The Amazon exclusive will target Urban drinkers with a brand-new addition to the single malt category that’s ‘better shared’

Monday 11th November – Auchentoshan®, the urban malt inspired by the city of Glasgow, has today announced the launch of Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc, a new special edition whisky available exclusively on Amazon.

Available to purchase on 15th November (pre-order here), Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc is a unique combination of two worlds – the smooth triple distilled taste of Auchentoshan and the unique flavour of Sauvignon blanc casks that gives a fresh, vibrant take on Auchentoshan, setting out to reflect the ever-changing needs of the urban millennial.

The brand new urban malt is matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in Sauvignon Blanc Barrique casks, which gives it a distinct, smooth and high-quality taste. Distilled at 47% ABV, the result is a unique single malt that’s ‘best served chilled’ allowing the fresh flavours of citrus and apple to excite the pallete.

The release of Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc follows the recent announcement of the brand’s vibrant new look packaging and brand positioning, aiming to reach a new generation of whisky drinker who are looking for a smooth and exciting whisky to be enjoyed together with friends.

Eileen Livingston, Senior Director of Scotch Whisky for Beam Suntory, comments: “Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc is a unique innovation that disrupts the category and provides consumers with a drinking experience out of the norm. This enables us to connect with urban millennials who are looking to sample new expressions and shared experiences.”

Ron Welsh, Master Blender for Auchentoshan, says: “We set out to create a never-seen-before whisky on the market. Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc was crafted to be enjoyed chilled, allowing us to innovate on the key occasions when the product is shared.”

Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc tasting notes are included below:

Ex-Bourbon barrel matured, followed by Sauvignon Blanc Barrique finish


Pale Gold


Subtle citric notes of white grapefruit with light sweetness of white peaches and green apple, light perfume of eglantine, honeysuckle, Scotch broom and Jasmine.


Lightly peppery with zesty notes, green grapes, light acacia honey and lemon curd, vanilla sweetness, lychees and honeydew melon, but also dried grass and hay notes.


The finish is hot and peppery with lingering notes of custard apple with a salty mouthfeel.

The limited edition whisky will be available as an e-commerce exclusive on Amazon from 15th November. 


Awards for Auchentoshan:

Bartenders’ Brand Awards 2018 | Silver for Auchentoshan Bartenders’ Malt 01

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan American Oak

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan Three Wood

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 12 Year Old

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 18 Year Old

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 21 Year Old

IWSC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan Blood Oak

ISC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan Three Wood

ISC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan Blood Oak

ISC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 12 Year Old

ISC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 18 Year Old

ISC 2017 | Silver for Auchentoshan 21 Year Old 

About Auchentoshan®

After 200 years of urban life in Glasgow, living through The Industrial Revolution, Auchentoshan is part of the city and the city is part of Auchentoshan. It is the only Single Malt Scotch Whisky to triple distil every last drop to create its delicate flavour. Smooth, yet gutsy. Approachable yet deep. Auchentoshan is the alternative malt for newcomers and whisky lovers alike.

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

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Cragganmore 12 Year old Diageo Special Releases 2019

Distilleerderij: Cragganmore
Regio: Schotland (Speyside)
Fles: Cragganmore 12 Year Old, Refill American Oak, Diageo Special Releases 2019, 18.000 bts
Kleur: licht goud
ABV: 58.4%


Cragganmore is Keltisch voor ‘hoge rots’ en de distilleerderij ligt in hartje Speyside, in het dal halverwege tussen Aberlour en Granton-on-Spey. Hoewel erg populair bij de blenders (het is immers een belangrijk ingrediënt van Johnnie Walker Green Label), is hij sinds de lancering van de Classic Malts ook bij het grote publiek bekend, zij het weliswaar enkel als de klassieke 12-jarige. In 2014 maakte hij zijn entree in de Special Releases als 25-jarige. Dit jaar komen ze echter met een specialleke, want deze Cragganmore is… geturfd!

’t Is toch even schrikken op de neus. Want je verwacht natuurlijk geen turf bij Cragganmore. Maar hij verdraagt het goed. Initieel erg zoet – bijna snoeperig – op appels en peren. En dan komen plots heide en turf opzetten, waardoor ik even het idee krijg dat ik aan een glas Ardmore of Ledaig ruik. Of nee, wacht… het neigt eerder naar Talisker. Wat is dat hier allemaal? Maar het is zowel leuk als lekker, dus mij hoor je niet klagen.

Op smaak is de verrassing nog groter. Hij is zoet en zilt tegelijkertijd. Proef dit blind en je zal zweren dat je Talisker drinkt – I kid you not! Opnieuw appels, peren, kruisbessen en kiwibessen! Maar hoe atypsiche deze Cragganmore ook moge weze, lekker is hij alleszins!

In de lange afdronk komt er opnieuw een zoetje opzetten als van karamel of butterscotch.

Voor mij de verrassing van deze reeks. Aanrader!


