For more recent news, click here
31 Mar 09


THE sleeping giant has awoken!

The great news for discerning whisky lovers is that the new state-of-the-art GlenDronach website is now live at

The website, entitled "A Journey of Re-Discovery", explains how the incomparable malt is now making a triumphant return under its new owners, The BenRiach Distillery Company.

People who log on can take their own journey of re-discovery to find out more about this richly-sherried single malt.

You'll discover everything about the distillery's 200-year history.

Characters such as James Allardice who founded the distillery and sold his "Guid GlenDronach" into Edinburgh public houses in the nineteenth century...with a little help from some ladies of the night.

Far-sighted investors such as Walter Scott and Captain Charles Grant.

The renaissance in 2008 under Billy Walker and The BenRiach Distillery Company.

The committed team at the Aberdeenshire distillery who ensure that the distinctive practices that have always defined the process will live on.

The three exceptional malts coming to the market on April 6 and creating the GlenDronach "Core Range". The popular 12-year-old "Original"; the iconic GlenDronach 15-year-old, now christened "Revival"; and the magnificent 18-year-old, named "Allardice" as a fond tip of the hat to its colourful founder.

For whisky connoisseurs, take time to find out more about our malt mill, the glistening copper mash tun, the Oregan pine washbacks and our four elegant copper pot stills which distil and re-distil the finest, richest spirit.

News about appearances at Spring Trade Fairs in France, Holland, Germany and Taiwan.

Yes, GlenDronach, the sleeping giant, has finally awoken and is once again an independent functioning distillery.

Marketing Executive Kerry White said: "Independent ownership now gives us the freedom to re-kindle the reputation of GlenDronach as the distiller of richly-sherried single malt whiskies of inimitable and individual character. It's a reputation that has travelled worldwide - to those in the know, it's a well-kept secret. Source:

31 Mar 09

Glengyle Open Day:

Open Day 21st May 2009
Tours of Mitchell’s Glengyle and
Springbank Distilleries available
throughout the day
- Global launch of Kilkerran “Work in Progress”
- Open day bottling from single cask of Kilkerran
- Kilkerran Masterclass with Frank McHardy
- Springbank Masterclass with Stuart Robertson
Farmers Market promoting a
variety of excellent Food from
Brewdog - The renegade Scottish
Brewer will be in town with some of
his beers, (including Paradox
matured in Springbank and Longrow
casks,) available to taste and buy
Plus live music.
Free entry - Gates open 11am - 4 pm
for more information and to book masterclasses (£5 each)
tel - +44 (0) 1586 552009 or e-mail


Laphroaig is going to release very soon a new Laphroaig, the Laphroaig 18 YO bottled at 48 %, in replacement of the old 15 YO. The price should be in the same range.

29 Mar 09

Diageo axes 250 jobs in bid to save £100m
By William Lyons
DIAGEO, Scotland's largest Scotch whisky producer, is to shed up to 250 jobs as it continues its purge on costs.
The company, which employs 4,500 across the country, producing more than 50 million cases of Scotch whisky and white spirits, is to lose more than 100 employees from its direct sales force by the end of April.

It is understood that it will also reduce the number of brand ambassadors in Scotland as it looks to implement a restructuring plan aimed at creating full-year savings of £100m.

The maker of Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff and Baileys operates 27 malt distilleries, two grain distilleries, several warehouses, three packaging plants and has its Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh. Diageo's biggest base in Scotland is its packaging plant in Kilmarnock, employing 750. The news comes just a week after it emerged that it planned to save several million pounds a year by leaving its central London headquarters and relocating all its 1,100 staff to Park Royal in north-west London.

Last night a spokesman said: "At Diageo's half-year results on February 12 we announced our intention to implement a restructuring plan in the second half of our financial year. We cannot comment on what the specific numbers of employees affected will be. Our plans involve a complex combination of factors to achieve the cost savings we have targeted, which will vary market by market. We are committed to the principle that our employees and their representatives will understand the impact of our restructuring programme on their jobs first, and that we will observe all our obligations in respect of consultation which may apply in a given jurisdiction."

Separately, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt will meet senior Colombian government representatives this week to discuss the prospects for improved market access for Scotch whisky.

The visit to Bogota follows the recent launch of negotiations between the EU and Colombia on an ambitious Free Trade Agreement in meetings with the Colombian ministers of finance and trade. Hewitt will outline the industry's key priorities for fair market access to what is an important emerging market for Scotch Whisky.

Priorities include elimination of a 20% import tariff on Scotch Whisky, discriminatory excise tax arrangements that tax Scotch at nearly double the rate of aguardiente (a Colombian spirit), and reform of a number of anti-competitive practices in state alcohol monopolies (the Licoreras).

Hewitt said: "The recent launch of free trade talks by the EU and Colombia was very welcome. Colombia has the potential to become an increasingly important and dynamic market for Scotch whisky and I look to use the opportunity to speak directly to the ministers of finance and trade to highlight the mutual benefits of reform.

"Tariff elimination and non-discriminatory taxes would support higher tax revenues for the Colombian government, greater choice for consumers, and fair market access for Scotch whisky and other imported spirits."

27 Mar 09

UK: Highland Park to rerelease rare 21YO Scotch whisky

Source: editorial team

Nearly 700 bottles of rare Highland Park single malt whisky are to be rereleased on the UK market, after being discovered in Japanese warehouses.

Highland Park is to release 694 bottles of its Bicentenary 1977 whisky, it said today (27 March).

Originally priced at GBP69.99 per bottle when released in 1998, the 21YO Scotch whisky can now fetch up to GBP300 at auction and is available at Highland Park's distillery shop at GBP250.

All of the bottles set for rerelease were discovered in warehouses across Japan, said the Orkney-based distiller.

"We were astounded to discover this rare stock in our previous distributor's warehouses in Japan," said Highland Park global controller James Craig.

"This is a very special expression of Highland Park and one which we thought had sold out and been consumed long ago."

Martin Green, whisky specialist at auction house Bonhams, said: "Highland Park has been one of the most highly collected malts for many years with a cult following by whisky collectors. For a relatively low investment this bottling is certain to be sought after in the years to come."

25 Mar 09 WHYTE & Mackay have appointed a new chief executive to accelerate the firm's domestic and international expansion plans.
John Beard, 46, is joining the Glasgow whisky and vodka business after spending 19 years at Bacardi.
Beard replaces Ashwin Malik, who is returning to India with his family after spending almost two years in Scotland helping to build the business after they were bought by Indian entrepreneur Dr Vijay Mallya in 2007.
Since that time, the business have recovered from an £18million loss to a £25million profit in 18 months. Source:
22 Mar 09

Whiskey War: Japan’s Hibiki Vies Scotch Brands for Sales, Awards

By Rocky Swift and Masatsugu Horie

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Tohru Itakura sipped whiskey from plastic cups as showgirls cavorted, bagpipes played and a little bit of Scotland came to Tokyo at a sampling for connoisseurs.

Itakura, a bar owner in Yokohama, south of the capital, finally chose a Scotch -- and a little-known Japanese brand Ichiro’s Malt.

“The Japanese types deliver certain intricacies and aromas you can’t find in Scotch,” said Itakura, 33, sporting a patchwork cap and goatee.

Japan is making a name for producing some of the world’s best whiskey. Last year, Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.’s 20-year vintage, made at its facility in the northern town of Yoichi (population: 21,000), was named the world’s best single-malt by England-based Whisky Magazine, whose blind tasting also named rival Suntory Ltd.’s Hibiki brand the best blended variety.

Winning those awards was a “shot across the bow for the Scotch industry,” said David Kroll, chief executive officer of Japan-based whiskey distributor Whisk-E Ltd. “Japanese companies are starting to export more and take it seriously.”

Whiskey sales in Japan have fallen more than 75 percent since peaking in the early 1980s, and now account for less than 1 percent of the nation’s alcohol revenue. The switch to wine and other alcoholic drinks began in the 1990s after domestic tax changes made whiskey more expensive. Nikka and Suntory, which together control 90 percent of the market, hope to make up for that decline by selling more overseas.

Closely held Suntory, which has about 70 percent of the domestic market, presently exports just 1 percent of its whiskey production, while Nikka, No. 2 in Japan, has a growing presence in Europe. Nikka is owned by Tokyo-listed Asahi Breweries Ltd.


At the Yoichi distillery, a block of gray stone, red-roofed buildings amid the town’s streets, Nikka is putting its faith in nature to make its next champion.

“After more than 70 years, there are things we understand about making whiskey and others that are still a mystery,” said Yukio Aratani, who’s spent 25 years at the company and is now the general manager at Yoichi.

The company, which began focusing on single malts in the early 1990s, makes its whiskey from Scottish barley, Japanese yeast and mountain-fed Yoichi water, aging most of its production in American white-oak barrels.

Walnuts, Truffles

Nikka whiskies have hints of walnuts, truffles and vanilla, and their aromas are “woody” and “smoky,” according to Ulf Buxrud, author of “Japanese Whisky: Facts, Figures and Taste.”

By trademark law, only whiskey from Scotland can be called Scotch. The Old Bushmills in Northern Ireland claims to be the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, having received its right to operate in 1608, according to Moyle District Council tourism Web site.

Nikka founder Masataka Taketsuru chose the Yoichi, Hokkaido site for its climatic similarity to Scotland. Drastic changes in heat and humidity and the site’s proximity to the ocean influence the whiskey’s character, said Aratani.

Once a single malt is casked, distillers can do little but wait and let nature take its course, said Koichi Nishikawa, quality-control manager at Yoichi. The storage process itself combines science and guesswork, with different types of casks, and even shelf height in the warehouse, playing a part.

In Suntory’s 86-year-old Yamazaki distillery in Kyoto, about 1,000 kilometers (622 miles) southwest of Yoichi, chief blender Seiichi Koshimizu is leaving much less to nature for the perfect bottle.

Flavors, Resonance

“We were regarded as an imitator of real whiskey, but things have changed,” said Koshimizu, 59, who tastes hundreds of glasses of unblended whiskey each day to orchestrate a harmony of flavors. Its award-winning 30-year Hibiki -- or “resonance” in Japanese -- is the culmination of such effort.

Blended whiskies, such as popular Scotch brands Johnnie Walker and Cutty Sark, are favored by some drinkers over single malts for their consistency.

Many outside Japan only know Suntory from a scene in the 2003 movie “Lost in Translation,” where Bill Murray plays an actor paid to come to Tokyo and film a whiskey commercial, with the line: “It’s Suntory time.”

“It was a great boost for us,” said Masaki Morimoto, general manager for Suntory’s premium-spirits marketing department. “I admit, I felt like there was a slight sense of insult to Japanese, but it’s OK. Our company got famous internationally.”

