Back to top

Whisky News

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s week-long celebration of its Leith origins concludes this weekend.

The festival, known as The Gathering, runs until Sunday 8 September at The Vaults and other iconic Leith venues.

The Gathering encapsulates what it means to be a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, with a jam-packed week of fun-filled whisky-themed events.

It’s time to dig deep in those pockets, search down the back of the sofa and smash open that piggy bank, because the world’s most valuable whisky collection is officially up for auction at Sotheby’s.

While some of us have been saving up for that elusive first home or a top-of-the-range sports car, others have had their eye on something a little pricier - $4.8 million worth of whisky to be precise.

When whisky spends years resting in casks it’s vital that the vessel is in optimum condition to do its job. Yet the construction of a quality cask is far more complex than simply bounding a few staves together, writes Becky Paskin.

‘The most valuable collection of whisky ever to be sold at auction’, expected to sell for at least £4million, is coming to Sotheby’s.

With collectors’ thirst for the finest and rarest examples of Scotch whisky increasingly reaching new heights, Sotheby’s will present The Ultimate Whisky Collection, comprising 394 lots, 467 bottles, and nine casks.

This is the company’s first single-owner offering of spirits. Showcasing the most comprehensive range of desirable Scotch whisky to come to the market from a private ‘cellar’, the collection is estimated to bring in the region of £4 million ($4.8 million).

An artificial tongue can taste subtle differences between drams of whisky and could one day help tackle the counterfeit alcohol trade.

The technology is capable of picking up on the differences between the same brand aged in different barrels, with more than 99 per cent accuracy and can tell the difference between those aged for 12, 15 and 18 years.

A new whisky celebration is to be held in the north of Scotland this autumn.

The first Whisky Colours Festival will be held from 10 to 14 October. It is a celebration of all things whisky and is centred in Dufftown, the malt whisky capital of the world.

A spokesman for the organisers said: ‘We have been inspired by the vast range of whisky colours that are mirrored in the beauty of the phenomenal autumn scenery in and around Dufftown with the woodlands displaying their stunning colours and the bright golden barley in the fields.

Scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have developed an artificial tongue capable of distinguishing between different brands of whisky, a potentially useful tool to combat counterfeit whiskeys on the international market. The researchers describe their device in a new paper in Nanoscale.

There is an exploding demand for expensive rare whiskies, so naturally there has been a corresponding increase in the number of counterfeit bottles infiltrating the market. A study last year subjected 55 randomly selected bottles from auctions, private collectors, and retailers to radiocarbon dating and found that 21 of them were either outright fakes or not distilled in the year claimed on the label.

There has been a big surge in Scotch Whisky exports over the past year, according to buoyant figures issued some weeks ago by the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association). For the first time annual figures have topped the £5.5 billion mark, which is quite a boost on the £4-plus billion not long ago.

Isle of Arran Distillers has opened a second Scotch whisky distillery on its home island.

The privately-owned company, which produces the Arran Malt Scotch whisky range, started production at the new Lagg distillery in March. Construction on the site began in 2017.

The Lagg distillery, on the south side of Arran off the west coast of Scotland, includes a visitors centre targetting growing levels of whisky tourism at the company's first distillery in Lochranza.

Attention whisky lovers, London is set to get its own whisky hotel.

The award-winning Black Rock whisky bar has announced plans to expand its basement bar into a four-story property that will feature a blending room and three lodges where guests can stay overnight.

The decision to expand the range of casks used to mature Scotch whisky has been broadly welcomed by distillers, but there’s plenty of devil in the detail.

Maybe he was lost this time; perhaps he knew a shortcut he’d not told us about. I started to suspect the former. After all, he was new to this job and hadn’t driven in this part of the world before, so it only seemed fair to give some advice – which he declined to take. His body language was sufficient in way of reply: ‘I’m the driver,’ it said. ‘Let me do my job ferrying you from one distillery to the next. You just sit there.’

The whisky market will be worth more than £2.4 ­billion by 2022 as Scotch sales increase, according to forecasts by Edrington-Beam Suntory UK.

The Glasgow-based spirits specialist predicts that the whisky sector will grow by £138 million in value in the coming three years, representing 6 per cent growth over the period.

There is so much more to Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail than just distilleries and drams.

Whether you’re a whisky connoisseur or not, the trail offers something for everyone. Set up to promote the local malt whisky industry, the collection of impressive visitor attractions – and the picturesque places between them – draw huge numbers of tourists to the Moray Speyside region each year.

The annual Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) members' day is taking place in Edinburgh on Wednesday. In her speech, SWA chief executive Karen Betts is expected to outline her vision for the industry up to the year 2050.

She will tell the gathering: "2050 isn't far away, particularly for an industry that thinks in decades rather than in years. She will add that by 2050, she expects Scotch whisky "to remain the world's pre-eminent whisky".

Ranging from Highland Park on Orkney in the north to Bladnoch in the Borders in the south, there are over 120 whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Here are 13 of the most picturesque, you’ll want to visit again and again.

Turnover in Scotland’s food and drink sector has grown to a record £14.8 billion, Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary said.

Fergus Ewing announced it had grown by £836m from 2016 to reach its highest ever total the following year.

