Diageo trials new Scotch Whisky tasting experience using voice technology – Scotch Whisky News

Upon asking Alexa to open ‘Talisker tasting’ consumers will be prompted to name the whisky they would like to explore; Talisker Skye, Talisker Storm or Talisker 10-year-old Single Malt. The selection of a whisky will kick-start an audio journey to educate them on how to taste Scotch and get to know the richness and complexity of flavours within the Talisker range. The final stage invites the taster to ask questions about the story behind their drink or flavours of Scotch they may like to try in the future.

Commenting on the launch, Benjamin Lickfett, Head of Technology and Innovation at Diageo said:

“Talisker is a brand with an extremely rich heritage, produced by the sea on the Isle of Skye. When approaching this project, we were looking to bring elements of this location and the fantastic tasting tours at the Talisker Distillery into people’s homes.”

“Voice is the perfect technology to do just this and provide an enhanced brand experience by putting the consumer, product and brand at the centre of a tasting, in a completely seamless and non-intrusive way.”

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/01/diageo-trials-new-scotch-whisky-tasting-experience-using-voice-technology-scotch-whisky-news/

Off-the-Beaten-Path Single Malt Exclusives—Auchroisk and Balmenach at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


Special Single Malt Finds You Won’t Want to Miss

While Auchroisk and Balmenach might not be the most familiar names in Scotch, that certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t producing world-class bottlings. Quite to the contrary, they are quietly producing some of the most compelling bottlings in the market. When we originally tasted this pair in Scotland, we were immediately struck by how perfectly composed they were. These are real sleepers that more than deserve their place in the spotlight. The Auchroisk is the perfect pick for those who like their single malts heavy and rich. A Speysider through and through, it is both tropical and spicy with impeccable balance. It’s little wonder this distillery has earned such a devoted cult following. The Balmenach is every bit as compelling, serving up a heady, complex, and wild ride. Malty and rich, but not without its subtle moments, it is sure to become an instant favorite for many. Both are unbelievable values, selling for a fraction of what you’d expect given their pedigree. If you are looking to expand your whisky-drinking horizons, these are well worth the visit.


2006 Balmenach 11 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($54.99)

The Balmenach Distillery is one of Speyside’s oldest. Originally licensed to James McGregor in 1824, it was likely running illicitly for years before. The distillery sits hidden behind Lethendry hill right on the banks of the river Spey outside the town of Cromdale. The distillery has changed hands many times over the last two centuries and was mothballed on occasion as well. In 1997, the distillery was sold to its current owners, Inver House, which also sells the Balblair, Old Pultney, Knockdhu, and Speyburn whiskies. All of those brands have taken center stage over the last decade or so, while the distillery in Cromdale remains more or less unknown to the outside world. Save for a few old Flora Fauna official bottlings, the Balmenach name is not really marketed, and the distillery produces primarily for blending. While the distillery isn’t particularly architectural, the stark white buildings on the green landscape can be quite beautiful. Equally beautiful is the fine spirit coming out of the six pot stills on site. The distillery continues to use worm tubs to condense their spirit, while the relatively tall thin necks of the still provide elegance to the spirit. The resulting whisky is full of rich maltiness and peppery spice. If you love the malt-driven Speyside style then this Balmenach is a must try at this price. Whisky snobs will probably snort at the unknown here, but the adventurous will be roundly rewarded for trying something new. At this price, you can afford to risk it!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2018

This gnarly little Balmenach is the first from the distillery we’ve ever bottled. The odd, little-hidden distillery is the unsung hero the year—no one seems to be familiar with it, but everyone who tries it understands why we bought it. After the initial funky whiffs blow off, the whisky opens to an inviting array of malty flavors, grainy and fresh, it takes a drop of water to tease the exceptional nuance of this awesome cask. With water, it delivers marmalade on warm biscuits, freshly picked pears, and then, leaves with digestive cookies and tea. Like a baby’s bum, it is really smooth and soft.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2018

This is from a distillery that we don’t get to see often as a single-malt bottling. In many ways, it is a very pretty whiskey. The nose is really nice with sweet honey and spice aromas. In the mouth, the sweetness continues but is balanced out with a pleasantly dry finish. With water, it opens up and becomes more complex with honey nuances and a dry finish.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2018

Both upon first tasting this in Scotland, and again once the cask arrived, the very first thing to pop into my head when nosing the glass is sake. It’s a bit unusual for a whisky to remind me of one of Japan’s other great exports, but there is a magical umami savor in the nose of this whisky, coupled with a delicate fruitiness that I can’t shake as reminiscent of one of the finest Junmai sakes I’ve ever tasted. Moving into the more traditional realm of baked fruit pies and coarse brown sugar in the raw, this whisky also has a gentle and sweet side to it. Baking spices on the back end of the palate coupled with a surprisingly lengthy and dry finish, make this 11 year old from an obscure distillery a secret winner in our extensive lineup of new casks. It is infinitely more complex than you’d expect such a young whisky to be.


