|22 Apr 16||
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival appoints two new volunteer directors to board
Two new faces have joined the board of volunteers behind the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, helping to ensure that the 17th edition of the event later this month will be one of the best on record.
Industry stalwart Linda Mellis – who spent four decades with drinks giant Diageo before her retirement – has become a director of the Festival, along with Speyside Cooperage visitor centre manager Gill Reid.
Both women have been responsible for delivering first class visitor experiences in their careers, and plan to use their skills and expertise to benefit the Festival and its many thousands of guests from home and abroad.
The curtain rises on the annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival on April 28, signalling the start of five days packed full of whisky, music, food and fun at locations throughout the region.
Although the Festival is managed by one full-time member of staff, the volunteer board of directors is responsible for ensuring its continued growth and position as one of the leading events of its kind in the world.
James Campbell, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, believes that Linda and Gill will be excellent additions to the board due to their vast knowledge of the whisky industry and customer service fields.
He adds, “The Festival aims to marry the opportunity to appreciate and learn more about our local whisky industry with a first-class visitor experience. Both Linda and Gill will be instrumental in helping to guide us as we move forward and grow the Festival in future years.
“Many of our visitors are quite staggered to learn that the driving force behind the Festival are volunteers who willingly give up their time to help because they feel so passionate about whisky and what the Speyside region has to offer.
“It’s through their vision – and the sterling efforts of our festival manager Pery Zakeri in turning the vision into a reality – that the Festival has evolved into the leading event that it is today.
“As we prepare to raise a glass in toast to another successful Festival, I would like to thank all of our volunteer directors, past and present, for their outstanding commitment to making the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival an event like no other.”
Linda worked for Diageo for 43 years, having started out as a typist before moving up the ranks. Before her retirement earlier this year, she was responsible for managing brand support malt distilling and marketing the distillery visitor centres and brand homes.
A long-standing supporter of the Festival since its inception in the late 1990s, she was recognised by the organisers for her commitment when they named her Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Ambassador of the Year last year.
Gill has been the manager of Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre – a five-star attraction welcoming around 22,000 people annually – for two years. She has been responsible for raising the bar on the visitor experience by developing a 4-D extra-sensory film presentation and mini-cinema on site.
Prior to taking up the post, she was a partner in her family business - one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of oak barrel garden products. She was responsible for developing the firm’s export market and is a previous winner of UK Trade & Investment’s Young Exporter of the Year.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme comprises almost 500 different events including distillery tours and tastings, outdoor activities, arts and crafts, food, music and comedy.
Tickets for events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy at www.spiritofspeyside.com. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.
|19 Mar 16||
Announcing The Launch Of
Douglas Laing & Co, World Whiskies Awards’ Brand Innovator of the Year 2016, today announces the launch of The Epicurean Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, the Lowland addition to the firm’s Remarkable Regional Malts collection.
Fred Laing, Managing Director and 2nd Generation in the family business, says:
Tasting Notes:In a tipple of our Small Batch Epicurean, you can bet on a nose that is barley rich, citric, floral and herbal. The mouth-coatingly sweet palate displays crunched sugar, burnt citrus, mixed spices, thyme, peaches and hard candy… All charmingly underpinned and enriched in the finish with more of that earlier herbal character, in a gristy style with almonds, cut grass and burnt sugar.
Old Pulteney Pairs with Top Chef Aiden Byrne for New Food Focus
Aiden Byrne added: ‘It’s unusual for me to take on a partnership such as this, but the quality of Old Pulteney and the opportunity to learn more about the craft of whisky making from the experts in Wick was too good to turn down. I think I was fairly typical of many people who would like to know more about malt whisky but didn’t really know where to start, so for me, enjoying whisky with food across lots of different culinary styles is a great idea. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen to start creating some wonderful food to share with drinkers around the country
|02 Mar 16||
Full steam ahead for new special edition whisky from Speyside Distillery celebrating the return of the iconic Flying Scotsman
Speyside Distillery has produced a brand new special edition whisky to mark the return of the iconic Flying Scotsman steam locomotive to the National Railway Museum following a major restoration.
The commemorative bottle of the distillery’s Beinn Dubh ruby black whisky has been produced under licence for the museum, which welcomes back its most famous – and best loved - exhibit today (Thursday, February 25) after a decade-long absence.
Speyside Distillery, which is based at the foot of the Cairngorm mountain range in the Scottish Highlands, was selected to produce the Flying Scotsman Beinn Dubh single malt Scotch whisky because of its track record working with other historic brands.
The small, boutique distillery also produces the luxurious Royal Choice single malt under its SPEY brand. The expression is sold through the Historic Royal Palaces – a portfolio that includes the Tower of London, Kew Palace and Kensington Palace.
Speyside Distillery CEO John Harvey McDonough says the distillery’s partnership with Flying Scotsman is the perfect match as both represent heritage, tradition and innovation.
He adds, “I don’t think there could be a better whisky to sum up everything that Flying Scotsman stands for. Just as the locomotive was a pioneer of its day and continues to set new records, Speyside Distillery is marrying traditional distilling techniques with innovative ideas.
“We are extremely grateful to have been selected by the Flying Scotsman to develop its own brand single malt Scotch whisky, and it will be a huge honour for us to see Beinn Dubh Flying Scotsman hit the shelves in a couple of weeks.
“We hope that rail enthusiasts and people who love this world-famous locomotive will celebrate its long-awaited return to the National Railway Museum by raising a toast of this very special whisky.”
Flying Scotsman – arguably the best known train in the world - shot to fame after becoming the first steam locomotive to break the 100mph barrier in 1934 during a run from London to Leeds.
The locomotive returns to the National Railway Museum in York today following a £4.2m restoration – and as a working exhibit sets a new record for the oldest mainline working locomotive on Britain’s railway tracks.
To celebrate its return, Flying Scotsman today makes an inaugural run on the East Coast Mainline between London Kings Cross and York, before returning home to the museum where a huge crowd of well-wishers is expected to gather.
Paul Kirkman, Director of the National Railway Museum, says, “We have all been looking forward to the day when Flying Scotsman steams home to York along the East Coast Mainline and now this historic moment has finally come to pass.
“This celebratory journey marks a new stage in this steam icon’s long and colourful history, and is a tribute to all the people who have worked so hard to make this happen, from those that have worked on the restoration itself to the public that donated to our appeal to bring this legend back to life.”
Beinn Dubh is an innovative release from Speyside Distillery. The distinctive ruby-black whisky was launched into the market last year, and is already proving a hit with whisky lovers across Europe and the Far East.
Beinn Dubh is another name often given to Ben Macdui – the highest peak in the Cairngorm mountain range. It translates from Gaelic language as the black mountain, and refers to its dark and mysterious atmosphere.
Beinn Dubh’s taste is deep and dark: rich fruits, currants and chocolate dominate at first, but these gradually give way to both bitterness and sweetness. Beinn Dubh Flying Scotsman is 40% ABV and has an RRP of £50.
It will be available to buy from the National Railway Museum retail outlets. Speyside Distillery will also be putting the commemorative bottle on general release, with distributors receiving a limited allocation of the stock.
Speyside Distillery near Kingussie has been in production since 1990 and is operated by Speyside Distillers Ltd. For further information about Beinn Dubh, visit www.beinndubh.com.
|19 Feb 16||
A marvel celebrating a bygone age: GlenDronach’s oldest-ever release in latest batch of single cask bottlings
|03 Feb 16||
Douglas Laing Announces the Rebrand of
Douglas Laing, Icons of Whisky’s Brand Innovator of the Year 2016, today unveils the new packaging for its Provenance Single Cask Scotch Whisky range.
Provenance now joins Douglas Laing’s “Exceptional Single Casks” collection, a recently launched umbrella term that encompasses the firm’s collection of three distinct, yet complementary, brands that offer Single Malt and Single Grain Whiskies from a vast range of Scotland’s Distilleries – Provenance, Old Particular and Xtra Old Particular. Provenance marks the beginning of the Exceptional Single Casks journey, delivering what Douglas Laing calls “an accessible yet outstanding introduction to the world of Single Cask Scotch Whisky”. Each of the firm’s Exceptional Single Casks bottlings is at 46% ABV or higher, or natural cask strength, and all are traditionally without colouring or chill-filtration. This, they profess, is how to experience Scotch Whisky as the Distiller Intended.
|03 Feb 16||
Douglas laing becomes european distribution partner
Douglas Laing today announces its new role as European Distributor for The Glenturret Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
The Edrington-owned brand announced the launch of a new core range in November 2015: The Glenturret Sherry Edition, The Glenturret Triple Wood Edition and The Glenturret Peated Edition. It is this new portfolio that Douglas Laing will distribute across Europe.
Until recently, only a very small proportion of the Single Malt produced at Scotland’s oldest distillery was bottled as such, with the majority destined for blending in The Famous Grouse. Its contribution to The Famous Grouse has earned The Glenturret Distillery its place as the spiritual home of Scotland’s best-selling Whisky, attracting more visitors than any other distillery in Scotland. Now is its chance to reign supreme as a Single Malt.
Commenting on the new venture, The Glenturret General Manager, Stuart Cassells says: “You’d be forgiven for calling this new range the “relaunch” of The Glenturret, some 240 years after it was first established. However, we deem it simply The Glenturret Launch, on the assumption that this silent hero of a Single Malt probably never had a launch at all.
Despite the passing of time, these new Whiskies; The Glenturret Sherry Edition, The Glenturret Triple Wood Edition and The Glenturret Peated Edition, draw on the very best of our traditional production methods from way back in 1775, requiring only five pairs of skilled hands to produce these exceptional malts. Cared for in bespoke wax-dipped bottles, these are Single Malts that deserve recognition, and we are thrilled to partner with Douglas Laing to take the brand to new heights across the European market.”
Douglas Laing’s Commercial Director, Chris Leggat, says: “We are delighted to get our creative hands onto The Glenturret brand. Scotland’s oldest distillery produces a wonderful Malt Whisky and we will give this brand the attention it so rightly deserves. We’re thrilled to bring the brand into the arms of Douglas Laing and to our extensive network of friends across Europe.”
|03 Feb 16||
UNITED KINGDOM – 01/29/2016 - Today Fairfax Whisky publicly unveiled it’s much anticipated whisky investment service. The announcement comes at a time when whisky investing is growing in popularity among leading investors. Fairfax Whisky has employed the world’s leading whisky experts to provide unparalleled insight and market research to the broader investment community. The firm helps educate investors about the whisky industry and various investment types available.
“Fairfax Whisky is dedicated to helping investors understand investment-grade whisky and its place in a diversified portfolio” said the chief executive officer of Fairfax Whisky. “Whisky investing has existed for centuries, but has been limited to insiders. With the launch of Fairfax Whisky we’re giving all investors access to this lucrative opportunity.”
Fairfax Whisky extends a family business which has marketed rare antiques and collectibles since 1957. The management team has a long ancestry in whisky, providing deep understanding of all aspects of the industry. Headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland and subsequent offices in Hong Kong and Philippines are at the heart of the high-end whisky industry offering investors access to the best whisky in the world. The Fairfax Whisky team is passionate about whisky. This passion has resulted in a large network of clients, hotels, auction houses, restaurants, luxury brands, retail shops and collectors from all over the world.
Fairfax Whisky offers access to the largest stock of casks and rare bottle collections of both Scottish and Japanese whisky. They work with clients in finding and securing the best investments based on their budget and individual objectives.
|27 Jan 2016||
Announcing The Launch Of
Douglas Laing & Co, Brand Innovator of the Year 2016 at the Icons of Whisky Awards, today announces the release of its Limited Edition Cask Strength Rock Oyster Island Malt Scotch Whisky.
Douglas Laing’s original Rock Oyster launched in January 2015, a Small Batch bottling created from the finest maritime Malts - including those distilled on the esteemed Islands of Jura, Islay, Arran and Orkney. Bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength, the Island Malt brand has a truly maritime flavour profile of sea salt, sweet peat and cracked black pepper.
The new Cask Strength Limited Edition is bottled at a powerful 57.4% ABV and delivers a massive amplification of all those coastal qualities from the original. Punchy peat smoke meets sweet honey and a briny, salty character, in a flavour combination that promises to transport the drinker to Scotland’s Whisky Islands. In line with the Douglas Laing family philosophy, the spirit is proudly without colouring or chill-filtration.
The new release packaging is a creative evolution of the original, offered in a premium gift tube with gold foil detail. Bespoke illustration against a maritime backdrop depicts a crew of sailors battling to retrieve a monstrous oyster from stormy seas, reflecting that monstrously maritime spirit inside. Those familiar with Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts may recognise the bearded fisherman depicted in the scene…
Says Douglas Laing’s Managing Director Fred Laing: “For Rock Oyster Cask Strength, I’ve selected a range of casks from the Islands and lovingly vatted them together to create a blast of sea air on the nose and a tempestuously oceanic storm on the palate. Anticipate a big peat hit full of Islay phenols, iodine and coal dust, with a shake of pepper softening to a distinct honey sweetness from the Arran casks. The Isle of Jura brings waves of citrus and barley to the mix, and Orkney fetches up some salt from the deep.”
Douglas Laing’s Rock Oyster Cask Strength Limited Edition will be available from specialist Whisky retailers and www.DouglasLaing.com from January 2016.
|22 Jan 2016||Hat-trick of award nominations for William Grant and Sons as Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards first round judging takes place
William Grant and Sons has impressed an expert panel gathered to shortlist entries in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards. The Glenfiddich 12, 18 and 21 year old expressions were shortlisted in all three of the award’s categories following a blind taste test on Speyside this week.
The judges – made up from a panel of eight industry experts - also put single malts from Glen Grant, Glen Moray and Cragganmore distilleries through to the final round.
The winner of each category is determined by visitors to annual five-day Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which takes place in venues across the drink’s spiritual home from April 28 to May 2. It’s the only awards scheme in the world where winners are determined by members of the public.
The six finalists were selected by judges out of 34 entries from distilleries across the Speyside region. The Glenfiddich 12 year old and Glen Grant’s 10 year old were selected for the malts under 12 – or no age statement – category. The finalists chosen for the 13 to 20 years section are the Glen Moray 16 year old and Glenfiddich 18 year old, while the category for malts over 21 is a head to head between Glenfiddich’s 21 year old and the Cragganmore 25 year old 2014 Special Release.
The awards are sponsored by Forsyths of Rothes – the coppersmiths responsible for building many of the pot stills in which the shortlisted single malts were distilled. The panel included a range of specialist whisky writers, connoisseurs and retailers.
Becky Paskin, editor of whisky website scotchwhisky.com, joined the panel for the first time. She says, “The traditional perception of Speyside whiskies is that they are all light and fruity in style, but this notion is outdated. If there’s one thing the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards demonstrates, it’s that as well as owning the greatest concentration of whisky distilleries in Scotland, Speyside is also home the broadest palette of flavours.
"Among the entrants in this year’s awards were heavily Sherried and spicy beauties, sweet yet peaty malts and even some intriguing wine cask finishes, all of which challenge the opinion of how a typical Speyside whisky should taste. If ever there was a whisky category offering something for everyone, this would be it.”
Renowned whisky aficionado and writer Martine Nouet has served on the panel many times in the past, but says she always comes away surprised at the range of malts on offer. “I have taken part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards judging since its beginning and every year, I am amazed at the growing diversity of aromatic profiles expressed by the whiskies in competition.
“This year, I found that the category 12 and under was the most challenging, with many younger whiskies than previously presented and more cask finishes. It is interesting to note that the finalist this year is the longest established single malt in Speyside. Tradition rubs shoulders with innovation, which results in offering whisky lovers a larger choice of styles and aromatic profiles. Wonders never cease,” she says.
Chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, James Campbell, adds, “The judging process resulted in a lot of different opinions; the general consensus of the group wasn’t uniform across the board, which I think reflects the personal preferences and tastes of whisky drinkers everywhere. There was a lot of conversation happening throughout and many of the judges surprised themselves when scoring the malts, which is a testament to the blind tasting session.”
The final judging session and awards prize-giving will take place at a ceilidh on Sunday, May 1.
Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including the roving judging sessions, can be bought via the website – www.spiritofspeyside.com from February 2. Keep up-to-date with the Festival on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter.
|20 Jan 2016||
Revealed: Plans for first new Scotch whisky distillery on Islay for more than a decade
By Ian McConnell
PLANS to build the first Scotch whisky distillery on Islay for more than a decade have been unveiled by Glasgow-based Hunter Laing & Company.
Family-owned blender and bottler Hunter Laing is making its first move into distilling with its plans for an £8 million investment in the new-build project at Ardnahoe, near Port Askaig on the north-east coast of Islay. It hopes the first spirit will be produced by the end of 2017, with the planning process expected to take several months and the construction phase forecast to last for a little more than a year.
Director Scott Laing said the proposed distillery would, subject to approval of the application for planning permission submitted to Argyll & Bute Council, be the first to be built on Islay since Kilchoman. The distillery at Kilchoman was established in 2005.
Mr Laing added that he expected the distillery would be named Ardnahoe, given the location of the planned four-acre site. He noted that it would draw water from Ardnahoe Loch.
He cited “huge demand” for Islay whisky around the world. And he noted that Hunter Laing, in its capacity as a blender and bottler, was currently experiencing demand for Islay whisky that outstripped its supply.
Managing director Stewart Laing, an industry veteran who joined sons Scott and Andrew in launching Hunter Laing in May 2013 after decades running Scotch blender and bottler Douglas Laing & Co with brother Fred, emphasised a bottled Islay single malt was the focus of the Ardnahoe distillery investment.
Andrew Laing, who is also a director of Hunter Laing, said that the distillery would have the capacity to produce 500,000 litres of alcohol per year. Production of about 200,000 litres of alcohol is planned in the first year of operation (...).
Hunter Laing, which sells whisky in about 65 countries, said the building of the distillery was planned in two phases. The first stage would involve the establishment of distilling operations, warehousing, and a visitor centre including a cafe, tasting room, and shop.
The second phase would entail an expansion of distilling operations and further warehousing.
The company added that the distillery would create several full-time jobs on Islay, and a number of seasonal roles.
Explaining the rationale for the project, Scott Laing said: “We would like to secure our own supply of spirit. We would like to always have something that is ours - that we put our name to. It is just a nice thing to do. We want to become part of a rural community a little bit, to start investing there.
“The bottom line is we are a business. Our judgment is this is the way forward for our business, to have a secure supply of single malt that we are producing for ourselves and we have 100 per cent control over.”
He added: “”One of our personal favourite styles is the traditional Islay style. I think it is always a good starting point, if you are going to make whisky…to [produce] what you like yourself. We like peaty Islay whisky.”
Asked when the first sales of whisky produced at the Ardnahoe distillery were likely to be made, Scott Laing said: “It takes a minimum of three years from the point the spirit goes into the cask…before it is whisky.
“We would probably wait a bit longer to make sure the spirit is something we are happy to put our name to.”
Asked about the financing of the project, Stewart Laing said: “The family is providing a fair chunk of funds. Equally, we are very pleased to have been supported by Clydesdale Bank.”
He added: “The surge in demand for single malt Scotch whisky from Islay in recent years has been extraordinary. While the established distilleries on the island have been increasing production, there is obvious room for yet further expansion in output as discerning drinkers the world over are charmed by the rich, smoke-filled flavours that have become such an integral part of the island’s style of whisky. The new facility is being designed to create a particular style of spirit that we know from our experience of selling whisky in 65 countries around the world will appeal to the Islay whisky lover. By building this distillery, we are fulfilling a long-held dream. ”
Andrew Laing said: “We have shown formidable growth in the last two years, and the time is now right for us to invest for the future. While this is our family’s first foray into distilling, my father’s 50-year record of blending quality products of high demand and our three generations of expertise in the whisky industry ensures we enter this venture with strong confidence.”
Lord Margadale, chairman of Islay Estates, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Hunter Laing in the development of a new distillery on Islay.
“This project will contribute considerably to the island’s economy through the direct provision of jobs. It will also increase the demand for barley from Islay farmers, and add to the attraction of Islay as a destination for the increasing number of followers of Scotch whisky around the world.”
He added: “Islay is a beautiful, tranquil and fertile island that is famed for its distinctive whisky. This is an exciting opportunity to build on this reputation, and to help secure a strong economic future for the Island.”
Several new Scotch whisky distilleries have been created in recent years, including one on the Isle of Harris. For the full article, click here.
|10 Dec 15||GLENGLASSAUGH has today (December 8) released its second critically-acclaimed batch of single cask bottlings.
Once again hand-selected by Managing Director and Master Distiller Billy Walker, there are eight phenomenal malts in this new batch which range from 42 to 36 years. All casks were bottled in September this year.
The eight single cask treasures uncovered from dark corners of the Portsoy warehouses are classic Glenglassaugh - rich, elegant, sweet Highland malts that hit the palate with complex fruit bombs – from pears to raspberry jam, from yellow plum compote to orange peel, from wild red berries to banana loaf.
The oldest, cask # 2125, 42 years old, was distilled in October 1972 and finished in a Massandra Madeira Puncheon. Bottled at 47.3% vol, this rich burnt amber veteran is sublime. On the nose, luxurious rich honey infused with allspice floods over roasted apples while, on the palate, crisp toasted oak characters contrast with Madeira poached pears, sultana syrup and a delicate warm spice.
The youngest in the batch is a 36 years old distilled in October 1978 and finished in a Port Hogshead. This burnished copper gold beauty, cask # 1118/8, was bottled at 43.6% vol. On the nose, there is a delicious harmony of wild red berries and milk chocolate with a black pepper spice and vintage leather background. The palate brings beautifully elegant red fruit preserve dusted with sweet vanilla sugar and combines perfectly with warm oak, cinnamon spice and stem ginger syrup.
Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “The BenRiach Distillery Company took over Glenglassaugh distillery in 2013 and we released our first batch of rare casks in April last year. The response on this first batch release was fantastic, with connoisseurs worldwide delighted to get their hands on these aged, extraordinary malts. We are therefore delighted to issue Batch 2 today which comprises another eight magnificent expressions - smooth, warm, characterful and sublime Highland whisky at its finest.”
All eight are presented in a beautiful golden box.
The batch details are:
1972 cask # 2125 / 42 years old / Massandra Madeira Puncheon / 47.3% vol
1973 cask # 1865 / 42 years old / Massandra Aleatico Hogshead / 40.5% vol
1973 cask # 761 / 41 years old / Rum Barrel / 41.1% vol
1974 cask # 1282/1 / 41 years old / Rum Barrel / 40.8% vol
1975 cask # 2180 / 40 years old / Massandra Madeira Puncheon / 43.9% vol
1975 cask # 3171 / 40 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Hogshead / 40.2% vol
1976 cask # 3170 / 39 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Hogshead / 40.3% vol
1978 cask # 1118/8 / 36 years old / Port Hogshead / 43.6% vol
All eight are available soon at your local retailer.
|12 Nov 15||
„Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015“: Das sind die Sieger
Switzerland´s Best Whisky Bar 2015:
BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Bar“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2016), Dirk Hany (Widder Bar, Zürich ZH) und Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).
BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Shop“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2016), Christof Dennler (The Single Malt Shop, Murten FR) und Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).
BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „International“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (v.l.): Mike Boehler (Haecky Import AG, Reinach BL) und Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).
BU: Die Gewinner der Kategorie „National“ der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (v.l.): Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser), Urs Lüthy (Brennerei Lüthy, Muhen AG) und Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2016).
BU: Der Gewinner der Kategorie „Motion“ der Switzerland's Best Whisky Awards 2015 (v.l.): Patrick Tilke (Autor Whisky Guide Schweiz 2016), Hans Peter Salim (Whisky House – Salim's Whisky Spirit, Illnau ZH) und Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser).
BU: Festliche Stimmung: Gäste aus der Schweizer Whisky-Branche bei der Award-Verleihung der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (Hotel EDEN au Lac, Zürich).
BU: Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser ist das Special Interest Magazin zum Thema Whisky in der Schweiz.
BU:Patrick Tilke, Autor des Whisky Guide Schweiz 2016, bei der Award-Verleihung der Switzerland´s Best Whisky Awards 2015 (Hotel EDEN au Lac, Zürich).
BU: Teilen sich die Leidenschaft für Whisky – Christian H. Rosenberg (Herausgeber Whisky Time – Magazin für Geniesser) und Hans Etter (Etter Söhne AG, Zug ZG).
BU: Sichtlich bewegt – „Motion“ Preisträger Hans Peter Salim wurde für seine seit den 1980er Jahren währende Sammeltätigkeit und sein Whisky-House (Illnau ZH) mit ca. 1.800 Whiskys ausgezeichnet.
|03 Nov 15||
Clynelish Distillery to shut down for ten months
SUTHERLAND’s only distillery is to close for the major part of next year, its operators have confirmed.
Drinks giant Diageo has said Clynelish Distillery will shut down for 10 months in 2016 for extensive maintenance and upgrading work.
The costly works will not increase output but are expected to safeguard the future of the 196-year-old distillery,
Reassurances have been given that the distillery’s 14-strong workforce will still be employed during the closure period. The visitor centre and shop, which attract hundreds of tourists each season, will remain open.
Plans for a £30 million expansion which would double the capacity of the distillery were unveiled early last year but are understood to have been put on the back boiler for the time being.
Located in rolling farmland at the north end of Brora, Clynelish was established in 1819 by the Marquis of Stafford on an adjacent site to the present distillery which was built in the 1960s.
Clynelish currently produces around 4.5 million litres of alcohol per year. Its single malt is described on its website as having a “uniquely waxy character with sweetness to taste, brown sugar and a hint of floral notes on the nose.”
