Diageo opens its first carbon neutral whiskey distillery in North America – American Whiskey News

Diageo opens its first carbon neutral whiskey distillery in North America

Our new Kentucky whiskey distillery producing Bulleit is one of the largest of its kind in North America, and will operate using 100% renewable electricity, zero fossil fuels for production and virtual metering technology, reflecting our ongoing commitment to become net-zero carbon across direct operations by 2030.

We’re proud to announce we’ve opened our first carbon neutral distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky. The site will support the local community with 30 full-time jobs while also sourcing 100% non-GMO corn locally. The 72,000 square-foot facility has the capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year and has begun distilling Bulleit Bourbon using electrode boilers that are powered by 100% renewable electricity throughout the cooking, distillation, and dry house processes. Bulleit is the first and lead brand being produced at the Lebanon Distillery –and supplements existing production at the nearby Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Designed with sustainability at its core, the distillery is built to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production. By partnering with Inter-County Energy and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), we are sourcing a mix of wind and solar energy to power the electrode boilers, onsite electric vehicles, internal and external lighting and equipment making the facility one of the largest of its kind in North America. The site has implemented virtual metering technology to advance visibility of water, electricity, and steam usage, collecting key data that is used to drive the company’s resource efficiency and sustainability. These technologies will allow the distillery to avoid approximately more than 117,000 metric tons1 of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year2.

“Two years ago, we set a vision and commitment to build our first carbon neutral distillery in North America. Now that the Diageo Lebanon Distillery is operational, I’m incredibly proud of the innovative actions from our teams and partners to fully electrify the facilities and power them with renewable electricity. This is a significant step in our journey to create a low carbon future and be part of the solution to tackle the ongoing climate crisis.”

Perry JonesPresident, North America Supply for Diageo

In addition to the sustainability features of the new facility, we implemented an optimized staffing model consisting of Bourbon Production Experts (BPE’s) responsible for all aspects of distillery, dry house, and operations. By rotating the BPE’s through each operational area to ensure depth of knowledge and flexibility, we aim to accelerate the development of future leaders, ensuring a focus on gender equity and diversity to help shape the industry.

“At Bulleit, we believe we have a responsibility to our environment, our communities, and our planet. We are proud to initiate the production of Bulleit Bourbon at the carbon neutral Lebanon Distillery, as we take a significant step forward in the brand’s long-lasting commitment to sustainability.”

Sophie KellySVP Whiskies, Diageo NA

Bulleit brand’s continued commitment to sustainability

Bulleit has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint at the existing distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, which was honored with the award of Highly Commended for Sustainable Distillery of the Year at Whisky Magazine’s 2020 Icons of Whisky American Awards.

  • In 2021, the brand committed an annual $25,000 grant to support Kentucky State University students in the Master of Agriculture Sciences in Environmental Studies program for the next five years, helping build a pipeline of diverse talent into the spirits industry by supporting the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.
  • Bulleit recently partnered with American Forests to plant one million trees by 2025, providing a variety of environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.
  • The Bulleit Distilling Co. production is a zero waste to landfill site.
  • The Bulleit Visitor Experience includes a partnership with the non-profit Oceanic Global to ensure its tasting experience and cocktail bar aligns with The Oceanic Standard (TOS) a certification for venues that have adopted sustainable operating practices and are committed to eliminating single-use plastics.

Our plan to building a low carbon future

Combatting climate change and its associated impacts is at the heart of our ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’ action planWe’ve already halved the carbon emissions associated with our operations since 2008 and we are now working to reach net-zero carbon across our direct operations by 2030, harnessing 100% renewable energy. As part of our action plan, we are developing site-by-site roadmaps and working to achieve net-zero carbon across the entire supply chain by 2050 or sooner, with an interim milestone to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.

Building on a long track-record of environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress globally, we are now in the top 1000 companies in the world taking action to address climate change in a science-led and systemic way. Our goals in this space have been calculated in accordance with the principles of Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and recently validated as meeting the criteria for the 1.5oC pathway.

We are part of a pioneering group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, through membership of the United Nations Global Compact, We Mean Business Coalition and other key global advocacy organizations. As a signatory to RE100, we aim to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, we have signed onto the global Race to Zero campaign, a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier. In North America, we have joined the Renewable Thermal Collaborative to share best practices and work together to scale up renewable thermal energy.


Carbon neutrality of our new Lebanon, Kentucky distillery for all Scope 1 and 2 emissions from site operations will be achieved by Diageo in accordance with PAS 2060 for the period commencing with the first grain delivery to completion of distilling operations, certified by Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. View the PAS 2060 Qualifying Explanatory Statement. Through sourcing for renewable electricity and the electrification of operations, the site will only require residual amounts of carbon offsets to be purchased, associated with operational elements such as emergency back-up power.

1 Both direct and indirect carbon emissions – comprising over 35,000 metric tons direct emissions, and over 82,000 metric tons of indirect emissions of CO2-eq
2 According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator):

Whisky of the Month – Mortlach 20 Year Old at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News



70CL | 43.4% £165

WAS £195 SAVE £30


An elegant 20-year-old single malt from Mortlach, offering a more refined look at The Beast of Dufftown (the distillery’s nickname). Matured exclusively in sherry casks this whisky finds a balance between rich sherried fruits and oaky spice.

The elegant oldie in the Mortlach range, channeling The Beast of Dufftown (the distillery’s nickname) into a more refined form. Matured solely in sherry casks, the whisky has been crafted to match rich and dark sherry character against old, refined oaky notes. It’s one to take time with, well-balanced and complex, with much more going on than you might expect.


  • Tasting notes from Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange

    • NOSE

      Olive oil, sultanas and green apples to lead. Warm, oily engines hide right at the back, with soft fruity notes pushing forward – sweet apples, raisins and mixed peel. Tropical notes begin to emerge: pineapple and candied papaya. Brown sugar and toasted oak slowly builds.

    • PALATE

      Demerara-sugar dusted apples, olive-oil sponge cake and a bowl of mixed sultanas and raisins. Darker flavours slowly develop, with dark chocolate, dates and prunes balanced against fresher apple and pear orchard fruit notes. Hints of honey and menthol appear towards the end.

    • FINISH

      Honey and menthol to start – lemon Lockets without the lemons – with nuts and vanilla to follow.


      Harking back to the elegance of the Mortlach 25 Year Old from the previous range, this layers on sherry notes and adds extra depth to that dram’s more gentle character. A marriage of traditional sherry with old Mortlach’s more delicate and frarant side. More a pussy-cat than The Beast of Dufftown, and that’s no bad thing.

  • Producer’s Notes

    • NOSE

      Super dense and rich, with touches of floor polish and much more of the waxy, earthy, meaty element seen in the previous examples. This has real elegance and complexity – and little intrigue. There is an added oiliness which you only get from mature whiskies. This in turn moves into varnish, leather oil, wood resins and even a touch of dubbin. The sensation is like being in some ancient, mysterious, library. There are dried fruits, a touch of scented wood, fir trees, cedar, Moroccan leather, slightly foxed books, floor polish, and some ink. It grows in the glass, moving towards chanterelle mushroom/cep mushroom even some of the wax crayon also seen on the 12-year-old. Huge, highly complex and contemplative.

    • BODY

      Robust and rich. Palate clinging.

    • PALATE

      The mature depth seen on the nose comes immediately into focus, but before it goes towards the dark there’s a refreshing lift of aromatic and overripe fruits (quince especially) and a touch of spiciness. It then expands as the fruits dry and the oils start to coat the tongue. The meaty element comes in quickly here, full-on grunt with animalic edges, cured leather and light bitter notes that bring to mid nutshell, espresso crema, damson jam, cacao nibs all balanced with some hedgerow berry fruits meaning that the back palate has a brighter lift than you might expect from something which is so dense and meaty (think of a berry sauce with venison). As it develops so this back palate shows more roasting tin elements, some bark. It continues to extend into dried fruits.

    • FINISH

      Quite dense. It carries on seamlessly from the progression seen on the palate with liquorice and dried fruit.

The Whisky Lounge “What’s New?” – Scotch Whisky News

We hope you are well and looking forward to the weekend!

We are really excited to be finally able to tell you about more ‘live’ events we have planned for 2022!
Early-bird tickets for Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester Festivals are now LIVE, so please do get booking!

We wanted to get Bristol, London, Edinburgh, York and Nottingham up, but we ran into some complications with Eventbrite.

But just to reassure those of you still waiting patiently for those events to appear, this will (with all fingers crossed!) happen next week.

To book Newcastle, Liverpool and/or Manchester, simply click on the relevant banner below and it will take you to the Eventbrite page with the tickets. They will go up on our website too soon!

These Early-Birds will not be repeated!


That’s it from me for now, but please don’t forget York Whisky Festival on the 27th November THIS YEAR! If you don’t have tickets yet, what are you waiting for?! Click the banners!

Have a great week and hope to see you soon!


The Whisky Lounge

The Whisky Lounge Ltd
Unit 3
61a Osbaldwick Lane
York, North Yorkshire YO10 3AY
United Kingdom

Whisky made in Germany St Kilian Distillers Irish-German Crossover Bud Spencer Whisky – Whisky News

Whisky made in Germany

St Kilian Distillers

Irish-German Crossover Bud Spencer Whisky

Ernie Scheiner, The Gateway to Distilleries

The St. Kilian distillery of Rüdenau in Lower Franconia, Bavaria, sent over a thousand tasting sets with the new Bud Spencer whisky edition to its steady growing fan group. Distillery Manager Mario Rudolf and distillery founder Andreas Thümmler presented an informative and thematically varied online tasting from their Still Room. Their special guest, Master Distiller and former Managing Director of Cooley Distillery in Co. Louth and current Director of Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk, set the pace: David F. Hynes.

