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The Whisky Shop Dufftown Challenge for Independent Bottlers

This entry was posted in Whisky Tastings and Events News and tagged , , , , , , , on by .

This is the first of our articles following The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2017.

Once again this year we laid down the challenge to independent whisky merchants to find the best independent bottling in two categories: Speyside Whisky; and the Rest of Whisk(e)y.

We run our challenge throughout the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and it is judged by guests who come in to our shop in a blind tasting.  It was fun and relaxed and people really enjoyed the experience.  We had over 300 guests of the festival  sample the whiskies in the challenge and nearly 200 voted for their favourite.


The Speyside Category was fiercely contested but we had a clear winner in Aultmore 2008 6 Years Old from Stilnovisti which gained a third of the votes.  Stilnovisti have recently set up an office in Dufftown and it was great of them to find some whisky for us.  Particularly as they stole the show with a young whisky which beat off some much older competition.  This proved yet again that it is the liquid that counts the most and not the age.  We consider this to be a win for the Dufftown whisky region!  Second place was taken by the Adelphi Breath of Speyside 2006 10 Years Old and third place by Old Particular Craigellachie 1995 21 Years Old.

Stillnovisti Aultmore 2008 6 Years Old

Rest of Whisk(e)y

We had a runaway winner in the Rest of Whisky category with 40% of the votes, Old Particular Strathclyde 2005 11 Years Old.  We are hoping to get more stocks in shortly.  The rogue entry from Gordon & MacPhail, The English Whisky Co English Peated Single Malt came second and Old Perth came third.

Old Particular Strathclyde 2005 11 Years Old

Note:  We define the rest of whisky to be any alcoholic beverage which is derived from any grain, distilled and then matured in oak casks. It can be a blend or blend of malts. It does not have to be distilled, matured or bottled in Scotland. However, it cannot be defined to be from Speyside. Should there ever be a grain distillery in Speyside then we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

A big thank you to Adelphi, Douglas Laing, Gordon & MacPhail, Morrison & MacKay, Stilnovisti and Wemyss Malts.

Best Tasting Notes

We also have a competition for the best tasting notes submitted by one of our guests.  This year the best tasting notes came from Will Burtt and he wins a bottle of the Stilnovisti Aultmore which he voted for as his favourite.

Here is a flavour of some of Will's comments:

  • "like a distant steam train"
  • "like the very first taste of fresh Cornish vanilla ice cream"
  • "who would you give your last Rolo too?"
  • "lying in a field of lavender with a big spoon of honey"


A big thank you to all the guests who took part.

See you all next year!

The Whisky Shop Dufftown's Next Exclusive Bottling with a Twist

This entry was posted in Blog, New Whisky Releases and Bottlings, Tasting Notes and tagged , , , on by .

Buried at the back of the Morrison & MacKay warehouse, uncovered as they prepared to leave for their new premises, was found a small quantity of an exceptional whisky.  To be bottled as a Celebration of the Cask this Strathmill 1990 was from an ex-Sherry Butt and originally put in to glass in 2015.  It is a stonkingly good dram and we at The Whisky Shop Dufftown have agreed its escape plan.

Interested?  Intrigued?  Here are our tasting notes:

Nose: Garibaldi biscuits.  Rich fruit cake.  Raisin toffee.  Dark treacle and dark cherries.  It's all there on the nose.

Taste: Chewy raisin flapjacks.  So moreish.  Rum & raisin fudge.  Malt loaf (not meat loaf of either variety).  Bonfire toffee.  The complete picture for a well balanced and complex sherry cask whisky.

Finish: Mint humbugs with warming spice.  Warm Cointreau and a touch of menthol.

What's the price for this 25 Years Old masterpiece? Just £105.  How do I get hold of one?  Well here comes the twist.  There will be only 60 of these Celebration of the Cask Strathmill's.  It will be launched at Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2017 but we want the guests that come along to Peter Mackay's tasting at 17:30 on Monday 1 May 2017 to be assured of getting a bottle so it will not go on sale until The Final Drop should there be any left after Peter's tasting.

What's more.  Here is the another twist.  If you go along to Peter's tasting you will get the whisky for £90 a bottle (£15 off).  Limited to one bottle each if needs be to slate demand on the night.

