Archive for the ‘whisky news’ Category


I don’t usually post press releases, and this “news” has been out there for a couple of weeks, but I’m about to review this whisky, so I thought I’d put this info up for easy reference…

Press Release


9 May 2012

Glenfarclas launches limited edition single malt – the oldest whisky in its history

The Glenfarclas distillery has launched a 58-year-old whisky – the oldest spirit ever to leave its walls. Only 400 numbered single cask bottles will be put on the market.

The single cask whisky launched by Glenfarclas is the oldest spirit released so far by the distillery. The privilege of exclusive access to the distillery’s rarest and oldest stock, the remaining 4 casks distilled in 1953, were given by George Grant, of Glenfarclas to a panel comprised of Serge Valentin, a whisky connoisseur and a key member of the internationally renowned Malt Maniacs, Ben Ellefsen, Sales Director for Master of Malt (Whisky Magazine’s ‘Global Online Retailer of the Year’ 2012), Michał Kowalski of Wealth Solutions and George Grant himself. The panel was unanimous in their selection, and cask #1674 was selected to be bottled.

The carefully chosen cask began its life in Spain, where it was used to mature and then transport fine sherry to Scotland. It was bought by Glenfarclas and filled with whisky on 20 November 1953. After 58 years of slow maturation in Glenfarclas’ traditional Highland Dunnage warehouses, the 1953 cask yielded only 400 full 70 cl bottles. The whisky was bottled at cask strength of 47.2% abv and, of course, is naturally coloured and non-chill filtered.

Layer upon layer of flavour. A splendid old whisky; still lively, and not displaying any woodiness. Much influenced by the American oak cask, but wholly beneficially. Best enjoyed unreduced. Cheerful and friendly at natural strength, said Charles MacLean, a writer and whisky connoisseur, summarising his appraisal of the spirit. This exceptional whisky deserves a special setting. Each bottle is accompanied by a special book written by Ian Buxton, a well-known Scotch whisky enthusiast and writer, the author of the official history of the Glenfarclas distillery entitled Glenfarclas – An Independent Distillery. The whole set is enclosed in a plain oak box.

This limited edition Glenfarclas whisky has been selected specially for customers of Wealth Solutions, a company providing products for the most demanding Polish collectors and investors. We are very excited to offer one of the oldest casks of whisky which we have in Glenfarclas to Polish whisky lovers. It’s fantastic to see so many Polish people interested in such an old and rare whisky, said George Grant, Brand Ambassador at Glenfarclas. It is a real honour for us to offer our customers the ability of purchasing that exceptional whisky. So far, our offer has met with their huge interest, said Michał Kowalski, Vice President of Wealth Solutions.

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Well, good timing with my previous post on the Mackinlay’s Shackleton whisky replica. It looks like the National Geographic Channel is airing a special on the Shackleton whisky discovery and replication process tonight. I’ll be watching..likely while enjoying a dram of The Dalmore. 🙂

[Edit: Oops! I accidentally posted this as a PBS special originally. It’s actually on the National Geographic channel.]

Here is the info from National Geographic:

Expedition Whisky
Premieres Thursday, November 3 at 8pm ET/PT
Battling subzero temperatures and using only rudimentary navigational tools, explorer Ernest Shackleton set the record for reaching the furthest south in 1908, just 97 miles from the South Pole.  The expedition was cut short by a lack of food, and Shackleton returned home to a hero’s welcome in England and was knighted by King Edward VII.  But apparently, Shackleton left behind a few “necessities” from his epic journey to the South Pole.  In 2006, Shackleton’s stash of Scotch was re-discovered beneath the hut he used as his base camp.  With rare archival material and the last remaining film footage of Shackleton and his crew, “Expedition Whisky” not only tells the amazing story of Shackleton’s most successful adventure and his secret stash of whisky, but also shows a world’s top taster on a mission to sniff out and remake the vintage.

Shackleton’s Whisky Recipe

Whisky Find of the Century


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The Glenlivet is getting ready to roll out new packaging across the core line. I don’t generally post these press releases, as I’m sure you’ll see this info popping up in more prominent blogs and web sites. However, this one stands out to me because of the new Glenlivet 18 Year bottle design. Note the heavier base on this one, to match the 21 Year Archive and 25 Year expressions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a price bump to go along with this change, so you might want to keep your eyes and ears open for any price changes if you’re a big 18 year fan, and buy a few bottles at current prices if that seems to be happening.

