The Dalmore Launches First Ever 18 Year Old

The Dalmore has launched a new 18 year old expression for the first time in its illustrious 170 year history.

Only 3000 bottles worldwide will be available in this first release, they are expected to sell for approximately £85 per 70cl bottle.

The 18 year old version of the iconic luxury brand comes in a regal and rich deep blue carton, a colour chosen because it’s the official royal colour for King Alexander III whose life was saved from a charging stag by the Clan Mackenzie back in 1263.

The clan, long owners of The Dalmore distillery North of Inverness, were gifted the right to use the 12 pointer stag – called a “royal” stag – which has now become synonymous with the quality and luxury associated with the The Dalmore brand.

To this end, the hand crafted and iconic metal stag’s head, normally reserved for the more prestigious expressions in The Dalmore range, is being introduced to the 18 year old as standard.

Head of brand for The Dalmore, David Robertson, said: “So many people love the solid metal stag’s head that we decided to make it more widely available as it’s a true badge of quality, and justifiably adorns this highly revered and sought after single malt. The new 18 year old seemed the perfect place to start this wider roll out offering discerning consumers a stunning trophy for their drinks collection.

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Singlemalt TV brings you the Bourbon Festival

If you didn’t get a chance to get to the Bourbon festival this year, don’t fret. SMTV was there.

Here’s one of the reports.

Last week Singlemalt TV took their full show on the road, working round-the-clock from
a historic former library in downtown Bardstown as preparations for the 18th Kentucky
Bourbon Festival commenced. Camera crews worked to capture all the offerings of
Bourbon Country, shooting at distilleries and on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail in the
days leading up to the festival.
After filming a live webcast each morning, camera crews set out on assignment to
various locations around the region. Upon returning from each location, crews turned
over their footage to a video editor working from the Bardstown headquarters who
meticulously cut each segment for a nightly show. For six days and nights Singlemalt
TV’s on-location staff worked to deliver exclusive up-to-the-minute coverage of the KBF
as it unfolded, maintaining their exacting broadcast-caliber standard throughout.

New Whisky Event in London

The Whisky Exchange is launching a new Whisky Tasting Event this Fall. Best of all? No vouchers.

“Focusing on premium bottlings above each brand’s standard expression (longer-aged whisky and/or special bottlings), The Whisky Show will offer a fantastic opportunity to both the knowledgeable connoisseur and the passionate whisky fan wanting to learn more. With only limited spaces available for each day, tickets for this boutique event are sure to be in high demand.”

Standard tickets for The Whisky Show are priced at £100.

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Macallan 1824 Collection for GTR

Four Distinct Macallan Experiences Distilled Into Singular Collection Crafted Exclusively for World Travelers

The Macallan® announces the launch of The 1824 Collection, a new family of single malts developed exclusively for the Global Travel Retail market. The Macallan 1824 Collection includes four distinct expressions; each one, created by the Master Whisky Makers, illustrates a story central to the distillery’s long and distinguished history and showcases the spectrum of flavours and aromas associated with The Macallan—the world’s most precious whisky.

The four expressions of the The Macallan 1824 Collection – Select Oak, Whisky Maker’s Edition, Estate Reserve and 1824 Limited Release were created by John Ramsay, Master Blender Emeritus for parent company The Edrington Group, and Bob Dalgarno, The Macallan’s Whisky Maker; who between them have over 50 years of experience of making whisky. In order to achieve the fullest and most complex whisky for each expression, The Whisky Makers select the best casks at the peak of their maturity for inclusion into the collection. Named for the year in which the distillery was founded, The Macallan 1824 Collection offers global travelers a new way to experience The Macallan.

Already, Whisky experts have given the collection a warm reception to the collection awarding each of the four expressions high marks and praise. Whisky Expert and author of “The Whisky Bible,” Jim Murray scored Select Oak 94.5% and the 1824 Limited Release Decanter 97.5%, describing it as “a lifetime great whisky.” Whisky expert F. Paul Pacult similarly praised the 1824 Limited Release Decanter, describing it as a, “A perfect malt whisky and a benign force of nature.” John Hansell, Publisher & Editor of Malt Advocate Magazine, also rated the whiskies highly, awarding the 1824 Limited Release Decanter a 94 and the Estate Reserve a 95, calling it “My pick of the lot.”

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Both Rob Allanson and I are motorcycle buffs. But that lucky bastard gets to take a trip around Scotland visiting distilleries on a Triumph Bonneville SE.

From tomorrow, Thursday 4th June through Wednesday 10th June, they’ll be traveling to the farthest reaches of Scotland collecting whisky for a one of a kind bottling.