Geproefd door Mark Dermul op 07-11-2019
(om snel andere tasting notes te vinden, surf naar

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Single Malt Scotch Whisky BenRiach has teamed up with an award-winning Scottish artist to bring its sensory palette to life through a series of abstract paintings inspired by the Speyside distillery’s landscape, architecture and kaleidoscope of flavour.

Taking inspiration from the distillery’s extensive library of some of the world’s most eclectic casks housed in Warehouse 13, contemporary landscape artist Ellis O’Connor has been commissioned to create a trio of dramatic landscapes influenced by the 3 casks used to make up the BenRiach 10 Year Old. The deconstruction of this expression will create 3 pieces of art that fuse the flavour palette of BenRiach with Ellis’ signature painting style, the collection will be crafted at her studio on the outer Hebridean island of North Uist before being exhibited in Hackney’s underground bar, TT Liquor during Scotch Whisky Weekend in January 2020.

At the event, Ellis will appear in conversation with the BenRiach team discussing where she found inspiration for these commissions. Guests will get the chance to explore the palette of BenRiach for themselves through a ‘painting by tasting notes’ workshop where Ellis will guide them to explore the depths of BenRiach by harnessing their own creativity.

With a particular focus on the casks used to mature the BenRiach Aged 10 Years, O’Connor draws inspiration from the flavours drawn from the Oloroso sherry, bourbon and virgin oak casks which give a perfect balance of fruit, malt and oak. The bourbon cask gives vanilla and orchard fruits, Oloroso sherry gives the sweet creaminess of the malt and virgin oak gives a touch of toasted spice, all in sublime synchronicity. Following its three-cask maturation for over a decade it has been expertly combined by Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie to create a smooth, multi-layered flavour experience, thanks to its multiple eclectic casks from around the world.

Ellis, who originally hails from Dundee, studied fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone art school. Since then she has continued her studies, which has led her to travel to remote lands to partake in a number of artists’ residencies. BenRiach decided that Ellis was right for this partnership due to her unique approach to art, connection to an eclectic audience and love for whisky.

Artist Ellis O’Connor said: “Speyside is renowned for its big skies, fast flowing river and of course, whisky, so when the opportunity arose to bring this climatic corner of Scotland to life on canvas on behalf of its most creative distillery, I jumped at the chance.

BenRiach is packed full of innovation, experimental heritage and flavour and I wanted to depict that through the essence of its flagship whisky BenRiach Aged 10 Years and how it speaks to me through the colours and movement on the canvas. Each canvas will have a distinct colour that explores the flavour profile of the single malt and its cask journey.”

BenRiach Distillery Master Blender Dr. Rachel Barrie added:

“At BenRiach we are known for doing things a little differently, always exploring the creative possibilities of our Speyside malt. We have a creative approach to whisky distilling, cask maturation and blending, which Ellis has embraced in her approach to illustrating BenRiach’s eclectic mix of cask types and rich layers of BenRiach Aged 10 Years. Partnering with this talented young Scottish artist is such a wonderful way to bring BenRiach’s flavour journey to life and we can’t wait to see Ellis’ creations on canvas.”


Founded in 1898, Benriach Distillery has long been the home of an ingenious and artistic approach to whisky distilling and cask maturation. Today, our creative team of whisky makers continue to explore the flavour possibilities of our hand-crafted Speyside award winning Single Malts. BenRiach is an award winning liquid, including the 35 Year Old being named best Scotch Speyside Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2019. Additional prestigious awards include double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for a number of expressions and category winner at the International Wine Spirit Competition 2019 for BenRiach Aged 35 Years winning Best Single Malt over 26 years old.



Ellis O’Connor is a contemporary landscape artist from Dundee, Scotland living on the Outer Hebridean Island of North Uist working in the field of painting and drawing. The dynamic energy to be seen in the paintings are Ellis’ response to observed changes in the Scottish landscape. In order to immerse herself in the environment, Ellis makes much of the artwork on site where extreme weather and the elements find their way into the pieces of art. Ellis describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost ‘performative’.

Some of her inspiration from site visits become the basis for larger works on canvas painted back in her studio. Here, Ellis usually works with oil paint, building up the surfaces using natural substances like sand and dried seaweed.

By producing the artwork she hopes it will give people a chance to connect with that landscape and respect nature that is so wild around us, to then cultivate a deeper understanding and inspire others to make a difference.



Instagram: @BenRiach

Twitter: @BenRiach

Facebook: /TheBenRiach



Instagram: @ellisoconnor

Twitter: @ellisoconnor

Facebook: @ellisoconnor

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Talisker 41 Year Old Bodega Series – Launch Event

Afgelopen maandag, 4 november 2019, was ik te gast op een wel heel bijzonder evenement. In hartje Brussel in het unieke kader van het gerenommeerde Belga Queen restaurant – zeg maar gerust culinaire tempel – zou de nieuwe release van Talisker worden voorgesteld: de Talisker 41 Year Old Bodega Series.