1996 Auchroisk 21 Year Old “Hepburn’s Choice” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)

Let’s get the hardest part out of the way – It’s pronounced “Ah-thrusk.” This non-peated nutty and spicy malt is the result of hot and fast whisky making. A quick mash of the malt, a short fermentation period, and a rapid boil in the wash still leave this whisky heavy and rich. It is a style that makes it a cult favorite for drinkers and blender’s alike. Located just south of the Burn of Mulben and east of the River Spey, Auchroisk was originally built to supply JB with malt for their famous blend. There have been distillery bottlings since 1986, but it is more common to see this gem of a distillery bottled as single casks from independent bottlers. Happily, we work with the best independent bottlers to find the best casks, and this one really shines. The roasted character from the hot production has mellowed over 21 years into a rich and complex blend of honeyed granola and roasted chestnuts. Perfect for a cold winter’s night by the fire.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2018

Part of the problem with bringing in forty casks at once is that several of our bottlings fall under the radar. In general, were ok with that because once people make it around to tasting the sleepers they begin to realize the incredible diversity of the whiskies that we have to offer. Auchroisk is a good name that almost no one knows. We powered through the last of the limited release this year, which the distillery couldn’t sell at the MSRP of $400, but our customers demolished at $250. Now, we’re offering a similarly aged product from this excellent distillery for only $90, and no one seems to have noticed. Their loss is your gain! This magnificent example of one of the quintessential Speyside flavor profiles is firing on all cylinders. The big nose of cake frosting and oak spice reminds me very much of the 25 year old, but with more purity. The palate is pointed and peppery, until you add the requisite dash of water. Then the nose pops with an opulent mineral quality, something like a northern Rhône white (but not like floral Viognier). The palate is now absolutely overflowing with flavor. Citrus peel, candied apples, malted cocoa, tropical fruit salad—it’s an absolute stunner. When people finally get around to this little whisky, they’ll be kicking themselves they didn’t notice it sooner. And this PRICE, I mean COME ON!

Joe Manekin | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2018

This is an example of a cask-strength whisky that is surprisingly supple, balanced, rich and showy— just a complete tasting single malt before any water is added. In fact, I don’t think you need to play around with water on this one, it simply tastes great and gives so much right out of the gate. Soft and with a hint tropical notes, it also offers suggestions of Manila mango on the nose. This is an easy-to-drink, delicious single malt for under $90.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2018

Of the many casks we brought in this year in the sub-$100 range, I think this is my favorite of the no-peat variety. (And not just because it’s the one currently in my glass.) The weight and texture of this malt is gorgeous. It’s perfect without water, being full and nutty. Dominated by golden cereal grain and toasted nuts. The color says bourbon barrel, but the inherent character of the malt makes it feel like it’s seen a short finish in a sherry butt. There is a great spice cake and fresh Dutch crunch roll/brioche note that I almost always associate with sherried whisky. The finish is super clean and lengthy. For me, this is pure enjoyment in a bottle.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2018

Another hidden treasure from the world of single malts. The nose has honey and wax aromas, but comes across clean and fresh. In the mouth, the entry is sweet with pure and delicate flavors. With water, the nose really opens up with floral notes coming up and, in the mouth, dry flavors balance out the flavor profile. There are no smoke aromas or flavors. A fantastic bargain for single malt lovers.


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/01/off-the-beaten-path-single-malt-exclusives-auchroisk-and-balmenach-at-kl-california-scotch-whisky-news/

Sherry Bomb Stay Very Calm—Craigellachie 22 Year Old at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


A Sublime Craigellachie You Don’t Want to Miss

1995 Craigellachie 22 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)
“I pray every year for more casks just like this one, but they’re not easy to find. Profit while you can.”
—David Othenin-Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer

For those who crave rich and unctuous sherry-matured malts in the style of Macallan, Glenfarclas, and Glendronach, but for a fraction of the price, Craigellachie is the perfect pick. After their prized 31-year edition earned the title of “Best Single Malt in the World” from Whisky Magazine back in 2017, interest in the once little-known Speyside distillery exploded. While prices have crept up modestly since this high honor was bestowed, Craigellachie remains one of the greatest values in Scotch. Featured here is their stunning 22 Year Old “Old Particular” bottling—a Scotch that every bit lives up to the sterling reputation of this fine distillery. Multi-dimensional, engaging, and supremely satisfying, this 22 Year Old is as delicious as it is compelling. There is quite simply not another Scotch on the market that offers so much for such a modest price. A mere 243 bottles were made, so there isn’t a lot to go around, and based on how quickly last year’s 21 Year Old version sold, this Craigellachie won’t be around for long.

