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Glenglassaugh: Revival, Evolution and a new chapter

When it comes to revivals, Glenglassaugh has had one of the more impressive crawls back from the dead in recent years. A decade of stuttering resurrection has been rewarded with the dawning of a new era for the distillery, with a future that’s still to be decided.

The distillery is a few miles to the east of the Highland/Speyside border, on the coast at Sandend. Rather than the more maritime spirits that many coastal distilleries produce, Glenglassaugh focuses on old-school fruity flavours. While that fruitiness is reminiscent of sister distillery Benriach ‘s famous character, Glenglassaugh has a more modern feel...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/01/glenglassaugh-revival-evolution/

The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2017

It was a busy year, 2017. Lots of new things to drink, lots of tastings to attend and lots of new posts on the blog. So, before we properly commit to 2018 (it’s only a day old, and we’re not sure of it yet) here’s what happened last year:

Jim Murray…in januari?

It’s no secret that our annual posting of Jim Murray’s picks for the whiskies of the year is one of our most popular posts. But last year we got a triple dose of Jim, with an exclusive two-part interview popping up in januari. It gave us an insight...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/01/whisky-exchange-blog-review-2017/

Drinks trends for 2018

The Whisky Exchange’s head buyer, Dawn Davies MW, spends more time than most seeking out new and exciting drinks. Here are her picks for the top trends of 2018…

2018 is a year for change. Whether it’s spent discovering a new drink or going back to an old favourite, this is a year where we re-evaluate our drinking habits.

Miniature madness


They say the best things come in small packages – this seems to be true for drinks as well, because miniature sales have never been so strong. People want to experiment and try new things and the miniature is...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/01/drinks-trends-for-2018/

Infinity bottles: blending whisky at home


Blending whisky is hard. It takes master blenders years to hone their skills, working up slowly through the ranks to take on the creation of new whiskies. However, that shouldn’t stop you having a go yourself at home. One of the easiest ways of examining this facet of the world of whisky creation is to make yourself a never-emptying infinity bottle – whenever it gets low, top it up with some more whisky.

I’ve currently got four different blends on the go: Speyside, Highlands and Islands, Islay and ‘Misc’. The final one is my longest running and I have a notebook...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/01/infinity-bottles-blending-whisky-at-home/

The Whisky Exchange – Our Highlights of 2017

As we head into 2018, it’s time to look back at some of the best bits of the past 12 months. The Whisky Exchange blog team has chosen its favourite moments of 2017, including memorable whiskies, fact-finding trips and interesting encounters. We’ll see you in 2018…


The year started well – I interviewed someone I had wanted to speak to for some time: Jim Murray . He didn’t disappoint: he talked about his career, how he fell in love with whisky and the lengths he goes to when it comes to tasting for his annual Whisky Bible .



Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/the-whisky-exchange-our-highlights-of-2017/

Brendan McCarron – the Ardbeg apprentice


Brendan McCarron is Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks for The Glenmorangie Company – makers of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie – and heir apparent to the company’s whisky creator, Dr Bill Lumsden. We spoke to him at the launch of Ardbeg An Oa , his first addition to the Ardbeg range.

How did you get involved with the whisky world? I did chemical engineering at university and I started out making drugs on the south coast of England but my girlfriend was homesick and wanted to move back to Scotland, so I went to Diageo to work on a project in kiln...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/brendan-mccarron-ardbeg/

What we’ll be drinking this Christmas

It’s been a busy year at The Whisky Exchange and the blog team is ready to wind down and enjoy the festive season. Here’s what we’ll be drinking this Christmas…


The TWE blog team (not pictured)


I don’t associate one particular drink with Christmas – I use it as an excuse to pull out some great bottles and try them (not that you need an excuse to drink delicious wine and spirits). With Christmas dinner – which I have the dubious pleasure of cooking this year – I’ll start with fizz to accompany some smoked salmon, perhaps something from...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/what-well-be-drinking-this-christmas/

How do you make the world’s peatiest whisky?

I recently spent some time with Bruichladdich’s production director Allan Logan, learning about how they make the fabled Octomore – including Octomore 8.3 , the world’s peatiest whisky. Allan, part of the two-man team that took over the distillery when Jim McEwan retired , is exceptionally passionate about provenance and peating, as well as and making great whisky. Here’s what I learned from him about making a peat monster… don’t try this at home?


Distillery Manager Allan Logan and Head Distiller Adam Hannett

How are peat levels measured?

As humans, we’re pretty sensitive to peat and can detect its smoky, meaty,...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/how-do-you-make-the-worlds-peatiest-whisky/

Port and whisky: separated at birth?

One summer, years ago, in the early days of my obsession with drinks, I went away for a long weekend in Portugal and came back a changed man: a few summery days in Porto are enough to convert almost anyone to the delights of the country’s national drink. As I write, it’s the middle of the afternoon and it’s dark outside. The street lights are on, the sleet has subsided and my thoughts turn to warming drinks: it’s time for some port.


David Guimaraens: master blender for The Fladgate Partnership and my port guru

While we covered the basics in...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/port-whisky-separated-birth/

The Whisky Exchange Whisky of the Year 2018

imageWhisky of the Year has gone global! For 2017 we opened up the awards to any bottle from across the world, provided it was not cask strength, below £60 and an ongoing release. Despite my repeated suggestions that we should hold the final somewhere warm and exotic to celebrate this momentous development, the event was once again held in The Rooms at Brown’s , just a hop and a skip from our Covent Garden shop .

On arrival we warmed up with a Claymore – not the Scottish two-handled sword, but rather the winning cocktail from the 2017 Speciality Drinks...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/12/the-whisky-exchange-whisky-of-the-year-2018/

What is fortified wine?

