Archive for August, 2021

‘The Sleeping Beauty’ cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky is awakened after 26 years – Scotch Whisky News

‘The Sleeping Beauty’ cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky

is awakened after 26 years

 A unique cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky, laid down in 1994, has now been bottled as part of Diageo’s prestigious Casks of Distinction range.

470 bottles will be sold at an auction hosted by online secondary market leaders Whisky Auctioneer 9-13 September 2021.

Bottle number one will include the original cask end painting of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ painted by Scottish artist Norman Edgar, based on a Scottish Ballet dancer.

All proceeds will go to the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund to support the future of
Scotland’s national dance company.

Today, Scottish Ballet, Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer announce the release of 470 bottles from a single cask of Royal Lochnagar whisky, which will be sold at auction 9-13 September 2021.

The unique cask was laid down in 1994 at the instigation of Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden, who was at the time Chair of United Distillers and Vice Chair of Scottish Ballet. Scottish artist Norman Edgar was commissioned to paint the cask end portraying Scottish Ballet Principal dancer Nicci Theis in the iconic role of Princess Aurora, the sleeping beauty. It was to be a donation with a difference, an investment in the future of Scotland’s national dance company.

Twenty-six years later, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ has been awakened and bottled as part of the prestigious Casks of Distinction range. This highly collectible bottle is now ready to be shared with whisky lovers and ballet fans alike, with every pound raised at auction contributing to the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund. All bottling and auction costs have been generously donated by Diageo and Whisky Auctioneer in support of Scottish Ballet.

The first auction lot will include bottle number one and the unique cask end painting by Norman Edgar depicting Princess Aurora, the sleeping beauty. The first ten lots will also include exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences with Scottish Ballet.

HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay and Patron of Scottish Ballet, said:
‘It is marvellous to know that this unique gift has been bottled and will now be offered for sale in support of the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund, ensuring a lifelong benefit to all those who love ballet and who love Scotland.’[1]

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, said:

‘Like all arts organisations, Scottish Ballet has endured a challenging eighteen months unable to perform live, and this income will be vital in ensuring the company’s long-term future and capacity to inspire future audiences, on stage and beyond. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has played their part in bringing this whisky fairytale to life.’

James Mackay, Head of Rare & Exceptional Spirits at Diageo, said:

‘It is with great pride and pleasure that we have bottled ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ Cask of Distinction, beginning a new chapter in this beautiful story, and to offer lovers of Scottish craft and fine arts a chance to appreciate this unique single malt Scotch whisky, while benefiting Scottish Ballet.’

 Joe Wilson, Head of Auction Content at Whisky Auctioneer, said:
‘It’s a privilege to support the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund by hosting the online auction of this incredibly distinctive Royal Lochnagar release. This whisky has a story to tell and an important cause to support, so we are sure that both whisky and ballet lovers, as well as collectors around the world, will be excited to have the opportunity to acquire such an interesting expression.’

Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden said:
‘It is deeply gratifying that this Royal Lochnagar cask, which I presented to Scottish Ballet in celebration of its 25th anniversary in 1994, is now being awoken. I am delighted that people will now be able to taste this extremely special whisky, but even more importantly the legacy of our donation will be continued through the funds the cask will raise for the Scottish Ballet Endowment Fund.’

Artist Norman Edgar said:
‘A great fan of the artist Edgar Degas, I had never painted any ballet paintings and enjoyed creating the pose after watching a performance of The Sleeping Beauty in Glasgow, with the shape of Aurora’s dress following the circular barrel ends. As a relatively young man at the time, I would also still be around to sample the result!’

Charles MacLean MBE, Master of the Quaich and whisky writer, said:
‘This is as good an example of Royal Lochnagar as I have ever tasted. It has retained the original distillery character, while long aging has developed layers of complexity.’