The passionate engineer in chemistry, Hynes also a graduate of Harvard Business School, originally planned the German St. Kilian distillery together with Investment Banker Andreas Thümmler. They share their passion for good whisky in a longtime friendship, which actually formed the basis of the success of today’s Kilian whiskies. Since 2016 distillates made from domestic and Scottish malted barley – Glenesk Maltings – have been bubbling through the 6,000-litre copper stills. They had been manufactured by Forsyth’s famous coppersmiths in Rothes during the pre-Brexit period. The Kilian team around Distillery Manager Mario Rudolf installed the classic copper Swan Neck Pot Stills in a former disused textile factory. The wooden washbacks came also from Scotland, from Dufftown. Local Frankonian craftsmen refined and set the distillation equipment in place. The result is an impressive state-of-the-art distillery which is admired by thousands of visitors.

Please see for more detailed information

Motivation and Perspective

Master Brewer Mario Rudolf – a former Production Manager at the ecological Bavarian brewery Neumarkter Lammsbräu  – was taught whisky distillation by the experienced David Hynes. The spiritus rector trained the Franconian in all details and helped him to do an internship with the Scottish whisky icon, Billy Walker. Furthermore, the experienced long time Master Distiller, Alan McConnochie, introduced Rudolf into modern production methods of the Scottish whisky industry. At the East Highland distillery Glendronach he imparted the highly motivated brewer diversified insights into the Scottish way of whisky distillation. Rudolf studied intensively the foundations of distilling and maturing in detail.

Back home at St. Kilian Distillery he has consistently diversified the methods of brewing and distillation. A range of highly acclaimed Kilian distillates have developed since. David Hynes had skillfully opened the gates to a new and fertile German world of whisky. For keeping with Irish traditions, the accomplished distillery plant developer integrated a reflux condenser into the lyne arm of the spirit still. This dephlegmator device, some kind of pipe spiral through which cooling liquids flow makes for higher or lower reflux reaction. This tool has since allowed Rudolf to finely control and adjust the amount of reflux of the condensed alcohol vapors within the lyne arm into the pot. The desired New Make character may be clean, pure or bold and robust. The individual adjustment water cooling temperatures of the dephlegmator increases or decreases the onset of purification of the particular distillate. As a result, the reflux condenser generates a range of distinguished flavour profiles within the new make spirits. The temperature of the cooling liquid largely structures the spirit: “multiple distilled Irish style of whiskey” or “…a very harsh whisky full of character.” This very special way of distilling malt spirits is quite exciting and challenging for the Kilian Team. A broad variety of spirits is the result.

At Kilian distilling is done just like in Scottish still houses. Foreshots and feints are added to the low wines. This thrilling mixture is redistilled during the second runs in the spirit pot still. It makes for complexity. Therefore Master Distiller Rudolf speaks respectfully of the “Soul of Kilian Whiskies.” However, there are two of them: a non-peaty and a peaty version. Foreshots and feints are collected and kept ready in separate tax-sealed steel containers. “None of our alcohol is discarded.” German distilling tradition has it that foreshots and feints are not redistilled when the mash is composed of fruit. Their negative aromas would overdub and spoil the subtle fruity flavours of the middle cut when redistilled.

Diversified Cask Management

By now Kilian Spirits have been maturing in 255 different cask “cultures”. Since 2016 the warehousemen filled 7560 casks which are located primarily in a so-called Bunker City. The former U.S.-Depot covers more than 70 hectares of forest at 440 meters above sea level in the nearby hills of Rüdenau. By comparison, Great Northern Distillery has got 297,600 casks maturing in warehouses throughout Ireland. The prevailing and constant temperature at Kilian’s bunker-warehouses – former Cold War ammunition storage – is unique and creates a very supporting microclimate for maturing whisky. David Hynes admires Mario Rudolf’s nuanced and versatile wood management. He charmingly calls him a Whisky Wizard of Wood. Rudolf works creatively with the range of casks. The Kilian Master Blender creates very special vatting recipes again and again to compose new convincing whiskies. The variety of casks types, wood and sizes make for a different and highly sophisticated approach to integrate the particular flavour components of Kilian malts into the vatting or end product. The whisky community admire Rudolf for his excellency of fining new recipes again and again. His customer related detailed transparency makes for a much better understanding of the Kilian Way of Whisky Making.

Founder and only owner Thümmler is pleased with their success. The accolades of 60 international medals give them international recognition and motivitation. In 2021 the LPA will reach 300,000 litres of Kilian malt spirit. When they started five years ago their production was around 60,000 litres of pure alcohol. Not for long, they will expand to 600,000 litres a year and work 24/7 shifts. The team is growing. Further expansion of double sizing is planned.

Bud Spencer Strikes Again

It was probably the most successful and surprising whisky launch of the German beverages market. Let’s take a look back. Covid raged in December 2020 when a new whisky brand hit the shelves of German liquor stores: a single malt from St. Kilian under the name Bud Spencer. The launch made people sit up and take special notice. The media response was fierce. The late Italian actor, please see,

stirred multiple emotions and empathy among his German fans. No wonder that the first batch was sold out in just a few weeks. “We had to deliver more bottles as fast as possible,” Rudolf recounts, “in total, well over 30,000 bottles poured into the market with Bud Spencer Batch 1.2. We were surprised and overrun by the success. We reached our production limits.” The single malt at 46% vol with fair pricing delighted large sections of the whisky community in Germany. Bud Spencer whisky also found new connoisseurs who, until then, had tended to see a German whisky on the sidelines. Within a few weeks, Saint Kilian was literally on everyone’s lips. What a great marketing success, what a brilliant product placement! The peaty Bud Spencer Single Malt version from Rüdenau soon expanded the St. Kilian portfolio. Such a phenomenon has never been seen in recent German whisky trading. The outcome was immense.

However, the intended Bud Spencer whisky stocks were coming to an end. “We were overwhelmed by what had happened the weeks before Christmas last year,” Rudolf recounts, “probably the biggest whisky release there has been in Germany…unfortunately we couldn’t serve the demand…for quite some time…how to cope with it all was the vital question?” The management at Kilian had to rethink their strategies. Old project ideas were taken up and resulted in “…a strong innovation…an international blend…” For Andreas Thümmler, it was a natural consequence of the previous collaboration “…that both Master Distillers create a whisky together.”

The Cross-Border Surprise: Bud Spencer Batch 2.0

“Batch 2 of the new Bud Spencer Whisky is a crossover of the Master Distillers who have virtually built Saint Kilian. A blend composed by Mario and David,” Thümmler, who hails from Rüdenau, was so pleased, “I am personally very excited…this is simply a classy blend.” The whisky, he pointed out, not only manifests the trio’s close collaboration, but also their mutual friendship. The demand made them inventive. Creatively, they solved any supply problems, because Kilian’s stocks did not allow a new edition of the previous Rudolf-vatting recipe of 80% bourbon and 20% Amarone cask-matured Kilian whiskies. A new product had to be created. “Why not merge the whiskies distilled by Mario and David?” thought Thümmler. Plans and ideas evolved. GND samples were exchanged for months. The team created something absolutely new that has never been seen before in recent German distilling history.

Without any import and customs problems, a pot still whiskey that was just over three years old and a similarly aged single malt arrived in Rüdenau. The whiskeys came in thousand-litre IBC containers from the Great Northern Distillery which the Irish whiskey patron, Dr. John Teeling, founded in Dundalk in 2015. The triple-distilled spirits had previously matured in bourbon barrels in Ireland and were selected and vatted by Hynes and his GND team. It was Rudolf’s challenge and task to compose a blend by using some of his own Kilian stocks. He choose double distilled single malts which had matured in specific Italian Amarone and other red wine casks and married them with the selection of Irish GND whiskeys. The task was rather difficult as the new blend had to match some way or another the former red wine flavour profile of the first Bud Spencer Whiskies. The new Irish-German Bud Spencer would have to meet the charismatic aroma of the well-received whisky. The result was a “blend” of 18.75% Amarone cask-aged and other red wine barriques-matured double-distilled non-peated Kilian malts, which were married with triple-distilled 18.75% GND pot still whiskeys and 62.5% GND single malts. The final blending session was completely done by Rudolf alone at St. Kilian distillery.

The mash bill of the GND pot still whiskey was composed of a larger part of malted barley and a smaller part of unmalted plus some other grains like rye and oats. The grain cocktail was distilled at the former Harp Brewery in Dundalk. Hynes and Forsyth had converted the former beer brewing kettles into pot stills. He also installed a cooling reflux spiral in the horizontal lyne arm of the spirit pot still. A special pipe to lead the condensing heavy alcohol vapor mixture from the lyne arm directly back into the kettle to get redistilled again. “The Pot Still is a very concise product,” Hynes pointed out to the German viewers, “…the GND pot still whiskey is a typical Irish historically grown distillation variant.” In the new Bud Spencer Batch 2.0 Mario and David have not used any GND grain whiskey at all, as it would be the case with traditional Irish or Scottish blended whiskies.

