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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.
  • 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
    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.
  • 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.
  • 27th August 2015
    Holyrood Park Distillery Proposed To Open In Edinburgh
    Whisky expert and former Master Distiller for The Macallan, David Robertson, is behind plans to open the Holyrood Park Distillery in Edinburgh. Planning application has been submitted for
    a £2 million boutique micro-distillery and visitor experience at the Engine Shed building in the heart of the city.
  • 27th August 2015
    The Balvenie Craft Bar in Kuala Lumpur International Airport
    If you are lucky enough to be passing through Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) Departures Emporium then why not stop by The Balvenie Craft Bar which The Balvenie has launched.
  • 24th August 2015
    Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold
    Diageo have added a new No Age Statement whisky to its Dalwhinnie core range, named Dalwhinnie Winter's Gold, which will start appearing on shelves from this month.  It doesn't have the lovely touch of peat smoke the 15 has but this is a different expression, a more straight forward expression, more oaky, a very easy to drink and a very enjoyable Dalwhinnie.
  • 20th August 2015
    The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold
    The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold is the latest offering from The Famous Grouse, a smooth rich sherry influenced expression of the Famous dram. A step up in complexity and flavour from the standard Famous Grouse for just a small step up in price.
  • 18th August 2015
    Old Particular Single Cask Single Grain
    Glasgow based whisky specialists Douglas Laing have announced the addition of Single Cask Single Grain whisky to their popular Old Particular Single Cask whisky range. To mark the launch of single grain whisky into the Old Particular range Douglas Laing has released Old Particular Single Grain Single Cask whiskies are Cameronbridge 25 Years Old, Girvan 25 Years Old, North British 21 Years Old and Strathclyde 27 Years Old.
  • 12th August 2015
    The Shetland Distillery Company Release Four Cask Strength Whiskies
    Four new cask strength whiskies bottled by The Shetland Distillery Company have gone on sale. Distilled in Portsoy (Glenglassaugh perhaps?) on the Scottish mainland and bottled on Unst at the far north of the Shetland Islands.

  • 10th August 2015
    Benromach Competition To Find The Ideal Dram Location
    Where is your perfect place to enjoy a glass of Benromach, just share a picture of it with Benromach to have a chance of winning an illustration of your picture drawn by Scottish artist Jill Calder.

  • 10th August 2015
    Speyburn Celebrates Completion Of Second Fish Conservation Project
    Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Scottish charity ‘The Spey Foundation’ are celebrating the completion of their second environmental project to increase fish populations along the River Spey.

  • 10th August 2015
    The Famous Grouse Pop Up Bar At The Edinburgh Festival
    Here is a heads up for any of you lucky enough to be visiting Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival this month, you will find The Famous Grouse House at Edinburgh’s International Festival Fringe and they are promising to turn the world of whisky on its head.
  • 10th August 2015
    The Great Northern Distillery Dundalk Comes To Life
    The first of two new Irish whiskey distilleries which will form Irelands largest independent distillery, the Great Northern Distillery has gone into production. The grain distillery now in production will be followed by a single malt whiskey distillery.

  • 10th August 2015
    Chivas The Venture £1 Million Winners
    The Venture, Chivas Regal’s global search for the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs, rewarded all five finalists the remaining share of the $1m fund at the final pitch event which at the end of July. Social entrepreneurs from across the world are now invited to apply for $1 million in funding as The Venture Year 2 kicks off today.
  • 7th August 2015
    The Pogues Irish Whiskey
    West Cork Distillers, one of only three independent whiskey distilleries in Ireland, has launched an Irish whiskey inspired by and developed in conjunction with internationally acclaimed band, The Pogues.
  • 7th August 2015
    The Macallan Rare Cask Now Available In The UK
    The Macallan fans amongst you may have already spotted the Macallan Rare Cask on the shelves shelves of your favourite specialist whisky shop as it arrived on UK shelves a few weeks ago, I was taking my summer break at the time but thought I would give it a mention for those of you who may have missed it.
  • 7th August 2015
    Sainsbury's Supermarket Whisky Picks Up Top IWSC Award
    Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been voted the winner of the Single Malt Scotch Whisky Trophy with no age statement at this years International Wine and Spirit Competition.
  • 7th August 2015
    BenRiach Distillery Company Scoops 10 IWSC Medals
    GlenDronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh single malts continue to impress by scooping 10 medals at at this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition with the GlenDronach 12 Year Old Glenglassaugh 30 Year Old both being awarded Gold Medals.

