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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 August 2019
    Douglas Laing Donates £10,000 To The RAF Benevolent Fund
    Douglas Laing continued its generous support of the RAF Benevolent Fund by handing over a cheque for £10,000 at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Air Squadron last week, the generous donation came from sales of a special Big Peat ‘The RAF Edition’.

  • 16th August 2019
    Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition
    A year ahead of the Brora distillery reopening Diageo has released a limited edition Brora 40 Year Old 200th Anniversary Edition Single Malt whisky which they have bottled to commemorate two centuries since distilling began in the now iconic distillery.

  • 16th August 2019
    Lagavulin 10 Year Old Travel Retail Exclusive
    Here is one for the Lagavulin fans amongst you to look out for on your travels, Diageo has released a Lagavulin 10 Year Old expression, a new single malt that will be available exclusively at Dufry duty-free stores in selected airports across the world.
  • 16th August 2019
    The SMWS Edinburgh Fringe Festival Events 2019
    If you will be lucky enough to be in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival this August then you may enjoy checking out The Scotch Malt Whisky Society's whisky events taking place throughout the month.

  • 15th August 2019
    Whyte & Mackay Whisky Portfolio Strikes Gold At  IWSC & ISC 2019
    Whyte & Mackay is toasting the success of its whisky portfolio this week after landing fifteen Gold and Gold Outstanding awards at this year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition. Leading the way in their gold medal haul was their Highland Single Malt Whisky, The Dalmore, scooping four Gold Outstanding awards and three Gold awards.
  • 15th August 2019
    Rare Macallan 72 Year Old Up For Grabs In Just Whisky Auction
    There are more than a few rare whisky gems which most of us could only dream of owning never mind tasting up for grabs in the this months Just Whisky auction which end this Sunday. A few rare highlights this month if your pockets are deep enough are a collection of Pappy Van Winkles bottles including the 20 Year Old Family Reserve. You will also find a Macallan 50 Year Old, Chichibu Intergalactic Series editions 1 and 2 and Karuizawa 38 Years Old Pearl Geisha.
  • 14th August 2019
    Leven Named Diageo’s Top Performing Manufacturing Site
    Scottish Trade Minister Ivan McKee visits Diageo's Leven packaging plant to present them with with the company's top global manufacturing award. Amongst other Diageo produced spirits a number of Scotch Whisky brands are packaged at Leven, including the single malt brands such as Lagavulin, Oban, Talisker and Singleton.

  • 9th August 2019
    The SMWS Old Fashioned IPA Cask Matured Blended Malt
    Calling all whisky chasers, The SMWS have a special membership offer, membership to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society plus a bottle of their new release Old Fashioned, the Society’s first beer-matured blended malt.

  • 9th August 2019
    Cotswolds English Single Malt Scoops More Global Awards
    Cotswolds English Single Malt whisky continues to impress by scooping gold medals at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) and the Great Taste Awards.

  • 9th August 2019
    The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment #3
    Calling all bartenders, back by popular demand, The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment #3 is returning once again to say thank you to the nation’s bartenders. The UK’s largest festival for the on-trade community will see Glenfiddich open its distillery doors to more than 1,200 members of the hospitality industry from the UK, and for the first time, to international attendees.
  • 9th August 2019
    Redbreast Takes World Whisky Trophy At IWSC 2019
    Not that it really needs another medal to indicate its quality but the Redbreast 12 Year Old single pot still Irish whiskey has taken home the World Whisky Trophy at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition 2019 which is one of the world’s most influential spirits competitions, now in it’s 50th year.
  • 8th August 2019
    Glen Moray Rhum Agricole Cask Finish Project
    Glen Moray Rhum Agricole Cask Finish Project is the second release in the Elgin Curiosity series, described as having dominant flavours of treacle toffee, burnt sugar and sweet vanilla, this
    is a UK exclusive release.
  • 8th August 2019
    Gordon & MacPhail 2019 Summer Collection
    Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled its 2019 Summer Collection, 25 whiskies in total including some of the oldest ever whisky releases from two rarely seen silent distilleries, bottled as part of its ‘Private Collection’ range is the Gordon & MacPhail Dallas Dhu 1969 which is joined by a Gordon & MacPhail St. Magdalene 1982 38 year old single malt.
  • 8th August 2019
    Mey Selections Glen Ord Single Cask Release
    Mey Selections' is a selection of traditional, quality Scottish products which was established in 2005 with the support of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the reason I mention it here is that it has just launched its first whisky, the Mey Selections Glen Ord 12 Year Old Single Cask whisky which will see a donation from every bottle sold going to support rural communities in the far north of Scotland.
  • 7th August 2019
    Dr Bill Lumsden Named Master Distiller of the Year
    Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky creator Dr Bill Lumsden has been named ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ and to mark the award he has selected two single cask whisky's, Glenmorangie Cask 388 and Ardbeg Cask 5824.

