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Event: Irish whiskey at ISES UK 

Ice Sculpture by IceBox LondonSo, last night I was out at the summer party for the International Special Event Society UK Chapter (ISES) on the HMS President.  If you thought you knew how to throw a party, wait until you meet these guys!

Imagine having all the people who make Glastonbury or any major event happen, from the stage designer/building crews, catering to band management. They all put a little bit of something toward the party and that was last night! Also, Visit Ireland was there to support the Riverdance themed evening and the team at Cooley distillery had helped me out with some great drams.

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Orcadian Fire - Rocking out with Caskstrength Creative, Highland Park 18yo whisky and Arcade Fire

Let's be under no illusion that the sole reason Arcade Fire planned a show in Hyde Park, London, was not toAn extremely limited edition Highland Park 18yo play to a sold out audience of 60,000+ fans during the busy festival season. It was to actually collect the extremely limited edition Orcadian Fire bottling Highland Park had created for them with the help of's whisky agency Caskstrength Creative.

Not being sold via retail, there are only 75 bottles of the 18 yo which features a subtle bespoke Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" label.

Being based in Montreal, the band is more than acquainted with the fact that Canada is famous for the strict rules on importing alcohol and its sale. Scotch fans are limited to the selection made by the provincial liquor boards, which is generally meagre. To top this off, retailers outside Canada are finding products are blocked at the border and rarely make it to the customer who is waiting eagerly for that something special!

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Vintage or just a classic? The Glenrothes know what great whisky is with the 1995 vintage.  

Updated on Thu, July 7, 2011 by Registered CommenterThe Glenrothes

Last year I was lucky enough to join the chaps from The Glenrothes for an evening in Speyside at the distillery house.  It was a fantastic trip in which I came away with a bottle of the 1985 vintage and was just blown away with its depth of flavour and ease of drinking.  

Glass sculpture at its best! Sarmiento Invasion Paranoia

So, last weekend I was both happy and sad when myself and glass blowing friend Jeff Sarmiento finished it while enjoying a curry (The Glenrothes 1985 whisky worked very well paired with a chicken Patia and rice).  With the departure to the bottle to the recyling bin you can imagine I was naturally excited to recieve a sample of the 1995 vintage whisky, and was not dissapointed in the slightest! 

Heres my tasting notes.

The Glenrothes 1995 Vintage Scotch Whisky

ABV: 43%vol

Distillled: 26/10/1995

Bottled: 06/09/2010 

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Press Release - Master distiller announces global finalists for ‘whiskey world games’

Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, has today announced the eleven pairs of friends who will represent their countries at ‘Bushcamp’, the global final of ‘Make it 2 Bushmills’, a competition hosted by BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey.

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Grant's Takes to the Global Podium

Oldest family owned Scotch becomes world’s third largest.

Grants world famous blended Scotch whisky has turned a new chapter in its 124-year success story as it takes to the podium of standard Scotch whiskies, becoming the world’s number three in retail value.

The move onto podium, confirmed by IWSR results released last week, reaffirms Grant’s’ credentials as a key player on the world whisky stage.  Over the last five years, Grant’s has consistently grown ahead of the category, achieving in 2010 worldwide sales of 4.8 million cases and retail value of over $1bn.

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The eagle has landed: Caskstrength and Carry on! official Arran Whisky

Updated on Thu, June 30, 2011 by Registered CommenterDarren

Before I start the blog properly I have to say that if your familiar with Arran whisky or, simply go to and try to buy a bottle of this before it sells out (this is most definitely a collectors piece or simply a great dram)! Okay now on with the blog post... If you do a google search for terms "whisky+blog" the chaps at Caskstrength will undoubtedly rank in the top three. The duo formally worked in the music industry as A&R men at competing record companies (believe Island and Warner). Both gents, Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison, now make a surprising complimentary tag team writing their anecdotal whisky blog

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Isle of Mull Whisky- Press release.

Updated on Thu, July 28, 2011 by Registered CommenterIsle of Mull Whisky

OUR STORY SO FARImage from Made on Mull

Isle of Mull Whisky was born in August 2010 by Neil Morrison and Calum Maclean. There were months of organising, maxing out credit cards and lengthy tasting sessions. The idea came to them one night when Neil and Calum were out for a few drams. Mid-session they hatched their plan:

to bring out their own unique whisky, a perfect blend which would be smooth enough for any palette and not just another bottle for gathering dust. Their whisky needed to be eye-catching and superior quality however still sensibly priced.

They toured the country and were successful in finding the best of Scottish nectar. Their good friend and local designer, Ewan Leckie (my creative), then helped them develop a prominent and unique branding. They were almost there.

