Background – Here at TCC, even though we’re not subscribed to every potential newsletter or source of information, we receive around four hundred emails over the course of a month with various promotions, new release information, distillery newsletter, updates etc. Add on social media posts and that amounts to somewhere well over 1000 pieces of information being reviewed per month. The aim of this monthly round up is to provide a summary of the most interesting bits along with upcoming events that can be gleaned from them. The downside to a monthly review is a lot of “special offers” will have come and gone, so therefore we do plan to increase the frequency of this newsletter to weekly, so that you can be aware of all offers.
June includes Father’s Day so the month started off with numerous whisky gift ideas for dads. June is also the month when many of the new releases for the summer appear.
Keeping up with the times and the rush of celebrities launching their own bottles, Rod Stewart launched a blended whisky, Wolfie’s Whiskey (£35, 40% ABV) made at Loch Lomond Distillery in the UK during June. Rod has personally signed over 1000 bottles prior to release. The release will occur in July in the USA, go to wolfiesiscoming.com to be one of the first to know. Here at The Cask Connoisseur we were rather taken with the label.
For the Medal winners of the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) head to thetastingalliance. The website also lists winners available in shops as well as tasting and pairing notes.
Congratulations to Loch Lomond distillery who apparently was the most awarded distillery at SFWSC 2023.
Congratulations to Tomatin distillery, their 36 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been named ‘Best in Show’ in the whisky category at SFWSC 2023. It was previously awarded Best in Show in 2017. An annual release of 1200 bottles globally, this year’s edition is 45.1%ABV and retails at £1200.
Cadenheads latest Original Collection release of single malts available through their shops. All bottled at 46% ABV, prices range between £55-£70 per bottle.
Cadenheads release their Summer 2023 Authentic Collection on 7th July which includes a Brazilian Malt Whisky. To get advanced notice of their releases why not join their Club.
Douglas Laing launches their latest Scallywag bottling (£60, 48%ABV) – The Chocolate Edition. A somewhat limited edition of 4200 bottles.
Whisky Hammer launch a new independent bottling brand, Halcyon Spirits. Their initial offering is a 30 year old Macallan distilled in 1993. This follows the completion of their cask warehouse which can store up to 2000 casks.
For an annual fee, The Whisky Shop & Loch Fyne (£14.95) and Master of Malt (£19.95) launch an annual “free” next day delivery service. T&C’s apply to both which may make the provided service not worthwhile for you so you need to check. The Whisky Shop has no minimum order value so could be worth it. Master of Malt implies a “fair usage policy” suggestive that they will rescind the scheme if you make lots of small purchases, although they will refund the payment.
Laphroaig announce an upcoming ballot for the Francis Mallmann Limited Edition of 276 bottles. You will need to be a Friends of Laphroaig to enter and also the annual Friends of Laphroaig Càirdeas has arrived. This year the Càirdeas has been finished in White Port and Madeira Casks.
Glenglassaugh launch a new trio of whiskies as part of their core range, including their first twelve year old after the relaunch of the distillery in 2008.
Berry Bros & Rudd announce their summer spirits release which includes a Brazilian rum and an intriguing blended malt – 1979 Berrys’ Exceptional Casks, Blend 5.
The Lakes Distillery has a new CEO, James Pennefather, whose focus will be on international expansion. Given the current prices of older Lakes Distillery bottles on the secondary market which have increased markedly in recent months, that expansion is already happening.
Midleton Silent Distillery Collection Chapter 4 has been released. Described as a 48 year old whiskey containing the finest pot still and grain whiskeys before “being aged to perfection”. There are just 119 bottles available, a snip at around £47,000 a bottle or nearly £2050 per dram (3cl). As one would expect the bottle and packaging look exceptional. The Chapter 3 edition at 47 years old is still available from specialist retailers at around £42,000.
Malts.com are offering a chance to win a trip for two to the 2023 Islay Jazz Festival (15th-17th September). Simply spend £100 on any products. The raffle closes on the 31st July.
William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd have obtained planning permission to expand their distillery and increase production at Girvan, Scotland. The family owned business also owns the Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries amongst other well recognised brands.
Just Whisky introduces a flat fee for whisky sellers of £7.50 plus VAT per lot and the same for a reserve price. Several other sites offer similar flat rates (see our UK Auction Sites spreadsheet) for sellers. Is this an indication that competition between auction sites is hotting up? Certainly, it indicates that you need to check out not only which sites offer the best prices for your bottles but also what it might cost you.