  • 7th August 2019
    Ardbeg An Oa Named Best Islay Malt At IWC 2019
    Ardbeg's latest permanent addition wins three classes as Ardbeg scoops ‘Distillery of the Year’ at the International Whisky Competition 2019.

  • 7th August 2019
    Monkey Shoulder Announces Brand Ambassador to Scotland
    William Grant & Sons UK has confirmed that co-owner of Kin Edinburgh, Jody Buchan, has taken on the role of first ever Monkey Shoulder Brand Ambassador to Scotland and the North. Look out for him this month at the Edinburgh Fringe in the Monkey Shoulder mixer truck.
  • 6th August 2019
    Glenmorangie Distillery To Cut Carbon Emissions By 30%
    Glenmorangie is to cut carbon emissions at its Highland Distillery by 30%, as it moves another step closer to its vision of becoming a fully sustainable business. The single malt whisky has consistently innovated in recent years to minimise its impact on the environment. Now it becomes one of the first in Scotland to use a ‘virtual gas pipeline’ to supply its Distillery.
  • 6th August 2019
    Whisky Tips From The SMWS To Savour This Summer
    As the temperature soars this summer here in the UK, but unfortunately accompanied by some torrential down pours of rain since August many whisky drinkers turn away from whisky in favour of a cold refreshing tipple so I thought that you may be interested in a few suggestions from folks from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society around the globe which you can serve up as a refreshing summertime dram.
  • 6th August 2019
    Glencairn Crystal Celebrates 15 Consecutive Years Of Global Growth
    The Glencairn Crystal company which now sells 65,000 Glencairn glasses every week has announced that they have experienced 15 consecutive years of global growth.

  • 6th August 2019
    Holyrood Distillery Now Open For Visitors
    The new Holyrood Distillery in the centre of Edinburgh has opened its doors to visitors and is now taking bookings for its daily guided distillery tours, a somewhat historic occasion for Scotland's capital and the whisky industry, as there hasn’t been an operational single malt distillery in central Edinburgh since 1925.
  • 6th August 2019
    Macallan 50 Year Old Millennium Decanter Sets UK Auction Record
    Following an extended nail biting finish to Just Whisky’s July auction, The Macallan 50 Year Old 1949 Millennium Decanter set a new UK auction record by achieving a 270 per cent increase on the bottle which was sold at auction in November 2015.
  • 2nd August 2019
    GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 17
    The GlenDronach Distillery has unveiled the next instalment in its popular cask strength single cask series, the GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 17 is a batch of 14 single cask whiskies ranging from 12 to 28 years old, and distilled between 1990 and 2007.
  • 10th July 2019
    Jameson Triple Triple
    Jameson Triple Triple is a new travel retail exclusive whiskey which has been triple distilled and blended from a combination of ex-bourbon, sherry and fortified wine casks from Malaga.

  • 10th July 2019
    Loch Lomond Three Wood Matured 25 Year Old
    Loch Lomond Whiskies, The Official Spirit of The Open, has release 25 Year Old single triple cask matured single malt Scotch whisky in association with Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie.

