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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/

In Their Own Words – Stewart Buchanan, Glendronach

Glendronach brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan led a great masterclass at this year’s Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in which he delved into the distillery’s past and showed various drams from yesteryear as well as more modern bottlings. This is what he had to say:


Stewart Buchanan, brand ambassador for Glendronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh

‘Anyone who knows Glendronach will say it’s “sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry, sherry”, but it wasn’t always that way – we used to use bourbon barrels, too

‘We were the last coal-fired distillery in Scotland – we removed the coal fires in 2005’

‘Glendronach means “valley of...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/in-their-own-words-stewart-buchanan-the-glendronach/

In Their Own Words – Drew majville, Buffalo Trace

At this year’s Whisky Exchange Whisky Show , Buffalo Trace master blender Drew majville led a masterclass – The Art of Whiskey – in which he looked back at the long history of the distillery and poured the highly prized Antique Collection. This is what he told us…


Drew majville, Buffalo Trace’s master blender

I’ve been at Buffalo Trace for 13 years , and boy, have we come a long way!’

‘There’s been distilling at Buffalo Trace since the 1770s, and it’s operated through fires, wars and Prohibition. When we started, the distillery was technically part of Virginia; Kentucky...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/in-their-own-words-drew-majville-buffalo-trace/

Sloe Gin – why you should be drinking it (and making it)

Jared Brown, master distiller at Sipsmith Gin Distillery in London, explains why you should all be drinking sloe gin – and offers some tips on how to make it yourself.


Sloe gin is to Britain what limoncello is to Italy. Everyone makes it at home, and everyone takes pride in their family recipes. Visit a British household over the holidays and the meal will likely finish with glasses of sloe gin. But surprisingly, this cherished sip does not have a long history in the UK.

The Enclosures during the mid-Victorian period was a time when new taxes forced wealthy landowners...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/10/sloe-gin-why-you-should-be-drinking-it-and-making-it/

London: Cocktail Capital of the World

Next week sees the return of London Cocktail Week , the world’s biggest cocktail festival with more than 300 partnering bars opening their doors and offering £6 cocktails to those with a Festival Pass. This year, the festival has gone completely digital: week-long passes are just £10 but now there’s no guidebook, no wristbands and most importantly, no queueing. To be part of the festival, just visit DrinkUp.London or download the free DrinkUp.London app . Here’s Jane to tell you more about it…

There are plenty of things our enormous, expanding, heaving, thriving capital city does well. But no one likes a brag, especially the British, so...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/london-cocktail-capital-of-the-world/

The Whisky Show 2017 – it’s this weekend!

It’s The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show this weekend and it’s shaping up to be our best show yet. With more than 650 whiskies confirmed from around the world, incredible masterclasses, loads of free talks and tastings, great guests and more, it’s one not to miss. If you’ve not got a ticket yet, there are still a few left for Sunday 1 oktober – you can grab one here .

I’ve been digging through the show timetable and dram list for the past few weeks and there are loads of things I want to taste and see. Here are my top...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/the-whisky-show-2017-its-this-weekend/

Five Questions with David Stewart – Malt Master, The Balvenie

David Stewart is malt master at The Balvenie , and has worked in the Scotch whisky industry for more than 50 years. We spoke to him about his career and his latest whisky, Balvenie 2002 Peat Week 14 Year Old .


