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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.
  • 27th May 2016
    Pub Burgundy Lion - A Montreal Whisky Experience
    Review of Pub Burgundy Lion Montreal, a Montreal hotspot on Notre Dame St. The pub experience is highlighted by a grand collection of almost 600 whiskies, boasting a wide range of single malt Scotch, Irish, Canadian and American whiskies.

     
  • 27th May 2016
    Linkwood 22 Year Old Hart Brothers Review
    Review of Hart Brothers Linkwood 22 Year Old. The Linkwood 22 is a connoisseur’s dram. It has a sense of being cured, like a fine steak aged to the point of pure delectability.

     
  • 27th May 2016
    Highland Park 23 Year Old Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Review
    Review of Highland Park 23 Year Old Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask. This 23 year old expression is a wonderful surprise coming at one from different angles creating a real masterpiece.

     
  • 27th May 2016
    Clan Denny Dumbarton 46 Year Old Single Grain Whisky Review
    Review of Clan Denny Dumbarton 46 Year Old Single Grain Whisky. This single grain scotch is essentially and basically perfect from nose to palate to finish. The almost 50 years in barrel has only served to augment this dram and create character.

     
  • 25th May 2016
    Jura Tastival 2016 Limited Edition
    Jura Whisky today unveiled its Tastival 2016 bottling, a new limited edition expression to mark the distillery’s annual island whisky festival. Jura Tastival celebrates new and exciting ways to enjoy whisky and the creation of this year’s festival edition is no exception, say the distillery, with a triple sherry finish, using hand-selected casks.
     
  • 24th May 2016
    The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner With Michel Roux Jr
    Some of The Balvenie fans amongst you may have already been following The Balvenie's Craftsmen's Dinner six part short film series with Michel Roux Jr. This final episode in the series culminates with Michel creating the mouth-watering Craftsmen's Dinner for each of the craftsmen who featured in the series.
     
  • 23rd May 2016
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 1997 Review
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 1997 was matured in Refill Bourbon Barrels. A cracking example of just how enjoyable this distillery can be when matured in quality casks. Considering the age and quality of this whisky, for the price I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
     
  • 23rd May 2016
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Tormore 1997 Review
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Tormore 1997 was matured in 1st Fill Bourbon barrels. So many whisky producers are trying to substitute age with 1st Fill Bourbon barrels these days but when you get a whisky that has been matured for a decent number of years in 1st Fill Bourbon, around 17 years in this case, you end up with and very complex and in this case very good whisky confirming Gordon & MacPhail's philosophy that it is the wood that makes the whisky but also the time spent in the wood.
     
  • 23rd May 2016
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice BenRiach 1997 Review
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice BenRiach 1997 was matured in Refill Sherry Hogshead casks which have imparted just a delicate sherry influence on this 1997 vintage whisky, but the oak still has a big say in its profile.
     
  • 23rd May 2016
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Ledaig 1999 Review
    Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Ledaig 1999 was matured in Refill remade Hogshead casks.
    The choice of casks has made this quite different to the original distillery bottling offerings as independent bottlings should be. The peat has been tamed a little in the years it has spent in the cask which you expect, this a good example of this peaty dram from the Tobermory distillery.
     
  • 23rd May 2016
    The MacPhail's Collection Bunnahabhain 2006 Review
    The MacPhail's Collection Bunnahabhain 2006 was matured in a combination of First Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads casks. A young and fun sherried Bunna and an excellent affordable everyday dramming unpeated expression from the Islay distillery.
     
  • 20th May 2016
    The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection
    The Glenlivet has launched three special limited edition single cask Glenlivet whiskies exclusively in the US market. The three single cask bottlings are The Glenlivet Pullman Club Car, Pullman Twentieth Century Limited and Pullman Water Level Route.
     
