Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review - Exotic Cargo

Exotic Cargo is a new whisky from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and is the first ever blended malt that they have released. The new whisky continues the expansion of their core range of products which has recently added American whiskey, Cognac, gin and rum to the portfolio. Exotic Cargo has been created using whiskies all distilled on the same day in 2006 and all have been matured in ex-sherry hogshead casks. It has been bottled at 10 years of age and at a strength of 50% ABV. It is also non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 1,937 bottles available and each will cost £45.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review - Treacle Chest & Vanilla Burst by Wemyss Malts




The Wemyss family have released these two new whiskies as the first in a new series called The Family Collection. The collection has been crafted from whiskies held within the Wemyss family's own private portfolio of casks. These first two releases - entitled Treacle Chest and Vanilla Burst - represent two differing styles of whisky, one has been matured in ex-Sherry casks and the other in ex-bourbon casks. The names refer to the expected flavour characteristics from each cask type.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 15, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review - Diageo Special Releases 2017



The Special Releases are an annual selection of bottlings from Diageo, Scotland's largest producer of single malt whisky. The series first appeared in 2001 and has grown to be eagerly anticipated by whisky fans, consumers and collectors around the world. The Special Releases are designed to showcase some of the best whisky, both single malt and single grain, held within Diageo's extensive portfolio of maturing stocks. This includes distilleries that are currently in operation and those that have sadly closed.

We were delighted to again be invited to a special preview event in London a couple of weeks ago. Here we got to sample each of this year's ten Special Releases bottlings in the company of Dr. Nick Morgan, Head of Whisky Outreach at Diageo, and Maureen Robinson, one of Diageo's Senior Whisky Blenders and a major influencer of the Special Releases programme. Here is the information for each whisky and our tasting notes.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 8, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Review - Ardbeg An Oa

The An Oa (pronounced an-oh) is the first permanent addition to the core single malt range of Ardbeg for almost a decade. It is named after the Mull of Oa, the southernmost point on Ardbeg's home island of Islay. The whisky is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden – the Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks for Ardbeg's owners Moet Hennessy. Ardbeg An Oa is a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and virgin oak casks. These have been married in a large French oak vat housed in The Gathering Room, a new feature at the Ardbeg distillery.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Review - Glendronach Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage

The Kingsman Edition 1991 Vintage is a special limited edition single malt from the east Highland distillery of Glendronach. The new whisky is a collaboration between Rachel Barrie, the Whisky Maker at Glendronach, Marv Films and 20th Century Fox to mark the release of the movie Kingsman : The Golden Circle. Glendronach was selected by director Matthew Vaughn as it is his favourite single malt. The whisky is constructed of just four ex-sherry casks, all of which were filled in 1991 (this is the year of birth of the movie’s lead character, Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin).

Friday, September 1, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 1, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 25, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review - Glenmorangie Astar (2017 Edition)

The Astar is a re-release of the former cult favourite expression from the north Highland distillery of Glenmorangie. The original version of Astar was released ten years ago but had to be withdrawn due to a lack of suitable casks. It has taken Dr. Bill Lumsden - the Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks at Glenmorangie - almost a decade to orchestrate the Astar's re-release. This time it is released as a limited edition but, as with the original version, is still matured solely in casks made from American oak harvested from the Ozark Mountains in the American state of Missouri. Some are first-fill lightly charred casks and some heavily toasted barrels. The name of Astar translates as 'journey' from Gaelic.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 18. 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Diageo Special Releases 2017



Diageo, the leading Scotch whisky company, announced most of the line-up for this year's Special Release bottlings a few months ago. Today they have announced more details of each whisky, plus the 10th and final bottling the will make up the 2017 series - this is the Collectivum XXVIII, a blended malt which contains whiskies from each of Diageo's 28 Scottish malt distilleries that are currently in production. Every year the Special Releases, which first appeared in 2001, are eagerly anticipated by whisky fans and collectors.

