Nov 252015
St. Magdalene Strikes Back - A 32 Year Old Beauty

There’s something about St. Magdalene’s that holds a special place in my heart. The few St. Magdalenes I’ve had were all complex, and all left me with a desire to further explore this distillery. This is one of the first wave distilleries, established in the 18th century (around 1765, although some accounts put it at [Read full post…]

Nov 232015
The St. Magdalene Engineers' Beauty - Lost Distilleries Finale

Having reviewed the five other drams that were part of the `Gone But Never Forgotten’, we now arrive at my favorite dram of the flight, the St. Magdalene 20 year old, bottled for the 100th anniversary of Diageo Engineering  at the Ainslie & Heilbron’s buildings at 64 Waterloo Street in Glasgow, also depicted on the [Read full post…]

Nov 212015
Royally Silenced - Glenury Royal 36 - Lost Distilleries V

Three distilleries got the distinction of being “royal”. You’d think that that would be a guarantee of longevity for a business, but it isn’t. Glenury Royal was located in the town of Stonehaven in the Eastern Highlands, south of Aberdeen and near other closed distilleries such as Glenesk, Lochside and North Port, in the vicinity of Fettercairn [Read full post…]

Nov 192015
A Surprising Old Convalmore - Silent Distilleries IV

Convalmore is a fascinating distillery, albeit one you don’t hear much about. The distillery never had its own bottlings, although Gordon and MacPhail regularly bottled whisky from the distillery in the Connoisseur’s Choice series. There’s a saying that “Rome was built on seven hills, and Dufftown built on seven stills”. Two of the seven are no [Read full post…]

Nov 142015
A Brora for the Ages - Silent Distilleries III

The Brora was the only peated whisky in the Gone But Never Forgotten tasting, and was the anchor against which all other whiskies were nosed. Diageo’s Colin Dunn is not one to do things by the book, and his tastings leap all over the place between the whiskies in the glasses. There’s method to the [Read full post…]

Nov 122015
Lost Distilleries Part II - What Happened to Glenesk?

Glenesk Distillery was known by five names over the eight decades it was in operation: Highland Esk (1897), North Esk (1899), Montrose (1938), Hillside (1964) and finally Glenesk (1980). This is one of the many distilleries that were born out of the late 19th century boom in whisky, and drowned in the great whisky loch of the [Read full post…]

Nov 112015
Lost Distilleries and Extinct Whisky - The Last Millburn

There are quite a few lost distilleries, and I’m not talking about the lost distilleries of yesteryear, Like Towiemore, Scarnish or Glendarroch, rather of those distilleries that were lost in my own lifetime, in the big whisky loch of the 1980s. Some distilleries are household names and are still regularly bottled today, like Port Ellen and Brora, while [Read full post…]

Nov 092015
2015 SWA Scotch Export Figures - The Industry May Be a Lot Worse Off Than You Think!!

“We have reached the summit. A flood on the market will follow, prices will be cut, and this is going to affect smaller companies as well.” These are the words of George Forsyth, Ardmore’s assistant distillery manager in a recent interview on The Spirit Receiver. According to him, we’ve reached the hilltop, and from here it’s all downhill. On [Read full post…]

Nov 062015
Karuizawa 1980 - Coming Your Way Soon

Specialty Drinks is continuing to bottle single cask Karuizawa expressions, of which stocks are now down to below 50 casks,  and The Whisky Show is the showcase for the new expressions each year. Last year it was the two Geisha labels (reviewed here) and the utterly stunning 1981 vintage, which I reviewed here, and sadly [Read full post…]

Nov 042015
Glenfarclas 1956 Oloroso Casks - Stunning Sherry Bomb

Glenfarclas needs no introductions, nor do their dream drams at The Whisky Show. Following last year’s 1966 Fino Cask (you can read the review here), the dream dram this year was a decade older, from 1956. This expression is to commemorate the second generations of Grants, carrying a plaque with the picture of George Grant (the [Read full post…]