Celtic Whiskey Shop celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Shipping to 40 countries, it is an ideal shop and online retailer for those of you who like Irish Whiskey.
Suntory celebrate 100 years of whisky distilling in Japan. Owners of the Yamazaki and Hakushu brands amongst others, you might want to seek out the 18 year old 100th anniversary limited releases from both distilleries. The Yamazaki retails at £1600, The Hakushu at £1275.
Lagg Distillery releases their first core range bottle – Lagg Kilmory Edition (46% ABV £49.99). The Corriecravie Edition (55% ABV £64.99) to be released in early summer will become the second.
Glenallachie Distillery opens their upgraded visitor centre with a new Whisky Bar and Tasting Lounge. There will be a launch event for the bar on Thursday 13th July, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, which is open to all.
Edrington, the makers of Macallan exceeded £1 billion in core revenue for the first time for the year ending 31st March 2023. This represents a 22% increase compared to the previous year. Their brands also include The Glenrothes, Highland Park, Naked Malt and The Famous Grouse.
Until midnight Monday 3rd July Abbey Whisky are offering 10% off the Kilchoman Distillery range.
For those of you who love cheese and whisky, Douglas Laing have announced the first of the Timorous Beastie “Cheese Cellar Collection” designed to accompany cheese. The first is a blended highland malt finished in Port casks at 48% ABV, Timorous Beastie Port Edition.
Upcoming Whisky Events
Those without full dates, have already occurred in 2023 without releasing 2024 dates at present.
1st July – National Whisky Festival, Inverness
21st-22nd July Southport Summer Whisky Festival, Churchtown & Southport
22nd July – Summer Fest, English Whisky Co, Norwich
21st-29th July – Belfast Whisky Week, Belfast
4th-5th August – A Club Whisky Festival, Edinburgh
18th-20th August – Whisky Fringe, Edinburgh
26th August – Spirit of Alba Festival, Kirkintilloch
2nd September – Whisky Indy Love Fest, Newcastle upon Tyne
2nd-9th September – The Hebridean Whisky Festival, held at distilleries along the Hebridean Whisky Trail
9th September – Scottish National Whisky Festival, Aberdeen
9th-10th September – Midlands Whisky Festival, Birmingham
15th-17th September – Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival
16th-17th September – The Whisky Lounge: Liverpool Whisky Festival, Liverpool
1st-2nd September – Spirit of Speyside: Distilled, Elgin
22nd September – The Hearach, Isle of Harris Whisky Launch
22nd September – Cadenhead’s In the Courtyard, Campbeltown. An opportunity to try some special Cadenhead’s bottlings.
29th September – 1st October – Whisky Show, London
7th October – The Whisky Lounge: York Whisky Festival, York
14th October – Falkirk Whisky Social, Larbert
14th October – Edinburgh Whisky Festival
20th-21st October – Manchester Whisky Festival, Manchester
27th-29th October – The Dornoch Whisky Festival
28th October – Whisky Social Belfast, Belfast
4th November – National Whisky Festival, Newcastle
4th November – Stirling Whisky Festival, Stirling
11th November – Glasgow Whisky Festival, Hampden Park, Glasgow
18th November – English Whisky Festival, Birmingham
25th November – Drambusters Festival, Dumfries
25th November – The Whisky Affair, Reading
1st December – Kendal Whisky Festival, Kendal
3rd December – Inverkip Hotel Christmas Market, Inverkip
9th December – National Whisky Festival, Edinburgh
27th January 2024 – Scottish National Whisky Festival, Glasgow
1st-3rd March 2024 – Fife Whisky Festival, various locations in Fife.
1st-6th May 2024 – Spirit of Speyside
17/18th May 2024 – Whiskey Live Dublin
2nd March 2024 – Whisky Birmingham – Birmingham
18th May 2024 – Bladnoch Waterfall release day. This is the last release of the series.
22nd June 2024 – Stoke Whisky Festival – Stoke on Trent
Southport Whisky Festival (Winter)
Harrow Whisky Festival
The Whiskey Affair: Haslemere
The Whisky Lounge: Newcastle Whisky Festival
Leeds Whisky Festival
The Whisky Lounge: Bristol Whisky Festival, Bristol
Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival, Alloa
Croydon Whisky Festival
Whisky Live London
Campbeltown Whisky Festival
Fèis Ìle, Islay
Arran Whisky Festival, Arran
The Whisky Lounge: Edinburgh Whisky Festival, Edinburgh
The Whisky Affair: Guildford, Guilford