Glenmorangie and Ardbeg strike gold at two influential competitions – Scotch Whisky News

Distilleries’ single malt whiskies honoured with 15 golden accolades

Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malt Scotch whiskies have triumphed at two prestigious industry competitions, winning a total of 15 gold or double-gold medals. This clutch of awards from the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), is a testament to the outstanding whiskies crafted at the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Distilleries, owned by The Glenmorangie Company.

Glenmorangie, which has been creating its fine single malt whisky in the Highlands since 1843, won ten awards – five at each competition.

Its success at the SFWSC began with a prized double-gold medal for Glenmorangie Signet. Judges also honoured three of the Distillery’s core expressions – its signature single malt Glenmorangie Original won gold, alongside Glenmorangie Lasanta and Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or from the Extra-Matured Range. Glenmorangie 19 Years Old was also given gold. At the ISC, Glenmorangie Signet won further renown. It earned gold alongside Glenmorangie 18 Years Old, Glenmorangie The Tayne, Glenmorangie Spìos and Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989.

Ardbeg, the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt whisky, won five further prestigious accolades at the SFWSC. There were plaudits for all the Distillery’s permanent expressions, with Ardbeg Corryvreckan celebrated as Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – No Age Statement. It was awarded a double-gold medal, alongside Ardbeg An Oa and Ardbeg Uigeadail, while Ardbeg Ten Years Old earned gold. The 2018 Ardbeg Committee Exclusive release of Ardbeg Grooves, released in February this year, was also handed a double-gold medal.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation Whisky Stocks for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, said: “This haul of medals, from two such influential competitions, is a fitting reflection of the dedication with which all at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg pursue their craft – and the exceptional whiskies which result. I’m delighted that industry experts have again rewarded Glenmorangie Original’s smooth and rounded taste, alongside whiskies from the Extra-Matured Range and Glenmorangie Signet. It is inspiring to see Ardbeg’s untamed spirit commended, with awards for all the permanent expressions. Ardbeg Corryvreckan’s peaty, peppery character is undoubtedly worthy of the judges’ highest praise.”

Article source:

Glen Scotia 2008 Port Cask 2018 Campbeltown Festival at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Glen Scotia 2008 Port Cask 2018 Campbeltown Festival

The 2018 Campbeltown Malts Festival begins this week but you don’t have to travel all the way to Argyll to enjoy the whiskies! Double matured in Ruby Port casks, this peated 2008 vintage expression from Glen Scotia distillery is in-stock and ready to go. Glen Scotia 2008 vintage Campbeltown single malt Scotch whiskey. Double matured in Port Casks, limited edition for the 2018 Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Buy – £49.63

Glen Scotia Distillery was established in 1832 in Campbeltown at the foot of the Kintyre Peninsular on the west coast of Scotland. Situated on the south side of Campbeltown’s High Street beside the lost Lochrin and Dalintober Distilleries where their rear walls were lapped by the tides of Campbeltown Loch. Glen Scotia Distillery is now one of only three whiskey distilleries in Campbeltown where a further thirty have come and gone. Both peated and un-peated malt whiskey are produced for its expanding range of single malt whiskies such as Glen Scotia Double Cask and the Glen Scotia 15 Year Old.


Article source:

Port Askaig 14 Years

Released this week, Port Askaig 14 Year Old Bourbon Cask is a new bottling from a distillery in the north-east corner of Islay, better known for its unpeated whisky. Sounds like Bunnahabhain to me.

It is peated, distilled in 2004 and as always it is a limited release, composed from 11 first-fill bourbon casks (Port Askaig batches are never bigger than 40 casks).



Port Askaig 14 Years - Bourbon CaskPort Askaig 14 Years - Bourbon CaskPort Askaig 14 yo ‘Bourbon Cask’ 2004 (45,8%, Elixir Distillers 2018, first-fill bourbon casks)

Nose: quite bright and orchardy, think juicy lemons, stewed pears and apples. Hints of lager and coastal notes (sea spray, shells on the beach). Ink and gentle peat which works nicely alongside the bright fruits. Mouth: smoky and earthy, showing plum sweetness and crème brûlée before moving towards crushed peppercorns and a charred, slightly acrid note. Malty notes, mild peat, all-spice. Slightly less balanced than on the nose. Finish: long, with salted caramel and brandy poached pear.

Sometimes I have difficulties with peated (Moine) Bunnahabhain, especially when they release it with an unnecessary wine finish. This bourbon version is gentle, fruity, and really sparkles. Around € 80 from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 86/100

Article source:

Ardmore 20 Year Old

Ardmore 20 Year Old is a 1996 vintage, lightly peated and double matured in first-fill bourbon casks and ex-Islay casks. An outsider in the NAS-oriented core range and particularly well priced if you look around.



