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28 Apr 18


Talisker unveils a 40-year-old Sherry finished single malt: one of the oldest and most unique expressions to date

Talisker introduces the Talisker Bodega Series: an exploration of exceptional Sherry Cask finishes on the finest of Single Malt Whiskies, celebrating age-old sherry relationships dating as far back as the 1900s. Adding to the Talisker portfolio, this new and exclusive series of Single Malt releases will offer collectors a taste of historic wineries of the renowned Sherry Triangle, where Talisker once sourced its casks.

In late June, the first exclusive release of the Talisker Bodega Series worldwide will be unveiled; Talisker 40 Year Old. With only 2,000 bottles produced, the 40 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the oldest from Skye’s oldest distiller and is set to be one of Talisker’s most valuable expressions to date.

The liquid has been expertly crafted using some of the most renowned sherry casks. This is to reflect an exploration of an age-old relationship rooted in craft and excellence between Talisker and one of the world’s finest and oldest sherry producers, Delgado Zuleta, from the Marco de Jerez region.

To reinterpret the flavour profile of old, and commemorate these relationships, Talisker’s Master Blender has crafted this precious 40 year old liquid using a selection of the most mature and highly prized Vintage Talisker whisky, aged in refill casks. They then worked with the Sherry Masters at Bodega Delgado Zuleta, who hand picked five very special and unusual old ex-Sherry casks that once held the Bodega’s finest award-winning 40 year old Amontillado sherry.

The result is a deep, crystal gold liquid which signifies an echo of the old Talisker, enhanced by the gentle accent of the Amontillado sherry casks, with rich raisin, peaty aromas and a rare sweet opulence and fruity smokiness. On the nose it’s mild and rich, with a light prickle. This is paired with the depth of the rich Delgado Zuleta Amontillado casks which is present in waves of fruit and sweetness enriching the traditional Talisker pepper and yielding a remarkably vigorous 40 year old that is a pleasure to drink.

This golden spirit lies in a screen-printed bottle, and is housed in a hand-crafted wood casing to evoke the many stages of this whisky’s unique history. The design is inspired by the distinguished arches of the sherry Bodegas and architecture of the sundial of Sanlucar de Barrameda where the Delgado Zuleta casks are housed.

Donald Colville, Global Talisker Ambassador comments “This Talisker 40 Year Old, is an exquisite Single Malt Scotch Whisky which captures the age-old relationships with Delgado Zuleta and the high quality craftsmanship which took place throughout the creation of this rare expression. We are delighted to launch this as the first of the Bodega series and the liquid is something that we are extremely proud of.

It is a magnificent lion-hearted old Talisker, rich with the sophistication of age yet still full of life and retaining the make's familiar maritime and spicy character. With only 2,000 bottles produced this is the ultimate expression of luxury. Connoisseurs and collectors will aspire to have a bottle of Talisker 40 Year Old on their shelves, as it is a stunning example of where the warmth of Spain meets the wild of Skye.”

Talisker has combined traditional craft skills with modern maturation techniques to produce this rare and unique Talisker expression that is the epitome of an age-old relationship. This limited edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be a seamless addition to the finest of Whisky collections around the globe.

Talisker 40 Year Old will be available from selected luxury retailers globally from the end of June 2018 onwards.  In the UK (domestic), RRSP of £2,750 per 70cl bottle.

14 Apr 18

The 2018 Special Releases features eight single malt whiskies, plus a 48-year-old grain whisky.

The Port Ellen and the Brora will be released outside of the Special Release Serie

CARSEBRIDGE 48 year old
ABV 43.2%
Region: Lowlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
No. of bottles: 1,000

ABV 59.1%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill & Rejuvenated American Oak
Hogsheads and Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
Limited quantities worldwide

CAOL ILA 35 year old
ABV 58.1%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill
European Oak Butts
No of bottles: 3,276

INCHGOWER 27 year old
ABV 55.3%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
No of bottles: 8,544

LAGAVULIN 12 year old
ABV 57.8%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Limited quantities available worldwide

OBAN 21 year old
ABV 57.9%
Region: Highlands
Cask: Refill European Oak Butts
Limited availability worldwide

PITTYVAICH 28 year old
ABV 52.1%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
No of bottles: 4,680

ABV 57.6%
Region: Highlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads and ExBodega
European Oak butts followed by a
unique maturation and marrying process
Limited quantities available worldwide

TALISKER 8 year old
ABV 59.4%
Region: Island
Cask: First fill Ex-Bourbon American Oak
Limited availability worldwide

06 Mar 18

MMA 2017- The Results!

Since 1997, the malt maniacs (an international collective of malt whisky enthusiasts) have been enjoying and discussing the pleasures of (single malt) whisky with like-minded whisky lovers from all over the world. Since 2003, we have organised (non stop) our very own annual 'amateur' whisky competition. We like to think that, over the years, our modest little initiative has evolved into one of the leading (and most independent) whisky competitions in the world. You can find more details about our collective and its history on: www.maltmaniacs.net

MMA 2017: The Rules

Our fundamentals are:

  • 100% Amateur
  • 100% Blind


In the Malt Maniacs Awards, medals are won on merit, similar to the system that is used by the boy scouts. The winners in specific categories receive awards instead - hence the name of our competition. There are six award categories in three price brackets. We distinguish between these six awards categories:

  • Non-Plus-Ultra Award (Overall top scoring whisky out of all Malt Maniacs Awards entries that year)
  •  Best Natural Cask Award (Best whisky matured exclusively in 'untreated', regular casks)
  • Best Sherry Cask Award (Best whisky matured exclusively in sherry casks)
  • Best Peated Malt Award (Best whisky distilled from - relatively - peated malted barley)
  • Thumbs Up Award (Most exciting new release in that price category that year)

Every bottle that is entered in our competition can win only one award (as well as only one medal). Apart from the six awards categories listed above, there are three different price brackets –

Daily Drams (the bottles with a retail price of up to 50 Euros), Premium Whiskies (the bottles with a retail price between 50 and 150 Euros) and Ultra Premium Whiskies (the bottles with a retail price of more than 150 Euros).So there are 18 'standard' awards that are assigned each year - provided we can find a suitable candidate.
If we feel that a certain whisky, bottler or distillery deserves special recognition in a particular year, we sometimes add one or more 'special' awards.

