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31 Oct 08


BenRiach Distillery was last night (Thurs 30th Oct) crowned ‘Whisky Distiller of the Year’ at the annual ‘Icons of Whisky Scotland’ Awards, at a lavish ceremony held at Oran Mor in Glasgow’s West End.

The ‘Icons of Whisky’ is an annual event, organised by Whisky Magazine, and recognises the great and the good from the various whisky producing regions of the world. BenRiach, as winners of the ‘Whisky Distiller of the Year’ for Icons of Whisky Scotland, will now go on to compete with the regional winners from Ireland, USA, Canada, Japan and the Rest of the World for the title of ‘Overall Whisky Distiller of the Year’.

The category attracted stiff competition, with the likes of Glenmorangie, Benromach, Chivas Bros, Diageo, Glenrothes, Highland Park, Whyte & MacKay and William Grant all nominated.

BenRiach’s Managing Director Billy Walker, who was on hand to collect the award, commented:

‘This is a fantastic achievement for a private, independent company, and is recognition for the creative and innovative things that we have been doing at BenRiach over the last four years. It also reflects hugely the high quality of the team we have built at The BenRiach Distillery Company.’

The award caps of an incredible 12 months for the company, coming exactly one year to the day that BenRiach were awarded the title of ‘Distillery of the Year’ at US-based Malt Advocate Magazine’s 2007 Whisky Awards in New York, an accolade that was open to whisky producers from all corners of the globe.

It also follows The BenRiach Distillery Company’s recent acquisition of The Glendronach Distillery from Chivas Brothers, a major milestone in the development of the company. The purchase of Glendronach, which is located near Forgue, Aberdeenshire, was completed in August 2008.

Established in 1898 and located in the Speyside region, just south of Elgin, BenRiach Distillery has had a low profile existence for a number of years. However, in 2004 this changed when the distillery became independent, having been acquired by three entrepreneurs – Scotch whisky industry veteran Billy Walker and South Africans Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter.

Under the new owners the BenRiach Single Malt brand has been re-born and malt drinkers across the world now have the opportunity to enjoy the array of malt whiskies of various ages and styles that can be found maturing in our warehouses, some of which date back as far as 1966.

BenRiach is available in a variety of expressions ranging from 10 to 40 years old, and, unusually for a Speyside distillery, BenRiach produces whiskies distilled from both non-peated and peated malted barley. The brand is now available in over 30 countries world-wide, and key markets include the UK, Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan, the US and Canada.

31 Oct 08

Bruichladdich Distillery have released two ‘end-of-era' single malts.

The new bottlings, "Golder Still" and "Sherry 21", are the last in a run of particularly special casks the style of which are unlikely to be seen again.

"Golder Still" was aged in rare "squat-hogsheads", novel casks tested in the late 70s by US coopers seeking the optimum cask shape for modern storage.

Fortuitously, the extra whisky-to-wood contact in these stumpy, Disney-like, experimental bourbon casks, imparted greater colour and flavour to the spirit.

Mark Reynier: "There's not much and it's unrepeatable - but it's a glorious, old-style whisky; a classic Laddie, all barley-sugar flavours with a golder hue."

The "Sherry 21" also comes from the last of a line. Since 1981 sherry is only Spanish bottled, so UK bulk shipments ceased and cask availability dried up.

A larger scale bottling, it replaces the successful Twenty series of bourbon matured Bruichladdichs, and stocks are scheduled to last until 2010.

"Decent condition, authentic Oloroso butts are now almost as rare as hens' teeth. Sadly, you can see why E150 has become so standard in the industry.

"This is the natural, real deal - rich, mellow, and warming whisky; an ideal winter night-cap with it's hints of orange, apricot, plum, fig, and dates.

"For connoisseurs, these are two delicious extremes of Bruichladdich. For us, they are the end of a run. For both, they represent the end of an era."

30 Oct 08

Limited Edition Chivas Regal Bottle By Alexander McQueen

Scottish Whisky maker Chivas Regal have teamed up with British designer Alexander McQueen to create a limited edition bottle for their Gold Signature 18 Year whiskey. The limited edition bottle is clad in a blue leather dress and features a gold label as well as a cork made in McQueen’s signature Union Jack colors. Only three hundred of the bottles will be made available making them a very exclusive item. Source:

28 Oct 08

International Beverage centralises marketing

Source: | Author: Russell Parsons
International Beverage Holdings, parent of Inver House Distillers, is to centralise its global marketing operations in Scotland.

The enlarged marketing hub will take responsibility for the development of the group’s entire brand portfolio, which includes whisky brands Old Pulteney and Balblair and Chang Beer, as well as marketing direction for North America, Europe, South-East and North Asia.

The Airdrie-based team will work with regional offices to implement ideas in-market. Product development and new launches will also be run from the hub
As part of the new arrangement, the International Beverage brand name will be operational across sales, marketing and customer services, with the Inver House Distillers name covering production, distillation and maturation of Scotch whisky.

In addition, the company’s sales and customer services functions for the European Union, Eastern Europe, South America, India and the Middle East are also to be headquartered in Airdrie.

Twenty new jobs will be created as a result of the development.

27 Oct 08

2001 Resurrection Dram

The first bottling of the new era for Bruichladdich is being launched. The Islay distillery saved from extinction is now ready to show off it’s inaugural dram.

The distillery had been closed down In 1994, the staff sacked, machinery left to the vagaries of Hebridean weather, there was scant hope of resurrecting it.

Yet, in 2001 under new, private ownership and six months of stripping down every nut and bolt of the old Victorian machinery, the 'old lady danced again'.