Temple Aroma

Barrels from a type of Asian oak, put to use when supply from America dried up during World War II, infuse Yamazaki’s whiskies cured in the wood with what’s been described as a distinctive “old temple” aroma.

Japanese makers need to play up those differences if they’re to scratch out a bigger presence overseas, Buxrud said.

“These components contribute to broadening the aroma and taste spectrum of whiskey,” he said. “They are not copy-cats.”

Notwithstanding the awards and aspirations to global markets, Japanese distillers still labor under the historical and creative shadow of Scotland, said David Wondrich, wine and spirits editor at Saveur magazine.

“They’re starting to figure out what a Japanese-style whiskey is,” Wondrich said. “Much of it is still imitation Scotch.”

From the stage of the whiskey-sampling event, a master blender splashed grain spirits into an adoring crowd of reddened faces, and at least one attendee was seen stumbling in search for a receptacle to return some of the samples he’d drunk.

Itakura said: “If the taste holds up and it has an air of luxury, people overseas will go for Japan’s whiskies.”

15 Mar 09 Written by Graham Holter
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Plans for minimum drinks prices in England and Wales could mean spririts priced at least £14 a bottle and some wines around £5.40.
Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson is widely reported as recommending a 50p-a-unit level for alcohol, in a move which may go beyond even what it being proposed in Scotland. As yet the SNP government has not declared what its pricing level would be.
Sir Liam's recommendation is expected to be outlined this week and is bound to provoke a storm of controversy both in and outside Parliament. As well as coming at a time when consumers are suffering in the recession, there are many politicians who believe any attempt to impose minimum pricing would be a breach of European law and open to challenge.
The effect on drinks pricing could be as follows:
- a bottle of 12% abv wine would retail for a minimum of £4.50
- a bottle of 14% abv wine would retail for a minimum of £5.36
- a bottle of 20% abv port or other fortified wine would retail for a minimum of £7.50
- a bottle of 40% abv spirits would retail for a minimum of £14.
15 Mar 09

By William Lyons
SCOTCH whisky's global appeal has led to an unprecedented surge in the value of its 'whisky route' as new figures reveal more than one million tourists visited distilleries last year, spending more than £25m in the process.
Scotlandwhisky, the national Whisky tourism organisation, will this week announce that the amount spent by tourists visiting Scotland to experience its distillery route has increased by 12% with 1.2 million visitors.

Once dismissed as nothing more than a free dram and a quick distillery tour, the tourist offer is providing the industry with lucrative revenue streams. In recent years a clutch of new initiatives have been introduced, including distilleries building luxury accommodation on site, conference facilities and restaurants and bars.

Chris Conway, chief executive of Scotlandwhisky, said the impressive spend figure reflects the investment that distillers have made in their visitor centres over the last few years.

He said: "There is a real thirst for knowledge with enthusiasts and novices alike wanting to learn as much as possible about the making of Scotch whisky. Distillers continue to innovate to meet this demand and have introduced a whole selection of tours to satisfy consumers' growing interest in all aspects of Scotch.

"In addition to general tours, many have introduced in-depth masterclasses, often hosted by the distillery manager, which offer the public an opportunity to explore overlooked parts of distilleries and sample rare bottlings."

In October, Morrison Bowmore announced a £500,000 investment in its Auchentoshan distillery, including a 30-seat cinema and four-star conference centre. At the time, chief executive Mike Keiller told Scotland on Sunday: "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?"

A spokesman for the SWA said: "These encouraging figures show again that distillers are offering a high-quality visitor experience and that Scotch whisky helps to set Scotland apart in the international tourism market." Source:

09 Mar 09 At Spiritissima, a new Spirit fair in Switzerland, several new products were presented, including the new Glencadam (10 YO 46%, 15 YO 46%, and 25 YO 46% Single Cask), a new Old Pulteney (Pipe Fest 2009 - Old Pulteney 1995 Swiss Exceptional Swiss 1st Release, 61.2%) as well as the new (and expensive) new Duncan Taylor range:

Pearless Collection - Serie-1 (70cl + 5cl Miniature)

Bowmore 1968, 40years, Cask 3824, 42.3%
An Iconic Speyside Distillery 1966,42years, Cask 3342, 45.2%
Glenrothes 1968, 40years, Cask 13501, 50.2%
Macduff 1968, 40years, Cask 8547, 45.5%
Tamdhu 1968, 40years, Cask 4103, 40.0%
Tomatin 1965, 43years, Cask 20938, 52.1%

Pearless Collection - Serie-2 (70cl + 5cl Miniature)

Bunnahabhain 1968, 40years, Cask 7013, 40.8%
Glenlivet 1968, 40years, Cask 2834, 42.3%
Highland Park 1968, 40years, Cask 3465, 40.1%
Strathisla 1967, 41years, Cask 2717, 45.5%
Caperdonich 1968, 40years, Cask 2612, 52.0%
Invergordon 1965, 42years, Cask 15533, 52.9%

06 Mar 09


A limited edition bottling of Dallas Dhu has been released as part of the Homecoming Scotland celebrations.
Historic Scotland is providing visitors with an especially warm welcome to three of its attractions by cutting £35 from the price of its 56.3% proof Dallas Dhu 24-year-old Cask Strength whisky.
As a limited edition just 590 bottles were produced, and each comes in its own presentation box.
For the duration of the special offer the 24-year-old Cask Strength single malt will retail at £130 rather than £165.
The limited edition is exclusive to Historic Scotland and can be bought from the Dallas Dhu Distillery, the Edinburgh Castle Gift Shop and the book and whisky shop at Stirling Castle.
04 Mar 09

New Glendronach Bottlings: The new Glendronach bottlings will reach the shelves within weeks and will comprise the following malts:
15 YO (46%)
18 YO (46%)
25 YO (50%)
30 YO (50%)
33 YO Oloroso
Single cask bottlings



THE BENRIACH Distillery Company will hear on Thursday (February 26) if it has won a prestigious international whisky award to add to its growing list of achievements.

The Elgin distillery, with its headquarters in Larbert, Central Scotland, has won through to represent Scotland at the "Icons of Whisky" awards in London.

Organised by Whisky Magazine with the aim of celebrating the finest whiskies of the world, "Icons of Whisky" seeks to find the best distiller of the year worldwide from distilleries in Scotland, Ireland, the USA and Japan.

Earlier this year, BenRiach, in the heart of Speyside, was selected by an independent panel of experts as the Scottish winner.

The ?Icons?, launched six years ago, are a highlight in the whisky calendar and are designed to celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies in the world.

Headed by MD Billy Walker, the BenRiach team is delighted to be the Scottish 2009 "Distiller of the Year" and just one step away from further international recognition.

"Given the international nature of the awards, to be the Scottish winner is a tremendous honour. To be selected ahead of much larger distillers suggests we are doing something right and punching above our weight,? said Regional Sales Director Alistair Walker.

"It would be the culmination of a glorious five-year rollercoaster ride if BenRiach were to be named global winner on Thursday night."

Billy Walker and his team have already won a number of top industry awards.

BenRiach was ?Distillery of the Year? in the 2007 Malt Advocate Whisky Awards.

Whisky Magazine named it the "Best Rare Speyside" (for BenRiach Authenitcus 21 Year Old) at its World Whisky Awards, also in 2007.

And it won Gold Medal (for BenRiach 16 year old) plus silver (BenRiach Heart of Speyside, 12 year old, Curiositas and Authenticus) at the 2006 International Wines and Spirits Competition.

The BenRiach distillery has been producing quality single malt Scotch whisky since 1898. Five years ago it was acquired by Billy Walker, Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter.

Today, in addition to the superb aged bottlings at 12, 16, 20, 25 and 30 years old, the company also includes two peated single malt expressions within the portfolio - the aptly-named 'Curiositas', aged 10 years old, and its big brother, the 21 years old 'Authenticus'.

Last year, BenRiach completed the acquisition of GlenDronach Distillery, a move widely regarded in the industry as the awakening of a sleeping giant.

The "Icons of Whisky" Grand Final will be held in London on the eve of "Whisky Live" on the evening of Thursday February 26.
22 Feb 09

By William Lyons
THE Scotch Whisky Association will this week call on the European Union to step up the pressure on South Korea to lower its punitive 20% import tariffs in a groundbreaking free trade agreement that will help unlock the fifth largest whisky market in the world.

Delegates from the EU are due to fly to Seoul next month to thrash out a deal that aims to eliminate the tariff.

Negotiators are also considering a clause that would provide legal protection in Korea for "geographical indications" such as Scotchwhisky, helping to tackle imitation products. Korea is Scotch whisky's fifth largest export market, with shipments valued at £139m in 2007.

Martin Bell, the SWA's international affairs manager, will tell theEUthat it needs to make the issue of a level playing field for Scotch a top priority.Hewill say:"The elimination of Korea's whisky tariff and better protection of intellectual property rights are high priorities for the association and would be a timely boost to exports in what is a major market for Scotch.

"Securing a deal is all the more important because the economic slowdown could have an adverse effect on EU Korea trade, including of luxury products. Both sides need to make a determined push to reach an agreement during the next round of talks in Seoul."

Last year Scotch whisky exports hit a record £2.8bn with £800m contributed in taxes, while it accounted for 58% of total Scottish manufactured exports to Korea in 2007.

Korea is the 15th largest market for all Scottish manufactured exports.

Whisky analyst John Wakely said: "TheKorean spiritmarket is enormous. What makes it so interesting is that it is a high alcohol-consuming society and that is mainly spirits.

"If Scotch could get parity with the locally produced spirit then it would make a huge impact on sales."

Meanwhile, Diageo could be hit with a £100m bill in South Korea after customs officials accused the company of underreporting the value of spirits it imported into the country.

The drinks multinational has said the bill, which relates to allegedly unpaid Scotch whisky import duties, was only a preliminary audit and that it had appealed the assessment. The audit relates to duties paid between February 2004 and June 2007 under a tax agreement previously agreed with Korean customs.

The drinks company is co-operating with the audit, which began in January last year.

A spokesman said: "We are robustly defending the current position, which has been in place since 2004 and had previously been accepted by the Seoul Customs Office."

Diageo's Johnnie Walker is the most popular whisky in Asia and has the biggest share of the Korean market.

The world's top 10 whisky markets are the US, Spain, France, Singapore, SouthKorea, Venezuela, Greece, Germany, South Africa and Taiwan. But China, India, Brazil and Russia look set to be the future for an industry that supports more than 40,000 Scottish jobs. Source:

20 Feb 09 The new Ardmore 25 YO annouced last November has hit the shelves in contiental europe. This Ardmore bottle by the distiller is bottled at 51.4% and the retailing price is 280 euros /400 CHF
19 Feb 09

UK: Bruichladdich implements resource planning system
Source: editorial team

Bruichladdich, the Scotch whisky distiller, has overhauled its resource planning system to gain better control over production.