Diageo’s head of corporate relations Ian Smith said work to be carried out involved the upgrade of existing equipment including replacing the mashtun (the vessel used to soak the sugars out of the malted barley) and a number of the washbacks (large wooden vessels in which the fermentation process takes place).
Mr Smith said: “These are major parts of the distillery process and it is a significant process to replace them.”
The operating systems – the control and monitoring systems used in the distillation process, will also be updated.”
The distillery is expected to shut down from spring next year.
Mr Smith said: “The refurbishment will bring contractor jobs to the area for the duration of the work, bringing benefit to the local economy.”
Despite work taking place, Clynelish will still be open to visitors.
Mr Smith said: “Part of the existing tour takes in the buildings of the old Brora Distillery, so there’s still stuff for visitors to see and do, even though the main part of the Clynelish Distillery will be closed for the refurbishment work.”
He acknowledged that Diageo has announced last year that it would be expanding its Clynelish site.
But he said: “We applied for planning consent for an expansion and that is still the long term plan but we are not at that stage yet and are not installing any new stills at this stage.
“The distillery will close next year purely for an upgrade and maintenance programme. A lot of the equipment has been there since the 1960s.”
Clynelish distillery manager Sean Priestley said: “Clynelish is a very important malt whisky distillery for Diageo and that is reflected in the investment we’re making here.
“Much of the equipment in the distillery has been in place since the distillery was built in the late 1960s and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to maintain and up-grade our operations for the future.
“We’re pleased to be able to keep the visitor centre and shop at the distillery open throughout the up-grade period so we can continue to play our part in attracting and welcoming tourists to the area.”
Demand for SPEY delights in the lead up to Whisky Live Holland
A Speyside malt singled out as the signature drink of Holland’s premier whisky event is going down a storm with discerning dram lovers.
Whilst organisers are counting down the days to this year’s Whisky Live Holland, more than 80 per cent of this limited edition SPEY expression from Speyside Distillery, has already been snapped up.
Demand for the last remaining bottles is expected to be high, and all are expected to be sold before the Netherlands’ oldest and biggest whisky event gets underway on 13 November.
Some whisky lovers have been buying two bottles each, one to savour and enjoy and the other to keep, explains festival organiser Wouter Wapenaar, a Keeper of the Quaich.
Wouter was part of the judging panel that selected this limited edition SPEY expression as the exclusive bottling, after the tasters were won over by the SPEY expression’s aroma, flavour, cask finish and characteristics.
Wouter says: “Whisky Live Holland is about great whisky, and we search high and low for the very best whiskies to celebrate the show.
“We only have around 100 bottles still available and with such interest and demand it’s likely that our SPEY limited edition bottling will be sold out before the festival even starts.”
Each bottle was filled at cask strength from a 2007 single sherry cask before being hand finished with specially designed 2015 festival packaging, stating the cask and limited bottle number. With only 600 available, the rare bottles are expected to become highly collectable.
The single malt Scotch whisky is produced at the boutique Speyside Distillery near Kingussie in the Highlands, management and staff are delighted that SPEY has been specially selected as the festival bottle for the 2015 Dutch show.
Speyside Distillers Co Ltd Managing Director, Patricia Dillon says, “We are delighted to bottle this limited edition for what is a very special festival and to be exhibiting other SPEY expressions at the event with our Dutch distributor Whisky Import Netherlands and to be mingling with whisky lovers from all over the world. The exposure that will be achieved through being the festival’s bottling of the year will develop further awareness of SPEY in Europe.
“In addition, our Distillery Manager, Sandy Jamieson shall be present at the festival to share some of our SPEY secrets.”
Whisky Live Holland launched the limited edition SPEY for sale through its website just a few weeks ago.
While all bottles are likely to be sold before the event, the 6,000-plus festival visitors won’t be left disappointed as they will be able to sample a taste of SPEY from its distributor’s exhibition stand.
Details of the SPEY limited edition bottling features on the festival website, www.whiskyfestival.nl
Whisky Live Holland takes place from 13 -15 November 2015 at The Hague. The oldest and biggest whisky event in the Netherlands, it is supported by importers and distributors of whisky, representing hundreds of whisky brands.
The programme features whisky trams, masterclasses, cocktails, trails, books and the opportunity to meet whisky distillers, writers and other celebrities.
Demand for tickets is so high that the festival has been a complete sell out for the past five years in a row.
Speyside Distillery near Kingussie is home of the SPEY brand of malt whisky. It has been in production since 1990 and is operated by Speyside Distillers Ltd. In 2012 the SPEY brand and packaging with its specially designed unique bottle was introduced.
For further information about Speyside Distillery, visit www.speysidedistillery.co.uk. Follow Speyside Distillery on Twitter @SpeySingleMalt and on Facebook at facebook.com/speysidedistillery
Announcing The Launch Of
Douglas Laing & Co., leading purveyor and creator of the finest Scotch Whiskies, today announces the release of seven particularly special XOP Single Cask Whiskies, including the firm’s oldest ever Port Ellen Distillery release bottled at 36 Years Old.
Fred Laing says “Each month, we hand select casks from our vaults when we believe they have reached their peak of perfection, and bottle them under our Provenance, Old Particular and XOP brands. It’d be fair to say that Single Casks are our bread and butter, but we never let ourselves forget just how special it is to bottle these Whiskies exactly as the distiller intended – straight from the cask, without chill-filtering or adding colouring, and at natural cask strength. We don’t often shout about these releases, but with a leathery Port Ellen aged for 36 glorious years, a wonderfully treacle-y Strathmill 32 Years Old and a duo of particularly sweetly vanilla’d old and rare Grain Whiskies among our latest collection, we felt it’d be rude not to share”.
The complete assembly of recent XOP releases is as follows:
From The Highlands
The XOP range launched in 2014, and has become home to the oldest, finest and rarest Whiskies from the Laing family stocks. Since then, Fred Laing has proudly and meticulously hand-selected the XOP casks, accepting nothing less than perfection for the brand he calls the “Douglas Laing Family Jewels”.
The latest XOP releases are available now from specialist Whisky retailers globally and DouglasLaing.com.
|26 Oct 15||
Johnnie Walker leads Scotch recovery in travel retail's top 100
|20 Oct 15||
Impeccably crafted flavours of Scotland: Diageo introduces the 2015 Special Releases Collection
Brora 37 years old
The Cally 40 years old
Caol Ila 17 years old Unpeated
Clynelish Select Reserve
Dailuaine 34 years old
Dalwhinnie 25 years old
Lagavulin 12 years old
Pittyvaich 25 years old
Port Ellen 32 years old
|20 Oct 15||
Announcing The Launch Of
Inspired by the ancient Islay legend of a beautiful but tragic Norse goddess, Douglas Laing today announces the launch of Yula, the first of a three part trilogy of limited edition Island Malt Scotch Whisky.
Douglas Laing’s Yula is comprised of several of the Islands’ most sought after, peated malts. To be released consecutively in three limited edition batches, the first of which is bottled at 20 Years Old, Yula charts the spirit’s journey and celebrates the Laing family’s own proud origins on Islay. Just 900 bottles of Yula’s First Chapter are available globally.
Ancient Islay legend tells of a beautiful Norse goddess Yula, who went in search of her long lost love with an apron full of stones. The stones fell out as she travelled, forming a string of islands and leaving behind a trail of her empty quest. For Yula never did find her love, but perished instead in the treacherous seas surrounding Islay, the last jewel shaped stone to fall from her apron. And it’s here on Islay, which in old Norse means “Yula’s Isle”, that our tragic heroine is buried, her final resting place marked by two standing stones which can still be seen to this day.
Yula’s trilogy charts the spirit’s journey, not now over land and sea – but within the cask, where the magic of maturation transpires and the various elements are finally united in their own marriage.
Says Douglas Laing’s Director of Whisky, Cara Laing: “This exciting trilogy of Island Malts tells a tale both in terms of the ancient legend of Yula but importantly also the spirit story. Distilled in 1995, we'll see this cask strength maritime Malt evolve with each annual release while retaining that distinct oceanic, island character. In Yula, we believe we've combined two of life's greatest pleasures - a charming tale and a great Whisky!”
Yula’s First Chapter is available from specialist Whisky retailers and www.DouglasLaing.com from October 2015.
|14 Oct 15||The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival introduces a second annual event uniting Speyside distilleries under one roof
Speyside’s leading malt whisky producers will unite on their own doorstep for the first time - to launch a brand new ‘dramfest’ organised by the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
Brand rivalries will be put to one side when Spirit of Speyside brings distillers from all over the region together under one roof in celebration of the area’s most famed product – malt whisky.
Plans for the first event – to take place in September 2016 – were unveiled at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival AGM yesterday (Tuesday, October 13). It will offer an alternative weekend devoted to Speyside whisky in its home and heartland and complementing the internationally-renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival held annually in May.
The September whisky weekend is being introduced to sate the public’s thirst for whisky-themed events in the area that is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries.
Elgin has been chosen as the central location for this Speyside showcase, which as well as whisky, will feature other drinks – including local gin and craft beer – along with fine food and produce from the region.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has become one of the leading events of its kind over the past 17 years. It attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world to Speyside during the May Day weekend to savour a selection of more than 400 events, from tastings to ceilidhs, food pairings to comedy.
Many events are sold out within hours of tickets going on sale and accommodation in the region reaches capacity. Festival organisers could see scope to introduce a second – but distinctive – event to its annual calendar, which will allow people to celebrate Scotland’s national drink in its spiritual home without the need to plan a five-day itinerary.
The event will be held from September 9-11, 2016 at Elgin Town Hall, drawing visitors after the summer season and helping provide an economic boost for the area.
As well as tastings, cocktail making, a food court, and masterclasses will be part of the offering. Distilleries, businesses and partners will be encouraged to develop themes to add to the visitor experience.
Festival chairman James Campbell says, “Our annual whisky festival has grown in size and stature to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world.
“We are now creating a brand new weekend event with the big difference that the distilleries will be together, under one roof, and that’s something that doesn’t normally happen on their home territory.
“We’ve chosen Elgin for the venue because it is central, with good transport links, and we’ll be encouraging businesses and other partners to get involved too. Further announcements on what people can expect from the new event, including its official title, will be made in the coming weeks and months.
“This is a great opportunity for distilleries and food and drink producers of Speyside to showcase their products and share what they do.
“While the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has an international audience, and overseas visitors may be among the contingent, we expect our September event to have a particular appeal to the home market, including people from the local area.
“We look forward to developing our plans and helping keep one of Scotland’s most famous whisky producing regions well and truly on the map, inspiring more visitors to develop their interest and knowledge of our national tipple.”
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival’s position as a major tourism attraction in Scotland was underlined again this year when it attracted 26,389 visits to events from a record 34 different countries.
The 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival - and its traditional musical arm the Spirit of Speyside Sessions - takes place from April 28 to May 2. For further information about the event visit www.spiritofspeyside.com with tickets on sale from January 2015. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter.
|13 Oct 15||LIMITED EDITION THREE SHIPS SINGLE CASK LAUNCHED
Three Ships Whisky, the pioneer of the South African whisky industry, has made history yet again with the launch of a rare single cask single malt whisky to showcase the extraordinary whisky crafted at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington.
Only 800 bottles of the Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX Finish whisky, bottled by hand and numbered, have been released by master distiller Andy Watts. Distilled in 2005, the whisky was initially matured for eight years and ten months in American oak where after a small quantity was selected to spend a further 14 months in a cask in which Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry had previously been matured.
The whisky forms part of the Masters Collection which will see a limited edition being launch, each year, over the next years under the Three Ships brand.
Presented in its purist form, the whisky is un-chillfiltered, natural in colour and bottled at 46.2% alcohol by volume to enhance the complexity and flavours of this elegant malt.
Says Andy: “Local whisky lovers have long been asking me to produce something extra special and while cask finishes have been produced for many years around the globe, it was time for Three Ships to make history for the South African whisky industry. Although the challenges presented by different cask finishes have occupied us for a number of years, we didn’t want to release a new whisky just to satisfy the demand. The product had to be right in every aspect and I believe what we have here was certainly worth the wait.”
Andy experimented with various casks for a few years before selecting the PX for the particular effect it has on whiskies with a presence of smoke and peat. “Pedro Ximenez is a white Spanish wine grape varietal used for the production of a sweet-style sherry. The raisiny richness it imparts to the cask was the perfect finishing touch I wanted to complement the smokiness of our single malt with some sweet, nutty flavours.”
Andy selected only a small percentage of the limited edition Three Ships single malt he had been working on at the time (due for release in 2016) to spend a finishing period in a single PX cask.
“The end result has not disappointed and the decision to produce only one cask has turned this whisky into a very rare collector’s item.”
The Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX finish is complex with delicate sweet notes from the sherry cask which lifts the nose with prunes, dates, figs and fruitcake and combines effortlessly with the elegant smokiness of the malt. The whisky is powerful and lingering in its taste and finish.
Available from 27 October only online at www.threeshipswhisky.co.za, Norman Goodfellows, Whisky Brother and www.vinoteque.co.za. The limited edition will retail for about R850.
|08 Oct 15||
Seen today on whiskyexperts.net today their post on the Special Releases 2015 from Diageo the new products and recommended retailing price:
DELETED, will provided again in due time¨
|03 Oct 15||
GlenDronach releases batch 12 of its single cask bottlings
AWARD-WINNING GlenDronach has today (30 September) released the latest batch, its twelfth, of single cask bottlings.
All nine are outstanding and have been matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks from Southern Spain to create a dark, spicy whisky with notes of sherry sweetness, dried fruits and raisins.
Bottled in August, all are available as of today and presented in beautiful gift boxes.
As with previous batches, each single cask’s character is distinctive and the taste sublime, with the Pedro Ximenez sherry influence perfectly balancing the spicy notes and robustness of the renowned GlenDronach spirit.
Batch 12 ranges from 43 to 11 years old. Eight whiskies have been matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheons while one, the oldest, comes from a wonderful Pedro Ximenez sherry butt.
The nine casks have been hand-selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker who said: “Our whiskies are all about the interaction of the wood with the Highland character of the spirit.
“In these nine extraordinary bottlings, you see and taste the sherry wood working its magic on our whisky. The whisky sits and ages in peace, and it starts to darken and pick up subtle flavours from the wood, resulting in sensational aged whiskies that are appreciated worldwide by our customers.”
GlenDronach Batch 12 has a number of superb highlights.
The oldest, 1972 cask number 706, at 51.1% vol, is a dark mahogany 43 years old sherry monster matured in a Pedro Ximenez sherry butt. On the nose, rich sour plums and dark chocolate are backed by a nutty tobacco note and a hint of clove oil. And on the palate, sherried Christmas cake is sweetened with a dusting of Muscovado sugar and mixed candied peel.
As a contrast, the 11 years old from cask number 5524, at 57.8% vol, is the youngest. On the nose, rich prunes and oak spices combine with a grating of nutmeg and a delicate liquorice note. On the palate, soft treacle toffee and rich raisin juice are infused with hints of cinnamon sugar and sweet floral oak spice.
The cask details are as follows:
1972 cask # 706 / 43 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Butt / 51.1% vol.
1990 cask # 1375 / 25 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.6% vol.
1994 cask # 3273 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.3% vol.
1994 cask # 3398 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.2% vol.
1995 cask # 444 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 52.0% vol.
1995 cask # 3806 / 19 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 54.5% vol.
1995 cask # 4034 / 19 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 55.4% vol.
2003 cask # 934 / 12 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.7% vol.
2004 cask # 5524 / 11 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 57.8% vol.
All nine bottlings will be available soon at your local retailer.
For more information, visit www.glendronachdistillery.co.uk
|27 Sep 15||
yourwhiskycask.co.uk is offering Scotch
From now on aficionados and
|04 Sep 15||GlenDronach’s reputation for creating superb whiskies of uncompromising quality is underscored once again with the release today (September 4, 2015) of its new Octaves expression.
Master Distiller Billy Walker has selected five Pedro Ximenez Sherry Octaves from GlenDronach’s Aberdeenshire distillery to be bottled as the GlenDronach 20 Years Old Octaves.
An octave cask is made from staves of a previously used sherry butt and is approximately one-eighth the size of a butt. A smaller cask allows for more interaction between the wood and the spirit, giving the whisky a greater depth of flavour and aroma in a shorter period of time. This means a bold, complex dram with astonishing multi-dimensional character, making each and every bottle a sublime example of Highland whisky at its very finest.
Distilled on September 23 1994, this unique full-flavoured whisky was first matured in sherry casks and thereafter finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Octaves. The result is a rare combination of heavyweight sherry Octave maturation and robust rich Highland whisky characteristics.
This is a very limited, exclusive bottling, with only 371 bottles produced. Individually numbered by hand, each bottle is a one-off and truly unique.
Appearance: Rich, red maple leaf in dark amber.
Nose: An intense concentration of chocolate fondant, candied ginger and glacé cherries, all perfectly balanced with a warming grind of black pepper, rich oak spices and a slight touch of liquorice.
Palate: Full-bodied sherry characteristics give dark molasses, enriched Christmas cake, sour plum syrup and delightful cigar box spices. A subtle combination of dark espresso and a nutty dryness gives the finish tremendous depth.
Conclusions: A rare combination of heavyweight sherry Octave maturation and robust rich Highland whisky characteristics capturing the darkest depths to the most delicate spice.
For more information, go to www.glendronachdistillery.co.uk
|02 Sep 15||BENRIACH RELEASES NEWEST BATCH OF ITS SINGLE CASK BOTTLINGS
BenRiach has today released Batch 12 of its renowned single cask bottlings.
This batch comprises nine remarkable casks from its Elgin distillery that were bottled in June this year.
Ranging from 38 to 14 years old, the magnificent nine perfectly capture the unique, award-winning BenRiach character.
The variety of expressions is utterly amazing. Sublime whiskies matured in the traditional, classic Speyside style are accompanied by expressions finished in exciting wood types such as Tawny Port, Pedro Ximenez sherry and Oloroso sherry casks as well as several peated whiskies.
Individually hand-numbered, non chill-filtered and bottled at natural colour, each single cask is truly a one-off. The new BenRiach packaging reflects the supreme quality of these single casks.
All nine casks have been hand-selected by BenRiach’s Managing Director and Master Distiller Billy Walker who described them as “extraordinarily fine” and added:
“Every single cask bottling is an exclusive limited release. I have selected these nine casks as I believe they are especially noteworthy - highly individual, rounded, full of personality and ranging in fascinating characteristics. ”
Amongst them are some real highlights. The 38 years old whisky is from cask number 541, an excellent bourbon barrel. This peated gem suggests baked apples spiced with vanilla and cinnamon combined with a gentle, sweet peat reek to create a long barley sugar finish.
At the other end of the scale, the youngest, a 14 years old from cask number 69116, is a classic Speyside malt, balancing oak spices, green pears and ripe gooseberries combined with a crisp citrus twist and long barley grist finish.
And unusually for BenRiach, one expression - the 1998 cask number 6394 - has been triple-distilled and finished in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon, and the taste is sensational – white pepper and crisp citrus notes soften to plum juice followed by apple sponge with a dusting of fresh ground barley.
Other expressions in the range boast the taste of “herbal bog myrtle”, “papaya and ripe melon”, “juicy cranberries submerged with crisp citrus” and “chocolate-coated rum raisins and roasted coffee beans”.
The cask details are as follows:
1976 cask # 541 / 38 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Peated / 48.8% vol.
1979 cask # 517 / 35 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Peated / 46.9% vol.
1985 cask # 10318 / 29 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Peated / 49.0%vol.
1987 cask # 3825 / 27 years old / Tawny Port Hogshead / Tawny Port Finish / 52.9% vol.
1990 cask # 4936 / 25 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Classic Speyside / 50.4% vol.
1995 cask # 74743 / 20 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Classic Speyside / 58.9% vol.
1998 cask # 6394 / 17 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / Triple Distilled / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 57.5% vol.
1999 cask # 8687 / 15 years old / Oloroso Sherry Puncheon / Oloroso Sherry Finish / 56.1% vol.
2000 cask # 69116 / 14 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Classic Speyside / 56.3% vol.
All nine casks will soon be available at retailers worldwide.
|17 Aug 15||
Announcing The Launch Of
Douglas Laing & Co., leading purveyor and creator of the finest Scotch Whiskies, today announces the release of its Old Particular Single Cask Single Grain Whiskies.
The Old Particular range, a ‘particularly’ unique series of individually hand-selected aged Whiskies from all over Scotland, launched in 2013 to resounding success. Until now, the award-winning Old Particular range has exclusively held Single Malt Whiskies, but today marks the addition of the finest Grain Whiskies to the portfolio.
Old Particular Single Grain launches with Cameronbridge 25 Years Old, Girvan 25 Years Old, North British 21 Years Old and Strathclyde 27 Years Old; a proud portfolio of aged Whiskies that Fred Laing, Managing Director at the family firm, has been saving for a grainy day.
Bottled at high alcohol strength, ranging from 50.9% to 61.3%, each bottling is from only one cask and is without colouring or chill filtration, in line with the Douglas Laing philosophy of bottling Whisky “As Natural As It Gets”. Though this mantra goes somewhat “against the grain”, the firm believes that this allows the naturally present oils, fats and enzymes in the spirit to make their own special contribution to its nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish.
Fred Laing says “Over the last 5-6 years we have softly promoted, and gently educated the Malt community with the “surprise” quality of old Grain Scotch Whiskies, and we have been rewarded with sustained growth. Douglas Laing & Co certainly believe the time is now right to give this long under-rated sector far greater kudos. So within our Old Particular Single Cask flagship brand, we will now release selected antique stocks of different Grain Scotch Whiskies in a lively new livery which both differentiates it from the Malts and also retains the character and specialised gravitas of the brand”.
Old Particular Grain will be available to purchase from Specialist Whisky Stores from August 2015.
|10 Aug 15||
According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau in the USA, the following bottles are expected as part of the Diageo Special Releases 2015
Brora 37 Year Old (50,4%, OB 2015, 2078 bottles.)
A few more bottles are expected, with the final list available probably at the end of September.
|10 Aug 15||Plans for a new distillery in Japan, on the Isle of Hokkaido have been released: http://www.akkeshi-distillery.com/en/facility.html|
|23 Jun 15||
New Dalmunach Distillery opened by Nicola Sturgeon
|23 Jun 15||
Hindus are upset at a single malt whisky named as Amrut (which they regard as sacred nectar of immortality), calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that amrut (amrta) emerged from Churning of the Ocean (samudra-manthana), which was highly important part of Hindu faith; and linking whisky to it was trivialization of the oldest and third largest religion of the world with a rich philosophical thought.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that amrut, which also found mention in oldest existing scripture of the mankind Rig-Veda, was the name given to the nectar of immortality, which bestowed deathlessness. Selling whisky named as Amrut was highly misleading and it hurt the feelings of the devotees. Moreover, amrut (amrit) is also blessed water in Sikhism and some denominations of Buddhism.
Symbols and concepts of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.
Meanwhile, the website of Amrut Distilleries Limited which produces Amrut Single Malt Whisky sold worldwide in various flavors, also mentions: …when Gods and Rakshasas - the demons - churned the oceans using the mountain Meru as churner, a golden pot sprang out containing the Elixir of Life. That was called the "Amrut"…
The Rounded Tumbler allows the whiskey connoisseur to enjoy a good swirl to appreciate the body and colour of the liquor and is ample enough to accommodate a spot of water or ice. The flared shape of this tumbler makes it extremely comfortable in and allows for a pleasant and “neat” swirling experience with any blended scotch or Irish whiskey, or bourbon.
The Flared Sipping Tumbler has a rounded bowl to comfortably warm and swirl the whiskey, a pinched middle to concentrate the bouquet, and a flared opening that releases the nuanced nose notes. Crafted for the connoisseur who enjoys sipping their very finest single malt or aged-blend straight, it allows for the full experience of taste and aroma.
The Footed Tasting Tumbler is preferred by connoisseurs for tasting, sampling, sipping and scrupulous evaluation of a whiskey’s attributes. It is fashioned with a unique tulip shape to gently allow warming liquor and with a narrower opening to concentrate the bouquet. This is the ultimate tasting tumbler for those who enjoy savouring their rarest single malts or pot blends.
The sophisticated Lismore Connoisseur collection gives a nod to the rising popularity of whiskey today. Steadily growing sales of Scotch and Irish Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon and international varieties as well as a trend in the amount of whiskey offerings on bar and restaurant menus shows there is a whiskey revival that defines gender and age. This new collection supports this www.waterford.co.uk
|30 Apr 15||
BENRIACH LAUNCHES DUNDER, A STUNNING PEATED 18 YEAR OLD DARK RUM FINISH
It combines the distinct and contrasting aromas and flavours associated with richly peated malt whisky and the elegant style of wood selected for final maturation.
|30 Apr 15||
GlenDronach launches Cask Strength Batch 4
GlenDronach has today (April 28, 2015) launched Batch 4 of its luscious Cask Strength Highland single malt.
Bottled at 54.7% and comprising 17,806 bottles, The GlenDronach Cask Strength is a delicious, creamy sherry bomb! The whisky sensationally explodes on the palate with dark fruit, ginger and oak flavours to the fore, and with gingerbread, barley, roasted coffee beans and a hint of walnut softening to a long, satisfying finish.
|07 Feb 2015||The Countdown Begins,
Milroy’s Of Soho To Open 20th February
London’s oldest whisky shop founded by the Milroy brothers is re-launching on February 20th as a whisky specialist, retail shop and basement cocktail bar in the heart of Soho. New owner Simo, formerly of Coal Vaults, promises to take London’s oldest existing whisky specialist and breathe new life into the brand, giving whisky the attention it deserves.