  • 5th July 2019
    The GlenAllachie Wood Finish Range
    The GlenAllachie Distillery has announced that it is extending its range of whiskies with the launch of its first-ever range of limited edition wood finishes which comprises of the GlenAllachie 8 year old Koval Rye Quarter Cask Wood Finish; 10 year old Port Wood Finish; and 12 year old Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish.
  • 5th July 2019
    Scallywag The Chocolate Edition #2 Vintage 2009
    Here is one for those of you that like to pair a sherried dram with some chocolate, Douglas Laing has announced the release of Scallywag The Chocolate Edition #2 blended malt whisky and just in time for World Chocolate Day on the 7th of July.
  • 4th July 2019
    Lightning Strike Blamed For Jim Beam Warehouse Fire
    A massive fire that destroyed a Kentucky Jim Beam bourbon warehouse containing some 45,000 barrels of whiskey on Wednesday may have been caused by a lightning strike.
  • 4th July 2019
    Douglas Laing Announces Two New Rock Island Blended Malts
    Douglas Laing has revealed two new blended malt whiskies under their Rock Island brand, the first is Rock Island 21 Year Old which is a limited release expression and the second is Rock Island 10 Year Old which is a permanent addition to the Rock Island range and will be a continually available offering.
  • 4th July 2019
    Talisker Bodega Series 41 Year Old
    Diageo has unveiled a Talisker 41 Year Old expression as the second release in its Talisker Bodega Series. The oldest official bottling of Talisker to have ever been released, a limited release of 2,000 bottles which has been finished in six Manzanilla casks which were sourced from Spain's Bodega Delgado Zuleta.
  • 4th July 2019
    Inverhouse Reports Rise In Profits Led By Single Malts
    Inver House Distillers, the Scotch Whisky subsidiary of global drinks business International Beverage Holdings Ltd which owns the Old Pulteney, Balblair, anCnoc and Speyburn single malts has reported a sales increase of 7.4% for the year to September 2018. This reflects a period of significant growth for its core brands, with sales of Inver House Single Malts growing by over 12% in the year.
  • 3rd July 2019
    The Secret Speyside Collection From Chivas Brothers
    Chivas Brothers has released its biggest Single Malt collection to date with the launch of fifteen Scotch Single Malt whiskies aged between 18 - 30 year old from four seldom-seen Speyside distilleries - Longmorn, Caperdonich, Braes of Glenlivet and Glen Keith.
  • 3rd July 2019
    Johnnie Walker Black Label Origin Series
    Johnnie Walker Black Label Origin Series is a travel retail limited edition collection of 4 new Johnnie Walker 12 Year Old Black label expressions, 3 blended malt whiskies and 1 blended whisky each of which representing one of the four main whisky regions of Scotland.

  • 3rd July 2019
    Distell No Age Statement Whiskies Impress At Singapore Comp
    Distell’s Bunnahabhain and Deanston No Age Statement whiskies triumph at the inaugural Singapore World Spirits Competition with
    Bunnahabhain Toiteach A' Dhà and Deanston Virgin Oak received Double Gold and Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair collected Silver from the judges.
  • 3rd July 2019
    Lagg Distillery On The Isle of Arran Now Open To The Public
    The new Lagg Distillery located on the south side of the Isle of Arran has officially opened its doors to the public and is now welcoming visitors. The state of the art building is said to focus on the visitor experience.
  • 2nd July 2019
    MacNair's Lum Reek Peated Review
    MacNair's Lum Reek Peated is the no age statement entry whisky in the Lum Reek range, a peated blended malt Scotch whisky which has been created by folks behind the GlenAllachie distillery, namely Master Distiller Billy Walker.
  • 2nd July 2019
    MacNair's Lum Reek Peated 12 Year Old Review
    MacNair's Lum Reek Peated 12 Year Old s a combination of whiskies from first fill Bourbon, Red Wine and Pedro Ximenez casks which were blended together to produce it A little peatier than expected on the palate after nosing it but the peat doesn't hang around for long on the finish.
  • 2nd July 2019
    MacNair's Lum Reek Peated 21 Year Old Review
    Sitting at the top of the Lum Reek blended malt whisky range is MacNair's Lum Reek Peated 21 Year Old, a blend of some undisclosed Islay and Speyside peated malts combined with GlenAllachie as you would expect as it is from the folks behind the GlenAllachie distillery.
  • 1st July 2019
    BenRiach 2009 Cask No. 6095 9 Year Old Review
    Review of the BenRiach 2009 Cask No. 6095 9 Year Old Virgin Oak Cask Matured single cask whisky. A young and simply delicious sweet malt whisky candied expression from the BenRiach and an outstanding example of how good a combination of quality spirit and a good virgin oak cask can turn out.

  • 1st July 2019
    BenRiach 2005 Cask No. 3791 14 Year Old Review
    Review of the BenRiach 2005 Cask No. 3791 14 Year Old Port Pipe matured single cask whisky, a delicious peated port pipe matured dram that you would be hard pushed to better, I will be seeking out more of this for myself.

  • 1st July 2019
    BenRiach 1993 Cask No. 7881 25 Year Old Review
    Review of the BenRiach 1993 Cask No. 7881 25 Year Old Rioja Hogshead Cask matured single cask whisky, matured in a Rioja cask, it offers a good balance of bitter/sweet.

