Monday, July 6, 2020

Review - The Lakes WhiskyMaker's Reserve No.3

This new whisky is the third bottling from the English distillery of The Lakes in the WhiskyMaker's series of single malts. The Lakes WhiskyMaker's Reserve No.3 is a limited edition of 9,700 bottles and has been created by Dhavall Ghandi, the Master Blender for The Lakes. It has been matured in an intriguing combination of ex-sherry casks including ex-Cream, ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry, plus ex-red wine casks. Ex-Cream sherry casks are particularly unusual in whisky maturation and are rarely used. It continues the distillery's experimental 'exploration of oak' ethos. The WhiskyMaker's Reserve No.3 has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 54% ABV and is non chill-filtered and of natural colour.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (July 3, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Explain About ... How To Taste Whisky



This is one of our most commonly asked questions - how do I taste whisky properly? The art of tasting whisky can seem confusing but is much simpler than you think. You can read reviews and tasting notes than refer to a whisky having the flavour of this or that, but how do you learn to pick up these characteristics?

The simple answer is to build up experiences by tasting different whiskies and taking a ‘taste snapshot’ of the aromas and flavours. The more that you do this then the better and more precise your whisky tasting will become.

Another key is that with whisky the true character comes through after some time, unlike the majority of other spirits. Therefore, it is important not to drink it too quickly and to remember that taste is a personal thing and that there are no right or wrong answers. Here are a few tips and things to consider so as to get the most of a whisky.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Review - John Crabbie 1994 Single Cask / 25 years old



This whisky is a new single cask single malt from independent bottler John Crabbie & Co. The whisky has been sourced from the Tobermory distillery on the Scottish island of Mull and was distilled and filled to an ex-sherry hogshead cask in 1994. This was a period that saw relatively intermittent production following its aquisition by Burn Stewart Distillers the previous year. After 25 years the cask has yielded just 247 bottles, which are exclusive to the UK.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Allotment Drams - Glasgow 1770 Triple Distilled & Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project


Watch as we present two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series of whisky chat and reviews. Join Matt as he talks about two exciting new releases, one from a new distillery and one from an old favourite. First he tastes the youthful Triple Distilled Release No.1, which is the third release in to the 1770 Signature Range from the Glasgow Distillery Co.





Then, on a very warm afternoon, he discusses the Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project. This is the third release in to the Speyside distillery's limited edition Curiosity Series and is a whisky that has undergine a rare full maturation in ex-Madeira casks. We hope that you enjoy both videos.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date with new episodes.





#allotmentdram


Monday, June 29, 2020

Allotment Drams - Label 5 Bourbon Barrel & Benriach Curiositas 10 years old


We catch up with Matt as he visits the allotment and samples the recently released Label 5 Bourbon Barrel, a single grain whisky from the well known blended Scotch brand. Watch as he talks about the brand, the distillery where it is produced and the award that it has already won. Then he gives his thoughts and tasting notes.





On his next visit, Matt chooses a pioneering Speyside single malt - the Benriach Curiositas 10 years old. Watch to find out why it is so pioneering and what the differences are between the Highland peat that they use at Benriach compared to the more well known Islay style of peat, before giving his thoughts and tasting notes.





#allotmentdram


Friday, June 26, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 26, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Review - Glenallachie 2000 Single Cask / 19 years old

This whisky is a new single cask release that has been bottled for The Whisky World. The London based whisky retailer has two stores in north London, a successful online site and also host one of London's best whisky festivals. The selected single cask is an ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry hogshead barrel (Cask #6248). This was originally distilled on 19 April 2000 and filled to a re-fill ex-bourbon ASB (American Standard Barrel). It was then transferred for a 30-month finishing period in to the sherry hogshead, before bottling at 19 years and 11 months of age in March. The Glenallachie 2000 Single Cask has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 52.5% ABV and is non chill-filtered and of natural colour.