Ardmore 20 Years OldArdmore 20 Years OldArdmore 20 yo 1996
(49,3%, OB 2017)

Nose: nice ashy peat, with a slight chalky note and also a hint of antiseptics. That must be the Islay cask, it’s not something you’d expect in Ardmore. Behind it there’s a ripe fruitiness of melons, sweet lemons, bergamots and honey. Vanilla and light pepper. Menthol cigarettes. Fresh leather (my first school bag). Mouth: quite oily and fat, with nice fruity notes again (though less tropical). Peaches, pears, lime. Hints of camphor and charcoal. Growing grassy and salty notes towards the end. Finish: medium long, still quite grassy and briney, with very light herbal notes.

I love the combination of tropical fruitiness and peat, so I’m not complaining here. It’s very good, although some would say the salty Islay character makes it less typically Ardmore perhaps. Recommended nonetheless, especially since since it’s quite cheap from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 88/100

Article source:



’‘a whisky for reflection’

Today, Highland Park is delighted to announce the global launch of their latest special edition simply called ‘THE DARK’. This 17 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky has been exclusively matured in European oak sherry seasoned casks, delivering a distinctly deep flavour,packed with dried fruits, nuts and spices overlaid with hints of smoky peat.

Jason R. Craig, Brand Director, Highland Park, commented: “’THE DARK’is the first of two special editions–‘THE LIGHT’will be launched in spring 2018. Both edition share the story of the contrasting seasons of our Orkney islands and the resulting intense balance of Highland Park whisky.”

Highland Park ‘THE DARK’celebrates autumn and winter on Orkney –it’s a time to escape from the wild weather outside, time to meet up with friends and family and enjoy sharing long evenings of conversation and a dram or two. ‘THE DARK’is presented in jet black bespoke glass;the serpent dragon embossed on the front takes its inspiration from Viking stories.

‘THE DARK’ ‘THE LIGHT’are written in runic writing on the serpent dragon’s tail emboss itself and on the oak cradle -celebrating the islands’Viking ancestry. The back of the glass bottle has ‘Made with Pride on Orkney’embossed –a genuine heart-felt tribute to the men and women who create Highland Park single malt.The oak cradle has two circles etched on the top and bottom to represent both the high sun of the summer solstice and the low sun of the winter solstice. They in turn, embody the intense balance of the contrasting seasons and their influence on Highland Park whisky.

The booklet which accompanies this special edition,describes the thinking behind this latest special edition and the whisky within. Highland Park’s award-winning whiskies deliver an intensely balanced flavour of smoky sweetness that is the product of Orkney’s climate and craftsmanship. The climate is mild, reaching highs of only 16 degrees centigrade in summer and lows of around 2 degrees centigrade in winter and the wild winds that assault the slands create a landscape in which few trees survive and this, in turn, creates the aromatic peat –woodless but rich in heather,which when used to dry out malt gives Highland Park whisky its distinctive flavour.-


Highland Park ‘THE DARK’will be followed by Highland Park ‘THE LIGHT’in early 2018 –both are special editions of 28,000 bottles at an ABV of 52.9% and both have a RSP of £190.3.HIGHLAND PARK THE DARK -TASTING NOTES Natural Cask Driven Colour (no additives):Deep russet (colour tint 24.1) Flavours: Dried fruits| Cinnamon | Toasted almonds |Cedar wood | Fruitcake | Light peat smoke

Article source:




‘a whisky for celebration’

Highland Park is proud to announce the global launch of their latest special edition called ‘THE LIGHT’. This distinctive and vibrant 17 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky has been exclusively matured in refill American oak casks for a light, bright natural colour which delivers sweet flavours of heather peat, nutmeg and vanilla.

Jason R. Craig, Brand Director, Highland Park, commented:“In both ‘THE LIGHT’ and ‘THE DARK’, we share the story of the noble Viking warriors who are our ancestors, of our contrasting island seasons and of the intense balance of our whisky. Our award-winning whiskies deliver flavours of smoky sweetness that’s the product of our climate and our craftsmanship –our own continuous cycle.”

Presented in a pale green bespoke glass;the decoration on the bottle and oak cradle of ‘THE LIGHT’ perfectly complements that of ‘THE DARK’ –the serpent dragon embossed on the front takes its inspiration from Viking stories. ‘THE DARK’ ‘THE LIGHT’are written in runic writing on the serpent dragon’s tail emboss itself and on the oak cradle -celebrating the islands’Viking ancestry. The back of the glass bottle has ‘Made with Pride on Orkney’embossed –a genuine heart-felt tribute to the men and women who create Highland Park single malt.

