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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.
  • 11th December 2017
    BenRiach 21 Year Old Four Oak Casks Review
    BenRiach 21 Year Old Four Oak Casks is a rather unconventional release from the Speyside distillery in that it is a combination of four types of cask: bourbon barrels, virgin oak, Pedro Ximenez and red wine casks. I loved the nose on this and the four different oak woods are certainly each making a contribution.
  • 11th December 2017
    Glenglassaugh Rare Vintage Cask Collection Batch 3
    Glenglassaugh distillery has unveiled Batch 3 in their Glenglassaugh Rare Vintage Cask Collection. This latest collection of 8 vintage Glenglassaugh single cask bottlings was distilled between 1965 and 1986 and was hand selected by former Glenglassaugh Master Distiller Billy Walker before he moved on to pastures new. The collection provides a rare glimpse into the history of Glenglassaugh and the 8 whiskies are likely to be the last Glenglassaugh expressions selected by Billy Walker who we already know had the ability to select some very special whiskies to be bottled as single cask bottlings.
  • 7th December 2017
    Whisky Industry Veteran Joins The Cotswolds Distillery Board of Directors
    he Cotswolds Distillery have announced the appointment of Wine & Spirits industry veteran Richard Watling to its Board of Directors. Richard will serve as Director of Sales & Marketing Strategy, helping the award-winning young distillery continue its growth in both national and international markets.
  • 7th December 2017
    InchDairnie Distillery’s First Release To Be A Scotch Rye Whisky
    With a £10 million investment behind InchDairnie it took only 18 months to get the modern technically advanced and energy efficient distillery distillery up an running and this week the distillery underlined its innovative intentions with the news that its first release, Ryelaw, will be a groundbreaking ‘rye whisky’ that brings together elements of Scotch whisky and American rye whiskey.

  • 6th December 2017
    Benromach Add An Assistant Distillery Manager To The Distillery Team
    With the ever increasing global popularity of Benromach single malt whisky the Forres distillery has announced that they have expanded their distillery team with the appointment of Jessica Haworth in the position of assistant distillery manager.
  • 1st December 2017
    Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare
    Diageo has announced the launch of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare the first edition in a new series of Special Releases. Crafted using just 8 whiskies including irreplaceable whiskies from 'ghost' distilleries that have long since closed. At the heart of this first edition is Brora single malt which was last produced back in 1983.

  • 1st December 2017
    Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Goes Global
    Following on from a successful trial run in Ireland in September this year Irish Distillers has announced that they are now launching their new Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition worldwide. Finished in the specially crafted IPA casks the whiskey features the signature smoothness of Jameson alongside hints of light hops, fresh citrus and floral notes.
  • 29th November 2017
    Bowmore 1966 50 Year Old
    Bowmore unveil Bowmore 1966 50 Year Old, the third edition in the Bowmore 50 Year Old Vault Legends Collection. It is one of those whisky's which mere mortals such as myself can only dream about and only those of you with very deep pockets or lottery winners will ever get to experience and if you are one of those people be aware there are only 74 bottle available worldwide and it will be in whisky shops from December.

  • 29th November 2017
    First Female Apprentice Coppersmith Begins Training
    The traditional craft of a coppersmith is hundreds of years old but up until now in Scotland it has always been a male dominated craft but I am pleased to say that this most traditional of crafts has achieved a new first with a female apprentice taking up the coppersmith’s hammer and torch, Rebecca Weir, 18, from Alloa has been recruited by Diageo Abercrombie as a first year Modern Apprentice.
  • 28th November 2017
    BenRiach 30 Year Old Authenticus
    You may have spotted this one on the shelves of the whisky shops already, The BenRiach 30 Year Old Authenticus is the latest addition to the Speyside distillery's peaty Authenticus series. This new 30 year old Authenticus replaces the 25 year old which had itself replaced the 21 year old Authenticus.
  • 24th November 2017
    Highland Park Full Volume Review
    Highland Park have turned up the first fill bourbon volume with the new limited edition Highland Park Full Volume. With no sherry influence on this whisky, Full Volume really does show what a high quality whisky they produce at Highland Park.

