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December 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 Dec
2011

A tour of the world - in whisky

It's been a good year for scotch, but Scottish distillers can't rest on their laurels - they have serious competition from some far-flung places

There's never a more fitting time to think about whisky than when the new year is marching up the garden path, and for most people whisky means scotch. But while exports from Scotland have broken records in 2011 (the equivalent of 570m bottles waved a tearful farewell at the docks in the first half of the year alone and there's even been talk of a possible shortage as a result) the industry can't afford to be complacent.

While there's plenty of financial motivation for unscrupulous distillers to attempt to pass off substandard spirits as scotch, it's the whiskies produced around the world in the style of scotch, yet which don't claim to be scotch, that ought to keep the industry on its toes.

Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there's a whole cadre of carefully crafted drams from the furthest reaches of Asia to Scotland's very doorstep that are only too happy to trumpet their true origins. The co-writer of the excellent Whisky for Everyone website Matt Chambers kindly agreed to meet me at The Albannach whisky bar on Trafalgar Square for a taste tour of the whisky distilling world to see how these interlopers match up.

Japan
The Japanese have a long tradition of enjoying and emulating scotch whisky, and for this reason it was to Osaka that we first ventured. The Yamazaki distillery was founded in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, following an exhaustive 5 year mission to Scotland to study all facets of whisky-making on the part of his collaborator Masataka Taketsuru. The stills were manufactured in Scotland and shipped out and imported peat lends flavour. The result, in the Suntory 12 year old is a honey-coloured whisky that mimics, even mirrors a fine single malt scotch. I've tasted a few whiskies in my time and reckon this would take me in if someone handed me a glass and said it was scotch.

India
Next we sampled Amrut's Fusion single malt, an Indian whisky distilled in Bangalore from a mix of Scottish and Indian barley. The desire to echo scotch in the ingredients is repeated in the both the name of the distillery (as "whisky" comes from the Gaelic "uisge beatha" meaning "water of life", so "amrut" in Hindi refers to "eternal life") and its location 3,000 feet above sea level in an area of India held to resemble the Scottish climate. Temperatures as reliably cool as those which grace Scotland are not common here, however, and the speed at which the raw spirit matures (and evaporates through the wooden walls of the barrels) is consequently much greater. This means whiskies are declared finished and bottled after only a few years in the cask and age statements are eschewed.

The results don't appear to suffer unduly for their lack of age - the distillery has been in operation since 1948 and the Fusion doesn't look or taste like a young spirit. Bottled at 50% abv it's heady with an attractive amber colour, plenty of grainy flavour and some peat.

Taiwan
Compared with the venerable distilleries of Japan and India the Taiwanese are relative newcomers to whisky production, with a matching youthful zest and enthusiasm. Using equipment made in Scotland the Kavalan distillery was built in just 8 months of 2006 and produces some 6m litres of whisky a year. As in Bangalore the ambient temperature makes for rapid maturation, and given its age bottle we tried had staggering depth of fruity flavours edging towards dark chocolate, and an incredible gem-like amber colour.

This one was really surprising - the thought that only 5 years of distilling and 2 of maturation can produce results like this presents a challenge to the idea that whisky in the scotch style has to be old. Unfortunately for buyers in the UK Kavalan, like many top quality international whiskies, outside its native country it's only really to be found in airport duty free shops (it's certainly not yet available duty-paid in the UK).

Netherlands
If the Netherlands doesn't leap into your mind as a top-flight whisky-producing nation then you're not alone, but Fred and Patrick van Zuidam started making eau de vie in the late 1970s and have been distilling whisky since 1998. They pride themselves on their small-batch, artisanal approach and only bottle about 20,000 litres each year. The Millstone we tried has a delicate colour and is long on grain flavours followed by herby, slightly medicinal fennel notes.

Wales
Closer to the inner sanctum of scotch is Penderyn distillery in the Brecon Beacons to the north of Cardiff. Using an innovative Faraday still (which works like this. What could be more straightforward?) the distillery has been producing whisky since 2000. In the cool Welsh climate these spirits are now coming of age; the single malt Welsh Gold is finished in Madeira casks which add a note of sweetness to the grainy nose and grassy flavour, and there's a sherry cask finish too which pits the grain against dried fruit. Their peated expression was the pick of the bunch for me; rather than using peated barley the whisky is finished in old Islay casks and has flavours of stinging nettles, capsicum and Greek honey.

England
The appropriately named English Whisky Company is the first in over a century. Distillation began in 2006 under the eye of Iain Henderson, a former Laphroaig man who was persuaded to help set things in motion. They call each fresh experiment in whisky-making a "chapter", which makes for extra interest as the history of the project is laid out for all to taste. The Chapter 6 we tried was grassy, grainy and fresh; the peated Chapter 9 much more complex with sausagey, barbecuey notes and a honeyed sweetness in the mouth.

What makes an end of year dram for you? Will you go for an old familiar favourite or might you take the opportunity to try something new?

Article Courtesy of Guardian

 

Guardian

30 Dec
2011

SUPER COOPER CRAFTS HIS LAST WHISKY CASK

SCOTLAND’S longest serving cooper has laid down his tools for the final time.

Don Ramsay has retired from the Glenfiddich Distillery after more than 50 years in the job.

During his career with the family-owned whisky business, which he joined on Christmas Day 1961, the expert craftsman has created more than 200,000 casks.

The distillery, in Dufftown, Banffshire, has named a limited edition whisky in his honour.

Mr Ramsay, 65, joined the distillery at the age of 15 and his apprenticeship lasted five years.

When he started out there were only four coopers at the distillery. Now there are 14.

He said: “I have spent my entire working life at Glenfiddich and it will be very strange not coming here any longer. I will definitely miss the banter and the chat but I have lots of plans for my future including a trip next year to New Zealand and Australia.”

Article Courtesy of Express

 

Express

22 Dec
2011

Court Stops Indian Companies Passing Off Alcohol As 'Scotch whisky'

A court has stepped in to prevent two Indian drinks companies "dishonestly" passing off their local whisky as Scotch.

Local whisky brands Royal Barrel, Glenmon and F&G were being passed off as Scotch whisky on their labels and packaging.

The Scotch Whisky Association in Edinburgh took legal action against two Indian companies, Glenmon Distillers and Imperial Distillers, to prevent the false branding.

An Indian court has now granted a temporary injunction to stop the company printing the phrase Scotch Whisky on their goods or selling their alcohol under a trade name including the word "Glen".

The court said the company had "indirectly misled" the public by "dishonestly" adopting the Scottish branding.

The companies are now contesting the action and the case will continue.

India is the largest spirits market in the world and whisky exports to the country from Scotland were worth £35.3m in the first nine months of 2011.

Glen Barclay, Scotch Whisky Association director of legal affairs, said: "The problem of ‘passing off’, where consumers could be led to believe that a product is
genuine Scotch Whisky when it’s not, is something the SWA has long fought against
through the courts.

"We’re pleased that the judge recognises our concerns in this case through a temporary injunction. We will continue to pursue the action in Goa to seek a permanent order against the companies."

Article Courtesy of STV News

 

STV

22 Dec
2011

Benriach Launches New Solstice 17 Year-Old

TODAY (December 22), on the winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, BenRiach is delighted to announce the launch of its new 17 year-old Solstice single malt.

It’s the Elgin distillery’s second Solstice expression, following the heavily-peated Solstice 15 year-old launched this time last year which Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible describes as “spellbinding”.

Just like the original Solstice release, this BenRiach has been distilled from heavily peated malted barley, then matured in ex-bourbon casks before finally being finished in tawny port casks.

The winter Solstice is the point at which the Earth is tilted at its furthest from the sun and it’s the day of the year with the fewest daylight hours. Worldwide, many cultures regard the Solstice as representing rebirth and festivals…and Billy Walker’s tasting notes confirm the 17 year-old is the perfect celebratory midwinter malt.

In appearance, it shows distinct rose characteristics, with a bright copper crest.

On the nose, lascivious fruits with a fabulous aroma of stewed summer berries including strawberries, blackcurrants and red currants. The berry component is richly locked together by a muscular peaty blast. Latter traces of fortified wine and grape-like qualities become apparent.

On the palate, initial dry-roasted nutty notes advance to become a heavy peaty affair. Subtle notes of dried raisins and candied fruit. Clean and very enticing with the dominant peat flavours lingering on the palate. Smooth and very long. A unique mix of fruit and peat which marry with extraordinary precision in classic proportions.

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “Our new malt is a superb marriage of peat and fruit, a worthy successor to our 15 year-old...and just as spellbinding.

“With the wind howling and the rain battering against the window, it’s a wonderfully warming late-night dram. The original Solstice was one of our most popular releases over the last couple of years, so hopefully the second edition will be as well received.”

The bottling strength for the Solstice 17 year-old is 50%. It’s presented in a rigid gift box and a limited quantity is available worldwide.

Article Courtesy of Press release

 

Press Release

21 Dec
2011

A $750 Shot Of Whisky -- On The House

What does a $750 shot of Scotch taste like? Brent Kaufer found out on Tuesday night — and it didn’t cost him a penny. The 31-year-old was the first person to go through every pour on the St. Paul Grill’s extensive single-malt Scotch list — 72 in all. It took him 10 months and cost about $2,000 overall. His prize was the Holy Grail of Scotches: a complimentary pour of the ultra-rare and ultra-expensive Macallan 55. (Ok, so it cost him a little something to taste this revered whisky.)

As its name suggests, this particular Scotch was aged for 55 years in sherry oak barrels in Speyside, Scotland. The old distillery made only 100 bottles available for distribution in the United States. The St. Paul Grill purchased four of them during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Each bottle was priced at about $12,000.

On Tuesday, Kaufer brought his fiance along for the monumental end of his Scotch tasting journey (anyone can join the bar’s Scotch club and attempt to reach this goal). She described him as the opposite of a partier who blows his money on overpriced whisky. He’s the studious type, but with a competitive streak. Kaufer works fulltime as a sales manager at a large telecommunications company and is a full-time grad student. His weekly late-night retreat to the St. Paul Grill was his “oasis from studying,” he said.

Part of the Macallan 55’s mystique lies in its marketing, something Kaufer fully acknowledged. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to taste the difference between a $75 pour or this $750 doozy. “But that sense of history isn’t lost on me,” he said. “The liquid is older than my parents. It’ll take three seconds for each sip, but it took 55 years to produce this particular flavor profile.”

And with that, he drank. The Macallan 55 is known for its smokiness and lingering citrus finish. After allowing the initial drops to wash over his tongue, Kaufer struggled to describe the flavors held within the 55-year-old liquid.

His first reaction: “That’s good.”

Article Courtesy of The Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Minneapolis Star Tribunen

21 Dec
2011

$17,500 Whisky Tops List Of B.C.'s Most Expensive Bottles

If you’re looking to impress at Christmas time, nothing will do that better than a really expensive bottle. So if you have a spare $17,500 laying around, why not consider purchasing a bottle of Highland Park 50 Year Old, whisky that holds the distinction of being the most expensive bottle sold in B.C.

If it's wine you crave, think about a bottle of Taylor Fladgate Scion, a “magical” port that's the most expensive wine right now on BC Liquor Stores shelves. Just $3,500!

Still think that’s too much? Perhaps one of these other bottles, from a list of the most expensive wine and spirits in B.C., will do the trick. Information and availability are provided by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

Article Courtesy of Vancouver Sun

 

Vancouver Sun

20 Dec
2011

Political Whisky Raises Cash For Ugandan School

A BOTTLE of whisky signed by Britain’s three biggest political leaders has raised more than £400 for a school’s charity fund.

Pupils at Colchester County High School for Girls are trying to raise £10,000 to build a school for orphans in Uganda.

After hearing about the appeal Colchester MP Bob Russell bought a bottle of whisky and got David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to sign it.

It was then auctioned off by Mr Russell and the highest bidder, an anonymous male buyer from Great Horkesley, paid £435 for the whisky.

Article Courtesy of Gazette News

 

Gazette News

20 Dec
2011

Blend Your Own Whisky With Master Of Malt

Master of Malt of malt has launched a Blend Your Own Whisky service, allowing whisky lovers to literally create their own bespoke blend and order it personalised!

(PRWEB UK) 20 December 2011
In late November 2011, Master of Malt launched the Blend Your Own Whisky service. Whisky lovers can now visit the Blend Your Own Whisky page and literally create a blended whisky of their very own using a set of sliders to adjust the quantities of 10 different “ingredients”.

Once this is done, the whisky’s label can be personalised with a name and then ordered. It couldn’t be simpler...

The service has become a huge success almost overnight, with hundreds of whisky lovers already using it. In fact, it has now become so popular that Master of Malt have reduced the minimum order from a case of 6, down to just one bottle! This means you can now create your very own, custom blended whisky and order a single bottle from as little as £33.58!

For years, only a very select few ever had the opportunity to blend their own whisky, but now Master of Malt has created a simple, easy-to-use webpage allowing anyone to try their hand at whisky blending! These custom blends make the ultimate gift for friends and family. It is also perfect for anyone who just can’t find a blended whisky they really like, because they can now make their own Scotch as sweet, smoky, peaty or fruity as they could ever wish!

To help create the blend, Master of Malt is also selling a Home Blending Kit, which contains samples of each of the 10 different blending whiskies (including malt and grain “base whiskies”, various single malts for the core of the blend, and some very old, very rare top-dressers). The kit also contains measuring equipment, a conical flask and a tasting glass to allow you to perfect your recipe before having it made up.

Article Courtesy of Yahoo

 

Yahoo

19 Dec
2011

Invest Now: In Whisky!

Recession or no recession, there's always something worth investing in, and if you're not the rare coinage type, perhaps you'd like to sink your cash into something a little more...alcoholic? Whisky is apparently the investment of the moment, so put down that $117G wine bottle and grab some Johnnie Walker instead.

"Over the last 10 to 15 years, the demand for whisky has just increased," says Sukhinder Singh, director of The Whisky Exchange, on online whisky shop. "My feeling is that the risk in whisky is quite low." Auctions are opening up all over the world, with rare, old bottles from distilleries like Scotland's Macallan fetching huge numbers in America, Asia, and Russia, which has apparently forsaken vodka in exchange for the good stuff. A 64-year-old Macallan auctioned last year for charity went for a world-record price of $460,000.

For those seriously considering booze as a future, get a better idea of what's selling at the The World Whisky Index, the alcoholic stock market started by the founder of The Whisky Exchange. And recreational drinkers need not apply: plan to load up on 120-150 bottles before you're considered a serious player, and remember—you can't actually drink them. Don't stress too much, though—if your portfolio totally goes to shit, we hear whisky makes a great gift for the ladies.

Article Courtesy of Gothamist

 

Gothamist

19 Dec
2011

Cutty Sark calls in Inkling to tap into new generation of whisky drinkers

The global PR account has been handed to Inkling after a four-stage pitch process, revealed by PRWeek, involving 15 agencies.

This is the first time the company has called in outside PR support for the Scotch whisky brand it bought from Berry Bros. & Rudd in February 2010. Its other brands include The Famous Grouse and The Macallan.

The appointment is part of a fresh global marketing strategy to introduce a new generation of whisky drinkers to Cutty Sark and to establish the brand in several key and emerging markets.

Inkling, the agency set up earlier this year by former Cake account director Nicola Rutledge, UK events director Will Parkinson and David Proudlock, a planner previously at WCRS, Cake and Saatchi & Saatchi, is tasked with delivering a global public and media relations strategy.

The agency specialises in PR, events, strategy and content, and works with clients that include ghd, MAMA Group and Gio-Goi.

Rutledge and Proudlock will head the account and report to Cutty Sark brand controller Jason R. Craig.

Craig said: ‘PR is an essential element of the brand’s global comms strategy. Our job as brand guardians is to lead from the front and inspire both our agencies and distribution partners to fully realise the brand’s potential.

‘This partnership will bring to life the spirit of adventure that our brand represents and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.’

Inkling will work alongside The Edrington Group’s global brand team, digital, advertising and local market agencies to create and integrated campaigns globally.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

18 Dec
2011

Benriach In High Spirits As 10,000th Cask Is Fillled

AWARD-WINNING BenRiach distillery reached another fantastic milestone this week – for the first time since it changed ownership in 2004, the distillery has managed to fill 10,000 casks of single malt whisky in one year.

The cask, containing approximately 500 litres, was a second-fill Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon filled with classic-style BenRiach.

Stewart Buchanan, Production Manager at the Elgin distillery, said: “This is an amazing achievement. The distillery was built by John Duff in 1898 and we have an uninterrupted inventory of single malts dating back to 1966.

“The casks we have filled since then contain the highest-quality whisky and the many expressions are incredibly complex and varied. There is no doubt in terms of blood, sweat and tears, this has been the busiest year we have had at the distillery since it became independent. As we entered December, we had a wee suspicion that we might hit the magic 10,000 cask number for the first time so we were keeping a close eye as the cask numbers ascended and we eventually filled cask No. 10,000 on Wednesday December 14th.”

Managing Director Billy Walker said: “This milestone in our distillery production coincides with a really interesting period for BenRiach. We’ve won a number of high-profile awards recently, our worldwide sales are strong and we're opening up new markets for BenRiach.

“This is a further indication of the current popularity of Scotch whisky and the confidence the industry has that demand will grow going forward.

“Cask No. 10,000 will no doubt attract more attention than others and it will be interesting to see how the whisky contained within it develops over the years!

“Congratulations to Stewart and everyone at BenRiach on a tremendous achievement.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

16 Dec
2011

Blending spirits is an art

Not many are blessed like Robert Hicks, who tastes the ‘water of life’ for a living. But the job of crafting a spirit is not as simple as it may seem. The creator of Laphroaig 30 Year that clinched the highest honour of Best Whisky of Show and a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2006, tells you what it takes to create a fine spirit.

“Most people think it’s a job they’d love to do, tasting twenty glasses of superb whisky a day. It sounds beautiful but that’s like daydreaming,” says the Scotland-based whisky consultant, who was in the city to launch Teacher’s 25 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky and Teacher’s Highland Single Malt Whisky.

drinkTalking about his craft, Hicks says, “Blending is a complex task. Sometimes you have to test 700 samples a day. Relying on your sense of taste could leave you with a hangover. So, you need to hone your sense of smell. That way it’s easy to test up to 1000 samples each day,” he says.

You also need an excellent memory for aromas. “After 47 years, I am still discovering new ones,” says Hicks. But that’s only the beginning. “A good knowledge of single malt and grain distilling and coopering, warehousing, blending, bottling, stock control, sales and marketing are also a must. That means working in all these departments. Now you can see why it’s always such a long apprenticeship,” he says.

But most importantly what makes a master blender, he says, is dedication and perseverance. “It takes years to become skilled. You immerse yourself in the job for the next 30 or 40 years of your life. For me, it’s been 47 years and I still love everyday of it.”

Among his creations, Hicks is most proud of Laphroaig Quarter Cask that broke the mould for malt whiskies. “There is no age on the bottle. It’s about flavour and quality and the whisky drinkers are mature enough to realise that age sometimes, is just a number,” he says.

Hicks wanted to create a designer whisky but with Laphroaig being a powerful malt, there wasn’t much he could do with it. So he used various ages from 5 Year Old to to 11 Year Old to get a distinct flavour. “I then built small 120-litre quarter casks and filled these with that mix of Laphroaig’s and let them mature on the island of Islay.

This maturing changed the style of flavour; it made the whisky smell soft and gentle but taste intense,” he shares. “It’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing”! I love to see the surprise on people’s face — the smell says it’d be soft to drink, but the taste explodes in the mouth,” adds Hicks.

Hicks describes Teacher’s 25 Year Old as ‘a characterful, rich and smooth blend.’ “Only the finest aged casks of at least 25 years of age are first hand selected, followed by the art of blending — which is more art than science — to craft the finished spirit,” says Hicks.

Who a master blender is...
A master blender works out the composition of blended spirits. In the Scotch whisky industry, the master blender picks up single malts and grain whiskies to create a blended whisky. A master blender also checks maturation of spirits, ensures consistency and quality. Blending is a complex and long term job, and requires blenders to stick to one distiller for a long time. Master blenders have apprentices working with them who often succeed them.

Article Courtesy of The Hindustan Times

 

Hindustan Times

14 Dec
2011

David Blackmore Named Scotch Whisky Ambassador of the Year by Whisky Magazine

According to the judges: "... David Blackmore has been indefatigable in promoting the Glenmorangie range, its sister distillery Ardbeg and raising the profile of Scotch in the USA."

A native of Scotland, David is a professional whisky tutor with a background at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh and London. David previously led the Society's prestigious "Tasting Panel" in cask selections, an art in itself.

As Glenmorangie Master Brand Ambassador, David leads the Glenmorangie USA educational program in Single Malt Scotch Whisky appreciation. Through tastings and events across the U.S., David educates on the nuances and intricacies of the Scotch category in general, with unparalleled enthusiasm. This has helped Glenmorangie become the fastest growing Single Malt whisky in the US for the third year in a row.

David also holds the distinction of being the only U.S. based global ambassador. He has been sharing his knowledge and passion for the last six years with thousands of people all over the world.

"I am truly honored to be commended by my peers for doing work I love for a company I believe in. It's my goal for everyone to appreciate the traditions and history of Scotch as much as I do," said David after receiving the award.

Notes to Editors For further information and to schedule an interview with David please email glenmorangiepr@mme.net.

About GlenmorangieThe Glenmorangie distillery was founded in 1843 in the Highlands of Scotland and is renowned as a pioneer in its field for uniting tradition with innovation. Glenmorangie is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the 16 Men of Tain. It has been Scotland's favorite single malt for over 50 years and is famous worldwide for producing the most complex and perfectly balanced Single Malts in the world.

About The Glenmorangie CompanyThe Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company produces two main single malt brands - Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt Whisky.

About Whisky MagazinePublished 8 times a year Whisky Magazine is the perfect complement to the dram in your glass. Every issue brings you fascinating articles on the art, science and romance of the 'water of life', plus page after page of tasting notes.

Responsible Drinking

The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savor Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Article Courtesy of Market Watch

 

Market Watch

14 Dec
2011

Airdrie women nip out for 40-year-old malt whisky

Two bargain-hunters were up before the birds last week to get their hands on rare bottles of single malt whisky.

The Aldi store in Airdrie put six bottles of the 40-year-old Glenbridge malt whisky on sale at £49.99 on Thursday morning. A whisky of that maturity normally retails for between £250 to £300.

The store was unable to sell alcohol until 10am but the first six customers to arrive were handed vouchers to enable them to return to the store and buy the limited edition bottles.

Airdrie woman Frances Dickson joined the queue at 6.30am. The earliest bargain-hunter was there at 4.30am. Frances is giving the malt to her son-in-law who collects whisky.

Another lucky customer was Anne McFarlane who lives near the store. She arrived at 6.45am. Anne's husband John is also a collector of malt whisky.

The German supermarket chain had put 3000 bottles on sale nationwide, with each store receiving only five or six bottles. They were quickly snapped up with several appearing for sale on eBay at prices up to £250 before 10am that morning.

Article Courtesy of The A & C Advertiser

 

A & C Advertiser

13 Dec
2011

Liquid Gold: Whisky Investments Can Hit the Spot

Fine whisky has been part of Scotland’s heritage for over 500 years, but it is only recently that the investment opportunities for its most famous export have become clear. With global demand for luxury whisky on the rise, putting your money in Scottish single malt could make you some pretty neat returns.
“Over the last 10 to 15 years, the demand for whisky has just increased,” said director of The Whisky Exchange, Sukhinder Singh.

“My feeling is that the risk in whisky is quite low," he said. "I can just feel the demand globally; even very recently I’m watching prices go wild over the past six months.”

While the US remains the top Scotch whisky importer, with more than $400 million sold there this year, Asia has seen the largest increase. Demand from Singapore rose 64 percent, making it the third largest importer, and in Taiwan demand was up 45 percent.

Whisky writer Jonny McCormick explained global interest to CNBC: “Just in the last couple of years we’ve seen new auctions open up by Bonhams in New York and in Hong Kong, and these sales are extremely popular. We’ve seen nearly 100 percent sales by lot and by value and the American collecting market is extremely lively. The Chinese and Japanese market is very popular."

The Macallan distillery is one of Scotland’s most famous brands, and has become a strong name in whisky investment.

David Cox, director of fine & rare whiskies at the Macallan, told CNBC, “We were one of the early pioneers if you like, in the release and availability of very rare and old whiskies. As we released these onto the market, that, together with the reputation of the Macallan, attracted collectors and connoisseurs around the world.”

Cox also highlighted the increasing importance of less traditional markets.

"Russia has become a very, very important market for us," he said. "There's still many collectors in Europe and certainly North America as well, who are on the lookout for special Macallan bottlings. But as a proportion of the ones that we are releasing these days, certainly we are seeing a higher and higher percentage going to Asia-Pacific and to Russia."

For the potential investor, names like the Macallan are a great bet; a 64-year-old Macallan auctioned last year for charity achieved a world-record price of $460,000. While of course not all bottles are fetching these kinds of prices, Singh says investors have a budget in mind—and enough space to house a collection—then getting into this market is easier than it used to be, and specialist shops and auctions are the places to be.

"It’s much easier now that it was a number of years ago," he said. "As the demand for whisky has increased, more and more specialist whisky shops have cropped up.

"There are a number of auction houses. I remember when I started there was only one, and there was only one auction a year. I think today there are three or four auction houses doing whisky and each of them are having maybe anywhere between three to four sales a year, which is quite a lot."

"A collection of about 120-150 bottles ... is a nice size collection. You’ll have a balance of some really standard stuff, you’ll have some very rare stuff which is quite expensive, but it’s a controllable size."
Cox agreed that modesty was the best policy. “Its like any investment, it can go up and of course it can go down. Start carefully, modestly, research the market and buy on limited number of bottlings. I think they’re the most important things to look for.”

And it seems rarity is a watch-word in this market. “Certainly availability is one thing, so closed distilleries and past bottlings become very popular,” said McCormick.

Singh was also keen on these "lost distilleries"—old producers whose names evoke the rarity and exclusivity for the best investments. “Now a lost distillery is a distillery that closed a number of years ago and will probably never re-open. So let’s say…Brora for example. Brora closed in 1984...And what we find is every year the price just goes up.”

Unlike with wine, there are few established investment vehicles available. Michel Kappen, who founded The Whisky Exchange and who answered viewers' investment questions on CNBC, started an index this year. Kappen is looking to start a fund in 2012.

While watching for rarity and exclusivity improve investors' chances of seeing a profit, experts agree that genuine love of whisky is all important; this isn't just about cold hard cash.
"The way I classify whisky is I think it’s the pinnacle of spirits," said Singh. "It’s the ultimate spirit. People start with gin, vodka, and will evolve onto something slightly more approachable, maybe rum and eventually, they will end up with whisky. People fall in love with whisky, I don’t think there’s any turning back. Because there is so much diversity, there’s so many flavors, basically there is something for everyone."

McCormick was also keen to stress the emotional attachment to the drink. "Most people are collecting rather than cold-hearted investing. People aren’t purely looking at it for profit; it really matters to them where the bottle comes from, and what it means to them personally and to the rest of their collection.

"No two people’s collections are alike," McCormick said. "And people buy for very, very personal reasons. They enjoy the side benefit—the fact that they’re going up and up—and that’s why people are getting more involved in the investment side of it."

Article Courtesy of CNBC

 

CNBC

11 Dec
2011

Happy Hour: For smoky whisky, always bet on black

I recommend picking up the Economist’s Intelligent Life magazine for Rebecca Willis’s thoughtful meditation on the meaning of black in fashion, as the camouflage of nuns and punks alike. It’s a tricky question to unravel. Meanwhile, in the whisky world, the semiotics of blackness are straightforward to parse: Black signifies roughness, robustness and, where Scotch is concerned, the challenging aroma of smoke.

Whiskies branded black have been with us for years: Bushmills Black Bush (Irish) and Jim Beam Black (bourbon) are both tasty, affordable standbys. This holiday whisky-gifting season has given Canadian shoppers three new “black” whiskies, all worthwhile.
Ontario prices given.

The Black Grouse $33.55
There are two kinds of cheap blended whisky: Brands for people who don’t know any better, and brands whisky connoisseurs drink when they’re slumming it. The Famous Grouse belongs to the latter category. The Black Grouse is its new, smokier cousin. A nice stinky, funky dose of smoke is a rare thing at this price point. So it’s a pleasant experience putting my nose down the glass and coming up with a big hit of smoke and pear. Smells like a whisky that costs twice as much. A sip brings spice, some apricot and a smooth texture. This is the poor man’s Lagavulin: an absolutely fantastic whisky, and it’s yours for a song (do grouses sing?). A splendid gift for a fan of Islay whiskies or Talisker.

Johnnie Walker Double Black $69.95
The familiar Johnnie Walker Black already carries edgy and even sinister connotations; Christopher Hitchens noted it is the favourite whisky of unsavoury Middle Eastern characters (it’s also his; he called it “the best blended Scotch in the history of the world”). Booze conglomerate Diageo doubles down with a heavily peated, limited-release version dubbed Double Black. The contemplative drinker is rewarded with tropical fruit, chocolate and vanilla flavours. And yes, smoke. It’s the perfect gift if you have a member of the Saudi royal family on your shopping list, or a garden-variety worldly gourmand.

Crown Royal Black $34.95
Compared to regular Crown Royal (a decent product in its own right), the new Black is bigger, bolder, spicier and gives off a hint of the tar-like molasses flavours I normally associate with a top-shelf rum. In the mouth, it is grainy and quite spicy — it’s not a luxurious whisky so much as a straightforward return on the label’s promise to be “robust [and] full-bodied.” Take it with ice or mix with one of those fancy cola brands made from cane sugar. Better yet, use it in cocktails that call for Canadian whisky. Crown Royal Black is 45% alcohol, and higher-octane whiskies have enough burliness to taste great after the dilution that happens in a cocktail shaker. In short, a terrific gift for the fan of Canadian whisky, especially if he’s a strong-but-thoughtful type who wears a lot of flannel.

Article Courtesy of the Daily Gleaner

 

National Post

10 Dec
2011

Scotch whisky fans will love these distillery tours

Scotland, a country where supposedly every penny is a prisoner, enthusiastically reports revenues of over $100 million from Canadians visiting in 2010.
It's no wonder that regions throughout Scotland are vying for the chance to entice 2012 visitors to their area.

Speyside, in northeast Scotland, is the region that tops my list as a very worthwhile holiday destination. I had the chance to enjoy some of the local highlights and check out a number of accommodation choices while attending the Autumn Speyside Whisky Festival.

Today's column gives just a few ideas on what to do and where to stay, but readers looking for a more complete list should check www.spiritofspeyside.com.

Local tour highlights in Speyside all begin with distillery visits. It's easy to make plans to visit more than one a day as most distilleries are within proximity of each other.

If your time is limited to just one or two days in Speyside, make sure to visit Glenfarclas and Balvenie distilleries as they are two of the best.

Glenfarclas distillery is the first choice of many whisky connoisseurs. It was one of the first distilleries in the area to open a visitor centre and has a unique history of being owned and managed by the Grant family since 1865.

Tours include the opportunity to walk through the numerous buildings to observe the complex process of turning barley and water into whisky. There is also a chance to go inside the cool, dark and musky stone buildings and walk along the many rows of maturing malt casks.

The tour guides are experts in, not only their product, but also the intriguing history of whisky making. Anyone planning on taking a tour and sampling a few drams at Glenfarclas should check www.glenfarclas.co.uk.

Balvenie distillery has the distinction of being the only distillery that still grows some of its own barley and continues the tradition of floor maltings. Visitors can watch the maltmen turning the barley with wooden shovels as it begins to germinate on the floor.

This practice of floor malting takes place four times a day, seven days a week as the barley is prepared for transferring to the kiln room.

Balvenie is an exceptional charming distillery where visitors are given a unique opportunity to watch the complete process of whisky making before sampling their exceptional single malts. Details for touring are available at www.thebalvenie.com.

Accommodation choices range from first-class hotels to outstanding bed and breakfast establishments. The Craigellachie Hotel, located right in Craigellachie, is a wonderful old hotel for visitors wanting traditional hotel service, including a dining room offering fine meals.

Just across the street is the Highlander Inn where the rooms are more modest but the restaurant and bar are well worth visiting.

A complete list of bed and breakfast and guest houses in the Speyside region is found at www.visitscotland.com.

Here are my top two choices for what makes the perfect place to stay after a day of touring the countryside.

Lynwood B&B offers luxury modern ensuite rooms in a rural area just outside Craigellachie. This home provides the ideal location for visiting distilleries and taking in the many events in the area, including the whisky festivals. The owners offer special services such as providing transportation if you want to enjoy whisky tastings and not have to worry about driving.

The delicious breakfasts reach the same high standard of the region's whiskies. More information is available at www. lynwood-bedandbreakfast.co.uk.

Trochelhill Country House Bed & Breakfast in Fochabers is a home that I've wanted to visit since reading a great review. This beautiful house and gardens, along with its delightful owners and great accommodation, surpassed all my expectations. Little extras like hot water bottles put in your bed at night give Trochelhill a high rating with guests.

The house has been completely modernized without losing any of the charm of the old building. Guests are made to feel very welcome with offers of transportation and the option of using the dining room if they would like to bring in an evening meal from a take-away shop.

Breakfast choices are all tempting, but I suggest the option of silky scrambled eggs that come with haggis and you will know you are in a Scottish home. More information is available at www.trochelhill.co.uk.

Trochelhill is a great location for coastal walks. Our hosts drove us to Spey Bay and we spent a day walking along the Moray Coastal Trail to Cullen. This shoreline path travels along high cliffs and down onto sandy beaches with stops in small harbours busy with fishing boats and lifeboat stations.

Article Courtesy of the Daily Gleaner

 

Daily Gleanere

9 Dec
2011

Heart Of Oak

THE fact that I have, with the odd splurge, helped make Singapore the largest importer of this prized Scottish elixir called whisky (both by volume and value, according to first-half 2011 figures released by the Scotch Whisky Association) is impressive - and a tad alarming. But it's not immediately crucial to the point I'm making here.

That brands for some of the best examples of whisky can sound both Gaelic - Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenmorangie and Glenrothes, to name just a few - or as extraneous as, say, Aberlour, Laphroaig and Yamazaki, is equally fascinating. But it also has nothing to do with what I've recently come to learn about one of Scotland's greatest gifts (and not just to Woody Allen fans).

What does pertain to my point is a simple verity: Scotch whisky is mainly malt whisky aged in oak casks - cleverly charred white oak varieties of European or American origins. And it is this interaction with the wood - strategic to the development of the drink's widely celebrated characteristics - that is sometimes underestimated and underappreciated.

Not to begrudge the gripping science of it all, but single malt whisky starts out as a distilled spirit - or what makers refer to as "new make" spirit. And like with children, or as with any wine you wouldn't serve in a plastic cup, the spirit needs to mature over time, developing its unique colour, flavours and aromas.

And here's that all important "but did you know" segment: Time isn't the only prime manipulator at work here. An equally crucial nurturing factor during the single malt's formative years - which is anything from three (by law) to 50 years in oak casks - is its aforementioned relations with the oak.

In fact, a recent visit to a certain Speyside distillery reminded me of one top distiller's particular love affair with Spanish oak (quercus robur); resulting in one of my favourite expressions from The Macallan.

Located in the breathtakingly beautiful heart of Scotch whisky country, this increasingly popular distillery has been using Spanish oak sherry casks to mature whisky in varying quantities since the 1880s. But the bold decision to focus on making single malt whisky aged solely in Spanish ex-sherry casks was made in the 1960s.

Looking to break new ground and take advantage of a burgeoning new market, it launched a Fine Oak series in 2004, featuring whisky mellowed in European and American oak casks as well, aimed at the duty-free markets, a spokesperson clarified.

These products, explained Macallan's fervent whisky maker Bob Dalgarno, are "less heavy" and "slightly sweeter"; "possibly slightly more approachable for the consumer" than the Spanish sherry oak driven varieties.

Some imbibers may not appreciate the sherry oak-driven whisky. His father's next-door neighbour is a case in point. "And that's fine," the naturally comedic nose deadpanned. "I'd rather you say you didn't like it than that you don't drink it."

He added: "We've always been driven by age … And as much as I like it, to be honest, I don't like it as far as it all gets very boring. What do you offer the consumer other than 'We can do a 17-year-old', 'We can do 21 (year olds)'?" Sure, variety can be a good thing. For argument sake, I admit a craving for a little peated Islay whisky from time to time.

Coincidently, the most recent peated whisky that I had the pleasure of tasting was a special one, courtesy of The Macallan's director of global relationships David Cox. This rare peated expression of The Macallan was made during the Second World War, Cox shared, for the simple reason that peat was the only (or at least most readily available) fuel source available at the time.

It tasted exceptional, even without the interesting back story. Even so, as a testament to the brand's effective brand strategy, I couldn't help but compare it with its signature Spanish sherry oak variety.

It's a strange dichotomy that while The Macallan will no doubt continue to make great whisky, with varying varieties of barley and wood, it might likely always be best appreciated for its defining sherry oak expression.

Spanish acquisition

Suffice it to say, The Macallan has made a name for itself in top notch Scotch held in ex-sherry casks - Spanish oak casks that once held the feted Jerez fortified wine.

To many who know their preferred pour well, its iconic 18-year-old bottling could even be said exemplify the popular style of single malt - its naturally rich, deep colour coupled with an expressive nose and complex yet structured palate. What some may not immediately realise is that a good part of the brand's success could be tied to the evolution of Spain's sherry industry.

Of course, the notion that whisky had in some way saved the sherry industry is presumptuous at best. But, truth is, the wine business is "small and dwindling", shared Narciso Fernandez Iturrospe, owner of Tevasa cooperage. Cooperages like the one his father started and which he has been running for the last 22 years, found new life in the growth of the whisky industry.

Planning ahead, his Spanish oak casks are also made with PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)-certified wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests in the north of Spain. This is crucial given that Tevasa makes on average 75 casks a day, 80 per cent of which will go to the Edrington Group, which owns labels like The Macallan and Highland Park among other leading liquor brands.

Today, Cox divulged, the group's core whisky products do in fact make up 90 per cent of all the sherry casks used in the Scotch Whisky industry.

What's more, Iturrospe highlighted that The Macallan also pays for an added process, now deemed too expensive for many makers. Before being seasoned with dry oloroso sherry for two years, the casks are flooded with fermenting grape juice from the region. This, Iturrospe indulged, would help reduce the harsh flavours of the new wood. He later posited in jest: "I think the wood (is responsible) for 90 per cent of the whisky's character and flavour." Of course he does.

Cox appreciated the humour but quickly tempered the estimate down to a more reasonable 60 per cent, but not ignoring the Spanish oak's powerful influence. He added that The Macallan's "oily" new make spirit, a product of the brand's curiously small stills, is uniquely well-placed to take full advantage of the wood's influence without being overpowered by it.

Some add that the comparatively more porous Spanish oak in question - air-dried naturally to strict specifications (just 12 per cent moisture) - imparts the whisky with rich tannins, dried fruit flavours, and a sweet nuttiness with hints of vanilla and spice.

I would, in fact, also think it a shame, having acknowledged all of the above, to play down the romance of this cross-cultural, 1,600km-long distance relationship from Lugo to Aberdeen.

Historically, the British may have made a mess of inter-kingdom relations, but the Scots have, I think, made up for plenty. How's that for great chemistry over romantic strategies?

Article Courtesy of Today Online

 

Today Online

9 Dec
2011

Scotland eyes growth for whisky sales in China

With Scotch whisky exports to China soaring, Scottish leader Alex Salmond said on Friday that his country's most iconic product is poised to become the next big thing in China's luxury market.

The first minister visited the mainland and Hong Kong this week to promote Scotland's famous malts and its largest export, fresh farmed salmon, to China's rapidly expanding fine dining industry.

He said Scotland could better France's Bordeaux region, which saw a 92 percent surge in wine export volumes to China in the 12 months to July, as China's rising affluence creates new markets for Western luxury goods.

"Whisky sales are up 35 percent this year to China," Salmond told AFP in an interview in the southern city of Hong Kong, the last stop of his China trip.

"If you take a couple of our iconic products together, Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon, then it's a billion RMB (£100.7 million) this year, an increase of well over a third for the two products together."

Wine imports to China are poised to set a new record after surging nearly 60 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011 to US$940 million (£602.5 million).

In the world of fine malt liquor, Salmond said Scotland had an unbeatable advantage -- its single malt Scotch whisky was unique, respected for the finest quality and simply the best product of its kind on the market.

"I think we've got a great platform to advance to the growing quality market in China," he said.

"People look for quality and authenticity and Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon are iconic products which offer that."

Strengthening trade with the Asian region in general is a key focus of his government, he said.

The economy looms large over discussions about an independent Scotland, which have stepped up a gear after the resounding victory of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in May's election to the devolved Edinburgh parliament.

The triumph of the pro-independence SNP, which won the first overall majority in the legislature since it opened in 1999, has paved the way for a referendum on a split from Britain which had previously seemed unlikely.

Salmond gave little away about his intentions for the plebiscite, repeating his stock response that a vote would take place in the second half of the parliament's five-year term.

The nationalists view the economy as one of their strong cards, arguing that Scotland can only flourish with independent control over its main industries, notably North Sea oil and gas but also whisky and fine foods.

The first minister said his government's huge majority freed him up to travel more and promote Scottish products around the world, particularly Asia.

"Not just in China but across Asia, Scottish products across the range are having great success and great growth and we expect that to continue. This is a big economic boost for Scotland," he said.

The Chinese rank about 16th on the list of biggest Scotch drinkers, but are "coming up very very fast," Salmond said.

"Initially of course the great blended whiskies like Johnnie Walker or Chivas Regal were the dominant ones (in China), but there does seem to be a real appetite for the single malt whiskies," he said.

The Scotch Whisky Association said in September sales to Asia increased 33 percent to £423 million ($660 million) in the first six months of the year, well ahead of overall export growth of 22 percent.

China bought £57 million worth of the stuff in the 12 months to June 2011, according to Scottish government figures.

Salmond said the Chinese government's decision last year to give Geographical Indication of Origin (GI) status to Scotch whisky was of "enormous value" to distillers.

In a country of counterfeit goods from iPhones to French Champagne, the designation guarantees that products labelled as "Scotch Whisky" actually come from Scotland.

"It's vital when you're selling a quality product that the consumer across Asia knows they are getting the absolute authentic product, not some cheap imitation whisky from America or other producers," Salmond said.

"The Chinese have been very cooperative and very wise in introducing that because they understand the importance for the Chinese consumer, particularly the new emerging Chinese consumer, in being able to get the right products."

He said more work needed to be done on enforcement but expressed confidence the Chinese would continue to work with their Scottish counterparts to ensure Chinese Scotch whisky lovers get the real thing.

Article Courtesy of Yahoo news

 

Yahoo

9 Dec
2011

Whisky buff visits shop

WHISKY expert and author Jim Murray will be at Spirit Safe in Angel Square to sign copies of his book on Friday, December 16, from 1pm.

Murray has won the Glenfiddich Whisky Writer of the Year award three times and is credited with having visited more whisky distilleries globally than any other living person.

Spirit Safe owner Richard Parker said: "For him to come here to lend his support is fantastic."

Article Courtesy of This Is Hull And East Riding

 

This Is Hull And East Riding

7 Dec
2011

Wick distillery calls halt on whisky orders

MAKERS of the whisky which was recently named as the best on the planet are struggling to cope with demand due to the tipple’s growing popularity.

So many people have raised a glass to the Old Pulteney 21-year-old’s success that the company has stopped taking orders for the world-class product.

The malt received the title of world whisky of the year in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible awards in October, when it came out on top against a class of some 1500 whiskies from across the globe.

The selling power of the title proved its power, and the Wick distillery has experienced unprecedented demand for its version of the national drink. Such have been sales in the UK and abroad that the company has now stopped taking orders via its website.

Distillery manager Malcolm Waring told the Caithness Courier that the Christmas period is always one of the busiest times of the year. But he said that since being awarded the title, demand for the malt has risen on an unprecedented scale.“After being awarded the title of world whisky of the year, the impact was almost instantaneous,” he said.

“The day after we heard that we were named the best in the world, we were inundated with orders from around the globe. As a result, we have been struggling to cope with demand and have presently suspended orders for the 21-year-old malt.”

The title has also had a significant impact on the company’s other products, with demand also soaring for Old Pulteney 12-year-old and 17-year-old malts.

Worldrenowned whisky connoisseur Jim Murray nosed and tasted his way through all types of whisky to create his global ratings guide.

He gave Old Pulteney 21-year-old 97.5 points out of 100, which was the highest scored ever achieved in the book’s history.

His glowing review commented that the single malt was by far and away one of the best whiskies of 2012, saying that it exploded from the glass with vitality, charisma and class.

The distillery hopes that it will be in a position to start taking orders for the 21-year-old again soon, with Mr Waring saying that the award has significantly increased the whisky’s presence in the global market.

“The company has certainly been given a massive boost since receiving the award, with sales on all our whiskies increasing from previous years. I’ve just returned from a business trip to North America where I was visiting customers in Canada and the USA”.

“I found out that outlets which stocked the malt had completely sold out due to the title. Distributors and liquor stores owners said as soon as the news went out, the demand for the product became extremely high. It has been a fantastic few months for the distillery and one of the best year’s we’ve ever had.”

The distillery, which is operated by Inver House Distillers, has been based at its premises at Huddart Street since 1826 and is the most northern mainland distillery in the UK.

Article Courtesy of The John O'Groat Journal

 

John O'Groat Journal

7 Dec
2011

One-off whisky raises money for Japan

The producers each donated a cask of single malt, which was then blended into 2,000 special edition bottles dubbed the “Spirit of Unity”.

Sales of the Scotch have so far raised £90,000 and further sales will go ahead next year to raise further funds when four boxed sets of the whisky, each containing a bottle signed by the distillers involved, will go on sale.

The distilleries involved in the scheme are: Arran; BenRiach; Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell’s Glengyle; Kilchoman and Springbank.

All are independent and have won many awards between them and they represent the whisky areas of Islay, Islands, Speyside, Highland, Campbeltown and Lowland.

It is the first time they have worked together.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said: “Many in our industry, like me, travel regularly to Japan and have made friends and contacts with Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

“It has been our pleasure to create this dram and raise money for people in Japan following the recent natural disaster.

“We are very pleased with the current progress that’s taking place through Refugees International Japan and hope the auction of the last four signed boxed sets at the beginning of next year will raise even more money for this very worthy cause.”

The idea behind the scheme came when four of the distillers visited the Tohuku region, one of the worst affected parts of the country following the destructive earthquake and tsunami that struck earlier this year.

Article Courtesy of The Drink Business

 

The Drink Business

7 Dec
2011

MARKET REPORT: Whisky galore cheers Diageo

The gloomy economic picture cast a pall over stock markets in Europe as US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner waded in with his support for the ECB, European economic reforms and fiscal union – but warned that the US is in an equally challenging place.

Oil slid as the spectre of a eurozone downgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s stoked fears of a slowdown in global demand.

S&P has put 17 countries on its credit-watch negative list, including such stalwarts as France and Germany, in a move criticised by some at the European Central Bank as politically motivated. S&P said it wanted to see agreement over growth strategy and the mutualisation of risk at the forthcoming eurozone summit.

Still, analysts at Sanford Bernstein provided some much needed cheer. In a note to clients entitled ‘Scotch: Whisky Galore!’, analyst Trevor Stirling said that premium Scotch sales have continued to climb through the crisis, with the French in particular driving European demand, followed by Asia and Latin America.

The spirit is fuelling growth at the big distillers as Scotch accounts for a hefty 30 per cent of earnings at both Diageo and Pernod Ricard – who together account for over half of the industry.

‘Scotch is almost as important to Diageo as Diageo is to the industry,’ Stirling wrote.

Diageo’s dominance stems from the old Distillers Company, which Guinness bought in 1987, a decade before its merger with Grand Metropolitan, which formed Diageo. The shares closed 0.4 per cent higher at 1360p.

But the Footsie failed to reach Monday’s five-week high, closing a meagre 0.76 points up at 5,568.72.

Defensive stocks were in favour, with drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline up 2 per cent at 1428p and Shire 1.9pc firmer at 2152p, while Imperial Tobacco climbed 1.3 per cent to 2334p.

Sage Group led the list of Footsie gainers, posting a 2.2 per cent rise to 293.9p. The business management software group is benefiting from a surge of online buying ahead of Christmas at its Sage Pay division. Sage Pay said customers spent an average £91 on gifts online, £3 more than last year.