Simo comments ‘I wanted to build the already established Milroy’s brand, bringing it back to its former glory and making it a name synonymous with whisky once again. We also wanted to create a cocktail bar hidden away from the world where people can escape, relax and enjoy a good drink.’
The Vault is a 55 seater cocktail bar, hidden in the basement. Entering the shop and heading downstairs gives a sense that you are in the know, arriving at a hidden gem below London’s cobbled streets. The bar will serve up original seasonal cocktails made with home infused spirits. Like any good barman, if desired you can also request any classic cocktail. Cheese and meat boards will also be offered adding to the overall experience. There will be a selection of craft beers and fine wine, changing seasonally. There is also the private ‘Barrel Room’, shaped as it’s named, with enough space to seat 12 people.
Upstairs in the shop there will be a 12 seater whisky bar called Milroy’s Bar, serving a selection of over 250 whiskys, all poured at 35ml rather than 25ml to enjoy the taste in a more traditional manner. A unique feature in the bar will give customers a more intimate experience; a whisky locker is offered to anyone who purchases a bottle of whisky over £200 at the bar. The experience includes your own locker along with a key with your name so the bottle of whisky will always be waiting for you on your return.
The Milroy’s retail space will sell their existing range of own branded whisky, offered alongside a carefully curated selection of independent bottles, some of which are exclusive to the store, as well as a strong range of whiskies from around the world. Each whisky whether it be Irish, Dutch, Indian, rye or bourbon comes with its own story and reasoning as to why it has ended up on Milroy’s of Soho’s shelves. Along with bottles there are handpicked casks on show in the shop, giving customers a chance to pour their own bottles, or make their own blends. Located on the ground floor they’ll also be a whisky tasting bar where customers can try before they buy, learn about the history of whisky or take part in one of Milroy’s tasting events. Milroy’s of Soho will also have an online presence and will ship whisky internationally.
Soho’s revitalised stalwart promises a high standard of product, knowledge and service, and with its unique offering both in store and at the basement bar, promises to offer a full experience for whisky aficionados, cocktail lovers and those curious to discover more. Milroy’s of Soho believes that there is a whisky to suit everyone’s palate and there’s no better place to discover them than at this Soho institution.
|29 Jan 15||
GLENDRONACH RELEASES BATCH 11 OF ITS SINGLE CASK BOTTLINGS
1971 cask # 2920 / 43 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 48.6% vol.
1990 cask # 1020 / 24 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.8% vol.
1990 cask # 1162 / 24 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 52.9%vol.
1994 cask # 54 / 20 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 56.6% vol.
1994 cask # 3201 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 56.2% vol.
|12 Nov 14||
SCOTTISH LEADER STANDS TALLER, PROUDER
Scottish Leader Original 750 ml
Announcing The Launch Of
Established in 1948, leading independent Scotch Whisky specialist, Douglas Laing & Co today announce the release of their rare and ‘antique’ aged Single Cask Scotch Whisky range “XOP” – Xtra Old Particular.
Douglas Laing’s XOP carries aged Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch Whiskies from all across Scotland’s Whisky regions and is bottled in a totally natural a style. Meaning XOP bottlings are from only one selected cask, without colouring, without chill-filtration and at natural cask strength.
Launching this November and available from specialist Whisky retailers, some truly “xceptional” bottlings feature in this first batch including a Macallan 26 Years Old, an Invergordon 40 Years Old Grain and a Caol Ila 30 Years Old.
Every attention has been paid in developing the packaging for Douglas Laing’s XOP Single Casks. From the super-premium wooden gift-box to the regionally coloured bottle labels, screen-printed bottle and individually numbered certificate. The team has work tirelessly to ensure the packaging is befitting of the specialist Whiskies it houses.
Says Douglas Laing’s Managing Director Fred Laing: “Our XOP range will carry our best-of–the-best stocks of particularly old and personally selected Single Casks of both Malt and Grain Whiskies which we intend to slowly release into the market. That is one of the real privileges and pleasures to be doing so with casks laid down by my father, Fred Douglas Laing, perhaps with this moment in mind. He would surely recognise the premium qualities in our XOP selection today which he himself demanded back in the 1940s when he founded his eponymous company.”
Douglas Laing’s XOP Xtra Old Particular Single Casks will be available from specialist Whisky retailers from November 2014.
|01 Nov||Whisky producer Diageo puts investment plans on ice
The biggest firm in Scotch whisky production, Diageo, has put its investment plans on ice due to weakened demand around the world.
The company has been investing heavily for seven years as exports have soared.
But with slowing growth in key markets, including China and South America, it is reviewing its plans.
Several projects are to be delayed, including the £50m "super distillery" planned for a site near Alness.
A greenfield site next to the existing Teaninich distillery was chosen for the distillery last year.
With 16 copper stills, it would have the capacity to distil enough for 13 million litres of spirit each year, equating to 45 million bottles.
It was proposed to create about 20 jobs to run the plant.
The site near Alness, which would have had its own name and identity, would have been the second major malt distillery built in more than 30 years.
A company spokesperson said: "Diageo's investment in expanding our Scotch whisky production business in Scotland began in 2007 and reflects the long-term potential we continue to see in the Scotch whisky category around the world.
"Since then we have successfully completed major expansions across a number of our distilleries, packaging sites, maturation warehousing and support operations."
The spokesperson added: "Our long-term investments are naturally planned in phases to give us the ability to adjust to fluctuations in demand and to ensure the right balance between supply and demand.
"The weaker global economic environment has impacted the growth of Scotch in certain markets and therefore Diageo will continue to review and adjust the timing of the next phase of our investment programme to manage our Scotch whisky inventory and to retain the alignment between growth in production volumes and growth in demand."
GLEN GARIOCH UNVEILS SHERRY MATURED 1973 SINGLE CASK
Glen Garioch, the hidden gem of the whisky world, has launched exclusively to The Whisky Exchange a sherry matured 1973 Single Cask, the distillery’s oldest release for 5 years.
Just 138 bottles of cask no 4297, retailing at £799, will be available exclusively via The Whisky Exchange, making it a highly covetable collectable for serious enthusiasts.
Filled in November 1973, the Glen Garioch vintage malt has been patiently maturing for 40 years until chosen this February by The Whisky Exchange to celebrate its 15th birthday. The robust spirit has tasting notes of dark chocolate and dry Oloroso sherry with plum and cherry fruit liqueurs, balanced by toasted almond and subtle burnt smokiness.
Rachel Barrie, Master Blender for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, said, “After 40 years, this is undoubtedly a full-bodied, sherry influenced malt which really captures the essence of the Highlands. The palate is oily and mouth-coating with brambles and dry plum skins, and toasted walnut oil and tobacco leaf into the finish.”
“Hand picked and bottled at 54.3% ABV to bring out the rich chocolate and fruit notes, this 1973 Single Cask showcases the quality of the spirit produced from this small artisan distillery through our limited edition programme.”
Sukhinder Singh, director of The Whisky Exchange, said: “We visited Glen Garioch Aberdeenshire’s distillery in search of a very special bottling; a one-off treat for our extremely knowledgeable and discerning customers to commemorate our 15th birthday.”
“Once we discovered this 1973 malt, matured solely in a Sherry Butt, we looked no further. It’s a remarkable, small-batch release that symbolises Glen Garioch’s hand-crafted approach and will undoubtedly whet the appetite of all serious whisky aficionados.”
The Glen Garioch 1973 is selling exclusively via www.thewhiskyexchange.com from October 2014 (£899).
|02 Oct 14||
Whisky Live Paris took place last week end and here some of the new bottlings:
AUCHENTOSHAN 1988 Wine Finish, OB
|30 Sep 14||
Johnnie Walker maintains its leadership of the duty-free spirits world. Despite a decline of -4.5% in 2013 the brand has maintained its strong lead over second-largest travel-retail brand Absolut, which also declined in 2013.
Regional duty-free trends reverse as Asia falls and Europe gains market share
|15 Sep 14||
Diageo Special Release 2014:
This year’s collection features 11 single malt whiskies sourced from Diageo’s distilleries across Scotland, both operating and mothballed.
Among the range is Port Ellen 35 Year Old, a whisky distilled in 1978 and matured in refill American and European oak barrels.
As Port Ellen closed in 1983, its liquid has become among the rarest Scotch whiskies in the world, although this year’s release marks the distillery’s 14th appearance in Diageo’s Special Releases.
Dr Nick Morgan, head of whisky outreach at Diageo, said: “I’m astonished that each year we manage to find such a remarkable and varied range of single malt Scotch whiskies for our Special Releases.
“Tasting this year’s I was struck by the outstanding range of tastes and textures they deliver, from the characteristically waxy Clynelish to complex Cragganmore, the surprisingly robust Benrinnes, and the relaxed smokiness of Caol Ila. And I know experts and enthusiasts alike will be equally delighted.”
The 2014 Special Releases will be rolled out to specialist retailers in Northern Europe, US and select Asian markets in late October.
Strathmill 1988. 25yo. 52.4%. 2,700 bottles. RRP £275.
|10 Sep 14||
Announcing The Launch Of
Established in 1948, leading independent Scotch Whisky specialist, Douglas Laing & Co today announce the release of their brand new Highland “Vatted” Malt – Timorous Beastie.
Douglas Laing’s Timorous Beastie is a Small Batch bottling created using only the finest Highland Malts including – amongst others – Dalmore, Glengoyne and Glen Garioch.
Bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength, without colouring and not chill-filtered, this specialist Small Batch bottling displays a charming sweet, heather honey and Highland character.
The original Timorous Beastie, immortalised in Robert Burns’ famous Scots poem “To a Mouse”, was a timid, little field mouse. Echoing our national bard’s wit, this Highland Malt is most certainly not for the fainthearted!
Says Douglas Laing’s Managing Director (and Master Blender) Fred Laing: “What we have within the heart of our Timorous Beastie Vatted Malt is a selection of great Highland Malts on their own. Together they combine brilliantly – with some punchy packaging – to complete a triumphant trio of regional Malts which now covers Islay with Big Peat, Speyside with Scallywag and the Highlands with Timorous Beastie.”
Douglas Laing’s Timorous Beastie will be available from specialist Whisky retailers from September 2014.
Nose: Overridingly sweet initially – then warming to floral, light barley & spicy honey’d tones.
Palate: Opens mellow in a spiced style – being mouthcoatingly fructiferous, sugary, gristy & raisin-fudge-y in style.
Finish: Mellow yet sweet – detect a soft cough drop camphor / oaky hint plus milky cereals & late meringue.
|14 Aug 14||
BenRiach has today, 14 August, released the latest batch, its eleventh, of single cask bottlings.
|05 Aug 14||
GLEN GARIOCH LAUNCHES FIRST CHAPTER IN FOUR-PART STORY
|05 Aug 14||GLENDRONACH LAUNCHES 18 YEARS OLD TAWNY PORT FINISH
GOLDEN syrup, red fruit compote and red grapefruit – a mouth-watering description of the new GlenDronach 18 year-old Tawny Port expression launched today (4 August 2014).
Bottled at 46% abv, it is the award-winning Aberdeenshire distillery’s latest addition to its wood finishes range and replaces the 15 years old Tawny Port finish expression.
The GlenDronach Tawny Port finish is first matured in European oak casks and thereafter finishes its maturation in a small batch of Tawny Port casks. This gives the whisky its own unique flavours and aromas – in particular a distinctive rich red fruit taste.
The tasting notes show the whisky and the two different woods combining brilliantly to produce a phenomenal Highland malt.
Bright amber with a tawny heart.
Elegant notes of golden syrup drenched over red fruit compote with a contrasting red grapefruit balance. Touches of cinnamon and nutmeg add to a rounded, warm depth.
Vivid, tart cranberries and crisp barley marry harmoniously with stewed plums and roasted apples. Cedar wood and sweet cigar box spices add a delicate warmth and unique complexity to the long warm finish.
A beautifully structured balance of contrasting rich fruit characters and intriguing warm oak spices.
Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “We launched our wood finishes range four years ago and the response worldwide has been excellent.
“We’ve carefully selected whisky that has been gently maturing in lighter casks so that aficionados experience the full impact of the Tawny port cask.
"The very pleasing result contributes extra depth and concentrated stewed fruit flavours. It’s another outstanding whisky that we’re delighted to add to our portfolio.”
|27 July 14||
The Princess Royal drew the very first bottle of spirit from Scotland’s newest distillery when she officially opened the plant on the Ardnamurchan peninsula today.
Princess Anne met everyone involved in the distilling process at Ardnamurchan Distillery and was keen to learn more about the “environmentally friendly” way in which it will operate.
The distillery at Glenbeg on the Ardnamurchan Estate is the first distillery in Scotland to be heated entirely by locally-sourced woodchip.
The pot ale from the process will be used to fertilise local agricultural land and the draff – the residue of husks after fermentation of the grain – will be used to feed the peninsula’s livestock.
The distillery, which forms part of Adelphi Distillery Ltd, is expected to bring up to 14,000 visitors to the area every year, providing a welcome boost to the remote community in west Lochaber.
Adelphi chairman, Keith Falconer, said they were delighted the princess agreed to open the new facility and that the weather had been perfect for the opening event.
He said: “Princess Anne took the time to talk to everybody involved in the process and those from the distillery industry.
“She was very well briefed and very knowledgeable about distilling and the industry and she asked lots of very informed questions.
“She was also very interested in the way we are recycling everything so that the distillery will be very environmentally friendly.”
Mr Falconer said the princess was invited to draw the first bottle of spirit produced at the plant and was delighted to be presented with the bottle, which had been labelled and packaged, before she left.
Adelphi director, Donald Houston, said a key element of the project, since its conception, had been that it should be run by “sustainable, renewable and environmentally benign means”.
He said: “With a great deal of planning and complex design work, we’re proud that we have achieved this objective.
“The distillery represents a significant milestone in the long-term plan for the development and improvement of the socio economics of Ardnamurchan.
“It will provide enormous opportunities for the development of tourism and the direct and indirect provision of jobs in this very remote and isolated part of Scotland.”
|11 Jun 14||GLENDRONACH LAUNCHES LATEST BATCH OF GRANDEUR 24 YEAR-OLD
THE Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said that “spring is the time of new plans and projects”…and the season sees the latest project by GlenDronach coming to fruition with the launch today (11 June) of its newest batch of the Grandeur 24 year-old single malt.
Designed for the serious connoisseur, the Grandeur 24 Years Old is yet another example of the sweet, gutsy, full-bodied style for which award-winning GlenDronach is renowned.
Matured for almost a quarter of a century in the finest sherry casks to create the luscious and luxurious Grandeur 24 Years Old, it’s a classic, traditionally-crafted Highland single malt.
At 48.9% vol and beautifully gift-boxed, this remarkable whisky has been specially selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker from some of the oldest and most unique Oloroso sherry casks at the Forgue distillery.
This bottling, batch number 5 of the Grandeur releases, is limited to 600 bottles. Individually numbered by hand, each bottle is a one-off and truly unique, making it a very special single malt.
Billy Walker’s evocative tasting notes paint a vivid picture of this outstanding expression.
Appearance: Glistening burnt amber holds a rich crimson heart.
Nose: A magnificent combination of honey-drenched dates and succulent raisins which gently ebb and flow with waves of delicate orange blossom, mint and cracked black pepper. Hints of glazed cherries and toasted almonds perfectly complement the seductive nose - a nose to be appreciated slowly and often.
Palate: A fabulously full-bodied, vibrant palate captures a multitude of classic sherry cask characteristics. The delicate sweetness of rum-soaked golden sultanas refines rich espresso, dark chocolate and treacle toffee. Zesty orange oil softens to a deep clove spice and prolongs the ever-changing palate. A sublime example of understanding the relationship between cask and single malt perfectly.
Conclusions: The Grandeur 24 Years Old encapsulates the perfect harmony of exquisite sherry oak casks, masterful maturation and traditional crafted Highland single malt. A dram to be savoured in order to reveal the depth of dramatic flavours held in the glass. A truly memorable and captivating GlenDronach expression.
Sales Director Alistair Walker commented: “Spring is the time to lift your spirits after a long winter and this latest batch of Grandeur does just that. This really is GlenDronach in all its sherry maturation grandeur - it’s a superb dram that brilliantly sums up everything we do well.”
|05 May 14||
FIRST EVER FULLY WINE-CASK MATURED GLEN GARIOCH LAUNCHED
Glen Garioch adds some French ‘finesse’ to its limited-edition malt
The first ever Glen Garioch to be fully-matured in French Bordeaux wine casks has been released.
This limited edition vintage comprising just 450 cases globally, was distilled 15 years ago in the finest ‘tonneaux de vin rouge’ from Saint-Julien in Bordeaux.
Relinquishing the more traditional sherry and bourbon casks, the full maturation in red wine casks has added a touch of elegance to the rich, fruity, spicy Highland character that is Glen Garioch’s house style.
The unusual maturation process reveals the malt’s rich and multi-layered character, full of fruit, sweetness and spice.
Rachel Barrie, Master Blender at Morrison Bowmore, said, “Distilled entirely on 23rd June 1998, this Glen Garioch was fully matured for over 15 years in the finest Bordeaux barriques.
“Over this time, the robust and hearty spirit teased sweetness, oak spices and multi-layered ripe fruits from the French oak allowing Glen Garioch’s house style to flourish. Imagine a blueberry and chocolate muffin filled with ginger spice! Firm in structure, with a full, rounded body and complex spiced-fruit taste, Glen Garioch 1998 Wine Matured has married the sweetness of Bordeaux with the wholesome maltiness of the Garioch spirit – the Auld Alliance at its very best.”
Handcrafted at the distillery in the heart of Oldmeldrum in rural Aberdeenshire, the non-chill filtered Wine Cask Matured Glen Garioch 1998 will hit shelves in June 2014, retailing at around £100 with an ABV of 48%.
Burnished copper in colour, the Wine Cask Matured Glen Garioch reveals brambles, wild blueberries and plums on the nose, bursting from the glass with hints of chocolate, demerara sugar. In structure and complexity, layers of chocolate malt, autumn fruits and ginger marmalade meld on the tongue, leading to a sweet honey and spicy finish.
|23 May 14||
FEIS ILE 2014 – Join us
Cask Strength 2014 batch 006
|23 May 2014||
2014 ISLAY FESTIVAL SPECIAL BOTTLINGS ANNOUNCED FOR LAGAVULIN AND CAOL ILA
To mark this year’s Islay Festival of Malt & Music, Lagavulin and Caol Ila Distilleries have now announced details of their special Festival natural cask strength bottlings available only to visitors.
The CAOL ILA™ special bottling was personally selected by David Wood, Caol Ila Distillery Manager. It was distilled in 2002 and has been matured in Refill American Oak Hogsheads. It has been bottled at 55.5% ABV in an edition of 1,500 bottles.
David Wood’s tasting notes read:
Nose: Soft, elegant, vanilla, sea breeze, touch of smoke, meadow flowers.
Palate: Developing peat smoke, spice, vanilla. Citrus fruits. Typical Caol Ila character. Oily and acidic.
Finish: Exceedingly long. Smoke lingers as the vanilla and sea breeze fades.
The LAGAVULIN™ bottling is drawn from casks filled in January 1995. Matured in European Oak Sherry Butts, the liquid was personally selected by Lagavulin warehouseman Iain McArthur. At 54.7% ABV, it comes in an edition of 3,500 bottles.
Tasting notes offered by Georgie Crawford, Distillery Manager at Lagavulin, state:
Nose: Neat the initial nose is boat tar and peat ash balanced out with spicy sweet stewed apples. Water releases some star anise and sweeter wood smoke.
Palate: Without water there is hot ash up front smoothing away to reveal hints of marzipan. Water brings out a sharp sweetness of floral perfume.
Finish: Long, initially hot and dry with sweetness developing. A good lingering Lagavulin with plenty of damp wood and peat ash in the finish.
Both whiskies are priced at £99 per bottle. Sales are limited to two bottles per personal visitor.
Georgie Crawford commented:
“Once again we are pleased to be able to present two very appealing and exceptional whiskies from Lagavulin and Caol Ila.
“The Festival gets stronger and better every year, and all of us at Lagavulin and Caol Ila Distilleries hope that this year’s special Fèis bottlings, and those offered by other distilleries on this wonderful island, will add to the delight of those visitors who come to celebrate Islay’s great whiskies and whisky-making traditions with us during the Fèis.”
Diageo asks Fèis visitors to consume their whiskies responsibly.
|08 Apr 14||
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, announces today the global launch of Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky, in partnership with global sporting icon David Beckham and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller. Working alongside Diageo, Beckham and Fuller will play a fundamental role in developing the brand, its strategy and positioning. David Beckham will also lead the promotion of a responsible drinking programme for Haig Club, which is at the heart of the brand.
Haig Club is a new innovation from the House of Haig, Scotland’s oldest grain whisky dynasty and makers of Haig Blended Scotch Whisky and Dimple Scotch Whisky. Built on 400 years of distilling history, the House of Haig can trace its whisky producing roots back to the seventeenth century. In 1824 John Haig established the Cameronbridge Distillery and it was there that he pioneered the art of producing grain whisky in continuous Coffey and Stein stills – an invention which laid the foundations for the growth and success of the modern Scotch Whisky industry. Haig Club is born of that Haig family legacy of innovation and excellence in whisky creation.
David Gates, Diageo’s Global Head of Premium Core Spirits, commented: “Whisky is experiencing a continued global renaissance and like many of the world’s most respected whisky experts, we believe this will be the year that grain whisky breaks into the mainstream and gains the recognition it deserves. Diageo has a proven track record in Scotch Whisky innovation and we have applied this expertise through the House of Haig in liquid development and craftsmanship, creating a sophisticated new whisky in Haig Club.
“David Beckham and Simon Fuller are renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work. We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation.”
Beckham commented: "The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”
Simon Fuller said: “This is a long term commitment. It is important to us that we create something unique and of great quality. With Haig Club we have an opportunity to push boundaries and help shape how Scotch will be perceived in the future, it’s an exciting proposition. We could not wish for a better partner than Diageo.”
Haig Club has been crafted using a unique process that combines grain whisky from three cask types. This creates a fresh, clean style that showcases butterscotch and toffee for an ultra-smooth taste that the company believes will be enjoyed not only by current whisky drinkers, but also by those who have always wanted to try whisky.
Respected whisky authority Dave Broom is one of the few drinks experts to have tasted Haig Club. He described it as “a hugely versatile spirit, and I expect bartenders will love what they can do with it. Forget everything you thought you knew about Scotch…”
Syl Saller, Diageo's Chief Marketing Officer said: “We see this launch as a terrific accelerator for the whole sector, and one that really strengthens whisky’s position as the most vibrant spirits category.
“Consumers are constantly searching for new and different tastes and experiences and they are especially excited by those that come from authentic, heritage brands. And Haig Club certainly ticks those boxes. Throughout his career, David Beckham has been at the forefront of emerging trends and rewritten the rules of what it means to be a modern sportsman and businessman, and we are pleased he has decided to turn his hand to Scotch.”
Haig Club will be launched later in the year. Details around pricing and availability will be announced nearer launch.
|04 Apr 14||
GLENGLASSAUGH has today (4 April) released its first batch of single cask bottlings.
|25 Mar 14||
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, has been named Distiller of the Year 2014 by Whisky Magazine in recognition of the company’s investment in its Scotch whisky business.
The coveted accolade was awarded at Whisky Magazine’s annual Global Icons of Whisky awards, with Diageo congratulated on “putting its money where its mouth is” with its £1billion investment in expansion Scotch whisky production capacity across Scotland.
Whisky Magazine Distiller of the Year is judged by a panel of independent whisky commentators and is one of the most highly prized titles in the industry. The judging panel’s citation read: “Production capacity increased at many of its sites, an investment of nearly £150 million across the Highland Council area and more expansion plans to come, increasing grain capacity, a raft of new expressions and building new distilleries – Diageo has been putting its money where its mouth is for its brands and the category, proving that with great size comes great responsibility.”
The award of the overall title came after Diageo had earlier been named Whisky Distiller of the Year in the Scottish category of the Icons of Whisky awards in an earlier round of judging.
The award adds to the Distiller of the Year title which was given to Diageo by the US-based The Whisky Advocate magazine in December 2013, citing the company’s investment and commitment to its brands.
“We are very proud of our Scotch whisky business and of the investment we are making in its future and it is gratifying to have that recognised and acknowledged by independent industry commentators and by Whisky Magazine.”
Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach, who accepted the award on behalf of Diageo at the Global Icons ceremony, added: “We are grateful to the judges and to Whisky Magazine for this significant global award, which I was delighted to accept on behalf of all my colleagues in Diageo whose commitment, vision, skill and sheer hard work makes everything possible.”
Diageo produces Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch whisky brand, as well as a portfolio of other leading blended Scotch whiskies including Bell’s, J&B and Buchanan’s. The company also produces award-winning single malt whisky brands such as Talisker, Lagavulin, Cardhu and Dalwhinnie. Recent distillery investment announcements are linked to the growth of key Scotch whisky brands. Glen Ord Distillery near Inverness will see its capacity doubled to support the Singleton of Glen Ord brand, which is the fastest growing single malt in Asia. A major expansion investment at Mortlach Distillery in Speyside will support the launch of Mortlach as a global single malt brand later this year.
Diageo announced its £1billion Scotch whisky investment programme in June 2012. As well as the distillery expansions the company is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed at Cluny in Fife.
In January the company announced the latest phase of the investment with a £30million plan to double capacity at the iconic Clynelish Distillery in Sutherland, taking the company’s capital programme in the Highlands to around £150million.
This adds to previous major investments by Diageo, including building a new malt whisky distillery at Roseisle in Speyside and a new state of the art cooperage at Cambus in Clackmannanshire.
|07 Mar 14||GLENGLASSAUGH has launched a new richly peated Highland single malt that will now be part of its core range along with Revival and Evolution.
