Page 1


Choose to drink responsibly. © 2017 The BenRiach is a registered trademark, all rights reserved. *Category winning products in the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2016


As I see it… Ian P Bankier

W “With whisky-based cocktails it’s all about the whisky and finding the right flavour component…. you could say that a whisky cocktail is another way of introducing a nonwhisky drinker to the flavour”

Illustration: Francesca Waddell

J In this edition and in previous editions

of Whiskeria, we have featured cocktails. The popularity of cocktails across the wide spectrum of consumers, alcoholic and nonalcoholic, is probably one of the most exciting and dynamic aspects of modern day drinking. The whole theatre of mixing, shaking, spinning, tossing, pouring and finally grappling with straws, sticks, flares, fruits, berries, ice cubes, or whatever, is irresistible! Rooted in the romantic era of the twenties and thirties, redolent with imagery of black and white movies and scenes from Graham Greene novels, the cocktail has found an entirely new lease of life. The historian in me would advise that back in the day, the cocktail’s role was to dress up otherwise plain or ‘plain dodgy’ booze, at a time when a lot of booze was indeed plain and often quite dodgy. The cynic in me would advise that the same thing is happening today, as I observe a lot of ingredients coming from pre-mix concoctions behind the bar. Personally, I am not a massive cocktail consumer. I worry about what is in them and what the alcoholic content might be. It’s an age thing. But when I do indulge, I am not adventurous. I look out for tried and tested brands, not something from small plastic bottles.

In saying this, I know that I am being unfair to the modern cocktail. Such is its popularity, particularly in specialist bars, an element of pre-mixing is essential if long waits are to be avoided. And I am aware that there are some very clever people out there, supplying cocktail bars with excellent ingredients. The point I make about brands, however, is an important one. The UK consumer has been slow to ask for drinks by brand. We have tended to call for a ‘Gin and Tonic’ rather than a ‘Beefeater and Tonic’. I soon discovered during my early trips to the US that if you don’t specify a brand, the barman will whip something from the well of the bar. That is the moment you discover that there is a world of difference between a generic drink and one where you have been brand specific. When it comes to whisky, cocktails can be a challenge, because of the intensity of the flavour of the product. With white spiritbased cocktails, it’s really about making a drink alcoholic. With whisky-based cocktails, it’s all about the whisky and finding the right flavour component that will complement the whisky flavour. In my eyes, this is much more interesting. In fact, you could say that a whisky cocktail is yet another way of introducing the non-whisky drinker to the flavour. And it’s also


a way to start appreciating flavour and how things can combine to give an overall effect. At The Whisky Shop, we are not precious about where an enthusiast should start the journey, and how to serve and drink whiskies. What we do emphasise is the marvellous flavour and aroma sensation that every whisky delivers, whether that be an everyday blend or a rare and collectable malt. Whisky is not a beverage that you throw back – it’s an experience to be savoured and enjoyed. Like a cocktail it presents as a combination – on the nose, on the palate and in the finish. You could say that it is a cocktail. It’s certainly as interesting as one. So when you next get presented with the cocktail menu, you may well be tempted by the sheer brilliance of the descriptive language and no doubt it will be fun discovering what on earth it all adds up to in the glass, but then again consider another path – some would say the road less travelled – and order a single malt whisky! Sláinte! Ian P Bankier, Executive Chairman,

Competition —

This summer we’re giving away a V.I.P tour for two people at the fantastic Glenkinchie Distillery, situated in the Scottish Lowlands, which this year celebrates its 180th anniversary! One lucky winner and their guest will be treated to a full distillery tour encompassing a visit to the unique exhibition on the original Malting Floors, home to a renowned model distillery, before taking you through the production areas, and finishing up with a tasting of Glenkinchie Single Malt Whisky.

Whiskeria Exclusive

Win! A VIP tour for two of Glenkinchie Distillery including tasting

To enter, simply tell us: In which year was Glenkinchie Distillery established? Answers should be emailed to: Please include your full name and answer.

Terms & Conditions The winner will be selected from all entries received via the email address stated above by midnight on 31st August 2017. The judge’s decision will be final. This competition is not open to employees of THE WHISKY SHOP Ltd. All normal competition rules apply. UK entrants must be 18 years old or over to apply. International entrants must be of legal drinking age in their country of residence.

–– produced by Ascot Publishing Limited PO Box 7415 Glasgow G51 9BR –– contact

–– commissioning editor GlenKeir Whiskies Limited –– executive producer Claire Daisley 0141 427 2919 –– executive chairman Ian P Bankier –– product photography Subliminal Creative 01236 734923

–– creative direction a visual agency –– feature writers Brian Wilson; Charles MacLean; Gavin D Smith; Claire Bell –– feature photography Brian Sweeney Christina Kernohan –– illustration Francesca Waddell

–– Glenkeir Whiskies Limited trades as THE WHISKY SHOP. Opinions expressed in WHISKERIA are not necessarily those of Glenkeir Whiskies Limited. Statements made and opinions expressed are done so in good faith, but shall not be relied upon by the reader. This publication is the copyright of the publisher, ASCOT PUBLISHING LIMITED, and no part of it may be reproduced without their prior consent in writing. No responsibility is taken for the advertising material contained herein. © ASCOT PUBLISHING LIMITED.

–– Prices effective May 2017. All prices in this edition of Whiskeria are subject to change.


Contributors Summer 2017 —

Illustration: Francesca Waddell

Brian Wilson

Claire Bell

Gavin D. Smith

Charles MacLean

Brian Wilson, formerly an MP, held several Government Ministerial posts during his political career. He lives on the Isle of Lewis, from where he pursues various business interests, notably in the energy sector. He also led the regeneration of the Harris Tweed industry and is currently Chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides Ltd. His first love was writing and he continues to write books as well as opinion pieces for national newspapers.

Claire Bell has written on travel for Time magazine, The Herald, The Times, The Guardian and Wanderlust. She lives in Glasgow where she runs The Old Barn Bookery, a book charity that helps build libraries within disadvantaged schools in her native South Africa. Global adventure or a stay on Scottish soil, she is a dab hand at finding places you'll want to visit.

Gavin is one of the world’s most prolific and respected whisky writers. He’s regularly published in a range of top magazines and has written more than a dozen books on whisky, while co-authoring many more. He is also responsible for editing and releasing the latest version of Michael Jackson’s seminal whisky publication, The Malt Whisky Companion.

Charles has published fourteen Scotch whisky books to date, including the standard work on whisky brands, Scotch Whisky, and the leading book on its subject, Malt Whisky, both of which were short-listed for Glenfiddich awards. He was also script advisor for Ken Loach’s 2012 film The Angels’ Share and subsequently played the part of the whisky expert in the film (which he claims to be his biggest career highlight to date).


Contents Summer 2017 —

11 30 38 50 57 84 88 92 96 98

44 New Releases Summer 2017 Mixing It Up Love Scotch Summer Road Trip My Whiskeria Mr. Lyan My Craft Master Distiller Michael Henry The Whisky Shop Section Distillery Visit The Macallan Travel Svalbard A Time in History Campbeltown Expert Tasting Authors’ Series The W Club

WE PUT EVERYTHING WE ARE INTO EVERYTHING WE MAKE Handcrafted using the finest Scottish ingredients, Deanston 40 Year Old (45.6% ABV) is un-chill filtered for an authentic and natural taste. It has been carefully stored in whisky refill casks and for the last ten years of maturation in hand selected Oloroso sherry butts which give this ltd edition its distinctly rich notes of honey, tropical fruit and sweet malt.

New Releases Summer 2017 Reviewed by Charles MacLean

001 002 003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017

Shackleton John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition Roe & Co Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso Deanston 40 Year Old Glen Scotia 25 Year Old Loch Lomond 2001 The Whisky Shop Exclusive Inchmoan 12 Year Old Inchmoan 1992 Vintage The First Editions Braes of Glenlivet 1989 The First Editions Dailuaine 2009 The Old Malt Cask Glenlossie 18 Year Old The Old Malt Cask Glen Spey 25 Year Old The Old Malt Cask Glenallachie 21 Year Old The Old Malt Cask Longmorn 13 Year Old Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin The Macallan Masters of Photography: Steven Klein Edition



New Releases: Summer 2017



Blended Highland Malt Age: –

Vol: 40%


Dull gold with khaki lights. The first impression on the nose is of oatcakes and apricot jam, gradually becoming apple pie with melted vanilla ice cream. The taste is sweet, with traces of honey and spice; a long, warming finish and a suggestion of smoke.

J In 2011 Whyte & Mackay, owners of Charles Mackinlay & Company, released a limited replica edition of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt which Charles Mackinlay & Company had supplied to the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09, led by Ernest Shackleton. He had placed an order for twenty-five cases, three of which were discovered in 2009, perfectly preserved in the ice beneath his base camp hut at Cape Royds. Three bottles were returned to Scotland for sampling, analysis and replication; they were returned to the hut by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, in January 2013, but not even he was allowed to taste the original! The expedition has passed into legend for the difficulties, obstacles and privations encountered. Shackleton’s family motto (in Latin) was ‘By Endurance We Conquer’, and it was only thanks to the extraordinary courage, determination, inspiration and endurance of its leader that all members of the expedition returned home safely. On his return, Shackleton’s achievement was recognised by a knighthood. The expedition’s main target, together with a range of geographical and scientific objectives, was to be first to the South Pole. A four-man team, led by Shackleton, hoped to cover the distance in 110 days, but bad weather, sickness, extreme exhaustion (the ponies they had brought to pull their sledges died one by one, and they were obliged to man-haul for 81 days) and hunger: Shackleton wrote in his diary “we are so thin that our bones ache as we lie on the hard snow”. The return journey took 122 days, and they only made it back to Cape Royds the day before their ship, Nimrod, was due to collect them. It was by far the longest southern polar journey to that date, and reached further south than any

previous expedition, but they had to turn back before reaching the Pole. Other members of the expedition did climb Mount Erebus (12,450 feet), however, and reach the Magnetic Pole to claim the territory for the British Empire. It is a truly inspiring story of adventure and exploration, and it certainly excited Richard Paterson, legendary Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay, who has now created a new Shackleton blend, inspired by the original and by Sir Ernest’s complex character. “Copying the original was a challenge. Now I wanted to make a whisky which both honoured Shackleton’s achievement and that of Charles Mackinlay & Company. The malts I have used are all Highland – Mackinlays owned distilleries in Inverness – and form the base of this expression, but the whisky is quite different from the original Shackleton. I wanted to create an accessible and easy drinking blended malt – something special for everyday enjoyment.” The label and carton are striking, appropriately using ice blue as a base colour. The bottle, which is the same shape as the original, is embossed with an inspiring quotation from Shackleton’s diaries: “I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown”. A proportion of the proceeds from the sale of these bottles will go to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.




New Releases: Summer 2017

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition Limited Edition Blended Scotch Whisky


Age: –


Vol: 46.8%

Deep amber in colour. The first impression on the nose is orange zest, berry fruits and stewed apples, on a discreet base of oak, which becomes sawdust with a dash of water. At full strength, the taste is sweet and spicy (ginger and Szechuan pepper); lightly tannic and mouth cooling, with a rich texture and a long, warming finish.

J The fourth expression in Johnnie Walker’s annual Private Collection series is designed to explore the influence of oakwood in the Walker house style. Previous editions showcased ‘Smoke’, ‘Rich Fruit’ and ‘Honey’, but always in a subtle, understated way – and the 2017 Edition is no exception. Jim Beveridge, Walker’s Master Blender, and his team selected and vatted a relatively small number of casks to achieve this. At the launch of the 2017 Private Collection I was able to taste the components. The first vatting was of ‘active American oak’ (first fill and some rejuvenated casks; mostly grain whiskies, with some malt, at different ages). This was predictably creamy, sweet and fruity, with light vanilla notes, some ‘pencil box’ aromas from older components, with a trace of spice and toffee in the development. The second vatting was of well-aged Highland and Speyside malts drawn from refill casks. It was more viscous than the first, with fresh fruits (peach skin) and dried fruits (rum and raisin), some nuts and a suggestion of smoke. Leathery in the development. The third vatting was the most complex: around 400 ‘experimental’ casks grouped into different styles of wood – some salt cured, some toasted, some heavily charred, some with new oak ends – filled at different strengths of spirit and matured for different periods. The result was rich, but somewhat astringent, and very oaky. The three vattings were then blended and married for a considerable length of time and the result is a complex and well integrated whisky, which more than achieves the blender’s goal of

being ‘more than the sum of its parts’. “Every whisky starts out full of the promise of its distillery character. Oak casks offer us an astonishing number of ways to differentiate these styles further as they mature, broadening our palette of flavours for blending. “The attraction of a limited edition [only 5,588 bottles are available worldwide] is that I can choose casks without worrying about sustainability: I have complete freedom in the casks I choose, since I don’t have to ensure there are sufficient stocks to repeat the blend again and again”. And since Diageo hold the largest stocks of mature whisky in the world – over 8 million casks [a billion litres] from around 35 distilleries (including closed distilleries) – he is spoiled for choice!



New Releases: Summer 2017

Roe & Co


Blended Irish Whiskey Age: –

Vol: 45%


Deep amber in colour. A rich and dry, but relatively closed, nose to start, with notes of baked pear on a base of vanilla sponge sprinkled with white pepper. Not over-influenced by the casks. A creamy mouthfeel and a sweet overall taste with a lingering peppery finish.

J Irish distilling goes from strength to strength, with global sales increasing by 300% over the past ten years and a massive proliferation of new distilleries – from three to fourteen in the past few years, and more proposed. Launched on March 1st, roe & co is a new premium Irish whiskey from Diageo, created by its Master Blender, Caroline Martin, and named after George Roe & Company, whose distillery on Thomas Street, Dublin, was once the largest in the world. Along with John Jameson and James Powers,


Roe & Co. was numbered among the ‘Big Three’ Irish distillers during Irish whiskey’s ‘Golden Age’ in the late 19th century. George’s grandfather, Peter Roe, had acquired an already existing distillery on Thomas Street in 1757, along with a 150 feet tall brick tower topped with a copper dome surmounted by a statue of St. Patrick. Although it looks like a lighthouse, it was once the tallest windmill in Europe and provided power for the distillery. By the 1870s the distillery stretched over seventeen acres, but all that is left today is the ‘St. Patrick’s Tower’. The site is a stone’s throw from the worldfamous Guinness brewery at St. James’s Gate, and Diageo plans to build a new distillery within the brewery’s former power house. Although it will stand on Thomas Street, it will be named St. James’s Gate. It is hoped that this will go into production in 2019. Caroline Martin, the Master Blender responsible for Roe & Co.’s creation, and her team, spent two and a half years trialing over 100 prototype blends before finalizing the whiskey’s composition. The result uses a high proportion of first-fill American oak casks and is bottled without chill-filtration and at a slightly higher strength than usual. Although it does not bear an age statement, the whiskeys used have a minimum age of five years.


New Releases: Summer 2017

Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso 70CL

Islay Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 60.1%


The rich colour of Oloroso sherry. A very light prickle on the nose and a profound and complex aroma which balances peat smoke and dried fruits, with a suggestion of treacle toffee. Water introduces a scent of coal sacks. A sweetish start, with a shake of salt, soon becomes tannic and peppery, with tarred rope and a long smoky finish.

J bunnahabhain distillery was founded in 1881 and commissioned in 1883, owing to considerable difficulties encountered during building on such a remote and weather-beaten site – among the most remote in Scotland – on the north-western edge of the island, overlooking the Sound of Islay. Traditional Bunnahabhain is very lightly peated (2-3 parts per million phenols, for those of you who like such details), but trials with heavily peated malt (35-45ppm phenols) from Port Ellen Maltings were conducted in 1997 and under Burn Stewart’s ownership – they bought the distillery in 2003 – batches of smoky Bunna have been made each year. This has been continued by the distillery’s current owner. The first bottling of this was released at 6 years old for the Islay Whisky Festival in 2004, named Bunnahabhain Mòine (Gaelic for ‘peat’) and, in 2010, Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhona (Gaelic for ‘peat stack’). Now we have Mòine Oloroso, a limited edition expression of smoky Bunnahabhain, wholly matured for an unspecified period in seven Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at cask strength, without colouring or chill-filtration. The casks were matured in Warehouse No.7, which is close to the shore and sea-facing. As a result, this rich and complex malt also has a faint taste of salt. As with other Islay distilleries, before Port Ellen Maltings were built in 1973, “nothing but peat [was] used in the kilns [for drying the malt]”. So the original Bunnahabhain will have been peated – in spite of the distillery going to some lengths to use only ‘thoroughly mature peat’, on the basis that “well-seasoned peat is free from the sulphurous matter which it contains when newly dug”.

Bunnahabhain’s former Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan, who now manages Bladnoch Distillery and was responsible for Mòine, once reminded me: “the whole community was dependent on peat for warmth, fuel and trade… Smoke from the open fires would have mingled with the salty sea air to create a ‘smoky mist’ you might almost taste”.



New Releases: Summer 2017

Deanston 40 Year Old 70CL

Highland Single Malt Age: 40 Year Old

Vol: 45.6%


Fine natural amber colour. The nose is dry overall and offers a complex mélange of dried fruits (including banana and pineapple), walnuts, honeycomb and fudge. Water introduces a scent of oakwood. The texture is smooth; the taste medium-sweet, drying slightly, with exotic fruits in mid-palate and a pinch of allspice in the finish, which is long, warming and mellow. A drop of water freshens the aroma and the taste. J This sensational expression of deanston – the oldest ever released by the distillery – arrives in a heavy and beautifully crafted wooden chest. The whisky is at natural strength, un-chill filtered and un-tinted with spirit caramel: as the box declares: “Simple, Handcrafted and Natural… We put everything we are into everything we make. That means we use only the highest quality ingredients sourced from local farms to make our whisky. It’s these ingredients that give Deanston the rich flavour and warmth that our community has put its name to for generations”. Well, for one generation at least… Deanston Distillery was established in 1966 in an historic cotton mill on the bank of the River Teith in Perthshire, designed in 1785 by Richard Arkwright, one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution, inventor of the steam-powered Spinning Jenny. The mill closed the year before the distillery opened. A water turbine and stand-by generator were already in place; copious soft water was available from the River Teith, fed by streams in the Trossachs and considered to be one of the purest rivers in Scotland; the cool, vaulted weaving shed was ideal for maturation, but four solid floors had to be demolished to make room for the stills. It was the intention of Deanston Distillery’s founders, Brodie Hepburn, blenders in Glasgow and owners of Macduff and Tullibardine Distilleries, to develop a major blended whisky brand named Old Bannockburn, but this came to nought. Indeed, Brodie Hepburn sold its distilleries to Invergordon in 1972. Deanston was silent from 1982-1990, when it was bought by its present owner, Distell, who has shifted focus onto building Deanston as a brand in its own right. 