  • 20th May 2016
    Eva Longoria Announced As Judge Of Chivas The Venture Competition
    World-renowned actress, businesswoman and philanthropist, Eva Longoria, has been announced as a judge for The Venture – Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative startups from across the world.
     
  • 20th May 2016
    The Macallan 65 Year Old in Lalique Six Pillars Collection
    Here is something very special and very rare for The Macallan fans amongst you with deep pockets, The Macallan 65 Year Old in Lalique. which is the sixth and final release from their prestigious The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection and has a price tag of £23,500 with 450 bottles available worldwide.
     
  • 19th May 2016
    Bell's Queens 90th Birthday Decanter
    As whisky drinkers and Bells whisky decanter collectors have come to expect on a special royal occasion, Bell’s whisky has launched of a bespoke, limited edition ‘Royal Birthday Decanter’ to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.
     
  • 18th May 2016
    Glenmorangie Distillery May Open Weekend
    Glenmorangie’s are inviting you to share the secrets of their single malt at the Distillery’s open weekend, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May, they will open the doors of the Distillery for FREE, offering visitors unprecedented access to Glenmorangie’s innovative whisky making and an insight into the Distillery’s pioneering work to protect its environment and heritage.
     
  • 18th May 2016
    Douglas Laing Unleash Scallywag Cask Strength Limited Edition No.2
    Douglas Laing today unleashed a second cask strength limited edition of its Scallywag Speyside vatted malt. This 2nd limited release has been created using an impressive line up Speyside Single Malts, including those distilled at Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes Distilleries.
     
  • 17th May 2016
    Suntory The Chita Japanese Single Grain Whisky
    Up until now Suntory The Chita Japanese Single Grain whisky has only been available exclusively in the Japanese domestic market but from July this year The Chita will be available from global travel retail.
     
  • 17th May 2016
    Jura Distillery Manager Willie Cochrane Retires
    Another era at the Isle of Jura distillery came to an end this week when Distillery Manager, Willie Cochrane, retired after an incredible 39 year career.
     
  • 12th May 2016
    Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition
    Just in time for summer, Kilchoman today released the 6th edition of their excellent, easy drinking, lower peated level, Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition,  the only single malt produced on-site from barley to bottle.
     
  • 12th May 2016
    Rocket Cat Scotch Whisky Based Cinnamon Infused Spirit Drink
    Independent family-owned Ian Macleod Distillers, who are more well known for their Scotch single malt and blended whiskies has entered the spirit drink market with the launch of a new Scotch whisky based, cinnamon infused spicy party drink called Rocket Cat.
     
  • 10th May 2016
    Take The Tomatin Caledonian Sleeper To Scotland
    Are you looking for a break north of the border and want to avoid the hassle of airport queues and of course if you enjoy a we dram or two then the overnight Caledonian Sleeper and Tomatin have the thing for you.
     
  • 9th May 2016
    Johnnie Walker Island Green
    Diageo have announced the launch of Johnnie Walker Island Green blended malt whisky which will be exclusive to travel retail.
     
  • 6th May 2016
    Gold For Glengoyne 21 & 25 At Asian Spirits Masters
    Glengoyne are celebrating after bringing picking up two Gold medals from this year’s Asian Spirits Masters for their Glengoyne 21 Year Old and their outstanding Glengoyne 25 Year Old expressions.
     
  • 5th May 2016
    Diageo Reserve Announce Finalists For 2016 World Class Competition
    The finalists have been announced following two very competitive UK Diageo Reserve World Class Competition semi finals which saw 100 competitors narrowed down to 11 finalists who will now compete to be crowned 2016 UK Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year. You can try out the 11 semi final winning cocktails at home, I have listed them HERE.
     
  • 3rd May 2016
    Jim Beam Reaches 14 Million Barrel Milestone
    Jim Beam Bourbon, the world’s No. 1 bourbon, made history this week when it filled its 14 millionth barrel of bourbon since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.
     
