Diageo Breaks Ground on New $115 Million Kentucky Distillery – The Bulleit Distilling Co. – American Whiskey News

SHELBYVILLE, Ky., August 21, 2014 – Diageo broke ground today on its new Shelby County, Kentucky distillery, which the company announced will officially be called “The Bulleit Distilling Co.” after the distillery’s flagship brand. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, and a number of other elected officials and Kentucky dignitaries, joined Diageo executives and Bulleit founder Tom Bulleit to celebrate the milestone.

This May, Diageo announced its intention to invest an estimated $115 million to build the 1.8 million proof gallon (750,000 9-liter cases) distillery and six barrel warehouses. In June, Shelby County’s Triple S Planning Commission unanimously approved the distillery project. Along with Bulleit Bourbon, the facility will distill a number of current and future Diageo bourbon and North American Whiskey brands.

“Tom Bulleit has a genuine passion for his bourbon that he shares with everyone he meets. The growth of the Bulleit brand is the result of many years of investment and the relationships Tom has built,” said Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo North America. “We are proud to be breaking ground on the new home of Bulleit Bourbon in this wonderful location in Shelby County. We look forward to becoming a valued member of the community for many years to come.”

“When I walked away from my career as a lawyer to revive my great, great grandfather’s high-rye bourbon recipe, people thought I was crazy,” said Tom Bulleit. “Twenty-seven years into this entrepreneurial journey, it’s humbling to know this amazing facility right here in Kentucky will bear my family’s name. It’s an honor I’m not sure I will ever fully be able to describe.”

Diageo aims to have the distillery operational in late 2016. Diageo expects the construction phase will provide a significant number of jobs and anticipates employing approximately 30 people for whiskey distillation and maturation.

“Kentucky proudly welcomes The Bulleit Distilling Co. to the family of distilleries that comprise our state’s signature bourbon industry,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “Diageo’s investment will not only contribute to Kentucky’s thriving bourbon business, but will create quality jobs and offer an economic boost to Shelby County.”

About The Bulleit Distilling Co.

Founded by Tom Bulleit, the Bulleit Distilling Co. was started more than 20 years ago with Bulleit Bourbon, and in March 2011, Bulleit Rye, a straight rye whiskey, was added to the portfolio with critical acclaim. The brand’s newest variant, Bulleit 10-Year was introduced in 2013. Bulleit ranks as one of the fastest-growing small batch whiskeys in America, which Tom largely credits to word of mouth recommendations. Using only the finest ingredients available – the best grains and special strains of yeast – the 150+ year-old family recipe uses a large amount of rye grain, which gives Bulleit a distinctive taste.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/diageo-breaks-ground-on-new-115-million-kentucky-distillery-the-bulleit-distilling-co-american-whiskey-news/

Blair Athol 1993 (First Editions)

Did you know Blair Athol was named Aldour first? I didn’t. The only official release is the 12yo Flora Fauna. Luckily independent bottlers have a couple of casks lying around. Today: Blair Athol 1993 bottled by The First Editions.



Blair Athol 1993 - First EditionsBlair Athol 1993 - First EditionsBlair Athol 20 yo 1993 (57,8%, The First Editions 2013, sherry but, 512 btl.)

Nose: nice start, fruity sherry (cherry, plums), rum raisins and milk chocolate. Caramel. Becomes drier after a while, moving towards herbs and grasses, Seville oranges, some yeasty sharpness as well as a little wood glue. Mouth: great cherry notes (the kind of candy you used to hang around your ears as a kid). Some Heering. Plum jam and raisins. Hints of honey and tangerines. Quite sweet, although there is a herbal bitterness behind it. Finish: medium, more citrusy.

It’s funny how this one has such fruity notes despite (or alongside) the woody notes. Difficult to score, but I think it’s pleasantly unboring. Between € 100 and € 120, depending on the country apparently.

Score: 85/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/blair-athol/blair-athol-1993-first-editions/

Old Pulteney Competition Winner Announced – Scotch Whisky News

Old Pulteney Navigator

Competition Winner Announced

In partnership with Yachts and Yachting we launched a competition to offer our fans a chance to win an Old Pulteney goodie bag including an official Old Pulteney Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race jacket, blenders glass and 70cl bottle of Navigator, the Limited Edition Single Malt which was inspired by our Global Sponsorship of the Round the World Yacht Race. The competition received an overwhelming response and we are delighted to announce that our prize draw took place earlier this month revealing Julie Bartlett from North Yorkshire in the UK as the winner. Congratulations Julie and a big ‘thank you’ again to everyone that took the time to enter.