1995 Craigellachie 22 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)

We’ve been absolutely obsessed with Craigellachie this season. Few distillers offer as much value as this understated and underappreciated distillery. Situated just across the River Spey from the region’s most famous sherried single malt, Craigellachie has been dutifully chugging away without much fanfare for more than a century. If you pull off the A95 on the way to Dufftown, just moments before the turn off for the Highlander Inn, you’ll pass right by the big signs for John Dewar Sons. The slightly modern stillhouse is deceiving, as Craigellachie is one of the Speyside’s most old-school malts in terms of flavor. The bold complex spirit is particularly well suited for a few decades-long journey in a quality sherry butt. The combination gives the savory spirit the perfect frame, allowing the alluring flavors that complement each other perfectly. This might be the most complex whisky in the shop in any category or price range. Expect a dense bouquet of old growth pine forests, leather bound library books, all situated around some deep complex nearly indescribable minerality. Waxy bold spiced fruit, warm dates and endless notes of mint and chocolate contrast the very savory nose. Undeniably one of the malts of the season and certain to be many aficionados’ favorite of the year. Gift this confidentially to even the most jaded or expert drinker and you can be certain that they’ll be enamored by its distinctive character, a style that’s nearly extinct in Scotland today.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2018

This one is just too obvious. It’s too dark, rich, and packed full of powerful sherry to warrant me hyping it up here. You know the drill. Insane price? Check. Unprecedented quality? Check. Nothing on the market like it at this price point ANYWHERE? Check and check. It’s so true it hurts. Craigellachie and sherry is a match made in heaven. Expect top-of-the-line quality here; only those specifically averse to sherry will turn their nose up. Big nutty, rich rancio, sweet freshly tanned hide, roasted coffee beans, and fudge all balanced by the intense minty spirit of Craigellachie. The competition would have no qualms about asking twice the price considering the quality and age, but that’s just not how we roll. I pray every year for more casks just like this one, but they’re not easy to find. Profit while you can.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2018

A wondrous malt. With time, the young and meaty quality of Craigellachie turns to richness and with the removal of this cloak of youth so too comes an incredibly fruity array of flavors. While the power of young Craigellachie is decidedly appealing in its own right, the more mature spirit is the adoration of whisky fans all over the world for easy richness. This 22 year old is a perfect example. From a refilled sherry butt the first thing that will strike you is just how dark this whisky is. The market square in Marrakesh comes to mind; laden with desert fruits, each stall a colorful, scent-filled, tasteful example of the hidden bounty to be found in a seemingly barren landscape if you have the patience to look for it. Dried dates and saddle leather mingle with nuts and coffee. A little water tames the darker nature in spirit and a more familiar array of fruits and florals appear. Jasmine and peaches linger on the finish in a rich and spiced chocolate sauce. At a mere 120 bucks, this has a serious claim to best value in the current lot of malts. Just compare it to the 23 year distillery bottling at $250!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 10, 2018

This single malt bottling is a real value. Other single malts that offer this style of whiskey can easily cost much more. It is full bodied and rich with juicy and deep flavors. There is an influence from the sherry barrel aging but it does not dominate and helps give flavor and balance to this offering. There is a nice long finish and it opens up with a splash of water.

Joe Manekin | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2018

Dried fruit aromas combine with gently roasted nuts, leading to a similarly classy Oloroso sherry-influenced profile on the palate. Subtle medicinal hints add to the authenticity of this elegant, sherry butt-aged single malt. Water brings out a touch more brine, and does not detract from the spirit, but certainly is not essential. Very good stuff.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 30, 2018

Wow. The juice in this bottle is so deep and dark that you do a double take at the label to make sure that yes, indeed, there is no color added to this Scotch. You can tell just by looking at it how much impact the sherry barrel is having on the resulting whisky. And yeah, that sherry influence fully comes through on the nose. Very dark fruits, candied orange, brandy cherries, and sultanas combine with notes of hazelnut, almonds, and toasted walnut. The palate keeps those fruit notes and makes them darker with blackberry, currant, and plum all sitting in molasses. As the flavors develop there’s dark chocolate, tobacco, charred oak, and a sudden powerful spice boom at the end. Scrumptious!


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/01/sherry-bomb-stay-very-calm-craigellachie-22-year-old-at-kl-california-scotch-whisky-news/

A Pair of Rare and Unique “Old Particular” & “Old Malt Cask” K&L Exclusives from Isle of Jura and Tobermory – Scotch Whisky News


Hailing from the islands of Mull and Jura, the single malts featured here are off-the-beaten-path finds that perfectly exemplify their own, unique style and approach. If you haven’t delved into the island malts, then you are in for a real treat. First up is the 12 year old from Isle of Jura. While its Jura profile is unmistakable, this bottling has something extra special going on. Delightfully rich and oily, it glides effortlessly from candied fruit flavors to more savory touches and then onto a mélange of exotic spice. At cask strength, there’s ample power, but at no point does this dram come across as overwhelming or unbalanced. Add a drop of water and be prepared for this 12 year old to absolutely sing. Distillers Whyte Mackay produce precious little, so to find a single cask of such quality and character is an absolute thrill.

