New Awards For Stalla Dhu!

We are extremely happy to see Stalla Dhu bottlings take home a new round of awards! The World Whiskies Awards 2023 have been quite lucarative for the most recently released bottles. Taking home 3 Silver and 2 Gold from the New Releases. In addition to those 2 other Silver and a Bronze was awarded to 3 of the Core Range.

A lot of time, effort, and most importantly quite a bit tasting goes into picking the right casks to be bottled under the Stalla Dhu label. Each one Ron chooses is one that he believes will give you a unique representation of the chosen distillery. Maybe a way you haven’t seen the distillery before.

Our two gold medal winners are:

Glenrothes Late Hour Port Finish Cask Strength

Toffee apples on the nose and toasted caramel notes emerge beautifully. The palate is complex and rich with notes of nougat and woody tobacco hints. Definitely one of our favourite’s!

Linkwood Reserve Cask Strength

This “handsome” release of 13-year-old Linkwood will surely surprise you, as even if bottled at the high abv of 57.3% it carries itself extremely well. Balanced notes of nougat richness, silky mouthfeel, and hints of salinity on the finish. Just delicious.

Check out the full list here!

15 Fettercairn Years Old Single Cask Silver
Linkwood Reserve Cask Strength Gold
Teaninich 15 Years Old 100 Proof Single Cask Silver
Glenrothes Late Hour Port Finish Cask Strength Gold
Soars Aois Single Cask Silver
Orchant Seleccion Highland Single Malt Whisky Silver
Islay Single Malt Whisky Silver
Speyside Single Malt Whisky Bronze




Stalla Dhu Taking Home 2 More Amazing Awards!

The 2022 Whiskies Awards was another successful competition for the Stalla Dhu range! Two high awards have been given to the Caol Ila 11 year and Truth Be Told 22. With Caol Ila taking World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt and Truth Be Told taking Best Scotch Blended Limited Release. That’s an amazing showing from a small family built independent bottler. It’s fantastic to see the awards keep rolling in!

Fortunately/unfortunately, after the announcement all of the remaining Caol Ila sold out within a couple days! There are still bottles of the Truth Be Told in stock.

Truth Be Told 22:

Some famous distilleries are fiercely protective of their whiskies and adapted a process called tea-spooning; as in adding a teaspoon of another malt.

This is so ‘Independent Bottlers’ cannot call it a Single Malt or use the Distillery name.

This exceptional cask in its previous incarnations was known as ‘Wardhead’ and clues to its identity lie within the label.

Taste: Soft sophisticated spice, toffee touches, lovely lingering long finish.

World Gin Award Winners

It’s that time of year again! Gin awards time!

I really enjoy going through the winners, seeing what ones I have tried and making notes of winners I have yet to try. There are so many categories that my list at the end is always big enough to keep me busy for a while! So many good looking gins this year. Sweden sweeping the London Dry category was very cool to see.

I thought I’d make a list of 2021 winners we currently have in stock. Maybe you can grab one that you have not had!

Edinburgh Gin coming in hot and taking multiple awards!

Edinburgh Gin – Rhubarb & Ginger

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

Bottled at 40%, this perfectly balanced juniper-forward gin is full of natural flavour. Aromas of rhubarb are complemented by a lift of spice, leading to a smooth, full finish.

Edinburgh Gin – Gooseberry & Elderflower

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

A deliciously refreshing and aromatic gin that harmonises tangy Gooseberry with sweet Elderflower creating a refreshing and balanced gin.

Edinburgh Gin – Raspberry

BRONZE – Flavoured Gin

It is distilled with five traditional gin botanicals and a combination of fresh Scottish raspberries and raspberry leaves to a create a perfectly balanced gin with an incredible depth of flavour.

Rock Rose Gin – Navy Strength

BEST IN SCOTLAND – Navy Strength

The higher ABV version of Rock Rose gives a strong warm pine release at the front of the drink with notes of lemon sherbet. The heart of the drink is very bold berries from the blaeberries, rowan and hawthorn. These give way to the deeper earthier notes that are hidden in the original Rock Rose, such as angelica and orris.

Hernö Gin – London Dry

GOLD – London Dry

Crafted from natural and carefully selected organic botanicals, Hernö Dry Gin is a round and smooth London dry gin diluted to 40,5% ABV. Hernö Dry Gin is awarded with IWSC World’s best London Dry Gin and World’s best Gin & Tonic but is also very enjoyable on its own.

Edinburgh Gin – Classic

SILVER – London Dry

Our classic London Dry style gin. A clean, zesty, juniper-forward gin which balances softness with bright citrus. Launched in 2010, this is our modern London Dry gin, with a nod to Scotland in its recipe including native plants and botanicals.