For more competitions and news from Old Pulteney follow our official Facebook fan page

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/old-pulteney-competition-winner-announced-scotch-whisky-news/

Ralfy Publishes Whiskey Review #481a – American Whiskey News

Ralfy Publishes Whiskey Review #481a – American Whiskey News


www.ralfy.com explains the 2014 Bonneville disaster with Whisky Review 481a – Bulleit 10yo Bourbon @ 45.6%vol

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/ralfy-publishes-whiskey-review-481a-american-whiskey-news/

The Whisky Exchange “Cameronbridge – the home of Haig Club” – Scotch Whisky News


Cameronbridge – the home of Haig Club

It’s fairly well known now that Diageo have released a new whisky – Haig Club. Not only is it a new whisky, but something a little different to most: a Single Grain Scotch whisky aimed squarely at people who aren’t traditional whisky drinkers or who don’t think they like whisky.

However, while most of the write-ups that Haig Club has received online have focused around the packaging and the stars (Messrs Beckham and Fuller) sitting behind it, rather than the liquid in the bottle. That’s quite understandable, as the people who Diageo are focusing on to buy it don’t really care so much about the geeky details. However, I do care about those details, and fortunately Diageo understand that there are geeky folk out there who want to know how the whisky is made. Earlier this year, I attended a briefing about the at-the-time-unnamed Haig Club, and learned a lot about how the whisky is produced. To fill in the gaps for my geeky brethren, here’s what I learned.


From the air it is a bit more beautiful than up close, unless you like heavy industry. Which I do…

Firstly, the whisky comes from Cameronbridge. It’s a distillery that’s been in the hands of Diageo and its forebears for a very long time, being established by John Haig back in 1824. It started producing grain whisky in 1826, using a continuous ‘patent’ still as designed by Robert Stein, the first Scottish distillery to do so. Unfortunately Stein’s design never really became popular, in part due to the possibility of catastrophic explosion when the horsehair-and-wood still was running, and a few years later a modified version created by Aeneas Coffey appeared. This was more reliable, and quickly became the standard style of continuous still used in Scotch grain production. Cameronbridge have been in production since then, with Haig a founder member of the Distillers Company Ltd in 1877, which in turn became United Distillers and then part of Diageo, when it was formed in 1997.
Grain distilleries are not the romantic, picture-postcard sites you often find in Scotland. They are very much industrial plants, and while some, myself included, may find such things beautiful, they are often not considered to be anything but factories. This is slightly unfair, as they produce a lot of whisky, and consistency of quality is of paramount importance.

Cameronbridge itself has grown considerably over the past few years and now produces 120 million litres of alcohol per year, making it (as of March, at least) the largest distillery in Europe. According to the figures in the Malt Whisky Yearbook from last year, that’s almost 10 times as much as at either top malt whisky producer Glenfiddich (13 million) or Diageo’s own Roseisle (12.5 million), and is more than the combined capacity of all of Diageo’s malt whisky distilleries (105.2 million). It’s a lot of alcohol: 40,000 litres per hour – they can produce as much in four hours as Kilchoman does in a year.

Column Still

A column still. Simples.

The continuous still allows the distillery to produce such a colossal amount of spirit – they’re quite a different beast to the pot-stills of single malt distilleries. Rather than running in small batches, they can run continuously as the name suggests for weeks at a time – if you want to dig into how they work in more detail, head on over to our post all about them from last year.

The production stage before distillation is also a little different to that found in malt distilleries. Firstly, there’s the grains used: Cameronbridge currently uses a mix of 90% wheat and 10% malted barley. As wheat needs a bit more of a hand in releasing the starches that will later be converted to alcohol, it is cooked before being fermented. They do this in 17-tonne batches in a pressure cooker. It’s then piped to the mash tun, where it is mixed with the milled malt.

They do a particularly short mash compared to malt distilleries, lasting only 30 minutes, with a continuous spray of water onto the grain rather than distinct ‘waters’. As the wheat has already been cooked and the malt is predominantly there for its fermentation-helping enzymes rather than its starch, the short mash quickly extracts most of the available sugars. When the mash is finished, the entire contents of the tun are pumped to a fermenter, complete with the remains of the grain.