Glenglassaugh Torfa, with its smoky, peaty, phenolic nature, is a unique expression and quite different to the usual type of whisky produced in the Highlands.
“At Glenglassaugh, in addition to the traditional production, we also produce a very limited quantity of whisky using richly peated malted barley as the cereal varietal. The malted barley has been dried in the traditional way, over peat-infused kilns, giving the whisky its unique smoky flavour,” says Sales Director Alistair Walker.
Torfa has a brooding, edgy character whose personality is to be found at the darker end of the spectrum. Its name takes its inspiration from the Old Norse language with which the Scots dialect spoken in North East Scotland has an affinity and translates to “turf” or “peat”.
The historic distillery was acquired by The BenRiach Distillery Company last year. It dates back to 1875 and re-opened in 2008 after being mothballed for more than 20 years. The first whiskies from this refurbished distillery are now available to single malt Scotch whisky lovers everywhere.
Non-chill filtered, with natural colour and at 50% vol, Torfa was specially selected by Glenglassaugh’s Master Distiller Billy Walker. His tasting notes show the distinct characteristics of this truly phenomenal malt.
COLOUR: Gleaming yellow gold.
NOSE: Vivid, sweet, sooty campfire smoke and sea air infuse zest of lime, apricot jam and ripe soft fruits, all gently warmed by hints of stem ginger and cracked black pepper.
PALATE: An eloquent, sweet coastal peat smoke engulfs candied peel over melon, pineapple and roasted red apples. Oat biscuits, hints of heather honey and a gentle cigar box spice all combine to give a terrific balance to the expressive smoky character.
FINISH: A heady, yet elegant harmony of distinct coastal peat and striking spiced fruit flavours.
Torfa is a new single malt from Glenglassaugh to be treasured and savoured in quiet moments.
|06 Mar 14||
THE SINGLETON OF DUFFTOWN SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY LAUNCHES TWO NEW VARIANTS, “TAILFIRE” AND “SUNRAY” IN 2014
The Singleton of Dufftown Single Malt Scotch Whisky is adding two new, vibrant and exciting variants to its existing range, Diageo has announced.
Whilst keeping the smooth, rich nature of The Singleton of Dufftown, both “TAILFIRE” and “SUNRAY” have been created using specially selected casks to enhance particular elements of the flavour profile of this classic Speyside malt whisky. We want to inspire a new generation of whisky drinkers by putting flavour at the heart of everything we do and continuing our quest to create amazing tasting whiskies.
TAILFIRE has a vibrant and enticing character, which comes from maturation in a higher proportion of European oak casks specially selected to enhance the juicy red berry freshness and sweet aromas of vanilla and fresh cut grass. This variant will be launching in both grocery and whisky specialists in March 2014 across a number of markets in Western Europe (UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany in July 2014). The Recommended Retail Price of TAILFIRE in the UK market will be £33.
The smooth yet intense character of SUNRAY comes from maturation in a higher proportion of toasted Bourbon casks specially selected to deliver a honeyed, vanilla sweetness with aromas of blackcurrant and baked apple. SUNRAY will be launching exclusive to whisky specialists in March 2014 across a number of markets in Western Europe (UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark). The Recommended Retail Price of SUNRAY in the UK market will be £36.
Colourful packaging indicative of the taste profile, and clear flavour descriptors have been chosen to facilitate the demystification of single malt whisky, a category with historically fewer younger consumers. We want to clearly communicate what flavours people can expect to enjoy.
TAILFIRE and SUNRAY have both been created by Diageo Master Blender, Dr Matthew Crow. Matthew comments, “I am immensely proud of these two single malts. TAILFIRE and SUNRAY embody the future of whisky, and have been created to inspire a new generation of whisky drinkers. The Singleton is a much loved Speyside whisky, and has always put great taste and flavour at the heart of their single malts.”
The names TAILFIRE and SUNRAY are derived from the names of salmon flies, inspired by the world of our icon, the leaping salmon and fly fishing near our home on the River Spey. The names are colourful, vibrant and interesting whilst also being indicative of the flavour profile of each whisky. TAILFIRE and SUNRAY join The Singleton family alongside the 12, 15 and 18 year old expressions.
|04 Mar 14||
Following last year’s announcement of the rebirth of Mortlach™, one of the most formidable and revered Single Malt Scotch Whiskies to have been created on Speyside, images have now been released that reveal the highly distinctive engineered style of the stunning new Mortlach bottles, along with more distribution and pricing details.
In 1823 Mortlach was the first distillery to be built at Dufftown, now one of the epicentres of Speyside whisky distilling. Its most eminent owners were the entrepreneurial Scottish civil engineer George Cowie, and his gifted and equally ambitious son Dr Alexander Cowie.
In tribute to these distinguished pioneers, the design style of the new packaging is rooted in an engineered world, reminiscent of beautiful man-made structures, whilst also elegant, luxurious and contemporary.
The engineering cues incorporated in the bottle design are most visible in the unique faceted base of the Rare Old & Special Strength bottles, whilst the metal structures of the 18 and 25 year-old bottles protect, enhance and display the fine single malts they contain. The design of the metal structures has been inspired by some of the great engineering feats of the Victorian period, especially the cantilever bridge design made famous on Scotland’s very own Forth Road Bridge.
Georgie Bell, global brand ambassador for Mortlach, said: “Mortlach whiskies are a celebration of those audacious thinkers who shape and make today’s world, just as their forefathers did in the era in which Mortlach was born. These spectacular bottles help tell that story.”
Four new Mortlach variants are designedMortlach firing_4Y7Z9051 for global travellers and for connoisseur Scotch whisky drinkers. Due to the very limited supplies of this unique liquid, these new expressions of Mortlach will be sold in 50cl bottles, except for the USA where for legal reasons 750 ml bottles will be used.
In the early years, the distribution of these rare and prestigious whiskies will focus on carefully selected cities. They will first be available in London and Berlin in June, and in a small number of global travel retail channels. They will then roll out - again in very restricted volumes - to the cosmopolitan cities of Asia-Pacific in August (for example Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore) and at the same time to New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the United States.
Meanwhile, to build more stocks of Mortlach for the years ahead, plans are progressing for the expansion of Mortlach distillery with all the strong purpose, ingenuity and attention to detail of the Cowies, doubling the distillery’s capacity.
Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown, Scotland
The expansion will include the building of a new stillhouse. This will replicate the bewilderingly complex process with which Alexander paved the way - a unique distillation system (which commentators have attempted to explain as ‘2.81 Distilled’) precisely calculated to create this celebrated, highly complex and richly flavoured whisky. Mortlach has been described by whisky connoisseurs as “The Beast of Dufftown” for its rich and powerful flavours.
Mortlach new expressions
Mortlach Special Strength (travel retail exclusive) is a big, warming cask strength liquid with a complicated yet harmonious mix of young vanilla and mature oak, underscored by roasted aromatics and a long, pervasive and smooth finish
The guideline pricing will be £55 for Rare Old, £180 for Mortlach 18 year old, and £600 for Mortlach 25 year old. In Global Travel the Special Strength will be £75. (All prices shown as UK Recommended Retail Prices.) Prices for the United States and other regions will be announced later.
|03 Mar 14||
Exponent Private Equity, a private equity firm specialising in UK business investments, will take control of the Loch Lomond Distillery at Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, as well as the company’s assets, including the Glen Catrine packaging plant in Ayreshire, and the Glen Scotia malt distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute.
Under the agreement, the firm will also take control of the Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia single malt whisky brand, High Commissioner blended Scotch whisky and Glen’s Vodka.
The terms of the deal have seen The Loch Lomond Distillery Company’s assets acquired by the newly-formed Loch Lomond Group, in which Exponent owns a majority stake.
Management of the new group will be lead by CEO Colin Matthews, who was previously responsible for leading Imperial Tobacco in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
Former Diageo chief financial officer Nick Rose will chair the new business.
“Loch Lomond, Glen Catrine and Glen Scotia have built a sound business platform with brands that perform well in the UK and in a number of international markets,” said Matthews.
“The growth of the Scotch whisky industry in recent years offers a great opportunity to develop further the Loch Lomond business, to refresh and expand the product portfolio, and to move into a number of new international markets building on the excellent progress the company has already made.”http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com
|27 Feb 14||
Just sending you all a quick newsflash with some exciting information about THE CAMPBELTOWN MALTS FESTIVAL!
For those of you who aren’t aware, we have been running the Springbank Open Day since 2009 and the event continues to attract more and more visitors to Campbeltown each year. On the day, activities usually include free distillery tours, masterclasses, local craft stalls, live music, special bottlings and much much more!
Inspired by the Explore Campbeltown initiative, this year we are extending the celebrations and from Wednesday 21st May to Friday 23rd May 2014, Campbeltown’s three distilleries will be working together to create The Campbeltown Malts Festival where the whiskies from Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia are all celebrated.
During the day on Wednesday 21st of May we will be mainly focusing on Glen Scotia. There will be free tours of Glen Scotia Distillery running at 12 noon and 2.30pm. At 4pm, a representative from Glen Scotia will be holding a masterclass where you will get to taste some of the range. The masterclass will be held in the Tasting Room at Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop and will cost £25 per person which includes a branded Glen Scotia Glencairn glass.
On the Wednesday we will also be doing something extra special for you lovely Society Members. Some of you may already be aware but in April this year it will be the 10th birthday of the Springbank Society which is the perfect excuse to treat you to a tasting! We will hold this at 1.30pm in the Tasting Room at Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop. The focus of the tasting will be “The best of 10 years” where we will carefully select some of our favourite bottlings from over the years. This tasting will be exclusive to Society Members and numbers will be limited to 40. If you would like to come along then please let me know as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out.
Details on the Wednesday evening events are still being finalised at the moment but I have a sneak preview of what we are planning: We will be holding a special dinner at Glengyle Distillery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-opening. This will be a similar idea to the Kiln Dinner at Springbank last year but will take place in the Still House at Glengyle. After the dinner we will hold a ceilidh at Glengyle so remember to bring your dancing shoes with you! More information on both these events will be sent to you in the coming weeks. Customers who have pre-purchased the 10 year old Kilkerran sets and single bottles will be able to collect them from the Wednesday onwards.
On the Thursday it will be the Springbank Open Day - much the same idea as in previous years. The following masterclasses and tastings will be available:
11.30am / Cadenhead Masterclass with Mark Watt & Grant Macpherson
12 noon / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
1.30pm / Glengyle Masterclass with Jenny Karlsson
2pm / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
2.30pm / Springbank Masterclass with Ranald Watson
4pm / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
Masterclasses cost £25.00 each and include a ‘Springbank Open Day’ Glencairn Glass / Manager’s Warehouse Tastings cost £15.00 each.
If you would like to book onto any of the masterclasses/tastings on the Wednesday or Thursday then please email my personal email address firstname.lastname@example.org which will make it easier to keep all festival emails together!
On the Friday we will be holding our annual Golf Competition which this year will be re-named The Campbeltown Malts Open Golf Competition to be inclusive of all the distilleries in the Campbeltown region. We are still in the planning process for this but again, as soon as this is finalised I will let you know.
Our whisky celebrations will kick off a busy weekend of events within the town when it will play host to both the Kintyre Songwriters Festival and the Mull of Kintyre 10k and Half Marathon. Each of the different events will be a great opportunity to attract visitors to the town and there is sure to be a great buzz and excitement around the place that week - I can’t wait!
To finish, this is just a summary of the events announced so far....
Wednesday 21st May
12 noon / Free tour of Glen Scotia Distillery
1.30pm / ‘The best of 10 years’ Society Tasting - exclusive to Springbank Society Members
2.30pm / Free tour of Glen Scotia Distillery
4.00pm / Glen Scotia Masterclass - £25 per person & includes Glencairn glass
Thursday 22nd May
11.30am / Cadenhead Masterclass with Mark Watt & Grant Macpherson
12 noon / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
1.30pm / Glengyle Masterclass with Jenny Karlsson
2pm / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
2.30pm / Springbank Masterclass with Ranald Watson
4pm / The Distillery Manager’s Warehouse Tasting (3 drams)
Masterclasses cost £25.00 each and include a ‘Springbank Open Day’ Glencairn Glass / Manager’s Warehouse Tastings cost £15.00 each
Hopefully that is enough information to keep you going for the time being and as soon as I have more to share with you I will be in touch!
Have a great weekend when it comes!
|25 Feb 14||
Speyburn distillery in Scotland is set to benefit from a £4 million expansion programme to meet growing global demand for Scotch whisky.
Speyburn Distillery high resProduction at the distillery, located in a glen near Rothes in Speyside, will double from 1.8 million litres to over 4 million litres each year under the expansion increasing capacity, which is set to be completed by the end of 2014.
Speyburn, part of the Inver House Distillers portfolio and owned by International Beverage Holdings, is already expected to see a volume growth of 15% for the 2013 / 2014 period.
Graham Stevenson, Inver House Distillers’ managing director said: “As we continue to be very optimistic about the long term potential for Scotch whisky, particularly in the emerging BRIC, African and South East Asian economies, investment in our production capabilities is crucial. Having the infrastructure in place to produce our high quality whiskies in greater quantities will be key to the future success of our brands, so we are delighted to see the first phase of this major programme of work get underway at Speyburn Distillery.”
The expansion will also serve to reduce the distillery’s energy consumption by installing the most up-to-date and energy efficient distillation equipment – whilst maintaining the distillery’s traditional methods of production – with predicted energy savings of more than 20% once up and running.
Bobby Anderson, Speyburn distillery manager said: “This is an exciting time for everyone here at the distillery and we are working with a great team of local companies to deliver the expansion programme, whilst retaining the great traditions and time-honoured techniques involved with crafting our whisky.
“It’s exciting for us to know that even more people around the world will be able to enjoy a taste of Speyburn as the project progresses this year.”
Richard Lochhead, rural affairs secretary in Scotland, said: “We know there is great demand for Scotland’s national drink with whisky exports from the UK increasing by 87 per cent over the last ten years from £2.3 billion in 2002 to £4.3 billion in 2012, and the expansion of this distillery will play an important role in meeting that global appetite for our premium product.
“I also welcome the fact the distillery is showing leadership by reducing its carbon footprint through the installation of energy efficient distillation equipment, and playing its part in the move towards making Scotland a low carbon economy.”
Speyburn Distillery was founded in 1897 and produces Speyburn Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky – a top 10 malt brand in the USA.
The Speyburn 10 Year Old, 25 Year Old and ‘Bradan Orach’ expressions are distilled using water from the nearby Granty Burn, a tributary of the River Spey, which is famed for its purity and world-class salmon fishing.
|25 Feb 14||
Just a single cask, amounting to 160 bottles, of the expression have been released from this “silent” distillery, which closed in 1983. Priced at £6,995 per 70cl bottle, the whisky is now exclusively available to pre-order through World Duty Free’s online outlet.
Bottled at cask strength of 59.1% abv from a highly peated Highland whisky laid down in 1972, this new release marks the oldest ever expression from Brora to reach the market.
The whisky is packaged in a crystal decanter, which features a golden image of the Scottish wildcat, the legendary guardian of Brora distillery, as well as the crest of its founder the Duke of Sutherland. The number 40 is etched into the decanter’s stopper, while the distillation year of 1972 is engraved into the copper neck.
Each decanter is then presented in a wooden case, which has been specially created by the Queen’s cabinet maker NEJ Stevenson.
Introducing the whisky, Steve White, global marketing director of Diageo global travel retail & Middle East, said: “We are confident that the supreme quality and rare nature of this whisky will delight and excite single malt collectors and aficionados who will want to add a bottle of this prestigious whisky to their prized collection.”
Meanwhile David de Miguel, global head of liquor at World Duty Free Group, noted that the exclusive partnership for this release “showcases our ability to consistently offer a range of unique whiskies across our stores.”
With growing global demand for rare or mature Scotch whiskies, de Miguel added: “The exceptional quality of this rare whisky will attract and intrigue whisky connoisseurs, helping to highlight our reputation as whisky specialists with the finest expertise.”
Brora was originally founded as the Clynelish distillery in the Sutherland town of Brora. After Clynelish opened a new distillery next door in 1967, the old site was reopened under the Brora name, before closing for good when much of the Scotch whisky industry was struggling during the 1980s.
|25 Feb 14||
CARDHU Single Malt Scotch Whisky is adding a new, highly crafted variant to its popular and successful range of Speyside whiskies, Diageo has announced.
CARDHU AMBER ROCK™ has been double matured in toasted American Oak casks, to deliver richer notes of vanilla and spice. Elegant and deeply flavoured, it still retains the impeccable balance and the clean sweet notes that are a hallmark of CARDHU, and are faithful to the tradition of generous single malt whiskies created by the distillery’s remarkable founders, Helen and Elizabeth Cumming.
Official tasting notes announce that “the classic CARDHU notes of citrus and honey are deepened by fruit, spice and sweetness: superbly balanced and well-paced, with consistent intensity and texture and a tasteful mingling of silky tannins and clean, fresh vanilla flavours and aromas.”
Master Blender Dr Matthew Crow, who worked on the new CARDHU AMBER ROCK, said:
“The Bourbon nuances that develop from the second maturation in toasted casks seasoned with Bourbon whiskey add an even greater silkiness and roundness to the already balanced and delicious CARDHU, bringing vanilla and spice notes along with hints of oak. We are very pleased with how this has turned out.”
CARDHU AMBER ROCK joins the CARDHU family of Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, which was recently expanded with the addition of 15 and 18 year old expressions.
Destined mainly for distribution through whisky specialist stores, CARDHU AMBER ROCK will be available in France and the Belgium from spring 2014, and more widely in Western Europe [UK, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece & Netherlands] from late summer onwards. The launch will be supported by in-store publicity, advertising and promotion through digital channels.
“Western Europe remains a major market for our single malts, including CARDHU”, commented Nik Keane, Diageo’s Global Brand Director for Malt Whiskies. “We are excited and confident that this very original new variant will appeal both to existing CARDHU drinkers and to whisky drinkers new to the category or the brand.”
The name “CARDHU” means “black rock” in the Gaelic language; “CARDHU AMBER ROCK” has been chosen as the name for the new CARDHU as a variant on the distillery’s name and to reflect the golden jewel-like colour of the new expression.
The Recommended Retail Price of CARDHU AMBER ROCK in the UK market will be £41
|19 Fev 14||GLENDRONACH LAUNCHES NEW GRANDEUR 24 YEAR-OLD
THE START of a new year brings a new limited edition GlenDronach single malt designed for the serious connoisseur.
Replacing the GlenDronach Grandeur 31 Years Old that has now sold out, the GlenDronach Grandeur 24 Years Old is another exquisite long-aged representation of the smooth, complex and full-bodied style for which GlenDronach Distillery is justly famous worldwide.
For if the glorious rum-soaked golden sultanas don’t capture you as you savour it for the first time, you’ll definitely be ensnared by the dark chocolate and zesty orange oil softening to a deep clove spice.
The Grandeur 24 Years Old, at 48.9%vol, shows the finest sherry oak casks, masterful maturation and traditional crafted Highland single malt in perfect harmony.
Lovingly aged for almost a quarter of a century and beautifully gift-boxed, this exceptional whisky has been specially selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker from some of the oldest and most unique Oloroso sherry casks at GlenDronach.
This bottling, batch number 4 of the Grandeur releases, is limited to 569 bottles. Individually numbered by hand, each bottle is a one-off and truly unique, making it a very special and remarkable malt.
Billy Walker’s tasting notes demonstrate that the Grandeur 24 Years Old is indeed one of the greats.
Appearance: Glistening burnt amber holds a rich crimson heart.
Nose: A magnificent combination of honey-drenched dates and succulent raisins which gently ebb and flow with waves of delicate orange blossom, mint and cracked black pepper. Hints of glazed cherries and toasted almonds perfectly complement the seductive nose - a nose to be appreciated slowly and often.
Palate: A fabulously full-bodied, vibrant palate captures a multitude of classic sherry cask characteristics. The delicate sweetness of rum-soaked golden sultanas refines rich espresso, dark chocolate and treacle toffee. Zesty orange oil softens to a deep clove spice and prolongs the ever-changing palate. A sublime example of understanding the relationship between cask and single malt perfectly.
Conclusions: The Grandeur 24 Years Old encapsulates the perfect harmony of exquisite sherry oak casks, masterful maturation and traditional crafted Highland single malt. A dram to be savoured in order to reveal the depth of dramatic flavours held in the glass. A truly memorable and captivating GlenDronach expression.
Sales Director Alistair Walker commented: “This is a wonderful dram that needs a great amount of time spent on it in order to be fully rewarded with its stunning qualities – luscious, long and lingering.”
|16 Jan 14||
GLEN ORD DISTILLERY GETS ITS NEW STILLS
Diageo is also doubling the capacity at the Teaninich Distillery in Alness and is progressing plans to build a new malt whisky distillery and renewable energy plant on land adjacent to Teaninich.
In total these projects represent a capital investment of nearly £150 million across the Highland Council area.
|16 Jan 14||
NEW MILESTONE IN DIAGEO SCOTCH INVESTMENT WITH PLAN FOR CLYNELISH DISTILLERY EXPANSION
In the latest major milestone in Diageo’s £1billion programme to increase Scotch whisky production, plans have been submitted to Highland Council for the major expansion of Diageo’s most northerly Scotch whisky distillery.
The Clynelish expansion will take the on-going capital investment by Diageo in the Highland Council region alone to almost £150million, including major expansions at Glen Ord and Teaninich Distilleries and plans to build a new distillery at Alness.
Keith Miller, Diageo Director of Distillation and Maturation, said:
“The plan to expand Clynelish Distillery is another major milestone in Diageo’s £1billion investment to increase Scotch whisky production capacity to help meet the future growth in global demand for our brands.
“Clynelish is a very special distillery, producing spirit which is highly prized for its quality and character and is an important part of our Scotch whisky blending inventory, so this is an important part of our investment programme.”
Clynelish Distillery produces single malt whisky unique in both taste and texture which is highly prized by Diageo’s master blenders for use in world-leading Scotch whisky brands such as Johnnie Walker. Clynelish is also a highly regarded as a single malt whisky in its own right. The distillery is also home to one of Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centres, welcoming more than 5,000 visitors each year. Clynelish is near the Sutherland town of Brora.
Doubling production capacity
Under the plans submitted, Clynelish Distillery will see the installation of an additional mashtun, 10 new washbacks and six new copper stills. This adds to the 10 washbacks and six stills which the distillery currently has, and will effectively double the production capacity to nine million litres of alcohol per annum, whilst retaining the unique character and quality of the spirit. A bio-energy plant is also planned for the site to provide non-fossil fuel energy to power the distillery.
As part of the planning process Diageo will hold a community engagement session in February to share further details of the Clynelish proposals with the local community.
Diageo announced its £1billion Scotch whisky investment programme in June 2012. As well as the distillery expansions the company is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed at Cluny in Fife.
Expansion at Glen Ord too
The Clynelish announcement comes as six new copper stills were delivered to the Glen Ord Distillery as part of the £25million expansion plan which is doubling the size of that distillery to over 10million litres per annum. Diageo is also doubling the capacity at the Teaninich Distillery in Alness and is progressing plans to build a new malt whisky distillery and renewable energy plant on land adjacent to Teaninich. In total these projects represent a capital investment of nearly £150million across the Highland Council area.
|14 Jan 14||
(Reuters) - Suntory Holdings Ltd SUNTH.UL has agreed a $16 billion (9.77 billion pounds) deal to buy Beam Inc (BEAM.N), making the Japanese company the world's third-largest maker of distilled drinks with a global footprint.
The company is paying $13.6 billion in cash for Beam shares as well as assuming its net debt, bringing together Beam's Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory's Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.
"All Japanese beverage companies have been focused on getting growth outside Japan," said Bernstein Research analyst Trevor Stirling.
Last year, privately held Suntory floated its food and non-alcoholic drink company Suntory Beverage & Food (2587.T), to raise money for overseas acquisitions. In 2011, Kirin Holdings Co (2503.T) bought control of Brazil's Schincariol for $2.6 billion and in 2009, Asahi Group Holdings (2502.T) took a stake in Chinese brewery Tsingtao.
Suntory said on Monday it will pay $83.50 per share in cash, a 25 percent premium to Beam's closing share price of $66.97 on Friday. Beam shares jumped 24 percent to $83.27 on Monday.
The price is more than 20 times Beam's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a multiple that comes close to the record 20.8 times EBITDA Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) paid in 2008 for the maker of Absolut vodka.
But unlike the Absolut deal, there are very few cost-saving opportunities here, said Bernstein's Stirling, since over 90 percent of Suntory's business is in Japan and the Beam business will continue to be run in the United States.
Given the steep multiple, Stirling thinks a counter bid by the likes of larger rivals Diageo (DGE.L) or Pernod is unlikely.
Beam has been viewed as an attractive takeover target since becoming a stand-alone public spirits company in October 2011. Analysts and bankers long speculated that its range of bourbons would fit nicely into Diageo's portfolio, which has many Scotch whiskies but only one bourbon.
Suntory and Beam already have a business relationship under which Suntory distributes Beam products in Japan and Beam distributes Suntory's products in Singapore and other Asian markets.
Suntory intends to fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and fully committed financing from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley is acting as financial advisor to Suntory and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is acting as legal advisor. Centerview Partners and Credit Suisse are serving as financial advisors to Beam and Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Greg Mahlich and David Evans)Source: reuters.com
|20 Dec 13||
DRINKS giant the Edrington Group today announced plans to invest £100 million in a new distillery and visitor centre for The Macallan, one of the world’s leading single malts, in a major boost for the Moray economy.