And finally, the moment you are waiting for......!!!!

AWARDS –Supreme Winner

Kavalan 2009/2017 'Solist' (58.60%, OB, C#S090306031, Sherry Cask, 481 Bts.)

AWARDS - Ultra Premium Category

> Non-Plus-Ultra Award (Ultra Premium)
Glen Grant 1965 (43.6% Gordon & MacPhail for LMDW, First Fill Sherry Cask, 19 Bts)

> Best Natural Cask Award (Ultra Premium)
22yo 1993/2015 (52.70%, Chieftain's Choice, C#3612, First Fill Sherry Butt, 579 Bts.)…………………

> Best Sherry Cask Award (Ultra Premium).

Yamazaki 25yo (43%, OB, Sherry)
> Best Peated Malt Award (Ultra Premium)
Islay Distillery 25yo (48.7%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

> Thumbs Up Award (Ultra Premium)
Glenfarclas 10yo 2005/2015 (60.9%, OB, C#2424, Sherry Cask, 634 Bts.)

AWARDS - Premium Category

> Non-Plus-Ultra Award (Premium)
Kavalan 'Solist' 2008 (58.6%, OB, C#S081217041, Sherry Cask, 476 Bts.)
> Best Natural Cask Award (Premium)
Edradour 11yo 2005/2016 (59.1%, OB for Drunken Master Bar, C#90, Sherry cask)
> Best Sherry Cask Award (Premium)
Kavalan 2009/2017 'Solist' (58.60%, OB, C#S090306024, Sherry Cask, 461 Bts.)
> Best Peated Malt Award (Premium)
Ledaig 12yo 2005/2017 (61.1%, Cadenhead's for HNWS Taiwan 12th Anniversary)
> Thumbs Up Award (Premium)
Amrut 2011/2016 (56.50%, OB for Hot Malt, C#4122, PX Sherry Cask, 624 Bts.)

AWARDS - Daily Drams Category

> Non-Plus-Ultra Award (Daily Drams)
Elements of Islay 'Peat Full Proof' (59.3%, The Whisky Exchange, NAS)
> Best Natural Cask Award (Daily Drams)
Wemyss 'Treacle Chest' (46%, Wemyss Family Collection, First Fill Sherry Hogshead, 6300 Bts.)
> Best Sherry Cask Award (Daily Drams)
Glenfarclas 105  (60%, OB, Sherry Cask)
> Best Peated Malt Award (Daily Drams)
Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB)
> Thumbs Up Award (Daily Drams)
Laphroaig 10yo (40%, OB)

Gold Medals (GM)

Gold Medals as you all would agree are the cream of the crop! As mentioned earlier it is not easy to get a GM in MMA and the average GM winners per competition for last 14 years has been only eight!! The maximum of 15 were in the year 2006 with minimum being 3 in the inaugural year, 2003.
So this year we are not far away from our average number, which are:

1.Kavalan 2009/2017 'Solist' (58.60%, OB, C#S090306031, Sherry Cask, 481 Bts.)
2.Kavalan 'Solist' 2008 (58.6%, OB, C#S081217041, Sherry Cask, 476 Bts.)
3.Edradour 11yo 2005/2016 (59.1%, OB for Drunken Master Bar, C#90, Sherry cask)
4.Glen Grant 1965 (43.6% Gordon &MacPhail for LMDW, First Fill Sherry Cask, 19 Bts)
5.Yamazaki 25yo (43%, OB, Sherry)
6.Kavalan 2009/2017 'Solist' (58.60%, OB, C#S090306024, Sherry Cask, 461 Bts.)
7.Ledaig 12yo 2005/2017 (61.1%, Cadenhead's for HNWS Taiwan 12th Anniversary)
8.Kavalan 2009/2016 'Solist' (57.10%, OB, C#S090306012, Sherry Cask, 498 Bts.)
9. Undisclosed 22yo 1993/2015 (52.70%, Chieftain's Choice, C#3612, First Fill Sherry Butt, 579 Bts.)
10. Amrut 2011/2016 (56.50%, OB for Hot Malt, C#4122, PX Sherry Cask, 624 Bts.)
11. Edradour 11yo 2004/2016 (57.6%, OB, C#426, 674 Bts.)
12. Glenlivet 2007 (66.6%, Signatory Vintage for Whisky Live 2017, C#900188, 343 Bts.)
13. Kavalan 2010/2017 'Solist' (59.40%, OB for LMDW C#0100505013A, Port Cask, 196 Bts.)

Final words

The MMA cannot take place without the participating companies submitting their bottles to us. So, a big thank you to them!

The MMA2017 has been a very good year and as the next MMA will be the 15th anniversary of the awards, so malt lovers, expect something special in MMA2018!!

06 Mar 18

Milk & Honey Distillery – Israel’s first whisky distillery

is launching a second edition of its single malt whisky Experimental Series

After making history on International Whisky Day 2017 with the first single malt whisky in Israel, the Milk & Honey Distillery will launch a second edition of single malt whisky at "Whisky Live 2018 "

After making history in 2017 with the first  ever single malt whisky in Israel, sold at a particularly successful international public auction, Milk & Honey Distillery is launching an exclusive second edition of lightly peated  single charred barrel.