The south Hebridian distiller said yesterday (18 February) it had successfully implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from Solarsoft. The system replaces the distillery's disparate spreadsheets and software applications.

Solarsoft's ERP system allows control and visibility across Bruichladdich's entire production processes, the distiller said.

Fifteen users have access to the system across the various departments from warehousing, sales, bottling, accountancy, distillation, stock control, exporting and bottling.

Mark Reynier, managing director of Bruichladdich, said: "At Bruichladdich, we control the whisky from barley to the barrel to the bottle and as such we required supply chain control that would eradicate previously inefficient and time consuming paper-based procedures."

18 Feb 09

Scottish Spirits Ltd is now helping budget whisky producers save import and excise taxes through a turnkey system of bottling whiskies in their respective countries under the license of Scottish Spirits. With this new system, very little equipment investment is required and Scottish Spirits supplies the raw material, the components, and the production and marketing support.

With Scottish Spirits' know how and sourcing, you can now produce whisky cheaper than your competition and enter any budget price market.

Scottish Spirits Ltd will supply the following components and raw materials: Glass bottles - 30 ml, 200 ml, 350 ml, 500 ml, 700 ml, 750 ml and 1,000 ml - caps, overcaps, labels, 12-pack cases, malt and alcohol. In addition, Scottish Spirits Ltd will supply the following onsite equipment: Filling machine, crimping machine, labeling machine, tanks, filter press and air pumps.

Prices for the licensing range between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on the size of your market and the number of cases you wish to produce.
The Scottish Spirits Ltd product line consists of 14 whisky brands at 700 ml, 40% volume and 80 proof, with non refillable closure. The Scottish Spirits Ltd graphic department can easily modify the wording on the labels in accordance with the requirements in any country.

'We have been producing and exporting whiskies since 1986 and are currently selling over 1 million cases a year,' states Reynald Katz, President of Scottish Spirits Ltd. 'In addition to our main Panama operations, we now have producers in the U.S., England and Colombia. We have streamlined our production and marketing programs to make them profitable and viable for producers in any country. As a result, a license at the prices we are asking is a very good deal.'

09 Feb 09

Mallya plans up to 49% sale in W&M

NEW DELHI, Feb. 9: Liquor baron Mr Vijay Mallya is planning to divest around 49 per cent stake in United Spirits Ltd's UK-based wholly-owned subsidiary Whyte & Mackay (W&M), which it acquired for £595 million in May 2007.
The move is part of the USL's plan to raise cash, including introducing a strategic partner with a possible sale of up to 14.9 per cent from its treasury stocks, for which it had talks with world's biggest spirit maker Diageo in New York recently.
“The divestment of up to 49 per cent in Whyte & Mackay was always part of United Spirits Ltd's de-leveraging plan,” UB Group spokesperson said.
He, however, declined to disclose further details saying: “We are not in a position to offer any further comment except to say that we expect the value to reflect the substantial appreciation in whisky inventory.”
Industry sources, however, said USL was trying to reduce debts on its books and retire them, which it had borrowed at the time of acquiring W&M.
USL is expecting to cash in on the appreciation of Scotch whisky inventory held by W&M in the last 12 months. Earlier, the company had reported an increase of 25.5 per cent in the value of Scotch inventory at £456 million since its acquisition. Source:

08 Feb 09 Scotch duty cut 'would boost economy'

Economists say that a 2.5% cut in duty on Scotch whisky would boost the Scottish economy by £733m.
The figure is more than double the £320m that the recent VAT cut is reckoned to have added to the economy. Economic consultants Gen said the £733m figure would come from increased sales at home and also more investment and export activity.
Gen director Richard Marsh told the Sunday Herald: "Although it is not proposed that government should, or could, issue a £1 billion cut in duties to the whisky industry, our research shows they would definitely get greater return for their money by supporting this sector with some cuts.
"Whisky is the industry with the most potential to benefit the Scottish economy. It is our belief that channelling tax cuts directly to the hugely productive and successful Scotch whisky industry would in theory be worth more to Scotland's economy than a major capital investment programme."
The report was welcomed by the Scotch Whisky Association.
03 Feb 09

Grab a glass with Grant's

Written by Rebecca Gibb
Tuesday, 03 February 2009
Scotch whisky brand Grant's has invested almost £100,000 in an on-pack campaign giving away a free ‘Different Angle' glass with every bottle.

170,000 promotional packs will be distributed in February to off-trade retailers across the UK.

Brand Manager for Grant's at First Drinks Brands, Harriet Knight, said: "The campaign is inspired by our ‘A Different Angle' brand platform and has been designed to deliver value back into the category and encourage further growth in 2009."

The brand's sales increased by 27% in 2008 in the UK multiples (Nielsen MAT 27.12.08). Knight added: "We are thrilled with the brand's performance, and what better way to celebrate than by giving away special gifts to our valued consumers".

Grant's blended Scotch whisky is distributed in the UK by independent distributor First Drinks Brands and wholly owned by William Grant & Sons Ltd.

02 Feb 09

Beam Global launches premium single malt whisky Ardmore
New Delhi (PTI): Beam Global Spirits and Wine on Monday launched its single-malt whisky Ardmore Scotch in the Indian market.

Ardmore will be available at general liquor shops in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai to begin with and will be priced between Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,500, the company said in a statement.

"The introduction of Ardmore in India not just strengthens our single malt portfolio but also provides Beam Global an opportunity to bring a world class product for its consumers," Beam Global Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (India and Indian Sub-Continent) Harish Moolchandani said.

Initially, Ardmore will be available at duty paid shops in major metros but with enhanced distribution, we are well positioned to further expand our market share in the single malt space, Moolchandani said.

Ardmore Traditional Cask was released in the United Kingdom and duty free markets in 2007 and entered the US in 2008 as the first ever widely available single malt whisky from the Ardmore distillery.

23 Jan 09

HALIFAX, N.S. - A Cape Breton distiller has won the latest round in an ongoing battle with the Scotch Whisky Association over the use of the word Glen in its labelling.

Glenora Distillery president Lauchie MacLean says the Federal Court of Appeal has upheld his Nova Scotia company's registration of Glen Breton as the trademark of its single malt whisky.

Glenora has been fighting for the registration since the whisky's launch in the fall of 2000.

In a release today, MacLean says the court rejected all of the objections of the Scotch Whisky Association, finding that the name Glen Breton does not mislead consumers into believing that Glenora's product is distilled and matured in Scotland.

He says he hopes the association, which can appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, accepts the decision.

22 Jan 09

By Jill Buchanan

SNEAKY thieves targeted a historic Falkirk landmark and made off with valuable equipment used to make Scotland's national drink.

Copper and steel apparatus was removed from the former Rosebank Distillery on Camelon Road sometime between Christmas Day and Tuesday this week.

However, police believe the cheeky theft would have taken some time to complete given the size of the pieces of equipment involved.

Now they're hoping an eagle-eyed passer-by might have spotted the intruders and be able to provide valuable information to track down the culprits.

Last night (Wednesday), officers from Central Scotland Police confirmed the machinery had a six-figure value.

However, they don't believe the thieves plan to set up their own illicit still to make bootleg whisky but will, instead, sell the metal for scrap.

Even if the tippling intruders had been hoping to cash in on this weekend's celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns birth when a staggering two million drams are expected to be consumed, they had left it a bit late – whisky has to be matured for at least three years before it can officially be called Scotch.

Police are now hunting the thieves and whoever masterminded the operation.

Detective Inspector Hugh Louden, of Falkirk CID, said: "I believe that a significant amount of planning would have been involved in order to get into the building, then set about removing the metal equipment over a period of some weeks.

"The site is a historic listed building and, although it closed in
1993, is a landmark in the Falkirk area. It is likely the metal has been stolen to be sold on as scrap and I would urge anyone with any information about the theft, or who has seen vehicles or individuals in and around the distillery site over the past four weeks, to contact the

He added: "We would like to hear also from anyone who may be offered scrap metal and which may have come from this site."

Following its closure 15 years ago by owners United Distillers before its buyout by Diageo, Rosebank was then sold to British Waterways in 2002. Part of the site was then sold off for a development of flats and proposals for the former distillery building have included a restaurant and bar, as well as office accommodation.

Katie Hughes, the waterways authority's senior property and regeneration manager said: "British Waterways Scotland is currently reviewing the possibilities for development at Rosebank as part of its property portfolio and we do plan to develop the existing building for an alternative use in the future."

Although the premises carry a sign saying Pro-Tech Security Services Ltd is guarding the site, yesterday a spokesman for the Mother-well-based company said that was no longer the case and another company was involved.

Rosebank whisky was first produced in the 1790s in the Laurieston area but due to a lack of water sources moved to the site near Camelon on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal in the late 1820s.

The Rankin family rebuilt the distillery in 1864 and by the end of the 19th century production had reached 123,000 gallons.

In traditional Lowland style, Rosebank was triple-distilled, making it much in demand. Accolades for the whisky from reputable connoisseurs include "one of the top 10 distilleries in the world" and "widely regarded as the most distinguished Lowland malt".

The last official bottlings were rare aged malts and just over a year ago, a 25-year-old official bottling was released by Diageo.

Bottles can still be found on the gantries of local hostelries, in-cluding Behind the Wall in Falkirk town centre where manager Jackie Griffin said it was a popular drink, particularly with American tourists, happy to pay £9.20 a nip for the 20-year-old spirit.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Central Scotland Police on 01786 456000 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

20 Jan 09


PRINCE Charles visited a palace with a difference on a tour of a distillery yesterday.

The prince, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, discovered how gin is made during a tour of a gin palace at William Grant and Sons’ site near Girvan in Ayrshire, where Hendrick’s spirit is made.

Inside the palace he was shown the huge stills containing the alcohol and 11 bins of the botanicals which are added to it to give it flavour.
The intrigued prince lifted the lids of a couple of bins to see the flavourings which include ingredients such as juniper berries, coriander seeds and angelica root.
Hendrick’s gin is also infused with cucumber and rose petals.

John Ross, 53, technical manager for William Grant, said of the prince: “He spoke to me about the botanicals and I thought he was very knowledgeable on the whole subject of botanicals.”

Charles was shown round the 380-acre site by Peter Gordon, chairman of William Grant and a member of the fifth generation of the Grant family.

Mr Gordon took the prince to see the new Ailsa Bay malt distillery, Scotland’s newest distillery, which began production last autumn.

It was officially opened yesterday by the company’s life president Charles Grant Gordon.