Nikka – Coffey Gin

SILVER – Contemporary Style Gin

Coffey Gin’s complexity is achieved through the perfect balance between 11 selected botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates. The bright and zesty aroma originating from four kinds of Japanese citruses, Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu and Shequasar, compliments the traditional gin botanicals of juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels.

Foragers – Yellow Label

BRONZE – Contemporary Style Gin

Starting with soft juniper tones, Foragers gently takes you to fresh, semi-sweetness of apple and elderberry, before giving way to incredible, subtle, unmistakable floral notes from gorse and heather flowers. This truly is an authentic expression of Britain and the terrior of North Wales.

Grab one of these or any other one of our many gins! Find your new G&T gin!

Til next time.


A Look Into Wild Thyme Spirits

If you are like most of us here at Whisky Merchant, you are always on the lookout for new and unique spirits! Now, new doesn’t always have to be newly released, maybe just one you have never come across before. Wild Thyme Spirits may fall into that category for a lot of you. They produce Colonsay Gin from all the way up in the Hebrides!

Wild Thyme was founded by Finlay and Eileen Geekie, who packed up their busy lives in Oxfordshire, and ventured north to start their new lives as spirit makers in The Hebrides! Their love of gin, creating a sustainable future, and desire to build on the island community all played into the creation of the new life adventure they set out on! Wild Thyme is a small batch distillery that moved their gin production to the Island of Colonsay after previously working with Strathearn Distillery. They believed it was about time they brought production back to the gin’s namesake! As displayed on the label and in the name, Wild Thyme Spirits is rooted in Celtic spirit folklore. In particular, it is said they are protected by Alva, a red-haired maiden who graces their gin label.

Their gin is crafted using local botanicals after the husband and wife team were granted access to the historic Colonsay House to source a variety of botanicals. The 7 botanicals that made the final cut include juniper, angelica root, calamus root, liquorice root, orange peel, orris root and coriander seeds. The spirit is then created in a 100 litre copper still and bottled in only 160 bottle batches at 48% ABV. Wild Thyme’s process creates a wonderfully smooth and refreshingly light sip that is bound to delight gin drinkers everywhere! If that’s not enough convincing, they have also taken home a silver medal at the Gin Masters competition for the Ultra Premium gin category.

Smooth and slightly sweet, as if kissed by the maiden herself, strong juniper notes then transport you to a pine-fresh walk through the magnificent woodlands of Colonsay House, before the flavour develops into a delicate balance of spice, peppery notes and lemon sherbet; the latter lingering, as clean and refreshing as a dip in the clear blue waters of Kiloran Bay.

-Wild Thyme Spirits

So grab a bottle of Colonsay Gin for yourself just in time for summer!

2020 Whisky Bible Winners

That time of the year again where one man’s dedication to trying whisk(e)y comes in the form of The Whisky Bible. Weather you agree with him or not, Jim Murray has built a very big brand on trying endless amounts of whisky and publishing his findings for all to see. It’s good fun reading through it and coming across sometimes amusing anecdotes about his experience with certain whiskies. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be taken as gospel, just enjoy it for what it is…one man’s opinion and his journey through the whisk(e)y world.

Kentucky is the definitive winner here! This year the top 3 spots have been awarded to all American whiskies! Not only that, but all from the Sazerac company.

2020 World Whisky of the Year
1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Second Finest Whisky in the World
William Larue Weller 125.7 Proof

Third Finest Whisky in the World
Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 128.8 Proof

The 1792 being crafted in the Barton 1792 distillery, while both the William Larue and Thomas Handy are produced at Buffalo Trace.

“To not only be named World Whisky of the Year but also to have our whiskeys named second and third finest is astonishing,” said Mark Brown, Sazerac president. “We could not be happier or more motivated to continue to strive for perfection in the American whiskeys we make.”

The team here at Whisky Merchant happen to think these 3 whiskies are, in fact, delicious! If they should have the top 3 spots or not, that’s for you to decide. I couldn’t number my top 3 favourite bottles, because like most other things, it just comes down to the mood I am in!

Have a gander at the list of other winners and see how it compares to your tastes!