New Releases: Summer 2017

Glen Scotia 25 Year Old


Campbeltown Single Malt Age: 25 Year Old

Vol: 48.8%


Dull gold in colour. A mild nosefeel and an aroma which combines Seville orange marmalade with soft fudge on a maritime base. A drop of water raises sweet seaweed and a suggestion of smoke. The taste is sweet and spicy, with light vanilla and gorse flowers and a slightly salty finish.

J Welcome back, glen scotia! After many years of closure or part-time operation, the distillery has now been magnificently restored and refurbished and is in full production. The earliest reference to distilling in Campbeltown dates from 1636, and when private distilling was banned in 1781, the locals cheerfully turned to illicit distilling. Robert Armour, who established himself as a coppersmith in the town in 1811, kept a detailed record of the stills he made for customers: over seventy between 1811–1817. By the mid-19th century, when many of these former smugglers took out licenses, Campbeltown was referred to as ‘the whisky capital of the world’. In 1835 twenty-nine distilleries were located here. Now there are only three – Springbank and Glengyle are the other two. (Read more on Campbeltown’s history from Brian Wilson on p.92). 18

‘Scotia Distillery’, as it was originally named, was built by Stewart, Galbraith & Company in 1832. Several of the present distillery buildings, including its stillroom and dunnage warehouse, date from then. Stewart, Galbraith sold to West Highland Malt Distilleries in 1919 and five years later it was bought by a well-known local distiller, Duncan MacCallum – a bad time to be buying distilleries, on the eve of the Great Depression. Scotia was closed in 1928 then sold to Bloch Brothers in 1930, following MacCallum’s suicide. Sir Maurice Bloch introduced the ‘Glen’ to ‘Scotia’ and ran the business until 1954, when it again changed hands several times, with periods of closure and part-time operation, latterly under the ownership of Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd [see Inchmoan] and Loch Lomond Distillers Ltd. Then, in 2014, that company was bought by a group of senior managers with support from a major private equity company. They have already invested heavily in Glen Scotia, creating a visitor centre, shop and tasting room, as well as overhauling the fabric of the entire distillery and its plant. Under the management of Iain McAlister, Campbeltown born and bred (and hugely knowledgeable about the town’s history), who has been working at Glen Scotia for ten years, production has been increased. A core range of three malts has been released, selected by the company’s Master Distiller, John Peterson, who has been working in the whisky trade for forty years. He will augment these with occasional limited bottlings, of which this 25 years old is one.

0 07

New Releases: Summer 2017

Loch Lomond 2001 The Whisky Shop Exclusive 70CL

Single Cask Highland Malt Age: –

Vol: 56.5%


Pale amber in colour; a slight nose prickle and dry aroma overall. The top note is fragrant – freshly laundered linen, shampoo – on a base of green apples and white grapes. A smooth texture and a sweet taste, with light acidity, a suggestion of brown bread and spice in the long, warming finish.

J loch lomond Distillery has long been an invisible giant. Although it is one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, producing both malt and grain spirits – its low-priced Glen’s vodka is the second best-selling spirit in the UK – its blended whiskies and single malts have, until now, been mainly available in export markets. It stands in an unlovely industrial estate in Alexandria, about a mile from Loch Lomond itself. It was commissioned in 1964 on the site of a once famous a dye works; the man behind the conversion was Duncan Thomson, the Americanborn owner of Littlemill Distillery, in partnership with Barton Brands of Chicago. Thomson had installed a pair of Lomond stills at Littlemill, and did the same at Loch Lomond – the name is coincidental; this style of pot still, with a short rectifying column in place of the usual swan neck, 19

was developed at Inverleven Distillery nearby. In 1993 the distillery also installed a Coffey still to make grain spirit. In 1985 the distilleries were sold to the independent bottler, Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse, a subsidiary of the Glasgow blender and drinks wholesaler (and at the time, retailer as well), A. Bulloch & Co. a family-owned company headed by Sandy Bulloch, who wanted to secure fillings for its blends – no doubt attracted by the fact that Lomond stills are capable of making a variety of spirit styles. [see Inchmoan, p.20, for more detail]. In 1992 a second pair of Lomond stills were added, joined in 1998 by a pair of traditional pot stills and in 2010 by a second Coffey still, uniquely modified, which the company describes as “the most modern in the land”, capable of producing malt spirit. The distillery is currently able to produce 20 million litres of grain spirit, 3 million litres of malt and 2 million litres of Coffey still single malt. In 2014 Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse and its subsidiaries, Glen Scotia Distillery and Loch Lomond Distillers Ltd. – Littlemill was dismantled in 1996 – were bought by a group of experienced whisky distillers, led by former Imperial Tobacco chief, Colin Matthews, with substantial support from Exponent Private Equity. The new holding company, named the Loch Lomond Group, has invested heavily, refurbishing both Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia Distilleries, expanding the Glen Catrine bottling facility and building new warehousing in Ayrshire. It now employs over 200 people and exports to eighty countries. This 2001 Loch Lomond is a single cask single malt, specially selected by, and bottled exclusively for, The Whisky Shop.


New Releases: Summer 2017

Inchmoan 12Year Old


Highland Single Malt Age: 12 Year Old

Vol: 46%



A rich amber colour, indicating sherrywood maturation, the first impression is of malted fruit loaf, with walnuts, on a base of fragrant peat. The taste starts lightly sweet, drying in the finish, with a smoky aftertaste.

Inchmoan 1992 Vintage 70CL

Highland Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 48.6%


Bright gold in colour; mellow and lightly citric (orange peel), with a thread of peat smoke in the background which increases over time. The texture is smooth and the taste sweet, with hessian and peat, and a dry finish. Elegant and sophisticated.

J Many readers of Whiskeria will not have heard of inchmoan. It is one of the eight styles of malt produced by Loch Lomond Distillery and all are uncommon, since they are used in the company’s blends. Loch Lomond also produces grain whisky, so is currently the only distillery in Scotland capable of producing ‘single blended Scotch’, apart from William Grant’s Girvan/Ailsa Bay site and the recently opened Arbikie Distillery in Angus. [see Loch Lomond, p.19] Loch Lomond has been described as: “… probably Scotland’s most versatile distillery, in terms of the number of different styles of whisky produced for different purposes on one site.” The distillery’s website helpfully explains: “One of the factors that has a great influence on the character of the spirit produced is the physical length of the neck of the stills. The longer the neck, the lighter (or cleaner) the spirit; the shorter the neck, the more full-bodied (or fatter) the spirit. “By using the rectifying heads in a number of different ways, we can replicate the effect of different lengths of ‘neck’ without physically altering them. However, this particular design of still does not produce the full range of spirit that we require, which is why we also have the two traditionally designed stills as well. “We produce a full range of malts from heavily peated (typical of Islay), to complex fruity (typical of Speyside), to full bodied fruity (typical of Highland), and also soft and fruity (typical of Lowland)”. Since 2014, when Loch Lomond was bought by Exponent Private Equity, the core range of single malts has been rationalized under the Loch Lomond (Original, Reserve, Signature, 12YO and 18YO) and Inchmurrin (12YO, 18YO and Madeira Wood) labels, Inchmoan Glengarry (NAS and 12YO). The Group won no fewer than 10 medals, including seven golds, at this year’s Berlin International Spirits Competition, and was also named ‘Distiller of the Year’. Now these have been joined by Inchmoan, first released in 2005 but only in small quantities. The malt takes its name from a small island in Loch Lomond and derives from the Gaelic Innis Mòine, ‘Peat Island’. It is a mile long, low lying and marshy, but with two large and popular beaches on either side. In the past, the inhabitants of the nearby village of Luss ‘won’ peats from here to fuel their domestic fires.




New Releases: Summer 2017

The First Editions Braes of Glenlivet 1989 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 54.9%


Profound gold in colour, with good ‘frogspawn’ beading, at this strength the spirit has a sharp nose-feel. The aroma is of fruit and nuts – baked apple and macadamia nuts – on a pastry base. The addition of water brings honeycomb and salt taffy. A creamy texture and an interesting sweet and sour taste, with spice lingering after a shortish finish.

J braes of glenlivet Distillery was built by the giant Canadian drinks company, Seagram, in 1973 to provide fillings for its blends, Chivas Regal and 100 Pipers. As a result it is uncommon as a single malt, and to my knowledge has never been bottled by its owners, now Pernod Ricard. It is one of only three distilleries in Glenlivet (the others are The Glenlivet itself and Tamnavulin), although at one time 36 distilleries adopted the appellation as a suffix – MacallanGlenlivet, Dufftown-Glenlivet, Glengrant-Glenlivet and so on. Some of them were a very long way from the glen itself: Glenforres-Glenlivet (now named Edradour) is 90 miles from the glen! In 1994 the name was changed to Braeval to avoid any possible confusion with The Glenlivet itself. In days gone by, Glenlivet was a remote place, making it ideal for illicit distilling: in 1800 it was estimated that there were 200 illicit stills in the district. The whisky made there had a high reputation, hence the widespread adoption of the name. When George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822, a local laird who was waiting on the King, instructed his daughter to send down some real Glenlivet (illicit) whisky “mild as milk, and with the real contraband goût (i.e. taste)”. At one time John Grant of Glen Grant Distillery used to label his legally made whisky as illicit. Braeval’s design is very 1970s, but attractive and appropriate to its picturesque setting, which the Victorian whisky writer Alfred Barnard described as being “like a bit of fairyland”. It was originally equipped with three stills; two more were added in 1975 and a further one in 1978, enabling it to produce 4 million litres of alcohol a year.



New Releases: Summer 2017

The First Editions Dailuaine 2009 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 46%


Very pale gold in colour, although I think it may come from a much refilled European oak butt. A clean, fresh, youthful nose, with digestive biscuits on a sweet, jammy base (apricot jam?), and a suggestion of the meaty character (roasting tin) which reflects the required new make spirit character. Very sweet to taste, with good body, and a warming finish.

J ‘dailuaine’ (pronounced ‘Dal-Ewan’) means ‘the green valley or dale’, and the ‘dale’ in question is on the south bank of the River Spey, created by the Carron Burn and not far from Carron village itself, just across the river. Such are the mysteries of Gaelic that ‘Glenfarclas’ has a similar meaning, ‘the glen of the green meadow’… A small distillery was established here in 1851 by a local farmer, William Mackenzie, but it was only after a bridge was built across the river in 1863 – the same year that the Strathspey Railway reached Carron – that it was possible to expand the distillery. This was done by Mackenzie’s son, Thomas, who took over the site in 1884 and employed Charles Cree Doig of Elgin to design a brand new distillery - one of the largest in the Highlands at the time. 23

Doig would soon be recognised as the leading distillery architect of his day and it was at Dailuaine that his signature ‘Doig Ventillator’ – what we know as the ‘pagoda roof’ – first appeared. Now the distinguishing architectural feature of a malt whisky distillery, this novel style of kiln was designed to draw heat and smoke through the bed of green malt more rapidly than previous kilns were capable of. The purpose of this was to produce spirit with as little smokiness as possible, for by the time Dailuaine went into production the demand from the burgeoning number of blending houses – the key customers – was for unpeated malt. Thomas Mackenzie went on to build Imperial Distillery at Carron in 1897, which was demolished in 2013 and replaced on a more modern and larger scale by the stylish Dalmunach Distillery, which opened in June 2015. Ranked ‘First Class’ by blenders, Dailuaine has always been a blending whisky – it was not bottled by its owners until 1991 in their Flora & Fauna series, and is still uncommon. It is famously full-bodied, rich and meaty, and takes sherrywood maturation in European oak ex-sherry casks well. Which makes this independent bottling from Hunter Laing, as part of The First Editions range, a curiosity. Although it is a young whisky, and its pale colour indicates maturation in a much refilled cask (and I think it may be from a European oak, ex-sherry butt, which should have given even more colour), it has lost any immature characteristics, and these features allow the distillery character to shine through.


New Releases: Summer 2017

The Old Malt Cask Glenlossie 18 Year Old 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: 18 Year Old

Vol: 50%


Autumnal gold in hue, the nose-feel is mild and somewhat dry. The initial aroma is of bruised pear and fresh hay, with a trace of fondant. The texture is oily, the taste sweet then dry, with a long warming finish at natural strength. Mild overall.

J glenlossie Distillery was founded in 1876 by a consortium of local businessmen, headed by John Duff (see Longmorn, p.27), a former hotelier and manager of Glendronach Distillery. Duff managed the site for ten years, then emigrated to South Africa with his family, where he spent several years attempting to establish a distillery in the Transvaal. His plans were frustrated by President Kruger, who had an aversion to anything British. So John Duff went to Kentucky and tried to establish a distillery there. Again he was unsuccessful: American distillers did not want competition, especially not from a limey. He returned to Scotland in 1892 and was appointed manager at Bon Accord Distillery, Aberdeen, before building Longmorn Distillery (1894) and Benriach Distillery (1898). Following Duff’s bankruptcy in 1909, Glenlossie was taken over by one of his partners, H.M.S. Mackay, but fell silent in 1917. Two years later ownership passed to the Distillers Company Limited (now Diageo) and the distillery was licensed to John Haig & Co in 1930. Its product became a key filling malt for the Haig blends, Dimple and Gold Label – the latter was the best selling Scotch in the world from the early 1920s to the mid-1960s. Although Haig Gold Label has lost its preeminence, Glenlossie continues to play a major role in several of Diageo’s blends, and as a result is released only in small amounts by its owner as

part of their Flora & Fauna series, at 10 years old. The make is among the lightest of Speyside malts, largely on account of each of its six stills being equipped with purifiers to increase reflux; it also has distinct floral and fruity characteristics, developed by unusually long fermentation over 75 hours. It is one of only a dozen malts ranked Top Class by blenders. Independent bottlings are also rare. This one is from Hunter Laing & Co., in The Old Malt Cask range.



New Releases: Summer 2017

The Old Malt Cask Glen Spey 25 Year Old 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: 25 Year Old

Vol: 50%


Pale gold in colour, with good beading and a mild nosefeel. A light oily aroma, with faint floral and fresh fruit notes, becoming slightly nutty with water. The taste is sweet and scented (marzipan?), the finish relatively short. Elegant and easy to drink.

J glen spey distillery is discreetly tucked in off the main street of Rothes village, below a fragment of the curtain wall of the once formidable Rothes Castle. Dating from the 12th century, by 1309 the castle was owned by the powerful Lesley family, Earls (and Dukes for a year, in 1680) of ‘Rothays’. It was burned down by the rowdy locals in 1662 ‘to prevent thieves from harbouring in it’. The distillery was founded in 1878, within a former corn meal mill, by James Stuart and Co, and named ‘Mill of Rothes’. Stuart had held the distilling license at Macallan since 1868 and in 1886 bought that distillery. Next year he sold Glen Spey to the London wines and spirits company W. & A. Gilbey (celebrated for its gin) for £11,000 and its name was changed to Glen Spey-Glenlivet. In 1962 Gilbey merged with Justerini & Brooks to create International Distillers and Vintners and this company merged with United Distillers (now Diageo) in 1997. Glen Spey had long been a key malt in the hugely successful J&B Rare blend, and continues to be – which accounts for its rarity as a single malt. Small amounts are bottled by Diageo in their Flora & Fauna range, and an even smaller amount by independent bottlers. This venerable expression comes from Hunter Laing & Co. as part of their Old Malt Cask range. It is an unusually interesting example of the make. In his Notes on Alcohol (1904), Sir Walter Gilbey makes an interesting observation about ‘The Importance of Fire Heat’ (i.e. direct fired stills by naked flame):“It is a curious fact that the

heat of the fire also imparts a Flavour to the vaporised matter… It imparts to the Spirit the character known as empyreumatic, which is easily recognized in the product of the Pot Still and which is quite absent in Spirit produced by the Patent Still.” Direct firing is not without its perils, however, and in 1920 Glen Spey was badly damaged by fire. When it was expanded from two to four stills in 1970, indirect firing by steam coils and pans was introduced.



New Releases: Summer 2017

The Old Malt Cask Glenallachie 21 Year Old 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: 21 Year Old

Vol: 50%


Pale amber in colour, with full gold lights and ‘crémant’ beading. A light nose-prickle. The initial aromas are all fresh-fruity – apple, pear, pineapple, grapes – gradually becoming dusty; a drop of water introduces Speyside notes of vinyl. The centre palate taste is sweet and lemon-sour; at reduced strength it is more acidic and peppery.

J glenallachie Distillery was commissioned in 1967 by Scottish Newcastle Breweries through their subsidiary, Mackinlay, Macpherson & Company, which the brewery had acquired in 1961, in order to supply fillings for that company’s many blends. The architect was William Delmé-Evans, the leading distillery designer of the day who had previously completed Tullibardine (1949), Macduff (1960) and Jura (1963) Distilleries. A Welshman by birth, with French antecedents, Delmé-Evans spent many holidays in Scotland during the 1930s and became fascinated by whisky distilling. He suffered from tuberculosis, so was unfit for war service, and it was during a period of convalescence that he made a thorough study of the distilling process. From the 1940s his goal was to design “an up-to-date, gravity-fed distillery” which would be more efficient than traditional sites, and in 1947 bought an old brewery at Blackford in Perthshire where he began to apply his design theory. On completion, he managed the distillery, named Tullibardine, then sold it to Brodie Hepburn, whisky brokers in 1953. They would go on to establish Deanston Distillery in 1963. But it was at Glenallachie that Delmé-Evans fully realized his dream of a ‘gravity-fed’ distillery. He chose the site because of its proximity to Ben Rinnes, the hill which dominates Speyside, so as to draw process water from springs on its steep slopes. The design was (and is) very 1960s, with clean, sharp lines, painted white inside

and out, with details in black. Trevor Cowan, a former master blender with Charles Mackinlay & Company, told me Evans was such a stickler for efficiency that he even marked the light-bulbs with their dates of installation in order to monitor how long they lasted. William Delmé-Evans died in 2003.His obituary in the Scotsman noted: “The Glenallachie Distillery was a whole new concept in whisky distilling. The most modern technology was used and Delmé-Evans drew on his years of experience in ensuring that the most efficient


equipment was installed.” The distillery was mothballed in 1987, then sold to Campbell Distillers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, two years later. They increased the number of stills from two to four. Glenallachie is released by its owner in miniscule amounts, the vast majority being blended. This 21 Year Old expression comes from Hunter Laing, bottled under their Old Malt Cask label.


