• New book explores Isle of Arran’s forgotten whisky history – Scotch Whisky News May 24, 2019

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    Arran Book

    New book explores Isle of Arran’s forgotten whisky history

    A pioneering book, which documents the Isle of Arran’s strong affinity with whisky production, has been released in celebration of the new Lagg Distillery opening this Summer.

    Arran Water: An Island Whisky History’ is the first book to chronicle the Isle of Arran’s unique place in the story of the nation’s favourite spirit and shows how the island has been a historical focal point for whisky production, both legal and illicit.

    Whilst Islay, Campbeltown and the Highlands are so often considered hubs of Scotch whisky production, this book documents the people and places of Arran that have contributed to a strong, but long forgotten, tradition of whisky activities.

    The title, ‘Arran Water’, comes from the term for whisky that was distilled illicitly on the island, which was known for its quality throughout Scotland during the heydays of smuggling.

    The book has been written by expert whisky historian Gregor Adamson, who is a native of the Isle of Arran, and the foreword comes from world-renowned whisky connoisseur and historian Charles MacLean.

    It includes unpublished records and first-hand research of the evolution of whisky distillation and unearths the secrets of hidden bothies in Arran’s hills and glens, including the extremely rare discovery of an illicit still bothy.

    The bothy, now known as the ‘Smuraig Sma’ Still’, was found by a forestry worker near the site of the new Lagg Distillery and reaffirms evidence that the island was a hotbed of illicit production.

    There’s also a focus on the more recent licenced production on the island, noting that the first legal distillery for 160 years was the Isle of Arran’s Lochranza site, which opened in 1995.

    For more information on where to buy a copy of ‘Arran Water: An Island Whisky History’, visit

    The launch of the ground-breaking book coincides with the latest chapter in the whisky history of the island, the opening of the new Lagg Distillery, which is set to take place this Summer.

    Author, Gregor Adamson, said: “The establishment of the new Lagg Distillery firmly brings production back to the traditional heartland of whisky-making on the island.

    “Hopefully, the development of the new distillery alongside the publication of the book will result in Arran’s fascinating distilling heritage finally getting the recognition that it deserves.”

    Distillation is now underway at the site in the South of the island and is expected to increase total visitor numbers at both of the Isle of Arran Distillers’ sites to over 200,000 by 2020.

    The spirit is expected to mature into a rich, earthy, smoky, Lagg Single Malt which will be very different in character to what is currently produced at the original distillery in Lochranza.

    Whisky lovers can be part of the future of Arran’s whisky story by purchasing one of the first casks to be filled at Lagg distillery, and becoming members of the Lagg Cask Society. For more information, visit

    Accolades for Isle of Arran Distillery include Winner for:

    Best New Exporter (2004), Queen’s Award for International Trade (2005), Scottish Distiller of the Year (2007) and Scottish Drinks Producer of the Year (2007) Scottish Field Visitor Experience of the Year 2014 & 2015

    Drinks Business Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism (2017)

    Best Brewery/Distillery Tour – Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards (2017)

    Best Visitor Experience – Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (2018)

    Product Awards include:

    Arran 10 year-old: Gold Medal ‘Best Single Malt 12 Years & Under, World Whiskies Awards (2019) San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold Medal (2018). International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal (2018). Category Winner and Gold Medal ‘Best Scotch Under 12 Years’ Islands Non-Islay at the World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018). Ultimate Spirits Challenge 91 points (2018). Ultimate Spirits Challenge Cocktail Commendation for the Rob Roy (2018). Double Gold Medal China Wine & Spirits Best Value Awards (2014)

    Arran 18 year-old: Gold Medal ‘Best Single Malt 13 – 20 Years, World Whiskies Awards (2019) International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal (2018) Category Winner & Gold Medal ‘Best Scotch 13-20 Years – Islands (Non- Islay) World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018) Scottish Field Whisky Challenge – Gold Award for Best Whisky £50-100 (2018)

    Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’: Best Scotch Island Single Malt, World Whiskies Awards (2019) Category Winner & Gold Medal ‘No Age Statement Single Malt’ for The Bothy Batch 3 World Whiskies Awards (2018). International Wine & Spirits Competition Silver Outstanding Medal (2018). International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018)

    Arran Lochranza Reserve: International Wine & Spirits Competition Silver Outstanding Medal (2018), International Spirits Challenge Silver Medal (2018)

