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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.
  • 18th November 2020
    Gordon & MacPhail Director Influential in British Luxury
    I have long said Scotch Malt Whisky is an affordable luxury no matter how big your budget and one whisky creator who offers luxury whiskies to suit every budget is Elgin based Gordon & MacPhail so it was no surprise to hear that Stephen Rankin, the company’s Director of Prestige and fourth-generation member of Gordon & MacPhail's owning family has been honoured as one of the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury.
     
  • 17th November 2020
    Ballot To Taste The New Glengoyne 50 Year Old For Free
    Glengoyne unveil their oldest whisky to date, the Glengoyne 50 Year Old. In a world where rare whiskies are often collected to gather dust, Glengoyne has announced it will be opening a bottle and sharing it FOR FREE in 2021 with the winners of their Glengoyne 50 Year Old ballot.

     
  • 16th November 2020
    Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana Review
    Continuing their 20th anniversary celebrations innovative whiskymaker Compass Box has released Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana, to create it a cask strength version of The Peat Monster was further matured in three French oak custom casks for more than two years; it was then blended with malt whiskies from the Talisker, Miltonduff and Ardbeg Distilleries.
     
  • 11th November 2020
    Haig Club Clubman Gets New Look For The Festive Season
    With Christmas fast approaching, Haig Club, Diageo’s Single Grain Scotch Whisky, which they created in partnership with David Beckham, has launched a new limited-edition Haig Club Clubman bottle design.
     
  • 10th November 2020
    The Glenglassaugh Coastal Casks Collection
    The Glenglassaugh Coastal Cask Collection is a collection of 10 new single cask whiskies produced shortly after the distillery reopened in 2008. All 10 single cask bottlings in the collection,
    one peated, 9 unpeated, are naturally coloured, bottled between 51.1% - 57.9% ABV and non chill filtered, the prices range from £89 for a 10 year old cask to £99 for an 11 year old bottling.
     
  • 10th November 2020
    Glenglassaugh Rare Cask Release 2009 Cask No 559 Review
    Glenglassaugh Rare Cask Release 2009 Cask No 559 is second of two UK exclusive releases in the Glenglassaugh Coastal Casks Collection. a cracking young, wee peaty Glenglassaugh, I would recommend grabbing a bottle if you can, a well made quality lightly peated bourbon cask matured whisky.

     
  • 10th November 2020
    Glenglassaugh Rare Cask Release 2009 Cask No 1346 Review
    Glenglassaugh Rare Cask Release 2009 Cask No 1346 is one of two UK exclusive releases in the Glenglassaugh Coastal Casks Collection, a quality young unpeated bourbon cask matured dram, the quality of which is no doubt boosted by the bottling strength, a great example unadulterated by any wine casks of what they produce now at Glenglassaugh and a indication of good things to come.

     
  • 9th November 2020
    Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021 Review
    Review of the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021 a book which focuses on the facts & figures, history and the latest bottlings from whisky distilleries, it covers 665 malt whisky distilleries around the world and as usual with all the facts updated.
     
  • 9th November 2020
    Diageo Partners With Asda For 'What's Your Whisky Experience
    Diageo partners with Asda to launch 'What’s Your Whisky' which uses artificial intelligence to help match a consumer to a whisky they will like.
     
  • 6th November 2020
    Christmas Whisky Gift Ides From Glengoyne
    With Christmas now fast approaching I thought I would mention that Glengoyne has unveiled some Christmas whisky gift ideas which includes a jigsaw which features Scottish artist John Lowrie Morrison’s piece, 'Heavy Snow at Glengoyne Distillery' which will come free with a bottle of Glengoyne 18 year old.

     
  • 3rd November 2020
    Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary Mosstowie 1979
    Gordon & MacPhail has revealed its third commemorative whisky released to mark the company’s 125th anniversary this time it is a rare Gordon & MacPhail 1979 Mosstowie from Miltonduff Distillery this cask constitutes the independent bottler’s last remaining cask from the distillery, matured with spirit from the now-removed Lomond Stills.
     
  • 3rd November 2020
    Gordon & MacPhail New Distillery To Be Named The Cairn
    Gordon & MacPhail today unveiled the name for its new distillery being built in the Cairngorms National Park. The distillery is to be named The Cairn, reflecting its stunning location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.
     