New Releases: Summer 2017

The Old Malt Cask Longmorn 13 Year Old 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: 13 Year Old

Vol: 50%


Tarnished silver in colour, with excellent beading. The nosefeel is mellow, the aroma mild – the top note is of tinned pears, with an estery whiff of nail varnish remover. Classic light Speyside. The texture is creamy and the taste sweet, balanced by a bitter-lemon finish.

J longmorn is one of only a dozen malts (all Speysides) ranked ‘Top Class’ by blenders, and as a result the vast majority of its make goes for blending – particularly for Chivas Regal. Only very occasional bottlings were done by its owners before 1993 when a 15YO was released – this won gold medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition that year and the following year. It was replaced in 2007 by a 16YO, with stylish new packaging. The distillery is situated two and a half miles south of Elgin, on the main road to Rothes. 27

The village was once a railway junction and the beginning of a rail-spur on the Strathspey Line between Elgin and Craigellachie. Longmorn Station and its platform still exist in good order, although the track has gone – there are currently plans to clear it as a cycle path, linking with the Speyside Way at Craigellachie, and from there to Aviemore and the National Cycle Network. It was built in 1893/94 by John Duff, a publican and former manager of Glendronach Distillery, in partnership with two other local businessmen, on the site of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. Earnain – its name may derive from the Brythonic/ Welsh Lhanmorgund, ‘the Place of the Holy Man’. Duff’s family owned the lands of Miltonduff to the west across the River Spey. He had previously been involved with the building of Glenlossie Distillery (1876), and went on to build Benriach Distillery close to Longmorn (1897/98). Alas, the downturn in the Scotch whisky industry in 1900 bankrupted Mr. Duff; the distilleries were sold, Longmorn being bought by the Edinburgh blenders, Hill Thomson & Co., owners of the Something Special brand (and see Glenlossie, p.24). At its opening, the local newspaper began its report: “Still another distillery! Evidently the latest one announced for Longmorn is not the last that this district will see… When is this all going to end?” However, by the end of the year the National Guardian reported that the make had “jumped into favour with buyers from the earliest day on which it was offered”. Until 1980 a railway line connected the two distilleries, since Benriach supplied malt to Longmorn; the ‘puggie’ diesel locomotive which plied between the two is now preserved at Aviemore.


New Releases: Summer 2017

Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin 70CL

Hand Crafted British Gin Age: –

Vol: 40%


[Nosed and tasted straight and qualified with water] A startling pink colour! A top note of juniper, backed by dried herbs (rosemary, sage?) then a barely discernable sour note (rhubarb?). A smooth texture and a sweet and sour taste, the sweetness increasing.

J The ‘victoria’ is, of course Queen Victoria: the bottle states “Exceptional gin using Queen Victoria’s personal rhubarb crop”. It is ‘craft distilled on Falls Farm, Harrington, Northamptonshire’ by Warner Edwards, makers of Harrington Dry Gin. The bottle goes on to explain: “Queen Victoria grew the very same rhubarb that infuses our Harrington Dry Gin in her garden at Buckingham Palace. It is now grown on a crown estate, in the Victorian kitchen garden style. The end result is a sweet and tangy rhubarb explosion. Superb neat, with tonic or even ginger ale. Gin simply doesn’t come with more provenance and heritage.” Founded by Tom Warner in 2012 in a 200 year old barn on his family’s farm in the picturesque village of Harrington, Northants (said to be “built on rock and water”), this artisanal distillery produces a range of five small batch gins – Dry Gin, Sloe Gin, Elderflower Gin, Botanical Garden ‘Melissa Gin’, and Rhubarb Gin. Each bottle is sealed with wax, by hand, and numbered. Botanicals mainly come from the farm’s own garden and water from a medieval spring on site. Rectification is done in a bespoke copper still from Arnold Holstein in Bodensee, Germany, with a 200 litre pot and a tall rectifying column called a ‘catalyser’. The company has named the still ‘Curiosity’, after a curious farm cat which left its footprints in the wet cement of the still-house. In November last year Curiosity was joined by another, smaller still named ‘Satisfaction’, inspired by the saying “curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction

brought it back”! Readers of Whiskeria will know how important copper is in purifying spirit – the more contact the alcohol vapour has with copper, the purer it will be – and on their excellent website, Warner Edwards justifiably stress this ‘smoothness’ of their spirit. The website also provides a number of interesting cocktail recipes, including one for their Rhubarb Martini – 65ml Rhubarb Gin, 10ml Noilly Prat vermouth, 3 dashes of rhubarb bitters (optional); stir over ice, garnish with a twist of lime. Delicious! It is all delightfully and quintessentially English! Somewhat surprisingly for such a small distillery, the company employs fourteen people.



New Releases: Summer 2017

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Steven Klein Edition 70CL

Speyside Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 53.5%

Set of 10: £27,500

A gorgeous colour: old polished oak, with chestnut (conker) lights; excellent beading. A mild nose-feel and a deeply rich and complex aroma, with abundant dry fruits and juicy berry fruits, yielding to Highland toffee. The taste (natural strength) is sensational! A perfect balance of sweet and dry (finishing dry and spicy overall) with a very long finish and an aftertaste of old Oloroso sherry. J This is the sixth in a series of limited expressions of the macallan ‘inspired by some of the world’s top photographers’. So far, the ‘Masters’ collection has been inspired by Rankin, Albert Watson, Annie Liebovitz, Elliott Erwin and Mario Testino. Now we have Steven Klein, an American photographer based in New York City. After studying painting, Steven Klein began his career as a fashion photographer, responsible for high-profile advertising campaigns for such brands as Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Nike, as well as regular contributions to magazines such as Vogue. He is no stranger to A-List celebs, and is well known for his editorials in W Magazine featuring (among many others) Madonna, Tom Ford, Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears (his pix have featured on album covers by the last two artistes). But he is probably most famous for his collaboration with Madonna in an exhibition with the catchy title X-STaTIC PRO=CESS, which combined still photography with video segments. The Macallan project picks up on this. Steven Klein says: “My intention was to examine a world standing still through a moving camera. Typically with consumption of alcohol, there is always an abundance of movement. I thought what if it had all stopped for a moment and I could take a closer look at it. The idea is the perception of time. I used one of my favorite designers, Thom Brown, for the characters because I believe his clothes are bridged between the past and future in a great way.”

Klein captures this ‘moment in time’ in a short film and ten still images – a signed print of one of these will be included in each stylish black case in which the whisky is presented, together with a set of bespoke bar tools – all designed by the photographer. Ken Grier, Macallan’s Marketing Director, says: “Our commitment to the extraordinary is reflected in a restless spirit of dynamism, creativity and mastery to create the ultimate spirit. We bring together things which can appear ordinary and transform them into something incredible. We create, define and disrupt moments in time.” The whisky itself is superb! Bob Dalgarno, Macallan’s ‘Master Whisky Maker’ has excelled himself. My first – and probably, only! – 9 out of 10 this year… 10/10 is available only in Heaven! The edition is limited to 1,000 bottles worldwide. 29


| mixing it up

Foraged ingredients, experimental mixology. Love Scotch ambassador Ervin Trykowski leaves no stone unturned in the quest for cocktail perfection. —

Photography: Christina Kernohan

J As a Love Scotch ambassador for Diageo, Ervin travels far and wide to spread the good word about Scottish whisky. Creating new and exciting ways to show off our favourite spirit is all in a day’s work, and what better muse than the Scottish landscape to help him do it? We joined Ervin on a whisky road trip*, where he drew inspiration and ingredients from five quintessentially Scottish scenes to create his fantastic foraged cocktails. *No driving was performed under the influence of alcohol!


| mixing it up

Red Flag!

— 30ml Cardhu Amber Rock 30ml Blackberry cider shrub Prossecco to top Blackberry cider shrub: 125ml cider vinegar, add 100g of blackberries and 200g of sugar. leave in a kilner jar for a minimum of two weeks. — Method: Shake the Cardhu and the cider vinegar and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with prossecco. — Light crisp and refreshing – a champagne cocktail that focuses on the key notes found in Cardhu Amber Rock. Super-easy drinking and perfect for summer drinking.

Beating Heart of Oban

— 50ml Oban Little Bay 50ml Beetroot juice 15ml Lemon juice 15ml Sugar syrup 2 pinches of black pepper 4 dashes Lea & Perrins 4 dashes seaweed saline solution – Seaweed saline: Take a small amount of dried seaweed add 100ml of boiling water and 10g of salt leave for 10 minutes then take the seaweed out. – Method: Shake all ingredients and strain into a small martini glass. Garnish with fresh cracked black pepper. – This drink was designed to be paired perfectly with seafood found around the Oban distillery – especially served next to some squat lobsters. A wonderful savoury Scotch cocktail much like the bloody mary. Great for a Sunday or for a trip out to Oban next to some squat lobsters.


| mixing it up

Wood For The Trees

— 50ml The Singleton of Dufftown 12 Year Old 2 dashes pine bitters (optional) 125ml Root beer — Method: Build this drink in a tall glass over cubed ice. In the picture it is garnished with edible paint and soil but a lime wedge is equally nice. — The fresh fruit & nut notes of Singleton of Dufftown are matched perfectly by most root beers. I used Bundeburg but most work well. This is a really easy and tasty drink that anyone can make at home and one my favourite new ways to enjoy Scotch!

Buckthorn Colada

— Buckthorn Colada 50ml Talisker Storm 50ml Pineapple juice 30ml Coconut cream 15ml Seabuckthorn juice – Method: Shake the drink with cubed ice and serve in a small coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple or small boat sail. – A fun drink with Scotch! A take on the classic Pina Colada which usually calls for rum. It is, in my opinion, far improved by using peaty Scotch whisky.. I have matched Talisker sweet smoke and brought the sour element to the drink by using seabuckthorn juice. It's super tasty and prefect for a warm summer's day in Scotland.


| mixing it up

The Meeting Place

— 50ml Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old 15ml Honey water 1 dash Angostura Bitters Honey water : 1 part runny honey, 1 part boiling water. – Method: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with cubed ice. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a large orange zest. – I'm recommending this drink in two ways – either multiply the above quantities by four and mix in a Thermos that can be enjoyed as a reward, ideally at the top of a Scottish Munro, or enjoy it in the comfort of your own home with freinds. This is a fantastically simple Old Fashioned style of drink, and a perfect evening sipper with Dalwhinnie 15!


A new premium blended Irish Whiskey with the signature smoothness of Irish Whiskey, with remarkable depth of flavour


| my whiskeria

Lyan King Meet multi-award winning mixologist and former International Bartender of the Year Ryan Chetiyawardana, better known as Mr. Lyan, whose approach is anything but tame‌ —

Photography: Christina Kernohan Assistant: Alix McIntosh


| my whiskeria

We want to make it weird again 40

Today we’ve met you in Edinburgh, although you’re usually based in London. What brought you up? I was hoping it was going to be a bit of a chance to get home – well, I count it as home, which isn’t exactly the truth, but it feels like home coming back up. It’s actually a trip up for Tales [of the Cocktail]. Studies took me to Edinburgh, and I stayed for quite a while, but that’s also because I stayed studying for a bit too long… I was a perpetual student – almost 8 years in further education, which is very self-indulgent! You seem to have studied everything under the sun… When I left school, I wanted to learn something practical that was based on my interests. I had a place to go down to London to do my Fine Art foundation at [Central] St. Martin’s. It was the thing I’d always loved going through school, and it was very much the focus of personal life and academic life. In the gap before that I enrolled at the catering college in Birmingham, which is technically home. I started training to be a chef but got kind of strong-armed into doing a Culinary Arts and Management course, and didn’t like it at all. I wanted to spend a bit more time understanding the professional set-up, and how that related to my view of food and drink, and it completely removed me from that interaction. I suppose that’s where the bartending side cut in. I switched from kitchens to bars, and then that became the constant as I went around studying. How did that then lead to you moving to Edinburgh? My tutor [at Central St. Martin’s] had gone from academia into arts, and having spoken with her trying to explore what I wanted to do, interest-wise, it made sense to change tack.

So that’s an undergrad in Biology, a Fine Art foundation and then Philosophy…? I switched from Biology to Philosophy. My old man was really supportive and said “what you don’t want to do is go down a certain path and then end up hating your life”, which was great! Because it could easily have been “just finish one of these things and get on with it”. Do you think that all your different educational pursuits have fed into what you do now? Oh yeah, for sure! When I was at school, there was a bit when we had to do all the careers stuff. I went through all of those hoops, and I was the only person who came out with nothing, and I thought, “Great! I’m unemployable…”! I suppose from an academic perspective, I always liked the contradictory things. I was art and science. To me they’re the same thing. I don’t understand why we have this weird rift between them. For me it was always about finding something that hit across both sides. And was there any one place you worked that really helped you define and develop your ideas? From when I was bartending in Birmingham, down to London… Everywhere had a theme to it. The thing that really rang true to me with Bramble [Edinburgh] was that, for me, it stood for everything that bartending was about. There was no theme to it. Ultimately it was a bar where you’re there to help people have a better time. You’re host, you’re DJ, you’re obviously bartender. You’re looking after the lighting, you’re looking after if it’s the right people in the right area of the bar for them to have a good time. And you’re tailoring the drinks as a tool on top of that, but it’s not the focus of the bar. Bramble is still my favourite bar in the world. Do you still consider all those factors every time you serve a drink? That, to me, is the main focus of it. Everyone I’ve now trained or work with will know the thing that’s important to me isn’t


the drinks. Hopefully the drinks are going to be amazing as well. But if you aren’t taking care of that other stuff, the drinks aren’t going to save someone from having a bad night. If you’re making people feel special, if you’re trying to cater to their needs as an individual, not just as a generic person coming through the space – you know, if the music and the lighting is right, then the drinks can become a memorable experience. But if you don’t set up all of that other stuff, then it’s just fluff, as one of my team says, “it’s like lipstick on a pig”! I do believe food and drink can be an incredible thing, but it’s only part and parcel of everything else around about it. Do you see a lot of novelty in the industry? Yes, you do see a lot of novelty. It’s fun doing events where you can play with people’s senses and really direct the experience, but then that is a novelty. The thing I love about bars – and actually the reason why we were looking for a pub space when we were opening White Lyan – is that there’s a thing about pubs where it is a democratic space. It’s about everybody being able to be there, for whatever reasons; a bar should be able to cater to that, in my opinion. What prompted your move from Edinburgh to London? My masters year in Philosophy and my final year at Bramble was also the year I won UK Bartender of the Year. That was 2009, so I was going back and forth to London every weekend. When I was doing that a very close friend of mine, Nick, was working for Morrison Bowmore and actually, it was kind of through Japanese whisky that I ended up moving to London. How was that? Jas [of Bramble] had put Yamazaki and Hibiki into Oloroso, the first bar I worked in in Edinburgh. I remember trying it and being like, “This is incredible!” and everybody just being very dismissive. I’ve always liked that idea of trying to flip prejudices. The first bar I ever worked in was a


| my whiskeria

W Food and drink can be an incredible thing, but it’s only part and parcel of everything else around about it.


tequila restaurant in Birmingham, and drinking habits in Birmingham in 2002 were not very classy. I was trying to convince people that tequila was not what they thought. I’ve always been a fan of doing this – when somebody ostensibly projects a dislike of something, I try and change their mind. Nick knew there was a European role with Suntory coming up and part of it would be based in London, and my sister had just moved back from New York, some close friends had just moved back to London, so it was a few things coming together. What changed your mind about working exclusively in the whisky industry? I’d been interested in how the biological aspect of my studies could fold into food and drink; this was a time before anything even like the word ‘molecular’ gastronomy and mixology was really about. I was looking at how I could understand taste to help design a way of helping people connect to a drink they would like through understanding their palates. So, I started exploring the physiology of taste, because that was where my understanding was, as a biology student. I’d been doing a lot of this research for myself, experimenting and not really having a platform for it. I said I’d come down and work if I could run the lab at 69 Colebrooke, where I’d already done some work. It was a very wellknown bar at the time, had all the equipment I wanted to be playing around with, and gave me space to explore that stuff. The idea was I was going to be doing that and Suntory stuff. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, the Suntory stuff didn’t happen then, as a result, the bar stuff took off. In hindsight, I think an ambassadorial job would’ve been totally against what I would’ve loved. I mean, I’m sure I would’ve got to work with some amazing whiskies, but it didn’t happen!

