Friday, June 25, 2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021
This whisky is the second release by the Cotswolds into the Hearts & Crafts series from the English distillery. The Cotswolds 'Heart & Crafts' Pineau de Charentes Cask has been fully matured in French Oak casks that have previously held Pineau de Charentes. This is produced the Charentes Maritime region of France, which is near Bordeaux. It is made from fresh grape juice blended with Cognac, which is then left to mature in barrels. The new whisky is inspired by the Art & Crafts movement championed by famous ex-resident of the Cotswolds, William Morris. Morris inspired designs are featured on a special packaging tube and neck tag.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram video series for you. First, Matt takes a look at the Speyside distillery of Tomintoul and the classic 16 years old expression from their core range. Watch to discover a few facts about the distillery and bottling before he cracks open the bottle to give his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then, on his next visit he talks about the brand new Mackmyra Brukswhisky DLX. This is the latest addition to the pioneering Swedish single malt distillery's limited edition Moments series. Watch as Matt gives some background to the distillery and brand, then discusses what makes the whisky special. Then he opens the bottle (eventually) to offer his thoughts and tasting notes.
To watch other episodes of the Allotment Dram or any of our other videos, or to subscribe to our YouTube channel - please click here.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
This whisky is one of two limited edition single malts from Diageo to celebrate this year's Feis Ile festival. The other is from Lagavulin's fellow Islay distillery of Caol Ila - read our review of that release here. This Lagavulin is a 13 years old expression and this was initially matured in re-fill American oak casks, before being transferred to high char ex-Port barrels for a finishing period. These were selected by Pierrick Guilaume, the Distillery Manager at Lagavulin. There are 6,000 bottles and the whisky is released at the natural cask strength of 54.4% ABV. Each bottle will cost £160. Both whiskies will be available exclusively from the Lagavulin distillery shop and www.malts.com.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
This whisky is the annual limited edition Feis Ile bottling from the Caol Ila distillery. It is joined by a 13 years old expression from Diageo's other Islay distillery of Lagavulin. This Caol Ila is bottled at 12 years of age and has been matured firstly in re-fill American oak casks before being transferred to ex-Moscatel wine casks for a finishing period. These casks were nurtured by Samuel Hale, the Distillery Manager at Caol Ila. The Caol Ila 12 years old Feis Ile 2021 Edition is released at the natural cask strength of 56.6% ABV. There are just 3,000 bottles and each will cost £130. Both whiskies are available via www.malts.com and the Lagavulin distillery shop.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
This bottling is the first ever single malt whisky from the Aber Falls distillery in north Wales. The Aber Falls Inaugural Release features some of the very first barrels of single malt produced at the distillery back in 2018. This was the first whisky distilled in north wales for 100 years. It has been matured in a combination of three cask types - European oak first-fill ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, American virgin oak barrels and rare European oak ex-orange wine casks. These have then been married together by Dr. Kirstie McCallum, the Master Blender of Aber Falls. The Aber Falls Inaugural Release is bottled at 46% ABV and is limited to just 2,000 bottles. Each bottle was sold for £45.
Monday, June 7, 2021
This bottling is a limited edition single malt whisky from The Glasgow Distillery Co. The release is designed to celebrate the unique relationship that exists between a cooperage and a distillery. The whisky is a collaboration between the Glasgow-based distillery and the Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky. The cooperage is one of the largest independently-owned cooperages in America. It was founded by Ed McLaughlin in 1991 when he moved his coopering business from Glasgow to the famous whiskey state of Kentucky.
The cooperage, now owned by Ed's son Paul, has created a cask made from a combination of two different cask types - half of the staves are heavily charred virgin American oak and half are from a lesser charred cask that has previously held Glasgow 1770 single malt. This unique cask was then filled with Glasgow 1770 spirit that had previously been maturing in ex-Port barrels.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
This rare whisky is the second and final release in Diageo's The Singleton Paragon of Time Collection. The Singleton of Dufftown 54 years old is the oldest ever single malt to be bottled by the company or the Speyside distillery of Dufftown. The whisky was distilled in 1966 and was filled to a European oak cask that has yielded just 235 bottles. The cask was selected by Maureen Robinson, the Master Blender for The Singleton, who gave it a final carefully monitored and short finishing period in a single ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry cask.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
We have two further episodes from our increasingly popular Allotment Dram series for you. This is where we sit and review different whiskies in the surroundings of our north London allotment. Firstly, Matt takes a look at a classic Speyside single malt in the form of Glen Grant 10 years old. Watch to discover about the distillery and then hear his thoughts and tasting notes on this multi award-winning whisky.