Belga Queen heeft zijn intrek genomen in een prachtig oud voormalig bankgebouw. En ondanks het feit dat het een maandag was, zat het er afgeladen vol op het moment dat ik toekwam. De met bolhoed getooide portier glimlachte breed en verzocht me om me even aan te melden bij de Maitre d’Hotel. Ik schreed langs een prachtige bar, werd ondertussen vlotjes van mijn jas ontdaan door een aantrekkelijke dame en onmiddellijk begroet door de Maitre D, een al even aantrekkelijke dame die duidelijk vandaag nog naar de beautician was geweest. Het stoorde allerminst.

‘Bonsoir, Goeienavond’, zoet gevoiced met een verblindende, maar oprechte glimlach.

‘Dag mevrouw, ik ben hier voor het Talisker evenement’.

‘Ah!’ Pretoogjes. ‘Volgt u mij maar.’ En ze leidde me de trap af, de kelder in (letterlijk) naar de voormalige en prachtig gerestaureerde kofferzaal, die voor de gelegenheid was omgetoverd tot Talisker tempel.

Beneden werd ik hartelijk ontvangen door de vertegenwoordigers van Diageo, Arno en Evi, die me onmiddellijk een door de barman ter plekke in elkaar getoverde Salty Dog presenteerden. Deze verrassende cocktail is samengesteld met Talisker Skye, aangelengd met San Pelegrino Pompelmo, versierd met een randje Black Hawaï Salt en een sappige schijf roze pompelmoes. Deze smaakbom dronk veel te makkelijk weg, maar was wel erg leuk. De Talisker smaakte goed door (en was flink zilt in combinatie met het zout op de glasrand) en contrasteerde heerlijk met de bitterzoete toetsen van de pompelmoeslimonade.

Tijdens het aperitiefmoment werden we al vergast op een zacht stukje gerookte zalm en oesters die rijkelijk geparfumeerd werden met Talisker 10. Niet iedereen was tuk op oesters, dus offerde ondergetekende zich met plezier op. Oesters en Talisker 10? What’s not to like? Het kreeftensoepje lustte iedereen wel.

Het gezelschap was ondertussen compleet (we waren met 16 proevers, wat je gerust ‘petit comité’ zou kunnen noemen) en werd uitgenodigd om plaats te nemen in de gevaarlijk comfortabele zeteltjes, alwaar een aantal glazen op ons stonden te wachten.

Arno stak van wal met een Manzanilla sherry. De reden waarom we deze zoetgeurende maar zalig zilt en droog smakende ‘La Goya’ van de bodega Delgado Zuleta te proeven kregen, werd al snel duidelijk. Immers, de klepper waarrond deze avond draaide was immers gefinisht op vaten van meer dan 100 jaar oud waarop deze sherry gerijpt had. Leuke introductie en de sherry op zich mocht er ook best wezen.

Maar dan werd het hoog tijd om over de whisky te praten. Arno leidde ons eerst langs drie reguliere (en betaalbare) expressies.

De debatten werden geopend met de Talisker der Taliskers: de klassieke Talisker 10 Year Old. Of zoals ik ‘m noem: ‘De Talisker Altijd Prijs Altijd Gewonnen’. Want van al die jaren dat ik al Talisker 10 drink, heeft deze me altijd kunnen bekoren. De batch variaties zijn zo klein (naar mijn mening) dat ik het verschil zelf(s) niet proef. Kudos aan de Master Blender. Deze moet je altijd in huis hebben.

Dan schakelde Arno over op de Talisker 2008 Distillers Edition. Wat deze Distillers Editions speciaal maakt, is hun tweede rijping op vaten waar voorheen een andere drank rijpte. Voor Talisker is dat Amoroso sherry. En dat het werkt weten we. Ik proefde eerder immers al verschillende DE’s. Deze moest niet onderdoen.

Maar dat Talisker gefinisht op portvaten ook werkt, bewees de onvolprezen Talisker Port Ruighe. Het rode fruit gaat speels om met het distinctieve maritieme karakter van deze malt.

Dit was al best te genieten geweest, maar we zaten natuurlijk allemaal op het puntje van onze stoel om de nieuwe – peperdure, mag ik wel zeggen – Talisker te ontdekken. Arno nodigde iemand van het publiek uit om de honneurs waar te nemen: het ‘plopje’ van de nieuwe fles – dat steeds als muziek in de oren klinkt – werd op een spontaan applaus onthaald. Het schenken deed Arno toch liever zelf – en begrijpelijk, want de blik van de man die de fles geopend had stond min of meer op oneindig (oké, nu overdrijf ik een beetje – wellicht uit jaloezie omdat ik zelf niet snel genoeg opsprong om de fles open te kunnen maken – gelukkig had ik ze wel al eens mogen knuffelen).

Alle gekheid op een stokje: het gouden goedje werd geschonken en een respectvolle stilte daalde over ons neer. Arno legde uit.

De Talisker 41 Year Old Bodega Series is de oudste tot nog toe gebottelde Talisker en een vatting van 6 vaten die allemaal in 1978 te slapen werden gelegd. Hij rijpte eerst in refill American Oak en kreeg dan een finish in Manzanilla-vaten van Delgado Zuleta, één van de oudste bodega’s ter wereld en eentje waarmee de distilleerderij al sinds 1900 samenwerkt (de vorige release, de Talisker 40 Year Old Bodega Series werd overigens gefinisht op Amontillado-vaten van dezelfde bodega; het is nog niet bekend wanneer de derde en laatste release in deze ‘Sherry Triangle’ reeks uitgebracht zal worden).