'As the outlook for the UK economy worsens in the wake of Osborne’s Autumn Statement, public sector strikes and Philip Green’s threat to close over 200 shops, e-tailers can take some solace in the strong growth of online transactions year-on-year,’ said managing director Simon Black.

But retailers elsewhere were suffering after the British Retail Consortium said in its latest survey that pre-Christmas sales had failed to lure shoppers to the embattled high street, and underlying sales in the sector dropped to their lowest point since May of last year.

The news knocked 14.1p off Marks & Spencer leaving the shares trading at 314.9p, while Next slipped back by 3.2 per cent to 2575p. Home Retail led the fallers with losses of 8.65 per cent to 92.5p, while electrical products group Kesa Electricals followed with losses of 6pc to 81.7p and Dunelm, the specialist out-of-town homeware retailer fell 5.5 per cent to 429.4p.

Food retailers were also in focus after market research group Kantar Worldpanel said that the largest supermarket group in the UK, Tesco, had lost market share in the 12 weeks to November 27 following its £500million ‘Big Price Drop’ promotion in October. The shares fell 2 per cent to 398.75p on the news. Wal-Mart owned Asda was the top performer, followed by Wm Morrison, down 0.3p at 317.5p and Sainsbury, off 1.2 per cent at 294.9p.

Elsewhere, Meggitt led the blue chip fallers with a 4.5 per cent loss to 366.4p after analysts at Credit Suisse cut their rating on the stock to ‘underperform’ from ‘outperform’, citing concerns about the groups’ military end-markets. Still, Credit Suisse expects robust full year results for Meggitt, which designs and makes high tech systems for the aerospace and defence markets.

Shares in IAG, made up of the merger between British flag carrier BA and Spain’s Iberia, slipped back after the chief executive called the government’s consultation on air passenger duty ‘a sham and a waste of taxpayers’ money’.

‘We are left with a tax that has already cost 25,000 jobs (and) is doing increasing damage to the prospects for economic recovery,’ the CEOs of Easyjet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic said in a joint statement. IAG shares were down 2.3 per cent at 154.3p.

Among the Small Caps, shares in European Goldfields rose 18pc to 763p after the mining company confirmed it had received preliminary approaches concerning a possible deal, but no formal offer.

Reports claimed that Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp. had approached the board about an outright takeover.

Article Courtesy of This Is Money

 

This Is Money

6 Dec
2011

Investors Clinic: Michel Kappen on Whisky Investment

Amsterdam native Michel Kappen's love of fine whisky was ignited after a trip to the famous whiskey-producing nation of Scotland. Returning from his trip in 2002, he decided to start his own business in the import and export of single malt whisky: The Whisky Talker. The company has grown from a promoter of single malt in The Netherlands for Dutch importers, to the international brand it is today.

An ex-banker with an eye for investment, Kappen realized that there were big business opportunities to be had. Bigger demand, increasing prices and a stock shortage in luxury whisky all pointed to a growing industry.

Kappen founded the World Whisky Index (WWI), which was launched at the end of 2007 in a ceremony with former Dutch Chancellor of the Exchequer Gerrit Zalm. The WWI is an international, on-line whisky exchange for trading rare bottles of whisky.

Article Courtesy of CNBC

 

CNBC

6 Dec
2011

Black Bull 40 is Best in Glass

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited wins BiG Award 2011 with Black Bull 40 Year Old Deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky

Black Bull 40 year old, the flagship of Duncan Taylor’s award winning range of deluxe blends has seen off competition from some of the world’s most respected whiskies to be named as the overall winner at this year’s Best in Glass awards.

Held annually in London, the Best in Glass awards consist of a blind tasting of short listed whiskies by leading industry figures from the wine and spirits sector. A spokesman for the judges commented:

“The panel were wowed by the balance of this superbly put together whisky, which demonstrated incredible fruit, vanilla and complex, aged oak notes, with a rich and highly moreish character.”

Scott Watson, CEO of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited, commented:
“It’s tremendous to see Black Bull 40 year old recognised with a prestigious Best In Glass award. To come out top in a blind tasting from such an esteemed panel of Independent judges is a great honour and a fantastic testament to Black Bull’s boldly Independent character.

A small batch release, the indulgent, sublimely balanced profile of Black Bull 40 year old is delivered by a 90% malt to 10% grain marriage of some of the rarest vintage whiskies in the world today.

Black Bull has always been coveted by the world’s whisky connoisseurs and we are very proud to see our key brand receiving global recognition as one of the very best in its field.”

In addition to the Best in Glass Award, Black Bull has received 5 key wine and spirits gold medals in 2011 so far. These include accolades from the World Whisky Awards, the International Wine and Spirits Competition, International Spirits Challenge and the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.

Now in its fourth year, the Best in Glass awards subjects a shortlist of whiskies to 3 rounds of blind tasting by a panel of experienced judges.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

6 Dec
2011

Meet Scotch Whisky Expert & Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador – Tom Jones

Meeting Tom Jones was a pleasure and within a few minutes of chatting about his world as Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador it was clear to see that he is a man that truly enjoys his job. He regaled me on the brands origins and how much he enjoined his trip over here, stating that the event itself was well attended and well organized. The cool and breezy lagoon side venue was much to his liking as Nigeria weather and Scottish weather are really not the same.

I went on to ask him more about the event sponsored by Johnnie Walker and he told me how they all had so much fun, he explained to the people present at the event how we should savor the flavor Scottish Whisky. “Instictually when we drink anything we tend to just swallow the liquid, but when we drink whisky, we drink it for the flavour. It takes over 12 years to make the Whisky so we are sort of asking you to give us 10 seconds of your time to enjoy it”. And he did have a point, so next time you are taking a drink, to take a second or two longer just to savoir the 12 years worth of flavor.

Tom Jones
When you think of good quality Scotch whisky, you think Johnnie Walker and when you think of a Scotch whisky expert you think Tom Jones.

This hugely knowledgeable and credible Scotch whisky expert travels the world in his role as the Johnnie Walker Global Ambassador providing intimate knowledge of Johnnie Walker to whisky connoisseurs and helping them discover more about the magic and mystery of the world’s number one selling blended Scotch whisky brand.

As Global Brand Ambassador, he is the face and voice of Johnnie Walker around the world. He participates in media interviews and events, hosts mentored tastings and master classes and inspires whisky lovers around the world about the amazing history and heritage of the Johnnie Walker brand.

Tom left every attendee spell bound at the event when he revealed the amazing 200 Year old history of the Johnnie Walker brand, founded by 14 year old John Walker to its period of growth driven by his grandson Alexander Walker.

Tom mentored the guests on how best to enjoy Johnnie Walker, their different blends and savours.

According to the Devlin Hainsworth (MD Guinness Nigeria /Diageo Brands Nigeria) “You know when you have made it in life…scotch is the drink category of choice and when you have really made it Johnnie Walker is the scotch whisky of choice”.

The guests truly had a great time and experience as Tom was as engaging as ever and hopes to be back in Nigeria soon to give more fascinating Johnnie Walker experiences

Article Courtesy of Bella Naija

 

Bella Naija

5 Dec
2011

Scotch whisky raises £90,000 for Japanese relief effort

The 'Spirit of Unity' whisky, created by seven independent Scottish distilleries for the relief effort in Japan following its earthquake and tsunami, has raised £90,000 to date.

The money raised has so far helped set up a market in the village of Utatsu offering local people much needed supplies following the destruction of all the shops in the village and helped house more than 300 people in temporary accommodation.

It is the first time the distilleries; Arran, BenRiach, Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell's Glengyle, Kilchoman and Springbank have collaborated together.

Each donated a cask of single malt which were then blended to create only 2,000 bottles of the one-off whisky.

Recently, four of the distillers involved visited the Tohuku region, one of the worst affected areas in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, who came up with the idea to produce the drink, said: "Many in our industry, like me, travel regularly to Japan and have made friends and contacts with Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

"It has been our pleasure to create this dram and raise money for people in Japan following the recent natural disaster.

"We are very pleased with the current progress that's taking place through Refugees International Japan and hope the auction of the last four signed boxed sets at the beginning of next year will raise even more money for this very worthy cause."

Four boxed sets of the of the Spirit of Unity, each containing a bottle signed by the distillery manager from the seven distilleries involved, will be auctioned early in 2012 to raise further funds.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

5 Dec
2011

Appetite: Winter delights

In this week's paper I shared a few dynamic new spirits releases across categories, from creme de menthe to Scottish gin. This round, it’s Scotch sips for a winter’s night. While I continue to sip Mortlach 16 and one-of-a-kind bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society I recently brought home from Scotland, wishing they were available in the States, here are four producers that are available and would be gladly received as holiday gifts by Scotch whisky lovers in your life.

For something unusual:

BOWMORE – Smoky Sophistication

Smoky, like a fine cigar, with muted, sophisticated tones… that’s Bowmore’s 15-year “Darkest” Scotch.

For Islay Scotch-fanatics (Islay: the island on which generally peaty/smoky Scotches thrive), this one is an understated beauty. Where Laphroaig‘s standard 10-year Scotch hits hard and heavy on the smoke (Ardbeg’s Supernova and Alligator take it even further – like sucking on an ashtray… in a good way), Bowmore 15 takes a more seductive route. Tantalizing on the nose with chocolate, pepper and wood, the taste is rich in cedar wood, sea brine, sherry, toffee, and, yes, peat. This gorgeous Islay Scotch is aged in American bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, without being overwhelmed by either sherry sweetness or peaty smoke.

It’s among my top peat-driven Scotches of all time, a lesson in balance, offering all the smoke one could desire, but not merely that. Bowmore is the oldest distillery in Islay, around since 1779. In keeping with its rich history, it’s one of Islay’s gems – at a reasonable price. $69.99

BALBLAIR 2000 – Young and Bright

Young and bright aren’t words one thinks of in relation to Scotch. Way up north in the Highlands, Balblair crafts stand-up Scotches with just such a profile.

Though I like the green apple, woody spice of their 1989 single malt, I’m more taken with the younger 2000. Golden, and balanced, it unfolds with pear and green apple notes, making way for honey, coconut, and a spice zing that lingers warm and soft on the palate. It tastes young, yes, but this makes it no less complex than an older, mustier Scotch. In fact, in my latest travels through Scotland, Balblair 2000 stood out not just because of it’s modern packaging, but because it is fresh, different than many of the other whiskies I was sipping (and well-priced for a single malt). Though not easy to find in the States, SF’s own Whisky Shop has it at $62.50 a bottle. $62.50

Elegantly approachable:

THE MACALLAN – Romance & Range

Returning last month from Speyside up in Northern Scotland, I stayed on the enchanting Macallan estate. I’ll never forget the austere peace of the 370-acre land: the river Spey, lush green hillsides contrasting with vivid colors of fall, moody storms passing swiftly through.

The Macallan whiskies are a lesson in elegance, even if the popularity (and thus scarcity) of higher-aged product drives up prices. Harmony of spice and brightness is obtained by maturing their Scotches in both sherry and bourbon casks.

Besides their bracing 10 year cask strength Scotch, which is sadly not available in the States, my favorites are on the pricier end: 21 year Fine Oak ($180-250) is heady with jasmine and tropical fruits, while nutty, orange blossom notes of the 3o year Sherry ($900-$1000) compliment its earthiness. Both are gorgeous. On the affordable end, the 15 year ($80) is honey-rich, with cinnamon and floral notes melding into orange and chocolate. The classic Sherry Oak 12 year ($49.99) is a great value, evoking orange marmalade, vanilla and toffee. $49.99-$1000

THE GLENROTHES – Smooth Balance

If you can find Glenrothes Vintage 1994 ($79), snatch it up, for it is the last of the vintage. Making way for Vintage 1995 ($82) just released this month, the Speyside whisky producer makes some of the more elegant Scotches from the region.

Like The Macallan, they mature their whiskies in both sherry and bourbon casks. 1995 evokes pepper, cedar, creamy butterscotch, and when a couple drops of water are added, a surprising whisper of chocolate. 1994 gives off a nose of apple and even pencil shavings, while tasting of woody vanilla. On the cheaper end ($45), you won’t go wrong with Glenrothes classic Select Reserve ($45), bright with orange zest, malt, salt, and coconut. If you want to go all out, hunt for the rare (only 120 bottles in US, $375) 1996 Single Cask Editor’s Edition. The nose evokes an earthy, aged rum and demerara sugar, while the taste is crisp spice, maple syrup richness, and Oaxacan chocolate. A truly unique Scotch.

I recently spent time with Glenrothes director Ronnie Cox, his sense of humor and good taste evident. Glenrothes is one of the great blended whiskys, and as he quipped: “Single malts for thinkers, blended whisky for drinkers.” I’d say Glenrothes is for both. $45-$375

Article Courtesy of SFBG

 

SFBG

5 Dec
2011

Scotch exports hit new heights

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh, who is stepping down as SWA chairman after four years in the role, announced the industry export figures for the first three quarters of 2011, which saw Scotch earning £125 every second for the UK balance of payments.

The value of exports over the nine month period totalled nearly £3 billion – an increase of 23% on the same period last year.

Walsh said he was delighted to be handing the reins to Curle, who is chief executive of The Edrington Group, at a time when the industry is particularly strong.

Walsh said: “It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to chair the SWA over the past four years.

“As the latest export figures show, the industry is enjoying a tremendous period of growth around the world, making it one of the most important manufactured exports the UK produces.

“That growth is also helping drive investment by the industry in Scotland and so benefitting both the UK and Scottish economies.”

Curle, who will lead the SWA into its centenary year in 2012, said: “I am delighted to be taking over as chairman of the SWA at a time when the Scotch whisky industry is in such confident mood.

“Scotch whisky is an iconic product and it will continue to be a prime asset and export for Scotland and the UK.

“I’ll work to protect the integrity of Scotch whisky across the globe and to advance its export success.

“With the support of governments at home and abroad to achieve fairer taxation and reduction of trade barriers, the industry can reach even higher levels. The European Union is vital to this work.”

Curle said that future priorities for the SWA include completion of the negotiations between the European Union and India on a Free Trade Agreement which would reduce the onerous 150% import tariff.

In the UK, a change in the current duty regime which sees Scotch whisky being taxed more heavily than other drinks is also long overdue, according to Curle, who added that discrimination in the home market undermines the industry’s efforts overseas.

The US was Scotch whisky’s largest export market by value between January and September this year, bringing in £430.7 million. However, France was the largest market by volume, shipping in 39,409,542 litres of pure alcohol.

Meanwhile Pierre Pringuet, global chief executive of Pernod Ricard, will become vice chairman of the SWA.

Article Courtesy of The Drinks Business

 

The Drinks Business

4 Dec
2011

Scotch Whisky in China

First Minister Alex Salmond has toasted a Beijing business which has unveiled ambitious plans to create the country's largest Scotch whisky sales network - 300 stores in three years.

These retail outlets alone are buying over £20 million of whisky annually from Scotland.

During his visit to the Xiamen Spirit Empire store - accompanied by David Kilshaw of Scotland Food and Drink - the First Minister met Spirit Empire Chairman Ding Wei and Stephen Notman, recently recruited by Spirit Empire as a 'whisky ambassador' to work in Scotland representing Chinese sellers.

This development comes just a year after the Chinese Government announced it was giving new legal protection to Scotch Whisky with Geographical Indication of Origin (GI) status. The designation means that any product labelled as 'Scotch Whisky' in China must come from Scotland, ensuring Chinese consumers can be confident of enjoying a premium product.

China is a key emerging market for Scotch whisky with exports to China worth £57 million in the 12 months to June 2011.

Spirit Empire's immediate plans are to open a store in Shanghai and, with the support of the Scottish Development International, secure an office base in Scotland.The company has already established co-operation relationships with well-known Scottish distilleries in the north east and across Scotland like Glenglassaugh, Benromach, Signatory, Bruichladdich, BenRiach and independent bottlers such as Gordon & Macphail and Wilson & Morgan.

Within the next three years the company has a plan to create China's largest Scotch whisky sales network.

The FM said:

"Over the next week I'll be working with our partners here in China to promote Scottish industry and further the trade links that exemplify the already close relationship between our two countries. I am very pleased to visit the Spirit Empire and hear of their ambitious plans to create China's largest Scotch whisky sales network by selling what is our nation's most iconic product in 300 luxury shops across China. I am delighted that one of those already represented is from my own backyard - the Glenglassaugh distillery in Aberdeenshire.

"So great are Spirit Empire's plans here in China that they have recruited Stephen Notman as their whisky ambassador in Scotland. He will be reaching out to Scottish distilleries at home so that they are aware of the demand here in China and geared up to meet it. The company incorporated in China just this year and has already bought £4 million worth of single malt to sell to the Chinese market. The timing of this new venture is ideal - with the granting of Geographical Indication status a year ago helping ensure that increasing exports of quality Scotch whisky can be enjoyed by Chinese consumers. I wish Spirit Empire good fortune with their impressive growth plans and look forward to welcoming them to Scotland.

"Scottish Development International chief executive Anne MacColl added:

"The decision by a global company such as Xiamen Spirit Empire to further its trade with Scotland is testament to the reputation our country continues to have as the ideal place to do business. This is a huge win for Scotland - it's not only an invaluable exporting opportunity for Scottish whisky companies but it represents another major inward investment success. We look forward to working with Xiamen Spirit Empire to support the company in establishing an office base in Scotland."

Article Courtesy of scotland.gov.uk

 

scotland.gov.uk

4 Dec
2011

Six generations of whisky – family business publishes book

What would be a better way to detail six generations of a family working for a distillery than by writing a book? That’s the approach that Scottish family business Glenfarclas has taken to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

The Ballindalloch-based distiller, famous for its single malt whisky, has published Glenfarclas – An Independent Distillery, a biography of the company written by whisky author Ian Buxton.

The book highlights the family history and the journey of the business from 1865 when John Grant first acquired the distillery – the business has since been owned and managed by the Grant family.

Fifth-generation John Grant is chairman of the business, while his son George is the brand ambassador. The company was named the Distiller of the Year in 2006 by Whisky Magazine.

Article Courtesy of Campden FB

 

Campden FB

2 Dec
2011

Whisky exports soar as new "middle classes" enjoy a drink

London - Exports of Scotch whisky have rocketed this year as the 'wee dram' (small measure) is becoming the 'aspirational drink' of the fast-growing middle classes in the emerging economies of countries like China, India and Brazil, figures showed Friday.

In the first nine months of 2011, exports grew by 23 per cent, reaching a value of 3 billion pounds (4.7 billion dollars), or 125 pounds every second, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said.

Exports to Brazil were up by nearly 50 per cent, reaching almost 10 million litres of pure alcohol during the period, it said.

Whisky was emerging as the 'aspirational drink of the increasingly large middle classes' in Brazil, India, China and other so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, SWA chairman Campbell Evans said.

'India is crying out to have Scotch whisky,' he told the BBC.

Singapore was in the top four by volume and value, while exports to Taiwan rose by 20 per cent. However, there was 'still a long way to go' for whisky to make a breakthrough in China, said Evans.

'It is the breadth of the growth which is interesting,' he said.

The value of exports to the USA remained the highest of any country in the first nine months of 2011, reaching 430 million pounds.

However, the SWA stressed that much of the growth in exports to the emerging economies had been due to the reduction of trade barriers.

The next major goal was to achieve a breakthrough in European Union (EU) trade talks with India, the world's biggest whisky market, which has 150-per-cent tariffs on imported whisky.

'Our whisky sector is an international success story with more and more discerning drinkers across the globe enjoying a dram and a little bit of Scotland,' the regional minister of rural affairs, Richard Lochhead, said.

Article Courtesy of Monsters and Critics

 

monsters and critics

2 Dec
2011

Scotch whisky exports to Asia rising so fast that supplies may run short

The scotch whisky industry is on track to break another export record, with executives warning that the surge in sales could lead to supply shortages.

The latest quarterly figures from the Scotch Whisky Association show that in the last nine months its sales overseas climbed by 23% compared with last year. That is before Christmas and New Year sales are taken into account, putting the industry on course to shatter last year's £3.4bn export record.

SWA executives said this surge in popularity, built on the growth of an affluent, image-conscious middle class in emerging markets in South America and Asia, could mean that some distilleries and producers might temporarily run short of supplies, as whisky production has a "lag time" of 10 to years or more. The association calculated that this rate of sales meant the whisky industry was earning £125 every second for Britain's balance of payments, making it the "stellar" export performer and the most successful of all "fast moving" products made in the UK.

Ian Curle, the SWA's newly appointed chairman, and chief executive of the Edrington group, producers of The Famous Grouse, said much of scotch whisky's recent success overseas had been driven by the growth in consumers who see the drink as a prestigious symbol of their wealth and status, in preference to indigenous spirits. The final overseas sales value of whisky, which helps support 10,300 direct jobs and 35,000 suppliers' jobs, could be as much as £10bn. The best-selling brand is Johnnie Walker, made by Diageo, with 20% of the market.

However, the SWA warned that whisky's success was threatened by the Scottish government's proposals to introduce a minimum price for alcohol next year, which could be set at 50p a unit, leading the SWA to consider supporting court action to prevent it becoming law. Curle said minimum pricing in Scotland would make it far harder for the industry to argue against high tariffs and price controls in its overseas markets.

Curle said the association's export success gave him "great joy" but said it had been driven largely by challenging and dismantling tariffs in its fastest-growing markets, such as India and Brazil, and by vigorously promoting free trade.

He claimed there were several countries, including France and South Korea, where parliamentarians were proposing price controls on alcohol, often to protect their domestic producers, while others, such as Mexico, retained hefty import tariffs. He said: "Many of these countries have large domestic industries which are under threat by this premium category and they don't all play fair. If they're given an opportunity to introduce a new level of tax and point at something happening in our own backyard, we wouldn't put it past them to use those mechanisms."

Gavin Hewitt, the SWA's chief executive, said the association had not ruled out taking part or supporting a legal challenge to the measure. Experts believe the Scottish government will be open to challenge on several fronts – for acting outside its strictly limited powers on taxation, but also over European and global competition laws. Curle said there was a "big question mark" over Holyrood's legal competence on drinks pricing.

That would leave Westminster facing a significant predicament, since it would be the UK government, as the EU member state, that would face prosecution in Strasbourg rather than Alex Salmond's administration.

UK ministers would be presented with that challenge as soon as Holyrood passed a minimum pricing law – a move now seen as inevitable after the Scottish National party won a majority at Holyrood in May – because ministers in London would have to give the act a legal bill of health before it became law.

The SWA is pressing the UK government to completely revise its alcohol tax regime across all parts of the UK, with excise duties based on a drink's alcohol content. That would increase revenues but not fall foul of competition law, the association says.

Article Courtesy of Here Is The City

 

Here Is The City

2 Dec
2011

Whisky brand extends with US Sailing

Whisky brand Old Pulteney has extended its sponsorship of US Sailing for a further one-year period having initially agreed a deal in April 2011.

Old Pulteney's extended commitment to the national governing body sees the brand continue to provide financial support for a number of US Sailing events, including select US Sailing Adult National Championships and Speaker Series events where the Old Pulteney brand will be present on-shore.

Old Pulteney whisky gets on board with US Sailing

“We are excited Old Pulteney has agreed to extend their partnership with US Sailing and build on what we have developed in 2011,” said Jack Gierhart, executive director of US Sailing. “They are a very popular supporter amongst sailors and contribute a lot to enhancing our events.”

Pat Graney, International Beverage USA president, added, "US Sailing has truly complemented the Old Pulteney brand over the past year. We are thrilled to continue partnering with them, sharing our Scotch and offering our support to the sailing community throughout 2012."

Article Courtesy of Sports Promedia

 

Sports Promedia

1 Dec
2011

GlenDronach releases latest batch of single cask bottlings

GlenDronach releases latest batch of single cask bottlings

THE BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd. has today (December 1) released the latest batch of single cask bottlings from its GlenDronach Distillery.

This is the fifth batch of GlenDronach single casks to be released by the award-winning Aberdeenshire distillery.

The five casks were bottled over the last few weeks and are available as of today.

The batch comprises five outstanding casks from 1972 to 1993. Three have been matured in Oloroso sherry butts, one in an Oloroso sherry puncheon and the fifth in a Pedro Ximinez sherry puncheon.

All five casks have been hand-selected by The BenRiach Distillery Company’s Managing Director Billy Walker, and they all share GlenDronach’s typically luxurious, richly-sherried characteristics, plus huge layers of fruit ranging from stewed pears to prunes, cherry, plums, apples…and even rhubarb crumble!

The cask details are as follows:

1972 cask # 716 / 39 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 421 bottles
1978 cask # 1067 / 32 years old / Oloroso Sherry Puncheon / 417 bottles
1989 cask # 3314 / 21 years old / Pedro Ximinez Sherry Puncheon / 489 bottles
1991 cask # 2406 / 19 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 530 bottles
1993 cask # 1 / 18 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 507 bottles

All five whiskies were reviewed by whisky writer Jim Murray in the recently-published 2012 version of ‘Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible’, and three of them scored particularly well, with a stunning 95 points or more, as follows:

1978 cask # 1067 – 95.5 / 100
1989 cask # 3314 – 95 / 100
1991 cask # 2406 – 95 / 100

Additionally, in his annual ‘Review of the Year’, Jim Murray singles out GlenDronach as the distillery with the most consistently impressive output throughout 2011 – to quote Jim: “... if there was a Whisky Bible Scotch Malt Whisky Distillery of the year, GlenDronach would be it.”

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 Batch 5 releases, please contact us on info@glendronachdistillery.co.uk

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

November 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 Nov
2011

Ryder Cup in 2014 sponsorship with Diageo whisky firm

The deal will see Diageo promote the event in conjunction with its brands, such as Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky.

It also hoped that the biennial golf contest between Europe and the US will boost Scottish tourism.

Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, said the country's economy would benefit by up to £100m.

"Plans for the tournament are progressing well, but the support from sponsors will ensure that the event is able to maximise the benefits to Scotland, be that through increasing visitor numbers or ensuring the tournament is the most spectacular Ryder Cup ever," said Mr Salmond.

When Wales staged the event at Celtic Manor at Newport, in 2010, it is estimated that the money made from golfing tourists was up by 21% to nearly £42m for the year.

Well-known Diageo brands as well as Johnnie Walker, include Crown Royal, J & B, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

The Edinburgh-based firm also owns The Gleneagles Hotel, the host venue for the 40th staging of the event.

As part of its role it will work with Clubgolf - the Scottish junior golf development agency - at a corporate level to help promote participation in golf across Scotland.

A number of initiatives planned for the build up to 2014, the year when Scotland will also host the Commonwealth Games.

The Scottish government recently announced a £2m investment in the Clubgolf programme to build on the legacy opportunity The Ryder Cup offers.

Article Courtesy of The BBC

 

BBC

29 Nov
2011

World’s oldest whisky liqueur launched

Made with Scotch whisky aged for 55 years, the liqueur is designed to appeal to single malt drinkers and leans heavily on its whisky flavours rather than trying to mask the taste with sweetness.

The Speyside whisky was aged in Sherry casks and was then bottled non-chill-filtered before the addition of natural sugar and spices.

A Master of Malt statement said: “We made this with one goal: to create a stunning whisky liqueur for single malt whisky drinkers, and we did it by basing our recipe on a staggeringly good 55 year old sherry-matured whisky liqueur from one of Scotland’s most famous

Article Courtesy of The Drinks Business

 

The drinks Business

29 Nov
2011

Delhi Duty Free unveils Johnnie Walker Platinum Label blended Scotch whisky

As a poignant tribute to Sir Alexander Walker, grandson to founder John Walker, the blend has been sourced from single malt and grain whiskies matured for a minimum of 18 years to achieve an exceptional quality and flavour of Scotch whisky.

In recognition of Delhi Duty Free’s growing stature as a premium retail destination, DIAGEO announced the exclusive launch of their new blend of Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 YO at the Delhi Duty Free at T3, Indira Gandhi International Airport. Delhi Duty Free is the first retailer to launch this brand. As a poignant tribute to Sir Alexander Walker, grandson to founder John Walker, the blend has been sourced from single malt and grain whiskies matured for a minimum of 18 years to achieve an exceptional quality and flavour of Scotch whisky.

Said Steve O Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi Duty Free Services “Delhi Duty Free is today viewed as a premium retail destination in India, catering to brand conscious customers both nationally and internationally. Delhi Duty Free takes pride in its comprehensive range of Scotch whiskies, besides having a dedicated specialty area with over 150 Single Malt whiskies available at Uisge Beatha (Water of Life), which is one of a kind in India and we are delighted DIAGEO chose to launch the first bottle in India with Delhi Duty Free Services”.Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 YO is perfectly aged, with all whiskies a minimum of 18 years old, and has a preciously crafted rich taste, blended together with a detailed precision. Inspired by the Walker Family’s tradition of private blends, which were used as celebratory whiskies for the company’s directors, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 YO is a modern whisky for the contemporary, stylish consumer, to enjoy at their own exclusive celebrations. This whisky is exceptionally rich and sophisticated.

Article Courtesy of India Infoline

 

India Infoline

28 Nov
2011

Ultra-premium Drambuie to be offered on BA flights

Ultra-premium whisky Drambuie 15 is to be offered onboard all British Airway’s routes from December as an inflight refreshment for first and business class passengers. It will also be sold in one litre bottles through onboard retail outlet, Highlife Shop and is expected to be listed in many of the world’s major airports by January 2012.

Designed to appeal to discerning malt whisky drinkers, Drambuie 15 is a connoisseur expression of Drambuie, drawn from the company’s selection of 15yo Speyside malts. Selected for their soft, complex fragrance and flavour, the rare Speyside malts complement the herbs and spicy aromas of Drambuie’s secret recipe. Drambuie Liqueur Co global travel-retail manager Will Birkin said: “With only a handful of the world’s finest spirits chosen to be sold by this prestigious airline this a real coup for the brand. It demonstrates the quality of the spirit and premium reputation of the Drambuie name. Drambuie 15 aims to appeal to existing Drambuie customers trading up and malt whisky experimenters, making it an ideal fit with BA’s discerning passengers.”

Meanwhile double award-winning limited edition The Jacobite Collection― the Spirit of 45 is also enjoying strong sales in travel-retail and duty-free. Launched at this year’s Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes, the collection retails for £3,500 ($5,443) and has sold more than 20 units in two months. The solid wood presentation box contains a hand-etched crystal replica of the Spottiswoode “Amen” glass and a hand-blown crystal decanter which holds the rare blend of 45yo whiskies.

Birkin commented: “The Jacobite Collection was very well received at the Tax Free World Association show in Cannes in September, especially in winning awards for Luxury Drinks Brand of the Year and Best Drinks launch. Demand for the product has since been incredibly strong.”

Article Courtesy of DFNIonline

 

DFNIonline

28 Nov
2011

Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve Whisky campaign devised by Love

Manchester agency Love has taken the wraps off its latest work for drinks giant Diageo - a campaign to promote Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve whisky in Asia.

Love's brief was to "position the whisky brand as a drink of celebration and flamboyance". It produced a film and stills which are now being launched as the 'Spirit of Celebration' campaign, running across Asia in premium venues, bars, retail outlets and airports.

Mike Hughes, creative head at Love, said: "Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve, ‘The Spirit Of Celebration’, is a campaign that celebrates the uniquely flamboyant character of Gold Reserve, whilst at the same time championing the new spirit of optimism in China.

"Our creative approach was to reflect this character of celebration through dance in a fresh and contemporary way in keeping with the Johnnie Walker progressive DNA.”

Love commissioned Universal Everything and Realise to produce the moving image animation. It worked with regular collaborator Tom Van Schelven on the photography.

Article Courtesy of Yahoo

 

The Drum

28 Nov
2011

Master of Malt Announce St Isidore – a Blended Whisky Created by Bloggers

Master of Malt is proud to finally announce the release of the blended whisky, St Isidore, created entirely by whisky bloggers. To make this blend, the spirits retailer called upon the great and the good of the whisky industry including names such as Whisky Magazine, Edinburgh Whisky Blog, CaskStrength.net and Whisky Cast.

Master of Malt started by sending blending kits to 10 prominent whisky bloggers, and asked them to create the best blended whisky they could using the ingredients provided, whilst maximising its value for money. The bloggers’ recipes were made up and sold in sample sets, and Master of Malt asked the public to vote for which recipe should be made into the brand’s next whisky.

The votes were counted (using the AV system) and a rather smoky, Islay-inspired blend was chosen as the winner, before the bloggers agreed on a name for the blend, calling it St Isidore after the patron saint of the internet. For the final stage, Master of Malt called on graphic designers to submit label designs for the bottle, which summed up St Isidore, the blend, and the whisky blogging community, making them as creative as possible.

The winning designer, who was awarded a £250 spending spree at Master of Malt, was English artist Ben Sowter, who created a psychedelic, larger-than-life depiction of St Isidore enjoying his namesake blend. The label features numerous computer and internet in-jokes, for example a monitor lizard represents a computer’s monitor, and there is a bag of coins, representing a “cache”. In total, there are around 20 different hidden internet-related jokes and Easter Eggs!

You can buy a bottle of St Isidore from Master of Malt.

Tasting Notes for St Isidore:

Nose: Sweet creamy aromas that meld well with a cool, oily, almost coastal wood smoke. It instantly transports you to Islay, whilst offering just a hint of plum wine, wood shavings and lapsang souchong tea. Time in the glass brings out notes of guava, warm custard and rhubarb crumble.

Palate: Thick, warming and balanced as it hits the tongue, it offers notes of really good vanilla ice cream, black pepper, and rum spices, whilst retaining a solid backbone of sweet woodsmoke and freshly-sawn timber. Hold it on the tongue for just a touch of salty popcorn and crème caramel.

Finish: Beautifully warming and spiced. It fades away on freshly grated cinnamon and sugared peels. A faint flutter of pear juice on the very tail.

Overall: A perfect smoky blend. This is a very old-school whisky, combining the smoke of Islay, and the rich, honeyed tones of the Highlands. A superb winter fireside dram if ever there was one.

Article Courtesy of Yahoo

 

Yahoo

28 Nov
2011

Robots aid whisky barrel coopers

The hi-tech systems have been installed at a new custom-designed £10m cooperage near Alloa in Clackmannanshire.

Diageo said the systems at their Cambus plant had never been used in a cooperage and would improve the working lives of the coopers.

The project comes after Diageo cut 900 jobs at its Kilmarnock and Glasgow sites in 2009.

The losses were offset by the creation of about 400 posts at a packaging plant at Leven in Fife.

The 40 coopers at the new plant will craft a quarter of a million casks a year.

Each one weighs 85kg (188lb) and were traditionally lifted by hand into the kiln to be fired and sealed.

Callum Bruce, 51, has worked as a cooper for 35 years and said he was feeling the difference.

He said: "I'm not any youngster and the limbs are getting a bit sore now, and I think the machinery helps that aspect of things.

"It certainly helps when you're working away. With the machinery you have it's not as sore on the old bones."

The Diageo team worked closely with engineering firm CI Logistics to design conveyors for moving the casks around the cooperage, between the hand-craft elements of the process.

Similar systems are used in car factories around the world and the company said the result was the world's most "innovative cooperage".

 

Training ground

But Grain Distilling Director Richard Bedford said machinery would never replace men when it comes to coopering.

He said: "We're investing heavily in apprentices, we've had 16 apprentices here in the last five years, we've built an apprentice school into the cooperage here where we've currently got eight apprentices training at the moment.

"We are determined to keep the craft and skill of coopering alive, that's very important to us."

The casks built by the coopers will be filled with whisky and stored in the bonded warehouses that stand alongside the cooperage. It is the largest bond in Europe and already holds 3 million casks.

The new Cambus cooperage will be officially opened on Monday morning by the Earl of Wessex, an Honorary Member of the Incorporation of Coopers.

Article Courtesy of BBC

 

BBC

25 Nov
2011

John Doe wins global PR account for Ballantine's whisky

Ballantine’s is part of the Chivas Brothers whisky portfolio owned by global wine and spirits giant, Pernod Ricard.

Following a pitch process reported in PRWeek, John Doe has been appointed to handle the global PR for the brand, working alongside a wider team of digital and advertising agencies, to create integrated campaigns, both globally and within the UK.

Former Adidas global PR manager and now John Doe director Rosie Holden will head up the account.

According to the International Wine & Spirit Research's Database 2011, Ballantine's is the top-selling whisky in Europe.

Commenting on the appointment, John Doe director Peter Chipchase said: ‘Ballantine’s is the number two Scotch whisky brand in the world and the number one in Europe, and the remit to act like a challenger brand offers an amazing opportunity to make innovative work in partnership with their in-house global PR team.’

Earlier this month, Ballantine’s announced the release of a new limited edition gift tin for its 12 Year Old expression range for the Christmas period. The special edition reflects the brand’s ‘Beyond’ global creative platform, which has been supported by a number of art events, advertising and mechandise.

Article Courtesy of PRWeek

 

PRWeek

24 Nov
2011

Whisky’s do’s and don’ts

Whisky, a form of alcohol distilled from cereals, is the most popular hard-alcoholic beverage in the world. The Scots and the Irish make it from barley whereas the Americans and the Canadians, make it from corn or rye. We, on the other hand, distil it from fermented molasses which, outside the subcontinent, would more likely be labelled rum. With its distinct flavours and aromas, whisky today has become one of the highest consumed spirits in the world.

 

What makes a good whisky and how does one recognise it?

A good whisky depends on whether you like it smooth or harsh. Some pointers to recognise a good whisky are a good body; pale yellow to dark tan colour, a well-rounded flavour and the aromas should give you a hint of rye, some oak wood and a bit of smokiness.

 

A good cocktail suggestion that one can conjure at home?

Whisky is not a neutral alcohol. Lime is always a good additive as it cuts down the harshness. Other than that, crushed mint leaves, ginger ale, cola and of course, water.

 

What should not be added in a whisky cocktail?

Sprite and orange juice are a strict no-no. Be very careful with juices and fruits. Single malts should either be had neat or on the rocks. Blended Scotch goes well with part-soda and part-water combos.

Article Courtesy of Deccan Chronicle

 

Deccan Chronicle

23 Nov
2011

Leading Scotch whisky launches aspirational on-pack promotion

Pernod Ricard UK is supporting its luxury Scotch whisky brand, Chivas Regal, with a significant marketing campaign in the run up to the key Christmas trading period. The investment includes an extensive above-the-line campaign and an on-pack promotion to reinforce the brand platform – ‘Live with Chivalry’ – and drive consumer brand awareness.

The out-of-home advertising campaign sees the brand focussing on high-footfall London sites, such as Canary Wharf and The City, to reach the brand’s target audience of 25-34 year old males. The advertising campaign is being supported by digital activation and a print partnership using its ‘Live with Chivalry’ brand platform, which draws inspiration from the fundamental values of modern gentlemen.

In addition, Chivas Regal has created a bespoke creative for Bank Underground station to target city workers and communicate chivalry through business and finance to create a really impactful brand presence.

To complete the 360° ‘Live with Chivalry’ campaign, the Chivas 12 year-old bottle sports an on-pack promotion to win a ‘money can’t buy experience’. One winner, plus three friends, will win a training session with sporting legend, ex-England rugby star, Mike Catt. They will also be taken on a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Twickenham, enjoy a luxury post-training meal and the rare opportunity to try the most revered Chivas whiskies. There are also 50 limited-edition signed rugby shirts to be won. Consumers can also enter via Facebook – www.facebook.com/ChivasRegalUK.

Commenting on the activity, Vicky Wood, Marketing Controller for Pernod Ricard UK, says: “We want to talk directly to our key consumers ahead of Christmas, and we believe our targeted advertising supported by this exclusive promotion, is an exciting proposition for our target audience.”

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

23 Nov
2011

New TV ad for Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky

The Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky, distributed by Maxxium UK, has announced a heavyweight media campaign for Christmas 2011 with a brand new advert coming to TV screens across the UK, reaching an estimated 37 million consumers.

The Famous Grouse Family TV adverts have become a keenly anticipated feature of the Christmas season. For the first time in 15 years, The Black Grouse brand will take the lead in the TV advertising for the portfolio, which now includes The Snow Grouse and The Naked Grouse alongside The Famous Grouse.

The new ad created by AMV BBDO, will air from the 5 to 25 December across the UK, with an up-weighted campaign in Scotland due to premiere on the 21 November culminating on Hogmanay with sponsorship of STV’s live coverage. The campaign is also timed to coincide with St Andrew’s Day celebrations and a national sampling campaign in partnership with The Herald.

The advert will unveil the new strapline; ‘A touch of brilliance’ and reveal more of the unique character of The Black Grouse. The witty creative shows The Black Grouse putting its own twist on the iconic Famous Grouse theme tune.

The Black Grouse is a blend of The Famous Grouse with its own touch of brilliance – select peated malts are added to create a distinctive smoky but smooth blend.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

23 Nov
2011

Black Bull Scotch Whisky Wins Fifth Gold Medal of the Year

Black Bull 40 Year Old, the luxury blend from Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Limited has been awarded a gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2011. This incredible achievement for the range follows a stream of 2011 successes, that have seen the brand take gold medals at the World Whisky Awards, International Wine & Spirits Competition and the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.

Black Bull 40 year old is our exclusive small batch expression which best captures the boldly refined yet balanced character of Black Bull Whisky.

Black Bull 40 Year Old, the flagship of the Black Bull range is a luxury blend of the finest single malt and single grain whiskies available from Scotland’s premium distilleries. Black Bull 40 year old is 90% single malt and 10% single grain and is bottled at cask strength. The spirit is completely natural, without chill filtration or added colourant.

Judges tasting notes: “Good, balanced maturity. Exotic, with cinnamon spice and a long medium-dry finish.”

Established in 1995, the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) is the most authoritative, respected and influential spirits competition in the world, recognising and promoting outstanding quality spirits from across the globe.

Held annually in London, the ISC is founded on a rigorous and objective blind tasting process, by panels of selected master distillers, blenders, specialist writers and prominent industry figures – all acknowledged experts in their field.

This independent process serves to encourage the high caliber of spirits entered into the International Spirits Challenge competition each year. Receiving more than 1,000 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide makes the ISC a truly global competition.

Supported by the world’s leading spirits producers, the ISC sets the international standard for quality and excellence. To pass the scrupulous assessment of the judging panel and win an ISC award is an impressive achievement for any spirit.

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky selects whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland, bottling a range of luxury single malt and grain Scotch whiskies as well as its award winning range of blended whiskies from its base in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Article Courtesy of Yahoo News

 

Yahoo News

22 Nov
2011

Aldi to sell 40 year old whisky with £250 discount

Discount retailer Aldi is to sell a limited edition 40 year old Speyside Single Malt Whisky in the run-up to Christmas for £49.99 instead of £300.

The German supermarket will sell 3,000 bottles of the Speyside Single Malt across its 450 stores in December. However, demand is expected to outstrip supply as only six or seven bottles will be sold in each store.

Aldi's Spirits Buyer said: "Whisky of this quality and age would usually sell for around £300 plus. Aldi is giving customers the chance to get hold of a very high quality luxury product for a very low price."

Presented in a stylish gift box, the whisky has been matured in European Oak Sherry casks, resulting in a very intense and rich flavour.

The product is predicted to sell out in hours when it hits Aldi’s shelves on 8 December.

Article Courtesy of the Retail Bulletin

 

Retail Bulletin

22 Nov
2011

Free Entry to Glengoyne Distillery to Celebrate St. Andrews Day

On the weekend of 26 and 27 of November Glengoyne will be offering free admission to “Scotland’s most beautiful distillery” to celebrate St. Andrews Day and the launch of Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

Open from 10.00am – 5pm (last tour 4pm) the picturesque distillery is offering free entry to the Glengoyne Tour (normal price £6.75) which lasts one hour and includes a dram of 10 Years Old Highland Single Malt as you watch the brand new visitor information film. The film will give a glimpse into life at the distillery before you are taken to meet the stars on a fun and informative tour of the working distillery, learning the methods of whisky making handed down over the generations.

Stuart Hendry, Brand and Development Manager for Glengoyne commented: “What better way is there to celebrate Scotland’s national day than with Scotland’s national drink. We are always looking for new ways to share distillery life and the passion we have for whisky and hope that by offering free entry for St. Andrew’s Day we will be able to meet a host of potential new Glengoyne fans.”

Glengoyne Distillery, which offers an unrivalled visitor experience, is situated just 30 minutes outside Glasgow, looking out over the breath-taking West Highland Way. The event is open to all ages.

For directions and further information visit www.glengoyne.com or call 01360 550 229

For more information on the range of events for Scotland’s Winter Festivals please visit www.scotland.org/winter

Glengoyne will also be at the Edenmill Farm Food Festival on 26 & 27 November offering tastings and Christmas gift ideas. For more information see www.edenmill.co.uk/food-festival

Article Courtesy of glengoyne

 

Glengoyne

22 Nov
2011

A Swede taste of Scotland’s national drink

A TRIO of Swedish drinks industry workers are being put through their paces at Benromach distillery in Moray as part of a scheme to create whisky ambassadors in Scandinavia.

Bar manager Susan Stenström, whisky magazine editor Emma Andersson and restaurateur Helena Hugo will learn about milling, mashing and distilling from Gordon & MacPhail, the Scotch bottler that owns the site.

The Swedes will be christened as “honorary stillmen” at the end of their training.

Michael Urquhart, joint managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, said: “Sweden has a huge whisky following and is becoming an increasingly popular market for Benromach. We hope the ladies will share their experiences of their scholarship and our single malt whisky.”

Each of the Swedish women is already recognised as an expert in Scotland’s national drink.

Stenström and Hugo have both opened their own venues in Sweden to serve Scotch, while Andersson’s publication, Allt Om Whisky, is “one of the world’s best whisky magazines”.

Article Courtesy of scotsman

 

scotsman

21 Nov
2011

Online retailer launches DIY whisky blending service

Master of Malt has launched a service that allows whisky lovers to blend their own whisky.

Consumers can use a set of sliders on one of the online retailer's web pages to adjust the quantities of 10 different whiskies to make their own blend.

The price of a full bottle, or a six-bottle case, of the finished blend varies according to the quantities of each constituent whisky used, with prices adjusted in real-time as visitors to the site adjust the sliders.

To help create the blend, Master of Malt is also selling a home blending kit containing samples of each of the 10 different blending whiskies - which include malt and grain base whiskies, single malts for the core of the blend, and some very old and rare spirits.

The kit – priced £49.95 – also contains measuring equipment, a conical flask and a tasting glass for creating the blend, before ordering a full bottle, which can be personalised with the creator's name.

Article Courtesy of off licence news

 

off licence news

21 Nov
2011

Supermarket sells 'very low price' 40-year-old Scotch whisky

Whisky casked in a Scottish distillery in 1971 will go on sale in a supermarket chain.

Aldi will retail 3,000 bottles of a 40-year-old single malt whisky across their 450 UK stores starting from December 8.

The limited edition Speyside Single Malt Whisky comes from an unnamed Scottish distillery.

They said they are the first supermarket to sell a 40-year-old single malt and, given its £49.99 price tag, they expect it to sell out within hours.

A spokesman for the supermarket said: "Whisky of this quality and age would usually sell for around £300 plus.

"Aldi is giving customers the chance to get hold of a very high quality luxury product for a very low price."

The taste is described as "intense and rich... with an aroma of dark chocolate and dried figs, the sweet taste gives off a marmalade zestiness, and the dry oak tannins fade into a lingering sweet and mellow finish."

A second bottle, a Glen Marnoch 24-year-old single malt whisky, is also available in the store from November 24.

Article Courtesy of stv

 

stv

18 Nov
2011

Two World of Patria travel-retail premium whiskies win award and high praise from whisky guru Jim Murray

Wine, beer and spirit distributor World of Patria International (WOPI) has announced that a number of premium whiskies in its travel-retail portfolio have been awarded and highly praised by Jim Murray in the Whisky Bible 2012 Awards.

Duncan Taylor’s Peerless Glen Grant 1970 cask 3497 was selected best single malt Scotch 35-40 Years (single cask), rated against a record crop of almost 1,500 whiskies. The award-winning whisky is described as “an outstanding, world-class whisky of the rarest quality.”

The award for best blended Scotch 26-50 years went to The Last Drop for its 50yo Blended Whisky. Jim Murray had an exclusive preview of this latest whisky, which will be available in travel-retail from the distributor in 2012. WOPI currently offers The Last Drop blended whiskies including the 1960 Blended Scotch Whisky and 1950 Cognac to global travel-retail markets, and will be adding The Last Drop 50yo Blended Scotch whisky during 2012.

