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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 5: Bowmore 12 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     5. December 2014 00:00

Bowmore 12 Year Old

Four delicious days down, and on 5th December the Whisky Advent Calendar giveth single malt from Bogh Mòr! Bowmore distillery's 12 year old single malt to be precise.

They say that the devil last visited Bowmore in 1837, and that the people of the town of Bowmore scared him off. I'm generally more bothered by the Grinch though personally. If you happen to see him about, make sure you tell him to do one too, won't you? He'll take a hint one of these days. Other than that, I simply encourage you to sit back and enjoy your dram of delicious peated Scotch from Islay.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 4: Jura 16 Year Old

by Whisky Santa     4. December 2014 00:00

Isle of Jura 16 Year Old Diurachs' Own

It's Day 4, and what do we have here? A single malt Scotch whisky? Yes, from the "extremely unget-at-able" Isle of Jura, as I once heard young George Orwell describe it.

It's considerably easier to 'get-at' if you have flying reindeer of course, and I do rather enjoy travelling to the island on business every Christmas Eve. Less ice than at home, but many more deer! Mrs Claus and I are only outnumbered 9:2 (used to be 4:1 before we adopted that ruddy schnozzled fellow) by our four-legged antlered friends, whilst the Diurach of Jura are outnumbered 30:1 by the island's red deer!

Hence why Jura or 'Diùra' literally means 'deer island'. This dram, meanwhile, spent 14 years in American white oak casks and two years in ex-Amoroso Oloroso Sherry casks, and is said to be the whisky of choice for the Diurach themselves...

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 3: Evan Williams Single Barrel

by Whisky Santa     3. December 2014 00:00

Evan Williams Single Barrel

Time to open the third window of our Whisky Advent Calendars and see what surprise lies behind it... why I think this is a bourbon... Yes, it's Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey!

They've been producing Evan Williams at family-owned Heaven Hill since 1959 you know, and it's named after the chap who was purportedly Kentucky's first ever commercial distiller. I remember young Evan very well, of course, but as an omniscient supernatural being I'm not allowed to clear up these little historical facts for you I'm afraid. Rules is rules. Besides, there's some delicious bourbon to taste...

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 2: Teeling Small Batch

by Whisky Santa     2. December 2014 09:00

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

The second day of Whisky Advent is upon us already and what's behind the second window of the Whisky Advent Calendar?... Why it's Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!

The Teeling family were of course the good folk behind the independent Cooley distillery (creating the excellent Connemara Peated single malt and Greenore single grain, for example) before it was eventually bought by Beam. Fortunately, they weren't away for long and soon released Teeling Small Batch, a blend of selected casks of Irish malt and grain, finished for six months in ex-Flor de Caña Rum casks! In early 2015 they'll have a shiny new distillery opening in the heart of Dublin too, one of many new projects on the island.

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Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 1: Haig Club

by Whisky Santa     1. December 2014 09:00

David Beckham Haig Club Grain Whisky

Well would you look at that - it's the first day of Whisky Advent everybody! This is my very favourite time of the year as we all get to count down to Christmas Day with Drinks by the Dram's wonderful Whisky Advent Calendars!

In fact, I'm so delighted I'm going to bring you some Whisky Advent treats each and every day (see below).

Don't have a Whisky Advent Calendar yet? Well it's certainly not too late, you're only one day behind so get your order in right away! For the rest of us it's time to open the first window... behind which you'll find... Haig Club single grain whisky! Yes indeed, the David Beckham one. Ho ho!

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William Grant Launches Glenfiddich Gallery

by Jake Mountain     25. November 2014 11:00

Glenfiddich Gallery

Well this one's been teed up perfectly really following last week's post on The Glenlivet, and specifically how they're catching the Glenfiddich in terms of sales whilst placing emphasise on their recent and historical innovation. So Glenfiddich, your move it seems. And here it is: Glenfiddich Gallery, a bespoke online whisky service where you can discover cask strength malts that match your personal tastes and also design the bespoke packaging your whisky will come in!

Whilst there is a certain award-winning online retailer that's provided the opportunity to personalise both the labels and the liquid of your whisky for some time now *ahem*, this is an incredibly exciting step for a leading single malt brand to take.

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The Glenlivet Passes 1m Case Milestone & Launches Founder's Reserve

by Jake Mountain     18. November 2014 17:23

The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve

The Glenlivet has reached a considerable milestone in its quest to become the best selling single malt Scotch in the world (a position currently held by Glenfiddich), by selling one million 9-litre cases of whisky within a year for the first time in its history. Looking back to the end of the calendar year 2013, the global Scotch malt whisky market shares held by these brands were within a single percent of one another at 12% and 12.7% respectively. Competition for the top spot has rarely been fiercer.

Reporting double digit growth in more than 40 markets as well as 8% global value growth (net sales) and 2% increase in volume during the 2014 financial year, The Glenlivet reached the milestone of one million cases sold worldwide during the twelve month period up to and including September 2014. Given that back in 2006 (when Glenmorangie was Glenfiddich's biggest competition in terms of global sales) Glenfiddich enjoyed an 18% market share compared to The Glenlivet's 7%, their progress is all the more impressive.*

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 4: Belgrove)

by Michael Orson     14. November 2014 16:37

Belgrove distillery

A fledgling distillery in Tasmania, Belgrove was set up by Peter Bignell, a farmer in the tiny town of Kempton. The distillery is rather tucked away off a seemingly endless road through the centre of the island. Arrive and you’ll find an unimposing white-wash outbuilding at the back of a farm – home to the Belgrove’s sole still.

Quite unlike most distilleries on Tasmania, Peter’s is one born of chance and circumstance rather than to satisfy a desire. In fact, it all started in 2009 when his farm had a surplus of rye. Peter, being a keen recycler with an interest in sustainability, decided to reuse the extra grain for whisky production, so he built himself a 600-litre copper still for both wash and spirit runs – quite a feat for a man with no previous experience in the whisky industry.

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Diageo Special Releases 2014

by Jake Mountain     7. November 2014 17:00

Diageo Special Releases 2014 Caol Ila 30yo

On Tuesday evening I found myself the nearest thing to a corner possible at a curvy and buzzing Magazine Restaurant in Kensington Gardens on a cold, rainy November night. Here I would attempt to write some meaningful tasting notes for 11 limited edition cask strength single malts in a couple of hectic hours, including the time it would take to fight through the crowd each time I needed to move on to new whiskies, and the time it would take for the smell of prawn hors d'oeuvres to dissipate each time the diligent waitresses came over to offer them.

Meanwhile, our Spirits Buyer Toby Cutler (he's nice, you'd like him - he really enjoys a good picture of Kevin Costner, or Chris Tucker for that matter) was having no such problem as he enjoyed a range of whiskies, some quite valuable, in a leisurely fashion alongside some pleasant conversation. Add all of this up, and it can only mean one thing: it was the launch of Diageo's much-anticipated 2014 Special Releases!

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David Beckham Haig Club Single Grain Whisky

by Jake Mountain     22. October 2014 12:21

David Beckham Haig Club Grain Whisky

This is really a follow up to my previous post 'Will Grain Whisky be promoted to the Big League as David Beckham signs for Haig Club?', where I talk more generally about single grain and David Beckham as well as taste the Girvan 25yo. Since then a couple of things have happened. Firstly, the brand and the whisky are out there now - from teaser shots where you don't even get to see Becks' face back in July, to us having the whisky for sale on the site, to the Global Launch at the start of October through to the release of the UK television advert at the end of last week. The other thing that's happened is that I've actually got around to tasting it now, finally!

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Categories : News | Review | Tasting Notes | Whisky


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