Single Cask of the Year
Nantou Distillery Omar Cask Strength Bourbon Cask

  • Scotch Whisky of the Year: Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition
    Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition
    Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask): The Macphail 1949 China Special Edition 1
    Scotch Blend of the Year: Ballantine’s 17 Years Old
    Scotch Grain of the Year: The Last Drop Dumbarton 1977
    Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year: Glen Castle Blended Malt 1990
    Single Malt Scotch No Age Statement: Glen Grant Rothes Chronicles Cask Haven
    10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant Aged 10 Years
    10 Years & Under (Single Cask): Annandale Man O’ Sword
    11-15 Years (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant Aged 15 Years Batch Strength
    11-15 Years (Single Cask): Signatory Vintage Edradour Ballechin 12 Year Old
    16-21 Years (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition
    16-21 Years (Single Cask): Whisky Castle Glen Spey Aged 21 Years
    22-27 Years (Multiple Casks): Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1996
    22-27 Years (Single Cask): The Whisky Shop Glendronach Aged 26 Years
    28-34 Years (Multiple Casks): Ben Nevis 32 Years Old 1966
    28-34 Years (Single Cask): Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1985
    35-40 Years (Multiple Casks): Port Ellen 39 Years Old
    35-40 Years (Single Cask): Glenfarclas The Family Casks 1978 W18
    41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks): Glen Scotia 45 Year Old
    41 Years & Over (Single Cask): The Macphail 1949 China Special Edition 1

    No Age Statement (Standard): Ballantine’s Finest
    No Age Statement (Premium): Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare
    5-12 Years: Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Years Old
    13-18 Years: Ballantine’s 17 Years Old
    19 – 25 Years: Dewar’s Aged 25 Years The Signature
    26 – 50 Years: The Last Drop 56 Year Old Blend


    Irish Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast Aged 12 Years Cask Strength
    Irish Pot Still Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast Aged 12 Years Cask Strength
    Irish Single Malt of the Year: Bushmills Aged 21 Years
    Irish Blend of the Year: Jameson
    Irish Single Cask of the Year: Kinahan’s Special Release Project 11 Year Old


    Bourbon of the Year: 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    Rye of the Year: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 128.8 Proof
    US Micro Whisky of the Year: Garrison Brothers Balmorhea
    US Micro Whisky of the Year (Runner Up): 291 Barrel Proof Colorado Whiskey Aged 2 Years


    No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels): 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    No Age Statement (Single Barrel): Colonel E H Taylor Single Barrel Bottled In Bond
    9 Years & Under: Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel
    10 – 12 Years: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Aged 12 Years
    11 – 15 Years: Pappy Van Winkle 15 Years Old
    16 – 20 Years: Michter’s 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
    21 Years & Over: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Years Old


    No Age Statement: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 128.8 Proof
    Up to 10 Years: Knob Creek Cask Strength
    11-15 Years: Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 Years Old
    Over 15 Years: Sazerac 18 Years Old
    Single Cask: Knob Creek Single Barrel Select


    Canadian Whisky of the Year: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye


    Japanese Whisky of the Year: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
    Single Malt of the Year (MB): The Matsui Mizunara Cask


    European Whisky of the Year (Multiple): Thy Whisky No. 9 Bøg Single Malt (Denmark)
    European Whisky of the Year (Single): Penderyn Single Cask no. M75-32 (Wales)


    Asian Whisky of the Year: Nantou Distillery Omar Bourbon Cask no.11140804 (Taiwan)
    Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year: Bakery Hill Peated Malt Cask Strength (Australia)

    International Wine and Spirits Competition Winners

    All of us here are super pleased and proud that a few of our bottlings have taken home awards at this years IWSC!

    As a company, we take great pride in bringing our customers the best products we can. So when we are sampling different casks to potentially be able to mature and bottle, we take great care in choosing something special! To be able to enter our carefully chosen whiskies in these competitions and take home awards just motivates us to bring our customers more! It makes us extremely happy when the outside world tastes and enjoys our offerings!

    As much as we love our bottlings…we don’t want to be the only ones drinking them!! Please, share a glass with us!

    Bellow is a bit about our Stalla Dhu range if you are not familiar:


    A rare collection of small batch and single cask malts from Scotland’s finest distilleries.

    First and second generation members of our family of independent bottlers carefully select the whiskies showing particular promise.

    We begin by managing the wood and continue by housing the environment and casks that best affect the ageing to achieve the unique results we strive for.

    We let the whisky slumber till the time is right and then select the correct ABV to bring a very special wee dram to you.

    The following took home awards :

    Stalla Dhu Speyside 40% – Silver 2019

    Stalla Dhu Single Cask Saorsa Single Malt – Bronze 2019

    Stalla Dhu Auchroisk 1997 19 YO 47% Single Malt – Bronze 2019

    Stalla Dhu Single Cask Ardmore 60.5% Single Malt – Silver 2019

    Many thanks to all of you whisky lovers out there! Click on the photos to purchase any of the bottles or just peruse through our huge selection of other spirits!

    Have a wonderful weekend!