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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.
  • 31st March 2020
    Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old
    Ardbeg has announced the launch of a new permanent addition to their core range, Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old which has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks.
     
  • 31st March 2020
    WWA Best Single Cask - Tamdhu Distillery Manager's Single Cask
    Offering some light relief to whisky fans and the drinks community in these uncertain times the folks at the World Whiskies Awards ploughed on with the 2020 competition via their official social channels last week were they crowned the Tamdhu Distillery Manager’s Single Cask the ‘World’s Best Single Cask, Single Malt Whisky’.
     
  • 31st March 2020
    Old Particular Invergordon 22 Year Old Easter Edition
    After much deliberation given the current climate, Glasgow based whisky specialists Douglas Laing has launched their first ever Old Particular Easter Edition, a Single Cask, Invergordon 22 Year Old Single Grain whisky which was distilled in May 2020 and bottled this month, March 2020, at its natural cask strength of 48.9% ABV.
     
  • 23rd March 2020
    Diageo Pledges 8 Million Bottles Of Sanitiser For Frontline Workers
    In an unprecedented global response Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky and Smirnoff vodka, has pledged to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser, by donating up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.
     
  • 20th March 2020
    Bimber Announces Virtual Tours & Tastings
    In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and similar to other whisky distilleries London's Bimber Distillery has ceased distillery tours but they tell me that they will be 'keeping the spirit alive' as part of the industry’s wider response to the COVID-19 crisis by significantly broadening their digital offerings. Bimber will be producing a range of virtual tours and online tasting events so that enthusiast communities can continue to enjoy the Bimber experience from the comfort of their own homes.

     
  • 18th March 2020
    Islay’s Feis Ile 2020 Cancelled
    This will come as no surprise as many distilleries have already suspended tours in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, following a meeting of Islay’s Feis Ile committee yesterday to discuss the Coronavirus pandemic and the implications for this year’s Malt and Music Festival in the midst of the global crisis the committee has made the decision to cancel the Feis Ile 2020 inline with the Scottish governments guidelines.
     
  • 17th March 2020
    Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2020 Cancelled
    Given the current worldwide Coronavirus pandemic I think by this stage it could have been assumed by now that the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2020 would not be going ahead and today the organisers at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival have officially announced this year’s Festival will be cancelled in light of social restriction guidelines in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic.
     
  • 13th March 2020
    Situation Vacant Ardbeg Begins Search For New Distillery Manager
    Ardbeg today announced the end of an era at the Islay distillery with the announcement that after 13 years overseeing whisky production the Distillery Manager Mickey Heads will retire at the end of October 2020.
     
  • 12th March 2020
    Glenmorangie Forges Conservation Partnership To Save The Giraffe
    Glenmorangie distillery, home to to Scotland's tallest stills has long celebrated the giraffe as a symbol of the distillery. With its extraordinary height, the animal perfectly illustrates the stature of the single malt whisky’s towering stills. Today, the Highland Distillery demonstrates its commitment to this endangered animal by forging a global conservation partnership to help safeguard its future.
     
  • 10th March 2020
    Ardbeg The Shortie Smoky Porter Beer
    Ardbeg have teamed up with craft beer company Brewgooder to release their first ever beer - Ardbeg The Shortie Smoky Porter with all profits from its sales being donated to support clean water projects in Malawi.

     
  • 5th March 2020
    Redbreast Adds 27 Year Old To Core Range
    Irish Distillers today unveiled a new permanent addition to their Redbreast Irish single pot still whiskey range, the Redbreast 27 Year Old, a cask strength combination of American Bourbon, sherry and port cask matured Irish pot still whiskey.

     
  • 5th March 2020
    Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve
    Glenfarclas has just released their oldest whisky to date, Glenfarclas Pagoda Ruby Reserve 62 Year Old which was distilled in 1954 and bottled in 2017 although they are only now releasing the whisky for sale as the next instalment in the Pagoda Series. It is a limited edition release which is rather uniquely presented in a Glencairn decanter featuring hand-mounted precious rubies.
     
  • 4th March 2020
    Goldfinch Macallan 26 Year Old
    Goldfinch whisky merchants launch a a Macallan 26 Year Old single cask bottling, matured for 25 years in an American oak bourbon barrel, then finished for a year in an Oloroso sherry oak hogshead cask.

