Ruby is the pinnacle of The Macallan Ruby ~ Secure this jewel of a Macallan now – Scotch Whisky News


Ruby is the pinnacle of The Macallan 1824 Series and we are pleased to tell you that we have a limited quantity available of this hard-to-find liquid.

Designed to showcase and celebrate The Macallan’s commitment to natural colour, Ruby is the most rich and deeply coloured single malt in the series, with glinting hues of red that speak to its intense flavours.

Secure this jewel of a Macallan now.



The Macallan Gold, Amber and Sienna are also now available to purchase from The Macallan Online Shop.


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A Grooves


Ardbeg Day falls on Saturday, 2nd June 2018. This year, the Islay distillery will be rolling back the years to the Ardbeg Village of the late 1960s 

Each year, Ardbeg Day marks the end of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt, Fèis Ìle, with a global celebration of the untamed spirit of Islay. Eagerly anticipated by Ardbeggians and smoky malt whisky enthusiasts the world over, this year will take them back in time for a celebration of all things ‘Peat Love’.

Inspired by the alternative lifestyle and unorthodox spirit of a previous generation, Ardbeg will release this year’s celebratory Limited Edition, Ardbeg Grooves. In his latest experiment, Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks has used re-toasted red wine casks to mature a portion of the whisky. While still sticky with the residue of the wine, these casks were intensely charred to produce heavy grooves into the surface of the wood, a technique that has produced more intense flavours. The result is a whisky aromatic with smoked spices, distant bonfires and chilli-seasoned meats.

Meanwhile, all across the world, Committee Members and lovers of smoky malt will be invited to don their flares, channel some ‘flower power’ and celebrate their passion for the peaty whisky they “dig” above all others.

Distillery Manager Mickey Heads said: “The Ardbeg Village of the 1960s was a very different place – a groovy wee community, with its own post office, billiards hall, two choirs and even a football team. These days the Ardbeg community is a worldwide one, and Ardbeg Day is the best way for us all to come together and raise a dram to the ultimate Islay single malt.”

Ardbeg Day in the UK will play host to a live online tasting, broadcasting to all Ardbeg Embassies nationwide, uniting them in a celebration of Islay’s peatiest malt. The day will also see the launch of Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat Love Campaign, where Ardbeg’s own 1960s inspired VW van will tour the country making stops at a number of leading music festivals, bars and Ardbeg Embassies serving smoky drams to the masses, spreading a taste of Islay’s ‘Peat Love’ and good vibes along the way. More details on Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat Love will be released in the forthcoming weeks.

The Committee release of Ardbeg Peat Love bottled at 51.6% goes on sale at 9am on 14th March 2018, RRP: £89. Committee Members will receive a link to purchase their own special bottle.

Follow Ardbeg on:





Ardbeg Day:

Every year, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music takes place in May or June on Ardbeg’s island home. On the Festival’s final Saturday, Ardbeg Day, the Distillery traditionally throws open its doors to welcome fans from all over the world. In 2012 Ardbeg Day became a global event, enabling the whisky’s passionate international following to take part in a worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg in their own country. Recent Ardbeg Day themes have included the Islay-limpics and the Peat Football World Cup, while in 2015, Ardbeg Day celebrated the single malt’s 200th anniversary by looking forward 200 years to a retro-futuristic version of Islay in 2215.  For 2016, Ardbeg Day became Ardbeg Night, as fans across the globe recalled Islay’s dark past as a smugglers’ haunt. And in 2017, Ardbeg Day plunged deep under the sea for another legendary celebration.

Ardbeg Grooves:

Ardbeg Grooves is a limited-edition bottling created to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2018. It is the Distillery’s first whisky with a heart matured in wine casks that have been intensely charred to carve heavy grooves in the surface of the wood. The result is a whisky with perfect harmony between smouldering, smoky cinnamon and the sweetness of vanilla popcorn, treacle and pear – with an intensity Ardbeg lovers will adore.

Tasting notes:

Ardbeg Grooves is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV. 