WOPI director Kevin Baker said: “The philosophy of WOPI is to develop a portfolio of premium and super-premium spirits that stand out from the rest; that offer the travel-retail sector truly niche, exciting brands that make a statement in what is a very competitive market place. So to have brands such as Wemyss, The Last Drop and Duncan Taylor so highly awarded and commended by Jim Murray in his 2012 Whisky Bible is a tremendous plus for us, clearly showing we are on the right track with our choice of brand partners.

“The award for the Last Drop 50yo has already caused quite a stir with one of our leading travel-retail customers and we are very much looking forward to working closely with the brand owner to create some spectacular activity for this new expression next year.”

 

Article Courtesy of dfnionline

 

dfnionline

18 Nov
2011

Diageo is launching a new limited edition whisky SKU

Just in time for Christmas gifting occasions, Diageo is launching a new limited edition SKU – Johnnie Walker Double Black blended scotch whisky.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is the number one deluxe whisky in GB and with a smokier and more intense flavour than Black Label, Johnnie Walker Double Black offers consumers more of the Black Label they already love – but with an edgy, masculine twist.

The new liquid will be identifiable as part of the Johnnie Walker portfolio, but varies from Black Label in the way it is blended. Double Black contains a higher proportion of whiskies that have been matured in charred wood or have a naturally smoky flavour, so that the final combination delivers a smokier and more intense Black Label blend.

The latest addition to the Johnnie Walker portfolio will also be distinguishable from its contemporaries through its distinctive packaging. Its carton features a ‘charred wood’ effect background which alludes to the woody properties of the new blend. The bottle inside is tinted charcoal grey to preserve an air of intrigue about the liquid within, and maintains the new Black Label bottle shape.

Currently available in Sainsbury’s and RTM wholesale regional outlets, Johnnie Walker Double Black will be supported above the line as part of a £1m campaign for the whole Johnnie Walker family. Activity specific to Double Black will include in-store sampling, a limited edition pack sleeve and an on-pack sticker highlighting the gold medal win in the super premium whisky category at the ‘Spirits Business Masters 2010’.

Andrew Philbey, Head of Customer Activation for Reserve Brands at Diageo GB, comments: “Double Black is not just a darker version of Black Label – the name refers to the character of the new SKU rather than just its colour. Double Black has the same roots as Black Label but is a more mysterious, edgy and intriguing proposition.

“The liquid has already received critical acclaim from consumers and critics, winning the top award at the Spirits Business Masters 2010, and being awarded a gold medal award at the International Spirits Challenge 2011.

“With Christmas gifting occasions currently at the forefront of consumers’ minds, we anticipate that this new innovation, which builds upon the Black Label offer that they already love, will drive retail value and margin for retailers throughout its limited availability period.”

 

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

18 Nov
2011

Wine column: On the whisky trail

RAISE a glass to St Andrew’s on November 30 with a wee dram.

The spirit of legend, whisky is sometimes referred to as the ’water of life’, and must be matured for a minimum of three years.

Made from three simple ingredients – grain, water and yeast – the aromas and tastes are achieved by small variations in the distilling process; where the distillery draws its water, and the length of maturation in oak or sherry casks.

To nose and appreciate Scotch, it’s important to determine the style and characteristics of the type of whisky you ultimately want to drink – and a dash of water will increase the aromas, mellow the depth of flavour and champion your drinking pleasure.

Blended whiskies are a mixture of single malt and single grain whiskies which create an easy-drinking, elegant style.

More than 90% of all Scotch whisky is a blend, and master blenders have perfected the art of creating a sweetness in their whisky by nosing out the right cask, and these are the easiest to sip.

A Scottish favourite, Whyte & Mackay has linked up with Waitrose to produce its entry level Whyte & Mackay Blended Scotch Malt Whisky (£18.19, 70cl, Waitrose), a Decanter World Wine Awards winner two years ago.

For purists and collectors, a single malt (produced from one distillery) is the only bottle to have in your drinks cabinet and the most prized labels are from distilleries in Speyside.

The most collected of all malts, The Macallan is famed for “first class, top dressing malt”, and set a new trend when it started releasing vintage bottlings in the 1980s. While you may not be in the market for a rare vintage, The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Year Old (£32, 70cl, Tesco) has its trademark sherry influence, a Christmas fruit-cake character and malty finish.

From Dufftown to Delhi (India is the largest consumer of whisky in the world), Glenfiddich produces the most popular single malt across five continents. For a taste of success, try Glenfiddich Rich Oak (£34.19, 70cl, http://shop.glenfiddich.com/shop), a 14 year old single malt matured in untouched American and European oak casks. Soft and rich with candied fruit and spice, vanilla bean, and a pleasant oaky sweetness on the finish.

The Glenlivet has a smart gift pack with The Glenlivet 15 Year Old (£35.29, 70cl, Morrisons). Smooth and delicate with toffee and caramel flavours, and a chocolatey, rich sweetness on the finish.

Venturing further north into the Highlands, the heather and the weather influence Scotland’s rich flavour map. Try Glenmorangie’s limited edition Glenmorangie Original and the ’First Footing’ Scottish Coal luxury gift box (£31.49, 70cl, Selfridges nationwide). Its best-selling 10 year old single malt is delicate with honey and sultana flavours, and a sprinkling of toasted almonds. It comes with a symbolic piece of coal to bring good health, wealth and good fortune on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve in Scotland).

 

Article Courtesy of Examiner

 

Examiner

18 Nov
2011

Adding flair to whisky

That is if one took too much of the stuff without taking good amounts of water to tame the different whisky brands that formed part of this year's Whisky Live Festival.

Valpré spring water, winner of the prestigious international Monde Selection Gold Quality Award, was the preferred spring water at this year's FNB Whisky Live Festival for the third consecutive year.

Valpré spring water had a stand at the festival to educate new whisky drinkers, and polish the knowledge of more established whisky consumers through the exciting Valpré Whisky Sommelier's course conducted by Paula Howsey, a whisky sommelier from the Cape Town Whisky Academy.

Paula hosted these informative mixing sessions at both the Cape Town and Johannesburg festivals, and focussed on how to blend the right amount of the spring water to your preferred whisky.

"While wine 'breathes' when it's exposed to air, whisky 'awakens' and comes alive when mixed with spring water," said Paula, describing how a drop of Valpré, releases the fiery mystique of a great whisky.

Valpré's Sommelier's course shared the secrets of getting up close and personal with your dram; how to gently breathe in the whisky's hidden scents, sip it to let it slowly coat and caress your taste buds to reveal the whisky's spirit and gently swallow the spirit with a sigh of satisfaction.

Senior brand manager at Valpré, Linda Appie, described the partnership between Valpré spring water and whisky as a natural fit.

"What many consumers don't know is that water is a key ingredient in all phases of the production and distilling of whisky," she said.

"It makes sense then to mix your favourite whisky with spring water. Valpré has established a relationship with the Whisky Academy that will extend beyond this festival."

 

Article Courtesy of Sowetan

 

Sowetan

17 Nov
2011

Taiwanese whisky included in 2012 Whisky Bible

Taipei, Nov. 17 (CNA) A Taiwan-distilled whisky has won top recognition from world-renowned whisky connoisseur Jim Murray and has been included in the latest edition of his malt whisky guide, the Whisky Bible, the distillery said Thursday. According to King Car Group, which produces the whisky, its Kavalan Soloist Fino Single Cask scored 97 out of a possible 100 and has been awarded the title of New World Whisky of the Year. The Whisky Bible, which Murray began publishing in 2003, evaluates blends based on four criteria -- nose, taste, finish and balance -- each with a highest mark of 25, and also contains tasting notes. Murray, an English writer and journalist, describes the Kavalan as "a perfect fino sherry" and that "the dry, slightly salty grape offers both a sweet juiciness and a weightier dry pulpiness." The distillery attributed the honor to its master blender, Chang Yu-lan, and the high quality water from Taiwan's central mountain range and Syueshan Mountain that is used to produce the three-year-old whisky. Since being first marketed in December 2008, Kavalan has won many honors, including a gold medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition this year and a silver medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition from 2009-2011. Last January, whisky from the same Taiwanese distillery beat some of the most historic blends in a blind tasting in the United Kingdom organized by The Times newspaper. (Yang Shu-min and Jamie Wang)

 

Article Courtesy of the Taiwan News

 

Taiwan News

17 Nov
2011

Photographer Creates Limited Edition Packaging For Whisky Brand Using X-Ray Machine

The award-winning British photographer and artist Nick Veasey has used an x-ray machine to create a series of images for limited edition packaging of The Macallan whisky. The Sherry Oak 12 years old line will feature the six x-ray photographs, which represent The Macallan’s Six Pillars, the distinctive features of the product: a house (Easter Elchies House, the spiritual home of The Macallan), a still (curiously small stills give The Macallan its rich character), scissors (the finest cut of spirit – only 16% of the distillation is filled into cask), a cask (exceptional oak casks are used to mature the whisky), a feather (natural colour, as no artificial colourings are used in any of their whiskies), and a liquid drop (the peerless spirit that is The Macallan). Nick Veasey explains his style of photography:

"We live in a world obsessed with image. What we look like, what our clothes look like, houses, cars… I like to counter this obsession with superficial appearance by using X-rays to strip back the layers and show what it is like under the surface. Often the integral beauty adds intrigue to the familiar."

 

Article Courtesy of psfk

 

psfk

16 Nov
2011

Get purer whisky taste with a water filter

Like a little water with that whisky? Many people, including golden-nosed experts, do. A splash can lift the aroma, breaking up what your chemistry teacher called ester chains and freeing up volatile compounds. But you paid how much for that single malt? Why sully it with chlorinated tap water?

Enter the Mavea. Filter jugs have been around for 40 years, pioneered by the Brita company of Germany. In 2000, Brita sold the brand in North and South America to Clorox. Now the same German firm is launching a fresh competitive assault on the market here with a new-generation pitcher. More stylish than Brita jugs, it reduces all the bad stuff, including chlorine and heavy metals, just like other pitchers.

That makes the water not only cleaner but taste softer, like the Scottish water used to make great whisky. And it features a proprietary filter with a micro screen to reduce black-particle release, an unsightly disadvantage with other filters. Your dram will look as pure as it tastes. Mavea Elemaris pitchers are available in black, white and red and in two sizes, five-glass and nine-glass, $34.99 and $39.99. Sold at Pepper Mill in Toronto and other kitchenware stores across the country.

 

Article Courtesy of The Globe And Mail

 

The Globe And Mail

16 Nov
2011

Row over “alcohol-free whisky” deepens

The SWA said last week that such a product is illegal under European law, but Arkay has dismissed the body’s stance as “inaccurate and unjust”.

Zeshan Ahmed, vice president of sales at Arkay, told the drinks business: “We are aware that the Scotch Whisky Association has made a number of media statements in relation to Arkay which we believe are factually inaccurate and unfounded.

“We are disappointed that Arkay has encountered such inaccurate and unjustified criticism.”

European law dictates that the name “whisky” cannot be “used to describe or present in any way whatsoever” any drink other than whisky.

Glen Barclay, director of legal affairs at the SWA, said of the “alcohol-free whisky” moniker: “Such promotion is taking advantage of the high quality reputation of the product that is whisky, which is a distilled spirit produced from natural ingredients, when it is in fact just a soft drink with artificial flavourings.

“Not only will consumers be confused, but such a product unfairly trades on the reputation of genuine whisky.”

However, Ahmed insists that while the brand may indeed be called “alcohol-free whisky” in the US, where such a description is legal, Arkay recognises the need to change the name for the UK and European markets.

He told db: “To be clear the product description ‘Alcohol Free Whisky Flavoured Drink’ relates only to our Arkay product being sold in the US and having consulted extensively with our American attorneys and the FDA this product description is fully compliant with the relevant American regulations.

“We understand the restrictions regarding the use of the word ‘whisky’ in respect of sales denominations within the European Union, under EC Regulations, and as such our UK and European labelling and product description in respect of Arkay will be reflective of this.

“For the avoidance of doubt the Arkay product is yet to be launched in the UK and Europe.

“We are fully aware of the global remit of the Scotch Whisky Association to protect the Scotch whisky industry.

“At no point in time has Arkay Beverages used the sales denomination ‘Scotch whisky’ in relation to Arkay. It is clearly marked and designed as a non-alcoholic flavoured drink which has a ‘similar taste to whisky’ and will be marketed as such.

“To reiterate, to pretend it is whisky or contains whisky would be completely contrary to the marketing of Arkay.”

The SWA told the drinks business that it stands by its original statement and will “monitor and investigate the sale and promotion of the product with a view to taking appropriate action”.

 

Article Courtesy of The Drinks Business

 

The Drinks Business

16 Nov
2011

Macallan single malt whisky uses 3D for point of sale promotion

The Macallan single malt whisky can now be seen in a 3D holographic point of sale campaign promoting its travel retail range The Macallan 1824 Collection.

The promotion was commissioned by brand owners The Edrington Group for use by Maxxium Travel Retail, a marketing and distribution company.

The campaign features holographic 3D animations at point of sale locations in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and The Macallan distillery in Speyside, Scotland.

The in-store promotion was produced by 3D company Inition and features The Macallan 1824 Limited Release decanter with 3D animations appearing in and around the bottle.

The creative tells the story of the whisky from its heritage in the Scottish Highlands to the different stages of the distillation process.

Inition’s 3D artists worked with existing assets to create the CGI content from three different perspectives to allow the footage to be viewed from all angles.

 

Article Courtesy of AV Interactive

 

AV Interactive

15 Nov
2011

Whisky firm in Auld Alliance takeover

A MAJOR independent Perthshire distillery has been taken over by a French company.

Tullibardine Limited, owner-operator of the Tullibardine Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery based in Blackford, has been sold to the Picard family based at the Château de Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy, France.

The deal was concluded with the agreement of shareholders late last week.

The Picard group enjoyed a 100 million Euro turnover in 2008, and employs 400 people, with a presence in 55 countries worldwide.

The sale of the business to the French group is said to further strengthen its interest in whisky following the purchase of the Highland Queen brand from the Glenmorangie company in 2009.

Chairman Michel Picard said: “The purchase of Tullibardine Distillery provides synergies and a platform for growth for our Scotch whisky business. Tullibardine is a wonderful single malt Scotch whisky and we look forward to working with the team at the distillery to increase the profile, awareness and sales of the brand over the coming years.”

Alan Williamson, chairman of Tullibardine, said: “The shareholders of Tullibardine are delighted to conclude a sale of the business to the Picard family. The business will undoubtedly benefit from the skills, expertise and distribution which the group can create for the Tullibardine brand and we wish them every success over the years to come.

“We have been custodians of the Tullibardine brand for the last eight years and the time is now right for us to hand it over and for Picard to take it to the next level. We wish them every success.”

Until the deal, the distillery was one of Scotland’s last remaining independent whisky distillers.

The site at Blackford, opened in 1949, was designed by Delme Evans who worked at various other distilleries around Scotland. The distillery was mothballed in 1995 after twice changing hands but revived in 2003 by Tullibardine Ltd.

The takeover comes at a time when there is renewed and growing interest in whisky on international markets, with major expansion on course in Asia.

 

Article Courtesy of the Perthshire Advertiser

 

Perthshire Advertiser

15 Nov
2011

Not for the Faint Hearted

If you’re looking for a gift for the man that’s hard to buy for, you could probably put a smile on his face with a bottle of single malt whisky. Perfect for aficionados and enthusiasts, the Lagavulin 16yr old is celebrated for it’s intense, smoky flavour, very much the hallmark of all the whiskys from the wilds of Islay.

Lagavulin, distilled since 1816 is perhaps the finest example of a smoky single malt and will definitely put hairs on even the most metrosexual of chests.

A complex and spirited blend, the Lagavulin has lapsang souchong on the nose, followed by peat and sea salt on the palate with an elegant wood finish. This drop is ideal for frosty evenings spent in front of a roaring fire, or at least the heater set on high.

The 16yr old has had time to mature and is smoother and sweeter than it’s younger brother
(the 12yr old). Available in smaller bottles, these make an impressive gift for well under £20 and could upgrade your Christmas hampers to legendary status.

 

Article Courtesy of Foodepedia

 

Foodepedia

14 Nov
2011

Bell's whisky gets £1.35m push

Diageo GB is re-positioning its Bell’s blended scotch whisky brand via a £1.35m TV ad campaign.

According to Diageo, Bell’s is the number one blended whisky in the UK, with a 25% share of the total blended whisky category.

The ad campaign will run from now until the end of December, with more coverage than last year’s TV campaign, spanning TV, pub TV and digital channels. There will also be an "up-weighting" in Scotland at the end of November and in to December.

Oakley Walters, Bell’s brand manager said: “Our research has shown that Bell’s consumers are young at heart, socially active people who are open to new experiences and want their whisky to be a reliable, quality drink.

“Through our new campaign we are re-invigorating the brand and helping the blended whisky category to grow by dialling-up the benefits of blended whisky and the quality of Bell’s.”

 

Article Courtesy of Drinks International

 

Drinks International

13 Nov
2011

Whatever your preference, there’s a whisky for you

Extra distilled, extra matured – and now – “never mixed” is the language that whisky distilleries and alcohol beverage companies associate black affluent South African consumers with.

Since the first bottle of Scottish whisky was shipped to South Africa, local consumers have always been known to prefer blended whiskies – partly because it is cheaper but also because of its milder taste.

Scottish distilleries call it whisky, Irish call it whiskey and in South Africa we call it whichever name tastes best. But what really, is the difference between whisky and whiskey?

Scottish distillers, Glenfiddich explained it to us at the FNB Whiskey Festival in Cape Town last week. They said Scotch malt was made of one distillery and was malted in barley. Scottish blend was made of many distilleries mixed with grain and corn. Irish malt was made the same way as Scotch malt but was “unmalted”. American whisky was made of corn, rye and barley.

According to Dominic Malan, the marketing manager of premium whisky at South Africa’s leading premium drinks company Brandhouse Beverages, about 95 percent of South African consumers drink blended whisky. However, a growth in the consumption of the “never mixed” single malt whiskies has shown a rise.

“There’s a shift upwards in South African consumers. We are seeing growth in malt which is driven by black affluent consumers. They call it the ‘Grand daddy of peat’,” Malan said.

Brandhouse’s leading whisky brands include Johnnie Walker, Bells, Singleton and J&B. All their brands are imported from Scotland.

“The biggest preference is for Scottish whisky in South Africa. We distribute over 3 million cases measuring off-trade,” said Shannon Yuill, Brandhouse’s portfolio manager of spirits.

The group said the House of Johnnie Walker was showing strong results in the local market having taken 2.7 percent volume points over the past year and having delivered over 49.5 percent volume growth and over 99.7 percent volume growth in the short term.

But according to Andy Watts, master distiller of South Africa’s internationally acclaimed label Three Ships, South Africans “have really come to love our proudly South African whiskies”.

“In the past, South Africa was traditionally a Scottish-style whisky market. After 1994 this changed with the introduction of the American Bourbons and Irish whiskies and in recent years also whisky from countries like Japan.

“This has created interest and consumers tend to experiment with different taste profiles… The style of a whisky is becoming increasingly important as perceptions change and whisky lovers begin to appreciate style rather than age alone,” he said.

Three Ships Select is a high quality blend of South African and Scotch whiskies and has grown to become the seventh largest whisky by volume in South Africa since its launch in 1977.

Local distillery, Distell houses Three Ships together with two other locally produced whiskies: Bain’s Cape Mountain and Knights Whisky, which Watts also distil.

At the Whiskey Festival, whisky ages ranged from one to over 60 years of age.

Watts said their whiskies were still small in volumes when compare to Scottish whiskies but they were growing yearly.

“The South African consumer just loves whisky and there is a tendency towards premium whiskies within South Africa and this aspiration desire just helps to pull along the whole category,” he said.

 

Article Courtesy of The Independant Online

 

The Independent Online

13 Nov
2011

Whisky industry woos India on tax

THE Scotch whisky industry will this week press its case for fairer access to what could develop into its biggest market during a high ranking visit to India.

A delegation led by Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, will meet senior government officials and industry representatives as preparations begin for the next summit meeting in February to discuss an India-Europe free trade agreement.

A key objective of the visit is to discuss the issue of the 150 per cent tariff on imported spirits in India. Although the tariff has been reduced from 750 per cent in 2001, Hewitt said the current level still meant Scotch whisky was unaffordable for most.

“We now have a situation where the tariff means a £10 bottle of Scotch whisky becomes a £25 bottle before it enters distribution. There is a huge demand for Scotch whisky from India’s emerging middle class and it could be one of our biggest markets if we were given fairer access – it is the biggest international trade priority for the industry currently.”

Some 250 million cases of spirits are sold in India each year, of which 140 million cases are whisky – the highest number in the world – but only 1.5 million cases of that is genuine Scotch whisky.

Hewitt said the tariff on imported spirits was much higher than in other emerging markets such as China (10 per cent) and Brazil (20 per cent).

Earlier this year, the industry hailed a deal to provide stronger legal protection for Scotch whisky amid an ongoing fight against counterfeiting.

Only spirits produced in Scotland can now use “Scotch whisky” on their labels, and as part of next week’s visit an industry seminar will be held to highlight the restrictions under the regulations.

The long-awaited protection – following a Scotch Whisky Association application – was the first specific legislation on the subcontinent to deal with whisky. Scotch whisky exports powered through global economic uncertainties in the first half of this year, driving up exports 22 per cent to £1.8 billion. The US remained the top export market by value, with shipments up 14 per cent to £268m.

 

Article Courtesy of The Scotsman

 

The Scotsman

12 Nov
2011

Whisky chasers

IF you think whisky is simply an after dinner drink for cold winter's nights you may need to think again after an evening with Fran and Ken Thomas.

The couple are hosting a whisky tasting evening at Wesley House's Bar & Grill in Winchcombe on November 24. They have worked with the restaurant team to create the perfect matching of whisky and food.

There are some surprises there. Thai chicken curry served with a tasting of Longrow CV, a heavy peated single malt. An 11-year-old Douglas Laing Provenance Benrinnes served with slow-braised Scottish oxtail and roasted root vegetables.

"We source local food wherever possible and use the very best of ingredients," said Wesley House owner Matthew Brown. "We have had a wonderful time matching our bowl food with the whiskies. We are thrilled at how well it all works together."

Ken and Fran know a thing or two about whisky. They run a boutique whisky shop called Arkwrights near Lechlade where they carry more than 800 varieties – called expressions. They vary in price from £15 to £7,500 a bottle.

They also run an online shop and ship around the world. Arkwrights was named Single Outlet Whisky Retailer of the Year by Whisky magazine. They spend a lot of time travelling, visiting distilleries and choosing new stock.

Spend even a short amount of time with Ken and Fran and you catch their enthusiasm for whisky. It is not just the drink but the wonderful tales of the people who make it.

"Whisky is more than what is simply in the glass. It is the stories, the craftsmen involved in it. It is one of the few industries left where it is based on craftsmen and women. The art of whisky making cannot be done by a machine," said Fran.

"Some aspects of whisky making are still a mystery. No one quite knows why one batch of whisky is better than the others. Or how you can have six casks of the same whisky yet only one of them will be that special one after 20 or 30 years."

Whisky is distilled from barley or grain: "It has been around for centuries but it would not have been like the whisky we drink now," said Ken. "It would have been clear. Then someone decided to store it in an oak cask, perhaps to transport it, and by accident a new tradition was born."

Whisky is mostly aged in sherry or bourbon casks, which is where it gains its golden colour and some its flavours. The casks are made with American or European oak and are still made by hand.

You can't make a bad whisky good with storage.

"You must start with a good distillation and have a good cask," said Ken. "Then it is the art of the blenders who monitor and taste the whisky for years before deciding it is ready.

"I have tasted whisky that was 15 years old and it wasn't at it's best but it was amazing at 20 years. It can also go the other way. I once tasted a 70-year-old that really wasn't very special. That is the excitement of it."

The couple enjoy the whisky tasting evenings. "It's the joy of helping people discover that whisky isn't just an old man's drink and that it is incredibly versatile. We are delighted to be working with Wesley House," said Ken.

"The dishes they have created for the tasting are so imaginative and complement the whiskies perfectly. Anyone can enjoy a whisky tasting evening. As you expect it is a lively and chatty affair, especially as the night goes on."

 

Article Courtesy of The Gloucestershire Citizen

 

The Gloucestershire Citizen

12 Nov
2011

JW Marriott launches ‘Whisky 111’ bar in Chandigarh

Chandigarh: There are numerous takes on the infamous date 11.11.11 but for JW Marriott group of hotels it was the perfect day to launch its ‘Whisky 111’ bar in Sector-35. The new bar has been named ‘Whisky 111’ as it facilitates 111 varieties of whisky and scotch collection. The foreign made whisky and scotch collection is also on display for the customers.

The ‘Whisky 111’ bar features 22 scotch, 74 single malt and 37 label collections to offer a wide range for the customers. The director of food and beverages of the hotel, Viven, stated that it is extremely rare to find 37 labels of whisky in a hotel in India. The bar also offers a 1960’s vintage blend of scotch named as ‘The Last Drop’ amidst the large variety of whisky. The peg of 1960’s vintage blend of scotch has been priced at a whopping Rs 40,000. The 60 year old blend of scotch has been bought from Scotland.

The numerous varieties of the whisky have been categorized as single malt in accordance to the age, distillery and taste of the blend. The bar also provides a categorized range for the first time drinkers. The wine and whisky consultant of the bar, Sunny Chopra, has stated that the first time drinkers can make use of the whiskey consultation service in the bar to ascertain the amount and taste of the whisky. He suggested that the youngsters should start drinking whisky from a 10-yr-old label.

The bar also provides whiskey based cocktails and whiskey-flavour-based fruit drinks for the female customers.

 

Article Courtesy of The Daily Bhaskar

 

The Daily Bhaskar

11 Nov
2011

Near-infrared analysis method detects counterfeit whisky

If you can’t tell your Ardbeg from your Edradour, then researchers from St Andrew’s University might be able to help.

Working on a method to detect counterfeit whisky, a team from the university’s school of physics and astronomy has devised a device that can achieve this and pinpoint exactly which whisky the sample was from.

Counterfeit branded single-malt whiskies are a major problem for the whisky industry. The St Andrews researchers, led by Prof Kishan Dholakia, use laser-based near-infrared spectroscopy to analyse samples — generally biological — using a microfluidic device that guides the laser into the sample through an optical fibre.

Another fibre collects light scattered from the sample and takes it to an analyser.

The original goal of the research was to determine the alcohol content of the sample, which is a key indicator of whether the whisky is fake.

The advantage of the microfluidic method is that it can obtain very accurate results, within one per cent, from a sample of only 20µl in around two seconds.

However, the team found that the technique also detects other compounds within the whisky, resulting from the brewing process and the maturation of the spirit in wooden casks. Although these only make up one per cent of the volume of the whisky, they have a very large influence on the taste, colour and texture of the drink.

When analysed by the laser, these compounds create a ‘fluorescence background’ that changes the shape of the peaks corresponding to the alcohol in the whisky’s spectrum.

This, the researchers found, can identify the brand of whisky; how long the spirit has been maturing; and even the type of cask it was maturing in. ‘This could be used to check for counterfeit whiskies, and also by the distilleries, for quality control; they can use a sample as a benchmark to compare their other whiskies against,’ researcher Paveen Ashok told The Engineer.

‘It’s amazing that the technology we are developing for biomedical analysis can also be used to help us enjoy a wee dram,’ said Prof Dholakia. ‘And with a minimum of waste.’

 

Article Courtesy of The Engineer

 

The Engineer

10 Nov
2011

Whyte & Mackay to run social media search across the UK for hidden Shackleton whisky

Whisky brand Whyte & Mackay has challenged city explorers across the UK to find its Shackleton replica whisky using social media.

The company has hidden bottles of the whisky across 10 UK cities and will aims to allow people to use the Repudo app to search for the £100 bottles, recreated from those onboard the 1907 Nimrod voyage.

Only one of the 21 Repudo tags will contain a bottle of whisky, while the others will be empty.

Rob Bruce, head of PR for Whyte & Mackay, said: “Shackleton was a top explorer so what better way to mark the success of this whisky than by encouraging people to explore their city.“It would be impractical and irresponsible to leave a real bottle out in the street, but this approach maintains the element of adventure in a safe and engaging way.

“We’ll update the blog at our site so that people know when a bottle has been found, and we’ll keep the competition open until they are all found.”

The Repudos will be rolling out on a week by week basis, beginning in Dublin on 14 November, followed by Glasgow (21 November), Cardiff (28 November), Southampton (5 December) and London and Birmingham (12 December).

 

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

10 Nov
2011

Whisky distiller John Dewar & Sons reports 9% profit rise

WHISKY maker John Dewar and Sons saw profits rise more than nine per cent to s23.8 million for the year to March 2011.

Overall sales rose more than 10 percent to s110.4 million helped by strong exports.

In annual results filed at Companies House the Aberfeldy-based distiller said: "Continued volume growth in emerging markets has had a positive impact on results.

"Forecasts indicate that this trend is likely to continue in future years and further capital investments are planned to support growth."

After tax profits rose by almost 22 percent to s18.73 million compared with s15.3 million a year ago.

In the company's latest results it lists 'actuarial gains' on the value of the pension scheme assets which helped to lift total gains for the year to s19.2 million.

The company's pension deficit shrunk to s3.9 million compared to s5.3 million.

Dewar's said it expects to contribute s2.3 million to its defined pension plan in the period ended March 31, 2011.

The total asset value rose from s25.08 million in 2008 to s26.75 million as of March of this year.

The accounts also show a s7.53 million one-off gain accounting on its defined benefit scheme last year.

The directors have proposed a final dividend to shareholders valued at s8 million for the 2010 financial year after forgoing a payment last year.

Staffing costs for the year rose from s10.7 million to s11.35 million for the year to March 31, 2011.

Overall debt remained at around s14million for the year.

The firm said: "The directors are satisfied with the current trading performance of the company and remain optimistic this will continue in future years."

John Dewar & Sons joined a consortium of distillers earlier this year under the umbrella The Combination of Rothes Distillers to develop a biomass plant at Rothes.

 

Article Courtesy of Business7

 

Business7

10 Nov
2011

Old Pulteney Whisky Launches New Look Packaging Across Range

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky has revealed a re-fresh of the design of its full range, at the end of a year that has seen the ‘maritime malt’ awarded some of the whisky industry’s highest accolades.

The re-design is the first significant update of the brand’s identity for several years, and follows Old Pulteney 21 Year Old winning four of Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible Awards, including ‘World Whisky of the Year’.

It also marks an impressive year of sales for Old Pulteney, which has enjoyed 62 per cent growth in the UK as well as significant expansion in key markets across the globe. The re-design includes a striking new look for the bottle and pack of the 12, 17 and 21 Year Old expressions in both the domestic and travel retail sectors. Changes include:

 A new logo which features the year the whisky was established – 1826 – and the rugged coastal Wick location where Old Pulteney is distilled in the very north of Scotland’s mainland

 Greater use of foil on the packaging and bolder lettering

 A re-drawing of the traditional herring drifter that’s based at Wick, and has become a symbol of the brand

Senior Brand Manager for Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Margaret Mary Clarke commented: ‘Our decision to refresh Old Pulteney's packaging has been taken with a great deal of care, given that the brand’s distinctive look has been so successful for many years. We believe the new look creates a modern evolution for the brand, reinvigorating the original design while enhancing the history and maritime identity that are so important to Old Pulteney. After listening to consumer feedback, we believe this redesign will bring greater visibility and appeal, providing a contemporary edge that continues to communicate our whisky’s quality and rich heritage.‘The launch of this new packaging couldn’t come at a better time, following Old Pulteney 21 Year Old’s recent industry awards, which are amongst the most prestigious a whisky can receive in terms of global recognition.’ The new look Old Pulteney is now available in stores.

 

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

10 Nov
2011

Whisky on your tongue and the menu

Peter VanWyck of The Gingergread House Restaurant and Country Inn in Cayuga is eager to host a whisky tasting Event on Nov. 12.

"It's so wonderful to learn to match with food," said VanWyck.

The event will be in conjunction with Red Hot Spirits and will feature whiskies from The Isle of Arran Distillery paired with a five-course meal.

"They pair up with scotch from around the world," explained Geoff McDonald of Bains Road Cider who has participated in events with Red Hot Spirits in the past at The Gingerbread House.

"They are very knowledgeable and extremely friendly, not to mention they have an excellent choice in whisky."

Red Hot Spirits will educate those who attend with an audiovisual presentation on the history and enjoyment of whiskey and the featured distillery.

Those organizing the event say "this tasting will change the way you think about traditional food and drink pairings."

Care to know what is on the evenings menu?

How about Smoked Salmon Mousse in Baked Wonton Cups for starters with a 10-year-old Arran Malt?

If that doesn't sound good enough, the soup will be an Heirloom Pumpkin Soup served with Irish Soda Bread and a 14-year-old Arran Malt.

For the main course, VanWyck has prepared a rack of pork tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes and a medley of fall vegetables with an Arran Malt Pomerol Bordeaux Wine Cask Finish to wash it down.

The dessert is Gingerbread Cake with warm whiskey sauce paired with The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish.

To bring the dinner to a close, guests will enjoy dark chocolates with freshly brewed coffee and Arran Malt Machrie Moor.

The cost of this event is $79 per person, and reservations are necessary in order to participate.

 

Article Courtesy of the Dunnville Chronicle

 

Dunnville Chronicle

7 Nov
2011

SWA slams alcohol free whisky product as illegal

The Scotch Whisky Association has slammed a new product which claims to be the world’s first alcohol free whisky as illegal, saying that it will confuse consumers by unfairly trading on whisky’s reputation.

The SWA said there can be no such product and such a description is illegal in the European Union and many other countries. It plans to monitor the sale of ArKay Beverages newly-launched “alcohol free whisky”, with a view to taking appropriate action.

The SWA explained that whisky is understood, on a global level, to be a distilled beverage made from cereals and aged in wooden barrels, which makes ArKay’s promotional claim that the product is a type of whisky illegal.

The EU has strict laws governing what may be sold as whisky, which are designed to maintain its reputation as a quality product and to protect consumers.

European legislation prohibits – with very limited exceptions - the name “whisky” from being “used to describe or present in any way whatsoever” any drink other than whisky.

Glen Barclay, SWA director of legal affairs, said: “Such promotion is taking advantage of the high quality reputation of the product that is whisky - which is a distilled spirit produced from natural ingredients - when it is in fact just a soft drink with artificial flavourings. Not only will consumers be confused but such a product unfairly trades on the reputation of genuine whisky.”

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

7 Nov
2011

Balblair launches 2001 vintage and new whisky centre

Single malt Scotch whisky Balblair is celebrating the launch of its latest vintage with the opening of a new visitor centre.

The Highland distillery, which is owned by Inver House Distillers - operator of the Pulteney, Knockdhu, Balmenach and Speyburn sites - has built its reputation on specific vintage whiskies, rather than age statements. It released its 2001 vintage, rrp £32.95, last week.

To coincide with the release, it opened the doors on a new brand home, built in the Edderton distillery’s former malting barn. The first-ever on-site bottling, which was carried out by hand from 1992’s cask number 2990, also took place last Thursday. These limited edition bottles, priced at £80, will only be available to buy at the distillery.

The Balblair 2001 vintage will set a template for all future expressions. The three main changes are:

It is bottled at 46% to “give greater body”. It is non-chill-filtered, adding to “viscosity and mouth feel”. It is not artificially coloured

With the opening of the brand centre, the brand hopes to professionalise its tour facilities for small but exclusive groups of visitors, but stressed it is not planning on “bringing in busloads of tourists”.

“This is about getting to people with a genuine interest in malt whiskies,” said Andy Hannah, Balblair’s brand manager. He said the centre would focus on educating visitors about the brand’s history, as well as helping them understand the vintage concept when it comes to whisky.

The distillery was established in 1790, and is one of Scotland’s oldest working distilleries. It began offering vintages in 2007, and Hannah said the brand has a “split personality - it’s bold yet traditional”.

Since August Balblair has been operating around the clock, and is capable of producing 1.83 million litres per year.

The Inver House group sold 1.3 million 6 x 70cl cases last year, with Balblair making up 10,000 cases.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

 

Harpers

5 Nov
2011

Black Bull Scotch Whisky Wins Fourth Gold Medal of the Year

Black Bull 12 year old, the deluxe blended Scotch from whisky specialists Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd has been awarded a gold medal for Best Blended Scotch Whisky at the 2011 Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.

This incredible achievement saw Black Bull go up against 40 of the world’s leading whisky brands, both luxury and affordable. Independently rated and tasted blind by a renowned panel of whisky experts, Black Bull was again recognised as the very best in its field. The announcement of the award makes 2011 a quadruple gold medal year for Black Bull whisky, coming on the back of successes at the World Whisky Awards and the International Wines & Spirits Competition in April and August respectively.

Comments from Judge Darren Leitch of Whisky Shop:“On the nose some mild peat notes, ginger biscuits and leather sandals filled with sand. Flavour wise there is a lot going on, with a good combination of pastel fruit sweetness, heather , vanilla and oak. A malty sweet finish which trails off with a soft oaky tone and a trace of peat.”

The Scottish Field Whisky Challenge is an annual competition celebrating the very best the whisky industry has to offer. Each year, a panel of experts takes part in a series of rigorous blind tastings to recognise the finest products on the shelves today.

The Black Bull brand dates back to 1864. Following a rebranding in 2008, Black Bull’s stature has grown, winning critical acclaim and a plethora of awards from the International Wine and Spirits competition, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and the New York International Wine and Spirits contest.

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky selects whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland, bottling a range of luxury single malt and grain Scotch whiskies as well as its award winning range of blended whiskies from its base in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

 

Press Release

4 Nov
2011

Scottish distillers' outrage over world's first non-alcoholic 'halal whisky'

ArKay, the world’s first alcohol-free whisky, will be sold worldwide from Dec 1, and is said to look and taste just like traditional whisky.

It has been declared as Halal certified, which opens up the markets in Muslim countries and the Middle East.

Whisky distillers in Scotland are said to be in a state of revolt over the ‘alcohol free’ creation.

“It is not possible to make alcohol-free whisky,” the Daily Mail quoted a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association as saying.

“This company is trying to exploit whisky’s reputation with highly irresponsible marketing,” the spokesman added.

A Florida-based company called Scottish Spirits Ltd manufactures the non-alcoholic whisky in its Panama factories, and will be priced at 10 pounds a bottle and 4 pounds for a can.

Article Courtesy of The New Kerala

 

 

New Kerala

3 Nov
2011

Non-alcoholic whisky to go on sale in time for Christmas

With prices at £4 a can and £10 a bottle, Scotch afficionados may not be lining up to sample the tipple.However, its maker hopes it will help it crack the non-alcoholic drinks market.

ArKay – which has already been dubbed ‘Halal Whisky’ – is being touted as the perfect party drink for teetotallers or people who avoid alcohol for religious reasons.The company said: ‘ArKay tastes and looks exactly like traditional whisky but has zero per cent alcohol – imagine being able to enjoy your favourite whisky drink without worrying about drinking and driving.

'The exceptional taste of whisky without the alcohol content makes it the perfect beverage, day or night.

‘It is suitable for drinking straight-up, on the rocks or with mixers.’

ArKay is said to be made with artificial flavours and ingredients in line with European Economic Community and US Food and Drug Administration regulations. It also conforms to strict Halal guidelines.

The drink will go on sale worldwide from December 1.

Article Courtesy of The Metro

 

 

The Metro

2 Nov
2011

Scotch Whisky in a Can? YES WE CAN!

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At long last, Scotch whisky in a can, yes we said a can, is entering the US Market! Both single-grain Scotch whisky and blended Scotch whisky will be coming to the US in a new and innovative way. Scotch whisky in a can is the first ever hard liquor – 80% Proof – to be packaged in a 100% recyclable aluminum can.

Scottish Spirits in a can is a product of Scotland and will be available nationwide at over 100,000 liquor stores beginning December. What a great gift for the Scotch whisky drinker on your list! Put in a single can of Scottish Spirits as a stocking stuffer or wrap up a whole six-pack!

Imagine being the first to bring a can of Scotch whisky to a party! Not only is it convenient and portable, but it's just plain fun and what a conversation starter.

However, Scottish Spirits isn't just about the can, our Scotch whisky is an exceptional blend of the finest malt and grain having a rich honey, vanilla, butterscotch, apples and pears taste with a nice hint of peat and smoke in the background. This fine beverage is distilled and matured in Scotland for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks.

Scottish Spirits in a can is meant to be enjoyed on the rocks, straight-up or mixed with your favorite mixer. The can is specially manufactured to keep the product tasting great, however, this isn't a one-serving beverage - the can is the right size for three people to share and with 40% alcohol volume, 80% Proof, you can decide how to enjoy it!

Perfect for poolside, a tailgate party or when boating, the can is a handy way of enjoying the beverage without the concern of breaking glass. Benefits also include a long shelf-life allowing consumers to stack-up and stock-up!

Scottish Spirits can be purchased and enjoyed in a recyclable aluminum can (12 fl oz./355ml.) The US suggested retail price is $5 for a single can. Prices may vary.

The company has its own distribution centers in Europe and in the USA. For more information on becoming a qualified distributor or importer of Scottish Spirits, please visit www.scottishspirits.com.

SOURCE Scottish Spirits Imports, Inc.

Article Courtesy of Pr Newswire

 

 

Pr Newswire

1 Nov
2011

ArKay--World's First Alcohol-Free Whisky-Flavored Drink

ArKay Beverages, Inc. – USA, launches the first alcohol-free whisky to the world. ArKay will be available in stores worldwide on December 1st. ArKay, a unique innovation to the beverage industry, has been long anticipated by consumers and vendors alike.

ArKay, the world's first alcohol-free, whisky-flavored drink is designed for everyone to enjoy. The exceptional taste of whisky without the alcohol content makes it a perfect beverage day or night. ArKay has 0% alcohol and it is designed to allow individuals with medical conditions or with religious beliefs that prohibit alcohol consumption, to drink. Imagine being able to enjoy your favorite whisky drink at parties without worrying about drinking and driving. You won't miss a thing, as ArKay tastes and looks exactly like traditional whisky. It is suitable for drinking straight-up, on the rocks, or with your favorite mixers.

ArKay is made with artificial flavors and ingredients in accordance with European Economic Community (EEC) regulations and within the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Both the flavor and ingredients are strictly conformed to Halal guidelines.

ArKay Beverages, Inc. is the pioneer of this innovative concept. After five years of beverage industry research, surveys and tasting, ArKay was created and developed as a non-alcoholic, whisky-flavored drink for mass consumption. Also known as "Halal Whisky", this non-alcoholic drink, is considered a soft drink and is suitable for any party occasion or for everyday enjoyment. The overwhelming response for ArKay by consumers and distributors world-wide, promises to bring this unique alcohol-free beverage to a location near you.

ArKay can be purchased and enjoyed in a one liter glass bottle (32 fl oz.) and in a recyclable aluminum can (12 fl oz./355ml.) The US suggested retail price is $10 for one liter and $4 for a single can. Suggested prices may vary.

ArKay is also Halal certified by Islamic Food & Nutrition Council of America.

Article Courtesy of The Street

 

 

The Street

1 Nov
2011

Laser detector 'tastes' if whisky is fake using just one drop

Here's a method of finding counterfeit whisky that any Scotsman can approve of - only a single drop is required, and a laser decides instantly whether the liquid under test is the genuine article.

The test beams a ray of light thinner than a human hair through a transparent chip on which sits some of the precious liquid.

Researchers at the University of St Andrews found that firing light from one optical fibre and collecting it with another allowed them to analyse light scattered from the whisky.

It allows them to work out precisely how much alcohol is in a sample - fake whisky often has less than the required 40 per cent.

But the scientists can also work out colour and texture - and claim they can identify the brand and age of the malt under test, and even which cask a sample came from.

The research, which has been patented and is being presented to industry, was carried out by physicists Praveen Ashok, Kishan Dholakia and Bavishna Praveen.

Mrs Praveen said: 'Counterfeiting is rife in the drinks industry, which is constantly searching for new, powerful and inexpensive methods for liquor analysis.'

Using the power of light, we have adapted our technology to address a problem related to an industry which is a crucial part of Scottish culture and economy.'

The rapid, easy test could make it far easier to test for counterfeit whiskies both at home and abroad

Researchers said the method exploits both the fluorescence of whisky and the scattering of light and shift in energy when it interacts with molecules, known as its Raman signature.

Mr Ashok said: 'Whisky turns out to be very interesting. We can not only gather information about the alcohol content but also (about) the colour and texture.'

'These are dictated by the manufacturing process which of course influences greatly the type of whisky people enjoy.'

The group originally used the chip involved in the research to detect 'bioanalytes; in other studies.

Professor Dholakia added: 'It is amazing to think that the technology we are developing for biomedical analysis can also be used to help us enjoy a wee dram.'

The study is being published by the journal Optics Express.

Article Courtesy of Daily Mail

 

 

Daily Mail
October 2011 Scotch Whisky News

31 Oct
2011

Whisky sold to mark 110th birthday

The first of 11 special bottles of Glenfiddich whisky to be auctioned to mark the 110th birthday of the grand-daughter of the firm's founder is expected to raise at least £30,000.

Auctioneers at Bonhams have predicted interest from collectors across the world when the bottle of 55-year-old single malt goes - carefully - under the hammer in Edinburgh on December 14.

The bottles of 55-year-old single malt are being auctioned around the world in the coming months to honour Janet Sheed Roberts, the oldest person in Scotland, and grand-daughter of William Grant, founder of the Glenfiddich distillery.

Article Courtesy of Perthshire Advertiser

 

Perthshire Advertiser

31 Oct
2011

A Toast! To Scottish Homes Powered by Whisky

If you live in Scotland, the same whisky that energize your visits to the pub may also energize your home: Contracts are underway to construct a combined heat and power plant that runs on the leftovers of some of Scotland’s most famous distilleries. Scheduled to be up and running by 2013, this particular alcohol-powered project is Scotland’s first whisky-fueled energy project that will provide electricity to the public.

Sixteen whisky labels located in Speyside, Scotland—including Glenfiddich, Chivas Regal, and Famous Grouse—will contribute material to the new power plant. They’ll transport their spent grains (or draff) from the distilleries to the biofuel plant, where it’ll be combined with wood chips and burned, generating over 7.0 MW of power. This energy output—about the same as two large wind turbines—is expected to power at least 9,000 homes. In addition, the residue called pot ale, which accumulates in the distilleries’ copper stills, will be turned into animal feed and fertilizer for nearby farmers.To minimize the energy used to run the plant and ensure the process is energy efficient, no draff will be collected from distilleries farther than 25 miles away. Still, while Sam Gardner, a climate policy officer for WWF Scotland, admits that “the project looks to be a very welcome addition to Scotland’s renewable industry,” he’s concerned that the wood might not be locally sourced. “We would want to see assurances” of that, he told Guardian News.

Whisky and green energy seem to go hand-in-hand in Scotland. In Fife, for example, Scotland’s largest distillery is almost done constructing an on-site bioenergy plant that will meet most of the distillery’s energy needs. And don’t forget the researchers who last year developed a way of producing biofuel from whisky by-products that could fuel cars in the near future.

Article Courtesy of discover magazine

 

discover magazine

28 Oct
2011

Far East's taste for whisky brings more jobs to Fife

Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is pleased to introduce its latest award-winning expression, Laphroaig Triple Wood, just in time for the holidays. Garnering its name from a distinct triple maturation process, only 13,500 bottles of Laphroaig Triple Wood (48% ABV; 96 proof) will be available in the U.S. market in 2011, making it the perfect holiday gift for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

The newly available expression has enjoyed time in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, 19th Century style quarter casks and European Oak Oloroso sherry casks, revealing a rich blend of subtle sherry sweetness and hints of sea salt. The spirit's gentle suggestion of vanilla and smooth nutty flavor is complemented by Laphroaig's signature peat smoke and a slight tang from time spent in rich White Oak casks -- bold characteristics that earned Laphroaig Triple Wood a Best in Class Gold Medal honor at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

"Laphroaig Triple Wood is one of the most complex expressions we have ever bottled, and we are delighted to begin offering it to our U.S. consumers," said Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell. "Triple Wood will satisfy palates with unique notes that are fresh, yet remain true to the Laphroaig heritage and standards of Scotch whisky."

To build on the excitement of Laphroaig Triple Wood's arrival, the brand is answering consumer demand by launching an integrated iPhone(R) app that allows whisky enthusiasts and scotch newcomers alike to easily locate venues nearest them that offer expressions from Laphroaig's celebrated portfolio. To access the new Laphroaig Bar Finder iPhone app, visit http://itunes.apple.com .