Want to be sure of getting a bottle?  Then click here to buy a ticket to Peter's tasting.  Next best thing is to come along to The Last Drop.  You may even get 10% off.  Still cheaper than at Peter's tasting.  Shame The Last Drop is sold out.  Finally it will be available for £105 from 10am BST on  Tuesday 2 May from the shop or from our website.

Here's a little teaser.

WSD Strathmill Teaser 2

For those interested the background is an Ordanance Survey  Explorer Select 1 : 25000 scale centred on The Dufftown Whisky Region.




The Whisky Shop Dufftown Newsletter - March 2017

This entry was posted in Blog, New Whisky Releases and Bottlings, Newsletters, Whisky Tastings and Events News on by .

With Spring coming up and snow on the ground in Dufftown it is about time for an update.


Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2017

We are busy preparing for Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2017 which starts in 40 days time at the time of writing.  We are now hosting 44 events.  There is one new one which is an in-store tasting on Thursday 27 April from 12pm to 5pm which is looking at American and Swedish whiskies which have deep connections with Speyside.

spirit-of-speyside-cyclonesWe have sold nearly 70% of our tickets for our events and 10 are already sold out.  If you are coming to the festival then please make sure you have all the tickets you want.



Exclusive Festival Bottlings

For each of our festivals we try and have some new exclusive to The WSD whiskies on the shelves.  This year's first confirmed new exclusive is something a bit different.  Working with Morrison & Mackay we have found some old stock which has been in glass since 2015.  This is an excellent whisky and we just had to rescue it from the dark and dingy corner of their warehouse where it had been forgotten.  It is a Strathmill, distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2015 from a refill ex-Sherry Butt.  It has been bottled at 53.6% ABV.  It is an absolute cracker.  It is full of sherry but not over powering, giving it a wonderful complexity.  The shelf price will be £105.  The first 60 bottles are being launched at the festival with those attending Peter MacKay's tasting getting the first chance to buy them and at a discount, only £90, so you better get along to that tasting!  They will then be on sale at The Last Drop and from Tuesday 2 May in the shop and on-line.

WSD Image MM 02

Another bottling for the festival is being created by Glenfarclas.  Always popular at the festival this special whisky is only available from the visitor centre.  Be sure to get your hands on one by coming on our 5 Decades Tour on Thursday 27 April - well it would have been a good opportunity but while preparing this newsletter the tour has sold out.  You snooze, you lose!

 WSD 2017 SofSWF Timetable 20170201

New Releases

Many of you are probably not attending Spirit of Speyside this year but this does not mean that the next 6 weeks are not important to you.  This is the time when we start getting in new bottlings on a weekly basis so keep an eye on the new products section of our website.  We already have the following new lines in from Hunter Laing and Douglas Laing.

Hunter Laing

Old Malt Cask Braeval 2001 15 Years Old
Old Malt Cask Blair Athol 1995 21 Years Old
Old Malt Cask Tormore 1988 28 Years Old
Old Malt Cask Mortlach 2005 12 Years Old
Hepburn's Choice Dufftown 2007 9 Years Old
Hepburn's Choice Inchgower 2008 9 Years Old

Douglas Laing

Old Particular Port Dundas 2004 12 Years Old
Old Particular Tamdhu 1998 18 Years Old
Old Particular Blair Athol 1998 18 Years Old
Old Particular Bunnahabhain 2001 15 Years Old
Old Particular Longmorn 1996 20 Years Old
Old Particular Glen Elgin 1995 21 Years Old
Xtra Old Particular Garnheath 1974 42 Years Old
Provenance Dailuaine 2007 9 Years Old

New Ranges

We are also extending the range of whiskies that we stock with new Bourbons and Swedish whisky lines coming to us that we have not stocked before.


Returning in to Stock

We had a surprise offer from Adelphi to re-stock some lines that we thought were long gone.  Pick of those is the highly sort after and collectable The Glover 18 Years Old.  There is not much of this left so don't delay.

Adelphi The Glover 18 Years Old

The other Adelphi's are:-

  • Clynelish 1996
  • Glenrothes 1991
  • Linkwood 1990

Also back in stock but very limited are:-

  • Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 15
  • Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 15


The Whisky Shop Dufftown Autumn Festival 2017

We also hope to have our master class programme for The Whisky Shop Dufftown Autumn Festival 2017 (21 to 25 September) completed shortly so keep an eye for that to launch.

