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PappyGate Hits the Screen in Netflix's "Heist"

Nearly four years after Toby Curtsinger was released from prison after serving just 30 days of a 15-year sentence, he's telling his side of the "PappyGate" saga. Curtsinger, his wife Julie, and eight other people were indicted in connection with the thefts of thousands of dollars' worth of whiskey from Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries, but Toby Curtsinger was the only one who served any time in prison. He's always maintained that he wasn't responsible for the 2013 theft of nearly 200 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle whiskies, and his story is part of the Netflix documentary series "Heist." We'll talk with "Heist" director Nick Frew on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, tickets for this year's Kentucky Bourbon Festival are sold out, but some Bardstown residents don't see that as a good thing. Whisky events in Europe are starting to require attendees to show proof of Covid vaccination or negative tests, and the push for sustainability has whisky makers looking to the forests. 

The Cragganmore 20 Year Old 2020 Special Release

Tasting notes:
On the nose, this dram opens with a bit of furniture polish, but that and the general intensity of the flavors are the only hint of the 55.8% abv we got there. Otherwise, there are strong notes of pineapple, orange, and crystallized honey, that just scream, “Drink me!” Why aromas are screaming that is beyond us, but they were pretty clear and insistent about it. We also got a faint mustiness, like a slightly wet dog (you love) or a dark corner, but definitely not like a slightly wet dog (you love) in a dark corner. That would just be sad. We added a little water, and got light caramel and baby pine (or bonsai pine, take your pick), then some dry notes mixed with something oddly sweet.

The mouth offers bright wood notes, along with a burning sensation on the tongue (fortunately, it’s not the wood burning). It’s downright cloying, with an oiliness that’s infused with nut fats–then it just blows up on the tongue. It’s quite the intense experience, and not at all unpleasant, a bit like getting a shiatsu massage when you’re rather sore from a previous workout. Wow. With a little water, we found a slight bitterness, and the tannins were a bit more pronounced, to the point of half-desiccating our tongues. How do we know it was only half, you ask? Well, if you must know, it was 49.8% desiccated, actually, and we have a proprietary instrument for measuring such things. We have kept it under wraps for a long time, but the patents have recently come through, and now we’re just working on the brand name (unfortunately, MyPillow® is taken). 

The finish is replete with drying and low-grade spice. It’s a big finish, not unlike that on Lupin, but also like that one, not incredibly long. We added water, only to find that it was then hotter on the tongue, burning us more than before. It’s one of those inexplicable mysteries of the whisky world that we love so much. Can’t explain it, but can enjoy the lacquered tangerines we also got. There are lots of tannins here, but they’re nice, especially with all the fruit notes. A very memorable dram, even if it’s not a truly spectacular one.


On the scale of things that hurt so good–

The Cragganmore 20 Year Old 2020 Special Release is a runner’s high–It takes some pain and training to get in shape enough to get that endorphin rush, but it makes the whole thing feel worth it at the time. The fitness lasts longer, but the high is quite nice.






–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!



Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (July 23, 2021)

Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.  Here is the round-up of this week's news ... ________  Bimber 
The west London distillery of Bimber have announced a series of single cask bottlings destined for different international markets. The first 14 casks in the Bimber Country Collection 2021 are being released now, with the remaining 10 coming later in the year. The collection is designed to cater for the increasing demand for the brand globally and is said to 'explore the flavour possibilities of cask experimentation with our traditional spirit'. Details of the 14 initial casks in the Bimber Country Collection 2021 are listed below. No details of price was given.  

  • Cask #182 / ex-bourbon / 58.5% ABV / Austria 
  • Cask #194 / ex-bourbon / 58.4% ABV / Belgium 
  • Cask #150 / ex-bourbon / 59.5% ABV / China 
  • Cask #254 / ex-rye whiskey / 58.5% ABV / Denmark 
  • Cask #30 / ex-Ruby Port / 58.9% ABV / France 
  • Cask #104 / ex-bourbon / 59.7% ABV / Germany 
  • Cask #47 / ex-Ruby Port / 58.7% ABV / Hong Kong 
  • Cask #101/7 / Pedro Ximenez finish / 57.4% ABV / Japan 
  • Cask #224 / ex-rye whiskey / 58.2% ABV / Netherlands 
  • Cask #29 / ex-Ruby Port / 58.7% ABV / Poland 
  • Cask #102/8 / Pedro Ximenez finish / 57.6% ABV / South Africa 
  • Cask #178 / ex-bourbon / 58.1% ABV / South Africa 
  • Cask #205 / ex-bourbon / 58.6% ABV / Switzerland 
  • Cask #105/4 / Madeira finish / 57.7% ABV / Taiwan