At this point critics could be advised: It is perfectly legitimate for a German whisky distillery to choose such a cross-border method of cooperation and expansion of its portfolio. The origin of the particular product is clearly and transparently formulated on the label. The consumer is well-informed. We might also consider the special link and interrelation to St Kilian. The missionary Saint came originally from Ireland to Frankonia during the 7th century. Therefore Saint Kilian is very closely based in the history and culture of the region where St. Kilian Distillery is situated. The congenial trio of Rudolf, Hynes, Thümmler is also linked to each other in different ways. They have cooperated and worked together to create Kilian Whiskies and a new crossover whisky. The mild Bud Spencer whisky is the result of a close German-Irish cooperation within the European Union. Furthermore the fascination of Bud Spencer Whisky Batch 2.0 lies in its intercultural relation: Italian actor, Italian and French wine makers, German and Scottish malsters, Irish distiller, German distiller and a Franconian investor. By the way the glass bottles were made in Italy. This is what Europe is all about, working together in a prosperous mutual friendship.

What does the new Bud Spencer Whisky taste like?

The whisky unfolds in the glass, its light, slightly greenish-warm color is reminiscent of a white wine like a Pinot Grigio delle Venezie. The oily legs suggest an aroma rich whisky with a dense body. The nose is by no means disappointed, intense fruity-fresh aroma bundles please as well as notes of toffee. Joyful is the positive expectation of a tasty full-bodied whisky. The fruity, honey-sweet, creamy and oily flavour with a fair dash of vanilla thrillingly fascinates tongue, palate and nose. There are especially the emerging not too spicy, peppery notes that harmoniously balance the young whisky. Lingering spearmint impressions lead into a fresh whisky. David Hynes likes the flashing of an old fashioned Irish character of Pot Still in the Bud Spencer blend, he is quite enthusiastic because his “…Pot Still pushes to the front…very forward.” Mario Rudolf’s integrating blending skills result in a very tasty and enjoyable charming whisky…an everyday tipple and the whisky appears to be older. “Italy, Ireland and Germany are integrated in a perfect blend,” the whisky maker promises. David and Mario were not wrong with their expectation. The instant reception by their fans was positive. They were thrilled by the new recipe and the fruity flavour profile of Bud Spencer.


The “mild” Bud Spencer Batch 2 resulted in 27,000 bottles, which were bottled by hand at the distillery at 46% abv, not chill-filtered and without any caramel coloring. The “distinctive” Bud Spencer bottle will hit the shelves of specialist retailers this October 2021. The German retail price is a moderate 39.90 euros for a 07 l bottle. A smoky Bud Spencer variant will follow soon. New markets may be developed in Hungary and Italy, because in these countries the actor Bud Spencer is a very popular figure, in contrast to his poor reception in Ireland. The latest release of Bud Spencer Whisky is also available at the St Kilian Distillery.

Let’s keep in mind: The European Union made this intensive cross-border cooperation quite  easily possible. There are no trade and tax barriers. Direct sourcing of high-quality casks within the EU and from the USA allows St. Kilian Distillers the production of attractive whiskies meeting international standards. European law gives the German whisky makers the creative opportunity to use any wood for whisky maturation – in Scotland, only oak is allowed to shape the whisky. The cross-border EU-wide cooperation with distilleries, national and international cooperages, bodegas, wineries, etc. makes for a highly individual and diversified selection of cask qualities from Europe and the world.


Ernie Ernst J. Scheiner is the editor of The Gateway to Distilleries at

and publishes articles in the German whisky magazine The Highland Herold and the trade magazine Kleinbrennerei

Whisky Magazine “Our Glen Grant documentary is out on today!” – Dennis Malcolm Scotch Whisky News

Glen Grant honours master distiller’s milestone with unique Whisky Magazine collaboration

Six decades is an impressively long time to have been doing anything. It is a milestone that is not achieved without dedication, scrupulous care, and passion. This year, The Glen Grant Distillery in Speyside honours its revered master distiller, Dennis Malcolm, who has reached his 60th year in the whisky industry, not just with the release of the oldest and rarest The Glen Grant whisky yet, but with the unveiling of a special documentary film telling the story of his life – made, we are delighted to announce, in collaboration with Whisky Magazine!

This is not the first time Malcolm’s achievements have been honoured. His careful craftsmanship and attention to detail distilling and creating The Glen Grant’s whiskies has received worldwide acclaim on numerous occasions, and he was inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in 2014.

Excitingly, to celebrate Malcolm’s important milestone, Whisky Magazine has partnered with The Glen Grant to release a full-length documentary film that tells the story of Malcolm’s life and his unique influence on Speyside. The first full-length film to be produced entirely by the team at Whisky MagazineA Life in Whisky: The Dennis Malcolm Story will be available to view in full, free of charge, at our website from Sunday, 7 November.

We hope you will tune in and watch the fruits of this special collaboration, and learn more about the story behind an incredible life in whisky, perhaps while sipping your favourite dram – cheers!

Christopher Coates
Whisky Magazine

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 130 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News!

Things are really heating up here at KWM. The final pieces of the Whisky Calendar are finally in our hands. We expect to have the first Calendars ready for pick-up beginning Monday. Please wait until you are contacted before coming into the store to pick-up.

If your calendar(s) need to be packed for pick-up, it will likely take us a day or two longer to get to them. Again, we will be in touch, when they are ready for pickup.

If you haven’t already reserved your KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar, time and supply are both running out… less than 50 of the 562 Calendars we are producing this year are still available for purchase!

The new whisky releases are coming almost faster than we can keep up. I’ve said it before, and will likely say it again, shipping is pure chaos right now and things are coming in bunches, waves, and torrents.

Before we get to all the glorious new things we have to tell you about, and there are a lot of them, a quick note on a pending perfect storm of busyness heading our way.

In a classic example of Murphy’s Law, we will be building the KWM Whisky Calendars in the week leading up to our annual pre-Christmas Super Sale. That’s right, we have a huge sale coming up November 12-14.

We were delayed completing the Calendars by an error on the palette manifest, which had nothing to do with the whiskies needed for the Calendar… by nearly 2 weeks. This means we will be scrambling to get Calendars for out-of-town customers built and packed as quickly as possible. We expect that will take at least a week.

Please note that over the next 10 days, between the Calendars and the Sale we will be slammed. As with the last couple of sales, we will not be packing anything for pick-up during the sale.

There is going to be a bulge, a surge of requests for packing, and there will be a wait. We only have so much stuff and so many hours in the day. We always try to do better than we quote, but the wait could be 7-10 days. At the best of times, when it is slow, we ask for at least 5 business days’ notice for packing, to make sure we get things done on time. So please be patient!

If you have bottles waiting for pick up and are waiting on a KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar(s) too, I would suggest requesting to have the bottles packed now. We generally don’t pack Calendars and bottles in the same box anyway. If you make a request to pack a Calendar and bottles when you receive notice that the Calendars are ready, please note your packing job will be done after we pack all other pickups of Calendars only. Our goal is to get the Whisky Calendars out in time for advent. All other packing requests will likely have to wait longer.

This is a worst-case scenario, but I like to be upfront about things, in the hope that we can exceed the expectations we set.

This Malt Messenger has taken the better part of a week to pull together. Rather than wax poetic about everything that’s coming, I’ll let you browse it at your own leisure. There is a lot, so take your time and try not to drool on your keyboard!

Everything in this Malt Messenger is available for order or pre-order online and is linked. There may not be descriptions or photos on the website for all new products, but we’re working to get caught up as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are details for you below.

As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the point of sale at KWM will be taken as correct. Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions, comments, or requests (but online ordering works too).


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market


1. Two New Virtual Tastings

2. Surprise… Another Daftmill Release!

3. The Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary is Here!

4. Two New Compass Box Whiskies

5. New & Returned Whiskies From Gordon & MacPhail

6. New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers

7. Port Askaig 45 Year Returns

8. Rosebank “The Roses” 21 Year Fascination Ballot

9. New Whiskies & a Rum from Adelphi

10.                SMWS Recap

11.                Coming Soon: From Bruichladdich

12.                Introducing: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt New Edition

13.                Introducing: Creag Dhu

14.                Macaloney’s Caledonian Searaidh Braiche

15.                Boutique-y/Drinks by the Dram Gift Packs Arrive Next Week

16.                Upcoming Tastings

17.                Currently On Sale


We have two awesome new tastings to tell you about, for Eau Claire Distillery and the Dewar’s brand. The Eau Claire tasting is the launch of their Batch 5 single malt, and will feature a vertical tasting of not only batches 1-5, but also a sample from the KWM cask still maturing at the distillery! The Dewar’s tasting will be highlighted by the superb Double Double range… if you haven’t tried these blends, you simply must!

Eau Claire Vertical Single Malt Tasting

·     Date: Friday, November 19

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $25

·     Pick-Up Date: November 4

Our friends at Eau Claire Distillery have asked us again to help them launch their latest single malt release (Batch 5)! Who are we to say no to such an honour?

Eau Claire’s Caitlin Quinn (Master Distiller) & Marty Gunson (Sales Manager) will be our special guests as we sample:

Eau Claire Single Malts Batch 1 through 5, Rupert’s Whisky, and a very special bonus dram: a sneak preview of a KWM exclusive single cask!

Dewars: Not Your Grandpa’s Blend Anymore

·     Date: Friday, November 19

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $30

·     Pick-Up Date: November 17 (possibly sooner)

In 2019 Dewars released their Double Double range. It is nothing to do with Tims, and it doesn’t involve 2 each of cream and sugar. It is a range of whiskies: 21, 27 and 32 years old, developed by Dewars’ current master blender, Stephanie Macleod. The whiskies are created using a 4 stage aging process for added “smoothness”. Whatever the alchemy, the results are impressive. We will be sampling this trio, along with the new trio of 8 year old Dewars: Caribbean Smooth (rum cask), Portuguese Smooth (port cask) and Illegal Smooth (mezcal cask). To top off this very smooth tasting, we’ll also be sampling the Dewar’s 25 Year, a Duty-Free expression. We have held back stock of the Dewar’s 27 and 32 to give participants in the tasting an opportunity at a bottle!

