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21 Dec 10

The dawn of a new Dalmore.

The dawn has been worshipped by civilisations for millennia. It is fitting then, that Eos, Titan goddess of the dawn, should lend her name to our 59 year old single malt, an expression to be equally revered.

Sister to Selene, our highly prized 1951 vintage, Eos was selected from the same two outstanding sherry casks. Having been left to slumber for another year, the whiskies are now even more intense and evocative.

Just 20 decanters will ever see the light of day. To find out more about The Dalmore Eos, please visit or email

Availability varies by market.

If you'd like to join The Dalmore Custodians, a select group of individuals with an appetite for exceptional single malt, please visit and follow the links.


IT'S the winter solstice today (December 21), so it's serendipitous that BenRiach is launching two exciting new products bearing these inspirational names.

Launched on the shortest day of the year, BenRiach Solstice, with its connotations of re-birth and celebration, is a perfect malt for the midwinter, a 15 year-old heavily-peated port while BenRiach Horizons is a 12 year-old triple-distilled malt - a new and original product line which has never been done before by BenRiach.

The bottling strength for both 70cl bottles is 50%. Both are cased in a rigid gift box and a limited quantity is available worldwide.

Marketing Manager Kerry White explained: "These are two incredibly exciting new products to be savoured on cold winter nights.

"Unusually for a Speyside distillery, we distil whisky from both styles of malted barley, non-peated and peated, enabling us to capture the defining taste and aroma of peat reek in a few special bottlings.

"BenRiach Solstice is one such expression. Distilled from heavily-peated malted barley, the whisky has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Aged Tawny Port pipes sourced from Portugal's Douro region. The overall maturation period, across both styles of wood, is a minimum of 15 years.

"Horizons, the 12 year-old triple-distilled BenRiach, is one of the most unique whiskies to be released by the distillery. Traditionally, most single malt whiskies are distilled twice, but during the late 1990s BenRiach experimented with some limited production runs of triple-distilled whisky, and we have allowed the whisky to mature for a minimum of 12 years before giving you the opportunity to sample the fruits of our labour."

Kerry added: "Triple-distilled means the raw spirit produced comes off the still at a higher alcohol strength, and the whisky is more fruity and floral than a traditional double-distilled BenRiach - quite different in character, and certainly a rarity amongst single malt whiskies.

"Originally matured in ex-bourbon barrels, the triple-distilled BenRiach has been allowed to finish in Oloroso Sherry casks, and has derived a number of distinctive flavours and aromas specific to the sherry casks."

For more information and stockists, go to or contact
08 Dec 10

Christmas Greetings from all at Springbank
Well it's almost that time again already. Time to think about getting the Christmas tree decorated and the presents wrapped.
Gavin is settling in very nicely as our new distillery manager, being mentored by Frank, of course. He was involved at the installation of the new condenser, which I'm sure you read about on the website and on facebook - photographs by Jenny.
I did see a bonfire in the yard the other day and for once Gavin was not in attendance - he is usually the one making sure the yard is kept tidy - he is always disposing of old wooden pallets in a nice big bonfire - I think he is learning to delegate!!
Production planned for Springbank over the next couple of months has been postponed to allow essential maintenance on our boiler following a breakdown. Our production staff will now operate Glengyle Distillery during this period and revert to Springbank in the New Year.

In January we will have a Springbank 18y/o and a Hazelburn Sauterne, then in May the Kilkerran Work in Progress (3) which we hope will be available at the Open Day. July will see a Longrow 18y/o and in September a further Hazelburn 12y/o.

Next year the open day is being planned for Thursday 19th May. So far we are discussing ideas, there will be two casks bottled on the day, Masterclasses, a Cadenhead tasting, Free tours, Warehouse tastings, hopefully music from local musicians, Food from Argyll, as well as Maureen's brewdog pies and fish from the local Smoke House.
There will also be a Society table to try to encourage new members, and to sell whatever Society bottle we have available at the time.
We will also have a variety of other local arts and crafts to keep you amused.
We are also toying with the idea of having a wee break between 5.00 pm and 6.00 pm then having a wee BBQ and perhaps a bonfire - these are really only in the "talking about" stages at present but hopefully I can talk everyone into carrying on until later this year. How about a "spooks tour" of the warehouses? We might even see some of the angels rather than spooks!!!!
Anyway, plenty to think about and loads to make sure I am busy and keep me out of mischief.

We are having the whisky school next year for six weeks, starting in May, but already it is fully booked - we had quite a list of interested people from the last two years. Frank is thinking of having a further few weeks perhaps in the later part of the summer, I will keep you informed when he decides on suitable dates.

08 Dec 10

A whisky that shines above all others.

The Northern Lights is a shimmering, kaleidoscope of colours often seen from the Dalmore distillery and the inspiration for the Dalmore Aurora, a sublime 45 year old single malt that is both rare and magical.

Set to cask on 29th April 1964 this brilliant malt has been left in slumbering contentment in the finest oak woods, selected by our Master Distiller.

At first, enchanting nuances of honeyed pear, banana and passion fruit stimulate the senses. Then bright, evocative bursts of blood oranges, figs, fleshy peaches and roasted Colombian coffee are followed by Black Forest fruits, crushed apples and spicy cinnamon.

Only 200 decanters of this dazzling malt have now been released worldwide, making The Dalmore Aurora a spectacular addition to any collection.

For further enlightenment, please visit or email

06 Dec 10

Canada’s top whiskies of 2010 were honoured today in the first annual Canadian Whisky Awards. The winning whiskies were announced on the World’s foremost Canadian whisky website: There are six awards in all. The winners of three awards were decided following extensive tastings, while the others were selected based special contributions that individual whiskies make to expanding consumer interest in Canadian whisky.

“Canadian whisky is one of Canada’s greatest ambassadors,” said publisher, Davin de Kergommeaux. “Every year, millions and millions of whisky lovers around the globe buy more than half a billion dollars worth of Canadian whisky.” But, as de Kergommeaux explains, the awards celebrate more than successful sales figures. “Canadians appreciate the contribution Canadian whisky makes to our economy, but we never stop to recognize the excellent quality of these whiskies. All of that now changes with these awards.”

The Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best tasting new Canadian whiskies released in 2010, along with special contributions of highly successful individual whiskies that have garnered favourable attention to Canadian whisky in 2010.

Virtually every Canadian whisky introduced in Canada or the U.S. in 2010 was tasted. The best was chosen in one of three categories: the Canadian market, the export market, and multiple markets. Awards of Excellence were also conferred for accomplishments in innovation, brand extension, and notable success in raising the profile of Canadian whisky in general.

The Connoisseur Whiskies:

Best Canadian Whisky – Domestic Market: Wiser’s Legacy
Wiser’s Legacy is a new, ultra-premium rye whisky from Corby Distillers. This rich, complex, and flavourful whisky has been compared favourably to high-end single malts. Although demand has become strong to release it in other markets, Wiser’s Legacy was initially available in the Canadian market only.

Best Canadian Whisky – Export Market: Caribou Crossing
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel whisky was released early in 2010 to high acclaim from whisky writers and connoisseurs. They were all impressed with this complex and richly flavoured new whisky. As a single barrel whisky, Caribou Crossing introduces a new Canadian whisky in a style much admired by connoisseurs.

Best Canadian Whisky – Multiple Markets: Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve
This is an iconic Canadian whisky matured in Canadian oak barrels made from trees that sprouted at the time of Canadian Confederation. Made in a winemaker’s fashion, by John Hall, Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve earns this award for its creamy, rich and robust flavours. Confederation Oak is available in Canada and selected U.S. markets.

The Awards of Excellence:

Innovation of the Year: Highwood Distillery, White Owl Whisky
White Owl Whisky has no peer in Canada or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The first ever fully oak-matured white whisky, White Owl retains the flavours of Canadian rye whisky, while adding the cocktail-mixability of white spirits. In so doing, it successfully introduces the flavours of Canadian whisky to a whole new demographic.

Award of Excellence - Brand Extension: Crown Royal Black
When a distiller can’t keep up with demand everyone takes note. This new, more robust version of Canada’s best selling whisky, Crown Royal Black was welcomed so enthusiastically by American whisky drinkers that Diageo was faced with the challenge of having a truly runaway success on its hands.  To the average American whisky drinker, Crown Royal Black was THE big whisky news of 2010.

Award of Excellence - Canadian Whisky Profile: Canadian Club
Viewers of AMC's Emmy and Golden Globe-winning television series, Mad Men, will not be surprised by the winner in this category. As Don Draper’s whisky of choice, Canadian Club was featured prominently throughout the series, attracting the attention of a new generation of Canadian whisky consumers. Canadian Club reached yet another new audience in 2010 with its featured role in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

01 Dec 10

Malt Maniac Awards for 2010


Non-Plus-Ultra Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Overall top scoring 'ultra premium' whisky out of all Malt Maniacs Awards entries)
Glendronach 38yo 1972/2010 (49.5%, OB, Sherry C#700, Taiwan)

Best Natural Cask Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Best whisky matured exclusively in 'untreated', regular cask(s)
Caperdonich 37yo 1972/2010 (53.4%, Duncan Taylor Rare Auld, C#7420)

Best Sherry Cask Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Best whisky matured exclusively in sherry cask(s)
Macallan 1970/2010 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail for LMdW, Sherry C#10031)

Best Cask Innovation Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Best whisky matured or finished in 'special' or unusual cask(s)
Dalmore 26yo 1981 Amoroso Sherry finish (42%, OB, 484 Bts.)

