— Yamazaki 55 Year Old expected to attract global attention at online whisky auction —

A Scottish whisky auction firm will showcase the super-rare Yamazaki 55 Year Old in its auction, starting Friday 19 November 2021 – an iconic release which has proven incredibly sought after and notoriously difficult for enthusiasts to find for purchase.

The single-malt blockbuster is the world’s oldest and rarest Japanese whisky and has been described as a ‘unicorn amongst whisky collectors’. 

First unveiled to the world in 2020, the Yamazaki 55 Year Old was limited to just 100 bottles which were sold exclusively in Japan via lottery. Over a year later, a second and final release of 100 bottles were made available to other markets around the world.

Online whisky auction business Whisky Hammer was started in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside, an area renowned for the production of Scotch whisky.

Daniel believes this is an incredibly unique opportunity for a whisky collector to bid on one of the most sought after whiskies in the world. He said: “We couldn’t be more excited to offer such an exceptionally coveted bottle of whisky.  The Yamazaki 55 Year Old is arguably the most in-demand collectable bottle of Japanese whisky in the world today – anyone who collects rare whiskies knows about Yamazaki and wants it. It is a unicorn amongst whisky collectors worldwide, particularly those with an interest in Japanese whisky.

“Only a few have appeared in world auctions in recent times, however the lot available through Whisky Hammer is even more desirable for serious collectors as it’s the first of its kind to appear at auction free from having the original owner’s name engraved on the glass and box, which featured in the first 100 bottles sold exclusively in Japan.”

This whisky is a blend of single malts, with components distilled in 1960 and aged in Mizunara casks and some distilled in 1964 and aged in White Oak casks. One of the rarest and most expensive oak species in the world, whiskies aged in Mizunara are highly prized. Mizunara wood is native to Japan and deeply-rooted in the country’s history. Scarcer than European and American oak, Mizunara is very expensive and hard to cooper due to its porous nature.

Aged at a stunning 55 years old, the 46% ABV whisky is presented in a crystal bottle with the word ‘Yamazaki’ engraved in sandblasted calligraphy featuring real gold dust and lacquer on the age marking. The bottle’s opening is wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound with a Kyo-kumihimo-plaited cord, a traditional craft from Kyoto. Each bottle comes in a bespoke box made from native Mizunara wood and coated with Suruga lacquer.

Whisky Hammer hosts monthly auctions, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.  

Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit – a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste while overlooking the beautiful Scottish countryside.

Yamazaki 55 Year Old will go live and open for bids on Whisky Hammer from 7pm (GMT) on Friday 19 November to Sunday 28 November. To register visit



Firsthand” is the new campaign from Benromach whichcelebrates the benefits and craft of hand-made products. To mark this, a new series of curated partnerships with artisan producers will be created to explore the quality and artistry of the handmade.

As a whisky that’s made by hand for genuine character, Benromach is celebrating the skills of makers worldwide who share the same ethos and commitment to making high quality products using time honoured methods. 

After working together for many months on the detail and design, today Benromach releases its first collaboration in the Firsthand series by partnering with Yorkshire-based leather workers, specialising in custom hip flasks, HÔRD.

Benromach x HÔRD launches today with 80 hipflasks (£50) available to purchase from Handmade by Gemma Gilleard and Jason Booth, founders of HÔRD, each hip flask uses old leather that would otherwise head to landfill, with all cladding, dyeing and detail added by hand.

Jason Booth, founder of HÔRD, said: “We produce by hand to create beautiful products that can be passed down through generations. Making our hip flasks by hand allows us to guarantee the quality, care and attention that goes into everything we produce and we’re incredibly proud of what we do here. The limited edition hip flask we’ve created for Benromach is a perfect example of our work and we’re thrilled with the end result.”

Keith Cruickshank, Distillery Manager at Benromach, said: “Our small team of distillers rely entirely on their expertise and senses to make the finest handmade whisky, matured exclusively in first-fill casks – it’s what we do and who we are. Made by hand for genuine character is how we started, and this is how we will continue the Benromach story. There may be a more efficient way of doing it, but here at Benromach we celebrate the rewards of all things handmade. The collaboration with HÔRD has produced something we are all incredibly proud of and the perfect complement to any single malt from Benromach Distillery.”

The HÔRD collaboration is the start of a series of partnerships in the Firsthand campaign. In the coming months Benromach will continue to introduce new brand collaborations that bring to life the art of handmade. 