The lid of the case was opened and Charles was handed a glass of raw alcohol to sniff himself.

Brian Kinsman, 36, a blender who has worked for the company for 12 years, said: “He was actually going to taste it but we said he should not because it’s 70% alcohol.”

The new distillery is located adjacent to William Grant’s Girvan grain whisky distillery operations which were built in 1963.

The prince was also taken to see the cooperage, where casks are maintained. He chatted to some of the craftsmen and watched as one finished sealing a barrel.

William Grant has donated four casks to the Prince’s Trust charity.
They will be filled with new-make Ailsa Bay spirit which will be laid down in the distillery’s warehouses to mature and will later be bottled for the Prince’s Trust.

Charles watched as one of the barrels was filled and then used a hammer to drive in the bung.

20 Jan 09

A £24 MILLION plan to turn whisky waste into heat and power has been given the go-ahead.

Councillors gave their unanimous backing today to the bid by a consortium of Scotch whisky companies for a biomass energy plant at Rothes.

The plant at North Street will see distillery by-products - wet draff and pot ale - processed to generate electricity and as a heat source.

Some electricity would be used in production of biomass fuels and the rest exported to the national grid, with the heat in the form of steam being used in the production process, ending reliance on fossil fuels.

The plant will be built within the site of the existing dark grains processing facility at Rothes, owned by the Combination of Rothes Distillers. There will be a 15m high process building and the 33m high boiler house/turbine hall.

Due to an anticipated increase in lorry movements to and from the site, a new crossing with lights is to be made across the A941 in Rothes.

The development was welcomed by Councillor Michael McConnachie (Speyside Glenlivet) at Tuesday's meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee.

He said: "By-products will now be processed in a much greener way and the main street in Rothes will benefit from a crossing. The project will help to stimulate the haulage industry in the area."

Fellow ward councillor Fiona Murdoch added: "This is a super development for Speyside in line with requirements to produce more alternative energy."

15 Jan 09

Amidst the gloom, single malts are flourishing

MOST recession-blighted manufacturers worry that their next order is likely to be for mothballs. Not so Scotland’s whisky makers: they are busy bringing old distilleries back to life and building new ones. The reason is not that the British are drowning their economic sorrows; it is that exports of single malts are booming.

“We were producing 6m litres a year,” says David Cox, a director of the Macallan Distillery, whose whisky is the third-best-selling malt (by volume) in overseas markets. But on the wooded bluff overlooking the River Spey where Macallan has been made since 1824, stills disused since the 1980s have been brought back into use and two vast warehouses have sprouted. New capacity is adding some 2m litres a year, says Mr Cox, and land has been earmarked for still more expansion.

Though sales of whisky in Britain are broadly declining, consumption elsewhere has risen. In 2007 it reached 318m litres, a 15% increase on 1997, and £2.8 billion ($5.6 billion, at the exchange rates of the day), an 18% increase. Blended whiskies, it is true, faltered in 2008 but single malts forged ahead. Drinkers have got keener on the more expensive stuff (made from malted barley and generally matured for at least ten years) and less keen on grain and blended whiskies (usually kept for three).

The fastest-growing market has been East Asia—particularly China, where the value of whisky sales rose from £1m in 2001 to £70m in 2007, according to the Scotch Whisky Association, a trade body. In Moscow too there is a market for single malt that did not exist before.

The shift to this more exclusive tipple means that Mr Cox’s distillery, which used to sell much of its product to whisky blenders, now keeps everything for its own lines. Most distillers do not have enough stock on hand to meet demand, thanks to a downturn in production in the 1990s. So many are rationing the amount they sell in order to have some ten- and 12-year-old stock to market in future years as even more expensive whiskies. Bottles of 30-year-old drink can fetch more than £1,000.

To slake the worldwide thirst, one distillery, Ardbeg on Islay, is breaking the ten-year rule and marketing a six-year-old malt under the label “very young”, an eight-year-old (“still young”) and a nine-year-old (“almost there”). Mr Cox muses about breaking out of the age straitjacket to mix eight-, ten-, and 15-year-old stock under a label such as “head distiller’s choice”.

Others are seizing the chance to make money now. The trade association says that in 2008 and 2009 a total of about £500m will be spent building six new distilleries, bringing two old ones back into use and expanding five sites. Firms profess to be unworried by recession, since whisky they make now cannot be sold for years anyway. They are confident that the Chinese and others, having developed a taste for malt in particular, will come back to it.

Dramatic evidence of this confidence can be seen at Roseisle on the Moray coastal plain where Diageo, a British multinational, is spending some £100m on a vast distillery. Looking more like a beached supertanker than the usual stone-walled pagoda-hatted plant, it is intended to pour out 10m litres of whisky a year.

It is a bold development, especially as the success of whisky’s overseas marketing has been based on emphasising quality derived from more than a century of tradition and heritage. Whether connoisseurs take to Diageo’s unashamedly modern, industrial-scale product is yet to be tested.

14 Jan 09

London, Jan. 14 : Scottish whisky may have to be distilled from French barley in the future as a result of EU laws banning at least 22 pesticides from fields across Europe, it has been claimed.

According to the Scotsman, controversial legislation passed in Brussels yesterday aims to reduce the amount of products deemed harmful to human health or the environment used on crops.

Supporters argue that the measures, which have been watered down in the past few months to allow the continued use of pesticides for which there is no alternative for up to ten years, do not go far enough.

Critics, however, warn that they could cause crop yields to plummet and food prices to rocket.

Some say yields of potatoes, wheat and carrots, which rely on pesticides to ward off diseases associated with the UK's damp conditions, will suffer.

Struan Stevenson, a Tory MEP for Scotland, said he was "appalled by the decision" and claimed Scotland would have to import products from warmer countries that had less of a problem with disease.

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, demanded a full impact assessment of the proposed changes.

The proposed changes, which would ban most crop-spraying and bring in strict conditions on pesticides used near water supplies, were overwhelmingly backed by 577 MEPs, easily exceeding the 393 threshold required to approve the measures.

However, ministers from the 27 member states must vote on whether to approve the draft laws, opposed by the UK government.

14 Jan 09

A new Ardbeg will be released very soon: Ardbeg Supernova: "...A Very limited Committee Bottling: an exclusive test launch in advance of a wider non-Committee release at the end of May. Ardbeg Supernova is peated to an astonishing level of over 100 parts per million, making it the peatiest Ardbeg ever..." Price: £65 (available on January 20)

09 Jan 09 WHISKY firms are running low on malts more than 12 years old because of booming demand in the Far East.
Distilleries say they are having to market six-year-old malts to plug the gaps caused by the export surge to China and India.
The industry is also splashing out millions to expand production capacity.
The Macallan distillery in Speyside have announced a project that includes building three vast warehouses that will hold more than 100,000 barrels of whisky in their battle to keep up with demand.
Sales of whisky in China are said to have rocketed by around 75 per cent over the past two years.
In India, sales have leapt by 36 per cent.
Nick Morgan, global malts director for Diageo, who produce Oban and Cardhu said: "Everyone has supply issues, especially for whisky aged more than 12 years."
Macallan's distillery manager Alexander Tweedie added: "We can't meet demand the way we are going, especially in India and China."
The shortage of aged whiskies is said to follow a dip in the drink's popularity during the 1980s, when only 268 million litres per year were produced.
Despite this amount rising to 429 million litres per year during the early 90s, production was not increased enough to match demand.
Scotch Whisky Association bosses say that the industry is investing to doubling its production.
Companies such as Pernod Ricard, Moet Hennessy and Diageo are spending hundreds of millions on producing their Glenlivet, Glenmorangie and Talisker malts in what the association has branded "a sea change in Scotland."
08 Jan 09 Kilchoman, Islay’s new farm distillery celebrated its first milestone on 14th December last year when the first cask to be filled at the distillery reached the legal whisky requirement of three years maturation in an oak cask. Founded in 2005 by Anthony Wills and privately owned, Kilchoman produces just 90,000 litres of spirit a year. Not only one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, it is also unique on Islay in that a proportion of the barley used in production is grown in the fields surrounding the distillery and malted on site.
'It is a very special day for all those connected with the distillery” said Anthony Wills, Managing Director. 'At times we thought we’d never get there but the spirit has been very well received around the world which is always encouraging and our next milestone is the release of our first single malt in September 2009.' Malcolm Rennie, Distillery Manager said 'for me it is hugely satisfying to have initially produced a unique quality new spirit and then for three years watch as it has evolved into an exceptional young whisky. The whole distillery team are justifiably proud of their efforts and will continue to take Kilchoman through to a truly special Islay whisky' (...).
08 Jan 09

First Fridays at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society - New Monthly Single Cask Single Malt Whisky Releases

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society are pleased to announce new monthly single cask, single malt whisky release on the First Friday of every month. The first release features 20 single cask single malts from 19 different distilleries with bottling ranging in age from 8 to 23 years. For more details: PRWeb

07 Jan 09

Future releases from Springbank in 2009:

To start the ball rolling in 2009, in January we will be releasing the latest whisky in our Wood Expressions range, which will be an 11 year old Springbank, matured in madeira casks.

March will see an 18 year old Springbank - which will become part of the standard range, though at the start will only have limited availability.

There will be a new addition to the Hazelburn range in July when we will be bottling a 12 year old.

Also in the summer, the latest Springbank Vintage will be released, then in November a further bottling of the Campbeltown Loch 30 year old, so if you missed it this time, get in there early.

2009 will also see the release of the Kilkerran Single Malt from the Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, in April, which is showing outstanding promise. The “Killkerran Work in Progress” will be bottled once a year until the whisky reaches its standard age of 12 years old. Source: Springbank

  Ulf Buxrud, with his book Japanese Whisky – Facts, Figures and Taste is the winner for Sweden in the GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARDS 2008 in the category Best Spirit’s Book. As such, he will be enlisted for "The Best in the World"
17 Dec 08

The World’s Most Peated Whisky

Bruichladdich distillery announce  the release today of the world’s the most heavily peated whisky ever.The inaugural bottling of Octomore, a single malt Scotch whisky distilled at Bruichladdich from barley peated to 131 ppm, is three times more peaty than any other whisky ever produced.

6000 bottles were produced at natural cask strength of 63.5% ABV, selling at £79 a bottle.Such was demand amongst ‘peat freak’ whisky aficionados that stocks were sold out before the whisky was released.

15 Dec 08

Global thirst drives first green distillery

Monday Dec 15, 2008
Robin McKie
Scotland's distillers are in hot water as they struggle to satisfy the world's growing demand for whisky.

The global thirst for "a wee dram" rose to an all-time high last year, with exports reaching 2.8 billion ($7.64 billion), earning Britain 90 a second.