  • 28th April 2016
    Ardbeg Dark Cove
    Review of Ardbeg Dark Cove 46.5% ABV standard release which will launch on May 28th. A marriage of sherry cask and hallmark ex-bourbon cask matured Ardbeg. The nose really is deliciously rich and enticing, it only hints at the lovely sherried Ardbeg peat which follows on the palate.

     
  • 27th April 2016
    Brown-Forman To Buy The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited 
    Jack Daniel's owner Brown-Forman has reached an agreement to purchase The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited which for approximately £285 million. They are set to acquire Glendronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh single malt brands.

     
  • 27th April 2016
    William Grant Sets Sites On Japan
    With the demand for exceptional Scotch malt whisky in Asia Pacific continuing to rise, William Grant & Sons will be focusing on two recent additions to their offer at TFWA Asia Pacific this year: Glenfiddich 21 year old in its new stand out packaging and Balvenie 21 year old Madeira Cask. Also high on the agenda are the recently launched House of Hazelwood.
     
  • 27th April 2016
    William Grant & Sons Announce Changes To European Travel Retail Team
    William Grant & Sons has announced a couple of changes to its Global Travel Retail European team during April. Marina Steel has joined as Business Development Manager – Global Travel Retail Europe, Jillie Cooper has joined the team as Business Development Executive.
     
  • 25th April 2016
    Four Roses Bourbon Announce New Brand Ambassador
    After two months of searching, Four Roses Bourbon have named Benji Purslow as the face of the cult bourbon brand. Benji will fight their corner in the Bourbon battle for supremacy in the increasingly popular UK Bourbon marketplace.
     
  • 21st April 2016
    Jameson Crested Review
    A few of you may have been lucky enough to get hold of a bottle of the superb pot still rich Irish blended whiskey Jameson Crested Ten in the past, a whiskey which has rarely been seen outside of Ireland and has acquired itself somewhat of a cult following. I am pleased to tell you that that Jameson have announced the international launch of Jameson Crested, note they have dropped the word Ten from the title of the whiskey.
     
  • 20th April 2016
    Douglas Laing Launches The Epicurean Lowland Blended Malt
    Douglas Laing have once again been busy assessing the maturing stock in their warehouse and have just announced the addition of Douglas Laing's The Epicurean Lowland blended malt Scotch whisky to the firm’s Remarkable Regional Malts collection.
     
  • 15th April 2016
    Glenmorangie Tarlogan Travel Retail Exclusive
    Glenmorangie Tarlogan is the third and I believe final release in the Glenmorangie travel retail exclusive Legends series, it follows Duthac and the more recently released Tayne. It was matured in a combination of American ex-bourbon and virgin oak casks and it was bottled at 43% ABV.
     
  • 14th April 2016
    Laphroaig Lore Review
    Laphroaig Lore labelled "the richest of the rich". This really is a deliciously peaty powerful beast of a Laphroaig, Laphroaig as you expect it to be, Laphroaig as you want it to be, big powerful and bold. I can't confirm the ages of 7 to 21 years for the contributing whiskies in Lore but I can confirm that it is a very well put together mix of fiery youthful Laphroaig and some more tamed mature Laphroaig with a good helping of quality sherried Laphroaig.
     
  • 13th April 2016
    Highland Park ICE Edition Triumphs At Ultimate Spirits Challenge
    Highland Park ICE Edition which was only just launched in March this year has been awarded Ultimate Spirits Challenge's highest award of excellence in the single malt Scotch category.
     
  • 12th April 2016
    Jura Tastival 2016 Line Up
    You know spring is in the air when Jura announces its annual Jura whisky festival (aka Tastival) line up. Once again they have put together a great line up of tasting, tours and more. As usual tickets are expected to sell quickly so don't hang around.
     