Laphroaig Triple Wood is currently available at participating retail locations beginning in September 2011. Suggested retail price is $60.00 for a 750ml bottle.

About Beam Inc. As one of the world's leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company's brands, including Jim Beam(R) Bourbon, Maker's Mark(R) Bourbon, Sauza(R) Tequila, Canadian Club(R) Whisky, Courvoisier(R) Cognac, Teacher's(R) Scotch Whisky, Laphroaig(R) Scotch Whisky, Cruzan(R) Rum, Hornitos (TM) Tequila, Knob Creek(R) Bourbon, EFFEN(R) Vodka, Pucker(TM) Flavored Vodka, Larios(R) Gin, Whisky DYC(R), DeKuyper(R) Cordials, and Skinnygirl(R) Cocktails. The Beam portfolio includes 10 of the world's top 100 premium spirits brands and some of the industry's fastest growing innovations. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2010 sales of $2.7 billion on volume of 33 million 9-liter cases. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com

Article Courtesy of Dundee Courier, Scotland

 

Dundee Courier

27 Oct
2011

Award-Winning Laphroaig(R) Single Malt Scotch Whisky Introduces New Triple Wood to U.S. Market

Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is pleased to introduce its latest award-winning expression, Laphroaig Triple Wood, just in time for the holidays. Garnering its name from a distinct triple maturation process, only 13,500 bottles of Laphroaig Triple Wood (48% ABV; 96 proof) will be available in the U.S. market in 2011, making it the perfect holiday gift for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

The newly available expression has enjoyed time in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, 19th Century style quarter casks and European Oak Oloroso sherry casks, revealing a rich blend of subtle sherry sweetness and hints of sea salt. The spirit's gentle suggestion of vanilla and smooth nutty flavor is complemented by Laphroaig's signature peat smoke and a slight tang from time spent in rich White Oak casks -- bold characteristics that earned Laphroaig Triple Wood a Best in Class Gold Medal honor at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

"Laphroaig Triple Wood is one of the most complex expressions we have ever bottled, and we are delighted to begin offering it to our U.S. consumers," said Laphroaig Distillery Manager John Campbell. "Triple Wood will satisfy palates with unique notes that are fresh, yet remain true to the Laphroaig heritage and standards of Scotch whisky."

To build on the excitement of Laphroaig Triple Wood's arrival, the brand is answering consumer demand by launching an integrated iPhone(R) app that allows whisky enthusiasts and scotch newcomers alike to easily locate venues nearest them that offer expressions from Laphroaig's celebrated portfolio. To access the new Laphroaig Bar Finder iPhone app, visit http://itunes.apple.com .

Laphroaig Triple Wood is currently available at participating retail locations beginning in September 2011. Suggested retail price is $60.00 for a 750ml bottle.

About Beam Inc. As one of the world's leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company's brands, including Jim Beam(R) Bourbon, Maker's Mark(R) Bourbon, Sauza(R) Tequila, Canadian Club(R) Whisky, Courvoisier(R) Cognac, Teacher's(R) Scotch Whisky, Laphroaig(R) Scotch Whisky, Cruzan(R) Rum, Hornitos (TM) Tequila, Knob Creek(R) Bourbon, EFFEN(R) Vodka, Pucker(TM) Flavored Vodka, Larios(R) Gin, Whisky DYC(R), DeKuyper(R) Cordials, and Skinnygirl(R) Cocktails. The Beam portfolio includes 10 of the world's top 100 premium spirits brands and some of the industry's fastest growing innovations. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2010 sales of $2.7 billion on volume of 33 million 9-liter cases. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

27 Oct
2011

Top 10 Hong Kong Whisky Bars

This recent opening offers over 100 whiskies, including a discontinued 15- year-old Bowmore Mariner and highly interesting Japanese whiskies, such as the 15-year-old Ichiro’s Malt Folks Bottling from Japan’s now-defunct Hanyu distillery. The main star of the show, however, is the full-sized oak barrel in the centre of the bar with 180 litres of single cask 20-year-old Macallan 1990.

Article Courtesy of the drinks business

 

the drinks business

26 Oct
2011

Some Things Are Just Worth Doing

Some Things Are Just Worth Doing: DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky and Universal Music Latin Entertainment Keep You Connected to Latin Music's Hottest Night of the Year

DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky, the number one selling premium blended Scotch whisky in the United States(1), and Universal Music Latin Entertainment (UMLE) are pleased to announce an exclusive relationship for an exciting campaign in celebration of Latin music's hottest night of the year on November 10. The campaign begins today with a launch of a unique collaborative Facebook application designed to make it easy for music fans (aged 21 and over) who are not attending the international Latin music awards show to stay connected online to their favorite nominated Universal Latin artists via the DEWAR'S Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dewars).

"DEWAR'S has a long history as a blended Scotch whisky of choice among Hispanic consumers due to the exceptionally smooth taste," said Fannie Young, vice president, brand managing director, DEWAR'S Blended Scotch Whiskies. "Working with Universal Music Latin Entertainment gives DEWAR'S Blended Scotch Whisky a fully integrated music platform connecting with Hispanic consumers through one of their key passion points and further enhance their affinity for the brand."

By simply clicking the "Like" button on the DEWAR'S Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dewars, fans of legal drinking age will gain access to one of two free downloadable playlists and other exclusive content from today's hottest hitmakers, including Enrique Iglesias (two tracks, one featuring Juan Luis Guerra), Don Omar, Los Tigres Del Norte (featuring Paulina Rubio), Winsin Y Yandel, and Luis Fonsi. Consumers are encouraged to participate today as access to this exclusive content continues only through the televised show and post awards celebration on Nov. 10.

DEWAR'S Blended Scotch Whisky will kick the festivities up a notch by bringing its fabulous signature cocktails and the ultra-luxe ambiance of its Momento D lounge to Las Vegas on Nov. 10, 2011 for UMLE's highly anticipated, invite-only, "Noches de Estrellas" post awards celebration. The VIP private affair will undoubtedly be the epicenter of excitement as it will bring together A-List artists and top music industry executives for an unforgettable evening of exquisite music and smooth blended Scotch whisky from DEWAR'S.

"We're excited to work with DEWAR'S Blended Scotch Whisky. The brand's vision for reaching consumers through innovative uses of technology and social media is totally in-line with ours. It's great to collaborate with a premium brand also interested in looking to the future to develop impactful cross-promotional campaigns to reach, maintain, and grow the consumer base in an organic way," describes Gustavo Lopez, executive vice president of brand partnerships, business development and digital, Universal Music Latin Entertainment.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

25 Oct
2011

Old Pulteney Whisky is Best In Class

Old Pulteney 21-Years-Old Named 'World Whisky of the Year' in Top Guide Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky is today sitting on top of the world after winning one of the whisky industry’s highest accolades, World Whisky of the Year, in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible Awards. In a class of some 1,500 whiskies, Old Pulteney 21-Years-Old scooped the top accolade, along with three other esteemed awards - Scotch Whisky of the Year, Single Malt (Multiple Casks) of the Year and Single Malt (16-21 Years) of the Year. Over the past four months, world-renowned whisky connoisseur Murray has nosed and tasted his way through all types of whisky to create his global best-selling ratings guide. He gave Old Pulteney 21-Years-Old a glowing review, commenting that the single malt is ‘by far and away one of the great whiskies of 2012, absolutely exploding from the glass with vitality, charisma and class.’

Margaret Mary Clarke, Senior Brand Manager of Old Pulteney is thrilled with the quadruple award. `It is an enormous honour to have won four of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Awards for Old Pulteney 21-Years-Old. This is one of the most prestigious accolades a whisky can receive, and we are delighted that our distillery and the Old Pulteney team have been recognised for our passion and depth of expertise in the art of whisky creation.’

This award celebrates the global appeal of a whisky which has been distilled in Wick at the most northerly distillery in the Scottish mainland since 1826. This coastal location gives Old Pulteney the unique ‘salty, nerve-tingling journey’ Jim Murray describes in his tasting notes, as part of the reason he loved the taste of the 21-Years-Old Single Malt so much.

This global recognition for Old Pulteney 21-Years-Old has coincided with an exciting year for the whisky, as it embarked on a momentous world first voyage: the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole. This ambitious expedition, led by Scottish explorer Jock Wishart and his five-man team, achieved their goal to be the first ever crew to row to the Magnetic North Pole in August this year.

Already a favourite tipple for whisky drinkers in the UK, Old Pulteney has developed global appeal, and winning such a host of highly-regarded awards will be sure to secure Old Pulteney’s place as one of the top whiskies in the world.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

24 Oct
2011

anCnoc Applauded at Scottish Creative Awards

anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky awarded for website

anCnoc (pronounced a-nock) Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has received top marks for its innovative website at the inaugural Scottish Creative Awards, held recently in Edinburgh.

The brand’s creatively designed website, www.ancnoc.com, stood out amongst contenders to the award’s prestigious judging panel which is comprised of 11 leaders in the Scottish creative industries.

The awards recognise and reward the very best of the country's creative industries including advertising, design and digital marketing .

The website, designed by digital design agency Whitespace, contains a fluid combination of colourful, impactful images showcasing anCnoc Single Malt’s expressions along with contrasting black and white illustrations that capture the brand’s essence, flavour notes and its heritage. The website also features a new way of navigating on screen called ‘infinite scrolling’ which unobtrusively loads content in-line as the user scrolls down the page.

anCnoc Brand Manager Gillian Gibson commented: ‘We are delighted that anCnoc’s website has been recognised at these prestigious awards. anCnoc blends together the ‘old and new’ by using traditional production methods to create a refreshingly modern, intriguing and high quality single malt. anCnoc’s essence is a modern tradition and our website reflects the time honoured-process with a very contemporary and up-to-date style.’

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

24 Oct
2011

Glengoyne Distillery Renovations Mark Best Summer Season Ever

Glengoyne Distillery is celebrating the launch of a brand new shop and visitor centre upgrade on the back of its most successful summer season ever.

The changes at Glengoyne, which include a complete overhaul of the shop as well as updates to the visitor centre, were completed in time for the end of the summer season which has so far seen a massive 48,500 visitors through the doors of ‘Scotland’s Most Beautiful Distillery’ – a 6% rise on last year.

A total of £300k has been invested in the visitor facilities upgrade in 2011 with further renovations planned for 2012. This comes in addition to the £200k spent on renovating the Manager’s House in 2007 for use as an events space and more than £2.5 million spent on operational upgrades to the distillery such as new warehousing and stills.

New features inside the shop include a new tasting area and the ‘Pour Your Own Dram’ facility, where guests are given the chance to fill and label their own bottle direct from an exclusive single cask, before logging it in the customs book. The cask currently available is an American Oak First Fill hoggie from June 2000, cask number 1016. It offers great tropical fruit flavours and plenty of hands-on whisky fun, priced at £75.00.

Glengoyne Brand Heritage Manager Stuart Hendry said: “The old shop area was very dark and didn’t make good use of space. Our brief to retail design agency Contagious was to create a brighter, more organised shopping area which showed off our award winning range but without losing the distinct Glengoyne character.

“I think we have hit the nail on the head and we are extremely happy with the outcome. Feedback from customers has been great and we have seen an increase in sales as a result.”

The shop renovations have allowed for the creation of a new bothy area where groups can relax before and after tours. Cosmetic upgrades have also been made to the visitor centre enabling the distillery to continue offering first class conference and events facilities to corporate and private clients.

A new series of Glengoyne films was also commissioned from Republic Productions to present a fun and informative look into life at Glengoyne for use during tours and events at the distillery and throughout the world. The films range from a short two minute promotional film, tasting notes and cooking demonstrations to in-depth films on distillation and maturation, all highlighting what makes Glengoyne unique. The well known characters from around the distillery including Head Stillman Duncan McNicoll and Engineer & Warehouseman Billy Edminston were chosen to star in the film, rather than actors, to help communicate the unique character of Glengoyne.

Stuart Hendry commented on the film: “The two aspects that contribute most to the Glengoyne flavour are undoubtedly our SLOW distillation (the slowest in the industry) and our devotion to sourcing the finest possible sherry casks from Spain. In order to fully understand where those flavours come from we wanted to take consumers inside the stills and on a journey to Jerez.

“The feedback from viewers is hugely positive. They enjoy getting behind the scenes and meeting the people. Visitors take particular pleasure in speaking to the stars as they meet them around the distillery yard.”

Glengoyne continues to push forward its plans for new customer engagement and will be exhibiting at this year’s BBC Good Food Shows in both Glasgow and Birmingham. The brand has invested in a new exhibition stand will be occupying a large prime spot at the popular food shows in the SECC Glasgow 21-23 October and NEC Birmingham 23-27 November. The Glengoyne team will be offering visitors the chance to sample the multi award winning Glengoyne core range.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

24 Oct
2011

Wick malt named world's best whisky

A single malt distilled in one of Scotland's most remote distilleries has been named the world's best whisky by a leading expert.

Old Pulteney was crowned World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray's 2012 Whisky Bible.

The 21-year-old single malt scored a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100.

The whisky is matured in American oak casks and bottled at the Pulteney distillery in Wick, Caithness.

Whisky expert Mr Murray tasted more than 1,200 new drams before deciding on the winner.

He said: "The 21-year-old Old Pulteney absolutely exploded from the glass with vitality, charisma and class.

"Pulteney doesn't have the financial muscle of the major whisky barons to market its malts on the global stage.

"I hope that this award helps one of Scotland's great unsung distilleries to become discovered around the world."

Pulteney has a chequered past in the Caithness town.

New temperance laws saw the parish of Wick vote to end the public sale of alcohol in 1922, a ban that stayed in place for 25 years.

Faced with falling demand, Pulteney closed in 1930 - but reopened in 1951 after prohibition was overturned in a further vote.

A Pulteney spokesman said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It is a tribute to the traditional craftsmanship we have honed over the centuries and also to the unique character that the town lends to our whisky."

US bourbons took the two runners-up places in the Whisky Bible awards.

George T Stagg was named second best while 10-year-old Parker's Heritage Collection Wheated Mash Bill picked up third.

Article Courtesy of the BBC

BBC

24 Oct
2011

Whisky company celebrates Vindication

The sweet taste of a Rugby World Cup victory is ensured to linger longer with a whisky released to mark the celebration."Vindication" has been waiting 16 long years to come out of the barrel - ever since the All Blacks were defeated at the World Cup in South Africa during 1995.

"We should have won the cup in South Africa, but we were poisoned," said New Zealand Whisky Company Director John Evans."We wanted to do something for the 2011 World Cup and rather fortunately we had this whisky.""So we decided we would bottle it and call it Vindication."The whisky, a single malt, would not have gone on sale if the French had been victorious at Eden Park last night.Evans said Vindication was barrelled in Dunedin - not in French oak - and would be sold nation wide.It goes hand-in-hand with the company's other special rugby release, the 1987 malt named "Touch. Pause. Engage."A two-pack of 150ml bottles will retail for $99.

Article Courtesy of Stuff

Stuff

21 Oct
2011

Very good start to year for whisky giant

GROWING demand for its whisky portfolio and other drinks helped Pernod Ricard to deliver a forecast-beating 6% increase in first-quarter sales.

The French firm said yesterday that sales of £1.739billion were achieved in the three months to the end of September after what it described as a very good start to the year. It expects the outlook to remain positive for the remainder of the year, with growth in underlying operating profits of 6% forecast and a continued reduction in debts.

Analysts at Liberum Capital said the expectation for the increase in annual profits was likely to disappoint because markets were looking for 8%.

Article Courtesy of The Press and Journal

Press & Journal

21 Oct
2011

Whisky Stills are the toast of Scotland

WHISKY entrepreneur Gary Still discovered his love for the water of life at a very young age.His grandfather, Ernie Fraser, used to distil his own whisky at his farm at Baynault, near Crathie.Now Gary is one of Scotland’s most innovative whisky entrepreneurs, with his award-winning whisky bar concept set to be rolled out across the UK.

Gary, who was born in Aberdeen, is one half of the husband and wife team behind the WHISKI Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.The bar has won numerous awards and the couple have recently opened their second venture in the capital, the WHISKI Rooms, on The Mound.Gary, 45, emigrated from Milltimber to Johannesburg, South Africa, with his parents when he was a child, but returned aged 19 to study computing at Aberdeen College of Commerce.He said: “I wasn’t really into whisky particularly when I first came back to Aberdeen – that didn’t happen until I was in my 20s and 30s.”Gary went on to study computing for another year in Napier College, Edinburgh, which is where he met his wife, Anne, who hails from Dumfries.The couple then moved to London where their careers took off in the world of finance IT within the banking industry. Gary said: “Anne and I worked for quite a number of big corporations and banks, managing IT projects on the trading floors and working in the futures and options market.”

The couple worked in London for 10 years before deciding to head home to Scotland.“We had always wanted to come back to Scotland,” added Gary, “and when Anne became pregnant we decided that the time was right.”The couple found work in the IT sector in Edinburgh and also invested in some Edinburgh property. But after their two children were born they decided to look for another challenge.They had planned to buy and run a hotel but could not find the right property.Gary said: “The idea for the whisky bar was born from my own passion for whisky. I had also really started to notice how whisky was no longer regarded as an older man’s drink and was very popular with younger men and also with women.“It is one of Scotland’s biggest exports and enjoys a great reputation all over the world.”The couple’s first venture, WHISKI Bar and Restaurant, opened two years ago. It was a big hit with locals and tourists alike and has also proved popular with festival performers.The bar has live music every night and the restaurant menus are a particularly Scottish affair with lots of locally sourced produce.

Their new venture, the WHISKI Rooms, incorporates three experiences in one. There is a shop selling what is claimed to be the largest range of whiskies in Scotland, all available for mail order, plus a bar and bistro.“So many of our customers would try out a new whisky, then want to know where they could buy it to take it home with them,” said Gary. “That was why we decided to open the shop, which is also an online store, so people could buy any whisky they wanted and have it posted to anywhere in the world.”The WHISKI Rooms also incorporate a bistro with a Scottish menu, and there are regular whisky tastings for customers with a resident expert.Gary said: “We’ve been delighted with the response so far. Whisky is enjoyed by people of all ages, and whisky cocktails are especially popular with the younger crowd.”The Stills plan to roll out the concept to other cities, with Aberdeen and London top of their wish list.

Article Courtesy of The Press and Journal

 

Press & Journal

20 Oct
2011

Edinburgh Whisky Stramash appoints threebrand for PR

Threebrand has been appointed to provide PR support for the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash event.The agency will handle the official launch and warm-up to the event, which takes place next May
at Edinburgh’s Surgeons’ Hall and will include molecular experiments, murder mystery and whisky
cocktails. Gillian Hamilton, head of PR at threebrand, said: “As specialists in food and drink,
particularly whisky, we were really pleased to be appointed to work on the Whisky Stramash.“We like the individuality of the event,- it’s fun, yet informative – so it fits in with what we
do as a company as well. We’re really looking forward to working together on the inaugural event
and hope it’s just the start of an exciting partnership.”

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

17 Oct
2011

Rare whisky sells for £18,750

A rare bottle of whisky distilled in 1883 and bottled in 1931 has been sold at auction. The bottle of The Glenlivet was originally owned by Captain William Smith Grant, great-grandson of Colonel George Smith who founded The Glenlivet Distillery near Ballindalloch, Banffshire, and had been in the family ever since.

The whisky, which spent 48 years in a barrel before it was bottled, was sold for £18,750, including a buyer’s premium of 25 per cent, at Bonhams in Edinburgh.

Its pre-sale estimate was between £15,000 and £20,000.

A bottle of The Macallan Anniversary Malt, more than 50 years old, which was distilled in 1928 and bottled in 1983, was also sold. Number 50 of 500 produced, the bottle fetched £16,875, including the buyer’s premium, beating the £10,000-£12,000 estimate.

Article Courtesy of Times of Malta

 

Times of Malta

14 Oct
2011

Chivas Brothers named Distiller of the Year

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, was awarded the much-coveted Distiller of the Year title at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) official awards ceremony held in London this week.

The prestigious Distiller of the Year award recognises consistent excellence and quality across a portfolio and completed a hugely successful night for Chivas Brothers, who also collected Gold medals for The Glenlivet 18 Year Old and Strathisla 12 Year Old single malts that are both available in New Zealand.

Christian Porta, Chairman and Chief Executive of Chivas Brothers, comments: "We are delighted to have been so successful at this year's ISC. It is a fantastic accolade to be named Distiller of the Year, and is the ultimate third party endorsement of the high quality of our Scotch whisky and gin portfolio. This prestigious award is a tribute to the craftsmanship and dedication of our master distillers and blenders."

Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin and its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine's, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, 100 Pipers and Passport.

The International Spirits Challenge is one of the most authoritative, respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. Now in its 16th year, the competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to encourage the high calibre of spirits entered into the competition each year. Receiving more than 1,000 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide, the ISC is a truly global competition.

Chivas Brothers were also awarded ISC Distiller of the Year in 2002 and 2007.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Voxy

11 Oct
2011

Whisky festival brings a big boost to the region

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival continues to provide a major economic boost to the North's economy, attracting a significant loyal audience.

And a large number of people attended the celebrated festival for the first time, according to a survey published today.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Market Research and Festival Evaluation 2011 report found that the five-day event, which ran from April 28 to May 2, attracted over 47,000 visits to its packed programme of whisky-themed events.

It generated £613,000 towards the Speyside economy and £722,000 towards Scotland as a whole.

There were well over 200 events running throughout the five days.

The festival has grown in importance over the past 12 years to become one of the leading whisky events in the world.

Almost half of this year’s festival visitors were from overseas, with whisky aficionados travelling from as far afield as Israel, Columbia, New Zealand, Australia and Russia.

Scandinavian visitors continue to represent the keenest Speyside whisky fans with other connoisseurs coming from countries such as Germany, US, Netherlands, Canada, Italy and Japan.

Festival chairman Jim Royan said: “Year after year the festival continues to attract visitors from around the globe, with many already having attended twice or even up to six times before.

"And encouragingly a large percentage of new visitors this year were experiencing the festival for the first time.

"Hopefully they will find the festival as compelling as our many loyal and regular visitors, and come back to join in the festivities with us time and time again.

“We certainly know they enjoyed themselves, because almost 100% of our visitors said they were 'very happy' or 'happy' with their festival experience, enjoying the atmosphere, hospitality, friendliness, expert knowledge and, this year in particular, the weather!”

Popular events on this year’s festival programme included the Whisky Awards Finals and the opening dinner; the many whisky dinners running throughout the festival as well as the highly regarded and exclusive three-day Whisky School where enthusiasts learned about the science, art and folklore of the whisky industry at the historic Knockando Distillery.

Several events also take place locally including at Teh Glenlivet Distillery and also at Craggan Mill restaurant by Grantown.

Mr Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland commented: “It is wonderful to see the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival continuing to attract large numbers of Scottish and overseas visitors to the event.

“The economic impact generated for the local area shows the importance of events in Scotland and its continued success shows the appetite for Scottish produce, culture and heritage in an iconic setting.”

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Strathspey Herald

11 Oct
2011

Makro’s own-brand whisky wins silver award from IWSC

Makro’s own-brand whisky, Charles House, has been awarded a silver medal from IWSC International Wine and Spirits Challenge.

Charles House Whisky uses a blend of the finest grain from the Lowlands of Scotland combined with the highest quality Speyside and Highland malt whiskies. Each cask is matured for a minimum of three years before being selected to create the final blend.

IWSC has been independently testing and grading products from across the world for over 40 years using a rigorous two stage process of blind tasting and a chemical and microbiological analysis.

The IWSC judges are some of the most renowned wines and spirits experts from across the world and a trophy is highly respected by many leading supermarkets and suppliers including Waitrose.

Karen Hornby, Own Brand Manager for Makro, said: “We are extremely proud that our own brand whisky has been recognised with one of the highest accolades at an international level, beating off competition from around the world.

“At Makro we take great pride in our own brand products so to have one awarded with a silver medal by IWSC is a fantastic achievement. The whisky market is increasingly competitive but that’s where experience, expertise and quality, combined with market-leading innovation, really come into play.

“We have invested considerable research into finding a reliable supplier with the technology and expertise to provide a truly superior product. This whisky retails at a fantastic price and is great value for money for such a premium product.”

Charles House Whisky costs £9.54 (70cl) and is available in a variety of sizes including 20cl, 70cl, 1 litre and 1.5 litre.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

07 Oct
2011

Johnnie Walker Launches New Limited Edition Whisky in the United States

The makers of Johnnie Walker announce the launch of Johnnie Walker Double Black, a new limited edition Scotch whisky debuting in the United States this month. Imagine your favorite song; now turn up the volume. Double Black amplifies the signature style of Black Label, including its hallmark smokey flavor, to produce a bold blend of extraordinary depth, richness and character.

Johnnie Walker Black Label has withstood the test of time. Over the past 100 years, this iconic brand has grown from a grocer's blend to a whisky enjoyed around the world. Year after year, the liquid inside a bottle of Black Label honors the legacy of its creators. The heart of the whisky is the pioneering spirit of innovation passed down by John Walker and his sons, and Double Black is the product of this legacy.

"Johnnie Walker Double Black begins with Johnnie Walker Black Label as its starting point. From here we explored the characteristics that define this beloved blend and thought how can we offer a new perspective on it," said Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge. "With access to the world's most diverse stocks of aged whiskies in the world, I was able to create something entirely new inspired by the cornerstone of this whisky house, and arguably the most beloved Scotch whisky in the world, Johnnie Walker Black Label. It's an honor and a privilege to be able to share it with the US."

By reaching deep into some of the House of Walker's most distinctive - and unparalleled - single malts reserves, Master Blender Jim Beveridge has created a powerful whisky that stands tall when placed shoulder to shoulder against its brethren blends and stands apart from all other whiskies on the market. Rich peaty single malts are combined with whiskies matured in deeply charred oak barrels. The result is a powerful intensity of flavor that is undeniably Johnnie Walker, and undoubtedly drawn from the signature style of Black Label.

"Since debuting in Duty Free shops globally, there has been great excitement around Johnnie Walker Double Black. We've received countless inquiries on our Facebook page and at House of Walker tastings asking when it will be available in the United States," said Adam Rosen, Diageo Brand Director, Scotch Whisky Portfolio. "People want to try it. They are attracted to what the blend offers by being Black Label, amplified. As with all of our Johnnie Walker blends, we ask that adults enjoy responsibly."

Johnnie Walker Double Black will be available nationwide beginning in October 1, 2011 with a suggested retail price of $40. The limited supply is expected to last just until the holiday season.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

07 Oct
2011

Glenmorangie whisky visitor centre to reopen

A whisky distiller will officially reopen a visitor centre at its Highland distillery following a revamp.

Glenmorangie said it expected the new-look centre at its distillery in Tain to become a "must-see" tourist attraction.

The renovation includes new gallery spaces exploring the distillery's history and an archive room.

The distillery has Scotland's tallest whisky stills. An opening weekend is to be held on 15-16 October.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

05 Oct
2011

Distilleries line-up for whisky festival

SCORES of distilleries from across Scotland have signed up to take part in a fledgling drinks festival, to be held next summer.

A combined 14 distilleries and brands have signalled their intention to attend the Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival, planned for the city’s Albert Halls on May 12.

Representatives from anCnoc, Arran, Balblair, Glenfarclas, Glenglassaugh, Glengoyne, Old Pulteney, Bruichladdich, Tomatin, Glen Garioch, Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Dalmore and Jura will all be involved, organisers revealed this week.

The showcase is the brainchild of local businessmen Stuart Campbell and Cameron McCann.

Mr McCann said: “We are delighted with the early response from the distilleries that we have approached.

“This is only the first tranche of confirmed distilleries and brands. We will be announcing more in due course.”

As part of the festival, two masterclasses will be held at the Dumbarton Road venue to allow fans of the country’s national drink to enhance their knowledge, nosing and whisky-tasting skills.

Mr McCann, who runs the Ealain Gallery in Drymen, continued: “In addition to the festival itself, we are starting a second whisky tasting club to complement the one we already run from our shop in Drymen.

“The new Ealain Whisky Club will be held in Stirling, with the first event taking place in the Allan Park Hotel tomorrow (Thursday, October 6).

“To kick off the new club, we’re welcoming in Balblair who will take us through their range.”

The night gets underway at 7.15pm and will last for approximately two hours. Tickets are £10. To book a place telephone the Ealain Gallery on 01360 660996.

General admission tickets to the Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival have been priced at £20 and can be purchased from either the Ealain Gallery, the Albert Halls (01786 473 544) or Abbey Antiques, on Stirling’s Friars Street (01786 447 840).

For more information visit www.spiritofstirlingwhiskyfestival.co.uk

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

05 Oct
2011

Scotch Malt Whisky Society gears up for Whisky Week

To mark Whisky Week, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has created a week-long programme of events.

Whisky Week will run in London from 5 - 13 October, with the main event, the Whisky Show taking place at The Whisky Exchange, Vinopolis in London on October, 7 and 8.

An exclusive and rare 39 YO cask has been bottled especially for the show, along with a selection of hand-selected drams which form the society's Dream Dram flight.

The Dream Drams can only be tracked down at the society's members' rooms at 19 Greville Street, Farringdon or at The Whisky Show during Whisky Week.

Other events include:

Wed 5 Oct: Whisky Week is launched at Bistro du Vin in Clerkenwell with a sampling of five Whisky Show Dream Drams.

Thu 6: Whisky Week continues at the society's London members' room at 19 Greville Street with exclusive Dream Dram flights and offers.

Fri 7 & Sat 8: Sample over 20 different society single cask malts, including exclusive Whisky Show cask 35.59 in the SMWS Lounge at The Whisky Show, and a fleeting sample from the ‘world's widest selection of single cask malts'.

Sat 8 & Mon 10: The society's monthly release of single cask bottlings goes on sale -members can enjoy a selection of the 12 new bottlings at two exclusive events at 19 Greville Street.

Thu 13 Oct: The fashion elite enjoy a drop of the good stuff at an exclusive tasting at Matches Men's Week of Style event at The Matches Town House in Marylebone.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

04 Oct
2011

Old Pulteney Creates Celebratory Spirit to Mark Heroes’ Homecoming

Multi award-winning Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky has today unveiled a limited edition commemorative bottle to celebrate one of the World’s last great firsts in maritime endurance - the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole expedition.

On the 26th August this year, British arctic adventurer Jock Wishart and his pioneering crew made history by successfully completing a never attempted before expedition to row to the 1996 magnetic North Pole. The four week adventure, which was sponsored by Old Pulteney, proved to be a challenge of a lifetime, as the crew braved extreme Arctic conditions to complete their 450 mile voyage into the unknown. The limited edition release was designed to mark their momentous achievement.

Only 3,000 of the unique, collectable bottles will be available world-wide and will feature exceptional single malt selected by Malcolm Waring, Distillery Manager at Pulteney Distillery. The exclusive edition is matured in ex American and ex Spanish sherry casks and bottled in 35cl at 40%, ABV. On the palete the initial sweet hints of citrus combined with overtones of raisins, pears, chocolate and warm spices lead to a full bodied long lasting finish.

Presented in a traditional canvas sailing gift bag, the bottle’s eye catching design features the expedition’s distinctive artwork and is endorsed with expedition leader Jock Wishart’s signature.

Commenting on the release, Margaret Mary Clarke, Senior Brand Manager from Old Pulteney says:

“The Old Pulteney Row to the Pole expedition proved to be an unforgettable and unique experience for all involved and we are proud to have been involved in such an ambitious challenge.

Our partnership with Jock and the expedition stems from the brand’s age old heritage of supporting maritime adventure and we are delighted to release a commemorative bottle to mark the crew’s dedication, bravery and remarkable success.”

Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky is crafted at the most northerly distillery on the UK mainland in Wick. The distillery was founded in 1826 at the height of Wick’s herring boom and it’s this maritime heritage that gives the whisky its name as the Maritime Malt.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

01 Oct
2011

Grant’s sales lift aided by global thirst for whisky

Independent whisky distiller William Grant and Sons said yesterday turnover was nearing £1billion amid continuing global expansion for the industry.

The firm behind Glenfiddich single malt said turnover for 2010 was £951.5million, up 14% on the previous year.

Dufftown-based William Grant said the improvement in sales was down to growing demand for whiskies such as Grant’s and The Balvenie plus its Hendrick’s gin brand.

Figures were also boosted by the performance of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, the biggest acquisition in Grant’s history.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal
September 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 Sep
2011

Blended Scotch Whisky Johnnie Walker to launch global campaign

Blended Scotch Whisky, Johnnie Walker, is to launch a new global, integrated marketing campaign – the Keep Walking Project – from 29 September to showcase a series of pioneering ideas which could help the world take a step forwards.

Inspired by the ‘Keep Walking’ strapline, which has been the core idea of all Johnnie Walker advertising since its introduction in 1999 and continues to evolve with the times, the campaign will be supported by an extensive above the line campaign and will harness the power of social media to galvanize support for three innovative initiatives in the fields of the arts, technology and business.

Fully interactive, consumers in each participating market will be urged to debate and ultimately decide which initiative they think has the most potential to shape the future in their country.

The campaign will culminate next spring when Johnnie Walker will bring the preferred initiatives to life in each participating market – Bulgaria, Brazil, Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam – to demonstrate their untapped potential.

Designed for the age of consumer engagement and empowerment, the Keep Walking Project will be run from central Facebook hubs and feature extensive TV, outdoor and digital activity as well as a dedicated free iPhone app for deeper immersion into the campaign.

Gavin Pike, Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker, said the campaign aims to build affinity with inventive, open-minded consumers who want to progress in life, never standing still.

“The Keep Walking Project embodies the Johnnie Walker spirit of progress, which enabled three generations of the Walker family to grow a small grocery store founded in 1820 into the world’s number one Blended Scotch Whisky.

“We’re building on decades of innovation in advertising to launch the first participative Johnnie Walker campaign. This bold next step for the brand will offer our consumers a collective sense of participation and achievement and hopefully spark new thinking about what can be achieved by working together.”

“By using our communications to encourage like-minded consumers to connect, collaborate and champion causes that inspire them we will deliver a deeper engagement with our brand as well as showcasing some of the pioneering thinking that could lead us towards a better future”.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

23 Sep
2011

Whisky all the better for the woman’s touch

IT’S unusual to hear women saying they enjoy whisky, but Kirsty Dagnan’s entire career is based on Scotland’s iconic dram.

Her appreciation of the drink saw her appointed senior site manager of the Glen Ord Group when she was just 27 – making her Diageo’s youngest distillery manager yet.

Kirsty’s role covers the Glen Ord Distillery and Visitor Centre, Glen Ord Maltings, Teaninich Distillery and North Engineering Centre.

And, as the distillery is undergoing a £3.2million expansion programme driven by the growing global popularity of Scotch whisky, it’s certainly exciting times for Kirsty.

She said she always had a passion for whisky and, while studying for a BSc (hons) in forensic and analytical chemistry, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a distillery manager.

“When I told my family, their response was, ‘Are you not doing the wrong course?’” she said.

“If you work hard and are determined, you can achieve anything.”

After finishing university six years ago, Kirsty’s determination to succeed saw her joining Diageo on its graduate scheme.

The scheme involved three one-year placements and her first was working on a variety of projects at Port Dundas Distillery in Glasgow before moving to Speyside to work at Linkwood Distillery as a site operations manager.

For her final placement, she travelled to Amsterdam for a year to work in logistics.

“I have always had a passion for whisky but wanted to work in a variety of areas to gain experience before making the move,” Kirsty said.

“After Amsterdam, I got my first permanent role working as business leader for white spirits and sweetened products at Diageo’s packaging plant at Leven in Fife, and I was in this role for two years before applying for the position of senior site manager in malt distilling at Glen Ord.”

Glen Ord Distillery produces spirit for one of Diageo’s single malt brands, The Singleton of Glen Ord, which is the fastest-growing single malt Scotch in Asia – and consistency is crucial.

“My job is to make sure we produce the best possible spirit every single day,” Kirsty said.

“The visitor centre at Glen Ord is also extremely popular and last year we welcomed over 18,000 visitors. I have a great team of people who are all responsible for the success of the distilleries, maltings, engineering and the visitor centre.

“I love my job and I feel very lucky to manage great distilleries which produce great whiskies. I also love working with a fantastic team, making products that we can all be very proud of.”

For youngsters keen to succeed in the world of work, Kirsty explained that hard work and determination were the key factors.

“Don’t give up on getting your dream job,” she said. “If you work hard and are determined, you can achieve anything.

“I am very proud of what I have achieved in my career to date. I have worked hard and have had a lot of support and guidance along the way.

“Diageo is a great company for encouraging career development and there are lots of opportunities to progress. I’ve also been lucky to have lots of great help and support from my colleagues.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

22 Sep
2011

The Whisky Advocate Magazine is Launched

The Whisky Advocate was released today after undergoing a complete redesign with the aim of reaching a broader consumer market for high-end spirits.

“With the new redesign and broader-interest articles, we hope to greatly expand our readership,” said John Hansell, the editor of Whisky Advocate. “The magazine now has a luxury look and feel, similar to its sister publications Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado.” The magazine’s publisher is Amy Westlake.

In 2010, M. Shanken Communications, which publishes both Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficioando, acquired Malt Advocate, a well-established magazine for the whisky enthusiast and sponsor of the WhiskyFest events across America.

Marvin R. Shanken, chairman of M. Shanken Communications, said he’s very excited that the company portfolio now has its own spirits magazine for consumers. “We plan to make major investments in this title, because we think the time for a whisky magazine is now.”

“In recent years, whenever I would visit wine shops across America, I would see big window displays and vast selections of whiskies,” Shanken added. “When I asked retailers why they stocked so many whiskies, their answer was always the same: because they sell. I then asked who was buying them—particularly as so many of them are high-priced. Their answer: the same people who buy fine wine.”

The newly redesigned Whisky Advocate will include stories related to the good life for whisky lovers, including unusual bars and restaurants, travel to locations where great whisky is made, and associations with other fine products, including cigars and golf. “The interest level and market for single malts and whiskies in general is booming,” Shanken said. “The opportunity for Whisky Advocate is unlimited.”

The Whisky Advocate has hosted tasting events across America for many years, attracting thousands of whisky lovers. The next WhiskyFest will be held in San Francisco on October 7, followed by a WhiskyFest in New York on November 1. The New York event has been sold out for months.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

20 Sep
2011

Edrington launches smokier Black Grouse whisky

The Edrington Group is to launch a smokier expression of its Black Grouse whisky.

The company describes The Black Grouse - Alpha Edition as a “richer, smokier expression” of The Black Grouse.

The Alpha Edition will be launched early next year and will be exclusive to travel retail for the first six months.

The package depicts a male black grouse in full display during the mating season “as he embarks on his mission to become the alpha male”.

Helen Potter, innovations manager for The Famous Grouse: “On first taste it is rich and sweet, before layers of smoke reveal themselves. We believe we have created something truly special which will appeal to scotch whisky, bourbon and rum spirit drinkers keen to explore a richer, fuller version of The Black Grouse.”

The Black Grouse - Alpha Edition RRP is €33 and the whisky made its debut at TFWA Cannes.

Sister brand The Black Grouse launched in 2007.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

Drinks International

19 Sep
2011

Dalmore Sets New World Record - £125,000 For One Bottle Of Whisky

The most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold in retail has been revealed by Whyte & Mackay at the Tax Free World Association Show in Cannes.

The last bottle of The Dalmore 62, released from the personal collection of master distiller Richard Paterson, was sold at Changi Airport in Singapore for £125,000 just two weeks ago.

This breaks the previous retail record set by the same brand after the final bottle of Dalmore 64 was sold in Harrods for £120,000 three months ago.

Whyte & Mackay has also revealed that Jura is the fastest growing malt whisky in the world with a sales increase of 38%, while The Dalmore is the third fastest growing malt with a rise of 34%.

This success is emulated in travel retail where Jura has grown by 48% and The Dalmore by 55% in the last 12 months.

When The Dalmore 62 was first released in 2002 it went down in history as being the most expensive bottle of whisky ever bought and consumed in one sitting. An anonymous business man paid £32,000 for the bottle at the Penny Hill Park hotel in Surrey. After sharing it with friends, the buyer left a tip for the waiter in the form of the last drop of whisky in the bottle estimated to be worth £1000.

The Dalmore creator Richard Paterson kept one of the original 12 bottles back and gave it exclusively to DFS in Singapore. The rare whisky, with spirit dating as far back as 1868, was decanted in to a bespoke hand blown crystal decanter and adorned with the brand’s iconic 12 pointer royal stag’s head – hand crafted in platinum. All this sits in a specially made bespoke wooden presentation case which took over 100 man hours to create.

Dr Vijay Mallya , Chairman of Whyte & Mackay and United Spirits

 

“I always knew there was massive potential with both of these award winning whiskies. With the right focus and investment, it was clear that Jura and The Dalmore could be highly sought after brands. I’m particularly pleased about Jura as it was my father’s favourite whisky, and it’s great to see it getting the plaudits and success it deserves.”

Mallya continued: “And as for the record breaking Dalmore 62. This is an absolute bargain in my mind. The owner of this fabulous bottle now owns one of the rarest and most exclusive whiskies in the world. It’s a fantastic investment, rising in value by £100,000 in 10 years. How much will it be worth in another 10 years?“

The Dalmore creator Richard Paterson

“The Dalmore 62 is legendary and so many people have asked about buying the last bottle. In the space of 10 years it is has grown in value and is worth five times the original asking price, verifying the luxury credentials of The Dalmore, and confirming that whisky - our “liquid gold” - is an investment worth making.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

Press Release

12 Sep
2011

Scotch whisky exports soar by 22%

Emerging markets helped boost Scotch whisky exports by 22% in the first half of this year, according to new figures.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said global shipments between January and June reached £1.8bn, up from £1.47bn achieved during the same period in 2010.

The USA remained the top export market by value with shipments hitting £268m, an increase of about 14%.

The SWA also said growth in Asia and South America was "very strong".

Exports to Central and South America reached £214.4m in the first six months of the year - a 49% jump on the same period in 2010 - while shipments to Asia increased by 33% to £422.5m.

Taiwan is now a top five market for Scotch whisky, with shipments growing to £70m from £48m. Exports to Brazil rose by 56% to £44.8m.

The equivalent of about 569 million bottles was exported in the first six months, an increase of 19% to the end of June.

However, volume was up by less than 5% on an annualised basis between July 2010 and June 2011.

The SWA said that figure reflected the slowdown at the end of 2010 due to economic uncertainty, followed by a growth in confidence among producers bolstered by increased demand from emerging markets.

SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt said Scotch whisky producers could be proud of their continuing success.

He said: "Scotch whisky is a main driver for the UK and Scottish economies in building export markets.

"We are making a strong contribution to the Scottish government's ambition of growing the country's exports by 50% by 2017.

"While traditional export markets remain important, we are making excellent headway in other regions. Consumer confidence is strong."

He added that a free trade agreement with South Korea and better legal protection for Scotch whisky in India and Turkey gave optimism for further growth.

India and Turkey are now among a growing number of countries which recognise Scotch as a product that can only be made in Scotland.

Welcoming the statistics, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "The news that whisky exports have rocketed by a quarter is absolutely phenomenal.

"Our whisky sector is an international success story and more and more discerning drinkers around the world are enjoying a dram and a little bit of Scotland.

"The food and drink industry is at the heart of Scotland's global reputation. And it is good to see that while the USA remains the top market, the emerging markets are booming too."

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

12 Sep
2011

Brazilians get a taste for Scotch Whisky

Their lifestyle is more associated with caipirinhas than kilts, but Brazilians have developed a taste for Scotch Whisky.

Shipments of Scotch to South and Central America grew by 49 per cent to £215 million over the first six months of 2011, according to new figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Scotch Whisky is now the UK’s sixth largest export to Brazil, where sales rose by 56 per cent over the first half of the year. Sales to Columbia were also strong.

A spokesman for the SWA said that whisky is being bought by “generally young, newly affluent” South American consumers who buy the drink to “make a statement” in front of their friends.

The SWA said that total global shipments of Scotch increased by a fifth to £1.8 billion over the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2010. In total, around 569 million bottles were sold.

The USA remains the top export market – with shipments hitting £268m – while France is the second most valuable market.

Exports to Asia rose by a third to £422.5 million. Taiwan is now one of the top five countries in the world for Scotch.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said: “Scotch Whisky producers can be proud of their continuing success. Scotch Whisky is a main driver for the UK and Scottish economies in building export markets. We are making a

strong contribution to the Scottish Government’s ambition of growing the country’s exports by 50 per cent by 2017.”

He added that a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and better legal protection for Scotch Whisky in India and Turkey give “optimism for further growth”.

“India and Turkey are now among the countries which recognise Scotch as a product that can only be made in Scotland. We will continue to fight for fairer treatment in overseas markets and to widen Scotch Whisky’s international appeal,” he said.

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph

Telegraph

09 Sep
2011

The cream of the crop

The Independent Bottlers Challenge 2011 has been an outstanding success for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, netting them awards in every category.

The company, who hold one of the largest privately owned collections of rare whisky casks in the world, proved once again that they are the cream of the crop in the independent sector.

‘Simply stunning, luscious and aromatic…fabulous…Blimey, how complex do you want a whisky to be!’are just some of the comments from the judges.

The company won a Gold Award in the Cambeltown category, 13-20 yo, for their Rare Auld Glen Scotia 1991(Tasting notes: Green and fresh, hint of smoke and seaweed). They also won the Islay category 21 years and over -and were the overall Islay category winner - with a Gold for their Octave Caol Ila 1983 (Tasting notes: Rich, woody, winey, peated, sweet, long with a bitter chocolate).

Now in its seventh year, the Independent Bottlers competition is a true challenge for the independents, who provide whisky enthusiasts with unique bottlings from their favourite distilleries.

CEO Scott Watson said ‘Success in the Independent Bottlers Challenge is a great tribute to what we do here at Duncan Taylor. We’ve been in this market for more than 70 years now and we’re still at the top.’

Duncan Taylor successes in the Independent Bottlers Challenge 2011:
Gold Awards:
Cambeltown Category, 13-20 years old
Islay Category,21 years & Overand overall Islay Category winner
Silver Awards:
Lowland Category,21 years & Over (Rare Auld Cameronbridge 1979)
Speyside Category 21 years & Over (Rare Auld Glen Grant 1974)
Five Bronze Awards in the Highland, Islands, Lowland and Speyside categories

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

08 Sep
2011

Duke of York opens whisky bottling plant

Glenmorangie bottling facility in Livingston receives royal seal of approval.

A new whisky bottling facility has been opened by the Duke of York, 14 years after a single malt was laid down in his name.

Prince Andrew visited the Glenmorangie facility at the Alba business park in Livingston, West Lothian, to give his royal seal of approval.

A special cask was laid down in his name at the Glenmorangie distillery in Ross-shire in 1997. Now, the cask is to "go down the bottle line" as a Special Reserve at the new bottling facility.

The Duke was presented with 270 bottles of the whisky, which will be given to his chosen charities for auction.

The facility is part of a multi-million pound investment by the company, and features environmentally-friendly technologies which allow for efficient use of energy and water, including rainwater harvesting.

The company also employed an ecologist during the design of the landscaping surrounding the centre, to preserve the ecological value of the site.

Paul Skipworth, president and managing director of The Glenmorangie Company, said: "Our new production facility has been a key part in refocusing the company to further grow Glenmorangie and Ardbeg worldwide.

"These are exciting times for The Glenmorangie Company and we are delighted that Prince Andrew was able to join us today to see his 'Special Reserve' go 'down the bottling line'."

Dr Bill Lumsden, The Glenmorangie Company's head of distilling and whisky creation, was present in 1997 and laid down the special cask for the Duke of York.

He said: "It was great to see the Duke of York here today to mark the official opening of our new production facility.

"I thought it might be something special when we laid it down 14 years ago but the quality of this malt has surpassed even my expectations.

"It's a classic Glenmorangie, with powerfully accentuated fruity and oaky flavours. One might even say it's fit for a prince."

Article Courtesy of STV

 

STV

05 Sep
2011

William Grant highlights importance of travel-retail

The company will take its biggest category-devoted team to date to the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes this month

Liquor supplier William Grant & Sons has highlighted the importance of the duty-free and travel-retail channel to its brands by taking to the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) exhibition in Cannes this month its largest team devoted to the category to date.

The company has made a number of key appointments over the past year including Stephen Corrigan as travel-retail director North America; Paige Parness as regional marketing manager Americas; Alex Warren as business development manager Europe; Neeraj Sharma as business development manager Indian sub-continent; and Scott Hamilton as regional manager Australia and South Pacific.