Bruichladdich was built in 1881 by the Harveys, the dynastic distilling family. The three brothers, in their twenties, used their late father’s bequest.

Using over a century of distilling know-how, they designed a state-of-the-art-distillery to make the purest spirit possible. Nothing since has changed.

Company founder and MD Mark Reynier: “This is a celebration bottling - our first Bruichladdich, the resurrection of a legend, the realisation of a dream.

“Our Resurrection Dram is a testament to the inspired – the Harvey brothers, their avant-guard distillery design and today’s vibrant team of distillers.

“It is the embodiment of a new era, returning to a more artisanal, old-fashioned, quality way of doing things - like Jim McEwan’s ‘trickle-distillation’.”

In contrast to heavily-peated Port Charlotte and the mighty peat of Octomore, Bruichladdich itself retains the traditional, minimal peat level of 3-5 ppm.

However, casks for this first bottling alone were surprisingly selected from a small, one-off distillation of lightly-peated barley, at an experimental 10 ppm.

The whisky, a pale gold colour after maturing in premium quality American oak, was naturally bottled, with out chill-filtration and colouring-free, on Islay.

“Our progressive outlook is inextricably linked to our Hebridean heritage -which means Bruichladdich will always stand out from the crowd.

“2001 is a Spirit Odyssey, an exciting journey into the new millennium.” RRP: £36 / £79 24,000 bottles at 46% Source:

26 Oct 08

Cheer for blended whiskies as drinkers move away from single malts

GLENFIDDICH, Macallan and Glenmorangie are among the big names that have prospered as single malt Scotch whiskies enjoyed a boom in sales.
But they could soon be usurped by the growing popularity of imported whiskies as British consumers develop a growing taste for US and Irish blends such as Jack Daniel's, Jameson and Bushmills.

After decades of growth, which has helped breathe new life into the industry, evidence suggests sales of malt may finally have peaked.

Discounting, more educated consumers and changes in people's tastes have all been blamed for the trend that has seen an increase in the level of demand for blended whisky.

Figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show that the volume of blends in the UK rose by 1% last year, the first volume increase for the category in the UK since 2001. But Nielsen figures for the UK show that the malt whisky category has fallen 3% and looks likely to be overtaken by imported whiskey, which is growing at 9%.

Alex Nicol, managing director of Spencerfield Spirits Company, which owns Pig's Nose and Sheep Dip, says the perception that malt is a superior product to blended whisky is wrong. He said: "Last year at consumer shows, I ran tastes to about 20,00 people, and nearly everyone said they preferred malts because they thought it was the correct thing to say. In reality, every malt is a blend anyway. So a 10-year-old Glenmorangie will have a bit of 12-year-old in it. If it is produced from grain it doesn't mean it is bad. If it has been aged in good wood it is often a fantastic product."

Globally, blended Scotch whisky enjoyed a record year in 2007, with shipments up 14% in value to more than £2.3 billion. Provisional export figures for the first six months of 2008 recorded a 13% growth in value for blended Scotch whisky when compared to the same period in 2007.

Ian Bankier, owner of the Whisky Shop retail chain, said: "The fashion for the big Islay taste may have peaked a little, and people are prepared to drink more readily a sweeter, lighter Speyside whisky."

David Williamson, a spokesman for the SWA, said: "2007 was a record year for blended Scotch whisky, with the category enjoying strong international growth.

"Whilst distillers are watching the impact of the financial crisis on the real economy at home and abroad closely, the growing popularity of blended Scotch whisky is one of the key reasons for the optimism across the whisky industry at the moment, optimism which has resulted in major new investments in production capacity."

25 Oct 08 Auchentoshan Distillery Releases 42-Year-Old Whisky
The last couple of months have seen the debut of some very expensive whiskies. Auchentoshan Distillery has come out with a premium limited-edition 42 year-old that like the recent Balevenie offering, is a travel exclusive. The whisky has been resting in American oak barrels at the lowland distillery warehouse near Glasgow for 42 years. it has a golden color with scents of honey, vanilla and coconut. There are 123 bottles of the rare vintage that have been produced and each is individually hand numbered. The bottles will be sold at World of Whiskies stores at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports starting on October 29. It retails for £2,000 (around $3,300)
23 Oct 08

21 of The Macallan Fine Oak 21 years old
Own and enjoy one of a limited edition of exactly twenty-one (21) engraved bottles of Macallan Fine Oak 21 years old whisky
by Doug Stone, October 2008
This past summer I began thinking about the approaching holiday season and were searching for a truly special gift idea to feature on I wanted something that was representational of the whisky experience...words like strength, heritage, individuality, fortitude, wisdom, inspiration and integrity kept coming up...that was out of the ordinary, and would have lasting value with years of enjoyment.

One July night while enjoying a dram at the Hudson House in Nyack NY (one of my favorites), proprietor and good friend Matt Hudson told me about a guy he knew who engraved bottles, and offered to introduce me to him.

A week later I drove up the Palisades Parkway to Inner Light Crystal Studios and spent a few hours with artist David Sugar who, along with his partner artist Carol Iselin, are the creative minds behind the studio's designs. My afternoon was spent frozen in a state of awe.

Over the next several weeks we went back and forth on ideas, looking at sketch concepts of inspirational images and searching for the right whisky bottle to use as a canvas. Where we landed, so to speak, was on as image of a Bald Eagle that was so striking that...well see it for yourself.

And where better to have that eagle perched than atop a Fine Oak..Macallan Fine Oak 21 years old to be exact.

So I decided to commission Inner Light Crystal to produce a limited edition of exactly twenty-one (21) engraved bottles of Macallan Fine Oak 21 years old whisky. Each bottle is signed by the artists and individually numbered and will be accompanied by a pair of CelticMalts Spirits Glasses, engraved with wonderful quotes, and a certificate of authenticity signed by the artists.