In ‘THE LIGHT’, we celebrate spring and summer –a time to emerge from our winter hibernation, ready to embrace the warm, bright days of summer. It’s a time to be with friends and family, a time for new places and new faces, for barbecues and fires on the beach, a time for celebrating life. –

Notes to editors:

1. Highland Park ‘THE LIGHT’ completes the series of two expressions and complements Highland Park THE DARK’‘in early 2018 –both are special editions of 28,000 bottles at an ABV of 52.9% and both have a RSP of £190.. 700ml and 750 ml depending on country.

2. HIGHLAND PARK THE LIGHT-TASTING NOTES Natural Cask Driven Colour (no additives):Light golden (colour tint 7.2) Flavours: Caramelised pear| Nutmeg | Vanilla | Cedar wood| Oak| Light peat smoke

Article source:

Tamdhu Batch Strength 003 Scoops Double Gold – Scotch Whisky News

Tamdhu Logo 2015

Tamdhu Batch Strength 003 Scoops Double Gold 

Tamdhu Batch Strength 003 has been rewarded for its exceptional quality with gold medals from both the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

Launched this year in February, Batch Strength 003, bottled at 58.3%, is the third edition in Tamdhu’s award-winning Batch Strength Series.  Each batch in the series is distinctive, differs slightly in style and strength and is bottled un-chillfiltered.

The prestigious SFWSC and ISC competitions are considered two of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world, renowned for their integrity and impartiality.

The stringent judging processes for both competitions saw Tamdhu Batch Strength 003 blind tasted by an esteemed panels of industry judges.   The SFWSC gold medal is awarded to products deemed ‘exceptional’ and a medal from the ISC is ‘an outstanding achievement that underlines a producer’s commitment to quality and innovation’.

Commenting on the Gold awards for Batch Strength 003, Iain Weir Brand Director for Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky said:

“To receive a gold medal from two of the most highly respected spirit competitions in the world is a wonderful testament to the quality of Batch Strength 003.

It is an exceptional single malt with a natural colour, complex richness, deep intensity and long finish, 100% matured in hand-selected sherry oak casks. Congratulations must really go to the team at Tamdhu Distillery. Once again they have worked their magic to create a gold winner for the Tamdhu Batch Strength Series.”


Tasting Notes Batch Strength 003:

Nose:  Vanilla, winter berries and freshly-shelled nuts – with aged oak and warming spices.

Palate:  Sherry oak at first, then dried fruit and warming spice. A drop of water reveals fresh citrus zest and rich apricot.

Finish: Freshly baked fruitcake with orange peel, complex and malty, long after the first sip.

Tamdhu Batch Strength 001 was named Speyside Single Malt of the Year at the 22nd Annual Whisky Advocate Awards in December 2015. Further awards have included a Double Gold Medal for Batch Strength 001 and 002 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016/2017, a Gold at the International Spirits Competition 2017 for Batch 002 as well as winning in the Non-Age Statement category at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards last year also.

Tamdhu is owned by one of Scotland’s leading, independent family-owned distillers, Ian Macleod Distillers and was born on the banks of the River Spey in 1897. Its quality is defined by the hint of peat in its malted barley, the natural Speyside water that is drawn directly from the Tamdhu spring and most importantly the 100% exclusive use of only the finest sherry oak casks for the richest taste and deep natural colour.

Article source:

1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

KL Bowmore

1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($149.99)

Another classic 20 year old Bowmore beauty from our friends at Old Particular has landed to make 2018 another banner year for our whisky import program. This 52.7% ABV stunner packs a healthy dollop of smoke along with tropical fruits and notes of citrus with plenty of length through the finish. The peat isn’t nearly as pronounced in this expression as it was in the previous edition, so fans of Talisker or other mildly peated malts might want to take a look at this one. The finish is sweetly smoked with a coastal sea air element, notes of vanilla, and lots of spice. It’s hard to go wrong with classic Bowmore at full proof, especially at this age.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: April 18, 2018

If I had to pick one distillery to drink for the rest of my life, Bowmore would definitely be in the running. They do some solid and safe stuff at the distillery, but where it truly shines are the single casks. I’m not sure why we’ve had such incredible luck with this distillery, but we’ve literally purchased every casks we’ve tasted distilled in the last several years (save the 1971 at Signatory, but only because it was $1000+ a bottle). While there was a weird period at the distillery from the early 80s to the mid 90s, they seem to have cycled through those casks and we’re not seeing the perfumed weird stuff any longer. What we have seen has been so delicious and diverse I just never get tired of them. Even more impressive is that we’re able to get old Islay whisky from a blue chip distillery and not charge $300 a bottle! Even though we’ve done two others this year already this cask was so different and absolutely delectable we couldn’t resist it. You may think you have enough Bowmore, but you’re wrong. It opens with a classic Bowmore nose, medium intensity peat, sea spray, wet earth, bright citrus fruit and herbs. Crystalline and absolute purity on the palate with the sweet tropical fruit, citrus peel and smoke working together in gorgeous harmony. The first whisky for Springtime! I like this better than the last cask by a few ticks and with a drop of water it’s one of the more inviting Bowmore we’ve ever bottled.