WSD Postcard WSADF 2016

Dalwhinnie - To be Twinned with Clynelish?

This entry was posted in Blog, Lady of the Drams, Tasting Notes on by .

Recently Mike visited the beautiful distillery of Dalwhinnie in the snow and very thoughtfully brought back some samples for me to try and for us both to write tasting notes on. Quite a few of the samples reminded me of the Clynelish house style as you will see below.

Mike had a great informal tour of the distillery.  It had been a while since he had been round and he was surprised to be reminded how small the facility is.  It is well worth a visit and the Visitor Center is great with a cracking selection of tastings to have after your tour.  All paired with fabulous Highland Chocolatier delights.

Dalwhinnie 20170223 01 Web

Dalwhinnie 20170223 10 Web

One cold, dark winters night by lamplight in the middle of nowhere, here's how we got on with our tasting:

15 Years Old

Nose: Hints of maple and sherry wood mingle together. Sweet wood and mushroom risotto becomes pineapple and pears in a wooden bowl.

Taste: Candy sweetness. Oak sawdust spiced pineapple chunks, becomes clementine liqueur. Macerated opal fruits with a touch of wax.

Distillers Edition

Nose: Pineapple in orange juice with oak sprinkles, becomes cinnamon spiced Granny Smith's apples.

Taste: Spiced creaminess with hints of peppered raisins. A touch of burnt toffee. Christmas oranges

25 Years Old

Nose: Orange scented candles with white pepper. Warm sweet coconut oil and warm pine needles. Becomes tinned tropical fruits with more white pepper.

Taste: Warm pineapple rings with cracked pepper. Midori. Wood spice and powdered ginger.

Distillery Only Bottling

Nose: Spiced banana with toffee sauce, becomes more tropical fruits - pineapple, mango and then chocolate toffee orange.

Taste: Creamy and fresh. Clean vanilla lime and creme brulee. Just really, really nice orange liqueur.

Single Cask

Nose: Pine fresh. Damp sawdust. Clear varnish. Liquorice and menthol on the breeze. Fennel and wooden raisins.

Taste: Very clean spice with a hint of toffee. Peppered wax and ripe bananas.

WSD Dalwhinnie 20170223 02 Web Dalwhinnie 20170223 03 Web

Dalwhinnie 20170223 09 Web

***** A Bold Competition *****

This entry was posted in Blog on by .

The Whisky Shop Dufftown has decided to hold a competition to cheer everyone up and banish those January blues.

Starting tomorrow and every day for the rest of January we will be posting a question relating to either beer or whisky on our shop blog page, facebook, twitter and Instagram. The questions could appear on all four or they could just appear on one so youll need to keep an eye on all our sites to catch it.

At the end of each day a winner will be picked at random and will win a case, (Yes a Case) of our very own specially brewed beer ‘To Boldly Brew.

To enter is easy: once you know the answer, comment/tweet back the correct answer, then share the post and our social media page (either Instagram, facebook or twitter) to be in with a chance of winning!

Unfortunately due to shipping restrictions this competition is only open to residents within Europe. You must also be over 18 to enter.

Good Luck!

A Very Tenacious Gin

This entry was posted in Blog, New Whisky Releases and Bottlings, Newsletters on by .

The Whisky Shop Dufftown has launched its first Gin - Tenacious

In the beating heart of malt whisky country lies the award winning The Whisky Shop Dufftown. It may come as a surprise therefore to learn that their latest exclusive release is a gin.   Managing Director Mike Lord said,We wanted to do something different to add to our exclusive products celebrating our 10th anniversary year.  I have been developing my own gin recipe for almost 2 years and the opportunity finally came to get it produced with our friends at Shetland Reel as part of our 10 Year Anniversary.   It's Juniper led with citrus notes and sweet gentle spices from Pink and Szechuan peppercorns.  It is a bit of a push back against the many floral gins that are out there.  It is for people that really like a flavoursome classic gin.


It is a very unusual name for a gin.  Mike Lord said,Its our tenth year in business so that is part of the reason for the ‘ten in Tenacious but the gin coincidently contains 10 botanicals.  We have certainly had to be tenacious to make it to ten years so the name seemed appropriate and matched our sense of humour.