Similar to the first single malt whisky, this cask is also part of the Experimental Series, distilled in the early stages of setting up the distillery – before establishing the distillery in south Tel Aviv and acquiring the current industrial equipment, and before crowd-funding through Indiegogo. This cask was distilled during April 2014.

Distillation of the cask was carried out in a small pot still in a warehouse in the Sharon region by head  distiller Tomer Goren, accompanied by the late Dr. Jim Swan, an international master distiller, in his role as consultant to the distillery at the time. This was a period of experimentation for Dr. Swan and Tomer Goren, using various interesting raw materials, and in this special cask they first experimented with peated malt, which was crafted in house and gave the  distillate light smoky notes.

The liquid was aged and matured over 43 months in two types of barrel – first in a new 225 liter American oak cask, and then, after 28 months, it was transferred to an ex-bourbon cask for the remainder of the period in the distillation warehouse in Tel Aviv, and bottled at the optimal time.

This series is a harbinger of what is to come: a unique Israeli whisky, mature for its age thanks to aging in Israel’s hot climate.


The Milk & Honey Distillery products, including the single malt, are distributed and marketed exclusively by Hacarem Spirits Ltd., and sold at hundreds of points of sale across Israel. The second edition of single malt whisky can be tasted and purchased for the first time at " Whisky Live 2018" event. Afterwards the new single malt will be available at specialized stores around the country.


Tasting impressions

Nose – a delicate maltiness with a hint of lemon in the background, combined with light oak notes and cinnamon, all enveloped in light  peat smoke  appearing in the background.

palate – light-bodied with a malty sweetness, lemon and orange peel notes followed  by a light tang of black pepper and delicate peat smoke. These combine to make a whisky that is both balanced and complex.

Finish – long. Delicate peat dominates the finish, with a hint of maltiness in the background and dark chocolate notes.

General – a balanced and complex whisky. The combination of delicate maltiness and light  peat that creates an interesting whisky that develops as you drink.

Price: Edition 2 Single Malt Whisky 500 ml NIS 449


About the distillery

The Milk & Honey Distillery is the first and largest whisky distillery in Israel. The distillery produces superior spirits, and is working on an Israeli single malt whisky to be marketed commercially, whose first edition, the Founders Edition, sold out in a successful crowd-funding campaign, is aging in barrels and will see the light in 2019. All the raw materials, equipment, barrels, and processes have been chosen with the aim of ensuring that the final product – whether clear spirit or aged whisky – meets the most stringent standards of quality and taste, without making compromises or cutting corners on the long journey to produce the whisky: guidance and advice from the late Jim Swan, a world-renowned master distiller specializing in hot climate aging; specially designed equipment; carefully selected barrels; and the best raw materials available.

The Milk & Honey Distillery

16 HaTehiya St., Tel Aviv – 03-6320491



10 Oct 17 Scotch whisky producer Ian Macleod Distillers is set to restart production at Lowland distillery Rosebank in Falkirk.

nown for its Lowland single malts, the distillery closed in 1993, when previous owner Diageo mothballed the building.

Ian Macleod Distillers, maker of the Glengoyne, Tamdhu and Smokehead Scotch brands, has entered into a binding agreement with Scottish Canals to purchase the site. The company has also acquired the Rosebank trademark, along with the distillery’s existing casks, from Diageo.

The distiller said its plans include a visitor centre to help tell the story of the Lowland single malt.

“Rosebank is one of the most respected and sought after single malts in the world,” said Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod.

“To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The history of the Rosebank Distillery dates back to 1840, when James Rankine acquired the maltings of the Camelon Distillery, located on the opposite side of the Forth & Cyde canal to the main distillery.

Russell added: “The distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage and we are committed to ensuring this is the case. We will produce Rosebank Lowland single malt in exactly the same way as it is known, using the famous triple distillation and worm tub condensers. This way we ensure the revival of its classic style and taste.

“Over the coming months we will carefully review Rosebank’s rare stocks with a view to releasing some truly scarce and extraordinary whiskies.”

“We have no doubt that demand for these releases will be exceptionally high.”

The revival follows Diageo’s £35 million (US$46m) investment to revive two cult distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora, also announced this week. Source: https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/

10 Oct 17

Iconic “lost” distilleries revived in major scotch investment

PORT Ellen and Brora, two of the most revered “lost” distilleries in the global spirits industry, are to be brought back to life in a powerful statement of confidence in the future of Scotch whisky.

The distilleries, which have been silent since they were closed in 1983, will be brought back into production through a £35 million investment by Diageo, the world’s leading Scotch whisky company.

 In the 34 years since Brora and Port Ellen were closed, the whiskies they produced have become some of the most highly prized and sought after liquids in Scotch whisky, renowned for exceptional quality and character; elevating the ghost distilleries to cult status amongst whisky enthusiasts and collectors.

 For many years whisky fans around the world have called on Diageo to reopen these closed distilleries. The decision is partly a response to those demands from existing enthusiasts but it also reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market and the opportunity to create new generations of whisky consumers.

 Port Ellen Distillery on the famous whisky island of Islay, and Brora on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, will both be reinstated to distil in carefully controlled quantities, with a meticulous attention to detail, replicating where possible the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries. Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be included on the sites of both distilleries.

 The distilleries will also have dedicated Brand Homes to welcome guests and they are expected to become iconic attractions in the Scottish tourism landscape, attracting whisky pilgrims from around the globe.

 Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach, who played an instrumental role in building the reputation of Port Ellen and Brora whiskies through the Diageo Special Releases programme, which has been running since 2001, announced the plans on behalf of the company.

