Latest Scotch whisky reviews, news and distillary grooves

Talisker 18 Review pic One Man's Malt

WhiskyFest 2014 Dates Announced

Please mark your calendars and start saving your farthings.

There is usually a discount for ticket sales before a certain date, so keep your eyes peeled for more information in the future, and sign up at the website listed below to receive updates.

WhiskyFest 2014 Dates are as Follows:

•        WhiskyFest Chicago: April 25

•        WhiskyFest San Francisco: October 3

•        WhiskyFest New York: October 29

Unfortunately, WhiskyFest New York will be happening on only one day this coming year, and it’s a Wednesday. So, plan on burning a vacation day or sick day that Thursday!

And they are scrapping the current format, which had the exclusive seminars scheduled during the day, and returning to the original format where the seminars happen at the same time of the grand tasting.

I had determined I would actually pay the extra ransom to attend the seminars in 2014 – but not if it means abandoning my friends and missing one second of the grand tasting. Ah well.

The official press release does imply the separated format may return in 2015.

Press Release:

New York returns to original format in 2014

Whisky Advocate magazine’s WhiskyFest New York will take place in 2014 on Wednesday,

October 29th, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event will return to its

original format: an evening grand tasting with seminars occurring simultaneously in

adjacent breakout rooms. This original format will also continue at the WhiskyFests

held in Chicago and San Francisco.

John Hansell, Whisky Advocate Editor and Publisher, explains:

“We are taking a break from the more recent two-day program of grand tastings on two

evenings and all-day seminars on the second day in New York City. Our primary reason

for waiting is that we want the New York seminar day to be the best whisky event

anywhere. To achieve this, we need to have substantial quantities of incredibly rare

whiskies procured for an audience of several hundred whisky enthusiasts; this is

extremely difficult to accomplish on an annual basis. Rather than hold an event that

doesn’t live up to the standards we’ve set, with whiskies that aren’t the best and

rarest, we prefer to take a break in 2014 so we can properly plan our next seminar

day and source the appropriate whiskies.”

[This begs the question. Why can’t they return to a one-day event, but still have the seminars earlier in day? – ed.]

For more information on the 2014 events, contact Amy Westlake, WhiskyFest Events Director, at

WhiskyFest 2014 Tickets – sign up here to be notified of their availability

For a description of this year’s WhiskyFest, click HERE


Talisker 25 label damaged in hurricane sandy

Talisker 25 – Hurricane Sandy Survivor

This bottle of 25 year old Talisker survived Hurricane Sandy, battered and torn, but sealed.

I received it as a gift because I was storing some valuables while a friend’s home was renovated, so they were not destroyed with the rest of his belongings, during the devastation that ravaged the east coast of the United States, one year ago today.

Flavor Map of Talisker 25 yo single malt scotch whisky for review at One Man's Malt

And like the ever changing weather of the northern seas at its home shores, this whisky is in constant flux upon the surface, with a deep serenity beneath.

Overall, Talisker 25 a well-integrated dram; with its own unique take on the Talisker mix of sweet, pepper, peat smoke and herbal bitters.

As the finest spirits are thought of as very precious, as they dwindle in the bottle, it is a finer thing to pour some out on occasions such as these, and raise them in remembrance of that which is gone, and in appreciation for what we are so lucky to have.

Read the Full Review

Whiskyfest 2013 Exclusive Report

Our Reporter Braves Gourmet Food and the World’s Best Spirits, Among Other Hardships to Bring You His Exclusive Report from Whiskyfest 2013

Whiskyfest New York Alberfeldy 21
At Least 21 Years Of Age

Deciding which of the 500+ varieties of whisky and other fine spirits to indulge in is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!

For a ticket price less than the better seats at a rock concert or major sporting event, our reporter spent 4.5 hours at Whiskyfest 2013 New York with examples of the best whisky in the world, dozens costing over $300 and even $400 a bottle. His report touches on many of them, along with other fine spirits from the introductory expressions to the top of the line, from many of the world’s best distillers, including sneak previews of new expressions not yet on American shelves.