I believe the combination of the breathtaking engraving on a bottle of incomparably delicious and enjoyable Macallan Fine Oak 21 whisky create an artistic combination that will be an enjoyable investment. While I'm are certainly no predictors of future values of these things, other designs by Inner Light Crystal Studios have commanded top-dollar at recent auctions/ galleries like the Napa Valley Wine Auction, the Wine Spectator Auction, at the ACA Gallery in Chelsea NYC as well as the Heller Glass Gallery in NYC. For more details, click here

23 Oct 08

Balblair unveils limited edition vintage

Multi award-winning Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled its oldest and most exclusive vintage release to date - Balblair 1965, which will be one of the finest additions to the Balblair portfolio.

Just 350 bottles of this rare and limited edition vintage will be released and each bottle will retail at £1250. The vintage was distilled on 23rd March 1965 and slowly matured in Single American Oak ex Sherry casks. Bottled in its purest form at natural colour and strength of 52.3%, Balblair 1965 is bright golden in appearance, superbly well-balanced, slightly smoky and with aromas of honey, raisins, pears and lemons. On the palate it is sweet, creamy and spicy with traces of honey and a slight smokiness, leading to a long-lasting finish.

Each Balblair 1965 bottle is truly special, containing a bespoke Certificate of Authenticity, a booklet and a letter hand-signed by Distillery Manager John MacDonald, informing consumers that they are entitled to receive a free limited edition print of the Balblair distillery by acclaimed Scottish photographer Fin Macrae. Such a collectable item is worth £300 and every print is numbered and signed by Fin Macrae.

Only the world's finest specialist whisky stockists in the UK and internationally will be allocated a few bottles of this exquisite limited edition vintage malt.

Says Distillery Manager John MacDonald: 'With Balblair 1965 we have found an exceptional dram and all the hard work, dedication and devotion from the team here at Edderton has really paid off. It is very rare to discover such an old yet perfect vintage and everyone at the distillery is very proud. We hope that whisky aficionados around the world who have the chance to savour Balblair 1965 truly enjoy this most complex and beautifully crafted fine malt.'

Balblair Highland Single Malt Whisky is one of the whisky world's finest and most exquisite products. The malt is ‘devoted to detail' in every sense: its contemporary and award-winning design, perfectly crafted taste using only the finest ingredients, its careful selection and production, the expertise of Distillery Manager John MacDonald and its association with the finest, contemporary brands and luxury markets all contribute to Balblair's continued global success amongst discerning consumers.

Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch whisky, which is part of the Inver House Distillers portfolio, has won a multitude of awards this year including Gold and Bronze at the recent International Spirits Challenge 2008, Gold: Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2008 and two Gold Awards at the Scotch Whisky Masters 2008. Furthermore, Balblair contributed significantly to Inver House Distillers' highest accolade so far, the International Distiller of the Year award at this year's Icons of Whisky.

At Balblair distillery, on the shores of the Dornoch Firth in Edderton, Tain, super-premium vintages are diligently handpicked by Distillery Manager John MacDonald and only the finest whiskies - those that have matured and reached absolute perfection - are chosen to be released. After nosing a selection of barrels at the distillery, Balblair 1965 was discovered and selected to be released as it had reached the peak of maturation and excellency.

19 Oct 08

Scotch whisky makers head for India

A team of the Scottish Whisky Association has left for India to host an event designed to strengthen ties between India and the whisky industry.

Up to 400 key stakeholders, including government, media and trade, are expected to attend the "Celebration of Scotch Whisky" at the British High Commissioner's residence in New Delhi.

The Scottish delegation is led by the chief executive of the Scottish Whisky Association, Gavin Hewitt. The Association wants to use the current EU-India Free Trade negotiations as an opportunity for wider trade deals in spirits.

Both the Scotch Whisky and Indian spirits industries are well placed to succeed in the future and to benefit from the new opportunities that are arising, Hewitt is expected to say at the event, according to Scotland on Sunday.

India last year reduced its tariffs on imported spirits and whisky exports to India are expected to increase in coming years as Scotch becomes more affordable.

19 Oct 08

Whisky distiller pours money into untapped tourism market
By William Lyons
MORRISON Bowmore distillers, best known for its eponymous Islay malt, is making a move into the tourism sector to tap the growing number of overseas visitors coming to sample Scotch whisky's heritage.
The firm, which was bought by Suntory of Japan in 1994, will this month unveil a £500,000 investment in its Auchentoshan distillery, including a 30-seat cinema and four-star conference centre.

Chief executive Mike Keiller, who this year unveiled pe-tax profits of £3.16m on a turnover of £39m, said that the whisky industry has been slow to wake up to the potential of tourism.

He said: "The industry is just waking up to the fact of the enormity of the tourist offering. This part of our business has grown 5% in the last year and now accounts for around £1m of turnover. But we are looking to double the number of visitors coming through the doors in the next three years. People love coming here, seeing the distillery and learning a bit about the history. The Americans do it very well in the bourbon industry, so why can't we?"

Since losses in 2002 and 2003, the firm has seen a leap in pre-tax profits and next year it should hit the £5m mark on group turnover of nearly £40m. As well as the growth of single malts, this has been achieved by ditching the unprofitable own-label business.

Keiller added: "We are growing the business (core profits] between 15% and 20% per annum, which is well ahead of Diageo and Pernod and shows the strength of single malts. Yes, we are small so it is not a completely fair comparison, but it is one I certainly made to Suntory recently."

