Friday, November 9, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (November 9, 2018)

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, November 8, 2018

Distillery Visit - Blair Athol



Blair Athol is a gem of a distillery. Nestled in the centre of the Highlands at the southern end of the town of Pitlochry, the distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland that remains in operation. Long labeled as 'The Home of Bell's', it is now starting to market itself in its own right. One recent crisp Autumn afternoon, Matt paid a visit.

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My first recollection of Blair Athol as a fledgling whisky fan was not favourable. Driving through Pitlochry and heading south, we had spotted the distillery. Outside was a massive sign proclaiming it as 'The House of Bell's'. At the time, my thinking was that single malts were better than blends and it instantly made me disinterested in the place. Now, a decade later I know better.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (November 2, 2018)

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, October 26, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 26, 2018)

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 24, 2018

Review - Aerstone 'Sea Cask' & 'Land Cask'

These two new whiskies have been developed by William Grant & Sons, the famous family-owned distiller who own and produce the Grant's, Balvenie and Glenfiddich brands amongst other things. Named Aerstone, the two single malts aim to 'simplify the category for consumers' and 'focus on the impact of malting and maturation on flavour'. The range features two bottlings - Sea Cask and Land Cask. Both appear with a 10 years old age statement and have been crafted by Brian Kinsman, the Master Blender for William Grant.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Review - White Walker by Johnnie Walker




The White Walker is a new expression of its best selling Johnnie Walker blended Scotch, which has been developed in collaboration with HBO and Game of Thrones. The whisky is inspired by the popular TV series and has numerous points of reference to its storylines including the evil white walkers, the frozen North and the phrase 'Winter Is Coming'. The whisky is a special limited edition version of Johnnie Walker created by Diageo's team of blenders, which was led by George Harper.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 19, 2018)

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, October 12, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 12, 2018)

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, October 11, 2018

Review - Aberlour Casg Annamh

The Casg Annamh is a new small batch single malt from the popular Speyside distillery of Aberlour. The name translates as 'rare cask' from Gaelic. Graeme Cruickshank, the Master Distiller at Aberlour, has selected a number of ex-Oloroso sherry casks made from both American and European oak to produce this first batch. The idea is that subsequent batches will follow a similar principal but will each be subtly different. Casg Annamh is non chill-filtered and bottled at a strength of 48% ABV. It is available worldwide in specialist whisky stores and will carry a price of £55/$70 US per bottle.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Review - Glen Moray 12, 15 & 18 years old

These three whiskies form the premium Elgin Heritage Collection and were introduced by the Speyside distillery of Glen Moray last Summer. The whiskies are aimed at specialist whisky retailers and their customers, and all feature age statements. They join and sit above the non-age statement Elgin Classic Collection, which are available through supermarket and off license channels.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 5, 2018)

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, October 4, 2018

Distillery Visit - Glen Scotia



Glen Scotia is a single malt distillery located in the town of Campbeltown at the end of the Mull of Kintyre peninsula. The town was once a major centre for Scotch whisky production with over 30 distilleries operating during its Victorian heyday. 

Now only three remain – Glengyle and Springbank being the other two. Earlier this year we were invited for a private tour of Glen Scotia with Iain MacAlister, the Distillery Manager.

________

Glen Scotia sits a couple of streets back from Campbeltown's largest curving natural harbour. In an unassuming side road is the distillery. It was founded in 1832 by members of the Stewart and Galbraith families and is currently operated by Loch Lomond Distillers, who have been involved since 1999. In 2014 it was taken over by Exponent Private Equity and they set about rescuing the ailing distillery.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 28, 2018)

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 21, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 21, 2018)

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.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review - Diageo Special Releases 2018



The Special Releases are here again! The annual bottlings are designed to highlight rare whiskies from within Diageo's extensive portfolio of single grains and single malts, and are eagerly anticipated each year since the programme was first started with just three expressions in 2001. This year there are 10 bottlings and these cover the single malt, single grain and blended malt categories.