And as the pound's slump continues, those heady numbers could rise further, say analysts.

But meeting this extraordinary demand has posed major problems and forced manufacturers to launch an urgent construction programme that will see the opening of Scotland's first major new distillery for more than 30 years.

Built on a vast industrial scale, the plant at Roseisle on Speyside will be one of the country's largest distilleries. More than 120m long and three storeys high, with 14 huge 6m-high copper stills, it will have a combined output of 10 million litres of whisky a year.

The distillery - financed by drinks conglomerate Diageo - has been built to stringent ecological standards, emitting only a fraction of the carbon dioxide produced by standard distilleries. Roseisle will be Scotland's first green distillery.
"Apart from emitting only 15 per cent of the carbon dioxide of a standard distillery of the same size, we have found a way to recycle all the water that passes through the Roseisle site," the distillery's designer, Mike Jappy, said.

The idea of making whisky in an ecologically friendly way could be crucial if the industry is to expand to meet the demand for Scotch.

In 2007 overseas sales rose by 8 per cent on the previous year, accounting for 25 per cent of all Britain's food and drink exports. The first nine months of this year saw a 10 per cent increase.
"We will have to see how that plays out over the next year, but the situation is very encouraging," said a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association. "Consumers round the world may be saying 'no' to a new house and a new car, but they are continuing to say 'yes' to bottles of whisky.

Whisky has become especially popular in emerging nations such as Brazil, China and India, where it represents prestige and social status.

However, the sudden rise in global demand caught distillers by surprise and triggered investments of more than 500 million to boost production.
"Everyone has ramped up," said Brian Higgs, Diageo's malt distilling director.

Construction of Roseisle alone will cost 40 million."After 30 years of industry retrenchment, it was fantastic to get an order like that."

The distillery's output will be stored in wooden casks for a minimum of three years - more likely for at least five to six years - before it is ready to be mixed with grain whisky to make blended whisky. Brands will include Johnnie Walker, the world's biggest-selling Scotch, sales of which broke the 1 billion mark last year.


* Distilleries usually burn oil to distil fermented brews of malted barley and water. Roseisle will also burn the dried remains of its basic barley ingredient to generate that heat, halving its fuel bill.

* In addition, liquids left over from distilling - known as top ale - will be piped into anaerobic fermenters to generate methane. This, in turn, will be burned to provide further heat. The distillery will be linked with two local maltings, where its waste water will be used to dampen and germinate the barley that is eventually used as its basic ingredient. This will mean there will be no overall increase in water consumption when the new distillery comes on line.

13 Dec 08

Alcohol Anomalous
Aabhas Sharma / New Delhi December 13, 2008
The Indian palate is getting adventurous enough for Japanese whisky, Brazilian tequila and more. Aabhas Sharma tracks the buzz

Japanese single malt just doesn’t sound right. Of all things from Japan, whisky is something you least expect the Oriental land to churn out. But Japanese scotch whisky has just found its way to Indian shores, and people are actually loving it.

Available at Wasabi in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi, in its first few weeks only, the scotch — most notably a 20-year-old malt, Yoichi — has appealed to many whisky drinkers. Yoichi comes from Japan and is a much-appreciated brand all over the world. Apparently, Yoichi was also named the best single malt in the world at the World Whisky Awards earlier this year. A 30 ml Yoichi at Wasabi could cost you close to Rs 1,500.

According to the manager at Wasabi, Japanese malts have been extremely well received. Though the hotel is not sure how long they will be stocking the whisky, by the looks of it, they won’t give up on it any time soon.

Yoichi is not the only Japanese malt available. There is Yamazaki as well. Priced a little bit lower than Yoichi, the Nika is a less strong whisky. A 30 ml drink of Nikka will cost you Rs 1,050.

Sentory is another Japanese whisky which is being introduced in this country and is available at the Metropolitan Nikko hotel in New Delhi. According to the hotel’s general manager Aubrey Mullerworth, Japanese malts go extremely well with food. “We get customers who are willing to try different types of whisky and who actually appreciate them.” At a whisky-tasting session, Nikko brought labels from various countries, and Kono says that the response was overwhelming. Though the hotels still believe that heavy duty costs hamper them from bringing in expensive liquor from various countries, Mullerworth has been encouraged by the response all those whiskies received. “Though most people stick to the Glenfiddichs and Blue Labels, it is nice to see people trying other stuff as well.”

Sandeep Arora, the man responsible for bringing in the Japanese malts, says that Indians are now experimenting more with different types of liquor. “Gone are the days when just a normal scotch or wine would do.” Arora feels that, apart from the old connoisseurs, there is a new and young breed of drinkers which is leading to the opening of more avenues for not so well-known drinks in the country (...). Source:

13 Dec 08

New The Whiskyfair bottlings have been released:

Caperdonich 1972
Age: 35 years
Distilled: November 1972
Bottled: August 2008
Region: Speyside
ABV: 48,3%
Outturn: 188
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogshead
bottled by: Duncan Taylor for The Whisky Fair

Talimburg 1984
Age: 24 years
Distilled: 1984
Bottled: 2008
Region: Islands
ABV: 52%
Outturn: 244
Cask Type: Rum finished Hogshead
bottled by: The Whisky Fair

Tullibardine 1976, 54,1%
Age: 32 years
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: September 2008
Region: Highlands
ABV: 54,1%
Outturn: 189
Cask Type: Hogshead
bottled by: Original Bottling for The Whisky Fair

Tullibardine 1976, 54,3%
Age: 32 years
Distilled: 1976
Bottled: September 2008
ABV: 54,3%
Outturn: 177
Cask Type: Hogshead
bottled by: Original Bottling for The Whisky Fair

Vanilla Sky 1994
Age: 14 years
Distilled: 1994
Bottled: 2008
Region: Islay
ABV: 53,3%
Outturn: 274
Cask Type: Bourbon Hogshead
Price per Litre: 107,14 €
bottled by: The Whisky Fair

12 Dec 08


11 December 2008 – Bowmore 12-year-old Single Malt Whisky has been voted The Whisky Shop 2008 Single Malt of the Year by its expert staff. The original whisky from Islay’s oldest distillery (est. 1779) was awarded the Overall Winner, as well as winning the Peat Islay category.

Bowmore 12-year-old’s peat, smoke, sea salt, sweet fruit and oak flavours impressed The Whisky Shop’s staff. A single malt of rugged character, Bowmore is matured in cellars that are weather beaten by Loch Indaal’s untamed waves and distilled in a town exposed to Scotland’s natural elements.

The final result is outstanding - the consumer is rewarded with a Single Malt Whisky that is warm amber in colour, with a delectable lemon and honey aroma, accompanied by Bowmore’s signature smokiness.

The Whisky Shop selects a shortlist that represents its top-selling Single Malts for its annual awards. An outright winner is then carefully decided by The Whisky Shop staff who take into account the overall quality of the whisky, based on their own expertise and the customer’s opinion.

David Wilson, Marketing Director at Bowmore said “We’re delighted that The Whisky Shop’s staff, who are connoisseurs when it comes to whisky, have selected Bowmore 12-year-old – we really are very proud to receive this award.”

Ian Bankier, Chairman of The Whisky Shop, commented “As the oldest of Islay’s seven single malt whiskies, Bowmore has incredible prestige. The Whisky Shop considers Bowmore to be the ‘thinking man’s Islay’ – a beautifully balanced dram that is our most deserving winner.”

Bowmore 12-year-old is a multi-award winner, having received Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge.

This is the latest in a run of award wins for Bowmore. In October 2008, they scooped a ‘Gold Medal’ - the highest design accolade - for its new packaging at the International Spirits Challenge Awards. Bowmore also received the Trophy for Best Spirit Range and Trophy for Best Overall Spirit.

08 Dec 08 Bowmore has just launched a new competition to win a bottle of White Bowmore worth £2500. More details at:
08 Dec 08

Monkey Shoulder ‘Gorilla’

Nicknamed ‘The Gorilla’, Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Scotch Whisky has just released a limited edition 4.5 litre bottle in time for Christmas. With only 85 bottles available in the UK and each individually numbered this an exclusive gift recipients will go ape for!

Each handsome bottle comes individually numbered and boxed with its very own bespoke cradle and pourer. Created as a unique showpiece, the ‘gorilla’ has evolved not to increase your intake of Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky but to add a bit of theatre to your cocktail making.
Monkey Shoulder was the name given to a temporary strain that the maltmen used to suffer from repeatedly turning the malting barley with a shiel (wooden shovel). Thankfully the condition no longer exists, but Monkey Shoulder is named in honour of the skill and craft of the maltmen.

“Monkey Shoulder has proved a revelation in the UK’s top bars, bringing Scotch whisky to the forefront of modern cocktail creation. Some of these bars are also in line to have their own ‘gorilla’ on the back bar. But to ensure the condition ‘Monkey Shoulder’ doesn’t reappear in a new guise, bartenders are encouraged to use the cradle when pouring. Top bars playing host to the ‘the gorilla’ include The Albannach (London) and Jakes Bar & Grill (Leeds).”

Monkey Shoulder uses only malt Scotch whisky from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. The triple malt has caught the attention of the country’s leading bartenders for its smooth and rich qualities, making it ideal for mixing as well as drinking in the more traditional way.
Crafted in small batches of just 27 casks, Monkey Shoulder’s smooth and rounded taste has accents of malty sweetness, vanilla, marmalade and barley sugar. The iconic bottle design comes complete with three brass monkeys - each representing one of the constituent single malts - on the bottle’s shoulder.

The Monkey Shoulder Gorilla is available in the UK at £333 exclusively from Selfridges in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

07 Dec 08

Scapa Scotch relaunched as Chivas shifts to luxury market
By Nathalie Thomas
LUXURY whisky producer Chivas Brothers is this month relaunching Scapa, the Oracadian single malt it bought in 2005, as it continues to shift its focus to the premium end of the UK market.
Chivas, the British arm of French drinks giant Pernod Ricard, is repositioning Scapa as a 16-year-old luxury malt as producers warn they are bracing themselves for a downturn in the UK market, particularly in the standard single malt category. Scapa was previously aged for 14 years.

Earlier this year Chivas sold its Glendronach distillery in Speyside as its chief executive Christian Porta revealed its intention to focus on 15 high end brands including Glenlivet and its flagship drink, Chivas Regal.

Although overall Pernod Ricard sales soared 13% between July and September, Chivas executives have admitted they expect to struggle in the UK market next year as the consumer slowdown takes hold of the whisky market.

However, they believe the premium end of the market will hold up better as wealthy drinkers continue to indulge.

"We are struggling in the UK. Spain is also difficult, as is the US," said one senior executive. "But the UK only represents 5% of our market and we still have opportunities in the UK."