Explain About ... Chill Filtering




Chill filtration is the process where some naturally occuring substances in a whisky are removed before bottling. The main reason to chill filter a whisky is cosmetic. A non chill-filtered whisky that is 46% ABV or lower in alcohol strength will go cloudy and hazy when diluted with water or cooled. This is seen as undesirable by some consumers or that there is something wrong with the whisky. The whisky companies react by removing the offending particles from their products so that this does not occur.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Review - Glasgow 1770 Triple Distilled / Release No.1

This whisky is the third and final expression for The Glasgow Distillery Co's 1770 Signature Range of single malts, which is named after the Dundashill distillery. This was Glasgow's first whisky distillery and was founded in 1770. This Triple Distilled expression joins the 1770 Original and 1770 Peated in the range. As the name suggests, this spirit has undergone a third distillation - this was the traditional method of spirit production practiced in a number of Lowland distilleries and is more commonly associated with Irish whiskey these days. The Glasgow Distillery Co. only switches to triple distillation for about a month each year. For this release the spirit has then been matured exclusively in virgin oak casks. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 19, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

WFExFriends with Alessandro Palazzi / Instagram Live



In this episode, which was broadcast on Instagram Live, we speak with bartending royalty in the form of Alessandro Palazzi from the famous Dukes Bar in London. Watch as we talk about how Alessandro got in to the bar world in the 1970s, the high and lows of his career, a bit of history about Dukes and some tips for new bartenders.

We also talk about his love of whisky and Islay, classic whisky cocktails and then attempt to make one of his favourite cocktails together - the Manhattan - using what we have to hand at home. Technology let us down a bit here, but hopefully you can still enjoy and follow.




#WFExFriends


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Allotment Dram - Johnnie Walker Blue Label


Matt goes super premium for his latest allotment dram by selected the multi-award winning blend of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Watch as he talks about the brand history of this famous whisky and gives his thoughts and tasting notes on the iconic Blue Label, the top bottle in the Johnnie Walker core range.




#allotmentdram



Explain About ... The Five Categories of Scotch Whisky



There are five categories of Scotch whisky as defined by the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association) in 2009. These were drawn up to protect the laws and reputation of Scotch whisky and to make things easier for consumers to understand.

All products must adher to the following laws, otherwise they cannot be labelled as Scotch whisky.

  • Distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland.
  • Made using just three ingredients - water, cereal and yeast.
  • Matured in oak barrels no larger than 700 litres for a minimum of three years.
  • Bottled at a minimum alcohol strength of 40% ABV.
  • No additives (with the exception of water or E150 colouring)

So, what are the five categories? Matt explains these in the above video, but here are the definitions in a nutshell.

Single Malt
These are distilled at a single distillery and made from 100% malted barley, without the addition of any other cereals. They are distilled in a batch process using copper pot stills.

Single Grain
These are distilled at a single distillery and made from whole grains or other malted and unmalted cereals (most commonly wheat). They are distilled through a continuous column still.

Blended Scotch
These are a blend of one or more single malts with one or more single grain whiskies, with the single grain used as a foundation. This is the largest category of products.

Blended Malt
These are a blend of two or more single malts that have been distilled at more than one distillery.

Blended Grain
These are a blend of two or more single grains that have been distilled at more than one distillery.



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

WFExFriends with Iain Allan / Instagram Live




Matt talks with Iain Allan, the Global Brand Ambassador and Visitor Centre Manager for the Glen Moray distillery in Speyside. Watch as they chat about Iain's whisky journey and career, his role with Glen Moray, what has been going on at the distillery during Covid-19 lockdown and finally tasting the newly released limited edition single malt - the Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project 13 years old. Oh, and the joys of 'lockdown hair' ...




#WFExFriends


Monday, June 15, 2020

Allotment Cocktail - Making A Negroni


Last weekend saw World Gin Day celebrated, so we decided to create one of our favourite gin-based cocktails at the allotment - the Negroni. Watch as Matt takes you through how to make this simple cocktail, which can easily be recreated at home.

The Negroni is now regarded as a classic cocktail but its origin remain unclear. Numerous stories float around regarding this but the most common and plausible report of the first creation happens in Florence, Italy and involves Count Camillo Negroni. This dates from 1920 when the Count visited Cafe Casoni in the city, which was a regular haunt of his.

The story goes that he fancied something stronger than his regular Americano cocktail and asked the bartender to replace the Americano's soda water with gin, while retaining the Campari and red vermouth. The bartender, Fosco Scarselli, took a sip and decides to replace the Americano's lemon garnish with orange to balance the flavours better. Other customers started asking for what the Count was drinking and it quickly became known as The Negroni.