  • 23rd November 2017
    The Clydeside Distillery Now Open To Visitors
    Whisky production returned to the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow on the 7th November when the first spirit flowed from the stills of The Clydeside Distillery and today The Clydeside officially opened its doors to visitors for the first time.
  • 17th November 2017
    Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition
    Midleton has unveiled the next chapter in their virgin Irish oak finish collection, Midleton Dair Ghaelach Bluebell Forest Edition. I am sure those of you who had the pleasure of the outstanding Grinsell’s Wood release will be keen to try this new batch of virgin Irish oak finished  pot still whiskey.
  • 17th November 2017
    Construction Work Begins On New Ardross Distillery
    Work is now underway on the new Ardross distillery in the Averon Valley near Inverness. Planning permission for the new £15 million distillery was given the go ahead by The Highland Council in February this year and with construction now underway it estimated that the Ardross distillery will go into production by summer 2018.
  • 16th November 2017
    Ardgowan Distillery Secures £1 Million Government Grant
    A project to build Ardgowan distillery, a new lowland malt whisky distillery and visitor centre in Inverclyde was given a substantial boost this week with the award of nearly £1 million from the Scottish Government.
  • 16th November 2017
    New Glenglassaugh Wood Finish Range
    The new Glenglassaugh Wood Finish range represents a new chapter for the highland distillery, they are the first wood finish whiskies ever released by the distillery and the range is also Whisky Maker, Rachel Barrie's and Brown Forman's first new expressions since taking the reigns at Glenglassaugh.
  • 16th November 2017
    Glenglassaugh Peated Port Wood Finish Review
    Peat and Port can make for a very enjoyable dram when the balance is right and I would say they have got the length of the port finish for this young peated Glenglassaugh spot on.
  • 16th November 2017
    Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Wood Finish Review
    The Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Wood Finish is an outstanding new addition to the Glenglassaugh range, a very enjoyable well balanced wood finish from Glenglassaugh. The light peat smoke and delicious sugars entertain from nose to finish with the virgin oak adding its touch to the pleasure. It is gentle but certainly not docile, a delightful whisky.

  • 16th November 2017
    Glenglassaugh Port Wood Finish Review
    The Glenglassaugh Port Wood Finish is a delicious, enjoyable, juicy port finished whisky, likely around 8 years old. The fruit has more to say than the oak but this works well, it is a lovely balance of grape and oak.

  • 16th November 2017
    Glenglassaugh Pedro Ximinez Sherry Wood Finish Review
    The Glenglassaugh Pedro Ximinez Sherry Wood Finish is a cracking young PX cask finished whisky, definitely one for the sherried whisky lovers, a lovely smooth sherried dram with delicious rum and raisin fudge, vanilla and oak spice.

