World Whisky Day (16th May 2020) is just around the corner, and the question of which whisky to celebrate with remains a question on everybody’s lips.
There are few things more perfect than a fine whisky; patiently matured and rich with flavour, taking the drinker on an unforgettable taste journey.
Bringing together the finest ingredients and flavours, here is a selection of stand-out whiskies perfect to raise a Dram with for World Whisky Day, including classics from The Macallan, Maker’s Mark, The House of Suntory, and more.
Bowmore 15 Year Old
Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery, and home to the world’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse, the No. 1 Vaults. Matured first in bourbon barrels then Oloroso casks, there’s no finer example of a sherry cask finish than Bowmore 15 Year Old. The final three years spent in Oloroso sherry casks give Bowmore 15 Year Old the rich, deep colour and robust warming finish.
The Macallan Estate
The Macallan Estate, created by Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess, is a tribute to The Macallan’s heritage and home. It is an extremely special new single malt containing rare spirit from a proportion of the barley grown at Easter Elchies estate, which is distilled just once a year over the course of a single week. The liquid delivers a subtle hint of citrus which balances the traditional sherried richness, resulting in a complex single malt with an extraordinarily long finish.
Highland Park 16 Year Old Twisted Tattoo
In collaboration with Danish tattoo artist and modern-day Viking Soul, Colin Dale, Highland Park 16 Year Old Twisted Tattoo’s bold design celebrates the tattoo as a mark of both standing apart and being part of a tribe – just like Highland Park. The expression’s exquisite tasting notes include the likes of sweet vanilla, sun-ripened peaches, and full-bodied red wine, finished with a light peat smoke.
By maturing the liquid in small batches in five unique casks, Laphroaig has created a liquid that is rich, complex, varied and above all, storied. Laphroaig Lore uses different aged liquids ranging from 7 to 21 years, which allows the richest possible flavour. As the name suggests, this offering from Laphroaig is inspired by the knowledge and traditions passed down from generation to generation of its distillery managers, blenders and craftsmen.
The first bourbon in Maker’s Mark’s wood-finishing series, Maker’s 46 was created by Bill Samuels, J., to amplify the flavours he loves most in Maker’s Mark. The innovative wood-stave-finishing process starts with fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength, after which 10 seared virgin French oak staves are inserted into the barrel. The liquid is then finished for nine weeks in a limewood cellar, resulting in a bolder and more complex flavour, but without the bitterness typical of longer-aged whiskies.
Meaning ‘time’ in Japanese, Toki brings together old and new – the House of Suntory’s proud heritage and its innovative spirit. A blended Japanese whisky that is both ground-breaking and timeless, the finish is subtly sweet and spicy with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.
For more information on expressions from Edrington-Beam Suntory, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The exceptionally rare Bowmore Queens Cask 1980 has previously only appeared a handful of times, exclusively through charity auctions.
9th September 2019 – An exceptionally rare bottling of Bowmore Single Malt whisky has been donated by Beam Suntory to an online charity auction in support of cancer care in Scotland. The Scotch Whisky Industry Charity Auction for Beatson Cancer Charity will feature over 100 rare and prestigious whiskies from Scotland’s finest distilleries with an estimated auction hammer price value of over £110,000. The rare bottle of 1980 Bowmore Queen’s Cask donated by Beam Suntory, is expected to fetch a record sum.
In 1980 a cask of whisky was filled to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay. In 2002, Her Majesty requested that the cask was bottled to mark the Golden Jubilee. A select number of bottles were delivered to the cellars at Royal Palaces, with a small amount retained in the Bowmore distillery archive. Beam Suntory, owners of Bowmore distillery, donated the bottling with permission of the royal household. To date only a hand full of bottles have been seen exclusively at charity auctions, making this one of the rarest and most collectable whiskies in the world.
Pryce Greenow, International President at Beam Suntory, stated: “Beam Suntory is honoured to support such an incredible cause and raise awareness of the work of the Beatson Cancer Charity in Scotland. The Queens cask 1980 Jubilee bottling is an exceptional single malt celebrating an iconic moment in Bowmore’s distilling history. Matched by some incredible donations from the wider scotch whisky industry, we’re anticipating a record sum to be raised for this world-leading cancer charity.”
