Traverso's Glenfarclas Bottling

Traverso’s Private Scotch Whisky Cask now available.

Cask # 685
11 years Old
750 ML
92 proof
Distilled on February 15, 1996
Personally tasted and hand-selected at Glenfarclas Distillery on March 23, 2007. 
Bottled on July 18, 2007

$59.95 each, or 3 bottle special $149.95 + tax

Michael Traverso’s Tasting Notes

It was a cool March morning.  The wind was coming from the North and rain was beginning to fall as we drove along the river Spey enroute to Glenfarclas Distillery.  After an early lunch of venison sausage and local beer, we began to taste from the casks.  One after one…the decision was very difficult.  But then…Cask #685 presented itself…like and old friend.  This was the one!  It clearly stood out as the winner.  We selected this cask for its rich flavor and smooth finish.  This is a fine malt that can be enjoyed and appreciated by the Scotch connoisseur or novice.  Notes of leather, tobacco, and hints of caramel on the nose.  Palate flavors dominated by expressions Oloroso Sherry and underlying hints of maple.  Little to no peat.  Only 306 bottles available.

We can ship to you or hold for pick-up.
Contact us today:

877-456-7616 toll-free

This is not a paid promotion for either Traverso’s or Glenfarclas.

Acceptance Speeches

"We are chuffed to bits!  This means more to us than any of the other industry bollocks. Great showing from Islay and the independents too. And I would like to thank our  customers, followers, shareholders, bank manager etc. etc."
Mark Reynier

Bruichladdich – Distiller/Blender/Independent Bottler of the Year

Thank you!  We are absolutely delighted with the award!
We only have enough to last till the close of 2009 so I recommend everyone stocks up on it as I am doing!
Davinia Small
Ardbeg –
Best New Product (whisky) (Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist)

"That is really terrific and I am really surprised that our Glasgow amnesty reached across the pond.
I will pass on the news to the team who will be delighted."
Jason Craig
Highland Park – Best Packaging/ Marketing Campaign

Cheers Kevin, keep up all the good work, and thanks to Everyone who voted for Glenfarclas all the support is much appreciated.
Bring on the 2008 Drammies!!!

George Grant
Glenfarclas – Most under-rated-whisky

This is great news!  Thanks very much
John Glaser
Compass Box – Most Innovative New Product (Canto Series) 

Will Lyons talks with Ian Curle

Will Lyons recently had a chance to sit down with Ian Curle, Chief Executive of The Edrington Group.

Edrington produces such well-known favorites as Highland Park, Macallan & The Famous Grouse. They recently acquired a large stake in Brugal – a little known Rum from The Dominican Republic.

I had a chance to visit Brugal in 2003, and it became my favorite Rum on the spot. Unfortunately it’s not easy to get here in the US… but it’s worth finding. With the backing of Edrington, it could give Bacardi a run for it’s money – it’s delicious, priced well, and head and shoulders in taste and quality over the ubiquitous Bacardi line.

Interview: Ian Curle: It was a rum thing to learn Spanish
by William Lyons

Read Will Lyons online:

FOR the past three years Ian Curle has been keeping a secret close to his chest. Once a month, sometimes more often, he would board the British Airways lunchtime flight to Miami. To the outside world the chief executive of Edrington, one of Scotland’s largest whisky makers, was doing nothing more than paying a routine visit to a key market.

The reality was somewhat different. After arriving in the Florida sunshine Curle would board a second flight to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, where he would meet his finance director Richard Hunter and his company secretary Martin Cooke, who flew in via New York. The purpose of these clandestine visits was made clear last Wednesday when Curle announced that he had spent GBP 200m acquiring a majority stake of just over 60 per cent in Brugal, the largest rum brand in the Caribbean. Such was the secrecy surrounding the talks that nobody was aware that Hunter and Cooke had both learned Spanish in order to conduct the negotiations.

"We had to keep it very quiet," says Curle, fresh off a flight from Madrid where he has been in discussions with his distribution company Maxxium to build the brand across Europe.

Continue Reading >>

And now…the winners of the 2007 Drammies

What an interesting award season THIS has been.
We’ve had quite a bit of over-exuberance regarding the awards.