What we can say for sure, is this is not your Grandpa/Grandma’s Blended Scotch anymore, and even the Zohan would agree this tasting will leave you feeling silky smooth! 7 PM, Tuesday, December 7.


This is a pleasant surprise: another Daftmill release, which we were not expecting. It is also one of the biggest releases of Daftmill we’ve seen, 6000 bottles, filled at 46% after maturing 12 years in First Fill ex-Bourbon barrels. 88.25pts Whisky Base!

Daftmill 2008 Winter Batch Release – 46% – First Fill ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky and waxy with almond paste and candied lemon; decadent, Sauternes and Icewine; Manuka honey, lemon meringue, and white chocolate Hershey’s Kisses; aged cheddar and honeycomb; apricot jam and tropical fruits; elegant floral top notes. Palate: soft, floral, and buttery with loads of fruits; still waxy, more aged cheddar and honeycomb; a touch of Sauternes and Icewine, apricot jam, and lemon meringue; salty Marcona almonds, firm toasted oak and gentle wood spice; white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Finish: long, lush, coating, and creamy; cheesy, fruity and decadent with white pepper. Comment: another cracker; cleaner than some of the other releases we’ve seen, without the sherry more of the natural spirit character can shine through; give it time to breathe and it will open like a flower!” – $199.99 – Limit 1 Per Customer


To celebrate their 185th Anniversary, the Glenfarclas Distillery has created a special multi-vintage bottling, just as they did for their 175th Anniversary. Only 6000 bottles have been released globally, bottled at 46%. It has an 88.8pt score on Whisky Base! 88pts Whisky Fun

My tasting note is below, but I can sum it up for you… it is elegant, approachable, and it has the maturity of a whisky approaching or in its 20s.

Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary – 46% – Sherry Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: sherried, doughy and buttery with a velvety top note; Christmas cake, blueberry pie (like the old 21…), apple strudel, and Mexican donuts; maple butter, soft dunnage tones, and then tropical fruits. Palate: lush, layered, and balanced; more maple butter, soft leather, Christmas cake, and nutty sherry tones; bright tropical fruits atop a bed of creamy vanilla; still doughy: the blueberry pie is still there though slightly al dente, more MacDonald’s apple pie, and strudel; soft spices and gentle earthy tones. Finish: decadent, fruity, and coating with warm spices; medium in length, but pleasant and layered it leaves the palate salivating for more.Comment: this is dangerously drinkable, quite complex, and rather elegant; mentioning that it is a “multi-vintage” creation doesn’t do this justice because there is a backbone of maturity here; I poured myself an extra measure of this to be sure, but I am, so I’ll add one final compliment… old school… this is an old school Glenfarclas!” – $170


We have a couple of new whiskies to fill you in on from our favourite Blenders of Scotch Whisky, Compass Box.

Orchard House is a new core range Blended Malt, composed primarily of whiskies procured by Compass Box as new make spirit, and matured in the firm’s own casks.

Canvas is a limited edition Blended Malt with a curious twist. 10% of the blend is Tomatin matured in Vino Naranja orange wine casks.

1. Compass Box Orchard House Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer Description: “What is more universally delicious than ripe fruit? Even the greatest chefs have been known to serve a simple dish of strawberries or a single, perfect peach as a dessert. Orchard House gathers together some of the fruitiest malts Scotland has to offer, including whiskies from the Linkwood and Clynelish distilleries; what’s more, we have sourced many of these whiskies as new spirit and laid them down in our own oak casks. This, our monument to fresh fruitiness in Scotch whisky, has been many years in the making.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aromas of apple and pear dominate, with hints of pineapple, lemon and lime zest, and Earl Grey tea. Take a sip and note the malty and gingery flavours. These are soon joined by honey, wild strawberries and vanilla shortbread.” – $68

2. Compass Box Canvas Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer Description: “This is an exceedingly colourful and vibrant Scotch whisky, thanks to a parcel of single malt re-racked into experimental barrels for three years. Seasoned with Vino Naranja (Spanish fortified wine infused with orange peel), these unusual casks bring new shades of deliciousness to Canvas with their chocolatey richness and sticky marmalade fragrance.” – Producer Tasting Note: “The gloriously waxy and citrusy nose is followed by forest honey and vanilla shortbread notes on the palate. Flavours of nutmeg, cardamom and chocolate intertwine in the long-lasting finish.” – $170 – Limit 1 Per Customer!



Let’s start with the new whiskies. There is some cool stuff here, including a 25-year-old Distillery Label Linkwood. Most of the whiskies are from G&M’s Connoisseurs Choice range, bottled at cask strength.

There is a pair of Glenburgies, a trio of Caol Ilas (2 of them from 1988), single casks from Ardmore, Mannochmore, Glentauchers and Tomatin. At most, we are getting between 6 and 12 bottles of each, so many of them are limited to 1 per customer.

1. G&M Distillery Label Ardmore 1999 – 43% – 18/19 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Warming spice – cinnamon and clove, complement rich sherried fruit. Sweet toffee apple aromas come to the fore, with a subtle hint of smoke, brown sugar and an undertone of vanilla. Palate: Soft and creamy. Raspberry jam and apple flavours lead to gentle notes of cracked black pepper. An undertone of dried tobacco develops alongside subtle oak with a citrus zest edge. Finish: A light and smooth finish with lingering dried red fruits.” – $175

2. G&M Distillery Label Linkwood 25 Year – 43% – First Fill & Refill Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose Hints of baked apple, stewed raisin, and cinnamon enhance rich Sherry influences. Sweet liquorice aromas develop enhanced by light floral nuances. A polished oak edge remains. Taste: Sweet and spicy; date, prune, and raisin flavours complement warming pepper. Hints of cinnamon and clove add spice. Tangy blackcurrant notes mix with sweet cherry jam and candied citrus fruit. Finish: A nutty edge balances the lingering oak notes.” – $350

3. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Ardmore 1998 – 55.5% – 22 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Light citrus and crystalized violet aromas gives way to soft honey. Vanilla develops accompanied by milk chocolate and toasted almonds. Taste: Flavours of grapefruit and Brazil nuts leads to orange peel. A hint of cured meats develops alongside subtle white pepper. Finish: A medium-bodied finish with lingering green apples and spice.” – $255

4. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2007 – 59.7% – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: cured meat aromas are balanced by ripe green apples and cocoa powder. Fruitcake notes develop with hazelnuts and autumnal spice. Taste: Stewed fruit and honeycomb give way to rich cinnamon. Cracked black pepper comes to the fore alongside malted biscuit and sweet smoke. Finish: A full finish with dark chocolate, toasted oak and bonfire embers.” – $160

5. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1988 – 51.4% – 31 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich vanilla aromas with delicate notes of lemon peel lead to baked apple. Taste: Intensely sweet; stewed fruit flavours combine with crackled black pepper and rich encompassing smoke. Finish: A smooth finish with lingering bonfire ash.” – $1475 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

6. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1988 – 52.7% – 32 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet baked apple and rich cured meats give way to an undertone of vanilla. Dried tobacco notes lead to sweet smoke and a hint of ripe pineapple. Taste: Bonfire embers and malted cereal are accompanied by a light menthol edge. Soft mint notes develop alongside dry leather and a hint of cracked black pepper. Finish: Short finish with soft smoke and a hint of liquorice.” $1300 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

7. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glenburgie 1998 – 57% – 22 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Treacle aromas complement toffee apples and rich brown sugar. Raspberry sorbet comes to the fore alongside subtle orange peel. Taste: Soft white pepper flavours lead to smooth cinnamon and baked apples. Candied orange and sweet strawberry licorice gives way to hazelnuts. Finish: A full finish with lingering spice and fruit.” – $275 – 87.93pts Whisky Base

8. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glenburgie 1996 – 55.3% – 24 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich vanilla and coconut aromas lead to dried pineapple. Notes of milk chocolate develop alongside lemon sherbet and mild cashew nuts. Taste: Black pepper and ripe green apples are balanced by rich honeycomb. Grapefruit zest comes to the fore with subtle undertones of sweet tobacco. Finish: A full finish of lingering spice, citrus and toasted oak.” – $305 – Limit 1 Per Customer! – 88.44pts Whisky Base

9. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 1993 – 58.7% – 27 Year – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Aromas of stewed raisins and ginger give way to rich vanilla fruitcake notes develop with toffee and lemon zest. Taste: Fresh flavours of strawberry and orange marmalade are followed by black pepper. Brazil nuts come to the fore with banana bread and milk chocolate. Finish: A medium-bodied finish with light spice and aniseed.” – $430 – Limit 1 Per Customer! – 90.67pts Whisky Base

And now for those which have returned:

1. G&M Distillery Label Linkwood 15 Year – 43% – First & Refill Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity and fresh, dry Sherry, ripe strawberry, and raspberry aromas highlighted by a light lemon-citrus edge. Tangy orange marmalade develops and combines with warm cinnamon and toffee. Taste: Initially intensely sweet; mellowing with time and the gentle and warming spice flavours of cinnamon and clove. Creamy white chocolate develops and entwines with a juicy tangerine edge. Finish: Medium and rounded with fresh herbal tones and a slightly drying cocoa powder edge.” – $125

2. G&M Distillery Label Mortlach 15 Year – 43% – First & Refill Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Distinctly malty initially with fresh aromas of a woodland hedgerow. Delicate Sherry notes linger and weave with rich indulgent toffee, sweet liquorice, and orange marmalade. Taste:  Reminiscent of a Black Forest cake; the initial sweetness develops into fruity blackcurrant jam, maraschino cherry, and creamy vanilla. Freshly peeled orange notes add a fresh lift. Finish: Well rounded; hints of candied citrus fruits and oak complement the lingering malty edge.” – $125

3. G&M Distillery Label Mortlach 25 Year – 43% First & Refill Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich and full; Sherry and orange marmalade notes combine with stewed dates and prunes. Underlying herbal aromas surface and transform into brown sugar with gentle toffee highlights. Taste: Pronounced Sherry influences join crème brûlée, orange marmalade, sultana, and raisin flavours. Hints of mature oak appear whilst an aniseed edge underscores dark chocolate notes. Finish: Medium with lingering charred oak and cocoa powder.” – $320


We have new whiskies from our friends at Elixir Distillers, including bottlings under the Reserve Cask, Single Malts of Scotland, and The Whisky Trail. I’ve tasted a few of them, and surprise, surprise, they are lovely…

Let’s start off with some good value whisky, an 11-year-old Blair Athol, from the Reserve Casks range, Parcel 5.

