky festivals. And while the festivals won’t be running as normal this year, we’ll bring you that festival feeling, no matter where you are or who you are celebrating with.

Discover 22 lively new casks to get you into the rhythm of festivals month, along with some fantastic music matches to really create a festival atmosphere. Our new whiskies will take centre stage at 9am (UK time) this Friday, 7 May but if you can’t wait until then, head to the website now to explore the Outturn in full.



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


World Whisky Day 2021 – World Whisky Day News

World Whisky Day 2021

Celebrate with a few drams now and invest in a few casks for future days to come

Every year we mark World Whisky Day on the 3rd Saturday of May in order celebrate the embodiment of celebration itself; whisky. Scotch whisky is a symbol of British craftsmanship and tradition, of durability and reliability. The origin of whisky began over 1000 year ago when distillation made the migration from mainland Europe into Scotland and Ireland via traveling monks. The Scottish and Irish monasteries, lacking the vineyards and grapes of the continent, turned to fermenting grain mash, resulting in the first distillations of modern whisky.

Since this momentous time, the industry has progressed and grown in order to become Scotland’s largest export, with global exports of Scotch Whisky in 2020 totaling £3.8 billion. Whisky is now drunk throughout the world and is continually seeing enhanced consumption year on year, with growth observed in over 100 international markets in 2019. As demand increases, it gradually begins to outweigh supply. Whisky that is collectible is also in demand for consumers, so a substantial proportion of any limited edition bottling will swiftly become much more limited as much of it is consumed by dedicated whisky lovers. Whisky is bottled after a period of maturation in oak barrels. Legally, this is a minimum of 3 years, but in practice, most whiskies are matured for a minimum of 8 years in order for them to develop their character.

Distilleries will usually have a ‘house style’ represented by a mass-produced bottling of a relatively young malt (such as Glenmorangie’s popular 10 year old). But they will also have older whiskies maturing at the distillery, and they can also bottle older whiskies such as a 15 or 21 year old. They might also bottle the product of a particular cask of vintage whisky, or they might offer different expressions of the whisky such as a ‘port wood finish’ or ‘sherry wood finish’ which means that in addition to being aged in traditional Bourbon barrels, the whisky has been ‘finished’ with a period of additional ageing in a port or sherry barrel which can impart different flavours.

All of these different expressions have enabled whisky to develop in to an appreciating asset which is of interest to investors – production is limited, and hence they are highly prized by collectors and consumers alike. Whiskies from some distilleries are much more collectible than others, so it is important to do due diligence on what will be desirable in the marketplace in a few years’ time when you seek to sell your whiskies on.

It therefore comes as no surprise that in the past few years, whisky sales have been hitting the ultimate highs which had previously only been achieved by other luxury commodities. In 2019 a single bottle of Macallan 1926 fetched £1.5 million; that same year, a cask of Macallan distilled in 1989 sold for £161,500 – a high price for a still maturing cask of Scotch. Although discovering such rare whisky is few and far between, it is imperative that investors have access to the world’s most renowned distilleries; something which Elite Wine & Whisky prides itself in.

Whether you decide to merely enjoy a tipple on World Whisky Day, or choose to educate yourself more about the prospects of investing in a cask of whisky, one thing is for certain, there is never a dull moment when it comes to whisky!

Virtual Tasting with Watt Whisky at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News

26 May 2021, 7pm (BST)

Watt Whisky Virtual Tasting

Watt Whisky is a relatively new indie bottler, but is already making waves, as you’d expect from whisky industry veterans Mark and Kate Watt. They will both be heading up this tasting, joined by our very own Billy Abbott, taking you through a fantastic mix of whiskies and rum from Tomintoul, Caol Ila, Arran, Foursquare and an anonymous highlander, as well as their own blended whisky.


Don’t forget about our Loch Fyne Range 🙋 – Scotch Whisky News

Fyne fan favourites from our Loch Fyne range!

To all the new faces around here: did you know we stock our own Loch Fyne range? You can even have a few of these bottles engraved to make them extra special gifts for someone you love, or even just to treat yourself…why not?

Here at Loch Fyne, we love hearing about what you love drinking! A firm fan favourite is our Loch Fyne Chocolate and Orange liqueur: a modern twist on the traditional liqueur, it has our own blended whisky at its heart. Not too sweet and great over ice or with soda as a spritzer. Think Terry’s Chocolate Orange in liquid form! Mmm…

A few of these releases are also award-winning; the latest being The Loch Fyne Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old which has just picked up a silver medal in the Scottish Field Summer Challenge!

ralfy review 875 – Glengoyne 10yo 40% (2021)

ralfy review 875 – Glengoyne 10yo @ 40%vol: (2021)



 Barriques from Rioja, Sauternes and Tuscany feature in the first batch of the
limited edition series

The GlenAllachie, headed up by award-winning Master Distiller, Billy Walker, today reveals the inaugural bottlings released within its new Wine Cask Series.