  • 16th November 2017
    Old Particular Consortium of Cards Ace Of Spades Mortlach 13 Year Old
    Independent bottler Douglas Laing has unveiled the fourth and final planned bottling in their Old Particular Consortium of Cards Single Cask series this year, they are finishing the year with the
    Old Particular Ace of Spades Mortlach 13 Year Old.
  • 14th November 2017
    Aldi Glen Marnoch 29 Year Old Review
    The annual limited release of a few special premium limited edition whiskies from the  budget supermarket Aldi has now become a Christmas tradition that is anticipated by whisky enthusiasts every year now. This year their premium Scotch single malt offering which has gotten the whisky community excited is the Glen Marnoch 29 Year Old. This is what I thought of this years offering.
  • 13th November 2017
    Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky Inaugural Release Review
    The Cotswolds distillery have launched their first ever single malt whisky, the limited edition Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky Inaugural Release. An outstanding young whisky with a lovely first fill bourbon influence combining well with some delicious fruit from the ex-red wine cask.
  • 13th November 2017
    The GlenDronach Peated Port Wood Review
    The GlenDronach distillery have announced the release of the GlenDronach Peated Port Wood. Made from malted barley dried with Highland peat, the peated whisky has undergone a final maturation in the port pipes, sourced from the Douro Valley in Portugal.
  • 13th November 2017
    Big Peat 25 Year Old Gold Edition
    It seems Big Peat has come of age, as Glasgow independent bottler Douglas Laing, the creative folks behind this popular peaty Islay Blended Malt whisky has announced the launch of Big Peat 25 Year Old Gold Edition.
  • 3rd November 2017
    Highland Park Single Cask Series Launches In Asia Travel Retail
    The Highland Park Single Cask Series proved overwhelmingly popular when it was first launched in travel retail at London Heathrow airport in May this year. Highland Park have now launched two 15 year old Single Cask bottlings in Asia with DFS at Singapore Changi Airport.
  • 3rd November 2017
    anCnoc Peatheart
    anCnoc Peatheart is Batch 1 of the latest addition to the so far outstanding anCnoc Peaty Collection range of whiskies. Matured for more than 10 years in American oak ex-bourbon barrels it has a phenols content level of 12.8 PPM.
  • 3rd November 2017
    Rare Macallan 1878 Exposed As A Fake
    A rare bottle of The Macallan 1878, one of the world’s only known bottles of the whisky still in circulation which had been on sale for £7,700 a glass in the Waldhaus Hotel Am See in St Moritz has been officially exposed as a fake following an investigation by Rare Whisky 101.
  • 3rd November 2017
    North Hop Festival Returns To Aviemore For 2nd Time This Year
    Following the overwhelming success of the North Hop Festival in Aviemore in February the festival is returning to Aviemore for the 2nd time this year to do it all over again. The festival, which will be hosted by STV’s Nicola McAlley, will showcase Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry as well as highlighting some of the great local musical talent.
  • 2nd November 2017
    Thomson Family May Sell Largest Private Collection Of Whisky Casks
    The Thomson family, owners of one of Scotland's largest private collections of rare Scotch whisky casks have said that they may sell all or part of their collection if the offer is right. The announcement follows the recent record breaking sale where a full cask of The Macallan 30 Year Old whisky, owned by the Thomson family, sold for £285,000.

  • 1st November 2017
    The Famous Grouse Offers Free Distillery Tours To Military Personnel
    In support of Poppyscotland The Famous Grouse Experience visitor attraction is offering 'FREE' Distillery and Tasting Experience tours for serving and retired military personnel during the month of November.

  • 1st November 2017
    Diageo Reserve 10th World Class Bartender of the Year Competition
    Calling all talented bartenders, Diageo Reserve is kicking off their 10th World Class Bartender of the Year Competition with a nationwide roadshow – World Class Studios.
  • 31st October 2017
    Scotch Whisky Exports Value Up But Volume Down
    It appears that Single Malt Whisky, the luxury sector of Scotch whisky, has weathered the global economic crisis. The Scotch Whisky Association has released figures showing that Scotch Whisky exports increased in value by 3.4% in the first half of the year to £1.8 billion, boosted by the continuing growth in popularity of Single Malts across the globe.
  • 26th October 2017
    Midleton Dair Ghaelach Leads Irish Distillers Impressive Medal Haul
    Leading the way at the Beverage Testing Institute awards this year was a whiskey we rarely hear mentioned, probably due to its limited availability, and in my humble opinion it is amongst the best Irish single pot still whiskeys ever to be released, the Midleton Dair Ghaelach.
  • 25th October 2017
    The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter 3
    The Balvenie has unveiled the third annual instalment in its premium DCS Compendium series of whiskies, The Balvenie DCS Compendium Chapter 3 Secrets of the Stock Model. The stand out expression in this years release is The Balvenie 1961 55 year old, which is the oldest Balvenie ever released.
  • 25th October 2017
    Feel The Taste Of Glenmorangie
    The creative folks at Glenmorangie have been working on a new research project with multi-sensory scientists to create an experience which they say will enable you to ‘feel’ the taste of whisky. This is done through a technique called ASMR- Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
  • 24th October 2017
    The Macallan Quest Collection Travel Retail Exclusive
    The Macallan has unveiled The Macallan Quest Collection which will be available exclusively in global travel retail from January 2018 and will replace their existing Macallan 1824 Collection which was launched in travel retail back in 2009.
  • 24th October 2017
    Highland Park Voyage of the Raven
    Highland Park has unveiled a new travel retail exclusive expression, Highland Park Voyage Of The Raven, which will be available in global travel retail from this month. The new expression marks the start of the transition between the current Warrior Series and a brand new Travel Retail exclusive range to be launched in Spring/Summer 2018.
  • 20th October 2017
    Glengoyne 30 Year Old
    Glengoyne Highland Single Malt have unveiled a new Glengoyne 30 Year Old expression which will join the Glengoyne range but given its age will only be available in limited numbers annually with 6,000 bottles available worldwide each year.
  • 19th October 2017
    Kilchoman Red Wine Cask Matured Review
    Review of the new Kilchoman Red Wine Cask Matured single single malt whisky. A different Kilchoman where the deliciously moreish fruit takes the lead but the gentle Kilchoman peat is determined and still has its say. A cracking young Kilchoman.