We're sure you’ve worked with some amazing whiskies anyway! That’s very true. Doing the work I was doing with Suntory, I knew that their stocks were scarce. We were making cocktails and amazing stuff with it, and I loved being able to drink those cocktails in the way that we did. I got to pour Yamazaki 18 out for huge numbers of people. I don’t regret it, but now I’m thinking, “Christ they’re really expensive whiskies to get hold of!”. Well, more suitably priced. Do you have strong opinions either way on how whisky is currently priced? A bit of both… Actually, it’s completely fair for these things to be priced the way they are. Whisky was massively under-priced for a long time. The only thing I do think is a shame is that there are sets of flavour that it’s very hard for people entering the whisky drinking scene now to be able to afford to experience. I’ve been fortunate to drink stuff from a different era. There’s probably two sides to it. They are fair prices, because they are wonderful, rare things and so much has gone into them, and that should be reflected in the price. But at the same time, it means it’s going to be very hard for people to get the full breadth of that range of flavours that can exist within whisky. Do you feel that applies to other spirits as well? Nothing has the range of flavour of whisky. Whisky is something that is inclusive – everybody can enjoy it. It is delicious at £30, as well as it is at £30,000. I think whisky is kind of unique in that. I don’t think I know of anything that sits in the same democratic space as well as in the super-luxury sense. We’re talking on the eve of the closing of your first solo venture, White Lyan… At the moment it’s still 100% excitement, but I think tomorrow there’s going to be a little bit of sadness in there as well. It’s a very different thing to doing projects for other people. When it’s your own, it’s proper blood, sweat and tears into it! Not that it was a difficult bar to get open because of 43

anything going wrong. It was difficult because of the way the rest of the industry perceived it. The idea is much older than the bar is. Straight off the bat people were… Dismissive is probably the most polite way of saying it. And there were people from the industry who were saying “that’s not going to work”. What was it that people reacted negatively to? I think people saw it as an insult, that we were saying that traditional way of people doing bars is ‘wrong’ or is ‘out of touch’ or whatever it was that they projected that we were saying. What about White Lyan did defy tradition? There was no ice, and no fruit. That was the thing the industry had built up to – people had big blocks of ice on the bar top and there was the fruit bowl and they were talking about how they “only squeeze their lemon juice the 10 seconds before they make their drink”. And that was what was standing for the mark of a ‘true’ cocktail bar. So, to then have something that was completely the opposite to that – or seeming so, from the outside – people saw it was two fingers to the rest. Do you think people saw you as a bit of a novelty? Totally. People thought it was gimmick. Particularly when they heard ‘the bar with no ice’ before we’d actually opened the doors, there were all sorts of rumours about what it was going to be! Some very odd stuff. A lot of people described it as ‘molecular cocktails’ and that’s a term that doesn’t mean anything, but also I never saw what I did as that… I was folding in science and arts into my work, but it wasn’t ‘science’. By the time we go to print your new venture replacing White Lyan will be underway – what’s that going to be like? I can tell you about part one, but I won’t be able to talk about part two because there are certain things lined up in terms of exclusives. Of all the different experiences I’ve had


| my whiskeria

W I was art and science. To me they’re the same thing.


in my life, opening a venue is one of the most stressful and difficult. Robin [our operations manager] is doing two openings, so we decided it was a really good idea to front load everything into this period of time [laughs]. So not only was it Tales of the Cocktail Festival and the new book, it was two venues and all the other stupid personal stuff we thought it was a good idea to throw into that mix as well! I’ve actually also just finished judging three different awards… Is it strange, being elevated from award-winner to judge? I see it more as a way of celebrating other people, rather than judging them. Because everybody who is nominated for these things has done wonderful stuff. If you say you’re ‘judging them’ it sounds like it’s a superiority thing, which it’s not! I think it’s more of a chance to review someone’s beautiful baby and go, “look how amazing this is!”. It’s really nice to be able to help mentor people and be able to give advice and feedback. And it’s also a wonderful way of just seeing what’s happening in the industry. I couldn’t do those competitions anymore. The prizes are completely out of the league of when I was being a bartender. Tim Philips got a bar out of winning World Class – it’s crazy, I got a mixing spoon! It’s a different ball park now. But the stresses these guys go through is like a different level to what I had to do, too. You say you like that facet of mentoring people – who were your mentors? There have been several people – quite a few Scots. And don’t get me wrong, there have been loads of different peers who’ve been really influential on me, but I suppose in that ‘mentor’ role it is Mike and Jas [owners of Bramble], Ian McLaren and Craig Harper [award-winning Edinburgh bartenders]. They were huge in terms of encouraging me to do the things I was really passionate about but felt a bit shy about, and also passing on their years of experience. Do you have any protégées yourself? I’m going to be really biased and say this, but I really do have the best team in

the world. The people we have working for us are remarkable. But I see it as I’m working alongside them, rather than mentoring them. I don’t think there’s anything I can add at this stage – we’re still trying to learn about what we’re doing, so I don’t think there’s a huge amount of stuff I can pass on in terms of teaching it yet.

Are you continuing with your ‘closed loop’ cocktails and the no waste ideas? We want to be able to use ingredients in a considered way, so not just using them in a primary sense and throwing the rest in the bin. We will start to bring fresh ingredients in, but we will use them in their entirety.

When you’re creating new cocktails, do you So, tell us more about your new venture, work backwards from an idea or forwards Super Lyan… from finding an ingredient or method? So, in a really quick one-week turnaround, It depends. Certain times you might Super Lyan launched on April 14th. taste something and it reminds you of What we’ve been saying about White something else. Or, if you take something Lyan – how, when we launched, it was either like a whisky, it might be linked to the controversial or it was weird – is because it idiosyncrasies of the whisky itself – that was meant to be a commentary on what was might be the flavour, it might be the brand around in the industry at the time. And it’s no story, or even what it stands for. longer weird, so we want to make it weird again. We were making cocktails with very rare White Lyan wasn’t just about the whiskies. And I’m not saying we did that for the ingredients. The set-up, the way we wanted ‘bling’ of it. It was more to challenge the idea to open up the language around the drinks, around what the luxury is, and that idea the way people could order them, all of those of something fleeting. things… Super Lyan is still about being really If you’re trying to get people to realise fun and accessible. That’s a big part of what what goes into something like a rare whisky, the bar was about, and we definitely want to using something that forces a contemplation make sure that we can continue with that. of it forces you to engage with something It’s also about looking at the idea of that is not the most tangible part of it. You’re familiarity. There’s a thing in the industry getting people to understand that product where people think classic cocktails are in a different way. everywhere: of course you know what a Other times, it might be conceptual. So, I Negroni, or a Manhattan, or a whatever, is. made a Concrete Sazerac – that was almost I think that there is an amazing ability about a different idea of time, but it was also for cocktails to add to an experience, to have around things like a minerality. that amazing addition to people’s nights out. And classic cocktails, they’re timeless. But that How have you come up with the concepts doesn’t mean we can’t still challenge the classic for your bars? formula, or challenge the way of doing things, There are amazing bars around, and I don’t and open it up in a different way to a wider feel the need for us to repeat that, so the idea audience of people. of doing things differently is a key part. Do So, downstairs at Super Lyan we’re going to weird stuff, do stuff that’s really fun. Do things take those classic formulations, we’re going to that are a-typical, but still accessible. It’s not switch them up, we’re going to still stay true about doing something for us, it’s about having to what they are… It’s taking classic cocktails something that feels out the norm, so people and putting them through our frame, and about feel excited about coming to experience it. how we can make that accessible, by removing Then there’s very much the side where all the barriers to them. That’s the plan. It will it’s things that can be part of people’s home have ice and citrus, but it’s not about removing lives as well, because ultimately, if they have the things that we started with at White Lyan. better drinks at home, they’ll enjoy the weird It’s taking those lessons forward. stuff; they’ll go outside their comfort zone a 45


| my whiskeria

Nothing has the range of flavours of whisky

bit more if they come into the bars. That’s what our bottled cocktails are about, that’s what the books and any of the TV and online stuff is about. Because it is stuff that’s easy to do at home – it’s demystifying the whole idea. In America they at least have a culture of making drinks at home. Here we have lonely gin and tonics! It’s an amazing drink – with a couple of easy steps, if people are informed about it in a way that feels everyday, it can become amazing every day. Aside from America, are there any other countries or drinking cultures you’re inspired by? I think the drinking culture is better here than in America, but it’s just very much in people’s homes in the U.S. It’s much more everyday, more integrated in their life. Even around the idea of food – you get a lot of cultures where it’s historic; you go to Italy, you go to Spain, you go to France. The food and drink share equal pegging on the table because they’ve grown up together. There are bits of different cultures that are nice to be able to borrow on, and the thing that I love about travelling through food and drink is that you get to see how different places integrate food and drink into their lives. You can go into someone’s home and you get a feeling of being part of their world through food and drink. Music’s another one that really has that. But otherwise it’s quite hard to enter another culture without feeling like a total outsider. Whereas if it is something that is universal like food, drink and music, – something that is really entrenched in ‘human’ – it’s much easier to do.

Knowledge Bar The Mane Events Ryan's Roll Call

2003 2004 2006 2007 2009 2010 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Studies a Foundation in Fine Art at Central St. Martin’s Moves to Edinburgh to study Biology; begins his career cocktail bartending in Edinburgh at Oloroso Part of the team opening The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh Moves to work at Bramble, Edinburgh Crowned UK Bartender of the Year; Top 3 Global Bartender of the Year (Diageo Reserve World Class) Completes a Masters in Philosophy at Edinburgh University Awarded UK Bartender of the Year, 2nd place Global Bartender of the Year (Havana Club Grand Prix); ‘Hot Stuff’ (Imbibe Awards) Opens his first solo venue, White Lyan, Hoxton, London Selected in the Top 10 International Bartenders of the Year (Tales of the Cocktail); Top 1000 Most Influential Londoners (Evening Standard); awarded Innovator of the Year (Imbibe Awards) Crowned International Bartender of the Year (Tales of the Cocktail); Top 1000 Most Influential Londoners (Evening Standard); Releases ‘Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends’; opens Dandelyan within in Mondrian Hotel, London (Best New International Cocktail Bar (Tales of the Cocktail) Again awarded Innovator of the Year (Imbibe Awards); Top 1000 Most Influential Londoners (Evening Standard); becomes a member of the Guild of Food Writers, The Gin Guild and a Keeper of the Quaich; Dandelyan wins World's Best Cocktail Menu (Tales of the Cocktail), Best Bar Team in London (Time Out Bar Awards) and comes third in World’s 50 Best Bars White Lyan closes and is replaced by Super Lyan

A perfect dram to share this father’s day

Loch Fyne Whiskies | Inveraray | Argyll | PA32 8UD | t: 01499 302 219 (Shop) / 0800 107 1936 (Orders) | e:

Give your dad expert status this Father's Day

Sample | Enjoy | Share | Collect Novice or knowledgable, solo or social sipper, The W Club has a whisky subscription to suit.

Find out more at: Follow us:

Explorer Safari: Compare, contrast and discover whiskies of all origins Dram-a-Month Deluxe: Taste exceptional and expensive liquid Dram-a-Month: Build knowledge one dram at a time


Unlocking the mystery of whisky‌


| my craft

Combining centuries old craft with an innovative approach to whisky-making is all in a day’s work for Loch Lomond Distillery’s Master Blender, Michael Henry… —

Photography: Brian Sweeney Assistant: Fabio Ravelling

Knowledge Bar

Loch Lomond Distillery Alexandria Established as an expansion of Littlemill Distillery, which was originally founded in 1772, located in the old dye works of Alexandria Loch Lomond Distillery opened in 1964, with first distillation in 1966. It fell silent in 1984, and reopened in 1987 Loch Lomond is located on the border between the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland, but is Highland by definition When the site’s grain distillery opened in 1994, Loch Lomond was the only distillery producing both malt and grain whisky in Scotland . There is a unique set up of four still styles: three straight neck pot stills, one pair traditional swan neck pot stills, coffey still fed with 100% malted barley, two pairs of grain coffey stills Brands produced on site: Loch Lomond Malts, Loch Lomond Blends, Inchmurrin, Inchmoan, High Commissioner, Glengarry Single Malt and Blend, and Clansman

My Craft Interview

Michael Henry Loch Lomond Distillery

Tell us about ‘a day in the life’ of Master Blender at Loch Lomond Distillery. You start off your day looking at how the operations are going, what vattings we have and what dispatches are going out. That’s the not-so-glamorous bit. Afternoons are for nosing, product development work and cask selection – the afternoon is for looking at the spirit. One of the things that sets you apart here is that you make a lot of different styles of malt and grain whisky all on site… When the Bulloch family bought the distillery in 1987 they already had the High Commissioner brand and the bottling plant at Catrine, and having the stills here planted the seed about having a fully independent distillery. Other distillers would’ve been swapping spirit to get different flavour profiles, but they started looking how to develop all those flavour profiles you need for a blend, in house. When did you come into the mix, so to speak? I arrived in 2007, so I’ve been here for 10 years. I started at Bushmills Distillery – I was a student there and was sponsored by them to do the Brewing and Distilling degree at HerriotWatt University. I’ve always been in beer or whisky – when I graduated I worked for the Bass Brewery in Belfast, then I moved from there to Tennent’s in Glasgow, then to Loch Lomond. What attracted you to work at Loch Lomond Distillery? It was probably that idea of selfdetermination and having everything in your control. When I worked at Bass I was a team leader looking after the brewing, so I kind of ran the brewing operation myself. There are plus sides and downsides to that. The big plus side is that if you want to do something it’s on your shoulders, so go ahead and do it. And having that kind of mindset fitted in well at Loch Lomond, where it was a smaller company, again


| my craft

Scenes from around Loch Lomond Distillery including the cooperage, still rooms, and blending room.


independently minded. You could influence the whole process, so that’s what really attracted me here. Did you take any technical influence or inspiration from your time in brewing when you returned to whisky? It definitely helped my understanding of mashing, yeast, and flavour generation during fermentation. It’s a big thing that individual brewers will have a different, specific type of yeast for every type of beer that they produce. It’s the complete opposite to distillers, so that level of detail comes from my brewing experience. I started looking at fermentation times, and the effect of the longer fermentation times on spirit quality.

Has the nature of the distillery changed since you started? The way Loch Lomond has developed has been a reflection of the whisky industry over the last 40 – 50 years. It was built to supply malt for blends: we had the grain distillery built here so we could independently supply a full blend. In the last 10 years the focus has shifted; people are looking more for single malts, and our shift has been to using the malt stocks and different spirit styles we have here to create a malt-focused business.

What about the single grain spirit you create here? We have our conventional grain stills, and then we have our continuous still in the malt distillery – because it’s a continuous still we What’s the result of using those different have to classify the spirit as a single grain, but yeasts and varying fermentation times? it’s actually made from 100% malted barley. For the malt, we use one type of yeast for What the continuous still allows us to do is to the straight neck pot stills, then a different control the flavour profile: we have eight plates type of yeast for the traditional swan neck pots where you can take the spirit off, and where we – they accentuate different flavours associated take the spirit off gives it a different character. with the still. Our grain distillery is the bedrock of our blended product, combined with the different How have you used that attention to cut points on the continuous still and the added detail to shape what you’re doing here? character we get from that, then mixing it with When you talk about distilling and craft, the eight or nine different single malt styles we other distillers have used that craft, that produce between the two different malt stills. knowledge gained over 200 years, to produce And then we’ve got our own cooperage, so we one spirit style consistently. They’re recognised have full control over all the different casks and for it and it supports their brand. Whereas we’ve how we treat them. It all means we can have flipped that on its head – we’ve used that same the product exactly how we wish it. distilling knowledge to produce differentiation and up to 9 different spirt styles, enabling us What’s that part of your process like, to create different expressions like our three selecting your different casks? 12 year olds, Inchmurrin, Loch Lomond and Ours was one of the first cooperages to put the new Inchmoan 12, which all have their in the cask rejuvenation machine. When you’re own special flavour characteristics. focused on a shorter turn around you’ve only got three years to get the flavour out the wood, so Tell us more about the blending element you need to make sure it’s a high quality because of your craft… you’re forcing it to do a lot of work. We also When I started at Loch Lomond the focus started investing in our bourbon cask supply. was on 3-year old spirit, so it was all for High The way we run the malt stills reduces the Commissioner and bulk blends. What that’s ‘off flavours’ we get at distillation, and pack in as allowed me to do is get a good understanding much flavour as possible, originally to be drunk of the flavour profile of our stock and what the at three years old. Once you have that you’re different flavours are at different ages of the into maturation, but you’re not having to rely spirits. That really helps when somebody comes on the barrel to take away ‘off notes’; you’re through with a brief for a new product – I can just relying on the wood to give you a positive have something in my head very quickly. character. Now it’s about taking care that the wood doesn’t over-balance the spirit quality.


Knowledge Bar Loch Lomond Cocktails

Inchmurrin Madeira – Rob Roy 50ml Inchmurrin Madeira 25ml Sweet vermouth 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir all ingredients over ice and julep strain into a 6oz cordial glass. Garnish with orange oils and a cherry. —

Loch Lomond 12 Year Old – Blood & Sand

25ml Loch Lomond 12 year old 25ml Cherry Heering 25ml Sweet vermouth 25ml Freshly squeezed orange juice Shake all ingredients over ice and double strain into a 6oz cordial glass. Garnish with an orange twist. —

Loch Lomond Single Grain – Loch Lomond Fizz

37.5ml Loch Lomond Single Grain 25ml Fresh pink grapefruit juice 10ml Pineapple syrup 3 Sage leaves 15ml Egg white Soda water Shake the Loch Lomond Single Grain, pink grapefruit, pineapple syrup and egg white well with ice. Single-strain into a highball glass over ice and top with soda water.


| my craft

How did you become a Master Blender? I was home brewing when I was doing my A-Levels and that’s when you’re picking university courses, so that was one of the things that lead me to Brewing and Distilling. There seems to be a growing trend for crossover between brewers and distillers. Is there anything like that on the horizon for you? I want us to carry on looking at the different yeasts as, for me, there’s a lot more scope for flavour generation there, right at the point of distillation. When I was at Herriot-Watt my final year project was on temperature and distilling yeast and I think, for Loch Lomond, it’s in tune with our perspective on driving spirit development from distillation, rather than just looking at casks and finishing. Is there any one product you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of? Probably the Loch Lomond Signature Blend, although the malts get more attention. Because we have the grain distillery here, and the cooperage, a lot of our history is tied into blends. It gives the best representation of the distillery, because it has little of everything we do in it. Is the Signature Blend also a representation of what you do, as an individual? With our history tied so much to blends, I think you need to remember where you come from! The Signature Blend (which goes through a Solera cask process) has given me the chance to make the best blend we can put together, so that’s probably the most satisfying work for me, in terms of all the different spirits and casks used. Did you have any preconceptions of Loch Lomond before joining the company? I didn’t have any preconceptions because I didn’t know about it! The first time I’d heard ‘Loch Lomond Distillery’ was when I saw the job advertised in The Herald. So that was me coming in with a clean slate.