Keiller's portfolio touches three regional bases: Bowmore from Islay, Glen Garioch from the Highlands, and Auchentoshan in the Lowlands, just outside Glasgow.

He said with the backing of Suntory he would be interested in acquiring a new distillery. A string of deals has been completed in the last six months as well as announcements from Pernod Ricard that it is expanding its Glenlivet distillery and Diageo's announcement that it is to invest more than £100m in the sector.

The average number of people employed by the group rose to 177, up from 170 in the previous year.

15 Oct 08

Bruichladdich has released an all American Classic with French royal family and a revolutionary war connections - The Bourbon 16.

New Bourbon laws, when US Prohibition ended in 1933, stated casks must be used just once before being sold off.

Today redundant Bourbon barrels represent about 97% of casks used for maturing Scotch whisky. Their influence on Scotch is enormous.

These casks are made from Quercus Alba, white oak, also known as American Oak from the Ozark mountains of Missouri and Kentucky.
Tyloses, or celluar growths, make this oak more water-tight meaning it can be machine-worked, use thinner staves, reducing coopering costs.

“Our American Classic, the Bourbon 16”, says MD Mark Reynier, “makes a great contrast to our French oak “First Growth” series.

“We wanted to reaffirm the American connection: The end of Prohibition changed not only America but the flavour of Scotch Whisky. (...)

The RP +/- £45 or $99 Strength: 46%
The American Classic 16 bottling is forecast to run until 2011. It replaces the Bruichladdich Fifteen year old bottling. Source: w

14 Oct 08

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of its iconic Striding Man® logo, the makers of Johnnie Walker will be marking the beginning of the festive season with the release of the Johnnie Walker Black Label® Limited Edition Centenary pack. The sleek high gloss black bottle is embellished with the Striding Man, made using 23 Carat Gold.

The festive season, which includes Diwali, is a key period for Johnnie Walker Black Label to develop its position as the premium blended Scotch whisky brand of choice for Asian celebration occasions. In addition to the launch of the Limited Edition Centenary pack, Johnnie Walker Black Label will also run promotional activity from October, including new POS material for retailers with the tagline ‘Celebrate Generations of Pioneering Spirit.' The strapline highlights the value of ensuring rich traditions are handed down from generation to generation which are integral to Asian culture, and which have been so important to the success of the Johnnie Walker brand.

The Johnnie Walker Black Label Limited Edition Centenary pack is a celebration of the pioneering spirit and uncompromising values embraced by the brand over the past 100 years. It is the perfect gift for any friend or business associate and a significant keepsake for any whisky connoisseur, or is ideal to mark a wedding occasion more here

13 Oct 08

With increased growth in the Malt Whisky category1 in Great Britain, Diageo Great Britain (GB)announces the launch of a new Single Malt Scotch Whisky, The Singleton of Dufftown, to its already established Whisky portfolio. Heralding from Dufftown in Speyside, proudly proclaimed as the ‘Malt Whisky Capital of the World', The Singleton of Dufftown has been designed to create a new signpost in the Malt Whisky category.

Malt Whisky sales in Great Britain have enjoyed +11%2 of volume growth over the past four years, with the category now worth £191million3. Diageo GB research has shown that there is an opportunity to grow the market further by bringing new consumers into the Malt Whisky category4.

Diageo has developed The Singleton of Dufftown specifically to target new Malt Whisky consumers. Research has identified that consumers believe Malt Whisky has a strong, challenging taste, which is a barrier to people coming into the category5. The Singleton of Dufftown offers a rich, smooth taste profile to attract new consumers, backed by the strong Singleton name that makes it easy to identify as a Single Malt Whisky.

The 12 year old Scotch Whisky achieves its exceptional smoothness through longer fermentation, slow distillation and the use of a highly revered water of exceptional quality. The water, which comes from Highlandman John's Well in Scotland6, is so sought-after, legend has it that in the past the Dufftown distillery has had to field off rivals who have tried to steal it.

Diageo GB is investing £800,000 in a marketing campaign for the launch of The Singleton of Dufftown, which includes a print advertising campaign, experiential and in-store sampling and consumer PR. The marketing campaign will run from October to December and aims to drive awareness and trial among non-Malt Whisky consumers.

Steve Wood, Senior Brand Manager for Malt Whisky at Diageo GB, comments: "The Singleton of Dufftown is an exciting launch for Diageo Great Britain and for the Single Malt Whisky category. By targeting discerning consumers who would like to drink Single Malt Whisky but feel that there are too many barriers, we are tapping into an opportunity that will drive longer term growth in the category."

An initial trial period in Global Duty Free produced strong sales results and consumer feedback for The Singleton of Dufftown. The majority of shoppers (61%) quoted the taste as their reason for purchase7 during the trial.

The Singleton of Dufftown is encased in a distinctive blue bottle, which is shaped like a pebble to represent the smoothing effect that water has in nature - just as it smoothes pebbles over time, it also smoothes the whisky that it goes into. The blue glass bottle reflects 19th century glass-making traditions, illustrating the strong heritage of the distillery. The Singleton of Dufftown has an RRP of £28.69 and is available from October.

In taste, The Singleton of Dufftown has sweet fruity notes produced from fermentation in a unique balance of European (sherry) and American (bourbon) oak casks. The sweetness and smoothness impress at first, followed by a hint of blackcurrant fruit and pleasant delayed warmth. Source: Diageo

09 oct 08

News from Springbank

Production at Springbank
Contrary to rumours which have been sweeping the globe for the last couple of months, Springbank Distillery is not closing, neither has it shut down for two years. We have re-modelled our production schedule and at the moment we are malting 50 tonnes of locally-grown barley. With the malting process due to be completed just before Christmas, we are on schedule to begin distilling again early in 2009, both at Springbank and Mitchell’s Glengyle Distilleries.

