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The year ahead
You wait mate… 2014 is going to be p**s-yourself-mental…' I heard behind me as I queued up to pay for the bulging trolley of drinks I had filled at my local supermarket on New Year's Eve. Quite wh...
February 2014, Issue 117, page 14
A Spicy Experience
Elbow deep in rices, spices and whiskie.
April 2013, Issue 111, page 56
A Maverick State
Can an area steeped in as much tradition as Speyside produce a few true modern mavericks? Neil Ridley catches up with the free thinkers, and the liquid, that have changed the course of thinking in the...
March 2013, Issue 110, page 34
The Path to Enlightenment
Neil Ridley charts the rise in popularity of the dedicated cigar lounge and gets the low down on the best liquid pairings from those in the know
February 2013, Issue 109, page 54
The Sole Man
Neil Ridley meets the shoemaker with a passion for whisky and the blues
December 2012, Issue 108, page 52
Neil Ridley has a few suggestions to get your Manhattan perfect and your Sour really singing
October 2012, Issue 107, page 38
The Naked Spirit
Ever wondered what your favourite whisky would taste like when stripped of its colour? Neil Ridley experiences a moment of clarity
October 2012, Issue 107, page 30
A Wealth of Choice
Neil Ridley meets the independent bottlers dedicated to bringing consumers something a little different.
September 2012, Issue 106, page 14
Drams & Cultures in Auld Reekie
Neil Ridley heads out in Scotland's capital
September 2012, Issue 106, page 44
William Curley is officially Britain's Best Chocolatier, having been given the prestigious accolade four years running by the Academy Of Chocolate, for his innovative approach to flavour. Neil Ridley...
June 2012, Issue 104, page 26
Neil Ridleyis a regular contributor to Whisky Magazine and a number of publications including Imbibe, The Malt Whisky Yearbook, The Evening Standard and Aston Martin Magazine. He also sits on the pane...
April 2012, Issue 103, page 13
Return and Burn
Neil Ridley visits Diageo's main cooperage to find out how cask life is being extended
April 2012, Issue 103, page 25
The Angels' Share - Ken Loach
Ken Loach is one of the finest filmmakers the UK has produced. Neil Ridley caught up with him on the eve of the release of his next film, The Angels' Share, a story of how whisky impacts on a group of...
April 2012, Issue 103, page 45
BIRTH OF A LEGEND
Ichiro Akuto has been a major player in the world of artisinal Japanese whisky for more than a decade, well known for bottling the successful Hanyu Card Series. Neil Ridleycatches up for a dram on the...
December 2011, Issue 100, page 68
THE ORCADIAN FIRE
Canadian band, Arcade Fire are one of the most talked about acts in the world, having won both Grammy and Brit Awards for their critically acclaimed album The Suburbs and attracting an army of fans fr...
December 2011, Issue 100, page 54
Man on a Mission
Neil Ridley meets the biker, presenter, adventurer and whisky lover...
October 2011, Issue 99, page 14
The Goodwood Revival
Coopering apprentice Neil Ridley tries his hand at making a cask.
October 2011, Issue 99, page 46
Behind Closed Doors
A new movement of discreet 'speakeasy' styled bars have started to take our capital by storm. Neil Ridley knocks three times and finds out what all the fuss is about.
July 2011, Issue 97, page 48
Scents and Sensibility
Roja Dove is one of the world's most celebrated names in the fragrance industry. The 'Professeur de Parfums' recently working with The Macallan to help broaden the understanding of the aromas found in...
June 2011, Issue 96, page 22
The Appliance of Science
Neil Ridley meets the men behind two revolutionary establishments and gets a science lesson in the process
June 2011, Issue 96, page 52
La Gran Turismo
Touring the world as a solo musician can be a lonely affair, usually from behind the wheel of a trusty people carrier. However some musicians do things in a slightly different way. Neil Ridley joins S...
April 2011, Issue 95, page 42
Never Mind the Baltics
The Baltic region is emerging as a new and exciting market for Scotch whisky exports, Neil Ridley heads to Lithuania for the opening night of the country's very first whisky bar
March 2011, Issue 94, page 42
The Jewel of Orkney
Neil J. Ridley talks to Scottish jewellery designer Maeve Gilles about the inspiration behind Highland Park's 50 Year Old
January 2011, Issue 93, page 26
Dispelling the myths
This month, Diageo's £40 million complex at Roseisle opened its doors to the press, offering an insight into one of Scotland's most ambitious - and controversial distillery projects in the last deca...