Nose: Intense aromas of smoked cinnamon and paprika, antique leather and saddle soap, with classic Ardbeg scents of pine resin, tar and briny sea spray in the background. A distant hint of a fragrant bonfire by the shores of the distillery and, finally, an unusual savoury note, like chilli-seasoned meats. A little splash of water releases some beautiful, unexpected aromas: lavender scented soap, ground white pepper, floral and herbal notes entwined. Fresh flowers mix with coriander leaves and mint.

Taste: A powerfully salty mouthfeel drifts into sweet vibes of treacle toffee, vanilla popcorn, salted fruits with soot and tar. Again, those distinctive savoury notes of smoky BBQ, paprika and mustard spice, fading into an unexpected haze of smoked pears and apples, almost like pear cider. 

Finish: Smoked paprika and bonfires with a mellow sweetness throughout.


Ardbeg is The Ultimate Islay Single Malt Whisky. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by whisky lovers around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most intense of all the Islay malts.  Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until it was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.  

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee.  The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers in 130 countries worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.  Committee members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings. Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at


Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions. Ardbeg was voted ‘World Whisky of the Year’ twice by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (2008, 2009) and has twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013). At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’. The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100. Meanwhile, both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2017 Ardbeg Kelpie, released to celebrate Ardbeg Day, was named Whisky of the Year International Whisky Competition.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt whisky and Ardbeg Islay Single Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

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Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #717 – Scotch Whisky News

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #717 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy finds a beefy-sherry bomb in Ralfy Review 717 Ben Nevis 14yo Single Cask @ 46%vol (2007)

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The Whisky Exchange “Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon” – Irish Whiskey News


Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

Irish whiskey is booming. For a long time it has been seen as Scotch whisky’s less-popular sibling, but the past few years have seen it explode in popularity. The biggest driver is Jameson, a blended Irish whiskey, but also growing is a style of whiskey not found anywhere else: pot still whiskey.

Pot still: isn’t that what you use to make malt whiskey?

First off, the terminology is confusing. In Ireland, along with blended, grain and malt whiskey, you also have pot still whiskey. Distillers make malt whiskey in a pot still, but it’s not pot still whiskey. Confused yet?

A pot still used to make pot still whiskey. It’s deliberately confusing

The difference between pot still and malt whiskey is the ingredients: pot still uses both malted and unmalted barley.

On top of that, all pot still whiskey you can currently find is single pot still whiskey. The ‘single’ just means that it’s made at one distillery.


The history

In classic fashion, the development of pot still as a style of whiskey comes from taxation. Back in the 1700s, the government started taxing malt. Enterprising distillers, keen to save money, replaced some of the now-expensive malt with cheaper, unmalted grain. The result was pot still whiskey.

Barley, happily malting away with no interference from the tax man

Historically, distillers also threw in oats, rye and wheat as well as barley. The legal definition of pot still allows up to 5% other grains, but it’s rare to see them used these days.

How is it made?

It’s made in almost exactly the same way as malt whiskey. The main difference is that the grain used is a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

As usual, the distillers mill the grain and steep it in hot water. They then strain off the sugary liquid, add yeast and leave the mixture to ferment.

The resulting boozy liquid – wash – is then distilled.


Triple distillation

As is traditional in Ireland, all the distilleries currently producing pot still whiskey triple-distil their spirit.

The three stills at Slane distillery – wash, intermediate and spirit

Triple distillation is talked about a lot in whisk(e)y circles, and there are a few myths to be busted:

  • there are several distilleries in Scotland that triple distil – it’s not only an Irish thing
  • triple distillation does not necessarily lead to a high-strength, low-flavour spirit.

The latter point is especially interesting. Each distillation typically increases the purity of the spirit – it removes flavour. However, pot stills are inefficient beasts, and that inefficiency gives the distiller options. They can emphasise and quieten flavours in the final distillate: the third distillation is a polishing of the spirit.

This is especially true of pot still whiskey, where the unmalted barley adds in large amounts of flavour. The spirit needs sculpting to create the fruit, grass, grain and spice character that the distiller and drinker expect.

How does it taste?