Slechts 2.000 flessen van deze godendrank op een vatsterkte van 50.7% werden geproduceerd. Hij komt in een oogverblindende verpakking, maar met een prijskaartje van 3.500 EUR mag dat ook. En laten we alstublieft niet de discussie aangaan of deze whisky zijn prijs waard is. Dat is immers bijzonder subjectief. Kan ik hem mij permitteren? Neen, dat niet. Is hij lekker? Ja, heel lekker… ‘t zou nog moeten mankeren, zeker? Maar hoe lekker is heel lekker? Da’s al even subjectief, natuurlijk.

Er zit in mij een klein duiveltje dat altijd op zoek gaat naar een reden om zo’n grootste, dure releases toch te kunnen betrappen op een tekortkoming, een flaw, een off-note, om het even welke reden om te kunnen zeggen: ‘Ha! En dat voor zoveel geld!? No way! Bedrog! Blasfemie! Ten oorlog!’. Maar net zoals bij de Port Ellen 39 Year Old Untold Stories of de Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Release (waarvan ik telkens het geluk heb gehad hem uitgebreid te kunnen proeven), moet ik bekennen dat ook deze Talisker simpelweg out of this world is. Deze releases zijn echt een klasse apart.

Ik deel maar wat graag mijn tasting notes met u, maar daarvoor verwijs ik naar mijn uitgebreide tasting notes in een aparte blogpost, nadat ik hem nog eens grondig en in de sereniteit van mijn eigen proefruimte (lees: aan mijn burootje) heb kunnen her-proeven. U zal het hier even moeten stellen met wat ik op de avond zelve bij elkaar gekribbeld heb in mijn trouwe, bijna uit elkaar vallende boekje (leuk detail: dat boekje is nu vol en deze note is een waardige afsluiter ervan).

Neus: zacht, zoet, zilt met een hint van munt. De schil van mango, stervrucht en een enkele maraschino kers gaan de typische maritieme toetsen vooraf. Dit is erg sexy!

Smaak: Zachte aanzet, maar al snel tekent de typische peper present. Dit is te complex om vanavond allemaal te kunnen neerpennen, want het gaat van tropisch fruit naar een oesterkade, van een apple crumble pie naar een dovend vreugdevuur. Hij flirt met tropisch fruit en blijft toch op en top Talisker. Palate progression, anyone?

Finish: Soepel, zalig lang, complex, elegant.

Ik blijf even sprakeloos achter. Maar ik ben absoluut niet de enige. Rechts van mij zitten Caroline en Luk. We kijken elkaar aan. Hebben jullie dat ook geproefd? De blik en de glimlach van mijn buren spreekt boekdelen.

Overdonderd stuur ik via Messenger een foto van de fles naar het thuisfront met de woorden ‘I’ve just died and gone to heaven’. Dearly Beloved stuurt terug: ‘Overloper! Het is geen Auchentoshan, hé!’ Ik schiet in de lach en verbreek de betovering. Toch maar eens serieus met Dearly Beloved praten… De bank brengt toch niks op. Ik kan het weten.

Als Arno me vraagt wat ik er van vind, is het enige wat ik kan uitkramen: ‘Daar waar de andere Taliskers die we eerder proefden stoere zeebonken zijn, is dit een elegante zeemeermin’. Hij weet wat ik bedoel. Hij weet dat het goed is. Ik weet dat het goed is.

En ik weet dat hij weet dat ik weet dat het goed is (zal ’t gaan, Mark?!).

Ik laat niet na Arno en Evi – en bij uitbreiding Diageo – heel erg uitgebreid te bedanken voor deze toch wel zeer exclusieve avond. Niet alleen waren de locatie, de catering, de ontvangst en het gezelschap uitzonderlijk, maar de whisky was absolute topklasse.

Wat een privilége. Dank u wel en slàinte!

May the Malt be with you!

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Peated Perfection: New Dazzling Single Malt Exclusives from Michel Couvreur – Sxotxh Whisky News

We are back with another set of amazing single malt exclusives from Michel Couvreur. These bottlings have earned a cult following and have grown into one of our most successful brands. The late Michel Couvreur was a Belgian wine dealer who moved to Beaune in the 1950s. Then, in the 1960s as he followed his passion, he moved to Scotland to become more involved with the Scotch whisky industry. He had developed a taste for sherry-aged single malt. He worked out a few contracts from suppliers and began purchasing whisky to mature in his own sherry butts that he secured from Jerez. In the ’70s, Michel decided to move back to Beaune, in order to focus more on quality cooperage (Beaune was closer to Spain and easier to work out of) and that’s when he decided to mature his own casks, in his own cellar, that was built deeply into the side of a nearby hill. Michel would contract whisky from Scotland, barrels from Spain, and make his own expressions of single malt whisky from the heart of French wine country. These single malts, while not technically Scotch, soon became the stuff of legends. When our spirits team finally got a chance to taste these coveted single malts, an exclusive deal was struck immediately. The expressions featured here follow in this tradition of excellence and are destined to garner even more adoring fans. Quantities are limited and our allocations always sell out, so don’t miss out on one of the most exciting brands in the world of single malt.