Best Peated Malt Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Best whisky distilled from - relatively - peated malt)
Port Ellen 'Pe2' (59.5%, Speciality Drinks Ltd., Bottled +/- 2010)

Thumbs Up Award 2010 (Ultra Premium)
(Most exciting new release in this price category)
Glenfarclas 40yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)


Non-Plus-Ultra Award 2010 (Premium)
(Overall top scoring 'premium' whisky out of all Malt Maniacs Awards entries)
Kawasaki 1982/2009 'Ichiro's Choice' (65.4%, OB, LMdW, 668 Bts.)

Best Natural Cask Award 2010 (Premium)
(Best whisky matured exclusively in 'untreated', regular cask(s)
Clynelish 27yo 1982/2010 (59,8% The Nectar Daily Dram)

Best Sherry Cask Award 2010 (Premium)
(Best whisky matured exclusively in sherry cask(s)
Kavalan 'Solist' (58.2%, OB, Sherry C#S060703018, 569 Bts.)

Best Cask Innovation Award 2010 (Premium)
(Best whisky matured or finished in 'special' or unusual cask(s)
Ballechin '#5 Marsala Cask Matured' (46%, OB, Bottled 2010, Peated)

Best Peated Malt Award 2010 (Premium)
(Best whisky distilled from - relatively - peated malt)
Octomore 5yo 'Orpheus Edition 02.2' (61%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Thumbs Up Award 2010 (Premium)
(Most exciting new release in this price category)
Highland Park 12yo 'Saint Magnus' (55%, OB, +/- 2010, 11994 Bts.)


Non-Plus-Ultra Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Top scoring, affordable and widely available whisky in this category)
Lagavulin 16yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Best Natural Cask Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Best affordable and widely available whisky matured exclusively in regular cask(s)
Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Best Sherry Cask Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Best affordable and widely available whisky matured exclusively in sherry cask(s)
Aberlour 'A'bunadh' Batch #30 (59.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Best Cask Innovation Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Best affordable and widely available whisky matured or finished in 'special' or unusual cask(s)
Kavalan 'Concertmaster' Port Cask Finish (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Best Peated Malt Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Best affordable and widely available whisky distilled from - relatively - peated malt)
Longrow 'CV' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Thumbs Up Award 2010 (Daily Drams)
(Most exciting affordable and widely available new release in this category)
Bunnahabhain 12yo (46.3%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)


Old World Whisky Distillery Award 2010
(A special award we invented to recognise Karuizawa's impressive performance this year)
Karuizawa Distillery, Japan

Young World Whisky Distillery Award 2010
(A special award we invented to recognise Amrut's impressive performance this year)
Amrut Distillery, India

Pressure Cooker Award 2010
(A special award we invented to recognise incredible maturity and complexity ay a young age)
Ledaig 2005/2010 (62.7%, Berry Brothers, C#900008, Germany)

Pressure Cooker Award 2010
(A special award we invented to recognise incredible maturity and complexity ay a young age)
Bunnahabhain 8yo 2001/2010 (54%, TWA LL, Oloroso, 180 Bts.)

For further details:


JUST in time for Christmas, GlenDronach, the richly-sherried Highland single malt, is issuing its latest batch of single cask bottlings. As always, it's very limited, of exceptional quality and available worldwide.

Founded in 1826, GlenDronach produces an award-winning range of 12, 15 and 18 year-olds. But in addition, it also offers a superb selection of limited edition expressions, and Batch 3 is the latest.

Handpicked by Master Distiller Billy Walker, it comprises five outstanding casks from 1989 to 1996 for GlenDronach aficionados to savour. In nose, appearance and palate, the five are classic fruit-laden GlenDronach - offering brambles, ripe plums, raisins, dates and toffee-apple elements.

Three have matured in Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheons while two have been carefully aged in Oloroso Sherry Butts.

The five, in ascending chronological order, are:

Year Number Strength Age Cask Type

1989 3833 53.5% 20yo Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon

1990 3059 54.9% 20yo Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon

1990 3068 52.6% 20yo Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon

1991 2512 51.9% 18yo Oloroso Sherry Butt

1996 202 58.3% 14yo Oloroso Sherry Butt

The range is astonishingly subtle and varied. On the nose, the 1989 bottling commences with full earthy aromas leading to a huge portion of dried fig and sweet date pudding. And on the palate, it offers concentrated dried fruit with figs and dates, with toffee-nut brittle on the finish. Contrast that with the 1996, which on the nose suggests super-ripe morrelo cherries and stewed plums combining with spiced raisins and all-spice while on the palate it delivers sweet plum pudding and chocolate-coated raisins with an elegant sherry finish.

Batch 3 has been bottled at cask strength, with natural colour and non chill-filtered. The bottles are individually numbered by hand and presented in a gift box.

Marketing Manager Kerry White said: "Our limited edition expressions have been very successful in the past and we are confident this latest batch will give huge pleasure to our customers. We believe they balance perfection, rarity and sweet delicacy in one glass - the perfect antidote to long winter nights!"
17 Nov 10

Neat Whisky Solution Powers Island Distillery

A Hebridean distiller has installed a pioneering new system to get volts from malts to power its distillery exclusively from recycled whisky waste.

On the remote Scottish island of Islay, the privately owned Bruichladdich distillery has installed a ground-breaking new scheme based on an old concept to become self sufficient in power.

Residual organic material left in ‘pot ale’ (the warm, watery post-distillation waste) is converted in to biogas by the action of microbes living in the absence of air - a process known for some time as anaerobic digestion.

The principal was first identified by scientist Robert Boyle around 1670, who noticed flammable bubbles emerging from the floor of a muddy pond.  Although the first digester was built in 1859, it never took off being too vast, expensive, inefficient and reliant on constant scientific monitoring.

Now an economically viable, compact version has been designed by Dr Paul Ditchfield of Biowayste Systems. This modern, hi-tech version uses a bespoke culture of microbes, and is scaled specifically to suit Bruichladdich’s operations.

Modern technology has improved the efficiency and replaced the day-to-day technical expertise required allowing small companies to benefit from this simple, green science for the first time.

When Bruichladdich was built by the young Harvey brothers as a state-of-the-art distillery in 1881, Victorian pragmatism ensured many new efficiency ideas were incorporated in to the design,  many were subsequently adopted industry-wide.

From the Victorians up until today there was nothing that could be done with the distillery's watery waste which was merely piped out to sea. Now, thanks to a bunch of bilious microbes, it is recycled to produce electricity.

Managing director Mark Reynier said: “We wanted a ‘beautifully simple’ solution in keeping with the pioneering Harvey brothers - not just a conscience-salving piece of paper telling us how good we have been; we wanted waste out, power in. Now we can power the whole distillery from our whisky waste.  Drink Bruichladdich and save the planet! How neat is that?”

The biogas is created by 12 tons of microbes feeding off the pot ale in two reactors. Once commissioned, the gas is fed to a generator to create electricity to power the distillery and its 10 acre site, including bottling hall, computers, offices, warehouses and vehicles.

It is anticipated that energy savings will produce a payback of 2 years on the almost £?m cost. Bruichladdich recently launched the only Islay organic whisky.

The first digester was built in 1859, but the level of continual technical expertise required, the enormous scale, high capital costs, and low level of efficiency - severely limited its commercial viability, meaning it could be used only on very large industrial projects in a part only solution. Roseile, Diageo’s £40m mega-distillery recently installed a type of digester.

The Biowayste compact version brings the science in to the reaches of small businesses such as food manufacturers and farmers.

Carbon savings: 225 tons per year.

10 Nov 10
  • First Minister and Chinese Consul General celebrate new Scotch Whisky Status at Glenglassaugh Distillery
  • Unique cask of whisky filled with future bottling for charity

A visit from a very special guest to a small distillery in the north-east of Scotland has produced the opportunity for whisky lovers the world over to toast a piece of history.
First Minister Alex Salmond chose to mark a momentous occasion for Scotch Whisky at Glenglassaugh Distillery on the Moray Firth this week.
To mark the signing of a document giving Scotch Whisky recognition and protection in China, Glenglassaugh Distillery has produced a special Octave - 50 litres -of the amber nectar to be auctioned off for charity in five years time. The first minister gave this cask his seal of approval this week on his visit to the distillery as he was helped to fill it by Madam Tan Xiutian, Consul General for the People's Republic of China in Scotland.
Mr Salmond chose Glenglassaugh Distillery in Portsoy to celebrate Scotch Whisky being given Geographical Indication of Origin Status in China, which means copycat versions of the famous drink can no longer be legally sold in China.
It was a very exciting day for Glenglassaugh, which was previously mothballed and only re-opened two years ago.
Managing director of the distillery Stuart Nickerson said: "I am delighted that the first minister and Consul General are marking this important day at Glenglassaugh."
Mr Salmond had helped celebrate the re-opening of the distillery in 2008 and was very happy to be back.
"I was delighted to visit Glenglassaugh once again. Almost two years since I re-opened the distillery it was good to meet Stuart and the rest of the staff and great to see that Glenglassaugh is going from strength to strength," he said. He added: "This is a highly important day for the Scotch Whisky industry and this designation is enormously helpful for the industry."
The distillery took the opportunity to ask Mr Salmond and Madam Tan to fill a one-off octave of whisky which will be in high demand by bidders when it is opened in five years. It is expected that this will yield 50 to 60 bottles which will give whisky connoisseurs a chance to purchase a piece of history.
Madam Tan and the first minister signed the small cask marking the agreement which will hopefully see sales of genuine Scotch Whisky rise in China.
Madam Tan said of the agreement: "This designation is very important for both the whisky creator and the consumer."
Bidders for one of the octave bottles will be in for a treat as one of the Glenglassaugh whiskies was recently described as "one of the great world whiskies for 2010" by acclaimed whisky writer Jim Murray and the aged whiskies have won several awards and much praise.
Mr Nickerson said: "China is a key Market for Glenglassaugh and this announcement means we can re-focus our efforts with renewed confidence, knowing our products and customers are protected."
Glenglassaugh has a range of whisky available from 26 years of age to a 43 year old and more information on these and how to purchase them as well as your own Octave cask can be found on the distillery web site .
The company also has a range of Spirit Drinks and more information on these can be found on .