You’ve been instrumental in forming the new liquid and brand. Have you had a say in what it looks like and how it’s presented? Yes, in terms of the story, the make-up, nonchill filtered, alcohol strength etc. We’ll invite the marketing team down to taste a new product, and we might all agree, but we might not; it’s my job to see past personal preference and explain why a whisky is balanced a certain way. Have you always been this impartial, even back in the days of home brewing? I’ve always been kind of impartial, because you have to be. I’ve probably spent the last 20 years doing technical tasting – so objective flavour assessment, rather than tasting and looking for what I want. Would you ever be completely selfish and make something that is just exactly what you, personally, want to drink? Probably not, because it changes all the time! I’d like to get a product out there made using wine yeast, because I love those aspects of flavour. When I was in beer, brewing in the UK for the big companies was going downhill. It makes it really clear in your head that, however much you love a product, if it’s not selling it’s not going to keep you in a job, so you need to have some commercial focus in what you’re doing. Have you learnt to be more commercially minded the longer you’ve been in the drinks industry? It was driven home very early on with the six years I was with Bass and Tennent’s. There’s not been so much pressure like that coming into Scotch, because Scotch has been going the opposite way – it’s been a boom time. Still, no matter what you’re making you need to


respect your customers. They’re paying their money that they’ve worked for to buy something you’re making, it’s not like they’re buying something like food that they need to have. They’re choosing to buy your products as something to enjoy, so you do need to think about them. Do you have a favourite whisky to drink of all the ones you make? I like the Inchmurrin 12 and the Loch Lomond 12 year old. I kind of flip between the two. Although with our new Inchmoan 12 release I may have a new favourite! Is there any one whisky you wish you’d come up with? Again, it changes all the time, but there are whiskies that I love drinking. The likes of Red Breast 12 Year Old and Power’s – I love Irish pot still whiskies. After that it’d maybe be Michter’s and Woodford Reserve, they’re two bourbons that I love drinking too. Do you ever drink whisky with a mixer or in a cocktail? I don’t, personally. When I’m putting a whisky together – say the Loch Lomond 12 – it might be made up of four different spirits. I’m used to picking an attribute of the spirit that I want to enhance or amplify, and I think with cocktails you’re doing that kind of thing, but instead of using different spirit styles you’re using whisky and bitters and mixers and other spirits. It’s a similar concept. If people enjoy our whiskies mixed in cocktails, it’s another way of appreciating what we do!


Our distillery uses more than one type of still. We’re not most. Scottish Single Malt

Distillery of the Year

@Lochlomondmalts 55



➛ Summer 2017

The Whisky Shop Exclusives 59 Hunter Laing 60 New International 63 Loch Lomond Distillery 64 The Macallan 66 Father's Day Gift Guide 68 Gin O’Clock 74 Customer Favourites 76 The Whisky Shop Directory 80 Image: The Whisky Shop, Picadilly




The Whisky Shop Exclusives ➛ We’re proud to stock a selection of whiskies exclusive to The Whisky Shop. From limited edition bottlings to old and rare whiskies, single malts to singularly superb blends, these whiskies are for our customers only.

Loch Lomond 2001 Single Cask

Glen Garioch 1978 Single Cask

Aberfeldy 1996 Single Cask

– 70CL | 56.5% VOL | £89

– 70CL | 51.7% VOL | £395

– 70CL | 61.5% VOL | £160

What is it? Limited edition single cask no. 16/329-2 from Loch Lomond Distillery, hand selected by The Whisky Shop team for its outstanding flavour. Distilled in February 2001 and bottled in April 2017, this whisky has been matured in Limousin oak and is presented non-chill filtered at a cask strength of 56.5% VOL.

What is it? This whisky hails from Glen Garioch’s glory days, when it was just as famous for its tasty tomatoes as its delicious whisky, thanks to an innovative greenhouse project that gained BBC Scotland coverage for its ingenious recycling of distillery energy. Non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength, this expression comes from North American Oak, Cask No.11000, quietly matured at Glen Garioch Distillery from 1978 until we hand selected it in 2011.

What is it? The whisky for this Aberfeldy bottling was distilled in 1996 and then specially selected by members of The W Club in collaboration with staff from The Whisky Shop Edinburgh in March 2013. It is a fabulous single cask expression, exclusively picked for, and by, The Whisky Shop customers!

What’s it like? Gentle peat smoke and toasted oak from the French Limousin casks is followed by succulent poached pear and fresh vanilla flavours. A burst of warming ginger and cinnamon nod to Loch Lomond Distillery’s versatility in producing wonderfully complex whiskies, marrying subtle peat, spice and fruit.


What’s it like? An extremely sophisticated dram with a distinct Speyside character and moreish nature. Lashings of juicy fresh fruit are joined by depth of flavour from a handful of dried fruits, all married with vanilla thanks to the long maturation in American oak. A thoroughly enjoyable dram that collectors may not be able to resist opening!

What’s it like? Brimming with vanilla notes and juicy stewed fruits. It also packs in some typical warming oak flavours thanks to its fairly long maturation. At once sweet and zesty, it promises fresh green cut grass to balance out the woody flavour.

Hunter Laing

Authors' Series Bruichladdich 1990 Jules Vernes

Authors' Series Springbank 1996 Benjamin Disraeli

Authors' Series Port Ellen 1983 Alfred Tennyson

What is it? Distilled in October 1990 at Bruichladdich distillery on the isle of Islay before spending the next 25 years maturing in a refill hogshead. Bottled in September 2016 at a strength of 48.6% Vol, only 140 have been produced. Jules Verne (1828–1905) was a French author who became one of the most influential writers in Science Fiction.

What is it? Distilled in October 1996 at Campbeltown’s Springbank distillery and matured for 20 years in a single sherry hogshead before bottling in November 2016 at a strength of 57.5% Vol Only 67 have been produced. Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) was a British politician and author who served twice as UK Prime Minister.

What is it? Distilled in March 1983 at Port Ellen distillery on Islay before being matured in a sherry butt for 33 years. Bottled in November 2016 at a strength of 55.9% Vol, only 142 have been produced. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was a poet, considered to be one of the finest of the Victorian era. In 1850, Tennyson became poet laureate and remained so until his death, the longest serving to date.

– 70CL | 48.6% VOL | £500

➛ Three generations of the Laing family have honed their skills in sourcing the very finest whiskies from Scotland, and the international reputation they’ve gained is richly deserved. Among others, we stock their First Editions range of accessible single cask malts, the now famous Old Malt Cask range, and the collectible Authors’ Series of rare and exceptional single cask releases.

What’s it like? As Charles MacLean describes in his Expert Tastings review: “Pale gold with khaki lights. The first nose is reminiscent of dry sherry, attractively musty (fresh sack-cloth), with oak shavings, on a base of baked apple. The taste is dry and slightly salty, with apple coming through at the start and in the aftertaste.”


– 70CL | 57.5% VOL | £600

What’s it like? Dark gold in colour, the nose is complex with oranges, caramel, coconut and pepper. The pepper and oranges carry through to the palate, accompanied by dried fruits and full milk. Long and lingering on the finish, with a suggestion of delicate spice.

– 70CL | 55.9% VOL | £2800

What’s it like? As Charles MacLean describes in his Expert Tastings review: “9CT gold with moderate beading. The first impression on the nose is lightly oily, then a cool medicinal note creeps in (oil of cloves?) and a hint of camphor – the nose-feel effect is cooling. The taste is salty overall, mouth-drying, with fragrant smoke in the finish and aftertaste.”

The Old Malt Cask Glenlossie 18 Year Old

The Old Malt Cask Longmorn 13 Year Old

The Old Malt Cask Glenallachie 21 Year Old

What is it? This 18 year old from Speyside's Glenlossie distillery was distilled in November 1998 and filled to a refill hogshead for maturation, before 180 bottles where produced in February 2017 at a stregnth of 50% Vol.

What is it? Distilled in November 2003, this traditional style Speyside whisky was bottled in February 2017 at 50% Vol. It is one of 315 bottles released in Hunter Laing’s Old Malt Cask range, and hails from Moray’s Longmorn Distillery, which was originally founded by John Duff, previous manager of Glendronach and Bon Accord distilleries.

What is it? Glenallachie Distillery in Aberlour, commits most of its spirit to blends, releasing only two official distillery bottlings at 16 and 18 years. This 21 Year Old single cask therefore presents a rare opportunity. Bottled in February 2017 at 50% Vol, following maturation in a refill hogshead since March 1995, it is one of only 229 bottles.

What’s it like? The nose promises lemon meringue pie with toffee and Demerara sugar. The palate continues with puddingsweetness, including butter shortbread, pineapple and creamy almonds. The finish is long and pleasantly fruity. Find out Charles MacLean’s expert opinion in New Releases.

What’s it like? Butter croissants with Demerara sugar and red berries on the nose. The palate is silky smooth with rich licorice-aniseed and shortbread flavours coming to the fore. The finish is long-lasting, with a hint of dry oak. Read more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.

– 70CL | 50% VOL | £115

What’s it like? The nose is full of vanilla, toffee, crème brûlée and apples. The palate is sweet with butterscotch, apples and floral notes, while the finish is long and sweet with some dry oak characteristics.

– 70CL | 50% VOL | £95

– 70CL | 50% VOL | £146


Hunter Laing

The Old Malt Cask Glen Spey 25 Year Old

The First Editions Braes of Glenlivet 1989

The First Editions Dailuaine 2009

What is it? This Speyside single malt was distilled at Glen Spey in December 1991 and matured in a refill hogshead for 25 years before bottling in February 2017 at a strength of 50% Vol.

What is it? Speyside single malt was distilled in 1989 at Braes of Glenlivet distillery (now known as Braeval) and matured in a refill hogshead for 27 years before bottling in 2017. Bottled at its natural colour with no chill-filtration at a cask strength of 54.9% Vol, only 144 have been produced.

What is it? Distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2017 at 7 years old and 46% Vol. Dailuaine whisky is predominantly used for blends – most significantly, Johnnie Walker – and rarely seen as a single malt. Only 267 bottles have been drawn from this single red wine cask, released under The First Editions range.

– 70CL | 50% VOL | £150

➛ Three generations of the Laing family have honed their skills in sourcing the very finest whiskies from Scotland, and the international reputation they’ve gained is richly deserved. Among others, we stock their First Editions range of accessible single cask malts, the now famous Old Malt Cask range, and the collectible Authors’ Series of rare and exceptional single cask releases.

What’s it like? One of only 182 bottles, the nose of this Speysider has sweet vanilla fudge with fruity pear and apple notes. The palate is light with soft fruits and barley sugar, while the finish is long and satisfyingly sweet with a slight lingering nuttiness.


– 70CL | 54.9% VOL | £180

What’s it like? The nose offers digestive biscuit and soft caramel with a hint of red berries. The palate brings vanilla custard before a fruity red berry and apple medley. The finish is long and pleasant with a slight sweetness lingering.

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £65

What’s it like? Aromas of raspberry jam and cereals are overlaid with luscious honey. The palate begins with bitter dried fruits, mellowing out to sweet vanilla and oranges. The finish is medium length, with herbs and more dried fruits plus a hint of spice. Find out more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.

New International ➛ Whisky production is quickly becoming an international phenomenon. In the wake of Japanese whisky’s surge in popularity, other Asian countries are entering the arena. You’ll also see America upping its whiskey game with an increased variety of bourbon and rye coming to market. And of course, Ireland won’t be left behind, with new distilleries popping up across the Emerald Isle to meet soaring demand.

Kavalan Solist Port Cask

Roe & Co.

– 70CL | 57.8% VOL | £135

– 70CL | 45% VOL | £30

What is it? Part of the Kavalan Solist series, and a gold award winner at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2016. This whisky has been fully matured in Portuguese Port barriques under the subtropical Taiwanese climate to create layers of rich fruity flavour with a lusciously dark chocolate background.

What is it? A premium blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co. is a combination of single malt and grain whiskeys matured in ex-bourbon American oak, a high percentage of which are first-fill. Developed by Diageo Master Blender, Caroline Martin, in a process that took over two years, Prototype 106 was chosen specifically to hold up in cocktails as well as to be enjoyed neat or with water.

What’s it like? Richly fruity and nutty on the nose with a lift of citrus and elegant wood spice. The palate follows suit with big fruity flavours of plum, blackberry, blueberry and strawberry enveloped in intense chocolate, leading to a long and satisfying finish.


What’s it like? Roe & Co. is fragrant and rounded with notes of soft spice, mellow spun sugar and warm hints of woody vanilla. The balance of the blend is immediately evident on the palate with a velvety texture and sweet flavours including spiced pears and vanilla, while a gentle creaminess lingers in the finish.

Loch Lomond Distillery ➛ Originally established as an extension to Littlemill Distillery, Loch Lomond Distillery, as it is today, was opened in 1964 and began production the following year. After two decades it fell silent, until it was bought by Alexander Bulloch and the Glen Catrine company to support their blended whisky business. Grain whisky production began in 1993 with two new malt stills added in 1999. Today the distillery operates a unique set-up of three sets of stills, allowing it to produce a unique and varied range of single malt styles, represented by the eponymous and island collections.

Inchmurrin Madeira Wood Finish

Inchmurrin 18 Year Old

Loch Lomond 12 Year Old

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £55

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £80

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £43

What is it? This Highland Single Malt from Loch Lomond Distillery has been matured exclusively in traditional American oak whisky barrels and finished in casks that previously held fortified Madeira wine, enhancing the orchard fruit character of peach and pear with marzipan and nutmeg, and lending a dry nuttiness to the long, oak finish.

What is it? This expression from Loch Lomond Distillery has been matured for 18 years in casks hand selected by Master Cooper, Tommy Wallace, which has allowed the whisky’s sweeter notes to emerge. Bottled at 46% Vol, this Highland Single Malt is presented non-chill filtered.

What is it? Aged in three types of cask – bourbon, refill and re-charred – Loch Lomond Distillery’s eponymous 12 year old Highland Single Malt is perfectly balanced. A deep fruity character, reminiscent of peaches and pears, is complemented by the signature hints of peat and smoke found in Loch Lomond whiskies.

What’s it like? The nose has fresh citrus giving way to almond marzipan and nutmeg. The palate is velvety smooth and welcoming with fruity peach notes and fig, overlaid with rich butterscotch and subtle walnut. The finish is long and dry with grape tannins, oak, and a lingering nuttiness.


What’s it like? The nose is rich in heather honey, perfectly balanced with crafted oak wood notes. The palate is full-bodied with a strong oak character harmonising with tropical fruit notes including pineapple, mango and kiwi. The finish is long and warming, with elegant oak and stem ginger notes.

What’s it like? The nose offers crisp green apple, ripe pear and refreshing citrus lemon with notes of golden cereal lurking underneath. The palate is deeply fruity with lemon meringue, pear and orchard fruits leading to lemon, vanilla and light biscuit. The finish is medium with gentle wood smoke and a lingering peaty tang.

Loch Lomond 18 Year Old

Inchmoan 12 Year Old

Inchmoan 1992

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £75

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £TBC

– 70CL | 48.6% VOL | £TBC

What is it? Matured in the finest oak barrels chosen by former Master Cooper, Tommy Wallace, this 18 year old expression from Loch Lomond Distillery’s eponymous line has been allowed to experience the sweeter character of the wood, taking on a subtle hint of peat and smoke to ensure a balanced finish.

What is it? For centuries, inhabitants of Luss – an island on Loch Lomond’s west side – used a nearby island as their source of peat for village fires, eventually giving it its name ‘Inch Moan’ or ‘Island of the Peat’. This 12-year old, born of a marriage of malts from traditional swan neck and straight neck stills, promises an appealingly unconventional peat character.

What is it? Another exceptional single malt whisky from the peated division of Loch Lomond Distillery’s island collection. Distilled in 1992 from Scotland’s finest ingredients in Loch Lomond’s unique straight neck pot still, it has been collected at high strength for maximum flavour. Read more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.

What’s it like? The nose fuses green apple and grapefruit aromas before sweeter honeysuckle notes emerge with mature oak. The palate is full-bodied and rounded with notes of toasted oak and cigars, developing into green fruits with apple and gooseberry. The finish is long with dried tea and tobacco leaf balancing a soft medicinal peatiness and wood smoke.

What’s it like? A marriage of smoke and spice with incredible depth of flavour. Maturation for 12 years in a mixture of recharred American oak and refill bourbon casks lends it a sweet vanilla background to complement the soft peat flavours. Read more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.

What’s it like? Long maturation in refill bourbon barrels allows the spice-driven peat and fruit distillery character to combine with softer influences of the cask, resulting in a gloriously integrated, refined-tasting whisky. An elegant, rich single malt with a perfect balance of fruit and spicy peat. Read more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.


The Macallan ➛ The world’s third best-selling single malt needs little introduction. Established in Speyside in 1824, The Macallan Distillery is famed for producing rich, full-bodied and fruity spirit due to using unusually small copper stills. Production is so selective that only 16% of spirit produced makes it to cask, which is why The Macallan is considered the ‘best of the best’ across the globe.

The Macallan Gold

The Macallan Amber

The Macallan Sienna

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £40

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £55

– 70CL | 43% VOL | £82

What is it? The Macallan Gold was released in 2012 as part 1824 range which replaced the distillery's age-statement expressions. It was produced using 9-15 year old first-fill and refill sherry casks, which has resulted in an incredibly smooth and rich single malt. One of the fine examples representing the ‘age doesn't matter’ camp... Soft gold in colour, this is the lightest of The Macallan 1824 range, but still packed with typical Speyside Macallan flavours.

What is it? Another member of the colourthemed 1824 non-age statement series of whiskies. Originating from Speyside, the Amber edition has been created exclusively in sherry casks, and is a full-flavoured and rich single malt. Unsurprisingly, deep amber in colour, it should be noted that the oak influence on this whisky is incredible.

What is it? The second darkest in the 1824 colour release, providing some middle ground between the Gold and the Ruby expressions. Matured in top quality sherry casks, this single malt is named Sienna to represent the naturally occuring pigment. This is a nod not only to the hue of this expression but to the fact that The Macallan's whiskies are all released with no added colouring.

What’s it like? A lemon-citrus nose, with zesty orange peel and oaky vanilla notes. The palate reveals a light sweet flavour, more citrus, apples and ginger spices, but is in no way overpowering. Overall a slightly sweet and malty whisky, easy going and fresh.