David Stewart joined William Grant & Sons in 1962 as a whisky stocks clerk

1. How did Balvenie Peat Week come about?

We started some trials with peat in 2001 and did a small run of peated whisky for just one week a year. Peat Week is peated to 30ppm, which comes out at about 5-6ppm in the finished...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/five-questions-with-david-stewart-malt-master-the-balvenie/

Diageo Special Releases 2017 – the tasting notes

Autumn is almost here and the Diageo Special Releases 2017 are rapidly approaching. It’s an exciting group of whiskies this year: along with the regular Port Ellen , Brora , Caol Ila and Lagavulin , there’s also the oldest whisky Diageo has ever released, a whisky made with experimental yeast, whisky from a closed distillery, a bicentenary bottling and the first blend to appear in the Special Releases. They’re available to pre-order now on our Diageo Special Releases 2017 page.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out our Diageo Special Releases: What are they? post to find...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/diageo-special-releases-2017/

Selecting a Whisky-Exchange-exclusive release

Here at The Whisky Exchange we like to choose special bottles – we have a wide range of exclusive whiskies and other spirits already, and we add more each month. One of the common questions I get asked is how we choose them. It varies a bit from bottle to bottle, but the core idea is the same – find great drinks and get them on our shelves.

Our latest exclusive bottling is a 22-year-old Frapin 1993 vintage Grande Champagne Cognac . It was selected by head buyer Dawn Davies MW and Whisky Exchange founder Sukhinder Singh and followed our...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/selecting-a-whisky-exchange-exclusive-releas/

The 5 Best Whisky and Film Moments

Some drinks are simply synonymous with a big-screen moment and with the person drinking them. The freshly poured, ice-cold Martini for James Bond. The Dude’s White Russian in The Big Lebowski and the stain it leaves on his beard and clothes is the perfect match to his deadbeat character. Hannibal Lecter’s Chianti reminds us of this sophistication and taste (the book went one better – Lecter’s original wine choice was the even-more upmarket Amarone). Here are our top-five whisky moments in film and TV:

1. Johnnie Walker Black – Blade Runner

Harrison Ford’s character in 1982 cult classic Blade Runner would have looked...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/the-5-best-whisky-and-film-moments/

Five great rum cocktails for the long weekend

We’ve got great weather forecasts here in London, so it feels like time to whip up some drinks with the most tropical of spirits: rum . Here are five of my favourite rum cocktails to keep you refreshed over the long weekend.


The original concept of a cocktail was the mixing of three things: sour, sweet and strong. The classic Daiquiri is a primal version of this, combining lime with sugar syrup and rum.


It’s an easy drink to make but balancing the flavours is hard. Almost no one agrees on the ratios, but I use the Difford’s Guide...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/08/five-rum-cocktails/

Six questions with Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich Malt Master


Brian Kinsman is malt master for Glenfiddich , and also looks after the Grant’s range of blended whiskies and works with his mentor David Stewart on the Balvenie range. I caught up with Brian a while ago to learn more about his work and see if he’d drop a few clues as to what might be coming next. The success of the first two releases in the  Glenfiddich Experimental Series  – Glenfiddich IPA and Glenfiddich XX  – has led to rumours that the next release is imminent.

How do you keep Glenfiddich interesting when it is one of the biggest and...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/08/brian-kinsman-glenfiddich-malt-master-six-questions/

Diageo Special Releases – what are they?

The launch of the 2017 edition of the Diageo Special Releases is imminent. While they’re one of the biggest and most prestigious annual whisky launches, every year we receive the same question: what are they?

In the beginning

It all started at the turn of the millennium. Diageo had appeared a few years earlier – created by the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness – and the whisky world was a very different place. The Rare Malts Selection , a collection of cask-strength bottlings from across Scotland, first bottled in 1995, was on the shelves. The prices were incredibly reasonable...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/09/diageo-special-releases-what-are-they/

Beer trends – what I learned at London Beer City

Last week was London Beer City, a week-long celebration of beer in the capital. Purely for research reasons, I threw myself wholeheartedly into the festivities, stopping in at the London Craft Beer Festival for a taste of the new, and the Great British Beer Festival for something more traditional. Talking with beer fans and brewers through the week, a few things popped up over and over again – here’s what I found.

The Wheel of Styles is still spinning

Recently, we have seen an explosion in the number of new breweries in the UK, and with that has come lots...

Läs mer http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2017/08/beer-trends-drinking/


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