You maj not have come across the term ‘ fortified wine ’ before, but you’ve almost certainly drunk one. Ever had a glass of port or sherry at Christmas? Then you’ve tried a fortified wine. And if you’ve ever tried Madeira , marsala or Pineau des Charentes , then you’re part of the fortified club, too.

The name refers to the fact that fortified wines have spirit or brandy added to them, locking in any sweetness, upping the alcohol and giving them a longer shelf life. But don’t be misled – with the exception of Madeira, which lasts months even...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/what-is-fortified-wine/

In their own words – Dan Szor, founder, Cotswolds Distillery


Dan Szor is the founder of Cotswolds Distillery. He left behind a career in finance to follow his love of whisky and build the first distillery in the area. After years of development and hard work, he and his team released their first whisky in oktober 2017.

‘It was juni 2012. I was looking out of my bedroom window in my house in the Cotswolds. It was beautiful day, the wind was rippling through the barley and I had a thought: “why hasn’t anyone made whisky out of this barley?”‘

‘[Building a distillery] was just a passing idea and I...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/dan-szor-cotswolds-distillery/

The Art of Whisky – what makes a beautiful bottle?

Whether you’re a whisky collector or a drinker, a whisky’s looks are important. Beyond its colour and how it looks in the glass, there’s the packaging. While we are focused on finding whiskies that taste great, we also like it if they look great, too.

We’ve been thinking a lot about labels recently thanks to the launch of our Johnnie Walker personalised label service . But what makes a great label? We decided to ask an expert.

Raj Chavda is The Whisky Exchange’s creative director and designer of some of the most striking whisky labels of recent times. We sat...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/the-art-of-whisky-what-makes-a-beautiful-bottle/

In Their Own Words – Malcolm Waring, distillery manager, Old Pulteney

Malcolm Waring is the distillery manager at Old Pulteney , until recently the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. He tells us how Old Pulteney got its name, his reaction to winning the most coveted award in the whisky world, and his approach to whisky-making.


Malcolm Waring, distillery manager at Old Pulteney

The distillery is named after Sir William Johnstone Pulteney who was quite a vocal guy. People would go round saying “Did you hear that Old Pulteney was talking about this and that?”’

‘When we won the top award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible – well, Jim...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/in-their-own-words-malcolm-waring-distillery-manager-old-pulteney/

Lost whisky distilleries of Scotland: our picks

While there are hundreds of lost distilleries dotting the countryside north of the border, it’s rare to find whisky from any that closed before the 1980s. And if you do, it’s often more a collector’s item than something you’d open and drink. Here are some of the most popular closed distilleries whose whiskies you can still get your hands on:

Port Ellen


The Port Ellen warehouses: pretty much all that remains of the distillery today

The biggest name in the world of lost distillers. It closed in 1983 without much fanfare, its buildings demolished or repurposed as part of the...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/lost-whisky-distilleries-of-scotland-our-picks/

What is a closed distillery?

Ever since the early days of whisky production, distilleries have appeared and disappeared. Some failed, some merged, some literally exploded, and the Scottish landscape is littered with the remains of historical distilling. However, oktober was a busy month for the lost distilleries of Scotland.


Port Ellen in its heyday. Not much of it’s left these days…for now

It’s not every day that it’s announced that a closed distillery is to reopen, but two on the same day is unheard of. At the beginning of oktober, Diageo announced that it was going to reopen Brora and Port Ellen , both closed...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/11/what-is-a-closed-distillery/

How to drink whisky – blind tasting

When it comes to tasting whiskies, there is a huge range of things to distract you. The room you’re in, other people around you, rogue pets, your roommate’s bad taste in music, next door’s obsession with cooking cabbage…the list goes on. Above all, there is one thing that distracts more than any other: knowing what you are tasting.

It’s difficult to remove a lot of the other distractions, but removing the knowledge of what’s in your glass is fairly simple – welcome to the world of blind tasting.


A row of anonymous glasses – step one in tasting whisky blind...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/blind-tasting/

Five Minutes and Five Cocktails with Frapin

‘It’s all about the ‘ poof poof ‘ of Cognac’ says Patrice Piveteau, and it’s a testament to both his storytelling and infectious enthusiasm that this immediately makes perfect sense. He is talking about the sensory fireworks present in any glass of good Cognac, one of the many qualities which make the French spirit so endlessly fascinating – and drinkable.

‘I drink no more than a sponge’ – Francois Rabelais

Frapin is one of the Cognac houses that is driving the spirit’s resurgence and appeal to new audiences, while remaining at heart a traditional brand. A small Cognac house with an...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/five-minutes-and-five-cocktails-with-frapin/

How does whisky age?

If you want to host a masterclass on how whisky ages, why not get one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet to run it? That’s what happened at this year’s Whisky Exchange Whisky Show , where Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo went to great lengths to explain this key part of the whisky-making process. As expected, there were plenty of words I didn’t understand (cyclotene, ferulic acid and trans-lactones, anyone?) but Shinji explained the science in practical terms for the mere mortals in the room.

First off, some thoughts on whisky maturation itself:

‘For me, if there is...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/how-does-whisky-age/

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018 – The Winners

It’s that time again: the day when Jim Murray reveals his favourite whiskies in the world. The results of his Whisky Bible 2018 have just been announced, and the winner of the top prize hails from the USA:

Jim Murray’s 2018 World Whisky of the year – Colonel Eh Taylor Four Grain Bourbon image

Jim’s not a man to mince words, with his press release hailing the whiskey’s ‘sheer undiluted beauty’:

‘Nothing could match the astonishing beauty of its surprisingly delicate weight and complexity combined. It was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…’

The Colonel EH...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/jim-murray-whisky-bible-2018-winners/


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