Blog Archives

Glenrothes Select Reserve Review

Glenrothes Select Reserve Review

From time to time our local pub will run a special offer on whisky with their “Malt of the Month” this month I am able to review the Glenrothes Select Reserve, which retailing at just about £30 is the bottom end of their range. There is quite a bit of hype surrounding this particular offering … more »

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995 Limited Release Announced

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995 Is the latest of a number of small batches from Scotland’s most easterly distillery. it is part of a policy of limited releases of whisky laid down before October 1995, when the distillery was mothballed for two years. The actual release will be limited to just 1000 cases worldwide and with … more »

Most Expensive Whisky Auction Ever, Its Official!

Most Expensive Whisky Ever

Guinness Book of Records, Most Expensive Whisky Auction The Guinness Book of records has long been established as an authority when it comes to world beaters. It has now been confirmed that it has recognised the most expensive whisky. World records are broken all the time but this one may stick for a while I … more »

First London Whisky Distillery Announced

London Whisky DistilleryThe first London Whisky Distillery for 100 years has been announced by The London Distillery company in Battersea (TLDC). The first in fact since the closure of the Lea Valley distillery in 1910. At its peak Lea Valley was producing just under 155,000 gallons of malt whisky a year and employed around 40 people.

No it will not be in the power station!

TLDC has been the conception of Darren Rook who is a former manager of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in London and has been in the planning for over two years, with production due to start in November of this year.

It will of course be some time before something that is legally London Whisky will go on sale, as it has to be in barrel for at least three years if it were in Scotland to earn that name. It is expected that a barley spirit will be available in smaller bottles as a product until the real stuff comes of age. As with several fledgling distilleries it is planned to also produce a dry London Gin to help finance what has to be a long term investment.

The distillery will be using traditional barley and,as much as possible, water from a spring local to their site in Battersea. The water from the spring is hard in nature and ideally suited to the intended style of London Whisky, indeed this type of water is responsible for some of the finest scottish whiskies, including Glenmorangie and Highland Park.

The aim is to produce a “light floral” whisky with its own distinct flavour, not so much to compete directly with Scotch Whisky as to complement he range of superb malt products already available in these isles.

Malt Whisky in England

England actually has a long history of malt whisky production with major production centres in Bristol and Liverpool up until the end of the 19th century. There was a steady decline though and it is only in the production of gin that spirit production still takes place on a major scale.

There are however several small scale distilleries in operation, with Norfolk, Cornwall and just down the road from me in Cumbria being three counties with distilleries to mention.

The first Cornish Whiskey Distillery for 300 hundred years was announced last year. (note the spelling).

The Distiller

The man overseeing the production will be John McDougall who has worked at several well known distilleries, including Laphroaig and Balvenie. it is his responsibility to ensure that the finished product comes up to scratch.

I for one wish this new London Whisky Distillery all the best for the future and look forward to one day trying one of their malts.


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The First Sydney Whisky Show

Sydney Whisky Show

The Whisky Show in Sydney that has been announced by the World of Whisky is the first of what they hope will be a regular occurrence. It promises a real treat for all Australian whisky fans who are able to get to it. The show will take place at Tatteralls Club on Friday the 20th … more »

Is the North British Distillery Legionnaires’ Source?

North British Distillery Legionnaires

There is increasing speculation that the North British Distillery and Legionnaires Disease may be linked. There is at the time of writing no proof however that the Edinburgh distillery is the actual source of the disease in the city but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is taking no risks. An improvement notice has been … more »

The Angels’ Share, A Whisky Galore For Today

The “Angels’ Share” is a new bitter sweet comedy by veteran director Ken Loach. The film and the whiskies are all intertwined.

The film was partly inspired by the old British Comedy “Whisky Galore” (1949), which is one of the great all time British films.

It also however reflects Loach’s gritty style and his social values, with the underlying theme being the hopeless unemployment situation that faces so many youngsters in so many inner cities.

So why is this here on a site about malt whisky? That essentially is the centre of the whole plotline. The hero, Robbie (unknown Paul Brannigan) is determined to make a new life for himself after a bad, criminal start in young adult life. He has recently become a father and discovers a taste and skill in malt whisky. This is guided by his probation officer, ably played by veteran actor John Henshaw (John Henshaw _IMDB).

He determines to put this new found skill to good use, but instead more crime beckons. The other inspiration for Loach was the film “That Sinking Feeling” (1980) in which a heist of a load of sinks is featured. Sure enough The Angels’ Share also involves an attempted heist, but this time of a Million pound very rare whisky.

The comedy element is worked very well in this film and as in one of his earlier films Kes the interaction between the hardy probation officer and the young offender are done with great sympathy. I thoroughly recommend this film for those reasons, and the heartwarming parts are not to be missed either.

The antis? The Scottish accents are not exactly easy to follow for many and I do believe that subtitles may be used on its international release in the US! This apart it is a thoroughly enjoyable film.

This is reflected in its recent award at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.

So what is The Angels’Share? In malt whisky terms this is the amount lost through evaporation from casks during the maturation in barrel. 2% is the usual figure quoted and has become part of whisky folklore, so some long aged whiskies are bottled from barrels with less than 60% remaining. Whatever the truth there is no doubt that long aging certainly changes the character of any whisky.

The distillery featured in the film is Balblair and indeed some of their products are eye wateringly expensive but they also have some very affordable whiskies too. you can see some of these at the Whisky Exchange

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Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee

Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee

Laphroaig have announced the launch of a special edition single malt. Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee will be available from June, and as the name suggests it will be specially packaged to mark the Queens 60th Jubilee this year. This whisky will be in a limited edition of just 3000 and will carry Prince … more »

Last Johnnie Walker Bottle To Leave Kilmarnock

Last Johnnie Walker Bottle

Tears as Last Johnnie Walker Bottle Piped Out The long standing whisky plant at Kilmarnock has shut down so the last Johnnie Walker bottle to be produced there was piped off the premises, accompanied by the redundant workers with many of them in tears. The last bottle of Red Label had a poignant send off. … more »

Highland Park Thor

Highland Park Thor

A new single malt from Highland Park, Thor is the first of a new range that supposedly harks back to the Viking roots of the Orkney Islands’ population.

This 16 year old single malt is the first of four planned releases in the Valhalla range, although there has been a blended whisky that was for duty free sale only called Viking. (See a theme developing?).

The bottle comes packaged in a special wooden box which is designed to resemble a Viking longboat, and no doubt adds to the price of the whisky. However as you can see from the photo at the top it is a particularly striking design.

At 51.1% it is somewhat stronger than your average single malt but the marketing describes it as “an explosion of aromatic smoke, fresh ginger, golden syrup and stewed plums”. (Their words not mine).

You can buy it direct from Highland Park or at the The Whisky Exchange

Source: via Roger on Pinterest