News

Give the gift of time this Christmas with Glengoyne – Scotch Whisky News

We understand that everyone has their own unique characteristics which make them special; it’s the same for our whiskies. That’s why we’ve put together this gifting guide to help you choose the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Whichever gift you choose though, remember that we are Scotland’s most Unhurried whisky distillery. That means that when you give Glengoyne this Christmas, you’ll be giving the gift of time.

GIFT GUIDE

GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME

Give the whisky lover you know the gift of time with the three 20cl bottles Time Capsule gift set, each whisky is packed with complex, fruity flavours. Start with the lemon zest and toffee apples of our 12 Year Old. Then work your way up to spicy vanilla fruit, ripe apples and a rich, luxurious mouthfeel of the 18 Year Old  – it’s practically made for this time of year.

BUY THE TIME CAPSULE GIFT SET

GIFT WRAPPED

For the first time this year we have our very own fully recyclable gift wrapping paper and tag. So, let our distillery team take care of the gift wrapping with your chosen gift while you take the time to reward yourself…..

GIFT WRAPPING

FINAL PIECE…

We’ve teamed up again with John Lowrie Morrison OBE to release a seasonal Glengoyne jigsaw. This beautiful item is available for £10 when purchased with a 70cl bottle priced below £100 or is free of charge with the purchase of a 70cl bottle priced above £100.

LEARN MORE

Doc Swinson’s 15 Year Old “Rare Release Batch #8” K&L Exclusive Exploratory Cask Series – American Whiskey News

Doc Swinson’s 15 Year Old “Rare Release Batch #8” K&L Exclusive Exploratory Cask Series

Nonchillfiltered Small Batch Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)

$149.99    View

The return of the wonderful and mysterious Doc Swinson’s 15 Year is upon us. This newest batch is from the same unnamed source and continues to represent some of the best value available for old cask strength bourbon anywhere in the world. The Doc Swinson’s brand was started by a small (and very lucky) bottler in Washington state who’d made a name for themselves finishing Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee whiskies in various wine casks. When they had an opportunity to secure some high-quality mature Kentucky straight bourbon, they jumped at the chance and so did we. The source of this excellent bourbon is so concerned about its identity being revealed that the barrels are dumped in Kentucky before being transported to the bottler in anonymous totes. Usually we insist on having some idea of where the products we sell are produced, but one taste of this stuff and those standards get thrown out the window, as it’s just too good to care to argue with. We will likely never know exactly where it was made, but as long as it keeps tasting this good, we won’t complain. The most special bourbons from Doc are under their “Rare Release” line. This is the 8th release of this truly small batch line, but only the third batch of the unbelievably popular 15 year. This batch contains just 27 barrels and is bottled at 114.2 proof. Another example of why this whisky is one of the most exciting new bourbons on the market today. We love being the California exclusive for this special bourbon.

New Glenfarclas Family Casks Summer 2020 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

New Glenfarclas Family Casks Summer 2020

The latest Summer 2020 batch of Glenfarclas Family Casks. The usual epic sherry cask maturation for real vintage Speyside Scotch whisky. Plus a new Highland Edradour sherry cask cousin to join the family gathering…

Shop – Glenfarclas Scotch

Compass Box “For those who joined us on Sunday, and for those who missed it…- Scotch Whisky News

IF YOU JOINED OUR GET TOGETHER ON SUNDAY…

Thanks so much for being a part of our latest Peat Monster Arcana virtual tasting. Founder John Glaser and Whiskymaker James Saxon had a great time as always, and we have enjoyed answering every question that came in during the event. You can read the full Q&A here, which includes the recipe for James’s smoky spin on hot chocolate. We hope it inspires you to get creative with some pairings at home. Keep your eye on our social feeds too for more surprising suggestions, and for those who asked on the day, head to our main website if you’d like to see the recipe wheels of any of our whiskies.

IF YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT THIS TIME…

Don’t worry, because you can still recreate the tasting at home. The full video is available to watch here, where you can also download your tasting mat and set-up guide. For this event, author of New York Cocktails, Amanda Schuster, joined us as a special guest to discuss smoky food pairings of either Peat Monster Arcana or The Peat Monster with hot and cold smoked salmon, BBQ ribs, smoked almonds and more. And things got pleasantly geeky when John quoted Jeffery Lindenmuth’s article explaining how stimulating our trigeminal nerve with smoky food or drink could be described as ‘pursuing flavour as a thrill-seeking behaviour’. Read the full piece here.