Michel Couvreur “Cap a Pie” Whisky (750ml)

This unusual expression from our dear friends in Bouze-les-Beaune is a slight departure from their usual sherry driven malts. This blend of sherry aged malt whisky and whisky barrel (hogshead) aged grain is similar to their popular “Unique Whisky,” but with a higher proportion of malt aged in medium humid conditions. The result is something awesomely round, but with unparalleled freshness. The little blend dubbed, “Head to Foot” really has it all. This is the complete package for anyone looking for an easy drinker that doesn’t leave you wishing for more. Rich malt flavors meld with hints of tropical fruit, great structure, subtle nutty aromatics, and a long toasty finish. If you’re looking for something that’s not too head strong, yet still keeps you on your toes, don’t look any further than Cap A Pie.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

For a mere 70 bucks, this falls into the category of ‘life’s simple pleasures. “Head to Toe”, it’s a perfect blend. Set aside how wonderful, cool, and unusual Couvreur is as a producer and just taste the whisky. It’s flawless and offers a bit of everything in the whisky-verse. If you’ve ever enjoyed a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, be prepared to be blown out of the water by this number.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

Anyone that tells you blended whisky is inherently inferior needs psychological evaluation to determine who hurt them to make them so cynical. And high-quality malt and grain mixtures don’t need to cost an arm and a leg like Johnnie Blue or Ichiro’s worldwide blend. Before you even raise the glass as far as your lips, enchanting aromas of orchard fruit, sweet grain, and white flowers greet you warmly. Honeyed, nutty, sticky malt and bright, delicate grain find the perfect balance and coax a subtle stone fruit character from the dynamic array of flavors you find in each sip. It’s so fresh and delightful that even casual drinkers may find themselves sitting in front of an empty glass wondering where all the whisky went.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

This would be a great Scotch for anyone looking to try to get into the Islay flavor profile. It was so approachable, I smiled as I smelled and got the warm and fuzzies (and maybe some audible expressions as well). Sweet leather, bacon wrapped apples, and brine remind me of other Islays but with a lot of the medicinal qualities toned down. Sipping this was a very pleasant experience. It’s smooth and balanced with notes of apple, light peat smoke, chocolate covered toffee, and sweet grass which all follow you into the finish. This dram is dangerously delicious for the price and something I could see myself going through multiple bottles of with a group of friends.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2019

This blended whiskey has a beautiful expressive nose that is full of sweet and inviting aromas. In the mouth it is soft and round and very easy to drink. It is on the malty sweet side and will be great alone or on the rocks. The Cap A Pie is not a heavy or concentrated but light and a crowd pleaser.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 24, 2019

How is this French family so great at handling Scotch? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it doesn’t matter because they’ve impressed me again. This new offering is buttery with just a touch of smoke on the nose. More sniffs and a few drops of water bring out rich red fruit scents and a pleasant pungent quality. The palate is a bit of a conundrum because the whisky is gentler and yet the peat comes out more as well. Even with more smoke, this whisky is never aggressive. Instead, floral flavors and vanilla bean unfold and lead up to dying campfire finish.

Greg St. Clair | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 21, 2019

The nose if full of heather and honey and if I didn’t know better I’d think it was a Highland Malt. On the palate you get a very high toned, central focus that makes this spirit seem very elegant. It has a long finish, fresh and uplifting.

Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” KL Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special KL whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-made spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to ensure the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jaw-dropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy that we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it)

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 14, 2014

The magnificence that is Michel Couvreur has always been clear, but it wasn’t until we stepped into the special cave, carved out of the rock, in Bouze-Les-Beaune, that you can fully appreciate the incredible endeavor and process of this fine producer. While this is by definition NOT scotch, because it is aged outside of the country, the old school practices utilized at here are unusual back in Scotland. The fact that these guys literally drive to Jerez to pick out fresh sherry casks (from Equipos Navazos no less) is totally unique in modern times. In fact, no producer of malt whisky is getting access to fresher barrels than these guys. Despite not being able to use the famous moniker, that does not preclude this from being one of the most authentic and absolutely delicious malts on the market. There is stupendous depth and complexity even at 86 proof. And while the sherry is toned down from the standard version, a subtle fino/amontillado quality exists in the back ground. This is pointed by a fabulous smokey sweetness, which hints at the source whisky. A truly unique gem.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

This has been a favorite bottling of mine every year since it first landed in 2014. This marks our fifth iteration and I believe it may be the finest. The soft sherry is of the highest quality. The malt is all 12 years and up, and the smoke profile is perfect. It has pure sexy peat and is intense yet welcoming. A slight salinity brings freshness to the palate and highlights the brimming sweet fruit. It’s rare to see anything of this quality come together, let alone for 80 bucks.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2019