Each fermenter holds 300,000 litres and can accomodate about five mashes. Yeast is added when first mash is pumped in, with four more mashes joining it over the next ten hours. It is then left to ferment for 48 hours, which is quite deliberately the time needed to produce a maximum amount of alcohol without too much extra flavour – grain spirit is calculatedly not meant to have much of its own, generally relying on wood and maturation to produce flavour.

After fermentation, the now alcoholic liquid is pumped through to the stills and distilled to 93.8%, described as ‘very low strength’ compared to the legal maximum of 94.8%. This keeps some of the grain’s flavour rather than pushing it to be a neutral spirit. The spirit itself is a lot more flavoursome than you’d expect from tales of new-make grain spirit, with a distinctive character. We tried Cameronbridge’s spirit against that from North British, part-owned by Diageo and Edrington, and they were definitely different:

Cameronbridge Grain Spirit

Nose: Sharp apples and lemons with some darker fruit.
Palate: Sweet and sugary with lots of apple and pear.
Finish: A little bit of sweetness, but quite short.

North British Grain Spirit

Nose: Heavy and oily with meaty notes, rubbery touches and coal – ‘like a workshop’.
Palate: Sweet and oily, with a bit of tyre rubber and some apple-pie fruitiness.
Finish: Not a lot – oiliness and some lingering rubber.

After distillation, the spirit is diluted to 68.5%, a compromise between the accountants, who want to get as many casks from a distillation run as possible, and the blending team, who want the correct flavour development over time – while 63.5% is the standard for malt spirit, the extra 5% works with the grain spirit without too much impact. They mainly fill into American oak casks, both hogsheads and the smaller American standard barrels, and generally as a first fill, with some refill and rejuvenated casks also filled. The use of first-fill casks allows the spirit to extract compounds from the wood quickly, meaning that they both have grain whisky with sufficient flavour for use in their various blends, and also have casks that have been ‘seasoned’ and can then be used to mature single malt without swamping the spirit with woody notes.

Other than the soon-to-appear Haig Club, there is one other whisky currently available from Cameronbridge: the almost eponymous Cameron Brig. It’s a cheap and cheerful whisky that until more recently was about the only single grain available on the market. It’s a good place to start with grain whisky, being a solid example that won’t break the bank.

Cameron Brig

Cameron Brig, £21.65

Nose: Golden syrup, custard tarts and a touch of bitter wood.
Palate: Toffee, sweetcorn, butterscotch, sweet orange and marmalade, and some darker flavours underneath – raisin and oaky spice. Water brings out some apples and pears, along with sweet orange cream.
Finish: Short and sweet with custard tarts balanced by bitter oak.
Comment: A good demonstration of the lighter, grain whisky style. Especially good in summer, from the fridge or maybe with a block of ice. Diageo brand ambassador Colin Dunn paired it with Maltesers the first time I tried it…

The Haig Club will be with us soon, but until then, Cameron Brig is a nice way to get acquainted with the distillery’s spirit. Watch this space – we’ll have a post about the Haig Club as soon as it’s available.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/the-whisky-exchange-cameronbridge-the-home-of-haig-club-scotch-whisky-news/

Jack’s Whisky Club Event October 3rd, 2014 – Canadian Whisky News


Join us Friday, October 3rd at 6pm, for an extraordinary evening of food, drink, and conversation, as we finally tap into the one and only barrel of whisky that we’ve had quietly aging over the past seven years.

The evening starts in the distillery with Whisky samples and hors d’oeuvres.

Here you will learn how the whisky was made. We will walk you through the reduction process of spirits, and learn why our slow chilled batch methods make a difference to the smoothness. Then it will be time to engage the nose and the palette. After receiving samples of 3 proposed finished strengths at 40, 44 and 48%; you will then be the judge of your perfect whisky once you’ve learned a few tips for tasting.

This customized whisky offering will be available for you to order at this event only. Once we bottle the remainder of the whisky at our preferred blend, it will be released slowly until sold out, much like the time it took to make it. It is the first, and likely the last whisky we will make.

Once your tastes have been teased by this fine libation, we will move into the bistro for a pig roast feast, and finish with mile high apple pie. Other spirits (including the whisky), cider and wine will be available for purchase with your dinner in the bistro.

For full event details, see our website here

Tickets are $49 per person. Call us today at 250.743.4293 to reserve your spot, or register online at here . Don’t delay, as this one is sure to sell out fast!