Whisky Festivals and Shows
With the autumn being a particulary fun time for whisky fans as shows, fairs and festivals are being held around the world, the sales team will be busy jetting of to spread the word of Springbank and Cadenhead’s at those events. We really enjoy meeting and talking to whisky drinkers - and especially Society members - at these kinds of events and we hope to see as many of you as possible on our travels. Here is a list of just some of the events we will be attending between now and Christmas:
Sat 11th - Sun 12th Oct - Whisky Lovers’ Weekend, British Hills,Tokyo, Japan
Fri 10th Oct - WhiskyFest, San Francisco, USA
Mon 13th Oct - Salon Dugas, Paris, France
Tue 14th - Sat18th Oct - Tiree Wave Classic, Tiree, Scotland
Thur 16th Oct - Single Malt Club Tasting, Florence, Italy
Sat 18th - Sun 19th Oct - Milano Whisky Festival, Milan, Italy
Sat 25th - Sun 26th Oct - Oddbins Wine Fair, Edinburgh, Scotland
Fri 31st Oct - Sat 1st Nov - Whisky Live, Glasgow, Scotland
Sat 8th - Sun 9th Nov - Spirits in the Sky, Leuven, Belgium
Tue 11th Nov - WhiskyFest, New York, USA
Fri 14th - Sun 16th Nov - Whisky Live, Leiden, Holland
Thur 27th - Sat 29th Nov - Whisky Ships, Zurich, Switzerland

Springbank, Kilkerran and Tasting Room Websites
Our three websites have recently undergone a face-lift and we think that they are better looking and much more informative. is the place to visit for all the information about Springbank, Longorw and Hazelburn, while at you can find out all about Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery. To keep up with all the latest news and views from the company, visit The Tasting Room Blog at Source: Springbank

08 0ct 08

Bottle of whisky could fetch £5,000

A rare bottle of 100-year-old whisky found hidden behind a trap door in an American house could fetch up to £5,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction.

Experts believe the bottle of Glencadam single malt was stashed away during the Prohibition era between 1920 and 1933 and then forgotten about.

It only came to light in the 1950s when the wall was taken down during renovations of the house in Washington State.

08 Oct 08

Dickel Distillery celebrates 50th anniversary with reception

In honor of the 50th anniversary of distillery’s opening at Cascade Hollow, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky hosted guests on the grounds of Cascade Hollow to celebrate its anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 25.

Employees, media, elected officials and members of the community were treated to a dinner reception, an interactive discussion with master distiller John Lunn and tours of the grounds. A special tree planting ceremony was held in honor of master distiller Ralph Dupps who resurrected the George Dickel Distillery in 1958 to carry on the handcrafted distilling process originally set forth by George A. Dickel more than a century ago.

With the help of old records, manuscripts and historical documents of the original distillery, Dupps acquired 850 acres of land and meticulously rebuilt the distillery, just three fourths of a mile from its original location.

"Tonight we want to celebrate all those people, including Mr. Dupps, who have helped keep the legacy of this great American whisky brand alive," said Lunn. "Dickel’s great whiskies - No.8, No.12, Barrel Select and Cascade Hallow Batch Recipe - truly embody the spirit of Tennessee: tradition, authenticity, family and community."

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, along with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, are owned and operated by Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, wine and beer company.

"By continuing the distilling traditions of George Dickel and Ralph Dupps, we are proud to bring our loyal consumers whisky made the old fashioned way – the way it used to be and the way it always will be at Cascade Hollow," Lunn said.

07 Oct 08

Whisky collection 'returns home'

Brazilian collector Claive Vidiz with some of his 3,384 bottles of whisky
The world's largest collection of whiskies has arrived in Edinburgh this week, brought home from Brazil.
Featuring 3,384 bottles, the record-breaking collection was built up over 35 years by Brazilian whisky enthusiast Claive Vidiz.
Mr Vidiz has scoured the world for whiskies to create the collection, which has been bought by Diageo.
The whisky manufacturer will be loaning the collection to the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile next year.
The bottles are currently being stored in a high security location in Scotland, after being shipped 6,500 miles from Sao Paulo on board a container ship.
A specially designed vault is being created at the Scotch Whisky Experience to display the collection.

It will form part of a £2m investment at the five-star tourist attraction.
While the details of the terms of its sale to Diageo remain under wraps, the unique collection is described by whisky experts as "invaluable" and ranges from the most popular whiskies to some of the rarest.
Mr Vadiz said: "To split up a collection which I have devoted more than 35 years of my life to would have broken my heart so I am truly thrilled Diageo has purchased it in its entirety.
"It is now in the hands of a company which is at the heart of the Scotch industry and I am certain they will cherish and develop the collection.
"It is also wonderful to see it safely back in Scotland. We have an expression in Brazil, 'the good son returns home', and in my view the collection is back with its family now."
Among the many rare bottles is a Strathmill single malt produced to celebrate the Speyside distillery's 100th anniversary.
Limited edition
One of only 100 bottles ever produced, this limited edition centenary malt was offered to a very select few, including various heads of state.
A favourite of Mr Vidiz is Dimple Pinch, one of the first special editions of a Scotch whisky ever produced.
Bought in 1969 for US $1,000, it was the most expensive limited edition bottle of Scotch whisky on the market at the time.
Shipping the fragile cargo across the Atlantic took months of preparation and each bottle was individually packaged by fine art specialists.
"We are delighted to have worked with Claive to bring this wonderful collection safely back to Scotland and to play a part in preserving its legacy and historic significance," said Bryan Donaghey, managing director of Diageo Scotland.
VisitScotland's chief executive, Philip Riddle said: "The return of such an important and interesting collection of Scotch whisky to Scotland is fantastic news, particularly as we look forward to Homecoming Scotland 2009."