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Coming of age at Kilchoman with a 100% Islay whisky.

Updated on Mon, June 20, 2011 by Registered CommenterKilchoman Distillery

Some of you may rightly argue that Kilchoman had already came to age two years ago.

However, the aspirations of Distillery Founder and Director Anthony Wills were only fully realised last week with Caskstrength bottle (Distillery only)the release of the first of Kilchoman 100% Islay whisky, which opens the question is this the true Kilchoman single malt whisky?

Before the small farm distillery opened in 2005 Anthony had a simple dream to make a whisky that was 100% made on Islay. A single malt produced from barley, grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled at the distillery.

Prior to 2005 it took four years of chasing investment and hard work to get things going. Followed by the move to an Island of only 3000 people it was a journey he shared with his family, so much so that on graduating University Peter Wills (Anthonys son) will become Kilchomans' first official brand ambassador, and newest member of the team from September 2011.
Inaugural Tasting notes:
Retails at 69.00 and 11,300 bottles have been released.

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Jim Beam Whiskey Establishes Revolutionary Bourbon-Making Process with Release of Devil’s Cut™

Clermont, KY (May 25, 2011)

Continuing to push the envelope in the bourbon category, Jim Beam® debuts the latest innovation in its portfolio – Devil’s Cut™. The new, premium bourbon whiskey is created using a proprietary process that extracts the liquid trapped inside the wood of the bourbon barrels. The product is a robust premium bourbon with a deep color, aroma and character that showcases notes of wood, oak and vanilla derived from the barrel wood.

Devil’s Cut plays off the notion of “Angel’s Share” in the bourbon-making process. As bourbon ages, a portion of liquid is lost from the barrel due to evaporation – that’s the Angel’s Share. After aging, when the bourbon is dumped out of the barrel, a certain amount of whiskey is left trapped within the wood of every barrel—it’s that liquid, and the rich flavors from deep within the barrel wood it contains, that has been extracted and put back into extra-aged Jim Beam Bourbon to create Devil’s Cut.

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Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases One of A Kind Millennium Barrel Bottling

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (June, 2011) – It was Dec. 31st, 1999, and the new century was dawning as the  employees at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY gathered around to watch the  last barrel of the twentieth century roll into Warehouse V, the world’s only bonded single barrel aging warehouse.

      Now nearly 12 years later, this Buffalo Trace Millennium Barrel bourbon has filled 174 beautifully handwritten and individually numbered bottles.  Each Millennium Barrel bottle has been packaged in a numbered hardwood showcase box that includes a piece of this historic barrel’s charred oak stave and a brochure explaining the significance of this collector’s edition.

      Endeavoring to do something special with this milestone barrel, the company will offer all 174 bottles to charitable organizations across the country free of charge to auction off and raise money for their worthwhile causes.

       This commemorative bottling of the Buffalo Trace Millennium Barrel will not be available in stores. Bottles will only available to non-profit organizations wishing to raise funds for their charity. To be considered, organizations must submit an official U.S. non-profit tax ID number and auction the bottle within the 2011 calendar year. Applications will be taken online only, at Recipients of these bottles shall be notified by email on August 1st. Bottles will be shipped free of charge in August and recipients will have until Dec. 31, 2011 to auction the bottle.

      “This was special barrel of barrel of whiskey and we want to do something with the bottles to help those in need,” said Kris Comstock, Buffalo Trace Brand Manager. “We really hope whiskey enthusiasts and collectors will help some deserving non-profit groups raise serious money. These 174 bottles are beautiful and the bourbon tastes amazing. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for charity!”

      Non-profit organizations can submit their request for a bottle online beginning today. The cutoff date to submit an online application is July 26th.


Glenmorangie malt whisky launches Father’s Day campaign

This Father’s Day, Glenmorangie is unveiling its first significant above-the-line programme since 2007/2008 with an exciting national advertising campaign. Using the line: Unnecessarily Well Made and stunning original pencil renderings by artist Vince Verma, each execution tells the story of the unseen lengths that Glenmorangie goes to in crafting their single malt whiskies.

Glenmorangie whiskies aren’t like other single malts: its whisky is still made using local spring water, from Scotch barley, by local craftsman. The tallest whisky stills in Scotland are used at the Tain distillery, so that only the finest vapours are captured to create an exceptionally delicate spirit. This is carefully aged in bespoke American oak casks that are only ever used twice to ensure the smoothest of flavours. Unnecessarily Well Made brings to life the expertise, precision and passion that go into creating Glenmorangie.