Also on deck is the superlative Tobermory 22 year old brought to us by “Old Malt Cask.” For those who love their single malt with just a wisp of smoke, this 22 year old is right on the money. Its time in a sherry cask has imparted an enticing spiciness with flavors of ginger, vanilla, and apricot. Behind the spice is a malt base that’s every bit as engaging. It’s a shame that Tobermory is the only distillery on Mull, as clearly there’s something very special about this island. Oh, and did we mention this 22 year old is under $90?! That’s a pretty amazing value for a single malt of this caliber.


2006 Isle of Jura 12 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($64.99)

The Isle of Jura is one of those incredible malts that we almost never see in the wild. Partly that’s because they just don’t make that much whisky. But it does seem that the owners, Whyte Mackay, don’t let go of the stuff very often. Isle of Jura has its following, but the little distillery on the sparsely populated island to the north of Islay isn’t a household name by any means. The island’s 200 inhabitants are vastly outnumbered by a massive population of red deer, who keep the islands vegetation from growing beyond the lowest grasses. The infertile bog land that comprises most of the island give the place an otherworldly feel. The distilleries’ thick still necks create a rich, bold, oily spirit unlike any other in Scotland. They’ve been distilling there since 1810, but the current facility was built in 1963. The distillery bottlings tend to be slightly underwhelming due to the lower proofs, chill filtration and oily profile. But when we see it offered barrel we MUST taste. Sometimes we get lucky and find a true legend like this one. Cask strength, oily, rich, malty Jura in a second fill oloroso sherry butt. Everything about it works. Add the ridiculously reasonable price and you’ve got one of the most exciting whiskies of the year.

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

Isle of Jura is a bit controversial these days. Several customers have already surprised me with their preconception of this odd little distillery. How did such a gorgeous distillery get a reputation across so many disparate drinkers? There is as well the odd customer saying, “Oh, I LOVE Jura,” but the general consensus is that this cask will be eyed with skepticism from some, thanks to some preconceived notion of this malt. Luckily for me, this is the type of cask that can change people’s entire outlook on life. The incredibly oily, rich malt of Jura is perfectly suited for a nice refill sherry butt and without the chill-filtration and low proof of the distillery bottlings, we’ve entered a whole different territory for this wild malt. There’s just so much going on here it’s hard to even begin to describe it. First, the nose is all candied apple, sea spray, roasted malt and hints of speedway. Like having a coffee near an F1 race. The malt is big and the sherry character is not obvious. But with air the complexity really explodes. This one demands a touch of water and some time to breathe because behind those odd flavors is a plethora of complex flavors. Salted fruit, ozone, fennel, oyster shell and camphor. The palate is surprisingly sweet with some nutty sherry starting to sneak in. With more water ocean spray, but not quite briny. Big black pepper, almond butter, Ruger wafers on the palate. With more air, hazelnut spread on rye. A weird wonderful combo, but strangely delicious. This is one of the most unusual and exciting casks we’ve ever bottled, but not at all difficult to love, just in need of some coaxing. And at this price, I’d hope every serious drinker would consider giving the odd little malt a chance and some time to tell its story.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 07, 2018

In my mind the Isle of Jura is one of the dark horses of Scotch. It’s the only distillery on the small island off the west coast of Scotland and in my experience, often gets overlooked. Their distillery offerings have always been a go to for me when recommending a bottle at a lower price point and I often felt they weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Now that we’re able to offer a private barreling of their juice, the word will spread and us Scotch drinkers will be giving the town of 200 a lot more work. More on the savory side of the spectrum, with a nose of brown butter, nutmeg, salted toffee and lemon pith, but I felt like it was constantly changing and daring me to take another whiff. The first sip was a wondrous moment; full bodied and chewy with a sweet caramel note to start, while star anise and Chinese five spice were trailing close behind. The finish was long and tingled the tongue as sweet oak notes slowly faded away.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2018

This has to be one of the most interesting single malts that I have tasted in a while. There is a lot going on and it is absolutely delicious. In the nose there are hints of salt, malt and a kiss of savory. This mixture continues in the mouth with the salt, malt and subtle savory flavors working well in harmony and balance.