10 Nov 10

World's bestselling pocket guide to Scotch returns after 12 years
The single Scotch malt category owes much of its increasing popularity to a couple of Scottish wine and spirit merchants who persuaded the big London hotels, restaurants and clubs to start stocking single malts back in the late 1960 and 70s. They were the Milroy brothers, Jack and Wallace, who made their forays into the on-trade from their tiny Soho Wine Market. In the mid-1980s Wallace was approached by Neil Wilson, a whisky writer and publisher, who suggested he should write a pocket guide to single malts for his fledgling list. The result was Wallace Milroy's Malt Whisky Almanac and it was to go on to sell over 300,000 copies worldwide.
After seven editions Wallace and Neil felt that it had served its purpose and it was retired in 1998. Jack went on to sell the Soho Wine Market and Wallace became a consultant to the trade. But in 2009 Neil and Wallace decided that the time was right to bring the almanac back, but this time to cover grain and blended whiskies as well. Their reasons were simple: confused consumers were growing in number and a new entry-level pocket guide to the world of Scotch was desperately needed. The published guides that had followed the original almanac had raised the level of information and subjective opinion on whiskies, but they felt that newcomers to the subject were increasingly confused and bewildered by what was on offer.
The result is Whisky In Your Pocket, which details 139 single malts (including Bushmills from Northern Ireland), 10 single grains, 4 blended malts, 2 blended grains and 16 blended Scotch whiskies. Illustrated with bottle shots, regional and distillery location maps throughout, the result is a comprehensive thumbnail picture of what consumers can expect when they take their first foray into the amazing world of Scotch whisky.

Whisky In Your Pocket by Wallace Milroy and Neil Wilson
Publication date: 18th November 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84934-023-6
Price: £7.99
192 pages, full colour throughout

10 Nov 10

Octomore: The world’s peatiest whisky is now voted the world’s best.

Whisky guru Jim Murray, having tasted over 4500 whiskies from around the world, awarded the 2011 victor ludorum to Octomore “Orpheus” in his definitive whisky guide, the Whisky Bible, published last week.

Octomore, winner of the title “Single Malt of the Year”, is distilled at Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery, and is 3 times more peaty than any other mainstream whisky.

Winning 96.5%, Octomore “Orpheus” outperformed other category winners up to 10 times its age.  Being only 5 years old, it also won the title of best whisky under 10 years.

“This is no monstrous brute,” said Jim McEwan, head of distilling at Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery, “it’s an iron fist in the velvet glove. That’s what you get when you combine massively smokey barley with the purest spirit around. It’s like nothing else on earth.”

“It also shows what great quality barley, slow, artisanal distilling, and premium quality wood can achieve; it makes a mockery of that assumption that old must equal better.”

Unusually, the award-winning whisky was matured in both  standard American and premium French oak - the latter from the prestigious bordeaux winery of Chateau Petrus.
15,000 bottles were made of Octomore “Orpheus” from barley malted to  140 ppm and bottled at 61% ABV.

The latest release, Octomore 3, is even peatier at an unprecedented 152 ppm and  is available exclusively from whisky specialists.

26 Oct 10


To mark the start of a new decade, the House of Walker celebrates the life of its founder with the launch of The John Walker(RRP £2,000), an incredibly special blend of whisky that is the epitome of the Johnnie Walker Blue family of scotch whiskies.

Hand-crafted and made to order in single barrel batches with only 330 bottles available, The John Walker embodies rarity and exclusivity. Presented in a unique, individually numbered Baccarat crystal decanter that is hand blown, polished and engraved by one of only three Master-craftsmen in the world; The John Walker contains whisky blended from 9 hand selected casks. Building from the predecessors “Johnnie Walker Blue Label” and “King George V”, this blend takes the idea of hand selection of extraordinary casks, and takes that to new levels of rarity and craft. Every care has been made to recreate the authentic flavours of a 19th Century blend in John Walker's original style and the whisky has been taken from a range of distilleries, some of which are now closed; making this whisky quite literally priceless. 

The John Walker is the ultimate luxury gift for any discerning gentleman. Encasing the gift is a hand crafted lacquer cabinet with over 60 hours of workmanship used to create the eleven layers of lacquer and luxurious cream leather interior. No detail is left to chance from the Baccarat cut crystal stopper to the 24 Carat Gold plated neck collar and travel stopper.

Inside, the taste of The John Walker whisky starts in sophisticated fashion with the richness of mature fruits slowly following from the more youthful aromas of fresh citrus. The initial burst of flavour is defined by a vanilla oak sweetness, with the Older Speyside whiskies contributing to the amazing smoothness. These casks are designed to give wonderful malty flavours, characteristic of classic 19th Century whiskies. Cambus grain whisky is the unifying force that binds the great Malt whiskies together in “The John Walker”, combining to make a stunning tasting experience.

The John Walker has a RRP of £2,000 and is available exclusively from Harrods.

25 Oct 10

New "Manager's Legacy" range released
· Four single cask releases celebrating the contribution of previous managers at Glenglassaugh Distillery

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company today announces the release of a limited edition range of single cask malt scotch whiskies.

During the period from 1962 until 1986, when the previous owners mothballed the distillery, Glenglassaugh was managed by only 4 people.

· Walter Grant – March 1962 to August 1967
· Bert Forsyth – September 1967 to July 1972
· Jim Cryle – August 1972 to August 1974
· Dod Cameron – September 1974 to December 1986

One cask from each manager's time in charge has been carefully selected as a testament to the individual's contribution in the development of Glenglassaugh whisky.

The distillery's MD, Stuart Nickerson, said: "The Manager's Legacy range is the first range of whiskies that recognises the contribution of the managers who produced the original spirit that was filled into cask at the start of maturation."

"Each of the 4 casks selected was carefully chosen from all of the casks available from each managers time in charge and as with our other single cask bottling all are non-chill filtered, hand-bottled on site at cask strength, and without the addition of colouring ."

"With each release being an individual cask filling they are all limited edition with the number of bottles per cask varying between 200 and 500 dependent upon the cask selected. Each bottle in each release is individually numbered, as all our single cask bottling are."

The first release in the range, celebrating the contribution of Jim Cryle, only had 200 bottles available of which only a handful remain unsold. The second release in the range, the "Dod Cameron" bottling will be available from early November and the final two releases will be available in early 2011.

The Manager's Legacy range is available from good independent retailers; from the distillery shop and via some of Glenglassaugh's international distributors.

UK RRP is £250 per 700 ml bottle for the Jim Cryle release which is limited to 200 bottles.

UK RRP is £130 per 700 ml bottle for the Dod Cameron release which is limited to 500 bottles.

UK RRP is £350 per 700 ml bottle for the Bert Forsyth release which is limited to 300 bottles.

UK RRP is £450 per 700 ml bottle for the Walter Grant release which is limited to 200 bottles

15 Oct

The Dalmore Trinitas represents a trinity of unimaginable luxury.

Containing spirit dating from 1868, 1878, 1926 and 1939, The Dalmore Trinitas is a 64 year old single malt that is as exceptional as it is rare. Hand-crafted, and nurtured with great care over a long and deep slumber it may well be the pinnacle of our great distillery's history.

But with only three bottles released only a fortunate few will ever know.

Two have been acquired and now only one remains available for purchase, exclusively from The Whisky Exchange.

In order to be fortunate you may need to be swift.

Time is of the essence.

Price: £100,00

Note: Out of 3 bottles, two have been already sold. Prices are getting simply ridiculous, but since some there are buyers crazy enough to pay that money, this is not getting to stop soon.

11 Oct 10

Diageo chief asks for more staff to relocate
Tim Sharp, City Editor,

Bryan Donaghey, managing director of whisky giant Diageo Scotland, has appealed for more workers from its doomed Kilmarnock bottling plant to move to its site in Fife.

Mr Donaghey is overseeing a massive reshaping of the Johnnie Walker whisky producer's operations north of the Border.