The Lakes distillery have teamed up with online retailer Master of Malt to release an exclusive limited edition single malt - the Lakes Whiskymaker's Edition 'Mirimar'. The special edition has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Port pipes, which were then married together to produce Mirimar. It is the second such bottling from the English distillery following a similar limited edition for retailer Harvey Nichols. Mirimar is bottled at 54% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 600 bottles and it will be available via Master of Malt until sold out. A bottle will cost £83.
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Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Bourbon

Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 47% ABV $50 Website What the Distillery Says Twice barreled for added complexity, Toasted Barrel takes our award-winning Small Batch Bourbon to new heights. After it’s fully matured, we finish this Bourbon in a second, custom toasted new oak barrel, where it’s left to develop even more …

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The post Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Bourbon first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Happy Hour Live with Wes Henderson of Angel's Envy

The reaction to last week's bonus episode with Stephanie Macleod of Dewar's was so positive that we're doing it again this week! Wes Henderson of Angel's Envy joined us Friday night for the #HappyHourLive webcast, and we talked about everything from the construction underway at the distillery in Louisville to lab-created whiskies and what defines a "master distiller." That's something Wes knows well, since he co-founded Angel's Envy with his father, the late master distiller and original Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame inductee Lincoln Henderson. Wes joined his father in the Hall of Fame two years ago, and answered many of your whisky questions during the webcast, too!

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 47% ABV $25-$30 Website What the Distillery Says The award-winning Bourbon that started it all. Our signature Small Batch owes its distinctive warm spice & subtle smoke flavor to Level 3 charred oak barrels. Handcrafted by our Master Distillers, it’s a favorite of Bourbon connoisseurs and casual …

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The post Elijah Craig Small Batch first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Glenglassaugh 50 years old

The coastal distillery of Glenglassaugh in the east Highlands has announced the released of an extremely old and rare single malt - the Glenglassaugh 50 years old. The whisky comes from a single ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry cask that has been maturing in a warehouse at the distillery for half a century. The cask was hand selected by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender at Glenglassaugh. 

The Glenglassaugh distillery is located on the North Sea coast of Aberdeenshire, close to the town of Portsoy and village of Sandend. It was founded in 1875 by James Moir and his two nephews, Alexander and William Morrison. The whisky became popular with blending companies and has historically been used in brands such as Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. The distillery has had an intermittent history with three long periods of closure, the most recent being between 1986 and 2008. 

Glenglassaugh was then purchased and renovated by the Dutch company Scaent Group, who also inherited around 400 old casks of maturing whisky including this one. The first new spirit flowed in November 2008. It has since been through two more ownership changes - first the Benriach Distillery Co. and then the current owners Brown-Forman. The production is 250,000 litres per year, although the capacity is around one million. The name translates as 'valley of the grey green grass' from Gaelic.

"A lot can happen in half a century and this whisky has seen important milestones whilst maturing in our warehouses. From the distillery being lost, then revived again in 2008, to the release of its first core range celebrating its youthful spirit." Dr. Rachel Barrie. 