     
  • 4th March 2020
    The 'End Of The Line' Distillery Set To Open In John O’Groats
    A new micro Scotch whisky distillery is set to open in John O’Groats in 2021, following planning permission secured for a distillery, visitor centre and bonded warehouse. The ‘end of the line’ distillery will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year and will be the first Scotch whisky distillery in John O’Groats since 1837.
     
  • 26th February 2020
    Tamdhu Scoops 4 World Whiskies Awards
    Tamdhu has scooped four World Whiskies Awards for its exclusively sherry cask matured Speyside single malt whisky.
    The Speyside distillery had two Category Winners in the Single Cask, Single Malt Scotch Category with its Edinburgh Airport European Sherry Oak Single Cask coming out on top of the ‘13 to 20 Years’ grouping and Sandy McIntyre’s Single Cask clinching the win in the ‘No Age Statement’ section.
     
  • 26th February 2020
    Waterford Inaugural Release - 1st Cuvee: Pilgrimage
    Waterford Distillery has announced its inaugural release which will only be available at a distillery Open Day on 25th April. As you can imagine the inaugural Waterford 1ST CUVÉE: PILGRIMAGE is a limited release with a total of 1,500 bottles available, 1,000 of which will be labelled 'I Was There'.

     
  • 21st February 2020
    Kilmarnock Museum Hosts Rare Johnnie Walker Artefacts Exhibition
    Treasured historical artefacts from the roots of the world’s number one Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker, are to go on public display for the first time in Kilmarnock - the town where the story began 200 years ago.
     
  • 21st February 2020
    Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender Competition 2020
    Calling all bartenders, Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender Competition 2020 is now open for entries but don't hang around as the closing date for entries is the 9th March.

     
  • 20th February 2020
    Ardbeg Blaaack - Committee 20th Anniversary Limited Editon
    Ardbeg to mark the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee with the release of Ardbeg Blaaack which has been matured in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks. Ardbeg Blaaack Committee 20th Anniversary Limited Edition bottled at 50.7% ABV will be available to buy on 4th March.
     
  • 20th February 2020
    Douglas Laing XOP The Black Series, Port Ellen Vintage 1979
    Douglas Laing announce the release of XOP The Black Series, Port Ellen Vintage 1979, the oldest expression of Port Ellen from the Glasgow whisky company to date and as you can imagine you will need very deep pockets if you want to taste this one with an expected retail price of £3500.

     
  • 20th February 2020
    Four New Bimber Distillery Exclusive Whiskies
    Bimber unveil three single cask distillery exclusive bottling's as well as a filling strength new make spirit distillery exclusive bottling.

     
  • 20th February 2020
    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Unveils 2020 Programme
    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has announced its 2020 programme of events, which will bring the best of the iconic whisky region to the public this spring. This year’s Festival will be the biggest yet and is expected to bring thousands of visitors to Speyside in celebration of all things Scotch.
     
  • 14th February 2020
    The Dalmore Unveils Rare 51 Year Old
    If you are looking for a last minute Valentine's whisky gift idea for that special someone in your life then how about this rare single malt whisky which The Dalmore unveiled yesterday, but bare in mind you will need deep pockets to express your love with this one. It is The Dalmore Aged 51 Years, which is a very limited edition release of only 51 bottles worldwide and as you can imagine it has a eye watering price tag of £55,000, but can you really put a price on love.
     
  • 11th February 2020
    Glenkinchie 19 YO To Be Bottled For My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
    Doddie Weir has visited the Glenkinchie distillery and selected a 19 Year Old single sherry cask to be bottled for his 'My Name’5 Doddie Foundation' which raises money to support research into finding a cure for Motor Neuron Disease.

     
  • 10th February 2020
    Rosebank Set To Release Two 1993 Single Cask Whiskies
    Ian Macleod Distillers announce the release of two single cask 1993 vintage Rosebank single malt whiskies, each has been matured in a refill Bourbon Hogshead cask but are said to have their own completely distinct and unique character.
    Only 100 bottles of whisky from each cask will initially be released and will be available to purchase via ballot.
     
  • 7th February 2020
    £1 Million Whisky Collection Goes Under The Hammer
    Bidding gets underway for the worlds largest private whisky collection which is estimated to fetch £1 Million. Consisting primarily of single malt Scotch whisky, the collection of over 3,900 bottles will be sold across two auctions, the first part of which gets underway at 12:00pm GMT today.