  • 23rd October 2020
    Glenmorangie A Tale Of Cake Review
    Glenmorangie A Tale Of Cake is the latest creation of Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky, without a doubt it is a very deliciously and enticingly named limited release from the Highland whisky maker, it is sweet and fruity but not as sweet as I expected, not quite the sweet cake tale I was hoping for, still a delicious dram.
     
  • 23rd October 2020
    Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Review
    I thought that I would revisit the Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, an outstanding easy drinking, light in character and yet complex dram and always a pleasure, I can highly recommend it, a must try on your whisky journey and I guarantee it is a dram you will come back to again and again. Whether you are buying for yourself or as a gift for a whisky loving friend or relative you really cant go wrong with this.
     
  • 22nd October 2020
    Wolfcraig Appoints Richard Paterson As Its Master Blender
    Wolfcraig Distillery the new planned distillery near Stirling has announced that they have appointed Richard Paterson as its Master Blender, Richard will take on the role alongside his continuing commitments with Whyte & Mackay with whom he recently celebrated his 50th anniversary.
     
  • 21st October 2020
    Rosebank 30 Year Old 1990 Vintage Release One
    Ian Macleod Distillers today announced the release of Rosebank 30 Year Old 1990 vintage 'Release One' the first bottling in a series of annual limited edition Rosebank single malt whiskies which they will be releasing in the run up to the release of the first spirit from the 'new' Rosebank distillery which they are currently in the process of constructing.
     
  • 20th October 2020
    The Macallan Red Collection 78 Year Old Up For Auction
    Aberdeenshire based online whisky auction Whisky Hammer has informed me that they have a bottle of the oldest whisky in the collection and the oldest whisky ever released by the distillery, The Macallan Red Collection 78 Year Old up for grabs in their current auction.
     
  • 20th October 2020
    Win A Spooky Ardbeg Monster Night In Pack
    In celebration of Ardbeg's frighteningly monstrous dram, the Ardbeg Wee Beastie, the distillery is offering whisky lovers in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Islay the chance to win a ‘Monster Night In’ this Halloween, as they dispatch a crew of mummies, mutants, and sea creatures to deliver complimentary cocktails and mixology sessions to your doorsteps.
     
  • 20th October 2020
    Glasgow Whisky Munros Collection Macallan 30 Year Old 1989
    Glasgow Whisky adds a premium selection to their single cask Munros Collection which launches with a Macallan 30 Year Old 1989 presented in a bespoke Glencairn Crystal decanter.

     
  • 15th October 2020
    The Macallan Red Collection
    The Macallan Red Collection is a new collection of the oldest and rarest whiskies ever released from the Speyside distillery combining the distillery's oldest-ever ongoing bottlings a 40, 50 and 60 year old with a limited release of some of the oldest ever released by The Macallan a 71, 74 and 78 year old.

     
  • 15th October 2020
    Suntory World Whisky 'Ao' A Blend Of Whiskies From Five Countries
    Beam Suntory has announced the launch of a rather unique new whisky which will be available exclusively in travel retail, the first-ever World Blended Whisky, Suntory World Whisky 'Ao', a blend of Scottish, Japanese, Irish, Canadian and American whiskies.

     
  • 14th October 2020
    Scallywag Winter Edition
    Douglas Laing reveals a new seasonal winter warmer, Scallywag Winter Edition, a limited edition cask strength sherried Speyside blended malt presented with a rather festive looking scarf.

     
  • 14th October 2020
    Glengoyne Bring Back Online Tastings Amid New Restrictions
    Glengoyne distillery has announced it is temporarily halting its distillery tastings but will bring back the popular online tastings, to the delight of fans, from next week.

     
  • 14th October 2020
    Waterford Organic Gala 1.1
    Waterford Distillery has released Ireland’s first ever organic whisky in the modern age, distilled in 2016 from organic Irish barley and matured in a combination of casks fresh, super-premium (Waterford's words) oak: 42% first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 23% premium French oak and 18% Vin Doux Naturel – sweet fortified wine casks.

     
  • 13th October 2020
    Midleton Very Rare 2020 Review
    Irish Distillers today unveiled their Midleton Very Rare 2020 release which is incredibly the 37th annual release in this renowned series of mature pot still rich Irish blended whiskey's, this new 2020 release offers a delicious mix of freshness and maturity, it is obviously very closely related to the outstanding 2019 release.
     