 The Glenglassaugh 50 years old is bottled at the natural cask strength of 40.1% ABV. The single cask has yielded just 264 bottles, which are presented in a crystal decanter and wooden casket. It is available in specialist and luxury retailers in selected markets including Asia, Europe and the UK. The price will be £5,550/ €6,395 per bottle. Our tasting notes The colour is a deep coppery gold and the nose is packed with rich fruity aromas. Dark dried fruits (think of raisins, prunes and dates especially) rise first and are accompanied by further aromas of milk chocolate, apricot jam and treacle toffee. Underneath are hints of ripe tropical fruits, cedarwood, a good pinch of baking spices and a hint of menthol.
On the palate this whisky feels equally as rich and luxurious as the nose suggests. A mocha-like note of coffee and milk chocolate comes through initially. This is quickly joined by the rich dark dried fruit - raisin, prune and date again, but with hints of sultana and candied orange peel also - and caramel notes. Then the layers come in waves, each adding its own depth and complexity.
Gripping malted cereals and a suggestion of dried grass or hay kicks this process off, then further sweetness is added with the apricot jam, treacle toffee and ripe tropical notes from the nose. Warming baking and wood spices are next, which give a savoury note - imagine cinnamon, all-spice, cedarwood and hints of sandalwood and ginger cake. Then comes the later menthol hit, which turns slightly minty towards the end.
The finish is long and delicious. Each layer drops away to create an interesting journey. First the dried fruits fade, then the sweeter jam and toffee notes. This leaves the robust cereals and warming spices to linger. Stunning.
What's the verdict?
We have a soft spot for Glenglassaugh - we like the underdog, the battling survivor, the small distillery. We have purchased numerous bottles and visited the distillery on a few occasions, but even then we have rarely tasted anything so old and rare. There are not many casks left of this age so this was a real treat.
 Half a century in a Pedro Ximenez cask requires a great cask, careful management over time and a versatile spirit. This 50 years old bottling allows all three elements to shine. The price and limited number of bottles will mean that only a select few will get to sample this elegant and classy whisky. We are glad to be one of them.

Building a New Whisky Legacy in Dornoch

The Scottish town of Dornoch has a lot of history, and the Thompson brothers are adding a new chapter to the town's legacy. Their family owns the historic Dornoch Castle Hotel, and after managing the hotel and its world-class whisky bar for several years, Phil and Simon Thompson decided to open their own distillery near the hotel four years ago. They've only bottled one cask of their own whisky so far as a thank-you for supporters who helped crowdfund the project, and have also started their own range of independent bottlings to keep the business going while their own whisky continues to mature. That's also given them a unique perspective of the whisky industry as connoisseurs, whisky makers, and bar owners...and not everything they've seen in recent years makes them happy. We'll talk with the brothers on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the relaxation of some pandemic-related health restrictions could open up more whisky travel and event opportunities soon, and we'll have the details on the week's new whiskies. We'll also have a tribute to one of the great distillers of his day and tasting notes for a rare whisky sample that slipped through the cracks years ago!

Review / Gladstone Axe 'American Oak' & 'The Black Axe'

These two new whiskies are a pair of Scotch blended malts from wine and spirits company Biggar & Leith. The Gladstone Axe 'American Oak' and the Gladstone Axe 'The Black Axe' are designed to be 'a modern twist on classic Scotch' and are named after four-times UK Prime Minister William Gladstone. The brand and both blended malts have been created by Elwyn Gladstone, the founder of Biggar & Leith and the great great great grandson of William Gladstone. 

The American Oak expression is made from 14 single malts from the Highlands and Islay. These have been matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. The Black Axe also features 14 single malts but with a higher proportion from Islay. Both are bottled at 41% ABV and will cost £32 each from selected online retailers to begin with. The bottle features an embossed design, cork stopper and wax dipped cap.


"We are really excited to be launching a new blended malt whisky bearing the name of my ancestor. In 1860, he signed the Spirits Act. This allowed the legal blending of Scotch whisky for the first time and essentially creating the Scotch whisky industry as we know it today." Elwyn Gladstone. 