Nosing this in the glass was addicting and I had to stop myself before becoming in danger of singeing nerve endings. A sweet hickory smoke softly emanated from the glass with a bit of brine behind it. Working my way past the sumptuous smoke, I got notes of apple skins and barbecued yellow nectarines. The palate was round and soft; I felt no need to add water to this one. Black pepper and honey smoked ham, combined with charred canned pineapple, almost made me feel like I was at a luau. The finish was pleasant, not too long, but had a waxy, spicy play going on, and once everything felt like it was over, a bit of leftover charred pineapple showed up to do one last curtsy.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 09, 2019

This Michel Couvreur Malt Whiskey is a perfect marriage of smoke and sherry aged spirit. It is balanced and not heavy, with the sherry aging adding a kiss of influence but not dominating the spirit, creating a well-integrated whole. There are a nice amount of smoke aromas with subtle sweet undertones. On top of this it is complex and will surprise and delight.

Ryan Woodhouse | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 22, 2014

One of the best bottles of “Scotch” I have had in a long while. I have been moving away from peated malts recently…but this bottle has the perfect marriage of smoke and sherry. The malt has a beautiful chewy texture and richness on the palate (perhaps owing to the fact that they don’t remove any of the first fill sherry barrel residue before bottling). It is brimming with red forest fruits, sweet rancio tones, wood spice and earthy nuances. A really complete drop and serious value for the money, in my book.

Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 07, 2014

I love it! Super creamy with a mild peat, lovely sherry character, and an absolutely wonderful sexy texture on the palate. What an amazingly charming whiskey!

Michel Couvreur “Pale Single Single” Malt Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 22, 2016

A single malt from a single cask from this renowned blender is always a treat. Here we’re off the big sherry notes that Couvreur is known for and onto something more malt-driven. Still with that beautiful Burgundian cellar experience, but now pointed with Highland flowers, wild honey, white and yellow fruit. I’m wanting to say this is Clynelish, but cannot confirm. Now that we’re able to list this below $100 it’s a no-brainer and certainly a unique experience that’s not easily replicated anywhere else on the shelf.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2016

Absolutely fantastic. The Couvreur Pale has inviting malt and floral aromas. In the mouth it is soft, round and malty, with subtle dried fruit nuances. A nice long finish helps round out this wonderful whisky.

Michel Couvreur 10 Year Old “V.J. Maturation” KL Exclusive Tissot Vin Jaune Barrel Aged Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)

Two exceptional names in their respective fields coming together in this extremely rare and unique offering. The Single Malt spirit was distilled on February 5th, 2009, and shipped to the Burgundian cellars carved in the rock in Bouze-les-beaune. There it was filled into 5 casks that had previously held the exquisite Vin Jaune from one of the Jura’s finest producers, Stephan Tissot. After decades being used for this unique wine, something in between grand cru Burgundy and fino sherry, the barrels are completely impregnated with the complex flavors of the special wine. The two producers traded barrels and there is indeed a small batch of Vin Jaune from Mr. Tissot that is aged in ex-whisky barrels from Couvreur’s cellar. But it seems that the whisky maker probably had the better deal, since these old casks are very hard to pry from the cellars of the Jura producers. After 10 full years maturing in the most humid part of Couvreur’s cellars this whisky is now brimming with the intense energy of the special wine that was once made in these barrels and the enigmatic man who made them. This is at full cask strength here with no additives of any kind except for 10 long years in Couvreur’s underground cellars. The whisky displays strong deposits (the lees and the voile) as the barrels were filled fresh without any intervention to remove the leftover wine deposits. This whisky loves a drop of water (just one) to open up the rich complexity and vibrant intensity.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

For those seeking true rarity and exceptionalism, look no further. Miniscule production combined with barrels from one of the world’s finest wine producers (also of tiny production) leads to a whisky of phenomenal complexity and flavor. It’s briny, biological, and fresh, much like the more familiar fino sherry category, but seems to fit even more seamlessly into a whisky than the wines of Jerez. It also possess some of the strong flavors more reminiscent of Baijiu. Wild umami tangos with fruit, salt, and honey drizzled granola. If you’re turned on by the esoteric, don’t miss this. If you collect whisky, don’t miss this. If you you simply love drinking great whisky, don’t miss this. There is truly nothing else like it on earth.

Alex Schroeder | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2019

This is yet another marvel from the phenomenon that is Michel Couvreur’s whisky. The Belgian scotch-maker in Burgundy puts a truly unique, French twist on this single-malt by aging it in Vin Jaune barrels from a fantastic producer in his own right, Stephan Tissot. The result is amazing. It’s yeasty, nutty, citrusy, honey-laden with the richness of a sherried whisky but with a very different, brighter, unique, delicious profile.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 01, 2019

What a departure from their other offering, Cap a Pie. I wont say completely opposite, but what the Cap a Pie had in smoke and was lacking in medicinal notes, the 10-year V.J. seems to have done the reverse. On the nose I immediately got band aides paired with brine, umeshu plum, roasted toffee, and slight notes of smoked honey and graham crackers. The palate has a bit of five spice to start and then goes into chocolate nougat and a toasted graham cracker and finishes with something that reminded me of the chili mango skewers you can get on the beaches of P.V. The V.J. barrels give this whiskey a sherried characteristic on the nose, so if you like sherried Islays, this is one worth taking a look at.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

