Up against stiff competition from long-established whiskies from both Scotland and Ireland, Wolfburn has scooped top honours by being voted the Whiskey Committee’s Brand of the Year 2020.

The Whiskey Committee is an independent UK-based association of 133 respected whiskey aficionados. Spokesman Dale Scott commented: ‘We’ve been constantly reviewing whiskies throughout 2020. There’s been no particular theme – everything from major blue-chip brands to small independent producers has been included, and competition has been incredibly tight. Although Wolfburn has only been selling for five years, their brand is increasingly visible and they do a consistently excellent job. They don’t have the widest range of whiskies, but the focus is on quality, and their passion shines through everything they do. Our congratulations to the whole team!’

Whisky Committee administrator John Slasor added: ‘Wolfburn first came to our notice back in 2018, and we were highly impressed with their single malts. Their core range follows a defined theme of different flavour variants and is cleverly augmented with annual small-batch releases. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed reviewing them and look forward to additional new releases in 2021.’

‘A welcome surprise and a cracking start to the year!’ said Wolfburn’s Brand Ambassador Mark Westmorland. ‘It’s really humbling to hear such lovely comments about our brand and our whisky. Our sincere thanks to the Whisky Committee for honouring us with this award.’


🥃 The Whiskey Committee’s BRAND of the Year 2020 🥃

So while we ponder which Whisky will take our Whisk(e)y of the year 2020 crown, we also mentioned in previous vids/posts that we would be considering a BRAND of the year 2020.

Now over the past year we have had numerous tasting sessions (mainly via Zoom, cheers COVID) of lots of brands and tried various expressions they each offer.

To name a few:

* An Auchentoshan Single Malt Whisky  experience where we sampled the American Oak, 12 year old, Triple Wood, Sauvignon Blanc and the Bartenders Malt. A fantastic range that offered very contrasting drams that were either rated very highly by all or had a few looking to move on quicker than others.

*Jameson Irish Whiskey blind tasting session via Zoom was a great night had by all. We sampled the Original, Black Barrel, Caskmates Stout, Caskmates IPA and the Crested edition. These all went down surprisingly well given the overall cost for the 5 bottles came in at around £100, however some did tend to have very similar notes and finishes which some of us struggled to distinguish between one or the other.

*Another range we have sampled throughout the year is Laphroaig We still have a way to go with this brand as there are higher end expressions we are yet to explore but so far this year we have enjoyed the Select, 10 year old, Quarter Cask and ‘The Old Malt Cask” 12 year old edition. All hold the beautiful heavy smoke/peat you expect from a Laphroaig with subtle fruit hints or smoother finishes here and there. We have all enjoyed each one but for some it can be an acquired taste at times and its very much a whisky that requires some bedding in at first, not for the faint hearted!


*Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a brand we have enjoyed from time to time but separately. We have all possibly had different expressions at any one time but not all together. There are some we have tried while others we haven’t but this one can be marked down for a strong contender in 2021 as it will be on the list for a tasting event I’m sure.

Another that follows a similar pattern is The Dalmore, again we have all sampled the base 12 year old expression but others have explored the 15 or 18 year old, the Cigar Malt or Port wood, the Valour or the Dominium, however it’s a brand we will be taking into consideration for next year’s sampling.

Therefore with all those considered we have have come to the unanimous decision that The Whiskey Committee’s BRAND OF THE YEAR 2020 is…………

Wolfburn Whisky 

Yes, our pick for 2020 is to follow the wolf.

This increasingly popular brand seems to have quietly crept out of the cold North shadows as its namesake would and sank its teeth into our Committee, leaving a lasting reminder of its bite, but a mark one would proudly show off.

This year we have further explored a brand that came to our attention back in 2018 and has since gone from strength to strength in a very short space of time. It’s not a brand you will likely see on any supermarket shelves but is one that should be sought at every opportunity.

Originally the distillery was founded by William Smith in 1821 on the outskirts of Thurso and was ran by the Smith family before dwindling into ruin by 1872. Then in 2011, Wolfburn awoke from hibernation and work began to release the beast once more. After a lot of hard work and care Wolfburn was back with its first bottling of single malt in 2016, it was named ‘Northland’. And since then the distillery has churned out many fantastic expressions and small batch exclusives all over the world.

Courtesy of their Brand Ambassador, Mark Westmorland we enjoyed a fantastic tasting session during lockdown via Zoom and we were able to enjoy their four core expressions (Northland, Aurora, Langskip & Morven) plus their No.155 small batch. Although they are only a young brand these non-age-statement drams are a thing of beauty and could easily go up against some of the powerhouse age statements.

Wolfburn’s blood, sweat and tears have gone into each bottle and their aim is to ensure all have core notes that is a hallmark of their brand, whilst expressing unique traits in each expression that we were absolutely blown away with. There has been not one bottle we have tried that has disappointed us, the list is quite large and includes a number of the small batch releases and that is testament to Wolfburn and their hard work, it has paid off in bucket loads guys. Bravo and Thank you!

So there you have it, Congratulations

Our Brand of the Year 2020 – Wolfburn Whisky


The original Wolfburn Distillery was founded just to the west of Thurso by William Smith in 1821.  In its day it was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland, producing, according to HMRC records, 28,056 “gallons of proof spirit” in a single year.  Taking its name from the stream that provided the water – the Wolf Burn – the distillery operated until around 1870.  The reasons for its closure are lost in time, but by 1877 the newly produced Ordnance Survey maps showed it being in ruins.

In 2011 plans were laid to resurrect the old distillery. Construction began in 2012 and in January 2013 the new Wolfburn Distillery commenced production, thereby becoming the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland.  Situated 300m from the site of the original distillery, the new Wolfburn operates in much the same way as the old: craftsmen use traditional methods to produce fine spirit, which is laid down in best quality oak casks to await the day when it is bottled as single malt scotch whisky.  Wolfburn’s single malt scotch whiskies are now available in 27 countries globally.

Wolfburn Distillery, Henderson Park, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7XW



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