The online auction will run from 13th-23rd September on Whisky Auctioneer.com, which is waiving its seller fee and donating its buyer commission to the charity.
For more information on the auction or to register to participate, please visit
To buy or sell on the Whisky Auctioneer website, an account must be first set up here:
9th August 2019 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has announced the release of Bowmore® 36-Year-Old Dragon Edition, a new expression from the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouse, the famous No.1 Vaults.
Featuring the mythical Chinese dragon, the 36-year-old whisky pays homage to the iconic Bowmore 30-Year-Old Sea Dragon, which celebrated a famous myth of Islay. Renewing this tradition, the new expression celebrates the mythical creatures that live on in Chinese culture today.
The first of a series of four, the 36-Year-Old liquid has been specially selected from the same parcel of sherry casks used to create the iconic Bowmore 30-Year-Old Sea Dragon, exclusively released to Asia in 2006. Born and shaped by time, the mythical dragon featured on the bottling ensures balance in everything – just like Bowmore’s master distiller. With only 888 bottles available, matched with the pedigree of the iconic 30-Year-Old Sea Dragon, this incredible expression will be highly prized and sought after from whisky enthusiasts across China.
The 36-Year-Old Dragon Edition is an exquisite example of Bowmore’s rich fruit and smoke house style. With a rich dark natural colour, the whisky offers aromas of tropical fruit, toffee apple and caramelised orange with a hint of pine needle scent. It finishes with a floral and peppery tinge, balanced by oak spices and a touch of iodine. This carefully crafted single malt is best savoured neat or over ice.
David Turner, Bowmore® Distillery Manager, comments: “This new expression is a homage to the 30-Year-Old Sea Dragon that’s been much loved and collected by Bowmore fans across China. Born from an island that is rich with heritage and legends, Bowmore is celebrating the legendary creatures of Chinese mythology that are the protectors of people – just as Bowmore has protected and matured this precious liquid for 36 years. We’ve taken this amazing legacy and renewed it for the next generation of whisky drinkers”.
John Lomas, Prestige Director Beam Suntory, stated: “Bowmore is an incredible single malt with an iconic legacy. Today it continues to create some of the finest whisky in the world. With this new release of Bowmore 36-Year-Old Dragon edition, we are renewing this story for the next generation. We believe the time we’ve invested in perfecting our craftmanship over the last 50 years is shown in the quality of our whisky producing, and we’re excited to share this.”
Bowmore® 36-Year-Old Dragon Edition will be exclusively available at Whisky L and through select outlets from August at $2000
Colour: (natural) Burnt Umber
Nose: Scented wood, cedar, beeswax, tropical fruit, toffee apple, old leather, coconuts, rich Demerara sugar, cinnamon, a touch of aniseed, liquorice, caramelised orange peels and ginger.
Palate: Dried fruits, sultanas, Corinth raisins, roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Finish: Floral, peppery with oak spices and iodine.
Bottled at natural colour and strength
17th June 2019 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been awarded a total of seven medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its 18-year-old expression.
The medal haul, from one of the most significant global competitions, highlights Bowmore’s position as one of the top distilleries in the world, producing iconic single malts that continue to set the bar for the entire spirits industry.
The top awarded expression was Bowmore 18-year-old, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold for its masterful combination of ripe fruit, dark chocolate and Islay smoke. Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, this bottle is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind.
Gold medals were also awarded to Bowmore’s 12-year-old and 25-year-old expressions, demonstrating the breadth of quality in the distillery’s production from one of its youngest core offerings to one of its oldest.
The 12-year-old, which reflects the essence of Bowmore, is both complex and perfectly balanced with subtle lemon and sweet heather honey complementing Bowmore’s trademark peat smoke.
The 25-year-old offers a joyful union of toffee and hazelnut, bound together by sweet peat smoke. It is a whisky that has been patiently matured for a quarter of a century in North American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks and is exceptional even by Bowmore’s standards.