William Grant & Sons managing director global travel-retail Rita Greenwood said: “Travel-retail continues to be the flagship for brand building and showcasing the premium nature of the William Grant & Sons portfolio. In line with this we continue to support the channel with significant investment in both our brands and personnel.”

At Cannes, the company will showcase brands including Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky, Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, Hendrick’s gin, The Balvenue single malt Scotch whisky, Grant’s blended Scotch whisky, Sailor Jerry rum and Monkey Shoulder blended whisky.

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph

Duty Free News Int

02 Sep
2011

Diageo planning £6m Speyside bioenergy plant

Drinks giant Diageo has announced plans for a new £6m bioenergy plant at its Glenlossie distillery in Moray.

A planning application to build the facility has been submitted to Moray Council.

The plant will produce energy by burning draff - the spent grain left over from distilling whisky.

The investment is on top of a £20m plan to expand its malt whisky distillation capacity in Speyside over the next three years.

The Glenlossie bioenergy plant will use around 30,000 tonnes of draff per year, the by-product from around 12 million litres of Scotch whisky production.

The facility will produce steam which will be used in the operations on site, including Glenlossie and Mannochmore distilleries and the onsite dark grains plant, which makes animal feed.

Diageo has invested heavily in renewable energy projects in recent times, including a £65m bioenergy plant at Cameronbridge in Fife.

It has also invested at Roseisle distillery, the new £40m distillery which it opened in Speyside last year.

Diageo's malt distilling director, Brian Higgs, said: "With Roseisle distillery, we showed what can be achieved in using the natural by-products of our industry to produce green energy.

"Diageo is committed to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and to reducing our overall impact on the environment."

He added: "The plan for Glenlossie is another significant step in our journey towards that sustainable future for Scotch whisky production.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

02 Sep
2011

Whisky leading the way for Pernod

Strong performances from whisky brands including Royal Salute, The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal helped Pernod Ricard to an 8% rise in annual profits, it said yesterday.

Royal Salute – launched in 1953 as “the pinnacle of Scotch whiskies” and inspired by the Queen’s coronation that year – led the way, with net sales up 27% during the year to June 30.

It was the fastest-grower among the French drink giant’s portfolio of “strategic brands” over the period.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal
August 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 Sep
2010

Whisky launch is 'most complex' Laphroaig expression

Maxxium is releasing what it describes as its “most complex flavoured” Laphroaig into the UK market, following two years as a travel retail exclusive.

The malt, Triple Wood, is finished in three ways: in bourbon casks, in quarter casks and finally in oloroso sherry casks.

The 48% abv whisky will retail for between £40 and £50.

Maxxium UK’s marketing controller for Scotch, Johna Penman, said: “It is the perfect time to launch Laphroaig Triple Wood, as malt whisky and in particular premium malt whisky, is growing ahead of the spirits market in the UK. This is partly due to consumers becoming more knowledgeable and actively seeking out new styles and flavours from brands with heritage and provenance.

“We are confident that this new expression will encourage interest and showcase the brand, the world’s number one Islay malt whisky, as a leader in the premium malt whisky market.”

Maxxium UK is promoting the launch among its 450,000-strong Friends of Laphroaig community.

Article Courtesy of Off Licence News

 

 

Off Licence News

28 Aug
2011

Teacher’s Origin rolls out in duty-free

The blended whisky was first launched in India and will now be extended to global travel-retail markets

Teacher's OriginBeam Global Spirits & Wine is rolling out this month the Teacher’s Origin blended Scotch whisky (pictured) in global duty-free and travel-retail markets. The product was first launched in India, where the brand is the number one blended whisky.

According to the supplier, the launch of Teacher’s Origin is also part of the brand’s “longer-term ambition to create a family whisky expressions from Teacher’s, offering consumers a broader choice, which now includes a premium blend”, while paying tribute to the brand’s heritage.

Teacher’s Origin is produced through double maturation in special 19th century-styled quarter casks of over 30 different malt whiskies. “The smaller cask size allows for more contact between the whisky and the wood, creating 30% more maturation and resulting in a full, rich, premium blend,” the supplier added.

Beam Global director for European travel-retail, Middle East and Africa Gareth Brown said: “Origin allows the Teacher’s trademark to compete with aged blends up to 12yo for the first time and provides us with a step forward in brand development. The travel-retail channel is a great environment for the trial and discovery of new whiskies by consumers, so we are keen to see how it performs in this market.”

Teacher’s Origin will be available in duty-free in 1l bottles and also in a premium gift box, carrying a recommended retail price of €29.90 ($48.80).

Article Courtesy of Duty Free News Int

Duty Free News Int

26 Aug
2011

Benriach’s rare 1978 “firkin” cask yields just forty sublime bottles

SPEYSIDE'S BenRiach Distillery is delighted to announce its most exclusive bottling ever.

Only forty bottles of this exquisite 32-year old single malt will be available, making this an ultra-rare BenRiach expression.

The bottling follows the discovery of an unusual “Firkin” cask at the Elgin distillery.

BenRiach’s Managing Director Billy Walker takes up the story: “It’s always exciting to discover exceptionally rare and unique casks in our warehouses, and BenRiach has more than its fair share!

“Upon unearthing this Firkin, we knew we had found something truly extraordinary and sublime which will delight even the most demanding of BenRiach whisky aficionados.”

Mr Walker explained Firkin casks were traditionally used for the maturation of fine ale and the name is derived from the Middle Dutch word “vierdekijn”, meaning ‘fourth’ – in other words, a quarter of a full-size barrel.

“Because a Firkin’s size is smaller than that of a standard barrel, there's a greater surface to liquid ratio when the spirit undergoes maturation, and this imparts a more intense, fuller flavour,” he added.

“This cask, number 6337, is one of the only two Firkins in our possession. Distilled and filled to cask on June 26, 1978, and bottled at 40.1% earlier this year, the style of the whisky is classic Speyside. Due to the size of the cask, and the age of the whisky, it has generated only forty bottles, so it's bound to become a much sought-after collector’s item.”

Mr Walker’s tasting notes indicate just how special this 1978 single cask bottling is.

Appearance: Clear and bright. Light gold.

Nose: Fresh summer fruit aromas are accompanied by bold floral notes, in particular daffodils and freshly cut rosehips. Honey and subtle oak add to a tremendously complex whisky.

Palate: Full, complex and long. Incredibly well-developed with smooth, creamy vanilla married with a delicate yet clearly-defined fruit base. Apricots, peaches and nectarines drizzled with honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

The packaging has been designed to reflect the super-premium nature of the whisky, with the bottle silk-screened and the closure sealed via a wax dip, all of which is housed in a beautiful hand-crafted wooden box.

The forty bottles will be available from September.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

25 Aug
2011

Diageo profits boosted by strong whisky sales

Diageo, maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, reported better-than-expected full-year profits boosted by strong sales in emerging markets, and announced new profit and revenue goals which pleased investors.

The world's biggest spirits maker reported a 5.4pc rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £2.36bn, on revenues of £13.2bn, up from £12.9bn in the same period last year.

Scotch whisky sales in Africa and Latin America rose 20pc and increased by 19pc in Asia.

Shares in Diageo jumped more than 4pc in early trading after the company said it was looking to grow underlying sales by 6pc, improve profit margins by 200 basis points (bps) over the next three years, and achieve "double-digit" earnings growth in the medium term.

"The group has made a bold statement with public targets," said analysts at Credit Suisse, who said Diageo's earnings were in line with forecasts. "It is the margin target that most catches the eye. Consensus has margins going up 170bps over the next 3 years."

Paul Walsh, chief executive, said: "While Diageo is not immune from a fragile global economy, this is a strong platform ... Achievement of these aims would underpin even stronger dividend growth."

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph

Telegraph

22 Aug
2011

Dalmore distillery evokes the spirit of whisky making

JAMstudio have added a touch of drama to a visitor centre for The Dalmore, refurbishing existing buildings to create an innovative Highland whisky distillery near Inverness.

Reflecting The Dalmore brand the centre boasts a theatrical finish of secret doorways, velvet and leather finishes and an internally illuminated tasting table.

Practice co-founder Marie-Louise Dunk said of the design: “Carefully controlled lighting to change the mood and the atmosphere. Stills underlit to give the impression of fire and warmth. The smell of the spirit. The sound of the grain being milled. The taste of The Dalmore at the end of your journey. All these combine to create an experience to remember.

“Scottish craftsmanship was used to shape the project. From the carved oak boardroom table inlaid with the solid silver 12-point stag’s head which appears on all bottles of Dalmore, to the specially designed bottle display cases, and the “bloodline”, a sparkling glass mosaic, that runs throughout.

“We’ve brought a new concept to distillery tours while making The Dalmore’s heritage the centrepiece of the exercise. We’ve given people a better understanding of distilling, using dramatic lighting to bring a sense of theatre to this magical process.”

Article Courtesy of Urban Realm

 

 

Urban Realm

20 Aug
2011

Whisky workers walk West Highland Way

A PAISLEY man and his workmates poured their heart and soles into a mammoth fundraising effort. . .by walking the West Highland Way in reverse.

The nine-strong team of pals, who work for whisky giants Chivas, decided to trek 100 miles from Fort William to Milngavie, doing it this way round to make sure they were back at the firm’s Dumbarton bottling plant in time for their work.

Over the four days the trekking team collected an impressive £6,500 for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in Glasgow.

The team – who called themselves the Coffee Club Walkers – set off on the early morning bus from Dumbarton to Fort William and then started walking at 1pm.

Team member Adam Purdie, 38, originally from Ferguslie Main Road in Paisley but now living in Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, said: “That was us on the road until we finished in Milngavie at around 4pm on the Monday afternoon.

“We were really lucky with the weather. It was warm, dry and sunny every day.

“Due to the good weather the scenery we were walking through was truly amazing. We met a load of people from different parts of the country and Europe over the four days.

“We stayed in a converted railway station, a bunkhouse, a wooden wigwam and a bed and breakfast.”

Despite the kind weather, the team had to pull together to get through some of the harder parts of the challenge.

Electrician Adam, who had great support from family and friends in Paisley, said: “Some days were harder than others.

“We started the second day by climbing the Devil’s Staircase, which is aptly named, but perhaps the hardest part was the morning at the top of Loch Lomond.

“After taking pictures of a clear and calm loch, due to the terrain, it took us almost two and a half hours to cover three miles.

“When you have been on your feet for that length of time and you can still see where you left you feel as if you are making no progress.

“There was a high at the very end in completing the walk in a reasonable time with everybody still together.

“The fact that there was nine of us made it a bit easier.”

Adam, who is married to Karon and is dad to eight-year-old Alice, would like to thank his parents Sandra and Adam, his sister Susan and other family and friends for their backing.

Chivas doubled the gang’s fundraising total to £5,600 for CHAS, which runs Robin House in Balloch, and £900 for Maggie’s.

The group, made up of Jim Waters, John Nicholson, Gregor Tilley, Kevin Jermy, Jim Coleman, Phil Sherry, Ross Forsyth, Neil McClure and Adam would like to thank everyone who made a donation, adding: “Special thanks to some of our suppliers who made generous donations – John Ogilvie at JBD Tritec, Richard Madison at Mapex, Pat Duffy at CCS and David O’Raw at Henkle.

“Also thanks to Bodyfuel Glasgow who, along with a donation, supplied us with energy bars and energy drinks.”

Article Courtesy of Paisley Daily Express

 

 

Paisley Daily Express

17 Aug
2011

Maturing nicely at 110, Scotland's oldest woman has whisky in her veins

The Wright Brothers had yet to achieve lift-off and the nation was still mourning Queen Victoria when Janet Roberts was born in a schoolmaster’s house in a remote bit of north-eastern Scotland called the Cabrach in the summer of 1901.

So her family have not been the only ones celebrating over the past few days as Scotland’s oldest woman has been marking her 110th birthday.

Because Janet is not merely a fine advertisement for the bracing qualities of Scottish air. She is also a monument to the country’s most famous industry.

The toasts came long and loud, but it was not champagne that was raised aloft to salute this remarkable life. As the photographer gathered her extended clan together for the family shot, no one said: ‘Cheese!’ As one, they cried: ‘Whisky!’

And so they should. Janet Roberts is not merely fond of an occasional dram. ‘Wee Janie’ is the Queen Mother of the Scottish whisky industry.

In the course of her remarkable life, she has watched the family business transform from a modest handmade production line to an international corporate giant. She has seen an obscure Banffshire brand become a titan of world liquor. Little wonder that the Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire is planning to present Janet’s 110th birthday card from the Queen in person.

For Janet is the granddaughter of William Grant, the man who created Glenfiddich — the world’s first and best-selling single malt — not to mention several other world-famous brands, including Grant’s and The Balvenie

As such, she is a living link with one of the great Victorian business empires. But what makes this story so unusual is not just the fact that she remembers the founding father very well, but that his creation is still thriving under family control — having been run at various stages by Janet’s grandfather, father, brother, husband and nephew.

Today, it is firmly in the grip of her great nephew Peter and boasts an alcoholic repertoire from Icelandic vodka to Canadian whisky to Guyanese rum. It is a success story that ranks the family a couple of places below the Sainsbury family in the latest Sunday Times Rich List, at around £950 million.

But the global headquarters and spiritual home of William Grant & Son is still on Speyside in north-eastern Scotland. And it was there that more than 500 workers and their families gathered at the weekend to celebrate the birthday of a woman who has attended so many Christmas gatherings of the company pensioners that she is known as ‘The Hardy Annual’.

Born in 1839, Janet’s grandfather William Grant was a farm-hand by the age of seven and went on to have seven sons and two daughters, including Janet’s mother Isabella. In 1886, having worked his way up from clerk to manager of a Dufftown distillery, he dragooned all seven sons into helping him build a distillery of his own — brick by brick — on a bit of land called Glenfiddich.

Isabella married Charles Gordon, the schoolmaster of the Cabrach, but, in due course, he ended up in the family business, becoming a director. It was he who helped Grant’s break, first, into the English market and then new markets overseas.

While other whisky houses rose and fell, toppled by wars or Prohibition or bad management, the Grant/Gordon family business sailed on.

But the business world was a traditional men-only place. Janet was not expected to get involved in company matters. Yet while her younger brother, William Gordon, was groomed for a future in the distillery, she refused to sit and wait for a life of quiet domesticity.

Determined to make a name for herself, she studied at both Glasgow and Edinburgh universities.

While reading law at the latter — where she was the only woman in her class — she was a dedicated 1st XI hockey player. During one mixed game, she even found herself marking a certain Eric Liddell, whose Olympic trials and triumphs were captured in the film Chariots Of Fire.

After university, Janet practised law for many years and it was during her years with the firm of McGrigor Donald that she met her future husband, Eric Roberts. They married in 1938, although war soon took him overseas.

Come peacetime, her brother William continued to run the distilleries. But, following William’s sudden death in 1953, Eric was persuaded to join the in-laws and move in to the whisky trade where he ended up a director of William Grant & Son for 24 years and chairman for 14.

All the time, Janet was a benign, supportive presence — promoting the business around the world with Eric. His hard work was recognised in 1974 when, with Janet at his side, he travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Award for Export.

Throughout her marriage, she was also a devoted carer for both her mother and her sister. At the same time, she treated her devoted nieces and nephews and her growing brood of great-nieces and great-nephews as her own children and grandchildren.

‘She is a great matriarch of the family,’ says her great-niece Sally Gordon, who has many happy memories of travelling with Janet behind the old Iron Curtain. ‘After Eric’s death in 1980, I went travelling with her and we went to Prague. Boris Yeltsin was there at the same time and I remember her having this huge row with his security men when we were all trying to visit the monument to [freedom fighter] Jan Palach.’

Despite the family assets, Janet has never lost touch with her Speyside roots. For many years, she supervised the family’s educational trust for children in north-east Scotland.

To this day, she lives a couple of miles from the Balvenie distillery and on Sunday led all the family on a celebratory trip to the Cabrach croft where her father grew up (still in family ownership).

And while Janet has a certain fondness for Ferragamo shoes, she has made her favourite pair last for 50 years. ‘I remember when Janie had her first carer, she was shocked to discover that the woman had thrown away a saucepan because the handle had fallen off,’ recalls Sally Gordon. ‘So she made her retrieve it from the bin and had it mended.’

So just how partial is ‘Wee Janie’ to the golden liquid that has sustained the family all these years? ‘She has enjoyed the occasional dram,’ says Sally, ‘but never too much.’

Needless to say, Janet has often been asked to reveal the secret of a long and happy life. She was asked again over the weekend. Her answer? ‘Hard work and moderation.’

None the less, there are many of us out there who would like to think that the odd sip of the hard stuff has also played its part.

Article Courtesy of Daily Mail

 

 

Daily Mail

13 Aug
2011

Artists get barrel of ideas at Moray whisky distillery

AN EXHIBITION inspired by Scotland’s whisky tradition was launched at a Moray distillery yesterday.

International artists have been living and working at Glenfiddich in Dufftown throughout the summer, as part of a residency programme which has been running since 2002.

The exhibition will showcase their work, which has been inspired by Scotland’s whisky industry and the Moray landscape.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

11 Aug
2011

Gold Medals For the Black Bull

Over 300 international industry judges have awarded gold medals to Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky’s acclaimed Black Bull brand of Deluxe Blended whiskies.

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky has once again proved their Black Bull Deluxe Blends are outstanding in their field, with both the 12 and 40 year old expressions winning gold awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Black Bull 12 year old was commended for its ‘nose of fruit with inviting notes of apple, liquorice and vanilla….spice and fruit combined well with evident oak….in an outstanding finish’ while Black Bull 40 year old was described as having ‘…great presence and balance…great complexity with rich malts dominating hints of citrus.’

Founded in 1969, the IWSC is considered to be the oldest and most prestigious competition of its kind. Judging includes a blind tasting consisting of panels selected from over 300 fully experienced and qualified industry judges followed by a detailed chemical analysis.

Scott Watson, CEO of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky commented:

“It’s truly fantastic to see our Black Bull brand being officially recognised. Our boldly independent spirit has been appreciated by real whisky connoisseurs since the prohibition era. Each expression of Black Bull offers a unique character, delivered by an unusually high malt to grain ratio and generations of whisky expertise. Added to recent accolades from the World Whisky Awards and Whisky Magazine, these coveted awards will help support our continued bullish growth.“

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

10 Aug
2011

Rare Rebus: Whisky celebrating dram-swilling detective goes under the hammer

A rare whisky celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of Scotland's most famous literary detectives is to be auctioned.

The bottle of Highland Park was created to celebrate the gruff, dram-swilling detective, Inspector John Rebus.

It was given to people associated with author Ian Rankin's books, but has never appeared for sale in shops.

Bearing the legend REBUS20, it has been described by auctioneers Bonhams as being in "perfect condition" and is likely to fetch up to £1000 later this month.

Bonhams' whisky expert, Martin Green, said: "This product was not on the open market, it was never available at retail so you would probably have had to have known someone at Highland Park to get one at all.

"I would think the Rebus whisky will do well. Not just among whisky collectors but possibly amongst Rebus fans as well."

Highland Park is the whisky drunk by the Edinburgh detective in his final outing "Exit Music".

Rebus author Rankin travelled to the distillery himself in 2006 and tasted a number of 20-year-old whiskies before settling on the Rebus20.

He has previously described the Rebus malt as "rugged, manly, darker, smokier" and compared it to his literary creation.

He said: "We can describe it as being like Rebus, dark and complex with a long finish."

Article Courtesy of STV

 

STV

09 Aug
2011

Grant's launches premixed whisky cans

Grant’s has launched its first-ever ready to drink product — Scotch whisky and cola in a can — which will be on sale from this month.

A second variant, Grant’s Scotch Whisky and Ginger, is also in the pipeline.

James Stocker, marketing controller of Grant’s at First Drinks said: “RTDs are the fastest growing category in the UK off-trade – with RTD cans in dynamic growth, up 48% - so we felt this was a really important area to exploit. Until recently, it has been other categories which have dominated the RTD market but with Grant’s now entering this territory, we hope that blended whisky will really capitalise on this trend.

“By launching Grant’s Scotch whisky and cola in the UK, we are hoping to recruit new drinkers to the category and introduce new occasions to the whisky drinker’s repertoire, such as summer drinking and picnics. With consumers increasingly experimenting with mixable spirits, the new Grant’s RTDs offer drinkers the opportunity to trial the brand in a convenient format and at an accessible price point.”

The launch of the Grant’s RTD follows a number of new brand extensions, including the smaller 50cl bottle and the miniature gift pack of its Family Reserve and Cask variants.

The premixed drinks come in 250ml cans and have an abv of 6.6%, with a retail price tag of £2.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

09 Aug
2011

Former Gucci boss lands new role at whisky giant

The former chief executive of fashion giant Gucci has been recruited as a director of a leading Scotch whisky company.

Robert Polet, who spent seven years as the president and CEO of the Gucci Group, will begin his new role as a non-executive director at William Grant & Sons Ltd next month.

The company is famous for producing Glenfiddich and Balvenie single malts.

Peter Gordon, chairman of William Grant & Sons Ltd, said Mr Polet's "track record" for developing and building brands like Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen will be valuable to the company.

William Grant & Sons Ltd has distilleries across Scotland - in Girvan and Ailsa Bay, both Ayrshire, and in Speyside, Scotland's "whisky region".

It is an independent, family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1887. The company is currently run by the fifth generation of of his family, and distils other popular brands like Hendrick's Gin and Sailor Jerry rum.

Mr Polet has also previously been the president of Unilever's worldwide ice cream and frozen foods division.

Mr Gordon said: "Robert has a special track record of leading and developing luxury brands, which will be valuable to our board as we continue our journey to make our brands the envy of the spirits industry.

"We look forward to Robert contributing to the board as a non-executive director, and also, to his participation in strategic projects as agreed with our chief executive, Stella David."

Article Courtesy of STV

 

STV

05 Aug
2011

Glenfarclas 40 Years Old named Best Malt Whisky in Australia

Coming top out of the 40 single malts entered in the competition, Glenfarclas 40 Years Old received a Gold Medal, and has been named Best Malt Whisky available in Australia.

In addition, the Glenfarclas 40 Years Old also won the ‘Member’s Choice’ Trophy at the awards dinner.

Chairman of the Malt Whisky Society of Australia, Craig Daniels, said: "The Glenfarclas 40 ticked all the boxes and the relatively high strength contributes a zestiness that is truly rare in malts of such venerable age."

Commenting on the win, Richard Angove, brand manager, of Angove Family Wine Makers, the Glenfarclas agent in Australia, said: "The Malt Whisky Society of Australia host Australia’s most prestigious and well-know Malt Whisky Awards.

"It is great to see that not only the judges voted the Glenfarclas 40 Years Old the best but so, too, did the people - a fantastic result for the Glenfarclas team and we are proud to represent them here in Australia."

This is the sixth time this blind tasting competition has been held, and Glenfarclas 40 Years Old follows on the success of Glenfarclas 30 Years Old which won the competition in 2003 and 2009.

The Australian award is the third major accolade received by Glenfarclas 40 Years Old this year, having been named Scotch Whisky Single Malt of the year by Malt Advocate in February, and named Best Speyside Single Malt in the World Whisky Awards in April.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

01 Aug
2011

International Beverage Holdings Enjoy a Medal Streak at Major Global Competition

International Beverage Holdings are celebrating an extraordinary haul of honours in the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition. The Airdrie-based distiller won a phenomenal sixteen awards across their portfolio of Scotch whiskies, which includes Old Pulteney, anCnoc, Balblair and Speyburn single malts and Hankey Bannister, MacArthur’s and Catto’s blended Scotch whiskies.

In total, the company picked up three gold awards, all of which were ‘Best in Class’ and a further thirteen silver awards, of which two were ‘Best in Class’. International Beverage Holdings own five distilleries across Scotland (Pulteney, Balblair, Speyburn, Knockdhu and Balmenach) and manage the production, distillation and maturation of a broad portfolio of drinks brands in markets across the globe.

This unprecedented array of results is significant for the forward thinking company whose brands continue to go from strength to strength both in the international and domestic markets. Old Pulteney Scotch Whisky is one of the fastest growing single malt brands in the UK off-trade, with sales increasing 62% in the twelve months to June. *

Karen Walker, Marketing Director at International Beverage Holdings says:

“We’re absolutely thrilled with our wins from this inaugural competition. Scooping sixteen awards is a great reflection of the quality and craftsmanship of our whiskies and the passion and enthusiasm of the team behind them.”

Each of these globally respected international awards follow a rigorous two-stage judging process of blind tastings and detailed technical analysis by a panel of industry experts. The awards received are a testament to the quality of the products and the great work of each of the distilleries.

The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. With entries from over 80 countries worldwide, it aims to promote the quality and excellence of the world's best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release
July 2011 Scotch Whisky News

31 Jul
2011

Riddle of the homes turning black near whisky distilleries

A NATIONWIDE study is to be carried out into the damage and potential health dangers caused by a black mould that grows near whisky warehouses.

Residents near distilleries and storage facilities have raised concerns about the mystery fungus, dubbed ‘whisky black’, which is spreading over their houses.

The phenomenon is said to be caused by microbes that feed on the ‘angel’s share’, the alcohol vapours that escape from wooden barrels as spirits mature.

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It has been reported on brick, wood and metal surfaces near whisky warehouses throughout Scotland, as well as in Cognac in France and in Canada.

However, the whisky industry does not accept responsibility for the mould and points to a similar blackening in Cornwall, where there are no distilleries.

Residents near the Chivas Regal plant in Dumbarton have complained to local MSP Jackie Baillie about the fungus blackening the brickwork of their homes.

Now Ms Baillie, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, is to ask her fellow MSPs at Holyrood about similar problems in their constituencies as part of a Scotland-wide investigation.

She told the Scottish Sunday Express: “People are prepared to coexist with the whisky industry and they understand it is important to the economy but also they need to protect the investment they have made in their property.”

Ms Baillie said she recently met executives from Chivas Regal’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, and the Scotch Whisky Association.

She added: “I don’t accept that this just happens to occur in areas of dampness.

“What people are asking for is a reasonable approach and some practical solutions, maybe something like a protective coating for their properties. They are not interested in compensation for the sake of it.

“We need some hard facts and we need the whisky industry to come to the table positively, which I’m sure they will do.”

Some homeowners in Dumbarton also want a study to examine any potential health effects of the mould.

The residents would like to see a national compensation scheme set up by the whisky industry to pay for things like power washing and brickwork repairs.

Mother-of-one Margaret Darroch, 51, has lived next to the Chivas Regal warehouses with her husband Gordon for 10 years. “It has got a lot worse in the last couple of years,” she said. “The main concern for everyone here is to find out what is causing it.

“It is on everyone’s mind that if this is what it does to buildings, then what are we breathing in? What are our children breathing in?”

Neighbour Lenny Barlow, 38, an engineer, said: “A compensation scheme set up by the whisky industry would be a good idea but that will only happen if it can be shown they are to blame.

“If we had known before we bought the houses that this might happen it might be different.”

‘Whisky black’ has also been reported elsewhere. Two years ago, SNP MSP Michael Matheson urged Falkirk Council to sue Diageo over blackened homes near a warehouse in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.

And in 2003, the North British Distillery funded a major investigation into the problem in Addiewell, West Lothian, although no definite link was established.

Officials at the Scotch Whisky Association said their research had found no link between the industry and the fungus.

Article Courtesy of The Express

 

Express

28 Jul
2011

Whisky barrel social enterprise wins £45k grant funding

Move will create jobs and training

A social enterprise has received a £45,000 grant from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to help give whisky barrels a new lease of life.

Entrepreneurs Frankie Hodge and Jackie Dunsmuir, who currently run Recycle Fife, said the money will help them get Barrel Crafted off the ground.

The pair will employ two joiners and a designer in Crosshill, Fife, then give training opportunities for up to 10 people to learn wood working skills.

The company intends to create a range of items from candle holders and bird boxes to furniture and flooring then sell the products online through eBay shops.

Several distilleries have agreed to provide the venture with whisky barrels.

Dunsmuir said: "It's fantastic to get the grant as that will give us nine months worth of funding to get things up and running.

"It really allows us to press on with creating jobs and training for people in the area."

In 2004 Hodge and Dunsmuir set up Recycle Fife with the aid of a Coalfields Regeneration Trust grant.

The Lochgelly recycling business now employs more than 20 people and has a s500,000 turnover.

Nicky Wilson Scottish trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: "One of the Trusts key priorities is to improve employment prospects in former mining areas, and the best way to do that is to encourage local enterprises.

"We are delighted to be able to help Recycle Fife launch another venture which we all hope will be equally successful."

Article Courtesy of Business7

Business7

27 Jul
2011

Drinks company Diageo boosts Speyside whisky production

Drinks company Diageo is stepping up whisky production to meet the growing demand from consumers in China, Russia and Latin America.

The firm is investing £20m in its 17 Speyside distilleries over the next three years.

It is hoped production can be boosted by about 10 million litres.

Cragganmore distillery director, Gary Haggart, said it was an exciting time for the whisky industry locally.

"We've already seen a boom over the last couple of years and most distilleries, including Cragganmore, are already at seven days, 24 hours," he told BBC Scotland.

"So, within Speyside, most of the distilleries are already producing as much as they can - but, to get the further production, to get the capacity, it's process changes."

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

26 Jul
2011

Scientists invent way to test authenticity of Scotch whisky

Scientists have invented a simple way to tell real Scotch whisky from fake.

They blind-tested 17 samples of blended whisky, correctly identifying eight authentic and nine fake samples using an infrared spectrometer.

The hand-held device identifies the whisky by measuring whether the alcohol content matches the label and whether ingredients such as caramel colouring are present in the quantities expected.

Prof David Littlejohn, who led the research at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, said the present method of checking authenticity involved lab-based analysis “which isn’t always the most convenient system if a sample needs to be identified quickly.

“We have developed a system that could be adapted for use on-site.”

The whisky industry loses millions of pounds a year to black market traders, particularly in the Far East.

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph

Telegraph

25 Jul
2011

Whisky bottling plant reaches milestone

Diageo site reaches 400 million cases

A bottling plant has celebrated producing its 400 millionth case of whisky.

It was a case of Buchanans Deluxe going to Brazil which hit the landmark at Diageos Shieldhall facility in Glasgow.

As part of the celebration the customer receiving the package will receive a special quaich.

Colin Neill, site director, said: "It was very fitting that it was a case of Buchanan's Deluxe which is destined for Brazil, one of our major growth markets, which took us through the 400 million case milestone."

Dispatch worker Jim McBride has worked at the plant since it opened in 1979. He said: "It is amazing we have helped package and distribute so many cases of Scotch whisky.

"Everyone who works here is very proud of the job we do, and especially that the whisky dispatched from here ends up being enjoyed by millions of people all around the world.

"I hope whoever gets this case will enjoy the whisky and maybe even raises a toast to Shieldhall all the way from Brazil."

The 44-acre site, which employs 500 people, dispatches more than 26 million cases a year to more than 180 destinations.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

22 Jul
2011

Whisky agreement 'will be big deal'

The whisky industry could get the chance to massively expand as Europe gets close to a free trade deal with India, according to an MEP.

Struan Stevenson, a Conservative, said MEPs have closed "virtually all the chapters" of the Indian free trade agreement (FTA) which will remove trade tariffs on Scottish exports to India.

Whisky firms are already expected to reap huge benefits from the removal of a 20% import tariff on spirits, after an FTA with South Korea was implemented on July 1.

Article Courtesy of Perthshire Advertiser

 

Perthshire Advertiser

14 Jul
2011

Cameron House Launches ‘Manly’ Glengoyne Whisky Afternoon Tea

Cameron House on Loch Lomond has partnered with nearby Glengoyne Distillery to offer a new Whisky Afternoon Tea. Created by new Head Chef Ryan Neill, the afternoon tea is designed to appeal to men, with a selection of savoury, carnivorous Scottish favourites served with Glengoyne whisky and a mug of tea on a slate spread.

This is a more masculine alternative to the traditional Champagne afternoon tea, which typically includes light, dainty sandwiches and sweeter treats arranged on a tiered stand with tea served in delicate bone china.

Dating back to 1840, afternoon tea has long been considered the preserve of women. Now men too can enjoy this tradition with a fine menu of Rare Roast Beef and Arran Mustard Sandwiches, Haggis Sausage Roll, John Ross Smoked Salmon roll, Mini Aberdeen Angus Burger, Black Pudding Scotch Egg, Glengoyne Whisky Fruit Cake and a 10 Years Old Glengoyne Whisky Miniature.

Served in the refined setting of the hotel’s Whisky Bar, the Glengoyne Whisky Afternoon Tea is available daily from 2-5pm for £26 per person.

Glengoyne is one of the world’s leading malt whiskies, distilled more slowly than any other Scotch and matured in sherry-seasoned oak casks. Its 10 Years Old, made with air-dried barley, is warming with a nutty aroma. The clean taste of grass and green apple with a hint of sweet liquorice gives way to linseed oil and almond, with a sweet and malty finish.

Cameron House is an ideal base for a visit to Glengoyne Distillery, which opened in 1833 – the same decade that afternoon tea was made fashionable by the Duchess of Bedford, and offers a wide range of tasting tours and masterclasses. The distillery is situated in a wooded valley with a picturesque waterfall that flows into Loch Lomond.

Cameron House is a five-star resort located on the bonnie banks of one of Scotland’s most famous natural attractions, with mountain views across the loch to the breathtaking Ben Lomond.

Just 30 minutes from Glasgow but a world away from the buzz of the city with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park unfurling on its doorstep, the resort offers luxury, friendly Scottish service and a variety of ways to enjoy a visit, including The Carrick on Loch Lomond, a 71-par championship course with nine holes in the lowlands and nine in the highlands.

The stylish interior combines contemporary design and quirky details with classic touches from Scotland’s baronial past.

To book a Glengoyne Whisky Afternoon Tea, please telephone the Whisky Bar at Cameron House on 01389 722 581.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

13 Jul
2011

Google+ gets first live whisky tasting

Richard Paterson, the master blender for Whyte and Mackay, is taking to Google+ to host a live whisky tasting session.

Paterson will use the new service's group video chat feature to get enthusiasts together to "have a dram and talk whisky".

As Google is not allowing brands to sign up yet, Paterson says he will also be tasting Jura and Dalmore whisky to avoid accusations that he is trying to bend the rules.

The whisky tasting sessions will be held on August 15 and 16 at around 7pm UK time. Those who wish to take part can find out more on the Master Blender blog.

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

12 Jul
2011

Glengoyne Boosts Green Credentials with Launch of Wetlands Area

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt will become the exclusive whisky partner of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) in time for the official opening of a brand new wetlands area onsite at the Distillery, which will help with processing distillery waste and make the area a haven for wildlife.

Glengoyne Distillery has invested £170k on the facility which deals with the effluent from the spirit stills called Spent Lees. This reduces waste by around 25% and deals with it in an environmentally friendly manner. The wetland plants were bedded in early May to acclimatise and have now begun processing waste liquid from whisky making.

As a further commitment to wetlands, the distillery has promised a minimum contribution of £5,000 to WWT in the first twelve months of the long term partnership, to be raised through contributions from sales of special bottles. Glengoyne will donate £3.00 on all personalised bottles and £4.50 on all standard bottles of the core range purchased online using a special code available to WWT members.

The agreement will also see other joint marketing and fundraising initiatives with the charity including limited edition bottlings, discount on WWT membership, on-pack promotions and joint events. The partnership kicked off in early June with a special Father’s Day promotion.

Robbie Hughes, Distillery Manager at Glengoyne said: “We are always looking at options for improving our waste management and wetlands seemed like the perfect solution. It allows us to reduce waste, cut down on waste transportation, be more environmentally friendly and will attract a huge range of wildlife to the area, which is already renowned for its geese.

“We are also investigating further environmental improvements including Anaerobic Digesters to generate gas for our boiler from another one of our effluent streams.”

WWT is a leading UK conservation organisation saving wetlands for wildlife and people across the world by creating, restoring and monitoring wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them. Wetlands are among the world's most productive environments and support great biodiversity. They are, for example, havens for birds from storks to swans and ducks to divers.

John Creedon, WWT’s Corporate Relations Manager said “New wetlands like this quickly become home to moths and beetles and even water voles, which in turn start to support and attract birds and potentially larger mammals like otters. WWT were keen to link with Glengoyne because of their commitment to the environment and because the name ‘Glengoyne’ means “Glen of the Wild Geese” in Gaelic, and WWT’s Caerlaverock Wetland Centre in Dumfriesshire, within easy reach of the distillery, is the winter home of tens of thousands of barnacle geese from Svalbard.”

Glengoyne Distillery is situated just 30 minutes outside Glasgow, in the Trossachs National Park at the start of the West Highland Way and has been producing exceptional single malt whisky for nearly 200 years.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

11 Jul
2011

Earthquake-Affected Whisky Store to Reopen

One of Christchurch’s iconic retailers is showing its confidence in the region, opening a new store this week.

Iconic whisky retailer and wholesaler Whisky Galore had been based in the now badly-damaged Columbo St store for eight years. When the February 22 earthquake struck they lost around 70% of their stock.

On Saturday 16 July they are opening a new store at 66 Victoria St.

“It’s literally been a case of picking up the pieces,” says owner Michael Fraser Milne. “We managed five wheelie bins of broken glass, we lost a lot of stock including some really irreplaceable drams.

“But we were actually really lucky. Most importantly, no one was hurt. Our warehouse is also situated in a different area of town, and didn’t sustain much damage at all.”

Michael and the team were quickly back in action after the earthquake, “There has not been a day when we have not got whisky out to clients,” he says. “Even the Friday after the earthquake one client met us at the warehouse to get whisky for a wedding that weekend.”

After months of temporary distribution arrangements through wine specialist Vino Fino, the team are excited and relieved about the new premises.

Those making the trip to the new store will not be disappointed, with stock already around 80% of previous levels, and more to come.

“By the end of 2011 expect to have an even wider range than before,” says Michael. “We’ve got far more space in our new venue, we’ve taken in two shipments since the earthquake, and we have two more on the way. “

“We’re really looking forward to having the new premises up and running. It’s another step in helping us, and our customers return to some sort of normality.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

07 Jul
2011

Whisky tourists 'worth £30m' to Scottish industry

Whisky distilleries and visitor centres add £30m to the Scottish tourism industry each year, according to research for distillers.

The findings published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said there were 1.3 million visits to 52 premises.

The research, by 4-consulting, said direct spending amounted to £37m, including £20m of added value.

There were 460 direct employees, and the number of jobs resulting from the whisky tourism industry rose to 640.

Those centres source their supplies overwhelmingly from other Scottish companies.

They are also located in clusters where other sports, recreation and cultural spending, in addition to accommodation, generate far more income and jobs.

Whisky attractions were mainly visited by non-Scots, with 86% coming from elsewhere, and 62% from outside the UK.

The research makes a link between the strongest whisky export markets and the appeal of Scotland to tourists.

The economists behind it suggest that link leads to £21m of direct tourism spending for every £100m of whisky exports.

They also claim there is a link between those who visit Scotland and those who then trade up to a more expensive brand of whisky.

China was found to be one of the fastest-growing tourist markets for Scotland, with whisky the Scottish produce most commonly cited by potential Chinese tourists.

Campbell Evans, of the SWA, said: "Scotch whisky and tourism can be seen as the perfect blend and complement one another."

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

06 Jul
2011

Whisky firm taps augmented reality to promote label

A promotional drive by Chivas Regal for its whisky at bars around Tokyo is tapping into the interest in augmented reality (AR) and may serve as a template for future advertising campaigns for other products and in other markets.

Japan has long been recognized for having an inventive and innovative approach to marketing, and that is true of the Aroma of Tokyo project.

The premise of the campaign, which started last month, is simple: While out and about in the city, participants collect points via their mobile phones that can then be exchanged for a free cocktail or a gift bearing the Chivas Regal brand - one of the most popular in this nation of Scotch-lovers.

To take part, a drinker is initially required to download the Layar augmented reality application to his or her cell phone. Compatible with mobile phones that are equipped with GPS, the application then directs the user to one of the locations where points can be earned.

Once at one of the locations taking part in the campaign - there are 18 around the city - the user checks in using Foursquare or the Rocket Touch social networking service, operated by online giant Livedoor, to start racking up the points.

After a drinker has accumulated 18 points, they can be exchanged for a free cocktail at one of the bars that are involved. Chivas Regal said the cocktails are worth Y2,000 (€17.03) each and have been specially devised by some of Tokyo's top bartenders for the campaign.

For anyone who earns 85 points, the gifts are either a moleskin wallet or a USB stick bearing the Chivas Regal logo. In addition, anyone who takes part through the Rocket Touch interface is entered into a weekly draw for a 700 ml bottle of Chivas Regal.

The augmented reality portion of the campaign is rather simplistic - a blue dot that moves over the screen of the mobile phone to guide the user through the streets of Tokyo and to the door of one of the participating bars - but the idea is likely to be enhanced and improved upon in future AR generations.

Used in a range of marketing campaigns, Layar also featured in an AR treasure hunt in Dublin late last year, for the opening of a bar called Copan, which involved participants picking up clues around the city to win a variety of prizes.

Watch the video explaining the campaign: http://youtu.be/7Q0WRaT71Gg (in Japanese)

Article Courtesy of The Independent

 

The Independent

05 Jul
2011

Edrington toasts success of premium whisky brands as investment pays off

Whisky maker Edrington Group said yesterday investment in its premium brands was a key factor behind increased sales and a surge in profits.

The strategy led to growing sales in the UK and US, added Edrington, whose whiskies include The Famous Grouse, The Macallan and Highland Park. Sales declines in Greece and Spain were not enough to stop Glasgow-based Edrington achieving 24% growth in pre-tax profits over the year to March 31.

The trading surplus came in at £154.7million, up from £125million a year earlier. Including Edrington’s share of joint-venture sales, turnover grew to £668.3million during the latest period – up from £647.4million previously.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

01 Jul
2011

South Korea lifts Scotch whisky import barriers

Trade barriers to Scotch whisky imports have been removed in South Korea - a nation that already ranks among distillers' most successful markets.

The new free trade agreement was struck between the European Union and the Seoul government.

The 20% spirits import duty is being phased out and complex requirements for labelling and warehousing removed.

The South Korean government also agreed to protect Scotch whisky and other European products against imitators.

During 2010 Scotch whisky was the UK's biggest export to South Korea, with top brands including Windsor, Imperial Classic and Scotch Blue.

Macallan and Glenfiddich are the most popular single malt brands.

It was the sixth biggest export market by value and the ninth biggest by volume, with direct shipments from the UK worth £153m last year.

The Scotch Whisky Association, representing distillers, said the free trade agreement with Seoul was "the most ambitious trade deal negotiated by the EU and the first with an Asian country".

It said Scotch whisky was expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

The EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht welcomed the potential for the Scotch whisky industry, saying an impact assessment points to a doubling of exports.

"This will make the product 20% less expensive, and it will make it much more competitive with the local brands, which represent the larger part of the market," he said.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi
June 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 Jun
2011

A new film admitting us through the doors of Port Ellen maltings on Islay

Lagavulin - a place of pilgrimage for many adorers of this quintessential Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

But before the malt whisky comes the malt - in this case, famously imbued with the memorable aromas of Islay’s peat. The malted barley for Lagavulin, and for several other Islay distilleries, is created just up the road, at the Port Ellen Maltings.

It’s rarely open to the public, and even then, many parts are off-limits to visitors.

So the visit you’re now invited to make through You Tube is a privileged ticket to areas that most people have never seen - where the operators themselves can explain how we make the malt that makes some of the world’s most famous Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Full link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVIBCv5X1OM

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

29 Jun
2011

Ian MacLeod distillers buys a second distillery - Speyside's Tamdhu

Ian Macleod Distillers, the independent, family-owned distiller, blender and bottler has purchased Tamdhu distillery in Speyside from the Edrington Group.

Established in 1897, Tamdhu’s distillation capacity of four million litres of alcohol per year will support the continued growth of Ian Macleod’s existing brands, including Isle of Skye, Lang’s and the King Robert II blends. The Tamdhu Single Malt brand is also included in the sale, and Ian Macleod Distillers plans to significantly develop its sales both within the UK and abroad.

Leonard Russell, Managing Director of Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “Having purchased Glengoyne Distillery from Edrington in 2003, we are delighted to be acquiring a second distillery from them, safe in the knowledge that it has been maintained to a very high standard and comes with a reputation for producing exceptional quality single malt.

“I am also pleased that we will be securing and creating new local employment during these uncertain economic times. We are looking forward to developing the Tamdhu single malt following our successful growth of Glengoyne”.

Ian Curle, Chief Executive of The Edrington Group, said: "The Edrington Group is delighted to complete the sale of Tamdhu to Ian Macleod Distillers. Edrington and Ian Macleod have a good relationship stretching back many years, and we know the Tamdhu Distillery and brand will be in good hands. From Edrington's perspective, the sale will further de-complex our business, allowing us to continue to focus on the growth of our five key brands, The Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Brugal, Cutty Sark and Highland Park.”

Since purchasing Glengoyne distillery in 2003, Ian Macleod Distillers has more than doubled sales of Glengoyne Single Malt. Ian Macleod has built four additional maturation warehouses, capable of housing up to 5 million litres and has invested in the visitor experience with renovations and improvements increasing visitor numbers to nearly 50,000.

The Glengoyne brand is currently promoting a new long-term marketing initiative based on the fact that Glengoyne is ‘distilled more slowly than any other Scotch Whisky for the highest quality’ and is investing upwards of £1 million in the UK drive alone over the next two years.

Ian Macleod Distillers recently announced improved financial results for the eighth consecutive year, with group turnover increasing 22% to £31.9 million in 2010. The purchase of Tamdhu Distillery was concluded on 28 June for an undisclosed sum.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

28 Jun
2011

Black Bull Award

Another 'Best in Show' from Duncan Taylor

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky proudly announces its Black Bull 12 Year Old Deluxe Blend has been crowned 'Best Blended Scotch Whisky aged 12 years and under' at the World Whisky Awards 2011.

Against global competition, Black Bull 12 year old won over the judges with its powerful, yet well-balanced style. Blended at a ratio of 50% malt to grain, and with a 50% abv, it's a muscular, uncompromising drink and non chill-filtered.

Black Bull 12 year-old, is a creamy whisky with fruity toffee notes – it's robust and chunky on the nose with a distinctively mellow, rounded flavour. Duncan Taylor chief executive Scott Watson says ' We want the character of the selected malts and grains to be there and allow the real scotch character to shine through.’

It's a winner all the way for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky and it gives this Scottish company a truly global reach. Duncan Taylor selects whiskies from distilleries throughout Scotland, bottling a fine single malt and creating a big range of blends at its base in Huntly in Aberdeenshire.

The Black Bull brand itself can be traced back to the early 1930's, when it was one of America's most popular whiskies after the repeal of prohibition. It was the first ever 100 proof blend to be sold in the US.

Re-branded in 2008, Black Bull's stature and range has grown, gathering critical acclaim and a series of awards including the International Wine and Spirits competition, Jim Murray's Whisky Bible and the New York International Wine and Spirits contest. And awards are still coming in to compliment this whisky. Black Bull 40 year old and Black Bull Special reserve have been named as the Editior’s Choice in the last two editions of ‘The Whisky Magazine.’

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

28 Jun
2011

Caskstrength whisky blog launches its own Scotch

UK whisky site Caskstrength.net has become the first blog to launch its own whisky.

To celebrate its third birthday, the website has released a limited edition, single malt whisky from the Isle of Arran Distillery called “Caskstrength and Carry on”.

Joel Harrison, one of the site’s founders, said: “The online community is a great outlet for people to publish opinions on all types of products and over the last three and a half years we’ve been writing irreverent, entertaining yet informative content about whisky. To celebrate our third birthday back in March, we have decided to put our ‘money where our mouse is’ and release a limited edition, single cask whisky. Hopefully people will enjoy this liquid offering as much as the site’s content.”

The Scotch was drawn from a single first fill bourbon cask (number 1554) which was filled in 1998 and bottled in May 2011. There are 92 bottles from the cask, all of which were bottled undiluted at 49.9% abv. The whisky has an rrp of £48.95, and it is available from Master of Malt.

Caskstrength.net was founded in 2008 by two former rival A&R men working at Warner Bros and Island Records.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

27 Jun
2011

Diageo whisky expansion plans unveiled for Speyside

A leading drinks manufacturer has unveiled plans to expand its whisky production operation in Speyside.

Diageo has submitted a planning application to Moray Council for a £9.5m redevelopment of its Dailuaine distillery complex.