#allotmentcocktail



Friday, June 12, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 12, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Review - American Eagle 4 years old

American Eagle is a bourbon whiskey brand that is distilled at an un-named distillery in Tennessee. It is bottled at four years of age, which is twice the legal minimum of two years for maturing bourbon in American oak barrels. It is rare to see a young age statement displayed on a bourbon and this shows the youngest whiskey included. Bourbon is traditionally made from a mixture of corn, rye, malted barley and wheat with a legal requirement to have a minimum of 51% corn. American Eagle uses 84% corn in the mash bill with just 16% then made up of the other grain mix. The brand is owned by Halewood International and the core range also includes age statements at 8 and 12 years of age.

Allotment Dram - Suntory Toki


Matt has gone Japanese with his latest allotment dram with the Toki, a blended whisky from the House of Suntory. Watch as he talks about the recent growth in popularity of Japanese whisky and as he gives his thoughts and tasting notes. We hope you enjoy.

Remember - our YouTube channel has over 50 short videos for you to watch and enjoy including tasting notes, distillery visits and plenty of other whisky related things. Subscribe now to keep up to date.




#allotmentdram



Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Review - Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 years old

The Ardbeg Wee Beastie is the newest addition to the core range of single malts from the Islay-based distillery and has been released as scheduled, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, so as 'to give people a little good news'. The whisky is just 5 years of age and is the youngest and feistiest Ardbeg to be made available in recent times. Wee Beastie is the latest Ardbeg whisky to be named after one of Islay's many historical legends that range from mystical sea creatures to elusive and reclusive hill dwelling half-beings. The Wee Beastie has been a secret project led by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Ardbeg, and uses both ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks for maturation.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Allotment Dram - Glenglassaugh Octave Cask SC36


Matt returns to talk about an allotment dram with a difference - our very own Whisky For Everyone cask from the east Highland distillery of Glenglassaugh, which sits on the North Sea coast of Aberdeenshire. Watch to find out about how we got the ex-Oloroso sherry octave cask and followed its journey for six years until bottling. Then he gives his thoughts and tasting notes on this very special single malt. Enjoy.




#allotmentdram



Friday, June 5, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (June 5, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Review - Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project

This whisky is the third addition to the Elgin Curiosity Range of single malts from the Speyside distillery of Glen Moray. The Glen Moray Madeira Cask Project is bottled at 13 years and 10 months of age and features seven rare ex-Madeira sweet wine hogshead casks that were hand selected by Kirstie McCallum, the Head of Whisky Creation at Glen Moray. These were filled on 26 May 2006 and were then fully matured in Warehouse No.1 at the distillery, where many experimental casks are kept. Madeira casks are uncommon in the Scotch whisky industry and are often used for a short finishing period rather than full maturation. This third edition follows the Cider Cask and Rhum Agricole Cask Projects.

Allotment Dram - Ardbeg Blaaack (Ardbeg Day Edition)


Matt has chosen the recently released limited edition Ardbeg Blaaack for his latest allotment dram. This is the Ardbeg Day Edition, which follows the cask strength Committee Release from earlier in the year. Watch as he talks about the new Islay single malt, which is available now on a worldwide release to selected specialist retailers, and gives his thoughts and some basic tasting notes. Enjoy ...




#allotmentdram



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Review - Tomintoul Seiridh

This whisky is a limited edition single malt from the Speyside distillery of Tomintoul. The Seiridh, which translates as 'sherry' from Scottish Gaelic and is pronounced 'sheh-ree', is a no age statement whisky that has seen initial maturation in American oak ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky, USA before being transferred to first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butts for a finishing period. These ex-sherry casks were hand selected for the release by Robert Fleming, the Master Distiller for Tomintoul, from a family-owned bodega in Jerez, Spain. In this first batch there are just 6,000 bottles and each is individually numbered. The Tomintoul Seiridh is bottled at 40% ABV and is available in selected specialist retailers. A bottle should cost arounf the £32-35 mark.

Allotment Dram - Making a Mint Julep


Matt is back at the allotment as America celebrated National Mint Julep Day last weekend. Watch as he attempts to make the classic cocktail using mint picked and items found at the allotment and other ingredients brought from home. His whiskey of choice for this is the American Eagle 4 years old bourbon.