The company said the creation of a “site of major architectural significance” in the heart of Speyside would consolidate The Macallan’s position as one of the world’s leading luxury spirits. The new distillery at Craigellachie is also expected to create extra capacity to meet the growing demand from existing and new international markets for the malt from the distillery which was founded in 1824.
Ian Curle, chief executive of Edrington, said: “This is a confident investment in the future of The Macallan and its home on Speyside. Our plan for the estate includes a contemporary distillery that embodies the international style of The Macallan and builds on the brand’s tradition of quality and craftsmanship. As this long-term investment develops it will bring significant employment and economic benefit to the local community.”
A company spokeswoman said: “The Macallan is recognised around the world as the ultimate marque of excellence and innovation , and the new facility will embody these characteristics in a design that complements the natural beauty of the area and The Macallan Estate.
“Creating a site of major architectural significance in the heart of Speyside will consolidate The Macallan’s position as one of the world’s leading luxury spirits. Over time the distillery is expected to deliver additional capacity to meet the growing demand from existing and new international markets.”
Edrington has commissioned leading architects Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP) to design and build the new distillery and visitor centre. The company has already designed the Pompidou Centre , Lloyd’s of London, the Millennium Dome, and Terminal 5 at Heathrow.
Ken Grier, Edrington’s director of malts, said: “As a leading luxury single malt, it was imperative that we selected an architect that understood and respected the importance of the history of The Macallan but had the experience and skills to create a building that is inspirational in its interpretation of contemporary luxury. In selecting RSHP, we have chosen a partner that shares our values and pushes the boundaries of style and quality.
For the full story, please go here: www.thescotsman.com
|18 Dec 13||
DIAGEO WELCOMES GEORGIE BELL AS NEW GLOBAL BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR MORTLACH
Ewan Gunn, Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador at Diageo, said: “We are all delighted that Georgie, with her extensive knowledge of the production, marketing and communications sides of the Scotch whisky industry, has agreed to join us and support our significant new initiative for Mortlach. In her short time as roving brand ambassador at the SMWS, Georgie has made a huge impact on the whisky world, engaging influencers and consumers in many key global markets, and deploying her knowledge, energy, passion and experience of the luxury spirits sector to promote Scotch whisky. She will have a key role to play, alongside our other Global Brand Ambassadors, in the promotion of Mortlach.”
Diageo announced in November that it planned to make four new expressions of the highly complex and richly flavoured Mortlach™ Single Malt Scotch Whisky, distilled in Dufftown since 1823, available in the global travel and luxury connoisseur markets from mid-2014. The doubling of capacity at Mortlach Distillery, involving the exact replication of the existing stillhouse, was announced in April 2013.
Georgie Bell studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 2012 the Worshipful Company of Distillers granted her their International Award for the Fundamentals in Distilling Course, and she was granted Freedom of the Company in 2013. Georgie also holds a Diploma in Distillation from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.
|18 Dec 13||
NEW SERIES OF TRIPLE MATURED SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY EXCLUSIVES FOR FRIENDS OF THE CLASSIC MALTS™
Five different single malts will be released at intervals over the next 6 months, throughout UK, Germany and Switzerland.
The first releases, in December 2013 will be editions of Royal Lochnagar™ and Talisker™. Three more single malts will be issued between January and June 2014: a further announcement with details of these releases will follow in January.
The distinctive feature of all the five malts in this rare and unusual series is that, in order to develop a whisky with a distinctive and complex profile that will intrigue the discerning connoisseurs among the Friends of the Classic Malts, they have been matured in a totally different way from the familiar Classic Malts Bottlings – and different also from the Distillers Editions of the same single malts.
The single malts in these special Friends’ bottlings have all been triple matured. Their initial maturation has been, conventionally, in refill casks. Next the liquids were transferred to charred American oak hogsheads, imparting spicy notes and a touch of sweet oak. To complete the conversation between spirit and oak, the whiskies enjoyed a third maturation in European Oak refill casks which softened, mellowed and integrated the aromas and flavours. Finally the whiskies were bottled at a generous 48% ABV.
Only a few thousand bottles of each expression are being produced: no more than 24,000 bottles are available in total across the five editions, and via online retailers and at Distilleries.
“These are truly special whiskies which we are proud to offer as an exclusive reward to our loyal members of Friends of the Classic Malts”, said Julien LeBescond, Diageo’s Senior Brand Manager for Scotch Single Malts for in Western Europe. “We greatly value their support and enthusiasm, and we’re confident that they will enjoy these exciting and unique liquids which we asked our master blenders to prepare just for them.”
Limited and exclusive distribution for Friends
These limited editions are being made available in selected Western European markets and via online retailers exclusively to members of the Friends of the Classic Malts so a true reward for loyalty.
In addition, bottles will be available for purchase by personal visitors to the relevant distillery – though again, only to signed-up members of Friends of the Classic Malts, or to visitors who join during their visit. Whether purchased online or at the distillery, the bottles are priced at £80 and the equivalent in Euros, and sales are limited to two bottles per customer.
Friends of the Classic Malts
See Friends of the Classic Malts on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheClassicMalts
And on the Classic Malts website.
|03 Dec 13||GlenDronach releases latest batch of its single cask bottlings
AWARD-WINNING GLENDRONACH has today, 3 December, released Batch 9 of its succulent single cask bottlings, selected as always by Master Blender Billy Walker.
The magnificent nine, ranging from 41 to 18 years old, share GlenDronach's typically richly-sherried signature taste complemented by notes of almonds, cherries, raisins, prunes and lime…even cracked black pepper, cocoa beans and red chilli sauce!
Six were matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheons while the other three come from Oloroso sherry butts. The result is a swirling and mesmerising range of expressions – from delicate sweetness to puckering malt monsters.
The oldest is a 41 year-old Oloroso sherry butt distilled in February 1972 – cask # 702. Bottled at 51.7% vol, this veteran is a complex, fiery wonder - rich dark oak edged with deep ruby. On the nose, it gives sumptuous depths of classic sour cherries dusted with gentle toasted almonds. And on the palate, it’s a beautifully elegant vintage sherry style bursting with a combination of dark espresso, molasses, herbs and oak spices.
And as a contrast, the youngest in the batch is an 18 year-old distilled in April 1995. This Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon, cask number 3302, was bottled at 53.7% vol. It is rich golden burnt amber in appearance. On the nose, vibrant citrus zest combines with touches of wild mint and oak spice while on the palate an initial sweet chocolate and vanilla fullness moves to a delicate lasting zest and herb note.
The batch details are:
1972 cask # 702 / 41 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 51.7% vol
1985 cask # 1035 / 27 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.7%vol
1989 cask # 5470 / 23 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 49.2%vol
1990 cask # 1243 / 23 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 50.6%vol
1991 cask # 5405 / 21 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 49.9%vol
1992 cask # 195 / 21 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 59.8%vol
1993 cask # 5 / 20 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 53.0%vol
1994 cask # 3385 / 19 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.4%vol
1995 cask # 3302 / 18 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.7%vol
For more information, go to www.glendronachdistillery.com.uk or email email@example.com
|03 Dec 13||
GLENGLASSAUGH LAUNCHES NEW 40 YEAR-OLD SINGLE MALT
|02 Dec 13||
MORTLACH SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY IS REBORN
An artistic view of the new still house.
|28 Oct 13||
Announcing The Launch Of
With over 65 years of ‘pedigree’ in the Scotch Whisky industry, leading independent Scotch Whisky specialist, Douglas Laing & Co today announce the release of their brand new Speyside Vatted Malt – Scallywag.
Douglas Laing’s Scallywag is a Small Batch bottling created using only the finest Speyside Malts including – amongst others – Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes.
Bottled at 46% alcohol strength and non chill-filtered, this Small Batch bottling has a distinct rich, dark colour – extracted from the many fine Spanish Sherry Butts used during maturation. The result is a truly charming Malt with a richly spiced character fused with vanilla (from the bourbon casks used), sweet stewed fruit, Christmas pudding, dark chocolate, zesty orange and sweet tobacco.
No attention to detail has been missed in creating the Scallywag packaging. Inspired by the long line of Douglas Laing family Fox Terriers, which are renowned for being sweet yet rather mischievous dogs, it was therefore felt the Scallywag name and Fox Terrier design was most fitting for this richly spiced and deliciously sweet Speyside Vatted Malt.
Says Douglas Laing’s Managing Director (and proud Fox Terrier owner) Fred Laing: “From a chance sketch by a designer of our sweet, wee, rascal of a Fox Terrier, our Scallywag Malt Whisky was born! “Sweet” was the key which focused us on Speyside. Its cask selection is self-evidently heavy on the sherry background, balanced by first-fill bourbon casks – so the resulting ‘Vatted’ Malt comes with an excellent pedigree”.
Douglas Laing’s Scallywag will be available from specialist Whisky retailers from November 2013.
Scallywag has a rich, dark colour – extracted from the many fine Spanish Sherry Butts selected. It carries a richly spiced character on the nose woven into delicious vanilla from the Bourbon Hogsheads selected. On the palate detect layer on layer of sweet stewed fruit, Christmas pudding & dark chocolate fused with spice (nutmeg and cinnamon) much of which can be attributed to years slumbering in those Sherry Butts. The finish displays a burst of zesty orange with sweet tobacco, cocoa & rich fruit cake.
|09 Oct 13||
Can a change in environment really change the experience of food and drink?
He carried out the experiments both in the laboratory and under more realistic bar conditions. The latter – The Singleton Sensorium - saw people tasting exactly the same single malt whisky in three rooms with very different environments: a grassy room laid with turf and noises of nature, a fruity room with red fruits and chiming bells, and a woody room with wood panels and sounds of crackling wood fires.
And now experts are claiming that the study could have exciting implications for people when designing the interior of their homes, and for the way pubs, bars and restaurants are designed in the future. Chefs such as Heston Blumenthal are already embracing the potential when working with all the senses to deliver powerful tasting experiences, and the results of Professor Spence’s experiment may go some way to explaining how that bag of fish and chips eaten near seaside can feel so different to eating the same thing at home.
So whether you want to change your lighting, put on a special soundtrack or even think about the scents surrounding you - all of these can work to change the smell, taste and flavour of your culinary experience.
"This sort of research has significant implications for anyone looking to enhance their whisky experience in a bar, restaurant or even from the comfort of their own homes. Notable chefs have embraced the potential when working with all the senses to deliver powerful tasting experiences," he said.
This latest research has been published in Flavour, a peer-reviewed journal from Bio Med. Velasco et al: Assessing the influence of the multisensory environment on the whisky drinking experience. From Wednesday 9th October, the study will be available to read via the following link: http://www.flavourjournal.com/content/2/1/23.
|27 Sep 2013||
GLEN GARIOCH LAUNCHES FIRST VINTAGE MATURED SOLELY IN SHERRY CASKS
Limited Edition Glen Garioch Vintage 1999
Glen Garioch has released its inaugural expression to be matured solely in Oloroso sherry casks, as part of the Highland distillery’s small batch vintage programme.
Hand selected at the peak of perfection, the Glen Garioch Vintage, distilled in 1999 is non-chill filtered to retain its authentic, full-bodied Highland character.
Handcrafted and matured in sherry casks for 14 years at the Highland Distillery in the heart of the rural village of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, this heart-warming dram captures the essence of Scottish Highland charm. The Oloroso sherry casks have influenced this robust spirit to give the malt its dark, sweet fruit, treacle and maple syrup notes and spicy, syrupy taste.
With just 1,000 cases available globally, the Glen Garioch Vintage 1999 is sure to become a favourite with malt enthusiasts when it hits the shelves of specialist whisky and liquor stores from October.
Rachel Barrie, Master Blender for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, said, “This is a full-bodied malt with exquisite rich fruit, chocolate and toffee notes, which really captures the essence of the Highlands.
“Hand picked and bottled at 56.3% ABV to bring out the rich spicy flavours of the Vintage 1999 really showcases the quality of the spirit produced from this small artisan distillery through our limited edition programme.
“This is an exciting small-batch release that encapsulates the rare find that is Glen Garioch itself and I’m sure will be a favourite with any whisky enthusiast.”
Available from selected specialist retailers from the end of September, Glen Garioch Vintage 1999 is bottled at 56.3% ABV will retail at circa £59.99.
Walnut brown in colour, the 1999 Vintage is full-bodied and intensely sherried with a syrupy mouth coating texture. Treacle toffee, chocolate and maple syrup soak into the palate, carrying the tingly warmth of nutmeg and ginger spices, tangy orange marmalade and dates into a long, deep finish of raisins, caramelised toffee and liquorice.
|20 Sep 13||
The new version of the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2014 has just been announced and should be available starting 1 October 2013
- The Distillery Section completely revised with all the latest news
- The chapter on Distilleries Around the Globe now bigger than ever
- New exciting articles by distinguished writers such as Charles MacLean, Ian Buxton, Gavin D Smith, Dominic Roskrow, Neil Ridley, Jonny McCormick and Hans Offringa
-Completely new Japanese chapter by Nicholas Coldicott
- More than 250 tasting notes, including Japanese malts and independent bottlings
- Learn about some of the world´s biggest blended whiskies and the malts that contribute to the success
-Whisky Around the World - new feature with whisky profiles around the globe inviting you to their country
- Expanded section on Independent Bottlers
-A listing of more than 150 of the world´s greatest whisky shops
- The Whisky Year That Was - the most comprehensive summary you´ll find of the news and trends in the
- All the latest info on bottlings, web sites, books as well as the latest statistics and figures
- More than 500 colour photos
|11 Sep 13||
Arran Brewery to reopen Rosebank distillery in UK
UK-based Arran Brewery has received around £500,000 in grant from Historic Scotland to reopen the Rosebank distillery in Falkirk.
The company has outlined plans to unveil a brewery, micro-distillery and visitors center on the site. It will name the brewery as Forth and Clyde Brewery Falkirk while the micro distillery will be named the Camelon Distillery.
Commenting on the grant, Arran Brewery managing director Gerald Michaluk said that this has been a long struggle to get support for this site from the Scottish Government.
"While we want to maintain the historic character of the site and open it to the public, at the same time we need to secure its on-going economic success by running a profitable business there," added Michaluk.
Rosebank Distillery, with a capacity to distill around 123,000 gallons of whiskey, was shut down in 1993.
The Arran Brewery, which operates as a subsidiary of Marketing Management Services International, manufactures beer. Source: http://spirits.drinks-business-review.com
|10 Sep 13||
LAGAVULIN DISTILLERY ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF THIS YEAR’S SPECIAL BOTTLING FOR THE LAGAVULIN ISLAY JAZZ FESTIVAL
The third in this series of releases, the 2013 bottling comes in an edition of 1,500 individually numbered bottles and drawn from hand-selected Sherry Butts filled on 19 January 1995. It is bottled at an ABV of 51.9%.
Lagavulin Jazz bottling 2013
“We’re delighted to announce our third Jazz Festival bottling” said Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach. “The first two have been of quite exceptional quality, and this year we’ve increased the quantity to ensure that it can be enjoyed by visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival, and those who follow.”
The neck labelling continues the jazz theme of previous editions, again featuring a piano keyboard.
Bottles will be available to personal visitors only at Lagavulin distillery (limit of two bottles per customer) at a UK RRSP of £99.
|04 Sep 13||
With over 65 years of experience in the Scotch Whisky industry, leading independent Scotch Whisky specialist, Douglas Laing & Co announce the release of their new core Single Malt Single Cask range – their Old Particular.
Douglas Laing’s Old Particular is a ‘particularly’ unique series of individually hand-selected aged Single Cask Malts from all over Scotland – each bottled according to the founders’ philosophy of topmost quality. Meaning, Old
Launching this September and available from specialist Whisky retailers, some truly exceptional bottlings feature in this first batch including Malts distilled at Bowmore, Caperdonich and Port Ellen distilleries to name but a few.
Since the start of the year, the Douglas Laing team has been quietly progressing and developing this exciting new range, which they believe is their best yet. Fred Laing, company Managing Director, and Jan Beckers, Global Malt Ambassador, have long been the ‘Noses’ within Douglas Laing. Accordingly they have been particularly busy selecting casks, writing tasting notes and determining the optimum alcohol strength at which to release this new series.
Douglas Laing have chosen to bottle Old Particular at three different alcohol strengths. Some rarities will be bottled at cask or natural strength and thereafter 48.4% for the bottlings aged to 18 years and 51.5% for 19 and over. These strengths have been decided upon after considerable internal discussion, tasting and analysis.
Global Malt Ambassador Jan Beckers comments “I am lucky enough to have been involved in the selection of thousands of casks at Douglas Laing and I am particularly excited about this new range. We believe the lower strength of 48.4% allows the ‘younger’, feistier Whiskies to soften out some of their ‘hotter’ characteristics. The older Malts have already had the effect of the Angel’s Share to mollify some of these hot spots and we believe at 51.5% strength, we achieve exactly the quality we want.”
Meanwhile no attention to detail has been missed in developing the packaging for Douglas Laing’s Old Particular Single Casks. From the super premium gift
Says Douglas Laing’s Managing Director Fred Laing: “After 65 years in the industry, we believe we have created Douglas Laing’s best ever Single Cask range – a natural progression to what has gone before. It has been a real labour of love, enthusiasm and experience – so the team and I are delighted to now be launching our Old Particular selection. We hope this Single Cask range captures the imagination of Whisky enthusiasts globally. It should take you as close as you can get to that rarest of pleasures – sampling a dram straight from its cask in the hallowed surroundings of a distillery warehouse.”
Douglas Laing’s Old Particular Single Casks will be available from specialist Whisky retailers from September 2013.
|03 Sep 13||
THE WORLD’S “MOST SOUGHT AFTER , VALUABLE AND COLLECTIBLE” SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKIES
Details and Prices
Diageo has announced the ten Single Malt Whiskies that form its annual limited-edition Special Releases for 2013.
Summary: A Brora classic: a mature, sweetly pleasing, tongue-coating, softly smoky malt that rewards deep study, evoking a tranquil beach scene rather than the drama of the high seas. Fans of Brora will not be disappointed by this superb, comforting, old-fashioned whisky.
Summary: A smooth-talking, easy-drinking powerhouse. A powerfully, punchy, warming and sweet-spicy whisky with a mighty vitality and a smooth texture: the clean, fresh bitter-sweet nutty flavours give it a character all of its own and it’s a perfect testament to a remarkable whisky making dynasty.
Cardhu™ 21 year old
Summary: Clean and precisely structured; delicate and feminine on the nose, yet also robust, assured and unusually spicy. A beautifully balanced malt in which lusciously rich and indulgent vanilla notes are complemented by elegantly aromatic and refined tannins in the palate and finish.
Convalmore™ 36 year old
Summary: A subtle, big whisky with an astonishing rich velvet texture that wears its age lightly yet has developed a wonderful complexity. The young-seeming, sweet and succulent nose leads, via the smooth, comforting palate, to a drying conclusion of marked aromatic complexity, masterminded by long years of maturation.
Lagavulin™ 12 year old
Summary: An initially reserved member of the Lagavulin family, which grows much more at ease and expressive with water. As you might expect, this is a wonderfully appetising, invigorating and cleansing malt; soaring pine and pungent smoke invite you to pair it with lean, intense foods.
Lagavulin™ 37 year old
Summary: This outstanding mature Lagavulin is a perfectly balanced, calm and confident malt that is utterly wonderful and understated even at cask strength and becomes joyously delicate with water. Smoky flavours can fade with age, but they are undimmed in this elegant yet robust whisky.
Oban™ 21 year old
Summary: Oban, and then some. A beautifully paced, confident and assured malt; complex and contradictory, yet always rewarding. Rich and sweet then briny and spicy, at once conveying the freshness of walks along the coast and through apple orchards early on a crisp, autumn morning.
Port Ellen™ 34 year old
Summary: A phenomenal, mighty and utterly compelling Port Ellen with astonishing complexity and huge character. The refined nose gives no clue to the vivid, immediate onrush of astonishing flavours; a fine interplay of clean citrus, alluring smoke and salt with honeyed sweetness.
Summary: A wonderfully appetising, full flavoured and mature malt, made subtle by long ageing, yet retaining its malty/nutty distillery character. Beautifully structured and paced, it is at once fresh and alive on the palate, yet also evocative of the past; complex and exciting, intricate and intriguing.
Talisker™ 27 year old
Summary: A supreme Talisker; wonderfully classic in style and as sophisticated as its peers but with an extra ‘chilled’ self-assurance and even an edge of darkness. A malt that lives life to the full and doesn’t take itself too seriously: it’s also ever-so-slightly edgy, with suggestions of a volcanic heritage.
|Diageo dominates the IWSR’s World Class Brand rankings
Diageo’s Johnnie Walker just edged out Hennessy (owned by LVMH) to top the IWSR’s 2013 World Class Brands rankings. Jack Daniel’s (Brown-Forman), Jameson and Martell (both Pernod Ricard) round out the top five. The IWSR has ranked these brands using its 2012 volume and value data.
Johnnie Walker has seen strong growth in a number of markets across the world, rising by over 100,000 cases in 2012 in countries such as Mexico, Poland, the US, South Africa and Thailand, as well as the duty free/travel retail market. Overall, the brand grew by 1m cases over the year to reach 18m cases in total.
Hennessy’s second-ranking position is aided by its high price per case, but the brand also had a strong growth year in 2012. Thanks to a record year in China and a return to growth in the US, Hennessy added over 250,000 cases. These two countries now contribute a 63% share of brand sales.
Jack Daniel’s, the third-ranked brand in the list, also had a very positive year. Volume gains were driven by strong growth in the US and increasing interest in the brand’s flavour extensions brought total volumes to 12.2m cases in 2012. Jack Daniel’s has been experiencing strong sales in a number of its key global markets such as Germany (+13.9%), France (+11.8%) and Australia (+15.7), as well as in smaller markets such as Poland and Brazil.
Brown-Forman has also enjoyed remarkable success with its flavoured Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey extension. The flavoured variant has succeeded in recruiting non-traditional consumers such as women into the franchise.
Diageo also has the largest number of World Class Brands, with 28, including four in the top 10 (Johnnie Walker, Cîroc, Buchanan’s and Captain Morgan). That Diageo tally also includes four brands from the recently acquired USL India.
Paris-based Pernod Ricard follows with 18 entrants and three in the top 10 (Jameson, Martell and Absolut). Beam Inc. is well represented on the list with 11 brands, including its flagship Jim Beam at number nine. Bacardi follows with nine brands and Campari with seven.
In terms of categories, Scotch has the largest representation with 37 entrants. Vodka is next with 25 brands, followed by liqueurs at 18, rum with 13 and non-Cognac brandy with five.
The full list is published exclusively in the September issue of the IWSR Magazine.
|01 Sep 13||
BENRIACH LAUNCHES ITS FIRST GLENGLASSAUGH BOTTLING
|27 Aug 13||
According to several sources the Diageo Special Releases for 2013 should be:
Caol Ila Unpeated 56.9% £70
|19 Jul 13||
GLEN GARIOCH RELEASES FULLY MATURED VIRGIN OAK MALT
Artisan distiller Glen Garioch has excelled with its latest limited offering, launching their first ever Virgin Oak Single Malt Whisky.
Glen Garioch is one of the few distillers to produce a fully-matured virgin oak single malt – a luxury for real connoisseurs.
Intrigued by the prospect of matching Glen Garioch’s rich hearty character with virgin American white oak, the distillery laid down a small number of specially created casks.
The result is a unique single malt packed with spiciness and vanilla.
Rachel Barrie, master blender for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, said: “Virgin Oak matured malts are not for the faint hearted and neither is Glen Garioch. It’s a malt for real aficionados and this exclusive small batch really makes its mark.
“Glen Garioch’s intense flavour means it holds up well in a new fill cask, allowing the liquid to be fully matured in virgin oak and not just finished in the barrel.
“We used the inner heartwood of 100-year-old oak trees grown in the North American mountains. Each oak barrel was heavily charred to activate the wood’s vanilla and oak spices in readiness for the maturing spirit, bringing its own unique woody tones to the malt.
“The final result is a fusion of vanilla, caramelised wood sugars and oak spices – a match made in heaven and a stand out for malt enthusiasts.”
Just 120 cases of the limited edition have been released for the UK market.
On the palate, Glen Garioch Virgin Oak offers a velvet explosion of rich buttery malt, chocolate and allspice.
Chocolate cake melds with treacle syrup and tangy orange marmalade leading to a long and warming finish of baked fruit marmalade, ginger and allspice.
Available from selected specialist retailers from the end of July, Glen Garioch Virgin Oak Single Malt Whisky is bottled at 48% ABV will retail circa £69.99.
|17 Jul 13||BENRIACH RELEASES LATEST BATCH OF ITS SINGLE CASK BOTTLINGS
THE award-winning BenRiach Distillery has today, 17th of July, released Batch 10 of its eagerly-anticipated single cask bottlings.
Selected by Master Blender Billy Walker, the superlative twelve-expression batch from the Elgin distillery was bottled last month and all bottlings are available as of today.
Batch 10 comprises sublime Speyside vintages ranging from 1976 to 2005. Cask types vary from Moscatel and Virgin American Oak Hogsheads to Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheons and Barrels.
As always, they offer a mouth-watering range of classic BenRiach malt charm – zesty tropical fruits, dark roasted coffee beans, soft vanilla, banana, toffee, cinnamon…and even campfire-roasted apples with a touch of black pepper!
Unusually for BenRiach, one expression - the 1998 cask # 7633 - has been triple-distilled. The taste is sensational – lively crisp pineapple explodes and gradually softens into creamy toffee.
And also included in the new batch is an intriguing young 8 year old, an amazing 2005 cask # 3782 which is rich gold and, on the nose, bursts with sweet heather smoke, ripe soft fruits and a touch of citrus zest – ideal for summer drinking.