Controversially, part of this will see its Kilmarnock bottling plant closed with the loss of 700 jobs.

Its work has gone to a packaging plant in Leven, Fife where 450 extra jobs will be created when a £86 million packaging hall opens next summer.

But so far just 64 workers have agreed to make the move from Kilmarnock to Fife.

Mr Donaghey told The Herald: "If we could get more people to move, it would be great. I would like people to take the risk."

But he admitted: "It is not always possible. People have families in Kilmarnock and so on."

He went on: "I am hoping when some of the people have come through and seen the east coast, they will tell the others it is not that bad.

"They have got a period of time to think about it and we will give them the support to do that."

Some 400 of Diageo's 700-strong workforce in Kilmarnock have accepted a redundancy package from the company, which also produces Bell's, J&B and Ballantine's whiskies.

Of the 300 who want to stay with Diageo, 187 have been offered jobs elsewhere and 17 have already moved.

The Kilmarnock plant, which bottles Diageo's top-end Scotch whiskies, will close in 2012. Diageo is also axing a distillery in Port Dundas, with the loss of 140 jobs, and cutting 30 jobs at its bottling plant in Shieldhall. Both are in Glasgow.

Other areas of the business are growing.

Diageo recently opened a new £40m distillery at Roseisle near Elgin, which will produce 10 million litres of spirit a year.

This gives it 28 malt distilleries.

It is also spending £40m expanding its grain distillery at Cameronbridge in Fife which is due to be completed in spring next year.

These projects will increase Diageo's annual production of grain and malt whisky to a around 200m litres a year.

It also produces white spirts such as vodka north of theBorder.

Diageo said it has allocated £100m to projects in Scotland this year. Most of this will be spent at Leven. But the Shieldhall packaging plant in Glasgow has received a £3m investment and a £9m cooperage will open in spring 2011 at Diageo's existing site at Cambus near Alloa.

Diageo previously announced it is spending £65m on a biofuel plant Cameronbridge grain distillery in Fife which, like Roseisle, will start generating energy from its own waste products.

The changes will see Diageo's headcount north of the Border fall to around 4000 from 4500 currently.

In all, Diageo said it has invested £600m in Scotland over the last six years.

Its operations north of the Border include The Gleneagles Hotel and a 50% share in the North British grain distillery in Edinburgh.

10 Oct 10

Benriach Distillery Company, the business owned by whisky veteran Billy Walker, has surged back into the black on the strength of expanding domestic and overseas sales of its malts.

Accounts obtained by the Herald from Companies House show Larbert-headquartered BenRiach posted a pre-tax profit of £3.9 million for the 2009 calendar year, compared with a pre-tax loss of £1.9m the year before. Sales rose to £15.1m, from £12.6m in 2008.

Mr Walker, the former operations director at East Kilbride distiller Burn Stewart who acquired the Elgin-based BenRiach distillery from French giant Pernod Ricard in 2004 and then Aberdeenshire-based GlenDronach four years later, said: "I'm extremely pleased with these results. We were also profitable last year, but we decided to take some goodwill impairment on the acquisition of GlenDronach.

"This year's profits were driven by the growth of our brands right across all our markets – Taiwan, Japan, the US, France, Germany, Denmark, you name it.

"We shifted around 200,000 bottles of GlenDronach last year, which is double the amount we thought we'd sell."

Mr Walker bought GlenDronach distillery, in Forgue, Aberdeenshire, in August 2008 with funding from partners Geoff Bell and Wayne Keiswetter.

A £7m investment plan was unveiled last year to restore the single malt to its former glory – in the 1960s, GlenDronach was in the world's top five most popular brands – and to take it to new global markets.

In 2004, the three-man consortium paid Chivas Regal around £5m for the mothballed Speyside distillery BenRiach, which Walker has since grown into an award-winning business.

At the end of 2009 net debt climbed to £22.1m, compared with £20.1m the year before.

Mark Smith,

08 Oct 10 What is a $16,000 bottle of Whisky really worth?
by Kate Hopkins,

hat 99 Drams taught me more than anything else is the following - there are two types of people who buy whisky. There are those who buy it to drink it. This makes up the great majority of the marketplace. The level of "connoisseur-ship" in this group varies from person to person.

Then there are those who are the whisky collectors. A great many of them believe themselves to be connoisseurs as well, having the ability to discern those bottles with rare attributes from the rest of the proletariat whiskys.

Those of us in the first group believe those in the second group are, for the most part, out of their gourd. After all, who would spend $16,000 on a bottle of whisky, when a good one could be had for around $50 at the local liquor store.

Ah, but from the collector's point of view, taste is but one of the variables that come into the equation. For example, you could purchase a bottle of 50 year old Highland Park that comes in a fancy bottle!

With this bottle, taste has little to do with the equation on why it's worth $16,000.(Well, let's not say taste and instead say flavor. Because anyone who believes that bottle looks attractive clearly has no taste. The bottle looks like it was designed by someone who had played one too many rounds of Dungeons and Dragons.)

What makes this bottle worth $16,000? The age of the whisky, for one. There are only a few fifty year old Scotches in the marketplace. However, without having tasted this particular release, it should be noted that the flavor profiles of whiskeys that have been in the barrel for over 35 years have an increased probability of losing whatever nuances come from aging. It's around the 35 year mark that the characteristics of the wood can start to overwhelm the spirit. I'm not saying this is always the case, but it is the time frame when things can start to go really wrong for a whisky. But again, I'm assuming that flavor is important here when it may not be.

If I were to put my finger on why this particular whisky is worth that much is because it's being marketed as such. Honestly? One could get away with selling this whisky for half of the amount and still make a profit off of it. Fifty year old scotches are rare but not unheard of.

For example, in the past few years, Glenfiddich has released one(at $16,000 for a 500 bottle run), as has Glenfarclas (at $5900 per bottle), Auchentoshan ($4183 per bottle), and several others. A $16,000 price tag for a limited run of only 275 bottles is implying that there's something of value here beyond the age on the label. Outside of the fancy bottle, and the brand name upon it, I'll be damned if I can figure out what that is.

In my opinion, as one who is definitively NOT a collector of whisky, there has been only one brand that should be worth at least $16,000. And that would be Shackleton's. At least here's there a whisky with a bit of historical significance.

07 Oct 10

Bacardi has reported strong consumer demand for its Dewar's Scotch whisky after completing the first phase of a ten-year, US$250m project to increase distilling and storage capacity.

Privately-held Bacardi is the latest drinks firm to report rising demand for its Scotch whisky portfolio, adding fuel to signals that Scotch has rebounded strongly from the global economic downturn.

"Demand for Dewar's Scotch whiskies has grown significantly in the US, Asia and other emerging markets," said Bacardi's president and CEO, Séamus McBride, today (5 October).

His comments came as the Bermuda-based group said that it has completed the first phase of its expansion project for Dewar's, first announced in 2007. Bacardi has bought 100 acres of land in central Scotland and developed a second maturation facility, including six warehouses, for Dewar's. A further three whisky aging warehouses are under construction and a blending facility will be built next year.

The group has also redeveloped its site in Glasgow, where it has built five maturation warehouses and a blend centre, as well as installed bottling lines and packing equipment. Bacardi has planned to invest its $250m in stages up to 2017 in anticipation of ongoing global demand for Dewar's.

Scotch whisky has undergone a period of near-unprecedented investment over the last few years. Diageo has spent GBP600m (US$949m) in the last five years alone, having most notably built a GBP40m distillery designed to cater for growing consumer thirst for its blended whisky in the US, Latin America and Asia.

Earlier this year, Pernod Ricard expanded distilling for The Glenlivet, having increased capacity by 75%. Meanwhile, Edrington Group, distiller of Famous Grouse, said last week that it would install 33 new whisky vats and a high-speed bottling line.

Global sales of Scotch whisky rose by 3% to GBP3.13bn in 2009, with volumes up by 4%, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The trade body told just-drinks recently that the upward sales momentum has continued in 2010. Source:

21 Sep 10

 The new Malt Whisky Yearbook 2011 will be published 8 October.

10 Sep 10

The Edrington Group´s results for the 12 months ended 31st March, 2010.
* Group turnover UP 11.5% at £468.3m (2009: £419.9m)
* Profit before tax (excluding exceptional items) UP 25.1% to £118.6m (2009: £94.8m)
* Shareholders´ earnings (excluding exceptional items) UP 30.7% to £54.1m (2009: £41.4m)
* Dividend UP 25% to 23.25p (2009: 18.6p)
* Solid performance and increased profits from The Famous Grouse; No.1 in Scotland for 30 years
* The Macallan showed significant growth in earnings; now number two single malt by value in the world
* Brugal continues to grow in Spain; has become market leader in its main export market. First full year of contribution
* Completed purchase of Cutty Sark on April 1, 2010; acquisition set to bear fruit in 2010/11
* Highland Park grew in its key markets; goes from strength to strength
* New route-to-market completed a successful first year
Commenting on the results, Ian Curle, chief executive, said today:
"I am pleased to report that the company grew shareholders' earnings, reduced borrowings and further improved its strategic position during the year.