On a side note, I think the new design is pretty sweet. 🙂

Press Release


The Glenlivet, the world’s No 2 single malt Scotch whisky, has revealed striking new packaging to provide the ‘single malt that started it all’ with an enhanced luxurious and sophisticated look, in line with its position in the super premium spirits category.

The new packaging to be implemented across the core range, comprising The Glenlivet 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve, 18 Year Old and Nàdurra, will remain recognisably The Glenlivet, yet offer a more contemporary, elegant look. Available in all markets including duty free, the new bottles are enhanced with higher shoulders, a shorter neck and an enlarged base giving them a stronger presence, while the embossed stamp of the whisky’s founding family ‘George & J. G. Smith’, continues to portray the legacy and heritage of The Glenlivet. As a strong point of reference for consumers, the cartouche, which indicates the brands history dating back to 1824, has been given a more prominent position on a raised platform.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old bottle will retain its iconic green colour, recognised by consumers the world over, while the 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve will move to a clear bottle for the first time to showcase the rich golden colour of the whisky. Both expressions will be presented in a new, luxury carton with premium cues to increase gift appeal, while additional information highlighting the whisky’s quality credentials will benefit both aficionados and new drinkers.

The packaging upgrade has seen The Glenlivet 18 Year Old elevated to align with the ultra-premium and prestige expressions within the range including The Glenlivet 21 Year Old and The Glenlivet XXV. Changes to the 18 Year Old bottle design, including the heavier base, signify its status as the most awarded expression in the range and the whisky favoured by many distillery workers. The new bottle is housed in a significantly upgraded permanent gift box.

In addition, The Glenlivet Nàdurra, the non-chill filtered expression in the range, will also be presented in a new, bolder bottle and feature the logos and icons seen across the range while maintaining the individual character of the artisanal, highly crafted whisky.

Neil Macdonald, Brand Director for Malts at Chivas Brothers, comments: “The Glenlivet is recognised by whisky aficionados around the world as an exquisite, premium whisky, and our new elegant packaging will confidently reflect this quality with its striking new shape and luxury cues.

“The stylish bottles and gift cartons will offer increased on-shelf stand-out for the on and off trade and will support our ambition to see The Glenlivet become the No 1 selling malt whisky in the world.”

Since 2005, The Glenlivet has been the biggest contributor to the global single malt category and is only the second single malt to achieve sales of over 600,000 9l cases. In 2010 The Glenlivet completed its £10 million distillery expansion increasing production capacity by 75% to meet global demand.

New Glenlivet bottle design

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Hey, this is pretty cool. Anthony Wills from Kilchoman [kill-HOE-man] will be visiting the U.S. in November, and doing bottle signings. The Kilchoman Summer 2010 release will be the first Kilchoman bottling officially imported to the U.S. (by ImpEx beverages). ImpEx just sent out information about Mr. Wills’ visit and I’ve included his schedule below. You can see my thoughts (and links to other reviews) on previous Kilchoman releases here.

Special bottlings

The Whisky Shop in San Francisco, and Binny’s in Chicago have each selected a single cask from the Summer 2010 release, and will have these available bottled at cask strength! If you live in San Francisco or Chicago…get your butts over to these stores and get your signed single-barrel bottling. The Whisky Shop signing event will be on November 6th. Binny’s, November 8th.

Anthony Wills U.S. visit schedule

Nov 6: The Whisky Shop 360 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA  415-989-1030
Bottle Signing
Nov 7: Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel, 170 Railroad Street, Santa Rosa, CA
Sponsored by:  Traverso’s  707-542-2530
5:00 to 7:00 Bottle Signing and Tasting
Nov 8: Binny’s  1720 N. Marcey Street, Chicago, IL 60614  312-664-4394
6:30 to 8:00 Bottle Signing
Nov 10: Gary’s Beer & Liquor 9555 S. Howell Ave, Oak Creek, WI  414-762-3010
10:45 to 11:00 Bottle Signing
Nov 10: County Clare Irish Inn & Pub  1234 N. Astor, Milwaukee, WI  414-272-5220
12:30 to 2:00 Bottle Signing and Tasting
Nov 10: Waterford Wine C0mpany  1327 E. Brady Street, Milwaukee, WI  414-289-9463
3:00 to 5:00 Bottle Signing and Tasting
Nov 10: Union House S42 W31320 Hwy 83, Genesse Depot, WI  262-968-4281
6:30 to 8:00 Bottle Signing and Tasting