24 Sep 08

Whisky firm in growth again

WHYTE & Mackay has returned to growth in its first full year since being bought by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya.
Pre-tax profits of £25.6 million have been posted by the Scotch whisky distiller, whose brands include Jura malt, Vladivar vodka and Glayva liqueur, for the 18 months since Mr Mallya took over.

The figures, which show a turnover of £348.1m for the year-and-a-half to the end of March, compare to the company's pre-tax loss of £2.2m in the year to the end of September 2006, and £3.4m the year before.

Mr Mallya owns United Breweries, which includes the Kingfisher beer brand, as well as India's Kingfisher Airlines. He paid £595m for Whyte & Mackay, and announced plans to invest around £10m to increase capacity.

16 Sep 08

Glen Moray whisky brand sold to French spirits company
The Glenmorangie Company is selling its Glen Moray distillery and whisky brand to independent French spirits company La Martiniquaise.

The sale of the Glen Moray distillery marks part of Glenmorangie's re-organisation plans which were announced in July and incorporate a major investment programme worth £45 million. The plans will see the company focus on developing its premium single malt Scotch whisky brands - Glenmorangie and Ardbeg - to meet a growing demand for single malt whisky in key and emerging markets such as Asia, Europe and the USA.

La Martiniquaise already has significant Scotch whisky operations in Scotland; Glen Turner single malt and Label 5 blended scotch whisky are both bottled at its Bathgate distillery in West Lothian where.

Chief executive of The Glenmorangie Company, Paul Neep, said: "We believe that La Martiniquaise will provide an excellent ‘home' for the distillery, the brand and its employees and they will continue to develop and expand the Glen Moray brand."

All employees at the Glen Moray distillery are expected to retain their jobs as part of the sale agreement. The deal is expected to formally complete before the end of October.

Glen Moray distillery was originally built as a brewery in 1831 and was converted to a distillery in 1897. The Glenmorangie Company had owned the distillery since 1920.

13 Sep 08

Entrepreneurs plan to bring whisky back to Falkirk by Steven Vass

FALKIRK IS set to have its own whisky distillery for the first time in 15 years as a group of local developers aims to revive the town's Rosebank malt.

The return of the triple-distilled single malt now hinges on a planning application by entrepreneurs Fiona and Alan Stewart of The Falkirk Distillery Company (TFDC).

It is not clear, however, how the Stewarts, who plan to produce 60,000 litres of the spirit every year, will be able to get their wish of using the Rosebank name. Brand owner Diageo, which still sells the old stock, has said it is not willing to sell the name and the new Scotch whisky regulations prohibit using an old whisky's name unless it is made in the same distillery.

Backed by their father George, owner of Grangemouth-based Midland Electrical Winding, the Stewarts' £5 million plan is to build a new distillery together with an 80-seat restaurant, visitor centre and five tourist shops. It would create 83 jobs and add another tourist attraction to the area in addition to the Falkirk Wheel and forthcoming Helix eco-park.

The new distillery aims to correct the locally perceived injustice of Diageo's decision, when deciding on the location of a single lowland distillery, to favour Glenkinchie in East Lothian over the Falkirk distillery. Local loyalty to Rosebank is supported by some whisky industry sources who believe the Falkirk whisky is the better product, albeit manufactured in less picturesque surroundings.

Fiona Stewart told the Sunday Herald that if they were not able to use the Rosebank name, they would brand the whisky The Falkirk Distillery Company.

She said: "In a few years, Rosebank will be no longer. There's going to be no more whisky and part of the history of Falkirk will be lost.

"We knew that the Rosebank distillery was up for sale a few years ago but it wasn't viable for us to buy it. We thought it would be an idea to take some of the heritage from Rosebank and take it forward."

She said they were moving to a new site because the current mothballed site in the town's Camelon area is part of a housing development by British Waterways. But to get as close as possible to the whisky's original flavour - described by one writer as having "hints of white fruits and cut flowers" - TFDC aims to use the original copper stills, mash tun and other equipment.

The developer has also been told by water consultants that the water running through its site, which is farming land off the A9 in East Beancross to the west of the town, has the right mix of natural impurities suitable for quality Scotch. The distillery would be located within the town's Helix project, which has £25m of National Lottery backing and will be dominated by two 100ft horse sculptures.

If the council agrees to the new distillery, it will be built in the traditional whitewash pagoda style, similar to the Dalwhinnie plant in Inverness-shire. Planning delays are likely to push the opening date back from the proposed April 2009 to 2010.

The company aims to charge £5 for entry and will offer distillery tours and tasting. Taking advantage of the location off the M9, close to the Falkirk Wheel, it is hoping to attract 16,000 visitors in its first year, rising to 24,000 within three years.

The distillery was closed in 1993 by owner United Distillers before being bought out by Diageo.

A spokesman for Diageo said the Rosebank distillery was closed because of the town's expansion and "environmental management issues". He added: "We are happy to be helpful and contribute where we can, but the trademark is not for sale and we retain the brand name".

A successful outcome for the Stewarts would gratify worldwide fans of the late whisky and beer connoisseur Michael Jackson, who died last August. Jackson wrote that "if there is a God" Rosebank whisky would be produced again.

11 Sep 08

Spirit of the West
Scotland's Whisky Coast Invites the World to Come Home for weekend event

The Whisky Coast, Scotland's west coast whisky trail, will present "Spirit of the West", a spectacular weekend event on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th May 2009 at Inveraray Castle, Argyllshire.