To find out more and register interest in the auction, visit


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About Scottish Ballet

  • Scottish Ballet, founded in 1969, is Scotland’s national dance company. Based in Glasgow, the company performs regularly across Scotland, throughout the UK and internationally – promoting Scotland’s pioneering spirit far and wide.
  • Under CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet presents bold, adventurous performances rooted in strong classical technique, accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. The company’s broad repertoire includes new versions of the classics and ground-breaking commissions, both on stage and screen.
  • Scottish Ballet runs an extensive engagement programme, tailored to the needs of diverse communities, promoting confidence, fostering wellbeing, and encouraging creativity through dance.
  • Scottish Ballet is funded by the Scottish Government.
  • For more information, visit: 

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).

For more information, visit:

About Whisky Auctioneer

Whisky Auctioneer is the global market leader and trusted authority on the buying and selling of whisky and spirits at auction. Founded in 2013 and located in Perth, Scotland, Whisky Auctioneer utilises its expertise and knowledge combined with its auction platform, to increase interest and passion in the whisky and spirits community.

Whisky Auctioneer endeavours to make the market more accessible for buyers and sellers of any background and geography. Its monthly global auctions feature the most comprehensive selection of old, rare and collectible whiskies and spirits available online. Whisky Auctioneer is passionate about connecting these bottles with those who share in their passion and actively support their customers in their aims, whether that be consuming, collecting or investing.

In February 2021, the Perth-based online auction house made history during the iconic sale of The Perfect Collection when a bottle of The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old sold for a hammer price of £1m, the first time a single bottle of whisky has sold at an online only auction for one million pounds.

Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-pound bottle and outperformed the nearest traditional auction house by 200% in value from spirits sales in 2020, showcasing the move that whisky collectors, investors and drinkers have already made online and firmly establishing their leading position within the modern secondary whisky market.

The business currently sees over 100,000 bids per month and has conducted deliveries to 74 countries across the globe. It also opened its first European base in Germany last year.

For more information, visit:



Louisville, Ky (Aug. 25, 2021) –For the second year in a row, the Sazerac Company was named the American Whiskey Producer of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

Determined by a weighted points system, Producer of the Year Awards reflect the success of all brands entered into a single category. With 33 American Whiskey medals, including 19 Gold medals, the Sazerac Company came out on top in the category which had 127 total entries. Sazerac was also awarded this coveted title in the 2020 ISC Awards.

ISC Tasting Award winners are chosen over a rigorous 12-day process of blind tastings. Panels of experienced judges award a score for products’ aroma, appearance, taste and finish. Those scores are then combined to determine which medal can be awarded.

For a full list of results from the 2021 International Spirits Challenge, visit

About Sazerac

Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. For more information on Sazerac visit




This August, we’re offering whisky fans the chance to take home a Ledaig fire pit and one-of-a-kind set of garden furniture. Just buy any qualifying bottle of Ledaig, Tobermory single malt, or Tobermory gin before the 31st of the month and you’ll be entered into the draw. The winner will be able to enjoy a dram by the fire while sitting on chairs made from casks used at the distillery.





2009 Blair Athol 12 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

2009 Blair Athol 12 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)

$59.99 View

We have bottled many casks of very old Blair Athol over the years as it is a staple in the independent bottling market and the spiritual heart of the famous Bell’s Blend. The whiskies in the 20+ year range are generally very, very good. It’s hard to mess up Blair Athol after decades in cask. We are however extremely picky when it comes to young whisky from this famous Pitlochry distillery. The young whiskies can easily overpower their barrels and leave a bit of a funky note that certainly isn’t for everyone. However, when appropriately casked in an active sherry barrel, 12 years is just about right to create pure magic. That funky weight of the spirit is balanced beautifully with the citrus zest, dark cocoa, and roasted nuts of the sherry butt. We don’t get too many shots at full term sherry with extremely sharp pricing – but when we do, we rarely miss. 59% ABV and taking no prisoners, this is a serious malt for sherry fans to stock up on.

The Whisky Barrel ‘Welcome Back Ben Nevis Whisky’ – Scotch Whisky News

Welcome Back
Ben Nevis Whisky

Ben Nevis 10 Year Old

A highly acclaimed and much loved whisky, Ben Nevis has been hard to come by in recent years. But now the famed 10 year old is back and in the newly re-branded design for 2021. Ben Nevis 10 Year Old Highland single malt Scotch whisky from the distillery in Fort William with the highest water source in Scotland. A big full bodied highland malt.

