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These Seared Sea Scallops Are a Perfect Match for Coastal Scotch

Scotland’s coastal regions are home to some of the country’s finest single malt whiskies: from Old Pulteney, crafted in the far north of Scotland and influenced by the North Sea, to the Orkney Islands-based Highland Park, to the eight operational distilleries on the isle of Islay. The influence of the coast and the bodies of water beyond is inescapable, leading to whiskies that show a range of salty and briny flavors . And—because salt enhances and amplifies flavors—these whiskies are especially suited to pairing with food.

“Coastal scotches like Old Pulteney pair well with this scallop dish because of the...

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Eight Sand Blended Bourbon, 40 Year Old Scotch More New Whisky

It’s a mixed bag of whisky and whiskey this week.

First up, MGP Distillery has unveiled a new brand called Eight & Sand. The whiskey is a blended bourbon, which includes both straight bourbon and other unspecified American whiskeys. It’s hitting shelves in a dozen states for $30.

Want to taste whisky from a long-dead distillery? Littlemill 40 year old, distilled in the waning days of the 1970s, is available from Loch Lomond Group . Just 250 bottles are being released, including 23 coming to the U.S. for the hefty, but round, price of $10,000.

Two new whiskies from Germany are...

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James Eadie Winter Releases

Following on from a very solid batch of releases last year, James Eadie have released another set of small batch and single cask whiskies, and several more expressions which fall into their new ‘Cask Finishes’ range. Seven drams in total, ranging from lesser know distilleries to household names, and covering everything from bourbon matured Speysiders [...]...

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Bruichladdich Octomore 10yo Dialogos

As promised last year when I reviewed the first three expressions in Bruichladdich’s Octomore Dialogos series, here’s the fourth and final instalment of the range; a 10 year old whisky with a fairly complex make up: 88% has been matured for the full 10 years either 1st fill port pipes (37%), 1st fill cognac casks [...]...

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Glendronach Master Vintage 1993 Aged 25 Years

The whisky-expression-releasing-machine that is Glendronach has just launched a limited edition 25 year old whisky, comprising of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks filled exclusively in 1993.The press release for the Master Vintage 1993 proclaims this year to have “long been acknowledged as an excellent vintage from The Glendronach”. Not sure about that one, as [...]...

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Glenmorangie Allta – Private Edition 10

Do you remember when Glenmorangie Sonnalta was released? Somehow that was 10 years ago and the number of Private Edition expressions has now moved into double digits. Over the years we’ve seen the use of ancient recipes, Super Tuscan wine barrels, Clos de Tarte casks, floor malted Maris Otter barley, Portuguese Red Wine casks, Malmsey Madeira [...]...

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Mortlach Revamped: 12yo, 14yo, 16yo 20yo

If you’ve followed my musings on Edinburgh Whisky Blog for the last few years, you’ll probably remember one of the last articles I wrote on Mortlach, where I aired my thoughts on the distillery’s last range, which consisted of a ‘Rare Old’ NAS expression, an 18 year old and a 25 year old. Safe to [...]...

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What is St Patrick’s Day?

St Patrick’s Day approaches – 17 mars. It’s a day of celebration, but what is it actually celebrating? We’ve written about St Patrick’s Day for years here on The Whisky Exchange Blog, with tales of whiskey , Irish cream , poteen and more , but never really looked into who Patrick himself was, and why we celebrate his life. Time for a history lesson.

Who was St Patrick?

To start, Patrick (or Patricius as he referred to himself in his writing) was born in Great Britain rather than Ireland. Various places in England, Scotland and Wales have taken credit for...

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Rosebank – a short history

The closing of Rosebank has increasingly been recognised as one of the biggest losses in Scotland’s whisky history. However, thanks to the current huge growth in Scotch whisky, a new chapter for the cult, closed distillery is opening.

The Lowlands

The Lowlands are a strange region when it comes to Scotch whisky. For years they have been sparsely populated, but in the boom times of the Victorian era they were an ideal location for for legal distillers – good transport links to Glasgow and Edinburgh, allowing grain to come in and whisky go out with ease, but with fewer glens...

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Ardbeg 25 Director’s Special – Whisky Show: Old Rare bottling

This weekend sees the return of Whisky Show: Old & Rare to the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. As usual, there’ll be stacks of excellent whiskies to try, from interesting old blends to ancient American whiskies and some of the finest single malts ever bottled.


See the 2019 dram list >

The latest addition to the ranks – which already includes a 1930s bottling of non-peaty Laphroaig, Black Bowmore, our 10th-anniversary 1967-vintage Karuizawa (it’s our 20th birthday this year…), and an Old Orkney from Stromness bottled around 1910 – is the show bottling: The Whisky Show:Old & Rare 2019  Ardbeg...