This year is also the first since the early years of the programme to see the absence of Brora and Port Ellen. These have both been stalwarts of the programme since it began, but stocks are now said to be critically low after both ceased production in the early 1980s. However, this has created space for other rare whiskies and kept the retail prices lower as a result.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (September 7, 2018)

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 31, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 31, 2018)

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 24, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 24, 2018)

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 23, 2018

Review - Havana Club Tributo 2018 Edition

This is the third release of the annual super premium small batch bottling from the leading Cuban rum brand of Havana Club. The Tributo 2018 Edition has been finished in smoky Scotch whisky casks, which is a first for the brand. Each release of Tributo is designed to pay tribute to different elements of the Cuban rum production process - this year honours the influences of casks during the maturation process and is enhanced with subtle peat smoke aromas and flavours.

This latest expression of Tributo, which was first released in 2016, was created by Asbel Morales. He is the Havana Club Maestro del Ron Cubano and hand selected various aged rums (including some of 60 years of age) and blended them together before finishing them in casks that had previously held smoky single malt Scotch whisky.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Discovering Campbeltown's Lost Distilleries


Inside the former warehouse of Hazelburn.

In Victorian times, Campbeltown was the whisky capital of Scotland. Renowned author Alfred Barnard traveled there while writing his seminal book The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom in 1885 and found over 30 distilleries to visit. Now, there are just three. On a recent visit to the town we went on a walk with a local guide around some of the former sites and discovered what went wrong.

________

Whisky is engrained in the history and heritage of Campbeltown. There is evidence of it on almost every street and around every corner it seems. Located at the end of the Kintyre peninsula, Campbeltown was once a giant of the Scotch whisky industry. Old buildings remain and road names refer to past distilleries that are long gone. You cannot help but feel a bit of sadness as you walk around.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 17, 2018)

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 10, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 10, 2018)

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, August 8, 2018

Review - The Glenlivet Captain's Reserve

The Captain's Reserve is a new single malt from the famous Speyside distillery of The Glenlivet. The new expression has been finished in ex-Cognac casks and honours Captain William Smith Grant, the great grandson of The Glenlivet's founder George Smith, who fought in France during the First World War. It is initially matured in first-fill ex-sherry casks made from American oak. It joins numerous expressions in the core range, including the Founder's Reserve and recently re-introduced 12 years old, but also designed to show the versatility of the Glenlivet spirit and the experimentation happening at the distillery.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Review - Mortlach 12 years old, 16 years old & 20 years old



The Speyside distillery of Mortlach has announced a revamp of its core range, which introduces three new expressions to replace the previous three bottlings. The new whiskies are the 12 years old 'Wee Witchie', the 16 years old 'Distiller's Dram' and the 20 years old 'Cowie's Blue Seal'. All three are designed to show the bold and audacious nature of the distillery, which is nicknamed 'The Beast of Dufftown', with the bottle size reverting to 70cl from the previous 50cl.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (August 3, 2018)

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 31, 2018

Distillery Visit - Balcones


The Balcones distillery was ahead of its time and helped to kick off the craft distilling boom in the United States. They have also helped to put American single malt and Texan whisky on the map. Now the distillery is celebrating its 10th anniversary and Matt was invited over for a special tour.