The initial national campaign in June will focus on two executions by Verma: the first is a snapshot inside the cask house as one barrel is being rolled away (this, demonstrating Glenmorangie’s strict twice-usage policy).

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Old Pulteney Boat Gets whisky Christening Ahead of Pioneering Adventure

Image via whisky intelligenceArctic and maritime adventurer Jock Wishart and his crew have today christened their specially designed rowing boat, The Old Pulteney ahead of its pioneering voyage into the unknown. The expedition team named the boat after their sponsors, Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky at a ceremony outside Boisdale’s at Canary Wharf, London.

Wishart will lead a six strong team on the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole expedition in a bespoke ice boat – today christened The Old Pulteney – which will set off from Canada’s Resolute Bay on the 1st of August on a 450 mile route across the arctic on a voyage to the magnetic North Pole which, if successful, will make history as a world first.

The Old Pulteney has been constructed to accommodate a six-strong crew and their equipment during the four to six week voyage. The crew comprise of five experienced oarsmen, and one carefully selected novice, David Mans. Mans, a 28 year old British Army Officer and Afghanistan veteran from Hampshire, beat stiff competition from hundreds of international entrants of the Old Pulteney Pole Position Competition earlier this year, offering one spirited person a once in a lifetime chance to be part of this extraordinary adventure.

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Glengoyne Distillery Stillman Raises £1,000 for charity

Stillman at Glengoyne Distillery, Duncan McNicoll, has walked the famed West Highland Way raising £1,000 for charity.

Duncan completed the 95 mile trip, which starts in Milngavie, passes near the distillery and ends in Fort William. Duncan undertook the feat with his brother, John, son, Calum, son’s girlfriend, Hollie and nephew, Craig, by his side.

Recipient of Duncan and his family’s donation, The Scots Australian Children’s Cancer Trust, was set up by husband and wife Alan and Janet MacDermid, in appreciation of the life-saving treatment their grandson, Joseph MacDermid, received for a brain tumour at Sydney Children’s Hospital. Funds raised go to supporting cancer charities around the world including World Child Cancer, which twins hospitals in developed countries with others in poorer countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Mexico.

Duncan McNicoll said of his accomplishment: “When I heard about all the great work that Alan and Janet’s trust goes towards it only seemed right to do whatever I could to help. I really appreciated that my family were willing to help and we enjoyed doing the walk together to help children affected by cancer.”


Press Release - Ardbeg Whisky, make it snappy!

Ardbeg Alligator is the latest result of years of experimentation by the Distillery and its team, headed up by Dr Bill Lumsden of the Glenmorangie Company, head of Distilling and Whisky Creation at the Edinburgh based firm; Glenmorangie, of course, bought and restored Ardbeg back in 1997.

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Press Release - Bushmills To Team-Up With Kevin Baird Of Two Door Cinema Club

BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey has today announced that Kevin Baird of Two Door Cinema Club, Jonathan Galkin of DFA Records and Rob Allanson of Whisky Magazine will all be joining BUSHMILLS Master Distiller Colum on the judging panel at Bushcamp, the Make it 2 Bushmills three-day global final to be held on the north coast of Ireland this August.

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Under Construction

After a Wordpress update crashing The Whisky Guy site in March, late nights trying to fix the problem (while sampling a scotch whisky or two) and three crazy months (including the birth of my son). I've decided to move the site to Squarespace.

Thanks for your patience and I'll be back soon!



Pride 1981: Ultamite Expression of Glenmorangie Whisky Unveiled

On 1st July 2011 Glenmorangie will reveal Pride 1981, the distillery’s most sublime single malt whisky to date. Characterised by the longest extra-maturation period of any Glenmorangie expression, the eagerly-anticipated 28-year-old single malt will be available in a limited edition of only 1,000 pieces, presented in a striking crystal decanter and wooden case.

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Japan - Number One Drinks Company whiskies unaffected by radiation

The on-going situation at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility in north-eastern Japan has resulted in confusion regarding the status of Japanese products destined for export to overseas markets. Some countries have temporarily introduced partial bans

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Winner Announced! - Glenrothes Whisky Maker

The results are in; following a worldwide competition which ran from October 2010 until the end of January 2011, four enthusiasts have been chosen from many thousands of entries to work for a week in May as The Glenrothes Whisky Makers.

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Update - Glenrothes Whisky Maker!

The worldwide competition to appoint four Glenrothes Whisky Makers closes at the end of January. Response to the competition has been very strong but there is still a chance for last minute, on-line entries. The successful candidates will be recruited to work as The Glenrothes Whisky Makers in the heart of single malt production in Speyside, Scotland.

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