     
  • 4th February 2020
    Jameson's St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Limited Edition
    Jameson has unveiled their St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Limited Edition bottle which this year inspires Jameson fans to get creative themselves and create their own label.

     
  • 31st January 2020
    The Spirit of Speyside Festivals 2020
    The popular Spirit of Speyside Festivals are set to return in 2020 and will feature over 700 ticketed whisky themed activities. The Spring Speyside Festival kicks off on 29 April - 4 May at venues across Speyside tickets and tickets will go on sale at noon on 12th February.

     
  • 29th January 2020
    Old Particular Elements Series Jura 12 Years Old Water Edition
    Douglas Laing concludes the Old Particular Elements series with the release of the final element, 'Water', a Jura 12 Year Old single cask, cask strength whisky which was finished in a Pedro Ximénez Sherry butt.

     
  • 27th January 2020
    Big Peat The Black Edition Completes Limited Edition Trilogy
    Douglas Laing has announced the release of the Big Peat The Black Edition 27 Year Old, the third and final release in their Big Peat Limited Edition Trilogy collection.
     
  • 27th January 2020
    An Evening of Scottish Virtuosity 2020 by Murray Cohen
    This years annual Vintages/LCBO sponsored 'An Evening of Scottish Virtuosity' event in Toronto, Canada saw Stuart Brown, the first Canadian whisky ambassador for Johnnie Walker and Diageo whisky present the Diageo Special Releases 2019 line-up as well as the premium John Walker & Sons King George V blend and once again our guest writer, Murray Cohen was there to review the event and of course, the whiskies.

     
  • 24th January 2020
    Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest
    Irish Distillers has unveiled the third release in their so far very highly rated Dair Ghaelach collection, the new release is Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest which has been finished in barrels made from virgin Irish oak grown in Knockrath Forest, County Wicklow. The virgin oak casks were filled with Irish pot still whiskeys ranging in age from 13-26 years and further matured for another two years.
     
  • 24th January 2020
    The SMWS Edinburgh Burns Night Cocktail Menu
    The Scotch Malt Whisky Society venue at Queen Street, Edinburgh are celebrating Burns Night with a huge menu of Bobby Burns cocktails, using some of the rarest single malt whisky in their collection.

     
  • 22nd January 2020
    The SMWS Glasgow Burns Night Haggis Hunt
    In celebration of their forthcoming new venue opening in Glasgow The Scotch Malt Whisky Society are offering you the chance to win an annual membership in their Burns Night Haggis Hunt in Glasgow.

     
  • 21st January 2020
    Diageo Donates Glenkinchie Cask To My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
    Rugby legend and inspirational Motor Neuron Disease campaigner Doddie Weir visited Diageo’s new Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh yesterday (Monday 20 January) to accept the donation of a cask of Scotch whisky to raise money for his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease.
     
  • 17th January 2020
    Highland Park 2020 The New Year Ahead
    An insight into what's new at the Highland Park distillery on the Orkney Islands and what new bottlings we can expect to see in the coming year ahead including a new Highland Park Cask Strength permanent expression which is scheduled for early summer.

     
  • 17th January 2020
    Burns Night With BenRiach Painting By Tasting Notes
    With Burns Night fast approaching I am certain that a few of you will be looking for a good dram to celebrate the occasion whether you will be dancing the night away, tucking into a plate of Haggis & Neeps at a Burns supper, or simply sitting by the fire and raising a glass of Scotland's finest whisky to celebrate Scotland's national bard, Rabbie Burns birthday. But if you are in or around London do you fancy toasting Scotland's national bard at a Burns Night tasting event with a artistic BenRiach twist.

     
  • 15th January 2020
    Diageo Promotes Inclusion and Diversity As Part Of INC Week
    Over 2000 Diageo employees are taking part in series of events across Scotland this week to champion inclusion and diversity as part of INC Week. During the week Gail Porter will be amongst the inspiring voices leading sessions.
     
  • 4th January 2020
    Restoration Of Binns Clock At Johnnie Walker Visitor Experience
    The famous cantilever clock on the corner of Edinburgh’s Princes Street and Hope Street is to be lovingly restored as part of the project to create the Johnnie Walker Princes Street global visitor attraction in the heart of Scotland’s capital.
     

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