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Novelty Bottles – Valentine’s Day Edition

Here we are again, once more dipping our toes into the rich, bubbling pool of silliness provided to us by the wilder elements within the world of drinks.

Looking for something… distinctive, this Valentine’s Day? Well, whether you’re proposing to your partner or just having a night in with your bestie, we’ve got bottles aplenty to introduce a little interest to your evening.


Fallen Angel Spiced Rum image

There are certain drinks which, as long as they continue to look as they do, are doomed to appear in every Novelty Bottles post I might write to which they are even...

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Which Rosé Champagne should I be drinking?

Valentine’s Day  is fast approaching, and since all things pink have become the symbol of the season, we thought we’d choose some of our favourite fizzes.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne

This is a perennial favourite, and one that will never disappoint. The house was founded in 1818, when Nicolas François Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon, and the family have continued to make wine for seven generations. This was the first rosé I listed by the glass when I was a sommelier, and it is still the rosé I go back to time and time again.


Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé  has  a beautiful...

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Why should I be drinking Rosé Champagne?

Over the last two decades the rise in popularity of rosé, in all forms, has been phenomenal. Now everywhere you turn drinks are turning pink – pink gin, pink wine, pink sparkling. I have even seen the odd pink whisky…

So why has this colour become so popular and how has its fortune changed?

Pink bubbles begin to rise

At the end of the 90s, no City boy would be seen dead drinking bubbly rosé. It was all about claret and good Burgundy, with not a drop of pink in sight. Pink Champagne was seen as inferior, and at the...

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Mortlach 1988 (Gordon MacPhail)

A new release in the dumpy bottles (which means 30+ years old in the Connoisseurs Choice range): Mortlach 1988 from a refill sherry hogshead. As good as the previous Mortlach from Gordon & MacPhail ? Let’s hope so.



imageMortlach 30 yo 1988 (48,8%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ 2018, refill American oak sherry hogshead #4839, 129 btl.)

Nose: intriguing mix of subtle fruits (overripe melon and apples, a little redcurrant), flowers (freesia), lemon meringue and linseed oil. Whiffs of damp chalk. Beehive notes. Crushed leaves, bits of moss…  Mouth: quite punchy, with honey and something vaguely fruity, but...

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Blended Malt #1 18 Years (TBWC)

That Boutique-y Whisky Company has a series of blended malts , numbered according to their recipe.

In this case they say it’s a teaspooned malt , a single malt to which a small amount of Maltwhisky from another distillery is added. Let’s dive in and check it out.



imageBlended Malt No.1 18 yo (47,3%, That Boutique-y Whisky Co. 2018, Batch #3, 1049 btl.)

Nose: bright and fruity in a slightly Irish way. Juicy pears, nectarines, unripe greengages. Floral honey, as well as honeysuckle. Meadows in spring. Fresh and attractive like a lemonade. Mouth: simple pleasures. All on...

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Octomore 10 Years (3rd edition)

The third edition of Octomore 10 Year Old . Whisky distilled from Scottish grown Optic barley, matured in different casks:

  • 37% first-fill Port pipes
  • 31% first-fill Cognac barrels
  • 20% second-fill bourbon barrels
  • 12% matured consecutively in first-fill American barrels (3 years), virgin oak (2 years) and second-fill American whiskey barrels (6 years)



imageOctomore 10 yo 2008 (56,8%, OB 2018, 3rd edition, 167 ppm, 12.000 btl.)

Nose: rich and powerful. Sweet tobacco with campfire ashes, tarry ropes and shoe polish. Behind this there are vanilla biscuits, chamois leather and sweetened black tea. Plenty of oats. Stewed apples and hints...

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Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost Rare – Port Ellen

The second installment of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare series, this time composed around Port Ellen .

Of course the amount of Port Ellen that went into this is small. In an interview Jim Beveridge said they only added the level necessary to make the blend smoky, and anyone who know smokiness in blends know that you don’t need a lot of smoke in there to have that overt smokiness.

Anwyay this Ghost & Rare release includes Port Ellen but also grain whisky from the ‘ghost distilleries’ Caledonian and Carsebridge , as well as whisky from Mortlach,...

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New: Ardbeg Traigh Bhan // Highland Park Saltire // Benromach 1972 1977


Ardbeg 19 Years Traigh Bhan

Ardbeg is working on a new 19 year-old expression called Ardbeg Traigh Bhan , named after a beach on Islay. It is matured in American oak and Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 46.2% ABV. Expect smoky pineapple and chilli chocolate . Expect a high price as well, I guess.




Benromach Heritage 1972 / Benromach Heritage 1977

With the previous Benromach 1978 still on the shelves, two new vintage releases are announced:

  • Benromach Heritage 1972 cask #4471 , 46yo, 55.7% ABV, 75 bottles, around € 1750 each. Already available from The Whisky Barrel...

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