 He said: “This is a truly exceptional moment in Scotch whisky. Port Ellen and Brora are names which have a uniquely powerful resonance with whisky-lovers around the world and the opportunity to bring these lost distilleries back to life is as rare and special as the spirit for which the distilleries are famous.

 “Only a very few people will ever be able to try the original Port Ellen and Brora single malts as they become increasingly rare, so we are thrilled that we will now be able to produce new expressions of these whiskies for new generations of people to enjoy.

 “Scotch whisky is Scotland’s gift to the world and the rebirth of these distilleries is a great gift to malt whisky lovers everywhere.”

 David Cutter, Diageo President of Global Supply & Procurement, who is responsible for leading the capital investment programme to reinstate the distilleries, said: “This is no ordinary Scotch whisky distillery investment. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring these iconic distilleries back to life.

 “We will take great care to be true to the spirit of the original distilleries in everything we do and to operate them with all the knowledge, skill, craft and love of Scotch that our people and our company has gathered through centuries of whisky-making.”

 Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo’s global Scotch Category Director, said: “Brora and Port Ellen are rightly revered around the world for their rarity and exceptional quality. Everything we do with these distilleries and brands will remain true to these values.

“It is thrilling that, as the spirit from the original distilleries becomes vanishingly rare, our distillers at Brora and Port Ellen will be carefully crafting new whiskies to delight and inspire new generations of Scotch lovers around the world.”

The new Brora and Port Ellen distilleries will be among Diageo’s smallest distilleries, capable of producing 800,000 litres of alcohol per year. They will replicate as closely as possible the previous taste profiles of Port Ellen and Brora, with medium peated character at both sites.

 Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, it is expected the distilleries will be in production by 2020. Source: Diageo.com

16 Sep 17

Impeccably crafted flavours of Scotland: Diageo introduces the 2017 Special Releases Collection

Ten impeccable limited edition Scotch Whiskies will be released in limited quantities this autumn, as part of Diageo’s annual Special Releases collection. Highly anticipated by enthusiasts and collectors worldwide, the limited edition natural cask strength bottlings are rigorously selected each year, to form a rare and sought after collection.

For the first time ever, a limited edition Blended Malt Scotch Whisky containing whiskies from all twenty-eight active Diageo distilleries has been released. The COLLECTIVUM XXVIII is the tenth bottle to make up the Special Releases collection and the fourth NAS Malt Whisky in this series to date. Clear amber in appearance, the liquid is described as ‘enjoying real depth’ with a palate ‘all the way from dry and nutty to rich and chocolatey, with zestiness and sweetness.’

Meticulously crafted and beautifully packaged, the collection comprises some of the rarest and oldest liquids from both classic and unknown, closed distilleries. Each whisky within the range offers complex flavours of the highest quality, delivering truly memorable taste experiences for those lucky enough to drink them.

The 2017 Special Releases collection offers an extra special and rare gift alternative for this Christmas, with the whiskies in the range retailing from £90 for the LAGAVULIN 12 year old, to £2,625 for the PORT ELLEN 37 year old.

Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach said: “The Special Releases range is always a highlight in our calendar year, it reflects the truly extraordinary range of stocks our blenders have available to them. The variety and quality of whiskies in the collection is simply impeccable. We’re looking forward to sharing this year’s collection with the world and in particular keen to see the response to the new COLLECTIVUM XXVIII.”

The PORT DUNDAS 52 year old is the oldest whisky ever released in the series, as well as the oldest bottle to ever be released by the Port Dundas distillery. The second release from the original distiller’s stocks, this is the fourth time a Single Grain Scotch Whisky has been included in an annual release. The liquid is described as ‘an excellent example of a very old grain... astonishingly rich and complex’. The GLEN ELGIN 18 year old has also made a welcome return to the range this year, a third release in this series, crafted from ex- Bodega European oak butts.

Each whisky in the 2017 Special Releases range is a limited edition, rare bottling, with four originating from closed distilleries. These whiskies have been crafted to deliver memorable taste experiences unlike any other, to be cherished and enjoyed responsibly.


Autumn 2017, from specialist retailers in Northern Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and selected Asian markets.

List of 2017 Special Releases

BLAIR ATHOL 24 year old

Distilled 1993 ABV 58.4%
Region: Highlands
Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts Max. 5,514 available worldwide

BRORA 34 year old

Distilled: 1982 ABV 51.9%
Region: Coastal Highlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads Max. 3,000 available worldwide

CAOL ILA 18 year old

ABV 59.8%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads Limited quantities available worldwide

LAGAVULIN 12 year old

ABV 56.5%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads Limited quantities available worldwide

PORT DUNDAS 52 year old

Distilled: 1964 ABV 44.6%
Region: Lowlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads Max. 752 available worldwide

About the Special Releases

PORT ELLEN 37 year old

Distilled: 1979 ABV 51%
Region: Islay
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Butts
Max. 2,988 available worldwide

TEANINICH 17 year old

Distilled: 1999 ABV: 55.9%
Region: Coastal Highlands
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Barrels
Limited quantities available worldwide



Distilled: NAS ABV: 57.3%
Region: Speyside, Islay, Island, Lowland, Highland Cask: Blend of Refill American Oak Hogsheads, Refill European Oak Butts, Ex-Bodega European Oak and First Fill Bourbon Casks
Limited quantities available worldwide

CONVALMORE 32 year old

Distilled: 1984 ABV 48.2%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads Max. 3,972 available worldwide

GLEN ELGIN 18 year old

Distilled: 1998 ABV 54.8%
Region: Speyside
Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts Max. 5,352 available worldwide