Distilleries to be visited:
Highland Park – Orkney (north)
Kilchoman – Islay (West)
Bladnoch – Lowlands (South)
Glen Garioch – Highlands (East)
Glenturret – Highland (central point)

Two men and two Triumph motorbikes will set off today (Thursday June 4th) from the most northerly distillery in the British Isles on an epic whisky road trip.

Using the compass points, Whisky Magazine Editor Rob Allanson and BBC Scotland’s Tom Morton aim to visit the most extreme distilleries collecting whisky to create the ultimate bottling. A third rider, using another classic British bike name, Royal Enfield, will be providing photographic coverage.

Journey’s Blend will take the intrepid pair nearly 1,000 miles through some of Scotland’s finest landscapes and towns as they select the ingredients for this one-off special blend.

The journey will see the duo leave Orkney to head to one of Scotland’s newest producing distilleries on Islay, Kilchoman, then travel to Bladnoch in the south before heading north east to Glen Garioch; these distilleries represent the furthest points on Scotland’s distilling map. The trip ends at Glenturret Distillery, home of the Famous Grouse and Scotland’s oldest and most central distilleries, forming the hub of the compass.

Whisky guru and master blender for the Edrington Group John Ramsay will meet the pair there and has agreed to create the final bottling, one of the last projects he will work on before retiring later this year. A proportion of the proceeds will be going to the Parkinson’s Society and the bottling will be launched at Scotland’s greatest whisky tasting event, Whisky Live Glasgow, on Saturday 12th September at The Thistle Hotel, Glasgow.

For more information and interviews with the team please contact Whisky Magazine Editor Rob Allanson on +44 7595 936 766 or email

The Spirit of Speyside – Glenfarclas Distillery events

Considering a trip to Speyside? Why not wait until early May when you can experience the Spirit of Speyside festival in all its glory.

Our friends at Glenfarclas have announced their schedule of events, but all of the distilleries will host events during the festival.

Glenfarclas celebrates The Spirit of Speyside – 1st to 10th May 2009

This year the festival is the anchor for Homecoming’s Whisky Month, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, and runs for ten days from the 1st of May. The Glenfarclas program will include tours for the distillery, tutored nosings and tastings, a Glenfarclas Dinner, a walk to the distillery’s water source and a Glenfarclas Race Night for charity.

New Spirit to Glenfarclas 105
Friday 1st May 2009 11.00 – 12.30
Zero to Glenfarclas 105 in ninety minutes: After a tour of family owned Glenfarclas, George Grant will lead you through a tasting. Starting with new spirit and then a series of eight cask samples, you will experience how Glenfarclas matures over time. To finish, a dram of legendary Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength. £18.00.

Glenfarclas Tasting at the Mash Tun, Aberlour
Saturday 2nd May 2009 15.00 – 1700
Informal Glenfarclas tasting at the Mash Tun in Aberlour with George Grant.

Glenfarclas Dinner at Craggan Mill Restaurant, Grantown-on-Spey
Sunday 3rd May 2009 19.00 – 22.00
Enjoy a four course Glenfarclas Whisky Dinner at Craggan Mill Restaurant, Grantown-on-Spey. Graham Harvey and Sheila McConachie, chef/patrons of Craggan Mill, and co-authors of the award winning book The Whisky Kitchen, will present a four course dinner, with each course inspired by an expression of Glenfarclas. To start, the Velouté of Haggis with Glenfarclas 15 Years Old, which featured in Graham’s winning menu for the 2007 Spirit of Speyside Chef Competition. Robert Ransom, of family owned Glenfarclas, will introduce an expression of Glenfarclas to accompany each course. £37.00.

Glenfarclas Lottery Tour and Tasting
Monday 4th May 2009 11.00 – 12.55
After a tour of Glenfarclas, George Grant, Brand Ambassador, and sixth generation of the family that own and manage the distillery will present a tasting of six whiskies of the same age as the winning numbers in the previous Saturday’s National Lottery draw. All those of 12 years and older will be selected from The Family Casks, a unique collection of single cask whisky, with at least one cask bottled for every year from 1952 to 1994. For those younger than 12 years old, George will select cask samples of the appropriate age to present. Keep your fingers crossed for high numbers! £30.00.

Glenfarclas Tour & Tasting
Tuesday 5th May 2009 14.00 – 15.55
Enjoy a tour of Family owned Glenfarclas, after which Kate Wright will introduce you to a selection of four of her favourite expressions of Glenfarclas, including one of The Family Casks. £15.00.

Glenfarclas Tour & Tasting
Thursday 7th May 2009 – 14.00 – 15.55
Enjoy a tour of Family owned Glenfarclas, after which Ian McWilliam will introduce you to a selection of four of his favourite expressions of Glenfarclas, including one of The Family Casks. £15.00.