Pernod Ricard is investing heavily in the Bric economies – Brazil, Russian, India and China – and says that Scottish whisky is also seeing strong demand in markets such as France.

Last month the firm launched a luxury version of its Beefeater gin brand, Beefeater 24, in an attempt to gain market share in the high end gin market.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh also admitted recently that he is bracing himself for a dip in the company's UK growth although he believes there will still be a market for "affordable luxuries" such as Johnnie Walker Black Label during the recession.

Whisky producers last week heaved a sigh of relief after the Government decided against proposals to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in supermarkets as it seeks to crack down on the UK's binge drinking culture.

Whisky bosses said although they are also opposed to heavy discounting themselves as it ruins the reputation of their brands, there is not enough evidence to show that introducing a minimum price would prevent problem drinkers from abusing alcohol.

06 Dec 08

Growth in India, Europe drives Scotch whisky industry high

"Some markets are slowing down but emerging ones such as India, eastern Europe, Russia and elsewhere in Asia are continuing to show positive trends and South America is very dynamic."

The Scotch whisky industry is in high spirits due to growing sales in India and Eastern Europe, while growth in western markets has been hit by the economic slowdown, industry experts believe.

Despite an import tax regime that is currently under dispute, India is fast emerging as a major importer of Scotch whisky.

Christian Porta, chief executive of Scotch whisky major Chivas Brothers, said he was confident of continued strong momentum for whisky exports worldwide despite the global economic crisis.

He said India was one of the countries that has shown 'positive trends' in recent months. He said there were still plenty of good opportunities for growth, although some markets were becoming tougher.

"We will watch the situation carefully. There are certainly countries where sales are more difficult than 12 months ago and the UK is one of these.

"Some markets are slowing down but emerging ones such as India, eastern Europe, Russia and elsewhere in Asia are continuing to show positive trends and South America is very dynamic."

Latest figures show that Scotch whisky exports earned 90 pounds every second for the UK last year, with the value of shipments increasing by 14 per cent to reach a new record of 2.8 billion, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The SWA revealed export volume was also at a historic high in 2007, growing 8 per cent, with the equivalent of 1,135 million bottles of Scotch whisky shipped overseas.

SWA Chairman, Paul Walsh, said: "This record export performance - generating 90 pounds every second for the UK balance of trade - underscores just how important Scotch Whisky is to our economy."

06 Dec 08 Master Whisky Blender Honoured
A whisky creator at a major Scottish distillery has been honoured for his contribution to the industry for the third time.
Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation at The Glenmorangie Company, was named Industry Leader of the Year at the Malt Advocate Awards 2008.
The award, which honours the "best of the best", was presented to him in recognition of his impressive contribution to the industry over the past year.
28 Nov 08

Dear fellow whisky lover,

I'm happy to report that we've managed to publish some results of the Malt Maniacs Awards 2008 ahead of schedule.

On you can find the names of all winners of the various awards, along with a handful of medal winners. We will publish more details on Saturday evening; our full report (including tasting notes and a complete score card) is scheduled for Monday, December 1. There will be an interview with Serge valentin about the results of the awards on Mark Gillespie's WhiskyCast website this weekend as well. To whet your apetites, here are the five gold medal winners this year and a selection of the silver and bronze medal winners;


91 Lagavulin 21yo 1985/2007 (56.5%, OB, 6642 Bts.)
91 Balblair 1973/2006 (45%, G&M Private Collection, C#3184-3185, 385 Bts.)
90 Karuizawa 1971/2008 (64.1%, OB for The Number One Drinks Company, C#6878)
90 Carsebridge 42yo 1960/2002 (41.6%, Chieftain's Choice, Oloroso, C#15010, 135 Bts.)
90 Inchgower 26yo 1980/2007 (59.8%, Adelphi, C#14155, 223 Bts.)


89 Glen Grant 1955/2008 (50%, G&M for LMdW, First Fill Sherry Hogs, C#844, 88 Bts.)
89 Yamazaki 1990/2008 (60%, OB, sherry butt, C#0N70645)
88 Glendronach 33yo (40%, OB, Oloroso Sherry, +/-2008)
88 Glenfarclas 30yo (43%, OB, +/-2008)
87 Highland Park 40yo (48.3%, OB, +/-2008)
87 Glenfiddich 30yo (40%, OB, +/-2008)
86 Lagavulin 16yo (43%, OB, +/-2008)
86 Amrut NAS (62.7%, Blackadder, C#BA 1/2008, 277 Bts., 2008)
85 Benriach 20yo (43%, OB, +/-2008)
85 Ardbeg 1998/2008 'Renaissance' (55.9%, OB)


84 Glengoyne 21yo 'Sherry Matured' (43%, OB, +/-2008)
84 Connemara NAS 'Cask Strength' (57.9%, OB, Peated, +/-2008)
83 Longrow 7yo 2000/2008 (55.8%, OB, Gaja Barolo finish, 12120 Bts.)
83 Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, +/-2008)
82 Tyrconnel 10yo Sherry Cask Finish (46%, OB, +/-2008)
82 Arran NAS 'Madeira Wine Cask' (50%, OB, Ltd Edition, 5760 Bts., 2008)
81 Glengoyne 17yo (43%, OB, +/-2008)
81 An Cnoc 16yo (46%, OB, +/-2008)
80 Monkey Shoulder NAS 'Batch 27' (40%, OB, vatted, +/-2008)
80 Ardmore NAS 'Traditional Casks' (46%, OB, peated, finished in quarter casks)

That's it for now - enjoy your weekends!

Sweet drams,


26 Nov 08

Darling admits whisky duty error

The chancellor has admitted to MPs that he made a mistake in raising duty on Scotch whisky, which would have led to a 29p rise in the price of a bottle.
Alistair Darling caused an inadvertent storm with his proposals to offset the cut in VAT by raising duty on spirits.
His intention, he said, was to keep prices the same. The Scotch whisky industry reacted angrily.
Now the chancellor has admitted his mistake in the Commons and has tabled legal orders to negate the impact.
It is understood the original 8% increase in excise duty on spirits will be halved to 4%.
Mr Darling told the Commons: "I said on Monday that what I wanted to do was to make sure the level of taxation on alcohol and on cigarettes remained the same.
"So that broadly the reduction in VAT would be cancelled out by a change in duty.

"I think in relation to spirits what we announced on Monday didn't actually achieve that so I'm tabling a further order today to ensure that on spirits the duty there is at a slightly lower rate, which I think will hugely benefit the spirits industry wherever it is."
Reaction from Mr Darling's opponents was swift.
The SNP's Angus Robertson, whose Moray constituency produces more than half of Scotland's malt whisky, said: "I welcome the fact that the Treasury has buckled in the face of the outcry from the whisky industry and the SNP over the last 48 hours.
"It confirms just how much of an afterthought the whisky industry was to the chancellor that he took such a reckless decision in the first place.
"The decision to cut the increase by half is certainly welcome.
"The wheels are coming off the Pre-Budget report, and serve as a perfect illustration of why the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for all tax and spending decisions in Scotland."
For the Liberal Democrats, Alistair Carmichael said: "I am glad that Mr Darling has now ordered changes to Monday's PBR to prevent this vital industry being hit by yet more tax increases.
"This embarrassing u-turn is something which should have never been necessary.
"It beggars belief that the chancellor was so unaware of the impact his proposals would have on such a crucial Scottish industry."

24 Nov 08

UK: Glenglassaugh distillery sheds its mothballs

24 November 2008 | Source: editorial team

Glenglassaugh has officially opened its Scottish distillery, after having been out of operation for 22 years.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, re-opened the 133-year-old Glenglassaugh Distillery, near Portsoy in Aberdeenshire today (24 November).

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company, which is controlled by the Netherlands-based investment company Scaent Group, was created by Scaent earlier this year after the company bought the facility in February for around GBP5m (US$7.5m).

"This is a very exciting time for the whisky industry," said Derek McLennan, executive vice president of the Scaent Group. "With unprecedented demand in markets such as China, India, Russia, South East Asia and South America; we look forward to introducing the world to one of the very best single malt whiskies available today - Glenglassaugh."

Managing director Stuart Nickerson added: "We will initially be releasing a limited amount of 22yr, 30yr and 40yr old single malts. These whiskies are unique and have been very well received by those who have tasted them, including key whisky writers and knowledgeable whisky experts."

24 Nov 08

Alcohol duties set to rise as VAT rate slashed

Alistar Darling has confirmed that he will cut VAT from 17.5% to 15% but will increase duties to on alcohol to ensure that prices remain unchanged.

The Chancellor made the announcement today as part of a £20 billion package of tax cuts designed to revive the ailing economy.

In his pre-Budget speech to Parliament, Darling warned that the cut in VAT rates would have to be made up for with increases in duty on alcohol, tobacco and petrol.

He said he would "offset the VAT reduction" by increasing duties "by an amount which should keep the overall cost to consumers the same this year".

"This temporary reduction is the equivalent of the government giving back some twelve and a half billion pounds to consumers to boost the economy. It will make goods and services cheaper and, by encouraging spending, will help stimulate growth," said Darling.

The cut in VAT will come into effect on December 1 and continue for 13 months. In his speech, Darling urged retailers to pass on the cut to shoppers as soon as they could.

17 Nov 08

INTERVIEW:Diageo counts on brand loyalty as economy dips

Charles Allen, global brand director of malts and Scotch heritage at London-based Diageo PLC, the world’s largest alcoholic drinks group, talked with “Taipei Times” staff reporter Jerry Lin during a recent visit to Taipei about the affect the global economic downturn is having on the industry and Scotch whisky trends

Taipei Times (TT): What is the current trend for Scotch whisky in Asia and worldwide?

Allen: While some regions were growing, other regions were declining, so the general environment was flat for many years in Scotch whisky. Over the last two or three years, what is being defined by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) as a renaissance in Scotch whisky is happening. So Scotch whisky is back in growth, and that is great news for the industry and for Diageo.

It really does show the results of a continuous investment by the industry and by the big brands in the future of this category. And it’s growing for a variety of reasons. First of all, in some of the more mature regions like North America and Europe, business performances have improved.

So Europe is back to flat from having declined and North America is back to growth. And those are very mature and valuable markets, where a lot of Scotch whisky brands and Diageo brands are present in the market.

TT: Are these two the biggest markets for Diageo?

Allen: North America is the biggest market. And then what’s happened in Asia and Latin America is that growth in some of the markets within those regions has accelerated. So we’ve seen amazing growth in China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico, and India is one of the untouched opportunities for this industry.

Obviously, at the same time, we are seeing different consumer trends. I think now there is a return in terms of a trend towards products that offer genuine authenticity and quality. So consumers are prepared to pay premium prices for products as long as they are reassured that they are high quality.