Walker carefully selected premium barriques formerly used to age fine wines across France, Italy, and Spain to create three expressions to kick off the limited edition range: an 11-year-old Grattamacco Cask Finish (UK RRSP £58.99), a 12-year-old Sauternes Cask Finish (UK RRSP £60.99), and a 13-year-old Rioja Cask Finish (UK RRSP £63.99). 

After initial aging in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, the whisky was transferred into the expertly chosen wine casks to undergo almost two years of additional maturation under Walker’s close supervision within The GlenAllachie’s on-site warehouses. As well as the terroir of the wine, factors such as the oak species, the cooperage and level of toasting were all considered in the cask selection process. Each of these aspects ultimately influence the characteristics of the resulting whisky.

The debut instalment of the Wine Cask Series features:

  • An 11-year-old expression finished in certified Organic Super Tuscan barriques made of French oak from the Grattamacco winery in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany, Italy.
  • A 12-year-old that completed its maturation journey in French oak casks which previously held Sauternes, a dessert wine originating from Bordeaux in South-West France, after a medium level of toasting.
  • A 13-year-old whisky which underwent secondary maturation in medium-toasted Spanish oak casks from Rioja, one of Spain’s premier wine regions.

Every whisky in the range is available in very limited quantities, with only around 6,000 bottles per release. The bottlings are presented at 48% ABV, without added colouring or chill filtration.

Reflecting on the new series, Walker comments:

“We are delighted to be launching our Wine Cask Series with a trio of really interesting expressions. Cask-finishing is perhaps the most exciting part of wood management because it allows an extra layer of complexity to be added to the whisky, whilst ensuring that the distillery character is not overpowered by the influence of the Oak.

“Selecting and working with these wine barriques was a labour of love, and I’m delighted with the variety we have achieved in these three bottlings: the Grattamacco delivers a nutty, stone fruit character, the Sauternes reveals an elegant grapefruit and elderflower tone, and the Rioja overflows with red berry sophistication.”

The Wine Cask Series follows recent innovative releases from The GlenAllachie including the Virgin Oak Series released in October 2020, which showcased three whiskies finished in unique oak types: Chinquapin, Spanish and French Virgin Oak.

The GlenAllachie Wine Cask Series is available from specialist retailers globally, with further expressions in the pipeline to join the range in the coming years.


One of Scotland’s few independently owned and managed distilleries, The GlenAllachie is led by industry veteran, Billy Walker, who boasts an almost 50-year tenure in whisky and is one of the latest members of Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame.

With an emphasis on wood policy, The GlenAllachie’s cask budget for 2021 stands at an eye-watering £1m/$1.2m. With 16 on-site warehouses holding over 50,000 casks, we have complete control of the end-to-end maturation process.

The GlenAllachie focusses on quality over quantity, which is why we chose to reduce our production capacity from 4m to 500,000 Litres of Alcohol and increase our fermentation period to 160 hours for an ester rich, fruity spirit.

We believe age and integrity matter, which is why all our whiskies carry an age statement, and are bottled at a minimum of 46% ABV, natural colour and non-chill filtered for maximum flavour experience.

Further information can be found at

Facebook – @TheGlenAllachie

Twitter – @TheGlenAllachie

Instagram – @theglenallachie_


The GlenAllachie 11-year-old Grattamacco Wine Cask Finish – 48% ABV

  • Colour: Rich Ruby Blush.
  • Nose: Waves of honey, peaches and apricots, with toffee, almonds and orange peel.
  • Taste: Toffee, heather honey, red berries and peaches, fused with apricots, orange peel and nutmeg.

The GlenAllachie 12-year-old Sauternes Wine Cask Finish – 48% ABV

  • Colour: Rich Golden.
  • Nose: Waves of heather honey, peaches and grapefruit, with hints of cinnamon and almonds.
  • Taste: Heather honey, treacle and pineapple, with peaches, sweet grapefruit and cinnamon.

The GlenAllachie 13-year-old Rioja Wine Cask Finish – 48% ABV

  • Colour: Golden Blush.
  • Nose: Waves of red berries, honey, grape must, orange peel and almonds.
  • Taste: Rich heather honey, sultanas, almonds and red berries, with barley sugar, grapefruit, orange peel and a hint of aniseed.



The Cask Trade Trilogy is a limited-edition trio of casks available in three unique expressions.