Only Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery has pot still whiskey on the market, but expect to see more appearing soon. Ireland has loads of new distilleries and many of them are planning on making pot still whiskey, if they aren’t already.

For now, the two classics of pot still are Green Spot and Redbreast.

Green Spot focuses on bourbon-cask maturation, giving a very clean insight into pot-still character. Redbreast is all about the sherry casks, adding in layers of spice and dried fruit.


Redbreast 12 Year Old

Nose: Rich spiced fruit, hints of orgeat sweetness, toast with generic red jam and creamy porridge with brown sugar.

Palate: Softer and creamier than the nose suggests. Spiced sponge cake packed with dried fruit and smothered with soft, buttery icing.

Finish: More cream and fruit, fading into dark and spicy wood.

Comment: This is the ‘entry level’ whisky in the Irish Distillers Single Pot Still range? An excellent whiskey.


Green Spot

Nose: Big green apple notes, candle wax, olive oil and some raisiny sweetness with a bit of cereal hiding underneath.

Palate: Soft and creamy apple – baby-food apple purée? Fresh and piney edges with green rhubarb and tropical fruit squash.

Finish: A big hit of both real apple and apple chews, slowly fading to leave sweet grain.

Comment: A very different whiskey to the Redbreasts – very fresh and green, but with a heavy oiliness as well. My favourite of the range.

Redbreast was the whiskey that made me fall in love with Irish spirit, and Green Spot was the one that kept me hooked. With new distilleries now getting into the pot still game, we can expect lots more to try in the future. I look forward to trying them.

You can find a wide range of Irish whiskey, including lots of pot still, over on our website.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

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Whisky Wednesday – Method in Madness Single Grain – Irish Whiskey News


Whisky Wednesday – Method in Madness Single Grain

Making whisky fun and experimental is one of the true benefits of being in an industry with such creative people doing the rounds. This part of trilogy from Midleton has really caught my attention in every conceivably brilliant way. Method in Madness is a 46% Single Grain whisky, aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished in Spanish Virgin Oak….what? Spanish VO is something I’ve never come across before and given the amount of whisky I’ve tried up until this point, i’m annoyed that nobody else has done it before, this is wonderful whisky! Innovative and classic at the same time with design and craftsmanship that can rival any big brand in any sector of whisky. Thrilled to own it! Cheers.

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Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2008 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2008

Single cask bourbon barrel bottled January 2018 by Gordon MacPhail for the Cask Strength series. Rich peat smoke, ripe banana, nectarine and pear flavours. Vanilla aromas lead to green app;es and citrus. The palate is peppery with ripe banana, nectarine and pear flavours. Rich peat smoke on the finish.  Caol Ila Distillery is famous for the stunning view from its still house windows looking out across the Sound of Islay and for the objects which have passed by including naval battleships, submarines and whales. Caol Ila was established in 1846 by Hector Henderson on a sheltered but rocky stretch of coast on north east Islay. Now the largest malt whiskey distillery on Islay it produces peated and some un-peated malt whiskey with the distillery range including Caol Ila 12 year old and the Distiller’s Edition. Caol Ila participates in Feis Ile, the annual Islay Festival of Malt and Music.

Buy – £49.61


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New & Exclusive: The Jura Signature Range from The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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New Exclusive

Last week the Isle of Jura Distillery launched their new signature range, and while they won’t be on wide release until April, you can be one of the first to taste three brand new expressions, exclusively available at The Whisky Shop now!

We’ve partenered with Jura to make sure our customers get the chance to experience the brand new 12 year old, 18 year old and Seven Wood, before anyone else. So for the month of March, you’ll only find these expressions at The Whisky Shop. Order online today for next day UK delivery and enjoy bold new flavours from a distillery that is a long way from ordinary!

Jura Seven Wood


The remarkable ingenuity that defines the people of Jura; an ability to reimagine and reinvent has brought to life this complex single malt, crafted with a combination of seven cask types: American white oak ex-bourbon, Vosges, Jupilles, Les Bertranges, Allier, Tronçais, and Limousin barrels.

The nose opens with light peach and a hint of smoke. The palate is balanced with a great depth of flavour; notes of liquorice and candied orange emerge before a subtle smoke descends in the finish.