Diageo said the upgrade would open up the potential for future increases in production capacity across Speyside.

A consultation exercise with local residents is expected to get under way this week.

Diageo is also developing proposals aimed at boosting production capacity at other existing distilleries within the next two to three years.

The company's malt distilling director, Brian Higgs, said: "Scotch whisky has never been more popular around the world.

"Speyside is already at the heart of our malt distilling operations and I am delighted that, beginning with the Dailuaine proposal, we are looking at further enhancing our business in this area."

Speyside is home to 17 of Diageo's 28 malt whisky distilleries in Scotland.

Last year the firm opened its new Roseisle distillery, near Elgin, at a cost of £40m.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

21 Jun
2011

Scotch whisky range, Royal Salute launches new ‘rare blend’

The world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range, Royal Salute, has crafted a blend so rare, that only one man in the world has tasted it – creator and Master Blender, Colin Scott.

‘Tribute to Honour’ has been introduced to pay homage to the oldest crown jewels of the British Isles: The Honours of Scotland. The narrative of the Honours comprises glorious legends and intrigue and remains a powerful and inscrutable ode to Scottish history. Royal Salute Tribute to Honour marks a historical pinnacle in whisky making.

The most exquisite, precious and scarce whiskies used to create Tribute To Honour, have been carefully selected from the Royal Salute Vault at Strathisla. Expertly blended by Colin Scott, just 21 bottles of Tribute to Honour have been created and also mark the pinnacle of Colin’s 21 years of expertise in blending.

Scott said: “Chivas Brothers has a phenomenal archive of high-aged whiskies, some of which, after decades of careful maturation, have acquired a rich intensity and deep concentration of sumptuous characters. It is these very few whiskies which I have personally selected to compose Tribute To Honour – this opulent and rarest of blends.”

Fittingly, only the finest aged whiskies – at least 45 years old – are presented in the spectacular bejeweled bottle, dressed by Garrard in flawless diamonds and shimmering gold.

Craftsman at Garrard have spent days perfecting each flagon by hand. The jeweller has served six successive British monarchs and pays tribute to the ancient Scottish Sword of State as its landmark.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

21 Jun
2011

Love behind designs for Diageo's Johnnie Walker House

The first experience space for Diageo whisky brand Johnnie Walker has been developed, designed and built by Love.

The four storey Johnny Walker House will open in Shanghai’s French Concession will be used initially to market Scotch whisky to the Chinese market.

The Manchester design agency was tasked with creating the initial concept and design, working alongside Asylum in Singapore of the interior design and build of the house, since last September.

The design for the house was inspired by the theme ‘whisky conversations’ and aims to help Chinese consumers discover more about Scotch whisky, with each room featuring displays and interaction sets which engage with guests in order to tell the brand story. These include sculptures, an interactive multisensory blending table and original artefacts from the Johnnie Walker archive.

David Palmer, creative director of Love, explained: “Whisky is a complex liquid that’s all about discovery and The Johnnie Walker House concept mirrors this. We’ve taken the provenance of whisky, the art of blending and the rich story of Johnnie Walker and woven them into the very fabric of the space.

“This creates an experience that is rich, immersive and full of stories giving the VIP visitors to the house a new and rare currency, true whisky knowledge. From the peat and barley walls to the precise 24° angle of the flooring, each detail reflects some element of the Johnnie Walker story," he added.

Since being awarded the brief in September, Love has been tasked with further Diageo projects across Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

20 Jun
2011

Glenrothes rolls out vintage release

Berry Bros & Rudd Scotch whisky brand Glenrothes introduced its 1995 vintage on the opening day of Vinexpo yesterday and the company was keen to stress the points of difference vintage whiskys offer over age statement releases.

Speaking to the drinks business during a tasting of the ’95, BBR sales development director Mike Harrison said: “Vintage is all about maturity rather than age.

“Vintages can also be much more personal for the consumer. For example, you might feel an extra connection to a whisky from the year of your wedding, or the year your child was born.

“These are very emotional, personal moments and they can add an extra dimension to the drinker’s connection with the whisky.”

His comments echo those of Glenrothes brand heritage director Ronnie Cox, who previously told db: “Age statements mean nothing to the regular consumer, it’s better to have vintages.

The company has just finished a “highly successful” Glenrothes campaign in the Daily Telegraph entitled “Vintage Moments”, which asked people to pick their favourite year for a vintage whisky based on their own personal experiences.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Argentina footballer Ossie Ardiles gave his backing to the campaign, naming 1978 as his favourite vintage year due to the fact it was the year he won the World Cup with his country, while newsreader Angela Rippon chose 1995 as it was the year she first sat in front of an auto-cue.

BBR believe that other brands will soon recognise the different proposition of vintage whiskies.

Harrison added: “Already we have seen Highland Park release a vintage whisky in the duty-free channel and no doubt others will also do the same soon, but we were the first.”

Glenrothes is enjoying a period of exceptional growth and Harrison does not see it slowing down any time soon.

“Last year we exceeded our targets for growth and this will continue,” he said. “As long as people trust the product, they will continue to buy it.

“Naturally we saw a slight dip in fortunes with the economic crash, but over the past couple of years we have seen nothing but growth.

The 1995 vintage has been released in order to fill the gap left by the soon-to-run-out 1994 stock, while the other recent release, 1988, has plugged the gap between the now-extinct 1987 and 1989 vintages.

Meanwhile BBR is also reaping the rewards of its relaunch of Kings Ginger, which is undergoing a major renaissance, particularly in the UK.

“The relaunch and renewed focus on Kings Ginger resulted in sales doubling in the UK last year,” he said.

“People are much more aware of the product now. It used to be something of a secret among the hunting set but now a much wider audience is waking up to it.”

Though the spirit traditionally enjoys its healthiest sales period in the winter months, warmer climate markets such as Israel, southern US states and Asia are now showing significant growth.

“Our aim is to take Kings Ginger to a lot more tasting events over the coming year in order to drive consistent sales throughout the entire year,” Harrison added.

Article Courtesy of The Drinks Business

 

The Drinks Business

17 Jun
2011

Kilchoman launches first-ever 100% Islay malt whisky

Islay distillery Kilchoman has launched the first-ever 100% Islay produced whisky - it has been produced from barley grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled on-site.

Kilchoman, founded in 2005, is the first distillery to be built on Islay for 120 years. It is a farm distillery and a proprotion of the barley used in production is grown and malted on site.

Anthony Wills, founder and managing director at Kilchoman, said: "I set this project up because I wanted to do things slightly differently, and show the world we could produce a single malt where all the ingredients were produced locally."

He described raising funding and setting up the distillery as a "monumental journey".

Kilchoman, founded in 2005, is the first distillery to be built on Islay for 120 years. It is a farm distillery and a proprotion of the barley used in production is grown and malted on site.

It produces around 100,000 litres of alcohol a year. The spirit is allowed to mature in a combination of bourbon barrels from Buffalo Disttillery in Kentucky and oloroso sherry butts from Miguel Martin in Jerez.

Top Scotch whisky expert Charles Maclean described the newest release as "Chardonnay coloured" with maritime notes and lemon cheesecake on the nose.

John MacLellan, general manager, said: "A lot of faith has been shown in the distillery. Now the time has come to start repaying that faith."

The limited edition release Inaugural 100% Islay, 50% abv, is priced £69.00 rrp. A special edition, of which only 1,060 bottles are available, which is presented in a hand crafted american white oak presentation box, at cask strength of 61.3%, is available from the distillery only priced £149.00.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

15 Jun
2011

The Singleton of Glen Ord

The Singleton of Glen Ord™ Single Malt Scotch Whisky - the fastest growing Single Malt in the Asia Pacific region - has added to its global prestige and long record of success with a major win in the prestigious Scotch Whisky Masters competition. The results were announced in London on 6 June 2011, with The Singleton of Glen Ord™ 12 year old winning a ‘Master’ - the highest award in the competition.

The Singleton of Glen Ord™ 12 year old has been extensively enjoyed by sophisticated drinkers in Asia since its launch in 2006. The 15 and 18 year old versions of The Singleton of Glen Ord™ have also attracted much praise and a growing number of devoted followers.

The brand continues to display stunning growth in its Asian markets. The recently released IWSR 2010 data shows that The Singleton of Glen Ord™ is the fastest growing Single Malt in the Asia Pacific region. It has recently broken the 100,000 cases barrier and grew volumes at 40% in 2010, notably in Taiwan and South East Asian market, with triple digit growth in many markets.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

08 Jun
2011

£100,000 bottles of whisky will mark Queen's diamond jubilee

A one-off whisky will be sold for £100,000 per bottle to help celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee next year.

Drinks firm Diageo has said it will sell 60 limited edition whisky bottles for £100,000 each to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee next year.

The whisky, which was distilled in 1952 and blended in an English oak "marrying" cask from the Queen's Sandringham Estate, will be housed in a cabinet incorporating wood from the Balmoral estate.

It will be produced in Scotland by Diageo-owned John Walker & Sons.

Existing customers will be invited to privately buy 57 of the crystal decanters, Diageo said. The remaining three bottles, numbered 1, 8 and 60, will be auctioned in early 2012, each with a reserve price of £100,000.

John Walker & Sons will donate all profits from the bottles and all proceeds from the auctions, with a guarantee of at least £1m, to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust - the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

The money will be used to support the trust's diamond jubilee appeal which aims to double the number of scholarships its funds every year and support craftspeople of all ages.

Sixty editions of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons will be bottled on February 6 next year, exactly 60 years to the day since the Queen acceded to the throne.

David Gates, Royal Warrant grantee at John Walker & Sons, said: "As a holder of the Royal Warrant, we felt compelled to mark this truly historic occasion with something truly exquisite. We look forward to sharing further news on this exceptional liquid very soon."

As holders of a Royal Warrant, John Walker & Sons can supply whisky to the royal household.

Jim Beveridge, master blender for John Walker & Sons, said: "These are extraordinary grain and malt whiskies that have been maturing slowly since 1952. It's a huge privilege to work with them using all our resources and experience to craft a John Walker & Sons blend that's fitting for this special anniversary. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Diamond Jubilee Blended Scotch Whisky by John Walker & Sons will be presented in a lead crystal decanter adorned with a Britannia silver collar which contains a half-carat diamond, set by hand, and a numbered silver seal.

Each bottle comes with a pair of hand-engraved lead crystal glasses and a leather-bound, personalised, hand-embellished book explaining the whisky's history and how it was produced.

Article Courtesy of STV

 

STV

07 Jun
2011

Glenmorangie malt whisky launches Father’s Day campaign

This Father’s Day, Glenmorangie is unveiling its first significant above-the-line programme since 2007/2008 with an exciting national advertising campaign. Using the line: Unnecessarily Well Made and stunning original pencil renderings by artist Vince Verma, each execution tells the story of the unseen lengths that Glenmorangie goes to in crafting their single malt whiskies.

Glenmorangie whiskies aren’t like other single malts: its whisky is still made using local spring water, from Scotch barley, by local craftsman. The tallest whisky stills in Scotland are used at the Tain distillery, so that only the finest vapours are captured to create an exceptionally delicate spirit. This is carefully aged in bespoke American oak casks that are only ever used twice to ensure the smoothest of flavours. Unnecessarily Well Made brings to life the expertise, precision and passion that go into creating Glenmorangie.

The initial national campaign in June will focus on two executions by Verma: the first is a snapshot inside the cask house as one barrel is being rolled away (this, demonstrating Glenmorangie’s strict twice-usage policy).

The second is a glimpse inside the Glenmorangie still house, showing its tall elegant stills that capture the lightest, purest flavour notes. Both visuals were created by Verma entirely in pencil and, because of the exquisite detail involved, upon first glance could be mistaken for photographs. Each image took over 60 hours to draw and used 9 pencils.

To take advantage of the gifting occasion that Father’s Day provides, this launch campaign will feature in The Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and “i”, London Evening Standard, The Herald, The Scotsman, GQ and Esquire.

UK Marketing Director Louise Pilkington states; “I am delighted to see Glenmorangie advertising again, reinforcing our credentials as a complex and perfectly-balanced single malt through these new creatives.

“We chose to work with Vince Verma because we wanted to partner with someone who understood what it means to go beyond all precedent to create something unique. His creative interpretation of Glenmorangie’s artisan process will appeal to an audience that appreciates the delicate craftsmanship of our whisky.”

“Father’s Day is a key sales opportunity for Glenmorangie – by launching our above the line programme at this time of the year, we’re reminding our target consumer of our special whiskies for the month of June and beyond.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

06 Jun
2011

Diamond Jubilee Blended Scotch Whisky by John Walker & Sons

Diamond Jubilee Blended Scotch Whisky by John Walker & Sons Celebrating 60 Years of the Reign of Her Majesty the Queen 1952-2012

To mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, John Walker & Sons, Scotch Whisky Distillers By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, is to produce an extremely limited edition of 60 crystal decanters of 'Diamond Jubilee Blended Scotch Whisky by John Walker & Sons', a unique blend of whiskies distilled in 1952 and finished in a marrying cask of English oak from The Queen's Sandringham Estate.

These rare editions will be offered, by invitation only, for private sale at GBP100,000 each. John Walker & Sons will donate all profits from the sale, with a guarantee of at least GBP1million, to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. This will support the QEST Diamond Jubilee Appeal, through which it aims to grow its scholarship base, build a mentoring programme and enable traditional craftsmanship to flourish in Britain.

John Walker & Sons has harnessed the collective skills of some of the finest craftsmen and women, including fellow Royal Warrant Holders and QEST Scholars, to create exclusive, bespoke pieces to accompany the whisky; a stunning showcase of craftsmanship.

'Diamond Jubilee Blended Scotch Whisky by John Walker & Sons' will be presented in a lead crystal decanter adorned with a Britannia silver collar that features a half carat diamond set by hand, and an individually numbered silver seal. This will be accompanied by a pair of hand-engraved lead crystal glasses and a leather bound, personalised, hand-embellished artefact book, all housed in a bespoke cabinet incorporating woods from The Queen's Sandringham and Balmoral estates.

David Gates, Royal Warrant grantee at John Walker & Sons said: "As a holder of the Royal Warrant, we felt compelled to mark this truly historic occasion with something truly exquisite. We look forward to sharing further news on this exceptional liquid very soon."

Jim Beveridge, Master Blender for John Walker & Sons said: "These are extraordinary grain and malt whiskies that have been maturing slowly since 1952. It's a huge privilege to work with them using all our resources and experience to craft a John Walker & Sons blend that's fitting for this special anniversary. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Sixty editions of 'Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons' will be bottled on 6th February 2012, exactly 60 years to the day since The Queen acceded to the Throne.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

03 Jun
2011

Old Pulteney Boat Gets Christened Ahead of Pioneering Adventure

Arctic and maritime adventurer Jock Wishart and his crew have today christened their specially designed rowing boat, The Old Pulteney ahead of its pioneering voyage into the unknown. The expedition team named the boat after their sponsors, Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky at a ceremony outside Boisdale’s at Canary Wharf, London.

Wishart will lead a six strong team on the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole expedition in a bespoke ice boat – today christened The Old Pulteney – which will set off from Canada’s Resolute Bay on the 1st of August on a 450 mile route across the arctic on a voyage to the magnetic North Pole which, if successful, will make history as a world first.

The Old Pulteney has been constructed to accommodate a six-strong crew and their equipment during the four to six week voyage. The crew comprise of five experienced oarsmen, and one carefully selected novice, David Mans. Mans, a 28 year old British Army Officer and Afghanistan veteran from Hampshire, beat stiff competition from hundreds of international entrants of the Old Pulteney Pole Position Competition earlier this year, offering one spirited person a once in a lifetime chance to be part of this extraordinary adventure.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jock Wishart told the audience: “It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century there are still parts of our oceans that have never been explored. This is truly a voyage into the unknown - within 60 nautical miles of the start of our voyage; we will be taking The Old Pulteney through waters that have never been navigated by any surface vessel.”

The challenge is of global significance as both a pioneering maritime adventure and an environmental expedition and has only now become possible due to the increase in seasonal sea ice melt and its deterioration because of climate changes. The final leg of the journey is only navigable for a few weeks of the year before refreezing, and Jock and his crew will be working with scientific research partners to deliver environmental data and insight from the journey.

David Mans, the crew’s oceanographer, said: “Last summer the ice melted to its third lowest extent. Already this year the ice is shrinking at a rate of 15,000 square kilometres a day and indicating that the conditions could well be right for us to make it all the way.”

Christening the boat at the launch, Senior Brand Manager for Old Pulteney, Margaret Mary Clarke commented: “Old Pulteney is a long standing supporter of maritime activity and we’ve been working with Jock and his team for over two years on building up to this day. It’s fantastic to christen the boat The Old Pulteney and we wish Jock and his crew the best of luck for the expedition.”

During their epic row, the crew will be sleeping on board their cramped boat and experiencing temperatures as low as minus 15 Centigrade and they will have to consume over 7,000 calories to survive.

“It’s daunting” comments oarsman Billy Gammon, “I’m taking time out from my job to do this, but I am sure there will be times it won’t seem like such a good idea!”

To help the crew navigate the journey safely and identify the route through the disintegrating ice, Jock Wishart will be studying detailed satellite photos taken by MDA Geospatial’s Radarsat 2: “The satellite images are our eye in the sky. Without them it would be much more difficult to navigate, especially in the later stages of the expedition when we expect the amount of ice surrounding us will be greatest.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

02 Jun
2011

Glengoyne Distillery Stillman Raises £1,000 for charity

Stillman at Glengoyne Distillery, Duncan McNicoll, has walked the famed West Highland Way raising £1,000 for charity.

Duncan completed the 95 mile trip, which starts in Milngavie, passes near the distillery and ends in Fort William. Duncan undertook the feat with his brother, John, son, Calum, son’s girlfriend, Hollie and nephew, Craig, by his side.

Recipient of Duncan and his family’s donation, The Scots Australian Children’s Cancer Trust, was set up by husband and wife Alan and Janet MacDermid, in appreciation of the life-saving treatment their grandson, Joseph MacDermid, received for a brain tumour at Sydney Children’s Hospital. Funds raised go to supporting cancer charities around the world including World Child Cancer, which twins hospitals in developed countries with others in poorer countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Mexico.

Duncan McNicoll said of his accomplishment: “When I heard about all the great work that Alan and Janet’s trust goes towards it only seemed right to do whatever I could to help. I really appreciated that my family were willing to help and we enjoyed doing the walk together to help children affected by cancer.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release
May 2011 Scotch Whisky News

30 May
2011

New Distillery Visitor Centre Opens on Jura

Isle of Jura Distillery marked the first day of this year’s Feis Ile with the opening of a new £100,000 Visitor Centre.

The Jura Distillery Visitor Centre, on the same site as the former distillery shop, offers visitors a glimpse into the history and legends of Jura along with an opportunity to savour an authentic taste of single malt from the distillery. The centre also serves as the base of operations for the distillery's tours.

The Visitor Centre takes its inspiration from the island’s legends and symbols, reflecting its literary, cultural and mythical heritage in West of Scotland folklore. Designed to replicate a traditional Hebridean bothy, there is a tasting unit which will serve rare Jura expressions alongside its core range, and a tasting table with a copper Diurachs’ symbol set into the centre. Photos of Diurachs past and present adorn the gallery wall, including key figures from the distillery’s 200 year history, bringing to life many of the associated myths and legends.

Inside the Jura Distillery Visitor Centre guests can purchase an array of Jura merchandise, including hats, jackets, glassware and chocolates, alongside Jura’s extensive range of core and rare whiskies.

Isle of Jura is hoping that the new Visitor Centre will create a long-lasting impression for the island’s rising visitor numbers. Since 2007, visitor numbers have steadily increased year on year, a considerable achievement given the island’s ‘unget-at-able’ location. The increased interest is a reflection of Jura’s strength in the single malt market and the growing trend for whisky tourism. Jura single malt is now the third largest malt in the UK, with year on year growth of 60% across its key markets.

Distillery Manager Willie Cochrane commented:

"Many of those who make the effort to visit Jura do so because of our fine whisky and the rich culture of our remote island. Having a visitor centre that reflects the history and culture of our island, whilst matching the quality of our single malt, will provide our guests with a truer experience of what Jura is all about. More importantly, they will hopefully be more inclined to buy some of our fine whisky and share the magic of Jura with their friends and family!”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

25 May
2011

Jura Whisky begins QR Code competition for whisky festival

Jura Whisky is to run a QR Code competition as part of the Islay/Jura Whisky Festival.

The competition by the Whyte and Mackay owned brand, takes place from today (25 May)and will see the brand place QR Codes around the island as part of the festival, which the brand has christened Jurachaching, rather than Geocaching.

Said Craig McGill who is promoting the promotion: “The idea is a bit of fun, but also it is to encourage people to explore a little bit more of Jura than the distillery! And as far as we can tell, it's the first time a whisky company has done something like this.”

The places where the five QR codes can be found on the island have been placed on the brand’s website to encourage people to explore the island with more information also being place on the Jura Whisky Facebook site.

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

24 May
2011

Work starts on £60m Strathspey 'whisky' biomass plant

Construction is due to begin on a £60m biomass plant that will use whisky by-products to produce energy.

The combined heat and power plant by Helius CoRDe at Rothes, in Moray, could generate enough electricity to power 9,000 homes and produce animal feed.

The construction project will create about 100 jobs and 20 full-time posts when the plant becomes operational in 2013.

The whisky biomass plant is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Helius CoRDe said it would produce 7.2 megawatts of electricity - mostly for export to the national grid - and would save 46,642 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Frank Burns, managing director of Helius CoRDe, said: "This innovative project demonstrates how Scotch whisky by-products can be put to good use to provide a big boost to the environment and ensure there are new sources of energy available for future generations.

"It also shows distillers working together, and in partnership with third-party expertise, for the future benefit of the entire industry."

In 2009, the Scotch whisky industry introduced its environment strategy to assure that 20% of its primary energy requirements would be derived from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020, with a target of 80% by 2050.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), said: "This project underlines the Scotch whisky industry's commitment to investing in the future.

"In 2009 the industry made a commitment to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy.

"The project shows how we can create a virtuous circle within the Scotch whisky production process."

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

21 May
2011

Fears cattle feed will go up in smoke

Concerns new bioenergy plant will affect availability of distillery byproducts

Farmers in Speyside are expressing growing alarm at the implications a new bioenergy plant will have on the availability of one of the main winter cattle feeds they use.

For centuries distillery by-products, made from the barley used in the first part of the whisky distillation process, has made up a major constituent of the diets of livestock in the region – and across Scotland.

But farmers fear availability is about to decrease substantially as the £60.5milllion Helius CoRDe bioenergy plant, at Rothes, will instead burn the byproducts from distilleries owned by Ben Riach, Chivas Brothers, Diageo, Edrington, Glen Grant, Inver House and John Dewar and Son. It will use the grain to generate heat and 7.2megawatts of electricity, enough to power 9,000 homes.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

17 May
2011

Status in a bottle, whisky takes off in China

Darren Hosie knows all the best bars on Shanghai's historic Bund.

There's the Bar Rouge with its flaming drinks, house music and turbocharged hedonism; M on the Bund which channels 1930s sophistication; and Lounge 18 whose expensive wood paneling and wall to ceiling glass windows exude a more modern glamour.

Hosie has lived in China for the past three years and is well accustomed to the tastes and whims of the country's new business elite -- the legions of bankers, entrepreneurs, traders and second-generation wealthy, known as "princelings," who think nothing of dropping $200 on a bottle of French wine or $1,000 on a bottle of scotch whisky that they'll then mix with green tea.

Tonight the Scotsman is in the Shanghai Tang bar, watering hole of China's best known luxury label. Sitting on a straight-backed, wooden chair in front of a tasting audience, Hosie is clean-shaven ahead of an evening of whisky-nosing and tasting sessions.

Born and bred in Glasgow, the 37-year-old has spent the past seven years working for scotch whisky giant Pernod Ricard and since August 2007 he has lived in China as international brand ambassador for the firm's top whisky brands Chivas Regal, Ballantine's and The Glenlivet.

In a lilting Scottish accent, Hosie explains the joys of whisky and its sure-footed advance into China. As he describes the different types of whisky that the spellbound audience are about to taste -- malty, peaty, smoky -- a few give approving responses.

Hosie says that for palates accustomed to baijiu, China's fiery sorghum- or rice-based spirit, the flavor and smoothness of whisky can have instant appeal. Mix it with what you like -- water, ice or green tea -- he says. Just remember the care that has gone into aging and blending the best.

Hosie starts his work with bartenders -- training them on different tastes and styles of whiskies and organizing tastings so they can tell a blend from a single malt and appreciate the way the drink improves with careful aging.

The key to China's drinkers, he says, is to understand that respect and status are often expressed through drink. Unlike in the United States or Europe, where partygoers tend to buy their drinks by the glass, Chinese drinkers see the bottle as a status symbol.

"Here it is very much about having the bottle on the table and letting people see what you are drinking," said Hosie, sipping water on a pit-stop between whisky tasting sessions in a luxury Shanghai restaurant painted bright green.

It's a message that's working.

From crowded Shanghai bars to the beaches of the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Scotch whisky is muscling in at the expense of local tipples. Whisky exports to China were up 24 percent in 2010.

"This is the whisky industry's great opportunity. It has a wide range of products and great growth potential. The growth we have seen in China is sustainable as we have hardly felt any sign of a slowdown," said Pierre Pringuet, Chief Executive of Paris-based Pernod Ricard.

NEXT STOP, INDIA

Scotch whisky is also making huge inroads in other developing nations such as Russia, India, Brazil and Mexico, as the growing middle classes turn away from local drinks such as vodka and rum. Overall exports were up 10 percent in 2010 with eight out of the industry's top 10 export markets growing and only Spain and Greece, beset by severe economic problems and austerity measures, showing a decline.

Over the last 20 years, whisky markets such as Vietnam, Russia and India have also grown rapidly. While the top two markets -- the United States and France -- both increased in 2010 other top 10 markets such as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and South Africa all showed larger increases.

The industry's latest priority is improving market access to India which has a vast locally produced whisky market and slaps a 150 percent tariff on imported spirits, compared to just a 10 percent tariff in China. The European Union and India have held trade talks to try and push through free trade agreements for a number of products including scotch whisky and there is optimism that a deal can be reached by the end of the year.

"India could be the next big market. It is a huge potential market because of India's historic links to Britain. If a tax deal can be agreed then a $50 bottle of Chivas Regal would cost more like the $25-30 seen in Europe and North America," said Pernod's head of its Chivas Brothers whisky arm Christian Porta.

To keep up with demand, Scotland's whisky industry has poured 600 million pounds ($975.7 million) into expanding and building new distilleries over the last three years.

Long-forgotten still houses have been re-opened. Expansion is underway at a handful of big industrial grain whisky plants, bottling halls and cooperages, and also at some of the smaller 102 malt whisky distilleries scattered across the highlands and islands of Scotland.

WHISKY MISSIONARIES

Growth is shepherded by people like Hosie. A handful of brand ambassadors in China and over 100 more across the planet work to convince newly moneyed consumers that they should be drinking whisky. Call them whisky missionaries.

Hosie's pupils lap up the arcane details -- the use of local peat to fire the malting barley process that imparts a wonderful smoky flavor to whisky, the way a whisky aged in European sherry barrels has rich fruity finish, instead of the crisp vanilla of American bourbon whiskey barrels.

Chinese drinkers, he says, were first attracted by light styled whiskies like Chivas Regal, but now want to try more complex 18 and 25 year olds or challenging single malts from smaller distilleries. "We find the Chinese consumer is very keen to get more information and is very confident to move up to older and more complex whiskies," he said.

He leads his classes through the malt whisky story, where top quality malted barley is mixed with Scottish spring water, fermented, and the resultant liquid heated in tall handmade copper stills, with the spirit vapor winding its way to the top to be condensed and collected before aging in oak barrels. People like Hosie are important to convince the Chinese that whisky is better than other recent imports, particularly cognac, which took hold in the restaurants of Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in southeastern China during the 1980s and 1990s. Scotch whisky came later, and further north, to the bars of Beijing, Tianjin and China's biggest city Shanghai.

Whisky now accounts for 45 percent of all foreign-produced spirits sold in China, about the same share as cognac.

Paul Walsh, CEO of the biggest whisky maker Diageo Plc, which makes Johnnie Walker and J&B, argues scotch whisky is more versatile than cognac. The Chairman of the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA), he says the industry has shaken off its conservative view that scotch should only be drunk on its own or with water or ice: industry executives admit they may have missed a trick after seeing the success of American whiskey Jack Daniel's being mixed with cola around the world.

Though still small, the Chinese whisky market was worth over 300 million pounds in 2010, from just a few million pounds in 2000.

That's still a drop in the ocean compared to the 24 billion pounds spent on Chinese baijiu every year, but Diageo's Asia Pacific chief Gilbert Ghostine says the prize is still worth chasing.

"In China there are 20 million new consumers which reach the legal drinking age each year," he said. "There is a very big aspiration for international spirits."

Article Courtesy of Reuters

 

Reuters

16 May
2011

Whisky Fans Flock to Jura for Feis Isle

The population of Jura will almost double on 25 – 26 May as more than 150 whisky fans are set to descend on the island for this year’s Feis Isle.

The annual Feis Isle festival, which was started by the Islay locals in 1986, is run in conjunction with the distilleries of Islay and Jura and Port Ellen Maltings. Each distillery has its own open day, putting on special events. Over the course of the two day festival on Jura, the Distillery will be hosting three tasting sessions for fans of the island’s single malt.

  • In the first session, Willie Tait will be taking attendees through a journey of the Distillery’s core range single malts and a very special sampling, for Diurachs only, of its commemorative 21 year old, celebrating over 200 years of distilling on Jura.
  • The second session will see visitors taken on a tour of the Distillery with Distillery Manager, Willie Cochrane. The tour will end in the filling store where participants will work with Willie to fill a special 2011 Festival Cask.
  • And last but not least, participants in the third session will take part in an island exclusive tasting with Richard Paterson. Visitors to the festival last year helped in the selection of a very special cask which has now been bottled and will become available, exclusively on the island, at this year’s Whisky Festival. The tasting will take place at the Distillery’s Standing Stone, which has been erected to mark the 200th anniversary of the Distillery’s opening.

Visitors to this year’s festival will also be invited to take part in a treasure hunt to win themselves more than just a taste of Jura’s legendary whisky. Jura has hidden five QR codes en route from Port Askaig on Islay to the Distillery on Jura, with each code spelling out a different word that makes up a phrase. Anyone who identifies the winning phrase by collecting the clues will be entitled to some Jura goodies - ranging from a bottle of Jura Prophecy to a delectable Jura truffle - by presenting the winning phrase at the Distillery Shop.

Those who aren’t fortunate enough to be attending this year’s celebrations on Jura will have the chance to savour a taste of the Feis Isle experience online. Jura will be hosting an exclusive online tasting session on isleofjura.com once the festivities are over, led by Willie Tait and Willie Cochrane, who will take viewers through the core range of Jura single malts. Participants will be able to download a tasting mat from isleofjura.com prior to the tasting to assist them through the online session. Anyone wishing to take part should register at www.isleofjura.com and keep an eye out for more details.

Willie Cochrane, Distillery Manager at Jura Distillery said:

“This is the 10th year we’ve been bringing whisky fans over to our beautiful island, and this year promises to be bigger and better than any of our previous festivals. We’ve got a packed programme of activity taking place and, more importantly, some wonderful whiskies to savour - all set against the glorious backdrop of Jura in May! And for those who can’t make it….well you’ll just have to wait and catch the highlights on www.isleofjura.com.”

Tickets cost £15, which includes lunch, entertainment, a distillery gift and free ferry travel for foot passengers from Port Askaig to Feolin. Places can be reserved by contacting Sue at the distillery on 01496 820 385 or shop@isleofjura.com

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

16 May
2011

Scotch Whisky Association Strengthens Team

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has strengthened its government and consumer affairs team with appointments in public affairs and communications.

Beatrice Morrice has joined as public affairs manager from the British Medical Association in Scotland where she held the position of public affairs officer. Beatrice is responsible for day-to-day relationships with the Scottish Parliament and providing public affairs support across the association’s activities.

Siobhan Paterson will job-share with Beatrice as well as working as policy support manager in the SWA’s international affairs department.

Rosemary Gallagher has been appointed as communications manager. Rosemary has joined from the Scottish Parliament where she was a senior media relations officer. She was previously business news editor with Scotland on Sunday and is responsible for relationships with the media, promoting all aspects of the SWA’s work, the internet and industry communications.

David Williamson, who was SWA public affairs manager, has moved to a new role as deputy director Americas and Caribbean in the organisation’s international affairs department.

Campbell Evans, SWA director of government and consumer affairs, said: "We’re committed to promoting Scotch whisky in the UK and overseas and these appointments put us in an even stronger position to represent the views of our members."

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

13 May
2011

First Drinks launches whisky gifts for Father's Day

First Drinks launches a range of whisky gift packs for Grants, Glenfiddich and the Balvenie for Father’s Day on June 19.

The firm has planned a total investment of £55 million in its brands in 2011.

Neilsen stats show Father’s Day malt whisky value is £9.9 million to grocery/multiples, +3% year on year, of June’s malt whisky volume, 40% is sold in the three days before Father’s Day.

To capitalise on the event, Grant’s is selling a miniature gift pack of its Family Reserve and Cask variants (rrp £7.00), as well as a 50cl bottle of the number three blended whisky to offer more choice at more affordable price points.

Glenfiddich and the Balvenie will be offering a 5cl three-pack of the core ranges – the Glenfiddich pack (rrp £13.19) will include the 12, 15 and 18 Year Old variants whilst The Balvenie pack (rrp £12.99) will contain 12 Year Old Doublewood, 12 Year Old Signature and the 15 Year Old Single Barrel.

Una McCullough, marketing director at First Drinks said: “Father’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for retailers to boost their whisky sales and both blends and malts should be given prominent display in-store to make it easy for gift purchasers.

“Research shows that almost half of all whisky purchased in the off-trade is bought as a gift.

“We are extremely mindful of the need to offer shoppers a choice of products at a range of price points hence the launch of the new Grant’s miniature pack and smaller 50cl bottle. Offering smaller sizes and gift packs of premium brands such as Glenfiddich and the Balvenie are also an important way of bringing new drinkers in to the category and encouraging trade up all year round.”

First Drinks’s MAT volumes were up 13% in 2010, across all sectors.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

11 May
2011

Whisky brand takes to the road in custom chopper

Ardbeg to promote whisky across Europe with custom chopper motorcycle.

A Scots whisky brand is to be taken on a tour of Europe this summer with a flashy custom-built motorbike.

Ardbeg Islay Malt has brought in the Ardbeg Chopper to visit bars, shops and festivals in places like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, aiming to pull in new fans of the whisky.

The bike, which was specially built by US manufacturer Orange County Choppers, kicked off its tour at Glasgow Airport last week. It will now embark upon a 2000-mile journey around Europe before returning to the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay.

Fans of the single malt will be encouraged to pose with the chopper and sample a dram of the award-winning Ardbeg Ten Years Old.

Ardbeg describes itself as the "Peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all".

Orange County Choppers, based in New York, became one of the best-known custom motorcycle manufacturers in the world after featuring in reality TV show American Chopper.

The show features the company building motorbikes around a particular theme or according to the wishes of corporate or celebrity customers.

Rachel Barrie, whisky creator and master blender at the Glenmorangie Company, said: "Ardbeg is the free spirit of our whiskies. It is the embodiment of the big, powerful beauty of Scotland’s wild western isles where it is produced. The Ardbeg Chopper bike is the perfect way to bring together two icons and win over new fans to our whisky.

"As a biking enthusiast myself the Ardbeg Chopper combines my two passions in one. Feeling the wind in your hair on a classic bike or drinking a rugged malt like Ardbeg are similar experiences. It’s about the search for something pure, untamed and memorable."

Article Courtesy of STV

STV

09 May
2011

Minimum price plan 'could impact on whisky exports'

Scotch whisky producers have warned the Scottish government that plans to introduce minimum prices on alcohol will hit moves to boost exports.

The Scotch Whisky Association is calling for a meeting with the new SNP government, which now has a majority to push through the measure.

The industry body said it recognised "the political reality" that ministers could introduce minimum pricing.

However, it said such a move would have "long term consequences"

The SNP has argued that minimum pricing on alcohol would help tackle Scotland's binge drinking culture.

In its manifesto, the party said it would introduce a minimum pricing bill as a priority in the first legislative programme, highlighting the support it won for the measure from medical and police groups.

The plan also garnered support from some parts of the drinks industry, including brewers and the licensed on-trade.

'Legal challenge'

However, the Scotch Whisky Association said: "We will be seeking an early meeting with the Scottish government to encourage it to understand all the implications of minimum pricing, including the long term consequences.

"We remain convinced there are significant legal difficulties with the policy.

"We are also concerned at the long-term effect on the Scotch Whisky industry in our export markets, a matter we hope the government will consider closely given its policy priority to boost exports."

The industry body said the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing could be used as a precedent by those in export markets to introduce their own health-based tax regimes, aimed at curbing trade in Scotch whisky.

In a briefing note, it claimed the measure would be "a green light to countries, already keen to protect local markets, to introduce spurious health-justified restrictions to keep out Scotch whisky, which is often the main imported competition.

"These proposals risk undermining Scotch Whisky exports and are highly likely to face an international legal challenge".

The SNP manifesto also featured a commitment to boost exports with the aim of increasing total exports by 50% within six years.

Whisky represents a quarter of all Scottish exports at present, and about a quarter of all the UK's food and drink exports.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

05 May
2011

SWA wins first case under 2009 Scotch whisky regulations

Reynald & Sons Ltd, a whisky producer in Panama has agreed not to engage in activities that might pass off a spirit as Scotch Whisky when it is not.

It is the first time legal action has been taken in Scotland using the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009, which now regulate the making, bottling and labelling of Scotch Whisky.

The SWA took action against Reynald & Sons and its director Reynald Grattagliano in the Scottish Court of Session after the company falsely advertised 14 brands of “whisky”, including Golden Dollar, St Edwins and Paddington, each bearing the name 'Scottish Spirits', in a manner that suggested the products were genuine Scotch Whisky.

The brands we re bottled by Scottish Spirits Ltd, a Panamanian company consisted of unaged neutral alcohol and flavourings.

Lindesay Low, legal advisor at The Scotch Whisky Association, said: "We are pleased that we have received undertakings preventing any conduct that is likely to lead to a spirit which is not Scotch Whisky being passed off as genuine Scotch.

"Our concern has been that this company was misleading consumers and unfairly trading on Scotch Whisky's reputation.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

04 May
2011

Scotland toasts new whisky-powered bioenergy plant

Up to 9,000 homes to be powered with energy produced by burning waste matter from the whisky-making process

It is the spirit that powers the Scottish economy, and now whisky is to be used to create electricity for homes in a new bioenergy venture involving some of Scotland's best-known distilleries.

Contracts have recently been awarded for the construction of a biomass combined heat and power plant at Rothes in Speyside that by 2013 will use the by-products of the whisky-making process for energy production.

Vast amounts of "draff", the spent grains used in the distilling process, and pot ale, a residue from the copper stills, are produced by the whisky industry each year and are usually transported off-site. The Rothes project, a joint venture between Helius Energy and the Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD) will burn the draff with woodchips to generate enough electricity to supply 9,000 homes. It will be supplied by Aalborg Energie Technick, a danish engineering company. The pot ale will be made into a concentrated organic fertiliser and an animal feed for use by local farmers.

Environmentalists have expressed concern that some of the wood used in the process may not be locally sourced, but say the 7.2MW project – the equivalent output of two large wind turbines - is a good scale and a valuable addition to Scotland's renewables industry. Green energy has been a key issue in the run-up to Thursday's Holyrood elections. The SNP leader, Alex Salmond, has pledged to produce 100% of Scotland's electricity through renewable energy by 2020, a claim dismissed as "fantasy" by Labour.

The £50m Rothes project is the latest bioenergy venture from the Scotch whisky industry, but it is believed to be the first to provide electricity for public use. A bioenergy plant at Scotland's largest distillery in Fife is close to completion. The project by Diageo will provide 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of the electrical power used at the Cameronbridge distillery. And last year, scientists at Napier University announced they had developed a method of producing biofuel from the by-products of the whisky distilling process which could power cars and even aircraft. The new fuel, they said, could be available at petrol pumps within a few years.

Of Scotland's 100 whisky distilleries, 50 are based in Speyside, and Frank Burns, general manager of CoRD, said it was an ideal location for the new bioenergy plant which will be built on an existing industrial site.

"It is very well supported in the local community. Up here in Rothes and in Speyside in general we have a lot of strong links," he said. "We had zero objections at the planning stage and we have done a lot of work within the community on the progress of the project."

Waste products from around 16 of the area's 50 distilleries will be used at the site, including well-known brands such as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Macallan, and Famous Grouse. None will come from further than 25 miles away.

Burns acknowledged, however, that some of the wood for the process may not be locally sourced. "Some of it will be local and some of it will be shipped in," he said. "It is down to the supplier. They may source it locally." Most of the fuel, he added, will be comprised of the draff.

Sam Gardner, climate policy officer for WWF Scotland, said:

"From the information we have, the project looks to be a very welcome addition to Scotland's renewable industry. It is using waste products from our whisky industry which is eminently sensible thing to do, and is producing heat both for whisky production and for the local community. We would want to see assurances, however, that the biomass was sustainably sourced."

Article Courtesy of The Guardian

 

The Guardian

02 May
2011

Pipers play for festival flag handover

Whisky lovers treated to mounted cavalcade during ceremony celebrating much-loved drink

Dozens of people lined the streets to see a mounted cavalcade take part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in Moray yesterday.

More than 30 horses trotted along to four pipers from the Elgin Pipe Band at the ceremonial handover of the festival’s flag.

Members of the Moray Mountainbike Club cycled the flag across country from Knockando Distillery to meet the horse riders at Johnstons Woollen Mill in Elgin.

The riders then took the flag to a waiting crowd at East Beach, at Lossiemouth, where it was picked up by a three-man running team bound for the mouth of the River Spey at Kings-ton.

It was then handed over to Macallan Distillery’s visit and hospitality man- ager Morag Ralph, who will keep it in storage un- til the Craigellachie distil- lery hosts the whisky festival’s opening dinner next year.

Festival chairman Jim Royan was among the horse-riders at yesterday’s handover at the woollen mill.

The occasion was one of more than 200 whisky-themed events which have taken place in Moray since the festival was launched on Thursday.

Mr Royan said Speyside had been “bouncing with visitors from all over the world for a series of events that have captured every generation, whisky drinkers or not”.

“People are starting to realise what this magical place called Speyside Moray is all about,” he added.

The running trio were wearing T-shirts to promote the Elgin Rotary Club’s Marafun relay run which will take place in the town on Sunday, June 5.

Diageo distillery operators, Kenny Douglas, 42, of Upper Rafford, and John Ruickbie, 59, of Elgin’s Spynie Street, completed the seven-mile sprint from Lossiemouth to Kingston in just over an hour.

They were accompanied by the Elgin Rotary Club’s junior vice-president Dave Mitchell, 57, of McIntosh Drive, Elgin.

Mr Douglas said it was an honour to take part in the event while raising the pro-file of this summer’s Marafun.

The final celebrations of the five-day Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will come to a close today.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal
April 2011 Scotch Whisky News

29 Apr
2011

Reveal the secrets behind a wee dram

With thousands of visitors set to descend on Scotland’s distilleries this summer, the role of tour guide is hugely important

EARLIER this month, it was revealed that whisky tourism in Scotland was booming and visitor numbers had soared by almost 20% in the past two years.

Brian Robinson, visitor centre team leader at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, is well aware of this, as it is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the north-east, welcoming around 70,000 visitors each year.

Brian’s role is to ensure visitors fully enjoy their experience and, to do that, he enlists the help of dozens of seasonal guides – and he’s currently on the lookout for more.

All guides take part in an intensive training course to bring them up to speed on how whisky is made, and are then responsible for taking visitors around the distillery.

Brian said: “To make a good tour guide you need to be outgoing, willing to learn and interested in whisky.

“You also need to be keen to learn about other cultures and a good talker.”

As team leader, Brian regards his job as perfect for him, which is all the more surprising when you learn he’s a recent convert to the industry.

He said: “Up until seven years ago I used to the run the emergency call centre for Scottish and Southern Energy, based in Portsmouth,” said Brian.

“That’s how I plied my trade from my early 20s until 2004, when my wife Jo and I moved from Portsmouth to Dufftown.

“We moved for two reasons. Firstly, because I fell out of love with what I was doing and, secondly, because my wife and I had holidayed in Scotland for years and felt a great affinity with the people and the place.

“We got to the stage when our careers weren’t satisfying us and decided to make a career and lifestyle change, so we sold up and moved north.”

Jo set up her own business, Jo Robinson Sugarcraft, a bespoke celebration cake baking and design service, while Brian joined the team at Glenfiddich.

“Starting work in a distillery was amazing for me, as I learned about the nuances of malt whisky, how to tell one whisky from another and met other guides from around the world,” added Brian.

“Before starting here I would class myself as an enthusiastic amateur in terms of whisky.

“I was always interested in the history and process of making it and, while in Portsmouth, did a lot of long-distance research on it. When we visited Scotland we’d try to fit in as many distillery visits as possible, so I knew the basics before I was lucky enough to be involved in the industry.

“I began working here as a guide and totally fell in love with it all. It is such an incredible industry and one that Scotland should be very proud of.”

Now, Brian works full-time in a role he loves.

“This really is the perfect job for me,” said Brian.

“Scotland is renowned for the quality of its whisky and Glenfiddich has coveted status as the world’s most awarded single malt.

“My job gives me the chance to introduce people from around the globe to the wonders of single malt and the making of the product.

“It is a fascinating process that has remained virtually unchanged for centuries. This is something that the visitors to Glenfiddich find really intriguing. Visiting our single malt Distillery is like taking a step back in time.”

The Dufftown distillery took the pioneering decision to open its doors to the public in 1969, when its visitor facilities were limited.

Now, it boasts five-star visitor attraction status, hospitality assured accreditation, a brand centre and the Malt Barn restaurant and coffee shop.

“Glenfiddich is an inspiring place to work,” said Brian.

“We are situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland and have luxurious facilities – even our loos are award-winning.”

With thousands of visitors expected to pass through the distillery’s doors once more this summer, Brian’s now recruiting seasonal staff.

“There is no such thing as a stereotypical distillery guide,” said Brian.

“We have guides in their 20s and in their 50s and men and women, but what they share is a willingness to learn and the ability to communicate with enthusiasm.

“Many of our guides speak more than one language, which is important for us as we welcome more international visitors than most other distilleries. It’s not a must but, because 75% of our visitors are from overseas, a second language is very useful.

“This year, I’ve secured the services of guides who speak Chinese and Russian, but as the majority of our visitors come from Germany, France, Italy and Spain, an ability to speak any of these languages is good.

“I’m afraid I don’t speak anything but English and never thought of it as a handicap until I started working here.

“Now, if I get the chance to engage with school-age youngsters, I stress the importance of learning another language, as it gives them a whole host of options in the workplace.”

Training lasts six days, with an assessment tour and test at its conclusion to ensure the guides know everything they need to.

At present, the visitor centre has a team of five permanent staff and five seasonal staff, but Brian is looking to employ a further 20 seasonal tour guides to work 32 hours over a five-day period.

Candidates must be 18 or over. The closing date for applications is Friday, May 6. To apply, send a CV with covering letter to Brian Robinson, William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown, Keith, Banffshire, AB55 4DH, or send an e-mail to: brian.robinson@ wgrant.com

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

25 Apr
2011

Spirits high for whisky celebration

Moray packs annual festival full of events to highlight region’s world-famous food and drink

Moray is gearing up for an annual festival which aims to celebrate the region’s world-famous whisky and produce.

The 12th Spirit of Speyside event begins on Thursday and runs until next Tuesday.

The busy programme offers something for all lovers of the amber nectar, as well as those who prefer indulging in food rather than drams.

Six shortlisted malt whiskies will battle it out in the festival’s annual awards on Thursday, and new food and drinks tours are being piloted for this year’s event, to try to encourage a wider interest.

The tours will look at the links between Speyside’s signature drams and other regional produce.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky School will also return to this year’s festival.

The three-day course will feature tutorials led by malt whisky experts and technical site visits with distillery managers.

Festival chairman Jim Royan said the main purpose of the event was to “celebrate all that’s good in Moray and what whisky does for the heritage of the area”.