“…the 25 yo has a similar vatting ratio of refill sherry casks and bourbon, but then spends its final two years in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks, which results in a lively waltz of the two influences from the get go, before all the European figs and almonds and Christmasy spices kick up their heels, yet they remain firmly in the grasp of a skeletal American oak structure. As indulgent a 43% whisky as I can remember…”

Whiskyfest is an annual event by Whisky Advocate Magazine, taking place in many countries around the globe.

Read The Full Review From Whiskyfest 2013

BenRiach 16 Whisky Review

The 8 Men of Malt review BenRiach 16 yo single malt whisky

Flavor Map BenRiach 16 single malt whisky

Fortunately for us, in 2004 BenRiach was reborn into the hands of scotch whisky expert Billy Walker and his investing partners, Geoff Bell and Wayne Keiswetter, both of South Africa.

With stock going back to the 1960s, Walker set to work as the new master blender, reputedly beginning in his garden shed, and eventually sampling every cask and coming up with with today’s core expressions, specialty vintage releases, and a projected calendar for a long-term lifespan that will take advantage of the unique character produced at this Speyside distillery.

“To see how today’s owners were doing with the revived BenRiach distillery, we chose the 16 year old expression, basically their core spirit with some maturity and simply aged in American bourbon oak, from the look of it. The answer is they are doing marvelously well.”

Read the Tasting Notes and Full Review of BenRiach 16

Updates to One Man’s Malt for October

Updates for October!

After spending considerable weeks on other pursuits, One Man’s Malt is back in production!

In addition to the release of our upcoming review of Whiskyfest 2013, which took place this past weekend, we have been sprucing up the premises, and loading up content for the MANY whisky reviews soon to appear in these pages.

We have made some improvements and additions to several existing pages, including:

Our review of Ken Loach’s evocative film The Angel’s Share, which you should track down and see soon! Its awards include BAFTA and the Jury Prize at Cannes.

Excerpt: The Angel’s Share is far darker and smarter than the wacky comedy caper about pinching some whisky suggested by the publicity… But then, The Angels’ Share is not really about whisky at all. It is about a primitive man-at-arms whose sense of dignity was once wrapped up in avenging the slightest offense and not backing down from a fight, but who repents of the false-honor of vendetta, and how he finds redemption on the non-violent path that ultimately illuminates his way to a better life.


Our primer article About Scotch Malt Whisky, called “Very valuable and complete and well-written and entertaining.

Excerpt:  Medieval distillers were considered to be alchemists. The same could be said of today’s master blenders. They combine elements of various origin and composition to create an entity different from and at times greater than the sum of its parts. The blender will employ certain whiskies to make up the body of a recipe, while others are added sparingly, like finishing herbs dropped across a savory dish. Flavors, complementary or offsetting, are balanced and unified. At times a blended scotch will conjure up flavors undetected in the individual whiskies brought together to create it.

The master blender holds a most highly respected position in the business, one that requires a vast knowledge, strong intuition, and an exceptionally nuanced sensory perception. Theirs is a craft developed through apprenticeship, experimentation, and lucky accidents. The panache of each new blender adds to the collected wisdom handed down through generations of Scotch whisky makers, and is embodied in the results of their labor, whether it be the vatting of pure malts, or blending them with grain whisky.


Our insider recount of malt advocate Dave Broom’s exclusive tasting that got all mixed up!

Excerpt: “… The fatty quality of the nut was dominant, mouth-filling and slithery, and ever so cooling as it slipped down the throat. The whisky’s malty smoke and spicy fruits took on the role of the subordinate flavoring, rather than primary components…”


Additional bottles added to our shelf, many of which will appear under review at One Man’s Malt, including Royal Lochnagar Distillers Edition from Diageo and some serious Glenfarclas!