The Mint Julep was first referenced in the early 1800s in Kentucky and often used whiskey, brandy or rum as the spirit ingredient. It was not until a century later in the early 1900s that whiskey exclusively became the main ingredient. This could have been bourbon or rye. The Mint Julep is now most famously associated with the Kentucky Derby, one of the biggest and richest horse races in the world, and has been officially served at the event every year since 1938.





#allotmentdram


Friday, May 29, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 29, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Allotment Dram - Lagavulin 10 years old


Matt returns to the allotment and has this time selected a single malt from Islay in what should have been Feis Ile week - the Lagavulin 10 years old. This bottling from the famous distillery is a travel retail exclusive. Watch to find out Matt's thoughts and his basic tasting notes.




#allotmentdram



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Review - Jura 21 years old Tide

This whisky forms part of the core range from the island distillery of Jura. The range was revamped in 2018 and this 21 years old is joined by other age statements at 10, 12 and 18 years old plus three other 'no age statement' expressions - the French Oak, Journey and Seven Wood. The whiskies involved in this 21 years old have followed two different paths - regular unpeated spirit has matured in ex-bourbon casks before a period of finishing in virgin American oak barrels, while rarer peated spirit (which is only made at the distillery for one month each year) has been matured solely in ex-bourbon casks. The two pockets of stock have then been married together to produce the final whisky.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Allotment Dram - Jura 12 years old


Another day and another allotment dram - this time Matt has selected the Jura 12 years old as his latest whisky to talk about on a sunny but blustery May afternoon. Watch to find his thoughts, basic tasting notes and a bit of history on this popular single malt and Hebridean distillery.





#allotmentdram


Friday, May 22, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 22, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Allotment Dram - Gelston's 12 years old


It is a hot afternoon at the allotment and Matt has chosen a light whiskey to fit the weather - the Gelston's 12 years old Finished in Sherry Casks, a triple distilled Irish single malt. Watch to find his tasting notes and thoughts, some background about how this old brand has been revived and also what he has harvested.

To watch more Allotment Dram videos and other recordings, please visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel.




#allotmentdram

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Review - Redbreast Dream Cask 28 years old



This whiskey is the third release in the Dream Cask series from the Irish pot still brand of Redbreast. The Dream Cask Ruby Port Edition is the first from the brand to be finished in a single ex-Port cask. It stems from experimentation that took place during the development of the recently released Redbreast 27 years old, which is the oldest permanent expression in the core range.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Allotment Dram - Balcones Baby Blue


Matt samples Balcones Baby Blue as his allotment dram on another warm May afternoon. Hear his thoughts, tasting notes and a bit of background about the 100% Texan blue corn whisky and the distillery in Waco, Texas. For further information on Balcones and their whiskies, please go to www.balconesdistilling.com.




#allotmentdram

Friday, May 15, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 15, 2020)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Allotment Dram - Glendronach 12 years old


It’s allotment time again and this time Matt has selected an old favourite - Glendronach 12 years old - as his allotment dram. The whisky is a classic example of a sherry cask matured single malt that has many fans. Watch to find out some history about the Highland distillery and his basic tasting notes.




#allotmentdram 


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Review - Jura 18 years old

This whisky forms part of the core range from the island distillery of Jura. The range was revamped in 2018 and this 18 years old is joined by other age statements at 10, 12 and 21 years old plus three other 'no age statement' expressions - the French Oak, Journey and Seven Wood. The whiskies involved in this 18 years old have followed two different paths - regular unpeated spirit has matured in ex-bourbon casks before a period of finishing in ex-red wine barriques sourced from Bordeaux in France, while rarer peated spirit (which is only made at the distillery for one month each year) has been matured solely in ex-bourbon casks. The two pockets of stock have then been married together to produce the final whisky.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Allotment Dram - Ballantine's Finest


Matt is back at our north London allotment on a very warm May afternoon and talks about the Ballantine's Finest, one of the biggest selling whiskies in the world. Listen as he samples the whisky and gives some basic tasting notes, along with some history of this famous old brand.

(Apologies, but I made an error during recording and did not realise until afterwards. I should have said one million bottles per week, not per month. Sorry and hope you enjoy it - Matt.)
 



#allotmentdram

Friday, May 8, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 8, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Allotment Dram - Filey Bay Moscatel Finish


For those of you that follow us on Instagram (if you're not, why not? haha - click the tab at the top of the right hand column), you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment in North London to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

This week Matt is at the allotment on a warm afternoon and talks about the new limited edition from the Spirit of Yorkshire distillery - the Filey Bay Moscatel Finish. Watch to hear his thoughts and basic tasting notes on this English single malt. For our full blog review - click here.