 Our tasting notes 
Gladstone Axe 'American Oak'The colour is a pale gold (deceptive as it comes in a blue glass bottle) and the nose is fresh and vibrant. Lively cereal and icing sugar aromas mix with green apple, toffee and vanilla essence. Underneath are further aromas of candied orange peel, something floral and hints of white chocolate and earthy peat smoke.
On the palate this whisky is sugary and sweet. Brown sugar and white chocolate kick things off, along with a distinct malty and biscuit-like quality. The green apple is present again, although this is more cooked and stewed now than it was on the nose. Vanilla, butterscotch and a hint of coconut add depth. Late suggestions of peat smoke and candied orange come through towards the end. The finish is short and sweet. The butterscotch and and cereals fade to reveal a pinch of baking spice and fresh oak. This gives a crisp dryness to end with. 
Gladstone Axe 'The Black Axe'The colour is golden yellow (this one comes in a smoke grey glass bottle) and the nose has a mix of sweet and savoury aromas. Fresh green apple and toffee mingle with hay, robust malted cereals and damp earth. This becomes more mossy with a whiff of seaweed over time. A late hit of orange oil, vanilla and oak come through also. On the palate this whisky has an immediate savoury nature. The damp earthy peat smoke licks around everything, along with a pinch of white pepper. Heather honey and stewed green apple are to the fore and these notes grip on to the robust malted cereal notes. Then comes more sweetness in the form of milk chocolate and vanilla fudge. The whisky then becomes hot and spicy. Oak tannins and warming baking spices, plus more white pepper contribute to this. The finish is short and becomes a touch bitter. The sweet elements quickly fade to leave the savoury ones to play.   What's the verdict?It is good to see the blended malt category expanding so much these days. As more and more products come on to the market it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out from the crowd. The concept for the Gladstone Axe (ie : one softer sweeter one and one peatier smoky one) should allow the brand to do that. However they both just seem a bit flat, a bit young and a bit predictable.  Of course we must remember that these are both £30 whiskies and may develop over time. The American Oak is pleasant but basic, while The Black Axe turns bitter and hot too quickly for us. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the brand and its future releases.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (July 16, 2021)

Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.  Here is the round-up of this week's news ... ________  Loch Lomond 
The award-winning Loch Lomond Group has unveiled a new single grain whisky brand named Spearhead. The new expression is designed to attract new drinkers to the whisky category and showcase the Loch Lomond distillery's diversity of spirit production. The single grain has been made through their continuous Coffey still to give a light and sweet style of whisky. This has then been matured in ex-bourbon barrels before a finishing period in virgin American oak casks.
Spearhead is recommended to be consumed neat, over ice or within a long drink or cocktail. It is packaged in a bourbon-style bottle and at 43% ABV. Spearhead will be rolled out globally over the coming months and will cost £30 per bottle. For further information, please visit the brand's website -

The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) has announced the release of its second release of Oxford Rye. The whisky was produced using heritage rye grain varieties grown using sustainable methods dating back to the 19th century. For Oxford Rye Batch #2 the mash bill was 70% rye, 20% wheat and 10% malted barley. All cereals were harvested in Summer 2017. The spirit was then matured in virgin American oak casks and ex-Port barrels. It has been released at 47.4% ABV and there are just 973 bottles. They are available via selected specialist whisky retailers in the UK and the distillery website.  

"With Batch #2, we wanted to highlight a different side of our rye spirit - the herbal nuttiness and rye goodness - while also bringing a decadent and musky hint of vintage Port. The Port casks add a layer of complementary complexity."Chica Rosa - Master Distiller at TOAD.

The Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey Company has announced the latest release in their Vintage Reserve Collection - the Teeling 32 years old. The single malt is one of the oldest Irish whiskeys currently on the market and is released at 46% ABV. It is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour.  There are just 750 bottles and they will initially only be available in selected specialist retailers in Ireland. This includes the distillery shop. A wider release for Asia, Europe and the USA will happen shortly. The Teeling 32 years old Vintage Reserve Collection will cost €2,000/ £1,710/ $2,365 US. 

"The Vintage Reserve Collection offerings are central to our goal to help drive diversity in Irish whiskey by introducing unique small batch bottlings. They represent a rare piece of Irish whiskey history in each bottle."Jack Teeling - Founder of Teeling Whiskey Co.

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Duncan Taylor ‘Dimensions’ Highland Park 20 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Duncan Taylor ‘Dimensions’ Highland Park 20 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky 53% ABV $150-$180 Website What the Bottler Says Bottled at cask strength of 53% ABV and without chill-filtration or artificial colouring, this single malt has matured beautifully as a result of 20 years in an ex-sherry butt. The traditionally lightly-peated notes of Highland Park …

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The post Duncan Taylor ‘Dimensions’ Highland Park 20 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Allotment Drams / Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion & Redbreast Lustau Edition

We have two more Allotment Dram episodes for you as Matt returns to the plot following a period of self isolation and a busy couple of weeks. First, he takes a look at the brand new limited edition Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion. This whisky is exclusively available to Ardbeg Committee members and he managed to snaffle a bottle. Watch to discover about Ardbeg and the Committee, before he opens the bottle on camera to give his thoughts and tasting notes.