The other trend that is really helping at the moment is the fact that consumers want to believe these products are being made by real people from real places. So a lot of brands and products out there in old categories are quite faceless — the perception is that they are being produced by big corporations and factories. But the beauty of Scotch whisky is you can trace the origins right back to individual distilleries and communities.

So it’s a combination of consumer trends, macroeconomic trends, and general states of market development in Scotch that is fueling this growth.

You may have read in newspaper reports that we are building a brand new distillery up in Scotland, called Roseisle distillery. It will be the largest single malt distillery ever built in Scotland. It will open in March, April of next year and it will secure the future for Diageo in Scotch whisky for many years to come.

That level of commitment in terms of investing in a new distillery, I think it’s a clear sign that Diageo believes long-term in this category.

TT: How does this new distillery differ from the previous ones?

Allen: It’s a lot bigger. In terms of output, our largest single malt distillery today produces about 6 million liters of alcohol a year. Roseisle distillery will produce about 10 million liters of alcohol. It’s almost twice the size of our largest distillery at the moment. The other difference about Roseisle is that in the past, these distilleries have grown up in communities and buildings where people have to fit things in. The Roseisle design is in one long line, from the input of raw materials to the output of whisky at the other end. It’s more efficient.

TT: How is Diageo’s sales performance in Taiwan this year? Has it been affected by slowing domestic consumer spending?

Allen: Taiwan is not immune to the macroeconomic climate that is happening all over the world, of course. The market is down and it is down for the total industry. Diageo’s share within that market is holding up because we have leading brands, like Johnnie Walker and some of the best malt whisky brands in the world. So we are performing well within a declining market.

What we are seeing here is a reflection of what we see to varying degrees in other parts of the world. So some consumption is switching from bars and restaurants into the home. But what is staying the same largely is people’s desire and appetite for premium brands. What we are finding is that people are not abandoning our brands, because they are still very affordable within the overall context of the economy. But what we are seeing is that people may be choosing to drink these brands with their friends at home, rather than going out. So their consumption is still there, it’s just changing location.

TT: What are the regions or countries where Diageo’s sales have been most impacted by the global economic slowdown?

Allen: I’d say at the moment in Europe, we have a business that is very mature. We have consumers that are less loyal to our brands than consumers in Asia.

What we are finding in Diageo, if we think beyond Scotch, we are seeing consumers switching categories. If a consumer feels he or she can no longer afford to drink a premium Scotch whisky, what we may find is they will switch to a premium tequila or vodka. What we find is that people trade across rather than trading down, because people don’t want to feel that they are drinking a cheaper Scotch whisky if they’ve been drinking Johnnie Walker Black Label for many years.

TT: What about the North American market?

Allen: The Scotch whisky category in North America, as a result of all the trends I mentioned earlier, that market has been coming back. I think we are going to see some switching between categories in North America, but our North American business is very robust.

Overall, our business is in good shape. If we were to dive into individual categories, we’d see that within whisky, the top end of whisky is doing very well because these luxury consumers are people who will always have disposable income.

In the mid segment, where people may have recently started drinking Johnnie Walker Black Label and suddenly they are feeling the pinch in the current economic downturn. They are the ones who are most likely to trade across into a different category. So again, if we may have some declines in Scotch whisky, we will see increases in vodka or Baileys. So the net effect for Diageo is that North America is still our No. 1 and most valuable market. And it’s the market where we are investing heavily.

TT: Is Asia more resilient to the crisis than others?

Allen: I think we’ll see, but there are certain consumer dynamics in Asia as there are in Latin America that can give us confidence. A lot of the growth in Asia has been driven by the economic success, the emerging middle classes and higher disposable incomes.

And typically what we see in those environments is that people want to demonstrate their growing social standing and success. What better way to demonstrate success than going out to a restaurant or bar, buying a bottle of Singleton or Johnnie Walker, having it on the table, because it serves as a beacon, if you like. Other people in the bar will look at people at that table enjoying a high quality bottle of Scotch and that says a lot about you.

And that consumer dynamic is more prevalent in emerging markets than in mature markets, where people now are expressing their status in different ways. So that gives me more confidence that Asia will be more resilient.

TT: Will Diageo cut its marketing spending, reduce staff or pay to help save costs?

Allen: I can’t comment on individual aspects of that. I think what we’ll see in the brand agenda is we’ll see more focus spent against activities and plans that we know work. For example, the Johnnie Walker brand, which is our lead whisky brand, we’ll see a lot more focus on the growth of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, that’s our premier brand within the Johnnie Walker lineup.

We know what motivates consumers around the world. We spent a lot of money to understand consumers. And we’re doing that continuously, and that won’t stop.

Even in these recession environments, we have to keep our fingers on the pulse of our consumers. We have to know what they’re thinking, what their motivations are, and we’ll deploy our activities in a more focused manner in these periods against the things that we know work, which will maintain our market share, which will prepare us when things get better.

TT: Does Diageo see the turmoil as an opportunity to expand?

Allen: Scotch whisky is a long-term business. We’re forecasting way into the future. The past is a good indicator of what may happen in the future, so is the global economy and individual market GDP growth. But we don’t know, we can only speculate. So we are taking decisions right now about how the Scotch whisky industry may look like in 20 to 25 years.

The conclusion we’ve come to is that in order to supply that opportunity we see, we need to build new capacity. I remember reading the reports in the newspapers when we made this announcement about Roseisle, there was a lot of speculations about whether this is the right thing to do.

We believe we got it right. But what we can’t do is arrive in 20 and 25 years, and sit back and say, we wish we had some more whisky. There is a saying in English: You have to speculate to accumulate. We are speculating based on some good evidence in our belief that we will need certain amounts of Scotch whisky in 20 to 25 years and beyond.

To ensure we can supply that demand that we anticipate, we have to put a new capacity. Interestingly, since Diageo announced its building this new distillery, most of the other industry players have done things or announced things about how they are also increasing their capacity.

So the outlook is positive, the outlook is being driven by what we are seeing in these big emerging markets and some fairly robust assumptions about growth rates.

And this industry doesn’t have to grow by much to get bigger. The current Scotch whisky industry’s business may be 80 million cases a year, Diageo has just under 40 [percent] to 42 percent of that globally. That’s a big business. You only have to grow a couple of points a year off that base and you have a big business on your hands. Source:

14 Nov 08

Silo collapse at whisky facility

The silo collapse spilled hundreds of tonnes of barley across the site
A grain silo has collapsed at a maltings plant in Islay spilling several hundred tonnes of barley across the site.
A spokeswoman for the drinks company, Diageo, said the silo came down at Port Ellen Maltings sometime before 0600 GMT on Friday.
No-one was injured although nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.
Work at the site has been suspended while structural engineers carry out an investigation into the collapse.
The Diageo spokeswoman said it was unlikely that the incident would have an effect on whisky production.
The company employs 47 people on Islay, 12 of whom are based at Port Ellen Maltings.

13 Nov 08

Diageo reviewing collaboration with United Spirits

LONDON: Diageo , the world's largest alcoholic drinks group, said it was reviewing a possible collaboration with India's United Spirits after Indian media reports concerning Diageo taking a stake.

"We are reviewing a possible collaboration with United Spirits," said a Diageo spokesman on Thursday.

Market talk that Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, may take a minority stake in United Spirits has continued for a while with European drinks makers keen to increase their presence in India's fast-growing drinks market.

Earlier, the Economic Times in India reported that Diageo was in exclusive talks to buy a minority stake of 14.99 percent, initially. The same paper reported a year ago that Diageo was in talks to buy a slightly smaller stake.

United Spirits is the world's No. 3 spirits maker by volume and is controlled by flamboyant tycoon Vijay Mallya through his UB Group.

"There was a meeting with Diageo yesterday. We have entered into exclusive discussions with them for a limited period," Mallya told the Indian paper.

The paper, citing unnamed sources, said United Spirits was seeking to price the deal at almost double Wednesday's closing share price of 771.1 rupees, with the stake sale raising $450 million (301 million pounds) to $500 million.

The proceeds could be used to reduce United's debt of $1.2 billion from its purchase of Scottish spirits maker Whyte & Mackay in 2007, it added.

13 Nov 08

Dalmore 50yo whisky promises the real taste of a bygone era

There is an elite group of individuals who are willing to spend a lot of money on the rarest and oldest of whiskies. Now there is some great news for this breed of collectors, as Whyte & Mackay have introduced one of the world’s oldest and rarest Scotch whiskies at last month’s TFWA World Exhibition. The firm, owned by Indian tycoon Dr Vijay Mallya, promised the new 50yo expression of The Dalmore to enrich the wine connoisseurs with a “real taste of a bygone era that no other product or brand can offer.” This whisky was first distilled 140 years ago. The Dalmore 50yo carries a suggested retail price of around £5,000 for a full-size 70cl bottle. Only 191 hand-blown Portuguese crystal decanters will be offered for sale and 50 of them will go to travel retailers. All the decanters will be individually numbered and will bear a limited edition silver neck tag. To top that, every bottle of the Dalmore 50yo will carry with it a handwritten and signed letter from The Dalmore’s creator, Richard Paterson. The 50yo whisky is said to be “soft and elegant” with a “multitude of complex flavours that linger in the mouth.”

12 Nov 08

Secret whisky bought at auction

It is thought the whisky was hidden away during Prohibition
A rare bottle of whisky from Angus, which was discovered behind a trap-door in a house in Washington, has sold for £3,240 pounds at auction.
An anonymous bidder bought the Glencadam single malt, which dates back to the early 20th Century.
It is thought it could have been hidden away during Prohibition in the United States - when the sale, manufacture and distribution of alcohol was banned.
It was discovered behind the trap-door during renovations in the 1950s.
The Glencadam Distillery is near Brechin, Angus.

Annoucing the 2008 Malt Advocate Whisky Awards

The 2008 Malt Advocate Whisky Awards were announced earlier this evening just prior to WhiskyFest New York. The awards ceremony occurred at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square.

Here is a listing of the award winners. A full write-up will appear in the 1st Quarter 2009 issue of Malt Advocate magazine, due out on January 15, 2009.