Then on his next visit, which is a pretty warm Spring afternoon, he cracks open the new Black Bottle 'Island Smoke', a blended Scotch whisky that forms part of the famous old brand's new Alchemy Series. Find out more about the new bottling and a little bit about the history of Black Bottle before he then gives his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our videos, to watch more Allotment Dram episodes or to subscribe to our YouTube channel, please click here.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
This whisky is the latest limited edition from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. The Kilchoman PX Sherry Cask Matured is constructed from 33 casks in total - nine full maturation ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and 24 that were finished in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for between 12 and 18 months. Pedro Ximenez is a sweet style of dessert sherry made from grapes that remain on the vine longer than usual. The whisky has been produced using malted barley with a high peating level of 50ppm, which is a higher level than in regular Kilchoman releases. There are just 12,000 bottles.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
This collection of three rare single malt whiskies are from the north Highland distillery of Brora, which has reopened today (May 19, 2021). The Brora Triptych is designed to celebrate the rebirth and renovation by looking back to the distillery's pre-closure days of the 1970s and early 1980s. The collection has been collated by Stewart Bowman, the Master Distiller for Brora, and Dr. Jim Beveridge, the Senior Blender for owners Diageo. They will only be sold as complete sets.
The Brora Triptych is formed of the Timeless Original 38 years old, the Age of Peat 43 years old and the Elusive Legacy 48 years old - the oldest ever official release of Brora by Diageo.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
The Whiskymaker's Reserve No.4 is the latest release in the limited edition series of single malts from The Lakes distillery in northern England. The Whiskymaker's Reserve series is designed to be an exploration of maturation and blending in order to evolve the distillery character. This fourth bottling is pitched as 'the most complex to date' and has seen maturation in three cask styles - Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry casks, American oak ex-Pedro Ximenez casks and French oak ex-red wine barrels. The Lakes Whiskymaker's Reserve No.4 is bottled at 52% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. A bottle will cost £65. Exact numbers were not revealed.
Monday, May 17, 2021
We have the two latest episodes from our Allotment Dram series of reviews for you. First, Matt takes a look at the X by Glenmorangie, a new single malt from the famous north Highland distillery that is 'made for mixing'. Then on his next visit he talks about and opens a new bottle of The Hive, a Speyside-based blended malt from the family-owned Wemyss Malts. Watch both videos to discover more about each whisky and to find out his thoughts and tasting notes. We hope you enjoy them.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to catch up with all of our Allotment Drams, please visit or subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
This whisky is a new release from the north Highland distillery of Glenmorangie. The X by Glenmorangie will sit in their single malt core range and is designed for mixing. The new whisky has been crafted by top bartenders under the watchful eye of Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie. X by Glenmorangie features whiskies that have been matured in ex-bourbon barrels with some being finished in charred virgin oak casks for a short period.
Friday, May 7, 2021
Thursday, May 6, 2021
We have two more episodes from our allotment dram series for you and both feature new whiskies to the market. First, Matt takes a look at the Jura Rum Cask Finish. This is the third bottling in the Cask Editions series from the island distillery and has seen the whisky matured in ex-rum casks sourced from the Caribbean. Watch to find out more about the release and then discover Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit to the plot Matt talks about the Ardbeg Scorch. This is the Committee Edition that is released at the natural cask strength. The release is this year's release for the Islay distillery's annual Feis Ile bottling. Sadly it is already all sold out but Matt wanted to review it anyway. Watch to discover more about the whisky and his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to watch previous Allotment Dram episodes, then please visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
This whisky is the latest single malt for the Islay distillery's annual Ardbeg Day bottling, which celebrates the final day of the Feis Ile festival on the island. The 2021 edition is named Ardbeg Scorch and is inspired by a mythical dragon that is said to live in one of the dunnage warehouses at the distillery. The whisky has been matured in heavily charred American oak ex-bourbon barrels. This heavy char makes the wood crack and is often known as 'alligator char' as it looks like reptile skin (or dragon skin in this case ...). The Scorch (Committee Edition) is bottled at the natural cask strength of 51.7% ABV. It was available exclusively to members of the Ardbeg Committee but has now sold out.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
This new whisky is the oldest ever single malt to be released by the Talisker distillery from the Scottish isle of Skye. The Talisker Xpedition Oak 43 years old has been created from just 10 casks, with all being filled in the late 1970s. These have yielded just 1,830 bottles in total - a reference to the year that the distillery was founded. The whisky was finished for a short period in casks made from oak staves that travelled 3,264 miles across the Atlantic Ocean on the yacht of explorer James Aitken when he was taking part in The Atlantic Challenge. A piece of stave is included within the each presentation box.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Thursday, April 22, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram review series for you. This is where we sit and talk about different whiskies in the surroundings of our allotment plot in north London.