  • Award-Winning Blacks Brewery & Distillery Launch Unique Whiskey Founders Club – Irish Whiskey News May 24, 2019

    Blacks Whiskey Founders Clubs logo (002)


    -Award-Winning Blacks Brewery & Distillery Launch Unique Whiskey Founders Club-

    Initially taking the market by storm in 2013 with their selection of craft beers, Blacks Brewery and Distillery, Kinsale has gone from strength to strength, offering consumers award-winning gin and Ireland’s first and only rum. This dynamic family owned and operated Cork business is constantly innovating and identifying new opportunities which will bring high-quality, great-tasting beers and spirits to consumers.  Their passion and entrepreneurial spirit is once again on display as today they launch the exclusive Blacks Whiskey Founders Club.

    Coming hot on the heels of their Silver medal win at the London Spirits Competition for their renowned Blacks Irish Gin, the husband and wife team of Sam and Maud Black wish to open their doors and give other whiskey enthusiasts the opportunity to help shape the history of Irish whiskey.  After investing in two copper stills, Blacks Whiskey Founders Club is giving the first 500 whiskey and spirit enthusiasts the chance to purchase their very own cask, starting from €6,500 and resulting in 397 plus bottles of their own pot stilled single malt Irish whiskey.

    According to The Irish Spirits Association, whiskey comprised 42% of Ireland’s beverage exports in 2018 and the global value of premium Irish whiskey is on the rise.  Whiskey is also becoming a world leader, as the fastest growing spirits category, and it is predicted that exports will exceed the 2020 target set by the Irish Whiskey Association of 12 million cases.

    In light of these strong whiskey statistics, while there are one or two similar personalised cask schemes available in Ireland, Blacks Founders Club is unique as it also poses an investment opportunity for consumers. After five years of maturation Founders Club members may decide to have their whiskey bottled as their own label whiskey as the ultimate family, friend or corporate gift, or to sell on the secondary whiskey market. One of the founding members plans to bottle his whiskey at the end the distilling process and use them as his business cards to potential clients!  Alternatively, Blacks are offering an attractive investment buy-back scheme if cask owners wish to sell their casks back to Blacks at the end of the initial five-year period at a predetermined agreed value, offering investors a minimum 4% annually compounded (approx. €280 per year per cask) return on their initial investment.

    Commenting on the expansion and launch of Blacks Whiskey Founders Club, Sam Black, Founder of Blacks Brewery & Distillery, commented: “Considering another record year of export growth in the whiskey industry, and with our extensive experience in the microbrewery and distillery market, we knew it was a no-brainer to invest in the installation of two new copper Irish whiskey stills. My wife and I have had so much fun on our beer and spirit journey to date that we wished to offer others the opportunity to share in our passion and journey. It is with great excitement that we today announce the official launch of the Blacks Whiskey Founders Club.  This club offers 500 investors world-wide the opportunity to invest in Irish whiskey. It is our heritage; our history and we want to keep that going for our country. We have many personalised cask options available to consumers, one which features one of our famous craft beers. Members can choose a beer from our range and we will fill a bourbon cask with that beer type for three months prior to emptying and filling with the new-make spirit. This gives a unique flavour to the spirit and you can own an ultra-rare and unique product that is paired with your favourite beer!”

    “If 300/400 bottles of whiskey (which is what the average cask produces depending on the cask strength) is too much to handle, then Founders Club investors have the option to sell their entire cask back to the distillery at the predetermined agreed value with a 4% p.a. compounding return on investors’ initial purchase. Based on one of the casks available, this return equates to a CAGR of 4% per year or a total gross return of 21.7% for the five-year period. Members also have the option to extend the maturation for additional years and allow the whiskey to continue to mature and grow in value as it ages. We look forward to welcoming Founders Club members into the Blacks family.” Mr Black added.

    The Blacks Whiskey Founders Club is built on an ethos of community and provides a platform for like-minded whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs to socialise and sample together. On joining this exclusive club, members receive a gorgeous leather branded documents folder which they will fill throughout their five-year journey with items such as their cask bond certificate. Members can request to be present in the distillery on the day of distilling or cask filling, and once a year will be invited to Kinsale for the weekend to visit the distillery and mingle with other members in a fun party setting.