Using new make spirit distilled at the award-winning Speyside Distillery in Kingussie, Scotland, Cask Trade is creating three distinct whisky expressions – Bourbon, Sherry and Port matured.

Bottled trilogies have been enjoyed by whisky fans for many years, however the new Trilogy is the first to be produced and sold in cask by Cask Trade.

Managing Director of Cask Trade, Simon Aron, says: “The creation of this Trilogy is a first for Cask Trade, and a truly exceptional opportunity for whisky enthusiasts and investors alike. 

“We are fanatical about whisky and believe the marrying of the liquid with the wood to create three different flavour profiles will be an extraordinary experience,” adds Simon.

From the moment this classic Speyside spirit is filled into cask it will start to develop and take on the flavours ingrained in the wood. After three years the whisky will begin to evolve and gain the milestone of single malt status when customers will be invited to take their first taste. From there, they can choose to bottle it after five years or continue on the maturation journey.

Cask Trade has priced the casks keenly with passionate whisky enthusiasts in mind; the complete Trilogy is available priced £5,000 and includes five years free storage and insurance.

First-fill Bourbon Barrel


Bourbon barrels are perfectly suited to maturing Scotch whisky. The bourbon they previously held softens the oak, ensuring a smooth and subtle whisky. These barrels have been made exclusively from American oak, giving the whisky a honeyed and vanilla characteristic.

Second-fill Sherry Hogshead 


The lingering flavours of the sherry are still present in the wood and these are shared with the maturing whisky. The profile is typically deep and sweet, fruity and nutty giving the whisky a distinctive colour and strong, rich flavour.

Port Wine Barriques


The port barriques impart the vibrant fruit-filled flavour profile of the fortified wine giving the whisky a subtle ruby hue, often resulting in a richness and sweetness.

This limited-edition, unique trilogy allows for each customer to purchase one cask of each expression. Customers can request samples at the different stages of maturation.


Founded in 2018 by Simon Aron in partnership with several of the world’s foremost whisky masters, including Keeper of the Quaich Sir Colin Hampden-White, Cask Trade buys and sells exceptional cask whiskies. The company is unique because it only sells casks it owns outright, and it only sells whole casks: it is not a whisky cask broker and it does not offer fractional sales.

A passionate whisky collector for more than 20 years, Simon Aron suffered many false promises from whisky investment companies and this drove his ambition to create a real and trustworthy market place for whisky collectors and investors, and bottlers:

The company’s casks are held in the best HMRC bonded warehouses, regularly visited and approved by Cask Trade whisky masters. All stock holdings have a complete paper trail.

  • Delivery orders from supplier to Cask Trade
  • Invoices for transfer of ownership, storage insurance, re-gauging, sampling or movement
  • HMRC-issued WOWGR (warehouse keepers, warehouse premises, owner of goods and registered consigners): a fully regulated and closely monitored license requiring due diligence on suppliers as well as customers.
  • HMRC-issued AWRS Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme: Licenced to wholesale, bottle and retail.

Included in its extensive list of customer services, Cask Trade’s rigorous processes means that the company will guarantee to buy back from its clients the casks they buy from and have had managed by Cask Trade. It also offers…

  • Regular sampling and re-gauging of casks
  • Re-racking (sherry wine, port etc)
  • Estimates of bottles and strength in cask (effects of angels’ share 0ver years of maturations)
  • Financial modelling for each cask based on age and rarity with estimated % returns
  • Costings for bottling, labelling and shipping (duty & tax)
  • Regularly updated whisky investment guide which includes statistics from two authoritative third parties    (independent of Cask Trade)
  • Cask Trade will arrange for clients to receive samples of their whiskies and visit their barrels(s), upon request – wherever possible.

Cask Trade has started the first live auction website dedicated to exceptional whisky casks:

Hosted four times a year and helping private owners/investors sell their cask to independent bottlers and other investors all around the world. All casks will be re-gauged ready for auction and a full 70cl sample will be drawn so that bidders have the opportunity to try the whisky before they buy. – Wherever possible. We validate all the sellers and confirm proof of ownership and the history of the cask enabling bidders to safely buy. With complete transparency and no sellers’ fee we can offer you the actual hammer price. Our low buyers’ fee of 15% + VAT will offer the opportunity to buyers, trade or private, to buy rare casks.

The Grand Whisky Auction May 2021 Auction is Live! – Grand Whisky Auction News


The Grand Whisky Auction is…LIVE!

3000+ lots to bid on…including a great selection from the closed Port Ellen distillery on Islay…


Interested in selling whisky in our next auction?

T. +44 (0)1463 210 427



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