Social Media Distilled – Ashley Westgate of The Lakes Distillery

Wow, It’s been a while since the last interview in the Social Media Distilled series but here comes another interview with Ashley Westgate, the Online Marketing Manager of the The Lakes Distillery which will start distilling whisky next month (oh what an exciting moment it will be!).


So far the Lakes distillery released a blended whisky called The ONE and last week released their first Gin release (I’ll review those in the coming few weeks).

As a newcomers who needs to build a brand from scratch and considering the fact they are an English distillery and not Scottish, I was wondering how they are going to tackle this issue and if their attitude and focus on Social Media will be a major part of it. Enjoy!

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Duo of Brora Whiskies, 20yo & 24yo Rare Malts

Time to cross off another distillery from the not-reviewed-yet-on-the-blog, and a silent distillery to boot: Brora.

So much was written on Brora, its history, Diageo decision to close it in the ’80s and the ultra-premium branding and pricing so I’ll spare you that part.

Instead I will just say that the whisky community is awesome! with those high prices for Brora whisky, my only way to sample Broras was via samples and donations from friends and with the help of two friends I got to sample and review those so big thanks to you guys!

Brora Rare Malts 20 yo 1975-1995 (59.1%, USA bottling, £999)

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Highland Park 30 year old 48.1% (previous batch)

I was told yesterday that I don’t have enough Highland park reviews on the site. I took a look and found out that’s correct – except the recently released Dark Origins there are no reviews of the Highland Park core range (unless you call Einer a core range expression…)

There are also other distilleries which are under-reviewed on the blog (and I hope to fix that sooner than later) but first thing first, lets have another Highland Park official bottling review and we’ll aim high with Highland Park 30.

Highland Park 30 was at the top of HP core range until the 40yo was released and there are at least two batches released: the latest one was released in 2013 and is bottled at 45.7% (you can get it at The Whisky Exchange for £385) and the earlier batches who were bottled at 48.1% (still available at the distillery online shop) which I review here thanks to a sample sent to me from Johnnie Stumbler of The Nosing Arse blog.

Highland Park 30 (48.1%, £400)

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Whisky Review and Tasting Notes: SMWS 29.151 Polished Violines and Vintage Cars (Laphroaig) 24 year old 50.8%

It’s been a while since I reviewed a whisky from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, so why not do that and review a dram of my favorite distillery?

There’s not much to add here, only that I’m a bit sorry I didn’t grab a bottle of it back then.

SMWS 29.151 Polished Violines and Vintage Cars (Laphroaig) 24 year old (50.8%, 311 bottles)

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Whisky Review & Tasting Notes – Glenglassaugh Torfa

Glenglassaugh is the latest baby project of Billy Walker. The Benriach group purchased the distillery in 2013 from the previous owners (who restarted the distillery in 2008 after it was mothballed for 20 years) and if we have learned anything from past experience, Billy Walker knows his stuff.

BenRiach and Glendronach both excels with billy at the helm as evidenced by the growing list of awards, medals and positive reviews for the whiskies they released in the last few years. Can we expect the same from Glenglassaugh?

In the last few years, we had a few releases of bottlings from the old stock before it was mothballed in 1986, among them the 40 yo and a series of single cask releases (a-la Benriach/Glendronach), but there were also new releases with whisky distilled post 2008 when it started production again.

Torfa is the first peated whisky from Glenglassaugh with 20ppm and it was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Can we expect more magic from Billy Walker here? Continue reading

Whisky Review & Tasting Notes: Wemyss Malts ‘Bench with a Sea View’ 1997 (Clynelish)

October is the hot season for new whisky releases and reviews. In fact, many new whisky announcements starts during September, but taking into account a distribution period of a month or so for the whisky to arrive to shops, October is main stage.

Following their success last year, Wemyss Malts again released 12 single casks last month geared toward holiday shoppers. One of them is a Clynelish 1997 vintage (so it’s either 16yo or 17yo, probably 16yo) named “Bench with a Sea View” which yielded 373 bottles (ex-bourbon cask/barrel).

I loved those Wemyess single casks I happened to taste and review, therefor I hoped this one won’t disappoint. Continue reading

Book Review: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015

We’re deep into October and it means that a new Malt Whisky Yearbook was released. I got my copy of the 2015 edition last week (bought and signed at the TWE whisky show, Thanks Michael!) and I spent the last week going over it and enjoying it a lot.


Since it’s the first time I’m reviewing the MWY on the blog let me tell you what’s in it:

The first part contains different articles from various knowledgeable writers covering different aspects and fields on whisky. This year there are chapters on: Continue reading