  • 8th October 2020
    Whyte & Mackay To Take Leading Role In Travel Retail Recovery
    Whyte & Mackay have set their sights on the future beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, they are planning to take a leading role in travel retail’s recovery with their high-performing portfolio of pedigree single malt brands.

     
  • 8th October 2020
    Plans Unveiled For Wolfcraig Distillery & Visitor Centre In Stirling
    In these strange times it is good to hear some positive news for the future and that is exactly what this is, today it was unveiled that Stirling is inline to benefit from a £15 million investment pending the approval of a planning application for new Scotch Whisky distillery by Wolfcraig.
     
  • 7th October 2020
    Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish Review
    I got the chance to
    review of the Tobermory 23 year old Oloroso Cask Finish which was recently added to the Tobermory core range and if your pockets are deep enough this mature deliciously rich sherried Tobermory doesn't disappoint.
     
  • 7th October 2020
    The Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select Review
    Review of the new Dalmore 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Select which has been finished in casks which previously held a unique sherry blend of aged Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry.

     
  • 6th October 2020
    anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 Review
    Three years on since the first batch anCnoc has released anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2, it has no age statement but I am told it is around 14 years old,
    the peat is tamer on the nose than anticipated given the headlined 40ppm but it is a peaty delight on the palate where its Peatheart beats away wonderfully.
     
  • 6th October 2020
    anCnoc 12 Year Old Review
    As a warm up to tasting the new Peatheart Batch 2 today I revisited the stalwart of the anCnoc whisky range, the anCnoc 12 year old which
    is still one of the best, most complex and consistently good entry level malt whiskies around which probably doesn't get as much press as it deserves.
     
  • 6th October 2020
    Scotland's Most Northerly Mainland Distillery Named '8 Doors'
    Scotland's most northerly mainland distillery which will be named '8Doors Distillery' is offering whisky enthusiasts the chance to buy casks and purchase bottles from some of the first casks they will lay down.

     
  • 5th October 2020
    Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary Glenury Royal 1984
    Gordon & MacPhail unveil the second of four 125th Anniversary Edition single Cask releases of the year, this time it is a Glenury Royal 1984 35 year old from a first fill sherry cask.

     
  • 2nd October 2020
    End Of An Era As Ardbeg's Mickey Heads Steps Down Today
    An era came to an end at the Ardbeg Distillery on the Isle of Islay today as Mickey Heads the Ardbeg Distillery manager for the past 13 years set down his hydrometer and hung up his hi-vis jacket for the last time. To mark the occasion Mickey raised a celebratory dram of the Ardbeg 10 year old with his successor, Colin Gordon.
     
  • 1st October 2020
    Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.1
    Highland Park has announced the addition of the first ever cask strength expression to their core range, the Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.1. The new whisky is a marriage of first fill American oak ex-sherry and refill casks of various ages which have been hand selected by Highland Park's Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion.
     
  • 1st October 2020
    Benromach 21 Year Old Joins The Core Range
    T
    oday the Benromach distillery launched the Benromach 21 Year Old which will be a permanent addition to the Speyside distillery's core range. The new expression has been matured exclusively in a combination of first-fill sherry and bourbon casks, so there should be no shortage of cask influence on  this 21 year old.
     
  • 1st October 2020
    New Coloured Glencairn Whisky Glass Core Range
    Following on from the from the enormous popularity of the limited edition black Glencairn whisky glass released last year,. the world's favourite whisky glass maker has introduced a new range of coloured glasses for whisky fans worldwide.
     
  • 1st October 2020
    Old Particular Spiritualist Series Harmony Cameronbridge 28 Years
    Independent Glasgow based whisky distiller and bottler Douglas Laing & Co has unveiled the second instalment in their Old Particular Spiritualist Series trilogy for 2020, a Cameronbridge 28 Year Old Single Cask, Single Grain whisky which then have called 'Harmony'.
     
  • 1st October 2020
    Redbreast Partners With Bird Conservation Charity
    Redbreast Irish Whiskey brings their brand icon to life and also launch a global partnership with leading bird conservation charity, BirdLife International.

     
  • 30th September 2020
    Alberta Premium Cask Strength Review
    Given the recent sexist allegations against whisky writer Jim Murray for the language he has used in his new Whisky Bible 2021 which somewhat has taken the limelight away from the 'World Whisky Of The Year', Alberta Premium Cask Strength Canadian Rye Whisky, named in the book I have asked Canadian based Scotch Malt Whisky Forum Member, occasional SMW guest writer and Companion of the Quaich, Murray Cohen, to review the whisky for us and give us his independent unbiased opinion of the Canadian dram.