Then on his next visit he revisits an old favourite - the Redbreast Lustau Edition. Learn about the origins of the Redbreast brand and the collaboration between the Midleton distillery in Co.Cork and Bodegas Lustau in Jerez, Spain. Then watch further to find out his thoughts and tasting notes on this Irish classic.

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Remus Repeal Reserve Series V Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Remus Repeal Reserve Series V Straight Bourbon Whiskey 50% ABV $90 Website We would like to thank Luxco and BYRNE PR for sending us samples to review. What the Producer Says Luxco will debut Remus Repeal Reserve Series V Straight Bourbon Whiskey in September 2021. A limited annual release, Series V is the fifth edition …

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The post Remus Repeal Reserve Series V Straight Bourbon Whiskey first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Happy Hour Live with Dewar's Master Blender Stephanie Macleod

With many people starting to return to the office, we know you may not have as much time to watch our #HappyHourLive webcasts on Fridays. That's why we're trying something new: a podcast version starting with last Friday night's conversation with Dewar's Master Blender Stephanie Macleod. You'll hear everything as it happened on the live show, with minimal editing to remove some audio glitches that come with producing live content on the web. If you have comments, please use the contact form on the WhiskyCast web site to let us know, since we're trying to decide whether to offer these special episodes in addition to the regular podcast episode each week. 

American History...With the Whiskey Stuff Included!

There are lots of things about American history that never make into the history textbooks. For instance, the Mayflower left for America with three times as much beer on board as drinking water, and while George Washington may have been the first U.S. President to become a whiskey distiller, at least two of his successors also owned whiskey distilleries. Harris Cooper digs into some of the things the textbook writers left out in his new book "American History Through a Whiskey Glass," and he'll join us on this week's podcast. In the news, the Scotch Whisky Association is looking for a new leader as chief executive Karen Betts prepares to move on, while British officials may be ready to act on the American whiskey tariff soon. We'll have those stories and much more, and on Behind the Label, we'll explain what the story behind WhistlePig Rye's newest release has in common with a Margarita.

Review / Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion

This single malt whisky is the latest limited edition from the Islay-based distillery and will be exclusive to Ardbeg Committee members. The Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion is designed to get Committee members talking about the whisky and how it compares to other whiskies in the Ardbeg range. It has been created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, and has been matured in ex-sherry casks. The aim was to temper the powerful smoke of the 8 year old spirit. The Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion is bottled at 50.8% ABV and is both natural colour and non chill-filtered. The Ardbeg Committee has over 100,000 members worldwide.

The Ardbeg distillery is located on the southern coast of the famous whisky island of Islay and was founded in 1815 by John MacDougall, although records have distilling on the site as far back as 1794. The recent history shows numerous changes of ownership from the 1950s right through the fallow period of the 1980s and 90s, until The Glenmorangie Company (now Moet Hennessy) took over in 1997. This signalled the rebirth of Ardbeg. The distillery has an annual production of just 2.4 million litres per year and boasts an award-winning visitor centre. 

Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion will be available only via the Ardbeg Committee area on while stocks last. A bottle will cost £57 plus postage. The exact number of bottles has not been revealed.

Our tasting notes

The colour is pale gold, lighter than expected for a sherry cask matured whisky, and the nose is packed with peaty aromas. These are initially earthy and ashy, but then become more flinty and mineralic. Underneath are some sweeter aromas of dried fruit (especially sultana), toffee and butterscotch, plus heather honey and a twist of orange peel with hints of fennel seed and seaweed.

On the palate this whisky is punchy to begin with. Smoky and peppery notes hit first and these have an ashy charcoal-like edge to them, followed by damp earth and coal tar soap. Then comes a hint of green chilli and white pepper to accentuate everything. That flinty mineral feel from the nose is also present. 

Then comes much needed sweeter characteristics - think of juicy sultanas and raisins, plus butterscotch and toffee especially. Then the heather honey note evolves and sits underneath. With time other notes begin to develop and add depth. Hints of gingerbread and oat cookies marry with a pinch of cinnamon and a hint of seaweed. Very notes of candied orange and hints of liquorice and menthol also come through.