  • 21st July 2015
    The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve Now Available In The UK
    Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits has announced the UK release of The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve. The Glenrothes Vintage Reserve carries no age statement but it comprises of 10 different vintages which span the last three decades, they are 1989, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  • 21st July 2015
    Jameson Wild Sloe Berry Bitters
    Jameson Irish whisky has brought a uniquely Irish twist to cocktails with the creation of Jameson Wild Sloe Berry Bitters. Jameson unveiled their new offering at Tales of the Cocktail 2015, the innovative new creation is aimed at encouraging bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts around the world to create, serve and enjoy new taste experiences with the world’s leading Irish Whiskey.
  • 15th July 2015
    Scapa Skiren
    Scapa have today announced the launch of Scapa Skiren a new 100% First Fill American oak matured No Age Statement single malt. Scapa tell me that the exclusive maturation in First Fill American Oak casks gives Scapa Skiren a smooth creamy sweetness with a hint of tropical, citrus fruit and coastal heather, uncommon for an Island Single Malt but distinctly Scapa at its core.
  • 10th July 2015
    Glenmorangie Cocktails The Spirit Of The Open
    Glenmorangie are sponsoring this years Open Golf Championship as The official Spirit of The Open and they have created 2 golf inspired cocktails which will be served throughout the event in St Andrews next week. If you will not be lucky enough to attend the Open Championship next week I thought you may like to do the next best thing, try the Glenmorangie Golf inspired whisky cocktails for yourself while sitting at your own 19th hole.
  • 10th July 2015
    Kininvie Special Release #1 Single Cask Bottling
    Coming soon! Kininvie Special Release #1 25 Year Old which was laid down on the distillery’s very first day of production, the 4th of July, 1990 and disgorged from the cask last Saturday 4th July.

  • 10th July 2015
    Glenfiddich Residence Cask Vintage 1992 Edition
    Glenfiddich have teamed up with DFS Group, the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, to launch the Glenfiddich Residence Cask Vintage 1992 at DFS Singapore Changi Airport.
  • 2nd July 2015
    Bruichladdich Launch Octomore 7.1 Scottish Barley
    Here is one for the peat heads amongst you, Bruichladdich have announced the launch of Octomore 7.1, the seventh edition and latest expression of the world's most heavily peated whisky series.
  • 1st July 2015
    The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 2
    The Balvenie fans amongst you will be pleased to hear that the distillery has unveiled the Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 2. Created once again by The Balvenie's long serving Malt Master David Stewart.
  • 1st July 2015
    Jack Daniel Owners To build $50m Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery
    Brown-Forman Corporation who are more well know for their American whiskey brands such as Jack Daniel’s have announced that it has purchased all shares of Slane Castle Irish Whiskey Limited. They will invest approximately $50 million to build a new distillery and consumer experience on the historic Slane Castle Estate in County Meath, Ireland.
  • 1st July 2015
    Tomatin 36 Year Old
    Tomatin have announced the addition of a new Tomatin 36 year old small batch release to their whisky range. Batch 1 of Tomatin 36 year old was matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks and is a limited release of 800 bottles.
  • 1st July 2015
    Japanese Whisky Nikka Discontinues Age Statements
    Nikka Japanese whisky have confirmed their decision to discontinue a number of their age statement whiskies. The move is a consequence of the Japanese whisky makers success in foreign markets and also the growing popularity in the Japanese domestic market where sales of Nikka are growing very fast and stock levels of Yoichi and Miyagikyo malt whiskies are becoming very low.

See earlier Whisky News from 2015 >>>

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