October 2010, Issue 91, page 46
The Distillery's muse
Richard Hawley is a singer-songwriter who has carved a name for himself as a solo artist. Neil J. Ridley caught up with the Sheffield - based
October 2010, Issue 91, page 18
For the past few years London's Nu-Folk scene has been quietly bristling away in the basements of a few nondescript pubs and cafes. But now, a close-knit group of young creative musicians and writers ...
September 2010, Issue 90, page 16
Whisky a Quo Quo
After 45 years on the road, Status Quo are arguably Britain's ultimate kings of Rock and Roll. And with a career spanning 32 hit albums and an astonishing 118 million records sold, you'd assume that t...
September 2010, Issue 90, page 12
Ice cold in Tokyo
With Japanese bar culture increasingly influencing many of Europe's leading mixologists, so there is no better time to discover some of the unique ways to enjoy the country's whisky too. Neil J. Ridle...
July 2010, Issue 89, page 50
The English Revolution
Could we be on the edge of a English distilling revival, Neil J. Ridley looks to the past for an answer and Dominic Roskrow looks at the current legal side of the issue.
June 2010, Issue 88, page 14
Armed with a bottle of Lagavulin 16 years Old and a bag of records, Neil J. Ridley caught up with influential music producer Youth to discuss a cyclical life, recording bands in the nude and why he's ...
February 2010, Issue 86, page 26
A thoroughly Scottish night in
Neil Ridley donned his tweeds, applied the moustache wax and packed the picnic blanket for a splendid night in...
January 2010, Issue 85, page 20
Neil Ridley looks at two important cocktail tomes.
January 1970, Issue 84, page 44
Whisky Magazine Issue 117
Titanic Belfast, Small Batch Blends, Toronto and Maker's Mark.
Published February 2014.
Whisky Magazine Issue 109
African Adventure | Caribbean Smuggling | San Francisco.
Published February 2013.
Whisky Magazine Issue 108
Johnnie Walker - Lagavulin Distillery - Suntory.
Published December 2012.
Whisky Magazine Issue 107
Movies & Moonshine - Junior Johnson - Bushmills Cask Guitars.
Published October 2012.
Whisky Magazine Issue 106
Independent Bottlers' Challenge 2012 - Islay - Drinkers Guide Edinburgh.
Published September 2012.
Whisky Magazine Issue 104
The Macallan, Alternative Grains, Adnams & much more....
Published June 2012.
Whisky Magazine Issue 100
The Whisky Magazine anniversary issue celebrates 100 years of the greatest whisky people, the 21st Century's 100 greatest bottles and the 100 greatest distilleries to visit plus much more....
Published December 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 99
Charley Boorman - Drayman's Distillery - A drinker's guide to Paris - Micro Distilling and much more....
Published October 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 97
USA spotlight: Wild Turkey, New York, Jack Daniel's and Diageo and much more....
Published July 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 96
Jura - Your guide to Speyside - Sydney bars guide and much more....
Published June 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 95
World Whiskies Awards and much more....
Published April 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 94
Photo challenge 2010 winners revealed - Dr Vijay Mallya - Midleton Distillery.
Published March 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 93
Four Roses - Mount Vernon - Old Crow Distillery and much more.
Published January 2011.
Whisky Magazine Issue 91
Music special part - Back to the seventies - Fettercairn and much more....
Published October 2010.
Whisky Magazine Issue 90
Music Special - Ailsa Bay - Independent Bottlers' Challenge and much more....
Published September 2010.
Whisky Magazine Issue 89
Woodford Reserve - US micro distilleries - Glenlivet - WIN Four Days at Bowmore and much more....
Published July 2010.
Whisky Magazine Issue 88
Benromach Distillery - Incense - Sherry Casks - WIN Four Days at Bowmore and much more....
Published June 2010.
Whisky Magazine Issue 86
Shackleton's whisky - Dalwhinnie - New York Bars - Kilbeggan - Cocktails - Peat - Icons of Whisky 2010 and much more....
Published February 2010.
Whisky Magazine Issue 85
Bourbon's Liquid Legend - Elmer T. Lee on 90 years of the American spirit - A drinker's tour of Louisville - Millstone distillery - The Lowlands & much more....
Published January 2010.
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00% 8 A lovely dram, brightening like the promise of a warm summer.
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 Either a young whisky or a whisky matured in a tired cask. Not unpleasant but too thin. I can imagine it in a granité or as a thirst quencher in summer with lots of ice.
Compass Box Whisky The General
Blended - Scotland - 53.40% 8 All the components of an old fellow. The ideal after - dinner dram.
Discovery Road Four Lions
Single Malt - England - 46.00% A burning feel. Alcohol is not well mastered. And that oily note is not pleasant.