Nose: abundance of character on the nose with floral, fragrant, honey, citrus fruits of orange and beeswax with elements of toffee and vanilla aromas.

Taste: initial spicy notes lead to energy of cereal flavours. Smooth creaminess of dark chocolate invites you to sample another drop.

Shop Now – £53 / €51* / $60* / c$76*

Ben Nevis Coire Leis

A new release to the Ben Nevis range for 2021. Non-age statement whisky named after a scenic region and route up the famous Ben Nevis mountain.  Ben Nevis Coire Leis Highland single malt Scotch whisky from the distillery in Fort William. A big full bodied highland malt.

Nose: a rich and warming character with toffee and honeyed vanilla, a light woody aroma finishing with barley sugar sweetness.

Taste: initial notes of fresh apricots followed by a malty sweetness leading to a smooth, creamy and woody finish.

Shop Now – £46 / €45* / $53* / c$66*


Ben Nevis Distillery is a Highland malt whisky distillery established by John McDonald in 1825 at Inverlochy just north of Fort William and rests at the foot of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain. A Coffey’s Still was installed in in 1955 and both malt and grain whiskies were produced simultaneously until 1981. The core range comprises Ben Nevis 10 Year Old, McDonald’s Traditional and single cask bottling are released from time to time. The distillery is owned by Nikka of Japan.

Glenglassaugh 50 Year Old has arrived at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

Glenglassaugh’s oldest release in their history, surviving its slumber all through the years of distillery closure and revival!

This is an extremely special and rare whisky aged for half-a-century and limited to 264 bottles at a strength of 40.1% abv. The elegant finish in Andalucían Pedro Ximénez casks adds a deep fruit and spiced oak complexity of fig and blackberry paired with a seductive sweetness on the palate of caramelised pear, cherries and almonds. The experience finishes up with refined oak, tropical notes and a gentle coastal breeze. If you’re looking for a spectacular whisky of a great age then look no further!

Buy Now ›

Nose: blackberry, figs.

Palate: caramelised pear, almonds, refined oak, cherries.

Finish: oak, tropical notes, ocean breeze salinity.

It’s not every day you get to announce a 50 year old single malt, never mind one of the rarest expressions to ever arrive from the distillery. This Glengassaugh is exactly that. Only 264 bottles have been made, and it has been bottled at 40.1% abv. The expression has spent 50 years maturing in the distillery’s warehouses and has even survived the distillery closing down!

Thankfully its rest was undisturbed, and it got its due reward by being finished in none other than Pedro Ximénez sherry casks from Andalucía, Spain. Now that’s what we call ending with a flourish! A special whisky from one of the most outstanding Highland distilleries, each bottle of this will have world-wide attention put toward it.



The cask yielding 202 bottles sells for HK$4,464,000

The highest per-bottle price (HK$22,099) for any whisky cask at auction

Bonhams Fine and Rare Whisky Sale

– Sell-through rate: 88%

– Sale total: HK$24.5million, eclipsing the pre-sale high estimate

– Karuizawa and Yamazaki whiskies 100% sold

 Bonhams Hong Kong whisky sale year-to-date total (incl. wine):

HK$80.5milion – surpassing the same period in 2019 (HK$67million)

A cask of Macallan-1991-#21429-18/029/1
Distilled 12th December 1991 at the Macallan Distillers Limited, Craigellachie.

Sold for HK$4,464,000

Estimate: HK$3,200,000-4,000,000

Commenting on the result, Daniel Lam, Bonhams Director of Wine and Spirits, Asia, said: “In terms of both buying and selling, 2021 has been a strong and resilient market for whisky. Our year-to-date total has surpassed that for the same period before Covid in 2019. Cask collecting is fast growing as a trend and one which has become a Bonhams speciality. In 2019, we set a world record when we sold a Macallan 1989 cask for a per-bottle price of HK$17,103. The cask in this sale has achieved a per-bottle price of HK$22,099 – and a new world record – a very strong increase in just two years. Meanwhile, Japanese whisky continues to be a hotly-contested field, with Yamazaki and Karuizawa lots 100% sold in our sale. The announcement that the final editions of Karuizawa whisky will be released later this year has fuelled demand.”