  • 19th October 2017
    Kilchoman 2009 Vintage Review
    Review of the new Kilchoman 2009 Vintage a combination of fresh and refill bourbon barrels as well as three 2008 Oloroso sherry butts
    which has certainly added a very enjoyable, very gentle, sweet richness to the whisky to this years vintage release.
  • 18th October 2017
    SMWS 134.1 & 134.2 Paul John Indian Whisky
    The folks at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society are spicing things up this month, this time with a first for the society, the release of two new Indian single cask malts. The two new whiskies which were distilled at the Paul John Distillery are SMWS 134.1 ‘Exotic rainforest fruits’ and SMWS 134.2 ‘Lip-smacking and cockle-warming’.
  • 18th October 2017
    Spirit of North Hop A New Festival In Aberdeen This Month
    If you appreciate other spirits as well as Scotch whisky then why not get yourself up to Aberdeen on Saturday 28th October when some of the country’s finest distillers will descend on the Granite City for a brand new spirits festival; Spirit of North Hop where you will find a wide array of Scottish spirit firsts, it’s a festival not to be missed for any discerning spirits fan!
  • 17th October 2017
    Ardbeg Twenty Something 23 Year Old Committee Exclusive
    Ardbeg Twenty Something is a rare 23 year old whisky which will be available exclusively to Ardbeg Committee members from the 2nd November. Described as a beautiful dram, bursting with rich, deep flavours.
  • 17th October 2017
    Dalmore Whisky Maker Richard Paterson Completes 50th Anniversary Tour
    Richard Paterson has completed his 50th Anniversary world tour which saw the rare Domaine Henri Giraud Champagne cask finished Dalmore 50 year old sell out as well as the sale of the unique £987,500 Dalmore Paterson Collection.