    Membership is now open, with production due to start in January 2020. To take your place in the history of Irish whiskey or for further information on Blacks Founders Club, email Sophie at or visit

     About Blacks Of Kinsale Micro Brewery & Distillery Blacks Micro Brewery & Distillery is an Irish microbrewery and distillery, founded by husband and wife team Sam and Maudeline Black in 2013, and remains a 100% family owned business who pride themselves on both quality and innovation. Many years ago, Maudeline gave Sam a home brewing kit for Valentine’s Day, sparking their passion for brewing. This hobby developed into an obsession and, in 2013, their dreams became a reality when Blacks Brewery was founded. In 2015 a distillery was added to the site, where they began producing a range of Irish craft spirits. Currently, Blacks produce a range of beers, Gin, and Ireland’s first and only rum.

  • The Whisky Shop “Relaunching Tobermory With The New Signature 12 Year Old” – Scotch Whisky News May 24, 2019

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    Relaunching Tobermory

    Tobermory are all about celebrating creativity and pride themselves in being expressive in nature They say that every spirit they craft “is an expression of the rich palate that our Hebridean home provides.”

    Discover Tobermory 12 Year Old – The brand new signature expression


    Tobermory 12 Year Old

    Tobermory 12 Year Old is the new signature expression of Tobermory Distillery’s Hebridean home and say that that “It’s the very definition of our island artistry”, described as expressive by nature.

    The beauty of Tobermory 12 Year Old is how surprisingly simple it is. Using the best non-peated barley, water from their own water source – a small brook, ‘Gearr Abhainn’, and a method of distilling that has been tried and tested to bring the best out of the ingredients and stills of Tobermory, the result is a beautiful whisky showcasing the essence of The Isle of Mull. The whisky has been aged in American oak ex-bourbon casks with a colourful palatte of vibrant fruit and spice with a subtle saltiness – a reflection of the waters of Tobermory.

    Tobermory 12 will replace the 10 year old expression as the distillery’s signature bottle and the maturation and improved cask policy delivers richer more characterful whisky. Tobermory 12 is a fantastic way to mark the relaunch of Tobermory in 2019, and is available to order now with immediate delivery.

    70cl / 46.3% abv


    Buy Now


    Tobermory are all about celebrating creativity and pride themselves in being expressive in nature They say that every spirit they craft “is an expression of the rich palate that our Hebridean home provides.”

    More from Tobermory…


    Tobermory 12 Year Old Fino Cask Finish

    This Island single malt was distilled at Tobermory on the isle of Mull, and matured for a decade before being transferred to Fino sherry hogsheads for a further two years. The result is a spicy, chocolatey expression, which has been released as a limited edition of just 1,710 bottles.Orange and toffee on the nose, with some coffee, dark chocolate and dried fruit notes. The palate has more dark chocolate, toffee and espresso, balanced by the dry sherry notes from the Fino casks. The finish is similarly dry with subtle toffee and dried fruit notes.

    70cl / 55.1% abv


    Buy Now


    Tobermory 10 Year Old

    Situated on Scotland’s famously picturesque West Coast, surrounded by Atlantic Sea mists, lies the island of Mull, the stunning location of the Tobermory distillery.

    70cl / 46.3% abv


    Our mailing address is:

    Glenkeir Whiskies Limited
    Suite 2 (Rear) Melisa House
    3 Brand Place, Brand Street
    Glasgow, G51 1DR
    United Kingdom

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  • Special Offer on American Whiskey Magazine – American Whiskey News May 24, 2019


    The next issue of American Whiskey Magazine will go on sale in the coming weeks, and we’re excited to offer you the chance to subscribe at a special rate! But this offer ends soon! Don’t miss reviews of America’s greatest whiskeys, city guides, distiller profiles and more! Just click below to start your subscription – risk free! If you don’t like American Whiskey Magazine, you can cancel at any time and get a refund for any issues that haven’t mailed.

    Start My Subscription Now


  • Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Campbeltown Festival Bottling” – Scotch Whisky News May 24, 2019

    SMWS Islay 2019

    Don’t miss out on our first ever Campbeltown Festival bottling. Limited to one per member, click over to the website now to buy.  Alternatively, available at the Ardshiel Hotel, Campbeltown, now or at our Edinburgh or London Members’ Rooms.


    The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

    Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

    This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

    Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video

    SMWS LOGO 2017 NEW