     
  • 24th September 2020
    Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish Joins Core Range
    Tobermory Distillery today announced the addition of a Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish to their core range of whiskies. Fans of the outstanding Tobermory 15 Year Old limited release which is now long gone will be interested to know that the new Tobermory 23 Year Old is actually the 15 Year Old they loved so much 8 years on.
     
  • 23rd September 2020
    Jameson Crested X Eight Degrees Brewing
    Review of the new limited edition Jameson Crested X Eight Degrees Brewing Finished in Black Ball Metric Irish Stout Barrels. A lovely balance of mild pot still spices, mild sherried fruitiness, vanilla infused sweet coconut ice and just a touch of ginger lurking in the background.

     
  • 22nd September 2020
    Glencairn Sponsored McIlvanney Prize Bloody Scotland Debut Prize
    If you enjoy sitting back in the armchair in the evening with a good whisky and a good book, particularly a crime novel, then here is a couple of new books to look out for as the winners of the Glencairn Whisky Glass sponsored 2020 McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year and the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year were announced at the opening of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival on Friday evening.
     
  • 21st September 2020
    Jura Single Cask To Be Auction For Scottish Mental Health Charity
    We rarely see an official, original distillery, single cask bottling from the Isle of Jura distillery but that is exactly what the island distillery
    owners Whyte & Mackay has just generously bottled to be auctioned off to raise funds in aid of the Scottish mental health charity - Scottish Association for Mental Health. The Jura Distillery Cask, a 19 year old Single Cask No. 1708 which produced 470 bottles will be auctioned via the Whisky Auctioneer website.
     
  • 21st September 2020
    Black Tartan 88 A Blend Of Macallan, Highland Park & Glenrothes
    Black Tartan 88, a 31 Year Old limited edition blend of iconic whiskies produced at The Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes distilleries scores 94/100 in Jim Murrays latest Whisky Bible 2021 and it is still available.

     
  • 18th September 2020
    Big Peat Christmas 2020 Unveiled
    Well its official summer is coming to an end and Christmas is on the way as the tubs of Cadbury Roses and Quality Street are now appearing in the supermarkets and those festive folks at Douglas Laing have unveiled the latest instalment of their Big Peat Christmas Series of peaty Islay blended malts, the Big Peat Christmas 2020 Cask Strength Limited Edition.
     
  • 18th September 2020
    Imbibe Live A New Virtual Event For The Global Bar Industry
    Following the success of Imbibe Live’s inaugural digital event back in June, which saw hundreds of drinks brands and on-trade professionals come together to share insights, trends and much more, this time the leading drinks exhibition is going global! This October Imbibe Live is taking part in a brand new virtual event for the global bar industry and registration for the week-long virtual event is free.
     
  • 16th September 2020
    Whisky Bible 2021 World Whiskies Of The Year Winners
    Whisky writer Jim Murray has named his World Whiskies of the Year in his soon to be released Whisky Bible 2021 and this time his top slot of 'World Whisky of the Year 2021' goes for the second time in the books history to a Canadian whisky, Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye which he scored at 97.5 out of a 100.
     
  • 15th September 2020
    Work On Ardara Distillery Gets Under Way
    Work on the Ardara Distillery got underway today as Donegal’s Sliabh Liag Distillers ‘turned the sod’ on their new Distillery site in Ardara – marking the first phase of construction of their new distillery.
     
  • 14th September 2020
    Diageo World Class Competition Returns With A Revised Approach
    You may have thought that it wouldn't be taking place this year, but Diageo's World Class, the global bartending competition, has made a triumphant return in 2020 albeit with a revised approach that adapts to a new competition environment. World Class 2020 has introduced new people, partnerships and competitor challenges. The internationally recognised competition has also announced a series of activations at this year’s London Cocktail Week, including the Whisky House at Goods Way.
     
  • 11th September 2020
    Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish
    John Dewar's & Sons has unveiled a new limited edition expression of its Highland single malt whisky Aberfeldy, the Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish. The French Wine Cask Finish has certainly added a delicious fruitiness and oak tannin edge to this honeyed Highland dram which has been bottled at a flavoursome 43% ABV.
     
  • 10th September 2020
    The GlenAllachie Picks Up 50th Award Under New Owners
    The GlenAllachie Distillers Company Limited which produces The GlenAllachie Speyside single malt whisky and the peaty MacNair's Lum Reek Blended Malt Scotch Whisky range has just taken its total number of awards for the whiskies it has turned out to 50 since being taken over in October 2017 by a three person consortium lead by the former BenRiach Distillery Company managing director Billy Walker.
     
  • 9th September 2020
    Glengoyne Launches New Look Along With Two New Expressions
    Glengoyne unveiled a new look for its entire whisky range today and the packaging overhaul also sees Glengoyne move to 100% recyclable free of plastic and magnets, and locally sourced, with nearly all of the material originating from Scotland.
     
  • 9th September 2020
    Whisky Makers Whyte & Mackay Toast ISC 2020 Success
    Whyte & Mackay's portfolio of whiskies impress at the International Spirits Challenge 2020 where their Dalmore, Fettercairn, Jura and Tamnavulin single malts all scooped Gold Medals at the blind tasting competition.

     
  • 9th September 2020
    Johnnie Walker Princes Street Visitor Experience Opens Online
    Diageo's commitment to investment in Scotch whisky and Scottish tourism remains as strong as ever as they open the online doors to the Johnnie Walker Princes Street global flagship visitor experience ahead of the actual opening now scheduled for summer 2021.

     
  • 7th September 2020
    The SMWS Offer Members A Chance To Win A Cask Holyrood Whisky
    The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched a members only competition with an amazing prize, The SMWS are offering members the chance to win a full hogshead cask of Holyrood whisky and the great thing about this incredible prize is that the winner will be able to tailor their cask of whisky to their own flavour preference through Holyrood's Custom Cask Programme.
     
  • 4th September 2020
    Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Batch 2
    Ardbeg has announced the release of Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Batch 2, or to be more precise Batch No: TB/02-18.09.00/20.JT. It is subtly different to the first release of Traigh Bhan thanks to a higher proportion of 1st-fill Bourbon casks, alongside refills and Oloroso Sherry casks.

     
  • 4th September 2020
    Hunter Laing Hepburn’s Choice Range Gets A New Look
    Hunter Laing & Co. has unveiled a new look for their Hepburn’s Choice range which they will be rolling out from this month. Each bottling, whether a single cask or small batch single malt release is now brightly colour coded to denote the whisky region of the distillery where the whisky was distilled.
     
  • 3rd September 2020
    Macduff Distillery Celebrates 60 Years
    Just over 60 years ago, 16th June 1960, the Macduff Distillery in Banffshire filled its first cask of single malt whisky, Cask #1 was filled. Most of the whisky produced since the distillery's construction has gone into blends such as William Lawson's but that changed in recent years with the launch a The Deveron whisky range in the domestic market and Glen Deveron Royal Burgh Collection in travel retail.
     
  • 3rd September 2020
    Tamdhu Batch Strength 5
    Tamdhu has announced the release of the next instalment of its big bold, 100% sherry oak cask matured Batch Strength series, the Tamdhu Batch Strength 5, this latest edition weighs in at 59.8% ABV and as usual it is un-chillfiltered and naturally coloured.
     
  • 3rd September 2020
    Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary Last Cask Releases
    Gordon & MacPhail marks 125th Anniversary with the release of four 'Last Cask' from their Elgin warehouse starting with Gordon & MacPhail Coleburn 1972 125th Anniversary Edition 47 Year Old.

     
  • 2nd September 2020
    Jameson Grow Your Own Cocktail Web Series for Bartenders
    The bartenders amongst you may recall that back in April Jameson Irish whiskey announced the launch of an online platform to support, inspire and engage the international bar community through this unprecedented period of uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus outbreak well the Irish whiskey maker has expanded on that with the launch of Jameson Grow Your Own Cocktail web series to promote local sourcing, collaboration and discovery among bartenders and local producers around the world.
     
  • 1st September 2020
    Diageo Special Releases 2020
    Diageo has unveiled its Special Releases 2020 line-up, this years highlights includes a Pittyvaich expression from the now long closed Speyside ghost distillery, a rare Dalwhinnie matured in refill hogshead casks filled in 1989, a unique young Talisker which has been finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks and the Special Release stalwart Lagavulin 12 year old.

     

See earlier Whisky News from 2020 >>>
 

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