South African wine – the new frontier

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South African wine has always held a place in my heart – while on holiday there, I had my first-ever tasting. Those were the days of swallow not spit…there was no assessment of the wines…

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Ladies Night Tasting – Asian Whiskies

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The nights are cold and spring is still far away, but fear not as we visit the warm tropics of Asia in our second instalment of Ladies Night! This session was hosted by the wonderful…

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Whisky and food pairing guide: cured meat

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Whisky and food are a great match. I’m not talking about drinking shots with dinner, but instead am looking to the drinkers and eaters of Russia and the Iberian peninsula. Vodka and Zakuski (Russian starters),…

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Anti-Valentine’s cocktails – don’t think pink

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Not everyone likes sweet, pink and fizzy. Hallmark certainly isn’t my idea of a romantic sentiment, and it’s OK if it’s not yours, either. But it does make Valentine’s Day a tricky one to celebrate…

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A day in the life of…a whisky judge

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Of all the things that have crossed my path since starting to work in the drinks world, judging whisky competitions is one of the most enjoyable. However, many people don’t know what’s involved. The final round…

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What makes a great whisky tasting?

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I’ve been lucky to attend plenty of whisky tastings. The latest was a tour through the new batch of Diageo’s Special Releases hosted by whisky educator Colin Dunn – and it was superb. But as…

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The Botanist – a gin for everyone

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Gin is in a fantastic place. It’s booming in the UK, with new distilleries popping up on a weekly basis and established distilleries producing increasingly wild and wacky recipes. However, along with the explosion of…

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Jim Murray – ‘the only criteria I look at is quality’

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In the second part of our exclusive interview, Jim Murray explains his strict rules for choosing his World Whisky of the Year, his response to critics of the Whisky Bible, and his retirement plans. You…

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Jim Murray – ‘I went to Talisker and it changed my life’

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In the first part of our exclusive interview, Jim Murray tells Stuart how Lord Lucan helped him get into whisky, how he helped create the rye boom, and why sulphur is the enemy of a…

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The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2016

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The Whisky Exchange blog was busier than ever in 2016, with so much happening in the drinks world to talk about, from shock EU rulings to legendary masterclasses and cool cocktail trends. Here are some…

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The Whisky Show Old and Rare – better than a bar

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The whisky market moves quickly. In the past year, we’ve seen hundreds of new releases at The Whisky Exchange – single casks, special editions, ongoing bottlings and the occasional relaunch. However, with so many whiskies…

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Dry January? Time for a mocktail

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There are hundreds of reasons why you might find yourself in a bar or party and not want to drink, and it certainly isn’t something to be judged or punished for, let alone find yourself…

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Kavalan – on top of the podium

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Regular blog readers may remember I wrote about Kavalan in May, when master blender Ian Chang hosted a TWE tasting. Inspired by this, I took a trip to Taiwan to see the distillery for myself….

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Our Favourite Spirits of 2016

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Despite our name, we don’t just sell whisky at The Whisky Exchange; far from it. In fact, we have nearly 4,000 spirits, liqueurs and Champagnes to choose from. The TWE blog team cast our minds…

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Last orders, please: UK delivery deadline

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Not sure what to get for Christmas? Join the club. Because of the buffer of a non-working day between now and Christmas on Sunday, I’ve tricked myself into thinking I’ve got a hold on my…

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Our Favourite Whiskies of 2016

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As we approach the end of 2016, it’s time to look back at the TWE blog team’s favourite whiskies of the past 12 months. It doesn’t have to be a new release; just the drams…

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The Perfect Measure to share – whisky with friends

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When it comes to drinking whisky, one of the greatest pleasures is sharing a dram. While there is joy in solitary sipping, teasing apart the flavours in a glass with others adds another level to…

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The five best festive drinks for Christmas

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Christmas is the ideal time to relax and share a glass or two of something good, but why not step out of your comfort zone and try something different? I’ve picked five festive drinks that…

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