We will be sampling each of the ten whiskies shortly and will write a full review with our tasting notes soon after that. For now, here are the details of each whisky for the Diageo Special Releases 2017. No indication of prices were given in the press release.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review - Slane Irish Whiskey

This whiskey is the first to be launched from the new Slane Distillery in Ireland. This is located on the grounds of the famous Slane Castle, which is renowned for music concerts and its setting within the Boyne Valley. The distillery itself is yet to commence production, which is anticipated from late Summer 2017, so this first release showcases the complex flavour to be expected from the triple cask maturation used. Blending whiskey from virgin American oak, seasoned American oak and ex-Oloroso sherry casks, this expression is created to be a more complex, yet smooth, Irish whiskey. It has been bottled at 40% ABV.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 11, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review - Glen Moray Mastery



The Mastery is a special rare single malt from the Speyside distillery of Glen Moray. It has been released to commemorate the distillery's 120th anniversary, which is happening this year. The whisky has been created by Graham Coull, the Distillery Manager at Glen Moray, and with it he pays homage to his predecessors. There have only ever been five Distillery Managers in Glen Moray's 120 year history.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Distillery Visit - Talisker



The distillery of Talisker is located in the village of Carbost on the rugged Hebridean island of Skye. Talisker is a Viking word translating as 'sloping rock' and is named after Talisker Bay, which is about five miles away. The distillery was founded in 1830 by the MacAskill brothers and they were from the nearby island of Eigg. They purchased the land as it was cheap - this was because it was not good for farming. The village of Carbost was built at the same time as the distillery and the houses used for distillery workers.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Review - The Chita Single Grain Whisky

Renowned as innovators in Japanese whisky, Suntory have released their first single grain whisky into the International market designed as a new style of whisky for a new audience. Blended from spirit aged in wine
and Spanish oak casks alongside American white oak, Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo has created what Suntory describes as "a milder whisky with a clean, clear finish and unparalleled sophistication and complexity". It has been bottled at 43% ABV.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 4, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 28, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review - Bunnahabhain 46 years old



This whisky is the latest super premium release from Bunnahabhain. The Bunnahabhain 46 years old, which also carries the Gaelic name of Eich Bhana Lir, has the prestigious tag of being the oldest ever single malt bottled from the Islay-based distillery. The whisky is from a single second-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butt that was hand selected by Andrew Brown, the Distillery Manager at Bunnahabhain. This cask was maturing in Warehouse #4 at the distillery on the windswept north eastern coast of Islay since mid-1969.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 21, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review - Jura Tastival 2017 Edition

This whisky is the annual Tastival bottling from the island distillery of Jura. They release this special limited edition each year as their contribution to the Feis Ile festival, which takes place each Spring in late May/early June on the neighbouring island of Islay. The 2017 Edition of Tastival has been matured in a combination of first-fill American oak ex-bourbon casks and ex-Port pipes from the famous Graham's vineyard in Portugal. The bottling is the first to be created by Graham Logan, the new Distillery Manager at Jura.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Distillery Visit - Spirit of Yorkshire



The Spirit of Yorkshire is a new distillery located in the village of Hunmanby, between Bridlington and Filey. It is about an hour to drive from York and is the first single malt distillery ever to be registered in England's largest county. The distillery began production in mid-2016 and was the brainchild of Tom Mellor and David Thompson. They are aided by Joe Clark, the Director of Whisky. The distillery visitor centre, shop and cafe have been opened to the public since Easter 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Whisky Tourism - The Impact On A Scottish Island.

* This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post UK on 13/7/17. 


Whisky tourism is nothing new to Islay. It is home to eight distilleries that are known the world over and is relatively accessible for a Hebridean island. A two-hour ferry ride from the mainland or a short 30-minute hop from Glasgow by plane gets you there. But how does the island cope during the annual Feis Ile, a week that celebrates the island’s music, heritage and single malts?

Many malt fans see Islay as the ‘Mecca of whisky’ with large numbers visiting on their own personal pilgrimage. However, Feis Ile takes things to a very different level. Islay’s population of just over 3,000 almost trebles for a week as the whisky pilgrims flock there from all four corners of the globe to join the festivities. How does an island’s infrastructure cope with such a sudden influx?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review - Ardbeg Kelpie

The Kelpie is this year's limited edition single malt from the cult Islay distillery of Ardbeg. Each year a special whisky is released annually to celebrate Ardbeg Day and the distillery's participation in the Feis Ile festival. The whisky is named Kelpie after the mythical shape shifting creature that legend says inhabits the sea near to the distillery and occasionally comes on to land to terrorise islanders.

Kelpie has been produced by Dr. Bill Lumsden - Ardbeg's Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks - and some of the whisky included has been matured in rare Black Sea oak casks. The wood for these was sourced from the Adyghe Republic in Russia.  This has then been married with Ardbeg matured in traditional ex-bourbon barrels to create the final expression of Kelpie.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 14, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 7, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Texas - A New Whisky Star Is Rising

* This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post UK on 30/6/17.