Reserve Cask Blair Athol 11 Year – 48% – 2009 – 5 ex-Bourbon Hogsheads – My Tasting Note: “Nose: malty, buttery and floral; milk chocolate, Marcona almond, oatcakes, and shortbread; Wine Gums, citrus fruits and melons; white chocolate, decadent spices, and pralines. Palate: thick, toasty and decadent with firm oaky spices; more white chocolate, almonds, oak cakes, and shortbread; floral and slightly waxy with more citrus fruits and Wine Gums. Finish: floral, toasty, and decadent; coating and creamy with more spices. Comment: big Bourbon tones, with a rye-like spiciness; this is great value, warm, creamy, floral, and toasty; it may not be cask strength, but at 48% it drinks well!” – $100We have three new releases from the Single Malts of Scotland arriving this week. Unfortunately, we don’t have tasting notes for them just yet, but we have bottle shots and Whisky Base scores… also I’ve tasted the Clynelish!

1. SMOS Caol Ila 13 Year Cask 320254 – 55.6% – 2007 – Hogshead – $140 – 88.25pts Whisky Base

2. SMOS Clynelish 10 Year Cask 800206 – 60.3% – 2010 – Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey Nut Cheerios and beeswax; fresh latex paint and a touch of window putty; malt, moulding clay and white fruits: apple and pear. Palate: soft, floral and waxy with lovely honey tones and fresh fruit; traces of latex paint, moulding clay, and juicy malt; Jujubes and Wine Gums moving into candy apple and pear drops; lush, coating and creamy. Finish: long, warming, bright and fruity; still honeyed, waxy, and malty. Comment: ticking all the boxes, this is everything you want a 10 year old Clynelish to be; and the strength, 60.3%… forget about it… this is crushable!” – $130 – 88pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

3. SMOS Ledaig 16 Year Cask 82 – 54.4% – 2005 – Barrel – $230 – 90pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

We also have some exclusive new whiskies from the Whisky Trail line!

We are also waiting for tasting notes for these, so in the interim, we have photos and cask details. And I’ve managed to write a tasting note on the Linkwood.

1. Whisky Trail Glenburgie 21 Year Cask 751398 – 56.7% – 1998 – Hogshead – $240 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Whisky Trail Girvan 30 Year Cask 167852 – 56.1% – 1989 – Hogshead – $230

3. Whisky Trail Linkwood 10 Year Cask 312699 – 55.5% – 2010 – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Jujubes, coffee grounds, and toasted oak; treacle, Turtles, and decadent spices; candied orange, melon liqueur, and marzipan. Palate: big, rich, and sherried; leather, chocolate Turtles, treacle, and Christmas cake; a touch nutty, more Jujubes, dried fruits, and candied orange. Finish: medium in length, warming and spicy with fading toasted oak, decadent spices, and soft fruits; late floral tones. Comment: young and a touchy spirit-y, but balanced with soft sherry tones and lots of fruits; on the finish, you can find just a trace of the thick pillowy floral tones you sometimes see in young Longmorn.” – $110


This ancient Islay single malt is exclusive to KWM. Bottled from a marriage of 5 sherry butts and bottled at a precariously low cask strength of 40.8%. Believed to be Bunnahabhain, the whisky scored 90pts from Whisky Fun in 2014, but in 2019 he upped his score to 91pts, which I still feel is low. This is old-school tropical whisky!

Producer Description: “Matured in five sherry butts, this expression was distilled in 1968 and bottled at a cask strength of 40.8%. Port Askaig 45 Year Old is an old Islay style that is almost completely lost today. Fruit-driven, with next to no smoke and with an abundance of tropical fruits such as mangoes and papayas, this is a very rare whisky and one to be savoured.

Port Askaig 45 Year (cough Bunnahabhain) – 40.8% – Sherry Butts – My Tasting Note: “Nose: old school antique-y sherry notes, barrel-aged maple syrup, treacle sauce and bags of tropical fruits; waxy with over-ripe bananas, mangoes and papaya and agave nectar; candy apple with soft old leather and tobacco; assorted Jelly Bellies and Starburst fruit candies. Palate: still old-school; very rich, sherried and fruity but balanced and elegant; more maple syrup, cola cubes and treacle sauce; the Starburst fruit candies and assorted Jelly Bellies are still there as are the waxy over-ripe tropical fruits: mango and papaya, grilled pineapple, and flambeed banana; dark milk chocolate, delicate spices and light roast coffee beans; cold tea dregs with Demerara sugars it becomes increasingly spicy, but still balanced. Finish: long and fruity, the whisky stays decadent and gently spiced as it slowly fades; coating with more cold tea dregs; a touch of minty mojitos too. Comment: this is a beautiful old malt, very much in the antique-y style; old school and very fruity sherry without suffering any of the ravages of time; is there a faint trace of smoke, I’d need an even more generous serving to be sure!” – $3400


We might just hold one of these back for a future tasting…

From the Producer: “The fifth release in Elixir Distillers’ Rosebank Roses series, Fascination is a 21-year-old single malt which, like the others in the collection, has been released to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This single malt is a combination of spirit distilled in both 1990 and 1991, matured in ex-Madeira casks and American oak barrels for 21 years. Citrussy aromas of candied citrus peel and fresh lemon are joined by rye bread, white chocolate, sherbet pips and mint on the nose, complemented by notes of green apple, sugared almonds, custard and vanilla cream throughout the palate.”

Rosebank 21 Year Fascination – 49.5% – Tasting Note by Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange: “Nose: Candied citrus peel, zingy fresh lemon, yeasty rye bread and crunchy barley sugar. Sweet-shop notes of white chocolate mice, sherbet pips and mint fondant develop, along with a background of vanilla cream, toffee and butter icing. Palate: The sweet icing notes lead, with white chocolate, crispy sugared almonds and lemon cream following. Gentle oak spice notes develop with a touch of anise and sour apple skin. The sweetness builds again, with mint fondant and barley sugar joined by light, creamy, custard notes. Finish: Oak spice, cooling mint and sweet cream. Aniseed heat builds before dying back to reveal polished oak.” – $1800 – 90.27pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!


The latest selection of Adelphi releases is, as always, limited. Single casks spread over the globe don’t tend to cover a lot of ground, but we are happy to get what we do!

1. Adelphi Private Reserve Cask Strength Peated – 57.6% – Sherry & Bourbon Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Straw in colour and showing a medium bead. “The nose opens with grassiness, Rose’s lime cordial, glacier mints, dill, Gimlet cocktail, kiwi fruit and minerality. Drams in the herb garden! On the palate, we have a little funk, hessian sacks, horse stables, cheese rind and fresh leather. A cooling mouthfeel, with a lengthy, maritime finish. Seriously good.” – $68 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Adelphi Blair Athol 2008 – 56.5% – 12 Year – First Fill PX Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Matured exclusively in a first fill PX Sherry Butt, chestnut in colour and showing very good beading. On the nose we first discover licorice, cola cubes, Madeira, and red laces. This opens into over-ripe fruit, sandalwood and cloves. “e palate is brimming with engine oil, Lea and Perrins, mint Matchmakers, chocolate brownies and the slightest hint of rubber. A #ne dram indeed with a lengthy #nish.” – $190 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

3. Adelphi Breath of the Isles 2007 – 58.3% – 14 Year – Refill Oloroso Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “A vatting of re#ll Oloroso Hogsheads, this is copper-gold in colour and displays a moderate bead. A bright, alluring nose redolent of apple pie, fresh ginger, heather honey and beach debris. “e well-balanced palate is chock full of crunchy nut corn$akes, pumpernickel bread, salted popcorn, mocha and a tangle of seaweed. A long, beautifully harmonious #nish completes this dram in style. Wonderful stuff!” – $192 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

4. Adelphi Caol Ila 2013 – 58.4% – 8 Year – Refill Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “The product of a single refill Bourbon Hogshead, with the colour of barley water and a moderate bead. This is a clean, citrus-forward Caol Ila. “The nose is laden with lemon peel, swimming pool aromas, hospital wards and enticing cigar smoke. A hint of smoked cheese perhaps. “e palate displays great clarity with minerality, oyster shells, salinity, creosote, chimney soot and bonfire embers combining very effectively. A medium, satisfying finish.” – $192 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

5. Adelphi Dalmore 2007 – 54% – 14 Year – Refill Oloroso Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Matured exclusively in a refill Oloroso Hogshead, this is copper gold and has a very good bead. On the nose we have earthy miso paste, savoury meatiness, beef jerky, sticky ribs and a whiff of machine oil. The palate is extremely well-textured. There is rounded creaminess in the form of sweet meringue, backed up by herbaceous longevity. Touching all points on the tasting compass, this is a dram to savour.” – $232 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

6. Adelphi Glen Garioch 2011 – 58.5% – 9 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Fully matured in a refill sherry butt, Vin Jaune in colour and showing a medium bead. An inviting nose kicks o! with coconut cream, bounty bar and stem ginger before opening into white pepper, nougat and tobacco tin. The palate is a cracking all-rounder with Irn-Bru bars, gorse slower, medicine cabinet, tangerine and pink peppercorns. A dry, spicy finish compliments this whisky perfectly.” – $182 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

7. Adelphi Teaninich 2010 – 58.8% – 11 Year – First Fill Oloroso Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Fully matured in a first-fill Oloroso butt, this is mahogany in colour and has a medium bead. On the nose, we discover Dr. Pepper, Indonesian cubeb, mushrooms, honey roast parsnips, rowan jelly and oregano. “e palate continues the tanginess with cola bottles, waxy old books, cumin and cured meats. The rich finish herbaceous and lengthy.” – $186 – Limit 1 Per Customer!