£59 Buy Now

Jura 12 Year Old


Reassuringly rich with a smoky sherry sweetness, this whisky has been matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in aged Oloroso sherry casks to give a rich, rounded and perfectly balanced taste.

The nose has a refined combination of delicious tropical fruit aromas. The palate opens with chocolate, walnut and citrus fruit, followed by coffee, liquorice, salted bananas and brown sugar, with a whisper of smoke emerging on the finish.

£45 Buy Now

Jura 18 Year Old


The oldest expression in the new signature range from Jura. Matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and enriched by Premier Grand Cru Classé red wine barriques, the 18 year old is bottled at 44% abv.

The nose has sweet toffee and cinnamon spice. The palate is rich and full-bodied with Black Forest fruits and some smoky notes, before a bitter chocolate aspect and fresh espresso in the finish.

£75 Buy Now


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Milk Honey Distillery – Israel’s first whisky distillery

is launching a second edition of its single malt whisky Experimental Series

After making history on International Whisky Day 2017 with the first single malt whisky in Israel, the Milk Honey Distillery will launch a second edition of single malt whisky at “Whisky Live 2018 “

After making history in 2017 with the first  ever single malt whisky in Israel, sold at a particularly successful international public auction, Milk Honey Distillery is launching an exclusive second edition of lightly peated  single charred barrel.

Similar to the first single malt whisky, this cask is also part of the Experimental Series, distilled in the early stages of setting up the distillery – before establishing the distillery in south Tel Aviv and acquiring the current industrial equipment, and before crowd-funding through Indiegogo. This cask was distilled during April 2014.

Distillation of the cask was carried out in a small pot still in a warehouse in the Sharon region by head  distiller Tomer Goren, accompanied by the late Dr. Jim Swan, an international master distiller, in his role as consultant to the distillery at the time. This was a period of experimentation for Dr. Swan and Tomer Goren, using various interesting raw materials, and in this special cask they first experimented with peated malt, which was crafted in house and gave the  distillate light smoky notes.

The liquid was aged and matured over 43 months in two types of barrel – first in a new 225 liter American oak cask, and then, after 28 months, it was transferred to an ex-bourbon cask for the remainder of the period in the distillation warehouse in Tel Aviv, and bottled at the optimal time.

This series is a harbinger of what is to come: a unique Israeli whisky, mature for its age thanks to aging in Israel’s hot climate.

The Milk Honey Distillery products, including the single malt, are distributed and marketed exclusively by Hacarem Spirits Ltd., and sold at hundreds of points of sale across Israel. The second edition of single malt whisky can be tasted and purchased for the first time at ” Whisky Live 2018″ event. Afterwards the new single malt will be available at specialized stores around the country. 

Tasting impressions

Nose – a delicate maltiness with a hint of lemon in the background, combined with light oak notes and cinnamon, all enveloped in light  peat smoke  appearing in the background.

palate – light-bodied with a malty sweetness, lemon and orange peel notes followed  by a light tang of black pepper and delicate peat smoke. These combine to make a whisky that is both balanced and complex.

Finish – long. Delicate peat dominates the finish, with a hint of maltiness in the background and dark chocolate notes.

General – a balanced and complex whisky. The combination of delicate maltiness and light  peat that creates an interesting whisky that develops as you drink.

Price: Edition 2 Single Malt Whisky 500 ml NIS 449 

About the distillery

The Milk Honey Distillery is the first and largest whisky distillery in Israel. The distillery produces superior spirits, and is working on an Israeli single malt whisky to be marketed commercially, whose first edition, the Founders Edition, sold out in a successful crowd-funding campaign, is aging in barrels and will see the light in 2019. All the raw materials, equipment, barrels, and processes have been chosen with the aim of ensuring that the final product – whether clear spirit or aged whisky – meets the most stringent standards of quality and taste, without making compromises or cutting corners on the long journey to produce the whisky: guidance and advice from the late Jim Swan, a world-renowned master distiller specializing in hot climate aging; specially designed equipment; carefully selected barrels; and the best raw materials available.