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It seems difficult to imagine the spirits scene without any small artisanal distillers. However, this current landscape is very different to that of a decade ago when we first began writing Whisky For Everyone. The American whiskey sector was dominated by a limited number of major players and in our UK market there seemed little choice.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 27, 2018)

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 24, 2018

Review - Benromach 20th Anniversary Bottling

This 20th Anniversary Bottling is a special limited edition single malt that celebrates the refurbishment and re-opening of the Benromach distillery in 1998. It was created by Keith Cruickshank, who has been working there since the re-start and who has been Distillery Manager since 2000. The whisky is made from spirit that was some of the first to be distilled after production began in 1998. This has then been matured in first fill oak casks in the dunnage warehouses at the distillery on the outskirts of Forres.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review - Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2018 Edition)

Loch Gorm is and annual release from the small family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. It is the only global release of Kilchoman to be matured entirely in ex-sherry casks and was first released in 2012. Loch Gorm is the name of the nearest loch to the distillery. The 2018 Edition combines nineteen ex-Oloroso sherry butts which were filled in 2007, 2008 and 2011. This includes some of the oldest sherry matured stock that has been released to date and these butts have yielded 15,000 bottles. The price is £69 per bottle.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Last Straw? - The Death of Plastic in Bars


The use of paper straws is becoming more popular.
© Nicholas Morgan

One of the hottest topics currently circulating the drinks industry is the use of plastic and improving sustainability. Many bars in the UK are working hard to reduce the amount of waste and non-recyclable materials that it produces in the wake of heightened awareness and increased public outcry.

The environmental impact of bar waste was largely unconsidered by the majority of establishments and their consumers until recently. This change of focus has forced the industry to take a serious look at the issue and seek alternatives to become more eco-friendly.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 13, 2018)

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 6, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 6, 2018)

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, June 29, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 29, 2018)

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 25, 2018

Review - The Glenlivet Code

The Glenlivet Code is a limited edition bottling from the famous Speyside distillery that offers no product information on the bottle or packaging. Much like the Cipher from 2016 it is designed to get consumers thinking and making their own tasting notes rather than following packaging information or making assumptions on aroma and flavour from the cask type and age. The new single malt is inspired by the British codebreakers of World War II, who decoded German communications from their base at Bletchley Park in Bedfordshire.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review - Kilchoman Port Cask Matured

The Port Cask Matured is a recent limited edition release from the small farm distillery of Kilchoman, which is located on the isle of Islay. It has only been released once previously and that was in 2014. The 2018 Edition combines 30 ex-Ruby Port hogheads, which were filled in 2014, and these have yielded 10,000 bottles. The Port Cask Matured 2018 Edition is bottled at 50% ABV and is available through selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide. It costs £85 per bottle and has already sold out in a number of locations.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 15, 2018)

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 13, 2018

Distillery Visit - Benromach


The small Speyside distillery of Benromach is celebrating two anniversaries this year – 120 years since it was originally built and 20 years since it was renovated and reopened by Gordon & MacPhail. On a recent visit to Speyside, Matt was given a personal tour by Distillery Manager Keith Cruickshank on a bright sunny Spring morning.

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Benromach has long been a favourite single malt of Whisky For Everyone. The classic 10 years old won our first ever Whisky of the Year way back in 2009 and we have always been impressed with their releases, almost without exception. It is a delight to see the distillery going from strength to strength as it hits its 20th and 120th anniversaries.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Second Coming of Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskies are back in fashion.

There is a resurgence happening. A long forgotten and much maligned spirit is making a comeback, and in a big way. That spirit is American rye whiskey.

Long seen as the spicy and brash brother of bourbon, rye whiskey had fallen out of favour with consumers and bartenders in a big way. The spirit never properly recovered from the Prohibition period, which was from 1920 to 1933 in America, and the effect was almost terminal. It was relegated to being produced by just a few distillers for a decreasing number of drinkers.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 8, 2018)

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 7, 2018

Fèis Ìle 2018 - Goodbye, Farewell

Down on the beach at Bunnahabhain.

The annual Fèis Ìle took place last week and saw the world descend on the famous whisky producing Hebredian island of Islay for eight days of events, whisky and music. Matt was amongst them and here is his final report.


________

Thursday evening presented a moment that I had been dreading. That moment when you realise that something good is almost over. In reality, it had been slowly creeping up on my during the day that had seen me visit Islay's two newest distilleries - the soon-to-be completed Ardnahoe and Kilchoman, which became the island's eighth distillery in 2005.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Fèis Ìle 2018 - Something Old, Something New

The one photo of Ardnahoe we can show.