Joe Manekin | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2018

I have fond memories of Isla of Jura’s distillery bottled 12 year old single malt, from about 5 or so years ago now. I remember the nicely burnished color, the intense but not over the top sweetness balanced by a subtly savory chewy quality. Our Old Particular bottling delivered on my expectations for this distillery, and then some. Showing a honeyed quality with more persistence and depth of flavor than many other 10-12 year old single malts, there is also an appealing saline quality towards the finish that sets Isle of Jura apart. Tasty and likely to become a go to for many folks. Anticipate what you need now, it won’t likely stick around our inventory much longer.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2018

Bright and fruity! Medium caramel scents mix with syrupy peaches and pears and some orange-y citrus qualities. Further nosing reveals a white pepper spice, cinnamon, and a luscious butteriness. The palate is fruitier initially with peaches and additional citrus. Quickly, though, dusty leather arrives to dry everything out. This fades to an austere yet tingly finish with just the faded memory of those fruits lingering, ending gently with the light leather and some saltiness too.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2018

I absolutely fell in love with Jura on my last trip to Scotland in May. I didn’t travel to the island, although there is a spectacular view of the famous Paps of Jura from the new Ardnahoe distillery on Islay, which we did visit. I did however find myself ordering and drinking Jura in damn near every bar in Glasgow. At first it was just because it was on a happy hour special at a couple of places. Then it quickly grew into a love affair, seeking out odd one off casks in champion whisky bars like The Pot Still. While I found the 10yo, 18yo, and a few NAS to be lovely drams, the lightning really struck me upon my first cask strength taste. When later in the trip we were offered the chance at this cask, after a quick nose, we had to take it. It’s sweet and salty at first blush, like a sliced apple sprinkled with a pinch of finely ground sea salt. Candied oranges and brandied pears find themselves paired perfectly with the dried fruit sweetness of the refilled sherry butt. The palate confirms what the nose knows. It also adds more baking spices, dates, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The final wave of sea salt laps against your palate, a gentle tide splashing your legs on a late summer day at the beach. Such is the beauty of unadulterated, full proof Jura.


1996 Tobermory 22 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” KL Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)

There is only one distillery on the Isle of Mull and while it has a history dating back to the late 1700s, for much of that history, the distillery has been closed. Fortunately for us, in the 1990s the distillery was opened again after its most recent 11 year closure, and has gone back to producing classic island malts. With its small production of less than 1 million liters per year the distillery makes two very different malts today. Tobermory is the namesake malt of the distillery and is generally, although confusingly, not always unpeated. Ledaig is the distillery’s opposite number and is generally, but not always, peated. Here we have a splendid Tobermory with just the faintest hint of smoke wafting through. With the whisky boom today as strong as it has ever been, it seems the Isle of Mull’s distillery has a bright future ahead. If you’re not familiar with Tobermory already, this is the perfect bottle to explore. For 90 bucks you can dive into a 22 year old cask strength bottling, which is an absolute steal compared to the $240 it takes to sample the distillery’s 21 year old official release!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 13, 2018

This awesome cask of Tobermory seems to have gotten lost in the sea of exceptional single casks we’ve just acquired. The new owners of this odd little distillery on the gorgeous Isle of Mull have recently closed the distillery for renovations and won’t likely reopen until sometime in 2020. That means the already expensive whisky could become even more rare. The thing about Tobermory is that it can be a bit inconsistent. When it’s good, it’s an absolute dream. At its worst it’s overly feinty with tons of funky, mashy, fermenty flavors. We were unsure if this whisky aged in a refill sherry butt could possibly be from the right side of Tobermory at this ridiculous price, but we needed to risk it considering the potential opportunity. Turns out this is one of the best Tobermory I’ve ever tasted. Much cleaner than we usually see, perhaps thanks to decades in this old butt and retaining its distinct “islands” quality that I see in all the best Tobermory. When the porridge flavors aren’t there, this stuff can be truly exceptional. The nose starts a bit closed with hints of roasted nuts and sweet malt. On the palate, there’s the tiniest hint of sweet spent mash, but it’s restrained and has none of the lactic quality that makes some of these feel “off.” But when you add water the whole thing explodes into a symphony of salted nuts, roasted stone fruit, vibrant fresh forest and freshly cut grass. On the palate the malt takes a back seat now with a basket of nuts and dried apricots delivered right to your olfactory gates. This might be the best Tobermory I’ve ever had and considering the special distillery release 21 year is $240, it’s worth the risk for even the most jaded hater of Mull’s historic distiller.

Miles Philippe | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 12, 2018

One of the most saline Scotches I’ve ever come across, this bottle is fascinating and will keep you enthralled long after your last sip! Fresh golden fruits, ginger, and a touch of oak spices are only some of the notes you will find in the nose and palate. Above all, you will always find yourself sensing a gentle memory of the ocean; a reverie that shades this world while enjoying this dram. The finish is incredibly long and will leave you listening more intently to your senses. The color must also be noted. Extremely pretty and lighter than expected, the pale straw and fair golden hues hint at the elegance and poise within; a youthful soul in a mature spirit.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 11, 2018

Salty like ramen noodles. Malty like a vanilla shake. Spicy like a ginger snap. This is a very special whisky from a refill butt that combines freshness and maturity. It is beautiful golden straw in color like a fine Manzanilla sherry and has the zip to match. But on the palate it’s a super rich compilation of citrus, ginger, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and just a touch of fresh cut hay. Long and lingering, the finish reminds me of standing on a foggy beach wrapped in a warm jacket watching a storm roll in. You can smell the salt, the seaweed, the cold wind carrying the notes of some far off island. It’s beautiful.