#allotmentdram



Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Review - Clydeside New Make Spirit


This new make spirit is the first ever product to be released from the Clydeside distillery in Glasgow. The distillery is located on the banks of the River Clyde about 1.5 miles from the centre of the city and is housed in the old pump house which opened a long dismantled swing bridge in the Queen's Dock for over 90 years. The old pump house was originally built in 1877 and was decommissioned in 1969 when Glasgow's ship building finally ground to a halt. The renovation and conversion began in August 2016 and the first distillate was produced in November 2017. The new make is made using 100% malted barley and will mature to become Clydeside single malt in time. It was first bottled and released in January 2018.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Review - Jura 12 years old

This whisky forms part of the core range from the island distillery of Jura. The range was revamped in 2018 and this 12 years old is joined by other age statements at 10, 18 and 21 years old plus three other 'no age statement' expressions - the French Oak, Journey and Seven Wood. The whiskies involved in the 12 years old have followed two different paths - regular unpeated spirit has matured in ex-bourbon casks before a period of finishing in ex-Oloroso sherry barrels, while rarer peated spirit (which is only made for one month each year) has been matured solely in ex-bourbon casks. The two pockets of stock have then been married together to produce the final whisky.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 1, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Allotment Dram - Smokehead


For those of you that follow us on Instagram (if you're not, why not? - click the tab at the top of the right hand column), you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment in North London to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

For this episode, Matt is visiting and working at the allotment on a much more traditional 'April Showers' type of day than we have experienced recently. He has picked an 'allotment dram' to suit the colder and damper conditions - Smokehead, an Islay single malt whisky that packs a peaty punch. Enjoy.




#allotmentdram


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Review - Filey Bay Moscatel Finish

This bottling is the latest limited edition single malt from the English whisky producer Spirit of Yorkshire. The Filey Bay Moscatel Finish has been filled to American oak ex-bourbon barrels back in the Summer of 2016 before then being transferred for a finishing period to ex-Moscatel hogsheads that were sourced from Spain. Filey Bay is named after the beach and holiday resort that is located a few miles from the distillery. There are just 6,000 bottles available and these are currently for sale exclusively via the distillery website at www.spiritofyorkshire.com. It joins the original Filey Bay release from Autumn 2019 and a series of six preview bottlings under the Maturing Malts Distillery Projects label.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Review - Smokehead

Smokehead is an Islay single malt brand that is owned and bottled by Iain Macleod Distillers. The company also own the Glengoyne and Tamdhu single malt distilleries, and are currently renovating the fabled Rosebank distillery after almost 30 years of closure. Smokehead was first released in 2006 and stirred up the whisky category at the time with its then unconventional look and contemporary packaging. This has since had a revamp a couple of years ago. This whisky carries no age statement and is from an un-named distillery on the famous whisky island of Islay. There is much speculation as to which distillery it may be - tap it in to a search engine if you do not believe us.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Back to School with Edinburgh Whisky Academy - Part 1




In these times of lockdown and quarantine it seems that people have been going back to basics to fill their time. Maybe revisiting an old hobby or learning a new skill that they have always wanted to do. It could be one of the positive things to come out of the global pandemic as the world we knew and the way we operate in our lives, both socially and professionally, seems to be changing for ever.

Therefore, I decided to do the same but wait for the correct inspirational opportunity to arise. Then I saw that the Edinburgh Whisky Academy were offering a 30% discount on their courses for a short period as people were unable to physically attend their classes. Having heard good things about them I decided to sign up and go 'back to school'.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Allotment Dram - Jack Daniel's Rye


For those of you that follow us on Instagram (if you're not, why not? - click the tab at the top of the right hand column), you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment in North London to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

Matt visits the allotment again as we experience an unseasonably warm spell of April weather and this time he has selected the Jack Daniel's Rye, a fairly recent addition to the famous Tennessee distillery's range of whiskeys, as his 'allotment dram'. We hope you enjoy.