"Throughout the year we have continued to invest and develop our portfolio of premium international spirits brands, comprising The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Brugal golden rum, Highland Park and Cutty Sark. We have maintained our focus on premiumisation, quality and service, whilst seeking to provide value to the trade and our customers. This strategy is bearing fruit as we continue to outperform the category in our key markets.

"We remain confident about the long term growth prospects for premium authentic spirits brands, however, the board remains cautious in its view of trading prospects in the short to medium term, due to challenging market conditions, especially in Europe."


I am pleased to report that the company grew shareholders' earnings, reduced borrowings and further improved its strategic position during the year.

The growth in shareholders' earnings arises from increased brand contribution, route to market efficiencies, favourable currency rates and cost savings. This improvement has been achieved whilst continuing to invest in our brands and infrastructure.

The improvement in our strategic position has been achieved through innovation, acquisition and adapting our business to the new economic conditions that we face in many of our markets, as a result of the global recession.

During the year we have continued to pursue our strategy of investing in premium authentic spirit brands and developing the best route to market solutions to achieve our growth ambitions. This strategy has been supported by the remodelling of our route to market, the rebalancing of our distillation capacity and the acquisition and sale of brands (...)

Earlier in the year, it became clear that the short term growth of our brands was being impacted by the global recession. Whilst we still anticipate long term growth for premium brands, we identified the need to review our investment in whisky stocks and to rebalance our distillation capacity. After a period of employee consultation we decided to restructure our distillation capacity with the mothballing of Tamdhu and to concentrate production at three core distilleries: The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park. The consultation process allowed us to review our resources and redeploy our skills on a voluntary basis.

On 1st April, 2010 we concluded the acquisition of the Cutty Sark brand and the sale of The Glenrothes single malt. Working closely with our partner, Berry Bros & Rudd, we identified a mutually beneficial strategy which would allow each partner to utilise their own strengths and resources. The transaction will provide Edrington with the opportunity to develop and grow the Cutty Sark brand whilst delivering route to market benefits in a number of markets. The full benefits of the acquisition will be delivered in future years and are not included in the reported numbers. Our relationship with Berry Bros & Rudd remains strong as we retain ownership of The Glenrothes Distillery and will continue to provide them with production and bottling services.


The year started with many of our markets continuing to suffer from the fall out of the economic downturn. As the year progressed, stability returned to a number of our markets and a clearer picture began to emerge.

In Europe, the UK, Spain, Greece and Portugal were more affected than other markets and the outlook remains fragile against a backdrop of high unemployment and substantial government debt. Despite these difficult market conditions, we have protected the market share of our whisky brands and grown sales of Brugal in Spain, its main export territory.

In the USA, after an early setback driven by trade de-stocking and a shift in consumption to the off-trade, the spirits category is showing encouraging signs and trading conditions continue to improve. In spite of these challenges, our whisky brands have outperformed the market during the year and shown growth on the previous year.

Asia has been less affected by the economic downturn with GDP growth continuing in many of the markets. Our premium brands continue to enjoy growth and we are optimistic about the long term prospects in this region.

The Dominican market softened in the early part of the year, however we were able to maintain our market share and improve our contribution. Demand strengthened in the last quarter and this trend has continued into the current year.

Premium Spirits Brands

Throughout the year we have continued to invest and develop our portfolio of premium international spirits brands, comprising The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Brugal golden rum, Highland Park and Cutty Sark. We have maintained our focus on premiumisation, quality and service, whilst seeking to provide value to the trade and our customers. This strategy is bearing fruit as we continue to outperform the category in our key markets. This gives us confidence about the long term growth prospects for premium authentic spirits brands and, in particular, our portfolio of Scotch whiskies and rum.

The Famous Grouse has maintained market share in all of its key markets and increased its appeal through the extension of its premium range, which now includes The Black Grouse and The Snow Grouse. As the blended whisky sector becomes increasingly competitive in many markets, we have adapted our promotional activities and continued to focus on building the long term brand equity by investing in consumer communication.

The Macallan has enjoyed further growth during the year and continues to make ground in the USA, Asia, Europe and Travel Retail. The introduction of the 1824 range to Travel Retail now completes the brand range, which includes Sherry Oak and Fine Oak, and the brand continues to lead the premium malt whisky category (...).

Once again, Highland Park has grown and increased its contribution. The brand goes from strength to strength and has established itself in a number of key markets.

The acquisition of the Cutty Sark brand strengthens our route to market and gives us the opportunity to use our brand building skills to develop its potential. The brand is prominent in Spain, Greece and Portugal. Our new brand team will build upon these foundations as we seek to develop and optimise the brand's potential.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Our ability to grow our business and brands relies upon market access and the social acceptance of our industry. We must therefore demonstrate both the economic benefit of our industry and good corporate citizenship. In this regard we have a strong corporate social responsibility programme (...).

Source: Edrington Group

07 Sep 10

The Diageo Special (Annual) Releases for the 2010 (2011) were announced two months ago on this website, but here is finally a picture of the bottles:

Auchroisk 20Y
Brora 30Y
Caol Ila unpeated 12Y
Cragganmore 21Y
Glen Spey 21Y
Glenkinchie 20Y
Lagavulin 12Y
Port Ellen 31Y
Talisker 30Y


AWARD-WINNING BenRiach is issuing its latest batch of single cask bottlings this week. Available worldwide, Batch 7 maintains BenRiach's reputation for encapsulating both perfection and rarity in a glass.

The new release celebrates the sixth anniversary of the first bottling of BenRiach under its new independent owners. Back in August 2004, its 'Heart of Speyside' core range of 12, 16 and 20 yo malts became available for the first time.

Fast forward six years, and Master Distiller Billy Walker has selected ten highly distinctive casks from 1976 to 1993 for BenRiach aficionados. These vintage malts are immense and full of character - from pineapple, coconut, honey, and spicy vanilla to treacle toffee, cloves and chocolate coated fruits.

And the range of exceptional vintages is enhanced by their prolonged maturation in different casks - from a Virgin American Oak and a Gaja Barolo Finish to a Tokaji and a Peated Tawny Port Finish.

The ten, in ascending chronological order, are:

Year Number Strength Age Cask Type Style

1976 8795 53.2% 33yo Hogshead Classic Speyside

1977 1033 52.2% 33yo Pedro Ximinez Hogshead Pedro Ximinez Sherry Finish

1978 4417 50.4% 32yo Tokaji Hogshead Tokaji Finish

1979 7511 47.9% 30yo Bourbon Barrel Classic Speyside

1980 2532 51.1% 30yo New Wood Oak Barrel Virgin American Oak

1981 2589 51.6% 28yo Bourbon Barrel Classic Speyside

1984 493 54.1% 25yo Hogshead Classic Speyside

1984 4052 51.7% 25yo Tawny Port Hogshead Peated/Tawny Port Finish

1991 4389 54.9% 19yo Virgin Oak Hogshead Virgin American Oak Finish

1993 7420 56.7% 17yo Gaja Barolo Hogshead Gaja Barolo Finish

Bottled in July 2010, the ten are all bottled at cask strength, with natural colour and non chill-filtered. They are individually numbered by hand and presented in a gift tube.
27 Aug 10

New "Spirit Drink" range revealed

· Unique products offer insight into evolution of whisky

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company today announces the release of a unique range of "Spirit Drink" products – an opportunity for malt whisky fans to sample the evolution of the spirit that will eventually become whisky.

The range – packaged in 200ml bottles and all at 50% abv – initially comprises four products under the Spirit Drink brand umbrella:

'Clearac' – brand new 'new make' spirit straight off the still
'Blushes' – the Glenglassaugh spirit aged for – 6 months in ex-wine casks, and
'Fledgling XB' – new spirit aged for – 12 months in Bourbon casks
'Peated' – brand new 'new make' spirit produced using peated malted barley

The distillery's MD, Stuart Nickerson, said:

"The Spirit Drink range follows the successful one-off bottling of The Spirit Drink that Dare Not Speak Its Name, the world's first release of a single mash and feedback from our consumers."

"Malt drinkers told us that they wanted to try as many variants of our evolving spirit as possible; that they wanted affordable sampling packs and that different cask types were of great interest. The Spirit Drink range is the result."

"We have other variants in the pipeline including spirit aged in quality sherry wood and spirit aged for longer time periods. The variation is interesting and the overall quality incredibly exciting. The prospects for Glenglassaugh when fully matured are exceptional."

The range was launched with a party and sampling at Edinburgh's Bramble Bar, rated one of the world's top cocktail spots. Bramble Bar's Mike Aikman said:

"At Bramble, we are always excited to use innovative new products in our cocktails, challenge people's perceptions of what can be done with these spirits and praising the versatility of the different expressions."

The Spirit Drink range will be available from 26th August at good independent retailers; from the distillery shop and via Glenglassaugh's international distributors. UK RRP is £13 per 200 ml bottle.

Plans are currently being made for a triple pack containing Clearac, Blushes and Fledgling XB to be available, within the next few weeks.

17 Aug 10

Scottish scientists develop whisky biofuel
By-products from distilling process could be used to power cars and even aviation, according to researchers in Edinburgh

Kirsty Scott,

Whisky is being used to develop a biofuel which gives 30% more power output than ethanol and could be available at petrol pumps within a few years
It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "one for the road". Whisky, the spirit that powers the Scottish economy, is being used to develop a new biofuel which could be available at petrol pumps in a few years.