Joe Manekin | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 05, 2018

This is a phenomenal value in aged single malt. It has an original, nearly tropical fruit profile on the nose, with a supple and very easy to drink quality on the palate. 22 year old single malt for well under $100? Yes, and good single malt at that. Recommended.


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/01/a-pair-of-rare-and-unique-old-particular-old-malt-cask-kl-exclusives-from-isle-of-jura-and-tobermory-scotch-whisky-news/

MILTONDUFF 34 YEAR OLD 1982 OLD & RARE at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


34 Year Old 1982
Old Rare

Miltonduff 34 Year Old 1982 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Single cask refill hogshead bottled June 2016 by Hunter Laing Co. for the Old Rare Platinum collection. 196 bottles. This golden whisky has a sweet and fruity nose of pears, green apples, butterscotch and crème caramel. The creamy palate has notes of soft fruits, butter toffee and vanilla custard. The finish is long and slightly dry, with a gentle oak aftertaste. Miltonduff Distillery was established by Andrew Peary and Robert Bain in 1824 on the site of an old meal mill which once belonged to Pluscarden Abbey. In 1964 a pair of Lomond stills was installed and operated until 1981 at which time they were sliced and diced and partially incorporated into new pot stills. Whilst the whisky produced from the pot stills at Miltonduff is called Miltonduff the malt whisky produced by the Lomond stills is called Mosstowie. Miltonduff Distillery is a Speyside malt whisky distillery and a contributor to Ballantine’s blends of scotch.


TWB 337

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/miltonduff-34-year-old-1982-old-rare-at-the-whisky-barrel-scotch-whisky-news/

MILTONDUFF 34 YEAR OLD 1982 OLD & RARE at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


34 Year Old 1982
Old Rare

Miltonduff 34 Year Old 1982 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whisky. Single cask refill hogshead bottled June 2016 by Hunter Laing Co. for the Old Rare Platinum collection. 196 bottles. This golden whisky has a sweet and fruity nose of pears, green apples, butterscotch and crème caramel. The creamy palate has notes of soft fruits, butter toffee and vanilla custard. The finish is long and slightly dry, with a gentle oak aftertaste. Miltonduff Distillery was established by Andrew Peary and Robert Bain in 1824 on the site of an old meal mill which once belonged to Pluscarden Abbey. In 1964 a pair of Lomond stills was installed and operated until 1981 at which time they were sliced and diced and partially incorporated into new pot stills. Whilst the whisky produced from the pot stills at Miltonduff is called Miltonduff the malt whisky produced by the Lomond stills is called Mosstowie. Miltonduff Distillery is a Speyside malt whisky distillery and a contributor to Ballantine’s blends of scotch.


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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/miltonduff-34-year-old-1982-old-rare-at-the-whisky-barrel-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Barrel releases their last exclusive bottling for 2018, the Tormore 30 Year Old 1988 First Editions Exclusive #15453 – Scotch Whisky News

Tormore 30 year old 1988 TWB Exclusive bottle

The Whisky Barrel releases their last exclusive bottling for 2018, the Tormore 30 Year Old 1988 First Editions Exclusive #15453. 

Specialist online whisky shop, TheWhiskyBarrel.com, is proud to release its last exclusive whisky for 2018. A single malt whisky distilled in Speyside in the late 1980s.

Tormore is a lesser well-known distillery, established in 1958 and created to be a blend supplier. The Tormore 30 Year Old was distilled in 1988, so the distillery had been operating for just 30 years.

This ‘First Editions’ release is courtesy of  Hunter Laing and Company of Glasgow and offers a great opportunity to explore this young distillery in a dram. Tormore is often overlooked which really is a great shame, as proven by the sweet, fruity and moreish character of the 30 Year Old. Not one to miss out on!

Distilled in 1988 and bottled in December 2018 from single refill hogshead #15453. Only 144 numbered bottles at cask strength selected exclusively for TheWhiskyBarrel.com.

Available exclusively from The Whisky Barrel, shipping to customers Worldwide including the United States of America, Canada and Japan. 

Tormore 30 Year Old First Editions Exclusive | 1988 | Cask #15453 for TheWhiskyBarrel.com | 45.8%

Tormore 30 year old 1988 TWB Exclusive with tube

Official tasting notes: – 

Colour: Golden honey.

Nose: Caramel, citrus fruits and vanilla. 

Taste: Light and sweet with toffee ice cream, lemon and apple pie. 

Finish: Long with a subtle kick of spice. 

Price: £129.95 GBP / $137.33 USD (+ PP) 

The Whisky Barrel E: info@thewhiskybarrel.com Visit www.thewhiskybarrel.comT: +44 (0)845 2248 156

Find us on: Facebook, Twitter Instagram

Q) What is the product called?
A)  Tormore 30 Year Old 1988 First Editions Exclusive #15453

Q) When will this product be released/was it released?
A) Friday 21st of December 2018.