#allotmentdram 


Friday, April 24, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (April 24, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Allotment Dram - Glenlivet Captain's Reserve


For those of you that follow us on Instagram (if you're not, why not? - click the tab at the top of the right hand column), you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment in North London to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

On Matt's latest visit he samples the Glenlivet Captain's Reserve on a sunny but blustery afternoon. Find out who the whisky is named after and what the influence of rare ex-Cognac casks does to the aroma and flavour of this single malt.





#allotmentdram


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Allotment Dram - The Singleton of Dufftown 12 Years Old


For those of you that follow us on Instagram (if you're not, why not? - click the tab at the top of the right hand column), you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment in North London to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

Join Matt as he visits the allotment on an overcast and muggy Spring day and chats about what he has been doing, then samples The Singleton of Dufftown 12 years old - a classic single malt from the 'whisky capital of Speyside'. Apologies for the quality of sound at times, but we hope you still enjoy it.




#allotmentdram


Friday, April 17, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (April 17, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Review - Uncle Nearest 1856

Uncle Nearest is a Tennessee whiskey brand that has been reborn to honour a pioneer of the American whiskey industry. He was named Nathan Green and was believed to be the first African-American master distiller in the USA during the 1850s. Green is often described as "the best whiskey maker that the world never knew" and lived just outside Lynchburg in Tennessee. He was known as Nearis to his friends and colleagues and worked at a distillery on Dan Call Farm that was owned by Reverand Call, a Lutheran preacher.

Green became the figurehead after the Reverand's congregation disapproved of him distilling and he is said to have been at the forefront of developing The Lincoln County Process - the process where the matured whiskey is filtered through charcoal. He is also said to have trained and later worked under Jack Daniel, the founder of the world's biggest selling Tennessee whiskey, who held Green in high esteem and is thought to have referred to him as Uncle Nearis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Review - Big Mouth

Big Mouth is a blended Scotch whisky that is owned by Crucial Drinks. The brand has the tagline of "blended to break the rules" and this refers to the fact that it has a higher proportion of single malts in the recipe than the majority of blends around the same price. Big Mouth contains 50% single malt and 50% single grain whisky, although the exact distilleries are not revealed, and was developed by the in-house blending team at Crucial Drinks. It was launched in 2019 and is bottled at 41.2% ABV.

Big Mouth can be purchased via the brand website - www.shutyourbigmouth.co.uk - or at other selected online whisky and spirits retailers. A bottle should cost around £30.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Allotment Dram - Benriach 12 Years Old


For those of you that follow us on Instagram, you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit our allotment to do some work or gardening. In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress.

Join Matt as he visits the allotment on a warm Spring day and chats about what he has been doing, then samples the Benriach 12 years old - a classic sherry cask matured Speyside single malt. We hope you enjoy ...




#allotmentdram


Friday, April 10, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (April 10, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Review - Rosebank 1993 Casks #433 & #625



These two highly exclusive whiskies are from the Lowland distillery of Rosebank, which is currently being reborn under Ian Macleod Distillers. The two very special single casks were both distilled in 1993, the year that Rosebank was last in production. Both casks are re-fill ex-bourbon hogsheads. The Rosebank 1993 Cask #433 has yielded just 280 bottles and is released at its natural strength of 53.3% ABV. Cask #625 has yielded only 259 bottles and is released at 50.4% ABV.

Allotment Dram - Mackmyra 20th Anniversary Whisky


So as we emerge from our two weeks of self isolation/quarantine and suspected coronavirus infection, Matt uses his daily exercise to walk to and work at our allotment. For those of you that follow us on Instagram, you will know that we regularly post pictures of our 'allotment dram' - the whisky we are enjoying whenever we visit.

In these strange times, we have decided to bring this to life and record a brief tasting of each one, along with an update on the allotment's progress. We hope that you enjoy and here is the first one ...