What’s it like? Plenty of vanilla notes, citrus and soft chocolate on the nose, and a hint of ginger spice. This leads to a pleasantly surprising fruity taste, with more dried fruits and cereal biscuits on the palate. A discernable step up in flavour and fullness from the Gold expression in the series. The finish is oaky, with a touch of dried fruit and Christmas-themed spices.

What’s it like? The nose is more intense than the Gold and Amber expressions, with some orange peel, vanilla and subtle spices. Dried fruits on the palate lead to a fruity and slightly spiced finish with a touch of anise.

The Macallan Rare Cask – 70CL | 43% VOL | £200

What is it? Crafted from Spanish and American sherry seasoned oak casks, including some of the most precious and scarce casks, giving rise to an exquisite whisky. The Macallan Rare Cask is a new addition to the company’s 1824 Series of core expressions which do not bear an age statement, allowing Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno, to choose casks which contribute to the individual whisky’s flavour.

What’s it like? The whisky has a bright polished mahogany hue and a viscous appearance. The first nose is of rich dry fruit cake or fruit loaf with a touch of cinnamon, a hint of white pepper and allspice, and a suggestion of cooking chocolate. A smooth texture and a sweet yet unusually (for The Macallan) salty taste, with chocolate and spice. Water mellows all these elements and adds crème brûlée and fresh oak.


Father's Day Gift Guide ➛ Dad’s the word this June, and you can trust The Whisky Shop to help put a smile on your old man’s face. Give a gift that keeps on giving with one of our W Club whisky subscriptions, bond over your mutual good taste with a special gift box, or tell him exactly how much he means with a personalised engraving. The choice is yours.

Explorer Safari 2x10cl


3 MONTHS – £74.00 6 MONTHS – £149.00 12 MONTHS – £295.00 Send your dad on a voyage of discovery through the world of whisky, one theme at a time. Why call it a Safari? Because we believe it’s the best way to describe the exciting journey he’s about to begin! Once a month, for the duration of the subscription, we’ll post two 10cl samples of whisky direct to your dad’s door. Each bottle will contain four measures, allowing a good taste of each. This one’s also perfect for sharing – so you never know, dad might just take you on Safari with him!


We’ve relaunched our ever-popular W Club to be better than ever. Including a whole host of exciting benefits – such as members-only discounts, a quarterly copy of Whiskeria magazine, exclusive competitions, members-only auctions and more – an annual membership will continue to delight your dad until next Father’s Day rolls round! For an extra special introduction to The W Club you can’t go wrong with the gift membership box, complete with whisky miniature, Glencairn glass, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 too.

Dram-a-Month Deluxe 1x5cl

– 1 MONTH ROLLING – £12.99

Dram-a-Month 1x5cl



3 MONTHS – £38.00 6 MONTHS – £77.00 12 MONTHS – £150.00 Turn your father into a whisky connoisseur and treat him to an adventure through the realm of rare and hard-to-find whiskies. Once a month, for the duration of his subscription, your dad will receive a 5cl sample of a very special whisky direct to his door. From aged and vintage expressions, to superb limited editions, this is a wonderful opportunity for him to sample exceptional and expensive liquids he may otherwise be unable to access – a truly unparalleled gift for whisky lovers!

– 1 MONTH ROLLING – £6.99 3 MONTHS – £20.00 6 MONTHS – £41.00 12 MONTHS – £80.00

Let us take your dad on a trip through the world of whisky, one dram at a time! We’ve got everything from new releases through to obscure drams and, every once in a while, a very special ‘Golden Dram’, which we post to recipients one 5cl sample bottle at a time on a monthly basis. If your dad is just starting his love affair with whisky and wants to expand his knowledge, this monthly treat is the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Father's Day Gift Guide ➛ Dad’s the word this June, and you can trust The Whisky Shop to help put a smile on your old man’s face. Give a gift that keeps on giving with one of our W Club whisky subscriptions, bond over your mutual good taste with a special gift box, or tell him exactly how much he means with a personalised engraving. The choice is yours.

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old Gift Pack

Loch Fyne The Living Cask Batch 4



What is it? This expression of the world’s best-selling single malt has been matured in a mix of ex-sherry casks and former bourbon barrels, which gives it greater complexity than its younger siblings.

What is it? The Living Cask is different every time it’s bottled: not a single malt, but a living marriage of carefully chosen malts. Batch 4 contains a beautiful mix of Islay and Speyside malts – stocks are topped up and then left to marry between batches, and each batch is always limited, always different and always a talking point.

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £80

What’s it like? The nose offers raisins, sultanas, vanilla and a dusting of cinnamon over apple. Full-bodied and creamy in the mouth, with sherry, dried fruits and brittle toffee. The finish is lengthy, with toffee and ginger. This is a cracking dram!


– 50CL | 43.6% VOL | £50

What’s it like? Fresh creamy vanilla aromas with a dry citrus burst, fresh pine needle and oak, opening over time to reveal fresh apple, pear and rhubarb with a sweet heather bouquet. The mouthfeel is creamy with a waxy texture, carrying abundant autumn fruits with cherry, peaches and plums combined with dry wood spice and a little cinnamon. Water releases softer sweeter flavours; marshmallow and creamy coconut with a hint of wood smoke on the finish.

The Loch Fyne Chocolate & Orange Liqueur WITH GLASSES – 50CL | 40% VOL | £45

What is it? At the heart of this warming liqueur are the whiskies that make up the deliciously smooth Loch Fyne Blend. Presented in a stylish gift box alongside two classic Glencairn glasses, it’s the perfect dram for sharing with your dad. What’s it like? Reminiscent of Terry’s Chocolate Orange: the nose promises a fresh top-note of tangerine peel, gradually deepening to orange, on a milk chocolate base. The texture is smooth, the taste sweet but never cloying thanks to the continuing presence of fresh orange, with hints of coffee and spice. The finish is much the same: rich cocoa and citrus with a slight smokiness, too.

Glenkeir Treasures Secret Highland

Customer Favourites Miniatures Gift Pack

– 50CL | 40% VOL | £50

– 4X5CL | (VARIOUS %) | £33

What is it? This mysterious single malt is a limited release that is exclusively available at The Whisky Shop. Part of the Glenkeir Treasures range, every whisky that bears the label is unique, different and special. We guarantee its quality and we confidently expect that it will bring great pleasure to all who enjoy it.

What is it? Our ‘Customer Favourites’ represent an ever-evolving selection of products The Whisky Shop customers simply love to drink, and this gift pack contains four of our current most-popular: BenRiach 10 Year Old, Glen Scotia Double Cask, GlenDronach 12 Year Old and Glenfarclas 10 Year Old. Read more about each whisky in the Customer Favourites section.

What’s it like? The nose offers sun-scorched grass and buttered toffee. The palate brings lightly peated flavours with an oily texture, while vanilla flavours act as a counter balance. The finish is dry with ash, smoke and a touch of white pepper.

Clan Brewing Co. Whisky Beers 4 VARIETIES AVAILABLE

– 4X330ML | 8% VOL

What is it? Craft beers from Clan Brewing Company, finished in a range of whisky casks from Scotland’s four predominant whisky-making regions. Created in conjunction with whisky legend, Charlie MacLean. What’s it like? Red Rye Ale: Barrel aged in Speyside single malt whisky casks to create a wonderfully complex ale with a fruity character offset by a blend of citrus-dominant hops.


| £5 EACH/£20 FOR 4

Golden Ale: An elegantly complex ale that has been carefully crafted to allow sweet malt and tropical fruit aromas to emerge without being overpowering. Imperial Stout: Finishing in Lowland single malt whisky casks produces a rich, dark and intensely flavourful Imperial Stout packed with burnt coffee and lemon scents, skillfully balanced by sweet sherry and raisin. Spruce Ale: Barrel aged in Islay single malt whisky casks, this is a smoky, fruity, intense and fullbodied beer made using the finest Scottish spruce.

Father's Day Gift Guide ➛ Dad’s the word this June, and you can trust The Whisky Shop to help put a smile on your old man’s face. Give a gift that keeps on giving with one of our W Club whisky subscriptions, bond over your mutual good taste with a special gift box, or tell him exactly how much he means with a personalised engraving. The choice is yours.

BenRiach ‘Classic & Peated’ Miniatures Gift Pack

GlenDronach Classic Miniatures Gift Pack

Jura: The Collection Miniatures Gift Pack

What is it? An opportunity to experience four different expressions from the acclaimed BenRiach Distillery. This gift set includes a 5cl miniature each of BenRiach 10 Year Old Curiositas, BenRiach 12 Year Old, BenRiach 16 Year Old and BenRiach Authenticas 21 Year Old, promising a journey through characteristic Speyside flavours such as honey, caramel, vanilla, wood and even a hint of peat.

What is it? Known for producing lavishly sherried Speyside single malts, GlenDronach Distillery's whiskies are a truly indulgent gift for 'big sherry' fans. This set explores the rich, spicy, dried fruit and chocolate flavours GlenDronach is famed for, with a miniature each of the 12, 15 and 18 year old expressions.

What is it? Hailing from the only whisky distillery on the Hebridean Isle of Jura, this intriguing gift box promises a taste of the island’s curiously unique spirit via three 5cl miniatures: Jura 10 Year Old Origin, Jura 16 Year Old Diurachs’ Own, and Jura Superstition. A great gift for wildcard whisky drinkers – expect the unexpected in every dram!

– 4X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £30


– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £30.50

– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £20

Glenfarclas Miniatures Gift Pack

Loch Lomond Miniatures Gift Pack

Glen Scotia Miniatures Gift Pack

Inchmurrin Miniatures Gift Pack

– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £30

– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £25

– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £24

– 3X5CL | (VARIOUS%) | £28

What is it? A visit to Speyside’s iconic, family-owned Glenfarclas Distillery via three 5cl tasting bottles: Glenfarclas 10 Year Old, Glenfarclas 12 Year Old and the Glenfarclas 105. Reputed for producing big, bold whiskies with lashings of dried fruit, spice, honey and sherry, you can’t go far wrong with a Glenfarclas gift set!

What is it? The whiskies released under the name ‘Loch Lomond’ represent Loch Lomond Distillery’s unusual and diverse output, marrying the fruit-driven distillery style with subtle peat and smoke. This collection assembles Loch Lomond three current highland single malt offerings, the Loch Lomond Original, 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old.

What is it? Take your taste buds to Scotland’s forgotten whisky-making capital, Campbeltown, with the Glen Scotia gift pack, and experience three exceptional variations representing the distillery’s signature single malt style combining sea spray, spicy aromatic fruits, vanilla and oak influence: Glen Scotia 15 Year Old, Glen Scotia Double Cask and Glen Scotia Victoriana.

What is it? Inchmurrin is one of the fantastic brands released by Loch Lomond Distillery as part of their Island Collection, and represents the fruitier un-peated style of single malt produced on site. This gift pack contains the Inchmurrin 12 Year Old, 18 Year Old and Madeira Finish expressions, taking you on a journey through from light and floral, through smooth and sweet, to lusciously rich marzipan and nutmeg.


Gin O’Clock ➛ While whisky is our primary passion, there’s always time for gin. The plethora of new UK distilleries has seen a surge in gin production as distillers either wait patiently for their whisky to reach appropriate maturation, or seek to expand their repertoire, allowing us to taste their house style in a deliciously different form!

Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin Gift Tin

Eden Mill Original Gin

The Loch Fyne Botanical Gin

– 20CL | 40% VOL | £20

– 70CL | 42% VOL | £39

– 50CL | 42% VOL | £24

What is it? Presented in a limited edition gift tin, this 20cl is made with Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin, blended with the juice of rhubarb from a crop originally grown in the kitchen garden of Buckingham Palace during the reign of Queen Victoria.

What is it? Eden Mill Distillery’s story began in St. Andrews in 1810 when the Haig distillers first made whisky there. Resurrected in 2012, the current Eden Mill Distillery produces beer, whisky and gin – each beverage inspiring and influencing the other. Their gin is traditionally crafted by hand using copper stills, and the original recipe uses locally sourced seabuckthorn.

What is it? Another delightful hand-crafted product from the Loch Fyne Whiskies workshop, where the staff possess an intimate understanding of what customers like. This gin stands out in the ever-expanding marketplace with a clever infusion of Scottish maritime botanicals.

What’s it like? This alluring pink gin is voluptuous on the palate with a sweet and tangy royal rhubarb explosion. Best enjoyed with plenty of ice and your choice of tonic. Read more from Charles MacLean in New Releases.


What’s it like? Eden Mill Original Gin has a unique tart berry flavour balanced with other botanicals such as lemon balm and citrus peel. Very smooth and soft on the tongue, spices of juniper and green pepper are followed by bitter drying cranberries and seabuckthorn, before a sweet orange and lychee note on the finish.

What’s it like? A classy, balanced and distinctive gin with plenty of aromatic appeal and a lingering, sweet herbal finish. At the heart are juniper, coriander and orange peel, complemented by the addition of sea buckthorn, heather pearls, lemon peel and traditional milk thistle seed to create a light, subtly Scottish gin. A joy to drink.

The Botanist – 70CL | 46% VOL | £39

What is it? The Botanist is a small-batch, artisanal Islay gin made using nine of the classic gin aromatics, augmented with a heady harvest of 22 local botanicals from the Hebridean island of Islay. It is then slow 'simmer' distilled in a unique Lomond pot-still, affectionately known by former head distiller Jim McEwan as 'Ugly Betty'. What’s it like? A highly distinctive, complex, floral gin with outstanding finish and impeccable provenance. Seductively smooth to start, aromas range from menthol to citrus, summer flowers to honey and coconut from gorse. The palate is luxuriously rich and mellow, with a citrus freshness and myriad flavours.


Customer Favourites ➛ The whiskies our customers love provide a happy hunting ground for shoppers. From the smoky Islays to sumptuously sherried drams and everything between, there is something here for everyone.

BenRiach 10 Year Old Curiositas

BenRiach 20 Year Old

GlenDronach 12 Year Old

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £45

– 70CL | 43% VOL | £88

– 70CL | 43% VOL | £45

What is it? A Speyside peated malt may seem curious, but this BenRiach actually represents a return to original 19th century Speyside form. Peat richness is accomplished by using malted barley dried in the traditional way over peat infused kilns, achieving the optimum balance of peatbittersweet and oak infusion after 10 years’ maturation. The undoubtedly peaty nose also promises fragrant honey, while the palate boasts peat smoke followed by a complex mix of heather, nuts, oak wood and spice.

What is it? A classic single malt from BenRiach, aged for 20 years in ex-bourbon casks for a gloriously elegant, smooth finish. Full-bodied, it boasts a multifaceted aroma layering spice, nuts, honey, floral and fruity notes. The palate is beautifully round and rich with everything from sweet honey and vanilla, to herbal complexity, woody spice and freshness from mint and green apple. The finish is just as complex and lingering.

What is it? A signature single malt from the distillery famous for its richly sherried offering. Matured in both Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, it is imbued with an indulgent portfolio of flavours – beginning with aromas of stewed fruits, rhubarb and bramble jam, plus hints of hazel and brown sugar. There’s even a faint charcoal smokiness. The palate follows with rich sherried fruit, Turkish delight, and aniseed complexity. The finish is rich yet clean; spicy yet perfectly balanced.

GlenDronach 18 Year Old Allardice

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

anCnoc 12 Year Old

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £90

– 70CL | 46.3% VOL | £100

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £42

What is it? Created using waters from the Dronac Burn – which has lent its name to the GlenDronach Distillery – this a superbly complex single malt made in the characteristic big sherry style. An ode to James Allardice, who founded the distillery and produced the very first drops of ‘guid Glendronach’, this expression has been matured in the finest Oloroso sherry casks. Rich and dark, it promises remarkable depth of flavour with stewed fruits and allspice.

What is it? Originating from Islay’s north tip, and the distillery whose names translates to mean ‘mouth of the river’, comes a single malt that’s a wee bit different to its island contemporaries. Created using unpeated malted barley and pure spring waters that flow away from the peaty moorlands, Bunnahabhain is known for its unique fruit and nut style. This 18 Year Old expression adds extra sweet and spice to the mix thanks to a little longer in the cask.

What is it? A whisky whose name isn’t taken directly from its home distillery, anCnoc comes from the Highland Knockdhu Distillery. Established in 1894 as the perfect embodiment of a modern distillery, Knockdhu lies on the border of Speyside and produces light, intriguing, forward-thinking whisky. Matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, sherry and second-fill American oak casks, this expression is delicate yet complex, smooth yet challenging, and universally loved for it!

Bruichladdich The Laddie Scottish Barley

– 70CL | 50% VOL | £50

What is it? Still made to distilling legend Jim McEwan’s original 100% Scottish barley recipe: trickle distilled, matured on the shores of Loch Indaal and crafted from a selection of casks. Described as being “smooth as pebbles in a pool”, expect barley sugar with subtle mint developing to a freshly cut meadow on the nose. Brilliantly clean on the palate, barley and oak are followed by a gust of ripe green fruit, sweet malt, brown sugar and a warm finish.

Customer Favourites ➛ The whiskies our customers love provide a happy hunting ground for shoppers. From the smoky Islays to sumptuously sherried drams and everything between, there is something here for everyone.

Glenfarclas 10 Year Old

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old

The Dalmore 12 Year Old

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £45

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £60

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £50

What is it? One of Speyside’s most famous whisky producers also happens to be one of the last remaining familyowned distilleries in Scotland. Boasting a huge range of muchloved whiskies, Glenfarclas is somewhat fabled amongst Scotch drinkers, and this 10 year old is a perennial favourite. The nose is rich with Christmas cake, sherry, raisins, nuts and spice plus a hint of smoke. The palate is surprisingly dry, before sweetening to a full body. The finish is long, nutty and also dry – a real classic.

What is it? Awarded 95/100 in Jim Murray’s 2007 Whisky Bible, this 46% VOL Speyside whisky certainly leaves a lasting impression, and remains a family favourite amongst the Grant clan. The nose is complex – rich sherried notes and delicious peat balance out with light butterscotch and dried fruit. The palate is full bodied with big sherry character, malt and peat, leading to a sweet and gently smoky finish.

