The Whisky Report

The most significant whisky event of the year is Diageo’s Special Releases in late autumn. The world’s largest spirits company didn’t invent modern single malt but has spread the gospel more than anyone else.

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In the News section we present World Malts from A to T. Mostly Scottish ones with the odd Irish pure pot still-dram. We got some nice stuff to recommend. But if you want a bottle of Glengoyne Teapot Dram (95p) you have to go to the distillery. Balvenie’s two Tuns might be easier to find. Or the superb Craigellachie 1999 from Douglas Laing, and Taiwanese Kavalan’s vinho barrique (all 93p). There are some beauties with dim noses but stunning palates like Octomore, Jura Tastival and anCnoc Rutter. Or both Ardmore casks with a mere 19p on the nose but 23p on taste (Wm Cadenhead and D. Laing). The point is, don’t stop at the big number, read the NTAC in full and check out the actual tasting notes. Then decide if you want the liquid.

The Balblair vertical is one of the most comprehensive screenings ever of this magnificent Northern Highlands distillery. Many bows to manager John Macdonald and blender Stuart Harvey for sharing archive samples with me. You must pick up the 2004 sherried 10-year at Travel Retail next time.

We love doing themed tastings at Whisky & Bourbon Magazine. Here’s a pick of available drams from sherry and port casks and white sauternes and red wine barrels. You will have lots of fun going through these different sections. There are plenty of true gems to be had from these extreme wood types. Get out there and savour some magnificent whiskies!


  • Feature: Port Ellen all-time high & sensational Pittyvaich
  • Diageos Special Releases 2013-2015
  • Annual Releases 2013-2015