16 Aug 17

www.TheatreofDrams.scot Introducing a new Whisky Festival in Islay. 23-27 October 2017, Bowmore Hall, Islay. THEATRE OF DRAMS Whisky Symposium - Five days whisky making knowledge imparted by distillers, barley experts, chemists, coppersmiths, coopers, brand ambassadors and more. Sharing the science of the past, safeguarding the Scotch of the future. Theoretical lectures each morning follow the linear process of whisky making - Malting, Mashing, Distillation, Maturation, Libation/Marketing/Nosing & Tasting. Afternoons offer Peat Cutting, Gaelic (& English) Distillery Tours, Whisky Tastings, Ceilidh Corner, Independent Bottlers, Independent Distillers and much more. If time is short visit Islay for a day or two to attend, cherry pick events of value to you. Buy individual tickets from Eventbrite under the Theatre of Drams Organiser. New events uploaded daily.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/wwwtheatreofdramsscot-whisky-symposium-13151949682 Logan Air flights from Glasgow to Islay every morning and evening Impress your friends, your colleagues and most importantly yourself! with your new whisky and distilling knowledge. If you can stay all week, sign up for  the 5 Days Islay Whisky School package.  Your hosted week includes lectures, accommodation, special educational distillery visits, dinners and other events. Proudly be presented with your Islay Whisky School Certificate at Grand Finale Whisky Dinner. email rachel@wildandmagicislay.com for details.  Theatre of Drams Whisky Symposium/Festival offers educational and fun benefits for beginners, experts and enthusiasts alike. Participate in a barley seminar with Islay farmers and Dr Steve Hoad of the Scottish Rural Colleges Agronomy Institute. Learn secrets of Copper and stills from Speyside Copperworks. Explore the mysteries of peat, peated whisky and phenols, with Rachel MacNeill. Enjoy an educational Masterclass led by Whisky Maestro Jim McEwan, formerly Bruichladdich, now building new Islay Distillery, Ardnahoe, with Hunter Laing.  Learn why there is no such thing as an illicit still. Share a dram with distillery managers, excise men and Islay locals whilst listening to stories of old.

Theatre of Drams is an expansion and development of the hugely successful Whisky Course Islay hosted by Whisky for Girls (& Guys!)  and participating Islay distilleries in 2015 and 2016. Theatre of Drams teaches YOU the reality of Scotch whisky making. #ScotchTalk An Educational Celebration of Whisky Contact Rachel MacNeill. T: 0747 8109099 / 01496 810 940 email rachel@wildandmagicislay.com www.TheatreofDrams.scot

www.WhiskyforGirls.com (& Guys!)
Calum MacGregor
Tour Manager
www.WildandMagicIslay.com Whisky Tours & Events

Rachel MacNeill
Islay Whisky School
www.TheatreofDrams.scot Whisky Symposium 23-27 Oct 2017
www.whiskyforgirls.com (& Guys!)
29 May 17

The Milk & Honey Distillery - Israel's first whisky distillery
is proud to launch:

Israel's first single malt whisky!

The wait for the first single malt whisky in Israel is over. Gearing up for World Whisky Day, that was marked on May 20, Milk & Honey bottled the first cask in its experimental series, an integral component of the formulation of the final product, now in production at the distillery. On May 20 - World Whisky Day, the first Israeli whisky was launched, and the initial sales of the distillery's first 391 bottles of single malt whisky will go on sale later in June.

Milk & Honey - Israel's first whisky distillery is chalking up another achievement, with the announcement of the hotly anticipated sale of Israel’s first single malt whisky. On World Whisky Day, which marked on May 20 2017, the whisky will be launched and towards mid-June a sales event with 391 bottles from the first cask of the distillery's "Experimental Series" will be held at Milk & Honey Distillery and at selected stores throughout the country.

Israel's first single malt whisky by The Milk & Honey Distillery is the first whisky to be produced and bottled in Israel after being aged in cask for minimum three years. It therefore complies with the definition of whisky in Scotland and most countries around the globe. It is the harbinger of what is yet to come - special Israeli whisky that is well mature, thanks to the warm Israeli climate.


The distillation of  this historical whisky began at the distillery's early stages - even before it was established at its current location in south Tel Aviv, before the current industrial equipment was purchased, and before the successful crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. The barrel was distilled in January 2014 in a warehouse in the Northern Sharon region  , by Head Distiller Tomer Goren, together with internationally renowned master distiller, the late Dr. Jim Swan, as part of his role as consultant to the distillery at the time.

The liquid was aged for 31 months in a 225-liter virgin American oak cask and then for another seven months in an ex-bourbon cask matured at the distillery's cask room in Tel Aviv.

The first bottles of Israeli single malt whisky will go on sale to the public in June, distributed by Hacarem at select stores nationwide.
Sales of the first bottles in the special edition (numbers 1-100) will begin on July 7, 2017 for 10 days through a special international online auction.

About the distillery

The Milk & Honey Distillery is Israel's first whisky distillery. It produces high-quality distillates and is working on Israeli single malt whisky that will be sold commercially. The first edition, the founders' edition, was sold entirely through a successful crowd funding campaign and is currently aging in barrels. It will be launched in 2019. All of the raw materials, equipment, barrels and processes were selected to ensure that the final product - white distillates or aged whisky - meets the strictest and most uncompromising standards of quality and flavor, without any shortcuts on the lengthy journey until the whisky is rolled out: training and consulting by the late Jim Swan - world-renowned master distiller, who specialized in maturation in warm climates; equipment that was custom designed and ordered; fastidiously selected barrels, and selection of the finest raw materials available.