The cask details are:
1976 cask # 2013 / 37 years old / Classic Speyside / 49.6%vol
1977 cask # 1031 / 36 years old / Moscatel Finish / 54.9%vol
1978 cask # 1047 / 35 years old / Moscatel Finish / 51.1%vol
1983 cask # 296 / 30 years old / Classic Speyside / 43.9%vol
1984 cask # 1051/ 28 years old / Peated / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 49.9%vol
1985 cask # 7188 / 27 years old / Peated / Virgin American Oak Finish / 48.9%vol
1988 cask # 4000 / 24 years old / Tawny Port Finish / 52.6%vol
1992 cask # 986 / 21 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 53.3%vol
1994 cask # 4385 / 18 years old / Virgin American Oak Finish / 55.5%vol
1996 cask # 10306 / 17 years old / Marsala Finish / 56.0%vol
1998 cask # 7633 / 15 years old / Triple Distilled / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 56.1%vol
2005 cask # 3782 / 8 years old / Peated / Virgin American Oak Finish / 58.1%vol
As before, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page over the coming weeks for more information on these new releases, tasting notes and exclusive product photography.
If you would like to receive more information regarding the new releases, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
|10 Jul 13||
LIQUID HISTORY: OLDEST BENRIACH AND GLENDRONACH SINGLE MALTS IN EXISTENCE RELEASED
DESCRIBED proudly by The BenRiach Distillery Company’s Managing Director Billy Walker as “an iconic moment in the history of BenRiach and GlenDronach”, the two award-winning distilleries today announced the release of their oldest whiskies.
BenRiach Distillery, located in Speyside, has released “Vestige”, a 46 year-old single malt Scotch whisky, which was distilled and filled to cask on the 21st of September, 1966.
When BenRiach became independent in 2004, the new owners inherited a handful of casks from 1966 – the oldest stock in the distillery’s warehouses. By the end of 2012, just two of those casks remained, and Billy Walker has selected one of those casks, BenRiach 1966 cask # 2381, to be bottled as “Vestige”.
This whisky is ‘classic Speyside’ in style, and was matured in a traditional hogshead. It is bottled at cask strength (44.1% vol). After 46 years of maturation, the cask generated just 62 bottles, which will be sold worldwide. The UK retail price is £3999.99.
“Vestige” has been so named because it represents a moment in time, a small trace of something very special that, once lost, can never be replaced. The BenRiach 1966 cask # 2381 truly is a piece of the distillery’s history.
GlenDronach Distillery, which was acquired by The BenRiach Distillery Company in 2008, is proud to release “Recherché”, a 44 year-old Highland single malt, which was distilled and filled to cask on September 24th , 1968.
The ’68 stock represents the oldest whisky in GlenDronach’s vast warehouses, and GlenDronach 1968 cask # 005, an Oloroso sherry butt, was hand-picked to be bottled as “Recherché”. The name “Recherché” has been chosen because it means “carefully sought-out”.
This expression is sublime; a full-bodied, richly-sherried single malt (bottled at a cask strength of 48.6% vol), with all the traditional characteristics you would expect of a GlenDronach...and indeed one of which enigmatic founder James “Cobbie” Allardice would heartily approve!
This is a limited release of just 632 bottles, which will be available worldwide. GlenDronach “Recherché” will retail in the UK at £2749.99.
Billy Walker added: “A combination of barley, water, excellent oak and the passage of time have combined to create liquid history. These special bottlings, which represent our oldest mature stock, are in impeccable condition, and are testament to the enormous attention to detail applied by the current and the previous custodians of our distilleries. Together, “Vestige” and “Recherché” are a celebration of the phenomenal craft of two distilleries over a period spanning more than four decades.”
www.benriachdistillery.co.uk or email email@example.com
www.glendronachdistillery.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|10 May 13||
What does your sight tell you about the flavour of Single Malt Whisky?
Master your senses and unlock the secret behind The Glenlivet’s new mystery expression, The Glenlivet Alpha.
The Glenlivet invites you to master your senses through a series of films and online sensory challenges to unlock the secrets of its new mystery whisky, The Glenlivet Alpha, released this week with no age statement, cask information or tasting notes.
The Glenlivet has teamed up with Greyworld – a pioneering group of artists based in London dedicated to creating public art – to recreate the sensory experience of taking your first sip of our mystery dram online.
The results are as exciting as they are unique – a set of interactive challenges that combine Greyworld’s trademark playfulness and artistry, the very latest technology and The Glenlivet’s whisky mastery.
Our sensory films and challenges will be released on a week-by-week basis during May and will give whisky enthusiasts, who might not get the chance to try this exclusive limited edition whisky, the opportunity to discover The Glenlivet Alpha’s flavour profile digitally and gain a better understanding of how to taste and appreciate single malt whisky.
The first sense to explore is sight, so check out The Glenlivet’s website or Facebook page today to watch the film and try the sight challenge, to help you to unlock the secrets of The Glenlivet Alpha. In the coming weeks, we will invite you to try three further challenges exploring the senses of smell, taste and feel, before Master Distiller Alan Winchester reveals the secrets of Alpha in a video broadcast at 12.30pm on 6th June.
‘Like’ us on Facebook, follow @The_Glenlivet and share your results on Twitter using #alpha – and don’t forget to visit the website or Facebook page next week to try the next challenge!
If you would like to share the sight film with your readers, you can find the video and embed link on YouTube: http://l.homeoftheglenlivet.com/rts/go2.aspx?h=3108&tp=l-59-4e-2y-2WcR-1p-2f-1c-G-1SIDuT
|09 May 13||
INDEPENDENT WHISKY BOTTLER MURRAY MCDAVID IS SOLD TO ACEO LTD
Murray McDavid, the independent bottler of single malt Scotch whisky has been sold to ‘UK based Scotch Whisky Suppliers’ Aceo Ltd. Murray McDavid was established in 1996 by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin, and Gordon Wright and the company was named after Reynier's grandparents, Harriet Murray and Jock McDavid.
The new venture soon became known for challenging whisky industry conventions, replacing the bland and rather stuffy industry style tasting notes with informative and irreverent label text together with its Gaelic logo ‘Clachan a Choin’ (which translates as ‘the dog’s bollocks’)… All its bottlings were unchillfiltered and colouring free and in particular only the very best casks were bottled. They later moved on to marrying great spirit with great wine casks from all over the world which they called ACEing (Additional cask evolution). It’s ‘Leapfrog’ bottlings are now legendary!
On December 19, 2000, Murray McDavid became part of the acquisition to purchase the then-dormant Bruichladdich distillery on the Hebridean island of Islay and returned it to production. After twelve years of successful independent operation, Bruichladdich was sold to French premium spirits company Remy Cointreau in 2012. Aceo Ltd supplies cask whisky and distillery services to the Scotch whisky industry offering a wide range of single malts, single grain and various blended products. Their distillery services include cask storage, bottling and labelling. The company logistics department also transports bulk and bottled products to UK and overseas destinations and processes Customs & Excise duty payments for export purposes.
Edward Odim, a director of Aceo says: “Aceo Limited is delighted to be the new owner of Murray McDavid. We have enjoyed excellent relations with Murray McDavid in the past and have always admired its pioneering and irreverent spirit as well as its position in the vanguard of independent bottling. Our intention is to continue the legacy of Murray McDavid by staying true to its founders' vision and principles such as bottling carefully selected single malts without chill-filtering or adding colour and continuing and developing the tradition of Ace-ing casks. Aceo Limited and Murray McDavid Limited will be run as separate companies. Murray McDavid will be independently managed by individuals previously involved in its running, who understand its roots and are committed to building on its achievements.”
|09 May 13||
THE GLENLIVET MAKES WHISKY HISTORY
The Glenlivet, the world’s No. 2 single malt Scotch whisky, is pioneering an innovative approach to flavour with the launch of The Glenlivet Alpha; a new, mystery expression released without cask information or tasting notes.
|05 May 13||
Some of the press releases concerning the split of Douglas Laing & Co:
High Spirits at leading Scotch Whisky firm Douglas Laing as it welcomes third generation
Today (Wednesday 1st of May) Fred Laing realises his career-long ambition of taking total control of Douglas Laing & Co. the business his father Fred Douglas Laing established in 1948, which is now regarded as one of Scotland’s most successful independent Scotch Whisky blenders and bottlers. As Fred restructures for the future, it has also been announced that the company will maintain tradition with a senior appointment from the third generation of the family.
Cara Laing, Fred’s daughter, joins the company as Head of Brands Marketing, bringing with her impressive industry experience and proven marketing expertise. She leaves behind Morrison Bowmore Distillers where she led both Bowmore and Glen Garioch Single Malts as Marketing Manager, to take up this role. Specialising in brand strategy and innovation, Cara was previously Global Brand Manager of Jura and also worked on Dalmore Single Malt at Whyte and Mackay.
Fred and Cara now have an exciting opportunity to develop fresh, innovative, new brands for Douglas Laing. The first of these new brands – a premium Single Cask range – for the company is expected to be unveiled in September. Most recently Fred created and launched the Big Peat brand; a modern, quirky Islay malt with a big personality that continues to grow YOY, out-performing the Malt category. It has also won numerous awards, most recently stealing the show at the ISW International Spirits Awards 2013, to win ‘Grand Gold’.
Beyond innovation, Douglas Laing will continue to invest heavily in stocks appropriate to protect their malt, grain and blended core brands such as 'Directors' Cut' and ‘Provenance’ both of which are performing well and out-pacing the Malt category with strong double digit growth.
Douglas Laing brands include:
Single Malt: Provenance, Directors' Cut, Premier Barrel
Single Grain: Clan Denny Grain
Blended Malt: Big Peat, Double Barrel,
Blended Scotch: King of Scots, McGibbons, Epicurean
Fred Laing said: “This is the start of a fresh new chapter at Douglas Laing with our third generation and I’m delighted to have Cara join the company my father established over 60 years ago. I confess, she brings exceptional and arguably better experience in the industry than I do. She has a great head for business, and an energetic, creative take on what’s needed in the industry; a trait that’s particularly important given our determination to strengthen Douglas Laing’s niche as a progressive, innovative company. We look forward to developing our current whiskies as well as our new brands, which are already in the pipeline.”
Cara added: “Douglas Laing has a long and interesting history; one that I’m delighted to officially be part of now. The company’s reputation has been built on being individual, never following the crowd and always insisting upon the best quality. Dad has been a massive inspiration to me as the driving force behind Douglas Laing, so I’m looking forward to working with him, strengthening the characteristics and brands that he introduced and emphasising our progressive, original spirit through clever marketing and strategic development.”
As has always been the case, Fred will continue to hand-select all of Douglas Laing's casks as well as writing the tasting notes in conjunction with Malt Ambassador, Jan Beckers. Fred has also retained other key members of the original Douglas Laing team, including Finance Director Alick Bisset plus Head of Logistics Archie Hamilton and Head of Production Stephen Gardiner who cumulatively bring more than 50 years experience with the company. The 12 strong Douglas Laing team will be expanded on in the coming months with several senior new appointments.
Whisky firm Laing brothers part company
Fred Laing is now in sole control of Douglas Laing & Co
Fred and Stewart Laing have divided up the assets of Douglas Laing & Co equally, with Stewart leaving to set up a new whisky firm, Hunter Laing & Co.
Brother Fred has taken total control of Douglas Laing.
The brothers said they wanted to build a secure future for the next generation of their families.
Under the arrangement, Stewart will retain a number of brands including Old Malt Cask, the Old & Rare Selection, House Of Peers and Sovereign Single Grain, as well as a bottling facility in East Kilbride.
Douglas Laing, under Fred's charge, will continue to offer their Single Cask Provenance range, as well as brands such as Director's Cut, Double Barrel, Premier Barrel, McGibbon's and Big Peat.
Fred's daughter Cara has joined his company as head of brands marketing, having worked at Morrison Bowmore Distillers as a marketing manager.
Hunter Laing & Co, which is based in Glasgow, plans to strengthen the position of brands now in its portfolio and develop new products.
Stewart Laing has been joined in the business by his two sons, Andrew and Scott, both of whom were directors of Edition Spirits Ltd, an independent bottler of single malt Scotch whisky.
"As drinkers around the world expand their whisky repertoire and seek out new flavours, the opportunities for niche players will flourish.
"Our commitment is to creating a solid business for the next generation of our families and the business structures now in place allow us to capitalise on the opportunities the market place provides for their long-term benefit."
|20 Apr 13||
The bottling for the Whisky Fair Limburg of next week have just been annouced:
Laphroaig 1998-2013, 14y.o., 53.9%, Matured in Sherry Wood, 226 bottles, Price: 85 EUR
|19 Apr 13||
Following the successful launch of TALISKER STORM™ in March, the famous Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Isle of Skye is now acquiring another new family member, this time enriched by double maturation in port cask wood.
It has been named TALISKER PORT RUIGHE™, after the principal town and port on the Isle of Skye, and as a tribute to the great Scottish trading-houses such as the Cockburns, Grahams and Symingtons who braved the high seas and were instrumental in the creation and global growth of the port wine trade.
TALISKER PORT RUIGHE combines the powerful smoky maritime character of Talisker with succulent sweet notes of rich berry fruits for a superb contrasting taste experience. (Full tasting notes)
Like the recently released Talisker Storm, TALISKER PORT RUIGHE is a permanent addition to the current core range of Talisker single malt whiskies. It is being introduced to offer Talisker consumers a further intriguing flavour dimension of this celebrated and distinctive island single malt whisky.
It will be available from mid-April 2013 in whisky specialist retailers in Western European markets. Talisker Port Ruighe will have a Recommended Retail Price at a premium of 20/25% to the price of Talisker 10 year old. It is bottled at the traditional Talisker strength of 45.8% ABV, without an age statement.
Master Blender Maureen Robinson explained:
“Talisker Port Ruighe is a combination of spirit that has been matured in American Oak and European Oak refill casks in the traditional manner along with spirit that has been filled into specially conditioned deeply charred casks. The spirit is then finished in casks that have previously held Port Wine which endows it with spicy fruit notes. These bond elegantly with that clean, fresh smokiness that signals its essential Talisker character.”
Talisker Distiller Manager Mark Lochhead added:
“Talisker lovers are getting spoiled this spring! After Talisker Storm, which has been very well received, we’re now offering a contrasting taste experience that will intrigue whisky drinkers who enjoy a hint of aromatic fruit and richness with their Talisker smoke. It’s still very much a true Talisker, but from a different, memorable angle.”
|18 Apr 13||Distell buys top Scotch whisky producer, Burn Stewart Distillers
The Distell Group, Africa's leading spirits, wines and ready-to-drinks business has acquired top-performing producer of Scotch whiskies, Burn Stewart Distillers Limited, for just over R2,2 billion (£160 million) from the Scottish based CL World Brands Limited and Trinidad and Tobago based Angostura Limited, owners of Hine Cognac and Angostura Bitters respectively amongst other global brands.
The strategic purchase of the fully integrated producer of both Blended and Single Malt Whiskies will allow Distell to capitalise on the continuing global growth in Whisky consumption and give it access to scarce blended and single malt stocks from prime whisky-producing regions in Scotland, while also enhancing its global footprint.
The deal follows an equal partner venture established in 2007 between Distell and Burn Stewart in which the two parties co-owned and marketed three Scotch Whiskies – Bunnahabhain, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader, in sub-Saharan Africa.
The agreement between Distell, CL World Brands Limited and Angostura Limited, announced today (15 April, 2013) involves the purchase of 100% of the equity in Burn Stewart whose portfolio includes: three single malt whisky distilleries; a blending and maturation facility; a bottling hall; and a dry and finished goods storage site, as well as its in-house marketing and distribution functions. All Scotch Whisky stocks currently in maturation also form part of the transaction.
Burn Stewart is based in East Kilbride, near Glasgow, Scotland. The company employs close to 270 staff.
It also operates a sales and marketing branch in Taiwan, the world's fourth biggest Scotch Whisky market by volume; and it holds a majority stake in a spirits distribution arm in the USA.
The biggest brand in its portfolio is Scottish Leader, the pre-eminent Blended Scotch Whisky in its category in Taiwan.
Others are the blended whisky Black Bottle as well as the single malts Bunnahabhain, Deanston, Tobermory and Ledaig. Some have long-established histories dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
All are recognised for quality excellence on leading competitive platforms. They are sold in over 60 countries and have been making impressive inroads into developing markets.
Commenting on the deal, Distell Group MD Jan Scannell said: “Our acquisition of Burn Stewart is a very significant development for Distell from a strategic perspective but also given the rich and proud history and heritage of the brands involved. This gives us an outstanding foundation from which to build, while cherishing their individual traditions.
"Bunnahabhain, the Burn Stewart Distillers’ flagship single malt, is made on Islay, considered one of the most prestigious whisky locations by connoisseurs. There are only eight distilleries on the Island, so we are extremely fortunate to acquire this very highly-ranked brand.
“Tobermory is the only distillery on the Isle of Mull, one of the most popular tourist spots in Scotland, while the home of Scottish Leader is the Deanston Distillery situated in the Scottish Highlands in Doune near Stirling, close to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and another important destination for whisky enthusiasts."
Scannell confirmed that Scottish Leader, so well established in Taiwan, would give Distell a springboard into a country with a growing appetite for other speciality drinks the company offers.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) data shows that the global whisky market has been one of the fastest-growing drinks segments and after vodka, is the world's biggest spirit category by volume.
The most recent SWA figures show that for the ten years from 2002 to 2012, sales values rose by 87% to £4,3 billion (R59,9 billion).
Consumption has risen across both developed and emerging markets, notably the UK, the US, as well as Latin America, Eastern Europe, many parts of Asia and in key African markets.
Scannell added: "We have acquired a business with a portfolio of strong brands, backed by a sound production and marketing team. Their expertise is integral to the ongoing success of Burn Stewart.”
Marlon Holder, MD of CL Financial Limited, parent of CL World Brands Limited, said he was confident that Distell, a long-established company dating back to 1925 and with a reputation for successful brand building, would take Burn Stewart to the next level of its international development.
Burn Stewart MD, Fraser Thornton, said: “The close working relationship with Distell over the fourteen years has amply demonstrated the South African group's capacity, experience and expertise to strengthen and grow the company.
"We have developed solid synergies with a strong cultural fit between our two entities and are enthused by Distell's plans to recapitalise and advance the business."
The purchase marks the second time in recent years that Distell has invested in a major global spirits acquisition.
In 2009 the company acquired well-known heritage cognac brand Bisquit from Pernod Ricard.
In the four years since then, it has re-established the brand as a major cognac player in global markets, building volumes by double digits across a range of developing markets.
|10 April 13||
TALISKER OPENS DOORS TO VISITORS AFTER £1MILLION REVAMP
Talisker’s new Visitors Centre
Distillery manager Mark Lochhead officially opened the new centre in time for the Easter tourist season following a major revamp and expansion of the distillery’s visitor facilities.
Talisker is the only distillery on Skye and is a leading tourist attraction on the island, welcoming almost 60,000 visitors last year. The major investment has significantly extended the visitor centre and dramatically enhanced the offering for visitors to the iconic distillery.
Mark Lochhead said:
“We are absolutely delighted with the investment we have made here at Talisker and with the new facilities we have created. Talisker is going from strength to strength as a brand and the distillery is growing in popularity with people coming from all over the world to visit the home of our iconic single malt.
“The new visitor centre gives us a wonderful stage to tell the story of Talisker with its rich history and heritage and also to give our visitors a really high quality experience which matches the unique whisky we make here.
“We are also delighted for the local economy here on Skye. This investment has seen a significant number of contractors staying in the area benefiting local businesses and the increasing tourism will also have a great knock-on effect for local businesses.”
The investment has seen the creation of a new welcome area for visitors and a spectacular enhanced viewing gallery in one of the distillery warehouses. New tasting rooms have also been created in which visitors can savour Talisker™ single malt Scotch whisky in surroundings which reflect the heritage and provenance of the whisky.
Diageo operates 28 malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, more than any other company, and with 12 of these having dedicated visitor centres it is also the leading provider of whisky tourism facilities, welcoming over 270,000 visitors last year. These include the homes of some of Diageo’s iconic Scotch whisky brands such as Glenkinchie, Oban, Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie, Royal Lochnagar and Cardhu.
Talisker is Diageo’s busiest distillery visitor centre welcoming 59,767 people in 2012- up by more than 10 per cent from 54,303 in 2011.
Talisker is also one of Diageo’s leading single malt Scotch whiskies in terms of sales performance, delivering net sales growth of 20% in the company’s recent half year results.
|04 Avr 13||
DIAGEO ANNOUNCES NEW DISTILLERY LOCATION IN HIGHLANDS, AND MAJOR INVESTMENT IN SPEYSIDE WHISKY PRODUCTION
The company also announced a major new phase of expansion to its Scotch whisky production in the Speyside area. All of this activity is a key milestone of the £1bn five-year investment plan which was launched last year.
Brand new distillery
The new distillery, which will create up to 20 new Diageo jobs, will be adjacent to the company’s existing Teaninich distillery but will have its own name and identity. It involves an investment in the region of £50 million and will have the capacity to produce around 13 million litres of spirit per annum (mla) from 16 copper stills. An on-site bio-energy plant will also be constructed to convert co-products into green energy to power the distillery.
Expansion of Teaninich
At the same time, Diageo also plans to invest £12 million in expanding the existing Teaninich distillery to almost double its capacity. The single malt whisky produced at the new distillery and at the expanded Teaninich distillery will be used in a range of Diageo’s world-leading blended Scotch whisky brands.
Expansion of Mortlach
Full planning applications will be submitted to Highland Council and the company hopes to be in a position to begin work on the new distillery in 2014. Diageo also announced plans to invest around £30million in new production facilities in Speyside, including a project to substantially increase the capacity of the Mortlach distillery at Dufftown. This will involve the building of a new stillhouse, which will replicate the unusual partial-triple distillation process which makes Mortlach unique.
Bio-energy plant at Glendullan
Another element of the investment will be the construction of a new plant at Glendullan to process co-products in an anaerobic digestion process, producing bio-gas which will be used to power the Glendullan distillery. This new plant is an important element of future distillery expansion plans on Speyside as it creates the capacity to process the extra co-products which will result from increased Scotch whisky production.
Other recent Diageo investments in Scotch whisky
These developments build on recent Diageo investments in Speyside totalling in excess of £40m, including distillery expansion and upgrade projects at Linkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore, Glen Elgin and new bio-energy plants at Dailuaine & Glenlossie.
Elsewhere in Scotland, as part of the £1bn investment programme, the company is progressing plans for a major expansion of Glen Ord Distillery, near Muir of Ord and is progressing with construction of new warehousing at Cluny near Kirkcaldy.
Brian Higgs, Diageo Malt Distilling Director, said: “We are delighted to announce the next phase of investment in expanding our Scotch whisky production capacity in Scotland.
“All three sites we considered for the new malt distillery were excellent potential locations but after detailed investigations Teaninich came out just ahead in terms of the many complex logistics required when planning such a development.
“It is a significant investment for the local economy around Alness and we look forward to working positively with Highland Council and the local community as we progress our plans.”
In relation to the latest Speyside investment Brian Higgs added: “Mortlach is one of Diageo’s most important malt whisky distilleries, producing the finest quality single malt used in our world-leading blended Scotch whiskies. We are delighted to be able to develop and expand this distillery.
“Along with the plans for the new bio-plant, our financial investment in Speyside is the equivalent to building a new distillery and with other expansion work already underway, the Moray economy is benefiting significantly from Diageo’s investment in Scotch whisky distillation.”
Bryan Donaghey, Managing Director, Diageo Scotland, said: “This announcement is a significant milestone in our £1 billion investment programme in Scotland to support the global growth of our Scotch whisky brands. The plans also demonstrate Diageo’s commitment to building a sustainable business through investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.”
See Note on Diageo and Scotland
|23 Mar 13||
BENRIACH ACQUIRES GLENGLASSAUGH DISTILLERY
|23 Feb 13||
TALISKER LAUNCHES ITS BOLDEST WHISKY TO DATE: TALISKER STORM
TALISKER STORM™ is an exuberant new expression of Talisker, calculated to delight and intrigue the many adorers of this celebrated island whisky: more intense and smoky, with enhanced and vibrant maritime notes, smoothly balanced with Talisker’s signature hot sweetness.
It will be available early 2013 through domestic retail channels and whisky specialists in selected European markets.
Full gold in appearance, and assembled by Diageo’s master blenders from both rejuvenated and refill casks at different ages to deliver a perfect balance of vibrant distillery character and smoother woody richness, it is bottled at the traditional Talisker strength of 45.8% ABV, without an age statement.
The consensus among early tasters reads:
‘The sweet warmth and briny, peppery finish that are the symbol of the Talisker character have been carefully accentuated through a skilful blend of differing aged Talisker casks. The profound maritime character achieves a deeper intensity, like a warm welcome from a wild Hebridean sea.”
In price terms Talisker Storm sits between the Talisker 10 year old and the Talisker Distillers Edition expressions.
How the whisky makers developed this stormy new addition to an already celebrated family of highly distinctive single malt whiskies is explained by Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge:
“We wanted to focus on distillery character - the bedrock of Talisker Storm. So we sought out some great mature Talisker, enriched and mellowed by time spent in carefully rejuvenated casks, and brought that together with some very fresh distillery character preserved by maturation in refill casks. The result is Talisker’s unique distillery character delivered by aged, mature whiskies, integrated in one vibrant dram.”
Talisker Distiller Manager Mark Lochhead added:
“Any new member of the Talisker family has a lot to live up to and I am proud to say that Talisker Storm does just that. The distinctive whisky we create with such passion and care here on Skye speaks very boldly of the dramatic island where it was born. Everyone here is delighted at the skill with which our malt masters have put together this vivacious new Talisker. Talisker Storm is indeed the right name for it!”