What is it? It’s not surprising that our former Whisky of The Year retains its status as a firm favourite amongst The Whisky Shop customers. To recap for those who haven’t yet dipped a toe into The Dalmore portfolio, this single malt is a Highland triumph displaying signs of sherry wood maturation: full-bodied, thick, sweet and ‘muscular’. Leathery notes and a long spicy finish add finesse and make this popular dram an absolute must-try.


The Dalmore 15 Year Old

Balblair 1999

Balblair 2005

Jura ‘Diurachs’ Own’ 16 Year Old

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £70

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £77

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £56

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £56

What is it? Matured for 15 years in a trio of ex-sherry casks, as well as exbourbon barrels, The Dalmore’s 15 Year Old is another core range whisky for your bucket list. A stylistic evolution from The Dalmore’s famous 12 Year Old and just as popular, you can expect a similarly varied profile of chocolate orange sweetness, gentle spice and rich warmth. It’s a true testament to the distillery’s creative and ambitious approach.

What is it? A full-bodied Highland single malt created at one of Scotland’s oldest and prettiest distilleries. Truly representative of the Balblair house style, the initial aromas are of brown bread and butter that later develop to light vanilla and ground almonds. The palate also takes a journey from sweet to spicy thanks to time in Spanish oak ex-sherry butts. Salty flavours are present at full strength, and water enhances the maritime character with a faint oiliness, creating a softer dram overall.

What is it? The first release of the 2005 expression from Balblair – who mark themselves out by bottling by year, rather than vintage. Matured in ex-Bourbon casks, there’s definite honey and vanilla present in this predominantly sweet dram. The nose is all oaky vanilla and citrus with a suggestion of fragrant cut flowers. The palate is reminiscent of citrus and orchard fruits that lift the intense sweetness and lead to a delectably long, spicy finish.

What is it? Named for the people of Jura, this whisky gives you a true taste of the unique Hebridean isle, as defined by those who know it best! Jura’s dram of the people has been treated to double wood maturation in American white oak ex-bourbon and ex-Amoroso Oloroso sherry casks; combined, they’ve lent the whisky a curiously bold character. You’ll detect flavours of Christmas cake, dark chocolate and dried fruit from nose to toasty finish.

Customer Favourites ➛ The whiskies our customers love provide a happy hunting ground for shoppers. From the smoky Islays to sumptuously sherried drams and everything between, there is something here for everyone.

Jura Prophecy

Glen Scotia 15 Year Old

Glen Scotia Double Cask

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £65

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £60

– 70CL | 46% VOL | £43

What is it? A heavily peated expression from Jura Distillery, with a drier and smokier flavour than the ‘standard’ peated Jura Superstition. Released in small batches, it is complex and briny with strong spicy sea spray at the fore. Many taste peat smoke laced with fresh cinnamon in this intensely aromatic whisky with a long lasting flavour.

What is it? This confident Campbeltown single malt originates from a distillery that’s been going strong since 1832. Non-chill filtered and aged in American oak, it’s a triumph of flavour with everything from citrus to oak, ginger snaps to apricots and a hint of caramel, perfectly representing a region that many Scotch drinkers have overlooked in recent decades, but is finally experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity!

What is it? Another cracking Campbeltown dram with plenty of ‘oomph’! This double cask matured whisky balances vanilla-infused oak with salty sea-air tones in an ode to the distillery’s coastal location and its time in first-fill bourbon barrels as well as Pedro Ximénez casks. The latter have lent bold fruit and spice to the mix, creating a whisky of wonderful depth and character.

Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve

Bowmore Laimrig

Talisker Port Ruighe

– 70CL | 40% VOL | £54

– 70CL | 54.1% VOL | £70

– 70CL | 45.8% VOL | £52

What is it? Maturation in custom-made sherry casks from Jerez, southern Spain (despite costing around five times as much as American ex-bourbon equivalents), gives this whisky a unique, dried fruit and resinous character that underpins the sherry top notes. Expect orange peel, fruit cake, vanilla, gingerbread, black cherries and pear drops on the nose, ginger, spice and oaky notes with an explosion of crème brûlée on the palate.

What is it? Bottled exclusively for The Whisky Shop, ‘Laimrig’ is the Scottish Gaelic for 'pier' and celebrates Bowmore's ancient stone pier where the distillery's celebrated single malt first set sail for the four corners of the world. Finished in the finest Spanish sherry butts, the cask strength, non-chill filtered Bowmore Laimrig has a rich, dark character and colour. The palate is full-bodied, with a luxurious raisin and sherry taste, complemented by wood smoke and benefitted by a splash of water. The finish is long and spicy and smoky.

What is it? The whisky gurus at Talisker Distillery have taken their seminal Isle of Skye malt and finished it in ruby port casks to create the fantastically rich and fruity Port Ruighe. The nose moves from sea-spray to waxy aromas with a little sweetness. This is mirrored on the palate, with Talisker’s classic maritime character being rounded off and dramatically sweetened by the Port finish. The finish includes cocoa and oak, with even a hint of citrus.

➛ Directory 2017 The W Club Join The W Club and you will receive all future editions of Whiskeria. ➛

Online Visit ➛ to buy your whisky the easy way and discover news, reviews, tasting notes, deals, and more! ➛ ➛




London Piccadilly 0207 499 6649

Gateshead MetroCentre 01914 603777

Glasgow Buchanan Galleries 0141 331 0022

London Paternoster Sq 0207 329 5117

Manchester 3 Exchange St 0161 832 6110

Edinburgh Waverley Mall 0131 558 7563

Lakeside York Lakeside Shopping 11 Coppergate W Centre 01904 640300 01708 866255

Edinburgh Victoria St 0131 225 4666

Brighton 64 East St 01273 327962

Stoke-on-Trent Trentham Gardens 01782 644483

Inverness 17 Bridge St 01463 710525

Guildford 25 Chapel St. 01483 450900

Nottingham 3 Cheapside 0115 958 7080

Fort William 93 High St 01397 706164

Bath 9–10 High St. 01225 423 535

Birmingham Unit 9, Gt Western Arcade 0121 223 4416

Oban 52 George St 01631 570896

Oxford 7 Turl St 01865 202279 Norwich 3 Swan Lane 01603 618284

France Paris 7 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 +33 1 45 22 29 77


Whiskeria app The Whiskeria app is now available on all Apple, Android and Kindle devices Click & Collect Now it’s even easier to buy at The Whisky Shop. Visit our website to use our Click & Collect service to pick up from any of our stores across the UK.



Available in select stores from June 1st 2017, while stocks last. 83


| distillery visit

Expanding an Empire

Get to know The Macallan distillery, past, present and future, with Gavin Smith

Knowledge Bar The Macallan

Today’s iconic Macallan single malt first saw the light of day in 1824, when the distillery was licensed to Alexander Reid, a barley farmer and school teacher. He leased eight acres of land from the Earl of Seafield for the purpose of constructing his whisky-making enterprise. For much of its subsequent existence, the distillery was in the hands of the Kemp family, with the Japanese distilling giant Suntory acquiring a 25 per cent of the stocks in what had become Macallan-Glenlivet plc in 1986. A decade later Highland Distilleries Ltd bought the rest of the stocks, and in 1999 the privately-held Edrington Group acquired a majority shareholding in The Macallan.

Macallan Estate









Barely a week seems to go by without an announcement of the establishment of a new Scottish ‘craft’ distillery, but at the opposite end of the spectrum, ‘super distilleries’ are also big news. On Speyside, both Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet are undertaking ambitious expansion projects, as they battle for supremacy as the world’s best-selling single malt. In third place in this global hierarchy in terms of volume sales is the mighty Macallan, but it is now the number one brand by value in malt whisky, having grown its worldwide sales by over 40 per cent during the last five years. Now, The Macallan too is expanding its distillation capabilities, with the construction of an entirely new distillery, close to the existing plant, and in the shadow of the iconic Easter Elchies House, which dates from 1700. Once operational next year, the existing distillery will cease to be used for day-to-day production, but will assume a valuable ‘backroom’ role as the venue for experimentation and new product development. “Our plan for the estate includes a contemporary distillery that embodies the international style of The Macallan and builds on the brand’s tradition of quality and craftsmanship,” says Ian Curle, Chief Executive of The Edrington Group which owns The Macallan. According to architects Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners,


“The new building will provide a facility capable of increased production and also allow for easy expansion in years to come. Internally, a series of production cells are arranged in a linear format with an open-plan layout revealing all stages of the process at once. These cells are reflected above the building in the form of a gently undulating roof, formed by a timber gridshell. Grass-covered peaks will rise and fall from The Macallan estate grounds, signalling to approaching visitors the activities housed beneath. Set into the naturally sloping contours of the site, the design makes direct references to ancient Scottish earthworks.” Once operational, the new plant will increase annual capacity from its present 11 million litres to 15 million litres. Renowned local coppersmithing firm Forsyth’s are the main contractor for the processing side of the project. “We’re responsible for everything,” notes company chairman Ricard Forsyth. “It’s a £100 million-plus contract – the biggest ever construction job in the Scotch whisky industry. We are making 36 stills for Macallan, all replicas of those already in place.” The unique Macallan stills are one of the most important features of the distillery and the spirit it produces, and are one of the ‘Six Pillars’ identified by the distillers as “…the foundation stones for the fame and character of The Macallan.”


| distillery visit

The distillery describes them as ‘Curiously Small Stills’ noting that they are amongst the smallest in use on Speyside. “Their unique size and shape give the spirit maximum contact with the copper, helping to concentrate the ‘new make’ spirit and provide the rich, fruity, full-bodied flavours characteristic of The Macallan,” they claim. Another contributory factor to the character of the whisky is the use of 20 per cent of the Momentum variety of barley, along with 80 per cent Concerto. The Macallan is the only Scottish distillery still using Momentum, and it is said to help generate the rich, sweet characteristics required in the new make spirit. The Macallan ferments its wort for a relatively short period of 50 hours in order to create the rich, malty wash required, and is also known to take an extremely narrow ‘cut’ of spirit from the stills. That cut begins at 72% ABV and stops when the strength falls to 68% ABV, producing a full, oily spirit. That is only the first part of The Macallan story, however, as the distillers are every bit as particular about the way they mature their spirit as they are about the way they make it. The Macallan’s annual wood bill is around the £42 million mark, and more than 80 per cent of all former sherry casks imported to Scotland are for The Macallan. Casks are only used twice for The Macallan maturation, which necessarily adds to the already formidable wood budget. The distillery sources its own timber, with American White Oak principally being harvested in the eastern states of the USA, while European oak tends to come from Northern Spain and France. The wood is airdried in traditional style at the site where it is felled and then transported to Southern Spain. Here The Macallan works with five separate cooperages based around the sherry capital of Jerez, where European and American oak is made into 500-litre butts and filled with Oloroso sherry for an 18-month ‘seasoning’ period, prior to transportation to Scotland. In addition to sherry casks, The Macallan also employs a proportion of former Bourbon casks, which are used to age spirit destined to be mixed with sherry cask-matured whisky for the Fine Oak range.

Over many years, The Macallan has come to be recognised as one of the world’s great whiskies, and indeed one of its great spirits, attracting avid collectors from all over the world. There have been enduring collaborations with prestige companies, such as furniture maker Viscount Linley, who created a bespoke whisky cabinet from English Burr Oak, complete with six bottles of vintage Macallan malt whisky, dating from 1937, 1940, 1948, 1955, 1966 and 1970. The ensemble sells at Harrods in London for £55,000. There is also the on-going Masters of Photography series, which combines exclusive bottlings with unique photographic items from leading contemporary photographers Rankin, Albert Watson, Annie Leibovitz, Elliott Erwitt, Mario Testino and most recently Steven Klein. Perhaps the most celebrated collaboration of them all, however, is with the French glassware manufacturer Lalique, and in 2010 The Macallan 64-year-old in Lalique Cire Perdue achieved a Guinness World Record of $460,000 at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, with all proceeds going to ‘charity:water.’ Even more remarkably, however, The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection sold for a recordbreaking US$993,000 in Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong on 2 April of this year. All net proceeds were donated to Hong Kong-based and other Asian charities. The set of six crystal decanters, containing the rarest of The Macallan’s single malts aged from 50 to 65 years old, marks the final chapter in the prestigious Six Pillars collection, which features limitededition decanters by The Macallan and Lalique. The Macallan may command such stratospheric sums of money for its rarest bottlings, but at the more affordable end of the market there is also plenty of choice. The core 1824 Series features three non-agestatement expressions titled according to their colour, namely Gold, Amber, and Sienna. The Sherry Oak range extends from 10 to 30-year-old variants, while Fine Oak runs from a 10 to a 25-year-old, and a new permanent expression appeared in the spring of last year. Named 12-year-old Double Cask, it is matured in a mix of sherry-seasoned European oak and


American oak casks, and is proving notably popular across a range of international markets. The Macallan has also created The 1824 Masters Series, which comprises five expressions housed in bespoke decanters, with the ultimate variant in the collection being M, described as “The halo of the whole series and the world’s most valuable single malt whisky.” For those consumers and collectors who favour vintage bottlings, the Fine & Rare series has been offering selected vintages since 2002, with the oldest released to date being distilled in 1926. Whatever the depths of one’s pockets, it is possible to be part of the ongoing Macallan legacy, whether it be through drinking Gold or a bottling that is more than 50 years old. When the ‘new’ Macallan distillery comes on stream next year, it will constitute a fresh and exciting chapter in a much-loved story. Read more about The Macallan’s latest Masters of Photography release on p.29 and discover some of our favourite bottlings on p.66.



| travel

Enjoy the silence‌

Surreal and serene in equal parts, the glittering expanses of Arctic archipelago, Svalbard, provide Claire Bell with a crisp new perspective. —

Knowledge Bar

Svalbard Norway

Grid Ref: 77.8º North 20.9º East Population: 2642 Discovered in in 1596 by the Dutch explorer, William Barents A Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Native animals include Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, polar bears, whales, seals, dolphins, and walruses Svalbard’s three main industries are coal mining, tourism, and research





It was midnight when the boat turned into dramatic Trollfjorden – the fjord of the trolls. The sun, though still high in the sky, was hidden by a thick grey curtain, and the wind funneled down craggy, towering mountains and spat in our faces. It had taken us five days to get this far. We had joined the MS Sea Endurance, a small adventure cruise ship, in Bygstad, a scattered community spread over forested hills on the edge of the Dalsfjorden. From there we had tracked up the undulating coastline of Norway, which is a bit like an unremarkable doorway hiding magnificent treasures. We had gone ashore to see the Briksdal glacier – the largest in mainland Europe – but it was only once the Lofoten Islands rose out of the sea that the magic of the Arctic began to reveal itself. The Lofotens are a Tolkein­-esque barrier of serrated peaks locked in ice and snow. A, the first place in the world’s atlas, is a jumble of rust-red fishermen’s huts clustered around a rocky harbour. The Arctic cod that once sustained this little community, now counting about 80 souls, no longer come into the bay to spawn, so now the locals fish for tourists. We spent a few pleasant hours listening to stories of times gone by, but our stop here, as well as our sojourn into the fjord of the trolls, was just a stepping stone on our journey to a land much further north: Svalbard. Discovered in 1596 by the Dutch explorer, William Barents, Svalbard is a barren, frozen archipelago, 835 miles from the North Pole. During the 1600s it was a centre for coastal whaling, a cruel, unrelenting industry that ended when there were no whales left, and

since then has been home to hunters, coal miners and even more recently, Arctic scientists from the University of Tromso. In the last three years two bowhead whales have been seen in Svalbard waters, the first for more than 300 years, and as we continue north, we spot two humpbacks, mother and calf, both blowing, and then a few hours later half a dozen fin whales, which according to Olle, our onboard lecturer, are the Ferraris of the whale world, able to swim at 20mph, despite weighing 120 tons. Leaping among them, and off our bow wave, were dolphins, obviously having a whale of a time. Our next stop was Bear Island – Bjørnøya – an unwelcoming hunk of iron-bound rock shrouded in fog that was christened by Barents in 1596 after he spotted a polar bear swimming near the island. Today it is home to a Norwegian meteorological station, and a club for nude dippers that has around 2,000 members, including the Norwegian Justice and Defence Ministers. To qualify you have to duck your head under water and be witnessed by member of opposite sex. We see no bears, nor bare bums, but are amused by the story of a scientist who went out one Polar night to take meteorological readings. The rule of the Arctic is that you never go outside without a gun – humans are polar bear food – but he had been drinking vodka and playing cards, and forgot. Lo and behold, he spotted a bear. He managed to barricade himself inside another hut, but was trapped. Luckily he spotted a short-wave radio, which he cranked up and found himself greeted by a Spanish voice – from Santiago de Chile. He explained his predicament and the Chilean got


| travel

on his bicycle, cycled to the telegraph station, faxed the Polar Research Institute in Oslo, who eventually got the message to his card-playing colleagues who came out, scared away the bear and rescued him. We spot our first bear the following day. We wake early to a clinking on the hull, and pull back the curtain to find we are in an ice flow – tiny shimmering white icebergs all around, under a canopy of a brilliant blue sky. Dressed in thick layers and waterproof clothing, we join men with guns on inflatable boats (zodiacs), and step ashore onto tundra of soft moss and lichen, backed by the Singing Mountain, so named for the constant hum of the thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and little auks that nest in its crags. Beneath the singing peak is an old trapper’s hut with the name ‘Odd Ivar Ruud’ inscribed in wood above the door, a hunter who lived here for 7 or 8 years in the 1970s, trapping Arctic fox and bears. In Ruud’s biography he wrote: “I will lead my own life. Nobody bosses me.” Stout wooden poles barricade the door and the windows are boarded with wood and protruding nails to deter bears. Clearly they are needed. The external fabric of the hut is scarred by bear claws. Although ice has invaded the front room with two bunk beds, the back room with beds and a stove is surprisingly warm and cosy and, on a shelf, beside spices with Polish labels (there is a Polish research station in the fjord), is a dog-eared copy of Robinson Crusoe. Back on the boat, we take a tour of the bay, and there we spot him, within 50 metres of our zodiac, a lone bear, ambling along shore towards the hut from where we had just come. For a moment he lifts his head, smells us, looks at us, then lumbers along. We keep watching. He climbs a slight rise, then slides down the other side on his tummy. At the bottom he rolls over onto his back, legs in air, then stands up, shakes like a dog, and continues with a zen-like calm, a wandering Buddha of the Arctic. The polar bear is not the only gentle giant of the northlands. Later that day, we go ashore at Prins Karl Foreland to see a colony of walrus. It is a low-lying spit littered with driftwood from Russia, brought by Arctic currents, and

from the Caribbean by the Gulf Stream. A furry mound of sabre-toothed walrus loll around the shore, occasionally scratching themselves with flippers. A young male grumbles a warning of our presence, and a couple of older beasts raise their heads for a quick look, lose interest, and collapse back to sleep. We continue north to Ny-Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement, which began as a coalmine and, since 1964, has been an international research village. The village has remnants of past endeavours including an old railway engine used to transport coal, and an airship mast, used in 1926 and 1928 for Norwegian and Italian polar expeditions. In 1926, Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile flew across the Pole to Alaska in the airship, Norge. Two years later Nobile crashed on the ice on a second flight, and Amundsen’s plane disappeared near Bear Island on a mission to rescue his friend. One of the oldest and ugliest buildings in the settlement is a grey, concrete tower that was part of the coalmine. On its upper floor an area has been covered with whitewash, and someone has painted a cross and the figure of 72 – the number of men killed there in mine accidents. The worst were in December 1948 when 15 men died, and on 5th November 1962 when 21 lost their lives. Those whose bodies were recovered had to be preserved in cold storage for many months, throughout the long polar night, until ships returned with the return of the light. What strikes you most about the Arctic is not just the absence of colour, but the lack of scent and sound. On our last day aboard, we cruise to the head of Kongsfjord and while everyone else goes off in zodiacs to look at glaciers, I drag a deckchair to the upper deck, and sit in solitude as the boat swings on its anchor, forming complex patters of wavelets in the fjord. In utter silence I watch the graceful flight of fulmars gliding low over the water, the crumpled chaos of glaciers tumbling down to the sea, and a bird bathing in the water below the ship, its ducking and flapping creating concentric circles in smooth water.