The Milk Honey Distillery

16 HaTehiya St., Tel Aviv – 03-6320491

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Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy 26 Years

Bowmore Vintner's Trilogy

Bowmore Vintner's Trilogy

This Bowmore 26 Years is part of the Vintner’s Trilogy, a series of three wine finished single malts. We already had the Bowmore 18 Years Manzanilla before and it turned out to be rather excellent.

This 26 year-old expression was matured for 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then given a second maturation (another 13 years) in French oak wine barriques – something that I usually approach with caution.



Bowmore 26 Years Vintner's Trilogy - French oakBowmore 26 Years Vintner's Trilogy - French oakBowmore 26 yo ‘French oak barrique’ (48,7%, OB ‘Vintner’s Trilogy’ 2017, wine matured)

Nose: starts on a slightly farmy (yes!) peat, with hints of sheep stables. Love that. Some oily notes and menthol. Then there’s blackberry jam, blueberry muffins, Black Forest gateau and dark chocolate. Wait a bit longer and you’re in for tropical fruits (barbecued pineapple). Hints of roasted coffee beans as well. Mouth: same feeling of gentle peat smoke with dark fruits (blackberry, black cherries) as well as (now more discrete) hints of sweet mango and pineapple. Lots of raisins and chocolate with a pinch of salt. Gentle herbs too. It’s a little more winey / oaky but few tannins. Finish: long, on sweet peat, chocolate and traces of oak.

Expensive, but quite a special dram. Nice peat, subtle farmy notes and tropical fruits as well. Again not too winey, just excellent. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange among others.

Score: 91/100

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deVine Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop March 24th, 2018 – Canadian Whisky News

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Groundbreaking deVine Whisky Workshop Shares

Canadian Expertise

2018 (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver Island’s deVine Wines Spirits will host a special workshop on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Held in conjunction with the American Distilling Institute (ADI), the “Alt Whisky” event will be the first of its kind sponsored by ADI outside the US.

Held at deVine’s distillery in Bentwood Bay, the day-long workshop will include both traditional Single Malt Whisky and “Alt Whisky,” a term that describes modern, New World spirits made using alternative grains and techniques. The workshop will offer an informative, hands-on mix of instruction and enjoyment designed to appeal to both novice and expert Whisky lovers. deVine’s Master Distiller, Ken Winchester, will teach attendees about the science of distilling, as well as how to operate a still, fix a pump, and mill grains such as barley, spelt, emmer, and einkorn. The event also includes guest speakers, lunch, and a guided tasting of whiskies from around the world.

Ken Winchester, Master Distiller at deVine, studied at the University of California and apprenticed at Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland. He’s the creator of deVine’s award-winning Vin Gin, Glen Saanich Single Malt, Ancient Grains Whisky, and Honey Shine Rum.


The cost for the workshop is $300; guests can register here

deVine Wines Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop

Saturday, March 24 2018 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

6181B Old West Saanich Road Brentwood Bay, BC

About deVine Winery and Distillery: Family owned and operated, deVine is dedicated to showing what’s possible when you have a commitment to the local place and people, and a willingness to experiment. Located on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula, the 25-acre organic farm and vineyard grows grapes for wine, grains for whisky, fruit for brandies, and botanicals for gin and vermouth. The farm also grows fruit trees, keeps bees for honey, and taps its maple trees for syrup. Visitors to the tasting room enjoy deVine’s eclectic portfolio in a stunningly beautiful setting, with sweeping views of the surrounding farmland, Gulf Islands, and snowcapped Mt. Baker.


Follow deVine on Social Media:
• Facebook
• Instagram
• Twitter

About the American Distilling Institute (ADI): Founded in 2003, the ADI is the largest and oldest organization of small-batch, independently owned distillers in the United States. Its goal is to promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling through programs of economic development, academic research, and education. With over 1,000 current members, the ADI generates greater public awareness and appreciation for the quality and variety of artisan spirits.

Suggested Tweet: Groundbreaking “Alt Whisky” seminar March 24th @devinevineyards @Distilling

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