The Milk & Honey Distillery

16  HaThiya St., Tel Aviv, +972 (0) 363 20491


25 Apr 17 Diageo Special Releases 2017: The first 9 bottles already annouced to avoid any speculations:

BLAIR ATHOL™ 23 year old

Distilled 1993 ABV 58.4%

Region: Highlands

Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts

No of bottles: 5,514



BRORA™ 34 year old

Distilled: 1982 ABV 51.9%

Region: Coastal Highlands 

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

No of bottles: 3,000



CAOL ILA™ 18 year old

ABV 59.8%

Region: Islay

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

Limited quantities available worldwide 



CONVALMORE™ 32 year old

Distilled: 1984 ABV 48.2%

Region: Speyside

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

No of bottles: 3,972



GLEN ELGIN™ 18 year old

Distilled: 1998 ABV 54.8%

Region: Speyside

Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts

No of bottles: 5,352

LAGAVULIN™ 12 year old

ABV 56.5%

Region: Islay

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

Limited quantities available worldwide 



PORT DUNDAS™ 52 year old

Distilled: 1964 ABV 44.6% 

Region: Lowlands

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads

No of bottles: 752


PORT ELLEN™ 37 year old

Distilled: 1979 ABV 51%

Region: Islay

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Butts

No of bottles: 2,988



TEANINICH™ 17 year old

Distilled: 1999 ABV: 55.9%

Region: Coastal Highlands 

Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Barrels

Limited quantities available worldwide 

21 Feb 17 “I think we’ve started a movement” – these words, said during the first World Whisky Forum arranged last week, resonated with us. Welcome – please indulge yourself and enjoy some interesting speeches and discussions from the event.
Super brief summary
The World Whisky Forum attracted a diverse group of whisky makers from around the world to talk about how to promote creative development and evolve whisky making in the future.
It was not an ordinary line-up of whisky countries. Among the 50 attendees no less then thirteen countries were represented - Austria, England, Ireland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.
The host for this event was Box Distillery, situated far up north in Sweden where the winter lasts for five months and the 63rd parallel goes straight through the warehouse.
Some pointes that was discussed:
- Ban the expression Craft from the industry.
- Legislation is needed. ‘It’s in our interest to ensure that the regulations help not just the big brands, but the smaller distillers,’
- “A new wine cask finish is not innovation”

See all the presentations and interviews
on our website!

You can also see interviews, full speeches and the panel discussions that took place on our website worldwhiskyforum.org.  
08 Feb 17

Douglas Laing Reveals Old Particular “Consortium of Cards” Collection
Douglas Laing & Co, the leading independent Scotch Whisky specialist, today unveils its Old Particular “Consortium of Cards” Single Cask Scotch Whisky Collection. This, the first limited edition series within Old Particular, is themed around a deck of playing cards. Four releases are planned for 2017, and the series launches with the “Queen of the Hebrides”, an Old Particular Laphroaig 18 Years Old. 
Fred Laing, the firm’s Managing Director and second generation in the Douglas Laing family business, denotes “Richly peated barley on the nose with a tarry, ashy palate and a finish full of chimney soot” in reference to this Old Particular Queen of the Hebrides bottling. Charged from a single refill butt and bottled at 50% alcohol strength, just 665 bottles are available, with each one displaying a specially commissioned “Queen of the Hebrides” illustration.
The Queen of the Hebrides is one of a “full house” of single cask releases from Douglas Laing’s Old Particular this quarter, comprised of 15 single cask malts and 5 single cask grains. The quintet of single grain bottlings includes a Cameronbridge 25 Years Old, in which Cara Laing detects “bread and butter pudding, exotic spices and juicy red apples”. The single malt contingent delivers aged and rare bottlings from Speyside, the Highlands and Islay. Among them, an Old Particular Glen Grant 21 Years Old that promises “cinnamon apple pie, vanilla cream and spicy oak”, and a Bruichladdich 11 Years Old charged from a Sherry Hogshead that boasts a “big PX Sherry hit”, according to Fred Laing.
Old Particular, an award-winning series of individually hand-selected aged Single Casks from all over Scotland, originally launched in 2013, and the family Scotch Whisky firm now sells the brand in over 50 markets globally. Each is bottled according to the founders’ philosophy of topmost quality: Old Particular is always proudly presented without colouring and without chill filtration – allowing the cask and the naturally present oils and enzymes in the spirit to make their own special contribution to its nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish.
Old Particular bottlings, including the “Queen of the Hebrides” special edition, are available from specialist Scotch Whisky retailers globally.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/douglaslaingwhisky
Twitter: @dlaingwhisky

10 Nov 16

Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017

Ein Wegweiser zu den besten Adressen des Landes

Wer sich auf eine Reise begibt, gerät oft auf neue Wege. Und im Besonderen erlaubt dies die vielfältige Whisky-Szene der Schweiz, führt sie doch – ob mit dem Whiskyschiff über die idyllischsten Seen oder mit dem historischen Whiskyzug durch die romantischsten Gefilde – zu den Hotspots in Sachen Whisky durch die gesamte Eidgenossenschaft: vom frankophilen und internationalen Genf in das Dreiländereck nach Basel, hinüber in das metropolitane Zürich, über den Kurort St. Moritz in die Zentralschweiz nach Luzern bis nach Lugano und Brissago Richtung Dolce Vita. Zu entdecken ist der höchst gebrannte oder gelagerte Whisky und der höchste Whisky Trail der Welt wie die Tiefen und Schätze der Schweizer Felsenkeller und die südlichsten und westlichsten Zipfel des mehrsprachigen Landes; ausladende Bars wie die verb&uum l;rgt kleinste oder grösste Whiskybar der Welt; oder die Boutiquen und Kathedralen der Fachhändler, die den Whisky erst in die Schweiz bringen.

Einführend bekommen Sie dafür Beiträge rund um das Thema Lebenswasser von anerkannten Whiskyschreibern und -Enthusiasten zur Seite gestellt. Die Themen reichen von einer persönlichen Einschätzung zur Entwicklung der Schweizer Whiskyszene zu einem „Erste Hilfe Kurs“ darüber, wie man über Whisky reden und ihn bewerten kann; auf welchen Pfaden man Whisky in den deutschsprachigen Ländern Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz erkunden und zu geniessen vermag; über das ausgewiesene Grundlagen-Know-how zur Herstellung des gereiften „uisge beatha“ hin zu den wichtigsten internationalen Neuheiten des Jahres.