Further exciting new expressions of Talisker will be launched later in 2013.
|31 Jan 13||
DIAGEO’S SCOTTISH ARCHIVE TO EXPAND
The Diageo Archive at Menstrie is the largest collection of its kind in the world, consisting of more than half a million items. The collection includes documents, advertising material, bottles, books and memorabilia relating to global brands such as Johnnie Walker, Bell’s, Smirnoff, Gordon’s and Tanqueray.
The expansion project will include a new storage facility and a new reception and library area for hosting visitors to the archive. Each year hundreds of Diageo employees from around the world visit Menstrie to learn about the history and heritage of the brands for which they work. The archive is also a key source of inspiration for innovation and the development of new products and marketing campaigns.
Christine McCafferty, who has managed the Diageo Archive for the past 15 years – and who oversaw the relocation of the archive to Menstrie in 2001 – said the plans marked an exciting new phase for the flourishing facility.
She said: “The Diageo Archive is has been carefully and lovingly built over many years and is a living record of the tradition and heritage of brands which are famous around the globe.
“Diageo has the world’s leading collection of premium drinks brands and with new marketing campaigns, new bottles and new packaging being developed all the time our collection is continually expanding. I am absolutely delighted that the company is prepared to invest in developing and expanding our home here in Menstrie, securing the future of this global facility in central Scotland.”
Over 400 years of history
Although the Diageo Archive is 23 years old it holds more than 405 years of history and heritage on Diageo brands, companies, people and sites – including Diageo’s 28 malt distilleries in Scotland.
It contains material on more than 1500 brands, 200 Production Sites and 150 markets and includes more than 10,000 bottles and 12,000 adverts, all of which record the evolution of the brands.
The Archive is currently served by a team of five professional Archivists who are recognised experts not just in the care of materials, but the history and heritage of the company’s brands and they remain committed to expanding their collection of material from around d the world.
“Diageo’s ongoing commitment to the history and heritage of our brands is hugely encouraging and further demonstrates the integral role we have in terms of increasing brand knowledge and passion within the business, to inspiring innovation and design,” added Christine.
“As the demand for our brands grows worldwide and there is an increasing requirement to protect brand identities and trade-marks, the work we do here in Menstrie remains as relevant and essential as it did when we started in 1990.”
The Diageo Archive facility in Menstrie opened in June 2001 and although it is not open to the general public, a selection of the archive material is always on display at the company’s distillery visitor centres around Scotland. The archive also contributes regularly to public displays, including a recent exhibition at the Scottish Parliament to mark the centenary of the Scotch Whisky Association.
Diageo has submitted a planning application to Clackmannanshire Council for permission to extend and re-develop the archive, which is part of the company’s Technical Centre complex at Menstrie.
|28 Jan 13||
2013 Festival Preview Programme Available to Download Now
Welcome to the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Preview Programme.
We look forward to meeting whisky-loving friends, old and new, in Speyside in May,
Mary & The Whisky Festival Team.
Download available at www.spiritofspeyside.com/index.php
|21 Jan 13||
Travellers offered unique Glen Garioch Single Cask bottlings at regional airports
Glen Garioch’s New Year is off to a flying start as a series of exclusive single malt whiskies hand-selected by the World Duty Free Group hit the shelves this January.
Aimed at passengers flying from regional airports across the UK, the 11 exclusive Glen Garioch Single Casks were specially selected by staff from World Duty Free store teams at key UK airports including Gatwick North, Gatwick South, Heathrow Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5, Stansted and the three Scottish airports in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Biza store teams in Manchester. .
Teams visited the Glen Garioch distillery in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, to personally hand-select their own individual Glen Garioch Single Cask which will be exclusively available to purchase from each respective airport’s World Duty Free store.
With some casks yielding just 58 bottles each, the World Duty Free range of Single Casks will be a must-have for whisky lovers, enthusiasts and travellers looking for a truly special spirit.
Paul Hunnisett, Head of Sales Europe said, “We are delighted to get off to a great start in 2013 by partnering with the World Duty Free Group, who are the industry’s leading travel retailer. Some of the airport teams from around the country sampled many casks during their time at the distillery and embraced the charm of the Highlands and the hand-crafted process peculiar to Glen Garioch.”
“Each cask represents the very essence of Glen Garioch and its artisan origins and air travellers will have the chance to enjoy what is considered the quintessential Highland malt. What makes these bottlings really special is that each World Duty Free store team has personally picked a cask that they believe will provide customers at their own regional airport with a unique taste of the Highlands.”
Nigel Sandals, Buying Manager Liquor, UK at World Duty Free Group said: “Glen Garioch is the epitome of Highland charisma and malt magic in a glass. The distillery produces a beautiful range of single malt whiskies that are enjoyed by our customers across the UK airports. World Duty Free store staff had an amazing experience when they visited the distillery to have the opportunity to try Glen Garioch’s fine selection of handcrafted Single Casks.
“Our customers will have the chance to purchase a Single Cask exclusive to each airport, so they can taste their own Highland experience.”
The Glen Garioch Single Casks come in a range of specially crafted cartons and each bottle is individually numbered and marked as a World Duty Free special edition.
Product Information for each WDF airport
- Notes: Creamy and sweet. Smooth vanilla candy and barley sugar with a hint of rhubarb and custard with notes of chocolate, buttered toast and aniseed.
- Notes: Roast chestnut and baked apple with a gentle spice and a smooth coffee into the finish. ABV 53.8%.
- Wood spice with a pleasing apple crumble and yule spice. Then onto a Chocolate orange cream with lightly toasted hazelnuts and a brittle toffee finish. ABV 52.3%.
- Rich and roasted with chocolate, hazelnuts and warming all spice build on the palate and linger into the finish. ABV 57.9%.
- Unexpectedly aromatic with Eastern spices. Sandalwood, musk and cedar with ginger and toasted nutmeg. ABV 57.9%.
- Sweet with a herbal twist. Cinnamon spiced berries, vanilla and lemon sherbet with just gathered bay-leaf linger into the finish. ABV 53.9%.
- Vibrant and verdant. Bursting blackberry and elderflower softened by vanilla and brambly woods. Leave a long and lingering finish. ABV 61%.
- Beautifully balanced. Chocolate praline and nougat interwoven with milky jasmine. Heather honey lingers to the end. ABV 56.3%.
- Complex with an intriguing sweetness. A fruit medley of Damson plums and baked apples combine with crème-brulée and lashings of custard cream. Subtle peat smoke appears and lingers into the finish. ABV 54.8%.
- Deep and enticing. Rich velvety mocha with deep elderberry fruits and a warm spicy kick of cumin and cloves linger on the finish. ABV 58.9%.
- A wave of butterscotch and rolling tobacco intertwine with Scottish heather and the seductive scent of wild gorse. Deeper blackcurrant, elderberry and herbal vine notes build up on the palate and linger into the finish. ABV 52.4%.
|20 Dec 12||
The Whisky School is beginning to fill up nicely, so if you are thinking of joining us please let me know as early as possible in the New Year to avoid disappointment. Terms one, four and five are already fully booked but there are spaces available in the other terms.
The Open Day is beginning to take shape, so more details on that early in the year too. The date has been set for Thursday 23rd May with the open golf competition on Friday 24th May, again more to follow on that.
There will be a Springbank 21 year old released in January along with a Longrow Rundlets and Kilderkins, so we will be busy, busy!!
This year we have had an excellent number of visitors to the distillery which included quite a few Society Members, it was nice to meet you. Our tour staff has been increased to include some of our newer young staff, Mairi Paterson and George MacIndeor, who are doing exceptionally well and have fitted in as if they have been here for years.
Our sales staff have also changed, to include Melanie Stanger and John McCallum, both of whom have been out and about at tastings and Whisky Fairs so I'm sure quite a lot of you have already met them. They are also fitting in and tonight is their biggest test of the year (we have our Christmas staff party) so we'll see what they are made of!!!!
All in all it has been a good year for us at Springbank, with lots of changes but now we are looking forward to two weeks of relaxation. We will come back refreshed, ready to take on the world again.
|20 Dec 12||
Springbank Distillers, the sales and marketing arm of Campbeltown-based J&A Mitchell & Co Ltd, has announced a major change of strategy for the Kilkerran Single Malt, distilled at Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery.
Officially opened on March 25th 2004, Mitchell's Glengyle is the sister distillery to the world-famous Springbank and, at the time of opening, it was the first new distillery to have been built in the historic whisky region of Campbeltown in over 100 years.
The distillery, a modern, purpose-built facility, was built within the walls of the original Glengyle Distillery, which operated from 1872 until 1925.
Since the first release of Kilkerran Work In Progress back in 2009, as a five year old, the whisky has been part of Springbank Distillers’ portfolio but from January 2013 this will no longer be the case.
Ranald Watson, Sales Manager at Springbank Distillers, said: “In order to gain more focus and allow for a greater development of the brand we have formed a new company to take Kilkerran forward. The new company, Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd, will assume responsibility for all matters relating to the selling and marketing of Kilkerran from January 7th onwards. We are excited to be making this change, which marks a real change in pace when it comes to Kilkerran, and we anticipate that it will lead to increased awareness of Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery and its whisky. Kilkerran will be nine years old in 2013 and it is time for it to step out of the shadow of Springbank and make a name for itself in its own right.”
Jenny Karlsson, who previously worked for Springbank Distillers until summer 2012, will join Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd to take over the role of Sales Manager and will be charged increasing the brand’s presence year on year as the whisky approaches its 12th birthday in 2016. She will be responsible for the day to day sales and marketing of the brand and the future development of the Kilkerran range.
Ranald Watson added: “2016 has always been the target for the full launch of Kilkerran and as we approach that milestone it is imperative that we begin to build momentum and spread the word further about the whisky. We have taken a deliberately low-key approach with Kilkerran since the first release in 2009 and now is the time to expand on that. The fourth release of Kilkerran Work In Progress, the 8yo, recently won the Malt Maniacs’ Award for Best Natural Cask matured whisky in the daily drams category and so it is a good time to be sharing the story of Kilkerran with more and more people.”
|20 Dec 12||
GlenDronach releases 7th batch of single cask bottlings
“FAULTLESS”, “brilliant” and “complete” are just three of the adjectives Jim Murray has used in his new 2013 Whisky Bible to describe the five expressions that comprise GlenDronach’s latest batch of single cask bottlings.
It’s the seventh batch to be released by the award-winning Aberdeenshire distillery.
The five, ranging from 18 to 40 yo, are now available in the UK and will be released in export markets from January 2013. Two have been matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheons and three in Oloroso sherry butts.
All five have been specially hand-selected by The BenRiach Distillery Company’s Managing Director Billy Walker whose tasting notes speak lovingly of “an orchestra in full flow”, “an effusion of honeycomb” and even “teasing notes of toffee apples”.
The cask details are as follows:
1972 cask # 710 / 40 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 49.0% vol. / 356 bottles
1989 cask # 5475 / 22 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.6% vol. / 600 bottles
1991 cask # 3183 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 51.3% vol. / 600 bottles
1992 cask # 1123 / 19 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 57.8% vol. / 524 bottles
1994 cask # 98 / 18 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 58.2% vol. / 628 bottles
In his 2013 Whisky Bible, Jim Murray was very complimentary about all five, but reserved special praise for the ’72, ’91 and ’94 vintages:
Of the 1972 cask # 710, he said: “The richness of the sherry is almost the stuff of make-believe...the delivery is of oak crashing in a forest - mighty and all-consuming...wow, this is like a big succulent bourbon matured in a top-class sherry butt. This is a malt which if you should ever chance upon, you give the guy your coat if you have not money enough; even your undergarments if it does the trick! For this is a whisky so complex, so complete, it is almost exhausting.” He gave it 96.
He commented re the 1991 cask # 3183: “Almost a coffee cake and Swiss roll marriage with grape jam for filling... mocha-flavoured Lubec marzipan notes sidle in delightfully...the light spices pulse. Tries to be syrupy and overbearing but fails miserably. Has to settle for being brilliant.” He gave it 95.
And summing up the 1994 cask # 98, he said: “Absolutely huge grape: a real Dundee cake dripping with Oloroso and Demerara...a faultless sherry butt. I had this sample in my hand as the Queen gave her address to round off her 60th anniversary celebrations: I could hardly have had a more fitting dram with which to toast her.” It also achieved a 96.
Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page over the coming weeks for more information on these new releases, tasting notes and exclusive product photography.
If you would like to receive more information regarding the Batch 7 releases, please contact us on
|20 Dec 12||That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Bowmore – Batch 1 is now available from Master of Malt.
Bowmore – Batch 1 – 48.7% abv – 50cl – £52.95
Nose: Phenolic peat hits the nose first followed by waves of dried fruits – notably sultanas, cranberries, and dates – with a salty afterthought.
Palate: A velvety mouth-feel with drifting peat smoke and hints of iodine. Then there is a rush of candied citrus peels and masses of sherry-soaked dried fruit.
Finish: The finish is long and lingering with notes of pear, dried apricot, and beach bonfire smoke.
|20 Dec 12||Glenfarclas appoints new Distillery Manager
J. & G. Grant are pleased to announce the appointment of Callum Fraser as the new Production Manager at the Glenfarclas Distillery.
Callum Fraser, originally from Stirlingshire, has twenty two years experience in whisky distilling, having joined Deanston Distillery when it reopened in 1990, and rising to the position of Distillery Manager in 2006. Callum commented, ‘I first tasted Glenfarclas at a whisky festival in Ayr a few years ago, and since then I have followed Glenfarclas with interest. I am thrilled to be moving to Speyside, the home of malt whisky, to work for an independent family owned distillery, with such a long history.’
John Grant, Chairman of J. & G. Grant, said, ‘It is my pleasure to welcome Callum Fraser to Glenfarclas. 2012 has been a record production year for us, and with plans to increase production still further in 2013, he joins us at a particularly busy and exciting time’.
Plans are also already underway for Callum to host a Manager’s Tour of Glenfarclas during the 2013 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, giving consumers the opportunity to meet the new Glenfarclas Distillery Manager.
|12 Dec 12||
The Glenlivet to host Whisky Festival Opening Dinner
Now in its 14th year the festival has gone from strength to strength, last year hosting over 28,500 visits to more than 320 events over the five days. In 2012 the festival generated over £1.3 million to the local economy.
For more information visit www.spiritofspeyside.com
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
|22 Nov 12||
Global distillers eye Africa as battle of the whiskies rages
The casks hold whiskies that may be consumed in Africa in the year 2030, upon maturity, at least if a dream of Diageo, which owns Cragganmore Distillery and nearly two-dozen others in Scotland, comes to pass.
Several miles away at the Cragganmore Distillery, home to the famous single malt, Laura Vernon, the plant manager paces across the factory floor and on to the huge old workshop where thousands of whisky casks are stacked against the walls.
The casks hold whiskies that may be consumed in Africa in the year 2030, upon maturity, at least if a dream of Diageo, which owns Cragganmore Distillery and nearly two-dozen others in Scotland, comes to pass.
Diageo, which owns East Africa’s biggest brewer East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) has embarked on a drive to push Scotch whisky sales in Africa, historically a weak spirits market.
In their latest research note, analysts at Deutsche Bank said Diageo’s iconic Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker is poised to become the next big success story for the company’s Africa operations.
Diageo recently sought the services of Ethiopian athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie and Cameroonian saxophone maestro Manu Dibango as brand ambassadors in local advertising campaigns for Johnnie Walker, a drink positioned for mature, upwardly-mobile men (Its slogan is “Keep Walking”).
For Diageo, the strategy is to grow its African spirits business beyond South Africa — its largest African spirits market for scotch (42 per cent of SA sales) and vodka (37 per cent).
But Diageo’s push into Africa is facing strong competition from other global spirits leaders like Pernod Ricard.
Pernod is the world’s second largest spirits company behind Diageo and the maker of whiskies like Jameson and Chivas Regal. The firm has established businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola and Morocco in the past six months.
The two spirits giants are hoping to cash in on the growing middle-class in Africa to reduce their reliance on traditional markets like Europe and the US.
"We have barely scratched the surface of Africa’s Scotch whisky business,” said Benjamin Itty, the consumer planning director at Johnnie Walker during a media meeting in Aberdeen Scotland.
"Consumption growth is closely linked to gross domestic product growth, and enables consumers to trade up easily,” Mr Itty said.
Diageo and Pernod are the largest global players, with 3-4 per cent share each. According to analysts at Merrill Lynch, the wealth management division of Bank of America, the two companies are focusing on growing overall spirits consumption in emerging markets such as India, Africa and the Middle East — where per capita consumption remains low — and trading consumers up in China and Russia where international brands command less than 2 per cent share.
|19 Nov 12||
Independent Distillery Brings Back Bere Barley
Thought to have been brought to the UK by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Bere barley is notoriously hard to grow, but for those willing to persevere it can produce a very fine quality of spirit.
Until the 19th century Bere was one of the most important Scottish crops and was widely grown by farmers and used by millers, brewers and distillers. Despite being a fundamental part of Scotland’s agricultural heritage, the crop is now only commercially grown on islands off Scotland’s North and West coasts as it has been replaced by higher yielding modern varieties.
To challenge this, the Agronomy Institute and Arran Distillers have worked together to revive the spirit of this barley which generates a unique taste of whisky as it used to be, a flavour which can be found in the new Arran Malt Orkney Bere.
Due to hit stores at the beginning of December, Orkney Bere has been matured for eight years in ex-bourbon barrels and the spirit developed quicker than anticipated. Just 5,800 bottles will be available for sale.
Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said: “As an independent distillery we have the freedom to try different things and we’re constantly looking for new ways to interest and excite people who enjoy excellent malt whiskies.
“Due largely to lack of availability and difficulties with its cultivation, there are only a few distilleries which use Bere, but it can produce fantastic results and is part of Scotland’s heritage. We’ve worked with Orkney College to help raise the profile of this forgotten crop and offer our customers a taste of pure history with this limited edition malt.”
Peter Martin, Director of the Agronomy Institute at Orkney College UHI, commented: “Working with Arran Distillers on this Orkney Bere whisky has been very exciting and I hope its release will help to awaken interest in this historically important Scottish crop. Bere is an under-utilised Scottish food and drink resource – there are not many other ancient cereals still in cultivation which can be used for making whisky, beer and a wide range of bakery products!”
The Arran Malt Orkney Bere has a flavour of ripe apples, oak and rich spices. The spirit has an ABV of 46% and has developed in American oak barrels with no artificial colours and non-chill filtered. A true collector’s edition, you can buy the whisky online at http://www.arranwhisky.com and specialist whisky shops.
|12 Nov 12||Whyte & Mackay is likely to be sold off in the wake of Diageo's United Spirits deal, with Gruppo Campari a potential buyer of the Glasgow-based business, according to an analyst. Source: http://www.just-drinks.com/|
|12 Nov 12||
WHAT IS DIAGEO GETTING IN UNITED SPIRITS DEAL?
Diageo is paying just over 20 times last year’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) whereas it won Mey Icki for a multiple of 9.9 – and payback on the Turkish deal will be quicker.
What’s more, despite his protestations to the contrary, everyone knew that United’s chairman, Vijay Mallya, was effectively a forced seller because of the huge debts at his Kingfisher airline. He needed the cash. So why the £1.29 billion price tag?
Walsh argues that last year’s United Spirits’ earnings, on which the deal is based, were depressed by several factors, so the numbers look artificially high.
In, addition, there is a scarcity value to the deal; no-one else can get their hands on United Spirits, which will make India Diageo’s second largest market after the United States. The late Patrick Ricard deployed a similar argument when he was accused of overpaying for Absolut vodka in 2008, but already that is recognised as a transformational step in Pernod Ricard’s fortunes. Industry observers concede that controlling United Spirits offers Diageo at least the same potential.
So what is Diageo getting, assuming the relevant authorities approve the purchase?
United sells 122m cases of spirits a year, with 22 brands each selling more than a million cases. While it has flagship products such as Whyte and Mackay Scotch, much of the output from its 40-odd plants around the sub-continent is at the commodity level, where margins are comparatively low. It also exports to 37 countries. The United Spirits takeover will mean that 45% of Diageo’s sales will come from the developing world.
Most of United’s production is consumed by the burgeoning Indian middle class, which, Diageo says, will more than quadruple to 600 million people in just over a decade. By adding Diageo’s expertise in moving brands up market and widening margins (premiumisation), it expects to leverage its returns. That growth, Diageo predicts, will be led by whisky and vodka, which will more than triple their current sales value.
United holds 41% of the Indian market for spirits, its nearest rival, with about 10% being Pernod Ricard. That is a strong route to market, but while Diageo plans to use it in the long term to maximise throughput of its global premium brands such as Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, the immediate task will be to move United Spirits’ own brands such as McDowell’s whiskey and Romanov vodka upmarket. For the time being, Diageo will retain its separate distribution network in India for its global brands (...).
Talks reportedly began between Diageo and the flamboyant Mallya back in 2008 but the Indian tycoon’s inflated estimate of his business’s value and a determination to sell only a minority stake meant they came to nothing. Crucially, although he remains chairman of United Spirits under the terms of takeover, Diageo will control the company, its finances and its direction (...)
Last year alone Diageo had free cash flow of £1.6bn and is funding the takeover of United Spirits from cash and its existing lending lines, so there should be no problem about it retaining its investment grade status as a borrower, a crucial factor in the US markets. The effective takeover of United Spirits will be completed in three stages by next spring, assuming it meets no regulatory hurdles from the Indian authorities.
Doubts linger as to whether Brussels will be keen on Diageo adding Whyte and Mackay to its already formidable portfolio of Scotch brands. Walsh says the deal will not unravel if he has to sell off the brand, but undoubtedly he would prefer to keep it – and the accompanying inventory of maturing spirit. Industry sources suggest that his biggest rival, Pernod Ricard, would be an eager buyer of Whyte and Mackay if a sale is forced. Both groups are investing heavily in new Scotch production facilities to meet demand from emerging nations...
For the full article, click here.
|12 Nov 12||
GLEN GARIOCH LAUNCH SINGLE CASK WITH MILROY’S OF SOHO
Rare 33-year-old malt hits shelves of boutique London stores
Glen Garioch, the hidden Highland gem of the whisky world, has teamed up with London’s oldest whisky specialist, Milroy’s of Soho to launch an exclusive single malt for whisky enthusiasts at Milroy’s of Soho and Jeroboams eight wine shops.
Staff from Milroy’s of Soho hand-picked a rare 33-year-old Glen Garioch after visiting Scotland’s most easterly distillery earlier in June this year, it will now be a select addition to the retailer’s extensive single cask malt collection.
The retailer launched the single cask collection at a very special tasting event at its flagship store in Soho earlier this month. Enthusiasts at the event were also treated to a tasting of “the rare pair” that is Glen Garioch accompanied by cheese.
Just 146 bottles of the Milroy’s of Soho Cask 10999, retailing at £300 will be exclusively available from Milroy’s of Soho London stores, making it undoubtedly a must-have inclusion for any malt enthusiast.
Filled in November 1978, the Glen Garioch vintage malt has been quietly maturing for 33 years in a North American oak cask at the Aberdeenshire distillery. The light fruity notes of pear eau de vie, melon candy and ripe banana proved a huge draw for Milroy’s staff, which fused with traces of wood-smoke, leaves a gentle heather honey finish.
Cara Laing, Glen Garioch’s marketing manager, said, “Milroy's of Soho is renowned for its discerning selection of whiskies, with an especially large range of scarce bottlings, so we're privileged that their team has picked such an elegant yet robust aged malt.
“The team at Milroy’s hand-picked a wonderful vintage which has been slowly maturing over 33 years to reveal the true essence of Glen Garioch’s couthie Highland spirit. Filled with fruity notes combined with sweet honey tones gives this dram a lovely clean finish, which I’m sure will be a joy to taste for any whisky aficionado.”
Isabel Graham-Yooll, Associate Director at Milroy’s of Soho said: “When we went to Glen Garioch in search of a very special bottling, we were looking for a whisky we could present to our very knowledgeable and discerning customers. We were there to find something remarkable and supremely elegant - something that would reveal new extraordinary flavours on each sip and reward lengthy contemplation. We found this in the Glen Garioch 1978 and we are delighted.”
The single cask has yielded just 146 bottles with an ABV of 58.8%.
The bottle is presented in an attractive buckram box, with each bottle individually numbered and a discreet message from the distillery manager who hand-crafted this prestigious malt within the box.
|07 Nov 12||
BENRIACH RE-STARTS ITS OWN MALTINGS
"Earlier, we got some weight on the system to see how it would run under stress. Three tones of barley whirled round the floors and it was great to hear its blood pumping and the old place coming back to life.
"Re-starting the maltings has coincided with some strange events in the old distillery. As some of the boys worked late into the night painting around the steeps, footsteps and voices were heard over at the kiln area on the other side of the building. Thinking it was myself or Les, our engineer, they headed over for a blether…but found no-one! They thought we had left and went back to the job in hand. The second time they heard the noises they shouted over but no reply. And the third time, the paint brushes were dropped and a hasty exit was made! Perhaps it was the wind…or perhaps not!"
BenRiach MD Billy Walker said: "From a commercial point of view, it makes no sense because the costs of producing malted barley are significantly more. The reason we're doing it is because we had everything in place and in fantastic condition. Bolting the maltings onto BenRiach is a beautiful join-up."
|29 Oct 12||
Mark Rupert Millar, http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com
Reynier has officially stepped down from his post as CEO of Bruichladdich Distillery, naming Simon Coughlin as his successor.