With December just around the corner, our thoughts are now turning to the holiday season, so watch this space for ideas on how to celebrate the Compass Box way, starting with a video series on pairing cheeses with limited edition whiskies for you to indulge in during the festivities.

The Compass Box Team

Whisky Magazine Black Friday price drop…SAVE 83% – Whisky Magazine News

Amazing BLACK FRIDAY offer from Whisky Magazine…

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Open up the gateway to the world of whisky

Order by 30th November to guarantee your exclusive subscription rate of 3 issues for £3.

ORDER TODAY

Our Glenrothes Distillery Manager has reached a pretty big milestone… – Scotch Whisky News

Alasdair Anderson: 40 years and counting

This is Alasdair Anderson, industry stalwart and Distillery Manager here at The Glenrothes. 2020 marks Alasdair’s 40th year in the whisky world, and yet you might never have heard of him. That’s because, much like the whisky he helps produce, Alasdair is understated and incredibly humble. He believes it’s not about him; what matters most is the whisky and the people making it.

Alasdair has seen and done it all, working his way to the top through hard work and a desire to learn that’s never wavered. We sat down with him to discuss the past, the future, and all the barrels and barley in between.

READ THE INTERVIEW

Whisky Advocate “Holidays Are Almost Here * Give 2 Gifts for the Price of 1!” – Whisky Advocate News

As America’s foremost spirits magazine, Whisky Advocate is the best gift for your whisky-loving friends and family! They’ll get new product releases and breaking news, hundreds of ratings and reviews, whisky and food pairings, whisky travel, and our highly anticipated ‘Whiskies Of The Year’!

Celebrating 200 years of our Johnnie Walker story from the Diageo Archive – Scotch Whisky News

Celebrating 200 years of our Johnnie Walker story from the Diageo Archive

Hear from our Archive Manager Christine McCafferty on what documents dating back to the 1820s can tell us about the Johnnie Walker story so far

Johnnie Walker is such an iconic brand, with a truly special story, and it’s an honour to be celebrating 200 years since it all began.

A big anniversary is of course a great opportunity to tell our brand story, but who needs that excuse. It’s something that I have been privileged enough to do on a daily basis since becoming the Archive Manager for Diageo 23 years ago – to everybody and anybody who will listen. And it’s a great story to tell, so who wouldn’t want to hear it. And we learn so much from understanding the origins of a brand and its journey, what makes the brand unique and what makes it tick.

There’s so much wealth in the Johnnie Walker brand story. It all goes back to John and the grocery shop that was opened in 1820 in Kilmarnock. This is where John started selling and blending his own whiskies for his customers. This is the beginning of an amazing story of 3 generations of the Walker family that we have continued through to today. It’s a story of an obsession with quality, the Walker’s would never compromise on this and neither would we, and, it’s a story of the pursuit of flavour, all to give consumer’s the best scotch whisky. It’s a story of being distinctive, always wanting to stand out from the crowd, of introducing a slanted label, moving to a square bottle, and, creating one of the most famous whisky icons in the Striding Man figure. It’s a story about taking our product around the world, making it not just the number one selling scotch whisky, but the one enjoyed in every part of the globe. It’s a story about perseverance, surviving the bad times and coming back stronger again each time. And it’s a story of forward momentum, always looking forward and what comes next, with Keep Walking as the perfect mantra. I could add words like pioneering, experimental, innovative, confident, bold, brave, ambitious – all perfect to describe Johnnie Walker and those that have created it and worked on the brand. It’s unique, it has a special place in culture, in people’s life’s – and everyone has a story to tell.

And my story is all about the amazing content we have in our industry leading Archive and how I share this to not only to build the brand story, but to bring it to life. It is a real privilege to be able to access original documentation right back to the time of John Walker and to see what insights they can give us into the brand story and DNA. Here’s a couple of my favourite items from the Archive:

John Walker’s grocery shop stock inventory, 1825 This inventory is the earliest record from the shop. It lists household products; wines and spirits, including whisky of course; and exotic products such as tea from China and pepper from Jamaica. It’s fascinating to see what John was selling in those initial times and the impact they no doubt had on how he felt about flavour as he started his blending journey.

John Walker & Sons annual balance book, 1857-1886 John’s son Alexander took over the business in 1857, evolving it from a small, local shop to a thriving commercial enterprise. This stock book documents the widening range of products, including many more whiskies and different types of tea, dried fruits, and spices. These aromas and flavours inspired Alexander to create the company’s first commercial blend, `Old Highland Whisky’ and it’s a time I would love to travel to. Imagine wandering around the aisles of the shop, soaking up the atmosphere.