When most people think of American whiskey, they think of two states – Kentucky and Tennessee. This is not surprising as the biggest brands are produced there and the industry has history and heritage on its side. But now a new state is staking a claim for a share of the American whiskey pie. That state is Texas.

In less than a decade Texas has risen from the whiskey wilderness to become arguably the third most important and influential whiskey state in the USA. America’s second largest state by both area and population is now home to a growing number of distilleries that are aiding and developing the craft distilling revolution in the country.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 30, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Review - Craigellachie 31 years old

This is the oldest and rarest of the single malts in the core range of the Craigellachie distillery in Speyside. The Craigellachie 31 years old was released in 2016 and has recently won the prestigious title of Best Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2017. Craigellachie's whiskies are part of a wider programme of single malt releases that were launched three years ago by owners John Dewar & Sons, part of the Bacardi group. This programme aims to showcase the Scottish distilleries owned by the group - Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Macduff and Royal Brackla, plus Craigellachie.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 23, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What is the Future of Whisky?




It seems that everyone is constantly trying to predict the next big thing? What is the next trend? It is human nature to seek constant change and development, and this urge covers all walks of life.

The whisky world generally works at a somewhat slower pace than most industries. However, it is not averse to evolution and innovation. This was recently brought in to focus at an event, hosted by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, looking at the future of whisky.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 16, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Father's Day Gifting - Our Top 5 Spirits

* This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post Uk on 7/6/17.

Father’s Day is fast approaching on June 18 and spirits are always a good present on the day. Here I pick five of my favourite spirits from around the world that offer something a little different for the special day and hope that it gives you a few ideas.

________


Belvedere 
40% ABV, £35.
Belvedere is crafted in Poland and is regarded as the world’s first luxury vodka. It is also regarded as one of the purest and is made exclusively using Dankowskie rye. The bottle features the Belweder, the Polish presidential palace, after which the vodka is named.

This vodka has a lovely creamy softness with a hint of fresh citrus and bittersweet cereals. It is great when taken cold and straight from the fridge, but really comes to life when mixed. My choice is great for the Summer – the Belvedere Spritz – a refreshing mix of Belvedere, Lillet Blanc, tonic and soda water, plus a slice of pink grapefruit and sprig of rosemary for garnish.


Glenmorangie Original
40% ABV, £40.
Glenmorangie is one of the best known names in Scotch whisky and the north Highland single malt is great for a gift. Glenmorangie is a particularly good choice if your Dad is a golfer or golf fan, as the brand once again are sponsoring The Open championship at Royal Birkdale in July.

The Original is bottled at 10 years of age and is all matured in ex-bourbon casks that are only ever used twice. This gives wonderful aromas and flavours of vanilla and honey to Glenmorangie’s light and delicate spirit. Add to that some lovely notes of green fruit, lemon zest and a pinch of baking spice and cocoa. One of the world’s classic single malts.


Balcones Baby Blue 
46% ABV, £80.
Balcones, the whisky distiller at the forefront of the fledgling Texas craft spirits movement, have a number of innovative whiskies in their portfolio. Almost the most unique of these is the Baby Blue. It was the first expression ever released by Balcones and is made from roasted blue corn.

The corn used in production gives the whisky a soft and slightly oily feel. This is accompanied by delicious aromas and flavours of toffee, butterscotch and vanilla, along with hints of cinnamon, almond and wood spice. This is the true taste of Texas that uses a special local ingredient. It is also perfect for the Dad that likes American whisky but wants to explore something different.


Ardbeg Kelpie 
46% ABV, £98.
For those Fathers that enjoy a smoky single malt, this limited edition from the cult Islay distillery of Ardbeg could be the answer. Just a few thousand bottles of this exist and it is a ‘must try’ for peaty whisky fans. Ardbeg, which has just celebrated its 200th anniversary, has a cult following of fans around the world.

The Kelpie, named after a mythical Gaelic beast that rises from the Atlantic Ocean, has been part-matured in Black Sea oak sourced from the Adyghe Republic in Russia. It offers a powerful hit of peppery acrid smoke that combines beautifully with honey, vanilla and hints of savoury notes such as tobacco leaf and leather.