For a span of several months last year, Jim Murray, a whisky writer and reviewer, was unable to walk, stand, and even sit comfortably because of a simple and very telling mistake: for upward of twenty years, he’d spent full days spitting whisky out of his mouth into a spittoon that sat on his right-hand side. His whisky-spitting motion had become so one-sided that he’d shriveled a muscle in his back and thrown his spine out of alignment.

Murray is a principled whisky taster. He achieved some notoriety a few years ago for admitting during an interview that he does not kiss anyone during the writing of his annual whiskey tome, Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible. He says the germs run the risk of making him sick, which would trash his tasting schedule of up to 30 whiskeys a day. When I watched him give a tasting on Texas bourbons recently, he nearly inspired an uprising among a cadre of Southerners by barring any swallowing at all for nearly two hours, and also stringently enforcing a “no talking” rule. “Listen to the whiskey,” he said. Eventually, most of the Texans came to heel, and later began self-policing in so zealous a manner that it was obvious they’d become disciples.

Scotch Whisky’s contribution to the UK economy has grown by 10% since 2016 to £5.5 billion, according to a new report by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The report, which builds on research carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), also reveals Scotland’s national drink generates two-thirds of all spirits Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK.

The industry has also been buoyed by record exports reaching £4.7 billion in 2018, and several new distilleries beginning production and opening their doors to tourists.

The Macallan Boutique is to be the first-ever permanent, monobrand luxury spirits boutique at Dubai International (DXB).

Edrington EMEA Travel Retail and Le Clos – the Dubai-based fine wine and luxury spirits retailer – is writing the next chapter in their record-breaking partnership with the unveiling of a new luxury retail concept for The Macallan.

The Macallan Boutique design is a bespoke concept which draws heavily from the passion, vision and beauty of The Macallan Estate, including the new £140m distillery and visitor centre in Speyside, unveiled last June.

Along with a strong focus on consumer engagement and storytelling, the boutique will also feature exclusive products, complementing Le Clos’ world-class portfolio of fine wines and spirits.

The most extensive and famous private whisky collection in the world is set to stay in Scotland for another ten years.

The Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection has been the focal point of the Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile since it first went on display in 2009.

The Scotch whisky industry is to spend £1million on tackling alcohol misuse over the next decade.
Through the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, the industry is committed to providing consumers with the information they need to make informed and responsible choices about the consumption of alcohol; and to working to reduce the harms caused through excessive drinking.

The European Commission has approved a geographical indication (GI) protecting the methods of producing Irish whiskey.

The Irish government submitted a technical file outlining specifications for producing spirits that can be sold as ‘Irish whiskey’ in October 2014.

It’s being advertised as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is hosting a first-ever auction of two rare vintage bottles of Macallan Fine and Rare Series scotch 

“We were extremely fortunate to receive these highly sought-after products, which are very difficult to find across the world, let alone in the U.S., and we look forward to making one or two scotch enthusiasts very, very happy,” said Tim Holden, PLCB chairman.

Scotland’s Bladnoch distillery, as it gets ready to open its doors later this year to visitors, is continuing to release older single malt whisky expressions. The latest of these is a new 17 year old Scotch that was finished in ex-California red wine casks.

The new Bladnoch 17 Year Old, according to those behind it, is a limited edition release which was first filled into ex-bourbon barrels in 2001.

Angela Cochrane und Kirsty Olychick betreten als erste Frauen einen Bereich der Whiskyindustrie, der bisher noch immer ausschließlich in männlicher Hand war: Sie beginnen eine Ausbildung zum Küfer (oder vielmehr wohl zur Küferin) an der Cambus Cooperage von Diageo in Clackmannashire.

Einen Caol Ila, der mehr als 30 Jahre im Fass verbracht hat, wird man nicht gerade kistenweise bei sich daheim stehen haben. Eigentlich schade, dass das nicht geht, denn mit einer langen Reifung tendiert Caol Ila dazu, umwerfend komplex zu werden, ohne dabei die ausgeprägte Rauchigkeit zu verlieren. Nicht immer, aber doch oft genug, um große Augen zu bekommen, wenn man solche gereiften Abfüllungen sieht – zum Beispiel auf Messen. Das sind dann Zeitpunkte, wo man auch mal für einen Dram tiefer in die Tasche greifen kann.

The final 20 bottles of the Duke of Rothesay’s own whisky will be auctioned off to raise money for the Ballater community. They are Royal Lochnagar 30-year-old single malt from the Duke’s 1988 cask, which was produced at the local distillery. The recent auction of bottle number one of the Prince’s single malt raised £9,100, and the foundation is releasing the remaining bottles for auction this month.

Every whisky event I work, there is at least one bloviating male who explains whisky to me. Every auction, conference, and fundraiser—I stand at my booth, hired to conduct tastings, and educate the consumer on what they’re drinking. This type of man is quick to tell me what he does, but never asks about my job. He assumes he knows more about whisky than I do. Men who do not understand what I do have explained my job to me, scores of times...

Contact us today!

If you have any queries, please contact us:

Or click here to use our contact form.

Highlands Whisky Company, 26 Bonnethill Rd, Pitlochry PH16 5BS | Useful Links