We spent our last day in the Arctic ashore in Longyearbyen, a lively little town with a smattering of bars, clothing stores and even an indoor swimming pool. Our lodging is Mary Ann’s Polariggen, a quirky hotel made from joined-together prefabs, where we spot two more polar bears – one stuffed in the living room, and one in the form of a coat, given to Mary Ann by a hunter. Cruella de Vil, eat your heart out. Eva, a young woman with piercing blue eyes, takes us to a glacier above giant satellite dishes that track the aurora borealis during the polar night, where we meet Amoq, a big, powerful Greenlandic sled dog and a veteran of Polar expeditions. Together with 7 other Svalbard huskies, we set off by sledge into the mountains, and Eva taps her gun and assures us not to worry about Polar bears: she has never seen one on this route, and besides, she used to be a sniper in the Latvian Special Forces. I had been wary of travelling to the far reaches of the Arctic, of being in a place that does not support human life, and where I was food. But as the plane headed south, and we watched the world turn from ice and blue to green again, I felt I was leaving behind Mother Nature’s silent place, the haven where she goes to restore her sanity, maintains balance amidst the hurly burly of all her children. The next morning, at breakfast in an Oslo hotel, I found a little message tucked inside my napkin. “If you can understand the miracle of one flower, your whole world will change.” I think I finally did.










| a time in history

Return to Campbeltown Brian Wilson explores the history of Scotland’s former whisky capital


Knowledge Bar Campbeltown Grid Ref: 55.4º North 5.6º West Population: 4,852 Campbeltown Whisky Festival will be held on Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th May, 2017. Campbeltown is the westernmost town of Great Britain (not counting the port of Mallaig). It is located by Campbeltown Loch on the Kintyre Pensinula, Argyle and Bute, Scotland. There’s a well known folk song about the town’s distilling history titled ‘Campbeltown Loch, I Wish You Were Whisky’. Currently home to three active distilleries: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank. You can reach Campbeltown via a scheduled airplane service from Glasgow International Airport.







. Edinburgh

Imagine a single town with more than 20 thriving whisky distilleries and the roar of commercial activity generated by that booming trade. There is only one community in Scotland that has ever answered to that description and it is Campbeltown, the lost capital of Scotch Whisky. Nowadays, Campbeltown tends to be dismissed as a place in search of a purpose, situated at the end of a long road to nowhere. A glance at the map of Scotland’s west coast explains why that was far from being its historic identity, as well as hinting at potential which waits to be revived. If you forget political boundaries and current transport arrangements, Campbeltown is not out on a limb at the end of the Kintyre peninsula but at the centre of a continuum which links Scotland to Ireland. At its narrowest point, the gap between the Mull of Kintyre and the Antrim coast is just eleven nautical miles. Therein lay the origins of Campbeltown’s whisky identity. For centuries, Antrim and Kintyre were two sides of the same coin, linked by the sea and a common culture. The Gaelic spoken in the Glens of Antrim was closer to Scottish than to Irish. Even into the last century, the favoured sport of the Glens was the Scottish game of shinty rather than its Irish cousin, hurling. The art of distilling was brought to Kintyre from Ireland, possibly by the hereditary physicians to the Lords of the Isles. It flourished because water and sandy soil, ideal for producing grain and barley, were plentiful. Gradually, small-scale production evolved into a commercial industry, acquiring its own complex web of taxes and regulations by the early 19th century. Campbeltown (originally Ceannloch) had been established as a settlement by Act of Parliament in 1597, at the same time as Stornoway and what became Fort William. The 7th Earl of Argyll, entrusted with this initiative, brought in ‘settlers’ from Ayrshire to create a more rigorous work ethic than was attributed to the native Gaels. As the whisky industry took hold, they emerged as the entrepreneurial class behind the 93

proliferation of distilleries. In his ‘Reminiscences of a Gauger’, the Excise Officer, Joseph Pacy, recalled that when he arrived in Campbeltown in 1834 there were “about 30” distilleries. Pacy wrote: “Campbeltown whisky was somewhat celebrated, and was in great request both in the home and in the foreign markets. Distilled in stills of small size, and made from peat-dried malt, there was a flavour about it peculiar to itself, and which was much relished by consumers of that kind of spirit”. Pacy continued: “The peat-dried malt from which this whisky was produced was made from grain designated in Scotland as ‘Bere’ or ‘Bigg’, a small kind of barley grown on the light sandy soil of that country. The tax on that description of malt was something like one-fifth than that of malt made from barley – a kind of boon or protection to the grower of this lighter kind of grain”. Supplies were supplemented by barley brought in from Ireland, leading to a constant joust between distillers and Excise officers over the appropriate levels of taxation. Pacy wrote: “In every case where we considered barley had been introduced into stock surreptitiously, we laid the whole under seizure … The whole trade of Campbeltown was up in arms against us”! As a result, the Exciseman “had to endure a good deal of petty persecution” but, Pacy added nobly: “The more powerful the interest I had to combat, the more gratifying to my nature”. When the whisky historian, Alfred Barnard, visited Campeltown in 1886, he found “a most attractive place… its waters were teeming with life and hundreds of sail were riding safely at anchor on its ample bosom”. He also found 21 distilleries still in operation. However, the boom years would not last. Consolidation of ownership, growth of competition form Speyside and Islay, the First World War, followed by American Prohibition and the Great Depression, all took their toll on Campbeltown’s small distilleries. The low-point was reached in 1935 when there were only two left – Glen Scotia and Springbank, though neither was operational. However, December of that year brought news that both were to re-open. Of Springbank, the Campbeltown Courier reported: “The distillery has not worked since 1930 but the plant has been kept in perfect repair with the result that,


If you forget political boundaries and current transport arrangements, Campbeltown is not out on a limb at the end of the Kintyre peninsula but at the centre of a continuum which links Scotland to Ireland.

now that the prospects of the Scottish distilling industry have been improved, it is possible for an immediate start to be made”. Springbank is now the oldest Scotch Whisky distillery in continuous family ownership. As David Stirk notes in his history of Campbeltown’s distilleries: “Had Springbank not been a first-class malt (it was always lighter than the other Campbeltowns) then it would have disappeared like most of the others”. It also epitomises the history of the local industry since its founders, the Mitchells, “were part of the second mass migration of farmers from the Lowlands of Scotland to Kintyre around 1660” and distilled illegally on the same site, long before Springbank distillery was built. While whisky production in Campbeltown was restricted to just two distilleries, the Scotch Whisky Association removed the town’s name from its short list of separate classifications. However, that status was restored after the re-opening of Glengyle in 2004. As Stirk pointed out: “Now, there are as many working distilleries in Campbeltown as there are in the Lowlands”. The new wave of distillery building is likely to change the statistics – certainly in the Lowlands and possibly in Kintyre.

Since the decline of the whisky industry, Campbeltown has found it difficult to establish a sustainable new role even though public agencies have put much effort into meeting that challenge. For most of the post-war years, the status of nearby Macrihanish as a front-line NATO air base helped to provide employment but it was run down by the mid-‘90s. Campbeltown Shipyard built fine fishing boats but went into liquidation in the 1980s with the loss of 160 skilled jobs. The Highlands and Islands Development Board attracted Jaeger to Campbeltown which became the company’s production base for high quality ladies wear. However, the lure of cheaper foreign production finally caught up with that business in 2001 leaving another set of workers without an outlet for their skills. Next up was the Danish wind turbine company, Vestas. As a Minister, I was involved in approving substantial public investment to create the facility at Macrihanish which should have become a major manufacturing base for the rapidly expanding industry. However, developers preferred to import their hardware in spite of the vast subsidies which were coming from British consumers. The facility is now under Korean ownership and operates at a modest level.


This procession of industrial disappointments suggests that Campbeltown’s biggest asset might still lie in its proximity to Ireland. A ferry link cries out to be developed but that too has proved elusive. In the early 1970s, Western Ferries operated a service between Campeltown and Red Bay in Antrim but ‘the Troubles’ put an end to that, when security considerations required points of entry to be kept to a minimum. More recent attempts to create a regular car ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle came to little and the route no longer operates. For all that, Campbeltown continues to be a proud and distinctive community of 9000 people, set in one of Scotland’s outstanding locations. There is perennial optimism that a new role will emerge to put it at the centre of events rather than on the fringes and when that comes to pass, there will still be fine Campbeltown whisky with which to toast the future.


We use casks that once contained premium Caribbean rum to finish our 21 year old expression. Experience an intense, vanilla sweet aroma, floral with hints of banana, followed by a soft, lively taste with lime, ginger and spice with a complex and exceptionally long ending.

96 Our resident ‘taster in | expert tasting

chief’ Charles MacLean runs the rule over Hunter Laing’s ‘Authors’ Series’ No. 3 —

Illustration: Francesca Waddell

J hunter laing released a further four expressions of rare malt whisky in their Authors' Series at the end of 2016 and now these are exclusively available from The Whisky Shop. All are bottled at natural strength, without chill-filtration or artificial colouring. Each bottle is sealed with wax and presented in an elegant brown leather box, embossed with gold lettering. As well as being first rate drinking malts, the Authors’ range should also be attractive to collectors on account of their extreme rarity. As the website says: “they would look perfectly at home in the grandest of libraries”. In relation to the previous Authors’ Series, released in late 2015, director Scott Laing explained: “My brother and I both enjoy reading old books: we have a ‘First Editions’ range of single cask malts, and our Authors’ Series might be seen as an extension of this, just as Old & Rare is an extension of our Old Malt Cask range. We want to create a brand that is a tribute to great authors of the past; quite masculine in style – reminiscent of an oak paneled library, or a gentleman’s club”. It would be interesting to know how the brothers decided which author to pair with each malt. Here are my speculations… As well as twice being Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli was a popular and prolific novelist. Critics were divided as to the quality of his work, however, neatly summed up by Robert O’Kell:

"It is impossible to make Disraeli into a first-rate novelist. And it is equally impossible, no matter how much you deplore the extravagances and improprieties of his works, to make him into an insignificant one.” He is paired with Springbank, a glorious, old fashioned, grubby malt, which some think of as an acquired taste, but which most would include in their Top Ten. Jules Verne is sometimes described as ‘The Father of Science Fiction’ and, according to Wikipedia, is the second most translated author in the world, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare! Among his most famous novels is Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869), which features the Nautilus, an electrically-powered submarine far ahead of its time, commanded by Captain Nemo. No wonder Jules Verne is paired with Bruichladdich, who famously released Yellow Submarine to commemorate the finding of just such a vessel by an Islay fisherman. Its existence was long denied by the authorities, just as Captain Nemo kept his and his vessel’s existence secret. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria’s reign (1850-1892), was the first writer ever to be elevated to the peerage, but he was apparently somewhat uncomfortable as a peer, being “a passionate man, with some peculiarities of nature”.

Although one could hardly call Port Ellen (with which he’s paired) ‘poetic’, the prices that old expressions, like this 33 years old, fetch surely makes it the ‘aristocrat of Islays’, and is certainly has ‘some peculiarities’ which many are ‘passionate’ about… Finally, Victor Hugo and Probably Speyside's Finest. Born in 1802, the poet, novelist and playwright Victor Hugo is one of France’s greatest authors. His most famous works in this country are Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Significantly for our speculation about what whisky to pair him with, he was a leading light in the Romantic Movement which began in the late 18th century as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and was characterized by its celebration of emotion and individualism, its glorification of the past and awe in the contemplation of Nature. These factors will inevitably led the Laing brothers to Speyside, of which Aeneas Macdonald wrote: “It would be no true – or, at least, no very discerning – lover of whisky who could enter this almost sacred zone without awe.” ‘Glorification of the past’ demands an old whisky; ‘emotion’ is the proper reaction to such a whisky; ‘individualism’ implies that it should be chosen from a small or family distillery – I am giving nothing away! Draw your own conclusions! Alas I have not been able to taste it.

Expert Tasting: Summer 2017

Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series No.3 Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Port Ellen 1983 Islay Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 55.9%

Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series No.3 Jules Verne: Bruichladdich 1990 70CL

Islay Single Malt


Age: –

70CL Vol: 48.6%


9CT gold with moderate beading. The first impression on the nose is lightly oily, then a cool medicinal note creeps in (oil of cloves?) and a hint of camphor – the nose-feel effect is cooling. The taste is salty overall, mouth-drying, with fragrant smoke in the finish and aftertaste.

Pale gold with khaki lights. The first nose is reminiscent of dry sherry, attractively musty (fresh sack-cloth), with oak shavings, on a base of baked apple. The taste is dry and slightly salty, with apple coming through at the start and in the aftertaste.

Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series No.3 Benjamin Disraeli: Springbank 1996

Hunter Laing’s Authors’ Series No.3 Victor Hugo: ‘Probably Speyside’s Finest’ 1966

Campbeltown Single Malt Age: –

Vol: 57.5%


Speyside Single Malt


Age: –

70CL Vol: 51.1%



| the w club

Take the hump out of Wednesdays J the w club was re-launched in late 2016

with a simple aim: to provide customers of The Whisky Shop with a diverse and rewarding way in which to celebrate and appreciate their favourite spirit. Club members immediately began enjoying frequent and free local tasting events, an ever-changing roster of discounts in store and online at, and the opportunity to explore any of our three monthly whisky subscriptions. whisky wednesdays Another great benefit of W Club membership is Whisky Wednesday. We decided to take the ‘hump’ out of ‘hump day’ by introducing our spectacular Whisky Wednesday deals – every week we put a limited supply of five products on very special offer for just 24-hours, and only for W Club members. Kicking off at 10am each Wednesday, our sale has previously seen members snap up discounts including £65 off Glen Garioch 1998 Wine Finish, £75 off Laphroig 25 Year Old, and a whopping £650 price reduction on the Highland Park 40 Year Old! Whisky Wednesday deals are strictly limited, and unlikely to be repeated, so we recommend members snap them up ASAP.

the w club whisky auctions The W Club whisky auctions give our members the opportunity to obtain rare and discontinued gems. Whether an avid collector, or someone waiting to find and taste ‘the one that got away’, it’s well worth joining up and keeping your eye on our monthly auctions – because with no reserve price on many of the lots, there will be bargains. Our first whisky auction took a Japanese theme, with Hibiki 30 Year Old, Yamazaki Mizunara 2013, Yamazaki Puncheon and the extremely rare Yamazaki Sherry Cask all going under the virtual hammer. monthly subscriptions Offered individually, or as a fantastic add-on to annual W Club membership, our monthly subscriptions have been an immediate hit. Looking back at the whiskies included so far, it’s not surprising… The Dram-a-Month, which delivers a surprise 5cl dram to your door each month, has so far featured Glenfarclas 105, Loch Fyne The Living Cask Batch 4 and brand new Roe & Co. blended Irish whiskey (May ’17) to name but three. The Dram-a-Month Deluxe elevates recipients to the next level and includes delightful drams, some of which are entirely

new to the market with a degree of exclusivity, others of which are already held in high regard by aficionados. For example, in the month of April our subscribers enjoyed a taste of The Macallan Rare Cask. Customer feedback has been really positive, and we gather that some Dram-a-Month deluxe subscribers are starting a collection of monthly drams – what a great idea! For those keen to invest in a thorough whisky education, or make their sampling experience more social, we have the Explorer Safari. This comprises two 10cl bottles each month, giving subscribers an opportunity not only to sample, but also to share two exciting whiskies – in April we posted out The Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Experiment and Project XX. Again, we are finding that this subscription appeals to the collectors among us. All our subscriptions can be viewed on on our website. And don’t forget… All members of The W Club get Whiskeria posted to their hone address for free! To join The W Club and access all the amazing benefits it has to offer, simply visit: or ask in store at your local branch of The Whisky Shop.





‘IT IS IN OUR NATURE TO EXPLORE, TO REACH OUT INTO THE UNKNOWN’ Sir Ernest Shackleton. Explorer. Leader. Legend.



Please enjoy Shackleton responsibly

Whiskeria Summer 2017  

Mr. Lyan | Michael Henry: Loch Lomond Master Blender | Summer Cocktails Road Trip | The Macallan Distillery Visit | Campbeltown History | S...

Whiskeria Summer 2017  

Mr. Lyan | Michael Henry: Loch Lomond Master Blender | Summer Cocktails Road Trip | The Macallan Distillery Visit | Campbeltown History | S...