The finish is long with peaty and biscuit-like notes lasting longest. The sweetness slowly fades - first the sugary honey and toffee, then the juicy dried fruits. This leaves a gripping maltiness and expressive peat smoke. This has a earthy and ashy edge again with a hint of fennel seed and seaweed from the nose coming back right at the end.

What's the verdict?

For Discussion is another fine offering from Ardbeg for their Committee members. It is punchy and peaty as you may expect but this is softened by the sherry cask maturation. The balance between the smoky and ashy notes and the sweet elements is lovely with each accentuating the other. The whisky is also well rounded with the high 50+% ABV well integrated.

Whether this will create the discussion amongst Committee members that the brand wants is another thing. Only time will tell. Personally we really like the whisky, but is it different enough from other Ardbeg expressions in the core range? Probably not for us. If you are lucky enough to have a bottle, then we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (July 9, 2021)

Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.  Here is the round-up of this week's news ... ________   Berry Brothers & Rudd 
The famous wine and spirits merchant has announced a major revamp of it spirits bottling range, starting with its Scotch whisky collection. The new packaging draws inspiration from Berry's incredible heritage that dates back to 1698 when the company was founded. It is the oldest wine and spirits retailer in the UK. The redesign was created by award-winning agency Stranger & Stranger. It features the iconic arched window frames of Berry's No.3 St. James' Street store at the centre.
The first bottlings to be released in the new livery are The Summer Releases 2021, a collection of single cask and small batch whiskies and rum. This includes spirits from distilleries as diverse as Linkwood in Speyside and Laphroaig on Islay, to Lark in Tasmania and Diamond in Guyana. They will be initially released in selected global markets including China, Germany, the UK and the USA. The remainder of Berry Brothers' spirits range will follow to the new packaging in due course.

The blended malt brand of Scallywag has announced a new limited edition to celebrate World Chocolate Day (July 7). The Scallywag Chocolate Edition 2021 is the fourth such annual release and features only ex-sherry casks from Speyside single malt distilleries. Brand owners Douglas Laing & Co. have teamed up with luxury chocolatier Sugarsnap to create Scallywag infused chocolates for this year's release. The Scallywag Chocolate Edition 2021 is bottled at 48% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 3,000 bottles which will be available in selected specialist retailers globally. A bottle will cost £55/ €64. 

"We have been delighted to watch this delicious, melt-in-the-mouth limited edition grow since it was first released in 2018. It is a joy being able to taste and hand-select the darkest, fruitiest and most cocoa-rich single cask single malts that Speyside has to offer."Cara Laing - Director of Marketing at Douglas Laing & Co.


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The Waterford Dunmore 1.1 Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Tasting notes:
The beautiful cobalt bottle lets out a spangled stream of whiskey that I can smell right as it hits the glass.  Notes of lilacs rolled up into a hay bale for later enjoyment by fancy cattle.  Deeper inspection shows muted flowers and potpourri.  Is there jasmine, even?  Yes, though at a later stage than the lilacs, having been enjoyed the day before by a prize bull who ate it all (“fancy cattle,” op. cit).  A final ride of heather honey and tarragon provide added splendor and longing.

Lest you think that the previous paragraph isn’t describing whisky, I’ll have you know that there’s a dash of bitterness on the end.  It’s a bit flinty, even, like a modestly-sized man who can “handle himself,” as the expression goes, against those who are much larger.  Perhaps this very same man is an apprentice alchemist trying to transmogrify lemons into butterscotch, but whose results surprise everyone since they are neither lemony nor butterscotchy.  At this point, however, the unctuousness on the mouth announces itself.  It’s luscious, like a nonfruity creamcicle.  Herbsicle.

The finish reprises nose and mouth, turning and returning our memories this way and that, but without all of the rococo excesses of Proust.  Its voice is one of humility, yes, but also of great confidence.  It has said what needed to be said, and left us to consider its meaning.  