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/jacks-whisky-club-event-october-3rd-2014-canadian-whisky-news/

Largest Beverage Distillery West of the Mississippi Announced – Future American Whiskey News


Largest Beverage Distillery West of the Mississippi announced  

BUTTE, Mont (August 14, 2014)—Montana’s Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013, and owners of Headframe Spirits, John and Courtney McKee opened Headframe Spirits in 2012, currently they operate two distilleries in Butte, MT, and are now announcing plans to open a third facility in Butte with the capacity to rival that of large distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana. 

Last summer, Headframe Spirits entered into a year long project with Butte Silver Bow Community Development, the Community Development Block Program, and SMA Architects to evaluate three potential sites in Butte suitable for our needs of producing a full size barrel of whiskey every seven minutes.  Although a value added agricultural manufacturing facility, the goal of site selection included the need to create ties between agriculture, history, manufacturing, and tourism. 

With preliminary engineering and architectural work complete and a suitable site selected, Headframe intends to enter into negotiations with property owners – Butte Silver Bow County and Atlantic Richfield Company with the goal to take over 20 acres of a former industrial site, The Kelley Mine Yard, to redevelop it into the largest distillery west of the Mississippi.  

This project incorporates Headframe Spirits’ proprietary continuous flow distillation technology to produce beverage alcohol both for Headframe Spirits’ own brands and for bulk sale into the beverage alcohol industry as well.  

All attempts will be made to maintain the history of the site, with production and restaurant space located in the historic hoist house.  Barrel storage, packaging, shipping and receiving will be located in the 54,000 square feet Kelley garage building. 

We also envision this site built out to act as an eastern anchor to Historic Uptown Butte, America, with a strong emphasis on tourism, outdoor event space, and economic development for our place in the world.  Onsite overnight bungalows and the restaurant were incorporated into the master plan in order to promote a more fully integrated experience onsite and in the Uptown. 

Headframe Spirits anticipates that this project will create approximately 50 new long-term jobs through this venture and ownership will be maintained in Butte.  

For additional information, please contact Headframe Spirits at  www.headframespirits.com

HeadFrame Rendering 2

About Headframe Spirits

Montana’s Entrepreneurs of the Year, and owners of Headframe Spirits, John and Courtney McKee, are active participants of economic development in Butte, and hold great responsibility in giving back to their community. Four years ago they started their business and named it Headframe Spirits in honor of Butte’s historical past.  They now operate two distilleries in Butte, Montana with plans to break ground on the third in 2015, making Headframe the largest distillery west of the Mississippi and providing hundreds of job opportunities to the Butte community.  For more information, please visit www.headframespirits.com.

HeadFrame Rendering

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/largest-beverage-distillery-west-of-the-mississippi-announced-future-american-whiskey-news/

A Beginners Guide to Collecting and Investing in Whisky – Part 3 – Scotch Whisky News


A Beginners guide to collecting and investing in Whisky – Part 3

In this final part of our beginners guide trilogy, we’ve now reached the point where you’ve identified lots of interest and are looking to start bidding.

The Bid

We’re often asked about bidding tactics and generally everyone has their own approach that works best for them. Going through the previous steps one-by-one you should be aware of how the bidding format works for the auctioneer you are using. As soon as an auction opens online, some buyers may open the bidding to create a ‘hit list’ of bottles they want to watch through the auction. Mainly this is due to some sites not offering a favourites or watch list; it is a useful tool if you are wishing to keep tabs on several bottles on one handy screen. Or you may want to follow some lots as you already own the bottles to see how the market is viewing their value.

At JWA the trend is that after an initial flurry of opening bids things will slack off a little and the auction will progress at a steady pace. Once the auction deadline looms; bidding ramps up …

Continue Reading at Just Whisky Blog

Part 1 can be found here

Part 2 can be found here

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/a-beginners-guide-to-collecting-and-investing-in-whisky-part-3-scotch-whisky-news/

Whisky Wednesday Reviews “Benrinnes 15yo Oloroso Finish” – Scotch Whisky News


This week Joe Ellis reviews the Darkness Benrinnes 15yo Oloroso Finish Master of Malt bottling. 



Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/whisky-wednesday-reviews-benrinnes-15yo-oloroso-finish-scotch-whisky-news/

Paul’s Story of the World Championship Pipe Bands Weekend, August 2014 – Scotch Whisky News

port ellen crop

Paul’s story of the world championship pipe bands weekend, August 2014; PAUL MCLEAN;

I arrived into Glasgow on the Thursday, checked into my hotel in the city and wondered off to take in the sights. A few bands were playing, entertaining the crowds on the main shopping street, some street entertainers and plenty of noise and hubbub! After a wee while (it was warm and sunny) I decided to rest up and do some research (whisky). Research continued at Horton’s bar and Waxy O’Connors before dropping into the Pot Still.  Glasgow’s famous Pot Still Pub hosts one of the finest collection of malt whisky in Scotland. Lovers of a good Scotch come from all over the world to this wonderful pub. The attraction? The hundreds (literally) of malt whiskies on display on the impressive gantry. It is not unusual to see Americans, Germans, Swedes, Danes, Japanese and Irish jostling with Glaswegian regulars and Paul at the bar for service from the cheery staff. The Murphy family give everyone a warm welcome, a smile and…if you’re lucky… some recommendations from the gantry. The Pot Still is a popular haunt of journalists, stars of stage and screen such as actress Susannah York, comedian Phil Kay and musician Lloyd Cole have all been spotted enjoying the unique atmosphere of The Pot Still as it’s at the heart of Glasgow’s Theatre Land.

While sipping my first dram, I started chatting to Ken Misch from San Francisco, he is Drum Major with the L.A. Scots pipeband, also a whisky lover. We drammed while we chatted, he knows many of the people in piping and whisky as I do, even Andy Grant!  From Port Ellen dram (superb) to a 1954 Mortlach, Glendronach and Glengoyne Teapot, it was a good session – he bailed out after the teapot! I stayed for one more (Irish) then moved back to the hotel for a wee siesta! Met up with Ken again at Waxy’s around 7pm, gave him a bottle of teapot, enjoyed a few more drams, met more of the band, then departed for my hotel. No the end of the story, my hotel room came with a wee extra; a free bar from 5pm – 10.30pm, I made the most of it.

Friday arrived, still sunny – for a while, so wandered along to the Glasgow Green arena, where Grade 1’s were competing in the play offs. Met up with many bands, Ken, some whisky people I know, watched the cooper at work, took in a burger and some sights, many photos taken – see facebook; McLean whisky tours. Tired on my feet, I dondered back to my hotel and the bar! Spoke to my pal Andy Grant (DM with grade 1 band Denny Dunipace) on the phone, he arrived just gone 5pm, we hit the free bar! At around 9.15 we went back to my posh room, where I had more wine, lots of whisky to sample – we did! He went away with a few samples, some of the4 drams he had no heard of before. A rest, then at 10.45 another pal turned up, just home from abroad, working as he does with a whisky company. John arrived with samples – great stuff! A few fast sample drams, then to Waxy’s (again), two drinks here before closing, a long whisky chat and farewells. Back at the hotel, I reckoned I had two more drinks in me, I had one, then fell asleep!

Saturday. The main event! Looked at of the hotel window … rain. At ten o’clock I jumped a taxi to the green, it was still raining. Wandered aboot checking out the bands, so many more people here than yesterday, many thousands more! The bands had many spectators watching, the food outlets were busy, I managed a smoked salmon butty, had a slug from my hip flask; Clynelish 16 year old, spotted big Andy, had a chat, was he ok after last night? Seemed so, started watching the drum majors, a venison burger, it has to be done. Followed by a dram. It was raining. More hiding under tents from the rain/showers, then it rained heavy, real heavy, so took shelter again at the cooper demo. Met up when the rain slowed down with more friends, The New York Metro pipeband, we were supplying their band coach again – we work with pipebands on accommodation and coaching each year. Had a chat with them, Mike, Michael and Dan, sharing a few hip flask drams; 16 yo Clynelish was the favourite.  

World Champions 2014; Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. The band was founded in 1945 in the townland of Drumalig, a few miles from Carryduff on the outskirts of Belfast. The band won the World Championships in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, becoming the first band to win all the Major competitions in a single year more than once.

Each year MCLEANSCOTLAND offer a Pipes Drams tour, to coincide with this huge event; http://www.mcleanscotland.com/worlds2013package.asp  another tour will be offered for 2015.

It was a good blend of pipes drams, yet again! Bring on 2015 worlds! 

PAUL MCLEAN of http://www.mcleanscotland.com/

pot stil reduced

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/pauls-story-of-the-world-championship-pipe-bands-weekend-august-2014-scotch-whisky-news/