It is estimated that last year’s festival generated almost £750,000 for the local economy, attracting 26,000 visitors to the area. Meanwhile, businesses in Elgin town centre are being encouraged to get involved in the Scottish Theme Day, which is being held on Saturday to coincide with the whisky festival.

The day has been organised by the Elgin Business Improvement District (Bid) team, and will run from 10am to 4pm.

It will feature musical entertainment and at least 30 stalls with a variety of local produce and crafts. Elgin Bid manager Jacqui Taylor said that there had been a lot of interest in the event so far.

She added: “I would encourage other businesses to get into the theme of the day by dressing their windows and shop frontages in a Scottish Theme.

“It’s great to see all the businesses coming together in support of Elgin.”

To find out more about individual events, go to www.spiritofspeyside.com or www.elginbid.co.uk

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

18 Apr
2011

Whisky tourism grows by a fifth

Scotland’s whisky tourism increased by almost a fifth in the past two years according to Diageo, with the firm recording 210,432 people passing through the doors of its 12 visitor centres in 2010.

While two-fifths of recorded visitors were from the UK, distilleries recorded 43 different nationalities among their visitors with tourists from Germany, France, USA and Spain the most common.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantley said of the growing footfall: "This is fantastic news as we head towards the end of the Year of Food and Drink and shows that the combination of quality products and quality visitor attractions are key to the visitor experience in Scotland."

While Diageo visitor centres’ Steve Blake commented: "Scotch whisky is this country's fastest growing export and the great thing about whisky is that it is also a fantastic advert for Scotland. It's a high-quality product which promotes Scotland as a quality tourist destination to people all round the world."

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

15 Apr
2011

The Macallan releases Royal Wedding limited whisky edition

As the Royal Wedding fast approaches, the whisky maker The Macallan has announced the release of a limited edition of 1000 bottles celebrating the Royal Marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

The MacallanThe unique and collectable edition will feature exceptional single malt whisky taken from two casks, both filled on 29 April – one from 1996 and one from 1999.

The creation of this special bottle follows the release of a commemorative edition to mark the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

This comprised two casks, one from each of their birth years. At the time, the bottle sold out and today is a highly sought-after item for collectors of ‘The Macallan’ around the world, according to the firm.

“Having created a limited edition to mark the wedding of his parents in 1981, we wanted to follow this with a special bottling for Prince William’s own marriage,” said The Macallan marketing assistant Patricia Lee.

“Our whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, has excelled himself once again by selecting two exquisite casks, each filled on 29 April, to create a whisky which brings together cinnamon, ginger and spice with toffee apples and vanilla giving a soft, full and long lasting finish.”

‘David Holmes’

In keeping with this original bottling, The Macallan has commissioned the creative force behind the 1981 bottle, David Holmes, who was also one of the architects of the brand’s advertising campaign in the 1980s and the early 1990s, to create the label and packaging design.

The label design incorporates a duck egg blue colour, featuring interwoven monograms and silver roses, while the bespoke silver coloured presentation box is designed with a ‘viewing window’ to show off the bottle.

Article Courtesy of Packaging News

 

Packaging News

15 Apr
2011

'Is this the whisky revolution?'

In Venezuela, China and India, drinkers can't get enough

Venezuela

Venezuela produces some of the Caribbean's best rum, but go to any bar, party or beach and you see that the national drink is imported Scotch whisky. Invariably served with lots of ice, it outsells other liquors by a ratio of about two to one, making Venezuela one of the world's biggest markets.

Ask Venezuelans why a tropical country in the midst of a socialist revolution should drink so much – more than 3m boxes a year – and the answer is simple: because we like it, and we can.

It has been thus for decades since oil turned this corner of south America into a dysfunctional petro-state which can afford to import luxury cars – Ferraris and Hummers bounce over Caracas potholes – and other symbols of wealth and status.

While the super-rich sip 18-year-old blends on yachts off Margarita island, the poor opt for cheaper brands, which you find passed around at family dinners, roadside bars and domino games.

"Ever since I can remember whisky was the thing. Rum is for when you can't afford the good stuff," says Freddy Afanador, 62, the driver of a battered taxi. Tequila, vodka and gin are exotic curiosities that tend to gather dust on liquor-store shelves.

President Hugo Chavez has assailed his compatriots' taste for alcohol in general and imported Scotch in particular. "Is this the whisky revolution?" he once thundered.

Whisky sales are growing fast across the region of Latin America, especially Brazil, making it one of the most important markets.

China

For Yang Chen, the appeal is simple: "The smell of charcoal, smoke and fruit and strong flavour are enough to attract any man. Life goes very fast nowadays, and it is a great pleasure to sit down and enjoy a whisky slowly," he observes.

The 45-year-old executive is exactly the kind of customer the Scotch Whisky Association is wooing: he usually drinks Chivas Regal or Johnny Walker, but says he is always willing to try something new.

The Chinese market for Scotch is worth £80m a year – around 2.5% of global sales – but the association predicts it will double in the next five years. Ministers recently signed a deal to improve legal protections for the brand.

Jim Boyce, whose Beijing Boyce blog covers the capital's drinks and bar scene, says that for many Chinese customers the appeal is "the cachet of spending big, trying something rare and showing your status. But I've been to tastings where people are really interested. You have people who appreciate baijiu [Chinese liquor]; it's not a huge leap to learning about malts from different parts of Scotland."

Not everyone back home in the Highlands is happy about this growing thirst, however. "I've been in touch with aficionados in Scotland who are afraid China will get into it in a big way and buy everything up. Production is not that big," Boyce says.

India

In the hit 1984 ITV series Jewel in the Crown, set in the dying days of the British Raj, a minor maharani screams on tasting a single malt gifted to her by Charles Dance – she thinks he's trying to poison her. Though the British introduced Indians to the drink, what passed for whisky in India until barely a decade ago was mostly locally-produced alchohol distilled from molasses – amber-coloured rum, actually.

"There's been a huge change since the early 2000s," says whisky expert Sandeep Aurora. "Until then, the idea of whisky was one big blotch. People were ignorant about the different kinds of whisky. When I first introduced rare whiskies at appreciations, people would ask, 'Are you sure it hasn't gone bad after 30 years?' Now there's a very high understanding – people are fascinated by the depth and character of the drink, whether it's rare, single malt or blended scotch whisky."

So much so that even the gender barrier has fallen. In the past, at parties women had to be content with pink and green cocktails – or a vodka, at best. No longer. And last month Aurora helped open India's first women's whisky club. "We already have 56 members, and 38 more want to join," she says.

Many of the new scotch connoisseurs, no doubt, are from the new rich created by the economic boom. Import of liquor is also easier now, though the tariffs remain very high. But as the recent experience of Outlook editor Vinod Mehta showed, all this high-value quaffing doesn't go down well with the masses, still surviving on cheap molasses liquor.

When Mehta recently wrote that he had drunk Blue Label whisky for the first time at writer Khushwant Singh's 96th birthday, so many readers protested that he promised it would remain a "once-in-a-lifetime indulgence".

But for India's elite, genuine and good whisky has now become a lifelong passion.

Article Courtesy of The Guardian

 

The Guardian

14 Apr
2011

Helius Completes Funding $99 Million Power Plant Using Waste From Whisky

Rabobank Group acquired an equity stake in a 60.5 million-pound ($99 million) Scottish project that will use waste from malt whisky to generate electricity for 9,000 homes.

The Dutch financial services group has almost 45 percent of the venture in Rothes, northern Scotland, according to its developer, Helius Energy Plc. (HEGY) That transaction completes funding for the facility that’s set to be operational in 2013, London- based Helius said today in a statement.

Helius, a developer of biomass energy plants, will hold a 50 percent stake, plus one share. The company already obtained a non-recourse loan of 42.4 million pounds with Lloyds TSB Bank Plc and the Royal Bank of Scotland. That loan accounts for 70 percent of the project’s cost and matures in 14 years -- covering two years of construction and 12 of operation, Helius Chief Financial Officer Alan Lyons said today by telephone.

“We see this as quite a significant deal in the market,” Lyons said. “It underlines that the U.K. banking market is open for business for renewable energy and is definitely able to fund biomass projects,” he said.

Rabobank’s stake in the project’s company, Helius Corde Ltd., may be worth about 9.3 million pounds, according to the financing structure outlined in the statement.

The Combination of Rothes Distillers Ltd., a joint venture of seven distillery companies, holds 5.3 percent in Helius Corde. Together Helius and Rothes Distillers have invested 8.8 million pounds in the project.

Rabobank, which acquired 44.7 percent minus one share through Rabo Project Equity BV, declined to comment on its level of investment when contacted by e-mail.

Draff, Pot Ale Syrup

The project will use draff, the wet barley byproduct from whisky making, and burn it in a boiler with wood to raise steam that drives a turbine producing electricity. It will generate 7.2 megawatts of clean power. The pot ale syrup, another whisky byproduct, can be used in cattle feed.

In addition Helius started speaking with debt providers about loans for a 100-megawatt biomass plant it’s planning to build in Bristol, England. That project at a consented site in Avonmouth would cost about 300 million pounds and Helius would seek a similar debt portion of about 70 percent, Lyons said. It expects financial close late this year or early 2012, he said. The plant would burn woodchips to produce electricity.

Article Courtesy of Bloomberg

 

Bloomberg

09 Apr
2011

Whisky aficionados raise a dram to welcome new festival

Wide selection of food, drink and music on offer at event

THE first whisky festival to be held in Inverness gets under way in earnest today when aficionados of the “cratur” will have the chance to taste a selection of the finest.

Bogbain Farm is hosting the inaugural event, which started with a ceilidh last night.

About 300 people are expected to attend festival events, which will combine the best whisky with music and food.

The festival has been put together by Bogbain’s Bruce MacGregor, known for his role with folk band Blazin-Fiddles

Last night’s opener included live music, including performances from Saltfishforty and Anna Massie and Mairearad Green.

Scots singer Dougie Maclean has donated a bottle of whisky to the festival’s auction of rare whiskies.

The drink, which is named after the singer’s most famous hit, Caledonia, is distilled by Edradour, Scotland’s smallest distillery. He has also signed the bottle.

Another highlight is expected to be the demonstration by professional chef Sam Carswell, who is a past Masterchef winner.

Mr Carswell, who works at Biadh @ MacSorleys in Glasgow, will be showing off his method of smoking fish – in a giant fishbowl. Festival manager Yvonne Murray said that she was particularly looking forward to Mr Carswell’s event.

She said that Mr Carswell put his ingredients, including salmon, lobster, cucumber, and tomatoes, into the bowl with whisky.

She added: “He then uses a smoke gun to make smoke go into the bowl and puts a lid on it, allowing the fish to smoke for a few minutes.”

The Inverness Whisky Festival is one of the new events taking place at Bogbain Farm this year, with a Northern Roots festival being held in June, followed by a country and western festival in July.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

06 Apr
2011

Whisky producers raise money for Japan appeal

The ‘Spirit of Unity’whisky produced by a group of independent Scottish distilleries in aid of Japan’s disaster relief effort has raised £5,900 within 24-hours.

'Spirit of Unity’ is a combined effort from a group of Scottish craft distilleries including Arran, BenRiach, Bladnoch, GlenDronach, Mitchell’s Glengyle, Kilchoman and Springbank with each donating a cask of their single malt to be expertly blended to create the limited edition.

100 of the 1,000 bottles available in the UK has already been sold which represents the sale of 10% of the bottling.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said he was overwhelmed with the reception and is well on the way to the £70,800 target in the UK.

“Many in our industry, like me, travel regularly to Japan and have made friends and contacts with Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

“On seeing the scale and horror of the problems they are facing we were moved to help and other craft distillers immediately came onboard.”

“We hope the generosity of UK whisky lovers brings some swift relief to those suffering in Japan.”

The producers will offer the limited bottling available through two leading online whisky retailers; Royal Mile Whiskies and Loch Fyne Whiskies, and in their respective shops in Edinburgh & London and Inveraray.

Euan Mitchell: “Not a penny of profit will be taken from this project by any of the parties involved with the packaging being donated free of charge by Chesapeake Branded Packaging."

The Spirit of Unity will be available in store and for despatch by the end of April (rrp £59 +p&p)

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

04 Apr
2011

Message in a Bottle: 100-Year-Old Whisky Reveals Its Secrets

Whyte & Mackay has successfully recreated the century-old whisky buried under the Antarctic ice by famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

The company’s master blender Richard Paterson spent a painstaking eight weeks marrying and blending a range of malts to get an exact replica of the 100-year-old Mackinlay’s liquid.

And according to one independent expert, he has got the copy exactly right.

Renowned whisky writer Dave Broom is the only other person in the world to taste both the original whisky and Whyte & Mackay’s new liquid.

He said: “The Shackleton whisky is not what I expected at all, and not what anyone would have expected. It’s so light, so fresh, so delicate and still in one piece – it’s a gorgeous whisky.

“It proves that even way back then so much care, attention and thought went into whisky-making.

“I think the replication is absolutely bang on. Richard has done a great job as it’s a very tricky whisky to replicate, because you have this delicacy, subtlety and the smoke just coming through.

“The sweetness, fragrance and spice, and the subtle smoke, are all there in the replica. I’m blown away.”

The Shackleton replica will cost £100, with 5% from every sale being donated back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, the New Zealand charity responsible for finding and uncovering the original whisky. If all 50,000 bottles sell out the Trust will receive £250,000.

Trust chief executive Nigel Watson said: “From start to finish it’s taken almost four years to safely extract the whisky crate from site and then Antarctica, thaw it in museum conditions, secure permits and complete scientific analysis in Scotland . I am delighted that Whyte & Mackay recognise the hard work and value of the Trust’s conservation mission in Antarctica by making this very generous and welcome donation.”

Richard Paterson said that matching the whisky really tested his blending skills, but it was a true labour of love.

“It was a real privilege getting to handle, nose and taste such a rare and beautiful bottle of whisky. The quality, purity and taste of this 100-year-old spirit was amazing. The biggest surprise was the light flavour and the clear, almost vibrant colour of the liquid. I hope I have done our forefathers and Ernest Shackleton proud with the replica.

“I would like to thank the Trust in particular for their patience, their expertise and their hard work. They fully deserve the substantial funds this special bottle will generate.”

The whole replication process has been documented exclusively for National Geographic Channel for a documentary due to air at the end of this year.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release
March 2011 Scotch Whisky News

31 Mar
2011

Distillers sell whisky galore to world

Soaring export sales add £109 per second to UK economy as industry defies slump

Scottish distillers have defied the global recession to export whisky worth nearly £3.5billion.

Growing sales across the world mean the industry adds £109 per second to the UK economy.

Figures released yesterday by the Scotch Whisky Association revealed the value of exports rose by 10% in the latest 12-month period.

Scottish distilleries now send bottles to all parts of the globe, bringing in hundreds of millions of pounds from countries including the US, France and Singapore.

Whisky’s growing popularity is having a knock-on effect for the country’s tourism trade as whisky lovers visit the distilleries where their favourite drams are made.

More than half the visitors at last year’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in Moray travelled from abroad.

Michael Urquhart, joint managing director of Elgin-based whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, said the total value of its exports had increased from £3.2million to just over £5million in the year to the end of February.

“It underlines that this is one of Scotland’s greatest export industries,” he said. “When you look at some growing markets and others that have been in recession and are now coming out of it, you can see the opportunities are there – we are now looking forward to the months and years to come.”

John Grant, chairman of the Glenfarclas distillery at Ballindalloch, said this month would be the best in the firm’s 175-year history.

“It is amazing that in a global recession the industry is doing so well,” he said.

“I keep saying to people that it cannot continue but it has, and our bottling plant in Edinburgh is now running 24 hours a day, four days a week to keep up with demand.”

Scottish distilleries sold £3.45billion of whisky to foreign markets in 2010, up 60% against a decade ago. The SWA figures show exports of single malt bottles rose 18% last year to £577million, while blended whisky shipments rose 5% to £2.6billion.

By country, the US spent the most money on Scotch last year – nearly £500million. Out of the top 10 export markets by value, only Spain and Greece, which have both suffered badly because of the worldwide recession, imported less Scotch last year compared with 2009. France imported the highest quantity of Scotch last year, buying the equivalent of 164.5million standard-sized bottles.

David Gates of drinks giant Diageo said the company’s success had been driven by sales of Johnnie Walker, which was named the number-one spirit in the world by value in rankings released last week.

Brand

He said: “Where economies are growing, Scotch is growing and sometimes spectacularly in markets such as Mexico, eastern Europe, duty-free and south-east Asia through blended Scotch brands such as Johnnie Walker, J&B and Buchanan’s.”

SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt said: “Scotch whisky is a world-class industry that consistently delivers for the UK. Global exports increased for the sixth consecutive year and are now 60% higher in value than in 2000.”

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “The strong export performance reflects the hard work which has gone into creating and developing a quality brand that is enjoyed at home and abroad.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

29 Mar
2011

Scotch whisky auctioned to help Japan victims

A bottle of Scotch whisky being auctioned to raise money for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has raised £15,000.

The 70-year-old malt was gifted by Elgin-based whisky specialists Gordon & MacPhail.

The Generations Glenlivet was auctioned at Bonhams in Edinburgh, bringing a price equivalent to about £600 a dram.

The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, was said to want to donate the whisky to the people of Japan.

Proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross Japan Appeal.

The idea to auction the whisky, which was distilled in 1940, came from Gordon & MacPhail's joint managing director Michael Urquhart.

He had been due to fly to Japan to launch the whisky when the tragedy struck.

The death toll from the quake and tsunami on 11 March has now passed 10,000, and more than 17,000 people are missing.

Mr Urquhart said: "Gordon & MacPhail has had trading relationships with Japan for over 30 years and members of our family-owned business felt it was important to show our support and raise funds to aid the relief.

"I think we all feel helpless in the face of a tragedy like this so it is good to be able to do something practical."

Norman McKinley, director of the Red Cross in Scotland, said: "The massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan have caused widespread destitution and suffering.

"The costs of the relief effort and of rebuilding the homes and lives of those affected will be immense.

"Donations to the British Red Cross will be used towards helping the Japanese people recover from this devastating natural disaster over the coming months and years."

Bonhams gave their services for free.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

28 Mar
2011

Diageo invests £3.5 million in Islay’s Caol Ila distillery

Diageo has announced a £3.5million investment in the expansion and upgrading of the Caol Ila distillery in Islay, giving a major boost to the whisky industry on the Scottish island.

The distillery – which is located on the Sound of Islay and produces one of the island’s iconic Scotch brands – will see its production capacity increased by 700,000 litres per year, from 5.7 million litres per annum (mla) to 6.4mla.

The extension of the distillery will see two new 62,000-litre washbacks installed in addition to the eight which are already onsite. Washbacks are the vessels in which the fermentation process takes place prior to distillation. It is the new washbacks that will drive the increased production capacity, Diageo explained.

The refurbishment of the distillery will see key equipment upgraded, including the replacement of the distillery’s mash tun – a crucial piece of equipment in the distillation process – and a new control system installed in the stillhouse. Caol Ila's six large onion-shaped copper stills, overlooking the Sound of Islay, are not part of the refurbishment project.

The investment is said to be a major boost to local contractors who will benefit from work on the site, as well as generating a knock-on financial benefit to the local economy from contractors who will be brought on to the island to carry out aspects of the work.

The Caol Ila project builds on the £3 million which Diageo has already invested in upgrading and developing its Port Ellen Maltings on Islay over the past three years.

The refurbishment work is scheduled to take six months beginning in June. The distillery will be closed to public tours for that period; however, the distillery shop will remain open to visitors.

The project is part of Diageo’s rolling programme of capital investment across its Scottish sites, amounting to £600 million over the past six fiscal years – as the company builds capacity to meet rising global demand for its world renowned Scotch whisky brands such as Johnnie Walker. This included the opening of the £40 million Roseisle distillery on Speyside last year – the first major malt whisky distillery to be built in Scotland in over 30 years.

Kevin Sutherland, Diageo’s Senior Site Manager on Islay welcomed the investment as a major boost to the island’s whisky industry. He said: “This is great news for Caol Ila and great news for Islay. An investment of this scale is fantastic for the local economy and it signals Diageo’s deep-rooted commitment to the Islay whisky industry.

“Caol Ila is a wonderful distillery of which we are very proud and I am delighted we are going to be able to produce even more fantastic single malt as well as contributing to the growth of Johnnie Walker and Diageo’s other leading global Scotch brands.”

Diageo Scotland Managing Director Bryan Donaghey said the expansion of Caol Ila was part of an overall programme of investment in the Scotch whisky industry by Diageo.

He said: “Over the past six years Diageo has made around £600 million in capital investment in Scotland, largely aimed at building our capacity to meet the growing demand for Scotch whisky around the world.

“Last year we opened our new £40 million distillery at Roseisle in Speyside and the expansion of Caol Ila demonstrates our commitment to another of Scotland’s great whisky-making locations. The success and growth of our Islay distilleries is central to our ambitions for the Scotch whisky industry and demonstrates again our confidence in and commitment to the future of Scotland and Scotch.”

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

25 Mar
2011

Have A Dram Good Time in Scotland this Spring

Whisky festivals, new tours and whisky pairing galore mean that visitors to Scotland will have a surprising number of ways to really get into the spirit of things this spring.

The Inverness Whisky Festival is a brand new whisky festival, promising music and merriment aplenty in April.

This is followed by the finale of Scotland's Year of Food and Drink in May with the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, as well as the Islay Festival of Music & Malt. The festivals give visitors to Scotland an unrivalled opportunity to get up close and personal with two of the world's most famous whisky regions.

Marketing manager at The Scotch Whisky Experience, Julie Trevisan Hunter, commented: "The sheer variety of ways for visitors to get involved with whisky this spring means that it's a really excellent time to get out and about in Scotland.

"From enthusiasts and experts to total whisky beginners, there's never been a better time visit Scotland and enjoy a dram."

The new Inverness Whisky Festival takes place on 8-9 April and is a celebration of whisky from Scotland's Highlands and Islands. With a ceilidh band to open the festival and live music throughout, visitors to the festival will be able to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere to get hands-on with the whiskies on offer.

It will feature a collectors' auction, workshops and talks, all washed down with fine Highland food and, of course, whisky.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival runs for five days from 28 April-2 May and this year includes drambles (whisky walks), the opportunity to blend your own whisky, a chance to pair whisky with chocolate or even become a Benromach warehouseman for a day.

Speyside has the greatest number of distilleries of all the whisky-producing areas of Scotland.

With Scotland's Year of Food and Drink coming to an end in May, the Islay Festival of Music & Malt provides a great way of raising a farewell toast to it. Running from 20-29 May, this festival allows visitors to get behind the scenes in the Islay distilleries, which open their doors to visitors for the week of the festival.

There are plenty of ways to discover the characteristically smoky taste of the Islay malts and also to explore the island through its relationship with music in its packed programme of concerts and ceilidhs.

Visitors to other parts of Scotland can also get in on the act with several new tours and tastings of Scotland's water of life. A new bus tour of Glasgow's whisky bars offers informative tastings in an informal setting, while two new tours from the award-winning Rabbies Trailburners take visitors to the key whisky regions in Scotland.

In Edinburgh, whisky expert and writer, Tom Bruce-Gardyne, will guide enthusiasts through the different flavours of whisky in a tutored tasting using the largest collection of whiskies available for tasting in Scotland - over 1,300 bottles. Find out more here.

Foodies can also indulge in whisky this spring with a special food and whisky pairing taking place at Amber Restaurant in Edinburgh's Scotch Whisky Experience. With a team of whisky advisers on hand, the matching event will be a suitable way to celebrate the final month of Scotland's year of Food and Drink.

To discover more about these festivals or to find out how to surprise yourself on a trip to Scotland, log on to VisitScotland.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

23 Mar
2011

The Glenrothes Whisky Makers competition winners announced

Four winners of the international 'The Glenrothes Whisky Makers' competition have been announced.

Two are from the UK: Tony Francis from Moray, Scotland and Danielle Ellis from Midlothian, the third is Eliot Edelstein from Ohio and the fourth is Sheng Hao Chen from Taiwan.

The enthusiasts were chosen from many thousands of entries to work for a week in May - they will learn the time-honoured art of making The Glenrothes and the skills that have been passed down throughout the generations.

Hosted by Ronnie Cox, 'Whisky Ambassador of the Year 2008', the winners will spend time working at each stage of the whisky-making process and will have the opportunity to create their own unique selection of The Glenrothes.

The winners will stay in Rothes House, a private home belonging to the family that owns The Glenrothes and will enjoy other themed events.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

23 Mar
2011

Businessman launches plans for whisky festival

STIRLINGSHIRE residents have been asked to raise a glass to a fledgling drinks festival.

Plans are in place to hold an event celebrating whisky at Stirling’s Albert Halls next summer.

And co-organiser Cameron McCann said he’s relying on the imagination of local residents before deciding on a name for the May 12 cultural showpiece.

Mr McCann, who runs Drymen’s Ealain Gallery and its adjacent art, whisky and gift shop with his wife, June, said he hopes to create something that will become a fixture in the calendar.

“We’re looking for about 300 people to attend in the first year, 2012, and for it to grow from then on really,” he told the Observer.

“Invites are to be sent out to distilleries, and other local and national companies, to show off what they have to offer to members of the public.

“The festival is about the tasting and enjoyment of whisky, and its cultural significance – it’s hoped some of the companies will take the opportunity to conduct a ‘master-class’, so it has the potential to be educational too.

“For obvious reasons, only people over the age of 18 will be able to come along and identification will be required.”

Mr McCann continued by claiming the project has received initial backing from Stirling Council officials and that, once established, it could add to a predicted Scottish tourism avalanche in 2014.

“The Scottish Government’s next ‘Homecoming Year’, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn are all in 2014 so it would be great to be involved in that,” he said.

“We’re hoping the festival will add to what Stirling already has to offer as far as tourism is concerned and maybe change the way people look at whisky, which is Scotland’s national drink after all.”

The businessman added: “I can think of nothing better than enjoying a glass of a smokey, peaty, whisky with a bar of dark chocolate when I’m sitting at home watching the Formula 1 on television and it’s raining outside.

“But everybody’s different. People come into the shop and expect me to be able to tell them what a certain drink is going to taste like. I can tell them what I’m tasting and smelling, but they won’t necessarily be the same.

“Whisky’s Scotland’s biggest export and we’ve got to get away from the sexist notion that it’s a man’s drink. It’s not, it’s for everyone.

“Different types suit different people. Just because someone may have had a glass of something horrible when they were at a party 20 years ago, doesn’t mean whisky’s not for them.

“It’s a bit like choosing a wine. But I always say that you get wine connoisseurs, and whisky anoraks.”

Anyone with any suggestions as to what to name the festival should contact Cameron McCann on 01360 660 996 or info@ealaingallery.com

He has said that the winning entry will receive a pair of standard tickets to next year’s festival and a bottle of ‘89 Balblair single malt.

STIRLINGSHIRE residents have been asked to raise a glass to a fledgling drinks festival.

Plans are in place to hold an event celebrating whisky at Stirling’s Albert Halls next summer.

And co-organiser Cameron McCann said he’s relying on the imagination of local residents before deciding on a name for the May 12 cultural showpiece.

Mr McCann, who runs Drymen’s Ealain Gallery and its adjacent art, whisky and gift shop with his wife, June, said he hopes to create something that will become a fixture in the calendar.

Article Courtesy of Stirling Observer

 

Stirling Observer

22 Mar
2011

Ballantine's 12 Year-old Unveils 'Art of Beyond’ Bar, Inspired by Scotch Whisky Heritage

Ballantine’s 12 Year Old, part of the world’s No 2 blended Scotch whisky range, unveiled the ‘Ballantine’s 12 Art of BEYOND Bar’ inspired by its heritage, in London this month.

Revealed at the Nettie Horn Art Gallery in the heart of London’s contemporary art district, the installation is a unique project involving six international artists, who have collaborated to create a premium and stylish bar that offers a contemporary Scotch whisky drinking experience beyond the ordinary.

The artists, working together for the first time, were invited to create the individual elements for a bespoke Ballantine’s 12 Year Old bar that was inspired by the brand’s Scottish heritage and embodies the spirit of looking beyond the ordinary. Bulgarian architect and designer, Jovo Bozhinovski used Scotland’s unique landscape to inspire the floor design of the bar and French light artists Creatmosphere incorporated colours inspired by the Scottish highlands with the amber tones of whisky to create a live light show.

Working across a range of disciplines, each artist was chosen for their award-winning creativity in their respective fields. Whilst the process behind the ‘Art of BEYOND’ has been open and collaborative (with designers sharing their ideas and concepts with each other over a three month period) the works themselves hide secrets that bring to life the brand’s creative platform of ‘Takes you BEYOND’. The ‘Ballantine’s 12 Art of BEYOND Bar’ was designed to leave an impression by creating a layered whisky drinking experience with more to discover

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s said, “Art and design is the perfect platform to bring to life the concept of BEYOND whilst maintaining the stylish sophistication that embodies Ballantine’s 12 Year Old. We are extremely proud to have commissioned this unique collaboration; working with six very different but hugely talented artists who bring the values of authenticity and flair to their work. The ‘Art of BEYOND Bar’ is an extraordinary whisky-drinking experience that really does take you beyond.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

21 Mar
2011

Enterprise Minister to Promote Scottish Food & Drink in China

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather will travel to China this week to meet several existing and potential investors in Scotland - both salmon and Scotch whisky will be discussed.

The visit coincides with the launch today of Scotland's new five-year Trade and Investment Strategy to boost international trade links, attract investment from key overseas growth markets, and promote Scotland's credentials as an internationally competitive business location.

The strategy aims to deliver up to £2 billion of net additional GVA to the Scottish economy through trade and investment activity by 2015.

Mr Mather will join representatives of Scottish Development International from March 22-26 for a series of business engagements in Beijing and Shenzhen where he will build on the Scottish Government's ongoing engagement with Chinese aviation leaders to promote prospects for a direct air link between the two nations, and meet with several key business contacts across a range of sectors to showcase the investment opportunities Scotland has to offer.

In addition, he will join representatives of Scotland's food and drink industry at an EU food and drink event to promote the international appeal of authentic Scottish produce to the Chinese market.

He will also witness a signing agreement between Historic Scotland and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, which will establish an historic tomb site in Beijing as one of five international sites to be digitally mapped as part of the Scottish Ten Project.

Mr Mather said: "International trade and investment is vital to Scotland's economy and is an integral part of the Scottish Government's growth plans.

"As our new Trade and Investment Strategy outlines, we must do all we can to build on the strong relations we enjoy with other countries, to further raise Scotland's profile as a globally competitive and innovative nation, and to support Scottish businesses looking to expand into overseas markets.

"SDI will lead the implementation of the strategy, which involves public and private sector partners working together to equip up to 10,000 more Scottish businesses with the skills to go international, and will support up to 35,000 jobs through the attraction of foreign investment by 2015.

"My visit to China presents a valuable opportunity to support these aims through direct engagement with this key emerging growth market. That is absolutely in line with the Scottish Government's own growth strategy, which is firmly focused on helping Scottish companies expand into key growth markets, like China.

"While there I will be looking to build on Vice Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to Scotland and a series of recent successful negotiations which have highlighted the strengthening of ties between our two nations, and will pave the way for major expansion potential which could deliver exciting prospects for the Scottish economy.

"These include the development of a strategic partnership between INEOS and PetroChina that is supporting jobs and investment at Grangemouth refinery; the recent agreement to allow Scottish salmon exports into China for the first time; China's decision to give Scotch Whisky legal protection with a Geographical Indication of Origin (GI) status; and the transfer of two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo as part of China's breeding programme.

"The Scottish Government is committed to taking robust action to secure growth for Scotland's economy by further strengthening our relationships with China and overseas markets across the globe. Our new strategy outlines how we will take forward this important work."

Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: "By attracting foreign investment into Scotland and helping Scottish companies to trade internationally, we have a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, significant impact on the Scottish economy.

"Although we are now seeing signs that Scotland's economy is strengthening there will undoubtedly be new challenges and opportunities which we will need to respond to, and we must continue to inspire international ambition among Scottish companies and nurture the already strong relationships that Scotland has with the international investment community.

"The expertise of our staff based across our global network of 22 overseas trade and investment offices is a highly valuable resource for Scottish companies and potential inward investors, and together with our Scottish-based teams, and our partner organisations, we are using every avenue to deliver even better results for Scottish exports.

"This strategy gives clear direction which will allow us to make the right decisions as we move forward, working in partnership with our Team Scotland partners to deliver greater economic growth for Scotland."

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

18 Mar
2011

SWA Calls For Excise Reform & Duty Freeze

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has called on the Government to back a key UK industry in the forthcoming Budget.

The industry’s submission to the Treasury highlights that Scotch Whisky:

  • Faces discrimination in the excise duty system so that consumers pay up to 250% more tax for choosing Scotch Whisky than other drinks
  • An anticipated 6.6% duty rise will adversely affect distillers who have already been hit by duty increases of over 20% since 2008, while delivering little added Government revenue
  • Remains one of the UK’s top exports, accounting for almost 25% of all UK food & drink exports and earning £99 every second for the balance of trade
  • Has faced a 100% increase in cereal prices and 30% increase in energy prices, impacting local producers, including many small businesses

The SWA is calling for a freeze on spirits duty in next week’s Budget (23 March) as a first step to introducing a fairer and more responsible system of alcohol taxation.

Gavin Hewitt, SWA Chief Executive, said: “Scotch Whisky can only be made in Scotland and makes a unique contribution to the economy, particularly in fragile urban and rural communities. A projected 6.6% tax rise on top of recent VAT and excise duty increases will further penalise both the industry and consumers.

“This is unfair to a key sector of British manufacturing, and for the millions of people who enjoy Scotch Whisky every year.

“The Government has consistently said it will do whatever it can to assist the industry at home and abroad. We welcome this support and ask the Government to make good its promise in the home market, with a freeze on duty levels for Scotch Whisky in next week’s Budget.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

18 Mar
2011

Tides to power whisky distilleries

Tidal power, hitherto one of the poor relations of the renewable energy sector, will take a substantial leap forward with a major new undersea development off the west coast of Scotland, announced yesterday.

An array of ten tidal turbines, the largest, and indeed the first of its kind in the world, is to be installed on the seabed in the Sound of Islay, the channel between the islands of Islay and Jura.

It is envisaged that the electricity it will produce – ten megawatts – will be enough to power the whole of Islay, including three of the island’s ten world-famous whisky distilleries. The drinks multinational Diageo, owner of the Lagavulin, Caol Ila and Port Ellen distilleries, has already signed a commercial agreement to take the power the tidal array produces.

The Scottish government has approved the £40m plan from ScottishPower Renewables (SPR), which seeks to take advantage of the strong tidal flows and shelter from storms offered by the narrow sound, only half a mile wide at its narrowest point, and selected after a UK-wide survey.

“With around a quarter of Europe's potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity, Scotland's seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland,” said Scotland’s Finance and Sustainable Growth Secretary, John Swinney. “This development – the largest tidal array in the world – does just that, and will be a milestone in the global development of tidal energy.”

The project will use HS1000 tidal turbines developed by the Norwegian company Hammerfest Strøm AS, partly-owned owned by Iberdrola (SPR’s parent). Seen as one of the world’s most advanced tidal turbine designs, a prototype device has been generating electricity in Norway for over 6 years. The company is currently constructing the first HS1000 device that will go into waters off Orkney later this year.

“The testing of the HS1000 machine in Orkney this year will help us to finalise our timetable for the demonstration project in Islay, but we will begin work on the project in 2012 and plan to have machines installed as early as feasible during the period 2013 to 2015,” said ScottishPower Renewables’ Chief Executive, Keith Anderson.

“Tidal power has long been considered as one of Scotland’s most valuable renewable energy resources, and we have discussed its potential for many years. Today’s announcement moves the whole marine renewables industry forward in Scotland and the UK.”

Article Courtesy of The Independent

 

The Independent

16 Mar
2011

Handheld device can detect counterfeit whisky and wine

Researchers at Leicester University’s Space Research Centre are working with colleagues at De Montfort University to create a handheld device that will detect fake whisky and wine through the bottles they are contained in.

The research project to crack down on counterfeit whisky and wine is being supported by the Food and Drink iNet.

The technique used by the device will rely on detecting the characteristics of light reflected from printed packaging on the bottles using spectroscopic imaging.

The technology has already been adapted for use in the pharmaceutical world by the Leicester team in conjunction with university spin-out company Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International, a specialist crime and security consultancy.

Now the technique is being re-purposed again for use in detecting fake liquids, with experts at De Montfort University providing skills in product design and rapid prototyping so that a handheld device can be created.

’The support from the Food and Drink iNet will allow us to take the technology and apply it in the case of whisky and fine wines,’ said Tim Maskell, knowledge transfer manager in the Space Research Centre at Leicester University.

The project is one of five Collaborative Research and Development grants worth a total of more than £235,000 announced by the Food and Drink iNet, which co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. The team has been awarded £50,000 towards the almost £71,000 cost of the research project.

The team is working with the Scotch Whisky Research Institute and Leicestershire brewery Everards to help with the research and product trials.

Article Courtesy of The Engineer

 

The Engineer

12 Mar
2011

Whisky firms boosts charity’s efforts with £7000 donation

WHISKY workers have donated £7,000 to a charity that helps people with multiple sclerosis.

Chivas Brothers, in Renfrew Road, Paisley, has handed the cash over to the Paisley and District branch of the MS Society Scotland.

The organisation was chosen by staff as their Charity of the Year 2011 at the company’s west of Scotland sites – the bottling plant in Paisley, the Strathclyde Distillery in Glasgow, its warehouse depot in Airdrie and its Willowyard and Balgray warehouse depots in Beith, North Ayrshire.

As part of the Chivas Brothers charity policy, staff across all 30 locations were invited to nominate and vote for four Charities of the Year, with the Paisley and District branch of the MS Society receiving the most votes in the Greater Glasgow region – and it was also selected to receive £7,000 by employees in northern Scotland, making it a double celebration for the charity.

The Paisley branch has joined forces with the team at Glasgow organisation Revive MS Support to offer physiotherapy, reflexology and aromatherapy in Ralston.

Pauline McKinney, head fundraiser for the Paisley and District branch, said: “This money will be used for the outreach centre. Currently, we have sessions once a month on the second Thursday of the month for 20 people. This costs £6,000 a year to run, so now we will be able to double that to two sessions a month and help 40 people.

“To the good people at Chivas, I would say: ‘Thank you so much’.”

Around 600 people in Renfrewshire alone have MS, with 10,500 patients across the country, and the MS Society is the country’s largest charity for people affected by the condition.

The illness is caused by damage to the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system. This is known as the myelin and, when affected, causes interference with messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

Vanessa Wright, of Chivas Brothers, said: “We are delighted to be making this donation to the local branch of the MS Society, and hope that this funding will result in even more people affected by MS benefiting from the charity’s excellent support and advice.

“As a leading employer in the Greater Glasgow area, we understand the importance of giving back to the local communities in which we operate.

“This donation is all the more special because it was nominated and voted for by our employees.”

Angela Stirling, chair of the Paisley and District branch, said the donation will make a big difference.

She added: “This is wonderful news and everyone at our branch is so grateful to Chivas Brothers for their generosity. People affected by MS in this area will benefit hugely from this donation.

“The MS Society is like a second family for me and funds such as this allow us to support even more people. Thank you.”

Chivas Brothers’ other Charities of the Year 2011 are MS Society Scotland (Northern Scotland region), Alzheimer Scotland (Dumbarton region) and Macmillan Cancer Support (London).

The Paisley & District branch would like to invite MS patients and their carers to meetings on the third Tuesday of every month at St Mirin Cathedral Parish Hall from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Article Courtesy of Paisley Daily Express

 

Paisley Daily Express

09 Mar
2011

£13,000 whisky a treasure laid down in 1940

Glenlivet is world’s oldest and most expensive single malt as it goes on sale

The world's oldest and most expensive single malt was unveiled in the regal surroundings of Edinburgh Castle yesterday by a Moray whisky specialist.

Anyone buying the 70-year-old Glenlivet from family-owned Gordon & Macphail, of Elgin, will need deep pockets as a 70cl decanter is priced at £13,000. That makes a pub nip worth £464.28.

Joint managing director Michael Urquhart, who runs the business with his brother David, is expecting huge interest from whisky connoisseurs worldwide in the first batch of 100 full-size decanters and 175 smaller 20cl versions, each of which are priced at £3,200.

The rare bottling comes from a Williams and Humbert first filled sherry butt cask, one of 15 that Mr Urquhart's grandfather, John, ordered to be laid down at The Glenlivet Distillery on February 3, 1940.

Several of the casks remain with Gordon & Macphail after being moved from Glenlivet to its bonded warehouse in Elgin in 1980.

The new bottling joins the firm's new Generations label. The hope is the rare Glenlivet will emulate the success of a 70-year-old Mortlach unveiled to launch the label last year. All the decanters of it sold within a fortnight, despite a £10,000 price tag.

Gordon & Macphail, which has an annual turnover of £20million and 135 staff, has the world's biggest collection of greatly aged whiskies. It exports to 50 countries.

The firm has always broken the mould and throughout the early 1900s was viewed as eccentric for laying down single malt casks and selling whisky from them at a time when others in the trade were only selling blends.

The 70-year-old Glenlivet was distilled five months after the start of World War II and three months before Winston Churchill became prime minister.

Shortly afterwards whisky distillation was curtailed to preserve barley, while distillers diverted their products from domestic markets to the US in an effort to earn more.

Yesterday there was general agreement from those who were given a dram that it tasted like nectar.

Guests were taken back to 1940 with Richard and Fiona Urquhart, members of the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the business, dressing in period costume to unveil it to the sounds of a big band in the castle's Queen Anne room.

Whisky expert and author Charles Maclean summed up the dram as voluptuous, stupendous and smooth.

He added: “The first aroma is of an old cocktail cabinet, with sherry notes predominating. Behind this are fruity notes, light baked apples – even tarte tatin – but also fresh orange juice, and just a thread of smoke or ash in the distance."

The Urquharts are in no doubt the dram will sell.

Michael added: “We are confident the interest will be widespread throughout the world. We do have an unrivalled range of greatly aged whiskies and there will be a further release next year."

The cask-strength whisky has an alcohol by volume content of 45.9%, which is in itself remarkable. Alcohol normally evaporates as the whisky matures. The high level from this cask signifies the whisky was distilled well over proof.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

08 Mar
2011

Secret Highland recipe seals deal for whisky at awards

Glenmorangie Signet hailed for its ‘sublime flavour’ after winning top prize in magazine’s competition

A Highland dram made from a secret recipe has been hailed as king after topping the industry Oscars.

The single malt Glenmorangie Signet so impressed the judges that the Easter Ross-produced drink was named Highland Malt of the Year at the prestigious global Whisky Magazine Awards 2011.

Glenmorangie Signet came through intensive rounds of blind tastings from a global panel of experts to win its crown at the Whisky Magazine 2011 Awards.

They are regarded as the Oscars of the industry, and like Colin Firth’s performance in The King’s Speech, the judges apparently liked the rich and regal finish of Signet created from a secret combination of the oldest and rarest Glenmorangie whiskies using high roasted “chocolate” malted barley.

The single malt is described as the deepest amber in colour delivering notes of cocoa, mocha, plum pudding, and baked apricots.

The competition was chaired by international whisky expert Dave Broom.

Winners progressed through three rounds of blind tastings to emerge as the victors in their categories.

At a previous Whisky Magazine awards ceremony The Glenmorangie Company was hailed as innovator of the year by the judges due to the bold steps taken with the brand. The man behind Glenmorangie Signet is Bill Lumsden who was recently given an outstanding achievement award by the international wine and spirit competition for his work as a pioneer of wood management and cask selection.

Glenmorangie say the “sublime flavour and rich velvet texture” of Signet comes from it being matured in exclusive casks.

Mr Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation at Glenmorangie said: “Signet is an icon in its own right having beaten competition from all over the world.

“Glenmorangie is all about going the extra mile and producing whisky that is unnecessarily well made. Glenmorangie Signet is a rich, super premium spirit that will appeal to those who seek character and depth.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

07 Mar
2011

Richard Paterson is Named Whisky Ambassador of the Year

Whyte & Mackay Master Blender, Richard Paterson has been named ‘Whisky Ambassador of the Year’ at Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards.

Last year, Richard celebrated 40 years in the whisky industry and the award recognises his service to not only to Whyte & Mackay but to his continual efforts to promote whisky all over the globe, in the fun and engaging manner that has earned him a legion of fans.

Richard said of the award: “It’s an honour to receive this award from Whisky Magazine and it means a great deal to me that my fellow whisky peers respect the work I am doing. Over the last 40 years I have had the privilege to work in the whisky industry and travel the world over meeting many many whisky enthusiasts. I have created some very special whiskies along the way including the first whisky to break the £100,000 barrier and just recently I got to sample the Shackleton whisky which has to be one of the greatest highpoints of my career.”

He continued: “I am delighted to achieve this award for a job I genuinely find a pleasure to do.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

07 Mar
2011

Planners deem whisky distillery plan on Cambo Estate a dram good idea

Fife may soon be the source of a new tipple after the green light was given for production of the amber nectar.

Planning permission and listed building consent has been issued for the creation of a micro distillery, cafe and visitor centre at East Newhall Farm, on Cambo Estate.

Those behind the Kingsbarns Company of Distillers hope to soon start transforming the 18th century steading to produce Scotland's national drink.

Doug Clement and his team have been working on the venture for two years and are delighted that the way has now been paved for it to become a reality.

They have completed the first phase of fund-raising and are about to embark on the second, which includes a Doos o' the Doocot membership scheme for those who want to become involved but cannot afford the thousands of pounds needed to become full investors.

Fifer Doug has travelled to the opposite side of the world to prepare for setting up the artisan, craft distillery, spending the last two winters in Tasmania.

The "Whisky Island", as it is increasingly becoming known, has seven working craft distilleries. Doug has secured Bill Lark, the "Australian grandfather of whisky", as the company's whisky consultant.

Break from tradition

He said, "With his help, Kingsbarns intends to produce a single malt that breaks free from the traditional 'Lowland lady' light, sweet and floral style, and instead produce a lightly-peated, full-bodied malt with a big finish.

"We also intend to produce non-matured spirits-gin, schnapps and a liqueur — and create Fife's first distillery visitor centre by the home of golf, encompassing the Doocot Tasting Room, shop, mill cafe and tours."

A projected micro-distillery near Ladybank failed to materialise due to a lack of investors, but Doug pointed out the Kingbarns Distillery was a very different concept he was confident would succeed.

He said, "Ladybank was set up as a private members club, so when they opened only members and their guests could to visit. We on the other hand will be open to the public and are projecting around 30,000 visitors a year.

"We will not be a private members club like Ladybank would have been, but will be open to everyone. Our location on the main Edinburgh-to-St Andrews coastal touring route and our magnificent historic steading give us a clear advantage over the Ladybank site.

"We have already built relationships with the local golf tour operators, golf courses and hotels, including Fairmont St Andrews, who will all be sending customers our way to learn how to make our national drink, single malt scotch whisky.

"Currently the 750,000 to one million visitors who come to St Andrews each year have to travel outside the Kingdom of Fife to Tullibardine or Edradour to visit a distillery.

"Although there is a private farm distillery outside Cupar, at Daftmill, they do not have visitor facilities and visits are by prior appointment only."

Despite the tough economic conditions, Doug said continued booming demand for malt Scotch whisky across the world meant their initial phase of fund-raising in 2009 was extremely successful.

Article Courtesy of Dundee Courier

 

 

Dundee Courier

05 Mar
2011

Chivas Brothers boss says business growing in biggest Middle East markets

Whisky giant resilient despite political upheaval

ONE of the world’s largest whisky companies said yesterday it had so far avoided any significant impact of growing unrest in the Middle East.

Chivas Brothers, which owns brands including Chivas Regal, the Glenlivet and Ballantine’s, plus other whiskies and gins, said despite political upheaval in the region it was still seeing growth in its biggest Middle East markets.

Chief executive Christian Porta also said the company hoped to increase sales in Latin America and the Far East as whisky exports continued to rise.

He said: “We are achieving strong growth in places like Brazil, Russia, India and China, and we want to continue to build in those countries in the future.

“Our biggest markets in the Middle East are . . . Israel, Lebanon and Dubai, and so far we have not been affected there. Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have been very small markets for us.”

Mr Porta added that Chivas Brothers did not rely on one part of the world for the majority of its exports. He said: “We are quite lucky in that Scotch whisky is a premium drink with a consumption that is well spread across the globe, so we are not just dependent on one region.”