Glenfarclas Walk to the Water Source
Friday 8th May 2009 – 11.00 – 14.45
Enjoy an afternoon walk to the Glenfarclas water source, on Ben Rinnes, with Robert Ransom. Where could be better to enjoy a dram of Glenfarclas 105? This is a hill walk over rough ground, so bring walking boots, waterproofs, warm clothes and a packed lunch. Weather permitting you should be rewarded with a fantastic view of Speyside. Relax after the walk with tea and shortbread at the distillery visitor centre. Please do not bring dogs. £6.00.

Glenfarclas Charity Race Night, with The Whisky Shop Dufftown
Friday 8th of May 20.00 – 22.30
To celebrate the sponsorship of a series of cross country races at Cheltenham by Glenfarclas we are off to the races. During the evening there will be 6 races for you to flutter on. And between each race Kate Wright from Glenfarclas will hold a whisky tasting. Proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research UK. £15.00.

For full details on the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival visit and

The Whisky Picnic

Alex Nicol of Spencerfield Spirit (Producers of Sheep Dip & Pig’s Nose) wrote to tell me about the growing Edinburgh Mixologist scene and their plans for the most unusual picnic:

Edinburgh is really buzzing with cocktail bars and young enthusiastic professional barmen/mixologists – most of them from Australia, the US, and various European countries (with a few English thrown in for luck).

I’ve been doing a bit of work with them – mainly Sheep Dip (ed: a Vatted Malt), and they have come up with a great concept – a “Whisky Picnic”.

Whilst looking through old Scottish books a few of them came across Victorian gentlemen on a highland moor with a spread of food BUT a bigger spread of whiskies.

So they, this group of young barmen, have got together to have a whisky picnic on Nov 2nd.

This entails taking a venue over for the day in central Edinburgh and celebrating whisky by making cocktails – not meant to be a competition but simply, a picnic.

There are no tickets for sale and it is by invitation only.

I have given them four cases of Sheep Dip, they have cases of Auchentoshan, Yamazaki, Bulleit Bourbon, Bushmills and even some J.W. Black. So not they are unsupported in this endeavour.

The food they will bring along but it must be Victorian – and Scottish and everyone has to wear lots of tweed and a moustache (real or otherwise).

I believe that it may be the start of opening up whisky as a cocktail ingredient, but also tasting the wide variety of malts and appreciating the flavours.

Whatever happens it will be fun.

All the best, Alex.

Nick Ravenhall, one of the organizers, let me know:

In honour of the tweed wearing men of our past, to come to the Picnic you have to wear your own take on tweed and a moustache or beard – and bring a bottle of your favourite dram to share.

As for what we are doing:

Both Dunc and I get a bit sick of the perceptions whisky has to overcome – you’ve heard it before no doubt – ‘it makes you fight’ or ‘its an old mans drink’ plus the perception we heap on it to make it to make it inaccessible to non drinkers i.e. it smells like cows breath is one ubiquitous quote I recently heard….


We want people to love whisky; not because it makes you feel superior to others but beause it is such an amazing versatile liquid with huge character (hence we’ve put whiskies of the world into thid gig)… we’re both bartenders by trade if you hadn’t guessed!

So hence the Whisky Picnic… bring a bottle / get dressed up/ to let your hair down… we’ve got some amazing DJs coming…. as well as some very fun and cool people…. having signature cocktails for each brand being whipped up buy some of the best guys and gals in the business…Who are by the way Australian, Kiwi, Scots, Irish, Thai and Italian…. unfortunately no Poms or Yanks on the stick in this one.

Hit me back if you’ve got any questions…

Hell you should come along!!!

I’ve included our Aberdeen picture that inspired the whole thing and our invite.

So, if you are in Edinburgh – and in the mixologist scene, see if you can score an invite to this excellent idea.

And if not, then take a cue from our Scottish mixologist friends and start your own “Whisk(e)y Picnic”!

USAir Sucks The Big One.

Allow me, dear reader, to depart from our normal fare of whisk(e)y news and opinion. This post IS, in some small way, whisk(e)y related – as it is the direct result of my otherwise excellent trip to the Emerald Isle.

USAir is, without a doubt the worst Airline I’ve ever had to endure (And I’ve been on a lot of them).

Philadelphia is, by far, the worst airport on the planet (and that is saying a lot considering I am including in that assessment a fair number of the third world’s airports).