Q) Where is it available?
A) Scotland, off-trade, TheWhiskyBarrel.com.

Q) Is this product already available in other markets?
A) Scotland only, TheWhiskyBarrel.com ships worldwide.

Q) How much is it?
A) £129.95 GBP / $137.33 USD (+ PP)

Q) Who handles the product’s distribution?
A) In-house at TheWhiskyBarrel.com.

Q) What is the ABV of this product?
A) 45.8% ABV natural cask strength.

Q) Why has this product been launched?
A) Limited Edition single cask distillery exclusive for The Whisky Barrel. 


The Whisky Barrel is a specialist online whisky and spirits merchant based in Fife, Scotland and  was established in 2007. The Whisky Barrel won Whisky Magazine Online Retailer 2018 and was International Wine Spirits Competition runner-up in 2016.

N.B. Prices correct at the time of publishing and are subject to currency fluctuation.

Whisky Magazine’s Online Retailer of the Year Award 2009-2016

International Wine Spirits Competition Best Online Retailer 2015-2016

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/the-whisky-barrel-releases-their-last-exclusive-bottling-for-2018-the-tormore-30-year-old-1988-first-editions-exclusive-15453-scotch-whisky-news/

Bunnahabhain 27 Year Old 1989 Old & Rare at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


27 Year Old 1989
Old Rare

Bunnahabhain 27 Year Old 1989 vintage Islay single malt Scotch whisky. Single cask refill hogshead bottled March 2017 by Hunter Laing and Co. for the Old Rare Platinum collection. 198 bottles. A beautifully colour whisky with a delicious nose of home baking and creamy caramel followed by a delicate floral note and a hint of seaweed. On the palate it is smooth and creamy with vanilla the primary taste, then bananas and pears adding fruitiness and body. Ths leads to a late salty note at the end, leaving a dry, long lasting finish. Bunnahabhain Distillery was established in 1881 on the north eastern tip of the Isle of Islay by the shore of Bunnahabhain Bay and overlooking the Sound of Islay. All the building materials were transported by puffer and unloaded at the distillery pier. Now tucked away at the end of the single track ‘main’ road with spectacular scenery all the way. Bunnahabhain Distillery is equipped with four huge pear shaped stills and produces Scottish malt whiskey which is released in blends and in single malt and single cask bottlings. A participant in Feis Ile, the annual Islay Festival of Malt and Music. Core editions include Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old.


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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/bunnahabhain-27-year-old-1989-old-rare-at-the-whisky-barrel-scotch-whisky-news/


Macallan 1978


New Release Joins Ranks of the Greatest Vintage Single Malts Ever Released

Monday, December 17, 2018 (NEW YORK, NY) The Macallan, the world’s most admired single malt Scotch whisky, has unveiled a new release to its highly regarded Fine Rare collection, the 1978 vintage. This highly exclusive spirit will be limited to 243 bottles globally with only five bottles allocated to the US market this year.

Made with the very best of The Macallan’s finest maturing stock, The Macallan Fine Rare collection features some of the greatest vintage single malts ever released. The 1978 vintage offers a unique taste of oak spice, orange and delicate peat smoke with a soft and silky finish.

“The release of the 1978 Fine Rare vintage brings another outstanding whisky to this unique collection of mature Macallan expressions,” said The Macallan’s Whisky Maker, Steven Bremner.  “Matured in a second fill remade American oak Hogshead cask, this vintage alludes to a period in time when some peated expressions of The Macallan were laid down. The peated smoke element of this cask stands out, as it is unusual in The Macallan to find peated smoke alongside some of the characteristics synonymous with American oak – apricot, vanilla and toffee.  Being a remake refill hogshead, there is a charming mystery in not knowing which original casks were carefully crafted together to create this unique cask which has delivered an exceptional vintage. Intertwined and ever present peat smoke enhance this whisky which, on the palate, delivers oak spice and bitter orange which lifts in sweetness. The 1978 Fine and Rare vintage delivers a soft, silky and creamy mouth feel, finishing on peated orange sweetness following 39 years of maturation on Speyside.”

Jaume Ferras, The Macallan Prestige Marketing Director said, “Since launching The Macallan Fine Rare Collection in 2002 we have created a whisky legacy of over 50 individual vintages of The Macallan. Each unique expression is unmistakably Macallan and part of an unrivalled collection representing eight decades and we are delighted to add the latest release, The Macallan 1978 Fine Rare.  This single cask whisky was laid down in the year that Superman first burst onto cinema screens, the first test tube baby was born and NASA unveiled the first group of women astronauts.  In that same year, on November 20th this remade Hogshead was filled for the second time, with the team on site that day having no way of knowing that 40 years later the cask would be selected to part of this incredible legacy of vintage Macallan.”