  • 8th April 2016
    Redbreast 21 Crowned SFWSC Best In Show
    Going by the recent haul of awards, Irish Distillers continues to lead the field in the production of quality Irish whiskey, the Irish whiskey producer has recently scooped top honours at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards. The outstanding Redbreast 21 year old was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, overcoming all other whiskeys – not only Irish. In an equally impressive feat, Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton, was crowned World’s Best Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey at World Whiskies Awards.
     
  • 8th April 2016
    Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2016
    Kilchoman Loch Gorm annual limited edition was first launched back in 2012, as fans of the small Islay farm distillery will know it is now the time of year for another instalment of the deliciously sherried, peaty Islay dram.
     
  • 8th April 2016
    Justin Rose Announced As Glenmorangie Golf Ambassador
    Glenmorangie are extending their link to that other great Scottish creation, golf, they have announced that Justin Rose will be the whisky brand’s new global golf ambassador.
     
  • 6th April 2016
    Four Roses Bourbon Announce Brand Ambassador Job Finalists
    Spirit Cartel has now whittled down its search for the UK Four Roses Brand Ambassador to five talented finalists. The extensive nationwide search, a first for the brand, will see some of the country’s brightest bourbon buffs battle it out for the highly desirable title at the final on Monday 18th April.
     
  • 6th April 2016
    Benromach Imperial Proof Picks Up Top Award
    Benromach Imperial Proof which is also known as the Benromach 100° Proof picks up top award at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
    Benromach Imperial Proof is bottled at 57% ABV and has the same classic Benromach style that draws its influence from Speyside whiskies of the pre-1960s.
     
  • 31st March 2016
    Douglas Laing's Feis Ile 2016 Old Particular Bowmore Vintage 1999
    Douglas Laing has announced its commemorative bottling for Feis Ile 2016, this year the Glasgow based independent bottler has selected a 1999 vintage single malt whisky which was distilled at the Bowmore distillery on Islay and bottled under their Old Particular label.
     
  • 24th March 2016
    House Of Hazelwood 18 Year Old Review
    House of Hazelwood 18 year old is the entry level whisky in William Grant's new premium Scotch blended whisky range. A delicious mature blend with a fantastic nose. I am guessing its component parts of Kininvie and Girvan spent most of there 18 years maturing in refill Bourbon casks.

     
  • 24th March 2016
    House Of Hazelwood 21 Year Old Review
    House of Hazelwood 21 year old is the second whisky in William Grant's new premium Scotch blended whisky range. Dense yet very teasing light sherried fruity notes mingle with some gentle oak spices amidst a mild vanilla sweetness.
     
  • 24th March 2016
    House Of Hazelwood 25 Year Old Review
    House of Hazelwood 25 year old sits at the top of whisky in William Grant's new premium Scotch blended whisky range, just where it belongs and not a bad price for a 25 year old. I would say this is one to savour late at night sitting back in your favourite chair with your feet up.
     
  • 24th March 2016
    Big Peat's Feis Ile 2016 Commemorative Bottling
    Douglas Laing have announced the launch of its first ever Big Peat Feis Ile Edition Islay Blended Malt Whisky. The Big Peat Feis Ile 2016 edition will be a limited release of 500 bottles, each bottle will be individually numbered.
     
  • 23rd March 2016
    How To Make The Perfect Irish Coffee
    Perhaps you have enjoyed the pleasure of an Irish Coffee after a meal in a restaurant or evening out, you maybe even had an Irish Coffee during the recent St. Patricks Day celebrations on the 17th of this month, and perhaps you thought to yourself, I should make myself one of those at home if I knew how, well here is how you do it, Jameson Style.
     
  • 21st March 2016
    The Glenrothes Alba Reserve Rebranded As Bourbon Cask Reserve
    Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits have announced the launch of The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve, although it is not a new whisky it is the existing Glenrothes Alba Reserve which they have renamed as The Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve.
     
  • 21st March 2016
    Kilchoman Sanaig Review
    Kilchoman Sanaig is a marriage of sherry and bourbon cask maturation. This is a very enjoyable lightly sherried peaty Kilchoman and the good news is that it now part of the Kilchoman core range. This is what I thought of it...