Fans of Michel Couvreur products should be rejoicing right now, as this unique cask is another show-stopper in their lineup. Truthfully, this should be on any enthusiast’s short-list right now, not solely because of its rarity but mainly because it’s damn fine whisky. Impossibly concentrated and complex for something 10 years old, this hits all the marks. Citrus and sultana on the nose with a hint of bready yeast, it almost feels like a sherry finish. But on the palate, there’s delicate, high-quality malt that melds perfectly with candied citrus peel, apricot and almond, with a generous note of wild honey throughout. The finish is long and soothing, with just enough savory voile and spice to keep it from tasting like dessert. But, sipping this with apricot tarte tatin certainly would not be out of place. With only so many bottles available, get yours before they’re gone.

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Photo Credit John Need


The Smoker will launch at The Bike Shed, Shoreditch on 12th November with craftsman Tyler Lunceford in attendance 

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky has teamed up with Tyler Lunceford over the past nine months to build a one-of-a-kind, customised Ducati, inspired by vintage motorcycles. The time has come to reveal ‘The Smoker’.

The expertly crafted motorcycle will be unveiled to media, trade and bike fanatics on 12th November in London at The Bike Shed, Shoreditch.

Hosting the evening will be bike blogger Motobob who will run a QA with Tyler, while custom motorcycle helmet designer Piers Dowell paints two Smokehead helmets live on the night. Bike fans will enjoy video footage of the creation of The Smoker, including the final video of the bike on the open road.

Mind-blowing cocktails made with Smokehead, Smokehead High Voltage and Smokehead Sherry Bomb will be served throughout the night, including The Smoker serve, created exclusively for the project – a robust mix of Smokehead, lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger liqueur, a pinch of activated charcoal, shaken over ice and strained into a rocks glass, garnished with crystallised ginger.

The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club is a collective who celebrate bike builders, riders and fans, and is one of the UK’s best-known venues for customised motorcycles.

US born Lunceford of North Motorcycles is a renowned global biking sensation (known as the Ducati Whisperer of the New York tri-state) with over 20 years experience customising bikes for obsessive bikers and rock stars. He owned a workshop in Brooklyn but recently relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland to raise a family, and this is where he crafted The Smoker.

Commenting on the partnership with Smokehead and the finished bike: “Smokehead’s support of unique craftsmen and women resonated with me immediately. Building a customised bike is an incredible process. And it’s a slow process. Notching, welding, grinding, every single detail needs to be accounted for. I wanted to make sure this bike was phenomenal before unleashing it.

“I wanted to make a bike for the street, something that’s comfortable, with a really vintage appeal. This isn’t a bike that’s going to be polished and put in a museum.

“Smokehead whisky is not for everyone and neither is The Smoker – it’s bold, it’s intimidating and it’s loud. It’s really loud. It attracts a certain crowd. It’s certainly not for everyone. I can’t wait for the unveiling at The Bike Shed.”

Adding his thoughts, Iain Weir, Smokehead Brand Director, said: “We’re overwhelmed with how The Smoker has turned out. Tyler has exceeded expectations and created something incredible for Smokehead. Just like our whisky, The Smoker is bold, daring, independent and most importantly, not for everyone.”

The Smokehead Refinery
The campaign shares stories of partnerships with the boldest of craftsmen and women that Smokehead is proud to rub shoulders with. Chapter 1 of the project was unleashed in 2018, a successful partnership with Dram Smoke creating a series of ‘Smokehead Feasts’ for media and trade across the UK. Chapter 2 celebrates the collaboration with Tyler.

In late 2018, Smokehead released Sherry Bomb, a heavily peated Islay single malt that has been boldly blasted by sherry casks; following hot on the heels of Smokehead High Voltage, along with their louder and bolder look, which was unveiled in April.

*Smokehead encourages everyone to drink responsibly. Do not drink and ride, obviously*





About Smokehead:

  • Smokehead is an Islay Single Malt Whisky and has been given a bold new look by Ian Macleod Distillers.
  • Originally launched in 2005, Smokehead has been labelled the wild one of Single Malt Whisky and is not for everyone.
  • Award-winning premium Scotch whisky that has an attitude-led positioning and heavily peated taste. 

About Ian Macleod Distillers:

  • Established in 1933, Ian Macleod Distillers is one of Scotland’s leading independent, family-owned distillers, blenders and bottlers.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers is the world’s 10th largest Scotch Whisky company, producing and selling over 15 million bottles of spirits every year.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers has built up an enviable portfolio of premium quality spirits and is proud brand proprietor of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Rosebank and Smokehead Scotch whiskies and Edinburgh Gin to name but a few.