  • 17th October 2017
    The Macallan Edition No.3
    Introducing the The Macallan Edition No.3, a collaboration between The Macallan’s Master Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno and Master Perfumer, Roja Dove. Created from a combination of European and American oak casks it is said to deliver an intense experience of flavour and aroma.
  • 16th October 2017
    Redbreast 21 Year Old The Worlds Best Irish Whiskey
    Review of the Redbreast 21 year old which Jim Murray recently named 'The Worlds Best Irish Whiskey'. Following the announcement last week I thought I would revisit the Redbreast 21 and I can reconfirm my original review of the whiskey, a deliciously juicy mature Irish single pot still whiskey.
  • 13th October 2017
    Whisky Bible 2018 Best Whiskies
    Jim Murray has named an American Bourbon whiskey, Colonel EH Taylor Four Grain, as his World Whisky Of The Year in the latest edition of his Whisky Bible. In 2nd spot is the outstanding Irish Single Pot Still  Redbreast 21 Year Old and in 3rd place is the Glen Grant 18 year old.
  • 13th October 2017
    Glenmorangie Supports National Museum of Scotland Exhibition
    If you plan on visiting Edinburgh why not stop by
    a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland supported by Glenmorangie which will show for the first time how silver, not gold, became the most important precious metal in Scotland over the course of the first millennium AD.
  • 13th October 2017
    SMWS 10.127 Peated Bunnahabhain Sweden Exclusive Release
    Following the launch in August of the SMWS first official partner bar at The Ardbeg Embassy in Stockholm the Society has launched SMWS 10.127 ‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’, a 10 year peated Bunnahabhain single cask whisky exclusively in Sweden.
  • 12th October 2017
    UK Whisky Sales Fall After Duty Increase
    Following Chancellor Philip Hammond's hike in the spirits tax it will come as no surprise that a fall in Scotch whisky sales followed, in fact sales have fallen by 1 million bottles and the Scotch Whisky Association has launched a #dropthedramduty campaign urging Philip Hammond to cut excise duty on spirits.
  • 11th October 2017
    Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask Reserve The Steamship Collection
    Review of the new global travel retail exclusive Steamship Collection, the Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask Reserve. No surprises here, just as I expected, simply a clean, fresh, good quality, easy drinking, Bourbon cask matured Bushmills Irish single malt whiskey.
  • 10th October 2017
    Ian MacLeod Distillers To Re-Open Rosebank Distillery
    Ian MacLeod Distillers has announced that they will re-open the Rosebank distillery in Falkirk which closed back in 1993.
    The independent family owned distillers, blenders and bottlers have revealed plans to bring the iconic Rosebank distillery back to life. They have entered into a binding agreement with Scottish Canals to purchase the Falkirk site and has separately acquired the Rosebank trademark through the support of Diageo.
  • 10th October 2017
    The Gauldrons Campbeltown Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
    Douglas Laing today unveiled The Gauldrons Campbeltown Blended Malt, the latest addition to their Remarkable Regional Malt range of blended malt whiskies which now boasts a blended malt representing all six of Scotland's whisky regions.
  • 10th October 2017
    Tullamore DEW XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish
    Tullamore DEW have unveiled a new expression in their travel retail line-up, the Tullamore DEW XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish. Starting with their original triple distilled, triple blend, triple wood matured Irish whiskey, the Brand’s whiskey-makers have given it an additional finish in first fill XO Caribbean Demerara rum casks.
  • 10th October 2017
    Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1943 70 Year Old
    Gordon & MacPhail has released a rare World War II distillation of Glenlivet single malt whisky. The Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1943 70 year old single cask 121 is one of the oldest Scotch single malt whiskies ever released and the fact that it was distilled during the World War II, a period when very little whisky was distilled and the little that was produced has long since been drunk adds to this whisky's rarity.
  • 10th October 2017
    Benromach 1977 Vintage
    Benromach have released the next expression in their ongoing series of 1970's single cask whiskies, this time the Speyside distillery has released the Benromach 1977 Vintage 39 year old which has been matured in a single Refill American Hogshead, cask number 1268.
  • 9th October 2017
    Diageo To Re-Open Port Ellen & Brora Distilleries
    Whisky enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that Diageo announced today that they intend to bring two of their distilleries back from the dead, Port Ellen Distillery on Islay and their Brora Distillery in the Northern Highlands.
  • 5th October 2017
    Jura Sherry Collection Travel Retail Exclusive
    The new travel retail exclusive Jura Sherry Collection is said to represent the introduction of a new signature style for the island distillery. The range will comprise of four single malt whiskies, The Sound, The Road, The Loch, The Paps 19 Year Old which have all been enhanced in Sherry casks that previously held Pedro Ximénez.

  • 4th October 2017
    Port Ellen 1981 Sells At Auction For £9,375
    A rare bottle of Port Ellen 1981 sold today at Bonham's Edinburgh whisky auction for almost double its estimate. The sale is sure to
    raise a few eyebrows amongst whisky drinkers, collectors and investors.
  • 3rd October 2017
    Loch Lomond 50 Year Old
    The Loch Lomond distillery have just joined the elite 50 years plus whisky club with the announcement that they are set to release their oldest and rarest expression to date, a limited edition Loch Lomond 50 Year Old. Described as brimming with rich oak spice and tropical fruit, naturally deep amber in colour with beautiful clarity there will be only 60 bottles available.
  • 3rd October 2017
    Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask Reserve The Steamship Collection
    Bushmills has unveiled the latest addition to their global travel retail exclusive Steamship Collection, the Bushmills #3 Char Bourbon Cask Reserve. Described as having subtle notes of toasted oak, spices and crème brûlée with a long, rich and smooth finish.
  • 3rd October 2017
    Green Spot Chateau Montelena
    Irish Distillers have just unveiled Green Spot Chateau Montelena, the first Irish Single Pot Still whiskey to be finished in Californian Chateau Montelena French oak Zinfandel wine casks.

  • 2nd October 2017
    Glenfiddich Experimental Series Joins The Travel Retail Range
    Glenfiddich have announced that their Glenfiddich Experimental Series, which they launched initially to selected domestic markets back in September last year, will now be rolled out in travel retail.

See earlier Whisky News from 2017 >>>

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