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Doh! I got this press release that Richard Paterson is going to be hanging out and signing books near Newport beach this coming Tuesday, a mere 6 hour drive from Phoenix, AZ. Unfortunately, I’ve got prior commitments and won’t be able to go. If you’re in Southern California, you should stop by and meet the famous Master Blender:


COSTA MESA, CA – Award-winning master blender, Richard Paterson, will visit Hi-Time Wine Cellars at 250 Ogle Street in Costa Mesa from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12th for a Grand Single Malt Scotch Bottle and Book Signing.

Richard is one of the most respected blenders in the Scotch world who recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with Whyte and Mackay. He constantly challenges palates the world over with his unique blending style, award-winning whiskys, and of course, stories of his travel. Richard’s passion for Scotch stretches back three generations to his grandfather William Paterson, who changed his career from being a coal merchant to a Glasgow whisky broker. His father continued as a broker and Richard followed – and chose the path that he was most curious about – creating whisky.
Richard is the author of Goodness Nose and can be found online at:



EVENT: Grand Single Malt Scotch Bottle and Book

Signing with Master Blender, Richard Paterson
DATE: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TIME: 5:00 – 7:00 pm

LOCATION: Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle Street

Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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I got a press release from Diageo about a special Father’s Day deal. I’m attaching the full release below, but here’s the short version: Buy a bottle of Singleton 12, Talisker 10 or Dalwhinnie 15 and get two tickets to a “whisky master class,” which sounds like a really fun and educational whisky tasting. Note that the classes are only available in the following UK locations: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Cambridge, Norwich, Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol, South London, North London, Chichester, Exeter

If anybody goes to one of these, I’d love to hear what you think of Diageo’s master class. Here’s the press release:

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, the hunt begins for the ideal gift for the deserving Dad. The Ultimate Single Malt Whisky Experience could just be what you’re looking for.

This year help is at hand, for the first time, The Classic Malts Selection is offering the perfect solution. Buy a bottle of either THE SINGLETON® OF DUFFTOWN 12 year old single malt scotch whisky, TALISKER® 10 year old single malt scotch whisky or DALWHINNIE® 15 year old single malt scotch whisky, and receive two complimentary V.I.P invitations to a whisky master class. The Classic Malts team of whisky ambassadors will be hosting masterclasses in 17 major cities nationwide.
Research shows that over a third of alcohol gifts bought for Father’s Day[1] are single malt whiskies. So why not take it a step further this year, at no extra cost, present your dad with two tickets to a malt masterclass where he will try four different Scotch malt whiskies in the company of an experienced ambassador, who knows, he might just invite you to go with him!

The complimentary whisky master class, hosted by a single malt whisky ambassador, will guide you through the world of single malt whisky using THE SINGLE MALT WHISKY FLAVOUR MAP™. With so many ages, regions and distilleries out there, there’s a diverse and exciting world of flavour for your father to explore. With the aid of the Single Malt Whisky Flavour Map, which has been created by experts, you/he can pin-point each flavour and identify what type of whisky suits your taste.

Your whisky ambassador will provide a selection of four Single Malt Scotch Whiskies for you to experience and savour, after the tasting they will leave you with your very own flavour map and some serving suggestions to inspire your newly acquired whisky knowledge.

For the perfect original gift this Father’s Day, choose either the ‘Perfectly balanced, naturally rich and smooth’ The SingletonÒ of Dufftown 12 year old, the ‘characterful and smoky’ TaliskerÒ 10 year old, or the ‘mellow, soft and fruity’ Dalwhinnie®  15 year old, available at all major retailers. Don’t forget you’ll also receive two invitations to this exclusive whisky master class.

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Have you ever seen these nosing/tasting kits? I think it looks like a great idea, but they’re a little more expensive than I would like.