Using samples from the Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have developed a method of producing biofuel from two main by-products of the whisky distilling process – "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and "draff", the spent grains.

Copious quantities of both waste products are produced by the £4bn whisky industry each year, and the scientists say there is real potential for the biofuel, to be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels. It can be used in conventional cars without adapting their engines. The team also said it could be used to fuel planes and as the basis for chemicals such as acetone, an important solvent.

The new method developed by the team produces butanol, which gives 30% more power output than the traditional biofuel ethanol. It is based on a 100-year-old process that was originally developed to produce butanol and acetone by fermenting sugar. The team has adapted this to use whiskey by-products as a starting point and has filed for a patent to cover the new method. It plans to create a spin-out company to commercialise the invention.

Professor Martin Tangney, who directed the project said that using waste products was more environmentally sustainable than growing crops specifically to generate biofuel. He added that it could contribute significantly to targets set by the EU for biofuels to account for 10% of total fuel sales by 2020.

"What people need to do is stop thinking 'either or'; people need to stop thinking like for like substitution for oil. That's not going to happen. Different things will be needed in different countries. Electric cars will play some role in the market, taking cars off the road could be one of the most important things we ever do."

Dr Richard Dixon, of WWF Scotland, welcomed the project. "The production of some biofuels can cause massive environmental damage to forests and wildlife," he said. "So whisky powered-cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels."

13 Aug 10

After more than 100 years Shackleton's whisky sees daylight

Whisky lover Michael Milne knows there is little chance of tasting one of the world's oldest and coldest whiskies, but watching a bottle emerge from its crate today after more than 100 years made his Scottish heart miss a beat.
Mr Milne, who runs Whisky Galore in Christchurch, was at a rare event when a crate of malt whisky bottled 115 years ago for Sir Earnest Shackleton's 1907 Antarctic expedition was opened at Christchurch Museum.

The crate was recovered from the Antarctic hut of the renowned explorer after it was found in 2006.

Shackleton ordered the then 10-year-old whisky for his 1907 Nimrod expedition which turned him into a hero and gave him a reputation as one of the greatest explorers of all time.

Even though the crate of Mackinlays whisky was frozen solid when it was brought back to Christchurch earlier this year, the minus 30degC temperature was not enough to freeze the whisky and it was in remarkably good condition.

Over the past few weeks the crate had been slowly thawing in a special room set up by the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Today, in a painstakingly slow and careful manoeuvre, the crate was opened to reveal not 12 but 11 bottles of Scotch, carefully wrapped in paper and straw to protect them from the rigours of a rough trip to the Southern Ocean in 1907.

One of the 11 bottles was not as full as the other 10 and it was suspected the twelfth bottle might have been drunk by a member of Shackleton's crew of the Nimrod who could not resist the temptation.

The whisky is unlikely ever to be tasted. Once samples have been extracted and sent to the Scottish distillery which took over the Mackinlay's distillery many years ago, they will go back to their original home, under the floor of Shackleton's hut in Cape Royds, on Ross Island near McMurdo Sound.

The original recipe for the whisky had been lost but Whyte and Mackay, which now owns the Mackinlay brand, intends to replicate Shackleton's brew from the sample, Mr Milne said.

Mr Milne said, as a whisky lover, it would be the ultimate taste test but that was unlikely to happen and he could live with that.

Being part of history when the Shackleton whisky was opened was an amazing experience which began when he first saw the unopened crate.

"I just looked at this and honestly, my heart beat went up about three paces. It was amazing."

"The box was like a pioneer's box with the wood and nails coming out but it's in very good nick, with straw packaging sticking out," Mr Milne said.

The bottles had been lying in their side and had rammed cork stoppers with an intricate and stamped lead seal, much like a modern wine bottle.

The whisky was labelled as a Highland malt but the label also referred to Shackleton's ship Endurance and not the Nimrod.

The Endurance was a ship Shackleton used in his later expedition in 1914 and which was crushed when trapped in the ice.

"Whether it is a single malt or a blended malt, we don't know because there was no indication on the label.

"This is a very old label and in those days they didn't give much information," Mr Milne said.

He said blended and single malts were both very common but in 1909, two years after Shackleton left on his expedition, the rules were tightened about information needed on labels.

"For example, there was no alcohol volume or volume of the contents on the label."

Mr Milne said the whisky was distilled in 1896 or 1897 and encompassed "three centuries of liquid history."

Nigel Watson, executive director of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, said opening the crate was a delicate and slow process.

The crate would remain in cold storage and each of the bottles would be carefully assessed and conserved in the next few weeks.

He said samples would be extracted, possibly using a syringe through the cork stoppers. Source:

11 Aug 10


The Dalmore distillery in the North of Scotland has announced a £1 million investment to create one of the best whisky related attractions in the country.

Despite trading during one of the toughest global recessions ever known, the luxury brand has gone from strength to strength recently and is now favoured by wealthy connoisseurs, collectors and investors.

In the last two years The Dalmore has sold some seriously rare and expensive whiskies in record time. Sirius, which cost £10,000 a bottle with only 10 available worldwide, sold out in four days. It is now changing hands for twice that price less than a year later.

In 2009 the distillery created a bespoke, one off whisky called Oculus which sold for a record breaking £28,000 at auction.

David Robertson, director of rare whiskies for brand owner Whyte & Mackay, said: “Consumers of luxury products expect authenticity, craftsmanship and a rich heritage. The Dalmore has that in spades, definitely more so than any other whisky brand, and arguably more so than many other luxury products. That is why its is so revered.

“But they also expect the best possible experience when they visit the home of a product. And we are not there yet……….but we will be!”

The company has a two year phased programme in place to refurbish the visitor centre and shop, improve key distillery buildings, enhance signage and invest in training for its tour and distillery staff.

The aim is to build on the financial success of the visitor centre which has seen profits rise by more than 400% in the last two years, and the spend per head from each visitor double in the same timescale.

Robertson enthused: “We will create a multi sensory experience which will bring the alchemistic artistry of the brand to life. Esteemed whisky writer Jim Murray said he sat stunned and in awe of the Dalmore liquid. Visitors will be stunned and in awe when they leave the distillery in two years time.”

The distillery believes the investment could bring massive benefits to the local economy by bringing in wealthy tourists willing to spend big money in the area.

The company also recently launched a Clan Mackenzie bottling designed to raise much needed funds to refurbish Castle Leod which sits nearby the distillery and is the spiritual home of the clan.

Robertson believes this will also attract high spending visitors.

“With both the castle partnership and the distillery investment, we are making some real and tangible contributions to the North of Scotland economy. Imagine if we have an amazing visitor centre attracting the wealthiest clients in the world who will spend money locally. Imagine if we have a beautiful refurbished castle which in itself becomes a lighthouse destination attracting hundreds and thousands of people to the area.

“It’s a big dream and may not happen, but nobody can accuse us of not having an ambitious vision.”

10 Aug 10

By Michelle Locke

SAN FRANCISCO — It wasn't too long ago that Owen Westman's customers at Rickhouse Bar didn't even know there were Japanese whiskies available, let alone ask for them by name.

"They certainly do now," he says.

Although best known for sake, Japan has a whisky tradition stretching back more than a century. It's not widely available in the U.S., but that's changing as companies like major producer Suntory work to boost overseas sales.

And maybe Bill Murray had something to do with it. His character in the 2003 movie "Lost in Translation" goes to Japan to shoot a whisky commercial.

Suntory exports a number of products, including Yamazaki single malt whiskies and Hibiki, a blend. Like Scotch, the Japanese product is spelled without the extra "e." In fact, the origins of the Japanese whisky industry have ties to Scotland. Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii hired Masataka Taketsuru, who studied distilling in Scotland. Taketsuru went on to found Nikka, also a major producer.

Despite that history, Suntory whisky is "not Scotch made in Japan," points out Eric Ariyoshi, a Suntory brand manager based in San Francisco.

One of Torii's goals was "to really create a Japanese whisky that catered to a more subtle palate," says Ariyoshi. "If you think about Japanese food it tends to be on the lighter side, very subtle flavors. One of his specific goals was to create a whisky that fits into that palate."

Overall, Japanese whisky is a fraction of total U.S. sales. Suntory launched the Hibiki brand in Europe and the U.S. last year with sales of 6,000 cases. This year, they hope to sell 8,000 cases of Hibiki overseas and 31,000 cases of Yamazaki. To put that into perspective, 2009 total whiskey sales in the United States amounted to 46.5 million cases, according to the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council.

But with interest in spirits rising, there's more attention being paid to all types of whiskies, says council spokesman Frank Coleman.

"There clearly has been a whiskey revival over the last decade and consumer interest is at an all-time high," he said. "You have the explosion in the number of small craft distillers getting into the whiskey game. Consumers have become more and more interested in trying these new and different products and there's no doubt some very good whiskies being made in Japan."

Barrel aging is key to how a whisky tastes and Suntory uses three kinds, American and Spanish oak as well as Japanese mizunara oak. American white oak contributes a dry flavor with hints of vanilla, the Spanish oak has flavors of raisins, chocolate and caramel and the mizunara gives subtle sweetness and spiciness, reminiscent of incense.