And the winners don’t even get a cool statuette! Just the knowledge that a world-wide audience of thousands of whisky lovers had the chance to nominate and select the winners.

You’ve likely read here and in all of the UK papers regarding an unfortunate incident. But never fear, the awards come off untarnished…as do the nominees.

One significant point of order on voting and how votes were counted.

We looked VERY closely at all of the votes – and anything that so much as hinted of impropriety was disregarded.

What was worthy of being disregarded?

  1. Suspicious Volumes from industry domains – I don’t want to create a misconception. Industry people were certainly allowed to vote in the awards – there are a lot of industry people who read this site. It was the volume of emails from single domains that created a problem for me. So floods of emails with similar votes from industry domains were disregarded.
  2. Single votes – There were some nominees who let their fans and friends know that they were up for an award. Nothing wrong with that – BUT all votes that came in which consisted of a single vote, for a single product in a single category were disregarded.
  3. Voting in a bloc – You certainly did not have to have an opinion on every category – most people did not. And as stated in #2 above, single votes were disregarded. But if someone submitted votes only in categories in which a single company’s products were nominated – and only voted for those products, the votes were disregarded.
  4. Uninformed votes – A couple of votes were disregarded for specific reasons. There was no ill intent in these votes, BUT when a statement was included that said (for example) "I haven’t tried any of these products, but like the idea of a "Coffee-flavoured malt", then the vote was disregarded. You get the idea.

The Drammies were created to be, above all, a "People’s Choice" award and to try to disregard the influence that the industry has over the spirits writers and periodicals that generally grant the awards that get touted.

No fees here. Only nominations for the more interesting things out there, and awards for (hopefully) the most deserving products.

I’ve also included some of the more entertaining/insightful quotes that accompanied some of the votes.

So without further ado, your winners…

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Road to the Drammies: Kevin's Picks

Of course the Road to the Drammies would not be complete without me adding my $0.02, would it?

And to prove that the Drammies really are selected by the Scotch Blog readership, you’ll see, once the winners are announced, that I did not completely agree with the voter-ship. Heck, there were some nominees that I think were missed!

Producers, feel free to take my comments and plaster them all over your ads :)

My ‘picks’ for The Drammies
Kevin Erskine

Best Packaging/Marketing Campaign
Highland Park 18 "Whisky Amnesty" at Glasgow, Whisky Live
I’m a big fan of the Maker’s Mark Ambassador program (I’m also a participant), it’s simply the best ongoing affinity program in the whisky world today. But the Whisky Amnesty was an inspired marketing stunt, and one that’s sure to be copied.

Bang for the Buck
Forty Creek
I love me some Laphroaig, but the QC is slightly too high in price to fit into my personal definition of "Bang for the Buck". I’ve never met a Glenfarclas I didn’t like. Benromach Traditional is damned fine stuff and a great price. Black Bottle is pretty darned good – and the 10 year old (my preferred of the 2) is still a great value (even here in America). And I love Bulleit Bourbon.

But for cost vs. bang, flavor, and whatever other measure you want to apply, Forty Creek walks away with the award (in my book)…

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Road to the Drammies: Serge's Picks

The Third in our series of "Guest Picks" for the Drammies, Serge Valentin, of Whisky Fun & Malt Maniac.

Fun with The Drammies
Serge Valentin

Best Marketing Campaign
This has to go to all distillers and bottlers who are NOT making the
fakers’ lives easier. Labels that are not easy to take off and re-stick
on another bottle, capsules/foils that you can’t just take off and then
replace once you’ve refilled a bottle, engraving or serigraphy on the
bottle and so on. Lagavulin springs to mind.

Distiller/Blender/Independent Bottler of the Year

Because of their recent 1997. Great spirit in its naked truth.

Most Innovative New Product
Compass Box Canto Series

Experimentation that’s not only for the sake of experimentation or
easy-easy range widening. Oh, and because of the heavy use of Clynelish.

Best New Product (whisky)
Glenfarclas Family Casks.

Indeed, despite the prices of the younger versions. They could do it and they did it. Ah, the 1960 and the 1965…

Best New Product (Non-whisky)
The Legend of Laphroaig
Fabulous book by Marcel van Gils and Hans Offringa. There should be such books about every distillery in Scotland.