Lovers of coconut and polished oak should pay attention to this Dailuane. It delivers a waxy, viscous palate with plenty of floral and fruity notes to go along with the sweet and spicy oak.

9.201 – MAJOR SWEETIE Truth be told I am not the world’s biggest Glen Grant fan. I find many indie bottlings from the distillery tend to get too dunnage heavy for my liking, especially those in the mid 20s age-wise. Major Sweetie ticked all the right boxes for me with wonderful fruit notes and a touch of musty, dusty and waxy notes without going over the top.



Remember that bottle I mentioned that was titled and tasting noted by some crazy Canucks? Late night pantry raid is that bottle! Kelly and Rob were kind enough to send us advance samples of this whisky, asking the whisky staff at a few SWMS partner stores to write up their own name and tasting notes for it.

In September I was over the moon to find out my suggested bottle name and most of my tasting notes were used for this bottling! It is truly a bucket list item for me that I never thought I would check off, but here we are. I also managed to sneak a bit of Canadiana in there with a reference to Hawkins Cheezies!

Full note below:

SMWS Canada’s retail ambassadors tasting note: “Bleary-eyed and peckish you stare into the depths of the pantry in search of a midnight snack. Pushing past aromas of chamomile tea bags, Galliano liqueur and half-used packets of Ichiban soup flavouring, you pull out a box of Bran Flakes, dried raspberries and honey. Before closing the door, you taste a few random items to verify their freshness: Jelly Bellies, salted liquorice, dried apricots, a milk chocolate bar, golden raisins, candied ginger and yogurt-covered pretzels, sugar-coated fennel seeds and a half-finished bag of Hawkins Cheezies.

Sated and ready to go back to bed, you open the fridge in search of filtered water. Behind sliced shallots and almond slivers, you notice the forgotten pan of raisin walnut butter tart squares. You should have looked in the fridge first. After 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this was transferred to a 1st fill Sauternes barrique.”


I am honestly surprised we still have bottles of this Longmorn left to sell. Anything that is out in a sherry cask is difficult to hold onto these days, and this mix of Distillery juice and spice plus the red fruit and wines notes works very well.


Tullibardine seems to be hitting its stride both in its official bottlings like the 15 year and some of The Murray series of batch strength releases as well as indie bottlings like this. SCRAMBLED HEATHER takes the distilleries malt-forward style and adds a lot of complexity in a tightly wrapped package.


We have seen a very small amount of SMWS Old Pulteney of the past 5 years, and bottles like this show how much of a travesty that is. Salty, savoury and sweet all at once from one of the few distilleries that pulls that off without peat on a regular basis.



This is the ONLY one of the 7 bottles from October to still be available and it is no slouch. Young Linkwood can be very expressive, full of floral, fruit and fresh ginger (and even lemongrass!) notes. This bottle delivers that and more!


The November Outturn just dropped this AM. It was sampled Wednesday night by the KWM team, along with special guests Rob & Kelly. There is stock left of most of the whiskies, with the exception at the time of writing of the Glen Scotia. You can view the November Outturn here! The KWM November SMWS Tasting can be watched here!


First up a trio of Octomores:

1. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1 – 59.9% – 5 Year – First Fill American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Opens on zesty citrus freshness and earthy peat smoke. Vanilla sponge cake and barley sugars with rich malt sweetness. Coconut and chocolate, vanilla and caramel follow, and as the aromas open further cinder toffee and layers of Peat smoke and honey come to the fore. Taste: Peppery and sweet on the palate, with a texture of warm golden syrup. Honey and peat smoke then fired oak chips and peaty apricot jam open. Anther sip brings malted barley sugars and straw, heather flower, and a nutty nougat sweetness. A mineral sandy note sits on the palate and brings through a dry phenolic earthy smoke and hints of orange zest and pear drops. Finish: The finish brings salted caramel with floral and herbal notes. Honeysuckle, primrose and then gentle peat smoke, as ever, the note that drifts on the longest.” – $275

2. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.2 – 57.3% – 5 Year – American Oak Finished in Sauternes Casks – 129.7ppm – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Beautiful notes of melon, honey and smoked almonds initially. Toasted oak and earthy smoke are held back by layers of fruit and honey. There is orange peel, peaches, ripe sweet melon, a lemon and honey combination all wrapped in a malted grain sweetness. Dried apple and pear drops come next with a wave of peat smoke and toasted oak, releasing earthy and pine resin notes. Taste: Lusciously soft and sweet as the fruit sweeps across the palate, lemon zest and vanilla pods come to the fore with melon and orange blossom. Another sip highlights the structure the French oak brings with caramel, baking spices and a touch of dryness carrying the smoke and the malt sweetness. Always the presence of ripe fruit drizzled in syrup speaks of the influence of the Sauternes casks. Finish: On the finish, a salty lemon tang arrives as the fruit and oak fade a little. That lovely earthy peat smoke moves in to dominate the finish and stamp the Octomore DNA all over this dram.” – $240

3. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.3 Islay Barley – 62.1% – 5 Year 75% ex-Bourbon & 25% First Fill PX Sherry – 118.1ppm – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: OAroma: Light sherry notes of fig, raisin and dates with charcoal, boot polish smoky notes set the tone for this dram. Light, fresh citrus honey notes from the spirit, intense floral notes of honeysuckle and orange blossom burst from the glass and then dark toffee, milk chocolate and vanilla from the oak add depth to the aromas. Smoked grain, seaweed, linseed oil and tobacco come as the whisky continues to open. Taste: Peppery nasturtium flowers, dark chocolate, earthy peat smoke and those sherry fruits rush across the palate at first. The Peat smoke and the dried fruit dominate and then comes the barley sugar and charred oak, releasing those rich toffee and tobacco notes. Sweet pastry and toasted grain then more sooty earthy peat smoke. Finish: Charcoal, soot and dried figs. Salted lemons and bitter chocolate.” – $315

The 9th Edition of Bruichladdich mysterious Black Art Series is a 29 year old… It is almost impossible to believe that 1992 was 29 years ago!

Bruichladdich Black Art 9.1 – 44.1% – 29 Year – 1992 – Undisclosed Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Breathtaking. Tropical fruits, coconut, tobacco, spicy oak and flamed pine branches. With a little time, the whisky opens up seductive notes of mango, melon, sweet honey, orange zest, grilled pineapple and ripe strawberries, fresh from the field. The subsequent scent combination of coconut, ginger, buttery shortbread, vanilla pudding and a hint of tobacco promises a delightful drinking experience. Taste: The viscous texture of this dram and its depth are out of this world! Wood, tobacco, brown sugar as well as chocolate and coconut form the perfect basis for extremely intense fruit flavours. With a little water, this unbelievable complexity comes into its own even more. Finish: Incredibly long-lasting with seemingly endless notes that are reminiscent of apricot, mango, baked banana, sweet toasted oak, honey and vanilla.” – $770



You may have heard that the Japanese are getting a bit more rigorous with respect to the classification of Japanese whisky. It used to be common practice, even for the big companies like Suntory and Nikka, to include imported whiskies in their Blends and Blended Malts. These include Nikka’s famous Taketsuru Pure Malt (Blended Malt). Nikka owns Ben Nevis Distillery, and 70% of its production is shipped to Japan as new make for Nikka whiskies.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (100% Japanese Edition) – 43% – Producer Description & Tasting Note: “This is an expression launched in 2020, with a refined formula and a new label design to represent the brand. While remaining a smooth and well-balanced blended malt, the formula further showcases an exquisite balance between elegant softness and deep complexity along with rich mouthfeel and smokiness.” – $80

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (Old Edition) – 43% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: floral, fruity and decadent; lots of fruit both tropical and citric, vanilla pods and soft oak spices; there may be a faint hint of smoke and sea salt but overall it is creamy and fruit. Palate: oh there’s some peat, but it is in balance with sweet fruity notes, the whisky is exceptionally creamy, loads more vanilla, some honey and spices; the fruits are there in abundance, some citrus but mostly melons (midori) and tropical fruits (kiwi and guava); there are some coffee notes too and developing darker spices. Finish: light, clean, and fruity with some darker spice and a hint of salty peat smoke. Comment: this is amazing value, excellent whisky and a great price point!” – $96


Bottled by the team behind Daffy’s Gin, Creag Dhu is a mystery Speyside Single Malt, bottled to raise awareness about Scottish Peatlands. Peatlands are vital to Scotland’s ecology, and also work as an important carbon sink.

Producer Description: “Creag Dhu is a very traditional whisky made by our master distiller Chris Molyneaux in partnership with a Speyside distillery using time-honoured Scotch whisky distilling techniques that have not changed for centuries. We age our whisky for a minimum of eight years.”

