Friday, October 20, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 20, 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, October 16, 2017

Review - Glenfiddich 21 years old Winter Storm

The Winter Storm is the third bottling in The Experimental Series from Glenfiddich. The whisky has been created by Brian Kinsman, the brand's Malt Master, and uniquely uses Canadian ice wine casks made from French oak for a short finishing period. These have previously matured ice wine, made from grapes frozen on the vine and picked at night, produced at the Peller Estate winery in Niagra. Following a period of experimentation, Kinsman discovered that older whiskies reacted best with the casks. Therefore, the Winter Storm is a 21 years old expression with a six month finish in the ex-ice wine casks.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 13, 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, October 11, 2017

Distillery Visit - Glendronach



It is not easy to find the distillery of Glendronach. The address is given as 'near Huntley' and as you drive along the busy A96 from Aberdeen towards Inverness you see a large brown tourist sign that tells the distillery is off to the right. But, then you drive. And drive. And drive, down and increasingly narrow and winding road.

You begin to wonder if you've gone wrong somewhere as the brown signs disappear, or if it even exists. But then you are rewarded - there nestled in a small valley is the padoga of a distillery. The picturesque scene means that you have finally reached your destination.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review - Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Rum Cask Finish & Espresso Roast



These two whiskies are the latest expressions to be released in to Johnnie Walker's experimental Blenders’ Batch series. The Rum Cask Finish (Experiment #8) and the Espresso Roast (Experiment #9) have been created by Jim Beveridge, the Johnnie Walker Master Blender, along with his team of 12 blenders. This includes Chris Clark, who worked exclusively on the Rum Cask Finish, and Aimée Gibson, who developed the Espresso Roast project. Both new whiskies have been designed with bartenders in mind.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Inbox Special Edition (October 9, 2017) - Brora & Port Ellen Distilleries Come Back To Life



It is not often that we produce an edition of Inbox outside of our regular weekly Friday slot, but sometimes news is announced that needs to be reported straight away. News that is so significant that it potentially changes the landscape of the whisky world. Today is one of those days as Diageo, Scotland's largest producer of whisky, have announced the re-opening of two of their most iconic closed distilleries - Brora and Port Ellen.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 6, 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, September 29, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 29, 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, September 27, 2017

Review - Balvenie Peat Week 14 years old


This new whisky is the first permanent addition to their core single malt range of Balvenie for almost five years. The Balvenie Peat Week 14 years old is a peated expression and is the result of trials undertaken at the turn of the century by David Stewart MBE, Balvenie's legendary Malt Master, and Ian Millar, the former Distillery Manager at Balvenie. At that time, not many Speyside distilleries were producing peated malt whisky and ever since Balvenie have dedicated one week per year to it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review - Benromach Triple Distilled

This is an innovative new whisky from the small Speyside distillery of Benromach. Most whisky in Scotland is normally distilled just twice and this is the first triple distilled spirit released by Benromach. The spirit used to create this whisky was distilled once through a wash still and twice through a spirit still, and all used for this first batch was distilled in 2009. This has been matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels and then bottled at 50% ABV. There will be just 7,800 bottles of Benromach Triple Distilled. They will be available via selected specialist retailers in Europe and the UK with a recommended price of £45 each.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review - Kavalan Peaty Cask

This peaty version from the Taiwanese distillery of Kavalan has been bottled especially for UK specialist retailer The Whisky Exchange. It was previously only available at the distillery but a few single casks were made available to whisky retailers around the world. With no natural peat in Taiwan, the flavour has been created by maturing in casks that have previously held smoky Islay single malts. Cask #029 for The Whisky Exchange has yielded just 104 bottles. Each has a natural cask strength of 52.4% ABV and costs £150. It is available to purchase here via the TWE website or at their London store in Covent Garden.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 22, 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, 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.