Summer’s over, folks! And it looks like much of the whisky industry has returned from their holidays, as Connas’ inbox has been bombarded with all kinds of updates! Read on for all of this week’s whisky news goings-on…

  • Maltster Of Puppets!

As previously reported, Bay Area thrashers Metallica have continued their long standing tradition of copying everything Motörhead ever did by releasing a whiskey! In collaboration with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, ‘Blackened’ is a blended American whiskey finished in Brandy casks and – of course – has been exposed to “Sonic Enhancement” (Dr Robotnik better look out). Blackened has now hit shelves in the US…

  • Auction Stuff…

More huge prices this week. Not going to lie, I’d love to try that Port Ellen. Not that I’d knock the Yamazaki back… [No, you’d sip it! Somewhat improbably, I’ve tasted both of these and yes they are awesome – Ed.]

Not only that! Since records are being broken left, right and centre, Sotheby’s have announced more focus on their spirits auctions!

  • From A Cove, To A Hall Of Fame…

Sullivan’s Cove Head Distiller, Patrick Maguire, has become only the second Australian to be inducted into the Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame. With the success of his spirit, you can’t say he doesn’t deserve it!

  • Master Maltster McKechnie!

It’s all go up at Balvenie! Not only is their Doublewood expression celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, but their Master Maltster of 56 years, David Stewart, has announced a new apprentice! Kelsey McKechnie, a Technical Graduate and Whisky Technologist since 2014, will learn the ropes under David’s stewardship.

Appointments like this don’t come along too often (Kelsey happens to be the same age as the Doublewood brand!) so MASSIVE congratulations and well wishes are due…

  • Benroyalmach!

To mark their 20th anniversary under Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach are releasing 575 bottles of whisky from the first cask filled (signed by Prince Charles, no less!) when the distillery reopened! Cask Number 1 will retail at £1000 and will ONLY be available from the visitor centre at the distillery. All proceeds from these bottles will be donated to charity!!!! Fair play one and all…

  • First Barrel, Slane…

Slane Distillery is officially up and running! The first cask has been filled at the state of the art distillery in the Boyne Valley! Here’s to many more…

  • ‘Goyne Global...

Ian Macleod Distillers, responsible for the Glengoyne, Tamdhu, and Smokehead brands, have appointed former Edrington travel retail manager William Ovens to look after their whiskies. Good to have him back in the industry!

  • Allt-a-Bhainne Shake!

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky arm of drinks giant Pernod Ricard, intend to ‘shake up’ whisky with the first ever distillery release of Allt-a-Bhainne single malt. Hoping to embrace modern trends, the “sweet and smoky” offering is currently available at an RRP of £37…

  • BenRiach’s 120…

The folks from BenRiach are marking their 120th anniversary celebrations with a single cask bottling, available exclusively from the distillery. 290 bottles have been drawn from Cask 10299, a Marsala hogshead which was laid down in 1998. If you’re passing, get me one…

  • Amrut Off Africa…

Indian single malt Amrut have announced their first foray into Madeira cask finishes, this’ll be worth a look…

  • The Return Of The ‘Dronach…

After a 3 year hiatus, Glendronach are bringing back the 15 year old Revival expression. This makes me happy…

  • Steel into Gold…

Congratulations to the guys and gals at The Lakes Distillery for picking up a gold at the Spirits Business Awards for Steel Bonnets, their blend of English and Scottish Malts. A little bird also tells me that they’ve sent some to our office for reviewing, stay tuned…

  • And Finally…

If you’ve made it this far, and you’re available, why not try your hand at winning some whisky festival tickets… You’re welcome!

See you next week for your weekly whisky news update, Lounge types!

Remain remarkable…

Connas