Creag Dhu Single Malt Whisky – 40.2% – 8 Year – European Oak Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Medium-bodied, with notes of date and walnut cake, spicy caramel, and Oloroso sherry. A beautiful note of malt, with toffee apple and a touch of smoke.” – $76


The first every sherry matured single malt from Victoria Caledonian has some colour… that got us intrigued. Full-term maturation in Olorosso (that’s right, Oloroso with a second ‘s’ for emphasis & PX Sherry STR (shaved toasted & re-charred) casks. My tasting note is on the KWM site.

Macaloney’s Caledonian Searaidh Braiche – 46% – Oloroso & PX Sherry STR Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “This classic sherried single malt spirit has a rich body and creamy mouthfeel. The plums, raisins, tropical fruit and wood spices are complimented by structured tannins and oak, that ultimately yield to a background of juicy malt barley. The finish and development are complex with a hint of sea salt and symphony of sherry and tropical fruit notes.” – $108



There is a treasure trove of goodies coming from our friends at Atom Brands this year, from Drinks by the Dram, That Boutique-y Whisky Co. The ETA for everything is late October!

Rather than take up a lot of space here, the details and photos for these are on our website. Click the product name to view them:

1. Drinks by the Dram Regions of Scotland Set – 5x30ml Wax Dipped Single Malts, 1 each from Scotland’s 5 Whisky Regions – $50

2. Drinks by the Dram Japanese Whisky Set – 5x30ml Wax Dipped Japanese Whiskies from Nikka, Yoichi, Miyagikyo & Mars (unless the whiskies have changed in the interim) – $65

4. Boutique-y Whisky Scotch Tasting Set – 4x50ml Boutique-y Whiskies in the 10-12 Year Range. – $52

5. Boutique-y Whisky Premium Scotch Set – 4x50ml Boutique-y 1–27 year old Whiskies from Ledaig, Inchmurrin, Cameronbridge & Burnside – $86

7. Drinks by the Dram Irish Whiskey Collection – 12x30ml Irish whiskies bottled with hand-dipped wax seals. – $83

8. That Boutique-y Whisky 12 Dram Set – 12x30ml -. Award-winning expressions and rare drams await you during the holidays or all year round with the removable sleeve. – $120

If the details for any of the above on the website don’t match perfectly, please be patient, we are doing our best to clean that up.


We have a pretty packed tasting schedule over the next two months, and we are now starting to roll out some November events. This is just the first 5 (technically 2 are in October…), and don’t be surprised if we slip in a few more!

The Ultimate Bunnahabhain Tasting 271 Years

  • Date: Thursday, November 25
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Cost: $300
  • Pick-Up Date: Available Now

A few of our team here, independently noted that we have a lot of old Bunnahabhains right now, and I mean a lot. There are the 43 and 44-year-old Director’s Special bottlings, 40 and 42-year-old Signatory Vintage bottlings and the Port Askaig 45 Year (also a Bunna) is returning this Fall. Add to that a Boutique-y Bunnahabhain 27 Year and a Bunnahabhain 30 Year OB I tucked away for a tasting, because there wasn’t enough to sell, and we had 271 years of Bunnahabhain just begging to be tasted… we couldn’t let this opportunity slip by without having an Ultimate Bunnahabhain Tasting! 8 PM, Thursday, November 25.


Here are some of the most highlights for our ever-evolving list of deals:

  1. Glencadam 15 Year – $117.99 – SAVE 20%
  2. Glenrothes 12 Year – $72 – SAVE 25%
  3. Glenrothes Whisky Makers Cut – $95 – SAVE 20%
  4. Macallan Double Cask 12 Year – $98 – SAVE 20%
  5. Mackinlay’s Shackleton – $69 – SAVE 40%
  6. Tamdhu 15 Year – $138 – SAVE 15%

But there is much more than that on sale, at present nearly 40 whiskies!

Browse all the deals here!


We are proud to offer Free City Wide Delivery on all orders over $100 Monday-Friday! Orders under $100 are subject to a flat rate $10 deliver fee. We are expecting high demand for delivery after the sale so please be patient!


Store Hours
Mon – Wed 10AM – 8PM
Thurs & Fri 10AM – 9PM
Sat 10AM – 8 PM
Sun 11PM to 6PM

*All Prices Quoted here are subject to change and do not include GST. In the case of pricing discrepancies, the price at our point of sale will be taken as correct.*

Cadenhead’s Whisky & Tasting Room London – Scotch Whisky News

By now I’m sure you have heard that the shop will close its doors on Saturday 30th October For a well overdue Re-fit that will launch Cadenhead’s London in the spring of 2022 with a new and exciting experience for beginners, fans, &  connoisseurs of that noblest of spirits whisky/whiskey. The shop will reopen under the “Cadenheads Retail Ltd Umbrella ” Cadenheads Retial Ltd will have its Head office in Campbeltown. At the helm a very capable and true Gentleman in every sense of the word.

Mr Grant Mcpherson

Who is well known to Cadenhead whisky Customers and the Whisky world in General. He will oversee the running of Campbeltown, Edingburgh, and London shops. Under his leadership and expertise, Cadenheads Retail can surge forward in these most difficult times for all retailers.

As for myself I have joined the Board of Cadenhead Retail Limited and will be an integral part of Cadenheads London..  I’m sure I will see you all in the shop from time to time as we welcome in this new era for the London shop

As the doors close today there are 3 friends that I have got a lot of help and encouragement from these last 27 years there is no doubt that I couldn’t have done it without them.  My beloved dear departed Uncle B (Brian) my mother’s brother who.s guidance and friendship I miss every day. He once called me his hero, in truth he was mine.  Mr. Neil Clapperton and Mr. Hedley G Wright who put their trust in me one boozy afternoon in Gordon’s wine bar Charing Cross in the Autumn of 1994

“Thank you Gentleman”

Stay tuned for news of the reopening of the shop when we will welcome new and old customers, tastings will resume in the new tasting room, and lots more surprises. Cadenheads London will be a beacon for the whisky drinker. The future looks bright.

All the very best to all who have come through the doors of Cadenheads London in Covent Garden and in Chilton Street it’s been quite a journey.




Ballantine’s Scotch whisky, long time champion of diverse talent and underrepresented music communities around the world through its True Music platform, is taking a stand to increase parity within the music industry, after its ‘Resetting the Dancefloor’ report found that 1 in 3 music lovers globally have experienced discrimination and a further 84% have witnessed it on the dancefloor.

The report, which surveyed over 2,300 music lovers across four continents, highlights that while there is work to be done for dancefloors to be truly inclusive, the pandemic offers an opportunity for a ‘reset’. Ballantine’s aims to drive action to address this through a series of commitments and initiatives, including a six-figure fund to support emerging music collectives, and via global experiences that celebrate inclusive dancefloors, with long standing partner, Boiler Room.

Helping spearhead the conversation within the music industry are Berlin-based DJ Honey Dijon, SBTV Founder Jamal Edwards MBE, LGBTQIA+ label and collective He.She.They, rapidly ascending Madrid-based female DJ collective Chica Gang , Brazilian LGBTQIA+ dance collective Afrobapho, and South African rapper and activist Dope Saint Jude who are calling on music fans, artists and those within the business to club together to drive action and change.

While the ideal of the dancefloor being a place of freedom and equality does not reflect the reality – the effects of the past 18 months have resulted in a positive change in attitude with three quarters of people saying they would now speak out if they witnessed discrimination at a music event and 89% believing we all have a responsibility to fight discrimination.

Even though people can’t wait to return to the dancefloor post-pandemic (84%), the safety, diversity and inclusivity of the events will be driving their choice to attend. Treating and paying artists fairly is the number one priority, 63% are more likely to consider whether the music line-up is diverse versus a year ago, whilst 72% will only attend a future event that they feel will be safe and inclusive.

Honey Dijon comments: All of these things we’re fighting for – diverse line-ups, diverse dancefloors – this is simply us wanting our humanity and our creativity to be considered as worthy as other people’s. That’s an expectation no one should be able to stand in the way of.”

Through its initiatives, Ballantine’s is hoping to raise awareness of issues around diversity and inclusion within music culture and prompt action, and has committed to driving real change in three key areas over the next five years:

  • Diverse programming: ensuring all True Music line-ups and content represent diverse communities
  • Fair payment: ensuring that no fee gap exists by taking an active role in making sure talent are paid and treated fairly
  • Inclusive dancefloors: making safe dancefloors a priority and committing to bringing one billion music fans inclusive True Music experiences through a safe dancefloor policy

Ballantine’s Head of Music Tom Elton comments: “The past 18 months have seen the live music industry suffer, as lockdowns have forced fans to stay at home and repress desires to be on the dancefloor. As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button and club together to rebuild a music culture for everyone.

A commitment to inclusivity is part of Ballantine’s DNA – the motto ‘a friend to all humankind’ has been on the crest of every bottle for over 100 years – and we are committed to putting our pledges in to practice to help drive tangible change. We all have a part to play in the journey to creating a truly inclusive music industry and this is just the start.”

A key initiative to further champion underrepresented communities within music, will be the launch of a six-figure fund to support emerging collectives and artists in promoting and progressing equality within their scene. Applications to the True Music Fund will open in October.

Ballantine’s will also be running True Music Studios – a series of 40+ global events in partnership with Boiler Room with diversity and inclusion at its core to inspire lasting change in the industry. Launching in October, True Music Studios will offer inclusive experiences for everyone around the world both in real life and online.