First, Matt takes a look at the Bladnoch Vinaya. This is a new addition to the core range of single malts from the Lowland distillery. Watch to discover more about the distillery and brand, and how it has come through a different recent past, before hearing Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit he goes Irish in the form of Grace O'Malley, a blended whiskey that has just been launched in the UK. Watch to find out the inspiration behind the brand and details of the bottling, before Matt gives his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos or to catch up on previous Allotment Dram episodes, please subscibe to our YouTube channel - click here.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Grace O'Malley is an blended Irish whiskey that has recently been introduced to the UK market. This follows successful launches in Ireland and the USA. The whiskey is named after Grace O'Malley, a legendary Pirate Queen from Ireland in the 16th century. The blend contains whiskeys with age statements ranging from three to ten years old. There is a relatively high percentage of single malt included (both double and triple distilled malt, and 46% of the recipe), along with single grain and pot still whiskeys. These have been matured in ex-bourbon and ex-rum casks plus some French Oak barrels, before being blended together by Paul Caris the Master Blender. It joins the Dark Char Cask and Rum Cask, plus a gin in the Grace O'Malley range.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
This single malt whisky is the third bottling in the Cask Editions series from the Hedbridean island distillery of Jura. The Jura Rum Cask Finish has been created by Gregg Glass, the Whisky Maker & Blender at brand owner Whyte & Mackay, and has seen the spirit first matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Caribbean rum casks for a finishing period. It is presented with tropical themed packaging to reflect the cask influence. The Jura Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 40% ABV and will initially be exclusively available in a one litre format in UK supermarkets. The price will be £45. A 70cl bottle will also be released to other markets later in 2021.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
This whisky is a new addition to the core range of single malts from the revitalised Lowland distillery of Bladnoch (pronounced blad-nock). The Bladnoch Vinaya takes its name from a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, and joins the similarly named Adela, Samsara and Talia expressions (amongst others) in the ever-expanding range. The distillery, which has seen a major recent revamp of both production equipment and fortunes, is known as 'The Queen of the Lowlands'. The Vinaya has seen whisky matured in both first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and first-fill ex-sherry casks, which have been selected and married together by Master Distiller Dr. Nick Savage.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series for you. This is where we talk to you about whisky from the surroundings of our north London allotment. First join Matt as he takes a look at the little known Speyside distillery of Tamnavulin, which he has not tasted anything from for over a decade. Watch to discover his thoughts and tasting notes for the accessible Double Cask expression.
Then on his next visit he samples a brand new release from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. Watch as he talks about the distillery and the annual Loch Gorm bottling, before giving his thoughts and tasting notes on the 2021 Edition.
To keep up-to-date with our Allotment Drams and other videos, please subscribe to and visit our YouTube channel by clicking here.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
This whisky is the latest in a line of annual Loch Gorm bottlings from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. The whisky is named after a freshwater loch that is situated very close to the distillery, between it and the Atlantic Ocean, and was first released in 2012. The Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition follows the same formula as previous expressions by using only whiskies matured in ex-sherry casks. For the 2021 Edition 24 Oloroso sherry butts have been hand-selected and then vatted together by Anthony Wills, the Founder and Master Distiller at Kilchoman. These were filled with spirit in either 2011 or 2012 and has resulted in 17,000 bottles.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
This whisky formed part of a relaunch for the little-known Speyside distillery of Tamnavulin in 2016. Prior to that very little Tamnavulin was available outside of the independent bottling scene. The Double Cask is the core product in a range of single malts that also features the Sherry Cask Editon, the travel retail exclusive Tempranillo Finish, a series of limited edition vintages dating back to 1970 and three wine cask finished whiskies featuring ex-Cabernet Sauvignon, ex-Grenache and ex-Pinot Noir barrels. This Double Cask has been matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before a finishing period in ex-Oloroso sherry casks, and is released with no age statement.