Whisky casks hitting 30 years old or above are exceedingly rare in the current market. Distilled by Macallan in December 1991, this 1991 cask was re-racked in 2017 with sherry. Sherry is the preferred choice of wood to give whisky a unique impact of clove, resin, dried fruit and tannin – a sweet palate which most drinkers will find approachable. Its high alcohol content at around 51.5% ABV makes it a highly desirable choice for both long-term collecting and for eventually yielding around 202 bottles for enjoyment. 

Browse all results here:

Sale: Fine and Rare Whisky20 August 202120/F, One Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

Caol Ila 2000 20 Year Old Cask Strength Connoiseurs Choice Batch 21/094 at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

Caol Ila 2000 20 Year Old Cask Strength
Connoisseurs Choice Batch 21/094

Rich vanilla aromas give way to sultanas and cured meats on the nose. The palate has black pepper intertwined with red apple and dark chocolate. A long and smoky finish with lingering citrus awaits in this wonderfully sherried dram reserved to 612 bottles at a strength of 59.6% abv.

Connoisseurs Choice rarely disappoints. Independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail are experts at picking up rare casks, and this 20-year-old single malt certainly no exception. From the Caol Ila Distillery, this cask strength whisky was filled into a first fill sherry butt back in the year 2000. It was bottled in 2021 and has yielded 612 bottles. Free from chill filtration, this has a natural cask-imparted colour and arrives at a warming 59.6% abv.

Rich vanilla aromas give way to sultanas and cured meats on the nose. The palate is one of black pepper, intertwining with red apple and dark chocolate. A long and smoky finish with lingering citrus awaits in this wonderfully sherried dram. An Islay that is just waiting to be enjoyed.

Buy now

SPRINGBANK DISTILLERY 15 Year Old 2003 Rum Wood (2019) at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank 15 Year Old 2003 vintage Rum Wood Campbeltown single malt Scotch whisky. Matured in fresh rum barrels. Limited edition of 9,000 bottles released in 2019.


Springbank Distillery was established in 1828 in Campbeltown at the foot of the Mull of Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland. Springbank produces three different types of single malt whisky Hazelburn which is non-peated and triple distilled, Longrow which is highly peated and double distilled and Springbank which is medium peated and partially triple distilled having been distilled two and a half times. Barley is spread across traditional malting floors at Springbank where it germinates and is then dried on the perforated floor of the malt kiln. The Springbank 10 Year Old, 15 Year Old Local Barley and Springbank 21 Year old annual release are very popular whiskies.

2002 Linkwood 18 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

2002 Linkwood 18 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)

The splendid Linkwood Distillery is truly the unsung hero of the Diageo portfolio. While we wonder desperately why they won’t bother to sell it regularly as a single malt, we’re constantly reminded that the core blends represent the vast majority of their profits and this is such a crucial element in those products that risking their integrity by marketing a single malt version is not good business. We luckily have access to the occasional barrel from our sources in Scotland and we rarely say no to Linkwood. The distillery was founded in 1821, but didn’t start production until 1825. In 1971 a second distillery was built and operated on the same site and dubbed Linkwood “B”. The two distilleries operated concurrently until the late 80s when one or both were mothballed, but by the early 90s they were each running again. Both operated via steam heat together have a capacity of close to 2.5 million gallons per year. It seems that both distilleries continue to operate in tandem, with a total of 6 stills (3 wash and 3 spirit). Expect the classic Linkwood character, full of fruit, pure maltiness and the tiniest tingle of peat. Drops of licorice, heather, honey, citrus are welcome. At full strength it’s great, but could still stand to have a drop or two of nice spring water added to open up the rich inviting aromas of this special malt. An exceptional value and safe bet for that pure Speyside character. ***Originally sold incorrectly as “Old Malt Cask.” Same cask, different label***

$99.99 View

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