Spirit of the West is part of the year long Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations and is a key feature of its "Whisky Month" in May. The ticketed two day event will be a celebration of Scotland's west coast whisky and the rich culture and dramatic scenery in which it is created.

Spirit of the West aims to attract up to 6,000 visitors over the two days, inviting those from the UK and all over the world to take part. The event is a must for lovers of Scotland's single malts, food & drink, golf and Scottish ancestry. It is also perfect for those who simply love and want to experience Scotland's vibrancy, historic traditions and rugged scenery. Spirit of the West will cater for little ones too, with fun and educational entertainment making it a perfect family event. More on

11 Sep 08

A special Balvenie for a special retailer
The Balvenie Distillery has released 151 bottles filled from a single cask of The Balvenie laid down in 1964.

If you're interested in getting it, you'll have to go to the Sky Connection duty free retailer in the Hong Kong International Airport. That's who the limited edition was bottled for.

Oh, one other thing that will help guarantee its exclusivity. It sells for $14,200 a bottle.

The Balvenie 1964 Single Malt Scotch Whisky comes from cask number 10378, and was matured at the distillery in Speyside, Scotland. Malt master David Stewart, who selected the whisky, told the Moodie Report:

"It is only a few special casks of The Balvenie single malt that continue to improve beyond 40 years. Each cask has a unique influence on the spirit it holds and the fine balance of flavours in The Balvenie 1964 can never be repeated."

It was bottled at cask strength of 41.3% alcohol by volume (82.6 proof). Each individually hand-numbered bottle is presented in a cherry wood box.
11 Sep 08

Diageo, 2 others keen to take stake in United Spirits
Bangalore: The world’s largest liquor company Diageo, which makes Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, and two other companies have expressed their interest in picking up stake in United Spirits, its Chairman, Vijay Mallya, said on Wednesday.

Vijay Mallya opposes ban on Bangalore's night life

Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of the United Breweries’ annual general meeting, Mallya, who is also the Chairman and Managing Director of the UB Group, said there were at least three strategic investors who were keen on picking up stake in United Spirits.

Kingfisher takes off to London on maiden flight

“Let me tell you, it (the stake sale offer) is not confined to Diageo. I have received several expressions of interest. I have a minimum of three offers,” he said.

Mallya may move Deccan hub to Mumbai

Treasury stocks

Mallya said investors are keen to pick up stake because they know that United Spirits has about 17 per cent of treasury stocks. It was left with treasury stocks from the merger of several liquor companies into itself. These stocks are usually resold to the public to raise cash. (...)

Contemplating merger

He also said that with Millennium Alcobev (MABL), which is co-owned by United Breweries, performing better, United Breweries was keen to merge it with itself.
There will not be any negative impact on United Breweries’ balance sheet because of the merger of MABL with the company.

MABL had a debt burden of around Rs 200 crore a couple of years ago and at that time UB had put off the merger decision.
Mallya said United Breweries’ sales volumes had grown 8 per cent compared with the industry average of about 5 per cent. (...)

According to, the two others groups are Suntory and Pernod-ricard

10 Sep 08 Dalmore,, has launched its new luxury website.
09 Sep 08

UK: Bowmore launches limited edition Scotch
White Bowmore, for a very special friend

Scotch distiller Bowmore has launched the second of three limited edition whiskies, targeted at the luxury spirits market.

Only 732 bottles of White Bowmore, a 43 year old single malt, have been made at the Bowmore Distillery on Islay, the firm said today (9 Setpember).

Costing GBP2,500 (US$4,400) per bottle, its release follows the launch of 42 year old Black Bowmore last year, marking a concerted effort by the group to target the luxury spirits market. A third release is still to come.

White Bowmore has been maturing in six bourbon casks since 1964, according to the company, and has been positioned as a collector's item for whisky connoisseurs throughout the world.

Glen Moore, Bowmore brand director, said: "Since the release last year of the 42 year old, there has been a huge amount of interest regarding this year's release." Source: editorial team

09 Sep 08

Diageo gives Johnnie Walker the royal treatment

Diageo GB is launching a special edition of its Johnnie Walker whisky to commemorate the first royal warrant granted to the brand in 1934.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V will be available in the on and off-trade via Selfridges, Harrods and outlets including The Dorchester Hotel and The Ritz. It has a retail price of £420 a bottle.

Jonathan Driver, brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V, said: "Johnnie Walker has access to an unrivalled collection of fine whiskies that date back to the early 20th Century. This stock of whiskies has been carefully maintained for generations and is the diamond mine of the industry. Some of the rarest whiskies - many from distilleries that no longer exist - have gone into the creation of this extraordinary blend of Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition."

The non-existant distilleries include that at Port Ellen.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition is presented in an exclusive decanter, with the bottle placed in a silk-lined presentation box where it sits on a removable display holder. Each edition also comes with a certificate of authenticity which is individually numbered.

07 Sep 08

When is a Scotch not a Scotch? When it is aged in France...
By Cahal Milmo

Aged in barrels and distilled from cognac and grape juice in central France, Le Whisky Bercloux is presented to its growing band of fans as a triumphant melding of French and Scottish traditions that produce a spirit from the Highlands which "releases the perfume of French honey".

The problem is that the producers of the tipple have added another word to the bottle: Scotch. The justification offered by the makers is that it is made from raw whisky imported from a distillery to the north of Glasgow, before being matured in oak barrels by a small family firm in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France.

Unfortunately, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the trade body which spends £1.5m each year on legal action to protect its product from an increasing cabal of international imitators and counterfeiters, sees this attempt at a whisky-fuelled entente cordiale somewhat differently. Yesterday, it warned the Brasserie de Bercloux, the producers of the French "Scotch", that it was sending in the lawyers with an implicit demand to remove all Scottish associations from their whisky.