John Walker & Sons’ book by Alfred Barnard, 1893 In 1879 John Walker & Sons opened what were considered the most advanced warehouses in Scotland. When renowned whisky writer Alfred Barnard visited the imposing new premises on Kilmarnock’s Strand Street, he noted the Walkers’ focus on innovation and craftsmanship throughout their whisky-making, bottling, and distribution processes. A true snapshot of the business at that time, this book is one of only two copies known to exist today, and gives us a truly special window into the remarkable business being ran by that time.

John Walker & Sons `Around the World’ book, 1920s By 1920 Johnnie Walker was being sold in over 120 markets. To celebrate 100 years of the business and the global reach of their brands, John Walker & Sons produced their Around the World book, which essentially is an early travelogue. The book features all the markets in which Johnnie Walker was being sold and was a thank you to their agents around the world for their contribution to the success of the business. I love how important relationships were to the Walker’s as they established their global business, just as it is for us today.

I could, of course, go on and pick examples of beautiful historical packaging, ground-breaking advertising, photographs from all around the world, and all these items have a role to play in piecing the brand story together. The items themselves are fascinating, and I love seeing how people react to seeing the original documentation that takes us back in time. But the insights that these items give us are equally as important. I like to think of myself as a bit of a detective or journalist, pulling snippets of information and materials together from various sources, to create a really rich and vibrant story relevant for any audience. There’s certainly no shortage of materials and stories.

And we continue to add to these collections by collating materials created for the brand today so we can continue to tell the brand story as it evolves for future generations. Just as we look back with pride on the legacy we have inherited from our founders and all those who have worked on the brand, we too will leave our stories in the history books for those that come next to be inspired by. It’s fascinating to think what a brand like Johnnie Walker has lived through, 200 years of world events, and, it’s exciting to think about where our journey we take us in the next 2, 20 and 200 years. I can’t wait to see, bring it on!

Bulleit teams up with American Forests to plant one million trees over the next five years in continued fight against climate change – American Whiskey News

Bulleit teams up with American Forests to plant one million trees over the next five years in continued fight against climate change

The latest green-forward initiative comes on the heels of several Bulleit and Diageo commitments to a more sustainable future, and is part of the Bulleit Frontier Fund

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey has teamed up with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States and a leader in forestry innovation, with the goal to plant one million trees over the next five years. As a fundamental part of the recently announced Bulleit Frontier Fund, this initiative reaffirms the brand’s long-standing commitment to a more sustainable future for the bartending and hospitality industry, and the communities surrounding it.

As a brand focused on building community, Bulleit aims to support pioneers like American Forests who are pushing the frontier of sustainability forward, to aid in a healthier future of our planet. The partnership with American Forests announced today reflects this mission.

“At Bulleit, we believe now more than ever that businesses have a responsibility to our environment, our communities and our planet. We’re so excited about our partnership with American Forests, because it allows us to further our commitment to sustainability and help in the fight against climate change by planting these trees, which will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.”

Sophie Kelly Sr. Vice President of Whiskey at Diageo North America

The partnership will reforest eastern landscapes dominated by white oaks, a key species for wildlife, water conservation and forest products.

Together, Bulleit and American Forests will not only plant trees but also utilize innovative forestry, including using prescribed fire to facilitate natural oak restoration and planting trees in ways that will help them thrive in a changing climate.

These one million trees planted through the Bulleit and American Forests partnership will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come. American Forests has calculated these benefits to include:  

  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Air Purification
  • Water Conservation
  • Providing Vital Wildlife Habitat

Bulleit has prioritized white oak restoration because in addition to being a cornerstone species of forests in the Eastern United States, white oaks are essential to the future of so many industries, including the whiskey industry. By definition, bourbon must be aged in new charred oak containers (e.g., barrels), and its thanks to white oak that the delicious toasty, vanilla, caramel, nutty notes come to life when consumers enjoy a glass of Bulleit Bourbon or Bulleit Rye. As the bourbon matures in the barrel, the wood naturally contracts and expands during Kentucky’s four distinct seasons, pulling the liquid in and out of the inner portion of the stave, therefore bringing out wood sugars and tannins to enhance the whiskey’s flavor over the years. Once one of our Bulleit barrels is used to age bourbon, the life cycle of the barrel continues with the majority of barrels being used for many years to age other spirits like scotch, rum, and tequila.