On the finish, we found poutine with white gravy. Mmmmmmm. Poutine! Some cracked pepper notes, a sense of botanicals and daisy petals dried in an elm box, and an old acoustic guitar being strummed by Paul Brady. The nose flows merrily into the mouth, which smoothly and elastically elongates into the finish. There’s a virtue in, if you will, this sort of a simple complexity: One that remains true to its vision, forgoing modulation and development. In this sense, it reminds me of an astonishing cocktail made by an artisinal mixologist in a five-star hotel bar. So much there to explore! A complex set of notes that hang statically in one’s mind like the after-echo of a piano’s crescendo.


On the scale of gnomic utterances in Heraclitus-

The Waterford Dunmore 1.1 is “ὁ ἄναξ οὗ τὸ μαντεῖόν ἐστι τὸ ἐν Δελφοῖς οὔτε λέγει οὔτε κρύπτει ἀλλὰ σημαίνει”  (DK B93) 
[Bill: “Um, John?”] 
Ahem, right! “The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals but gives a sign.”  My sign, lacking Delphic provenance, might just be a pair of thumbs up.






–Our thanks to Raj Sabharwal and Glass Revolution Imports for the sample!



Dewar’s Double Double 21-Year-Old

Dewar’s Double Double 21-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky 46% ABV $50 (375 mL) Website What the Blender Says Our unique Four Stage Ageing Process for Ultimate Smoothness finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks. Dewar’s Double Double 21-Year-Old is finished in Oloroso sherry casks, this blend delivers subtle notes of cinnamon and ripe vine fruits with a silky …

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The post Dewar’s Double Double 21-Year-Old first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Bankhall Rebellion

This is the first ever release from the new Bankhall distillery, which is located in the English seaside town of Blackpool. The Rebellion is a bourbon-style spirit that has been matured in new American oak barrels for eight months. It was triple distilled through copper pot stills as a single batch sweet mash recipe consisting of corn, rye and malted barley in Autumn 2020. The casks were then monitored by Vince Oleson, the Master Distiller at Bankhall. The Bankhall Rebellion is released at 47.6% ABV and there are just 588 bottles. These will be available via selected online retailers in the UK only. The recommended price is £30 per bottle.

The Bankhall distillery was founded in 2018 and is owned by Halewood Artisanal Spirits. Production began in late 2019. The distillery is designed to produce a sweet mash spirit - this is a single batch process using traditional bourbon grains. This is distilled three times through copper pot stills designed and built in Scotland. These are named Vader, Luke and Leia. In addition, Bankhall is also experimenting with other styles including single malt and rye whiskies. Their aim is to 're-imagine the UK whisky making process'. The distillery capacity is 250,000 litres per year, although it is currently operating at around half capacity.


"There are very few distilleries producing sweet mash outside of America, so having the opportunity to take on production here in Blackpool is awesome. With sweet mash, you get to start every batch fresh, with a clean profile that you can then really bring to life."Vince Oleson.

Our tasting notes

The colour is golden yellow and the nose is youthful but highly fragrant. Aromas of sweet caramel and vanilla mingle with oak spices and white pepper to begin with. These evolve to reveal fruity notes - think of pineapple, orange peel and maraschino cherry - and some earthy and biscuity cereals. A late hint of marshmallow and white chocolate round things off.

On the palate this spirit has an initial creamy texture. The corn drives this and gives lovely structure. Then other notes begin to come through. These are particularly sweet and include honey, butterscotch and white chocolate. There is also that marshmallow hint from the nose in the background. 

Vanilla and coconut notes also start to develop, as does the fruitiness. This is definitely more towards the orange now and is most reminiscent of thick cut marmalade. A hint of maraschino cherry also appears. The latter part of the palate becomes much warmer and spicier with drying oak, earthy cereals and a pinch of white pepper coming through.

The finish is of decent length and has an initial juicy fruitiness to it. The cherry note is to the fore and the pineapple returns for a brief appearance. Then it is all about the cereals and oak spices. These lead the finish is a drier and warmer direction.

What's the verdict?

We always love sampling the first products from a new distillery and this expression from Bankhall is no exception. It is young and cannot be called whisky yet but it is full of aroma and flavour, and shows great promise. We were not too familiar with sweet mash spirit but this is delicious. We cannot wait to see what else may appear from the distillery in the near future. 

The owners should also be complimented for putting such a competitive price on this inaugural product. They could easily have charged way more than £30 as most similar distilleries have in the past. It is just a shame there were so few bottles as most had sold out at the time of writing.