Since 2002, the Fine Rare range has played a significant role in establishing The Macallan as the world’s most valuable and collectable single malt whisky and has picked up record breaking auction sales across the world. Perfect as a collectable, luxury gift and for celebrating special moments, the 1978 vintage joins a range of highly admired whiskies.

The 1978 Fine and Rare vintage will be limited to five bottles in the US market this year, with a suggested retail price of approximately $11,700 USD per 750ml bottle. For purchasing inquiries, please emaiml: Inquiries.us@themacallan.co

Tasting Notes:

Color:  Autumn oak

Nose:  Initial rich ginger and antique oak, moving into dried apricot, vanilla toffee and deep orange oil with a dash of nutmeg and peat smoke intertwines

Palate:  Oak spice, bitter orange turning sweet, balanced with delicate peat smoke

Finish:  Soft, silky and creamy, finishing on peated orange sweetness

ABV: 59.2%

Bottles Produced: 243

About The Macallan

Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s finest single malt whiskies.  The story of The Macallan is built on the Six Pillars, each influencing the whisky in its own distinct way.  From the spiritual home of Easter Elchies House; curiously small stills giving richness to the pure spirit; finest cut or the best of the best of the distillation, to exceptional oak casks which account for up to 80% of the final flavor in the whisky; natural color and finally peerless spirit, The Macallan itself.

Wood sits at the heart of The Macallan. The vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, together with true mastery, set it apart from the rest. For more information on The Macallan, visit www.us.themacallan.com. The Macallan can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/the-macallan-unveils-the-1978-fine-rare-vintage-scotch-whisky-news/


Tomatin. Bottle_Only_Revised


Tomatin, the award-winning Highland whisky distillery, has today (Monday 17th December) announced the release of its highly anticipated single malt, the Tomatin 50 Year Old, distilled on 24th November 1967.

Following 50 years of maturation at the distillery, the deep-honey coloured expression has been bottled in its most natural form, yielding just 70 special bottles at 45.3% abv.

Stephen Bremner, Managing Director of Tomatin, said: “It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Tomatin’s oldest expression – the Tomatin 50 Year Old. This special expression has been quietly resting for half a century,  and it is wonderful to see it presented in all its glory.”

The whisky, finished in a first fill Oloroso Sherry Butt, cask number 35817, is encased within an individually numbered, handblown Glencairn crystal decanter. The decanter is luxuriously presented within a striking Italian crafted wooden box, furnished with soft, premium Italian leather. Sealed with a wooden transit cork, an engraved, solid brass gold-plated and glass stopper is also provided. Each box comes with an individually-numbered book, hand-signed by Distillery Manager, Graham Eunson. Finally, a premium leather carry bag completes the presentation. 

The Tomatin 50 Year Old delivers a myriad of rich and complex flavours. On the nose, aromas of freshly felled oak in an orchard of apples, pears and plums can be expected. Once on the palate, it releases bursts of exotic tropical fruits and dried apricots, sweetened with flavours of vanilla toffee, crème caramel and flame raisins. Spice and fruits balance perfectly, providing a luxurious and velvety finish.

Graham Eunson, Distillery Manager at Tomatin, said: “This dignified expression is elegant and flavourful – a complex whisky with layers of taste sensations to delight the senses. Those privy to a taste of this whisky can expect warming spices which are mellowed by lashings of Manuka honey.”

The Tomatin 50 Year Old is the distillery’s oldest expression and is expected to retail at £10,000 for a 70cl bottle in the UK within specialist retailers.


Tomatin Distillery has been producing and blending malt Scotch whisky since 1897. Over the last 50 years, the distillery has borne witness to vast change. At its peak in the 1970s, Tomatin was the largest distillery in the world operating 23 stills and producing 12 million litres of alcohol every year. Over the last decade, significant time has been invested in rediscovering the distillery, people and values, and in refining the business model to move away from the formerly lucrative bulk commodity market to now focus on Tomatin’s core range of single malts, the release of Tomatin 50 year old is a testament to that dedication.

Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands (near Inverness) and is famous for its portfolio of soft and mellow whiskies, including a core range, a limited-edition range and a premium archive range (prices range from £35 – £2,500). Tomatin is one of the fastest growing whisky brands in the UK and recently announced that it is officially the fastest growing top ten single malt whisky in the USA. Tomatin recently reported its turnover increased by almost 25% during the company’s most recent financial year (Dec 2016 – Dec 2017). Tomatin won Distiller of the Year 2016 and Brand Innovator of the Year 2017 at the Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards.

About The Tomatin 50 Year Old:

  • Cask Number: 35817
  • Cask Type: First fill Oloroso Sherry Butt
  • Strength: 45.3% alc./vol.
  • Distilled on: 24th November 1967
  • Number of bottles: 70

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/12/tomatin-releases-its-first-50-year-old-distillery-bottling-scotch-whisky-news/