Whisky Advocate

Give us your distillery report

May 26th, 2009

I know that some of you are on Islay for the Islay whisky festival. I also know that some of you were just in Campbeltown touring Springbank and Glengyle.

Maybe some of you are down in Kentucky touring bourbon distilleries or over in Ireland. Or even at a cool microdistillery somewhere.

So, give us a report. Where did you go? What’s new? Any new bottlings just released or soon to be released? Give us the scoop!

12 Responses to “Give us your distillery report”

  1. Rick Duff says:

    Just a heads up… I know 2 spots were just released today for Woodford Reserve Bourbon Academy in June (20). It’s a awesome time. I will be there for my 3rd time.
    Details on their web site.

  2. sam k says:

    Well, I don’t have any active sites on my “To-Do” list this summer, but I’ve got two closed-distillery related visits planned. My family and I will be staying in Mt. Gretna, PA for a week, and I want to visit Michter’s again. I last ventured there shortly after it was closed in the spring of 1990, having been there a scant six months earlier, in November of 1989 when it was still open. I know it’s a ruin now, but it’s time to re-connect with the place where I was once offered a drink straight from a warehouse barrel on that last active visit. I fear it will be very melancholy.

    The next stop will be the grave of Sam Dillinger, in Westmoreland County, who established a distillery in my hometown of Ruffs Dale, PA in 1834. His successors operated after Repeal in a modern plant, until 1947, till which time there continued to be two active large pot stills, probably producing rye whiskey, the only known dedicated post-Pro pot stills making whiskey after Repeal in the U.S.

    I have about a half-pint of pre-Pro Dillinger rye left, to share between myself and Sam’s grave, which is under a magnificent thirty-foot obelisk. No new releases or expressions here, but a lot of old memories, for sure!

  3. MrTH says:

    Well, my report on the Clear Creek distillery in Portland, Oregon is a couple of years old now, and it might look familiar to you, John–I tried to sell it to you–but for anyone who hasn’t seen it, here it is: Tattie Heid/Clear Creek Distillery.htm

  4. MrTH says:

    Should never have put spaces in my file names…copy and paste that entire line.

  5. DavidVA says:

    Passing through Bardstown recently, I made a quick stop at Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center. Among the items I expected to see (23yr Even Williams, 27yr Parker’s, William Heavenhill 225th Anniversary) I discovered they had a 126.6 proof Parker’s Heritage Collection. Any information on this version of Parker’s?

  6. Neil Fusillo says:

    I mentioned to John back in April that I visited the Kittling Ridge winery (home of the Forty Creek canadian whisky distillery), and was told about their upcoming bottling of Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve.

    The new release will be finished in port casks, which is entirely different for John Hall, the distiller, and the first release has been limited to 3000 bottles.

    There’s a signup sheet to reserve your favourite bottle number if you’d like. The signup ends June 15th, and the release itself is scheduled for September 15th, 2009.

    Of course, the catch for the signup is that you have to be at the distillery in person to pick up the bottles, and that most of the bottle numbers representing dates from the beginning of the millennium until now seem to have been reserved from close to day one.

    However, the distillery itself is in the lovely Niagara on the Lake area, surrounded by some absolutely lovely countryside and wonderful wineries. If you do go up for it, it’s worth a trip just to go winery hopping.

    The good news is that the previous release was so popular in the states, that they’re going to try and increase penetration with this one. Texas was a popular market, as was Georgia, and a few other states mentioned, but they’re trying to increase the availability with this one.

    For anyone interested in the signup, there’s an online form (and a list of which numbers have been reserved) here:

  7. John Hansell says:

    DavidVA, I’m aware of a 122.6 Parker’s but not a 126.6 Parker’s.

  8. DavidVA says:

    As was I, but I’m looking at both 122.6 and 126.6 versions side by side (I couldn’t resist the purchase based off of past good experiences with Parker’s and the excitement of the unknown). I’ve been looking forward to the next Parker’s release and wondered if the 126.6 was it. By the way, thank you for all of the great information!

  9. butephoto says:

    Well, I’ve been to two distilleries in the past few days. Firstly I was at the Glengyle Open Day last Thursday. Two friends and myself took the bus from Glasgow (4 and a half hours each way!) down to sunny Campbeltown. We were free to roam around the distillery (which is pretty much all in the one room anyway) and for a fiver we got a tasting of 6 different 5yo Kilkerran casks with manager Frank McHardy. The casks ranged from bourbon to port and my personal favourite was the Oloroso cask (the young spirit seemed less so the darker it was). We were able to purchase a bottle from the bourbon and the port casks which we all did – and got them signed by Frank. An excellent day and I believe it will be a Springbank Open Day the same time next year. Can’t wait already!

    Secondly the same trio visited Auchentoshan on Tuesday to do their ‘Homecoming Tour’ as part of Whisky Month in Scotland. This was basically the normal tour except we got to open a cask of 19yo bourbon wood and pour ourselves a large dram. The 19yo was superb and you can apparently bottle yourself some of it for £135. Some photos from both are up here:

    • John Hansell says:

      Thanks Butephoto for the update! Both trips sounded like a lot of fun. Can’t wait to try some of those aging Kilkerran whiskies. I had them when they were three years old when I visited the distillery and they were shaping up nicely.

  10. John,

    I’ve just returned from two and a half weeks in the motherland of malt whisky. I have started taking small groups on premium distillery tours. Both my groups joined me on romps around the Speyside, hitting Auchentoshan, Douglas Laing, Tullibardine, Edradour/Signatory, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas, Aberlour, Glenffiddich, Balvenie, Macallan, BenRiach, Benromach, Gordon & MacPhail, Strathisla, Glendronach, Glen Garioch and Royal Lochnagar. All of the distilleries received us well, but Douglas Laing, Edradour, BenRiach and Glenfarclas were the real highlights…

    After leaving my two groups I personally visited Tobermory, before catching a day and a half on Islay. On Islay I picked up both festival bottlings from Ardbeg (really unusual toasted oak casks), as well as festival bottlings from Bowmore (pricey, but with an interesting palate) and Bruichladdich (best value). While on Islay I was priviledged to join the Bruichladdich gang at a small party the night before their festival day which ended late that night at a pub in Port Charlotte. Not surprisingly there are many interesting things in the pipeline at Bruichladdich…

    Finally I made a whistle stop in Campbeltown to look at a new cask for our store. Lots of interesting casks to be had at Springbank these days; they have tremendous potential moving forward.


    Andrew Ferguson
    Calgary, Canada

  11. DavidVA says:

    Turns out the 126.6 Parker’s is apparently a Bourbon Heritage Center exclusive of the 1st Parker’s release.

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