Alex Schroeder | KL Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

I havent been so excited about single barrel Islay since our last Bowmore, and this is every bit as good as that was! It is creamy and delicate on the nose, with notes of orange marmalade and just a hint of peat. On the palate, its incredibly velvety and smooth, with fresh notes of tropical fruit, a creamy malt texture and an underlying peat that is robust without being invasive perfect integration. This is the best deal in scotch we have, so it certainly wont last long.

David Driscoll | KL Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2018

This 20 year old Bowmore is more like an edition of the Compass Box Flaming Heart than a concentrated single cask expression. It’s so balanced with mild peatiness and plenty of sweet vanilla to add richness on the finish. Fans of more gentle Islay flavors will go gaga for this as everything is in perfect harmony here, even at 52.7%. Add this to your bar at your own peril: it’s too delicious to sip slowly.


Article source:

Ardmore 2008 (Asta Morris)

More peat! One of the latest (whisky) releases from Asta Morris: single cask Ardmore 2008.



Ardmore 2008 - Asta MorrisArdmore 2008 - Asta MorrisArdmore 8 yo 2008 (53%, Asta Morris 2017, bourbon cask, 268 btl.)

Nose: spot on. A dry layer with charcoal dust and bonfire smoke, as well as wet leaves, hints of paint, but also plenty of apple sweetness and lemon candy. Just a little vanilla and some floral touches. Mouth: oily texture, quite a bit more powerful and sharper, with intense, almost ‘industrial’ peat, smoked oranges, lemon peel and light resinous notes. There’s a raw mezcal-like edge to it which works well in this context. Hints of candied ginger, grassy notes. Herbal touches too (aniseed). Finish: quite long, with a peppery heat, herbs and leafy  peat.

Young, without pretention, but rewarding nonetheless with an above average complexity. Very interesting bottle for peatheads. Around € 55, great value.

Score: 86/100

Article source:

Croftengea 2008 – exclusive to The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News


Croftengea 2008 – exclusive to The Whisky Exchange

Announcing our latest Whisky Exchange exclusive – a rare chance to try one of Loch Lomond’s wide range of single malts that don’t usually see the light of day as single malts. Introducing our brand new Croftengea 2008.

Croftengea 2008, 9 Years Old, 54.8% ABV

Here’s what I thought of it:

Nose: Chocolate, liquorice and candied lemon start proceedings, with a rich background of earthy peat smoke. A sharp stewed apple fruitiness dominates the centre, dusted with sugar and drizzled with warm tar and TCP.

Palate: Rich smoke rolls around the mouth: a bonfire of burning peats, tarred planks, liquorice root, cocoa nibs and a handful of damp bracken. Sweetness hides behind: soft liquorice, more chocolate, minty hints, lemon Lockets and a touch of drinking chocolate. A drop of water opens everything up beautifully.

Finish: Salty caramel and burning leaves fade to leave ash and lemons. The citrus lingers for ages, with smoky tar and oak hanging around in the wings.

Comment: A big smoky dram, with a rich and chocolatey core run through with sweet smoke and occasional flashes of seasidey island character, despite not being from an island…hints of Lagavulin, maybe?

What is Croftengea?

Loch Lomond is one of the distilleries that excites me the most in Scotland at the moment. I’m a colossal whisky geek and Loch Lomond does more weird and wonderful geeky things within its walls than anyone else in Scotland. With four types of still, 14 styles of whisky – 13 malt and one grain – and a healthy program of experimentation, the distillery has stacks of interesting whisky hiding in its warehouses.


Some of the stills at Loch Lomond – straight- and swan-necked pots

Learn more about Loch Lomond’s malt whisky here on The Whisky Exchange blog – Thirteen styles of whisky, one whisky distillery.

Last year, we worked with Loch Lomond to release a Whisky-Exchange-exclusive single-cask bottling of Inchmurrin 2001. It’s the style of whisky that made me re-evaluate Loch Lomond when they relaunched a few years back: packed with orchard and tropical-fruit flavour, Inchmurrin is now a staple of my whisky cabinet. But our next Loch Lomond project has been waiting in the wings until now.

Croftengea is the name the distillery gives to its smokiest spirit. Peated to 40ppm and distilled using the same straight-neck pot stills as Inchmurrin, it’s got the intense peat smoke you’d expect as well as loads of fruit. We selected a 2008 vintage single cask and have been keeping an eye on it over the past year. We tried a sample in March and realised it was time to get it bottled and out into the world – it is now available on our website.

This exclusive Croftengea 2008 is now available both online and in our Covent Garden shop. And on that note, we’ll soon have a new shop! Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news of our Fitzrovia shop, opening on Great Portland Street as soon as we finish building it.


Article source: