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Whisky Focus - News Reviews Interviews & More

Welcome to Whisky Focus where you can catch up with the latest whisky news from the world of whisky.

You will find news of the latest new whisky releases, reviews, events, interviews, distillery news and much more.
  • 19th November 2015
    Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
    Following the announcement of the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye being named as the Whisky Bible 2016 #1 World Whisky for 2016 our very own Scotch Malt Whisky Forum member Murray Cohen has kindly submitted his review of the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye.
  • 17th November 2015
    Benromach Scoops Top Prize In Hong Kong Competion
    Those of you familiar with the outstanding Benromach whisky range wont be surprised to hear at this year’s Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition the outstanding Benromach 100° Proof won the award for Best Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 15 Years and Under.
  • 17th November 2015
    Monkey Shoulder Invite Travellers To "Take Home a Monkey"
    In the leading up to the Chinese New Year 2016, Year of the Monkey, Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky has launched a rather unique "Take Home a Monkey Today" promotion in Kuala Lumpur International Airport Two Arrivals during October
  • 13th November 2015
    The Deveron
    Just in time for Christmas, John Dewars & Co have launched a whole new range of The Deveron single malts from their MacDuff distillery,
    the new expressions in the range are The Deveron 12 Year Old, The Deveron 18 Year Old and The Deveron 10 Year Old which will only be available in France. This is what I thought of the new whiskies...
  • 12th November 2015
    GlenDronach Peated
    Fans of the very popular and highly rated GlenDronach distillery will be intrigued to hear that the distillery has just launched its first ever peated release, simply called, GlenDronach Peated.
  • 12th November 2015
    GlenDronach 19 Years Old Madeira Cask Finish
    GlenDronach tell me that their new GlenDronach 19 Years Old Madeira Cask Finish is a dram bursting with ripe summer fruits and warm spices. Bottled at 46%, non chill filtered and with natural colour, the GlenDronach 19 Years Old Madeira Cask Finish was initially matured in European oak casks and thereafter finished its maturation in a very small batch of superior Madeira hogsheads.
  • 12th November 2015
    GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 5
    Just another quick announcement for the GlenDronach fans amongst you which I know there are a few. Completing a hat-trick of new releases from the Aberdeenshire distillery this week is the GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 5.
  • 11th November 2015
    William Grants Rugby World Cup Promotion A Winner At Auckland Airport
    With the Rugby World Cup 2015 a hot topic of conversation and disappointment for many travellers earlier this year, William Grant & Sons took advantage of this globally loved sport to launch its own Rugby World Cup activation at New Zealand’s Auckland International Airport.

  • 9th November 2015
    Glenmorangie House Final Whisky Weekend Of 2015
    Glenmorangie House boutique hotel has announced the final date for its 2015 series of whisky weekends. These whisky weekends have often been hailed as the pinnacle of a whisky lover’s calendar, the Weekends are a perfect way to be introduced to whisky, its history and heritage, all enjoyed in the luxurious surroundings of Glenmorangie House.
  • 4th November 2015
    Ardbeg Best Single Malt Whisky Under $100
    Ardbeg whisky brand has swept the board in a review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100 in the Whisky Advocate magazine.
  • 4th November 2015
    Ballantine's Hard Fired
    Ballantine's has launched Ballantine's Hard Fired, an innovative new expression that that has been created using a bespoke process in the production of the popular whisky brand, the new whisky showcases the results that American oak and fire produce on Scotch whisky.
  • 2nd November 2015
    Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition - European Oak
    Being a long time fan of the outstanding Ballantine's 21 year old I was pleased when Ballantine’s contacted me to announce the release of Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition - European Oak, which is the first of two new limited editions exclusive to Global Travel Retail. The release of an additional Signature Edition created with American oak will follow to complete the special pair of bottlings.
  • 2nd November 2015
    House Of Hazelwood
    William Grant & Sons has revealed a new premium blended Scotch whisky brand named House of Hazelwood which will initially launch with three premium age statement expressions, the House of Hazelwood 18, 21 and 25 year old. William Grant describe the new brand as an elegant and vivacious new blended Scotch whisky.
  • 2nd November 2015
    The Latest Douglas Laing XOP Bottling
    Just a quick announcement for those of you looking for something a little extra special that is off the beaten track of the original distillery bottlings. Glasgow independent bottler Douglas Laing & Co. has announced the release of seven particularly special Single Cask Whiskies, including the firm’s oldest ever Port Ellen Distillery release bottled at 36 Years Old.
  • 30th October 2015
    Glenfiddich Cask Collection Finest Solera
    Glenfiddich and Baccarat collaborate to unveil the first in a new series of rare travel retail exclusive whiskies, the Glenfiddich Cask Collection Finest Solera.

  • 29th October 2015
    Douglas Laing Yula 20 Year Old Blended Malt
    Douglas Laing announce the launch of Yula 20 Year Old, the first of a three part trilogy of limited edition Island Malt Scotch Whisky. It has a lovely gentle coastal feel to it, a mature whisky but still fresh. Not an in your face amount of smoke.
  • 23rd October 2015
    Laphroaig Select Review
    Christmas whisky gift ideas, Laphroaig Select review.
    This is both a great introduction to Laphroaig and a great whisky for those already familiar with Laphroaig’s peatier offerings and who are open to try something lighter on the peat side which lets the casks used in maturation shine through a bit more.
  • 23rd October 2015
    Ardmore Legacy Review
    Christmas whisky gift ideas, Ardmore Legacy review.
    An easy drinking Highland malt with a nice mellow touch of Ardmore Highland peat.
  • 23rd October 2015
    Highland Park 12 Year Old Review
    Christmas whisky gift ideas, Highland Park 12 Year Old review.
    It really does offer a bit of everything, honey, barley, fruit, oak, spice and a lovely touch of peaty smoke. A classic island dram which any whisky drinker would be happy to find in their stocking.
  • 23rd October 2015
    The Macallan Gold Review
    Christmas whisky gift ideas, The Macallan Gold review.
    A lovely delicately sherried easy to drink Macallan that would make an ideal Christmas gift for any whisky drinker no matter what there taste in whisky is.
  • 22nd October 2015
    The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish Review
    The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish as you will probably guess from the expressions title has been finished in casks which has previously held peated whisky. Another outstanding addition to the Nadurra family. The smoke was never going to be in your face, just a lovely subtle added dimension.
  • 22nd October 2015
    The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Matured Review
    The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso which uniquely is the first major Glenlivet bottling (other than single cask bottlings) in living memory to be matured solely in ex-sherry casks. If you are a fan of big cask strength sherried drams like the Aberlour a'bunadh then you will love this also
  • 22nd October 2015
    The Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Selection Review
    The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection was 100% matured in American White Oak casks that have never before been used to mature Scotch whisky, as you would expect with first fill casks they impart hints of creamy vanilla to this wonderfully rich single malt.
  • 21st October 2015
    Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish
    Chivas Regal today announced the launch of the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection, a limited edition travel retail exclusive series that reinterprets the brand’s celebrated Chivas 18 expression. The first release in the series is the Chivas 18 Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak Finish which will be available from this month.
  • 20th October 2015
    Diageo Special Releases 2015
    As most whisky enthusiasts and collectors will know by now every year Diageo release a small number of specially selected whiskies from its vast portfolio of Scotch malt whisky distilleries. This autumn they have selected nine whiskies which will make up its Diageo 2015 Special Releases. The oldest whisky in this years release is is the Brora 37 Year Old and as we have come to expect there is a new expression of the Lagavulin 12 Year Old.
  • 19th October 2015
    Glengoyne Continues Support For London Scottish
    Glengoyne today announced that they have renewed their support for London Scottish for for a third year with another 12-month sponsorship deal. To mark the renewal of their sponsorship Mark Bright, London Scottish captain, was named man of the match and was presented with a personalised bottle of Glengoyne 15 Year Old. This new Glengoyne custom will be carried on throughout the season which I am sure the team will be very pleased to hear.
  • 9th October 2015
    Chivas Art Of Hosting
    Here is one for those of you who like to try out or collect different style whisky glasses, Chivas Regal has teamed up with Apolis, the socially motivated lifestyle brand, for the latest instalment of Chivas Art of Hosting. The new limited edition pack contains a bespoke set of glass tumblers.
  • 6th October 2015
    The Macallan Rare Cask Black
    The Macallan Rare Cask Black joins the Macallan 1824 Masters Series, intriguingly the distillery describe it as being a dark, smoky and unexpected Macallan. The Macallan are not known for producing smoky whiskies and the reason this whisky is smoky is that it has been crafted predominately using First Fill sherry seasoned oak casks which contained extremely rare Macallan peated whisky.
  • 5th October 2015
    Glenmorangie A Midwinter Night's Dram
    Glenmorangie ‘A Midwinter Night’s Dram’ is a Limited Edition single malt for (as you may have guessed by its name) the forthcoming winters season was today launched in Sainsbury's supermarket with Ocado to follow next month.
  • 2nd October 2015
    Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured
    This Monday 5th October Kilchoman are releasing the Kilchoman Madeira Cask Matured, which is a bit of the normal beaten track for the Islay distillery as the limited edition whisky has been fully matured in first fill Madeira wine casks rather than just being finished in the casks.
  • 1st October 2015
    The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish
    The Glenlivet today announced another new permanent addition to their popular Glenlivet Nadurra range, The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish. As you will probably guess from the new expressions title it has been finished in casks which has previously held peated whisky, to be more precise American oak casks that have previously held heavily-peated Scotch whisky.
  • 30th September 2015
    GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 12
    GlenDronach has today released Batch 12 of its popular single cask bottlings series, selected as always by Master Blender Billy Walker. GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 12 is a release of nine whiskies ranging from a 2004 11 year old up to the rarest bottling in this release, a 1972 distilled 43 year old. All nine bottlings have been matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks from Southern Spain.
  • 29th September 2015
    The Balvenie Brings Craftsmanship To Life At Aberdeen Airport
    Kilt maker Beverley Scarlett took centre stage at Aberdeen Airport this month during The Balvenie tastings of their travel retail exclusive Balvenie Triple Cask range. The event lead to a 228% increase in sales versus the same period last year.
  • 25th September 2015
    Second Great Northern Distillery Goes Into Production
    You will recall back in August when I announced that a 30 million bottle a year capacity three-column still Irish grain whiskey distillery, the first of two distillery's to be built on the former Harp Brewery site in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland had gone into production, well this week on the Dundalk site the grain distillery was joined by three mighty copper pot stills, Fionn, Oisin and Setanta (yes the stills have names) of its sister distillery.
  • 25th September 2015
    Ballantine's Artist Series Leif Podhajsky
    It definitely is starting to look a lot like Christmas is on the way. Next up we have Ballantine's who have teamed up with renowned album cover artist Leif Podhajsky who has designed three unique limited edition gift packs exclusively for Ballantine's Artist Series ahead of Christmas 2015.
  • 25th September 2015
    Big Peat Christmas 2015
    Have you ever heard the expression Christmas gets earlier every year, well this year the first mention of Christmas as far as whisky goes is from Douglas Laing who has announced the launch of their festive cracker (couldn't resist) Big Peat Christmas 2015.
  • 25th September 2015
    Disaronno Riserva A new Luxury Limited Edition Whisky Liqueur
    Here is something a little off your beaten track of single malts from Disaronno, the intensely almond/marzipan flavoured Italian liqueur. Disaronno have added a very exclusive addition to its portfolio, Disaronno Riserva which is a unique blend of Scotch malt whisky and Disaronno - aged in Marsala barrels from the Cantine Florio in Marsala, Sicily.
  • 23rd September 2015
    Old Pulteney Flotilla 2005
    Old Pulteney continues its maritime link with the launch of Old Pulteney Flotilla 2005 which is the third Flotilla Vintage release, this latest limited edition will be available in France.
  • 23rd September 2015
    Jameson Caskmates Now Released Worldwide
    Following a successful limited run in Ireland Jameson are now releasing Jameson Caskmates worldwide. Jameson Caskmates offers a new taste experience that will satisfy the appetite of whiskey enthusiasts, Jameson drinkers and craft beer fans.
  • 22nd September 2015
    Benromach Sassicaia 2006 and Hermitage 2005 Wood Finishes
    Benromach has announced the release of two new limited edition Benromach Wood Finishes, Benromach Sassicaia 2006 and Benromach Hermitage 2005.
  • 22nd September 2015
    Irish Distillers Open Midleton Microdistillery
    Irish Distillers open Midleton Microdistillery with a view to experimenting with distillations of new and old styles of Irish whiskey.
    The first Distiller of the Microdistillery at Midleton has been announced as Karen Cotter – one of eight alumni of the Jameson Graduate Distiller Programme and the only female distiller in Ireland.
  • 21st September 2015
    The New Royal Brackla Single Malt Whisky Range
    John Dewars & Co have launched a whole new range of single malts from their Royal Brackla distillery,
    the new expressions in the range are Royal Brackla 12 Year Old, Royal Brackla 16 Year Old and Royal Brackla 21 Year Old. This is what I thought of the four new whiskies...
  • 19th September 2015
    Royal Salute The Eternal Reserve Review
    Royal Salute has announced the release of Royal Salute The Eternal Reserve, which they have created using what they are calling a new innovative blending technique called "Circular Blending". This is what I thought of it...
  • 18th September 2015
    Old Pulteney 1989 Lightly Peated
    Old Pulteney have announced the release of a second vintage limited edition lightly peated whisky, this time they have released Old Pulteney 1989 which is around 26 years old by my calculations. What makes this a lightly peated expression is not the peat level of the distilled whisky but the casks the whisky has matured in.
  • 18th September 2015
    New Chivas 12 Made For Gentlemen Unveiled
    Chivas has partnered with renowned British brand Globe-Trotter in the fourth year of the Chivas Made For Gentlemen series to design exclusive collectibles for connoisseurs of whisky and adventure.
  • 16th September 2015
    Glasgow Barman Michael Cameron Crowned Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind
    Glenfiddich have announced that Glasgow barman Michael Cameron from Guy's Restaurant & Bar Candleriggs in the Merchant City, Glasgow has been crowned Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind 2015. Michael won the competition with his bespoke Glenfiddich cocktail called ‘Ours is the Fury’.
  • 16th September 2015
    Cattos Blend Gets A New Look
    The folks at Inter Bev have decided to give Catto's blended whisky a makeover and have unveiled a new look bottle and packaging for the whisky.
  • 11th September 2015
    Ardbeg Supernova 2015 The Final Release
    Amongst all the reporting of Ardbeg releasing the results of their Ardbeg in Space experiment this week you may have missed the announcement of the Final Release of Ardbeg Supernova 2015.
  • 11th September 2015
    Ardbeg In Space The Results
    The Ardbeg fans amongst you who have followed the Ardbeg in Space Experiment and no doubt tried the limited release whiskies which have accompanied the experiment may be interested to read Ardbeg's Dr Bill Lumsden's final results of sending a sample of Ardbeg in to space.
  • 11th September 2015
    Laphroaig Live 2015 Returns To Islay In Its 200th Anniversary Year
    Laphroaig Live 2015 returns to its Islay home in its 200th anniversary year for a special tasting and world record attempt, with your help!

  • 11th September 2015
    Ballantine's 12 Year Old GIven A New Look
    It seems like with the approaching new autumn season Chivas Brothers are giving many of their iconic whiskies a new look for the new season. Next up for a makeover is the travel retail Ballantine's 12 year old which has been given an elegant looking new bottle.
  • 11th September 2015
    Douglas Laing & Co Set To Send Fred Laing Into Space
    Douglas Laing & Co. have announced its intention to send its Managing Director, Fred Laing, into space. This extraordinary measure is a bid to halt the Whisky Blender’s maturation process, allowing him to hit back at those who opine that he should shortly retire.
  • 9th September 2015
    Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 75 Year Old
    Incredibly Gordon & MacPhail have once again defied the laws of whisky maturation and announced the release of the latest addition to their exclusive Generations range, this time they have released a Mortlach 75 Year Old, that's right you read it correctly Mortlach 75 year old.
  • 8th September 2015
    Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Gets A New Look
    Chivas Regal have unveiled a new contemporary look for their Chivas Regal 12 year old bottling, the whisky inside the bottle is still the same classic blend we are familiar with.
  • 7th September 2015
    BenRiach 18 Year Old Latada Peated
    BenRiach have extended its new Heavily Peated range with the addition of a brand-new limited edition, BenRiach 18 Year Old Latada peated single malt which has been finished in Madeira casks.
  • 7th September 2015
    GlenDronach 20 Year Old Octaves Expression
    GlenDronach launch 20 year old limited release Octaves expression. Master Distiller Billy Walker has selected five Pedro Ximenez Sherry Octaves from GlenDronach’s Aberdeenshire distillery to be bottled as the GlenDronach 20 Years Old Octaves.