Discovery Road Smile
Rye - Netherlands - 46.00% 4 An aromatic whisky, with a full fruity character. Very well structured.
Evans Williams Single Barrel 2004
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 43.30% 8 An old Bourbon? The nose is very interesting. The palate maybe a little behind. Avoid water.
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 4 A well balanced sherry whisky. I prefer the palate to the nose with this.
HIghland Park Freya
Single Malt - Scotland - 51.20% 8 A classic Bourbon cask maturation. Refreshing and satisfying. A good springtime malt to enjoy with smoked salmon.
Hudson Maple Cask Rye
Rye - U.S.A. - 46.00% 7 The nose is floral to start with then shifting to that fish oil note which disappears at times. The palate is completely different, certainly wood driven.
Johnnie Walker The Royal Route
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 7 Not unpleasant but not much character. And that cereal sweetness is cloying.
Rock Town Arkansas
Rye - U.S.A. - 46.00% 7 Difficult to class this sample in the whisky category. Some odd maturation and/or finish? Too bitter for my palate.
Slyrs Sherry Edition No.1
Single Malt - Netherlands - 46.00% 7 An autumnal dram with a good uplifting profile. Refreshing and lively. Fruit and oak elegantly mingle. I would avoid water.
Slyrs Sherry Edition No.1
Single Malt - Netherlands - 46.00% 7 This whisky needs time to fully express itself. Oak is prevailing which makes the whisky unbalanced.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Bunnahabhain
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 The palate does not deliver as much as the nose. Lacks character
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Dailuaine
Single Malt - Scotland - 51.50% 7 Quite an unusual taste. Fresh and surprisingly sweet.
The Singleton of Glen Ord Trinité
Single Malt - Scotland - 44.00% 7 A well balanced dram.
Dry Fly Cask Strength Wheat
Wheat - U.S.A. - 60.00% 8 ?Some will say this is bottled at too high a strength – I might have to agree with them, but the core of this whisky is excellent. One to disagree over.
Glen Grant Five Decades
Blended - Scotland - 46.00% 8 ?Sweet and a little artificial in places, but not without merit.
Abraham Bowman Last Millennium Selection
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.00% 7 ?Direct, if a little one-dimensional.
Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 8
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.20% 9 ?Absolutely triumphant – A bee keepers delight.
Dimensions Linkwood 1990 22 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 48.70% 8 ?That sweet fruit note persists. Mango coulis, more runny honey, peaches and cream. It has an almost liqueur like cling to the palate. Vanilla and nutmeg.
Great Lakes Distillery Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit
Liqueur - U.S.A. - 45.00% 6 ?Not unpleasant, but just too far removed from the (already vastly cavernous) flavour profile whisky has.
Kilchmoman Machir Bay Release
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 ?You'll be in seventh heaven if a deep bog floats your boat.
Mackmyra Moment Mareld
Single Malt - Sweden - 52.20% 8 ? Intriguing and well worth giving this some serious attention.
Mackmyra Moment Morgondagg
Single Malt - Sweden - 51.10% 4 ?Hard to pin this one down. One moment, it's all Kentucky's finest. Next it wants to head to Jerez. I'm intrigued…
Mackmyra Special 10
Single Malt - Sweden - 51.10% 7 ?Not unpleasant, but not without fault either. An enigma this one.
Mackmyra Svensk Rok
Single Malt - Sweden - 48.10% 7 ?Absolutely filthy (in a good way), this - like doing a bog swim without a snorkel.
Paul John Brilliance
Single Malt - India - 46.00% 8 ?If this was a Bond movie, it would be Quantum Of Solace. Very manly, a little brutal in places but bloody difficult to understand.
Paul John Edited
Single Malt - India - 46.00% 7 ?Solid enough, with a nice peaty backbone to it.
Talisker Dark Storm
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80% 8 ?Potent, yet inviting, this has plenty going on to keep the keenest of palates entertained with it.
Tamdhu 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 ?Not a big hitter or EXTREME, but who cares. Sometimes it's nice to be a little gem.
Teerenpeli Distiller's Choice
Single Malt - Finland - 43.00% 8 ?More Dramboree than Jamboree, me thinks. Very nice indeed.
Tomintoul Vintage Sherry Cask 1977
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.90% 7 ?Fairly lightweight, with a couple of decent Tapas-influenced twists.
Wemyss Vintage Malts Apple Pastry 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 ?Nothing wrong with this, perhaps a little dry for my tastes, but has some interesting top notes to explore.
Wemyss Vintage Malts Salted Caramel
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 ?Doesn't sing out as loudly as one would hope for - it's certainly pleasant, but not hugely exciting.