Reynier purchased the distillery from Whyte & Mackay for £6 million in 2000, including one million litres of mature stock.
The distillery was sold to Rémy Cointreau in July of this year for £58m.
Reynier said: "It has been quite a ride since we set out to resurrect this abandoned distillery, a journey which raised many industry eyebrows at the time.
"Along the way I have met some wonderful people – customers, colleagues, Ileachs – whose support for this project has been equally passionate.
"It was a privilege to put Bruichladdich firmly on the map, and I am convinced the future prospects for this exceptional whisky are secure with Rémy.
"My long-standing friend Simon Coughlin will continue to run the company as CEO, while for me, it is time to find a new challenge, hopefully one as exciting and rewarding as this has been."
|26 Oct 12||
Pernod hit by whisky sales drop in China
Tim Sharp, http://www.heraldscotland.com/
The news comes after the publication of weaker export figures for the industry and is likely to heighten concerns about the sustainability of the whisky boom in emerging markets.
But insiders point to the presence of a Scotch Whisky Association delegation currently in China and plans to open at least another half a dozen distilleries in Scotland as positive signs.
Rising demand among Asia's growing moneyed classes has boosted whisky sales in recent years. But in the three months to the end of September sales of Chivas Regal blend were down 6% in volume and flat in value terms year-on-year. Meanwhile Ballantine's was down 10% by value.
Among its top brands only single malt Glenlivet prospered with a 24% sales rise.
Commenting on Asia, French-based Pernod told investors: "Scotch whiskies experienced a slowdown (particularly in Korea, China and Thailand)."
On China, it said: "Given a more difficult economic backdrop, the first quarter proved challenging for Scotch whiskies, the decline of which was in line with the market."
Pernod declined to give a figure for the sales fall in China, but a spokeswoman said whisky sales had been hit by the once-a-decade change in leadership.(...)
The world's second-biggest spirits group behind Diageo predicted a rise in underlying profit of close to 6% in the year to June 30, 2013, compared to 9% last year.
Pernod chief executive Pierre Pringuet said: "In a less favourable macro-economic environment we realised a good overall performance in the first quarter. We remain confident in our capacity to continue to grow." (..)
Whisky export figures for the first half of 2012 published earlier this month were down on 2011 although shipments to China were up 1.6%.
A Scotch Whisky Association spokeswoman said: "Scotch Whisky exports have experienced record growth in recent years. While there has been a levelling off, the industry is confident about the future."
One sign of this confidence is plans by Pernod and Diageo to build enormous new malt distilleries. There are also smaller distilleries being built in locations including Ardnamurchan, Barra and Fife.
Meanwhile, Andrew Macleod Smith, a Scot who oversees production at the fledgling London Distillery Company, is preparing to run off the first spirit from its stills in the coming weeks. Click here for the full article
|23 Oct 12||
New Glenfarclas 105 Aged 20 Years
The limited edition Glenfarclas 105 Aged 20 Years has now been released and is making its way to specialist whisky retailers worldwide. Matured for 20 years and bottled at natural cask strength of 60% volume, only 4000 bottles of this remarkable whisky will be available.
|19 Oct 12||
Ten years ago Ian Macleod distillers acquired the Glengoyne brand and since then global sales volumes in the whisky have increased by 250%.
In a bid to make the most of the increased popularity of Glengoyne the distillers have repackaged and added to the whiskies on offer.
In addition to the 10yo, 12yo and 21yo, Glengoyne has introduced three new malts to complete the line-up – a new premium Glengoyne 15 year old malt, a new formidable cask strength expression to replace the current 12 year old cask-strength and a stunning new world-class 18 year old replacing the 17yo.
Neil Boyd, UK Commercial Director for Ian Macleod Distillers said: "We've been working on the enhancement of the Glengoyne range over a long period of time. At a time when the industry is squeezing every last litre out of their distilleries, we hold true to our craft. By distilling slower than anyone else in Scotland, we can genuinely claim that Glengoyne is 'Worth the Wait'."
The whisky is finished in Oloroso sherry casks and also dries the malted barley using only warm air.
The new Glengoyne range, which launches in early November 2012, will be supported by a new advertising campaign and will be available from selected supermarkets including Waitrose, Sainsbury's and in Selfridges and leading specialists and independents. Source: http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com
|18 Oct 12||
Chivas Brothers reveal plans for new Speyside distillery
The French-owned firm, part of Pernod Ricard, wants to build on the site of the Imperial distillery near Carron, which has not been used for 14 years.
It would mean an increase of 10% in the company's malt whisky distilling capacity, meaning 5 million litres of additional spirit each year.
The plans are at an early stage of consulting the local community and council planners.
No value is being placed on the proposed investment, ahead of a market update by Pernod Ricard next week.
Visible from the Speyside Way walking trail, the new building is intended to blend in with the riverside and traditional architecture.
Christian Porta, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, said: "Our success in growing our brands across the world, in existing and new markets, to many historical highs means that creating new distillation capacity is a key next step for our business.
"This new distillery will supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for many of our blends in the years to come.
"This is another example of our sustained investment in our Scotch whisky operations which, combined with consistent innovation and marketing, will continue to drive the growth of our business."
Chivas is the second biggest company in Scotch whisky, with 21% of the market.
It produces Chivas Regal, Ballantine's Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Scapa, and 100 Pipers.
The expansion plans are in line with industry expectations that global sales of whisky will continue to grow strongly. The dominant player, Diageo, is spending £1bn in new investments, announcing earlier this week that it is expanding a distillery at Muir of Ord on the Black Isle. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk
|16 Oct 12||
Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks business, will this week submit a planning application for the expansion of the Glen Ord distillery near Muir of Ord.
The planning application, which will be submitted to Highland Council, is the latest step in Diageo's £1billion investment plan to expand Scotch whisky production capacity over the next five years, which was announced by Diageo in June.
As part of the investment programme Diageo plans to expand around half of its existing 28 malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, as well as building at least one new single malt distillery.
Glen Ord is a key distillery for Diageo, producing spirit for its world-leading portfolio of blended Scotch whiskies, as well as for The Singleton of Glen Ord single malt Scotch whisky.
Under the plans being submitted this week, the distillery will see the installation of 10 new washbacks (vessels for the fermentation process) and six new copper stills. This adds to the 10 washbacks and six stills which the distillery currently has and will add to the production capacity by around 5million litres of alcohol per annum. This will take the overall capacity of the distillery to over 10mla. The new washbacks and stills will be housed in existing buildings at the distillery.
An additional mash-tun will be installed as part of the investment.
Brian Higgs, Diageo's Director of Malt Distilling, said: "Earlier this year Diageo announced plans to invest £1bn in expanding its whisky production business in Scotland in order to meet growing global demand for our brands.
"Over the next few months we will be bringing forward a number of planning applications to increase capacity at our existing distilleries and the Glen Ord expansion is an important part of that programme."
Kirsty Dagnan, Senior Site Manager of Glen Ord Distillery, also welcomed the investment plan for the distillery.
She said: "I'm delighted that Glen Ord distillery will benefit as part of Diageo's plan to invest in Scotland and I'm particularly pleased that the local economy will also have the opportunity to benefit from the work we plan to carry out here.
"We will be working closely with the local authority and consulting carefully with the local community in the weeks ahead as we follow the planning application process."
Glen Ord Distillery has already benefited from significant investment by Diageo in recent years. In 2011 Diageo invested over £3million to increase the capacity of the distillery by around a million litres by installing additional washbacks.
Last month Diageo submitted Proposal of Application Notices (PANs) in relation to three possible sites for a new distillery, although no final decision has been taken on the location. The sites identified for possible development are Teaninich, Ross-shire, and Glendullan and Inchgower, both on Speyside. All three locations are adjacent to existing Diageo distilleries.
|02 Oct 12||
Exports Remain at Record Levels
Growth was seen in the USA, Venezuela, Germany and in exports to Russia through the Baltic states in the first six months of this year. Asia remained steady with good growth in Taiwan. This helped Scotch Whisky exports maintain their value in the first half of 2012 at £1.8 billion, despite continuing pressure in some Eurozone countries and the after-effect of an increase of shipments to France last year ahead of a substantial tax rise.
In the first half of 2012, exports to the USA jumped by 13% to £303 million and it remains the biggest market by value for Scotch Whisky.
Venezuela, the ninth biggest market for Scotch, recorded significant growth - leaping 31% to £42m. In Europe, Germany saw exports increase 4% to £65m in the first six months of the year. Latvia and Estonia now appear in the top 20 markets, reflecting a surge in demand in Russia.
India saw an increase of 28% to £28m and the SWA remains hopeful that a conclusion can be reached on the European Union/India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of the year. The FTA would see a gradual reduction of the onerous 150% tariff on imported spirits. Reduction in that tariff would allow India to fulfil its potential to be one of the biggest markets for Scotch.
Scotch Whisky continues to attract younger, affluent consumers in newly emerging markets and this trend is expected to continue.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
"Over the past year the value of Scotch Whisky exports has continued to increase and we're delighted to build on our outstanding success in 2011 with 12% growth in the last 12 months. While there has been a levelling off in the first half of this year, the industry remains confident about the future.
"Recent announcements of investments in new distilleries and the expansion of existing facilities demonstrate the level of confidence producers have in future growth opportunities." Source: http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk
|25 Sep 12||
Diageo bids for a stake in India's £2bn United Spirits
Guinness-to-Johnnie Walker drinks giant Diageo today confirmed that it is in talks to buy a stake in India's United Spirits from one of the country's most colourful entrepreneurs, Vijay Mallya.
If the deal comes off — and Diageo warned today there was no certainty it would — it would give the British company a major position in one of the fastest-growing drinks markets in the world.
Diageo would not say how much of Mallya's 28% stake in United Spirits it wants to buy. Local reports say he is keen to retain at least a small shareholding. If Diageo were to buy more than 25% it would be forced to bid for the whole of the company, valued at almost £2 billion on the stock market.
Such a move could be seen as Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh's swansong since he is due to step down in 2014. The drinks group has always made it clear when making overseas acquisitions that it looks for ultimate total control of companies in which it buys stakes.
Mallya inherited United Breweries, the producer of Kingfisher beer, from his father and consolidated its operations, spinning off the spirits division separately on the Mumbai stock market.
But his Kingfisher airline, started as India's first low-cost carrier in 2003, has flown into deep financial trouble, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Staff went unpaid for several months and some aircraft were grounded. Industry analysts recently said it needed a $600 million cash injection within the next couple of months. Diageo's own Indian sales increased by 24% in the last full year with a fast-growing middle class demanding ever more international brands. Locally, Diageo distills Rowson's Reserve while United's top whisky is McDowell.
A key part of any deal would be Diageo's access to United's distribution network which handles Isle of Jura, Whyte & Mackay and Dalmore scotches as well as local spirits like White Mischief vodka.
United Spirits and Diageo originally held talks towards a deal that ultimately collapsed in 2009 when Mallya said its offer undervaled the company.
United Spirits handled 122 million cases of liquor last year while Diageo, which is the world's biggest drinks company, sold 156 million. Now, with Mallya under pressure to raise funds for his airline, analysts think there are much better odds on a deal happening.
Diageo may offer 1200 rupees to 1300 rupees a share, valuing a 25% stake at 42.5 billion rupees (£490 million), sources said. United Spirits shares jumped almost 5% to 1099.7 rupees.
|25 Sep 12||
A small Scottish whisky maker is aiming to turn its by-products into biofuel and become the world's first whisky distillery to fuel car and trucks in a move which could see Scotland's 100-plus distilleries feed a new 60-million-pound industry.
Independent whisky maker Tullibardine has linked up with Edinburgh Napier University to produce biobutanol, and a spin-out company from the university, Celtic Renewables, is looking at two sites to build a processing plant in central Scotland.
The distillery is supplying by-products to a plant at Redcar in northeast England to refine the process, which could help met the Scottish government's targets on carbon emissions and the European Union's on the use of biofuels.
Tullibardine, some 50 km north west of Edinburgh, supplies sugar-rich ground barley, known as draff, and yeasty liquid, or pot ale, both of which are by products from the fermentation and distillation processes in whisky making.
Distillery managing director Douglas Ross currently spends 250,000 pounds a year to dispose of these by products spreading them on fields or making them into animal feed, so for him it replaces a cost with environmental and commercial benefit.
The project hopes to identify the site of its new processing plant by the middle of next year with a capacity to take by-products from the many malt whisky distillery across the highlands and islands of Scotland and a handful of large grain distilleries largely in the nation's central belt.
The industry is dominated by big drinks groups such as Johnnie Walker maker Diageo and Chivas Regal distiller Pernod Ricard, but also includes a string of smaller groups and individual distilleries.
Professor Martin Tangney, director at the university's Biofuel Research Centre, has helped develop the process from the in the laboratory using three litres of pot ale before scaling up to 10,000 litres at the Redcar plant.
"This project demonstrates that innovative use of existing technologies can utilise resources on our doorstep to benefit both the environment and the economy," he said on Tuesday in a statement.Source: http://www.reuters.com/
|21 Sep 12||
UK: Diageo's Fife extension gets council green light
Plans by Diageo for a GBP150m (US$244.3m) extended warehouse facility in Fife, Scotland, have been given the green light by the local council.
The development, at Begg Farm in Kirkcaldy, consists of 276,000 sqm of "bonded" warehouses and will complement the group's increase in capacity at its Cameronbridge and Leven distilleries. Fife Council approved plans this week for the site, between the A92 dual carriageway and east Cluny village.
The group first announced details of the extension in June, as part of plans to spend GBP1bn (US1.55bn) on Scotch production over the next five years. It is also planning a "major" new distillery and earlier this month said it is considering three potential locations.
Councillor Kay Carrington, Fife Council's executive member for business, enterprise, economy, said: "This large scale year storage facility complements the recent increase in capacity at Diageo's Cameronbridge and Leven facilities and reinforces the real commitment that Diageo is making to Fife."
She added: "We are really pleased that Diageo has chosen Fife as they looked at numerous other sites across Scotland before making their decision."
|20 Sep 12||
Whisky fungus campaign maturing
Kentucky-based William McMurry is already battling bourbon distillers in America and is targeting a number of Scots towns in the next stage of his battle to win £450 million compensation for damage to property values allegedly caused by the spread of the harmless but unsightly fungus, which can cover the exterior of houses as well as gutters, patio decking, paving slabs and fences.
Bonnybridge, which has whisky warehouses owned by drinks giant Diageo, was chosen as the legal team's first stop because local man Tom Chalmers contacted Mr McMurry for help.
The lawyers also want to force distillers to fit equipment to eliminate the ethanol escapes, claiming that will stop the fungus. Known as baudoinia, it is thought to thrive on ethanol released from whisky premises.
The legal team say a number of communities are affected by the mould, including Tullibody and Menstrie in Clackmannanshire, Leven in Fife, Kilmarnock, Shieldhall in Glasgow and Dumbarton.
The industry has previously said it does not accept responsibility for the mould and highlighted a similar blackening in Cornwall, where there are no distilleries. Source: http://www.heraldscotland.com
|17 Sep 12||
Bowmore Islay Single Malt Whisky Announces Release Of
A Whisky Collector's Dream Come True:
Islay, Scotland (September 17, 2012) – Bowmore®, the first Islay Single Malt whisky, will release its oldest ever expression this October: the exceptionally rare Bowmore 1957, 54 Years Old. Not only is this the oldest whisky the distillery has ever released, it is also the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released. Distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011, this marvel has been lying in wait in the finest oak for over half a century in Bowmore's legendary No. 1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland. With only 12 bottles in existence worldwide, this is the rarest Bowmore and will no doubt become one of the most sought-after and collectible Single Malt Scotch Whiskies in the world.
Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 will be offered at a public auction at esteemed international auction house Bonhams in Edinburgh on Oct 10 and in New York City on Oct 28 with a minimum reserve set at £100,000 per bottle (approx. $155,000). All net proceeds from both saleswill be donated to five Scottish charities.
Many generations have been the custodians of Bowmore 1957's long journey from cask to bottle. Beginning in 1779 when Bowmore was established through to the present day, the distillery team has served as guardians of Bowmore'swhisky-making traditions and its inventory, safeguarding them so that future generations can continue to experience the unique spirit that is Bowmore. Bowmore 1957 was as much nurtured by the people as it was by its cask and the ancient distillery walls.
A collection of 1957 casks were bottled in 1995 but one in particular was held back from the outset as it was clear that it was more special and exceptional than the rest. Since 1995, the whisky in that cask has been examined every six months to check the quality, taste, developments and changes; closely watched to see how long the whisky could mature without losing Bowmore's signature trait of a sweet/smoky balance.
Andrew Rankin, Morrison Bowmore's Chief Blender, comments: "Upon checking the whisky in early 2011, we knew it had reached perfection at 54 years of age. Bowmore 1957 has withstood the test of time astoundingly well and is nothing short of brilliance in a glass."
The Charitable Donation
The Unique Presentation
No attention to detail has been missed in making this precious spirit, and thesame hand-crafted thoughtfulness has been applied to the vessel and presentation box that carries the Bowmore 1957. Each of the 12 bottles has been hand-blown and sculpted by two of the world's foremost glass artists Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns, into the shape ofwaves reminiscent of those that constantly crash against the No. 1 Vaults' sea-facing walls, whilst the glass is inlaid with shimmering flecks of platinum.
Adorning each bottle is a platinum neck collar, hand-engraved with the bottle number and spirit strength, and platinum stopper hand-crafted by Hamilton & Inches, Warrant Holder to the Queen. The bottle and accompanying glasses and water pitcher, also hand-blown by Nairn and Burns, are nestled in a presentation box created by acclaimed woodworker Peter Toaig, using hand-selected pieces of Scottish Oak. View artisans' videos here: http://www.bowmore.com/news/something-magical/
The Allocation Of 12 Bottles
|16 Sep 12||
Market forces, demographics drive price of Scotch whisky skyward
By Bob Strauss Staff Writer
Mitch Bechard enjoys a single malt 36-year-old Glenfiddich Scotch. Bechard is Brand Ambassador for William Grant & Sons, the distiller that makes Glenfiddich Scotch. (John McCoy / Staff Photographer)
The upscale restaurant will be happy to share a taste of it with you - at just $1,300 for a one-and-a-half ounce dram.
That, of course, is an extreme example. But it's indicative of what's going on with single-malt scotch, considered by many to be the finest spirit on the planet.
By too many these days, some grumble.
America's so-called whiskey boom, which started around the middle of the last decade, introduced hordes of younger drinkers to small-batch bourbons and new, quality ryes - and those with the most discerning palates inevitably graduated to single-malt whisky (which, to make their elixir even more distinguishable, the Scots have always insisted on spelling without the "e" practically every other whiskey on earth employs - except some Canadians, which don't taste at all like scotch).
At roughly the same time, the highly populated BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) exploded economically, creating huge new, wealthy classes thirsty for luxury liquor.
Throw in some aggressive new promotional efforts by the biggest Scottish distilleries Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet and Macallan, and market forces did the rest.
"Since we started the club, we've noticed prices spiraling up," said Andy Smith, president of the 6 1/2-year-old Los Angeles Scotch Club. "It's cyclical, but whiskey is really popular now. And the Asian markets have really taken off. When something becomes popular in a country with 1.2 billion people, and the supply is coming from a little corner of the world with 5 million people, the love of scotch drives the price up."
Ergo, that 50-year-old bottle at Mastro's, which "if you or I were lucky enough to see it in the shops, we wouldn't get much change from $20,000," according to Bechard. (But we wouldn't see it in the shops; only 50 are released worldwide each year until the supply runs out in 2018).
Yet a bottle of the Highland distillery's 12-year-old, entry-level expression shouldn't set you back too much more than $30. Trouble is, even that had to mature in casks for a dozen years, and although they evidently made enough to go around, the Scots didn't necessarily know back at the turn of the century that there would be so much demand for whisky now.
In general, that math increasingly applies as the age of the scotch rises to, say, 18 years and into the 20s, 30s and 40s. Which, also in general, are the malts most prized by connoisseurs. Click here for the full article
|13 Sep 12||
The prices of the Diageo Special Releases 2012 for the Swiss Market have been fixed as follows (in CHF):
Brora 35y, 560.-
|13 Sep 12||Master of Malt announces a new range of no age-statement Single Malt Scotch Whiskies
UK-based fine spirits producer and retailer Master of Malt have announced the launch of a new range of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.
'That Boutique-y Whisky Company' Single Malt Scotch Whiskies represent the latest independent bottling by Master of Malt and are produced from hand-selected parcels of whisky from single distilleries. This new series is produced in small batches and are released in limited quantities. The first four distilleries represented in the range are Ardbeg, Macallan, Caperdonich, and Port Ellen.
Each distillery label has been whimsically hand-illustrated and individually numbered. The labels contain comic book style representations of scenes inspired by tall tales, inside jokes, and well-renowned collectors of the whisky industry. Each bottle is 50cl and hand-dipped in black wax. The rarity of the whisky itself and the unique design of the packaging make this series highly collectible.
These whiskies are released with no age statement as the age of the whisky within each bottling will vary from batch to batch, and new batches are not created until the best quality stock becomes available. By releasing a no-age-statement whisky, That Boutique-y Whisky Company aims to focus whisky enthusiasts on the flavour of each bottling rather than the age.
Tasting notes for the four initial Whiskies are:
Ardbeg – Batch 1
Smooth with salty peat smoke, oranges, lemons, and a dollop of vanilla.
Macallan – Batch 1
Rich and sherried with notes of Christmas cake, calvados, and warm spice.
Caperdonich – Batch 1
Rhubarb with stewed grapes, pear drops, and slathering of double cream.
Port Ellen – Batch 1
Strong notes of lemon sherbet, chamois leather, and a wisp delicate peat smoke.
More batches of each of these initial distilleries as well as selections from additional distilleries will be added to the range over the coming months and years.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company's range of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies is available now from Master of Malt.
|29 Aug 12||
New releases for this fall:
Elements of Islay BN4
Glenfarclas The Family Casks 1966
Karuizawa 1969 single cask #8183
Port Charlotte PC10 Tro Na Linntean
From Jean Boyer
LINKWOOD 1991 Sherry 46 One Shot
Puits à Whisky : Ben Nevis 1998, 43%.
|28 Aug 12||
DIAGEO ANNOUNCE 2012 COLLECTION OF LIMITED-EDITION SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKIES IN THE 'SPECIAL RELEASES' SERIES
As usual, the series embraces some exceedingly rare and therefore increasingly sought after single malts from the dwindling stocks of long-silent distilleries alongside expressions from familiar and less familiar working distilleries, but at unusual ages.
The eight single malt releases this year are:
Auchroisk™ 30 year
Brora™ 35 year old
Caol Ila™ 14 year old
Dalwhinnie™ 25 year old
Lagavulin™ 12 year old
Lagavulin™ 21 year old
Port Ellen™ 32 year old
Talisker™ 35 year old
All are at natural cask strength.
'Treasures for all'
"Once again I hope we have released whiskies here to interest very many single malt drinkers and connoisseurs" said Nick Morgan, Diageo's Head of Whisky Outreach.
"The iconic 21 year old Lagavulin will, I'm sure, not disappoint those who have bought the previous highly-regarded bottling, and will be a delight for those who haven't tried it before. An 'unpeated' Caol Ila from ex-bodega European Oak will be fascinating. We are particularly excited about the Talisker 35 year old – the oldest we have ever released from this celebrated distillery.
"And our ever-diminishing stocks of Brora and Port Ellen have once again been successfully explored for hidden treasures, which will no doubt further increase the huge over-demand for these rare products . It is amazing to think that those distilleries closed nearly 30 years ago."
From specialist retailers in Northern Europe, in selected Asian markets and in the USA.
|17 Aug 12||
Ardbeg will release next month their new expression, the Ardbeg Galileo 1999, bottled at 49% with a RRP of £69.99
A few new other releaseses have been annouced, including the Bowmore 1964 Fino, 42.9% limited to 72 bottles with a RRP of £8000, as well a slightly cheaper Auchtentoshan 1966 40.9% priced at £4500 (263 bottles) and Bowmore 1985 52.3% at £325
Excess rains may turn Scotch whisky less Scottish
Prospects for the UK spring barley harvest look "anything but promising" thanks to rains which in July came in at more than double typical levels, following unusually wet weather in May and June too, RMI Analytics said.
"The conditions in the UK are really not good," the malting barley consultancy said.
"The almost permanent rain showers of the previous weeks or almost months put significant decease pressure on the plants.
"The problems are visible for everyone and we have to assume that the kernels will be affected by various types of fungal infestations."
The setback has left the UK, which typically has an exportable surplus of 150,000-200,000 tonnes, looking at excess supplies seen at best at 80,000 tonnes, and potentially with insufficient domestic supplies to cover the needs of distillers and brewers, RMI said.
More will be known after the start of harvesting, expected begin in a week or so by consultancy Adas.
"Some companies are buying back export commitments because they believe there will not be as much material for exports as they had thought," RMI's Matthias Wree told Agrimoney.com.
Nonetheless, with exports from the south of England still expected at 50,000 tonnes or more, "the north of England and Scotland will rely on imports of Scandinavia of at least 30,000 tonnes".
Mr Wree said: "The UK usually finds a solution to its malting barley supplies internally, even if it means pulling supplies to Scotland from East Anglia.
"But this time is looks like there may not be enough, meaning Scotland may have to turn to Danish origin.
"At least by the time it comes to drink the whisky in 12 years' time, people will have forgotten where the raw material came from."
A spokesperson for the Scottish Whisky Association said that distillers "wherever possible" use Scottish malting barley, occasionally taking supplies from northern England.
"I could not say we have never importers, but it would certainly be very rare," the spokesperson said. Source: http://www.agrimoney.com
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