  • 7th September 2015
    Kilchoman 2008 Vintage Release
    The Kilchoman Distillery today released Kilchoman 2008 Vintage, the first ever seven year old single malt from the distillery and the most mature expression to be released since they started filling casks in 2005.
  • 7th September 2015
    Situation Vacant  - Graduate Wanted For The Shetland Distillery Company
    Situation Vacant - The Shetland Distillery Company seek graduate to develop new spirits at UK’s most northerly distillery.

  • 7th September 2015
    Ballantine’s Space Whisky & Space Glass
    Ballantine's has created the Ballantine’s Space Glass and a Special Batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky designed for a zero gravity environment as the brand continues to innovate, making a genuine contribution to the space programme.
  • 7th September 2015
    Shieldaig Speyside Single Malt
    Ian Macleod are set to launch Shieldaig Speyside No Age Statement in travel retail. Shieldaig Speyside Single Malt is not a new whisky brand but it is certainly rarely seen, at least here in the Scotland.

  • 7th September 2015
    Macleod’s Scotch Whisky Trail Pack Set For Relaunch
    New look Macleod’s Scotch Whisky Trail Miniature Pack set for relaunch at TFWA Cannes. The new whisky miniature gift pack will be available in travel retail.

  • 4th September 2015
    Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind Finalists 2015
    The 10 bartenders who will compete in this year’s prestigious Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind have been announced. The competition, which is now in its sixth year, will see some of the countries up and coming bartenders compete at the Glenfiddich Vaults at Voltaire bar in Central London on 14th September 2015.
  • 3rd September 2015
    Work Begins To Increase The Glenlivet Distillery Capacity
    The Glenlivet Distillery this week broke ground at the start of a new project to enhance the distillery's production facility's and increase capacity. The expansion at the Speyside distillery will significantly increase capacity reinforcing The Glenlivet's recent success and securing its position as the worlds best selling Scotch single malt whisky in the future.

  • 3rd September 2015
    BenRiach Batch 12 Single Cask Bottlings
    BenRiach has announced the release of Batch 12 of its popular and highly rated single cask bottlings. This twelfth batch of BenRiach comprises of nine single casks that were bottled in June 2015 ranging from 14 up to 38 year old. As we have come to expect from previous releases the variety of expressions in this release is fantastic.
  • 3rd September 2015
    Glengoyne At Lets Eat Glasgow This Weekend
    If you are out and about in Glasgow this weekend then why not stop by the Glengoyne sponsored "Let's Eat Glasgow Festival" which is Scotland's first restaurant festival and Pop-Up Market. Let's Eat Glasgow takes place 5th  - 6th September at SWG3, Finnieston.

See earlier Whisky News from 2015 >>>

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