For the past seven years, Ballantine’s has been committed to representing, supporting, and promoting global inclusive music culture, championing local and diverse music communities and cultures around the world, supporting over 500 artists, across 50+ events, in 20+ countries.

To find out more about Ballantine’s True Music check out

K&L Top Value Whisk(e)y Selections: Luxurious Whiskies at Everyday Prices – Whisky News

Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond 100 Proof Rye Whiskey (750ml) $23.99 View

95 points Wine Enthusiast ~ Outer quote mark A versatile must-have for mixing cocktails, look for pleasing vanilla, maple and a hint of dried cherry. The finish is long and drying, with plenty of baking spice notes. (KN) Inner quote mark (7/2016)

Whisky Advocate ~ Outer quote mark Rittenhouse packs lots of corn, offering a different profile than those higher-rye whiskeys from Indiana. Straight from the glass burst caramel, campfire smoke, and vanilla, with hints of dill weed and Herbs de Provence. Ripe in flavor, it shows slight mint from the rye and a complex voyage of herbs with a touch of chocolate here and walnut shell there. There’s a reason bartenders love mixing with this; it’s good neat or on the rocks. (FM, Summer 2016) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes ~ Named North American Whiskey of the Year at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Best Buy of the Year at the 2006 WhiskeyFest. Rye was the first Colonial American whiskey, and was the most popular spirit in the US for more than a century until it fell out of favor. Made in a classic Pennsylvania style at the Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky, this has been aged for at least four years in barrel and bottled at 100 proof. To be called “Bottled in Bond” it also has to be the product of a single distillery, made in a single season in a single year.

Elijah Craig “Small Batch” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $24.99 View

91 points Whisky Advocate ~ Outer quote mark Subtly complex and nicely rounded. A bed of sweetness (caramel, vanilla) peppered with honey-kissed fruit, golden raisin, and a hint of marzipan. Pleasing oak grip and dried spice on the finish. A great value for such a high-quality bourbon. (JH, Spring 2017) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes ~ Coming from the great master distiller Parker Beam, the Elijah Craig bourbon has to be one of the best value bourbons on the market! Great balance of sweetness and spice. Also, at 94 proof, it has just the right amount of kick.

High West “American Prairie” Kentucky-Indiana Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $31.99 View

Whisky AdvocateOuter quote mark Minty and herbal on the nose, with notes of fresh oak, licorice, apricots, brown sugar, dried apples, orange peel, peaches, light coconut, ginger, and dried leaves. The palate is sweet up front, with a complex melding of butterscotch, spicy oak, orange slices, and chocolate fudge. The finish offers lots of spice, black pepper, bitter chocolate, and a pleasant note of almond nuttiness. A well-textured whiskey, with lots of spice and heat. (DF, Spring 2020) Inner quote mark

Wine Enthusiast ~ Outer quote mark Made with a blend of straight Bourbons, this whiskey has a mild vanilla and resin scent. On the palate, flavors run to vanilla, cedar and citrus. Adding water brings out distinct cinnamon and peach notes, before fading into vanilla. (KN) Inner quote mark (7/2015)

K&L Notes ~ High West is dedicated to preserving and promoting the American West. That’s why they’ve created a whiskey dedicated to one of the greatest land preservation projects of our time: the American Prairie Reserve in Montana, a 5,000-square-mile land tract the size of Connecticut, restored to what Lewis and Clark would have seen. High West will donate 10% of after-tax profits from each bottle to the American Prairie Foundation. This blend of straight bourbons from Kentucky and Indiana continues to showcase High West’s exceptional blending abilities. The base whiskey is a 2-year-old MGP/LDI with a 75% corn mash bill. The other whiskeys come from two undisclosed Kentucky distilleries and clock in at 6- and 13-years old, respectively. No filtration and a satisfying 46% abv, the American Prairie is a welcome followup to the wonderful Reserve and one of the best third-party bottlings in the price range.

Auchentoshan “Bartender’s Malt Edition 1” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $32.99 View

Auchentoshan named this whisky the “Bartender’s Malt” because it was designed and blended by a team of twelve different bartenders from all over the world who helped to select the barrels. Here’s the really compelling part: they used single malt whisky from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, and current decade in the blend, from ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, ex-wine, and even German oak barrels! In our opinion, innovative blends like this are what’s going to drive the business moving forward, especially in a market where single barrel pricing is proving to be cost prohibitive and access is getting more and more difficult. For a very affordable price, this is a drinker’s whisky. It is absolutely jam-packed with sweet barley flavor, loads of vanilla, spicy ginger, candied orange peel. A symphony of oak and baking spices drive the finish that lights up your mouth for minutes with distinct and supple flavors of milk chocolate. Bottled at 47% ABV, it’s got punch as well. This was our spirits buyer’s new house single malt when it first arrived, and his highest recommendation here for a sub-$50 malt. Bravo!

Leopold Bros. 5 Year Old Bottled In Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $37.99 View

Leopold makes whisky a bit differently than most modern distillers. They’re using the highest quality grains, malting their own barley, fermenting with house cultivated indigenous yeasts in open wooden washbacks and double distilling in small copper pots. We’ve always loved what they do over there in Colorado!

Smooth Ambler 5 Year Old “Old Scout” K&L Exclusive Barrel #24295 Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $39.99 View

After years of pining for the days of bourbon yore, we’ve finally come full circle to re-release the Ol’ Old Scout in its original form. There’s been tons of confusion on the market due to Smooth Ambler’s recent release of a large parcel of Tennessee bourbon, which was acquired from the famous distillery at Cascade Hollow, but this product is not that. Those whiskies are much loved by certain folks but show a completely different character than the original Old Scout. The brand became famous for bottling excellent bourbon and rye sourced from a fine distillery in Indiana. Those excellent whiskies were once the backbone for our now extinct Faultline Bourbon. Until now they haven’t had enough aged stock to spare single barrels for this program. Now that their stocks are finally coming of age, they’ve re-released these excellent bourbons at a respectable 5 years of age. This is the very same age that the original Old Scout was released way back in 2011. We’re very lucky to have scooped up several barrels before the rest of the market has realized that these are back on the table. We’ll likely continue to see the age statements on these excellent whiskies increase over the years, but even now the stupendous complexity of these bourbons at this lovely, youthful age is extremely satisfying. This High Rye bourbon (36% rye) was barreled in Char #4 on 7/8/15 and bottled 8/31/20 at 114.6 proof. With a loss of 29% it yielded only 192 bottles.

Cotswolds Distillery ~ Our founder Dan Szor talks all things Bourbon Cask – English Whisky News

Following the launch of our new Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky this week, our founder, Dan Szor, shares his thoughts on one of our most exciting whisky releases to date in an exclusive Q&A. From discovering Dan’s favourite Bourbons to understanding the inspiration behind our latest whisky expression and what makes it unique, be sure to read our latest article below.


Q: What is it that makes this Bourbon cask expression unique in comparison to other Bourbon cask-matured whiskies available?

A: I suppose the most unique thing about this expression is the quality of the underlying spirit – which goes into all of our expressions – and the fact that we use only the most premium first-fill ex-Bourbon casks.


Q: Where do you source your Bourbon casks?

A: For the past six years, we have been buying our casks directly in Kentucky. Initially we used first-fill casks which came from a number of Brown Forman distilleries, such as Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniels, Old Forrester and Early Times.

For the past few years, we’ve been buying from Beam Suntory, owner of the well-known Maker’s Mark brand. The casks we buy are their top-of-the-range premium casks which come from distilleries such as Bookers and Basil Hayden’s. They have not been steamed – a process undertaken by many Bourbon distillers to wring out the last few litres of Bourbon from the staves after the barrel has been disgorged – which means there is more Bourbon (and more flavour) remaining in the wood when we receive the casks here in the Cotswolds.


Q: How does the Bourbon cask influence the flavour of this expression?

A: The most recognisable influence of a Bourbon cask on single malt is the wonderful effect of slow ageing in charred American white oak. This type of wood is excellent for the maturation of whisky in that it releases its tannins slowly, without overpowering the spirit with wood flavour, while allowing the wood sugars to come into the spirit giving it the honey, vanilla and crème brûlée flavours characteristic of Bourbon cask maturation. There’s even a bit of toasted coconut, if you look hard enough!


Q: Would you say this is a whisky for whisky purists?

A: This is a whisky for those who love whisky, beer and all things malt. It really shows off our locally-grown, floor-malted Cotswold barley in its best light.


Q: What should people notice when drinking this whisky?

A: When drinking this whisky, think about the grain. If you’ve ever visited our distillery and been lucky enough to time your tour around the first water of our mash, then you’ve had the chance to stick your head inside a mash tun with 500kg of grist being mixed with steaming hot water into an enormous vessel of porridge, in effect. Those malty notes – almost like a warm mug of Horlicks – are reflected in the aromas and taste of our Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky.


Q: How would you recommend people drink this whisky?

A: Though I am a purist and enjoy my whisky neat at room temperature, I would say that this whisky is robust enough to handle bitters (for an Old Fashioned), vermouth (for a delicious Manhattan), or even a splash of soda over ice in a highball. As it is cask strength, it will stand up to ice and still assert itself even through dilution.


Q: Do you plan on releasing any more cask expressions?

A: We will certainly be releasing more cask expressions – things that come to mind are Port and Madeira, as well as a number of other cask types made from both American and European oak; these are, however, likely to be limited releases as the four members of our Cask Collection (Founder’s Choice (STR ex-red wine cask), Sherry Cask, Peated Cask and Bourbon Cask) together represent over 95% of our wood programme.

We may decide to tweak this fill programme slightly – so keep your eyes on the development of our range over the years to come, it’s exciting stuff!

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