Monday, March 29, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram video review series for you, both looking at new releases. First, Matt talks about the limited edition Redbreast 10 years old, a single pot still Irish whiskey matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and released exclusively for members of The Birdhouse - a private club for fans of Redbreast. Watch to discover his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit to our north London plot, Matt samples the rare Ardbeg 25 years old which was released a couple of months ago. This first batch has already sold out but more bottles are scheduled to follow. Watch to find out what makes this Islay single malt so rare and more background behind it, then hear his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with the Allotment Drams or other videos, please subscribe to or visit our YouTube channel page - click here.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The Magic Cask is from the artisan whisky blending company of Compass Box and was the final limited edition bottling that helped to celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2020. It joined the Hedonism Felicitas, Rogues’ Banquet and Peat Monster Arcana special editions. The Magic Cask is a blended malt made using only Speyside single malts, including some that was distilled from the long-closed Imperial distillery near Aberlour. However, the Magic Cask is so named due to the inclusion of one very special cask (Cask #2) - a first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butt that was filled by Compass Box with one year old Speyside spirit in 2016 as part of a controlled experiment.
Monday, March 22, 2021
This new whisky represents the oldest expression to enter the core range of Ardbeg to date. The single malt is particularly special given that the cult Islay distillery was out of production for large parts of the 1980s and 1990s when this was distilled. During that time, Ardbeg was only operated for short periods each year and often by staff from other distilleries on the famous whisky island. Therefore, the liquid is extremely rare and will be released in small batches. The Ardbeg 25 years old has been created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Whisky Director for Ardbeg, using a tiny selection of casks that were filled in the mid-1990s.
Friday, March 19, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
This whisky launches a new series of limited editions from the east Highland distillery of Fettercairn. The Warehouse Collection is designed to showcase some of the hidden gems maturing within Fettercairn's 14 dunnage warehouses. It kicks off with this bottling - the Warehouse 2 Batch 001. The new whisky features single malts distilled in 2010 and these have been matured in Warehouse 2 at the distillery in five different casks types made of American oak or European oak. These include virgin unseasoned casks, ex-sherry butts and barrels, ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Port pipes. These have then been married together by Gregg Glass, Whisky Maker for Fettercairn.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
This whiskey is a limited edition one-off bottling by the Irish single pot still brand of Redbreast. It has been released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Irish Distillers resurrecting Redbreast back in 1991. The Redbreast 10 years old features three different pot still whiskeys distilled at the Midleton distillery in Co.Cork and they have been matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks for between 10 and 15 years. It has been created by Billy Leighton, the Master Blender for Redbreast, and Blender Dave McCabe. The packaging features a retro design that draws inspiration from when the 10 years old was last on the market in the 1950s and 60s.
Monday, March 15, 2021
This whisky is the latest single malt in the Seasonal Range, which appears each Spring and Autumn, from the pioneering Swedish distillery. The Mackmyra Björksav has seen the brand collaborate with the Swedish artisan winery of Grythyttan Vin and use ex-birch sap wine casks for part of the maturation. Björksav translates as 'birch sap' in Swedish. The sap can only be collected from the trees once a year as the sap rises each Spring. Other casks used include ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso sherry, Swedish oak and even a dash of ex-raspberry wine barrel. Björksav has been created by Angela D'Orazio, the Master Blender at Mackmyra.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Then he is back on an equally warm and lovely afternoon to talk about the Mackmyra Björksav, the latest single malt in the Swedish distillery's twice-yearly Seasonal Collection. The whisky has been part-matured in birch sap (björksav) wine casks amongst other cask types and turns out to be a perfect accompaniment. Watch to find out his thoughts and tasting notes, plus the details behind the release.