#allotmentdram


Monday, April 6, 2020

Review - Glendronach Traditionally Peated

This whisky is the new smoky addition to the core range of the highly regarded east Highland distillery of Glendronach. The Traditionally Peated pays homage to the robust earthy smoke that would have been prevalent throughout the distilleries in the Highlands during the first half of 19th century when Glendronach was founded. It combines rare smoky spirit, which is only made at the distillery for a short period each year, which is produced using peat cut in Aberdeenshire - this has a softer, gentler and sweeter feel than that taken from areas more famous for peaty whisky, such as Islay and the western isles. It is also specially malted locally for the distillery.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (April 3, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (March 27, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Review - Gelston's 12 years old Finished In Sherry Casks

Gelston's is a triple distilled Irish single malt brand and this 12 years old has been finished in ex-sherry casks. It is one of three whiskeys in the core range at the same age, with each having been finished in a different type of cask (the other two are ex-Port and ex-rum). Other whiskeys in the Gelston's core range include the Irish Single Malt, the 5 years old and the 26 years old Very Rare Reserve. This version of the 12 years old has been matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels for 12 years and then finished in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The Gelston's 12 years old Finished In Sherry Casks is bottled at 43% ABV and is available in selected markets globally. A bottle should cost around the £68 mark.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Review - Port Ellen 39 years old : Untold Stories



This whisky is the first release in the Untold Stories series of very rare bottlings from the closed distillery of Port Ellen. This series will feature some of the last remaining stocks that were distilled before the Islay distillery closed in the early 1980s and this first bottling is is named 'The Spirit Safe'. It was released in April 2019 to much fanfare. All the spirit involved was distilled in 1978.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Review - Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 8

This whisky is the latest in the east Highland distillery's annual limited edition cask strength release and was released in Autumn 2019. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 8 has been created by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie using whiskies matured for a minimum of 10 years in both ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximénez casks, plus smaller quarter casks. It has been bottled at the natural strength of 61% ABV and is non chill-filtered and of natural colour. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 8 is available in specialist whisky retailers worldwide and costs a recommended price of £62 per bottle.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (March 20, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.

In these unprecedented times, and for the foreseeable future, there may not be much brand news or many (if any) new releases. However, we will bring news whenever there is any and also be updating the blog regularly with reviews and tasting notes, while also working on a series of ideas to help bring more activities to those in quarantine or self-isolation at home. Watch this space and our social media channels, which are listed below.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Review - The Pogues Triple Distilled & Single Malt




These two whiskeys for the core range of 'the official whiskey of the legendary band'. The band in question being The Pogues, who brought Irish folk punk music to an international audience with a string of hits in the 1980s and 1990s. The whiskeys are a direct collaboration between band members from The Pogues and renowned whiskey maker Frank McHardy.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Review - Mackmyra Grönt Te

The Mackmyra Grönt Te is the Spring 2020 seasonal limited edition from the pioneering Swedish distillery. The name is Swedish for 'green tea' and refers to the fact that some of the whisky included has been matured in casks saturated with a blend of Oloroso sherry and Japanese green tea. In addition there are also whiskies matured in ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and ex-Swedish oak casks. It has been created by Angela D'Orazio, the Master Blender at Mackmyra, in collaboration with a Japanese tea merchant in Stockholm and is bottled at 46.1% ABV. Mackmyra Grönt Te will cost £59/ 730 SEK/ €68.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (March 13, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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, March 7, 2020

Review - Redbreast 27 years old



This whiskey is the newest addition to the core range of the multi award-winning Redbreast single pot still range. It is the oldest to appear under the brand's name and the first to feature the inclusion of whiskey matured in ex-Ruby Port casks. This whiskey is not 100% ex-Port cask matured, nor finished in them, but 'enriched with' as the label so poetically puts it.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (March 6, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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, March 3, 2020

Review - Ardbeg Blaaack (Committee Release)

The Blaaack is the annual Ardbeg Day release from the Islay distillery of Ardbeg. The 2020 edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee, one of the world's first distillery clubs that boasts over 100,000 members. Ardbeg Blaaack is so named to honour the distillery's 'black sheep of the family' image amongst Islay distilleries and has been matured in ex-Pinot Noir red wine casks. These were sourced from New Zealand by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Ardbeg. This cask strength limited edition will be released at 50.7% ABV exclusively for Ardbeg Committee members. A bottle will cost £94.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (February 28, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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, February 25, 2020

Review - London Rye 2019 Batch

This whisky is the most recent rye release from the East London Liquor Company. The distillery is located in historic industrial buildings on Bow Wharf in London and features custom designed stills that are a combination between copper pot and column, crafted by Arnold Holstein. The site was formerly a glue factory in the UK capital's famous East End. Through the bespoke stills they produce a variety of spirits including three different styles of London Dry gin, a 100% British Wheat vodka, single malt whisky and this rye.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (February 21, 2020)


Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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.