Under British and European law, a whisky can only be called Scotch when it has been made and aged entirely in Scotland. By maturing Le Whisky Bercloux in old barrels used to make Pineau Des Charentes, a popular cognac-based aperitif, it is alleged that the French company is breaking rules set up to protect the Scotch industry, worth £2.8bn a year to the British economy in exports.

A spokesman for the SWA said: "If the product has been matured in France, it should not be sold as 'Scotch Whisky'. The SWA legal team will be looking into this particular instance further."

The owners of the Brasserie de Bercloux, who sell their whisky in an eye-catching bottle for €16 (£13), declined to comment on the claims. But the company confirmed it was using whisky imported from a distillery close to Alexandria, at the southern end of Loch Lomond, and leaving it to mature for two months in Pineau barrels.

It is likely they will soon find themselves on the receiving end of a trademark protection operation run from the SWA's Edinburgh headquarters that is taking action against up to 70 imitation or counterfeit producers around the world at any one time. One industry source said that the imitation Scotch industry alone is worth an estimated £200m worldwide, with burgeoning markets in China, India and, improbably, Australia.

05 Sep 08 September with will rich in japanese events. Ulf Buxrud (Rare Malts) will release his new book "Japanese Whisky" in the weeks to come, the Japanese distiller Yamazaki has launched his new website ( and two Yamazaki for the European Market, a 1990 and a 1993 Single cask will be released soon (tasting notes to be published in the next coming days). In addition, several Japanese whiskies (see news from August 27) have been annouced by la maison du whisky as part of their future releases.
04 Sep 08

On Aug 15, some details on the new releases of Diageo were released on As for last year, the details are first released in Norway ( So the details are now as follows:

Port Ellen 29 Years Old - 1978 - ABV 55,3% 6,618 bottles £180
Brora 25 Years Old - ABV 56,3% Less than 3,000 bottles £175
Lagavulin 12 Years Old - ABV 56,4% Around 32,000 bottles £50
Glen Elgin 16 Years Old - 1991 - ABV 58,5% 9,954 bottles £52
Talisker 25 Years Old - ABV 54,2% 6,708 bottles £132
Talisker 30 Years Old - ABV 49,5% Less than 3,000 bottles £205
Caol Ila Unpeated 8 year Old - 1991 - ABV 64,2% 5,664 £43
Linkwood 26 Years Old - Port Finish - ABV 56,9% 1,260 bottles (50 cl) £130
Linkwood 26 Year Old - Rum Finish - ABV 54,5% 1,260 bottles (50 cl) £130
Linkwood 26 Years Old - Sweet Red Wine Finish - ABV 55,5% 1,260 bottles (50 cl) £130

01 Sep 08 An expected surge in demand for whisky in China, India and Russia is leading the only remaining distillery in Angus to draw up expansion plans.
Bosses at Glencadam in Brechin want to build 16 new warehouse units to store the spirit while it matures at a local business park.
If planning permission is granted, the aim is to have the first units ready by March next year.
It is hoped an extra 10 jobs would be created by the expansion.
Distilleries manager Robert Fleming said: "There is a resurgence in Scotch whisky at the moment and everybody's looking to increase production capacity.
"We've noticed that the emerging markets are China, India and Russia - they're the ones that the big boys are targeting.
"And as Scotch whisky needs to be left for a number of years to mature, if those markets really take off then these guys don't want to be left behind saying, 'Oh well, we don't have enough stock to satisfy those demands.'
"So they've predicted that these emerging markets will be lucrative in the future."
However, Mr Fleming warned that not everything was rosy in the whisky industry as the increasing costs of raw materials and energy were causing problems.
01 Sep 08

Speyside whisky event sets record
By Mike Collins

THIS year's Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival attracted a record numbers of visitors, an independent ­market research study has confirmed.

Around 17,000 people, 6% more than last year, flocked to Moray for the five-day event and over £650,000 was generated for the local economy.

Jim Royan, who has taken over from Dick Ruane as festival chairman, said: "This is an impressive result."

Now work has started planning for next year's 10th Spirit of Speyside, which is being extended to 10 days and has been chosen by the national Homecoming campaign as one of the main features of the programme aiming to draw people with Scots connections from all over the world.

Mr Royan said the newly published figures demonstrated the valuable financial contribution being made to the area's economy. "It is particularly encouraging to see the festival grow in such a positive manner at a time when overall tourism figures are less buoyant.

"Despite the increasing costs of fuel, we welcomed visitors from all over the world, with a noticeable increase from Central and Eastern Europe and in the UK, with people making use of low-cost airline routes into Aberdeen and Inverness," he added.

Spirit of Speyside was launched in 1999 to celebrate Scotland's "malt whisky country" through a series of specialist whisky events.

"The many aspects include specialist whisky tastings, the marriage of fine Speyside food and malt whisky and the increasing number of outdoor activities to be enjoyed by all the family," said Mr Royan.

"The contribution made by community groups, associations, local cadets and youth groups is invaluable and much appreciated, and many are already planning events for the 2009 programme, the 10th birthday and Homecoming Scotland's signature event for the Whisky Pillar and the North-east.

"The festival will double in size, running for 10 days, and will include many new events as well as the launch of a special Whisky School, a pageant embracing the heritage, folklore and culture of the River Spey, Speyside and its people. The hallmark of quality will captivate all those visitors who will come to enjoy the festival and the many other attractions that Moray and Speyside have to offer.

"We are a unique and important part of Europe and must continue to celebrate our good fortune."


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