The Hibiki is a blend of more than 30 individual whiskies, with the final blend topped off with a whisky aged more than 30 years. Elegant and smooth, Hibiki uses old plum liqueur casks for aging some components and a bamboo charcoal filter that "just mellows out the flavor. Gives it a very sweet and gentle flavor," Ariyoshi says.

In a nod to tradition, the Hibiki packaging has 24 facets to represent the ancient Japanese calendar that divided the year into 24 "seasons."

At Rickhouse, bartenders pour the Yamazaki 12-year-old and 18-year-old single malts as well as the Hibiki blend. Most customers ask for it neat, although the bar has some interesting cocktails, including one involving cherry preserves.

You can get the 18-year-old Yamazaki at the Father's Office bar in Los Angeles, too. But you have to know what to ask for.

Chef and owner Sang Yoon, who also has a Father's Office in Santa Monica, couldn't find a way to mesh the whisky with his menu, but since he likes it, he kept a bottle at his LA location for friends. Those in the know ask for "Relaxing Times," a tagline from a Suntory advertising campaign that was also in "Lost in Translation."

If Murray happens to stroll in, bartenders have been advised he can just ask for "a me," Yoon says.

10 Aug 10

KUWAIT'S customs department has foiled an attempt to smuggle more than 37,000 bottles of whisky into the conservative Muslim Gulf state where liquor is totally banned, an official says.
The liquor had been hidden in six containers in a ceramic shipment coming from Jebal Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai in favour of a Kuwaiti company, Kuwait Customs Department Mubarak al-Qattan said today.
The bust was made on Sunday at the southern Shuaiba port and it took authorities almost two days to search the entire shipment, he said.
Qattan estimated the value of the liquor on the black market at more than two million dinars ($7.63 million). He described the haul as one of the largest liquor busts in Kuwait's history.
A security source said that two Kuwaiti businessmen were arrested in connection of the liquor shipment.
Although liquor is banned in the oil-rich conservative emirate and its use or sale carries prison terms, it is available on the black market through smuggling by ship from Dubai and by land from neighbouring Iraq.

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09 Aug 10

DEWAR'S Blended Scotch Whisky, the number one selling premium Scotch in the United States, has announced a vibrant transformation in the design of its portfolio. As the DEWAR'S collection expanded throughout the brand's history to include DEWAR'S WHITE LABEL, DEWAR'S 12 Years Old, DEWAR'S 18 Years Old and DEWAR'S SIGNATURE, each marque was created with its own silhouette and design aesthetic.

With the redesign of the entire DEWAR'S portfolio, the products now appear as a tight-knit family. Just as the four DEWAR'S marques display a unified progression in taste, DEWAR'S new look visually links the products together as one unit for the first time in the brand's history.

While the bottles contain the same great blended Scotch whiskies, the new design aims to better emphasize the artistry and craftsmanship that has defined the DEWAR'S brand since 1846. Featuring perfect curves, tempting colors and a revolutionary style, the new DEWAR'S look is thoroughly modern, cohesive and bold.

With a vibrant color palette and innovative wave design, the new DEWAR'S packaging engages the drinker by providing a visual window into the superior liquid inside. The bottle is emblazoned with the year of DEWAR'S founding, 1846, as well John Dewar's signature. In addition, the display features gold icons that represent the brand's countless awards and accolades.

"We're thrilled to unveil DEWAR'S modern new exterior, as it fully captures the energy and vigor that defines the brand," says DEWAR'S Vice President, Brand Managing Director, Fannie Young. "The dynamic new packaging gives consumers the opportunity to recognize the DEWAR'S brand as a family, and to explore the portfolio as they become more familiar and engaged with the brand.”

06 Aug 10

Glenfarclas News
New label for Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength

More than 40 years after the first bottling of Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength, we are proud to release the new presentation for the distillery’s legendary expression in the 700ml bottle format, which incorporates our bespoke bottle and a contemporary repeat 105 pattern.

In 1968 George S. Grant, fourth generation of the owning family, bottled a single cask straight from the warehouse, and sent the bottles to family and friends as Christmas gifts. By chance the strength of the cask George S. Grant selected was ‘105’ British Proof, and along with the name of the distillery, this was all the information he detailed on the hand written label. By the end of January the recipients of the gifts requested further bottles, hence Glenfarclas ‘105’, the first commercially available cask strength whisky of the modern age was born. The name refers to the strength in the British Proof system, equivalent to 60% alcohol by volume.

The new packaging builds on the 105’s cult status, by giving the expression a stronger identity of its own. Whilst the presentation has given the 105 a contemporary twist, we continue to produce Glenfarclas 105 in the same traditional manner, by selecting some of the finest casks from the distillery’s warehouses, and vatting them together to give a constant 60% vol., without adding water.

The Family Casks Release V

This summer sees the launch of the fifth release of The Family Casks, and a revision to the packaging, with the oak gift box replaced with a gift carton. Since 2007 The Family Casks have caught the imagination of whisky drinkers around the world. Many have enjoyed exploring the subtle nuances between casks, or celebrated an anniversary or birthday with whisky distilled during their special year.

It is our intention to continue to offer as wide a range of consecutive dated bottlings as possible under The Family Casks banner. Release V of The Family Casks includes casks from 1965, 1967,1981, 1982, 1990, 1993 and 1994. Please visit our website to read George Grant's tasting notes.

Inevitably at some point stocks of suitable casks for a given year will be depleted. Indeed whilst bottles of 1952 are still available from specialist retailers, we no longer have stocks of suitable casks from 1952 available to bottle.

The new simpler gift carton gives The Family Casks a more modern presentation, is easier to open, more practical for the bar trade, and, as it is lighter and easier to recycle, is more environmentally friendly. We hope you like it.

Win a bottle of Glenfarclas 40 Years Old Scottish Classic

To mark the 125th Annual Show of the Dufftown Horticultural Society on the 11th and 12th of September, with the society, we are offering a bottle of Glenfarclas 40 Years Old Scottish Classic, as a raffle prize.

Raffle tickets will be available during the show, with the draw on the 12th of September. In advance, tickets are available from Costcutter in Dufftown, The Whisky Shop Dufftown, and the Glenfarclas distillery visitor centre.

French Website
We have recently launched a French version of our website. If you would prefer to receive this newsletter in French in future, please login to the 'Join the Family' area on our website, select 'Your Account Details', then 'Edit Your Details' and select 'French'.

02 Aug 10


BenRiach has this month released three exciting new Wood Finish expressions from its Speyside Distillery.

The brand new bottlings include:

The BenRiach 16YO Claret Finish - 46%

The BenRiach 17YO Rioja Finish - 46%

The BenRiach 17YO Burgundy Finish - 46%

Matured in the traditional style in American bourbon barrels, these whiskies have then been 'finished' in either Rioja, Claret or Burgundy wine barrels. During this additional period of maturation, the whisky derives a number of additional flavours and aromas specific to the 'finishing' cask.

The tasting notes spell out what makes these single malts so special.

BenRiach 16YO Claret Finish

Nose - clean and fruity. Stewed plums and damsons with sweet oak nuances. Embracing but with real finesse.

Colour - bright sparkling orange gold.

Taste - Spiced fruit scones, enrobed in a fig and date syrup. Fairly light acidity, yet with lovely mouth-cleansing fruits. A whisky with the flavours standing in perfect equilibrium.

BenRiach 17YO Rioja Finish

Nose - dry and robust with wild flower characteristics. Sweet oak follows with elegant vanilla bean extract and ripe fermented grape juice.

Colour - Full gold with distinctive amber traces.

Palate - subtle floral elements including, violets, rosehip and dandelion. Creamy oak notes, married with vanilla and nutmeg round off the mix partnered with ripe peaches and apricots.

BenRiach 17YO Burgundy Finish

Nose - summer red berries, including fermented strawberries and raspberries. This is complemented by bitter cocoa bean nibs and freshly-cut wild flowers.

Colour - Full gold with a subtle tawny hue.

Taste - Vanilla crème-brulée with a distinct butterscotch component. Redcurrant jelly and quince flavours interact with toasted oak to bring excellent clarity and weight. A fruit and oak marriage of great elegance.

Sales director Alistair Walker said: "BenRiach operates an extensive finishing programme, and a five-minute stroll around the distillery's Warehouse 13 will testify to that! The current BenRiach range already includes expressions finished in Pedro Ximinez Sherry, Tawny Port, Madeira, Dark Rum, Sauternes, Gaja Barolo and Moscatel.

"BenRiach has always been an experimental distillery, even under previous owners, and we have continued that tradition. We try and keep the range fresh and interesting by releasing new finishes and single casks each year, but in very limited quantities."

The three new BenRiach finishes will be available in over twenty export markets, and in the UK through specialist, independent whisky retailers.

UK RRPs as follows:

BenRiach 16YO Claret Finish - £39.99
BenRiach 17YO Rioja Finish - £44.99
BenRiach 17YO Burgundy Finish - £44.99


More good news from GlenDronach. On top of the news that its sales have soared since the launch of its 12, 15 and 18YO core range last year, the Aberdeenshire distillery has announced the forthcoming release of four new wood finishes - the first of their kind ever to be released by the distillery in its one hundred and eighty-year history.