  • 27th June 2019
    Distell Unveil Limited Release Malt Collection 2019
    Distell, owner of Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory/Ledaig distilleries has unveiled its second batch of annual releases and this year the line up features three unique expressions from Bunnahabhain, three from Deanston and one each from Tobermory and Ledaig.
  • 27th June 2019
    Bunnahabhain 2007 Port Pipe Finish Review
    Review of the Bunnahabhain 2007 11 Year Old Port Pipe Finish Distell Limited Release 2019 Malt Whisky Collection, initially matured in whisky refill hogshead casks and then filled into port pipes in 2016 for a final 2 years of maturation. Deliciously moreish is how I would best describe this Bunna, the final two years maturation has certainly had a big say in how this Bunna has turned out.

  • 27th June 2019
    Bunnahabhain 2007 French Brandy Finish Review
    Review of the Bunnahabhain 2007 11 Year Old French Brandy Finish Distell Limited Release 2019 Malt Whisky Collection, initially filled into whisky refill casks then finished for 2.5 years in French brandy butts. The brandy cask has certainly added a fruity element to this Bunnahabhain, it is a quality dram which has a lovely nose which is worth taking time to savour.

  • 27th June 2019
    Bunnahabhain 1988 Marsala Finish Review
    Review of the Bunnahabhain 1988 31 Year Old which sits at the top of the trio of Bunnahabhain releases in Distell's Limited Release Malt Whisky Collection 2019.
    The addition of the Marsala fruit to the mature fruity Bunnahabhain spirit has made this a pleasure from nose to finish.
  • 27th June 2019
    Deanston 2002 Organic Oloroso Finish Review
    Review of the Deanston 2002 16 Year Old Organic Oloroso Finish, matured in rechared organic ex-Bourbon casks for 14 years then finished for 2 final years in organic Oloroso sherry casks.
    This really is a delicious sherried dram that wouldn't be out of place on a cold winters night but will be equally enjoyable anytime.
  • 27th June 2019
    Deanston 1997 Palo Cortado Finish Review
    Review of the Deanston 1997 21 Year Old Palo Cortado Finish Distell, which was initially matured for 19 years in ex-Bourbon casks and then transferred into Palo Cortado hogsheads for a final 2 years maturation. Another delicious Deanston sherried dram. It isn't often we see Palo Cortado sherry casks used to mature or finish a whisky, it is very Oloroso sherry like and the casks used here have been very high quality.

  • 27th June 2019
    Deanston 2006 Fino Finish Review
    Review of the Deanston 2006 12 Year Old Fino Finish Distell, initially matured in bourbon casks for 9 and a half years, then transferred to Fino sherry casks for a further 2 and a half years. I particularly enjoyed this one and I would say quality for price this is the the bargain buy from this years Distell Malt Collection.

  • 27th June 2019
    Tobermory 1999 Marsala Finish Review
    Review of the Tobermory 1999 19 Year Old Marsala Finish, initially filled into whisky refill hogsheads in December 1999 followed by just over 2 years finishing in Marsala casks. It has a lovely orange note from nose to finish which starts sweet and gets spicier. It certainly shows how good Tobermory can be with more years in the cask.

  • 27th June 2019
    Ledaig 1997 Manzanilla Finish Review
    Review of the Ledaig 1997 22 Year Old Manzanilla Finish Distell, matured in whisky refill hogsheads then finished in Manzanilla hogsheads for just over 2 years. A sweet peaty delight and so smooth even at a cask strength of 58.9% ABV. A very high quality peaty dram, such a pity they only released this one Ledaig whisky in this 2019 Malt Whisky Collection.