Alongside these awards for the core range, Bowmore’s 15-year-old and 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusives also picked up gold medals.
Bowmore 15-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is a golden and elegant whisky, exquisitely married in first fill Bourbon casks and hogsheads for a refreshing, inspired and uplifting character.
Bowmore 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is deep and complex. Perfectly balanced, with a dignified maturity through time well spent in the depths of the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
David Turner, Bowmore® Distillery Manager, comments: “San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the top awards for the industry so it’s an honour to have picked up so many medals across our range. To have been awarded Double Gold for our 18-year-old core expression is a moment I will forever be immensely proud of – it’s superb whisky and having it recognised like this really makes for a rewarding moment for everyone at the distillery.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and four Gold medals, Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 10-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive also picked up Silver medals to round off an impressive showing from one of Scotland’s most esteemed distilleries.
Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. And that means that the award is one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.
The 2019 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 3,000 entries. Judges of the 2019 Competition were established spirits-industry experts, including: Anthony Dias Blue (Executive Director), author, editor, publisher, and one of the most influential food, wine, and spirits writers and lifestyle personalities in the U.S.A; Tony Abou-Ganim (Director of Judging), the Master-Mixologist, one of the leading pioneers of America’s craft cocktail movement; David Wondrich, James Beard Award–winning author and longtime
Spirits Writer for Esquire Magazine; Julie Reiner, the renowned bartender who has brought New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club rave reviews and top rankings among the best bars in the world; and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Award.
The robust judging process includes four days of highly controlled blind tastings, where the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
More information about the competition and the winners can be found here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/
3rd June 2019: Bowmore has been awarded gold medals for its 15-Year-Old and 18-Year-Old in the Whisky category at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2019. Such an accolade from the ISC is regarded to be the most respected and sought after in the drinks industry, due to the stringent nature of the judging process.
The Bowmore 15-Year-Old and 18-Year-Old passed a scrupulous blind tasting by a world-renowned expert panel of specialist judges to beat strong competition to win the prestigious accolade of gold. The quality of Bowmore’s craftsmanship and liquid is reflected in this superb result.
Matured first in bourbon barrels then Oloroso casks, there’s no finer example of a sherry cask finish than the Bowmore 15-Year-Old. It’s the final three years spent in Oloroso sherry casks that gives Bowmore 15-Year-Old the rich, deep colour and robust warming finish.
Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, the Bowmore 18-Year-Old is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind. One of the rarest whiskies, bottles of Bowmore 18-Year-Old may be limited, but there’s no end to its enjoyment.
Awards Organiser Justin Smith said: “This ISC grows every year, with producers entering a diverse mix of spirits from across the globe who are looking to benchmark their spirit at the very highest level”.
Chiara Giovanacci, International Marketing Manager Malts for Beam Suntory, commented: “Both the Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 18-year-old are exceptional whiskies meticulously matured and sitting proudly at the heart of our portfolio. To be recognised by such a prestigious and respected awards organisation demonstrates their qualities as two of the finest aged single malts in the world.”
Now in its 24th year, the ISC is the premier event in promoting outstanding quality spirits from across the globe. The competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to encourage the high calibre of spirits and designs entered into the competition each year. Receiving more than 1,700 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide, the ISC is a truly global competition. It is supported by many of the world’s leading spirits producers as the international standard for quality and excellence.
For the Tasting Awards, a highly controlled operation is held over fifteen days of intense blind tastings by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals. Samples are delivered to the judging area in flights of numbered tasting glasses to ensure the accuracy of the blind tasting. Each judge assesses products according to their age, region and variety which is then determined by the entrant and verified by the chairman.
Such a precise judging process has provided the basis of the strong reputation the ISC has established for rewarding quality and celebrating excellence.
Full results have been released and published on the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) website, www.
On 10th July, the world’s leading drinks producers and design specialists will gathered at The Plaisterers Hall, London for the annual ISC Awards Dinner. Paying tribute to some of the finest spirits, and packaging designs in the world, results for categories are announced with the evening highlights, which include the acclaimed Trophies, Producer of the year, Distiller of the Year, Supreme Champion Spirit and Special Recognition awards.
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