Im Zentrum des Buches sind indes die Protagonisten der Szene selbst porträtiert – darunter ausgewählte Highlights internationaler Whiskybrennereien, die in der Schweiz durch engagierte Importeure vertreten sind – ist das Wassser des Lebens doch mehr denn je als ein globales Phänomen zu verstehen; die lokalen Pioniere und Produzenten der heimischen Whiskys, die besten Whisky Bars und Shops des Landes und schliesslich die Clubs, Portale, Blogs und Foren für den gemeinsamen Austausch rund um das Lebenswasser. Zum Abschluss bietet ein Whiskykalender eine Übersicht wichtiger Messe- und Eventtermine über das Jahr hinweg.

Kurzum: Der Whisky Guide bietet ein Panorama der heimischen Whisk(e)y-Szene in ihrer ganzen und überraschenden Größe und Vielfalt. Als handliches Nachschlagewerk für die wachsende Whisk(e)y-Gemeinde des Landes ist er so ein unverzichtbarer Reisebegleiter für genussvolle Entdeckungsreisen zum ganz eigenen „aqua vitae“.


Patrick Tilke

Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017. Ein Wegweiser zu den besten Adressen des Landes.

Tägerwilen (CH) 2016.

334 Seiten

Preis: CHF 19.00

ISBN: 978-3-9523360-1-4

10 Nov 16


Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016: Das sind die Sieger

Feierliche Verleihung in Zürich

Ehre für rührige Whisky-Menschen: Im stilvollen Ambiente des Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity wurden zum Abend des 04. November 2016 in Zürich die „Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards“ verliehen. Mit dieser Auszeichnung würdigt der Herausgeber der „Whisky Time – Das Magazin für Geniesser“, die Medienbotschaft Verlag & Events GmbH mit Sitz in Tägerwilen (Schweiz), herausragende Leistungen in den Kategorien „Whisky Bar“, „Whisky Shop“, „Whisky National“ und „Whisky International“. Zudem wird der Ehrenpreis „Whisky Motion“ vergeben.

Zahlreiche Gäste aus der Schweizer Whisky-Branche waren bei der Verleihung dabei und konnten so auch die Präsentation des neuen „Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017“ verfolgen. Das jährlich neu aufgelegte Buch ist Pflicht-Ratgeber und Reisebegleiter für alle Liebhaber des „Wasser des Lebens“ in der Schweiz. Inhalte des Buchs und die verliehenen Preise sind dabei eng miteinander verwoben. Jährlich werden dabei herausragende Whiskybars und -fachhändler in den Kategorien „Whisky Bar“ und „Whisky Shop“ ausgezeichnet. In der Kategorie „Whisky National“ werden hingegen herausragende Whiskys von Schweizer Whiskyproduzenten gekürt. Diese werden im Rahmen einer groß angelegten Blindverkostung ermittelt. Der Preis in der Kategorie „Whisky International“ würdigt indes die besten Produktneuheiten und interessantesten Entwicklungen auf dem Schweizer Whisky-Markt. In ihnen spiegelt sich das gute Gespür der Vertriebe und Brennereien für die große Liebhaberei, die das flüssige Gold in der Schweiz erfährt. Der Preis in der Kategorie „Whisky Motion“ würdigt zuletzt das individuelle und ausdauernde Engagement einer Person rund um den Whisky.

Die Gewinner der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016

Switzerland´s Best Whisky Bar 2016:

  1. Platz: Devil´s Place – Quaglinos, Zürich ZH / Christian Kramer jr.
  2. Platz: Bar du Nord, Carouge GE / Stanislas Pellaz
  3. Platz: Restaurant Frohsinn „Huttli“, Burg AG / Thomas Hermann / Martin Hermann

Switzerland´s Best Whisky Shop 2016:

  1. Platz: Paul Ullrich AG, Basel BS / Urs Ullrich / Jacqueline Ullrich
  2. Platz: Finest Import, Murgenthal AG / Gilbert Strasek
  3. Platz: Anne McKenzie's – Whisky-Boutique & Onlineshop, Einsiedeln SZ / Jutta Caduff

Switzerland´s Best Whisky National 2016:

  1. Platz: Single Lakeland Malt Whisky (2009) / Spezialitätenbrennerei Zürcher, Port BE
  2. Platz: Bündner Single Malt Whisky / Weinbau und Brennerei zur Krone Malans, Malans GR
  3. Platz: Herr Lüthy Pure Swiss n°10.5 (2011) / Brennerei Lüthy, Muhen AG

Switzerland´s Best Whisky International 2016: 

  • Wild Turkey / Wild Turkey Tasting Tour 2016 / Campari Schweiz AG, Baar ZG

Switzerland´s Best Whisky Motion 2016: 

  • Peter Haecky, Haecky Gruppe / Haecky Import AG, Reinach BL




BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Whisky Bar“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017), Petr Estvan, Christian Kramer jr. (Devil´s Place – Quaglinos), Claudio Bernasconi (Devil´s Place – Hotel Waldhaus am See).

BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Whisky Shop“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017), Urs Ullrich (Paul Ullrich AG), Christian Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).

BU: Die Gewinner der Kategorie „Whisky National“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017), Ursula Zürcher, Daniel Zürcher (Spezialitätenbrennerei Zürcher).

BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Whisky International“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2016 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2017), Robert Lippuner (Campari Schweiz AG), Christian Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).

BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Whisky Motion“ der Switzerland's Best Whisky Awards 2016 (v.l.): Peter Haecky (Haecky Import AG), Christian Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).

06 Oct 16

A ‘Dram Fine Wedding’ for Pulteney Pair

Old Pulteney has added the perfect ‘blend’ to its award-winning range of single malts – after a love match between two Pulteney staff led to a very special wedding at the Distillery in Wick.
Pulteney Distillery Visitor Centre Manager Tanya Fraser and Assistant Distillery Manager Russell Angus first locked eyes over a barrel of single malt back in 2003, so when the couple tied the knot in late summer this year, there was only one place they wanted to be.
Since Old Pulteney is such a big part of their lives, and to reflect their love of the ‘Maritime Malt’, Tanya and Russell chose to hold their big day at the Distillery in Wick amongst their closest colleagues and friends.
In keeping with their positions at the Distillery, which is one of the most northerly on the Scottish mainland, the full day had a distinctively ‘Old Pulteney’ flavour. Their romantic wedding ceremony took place in the Distillery courtyard, with photographs taken against a backdrop of casks in the warehouse.
At the reception, guests were treated to a delicious wedding cake in the shape of Pulteney’s distinctive ‘smuggler’s kettle’ stills – complete with a miniature model of the bride and groom on top. There were even table decorations held in empty Old Pulteney bottles….with the whisky inside served up as drams a plenty for guests at the end of the meal.
Bride Tanya, who has worked at the Distillery for 16 years years commented: ‘We wanted our wedding day to truly reflect us as a couple, and to represent our lives together. It’s working at Pulteney Distillery that brought Russell and I together, so it seemed very natural to us that we should make it such a big part of our wedding day.’
Old Pulteney Senior Brand Manager Margaret Mary Clarke said that she and the Old Pulteney team were honoured to have hosted such a special day for the couple. She added: ‘What a wonderful and memorable occasion for everyone at Pulteney Distillery. Tanya and Russell now have their place in Pulteney history after staging such a unique wedding and a day that we’re sure guests will be talking about for a long time to come. Cheers to them and our very best wishes for the future.’

www.oldpulteney.com / @OldPulteneyMalt

22 Sep 16

Impeccably crafted flavours of Scotland: Diageo introduces the
2016 Special Releases Collection
Ten sublime Scotch Whiskies will be released this autumn, in strictly limited quantities, as part of Diageo’s ongoing Special Releases programme. The limited edition, natural cask strength series is highly anticipated around the world by enthusiasts and collectors alike. All of the bottlings have been meticulously considered and selected from rare stock to curate this unique selection.
Delivering memorable taste experiences and exquisitely packaged, the Special Releases are a truly impeccable line-up of Malts and each and every whisky in the range demonstrates complex flavours of the highest quality.

The Special Releases offer an exceptionally generous and rare gift option this Christmas. The whiskies in the range retail from £80 for the LAGAVULIN™ 12 year old, to £2,500 for the PORT ELLEN™ 37 year old.  
Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach said: “The unveiling of the Special Releases range is a moment I look forward to year after year. The variety and quality of whiskies in the collection is simply fantastic, and once again we’re confident enthusiasts will discover new favourites in unusual and rare releases such as the MANNOCHMORE™ 25 year old, aged in rejuvenated casks and a smooth textured, complex whisky.”
The CAMBUS™ 40 year old is the oldest release in the 2016 range and only the third ever single grain release from the series. Vanishingly rare as a single grain, the liquid is described as ‘deceptively complex and fresh for its age’. The Cambus Distillery closed in 1993. The CRAGGANMORE™ is a special vatting, crafted from three cask types chosen for flavour alone and detailed as ‘beautifully structured and contemplative.’
The 2016 Special Releases collection includes the 16th appearance of Port Ellen in the series, and will be the oldest Port Ellen ever released, with just under 3,000 bottles available worldwide. Two other releases this year, the BRORA™ 38 year old and GLENKINCHIE™ 24 year old are also the oldest bottles ever released in Special Releases from these distilleries.
The annual Lagavulin 12 year old, this year, is as a commemorative edition for the 200th Anniversary of the distillery in 2016. Three of the whiskies in the range are from closed distilleries and all are limited edition, rare bottlings, with distinctive stories to tell. These whiskies have been crafted to deliver memorable taste experiences unlike any other, to be savoured and enjoyed responsibly.

Autumn 2016, from specialist retailers in Northern Europe, in selected Asian markets and in the USA.

List of 2016 Special Releases
AUCHROISK™ 25 year old
Distilled 1990 ABV 51.2%
Region: Speyside
Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide

BRORA™ 38 year old
Distilled 1977 ABV 48.6%
Region: Coastal Highland
Max. 2,984 bottles available worldwide

CAMBUS™ 40 year old
Distilled 1975 ABV 52.7%
Region: Central Lowland
Max. 1,812 bottles available worldwide

CAOL ILA™ 15 year old
Distilled 2000 ABV 61.5%
Region: Islay
Limited quantities available worldwide

ABV 55.7%
Region: Speyside
Max. 4,932 bottles available worldwide


GLENKINCHIE™ 24 year old
Distilled 1991 ABV 57.2%
Region: Lowland
Max. 5,928 bottles available worldwide

LAGAVULIN™ 12 year old
ABV 57.7%
Region: Islay
Limited quantities available worldwide

LINKWOOD™ 37 year old
Distilled 1978 ABV 50.3%
Region: Speyside
Max. 6,114 bottles available worldwide

MANNOCHMORE™ 25 year old
Distilled 1990 ABV 53.4%
Region: Speyside
Max. 3,954 bottles available worldwide

PORT ELLEN™ 37 year old
Distilled 1978 ABV 55.2%
Region: Islay
Max. 2,940 bottles available worldwide