     
  • 21st March 2016
    Hibiki 21 Year Old Named WWA 2016 World's Best Blended Whisky
    This won't come as a surprise to those of you that had the pleasure of tasting it, the Hibiki 21 Year Old from Suntory Spirits Limited has picked up the prestigious award World’s Best Blended Whisky at the World Whiskies Awards 2016 held by the Whisky Magazine.
     
  • 21st March 2016
    Suntory Chief Blender Koichi Inatomi Inducted Into Hall of Fame
    Koichi Inatomi, former Chief Blender of Suntory Whisky (former Director of Suntory Limited) has been inducted into the Whisky Magazine "Hall of Fame", becoming only the second Japanese member of the Hall of Fame.
     
  • 21st March 2016
    Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage Crowned WWA 'World’s Best Single Malt' 2016
    The folks at Pulteney Distillery in Wick are celebrating this week following the Wick distillery's latest triumph at the World Whiskies Awards 2016 where the Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage was crowned the 'World’s Best Single Malt'.
     
  • 18th March 2016
    BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1
    BenRiach has launched the first batch of its new no age statement cask strength expression, which will be known as (you may have already guessed) BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1.
     
  • 17th March 2016
    Frankfurt Airport Shares The Tullamore Spirit This St Patrick’s Day
    Tullamore DEW shares the Spirit this St. Patricks Day at Frankfurt airport. If you are lucky enough to be travelling through Frankfurt Airport today, St. Patrick's Day you will be treated to some interactive and engaging Tullamore DEW promotions, including the
    sampling of Tullamore DEW Phoenix.
     
  • 11th March 2016
    Highland Park ICE Edition 17 Year Old
    The Highland Park fans amongst you will be pleased to hear that the distillery has launched a new limited edition named Highland Park ICE Edition 17 Year Old. Naturally coloured with a very respectable 53.9% ABV bottling strength, this special edition has been aged predominantly in ex-bourbon casks and is limited globally to 30,000 bottles.
     
  • 11th March 2016
    Arran 18 Year Old
    The Arran 18 year old has arrived! Following the trilogy of limited release expressions which were paved the way for a new permanent core range Arran 18 year old , the distillery has now launched the 18 year old whisky.

     
  • 11th March 2016
    New Master Blender At The Famous Grouse
    Kirsteen Campbell has been appointed to the role of Master Blender for The Famous Grouse, taking over from current Master Blender Gordon Motion this month.
     
  • 4th March 2016
    Ailsa Bay Review
    Ailsa Bay is the first release from the new South Ayrshire distillery, it is
    a deliciously sweet peaty Lowlander. This is a new generation of single malt which breaks the boundaries of regional style bringing Speyside and Islay together in its own unique Lowland way. The main theme is the sweet peaty smoke, everything else is hinted at making this an outstanding and complex dram.
     
  • 4th March 2016
    The Balvenie 21 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish
    The Balvenie fans amongst you who where lucky enough to get hold of the outstanding limited edition Balvenie 17 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish a few years ago may want to dust off your passports because this week the Balvenie unveiled The Balvenie 21 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish at Singapore Changi Airport
     
  • 1st March 2016
    Lagavulin 8 Year Old 200th Anniversary Limited Edition
    Lagavulin launch limited edition 8 year old expression at a very drinkable price to mark the distillery's 200th anniversary. They describe it as
    having a magnificently full on Lagavulin taste that’s somehow even bigger than you expect.
     
  • 1st March 2016
    Four Roses Bourbon Are On The Hunt For A UK Brand Ambassador
    Situation Vacant: Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon are on the hunt for a UK brand ambassador. The Brand Ambassador will be an integral part of our Four Roses campaign in 2016 and beyond, building momentum for a brand that is rich in heritage and provenance.
     

See earlier Whisky News from 2016 >>>

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