The top ten new whiskies for 2008 (listed alphabetically)
The Antiquary Blended Scotch, 21 year old
The Balvenie Vintage Cask, 1976 vintage
Black Bowmore, 1964 vintage, 42 year old
White Bowmore, 1964 vintage, 43 year old
Brora , 30 year old
High West Rendezvous Rye, Batch No. 10
Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve Irish Whiskey
The Last Drop Blended Scotch
Parker’s Heritage Collection Bourbon, 27 year old
Willett Family Reserve Bourbon, 25 year old

Best Buy of the Year
Ancient Ancient Age Ten Year Old

American Whiskey of the Year
Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 Year Old Bourbon

Canadian Whisky of the Year
Canadian Club 150th Anniversary 30 Year Old

Irish Whiskey of the Year
Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, 2007 Release

Scotch Blended Whisky of the Year
The Antiquary 21 year old

Scotch Malt Whisky of the Year
Black Bowmore, 1964 Vintage, 42 year old

Microdistillery Whisky of the Year
Penderyn Welsh Whisky

Industry Leader of the Year
Dr. Bill Lumsden

Pioneer of the Year
The United States Microdistillers

Distillery of the Year
Four Roses

Lifetime Achievement Award
Willie Tait (Whyte and Mackay)
Kenny Gray (Oban)
Ronnie Eddins (Buffalo Trace)

12 Nov 08

A new limied expression ofLaphroaig, the Laphroaig Triple Wood will be released at the end of this month for the duty-free. Bottled at 48%, it has been matured in bourbon casks, quarter-casks and Oloroso butts

12 Nov 08

Tax service is on the prowl for fake whisky
Spirits to be high-tech monitored

Imperial whisky with RFID
Phony booze is in the taxman’s sights.

The National Tax Service (Korea) said yesterday it has launched a trial operation to last until the end of the year of an electronic tag attached on the bottles of two types of whisky, to clamp down on fake products and track their distribution routes.

A total of 15,000 bottles of 21-year-old and 17-year-old whisky carrying the Imperial label from Pernod Ricard Korea will each carry a Radio Frequency Identification sticker during the 51-day period.

The tax agency will distribute a dongle, a piece of hardware that connects to mobile phones, to 24 liquor wholesalers, 10 E-Mart discount stores and 100 restaurants and bars nationwide.

Whether or not the whisky is genuine can be checked by reading the RFID on the bottle using the dongle, which transfers the unique verification number of each product to the server of the National Tax Service via wireless Internet.

The RFID also contains information on the whereabouts and total number of bottles of the product because wholesalers and bars are required to use readers when they receive delivery of the products.

“The trial service, if successful, is expected to help repel fake whisky,” said an official in the Excise Tax Division at the tax agency.
“Not only that, but another anticipated benefit from the tag system is being able to precisely check how the liquor is distributed.
“We could prevent the sale of whisky that is traded without issuance of tax invoices - a widely used method of evading taxes.”
It will help improve tax revenue, he added.

Bogus liquor is rampant in Korea because they have hefty profit margins.
When sold at bars and restaurants, they sometimes cost more than double or triple the prices at retailers. The fake liquor market is estimated at 1 trillion won ($752 million).

Whisky manufacturers have been mobilizing to fight against fake goods.
For example, Diageo Korea has developed a system whereby a small weight dangled in the cap of the Windsor whisky bottle automatically detaches when it is opened.

Scotch Blue from Lotte Chilsung Beverages has developed a label that turns red from blue when a specially devised solution is applied. If the label doesn’t change color, it’s fake.

10 Nov 08 Single Malt Named Whisky Of The Year
A Scottish single malt has been awarded the title of World Whisky of the Year by a distinguished guide.
Ardbeg Uigeadail was given the accolade in the Whisky Bible 2009.
The honour makes it a double for the Ardbeg distillery on the island of Islay, which scooped the same title last year for Ardbeg Ten Years Old.
06 Nov 08

Global scotch demand drinking stocks dry
Demand from Russia, China, India forces scotch drinkers to go dry here
Doug Fischer , Canwest News Service
The insatiable demand for scotch whisky in China, India and Russia has tipped three popular brands from the shelves of Ontario liquor stores, and likely will drive up the prices of popular single-malts in several provinces.
Johnnie Walker Green Label, Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky and Bell's Scotch Whisky will no longer be available in Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets once current supplies are gone, probably by year end, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

The sobering news comes after liquor distributor Diageo Canada, a branch of the world's largest alcohol group, told the LCBO that if it wanted to continue to sell many of its products it would have to pay more to compete with growing markets abroad.
The LCBO agreed to meet Diageo's demands in some cases, but apparently balked when it came to the three brands to be discontinued.
That also means the Diageo-distributed products the LCBO will continue to sell likely will go up in price by amounts that will vary, depending on the brand. Some of those brands include high-end single malt scotches such as Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie, Oban, Talisker, Lagavulin, Gragganmore and Brora, as well as Johnnie Walker's Red, Blue, Gold and Black labels.
Some of the more expensive brands are made by small distilleries that can only produce limited quantities, which drives up demand and prices.
"Essentially it was out of our control," LCBO spokesman Chris Layton said Wednesday. "Diageo came to us and said the demand from places like China, India and Russia was outstripping its ability to supply them."
He said Diageo is simply selling to the buyers willing to pay the most.
It could be worse. In several other provinces, including New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, even more brands no longer will be available. New Brunswick is losing 11 brands, for instance.
The move comes as burgeoning middle classes in China, India, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam look for new ways to spend their money.
According to a British economic analysis published in March, China's spirits market alone is expected to be worth US$50-billion by 2011. India's market is growing by more than 15% a year, and could exceed US$35-billion by the end of next year.
The sheer size of those markets can make it difficult for Canadian liquor buyers and sellers -- even those as large as the LCBO, whose total alcohol sales are worth more than $3.5-billion annually -- to stay in the game.
"It's the bad side of success," Frank Scott, owner of an award-winning whisky bar in Fredericton, told New Brunswick's Telegraph-Journal newspaper. "Scotch has always been seen as a success product and with incomes growing, people want the American dream."
Mr. Scott believes that London-based Diageo, which has been focusing on Asia-Pacific markets for the past few years, eventually will re-offer some of its products in Canada. But he thinks drinkers might have moved along to new brands.
Mr. Layton said that even with the cutbacks, the LCBO will continue to sell more than 200 varieties of scotch, the largest selection in Canada.

05 Nov 08

Glenmorangie is bringing back the soda siphon.

After decades of near-extinction this beautiful object that conjures up all the glamour, hedonism and illicit joie-de-vivre of the 'Roaring Twenties' is making a comeback and this time Glenmorangie has given it its contemporary luxury stamp.

Clad in leather with a decadent embossed gold-foil Signet that makes it Glenmorangie's own, the Glenmorangie Siphon is the drinking tool for the modern connoisseur and bright young thing.

Prohibition in the 1920's meant that traditional whisky drinking went underground - all those 'in the know' were seen in speakeasies where soda siphons added style to the new drinking ritual. Purist cocktails and homemade cordials were served up by barmen who knew your name. Glenmorangie has reinvented these iconic whisky soda serves and brings the Glenmorangie Siphon to the modern whisky set.

Glenmorangie remains one of the world's greatest single malt whiskies since its creation in 1843. In its complexity it has the most diverse range of aromas, tastes and textures. Innovation is at the heart of the Glenmorangie spirit. From its original pioneering methods of production in the 1800's, to its Whisky Icons award as Innovator of the Year 2008 in recognition of its role in re-energising the whisky category.

Glenmorangie's innovation has been paramount in engaging new and inspiring existing whisky lovers alike to delve into this complex and alluring whisky and this continues with the re-creation of the siphon.

05 Nov 08

25 Years of Offering Truly Unique Single Cask Single Malt Whiskies

It's been 25 years since the first sensational single malt whisky cask was selected and bottled - some 125 malt whisky distilleries and several thousand exceptional and individual whisky casks later, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society celebrates its anniversary, marking the occasion with a little something special at our London and Edinburgh Society members' rooms.

Edinburgh, UK The Scotch Malt Whisky Society started 25 years ago when a group of discerning friends shared the price of a single cask of fine malt whisky. The aroma of the cask was wonderful and it tasted even better. It was the first of many!

Today the Society continues to bottle only single casks from a range of 125 malt whisky distilleries. Only the very best single cask, single malt whisky is selected, having been approved by the Society's Tasting Panel.

Members worldwide enjoy the many pleasures and benefits of membership, with three superb Members' Rooms, two in Edinburgh and one in London.

The Society remains true to its origins, retaining its personal and companionable atmosphere in its publications, UK-wide events and premises.

A Scotch Birthday Party
On November the 8th, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society celebrates its 25th Birthday, and as part of our celebrations we will be inviting our members along to one of our special Anniversary single cask whisky tastings at our Society Members' Rooms in Leith, Edinburgh and London.

Membership of the Society is non exclusive so any new members attending will enjoy 'all the trimmings' that you'd expect from a Society dedicated to offering the rarest whiskies The birthday celebrations will be sure to herald some big surprises. We're not giving our plans away but you can be sure that the extensive new winter single malt whisky bottling list will play a large part of the celebrations.

There are some extra special single malt gems to discover amongst our fine winter whisky selection at The Vaults in Leith. Can you think of a better way to enjoy a cold Saturday afternoon? The next outstanding malt is out there; let the Society help you find it.

At 28 Queen Street in Edinburgh we are tasting and exploring five fantastic drams from the first distilleries ever bottled by the Society 25 years ago, along with a tasty three-course supper.
Our London members' room on Greville Street offers a very special Open Tasting Who will be among the first to select and sample any five whiskies from our extensive winter list? Cheese and biscuits will be served as a luxurious compliment to the fine array of single cask drams specially recommended for tasting.

For more information about our 25th Anniversary events or The Scotch Malt Whisky Society please call the events team on 0131 555 2266 or visit source:

03 Nov 08

Scotland's whisky sector in rude health
SCOTLAND'S whisky industry is well-placed to weather the recession, according to a leading figure in the sector.
Billy Walker, managing director of the BenRiach Distillery, which was last week crowned whisky distiller of the year, said expansion into Far Eastern markets gave the industry resilience to the global credit crunch.

He told The Scotsman: "The industry is really healthy now. From long experience, I can say this is one of the good periods for the industry." He added: "The UK and United States may be in recession, but parts of Europe and the Far East are on a different economic track."

Walker also revealed plans to bring 15- and 18-year-old whiskies to the market in time for Christmas from the Glendronach Distillery, near Huntly, which Ben-Riach bought from Chivas Brothers in August.

Glendronach, which already offers 12- and 30-year-old expressions, will also be returning to its roots as a "sherried" whisky, Walker said.

BenRiach beat off competition from brands including Glenmorangie, Highland Park and Benromach to take the "whisky distiller of the year" title at Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards.

The prize came a year after BenRiach was named "distillery of the year" by Malt Advocate Magazine's Whisky Awards, which are open to whisky makers throughout the world.

Previous News
P.Brossard ©2008. All rights reserved.

About this site

Whisky ?



Tasting notes






Whisky Clubs

Other Links