Most under-rated-whisky
Glenugie (but Glenugie was closed in 1983). Otherwise, young Clynelishes.

Worst Marketing Campaign
Anything bling bling aimed at Russian oligarchs or Chinese IT wizards –
and while the stock markets plunge.  By the way, ever saw Petrus or
Cheval Blanc in fancy bottles? (and
mahogany-leather-crystal-pewter-whatever?) Shared between The Macallan
55yo Lalique, Ardbeg’s Double Barrel and The Dalmore’s 60plus bottles.

Road to the Drammies: Sam's Picks

The second in our series of "Guest Picks" for the Drammies, Sam Simmons, aka Dr. Whisky

The Drammies according to Dr. Whisky
Sam Simmons

Always eager to exercise democracy in any way shape or form, the Drammies represent a grass-roots "people’s choice" whisky awards that Dr. Whisky is only too happy nominate, be nominated, vote, and be voted for.

asked Kevin Erskine, if the world was a perfect totalitarian whisky-soaked dream and I was its dictator (or author of works I thought so holy I  called them Bibles), who would I deem to be worthy to win these awards?

Bang for the Buck
Forty Creek Barrel Select

A difficult category this year with 5 excellent whiskies that are
affordable AND delicious. But like Mussolini favoured the North and let the south starve or die in senseless war in Ethiopia, I support a Canadian. Resourceful, affordable, and tasty!

Distiller/Blender/Independent Bottler of the Year
Single Malts of Scotland

Another challenging category because the bundling of distiller, blender and indie is a contentious one. They all do different things so really, how can they be evaluated as competitors? Easily. Like Suharto did in Indonesia, with an Iron Fist. What other bottler released a drinkable Tobermory(1995, £30)? a 30 year old Glenlivet that was tasty, sherried, and only £65? one of the best Clynelishes to ever pass the lips of this Clynelish lover (1972, £110)? No one. And if they did, I would imprison, squash, or stone them.

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Road to the Drammies: Ian's Picks

The polls are now closed and the votes are being tabulated.

While we wait for the results, I thought I’d get some friends to pick THEIR choices for a Drammy in each category.

First up: Ian Buxton

My ‘picks’ for The Drammies
Ian Buxton

Well, the Whisky Writers Union hasn’t declared a strike.  The Oscars may be under threat but the big one carries on.  Yes, The Drammies are with us once again and Kevin asked me for my ‘picks’.  I have no idea which way the voting has gone but, if it were up to me, these babies would come out on top:

Best Packaging
Highland Park 18 "Whisky Amnesty" at Glasgow, Whisky Live
There were some nice things here – I really liked the Port Charlotte tins, for example – but if you had seen the queue of excited whisky fans at the Highland Park stand you’d know this was THE winner.  Tough to think of something genuinely new but the HP boys did it.

Bang for the Buck
Black Bottle
Black Bottle is consistently under-rated.  I would pick Glenfarclas but I’ve got a bigger win in mind for them!

Continue Reading >>

Now THIS is fun.

I took Canadian Club to task for the "Your Dad Drank It" ads as being stupid and misogynistic.

I recently came across this commercial (Australian?) for Jim Beam Bourbon.

How’d I miss this the first go around?

From the same parent company. This one is, by comparison, fun.

Update: Another one in the series…(Thanks Michael)

Another Glencairn Resource

TastingglasssketchThe Glencairn Glass is the only whisky glass you should be tasting your whisk(e)y in.

Don’t argue with me. I’ve tried them all and there’s no discussion.

I’ve written about it here and here.

I get a lot of emails asking where people can find these glasses, especially in the US market. Marty & Dave Coffey of Cobhthaigh Celtique wrote to let me know that they are selling the Glencairn Glass for $8 each (plus shipping) with discounts for multiple purchases.

Here’s the page…. (BTW – their site doesn’t look right in my browser, but Dave tells me it is a work in progress).

They also have some great photography of Scotland for purchase…

This is not a paid promotion for either Cobhthaigh Celtique or Glencairn.