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Douglas Laing Unveils Online Exclusive Timorous Beastie Winter Edition – Scotch Whisky News

Douglas Laing Unveils Online Exclusive Timorous Beastie Winter Edition

Douglas Laing Co., award-winning family-run Scotch Whisky firm, will launch Timorous Beastie 16 Years Old Winter Edition exclusively on on Monday 4th November 2019.

A Limited Edition batch of only 400 bottles, this unique Highland Malt Scotch Whisky spent 16 long years maturing exclusively in a Spanish Sherry butt. Offered at 45.1% alcohol strength and proudly without colouring or chill-filtration, the tasting notes for this unique release include Christmas cake, blood oranges and ginger.

The clear bottle showcases the naturally dark and decadent spirit inside, with a festive-themed and foiled label. Each bottle is presented in a canvas, printed bag, rendering Timorous Beastie Winter Edition the perfect Christmas gift!

Jenny Rogerson, Head of Marketing, said: “As the bitterly cold Winter months set in, there’s nothing like a richly Sherried Malt Whisky to warm the soul! We created Timorous Beastie 16 Years Old for the chilly Winter evenings…a dram to be sipped and savoured by the fire, or perhaps even slipped into a Christmas stocking!”

Timorous Beastie 16 Years Old “The Winter Edition” will be available exclusively on from 9am GMT Monday 4th November 2019.

Tasting Notes:

The nose reveals cocoa and orange zest with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate brings raisins, chocolate, Christmas cake and sweet stewed fruits. The finish lingers with blood oranges and crystallised ginger.



Instagram: @remarkable_malts

Douglas Laing Co. is a leading independent Scotch Whisky blender and bottler specialising in the selection and release of Single Cask Single and small batch Malt Scotch Whiskies. The company was founded by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and is still owned and run by the Laing family – Fred Laing Jr and his daughter Cara Laing.

Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts, the Ultimate Distillation of Scotland’s Malt Whisky Regions, encompasses The Epicurean Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky, Timorous Beastie (Highlands), Scallywag (Speyside), The Gauldrons (Campbeltown), Rock Island (Islands) and Big Peat (Islay). Beyond its Blended Malts expertise, the award-winning Douglas Laing portfolio also includes Provenance, Premier Barrel, Old Particular and XOP, collectively known as the firm’s “Exceptional Single Casks”.

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Whisky Wednesday Reviews Macallan Edition 5 – Scotch Whisky News

American Oak, BRIGHT PURPLE…OR IS IT PINK? A new Master Blender and a fresh look at Macallan, does it live up to the hype of Editions 2 4?

Whisky Reviews every Wednesday ~ ~ ~

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Introducing GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky news

Introducing GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8

This Cask Strength release from The GlenDronach is the 8th edition in the series from the renowned Speyside distillery. Matured for 10 years in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks before being selected for bottling by Master Blender, Rachel Barrie, this expression is presented at a natural cask strength of 61% abv and offers a deeper insight into the characteristic GlenDronach profile.

70cl / 61% abv

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THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS Announces Global Partnership with GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL. – Whisky News


Los Angeles, October 28, 2019: THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS – an education and certification body for expertise in whisk(e)y – announced today a strategic partnership with GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL, award winning producer of the world recognized and industry accredited Glencairn whiskey glass.

THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS has recently launched a dedicated certification program for established and aspiring whiskey professionals, leading to the Level 1 title of “Certified Scotch Professional” or “Certified Bourbon Professional”. These self-study programs offer specialized and rigorous qualifications through a demanding course of self-study and examination. The exam can be taken anywhere in the world, and therefore attracts current and new whisky professionals globally. Interest in the program is growing rapidly with a significant number of candidates currently enrolled, including whiskey industry leaders from the fields of education, distribution, journalism, production, judging, and hospitality.

The Glencairn Glass is endorsed by the Scotch Whisky Association as the official glass for whiskey and is used across the globe by international whiskey and spirits producers, leading brands and hospitality outlets. Its development involved combining the expertise of master blenders from the five largest whiskey producers. Today, the Glencairn Glass can be found in nearly every distillery in Scotland and Ireland, with major growth in the USA and countries around the world with a strong whisk(e)y culture.

The COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS exclusively endorses the glassware of Glencairn Crystal for the optimal enjoyment and tasting of all fine whiskeys.

“GLENCAIRN is the perfect complement to our study and certification program, we are confident in recommending The Glencairn Glass to our candidates as the best whiskey glass to accompany their studies. It is important that our students not only become competent in whiskey but also understand and appreciate the importance of using the best tools to enhance the whiskey drinking experience.” says Jörn Kleinhans, Executive Director at THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS.

“GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL is excited to recognize the great opportunity of a world-wide consistent education path dedicated to whiskey. The 4-level study and exam program provided by THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS may assist the overall industry with a clear education path, as well as transparency on competence within the global whiskey professional community”, explains Jason Kennedy, Sales Director at GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL.

The partnership is announced as THE COUNCIL OF WHISKEY MASTERS is gathering global support by some of the world’s leading authorities on whiskey as a new standard for whiskey knowledge and certification. A list of globally-leading whiskey experts joining the Advisory Board will be published shortly.


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