I’ve never NOT had a problem with the unholy combination of USAIR & the Philadelphia Airport – including, but not limited to lost luggage; delayed flights; canceled flights; sitting on the tarmac 3+ hours; rude staff; terrible food; and shoddy facilities. On the several times when I’ve been forced to stay in Philadelphia (courtesy of USAir – usually for “mechanical problems”) it’s always been in a room that was  likely the scene of a recent double homicide – or some such factor making it apparently suitable only for the temporary housing of screwed-over USAir patrons.

Tonight is likely one of those nights.

Although landing 20 minutes earlier than scheduled, due to back-ups at the gate we didn’t get off the plane until past the originally scheduled time.

Flash forward 1 hour and 15 minutes later when the bags finally began to roll off of the conveyor belt.

Quite odd that it took more than an hour to get bags off of a 757 – especially when one considers that no other flight was coming into the international terminal at that time.

Once I finally got my bag, I got through customs with a minimum wait followed by another short wait while I rechecked the bag…by this time it was 6:30 pm approximately 1.5 hours after getting to baggage claim.

Considering my next flight – from Philadelphia to my home base of Richmond – wasn’t due to take off until 8:40, there seemed to be plenty of time.


My first clue that something was amiss came by way of the departure status screen… my connecting flight was curiously absent.

A 6:30 flight to Richmond WAS listed – a flight I could have made (considering the 5:00 arrival – had there been a timely removal of the baggage) – yet one which I missed – due to the monumental incompetence of the baggage handlers.

After inquiring with a series of dim and apparently inept USAIR employees (none of whom had any information on why the flight was not on the board), I was finally sent off to find the “Customer Service” desk – and never before has the term been more oxymoronic.

I was told that the plane had not yet left Detroit due to (you guessed it) “Mechanical Difficulties”. It was due to depart at 8:20.

If the plane actually fails to arrive here, there are no more flights on any airline; I’m not too sure the flight will ever get in from Detroit; and I am sitting here at a gate with the angry passengers from a delayed flight to Boston; venting electronically; and preparing my Luminol & Black Light for the seedy Half Star hotel room I’ll invariably be subjected to by the “Customer Service” team at USAir.

Do yourselves a favor if traveling to the US. Avoid USAir if at all possible – but more importantly, if forced to use USAir, avoid Philadelphia at all costs.

UPDATE: 8:50 The gate agent announced the flight’s immediate boarding following a delayed Boston flight – despite the fact that the USAir web site shows that the plane has only just left Detroit. When I questioned him he said “Well then you know more than I do.”

Update 2: I arrived home just shy of 2 am EST. Considering I was awake before 7 am Irish time; I was up for approximately 24 hours. Oh and the final leg of the flight was a plane with no air conditioning – and a full contingent of tired, cranky & very hot travelers. Despite the extended travel time and boiling temperatures, USAIR still saw fit to charge for beverages.

In Ireland

Hi Everyone.

In Ireland for the next few days. Today toured Locke’s distillery – the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Tomorrow going to visit Cooley Distillery. Saturday a tour of Guinness and a visit to the “Old Jameson Distillery”.

Maybe I’ll get a chance to see something in Dublin that isn’t alcohol related. Nah.

National Bourbon Heritage Month and the Man-cation

Written for and origininally published on Ploomy

In college you and the guys would pile into the biggest/most highway worthy car; chip in for gas; load up on cheap beer and Doritos and head out on that most guy of guy events – the “road-trip”.

Now you are (somewhat of) an adult and have a little scratch to spend. You don’t want to jam in with 4 smelly dudes in the back seat while they spill PBR all over your crotch every time you hit a pothole.

That’s where the “Man-cation” comes in – taking the all guys road-trip get-away to the next level.

Chicks do it with alarming frequency. Usually involving a spa of some sort followed by dancing, cosmos and morning-after pills (usually, but not always in that order).
So why shouldn’t you enjoy some quality time with other people who share the Y chromosome?

C’mon, you know you deserve it. You just got through a summer filled with family duties & kid-friendly vacations – why NOT cash in on all that goodwill you’ve earned by attending never-ending swim-meets; excruciating family reunions and pretending to like your neighbors and co-workers at barbecues.

Get a group of buddies together and get out of town on an “adult” road-trip – but make sure it’s somewhere that guys can have a good time. Someplace that reeks of manliness – like Vegas or….Kentucky?!? That’s right Kentucky…where the vast majority of American whiskey is produced.

Look at it this way – Your wife/fianceé/girlfriend knows that you’re going to get hammered if you go away with the guys for a weekend – but won’t they be more likely to let you off the leash if they can rest assured that a deadly combo of hookers and gambling isn’t in the equation?

The kind folks at Knob Creek have created an insider’s guide to Bourbon Country along with a “man-tinerary” – and with September being National Bourbon Heritage Month, it’s the perfect time to go.

Read the rest here.

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