Nosing and tasting kit

Now The Balvenie is offering up a chance to get one for free. I got an email from them today with the following info:

Just in time for the holidays, The Balvenie is offering the chance to win a one-of-a-kind prize: An exclusive Scotch Whisky nosing and tasting kit. This unique kit contains 24 separate aromas and a dedicated nosing guide, as well as other essential whisky tasting tools. The lucky winner will also receive an exquisite Balvenie hipflask.

Visit this link to enter:

It’s really easy to enter. Just provide your name and email address. No long surveys to fill out or anything.

Good luck!

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Singlemalt.tv and Highland Park teamed up to do a live webcast back on September 28th. Gerry Tosh, head of brand education at highland park, and his boss Jason Craig discussed (and tasted) the new Earl Magnus 15 year Cask Strength special release that is coming out by the end of the year. They also talked about the general plan for HP special releases in the near to medium term, and hinted at a possible addition to the standard HP lineup.

Check out the video here:

[Update: The above link isn’t working well for me right now. Here’s a link to the High Resolution Video on singlemalt.tv]

Now, for those who don’t feel like watching the full 25 minute video, I thought I’d go ahead and summarize some of the most interesting tidbits:

  • Special Releases
    • HP looking to put significant effort into satisfying enthusiast/collector demand for special releases.
    • Earl Magnus is Edition 1 of a series of “affordable collectible” releases to come out in round bottles with darker glass.
    • Also looking at some high end collectible releases: Vintages, 50 year, etc.
  • Earl Magnus
    • 15 year old cask strength at 52.6% ABV.
    • To be priced in the 75 to 85 GBP price range. [Update: Looks like 85 GBP]
    • Just under 6,000 bottles to be released.
    • Will contain some older casks as well.
    • American oak and high ABV combines to make the smoke stand out. Not as sweet as the Hjarta.
    • Lemon/lime/coconut flavors due to the American oak.
    • Update [12/7/09] – Whiskyfun has now reviewed Earl Magnus. 90 points.
    • Update [12/15/09] – Check out a high resolution picture over at Edinburgh Whisky Blog.
    • Update [2/10/10] – My own unbottling and initial impressions, with lots of pictures and packaging details.
  • “Affordable collectible” Edition 2
    • The follow-up to Earl Magnus will come out next year.
    • Age not yet determined…could move to an 18 year or go back to a 10-13 year release.
    • If 18 year, probably closer to 4,000 bottles to be released. If younger, maybe 7,000 to 9,000 bottles.
    • Price will be 10-20 GBP higher or lower than Earl Magnus depending on age.
  • Vintages
    • Yet another bottle style. Jet-black glass with flared bottom.
    • 2 vintage releases per year.
    • Looking to release 10 vintages over the next 4-6 years.
    • 1964 and 1968 to be the first two vintage releases.
      • Coming in March/April 2010.
      • 290 bottles of 1964; 1,550 bottles of 1968.
  • 50 Year
    • They have some casks that will turn 50 in Jan. 2010.
    • Still planning the details of the 50 year release.
    • Look for it in Summer 2010.
  • New Make Spirit
    • Planning to make new-make spirit available, probably only at the Distillery (or possibly from web site).
    • Probably would come in smaller bottles.
  • 12 year Cask Strength core range bottling
    • Gerry and Jason both feel that they should do a standard 12 CS release.
    • Hjarta showed strong demand for higher strength.
    • Hoping for success with Earl Magnus…could play into the decision.
    • No commitment or details…just hinting that it’s very possible.
  • HP Packaging
    • Current flat bottle design based on some bottles they found in their archives from 1920s/30s. Not just dreamed up out of nowhere.
    • They also had some quality problems with the old bottle that led to the change.

Are these exciting times for HP or what? Apparently their traditional focus on primarily the standard 12 year bottling (up until 1997/1998) has allowed them to build up quite a stock of older casks. That’s why they’re now able to offer the 30 and 40 year as permanent releases. This also affords them quite a bit of creative freedom with these special releases.


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Following on the previous Friends of Laphroaig email, John Campbell has sent out another letter with official details of the Distillery Live event on September 25, 2009 at Maker’s Mark Distillery. News since the last letter includes the creation of a web site dedicated to the event at http://www.distillerylive.us.com.

Update 9/26/09: For those who missed it, here is a link to a video of the event: Laphroaig Distillery Live

Here’s the official letter:

Dear Friend of Laphroaig,

I promised in my last e-mail that I would write to you again with all the final details for the live Webcast we will be doing at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky, so here they are.