It is a priority for both Bulleit and its parent company, Diageo, to operate responsibly and preserve natural resources for future generations. The commitment of Bulleit to plant one million trees over five years, will contribute to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Diageo is part of a group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through various advocacy groups. Diageo recently signed onto the Business for Nature‘s Call to Action, joining more than 560 companies to urge governments around the world for collective action and ambitious nature policies.

In addition to its reforestation efforts in large landscapes, Bulleit has committed to supporting American Forests’ goal of creating tree equity and green space in urban areas. These Community ReLeaf efforts are set to kick-off in 2021 in Louisville, KY.

“White oak forests benefit every aspect of our lives, from providing clean air and water to the amazing smells and flavors in a glass of bourbon. This great new partnership with Bulleit will give back to these forests by taking care of white oak-dominated forests for long-term health and resilience.”

Jad DaleyPresident and CEO of American Forests

As Bulleit continues to champion their commitments to build a more sustainable future, Bulleit reminds consumers to drink and live responsibly.

K&L’s Thanksgiving “A Post-Prandial Tipple” — Our Top Picks to Make Your Holiday Complete – Whisky News

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $44.99 View

Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Fresh and delicate on the nose, with stone fruit—especially peaches—white pepper, orange Creamsicle, and spice. A generous oak backbone provides the foundation for plums, nectarines, black pepper, clove, chamomile tea, and piney cedar that sweeps into a dry oak, cocoa, iced-tea finish. Although a bit hot at times, the balance and array of flavors is an outstanding coup for this young distillery. (SSB winter 2018) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Jacob Grier from The Distiller writes: “New Riff has pulled off a rarity with their bourbon: a bottled-in-bond, four-year-old whiskey from a new distillery that’s reasonably priced and fully enjoyable. It deftly balances classic vanilla notes with an assertive dose of spice, hints of leather, and a mild medicinal note that lingers on the finish. It’s a welcome addition to Kentucky bourbon.”

Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) $79.99 View

The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special K&L whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-make spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to ensure the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jawdropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it)

Hombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu Komagatake “Limited Edition 2019” Single Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml) $149.99 View

91 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark If whisky were a warm hug, this would be it. The sweet nose is rich with a lovely fruitiness of satsuma, Seville orange marmalade, yuzu, and vanilla. This carries a velvety texture rippled with an orange-flavored effervescence; apricot jam, sweet orange, sherbet, fine spices, ground ginger, and hot pepper. If this well-made example is an indication of the Mars Shinshu house style, they are getting a lot of things right. (JM, Fall 2020) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

The history of the excellent Mars Distillery is long and complicated. The special stills that now sit at the high altitude distillery near Nagano were hand built to the specifications of the preeminent grandfather of Japanese Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru. In the 1950s, Taketsuru-san’s mentor Iwai Kiichiro, who had commissioned his famed voyage to Scotland, designed and built two pot stills for Hombo Shuzo in Yamanashi using Takesturu’s original specifications. The stills were moved to Kagoshima not long after production started and eventually moved again to Nagano in the early 80s. For another decade, Mars Whisky operated their old pot stills from their mountain home, but lackluster demand for whisky caused Hombo to cease operations completely at the plant in 1992. But renewed interest in the late ’00s for Japanese whisky compelled the owners to relaunch the brand and recommission the old pots at Mars Shinshi in Nagano. Now Mars Whisky consists of two distilleries, this one and another at the Mars headquarters on Kumamoto called Tsunuki. Production is tiny compared to their next largest competitors, Suntory and Nikka, but Mars’ single malts have become renowned for their extremely high quality. The Limited Editions are bottled at 48% and aged in primarily ex-bourbon barrels with various other cask types blended in without detail. An excellent example of what the future of craft Japanese whisky looks like and one of the more collectable and unique offerings on the market today.

Macallan 18 Year Old “Annual 2019 Release” Sherry Oak Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $299.99 View

The Macallan’s benchmark excellence is nowhere more evident than in the 18 year old, which is matured for a minimum of 18 years in seasoned sherry casks. Classic Macallan, with aromas and flavors of dried apricots and figs, spice, chocolate and orange zest. Made exclusively in hand-picked sherry oak casks from Jerez, Spain. As always, the Macallan is bottled with its natural color.  This is the new package but the same old Mac 18!


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