This month they'll launch the much-anticipated Sauternes, Virgin Oak, Moscatel and Tawny Port Wood finishes.

Each unique expression was initially matured in European oak and thereafter finished its maturation in a very small batch of the respective wine barrels (or in one case, virgin oak), which have given the whisky its own unique flavours and aromas.

All are non-chill filtered and of natural colour and are bottled at 46%abv.

GlenDronach 14YO Sauternes Finish

Appearance - bright lemon straw
Nose - juicy and fresh. A blanket of creamed soda and wild strawberries backed up lush late harvest dessert wine. Hints of sherbet and ripe cherries. Very fruity.
Palate - apples and rhubarb drenched in home-made custard. Sweet dessert wine influences emerge with ripe sultanas and a lovely creamy heart.
Conclusions - sweet fresh and fragrant with balanced acidity. Lots of finesse and elegance, whilst still maintaining the lively youthful elements.

GlenDronach 14YO Virgin Oak Finish

Appearance - light gold. Freshly harvested straw.
Nose - toasted oak elements which are so intense that smoky attributes emerge. Sweet and lush tropical fruits rise with prominence. Banana and cacao, with roasted coconut.
Palate - spiced ginger and cinnamon cake with a beautiful smoky twist. Creamed dessicated coconut and fresh buttered toast with a handful of hazelnuts on the side.
Conclusion - a glorious nut feast with superb depth.

GlenDronach 15YO Moscatel Finish

Appearance - light gold.
Nose - golden syrup and nutmeg. Poached peaches and apricot flavours with fresh figs and dates. Subtle marzipan on the tail intensifies the aromatics.
Palate - sweet summer fruits of melon and pineapple intertwined with sweet ripe raisins and alcohol infused figs. Subtle marzipan adds a smooth round nutty edge.
Conclusion - a warming mix of fruit, nuts. Lovely length and balance.

GlenDronach 20YO Tawny Port Finish

Appearance - bright amber with a subtle tawny edge.
Nose - lashings of fine fortified wine elements and a generous portion of Mediterranean fruits including figs and dates.
Palate - stewed fruits of prunes, pears and apples. The stewed fruit is balanced with an injection of liquorice and subtle aniseed flavours. Massive power and definition.
Conclusion - a complex dram with a fantastic fortified backbone.

The release of a series of non-sherry wood finishes is certainly quite a departure from the norm for GlenDronach, where the tradition is to mature the whisky in big, rich sherry casks such as Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez.

As MD Billy Walker explained: "We're not looking to change the style of GlenDronach. Our focus will continue to be on richly sherried malts, but we were interested to see how the whisky would react to different types of wood. It was important that the whiskies we selected for 'finishing' were not typical GlenDronach (richly sherried); instead we opted for whisky that had been maturing in lighter casks - this meant we could experience in full the impact of the second cask, be it Sauternes, Virgin Oak, Moscatel or Tawny Port.

"Each of these 'finishes' has been bottled in relatively small quantities, ranging from 340 cases of the Tawny Port Finish to 860 cases of the Virgin Oak Finish."

The wood finishes will available in over twenty export markets, and in the UK through independent specialist whisky retailers, as well as at the distillery shop.

UK RRPs are as follows (70cl / 46%):

14YO Sauternes Finish - £41.99
14YO Virgin Oak Finish - £41.99
15YO Moscatel Finish - £44.99
20YO Tawny Port Finish - £64.99

GlenDronach, the richly-sherried Highland malt, has released Batch 2 of its single cask bottlings which includes seven rare and very limited expressions.

In chronological order, they are:

1971, cask 489, 39YO
Oloroso Sherry Butt, 48.8% vol
Liquorice and cloves partnering flawlessly with classic oloroso notes and lashings of chocolate orange nuances. Depth is built upon a layer of walnuts and almonds.
UK RRP £379.99

1972, cask 718, 38YO
Oloroso Sherry Butt, 51.5% vol,
Fruity and long. A tremendous concoction of sweet stewed fruits, nuts and chocolate. Fine old oloroso notes with terrific balance and acidity create excellent depth and definition.
UK RRP £359.99

1978, cask 1040, 31YO,
Oloroso Sherry Puncheon, 51.2% vol
Dense and long. Very elegant and smooth with classic sherry influences. Walnut flavours emerge which align perfectly with ripe citrus fruits.
UK RRP £184.99

1989, cask 3315, 20YO
Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon, 53.2% vol
Offers baked apples with sweet brown sugar syrup. Nutty, with almonds and hazelnuts bringing weight to the mix.
UK RRP £79.99

1990, cask 2621, 20YO
Oloroso Sherry Butt, 57.9% vol
Chocolate orange and coffee mocha mouse. Delightful balance and complexity with excellent length.
UK RRP £79.99

1991, cask 3182, 18YO
Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon, 51.7% vol
Bursting with stewed fruits, particularly sweet prunes. Date and dried fig characteristics add lovely depth and concentration.
UK RRP £70.99

1993, cask 529, 17YO
Oloroso Sherry Butt, 60.5% vol
Spicy and long. Superb mocha and hazelnut influences emerge, leading to a sweet rich finish.
UK RRP £66.99

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: "Each year we specially select a handful of individual casks from the warehouses at GlenDronach to be bottled as our 'Limited Releases'.

"We believe that the 2010 releases are excellent examples of the quality, richly-sherried style for which the GlenDronach distillery is famous.

"Batch 2 is being shipped to over twenty export markets and will also be available in the UK through independent specialist whisky retailers."
27 Jul 10

English Whisky Company minutes from disaster

England’s only whisky distillery was just minutes from losing prized stock following a fire on Monday.

Flames took hold in the corner of a workshop at the English Whisky Company in Harling Road, Roudham, at about 4.20pm.

Four fire engines were called to the fire, which was put out before it spread to the nearby whisky store.

All staff were evacuated safely.

Visitor centre manager Sarah Thacker said: “It was a real worry – it was close to where the whisky was kept.

“I heard one person say that in another ten minutes we could have lost it all.

“Importantly, the whisky is safe.”

Founder James Nelstrop and managing director Andrew Nelstrop were away on business in Scotland at the time of the fire, but have since returned.

The fire service was also worried about a store of chlorine used for cleaning which was close to the fire and sent for a special chemical incident unit in Norwich and a cordon was set up.

The crews spent about two hours at the scene but no danger was caused by the chemical.

27 Jul 10

According to a source, the 2010 Special Relases for this fall from Diageo will be:

Auchroisk 20Y
Brora 30Y
Caol Ila unpeated 12Y
Cragganmore 21Y
Glen Spey 21Y
Glenkinchie 20Y
Lagavulin 12Y
Port Ellen 31Y
Talisker 30Y

27 Jul 10

First account of historic distillery re-opening.

· Glenglassaugh – A Distillery Reborn written by Ian Buxton - with Foreword by Alex Salmond.

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company today announces the release of Glenglassaugh – A Distillery Reborn, published in association with The Angel’s Share (NWP, Glasgow).

The 118 page full colour book was written by Ian Buxton, a well-known whisky writer and consultant, who has worked with the distillery since March 2008. It records the history of the distillery from its establishment in 1875, through closure and the 2008 acquisition by the Scaent Group and Glenglassaugh’s subsequent refurbishment and re-opening. Many archive photographs are included, together with stunning new photography of the restoration by renowned distillery photographer Ian McIlwain.

The distillery’s MD, Stuart Nickerson, said:
“We are delighted with this book and our collaboration with The Angel’s Share. The result is a complete record of a remarkable story, told by a real insider, that is important both to the Scotch Whisky industry and this beautiful corner of Scotland.”

“We believe that Glenglassaugh – A Distillery Reborn will be of interest to our growing international customer base, whisky enthusiasts and local people. It’s a fascinating story, well told, and a handsome book to grace any library. We’d like to thank and congratulate Ian; Jules Akel, who designed the book and Alex Salmond, who contributed the Foreword in his previous role as our local MP.”

Glenglassaugh – A Distillery Reborn is available from the distillery; good bookshops everywhere; on-line at and and from Amazon.

Retail price: £14.99 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-906476-10-6

£19.99 (hard cover) ISBN: 978-1-906476-13-7

27 Jul 10

The BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd. -incorporating both The BenRiach Distillery and The GlenDronach Distillery- has recently purchased the Newbridge Bond on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This will provide us with our own sophisticated bottling facility, as well as increased storage capacity for finished products and dried goods, all of which should allow for greater flexibility moving forward. Souce:

27 Jul 10

Whisky Agency - Our new stock list
We´re happy to present our new range of bottlings. You may find the new entries as attached including -

our 6th series "Insects":
-Clynelish 1989 ex-bourbon
-Lochside 1981 ex-bourbon
-Miltonduff 1980 ex-bourbon
-Glen Grant 1973 ex-sherry

the latest "Perfect Dram" - additions:
-Linkwood 1973 ex-bourbon
-"A Speyside" 1969 ex-bourbon

as well as the new

"Private Stock" design:
-Clynelish 1972 sherry wood
-Bunnahabhain 1967 sherry wood

For any details or tasting notes please check our website: or contact us via email:

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