Ballot Open for Rare Karuizawa 35 Year Japanese Whisky

A ballot for dekantā’s Karuizawa The Cities of Japan 35 Year Old Sherry Cask collection, showcasing bottle designs inspired by Japan’s most iconic cities with rare Japanese whisky of the silent distillery, closes Wednesday 7 February at midnight (GMT).

Authentic Japanese spirits retailer dekantā have just announced the opening of their ballot to buy one of the world’s rarest whiskies, a 35-year-old single sherry cask whisky, of which only 150 bottles are available, from the closed Karuizawa distillery. Each of the Karuizawa 35-Year-Old Cities of Japan Sherry Cask($12,500, 70cl, 59.4%) bottles carries one of six limited edition designs, embodying the character of Japan’s most exciting and iconic cities, Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Yokohama and Kobe. Since the Karuizawa distillery ceased production in 2000, demand for Japanese whisky and the limited Karuizawa stock has increased dramatically, pushing up prices as a result.

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Cyclist Mark Beaumont to open Fife Whisky Festival

Mark Beaumont

Scottish cycling legend Mark Beaumont is gearing up for his latest challenge – as the guest of honour at the first Fife Whisky Festival. The endurance cyclist will open the showcase event on Saturday, March 10 at the Corn Exchange in Cupar.

Mark, who holds the record for cycling around the world, is delighted to have the chance to sample a dram or two at the festival. He said: “As an athlete, I drink modestly but have always enjoyed a dram on the right occasion ever since I lived around the corner from The Ben Nevis – a famous whisky and folk music bar in Glasgow.”

Mark will open the event – which he describes as an important boost to the local economy – at 1 pm before mingling with festival-goers and enjoying the entertainment.

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The Abbey Whisky Bar Edinburgh, January Whisky Tasting

Featuring the whiskies of Ian Macleod Distillers.

The whisky tasting this month featured whiskies from two distilleries owned by the Ian Macleod organisation. There was an initial introduction by Bruce Borthwick representing the distillery owners. Bruce showed us the bottles which would be used in the tasting and gave us some basic background regarding the whiskies on the show.

We started with a blended malt whisky, “The Feathery.” This is blended using sherry casks and has the distinctive sweetness associated with this. The name refers to an early form of golf ball comprised of leather stuffed with feathers. A nice starter dram to get the evening underway!

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The Real McCoy Rum Tasting

This range had been named after a good looking man Bill McCoy. He was a legendary Prohibition-era smuggler. Bill McCoy used to build yachts at the start of the 20th Century. He was very good at it, but the economy took a bad turn and he had to diversify.

He didn’t really agree with prohibition and in January of 1920, he started rumrunning. He must have been very good at that too, as soon he became public enemy number 1. And he never even broke the law, as he anchored his boat in international waters!

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Gordon & MacPhail boosts global sales strategy

tuart Ellis – UK Sales Manager, Ewen Mackintosh – Managing Director and David King – International Sales Director at Gordon & MacPhail.

Leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has boosted its global sales strategy following a strategic restructure within the company’s sales division.

The move will integrate the UK market into the global strategy for Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach whiskies going forward. David King, International Sales Director, will assume overall responsibility for global sales with the addition of the UK market to his existing international remit.

David King’s distinguished career in the whisky industry, has seen him hold a number of senior positions, both in the UK and internationally, for companies including the Edrington Group, Berry Brothers & Rudd and Anchor Distilling Co. He later founded DTK Beverages International Ltd, a boutique brand building and strategic consultancy before joining Gordon & MacPhail in 2016.

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Isle of Arran Distillers announce Burns Unbroke events

Isle of Arran Distillers, sponsors of Burns Unbroke, a brand new multi-arts Robert Burns Festival have announced a series of masterclasses at the inaugural celebration, and a cocktail reception on the opening night of the Festival.

To be held on the 26th January, 1st February, 15th February and 1st March, the masterclass tastings will include a selection of expressions from the award-winning Arran Malt range including the Robert Burns Malt – the only whisky officially endorsed by the World Burns Federation.

Under the tutelage of the experienced, friendly staff from the Isle of Arran Distillery Festival goers will have the chance to taste the ‘Arran Waters’ with five drams of the Arran Malt, as well as the delicious Arran liqueur, discovering the inspiration and craft behind each. You will be guaranteed an informal and enjoyable evening.

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La Hechicera, a rum tasting with a touch of magic

Rum, another adventure, a new challenge. Curious as I am, I looked up the meaning of the name La Hechicera. This is Spanish for ‘enchantress’ and pronounced as ‘etch-ee-seh-rah’. Try that a few times before and after a couple of glasses filled with rum when the magic kicks in.

Using the solera method of ageing in American white oak barrels, La Hechicera is a wonderful blend of mature rums between 12 and 21 years.

This captures the character, exuberance and diversity of Columbia.

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Chivas harnesses community spirit in search for the 2018 Chivas Masters global champion

Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has launched its search for the 2018 Chivas Masters Global Champion. Now in its fifth year, the Chivas Masters is a global competition that celebrates bartenders who demonstrate cutting-edge skill and creativity and share Chivas Regal’s core values of community, collaboration and generosity.

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Gordon & MacPhail and the lost gems from a bygone era

Gordon & MacPhail, located in the north-east of Scotland in the heart of the world famous whisky producing region of Speyside. Gordon & MacPhail is an independent family owned and managed firm which has been bottling Single Malt Whiskies for over 120 years.

I’ve tasted five amazing award-winning whiskies and captured the lost gems from a bygone era of single malt Scotch whisky production.

The wood that makes the whisky.

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A Master Distiller’s Guide to Burns Night

With Christmas, a distant memory and spring a long way off, the end of January isn’t a traditionally cheerful time unless you follow Scottish tradition and throw a party to rival Hogmanay on the 25th. Burns Night is a celebration of the great Robert Burns, national hero and Scotland’s most beloved poet, and a great excuse to shake off the winter blues.

James McTaggart, Master Distiller at Isle of Arran Distillers who produce the world’s only official Robert Burns Malt, is well versed in how to throw a brilliant Burns Night celebration. Here he shares his top choice of whiskies to accompany the festivities.

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