The annual Fèis Ìle is upon us again. The world descends on the famous whisky producing Hebredian island of Islay for a week of events, whisky and music. Matt is amongst them and will be reporting back at various points during the week.

________

The locals were beginning to tell us that Islay was always like this. It was difficult not to believe them as the sunny and warm weather continued through the annual Feis Ile week and in to the Bowmore open day on Wednesday.

Of course, those of us that have visited before knew that Islay can be a fickle beast – fine one minute and then truly wretched the next. So far, we kept our fingers crossed for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fèis Ìle 2018 - Islay's Days In The Sun

#OpinionsWelcome - Like a bright Spring day at Laphroaig.

The annual Fèis Ìle is upon us again. The world descends on the famous whisky producing Hebredian island of Islay for a week of events, whisky and music. Matt is amongst them and will be reporting back at various points during the week.

________

When arriving on the island on Sunday, the weather was lovely. The plane over revealed the wonderful Scottish landscape as we flew over Loch Lomond and the Kintyre peninsula, and finally the Paps of Jura and Loch Indaal. Popping in to the Bruichladdich open day quickly upon arrival saw many with a healthy glow from the sun. Some had a much redder and more unhealthy glow. Islay, and the Campbeltown festival before it, were threatening to put on a proper show.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Fèis Ìle 2018 - The Anticipation

Watch out Islay, here we come ...

The annual Fèis Ìle is upon us again. The world descends on the famous whisky producing Hebredian island of Islay for a week of events, whisky and music. Matt is amongst them and will be reporting back at various points during the week.

________


This will be my fourth visit to Islay and my second to the Fèis Ìle. I am lucky in that the world of whisky takes me on numerous trips to numerous distilleries, but few compare to Islay. The island is a true Mecca for whisky lovers and they visit in their thousands for this one week of malt and music.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Review - Balcones Texas Rye 100 Proof

The Texas Rye 100 Proof is the first ever rye whisky to be released by the Texan distillery of Balcones. It was launched to celebrate their 10th anniversary year. The 100 Proof is bottled at 15 months of age and will be a permanent product in the core range. The spirit used has been made using 100% rye grains, all of which are grown in Texas - this is unusual as the legal minimum is 51% rye - and has been double distilled through copper pot stills.  As the name suggests, it is bottled at 100 Proof (50% ABV). This core bottling was joined by the limited Cask Strength Straight Rye, which contained some of the first rye spirit distilled in 2015 and was bottled at 62.5% ABV. This has now sold out.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 25, 2018)

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, May 18, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 18, 2018)

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, May 11, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 11, 2018)

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, May 10, 2018

Review - Nectar Grove

The Nectar Grove is a blended malt created using Highland single malts and finished in ex-Madeira wine casks. It is released in to the Limited Edition series, all of which are bottled at 46% ABV. The series has been crafted from whiskies held within the Wemyss family's portfolio of casks and the names reflect the expected flavour characteristics of each whisky. In the case of Nectar Grove this is a distinct fruity character from the Madeira wine. Other expressions in the Limited Edition series include Kiln Embers and Velvet Fig.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 4, 2018)

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, April 29, 2018

Distillery Visit - Westland



The Westland distillery is located in the SoDo district of Seattle in the west coast American state of Washington. It was established by Matt Hoffman in 2010, who wanted to set up a craft distillery near to his home town of Tacoma following a period of studying brewing and distilling at Herriott Watt University in Edinburgh. Westland has recently been taken over by drinks company Remy Cointreau.

Washington has a vibrant craft brewing and distilling community. Washington and neighbouring Oregon are two of the major barley and hop growing areas in the world, which has driven this growth and vibrancy. The state also has a temperate climate and this is perfect for whiskey maturation.