The rise of craft gins, particularly in Scotland is phenomenal.  Manager of The Whisky Shop Dufftown Vicky Keough, saidWe have taken the opportunity this year to expand our gin selection to over 50 expressions which are mainly Scottish but include some specially selected gins from elsewhere.  We did this to reflect the demand from our customers for something different and we love our gins too.  We have brought our style of selling whisky, friendly and informative, to gin.  We like to help our customers make their next purchase with a conversation about what they like and what they want to explore.  We can then help them choose their next purchase and may be even try a sip before they buy.

The journey for Tenacious started with a visit to Edinburgh Gin where at the end of the experience you have the opportunity to make your own gin.  Mike says he was very inspired by his creation and spent over a year tweaking the recipe to finalise the perfect version.

With a new gin the producer is expected to say what theperfect pour is - the best way to serve the gin.  Mike Lord said,We dont tell you how to drink your whisky.  We have moved away from that.  Drink it how you would like it.  So we are not going to tell you how to drink our gin.  We do recommend a good measure of Tenacious, some ice and a decent tonic.  Then take it from there.

Tenacious gin is only available to buy by the bottle from The Whisky Shop Dufftown and at www.whiskyshopdufftown.com.


  • The Whisky Shop Dufftown was formed in 2006 by Mike Lord. He left a career in financial services in London to follow his passion.
  • Tenacious Gin is priced at £36.95. The ABV is 47%.  The full list of botanicals are: Juniper, Coriander Seed, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Lemon Peel, Nutmeg, Burdock Root, Pink Pepper Corns, Szechuan Pepper Corns and Almond.



Festive Opening Hours 2016-17

This entry was posted in Blog, Other Whisky News on by .

We are open as usual over the festive period except for the following days:

26 December                    -              Closed

27 December                    -              Closed

28 December                    -              10:00 to 16:00

29 December                    -              10:00 to 16:00

30 December                    -              10:00 to 16:00

31 December                    -              10:00 to 16:00

1 January                           -              Closed

2 January                           -              Closed

3 January                           -              10:00 to 18:00

4 January                           -              10:00 to 18:00

5 January                           -              10:00 to 18:00

6 January                           -              10:00 to 18:00

7 January                           -              10:00 to 18:00

8 January                           -              Closed

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Whisky Shop Dufftown 25 Days of Christmas 25% Off on 25 Products 2016

This entry was posted in Blog, Newsletters, Other Whisky News on by .

Yes, it is that time of year for our special sale.  We have selected 25 products to give your 25% off for the 25 days to Christmas.  Only while stocks last as they say.

Check out all of our offers here.

Product Price Sales Price
Adelphi Teaninich 1983 32 Years Old £234.00 £175.00
Berry's Own Selection Aberlour 1994 19 Years Old £102.95 £77.20
Berry's Own Selection Aberlour 1994 19 Years Old £89.95 £67.45
Berry's Own Selection Glen Spey 2000 13 Years Old £58.95 £44.20
Borders Single Grain £47.95 £35.95
Carn Mor Strictly Limited Glentauchers 1996 19 Years Old £69.95 £52.45
Connoisseurs Choice Arran 2006 £35.95 £26.95
Glenrothes 2001 £54.95 £41.20
Hepburn's Choice Caol Ila 2009 6 Years Old £52.95 £39.70
Hepburn's Choice Tomintoul 2006 10 Years Old £43.95 £32.95
Highland Journey Blended Malt Scotch Whisky £36.95 £27.70
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ryder Cup Limited Edition £250.00 £185.00
Kilchoman 6 Years Old 100% Islay 6th Edition (2016) £72.95 £54.70
Lord Elcho NAS £23.95 £17.95
Old Malt Cask Glendullan 1999 14 Years Old £59.95 £44.95
Old Malt Cask Linkwood 1997 18 Years Old £74.95 £56.20
Old Particular Bowmore 1987 25 Years Old £253.95 £190.00
Old Particular Bowmore 1996 18 Years Old £99.95 £74.95
Old Particular Bowmore 1998 16 Years Old £94.95 £71.20
Provenance Laphroaig 2005 10 Years Old £59.95 £44.95
Provenance Laphroaig 2005 8 Years Old £59.95 £44.95
Spey Byron's Choice £94.95 £71.20
The Tweeddale 14 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky £42.95 £32.20
The Tweeddale 16 Years Old Grain Whisky £54.95 £41.20
Wemyss Glenrothes 1997 17 Years Old "Buttered Tealoaf" £78.95 £59.20