Friday, April 28, 2017


The Benromach Distillery Company, has today announced the launch of a new limited edition, visitor centre exclusive expression.

Benromach 1976 (53.5% ABV) is a single cask bottling, which has been matured in a refill American hogshead, and is said to deliver notes of succulent fruits, pepper and sweet aniseed.

Benromach 1976

Limited to just 32 bottles, this latest Benromach release, has been launched during this year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, to celebrate another successful year for the distillery and its visitor centre.

As with previous vintage exclusives, this limited-edition single malt comes presented in a bespoke decanter-style bottle with the contours and copper-colour of the neck and shoulder line representing Benromach Distillery’s stills.

The oak presentation box is inspired by the home of Benromach, reflecting the copper of the stills, as well as the dark, grained wood of the original washbacks and the white of the lime washed distillery walls.

The growth of Benromach led to the expansion at the distillery and visitor centre 18 months ago, and included new warehouses and a larger team. The four-star visitor centre at Benromach Distillery, open to the public throughout the year for tours, now features three tasting rooms for visitors to experience, while Benromach House - the old distillery manager’s house - was also renovated to hold a new tasting room.

Commenting on the launch, Keith Cruickshank, Distillery Manager at Benromach, said: “This visitor centre exclusive is a great way to mark the distillery’s recent success and I’m sure Benromach enthusiasts will be keen to get their hands on one of the 32 bottles. This single malt was distilled before the Urquhart family took the reins and brought Benromach Distillery back to life and now, after maturing for 40 years, it is finally time for whisky fans to get the chance to savour this treasured and exceptional dram.”

Benromach 1976, is now available exclusively at the distillery’s visitors centre, for £1250.

Posted by Steve Rush

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Highland Park, has today officially announced the launch of the first expression in a new special Viking Legend series of single malt Scotch whiskies.

Highland Park Valkyrie (45.9% ABV) is a no-age statement bottling, which is said to dial up more smoky notes by incorporating more of their heathery peated malt. 
Highland Park Valkyrie

Having once been part of Denmark and Norway, Orkney became the raiding headquarters for Norwegian Vikings in the 8th and 9th century, shaping a unique past for the island.

Magnus Eunson, who founded Highland Park in 1798, was a direct descendent of those first Viking pioneers. Even today, 1 in 3 Orkney islanders bear Scandinavian DNA and share a fierce pride for the rich Nordic ancestry woven into the islands’ traditions and culture.

In partnership with renowned Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, Valkyrie is the first in a series of three Viking Legend releases inspired by rich Viking history and mythology. This latest release will be followed by Valknut in 2018 and Valhalla in 2019.

Valkyrie’s unique one-off design is inspired by two important Nordic sources – a typical Viking pendant from around 300-700AD discovered in Uppland, Sweden and the ancient Hammar Stone of Gotland which details the epic journey of the Valkyries.

Noticeably different from the traditional black and silver Highland Park packaging, the re-imagined design maintains the distillery’s ongoing references to Viking design whilst updating the graphics with a bolder, hand-drawn aesthetic.

Commenting on the launch, Jason Craig, Highland Park Brand Director, said: “We’ve enjoyed delving deeper into Orkney’s history and heritage for the Viking Legend series, culminating in this exciting new collaboration with bona fide 21st century Viking Jim Lyngvild.  Jim’s knowledge about Viking history and the Viking way of life is rich in detail.”

Highland Park, has also announced a packaging refresh and rebrand for its core range of single malts, which have been inspired by carvings of serpent like dragons. Its 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old expressions, will now be known as Viking Honour & Viking Pride respectively.

Highland Park Valkyrie, will be available next month from specialist retailers, for a RRP of £55,00.

Posted by Steve Rush

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Diageo has announced the first nine of the ten bottles, which will make up its 2017 Special Releases collection.

The much-anticipated annual series of releases is usually announced in September, ahead of their release in the autumn. But due to the launch now being one of the industry’s worst kept secrets, the drinks giant has decided to announce the first nine bottlings, with details of the 10th and RRP’s of the whole collection to follow later in the year.

Last year's Special Releases, headlined by a 1978 Port Ellen

Minus the tenth bottle being announced later this year, the 2017 Diageo Special Releases are comprised of:

Blair Athol 23 Year Old - Distilled in 1993 - 58.4% ABV
Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
Bottles: 5,514

Brora 34 Year Old – Distilled in 1982 - 51.9% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Bottles: 3,000

Caol Ila 18 Year Old – 59.8% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Limited Quantities Available Worldwide 

Convalmore 32 Year Old – Distilled in 1984 - 48.2% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Bottles: 3,972

Glen Elgin 18 Year Old – Distilled in 1998 - 54.8% ABV
Cask: Ex-Bodega European Oak Butts
Bottles: 5,352

Lagavulin 12 Year Old - 56.5% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Limited Quantities Available Worldwide 

Port Dundas 52 Year Old – Distilled in 1964 - 44.6% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads
Bottles: 752

Port Ellen 37 Year Old – Distilled in 1979 – 51% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Butts
Bottles: 2,988

Teaninich 17 Year Old – Distilled in 1999 - 55.9% ABV
Cask: Refill American Oak Hogsheads & Refill American Oak Barrels
Limited Quantities Available Worldwide 

Commenting on the news, Dr Nick Morgan, Head of Whisky Outreach at Diageo, said: “One of our most cherished moments in the whisky calendar is the annual announcement of the Diageo Special Releases collection – a group of limited edition and natural cask strength whiskies that are highly anticipated around the world and revered for their quality and collectability.

He went onto say: "So highly awaited are the releases, you may have noticed that we struggle to keep them under lock and key. Special Releases has rapidly become the worst kept secret in malts due to your enthusiasm and dedication to the collection.”

Last year’s Diageo Special Releases, was headlined by their Port Ellen 1978 - 37 Year Old bottling, which retailed for £2,450.

Posted by Steve Rush