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The Lakes Distillery - A Delightful Weekend In The Country

by Jake Mountain     9. March 2015 12:00

The Lakes Distillery

"Are you a sponge or a stone? Do you like to experience all facets of life, or do you shut yourself off from new experience?"

With whisky distilleries opening right around the world, you must quite reasonably ask yourself questions such as this. We live in an age where a wide variety of excellent whiskies are being made outside of the traditional and well-established whisky producing counties, and if you're not open to them, you're missing out. In England, for example, the latest whisky distillery to come on stream is The Lakes Distillery near Cockermouth.


Celebrate The Holi Festival and Win Great Prizes!

by Jake Mountain     23. February 2015 11:00

Holi Festival of Colours Paul John Indian Whisky

Holi, the spring festival of colours, is almost upon us. You know, it's the one with all the powder and paint that always looks like loads and loads of fun! This year we've teamed up with our friends at Paul John to offer you a fantastic opportunity to get involved - one that includes delicious whisky and prizes...


Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 13: Paul John Edited

by Whisky Santa     13. December 2014 00:00

Paul John Edited

Indian single malt, eh? Something you may or may not have tried before, but as a man of the world I can assure you that top quality whisky is now being produced across the globe! The Paul John you'll find in the Whisky Advent Calendar today is produced in Goa, India by John Distilleries and their master distiller, Michael John (amusingly, no relation).

Their Edited expression is made using whiskies produced from both Indian 6-row barley from the Himalayan foothills and peated barley from Scotland, with the final single malt containing 15% of the peated spirit. It's matured in bourbon casks for probably around 3-5 years but, as with fellow Indian whisky Amrut, the tropical climate causes greater evaporation (around 12-13% a year compared to 'only' 2% or so in Scotland). This in turn means they effectively mature faster and even if there's no real substitute for time, the results are darned impressive!


Whisky Santa's Whisky Advent Day 6: Spirit of Hven Single Malt

by Whisky Santa     6. December 2014 00:00

Spirit of Hven Single Malt

It's Day 6 already! How time flies when you're having fun! That said, time is irrelevant to omniscient supernatural beings such as myself. I've seen the fall of empires and the birth of new stars in the sky...

Speaking of stars, behind the sixth window of your Whisky Advent Calendars, you'll find a dram of Swedish single malt from the Spirit of Hven distillery, named after Merak, a star in the Ursa Major constellation. It's the second release in their spectacular 'Seven Stars' series of whiskies. It's just the ticket if you're keen for a winter warmer, which you may be looking for if you visit the tiny craft distillery on the island of Hven in the Öresund strait at this time of year!


Master of Cocktails - Pedro Grant goes to New Orleans

by Ben Ellefsen     1. December 2014 09:27

Master of Cocktails Pedro Grant Goes To New Orleans

Right then folks. Time for another #MasterofCocktails! This week's involves setting things on fire, which is always fun.

We're going to be making a Christmassy twist on a Sazerac recipe using Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel and PX Sherry. If anyone feels like complaining about the fact that we're using a good single malt in a cocktail, can I suggest you jog on and complain to the Daily Mail - they'll probably have a story to print about it being responsible for immigration. Or something.


Auchentoshan 25 Year Old 1988 Wine Cask Finish - "YEEAAAHHHH!!!"

by Jake Mountain     17. October 2014 16:18

Auchentoshan 1988 Wine Cask Finish

A 25 year old 1988 vintage. That's quite enough about me though. Feeling a little guilty that I haven't got to this whisky already (we received the package with the sample about a month ago), I'm now making a concious effort in these busy 'already-sort-of-started-but-also-still-building-up-to-Christmas-retailing' times to get to it before my birthday, after which I'll suddenly have a little less in common with it.

Everybody enjoys getting their hands on a whisky distilled in the year of their birth, it's fun. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter perhaps, but many people are willing to fork out that little bit (or lot-a-bit) extra to get their paws on something from 'their vintage'. Something that's spent the same amount of time on this oblate spheroid as they have. Indeed, some whisky lovers go out of their way to secure these as often as possible. But if it's the same age as you as well? Better still, surely?


Glenfiddich 18 Year Old's New Packaging and the 12-Pointed Antlers

by Jake Mountain     9. October 2014 16:45

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old New Bottle Launch

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old will soon be getting some new threads in the form of a new bottle, label and tin, thus differentiating it from the 12 and 15 year old offerings in the core range. Present at the unveiling of the new packaging, created with Here Design, we can confirm that the changes aren't drastic or overblown - it still feels very much like the 18yo rather than being anywhere near as grand as the 21yo, whilst nevertheless providing more of a bridge to the the older, more expensive offering. This approach is clear right from seeing the new square tin. (The price, by the way, isn't changing.)


Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 3: Lark)

by Michael Orson     7. October 2014 12:23

Lark distillery

In many ways, Lark was the flagship behind the burgeoning whisky scene in Tasmania. Established in 1992, it was the first fully licensed commercial distillery on the island since the ban of 1839, and it all began when distillery founder, Bill Lark, started speaking to a political friend of his, asking why small-scale distillation was still illegal. This set in motion a series of calls, letters and discussions, and the end result was legal distillation on Tasmania. For technical accuracy, it’s worth mentioning that Tasmanian Prohibition was partially lifted in 1901, but only for stills of 40,000 litres and over, making any kind of startup nigh on impossible.


The Glenlivet - The Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964

by Jake Mountain     24. September 2014 14:43

The Glenlivet The Winchester Collection Vintage 1964

Last week I was fortunate enough to taste an upcoming release from The Glenlivet, the second best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world. It's a limited edition 50 year old vintage release - the first in a series of 50 year olds (!) that are to be called The Winchester Collection.

Matured in a single American oak hogshead (as far as I understand from my chat with Brand Ambassador Phil Huckle) this whisky was laid down back in 1964 by none other than Captain Bill Smith-Grant, the final distilling descendant of the distillery's founder, George Smith. The Winchester Collection therefore represents a special piece of history for The Glenlivet, a final liquid link with the family that started it all back in 1824.


A new batch of Boutique-y Whiskies for a Tuesday Morning

by Ben Ellefsen     23. September 2014 10:00

Fettercairn, Blended Malt #2 and Blair Athol That Boutique-y Whisky Company

So – it’s about that time again – new batches, and replenished batches of some absolute crackers from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

First up – spoiler alert – we do have a new batch of both the Port Ellen, and Brora. I’ll understand if you want to stop reading for a bit and take care of a small (okay – large) transaction.

We’ve also got some brand spanking new lines though – 2 single malts and a blended malt (which after the editor’s choice award in the most recent edition of Whisky Magazine), should see some interest piqued...



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