To find out more about Firsthand or to buy a limited edition Benromach x HÔRD hip flask, visit


Small batch spirits with simple ingredients and complex flavours
are the order of the day for new J.G. Thomson & Co brand

A first and already award-winning collection of small batch spirits with simple ingredients and complex flavours is today being launched by J.G. Thomson & Co, a new brand from Edinburgh.

Hailing from Scotland’s capital, J.G. Thomson & Co’s first collection of small batch spirits includes a bold Jamaican rum, a citrus dry gin, three blended malt Scotch whiskies featuring Sweet, Smoky and Richexpressions, and two exceptional limited edition aged whiskies – one a 23 year-old blended malt, the other a 1972 blended grain.

Several of J.G. Thomson & Co’s first collection of small batch spirits have already won industry awards, including a prized Masters medal for Batch 1 of its rich 23-year-old blended malt Scotch whisky, Golds for the first batches of its three blended malts and its gin at the Spirits Business Luxury Masters 2021.

All of J.G. Thomson & Co’s spirits are crafted creatively in small batches, meaning that the individual taste characteristics of each spirit will evolve with every new batch – providing adventurous drinkers with a new taste experience to discover every time a new batch is released.

J.G. Thomson & Co takes its name from an 18th-century wine and spirits merchant once based in Leith in the 1700s, a time when trade ships were bringing new and exciting goods into Edinburgh. At the time, the savvy Thomson family became renowned for selecting some of these new spirits being brought in and introducing them to their discerning customers in Edinburgh, and to the wider world.

J.G. Thomson & Co is being launched by The Artisanal Spirits Company, which owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and is building a portfolio of premium brands and curating collections of craft spirits.

Driven by a dedication to creating small batch spirits with simple ingredients and complex flavours, the J.G. Thomson & Co brand offers a core range of three small batch blended malt whiskies, featuring Sweet, Smoky and Rich expressions. 

With a focus on combining characterful spirit with high-quality casks, the blending team at J.G. Thomson & Co works closely with selected partner cooperages to either procure specific casks, or to create their own customised casks, toasted and charred to defined standards.

In addition to its core range, J.G. Thomson & Co is launching with the first two batches in a series of limited edition whiskies; a rich, complex 23-year-old blended malt Scotch whisky made of 100% Speyside malts; and a sweet 1972 blended grain Scotch whisky bringing notes of honey, wax and ginger on the nose.

On top of its whisky portfolio, J.G. Thomson & Co is releasing the first batch of its bold Jamaican rum which is 100% pot-stilled, and its first batch of citrus dry gin, which boasts aromas of orange, juniper and coriander on the nose. 

All of J.G. Thomson & Co’s small batch spirits are available to order from as well as ​​a range of leading whisky shops, bars and restaurants.

Emily Coyle from J.G. Thomson & Co, said: “Just like the Thomsons did in the 1700s, we’re constantly on the hunt for new spirits, flavours and tastes to explore from around the world, whether that’s handpicking whisky in Scotland or rum in Jamaica. By focusing on creating small batches and limited editions, we want to explore different tastes and take full advantage of the opportunity to experiment, innovate, marry, blend, discover and learn.

“We believe there is a growing appetite for exceptional spirits among adventurous drinkers who are looking to taste something new and extraordinary. All our spirits are made using traditional methods such as small batch distillation, non-chill filtering and natural colour to focus entirely on taste and take people on a journey of discovery.” 

Cotswolds Distillery Introduces New Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky Expression

Cotswolds Distillery Introduces New Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky Expression

Adding to their award-winning collection of single malt whiskies, The Cotswolds Distillery is delighted to announce the launch of Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky, the latest addition to the English whisky distillery’s Cask Collection, launching in time for the festive season and a perfect gift for the whisky connoisseur at Christmas.

Located in the Cotswolds, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cotswolds Distillery is committed to sourcing local ingredients and their award-winning distillery Visitor Centre and their shops in Broadway and Bourton-on-the-Water are now stocking the whisky, as well as it being available online.

Cotswolds Distillery Founder, Dan Szor, says, “We always planned to launch a Bourbon Cask Single Malt ever since 2014 when we founded the distillery. It’s been a while in the making but it’s definitely been worth the wait. Our house style is to produce spirits with big flavours and by using first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, which arrive at the distillery with their staves soaked in Bourbon whisky, we ensure a full and rich flavour for this wonderful cask strength expression.”

Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky is made with 100% locally grown Cotswold barley and created from select first-fill ex-Bourbon casks in which their rich and fruity single malt spirit has been patiently matured. This sweet and malty cask strength expression is a whisky for purists with classic Bourbon-matured notes of vanilla and honey. It joins the rest of the Cask Collection, which encompasses Cotswolds Founder’s Choice, Cotswolds Peated Cask and Cotswolds Sherry Cask.

The Cotswolds Bourbon Cask expression begins with their new make spirit, which is already smooth, rich and fruity thanks to the pair of yeasts they use, the long 90-hour fermentation and the tight heart cut on the spirit still. They dilute it to 63.5% ABV before filling premium American oak ex-Bourbon casks from Kentucky for full term maturation, allowing the key maturation processes of flavour extraction, oxidation and evaporation to work their magic on the already smooth spirit.

Over the last seven years, the Cotswolds Distillery team have been combining these Bourbon barrels with STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) ex-red wine casks to produce their flagship Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky; yet this is their first whisky bottling to be exclusively Bourbon-matured.

Bottled non-chill filtered at cask strength for maximum flavour and without added colouring.


Malt: 100% locally grown, traditionally floor malted barley from the Cotswolds.

Yeast: Two complementary varieties – Anchor and Fermentis – to ensure good yields and excellent fruity flavours.

Water: Village water supply – filtered, softened and demineralised before use.

Wood: Premium first-fill ex-Bourbon casks from Kentucky, made from American white oak (Quercus alba).

Tasting notes:

Nose: Decadent vanilla custard with a hint of malt.

Palate: Raisins and caramelised figs, delicate vanilla.

Finish: Subtly earthy with a hint of honey.

RRP: £64.95 | ABV: 59.1%

Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky is available to purchase exclusively from the Cotswolds Distillery shops and online.

Instagram: @cotswoldsdistillery Facebook: @cotswoldsdistillery Twitter: @cotswoldistill


  • Tomatin Distillery launches the final edition of The French Collection: a four-part series that exhibits the unique influence imparted by French wine & spirit casks
  • The limited four-part release is accompanied by an immersive content series designed to stimulate all five sense

TOMATIN – 6th September, 2021 – Tomatin, the award-winning Highland single malt, is today announcing the launch of the final edition from the distillery’s French Collection: The Cognac Edition. Taken from the four-part limited release series, the Cognac Edition demonstrates the unique influence imparted by the world-renowned Cognac casks, and has been 12 years in the making.

The Cognac Edition is brimming with fresh fruit and floral flavours with subtle notes of lavender and Scottish heather. On the palate, there are hints of cranberry, orange zest and rose water with well-balanced spices. The French oak provides the expression with a finish which is long, with notes of Earl Gray tea and poached pears.

Distilled in 2008, the whisky began its maturation in traditional Scotch Whisky oak casks before being moved into Cognac casks for the final stage of the process in November 2018, resulting in this magnificent expression.

To celebrate the final launch of The French Collection, and to complement the liquid on the lip’s moment alongside the Cognac Edition, the final part of an immersive four-part content series has been released on the Tomatin website. Stunning visuals, alongside an innovative soundboard using ambisonics, transport the viewer to the origins of the product, through binaural sound – best enjoyed when wearing headphones to experience  the full effect. The content will be unveiled in conjunction with product availability, and has been designed for consumers to pair with their purchase, allowing the drinker to lose themselves in the world, and story, of the final edition that makes up the Tomatin French Collection.    

Graham Eunson, Master Distiller at Tomatin said: “The fourth and final release from Tomatin’s French Collection is the jewel in the crown. The Cognac Edition, along with the rest of the collection, showcases our innovative dedication to craft and excellence, and is the perfect illustration of the art of comparative final maturation; a concept championed by Tomatin in the Cuatro series released in 2014, which was also very well received.

We have been overjoyed by the response from the whisky community to the earlier releases, and by introducing the Cognac finish as the final edition, we hope to attract a wider audience to our unique concept allowing them to better understand the art of cask maturation.”

The Cognac Edition is available to purchase now through the Tomatin shop here and other exclusive retailers for £65 RRP. Editions 1-3 already launched to markets from 26th April.

The Tomatin Editions 1-4 immersive content series can be viewed on the Tomatin website here. The French Collection will be available to purchase through specialist whisky retailers worldwide and directly from the Tomatin shop here.