Our new, exclusive Whisky Flavor Maps will be accompanying many of our upcoming reviews, and added to our existing reviews. Here is an example.

Flavor profile chart for Clynelish Distillers Edition single malt review

Dave Broom Gets Whisky All Mixed Up!

After decades as a professional spirits critic, chronicler, and advocate most highly respected around the world, one might expect Dave Broom to have his whiskies straight.

But I may now confirm the rumors that he has been mixing them up, and doing so on purpose!

In fact, the mixing of whisky with all sorts of other ingredients is a primary theme of Dave Boom’s new book, Whisky: A User’s Guide, which will be appearing on American shelves in April 2014, published by Mitchell Beazley.

Friday, October 11, 2013 – New York City

I rode the elevator with Dave Broom on our way to the special tasting he hosted today, at the New York offices of his new book’s U.S. distributor, Hachette Book Group. This allowed me to have some exclusive insider questions answered, before he met with various marketing professionals to share some of the practical applications explored within the manuscript they will soon be promoting, and which should prove a superb companion to his most excellent tome, The World Atlas of Whisky. I was glad to hear that this handsome coffee table book is still selling well, as it gets my highest endorsement as a great gift item for your dearest whisky fan.

Read the Full Article on Dave Broom

Whisky: A User's Guide by Dave Broom

Some mid-summer whisky news…

And our mid summer whisky news is this:

While June was spent on other pursuits, and July has been occupied by all the guitar activity over at One Man’s Guitar, I wanted you all to know that August will be Summer Whisky Month in One Man’s World. But we have not been idle!

This very weekend the 8 Men of Malt shall be enjoying an exploration of some wonderful single malt in name of scientific research. A tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

We shall convene at the home of our resident Oscar winner, to toast his latest Emmy nomination with some summer whisky from Speyside’s northwest corner.

On the menu: 10 yo Benromach, 16 yo BenRiach, and a single cask Glenrothes from 1998. Not to mention his wife’s amazing barbeque ribs!

Although we haven’t posted much on line, we have continued to collect data and tasting notes. August will be a time for posting many such things.

So check back in the coming weeks as we light the fires under One Man’s Malt and start distilling our research into potable tasting notes across the end of Summer and on into a productive Autumn.

summer whisky

Good Things Ahead

The site has been a bit idle of late. There has been much going on over at One Man’s Guitar, and some other events that have taken up our time.

But we have had a successful tasting event with the Eight Men of Malt last weekend, the fruit of which will be posted soon.

While in D.C. over the holiday we enjoyed a 16 yo Balblair.

Reviews in the works include three Bruichladdich expressions, two Glenfarclas, a Clynelish, a Mortlach, the list goes on and on.

Stay tuned!

Review of Campbeltown Loch Blended Scotch Whisky

Our Review of Campbeltown Loch

The sassy house blend from the Springbank distillery, in Campbeltown on the Kyntire Peninsula, Campbeltown Loch…

… makes for a great summertime scotch on the rocks, or whisky and soda … Malty sweetness is at the center of each sip. It turns fruity … and then, ole! Here comes the rushing charge of the chilis … fresh, ripe pears emerge with honey … a smoky finish with cloves and licorice …

Happy Birthday to my big brother, Lee!

Your bottle of Campbeltown Loch should be arriving via Fed Ex sometimes soon.

Read the Full Review of Campbeltown Loch

Shots of Whisky
Campeltown Loch

Review – 18 year old Talisker

Whisky Review – 18 Year Old Talisker

Our review gets to the heart of a stand-out among the great malt whiskies.

“It does not bring the sucker punch Wow! of the hotter, rawer 10 year old Talisker. Talisker 18 makes a suave entrance and starts to reveal an elegant form with a smoldering heart. This is a very sexy whisky … smoky, full bodied … Starts off subtle and mellow, finishes greatly complex and effortlessly penetrating …

Read the Full Review of 18 year old Talisker at One Man’s Malt