The online event will be happening on Friday, September 25 at 8 p.m. Kentucky time, which I’m told is Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). I believe that works out to 1 a.m. on Saturday the 26th for the UK. I know this isn’t an ideal time for our FOLs in Europe, but the video will be available a week or so later on the Laphroaig Web site for you to watch at your leisure if you can’t tune in live.

I hope as many of you as possible tune in live to submit questions to the panel (Kevin Smith from Maker’s Mark, John Hansell who is the Editor of Malt Advocate and, of course, myself) during the show. Anyone whose question is read out during the live broadcast will be sent a special prize as well, so remember to include your e-mail address when you submit the question.

We also have a special Web page set up which has a countdown on it, as well as some further information on the event. Go to http://www.distillerylive.us.com and make sure you bookmark the page so that you don’t forget the address on the 25th.

As I mentioned in my last e-mail, we will be tasting a range of Laphroaig expressions, including the 10 Year Old, the new 18 Year Old and the 25 Year Old. There are also some special items I am really excited about. The guys over at Maker’s Mark have found a famous chef who is going to cook some lovely food for us – designed to complement Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark whiskies. Hopefully I can get hold of the recipes in advance so all you culinary experts can try out the recipes, too.

As I mentioned in the last e-mail, we will also have a cocktail section. Thanks go to everyone who has already e-mailed me their suggestions for cocktails. We’ve had a lot of fun trying out your recipes. Remember, anyone whose cocktail is made during the show will win a special prize. If you haven’t e-mailed your suggestion, you still can. Just drop me a line at info@laphroaig.com with the subject line: Distillery Live recipes.

In other news, I have created a Twitter account – I am still a bit of a novice but am really enjoying connecting with some more FOLs from around the world in real-time. If you would like to follow my “tweets” (as I have been told they are called) then go to http://www.twitter.com/laphroaigwhisky. I will be updating with news in the build-up to Distillery Live, and I will, of course, also be updating the FOL homepage.

John Campbell
Distillery Manager

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Here’s a new press release from Bruichladdich announcing the release of Organic 2003 “Culblair Farm” edition, with a UK Retail price of £39. It’s bottled at 46%, and there will be 15,000 bottles made available. It says “Anns An T-seann Doigh” on the label, which is Gaelic for “in the traditional way.” All of the barley used is Scottish grown, with 50% produced at 15 farms on Islay. I’m not completely sure what to make of this one, but it will be interesting to see the reviews.

Would the fact that it’s organic and uses Scottish-grown (and lots of Islay-grown) barley influence your buying decision?

Organic Developments for Islay Distiller

The first ever organic Islay single malt whisky has been released to coincide with the opening of a new island barley facility for farmers and Bruichladdich distillery.

Bruichladdich has released the world’s first organic Islay single malt whisky on the day the Hebridean island’s first grain facility opened  – in time for this year’s barley harvest.

This is the ultimate “single”, single malt (single farm, harvest, variety and vintage) distilled from Chalice barley grown by William Rose at Culblair in summer of 2003.

This first organic bottling represents the direction Bruichladdich has been going since it was reopened in 2001. Unparalleled Scottish provenance, quality, variety and traceability.

Duncan McGillivray, manager of the privately-owned distillery, said: “it’s the way is used to be – ultimate authenticity – real people, real places, real character. That’s what we’re about”

All Bruichladdich whisky is naturally bottled at the distillery in the island’s only bottling hall at 46% alc/vol with Islay spring water – chill-filtration and colouring-free.

The Octofad facility (weighbridge, unloading area, drying house and storage) means each of the 15 Islay farm’s harvests can be kept separate until ready for malting later in the year.

“Being able to dry our barley “off the field” makes harvesting logistics less frantic, less risky and more efficient. With the current poor weather it is not a moment too soon”

“Environmentally too, by trucking one load of ‘green’ barley to the maltings at Bairds, and returning with one load of ‘malted’ barley means less of a footprint.”

“We’re very proud; it’s the culmination of a great team effort. People thought we were mad, perhaps we are, but the taste makes it all worth while; the proof is in the pudding.”

Bruichladdich Organic 2003

Bruichladdich Organic 2003

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