Hennessy XO 
40% ABV, £140.
The famous Cognac house of Hennessy was the first to ever bottle a special XO (or Extra Old) expression in 1880 and they led the way for the luxury category that we know today. Now the 8th generation of the Fillioux family has crafted this gem using over 100 eaux de vies, some aged up to 40 years.

This exquisite Cognac has multiple layers of aroma and flavour, and the combination is very classy – sweet caramel, milk chocolate, dark dried fruits, delicate wood spices and toffee, plus hints of nuts and white pepper. Why not get your father to try the suggested serve for Hennessy XO – pour over some ice and it brings everything to a new level.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Review - Mackmyra 10 years old

This whisky is the first major release from the Swedish distillery of Mackmyra that carries an age statement. The Mackmyra 10 years old has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon casks and new American oak casks that have previously held sherry. These have been stored 50 metres under ground in Mackmyra's unique BodÃ¥s warehouse at the distillery, which is the site of an old mine. There are just 20,000 bottles available of this release. Half are going to the Swedish market, with the remainder going to selected world markets including Belgium, France, Germany and the UK. It is bottled at 46.1% ABV and will cost £65 each.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 9, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review - Glen Scotia 25 years old

This whisky is the new super premium bottling from the Campbeltown-based distillery of Glen Scotia. The Glen Scotia 25 years old is the oldest expression in the current single malt range from the distillery and was launched at the recent Campbeltown Festival. The core range also includes the Double Cask, 15 years old and Victoriana expressions. The whisky has been matured in American oak casks that were then hand selected by Michael Henry, the Master Blender of Glen Scotia, and then transferred to first fill ex-bourbon casks.  It has been bottled at 48.8% ABV and is available through selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide. A bottle should cost £250.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Review - The Feis Ile 2017 bottlings



For the last week, I have had the pleasure of being on Islay for my first taste of the annual Feis Ile festival. The festival is a celebration of the island's culture and music, but most importantly its whisky. Whisky is engrained in to Islay life and its distilleries are known the world over, mostly for their unique smoky and peaty flavours.

Every year at the festival each of the Islay's eight single malt distilleries have an open day. Part of this involves releasing a special limited edition bottling that are only available to those attending the distilleries during the festival.Demand is normally very high and sees whisky fans queuing up at distillery gates in the early hours of each morning to make sure they secure a bottle.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 26, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Whisky - A Recycling Nightmare?

* This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post UK on 19/5/17.


Whisky packaging has been named and shamed as one of the top villains for recycling in a new report from The Recycling Association, the UK’s largest network of independent waste and recycling operators.

The report lists the worst offenders that present the biggest challenges at recycling plants around the UK and whisky packaging makes the top five. It sits alongside Pringles tubes, Lucozade Sport bottles, black plastic meat trays and cleaning product cans on the list of shame.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 19, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review - Benromach 1975 Vintage

This whisky is the latest addition to the limited edition Heritage range from Benromach. This 1975 Vintage is a single cask (Cask #3434) single malt that was distilled and filled to a refill American oak hogshead cask in 1975. It follows whiskies from 1972, 73 and 74 in the series, and subsequently a distillery exclusive 1976 expression. The Benromach distillery was founded in 1898 and is located on the outskirts of the town of Forres in the north of the Speyside region of Scotland. It was originally called Forres Distillery and was built next to the new Aberdeen-Inverness railway line.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 12, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review - Kilchoman 100% Islay 2017 Edition

This whisky is the seventh edition of the cult 100% Islay single malt from Kilchoman. It is the oldest version to date and has been bottled at seven years of age. The 100% Islay expression is special, and almost unique, as all parts of the whisky making process - the growing of the barley used, malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling - are completed on the farm in the northwest corner of Islay where the distillery is located. The 2017 Edition was distilled in early 2010 and has been fully matured in ex-bourbon barrels from the Buffalo Trace distillery.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review - Highland Park Valkyrie

Valkyrie is the first in a new trilogy of single malts from Highland Park. Named as the Viking Legend series, the packaging has been created by renowned Danish designer Jim Lyngvild. He is a 21st century Viking and lives in a traditional wooden Viking house that he constructed himself near Faaborg in Denmark. He also lives as an ancient Viking for two months of each year and his designs pull on the brand’s Viking routes. Valkyrie was created by Gordon Motion, the Master Blender of Highland Park, and will be followed by two further editions, named Valknut and Valhalla, in 2018 and 2019.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 5, 2017)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.