  • 26th June 2019
    BenRiach Single Cask Batch 16
    BenRiach today unveiled Batch 16 in its popular series of single cask bottlings, this latest batch includes 16 unpeated and 8 peated cask bottlings aged from 7 to 33 years which have matured in a selection of cask types sourced from around the world. As usual do not hang around if you want to get hold of a particular bottle as these usually sell quickly.
  • 25th June 2019
    Cameron Attfield Crowned World Class GB Bartender of the Year
    Following a challenging finale which took place at Taste of London last week, Cameron Attfield of Disrepute, London has been crowned Diageo Reserve’s World Class GB Bartender of the Year 2019. Cameron now goes on to represent GB in the global final in Glasgow.
  • 19th June 2019
    Glenfiddich Unveils New Look For It Flagship Range
    Glenfiddich has just unveiled a new look for it flagship 12 and 15 Year Old expressions but don't worry it will still be the same Glenfiddich 12 and 15 Year Old which you will find in the new look bottles. The new packaging will be rolled out here in the UK and in the US from yesterday, 18th June 2019, with the Glenfiddich Small Batch 18 Year Old following suit in 2020.
  • 18th June 2019
    Ardbeg Masters Of Smoke Bartender Education Programme
    Ardbeg is set to share the power of smoke with a new Ardbeg Masters of Smoke training programme for bartenders, their
    mission is to spread the word about the 'delicious possibilities' of smoke, through the new programme. So if you are a bartender sign up for free today.
  • 18th June 2019
    Ardbeg Masters Of Smoke Bartender Education Programme
    Ardbeg is set to share the power of smoke with a new Ardbeg Masters of Smoke training programme for bartenders, their
    mission is to spread the word about the 'delicious possibilities' of smoke, through the new programme. So if you are a bartender sign up for free today.
  • 17th June 2019
    Glen Scotia Rum Cask Finish Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019
    The Glen Scotia 2003 Rum Cask Finish is a new limited edition single malt from the Glen Scotia distillery which they released to mark its Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 programme.
  • 17th June 2019
    Smokehead Folk Music Session At The Black Cat In Edinburgh
    Just a quick heads up for those of you who will be in or around Edinburgh this Thursday, Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky will be throwing a one-off night that’s not for everyone at The Black Cat in Edinburgh. A high voltage folk music session which will kick off 9:30pm on Thursday, June 20th as well as a fiery show from Beltane organiser Lasadh at 10pm. Smokehead serves will be on offer throughout the night.
  • 14th June 2019
    The GlenDronach Port Wood Review
    Review of The GlenDronach Port Wood, matured in the distillery’s signature Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks for 7 years, this was then followed by a second maturation period of 3 years in port pipes.

  • 13th June 2019
    Douglas Laing Unveils XOP The Black Series
    Douglas Laing today unveiled a brand extension to its Xtra Old Particular Single Cask Scotch Whisky range: XOP The Black Series which launches with an ex-Sherry hogshead, distilled at the Springbank Distillery in 1994.
  • 13th June 2019
    Tamdhu Sherried Single Malts Make It A Double
    Tamdhu, the exclusively sherry cask matured Speyside single malt whisky has made it a double after clinching two top industry accolades in The Scotch Whisky Masters 2019. Tamdhu 15 Year Old and Tamdhu Batch Strength 004 each picked up top awards in their categories.
  • 12th June 2019
    The Singleton’s ‘Supper With A Side of Humour’
    Over the next couple of weeks Diageo Reserve’s Single Malt Whisky, The Singleton, will be hosting a series of supper clubs, designed to bring fun, humility and a sense of humour to the world of whisky cocktails and gourmet dining. The supper clubs with take place at Hackney Coffee Company in East London and will feature The Singleton of Dufftown whisky.
  • 12th June 2019
    Benromach Distillery Father’s Day Competition
    Benromach distillery has launched a Father's Day campaign which offers one whisky fan and their guest the opportunity to win an exclusive experience at the distillery in Forres.

  • 11th June 2019
    Production Begins At Roe & Co Distillery
    Diageo has announced that their conversion of the old Guinness Power House site at St James’s Gate, Dublin is now complete and the new Roe & Co Distillery which is located in the former Guinness Power House has began production of Irish single malt spirit ahead of the doors opening to visitors later this month.
  • 7th June 2019
    Ichiro’s Malt Card Full Deck Tasting
    Swedish whisky enthusiast Pye Palm set to host the worlds most expensive whisky tasting, a tasting of the complete Ichiro’s Malt Card Collection. The event will take palce between 1 - 3 November this year in Gothenburg, Sweden with the cost of a single ticket approaching $21,000.

  • 7th June 2019
    Bunnahabhain Whisky Range Continues To Impress
    Bunnahabhain distillery turns out a varied and impressive range of single malt whiskies these days for us whisky lovers to enjoy and you don't need to just take my word for it as the distillery has recently picked up a host of awards including Double Gold at International Spirits Challenge 2019 for its outstanding Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old.

See earlier Whisky News from 2019 >>>

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