To keep up-to-date or to watch other Allotment Dram episodes, please subscribe to our YouTube channel - click here.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
This is a new whisky that is the latest to enter the core range of single malts of the popular Speyside distillery of Aberlour. The Aberlour 14 years old Double Cask Matured has undergone a double maturation process (as the name suggests, haha) with a minimum age of 14 years. First the whisky has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky, USA and then in ex-Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. This process was overseen by Graeme Cruickshank, the Master Distiller at Aberlour, and his cask selection team. The whisky will be a constant bottling in the core range but created and released in small batches. Our bottle is from Batch 0002.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
This whisky is a limited edition single malt that celebrates the 50-year heritage of producing peated spirit at the innovative Speyside distillery of Benriach. The Benriach Smoke Season is a small batch release designed to showcase the spirit that uses malt peated using Highland peat, which has been distilled for a short period each year since the early 1970s and remains a rare practice for a Speyside distillery. It has been created by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender for Benriach, and features peated spirit matured in toasted virgin American oak casks and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. It is said to be the most intensely peated Benriach ever released.
Monday, March 1, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series of video reviews for you. The weather has warmed up and Matt is back at the plot with a new offering from the Australian whisky brand of Starward - the Starward Left-Field. This is an Australian single malt that has been matured in three different types of Australian red wine barrels sourced from the Barossa and Yarra Valley wine regions. Watch as he talks about this European exclusive.
Then on his next visit, he looks at another brand new whiskey. This time it is from Ireland and comes in the form of the 2021 edition of the legendary Midleton Very Rare. This is the first to be released under a new Master Blender, so watch to find out more about this super premium Irish whiskey and then discover his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to watch previous episodes of the Allotment Dram, please visit our YouTube channel here.
Friday, February 26, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
We have two more episodes of our Allotment Dram video review series for you. First, we join Matt on a freezing cold day as he talks about the Swedish distillery of Mackmyra and their Reserve Cask programme that allows you to own a personal cask of whisky. Watch as he then samples the Visingsö Sunset, a special single Swedish oak cask whisky given to the first Reserve Cask owners in the UK.
On his next visit the weather has warmed up and Matt takes a look at the Blue Spot, the final piece of the jigsaw in the Spot Whiskey family from Irish Distillers. The whiskey, which was released back in November, carries a 7 year old age statement with each batch going to be bottled at cask strength. Watch as he talks about the range and then samples this newest addition, giving his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to watch other episodes of the Allotment Dram series, then please visit our YouTube channel and subscribe - click here.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
The Moscatel Wine Cask Finished is the latest edition to the range of The One blended whiskies from The Lakes Distillery. The One is a series of whiskies, all of which use exactly the same blend that is then finished in different cask types. The blend has The Lakes single malt at its heart and also features single grain and single malt whiskies from the Highland, Islay and Speyside regions of Scotland. The One Moscatel Wine Cask Finished has seen the blend matured for the final months in ex-Moscatel sweet wine barrels sourced from the Cádiz province of Andalucia in the south of Spain.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Friday, February 19, 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Big things are about to happen within the Japanese whisky industry with the announcement this week of a change to the laws governing the labelling of products from Japan. These have been drawn up to tackle growing concern that the reputation and sales of Japanese whisky, both of which have grown rapidly over the last decade, could be irreparably harmed if not acted upon. The current loose regulations can mislead customers, with the newly announced ones offering more transparency so that consumers know what they are purchasing and drinking.
At the core of this is that many Japanese whiskies are not what they appear to be - ie : they may not actually be Japanese. Many brands actually include whiskies from other countries (such as America, Australia, Canada, Ireland and Scotland) alongside Japanese whisky in the blend. In some cases there can be no Japanese whisky present at all in a 'Japanese' blend.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
The Left-Field is the latest whisky released to the core single malt range of the Australian distillery Starward. The whisky combines their Australian single malt with the influence of Australian red wine barrels. Left-Field has been fully matured in French oak ex-Cabernet, ex-Pinot Noir and ex-Shiraz barrels sourced from wineries in the Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley wine regions. These have been aged seperately before being married together to create Left-Field. It joins two other single malts, the Nova and Solera, and a blend named Two-Fold in the current core range. These are supplimented by limited editions and collaborations on occassion.