He said Chivas Brothers was optimistic about future sales of its key products thanks to a changing market.

He said increasing demand for exclusive whiskies meant the firm could take advantage of its 30.5% market share in super premium and 43.8% share in prestige whiskies, adding: “We expect more and more consumers to want to drink better products.

“Considering Chivas Brothers’ extensive inventory in these categories it is a very positive trend for us, and one which we are optimistic will lead to increased sales of our top brands.”

Chivas Brothers is part of the Pernod Ricard group, which also counts Absolut vodka and the Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes as part of its portfolio.

Last month, the parent posted half-year results which revealed underlying sales for the six months to December 31 were £3.6billion, while profits from continuing operations were just over £1billion.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

03 Mar
2011

Isle of Skye Whisky to sponsor Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse

Isle Of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky is the new sponsor of the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse - the richest hurdle race in Scotland.

The £50,000 Grade 2 race is run on April 16, Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday, and has been sponsored since 1997 by Samsung Electronics.

The sponsorship is the latest stage in the brand development for Isle of Skye by its owners, Ian Macleod Distillers, which aims to raise the profile of the award-winning Blended Scotch throughout Scotland’s racecourses and beyond. As well as being the official whisky sponsor of the 2011 Scottish Racing ‘Trainers’ Championship’, Isle of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky is the official whisky partner at all five Scottish racecourses - Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth. Isle of Skye is also the proud sponsor of Scotland’s number one National hunt racehorse trainer, Lucinda Russell and her team at Arlary House Stables.

Iain Weir, Marketing Director for Ian Macleod Distillers, brand owners of Isle of Skye commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse. This is one of the most prestigious events in the racing calendar, built on values of tradition and excellence that sits very well with Isle of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky.”

Alan Macdonald, Chairman of Ayr Racecourse, said : “The Scottish Champion Hurdle is one of the highlights of the National hunt season, not only in Scotland but in the UK. It has a great history and I am delighted to welcome Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky as sponsors of the race.

“Isle of Skye is not only a leading brand but also has a great association with racing and I feel this is a great fit. Everyone at Ayr Racecourse looks forward to working with the team at Isle of Skye to make this year's race one of the best ever.”

The Scottish Champion Hurdle was first run in 1966 when the winner was Blue Venom. It was awarded Grade 2 status in 1991 and was run on the opening day of the two day Scottish Grand National meeting until 1994 when it moved to the Saturday.

Previous winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Captain Christy in 1973, Alderbrook in 1996 ( a year after winning the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham ) and Martin Pipe's Granville Again in 1992. Last year's winner was the Donald McCain trained Overturn ridden by Timmy Murphy.

Andy Turnell, Richard Dunwoody and Peter Scudamore have each ridden three winners of the race and Tony McCoy, Jamie Osborne, Richard Johnson and Jonjo O'Neill have all tasted victory in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

03 Mar
2011

Grant’s – new premium whisky packs

William Grant & Sons Ltd. has announced the global roll-out of new, premium packaging for two variants in the Grant’s range. Award winning Grant’s Sherry Cask Finish and Grant’s Ale Cask Finish now come with an informative neck label featuring details about Grant’s Master Blender, Brian Kinsman, the Grant’s coopers and production notes about each liquid.

In addition, a new luxury carton encases each bottle, which together with the new label, helps tell Grant’s rich history of stories and craftsmanship.

Grant’s blended Scotch whisky has a history of innovative packaging. The bottle’s iconic, triangular shape was first introduced by renowned graphic designer Hans Schleger in November 1956 – a ground breaking move which ensures Grant’s remains distinctive to this day.

Kate Athanasi, Grant’s Global Brand Director says: “Through the introduction of premium packaging, whisky lovers can discover more about our heritage and the high standards of quality and craftsmanship that makes these blends exceptionally special.”

Grant’s Ale Cask Finish is the only scotch to be finished in barrels that have previously held ale. Grant’s Sherry Cask Finish is a blend of the finest scotch whiskies finished in handpicked casks from Spain that previously held Oloroso Sherry giving it a unique richness and creaminess.

The new, premium packaging will be available for Grant’s Sherry Cask Finish and Grant’s Ale Cask Finish exclusively in Canada, France and the UK from the beginning of 2011.

Article Courtesy of Talking Retail

 

Talking Retail

02 Mar
2011

£1400 whisky gives jobs boost to Scots

One of the most expensive whiskies in the world is enjoying soaring sales, even though the price ranges from £100 to £1400.

Whisky lovers in China and India are lapping up Royal Salute, the brand launched for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and which is “bottled” in Paisley and Dumbarton.

In fact, the whisky comes in a porcelain flagon and buyers think nothing of spending £100 on the cheapest in the range. The dearest brand sells for about £1400 and is poured into a handmade crystal decanter decorated in 24-carat gold.

Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard has revealed Royal Salute and Chivas Regal are among its top sellers, helping to protect the 1000 jobs at its west Scotland plants.

Pernod chiefs say Royal salute achieved “remarkable growth” for the six months to September after sales soared by almost a third to 31%, particularly in Asia and China.

Chivas Regal sales jumped 11% after it attracted a bigger following across South America, China, India, Vietnam, Japan and Asia.

Union negotiator Billy Parker, of Unite, said: “The last two years were bad for the industry but I am delighted things are beginning to pick up again.

“More sales growth should mean more job security.”

Brand director Neil Macdonald said: “Royal Salute’s sparkling performance demonstrates the unquenched enthusiasm in Asia and China specifically for prestige luxury spirits.

“Royal Salute’s name evokes powerful connotations of wealth, prestige and luxury.”

With another big Royal event looming – the April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton – the firm and workers are hoping its name will help spark another souvenir sales boom.

Article Courtesy of Glasgow Evening Times

 

 

Glasgow Evening Times
February 2011 Scotch Whisky News

28 Feb
2011

Milestone for Moray group hoping to set up museum

Dufftown committee takes step forward with purchase of ‘Maureen’s fruit shop’

A Moray community group’s ambition to set up an independent museum and heritage centre has taken a step forward.

The Dufftown 2000 committee, which has been running for 15 years, aims to promote the area’s varied history and the distilleries around it.

The group set up a whisky museum in Fife Street in 2001, but they could not renew their lease in 2009, meaning many of their items had to be put into storage at Mortlach maltings.

Members have now bought the run-down “Maureen’s fruit shop” in Conval Street, which they hope to transform into a museum and heritage centre.

They are already using the shop next door to display some items, but can only house a handful of the group’s full collection.

Dufftown 2000 director Glo Ramon said she was delighted the group had managed to find the £30,000 to buy the building.

The money was raised through Dufftown 2000’s annual whisky festivals and ceilidhs, and donations.

Mrs Ramon said: “It’s a big step forward but now we are looking for funding to renovate it.”

The cost of refurbishment would be likely to reach £60,000 to £70,000.

The group hopes any Dufftown-related artefacts which are housed elsewhere in Moray can be brought back to the village. They have already held a meeting with Moray Council’s libraries and museums manager Alistair Campbell to discuss this.

Mrs Ramon said: “It looks very promising. He’s giving us a lot of help, but it’s going to take time. The building needs gutting out and treating for dry rot.

“A lot depends on funding, but this is a milestone.”

She added: “It’s a big achievement for us, as we needed the premises to start up the museum, but now we haven’t got much left in the kitty.”

Mrs Ramon said, however, that Dufftown 2000 had already contacted various funding bodies who had given positive responses about potential grants.

“We are quite chuffed with ourselves,” she added.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

28 Feb
2011

Strong results at whisky company

THE company behind the rejuvenation of Tullibardine distillery has posted strong profits on the back of increased case sales and growth in its distillation business, in which its spirit is sold to the makers of blended whisky.

Tullibardine, which is based in Blackford, Perthshire, reported a retained profit of £515,248 for the year to the end of May 2010.

Doug Ross, one of four founders, also said Tullibardine was re-focusing its marketing effort on the UK, Canada and Europe. Except for a small presence in Taiwan, it would not follow the droves of whisky firms into China and India.

He said: “We put our toe into Asia and came to the conclusion the experience would be more bleeding edge than leading edge.

“The industry remains buoyant and for a company our size, Canada and the US in particular are good, growing markets.”

The distillery had been mothballed for a decade until it was rescued by four entrepreneurs in 2003.

Founders Ross and Michael Beamish came up with the plan to buy the distillery in 1999 after meeting on a golf course, and later brought in accountants Alastair Russell and Alan Williamson.

The change in marketing strategy follows the recent decision by Mr Beamish to step down as a full-time director into a non-executive role – although he will retain his shareholding.

Article Courtesy of The Scottish Herald

 

The Scottish Herald

23 Feb
2011

Grant’s Whisky unveils retail unit at Paris Charles de Gaulle

Grant’s blended Scotch whisky has partnered with Aelia to set up an exclusive brand store at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s T2E during February. The initiative is described as the brand’s “largest high profile activity in global travel retail”.

The activity is an important step in William Grant & Sons’ strategy to reposition the Grant’s family of whiskies within global travel retail as a premium brand, the company said.

“William Grant & Sons has a very strong relationship with Aelia; the same outlet was chosen for the global premiere of Glenfiddich 50yo in 2009 with great success and in September 2010 we took the same space for activity highlight Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Grant’s,” said William Grant & Sons Global Marketing Manager Ian Taylor.

“Grant’s is a very strong brand in the airport; we have seen real success in selling the premium and super premium offerings. Grant’s also has an excellent following in the French domestic market. Therefore it made sense to choose Charles de Gaulle, as one of the world’s key airports, to take our next step and create this exclusive Grant’s Whisky retail store,” he added.

The shop puts the Grant’s brand family firmly centre stage, highlighting the breadth and quality of the range and accentuating its premium crafted nature, the brand owner said.

Available in the Grant’s Whisky Shop will be Grant’s Family Reserve, Grant’s Ale Cask Reserve, Grant’s Sherry Cask Reserve, Grant’s Distillery Edition, Grant’s 12yo, and Grant’s 25yo.

William Grant & Sons Global Travel Retail Director Rita Greenwood said: “Global travel retail is an important showcase for the brand and has been a vital component of the premiumisation strategy, particularly with the launch of Grant’s 25yo and the Distillery Edition.

“In the last 12 months we have supported this with a number of high profile promotions in key airports offering travellers the opportunity to taste a variety of Grant’s whiskies, comparing and contrasting the very different qualities of each.

“This has proved extremely successful. The Charles de Gaulle promotion now takes this quest to the next level. We are very excited to see how consumers will react to seeing Grant’s being presented in such an impactful and premium way.”

Article Courtesy of Moodie Report

 

Moodie Report

21 Feb
2011

Whisky Connoisseurs Will Unite in Las Vegas

The first Universal Whisky Experience, a two-day gathering of some of the finest and rare whiskies, connoisseurs, collectors, blenders and distillers, will convene on March 18 and 19 at the Wynn Encore resort and casino in Las Vegas. Created by longtime whisky collector and enthusiast Mahesh Patel, the weekend will consist of pairings and tastings from more than 25 distilleries and the Encore chefs, including Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare.

“The purpose of this weekend,” says Patel, “is to gather the country’s most passionate whisky lovers for tasting experiences they would not normally have access to.… Our distillery partners are excited about reaching this ‘best of the best’ connoisseur and the opportunity to speak with them about their whiskies thoughtfully and in a one-on-one atmosphere.”

The Universal Whisky Experience will kick off with a reception on Friday night, and the whiskies being served include Patel’s favorite names, including the 40-year-old Dalmore Astrum, Glenfarclas 1966 (exclusive to this show), Ardbeg 1974 Single Cask, and more. Tickets are $525 per person or $235 for a companion ticket. (770.817.0727, www.universalwhiskyexperience.com)

Article Courtesy of Robb Report

 

Robb Report

19 Feb
2011

Whisky brands could change hands as US owner eyes sale

Fortune said to have hired investment firms to advise on spirit business disposal

Three whiskies could be about to change hands as American owner Fortune Brands looks to offload its spirit business.

Fortune, whose brands include Jim Beam bourbon, was said yesterday to have hired Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and adviser Centreview to sell its spirit arm.

Any deal struck will mean a new home for the Laphroaig and Ardmore single malts plus the Teacher’s blended whisky.

UK drink giant Diageo, the company behind Johnnie Walker and a host of other whiskies, and France’s Pernod Ricard – whose portfolio includes Scotch labels Chivas Regal, The Glenvlivet and Ballantine’s – are both understood to have hired advisers in relation to Fortune’s sale.

Representatives of Diageo and Pernod Ricard – which posted annual results yesterday – refused to comment.

It is thought Diageo is particularly keen to get its hands on Jim Beam and then use its vast distribution network to build the brand into stronger competition to Jack Daniel’s in the global bourbon market.

Illinois-based Fortune said in December it was to split its golf and home-product interests, raising the odds for a takeover of its most profitable business of alcoholic drinks amid pressure from activist investor William Ackman.

The company, which once owned the Whyte and Mackay whisky brand, acquired Laphroaig, Ardmore and Teacher’s as part of the spoils when takeover partner Pernod bought out UK rival Allied Domecq in 2005.

Pernod and Fortune agreed to divide up the Allied business to address regulatory concerns.

Strong growth in Asia and an improved outlook led to Pernod raising its annual profit target yesterday.

The group – whose portfolio also includes Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin and the Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes – said global economic conditions had improved during the last six months of 2010, led by China and India.

Chief executive Pierre Pringuet said organic growth from recurring operations was likely to hit 7% during the current trading year, slightly above the firm’s previous forecast. The company said that Asia remained the growth driver as it reported a 7% rise in underlying sales to £3.6billion for the six months to December 31.

Profits from continuing operations were up by 8% to just over £1billion.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said it had appointed Diageo chief executive and Scotch Whisky Association chairman Paul Walsh as lead non-executive director for two years.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said: “His experience and business insight will prove invaluable as we work with industry to secure unprecedented levels of investment in our energy sector.”

The European Union gave its final approval yesterday to a free trade deal with South Korea, the world's 15th largest economy, in a move eliminating import duty in a key market for whisky.

MEPs ratified the deal, which has been hailed as a model for future agreements with other Asian nations.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

18 Feb
2011

The Dalmore Releases Castle Leod Whisky

The Dalmore has released a limited edition whisky called Castle Leod, named after the spiritual home of the Mackenzie clan, to raise much needed funds to help return the Scottish castle to its former glory.

The move follows the successful launch last year of the brand’s Mackenzie expression, which saw 3,000 bottles sell out in less than nine months across the world, raising more than £20,000 towards castle restoration and other clan projects.

This time there will be 5,000 bottles of Dalmore Castle Leod produced with an RSP of £100, and according to Richard Paterson, the creator of this new release, this one will sell even faster than the Mackenzie whisky.

The Dalmore has a long association with the Mackenzie clan. Not only did the family once own the Highland distillery, their clan symbol - the royal stag - sits on each and every bottle of the Dalmore in a tribute to its regal heritage and aristocratic pedigree. In 1263, a member of the clan saved King Alexander III of Scotland from a charging stag and was subsequently granted the honour of using the 12-point royal stag as their crest. That in turn has been adopted by The Dalmore, along with the clan’s motto I Shine, Not Burn.

Castle Leod is nestled in the Scottish highlands just 14 miles from the Dalmore distillery. Built in 1606, it is still one of the few castles in Scotland that was built and occupied by direct descendents of the original family owners.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

18 Feb
2011

Three in a Row for The Whisky Exchange

The Whisky Exchange has scooped Independent Spirit Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Glengoyne, for the third time in a row at The Drinks Retailing Awards 2011.

Presented in a glittering ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday 1 February, the awards recognise the most outstanding retailers in the take-home drinks market, bringing together the leading lights in retail to recognise innovation and best practice across the sector. This year’s event was hosted by TV presenter and wine expert Olly Smith and marks 10 years of the prestigious awards, known in the industry to have one of the most rigorous and thorough judging processes in the business.

Sukhinder Singh of The Whisky Exchange said of the Award: “It is a real honour and true testament to the dedication and skill of the whole team to be awarded this prestigious title for the third year in a row. It is fantastic that great brands like Glengoyne are supporting independent retailers as they are a much loved by whisky enthusiasts.”

Neil Boyd, UK Commercial Manager for Ian Macleod Distillers commented: “Independents and specialists have a vital role to play in today’s marketplace which is why we chose to sponsor this important category. We were very impressed with the quality of the entrants and would like to congratulate The Whisky Exchange on a great hat-trick of awards.”

Multi Gold Award-winning Glengoyne is one of the leading premium malt whiskies in the world and has been distilled at Glengoyne distillery since 1833. The Glengoyne portfolio consists of the 10 Years Old, 12 Years Old, 12 Years Old Cask Strength, 17 Years Old , 21 Years Old and Vintage 1972 as well as other limited edition special bottlings.

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt is distilled slower than any other Scotch whisky. Its high quality and smooth taste is attributed to this slow distillation, which is about one third the normal rate.

For further details on stockists and distribution details for Glengoyne and other Ian MacLeod Distillers brands, contact Alan Wardrop, UK Sales Manager, Ian Macleod Distillers, 01506 852205.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

17 Feb
2011

'Exceptional' Tomatin whisky packaging designs a Breeze

Tomatin Distillery has released two "exceptional" limited edition single cask bottlings, with designs created by Breeze Creative.

Matured in a refill Bourbon cask, the 36 Year Old 1973 will be available worldwide but the majority of the 184 bottles the cask yielded will be sold in Western Europe retailing at £450.

From an Oloroso sherry puncheon, the 1982 expression is limited to 560 bottles and will be offered to distributors around the world.

Designed by Craig Mackinlay of Breeze Creative, who developed the Tomatin core range of 12, 15 and 18 year whiskies, each of the new releases is presented in an ultra heavy weight glass bottle, sealed with a coated glass stopper and finished off with a neck tag. The wooden boxes, manufactured by Mount Gabriel, have a luxurious velvet lining.

Mackinlay commented: "It is encouraging in the current economic climate that people across the globe are still so enthused and interested in Scotch whisky and are prepared to invest in bottlings that offer a new sensorial experience."

Article Courtesy of The Drum

 

The Drum

15 Feb
2011

Rare whisky blend created

A WHISKY giant has created a “priceless” blend to mark a major golf championship.

Chivas Brothers, which has its world headquarters in Paisley’s Renfrew Road, has brought together its master blender Sandy Hyslop and the 2010 Ballantine's Championship winner Marcus Fraser to create the ‘2011 Championship Blend’.

The company said the blend is a limited edition of just 10 bottles made from what Chivas describes as “rare and precious” whiskies aged for at least 38 years.

And, of these rare bottles of Ballentine’s, one will be presented to the winner of the forthcoming championship, while another will be auctioned for charity during the tournament in April.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, said he was delighted that such a distinct tradition has been established.

He added: “We are excited to once again be unveiling an exceptionally rare and exclusive blend for the Ballantine’s Championship.

“Marcus was triumphant last year, demonstrating real flair in his efforts, and has extended this sense of style to whisky blending too.

“We wish Marcus every success in April, when he returns to South Korea to defend his Ballantine’s Championship title.”

The creation of an exclusive blend has become an annual tradition ahead of the £2.2million Ballantine’s Championship golf tournament, which this year will take place at the Blackstone Golf Club in Icheon, Korea, from April 28, to May 1.

Chivas Master Blender Sandy personally guided Fraser through the delicate blending process.

He said: “The 2011 Ballantine’s Championship Blend is completely bespoke and it is absolutely first class.

On no account could a whisky of this quality be produced on a commercial scale, because the whiskies we have blended are so precious and rare.”

Ballantine’s is the No 1 ultra-premium whisky in Asia Pacific and the No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe, selling more than 70 million bottles a year worldwide, according to the company.

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of French-owned Pernod Ricard.

Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers and Clan Campbell.

Article Courtesy of Paisley Daily Express

 

Paisley Daily Express

12 Feb
2011

Quick drink brings luck as anglers hook first River Spey salmon

Promising start to season as 13-pounder rises to the fly

A bottle of malt whisky flowed into the fast-running waters of the River Spey yesterday, marking the start of the salmon fishing season.

Fishermen gathered at the Spey Foot bridge at Alice Littler Park at Aberlour for the traditional opening ceremony, which is said to bring good luck.

Anglers savoured an early-morning dram and a piece of shortbread while they watched proceedings at the riverside.

Ishbel Grant, director of Glenfarclas Distillery, poured an entire bottle of Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt into the Spey, before Craigellachie-based angler Brian Doran gave a speech on behalf of the anglers.

He commended the ghillies for their work throughout the fishing season.

Mr Doran said: “They are the unsung heroes of the river, and are under-appreciated. They work hard to make our fishing so enjoyable.”

Local minister the Rev Shuna Dicks blessed the river and Alan Sinclair gave a short performance on the bagpipes, before the anglers set out on beats along the Spey.

They were all competing for the Spey Quaich, which is awarded to the person who catches the first fresh-run salmon of the season.

Any catch had to be caught using fly rod and line only, and had to be verified by the ghillie in attendance.

Evie Glass, 57, from Newtonmore, caught the first fish, on the Orton beat, at 10.30am. It weighed 13lb.

Ms Glass – the second female to win the Spey Quaich – also received a bottle of Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary Highland Single Malt and a Walkers of Aberlour hamper.

Her ghillie, Andrew Hall, was also given a bottle and hamper.

A prize also went to the person who caught the heaviest fish, aside from the Spey Quaich winner.

Dave Smillie, 52, caught a salmon weighing 11lb on the Delagyle beat, at about 11am yesterday.

Mr Smillie, who is originally from Elgin, but now lives in Perth, was presented with a bottle of whisky and a hamper, as was his ghillie Willie Mearns.

He said: “I think the whisky will be getting cracked open later. It’s been a long day.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

11 Feb
2011

Diageo’s first-half profits strengthen to £1.6bn

Johnnie Walker whisky brand achieves net sales growth of 10%

A growing global appetite for Scotland’s national drink helped wine and spirit group Diageo to deliver a near-16% lift in profits yesterday.

Diageo, whose whisky brands include Johnnie Walker, Bell’s, Buchanan’s, J&B, Vat 69, White Horse and single and classic malts including Royal Lochnagar, said group net sales had grown by 4% to £5.3billion during the six months to December 31.

Volume was also up, by 4%, helping pre-tax profits for the latest period to rise by £219million to just over £1.6billion.

The improved performance came after strong gains for flagship whisky brand Johnnie Walker, which achieved net sales growth of 10%.

Strong demand for Johnnie Walker in Russia and eastern Europe fuelled net sales growth of 26%, while Middle East and global travel markets saw a 22% increase.

Three whisky brands – Johnnie Walker, Windsor and The Singleton – drove Diageo’s business in Asia-Pacific to a 15% increase in sales and there was also double-digit growth in south-east Asia.

Across the group, operating profits – before one-off items – were up by 2% at about £1.7billion.

Diageo’s Guinness Irish stout lost sales worldwide, with a 6% fall in Europe over the period. The company blamed the decline in popularity on the impact of economic troubles in Ireland, where sales had fallen 8%, and the preference of football fans to drink lager during last summer’s World Cup finals.

Pub closures in the UK also hurt sales of Guinness, the company added.

Overall sales in Europe were down 3% in the six months to December 31, but Diageo said this had been more than offset by strong growth in North America and emerging markets.

Diageo, which also produces Smirnoff vodka, said the UK continued to see a shift in sales from pubs and clubs towards supermarket and off-licence trade.

Among other leading UK products, sales of Baileys Irish cream liqueur grew 2% and gained almost three percentage points of market share after Diageo launched its “Let’s do this again” TV advertising campaign during the period.

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

10 Feb
2011

Dumfries whisky appeal renewed on raid anniversary

Police have made a renewed appeal for information on the first anniversary of a £250,000 whisky raid near Dumfries.

Thieves made off with two trailers carrying the alcohol from a Currie Group yard at Heathhall at about midnight on 10 February 2010.

Det Insp Stuart Cossar asked anyone who remembered anything from the night in question to contact police.

He said the investigation remained open although the chances of recovering any whisky were likely to be very low.

The overnight raid took place at a yard right next to the local police station.

Two tractor units - one a white Scania and the other a blue Daf - were later seen towing two Currie trailers north on the A701 towards Moffat.

The trailers were later found empty in north west England - one at Widnes and the other at Wigan.

Mr Cossar said any information, however small, might provide them with a vital lead to trace the thieves.

"Despite the fact that it is a year since this theft occurred police are still very keen to try and encourage the public to make contact with us to assist us with the inquiry," he said.

"The fact that this is a commodity that could be very easily sold will make it very difficult for us to try and recover any of the items that were actually stolen.

"That aside, it still allows us to make some very positive inquiries in relation to where it may have gone."

In particular he asked anyone who saw lorries travelling in convoy near the site to contact police.

People who were offered whisky for sale at the time have also been urged to come forward.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

08 Feb
2011

A third of women opting for whisky, says Asda

Asda says the popularity of whisky is on the rise among women, with 35% choosing it over any other tipple, according to the supermarket's survey.

It found that 60% of women questioned saw their love affair for drinking whisky begin after developing a taste for the drink when their husbands kept it about the house.

It also revealed 52% of women questioned choose to drink whisky neat, suggesting that women are fully embracing the connoisseur's side of whisky and are not fazed by complexities such as single malts versus blends and differing cask strengths.

Asda spirits buyer, Chris Brooks, said: "It's fantastic to see a drink which in the past has been so strongly associated with men, being enjoyed by an entirely new demographic.

"With 33% of women buying whisky to enjoy at home and 52% drinking it neat, clearly women everywhere are becoming increasingly confident to try new drinks and less held back by any old-fashioned stereotypes."

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

07 Feb
2011

Indian knock-off whisky gang arrested

A gang blending cheap Indian whiskies and selling them off as premium brands such as Glenfiddich and Johnnie Walker Black Label has been arrested.

Police last week found a 'Scotch whisky' production line in a run-down local authority housing estate in Delhi, thousands of miles from the tranquil glens of Speyside or the coastal distilleries of Islay.

Six men were arrested, including a former brewer, when police found old bottles and fake labels for Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Glenfiddich.

They were mixing a local brand, 'Bagpiper', which is popular with truck drivers and nicknamed 'Punjabi rocket fuel', with 'Signature', a slightly more upmarket Indian whisky.

Police said they were distributing their fake whiskies to Mumbai and Calcutta through a wholesaler and making more than £60,000 profit per month.

Whisky experts said the case highlighted the triumph of brand snobbery over taste and knowledge in the world's biggest 'whisky market.' They said many buyers would not know that Glenfiddich is a sweet tasting Speyside malt, but would be content to buy the status which comes with the labelled bottle.

Detectives said the gang had bought the bottles from ragpickers who live on rubbish dumps and who had recovered them from five star hotels and restaurants. They had commissioned fake labels from a local printer.

Raghuraj Kanodia of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's India chapter said he believed only one in every 25 Indian whisky drinkers would be able to discern a single malt from a blend or even an Indian 'whisky', many of which are made from distilled molasses like rum.

India is the world's largest consumer of 'whisky' if sales of its domestic molasses-based version are included.

Sales of cheap Indian brands soared by 300,000 cases to more than five million last year, while single malt sales are estimated at below 40,000 cases.

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph
Telegraph

05 Feb
2011

Spirit of Speyside festival set to be ‘bigger and better than ever’

Malts shortlisted for awards ahead of food and drink extravaganza

A festival celebrating Moray’s world-famous whiskies will be bigger and better than ever this year, according to organisers.

The 12th Spirit of Speyside festival will run from April 28 to May 2, offering a variety of events for whisky and food fans.

This year’s programme is full of distillery tours and tasting events.

A judging panel made up of industry representatives and whisky tasters has now selected six malts for the festival’s annual awards, which will be held on April 28.

Aberlour a’bunadh and Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old will battle it out in the “12 years and under” class, while The Glenlivet 15 Year Old and The Glenlivet 18 Year Old will compete in the “13 to 20 years old” category.

Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old and Glenfiddich 30 Year Old were selected for the “21 years and over” category.

Jim Royan, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside board, said: “These whiskies are the expressions of the highest quality of Speyside’s wonderful spirit. I'm sure that their success will confirm their international recognition.”

The Spirit of Speyside website was launched on January 14 and within 10 days it generated £40,000 of business for the area, Mr Royan said.

He added: “Our main purpose is to celebrate all that’s good in Moray and what whisky does for the heritage of the area.”

Mr Royan said that he hoped the new food and drink tours, which are being piloted at this year’s event, would broaden the focus of the festival and attract more “food tourists”.

The tours will look at the links between Speyside’s signature drams and other regional produce.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky School will also return to this year’s festival. The three-day course will feature tutorials led by malt whisky experts and technical site visits with distillery managers.

It is estimated that last year’s festival generated almost £750,000 for the local economy, attracting 26,000 visitors to the area.

To find out more and book tickets go to www.spiritof speyside.com

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

04 Feb
2011

Glendronach’s most southerly tasting…in deepest Antarctica!

THE richly-sherried GlenDronach single malt is savoured worldwide but, in what must be some kind of a record, we’ve just heard of some fervent American fans…at the South Pole!

Thanks to GlenDronach’s New Zealand agents Whisky Galore, a team of intrepid American scientists survive sub-zero temperatures down there thanks to some invigorating bottles of GlenDronach fifteen-year-old.

Whisky Galore’s owner Michael Fraser Milne explains: “The United States Antarctic Programme (USAP) is an organisation that heads up scientific research and support on Antarctica. For many years, Whisky Galore has been a proud supporter of the scientists and crew who fly down to the ice from Christchurch where we’re based.

“We like to make sure they're staying warm with a good dram or two, and the 'ice people' as we know them are very loyal fans of Whisky Galore.

“Last year we suggested to a group of them that whoever sends us the best whisky-related photo from Antarctica will win a prize, and they certainly didn't disappoint. Pictures flooded in and the winner was one of our regular USAP customers, Thomas Da Cosse, whose pictures were our favourites.”

Michael’s colleague Stephen Le Petit added: “Thomas tasted some GlenDronach in our shop and absolutely loved it. It’s now his favourite and, as his pictures show, they help him endure temperatures of minus ninety degrees Fahrenheit.”

GlenDronach Regional Sales Director James Cowan said: “GlenDronach is enjoyed in some pretty exotic places but the South Pole is surely a world first for us. As a result, we’re claiming the record for the most southerly tasting of GlenDronach ever!”

Michael is the proud owner of Whisky Galore, New Zealand's premier whisky supplier. He is originally from the Strathspey area of Scotland and has been involved with whisky for most of his life.

The attached picture shows Thomas Da Cosse at the geographic South Pole with his GlenDronach.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

04 Feb
2011

Real Whisky Galore story is still being written

Seventy years on it remains one of the most romantic island tales.

The people of Eriskay, in the Outer Hebrides, awoke on 5 February 1941 to find a cargo ship, the SS Politician, aground off their island.

A wreck was not unusual but for islanders struggling to get by on wartime rations, the cargo was astonishing: 250,000 bottles of whisky.

What happened next was immortalised in the film Whisky Galore!

Under cover of darkness locals rowed out to the wreck and scrambled over the side using rope ladders.

In the following days and weeks they took hundreds of cases of whisky from the hold.

Eriskay's priest, Father Calum MacLellan, 84, was a boy at the time.

He said: "It depended on your own ability or agility to get as much ashore as you could."

But was it salvage or plunder?

No duty had been paid on the spirits, so Customs and Excise came after the islanders.

"I suppose the bigger thing was hiding it, especially from the Customs officers, and that produced a lot of hilarity," said Fr MacLellan.

But locals weren't just helping themselves to the water of life.

According to the priest, "the whole island was swathed in linen" from the Politician's hold - and further treasures remained on board.

He said: "There were bicycles on it but we couldn't use them because there was no road on island.

"There was a grand piano as well but none of our homes was big enough to accommodate a grand piano."

Long-term alcoholics

The ship eventually disappeared beneath the waves but Don MacPhee, who has dived down to see her, said there was a dark side to her legacy.

"There were a lot of social problems which resulted and quite a few families regarded it with quite a bit of opprobrium," he said.

"A lot of the crofting work was abandoned. People ended up as long-term alcoholics.

"The whisky was available for years and years afterwards ... in extremely large amounts.

"It was a case of get as much as you can down your neck in as short a space as possible."

But not all the salvaged whisky was drunk. Years later, bottles are still turning up.

Donald John Rodgers, who captains the Eriskay to Barra ferry, is one of many islanders who have discovered a secret stash.

"I was digging a path from the house down to the shore," he said.

"I felt the glass and I thought 'there's something funny here' and I cleared it away and six bottles were lying in a row."

Mr Rodgers reckons there is plenty more whisky still to be found.

Seventy years later, on the little island of Eriskay, the real story of Whisky Galore is still being written.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

03 Feb
2011

Finalists announced in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

The judging panel for the first round of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards, has selected two finalists of each of the three categories.

Industry representatives, whisky writers and specialist retailers, gathered at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh last week, for a blind tasting of 52 of Speyside's.

Aberlour a'bunadh and Balvenie Signature 12 Years Old will go through to the '12 Years and under class' and The Glenlivet 15 Years Old and The Glenlivet 18 Years Old will compete in the 13 to 20 Years Old.

Balvenie Portwood 21 Years Old and Glenfiddich 30 Years Old came out top in the '21 Years and over' category.

Jim Royan, chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Board, said: "These whiskies are the expressions of the highest quality of Speyside's wonderful spirit. I'm sure that their success will confirm their international recognition."

The six finalists will now go on to a public vote at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival on April 28.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

02 Feb
2011

Chivas Brothers Royal Salute whisky to launch in new $2,200 bottle

Chivas Brothers, a Scotch whisky producer and premium gin division owned by Pernod Ricard, has got a new hand crafted decanter for its Royal Salute whisky. The decanter was designed by Coley Porter Bell (CPB), a full-service UK-based design agency.

The Royal Salute brand was launched in 1953 in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her coronation.

This decanter is priced at $2,200 (GBP1,357), according to Packaging News. The Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute decanter is manufactured by Darlington Crystal.

The decanter comes with opaque double walls which allow for decorative cuts to be made to the outer wall.

A cut crystal stopper crowns the bottle and is decorated in 24 carat gold. The crest is made from liquid gold and applied by hand.

Coley Porter Bell Royal Salute design director Stuart Humm said the company designed this beautiful decanter to reflect the quality and craftsmanship of the whisky that has been 40 years in the making.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

01 Feb
2011

First minister to auction rare Speyside malt

Salmond hopes to raise substantial funds for charity through sale

SCOTLAND’S first minister will auction a rare Speyside malt next week, in a bid to raise cash for charity.

A limited edition bottle of Matisse Caperdonich 1972, which is worth £800, will be sold by Alex Salmond at an event in St Andrews on February 11.

The first minister hopes that the unusual malt will raise a substantial amount for his chosen Christmas card charities – which include Maggie's Cancer Centres, Teenage Cancer Trust, Bethany Christian Trust, and Quarriers.

The whisky has been lying in a cask at Caperdonich Distillery at Rothes, which was closed by owners Pernod Ricard in 2002.

It was selected by blenders from Matisse, an international company which seeks out “hidden gems” in distillery warehouses in Scotland.

Matisse master blender Edward Drummond said: “The Gaelic name Caperdonich translates as a secret well and we believe we have uncovered a wonderful and secret well of whisky at this mothballed distillery.”

The single malt has already been described as liquid gold by whisky writer Jim Murray, who said: “This is, without any doubt, a superb whisky and one that should raise a substantial sum for the first minister’s charities."

Alex Salmond said: “I am delighted to raise a glass to Matisse and its success with its 1972 Caperdonich. I welcome the chance to offer this valuable whisky to support charities to which I am very close and I wish the company every success in the next stage of its development.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal
January 2011 Scotch Whisky News

31 Jan
2011

Glengoyne Awarded Ultra Premium Dram of 2010

Connoisseurs from one of the UK’s largest and most prestigious whisky events, The Whisky Show, have named Glengoyne 40 Years Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky as the Ultra Premium Dram of 2010.

Competing against over 20 luxury whiskies currently available in the global marketplace retailing from a minimum of £300, Glengoyne 40 Years Old was selected as the pinnacle dram that best captured the distiller’s art.

A combined vote from visitor sampling and nomination for their preferred Ultra Premium whisky and a final tasting by Event Director Graeme Wallace and The Whisky Exchange proprietor Sukhinder Singh, Glengoyne was declared the ultimate winner of the ultimate whisky award. Praised for its “sweet, complex” and “oily texture”, it was noted that this Single Malt had remained “superbly balanced” and velvety smooth, without being overpowered by its 40 years of contact with the cask.

Graeme Wallace, Event Director commented: “To evaluate and settle on which expression was the best of the very best is always going to be extremely hard, with every Ultra Premium Dram being of the highest magnitude, reflecting the finest whisky available today.”

“For a whisky to top this category and win the Ultra Premium Dram Award is no easy achievement and should in no way reflect negatively on the runners up. It was a very close call but Glengoyne 40 Years Old was a very worthy winner.”

Iain Weir, Marketing Director for Ian Macleod Distillers commented: “We are thrilled with this result. It is testament to the Glengoyne team’s craftsmanship and skill that the 40 Years Old has succeeded in winning this very prestigious title against such a high calibre of entrants.

“The 40 Years Old Single Malt captures the pure essence of Glengoyne and its exceptional, un-peated ‘Real Taste of Malt’. It is a joy to open the highest quality sherry casks after four decades and find such great balance between malt and Still. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Owned by the Scottish, independent, family owned company Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd, Glengoyne distillery has been producing whisky from the heart of the Trossachs for over 175 years. With a highly selective cask policy, Glengoyne is also distilled slower than any other single malt Scotch whisky. Using air-dried malted barley, rather than pungent peat smoke, the distillery nurses the spirit through its stills at around one-third of the normal rate. This creates a more subtle, complex whisky in which all of the delicate flavours are freely allowed to express themselves.

Only 250 bottles of the limited edition Glengoyne 40 Years Old have been produced, retailing domestically for £3,750, this luxury whisky is presented in a hand-blown bespoke crystal decanter and stitched leather and solid oak presentation box of the highest quality.

Glengoyne 40 Years Old has been described by Michel Roux Jnr, as “simply sensational", with the two star Michelin chef commenting on the “complexity in the flavours that linger in the mouth. There's a strong richness in both the colour and in the flavours. It has a long, dry finish.”

The Whisky Show is an annual premium consumer whisky tasting even that takes place in London at the end of October. For more details visit www.thewhiskyshow.com

For further details on stockists and distribution details for Glengoyne, contact Alan Wardrop, UK Sales Manager, Ian Macleod Distillers, 01506 852205.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

28 Jan
2011

Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2011

Delhi, India Announced as Host City for Global Final

The highly anticipated final of WORLD CLASS 2011, an international bartending competition recognized as the Oscars of the industry, will be taking place in Delhi, India.

World Class is a global programme in its third year that celebrates the craft and skill of the bartender. An estimated 10,000 entrants across 39 markets from the most established and prestigious bars around the world will be shaking, pouring and stirring their way through their regional heats. Only the truly exceptional will win a coveted place to the prestigious final.

Some of the most renowned and respected names in the industry, including Salvatore Calabrese, Dale de Groff and Peter Dorelli, will be judging the global finalists who will be supported and advised by the 2010 winner, Erik Lorincz, Head Bartender at The Savoy, London.

Andrew Fell, Commercial Director, Diageo RESERVE, explains, "India is the perfect choice for the 2011 Global final. The Asia Pacific market is currently driving global wealth and India is spearheading growth in the luxury goods industry. We have a fantastic portfolio of luxury brands positioned to meet the demands of the growing cocktail culture evident in the increasing number of great bars found in this vibrant, international city."

"We are truly privileged that WORLD CLASS is coming to India at a most opportune time. Diageo RESERVE is best placed to cater to the growing appetite for luxury brands in India, and we are excited about bringing to our customers the opportunity to witness the latest international trends and experiences," says Roland Abella, Managing Director, Diageo India.

Over the course of the final, contestants will be creating cocktails with some of the finest spirits in the world from the Diageo Reserve portfolio - Ketel One(R) vodka, Ciroc(R) vodka, Tanqueray(R) No.TEN(TM) gin, Don Julio(R) tequila, Zacapa(R) rum, Johnnie Walker(R) Gold Label(TM) and Blue Label(TM) Blended Scotch Whisky. The winner will be propelled into the public spotlight overnight and become a recognized name among the industry and consumer for being the best bartender in the world. Erik Lorincz, World Class winner 2010, explains what winning the title means to him. "World Class gives the bartender a stage where it is possible to truly showcase their knowledge, skills and creative flair. The 2010 final in Athens was a once in a lifetime experience. I met some of the greatest names in the business, discovered new techniques and ingredients and also made many new friends. Since winning I have travelled the world as a WORLD CLASS ambassador and am honoured to have published my own cocktail book."

Now in its third year, WORLD CLASS is not only about finding the best of the best, it is an international celebration of the craft of bartending. The industry looks towards WORLD CLASS as a leader in setting global trends alight, where bartenders are educated and inspired to create exceptional cocktails, service and experiences for consumers, engendering loyalty for their bars.

These breaking new trends are shared and discussed by the WORLD CLASS gurus on the WORLD CLASS facebook page, Global World Class Finals, where members are kept up to date on competition news and events. Inspirational cocktails and exciting trends from Erik and the WORLD CLASS contestants have also been captured in a new cocktail book, edited by Simon Difford and launched in early 2011.

"World Class aims each year to inspire, educate and recognize the craftsmanship of the bartender. This culminates annually at the global final which is becoming one of the industry's most anticipated events. New Delhi will provide the backdrop this year for our biggest final yet and an outstanding showcase of the very best in cocktail culture," confirms Global Commercial Marketing Manager, Louise Mc Guane.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

26 Jan
2011

Diageo in spirits deal with Vietnamese distiller

Diageo, the world's largest spirits company, has struck a deal to boost its access to the Vietnamese market.

The Johnnie Walker distiller has taken a stake in Halico, Vietnam's largest branded spirits distiller.

While agreeing a strategic partnership, Diageo is paying £33m for a 24% stake in the Hanoi Liquor Joint Stock Company, which has Vodka Hanoi as its main brand.

It will help its Vietnamese partner in innovation, branding and logistics.

The London and New York-listed company is to develop its spirits business in the country separately, including promotion of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Baileys.

Vietnam is seen as a promising market, with Halico seeing double-digit growth in the past four years.

Scotch whisky sales could be helped if there is to be a trade agreement with the European Union, as recently agreed with South Korea.

'Great partner'

Ho Van Hai, director of Halico, said: "We are very keen to accelerate our development, as Vietnam continues to offer attractive growth potential.

"Diageo is a great partner for us - they have experience working with large local industry players and have a reputation for building iconic brands.

"Their understanding of consumers and cultures in Asia and their commitment to this region gives us the confidence that, as a result of this partnership, we will take Halico and our brands to greater heights".

Gilbert Ghostine, head of Diageo's Asia-Pacific division, said: "Halico's strong distribution and recent investment into their state-of-the-art production facility speaks of their ambitions in this market.

"Diageo has many successful partnerships in Asia Pacific and partnerships are integral to the way we want to grow our business in this region."

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

25 Jan
2011

A Dram Tae Rabbie Keeps Scotland’s Whisky Industry Strong

Today is Burns Night and many around the world will toast the Bard with a dram of the 'water of life'.

Over the last three years, SMAS has been working closely with the whisky industry and its supply chain to help identify new ways to increase productivity, improve efficiency and add real value to the bottom line. During this time, it has delivered 39 improvement projects, including assistance with process improvement, leadership and organisational development, which have helped generate £5 million of productivity gains for these companies.

Approximately 320 companies are involved in the industry’s supply chain, from malting companies to distilleries, and packaging companies to warehousing and logistics. To date, SMAS has focused its support on the 115 mixing, bottling, production and packaging companies where it can make the greatest impact.

Barry Mole, SMAS’ lead practitioner in the north of Scotland, explains: "Since working closely with the major suppliers in the whisky supply chain, it’s clear that they already run a fairly slick operation – but there’s always room for improvement – and despite already working with a fair number of companies in this sector we want to work with even more, so now would be a good time to get in touch to see how we can help.

"Where we can add real benefit is to challenge their management and working practices and highlight the benefits which innovation and business efficiency can make to their bottom line. Some of the companies are already experiencing the benefits of putting in place continuous improvement programmes. This approach is a real step forward for the industry and one which will reap rewards both now and in the future."

East Kilbride-based The Boxshop Ltd supplies packaging to a broad range of industries throughout the UK, including many whisky manufacturers. It has been working with SMAS since the service was first launched in 2005, on projects such as improving machinery maintenance processes, increasing lean awareness across all personnel, and implementing more cost-effective procurement procedures, which resulted in its first project increasing productivity by 60%.

Boxshop director Douglas Lamb comments: "With our initial SMAS projects, I must confess to being fairly sceptical. However, our practitioner did a good job of convincing me that we should give them a try and nowadays, when a new project is suggested, I don’t need to be convinced any more. I know it works, I know it will bring benefits and I know it will make a difference to our bottom line."

The whisky industry has remained strong throughout the economic downturn which is largely due to just over 90% of the whisky produced in Scotland being exported abroad. Figures show that in the first six months of the financial year, nine out of its top 10 export markets grew in value including South Africa, the USA and France.

More recently, the Scottish Manufactured Exports Estimates for the third quarter of 2010 reported an overall decline in Scottish manufactured export sales. However, the food and drink and tobacco industries bucked this trend and saw a 0.9% increase during the same period.

Supporting the industry to realise its full potential involves both the private and public sectors. The SMAS team has partnered with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Development International and the Scotch Whisky Association to help achieve this.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

24 Jan
2011

Whisky firms toast increase in export sales

Scotch whisky exports rose by 12pc between January and October last year as Burns Night helps to drive an already buoyant market, according to new figures from the industry's trade body.

Seventeen of the 20 top export markets were in growth over the year to October, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said.

The value of scotch sales rose by 26pc to £396.5m in the US compared with the previous year, while sales in South Africa rose by 53pc to £143m. France also increased the value it bought by 3pc to £347.5m, strengthening its position as the world's second biggest export market after the US.

The SWA said the 12pc increase helped drive a Scotch shipment value of £2.8bn – a rise of £300m over the same period in 2009.

The growth in sales of scotch is likely to have continued into January, particularly as Scots and whisky-lovers around the world prepare for Burns Night tomorrow (Tuesday).

Burns Night has become a global phenomenon as whisky consumption increases in emerging markets such as China, where it grew 46pc over the 10 months to October.

On Saturday night the Beijing Caledonian Society held a Burns Night supper in the city's China World Hotel – billed as "an evening of Scottish dances, singing, fight of wits and poems". Similar events will be held in the coming days in Moscow, Dubai, Indonesia, Ghana, the Philippines and Thailand.

The Caledonian Society in Lagos, Nigeria, also hosts numerous events, including the Burns' Ball in January, the Chieftain's Ball in the summer and the St. Andrew's Ball in November. According to the society's website they "are considered to be the best balls in Lagos".

The £4bn whisky industry is crucial to Scotland's economy. Distillers support an estimated 40,000 jobs and contribute in excess of £1bn in tax revenue.

Last week Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, visited a distillery in Keith, Scotland, and said 2010 is shaping up to be a record year for exports.

"Scotch whisky companies are making great strides to exploit new markets and new opportunities, and the UK Government will continue to do whatever it can to assist them," he said.

Despite the industry's growing size and importance the industry faces challenges. It is working to cut tariff barriers to certain foreign territories such as India, as well as lobbying to reduce the tax burden in the UK.

In India, the tariff barrier for whisky is 150pc. Although this is down from 550pc four years ago, the SWA believes that it needs to be cut further.

Campbell Evans, director of government and consumer affairs at the SWA, said: "Our number-one priority is to break down these tariff barriers."

In the UK, scotch whisky is taxed 250pc more than the same amount of alcohol sold as cider, 37pc more than for beer and 30pc more than wine. Last year the SWA commissioned two studies of the revenue impact of excise duty reform based on up-to-date price elasticities. Reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Optimal Economics both concluded that reform could deliver in excess of £1bn extra revenue a year.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the SWA, said: "Scotch whisky represents a quarter of all British food and drink exports and makes a significant contribution to the UK balance of trade. The industry and Government work closely on securing fair access to our export markets. That is vital to scotch whisky's continued global success and its contribution to export-led economic growth."

The headwinds have not stopped the big drinks companies from investing in distilleries. Diageo is investing £100m in the scotch whisky category and recently opened a £40m distillery in Roseisle in the Scottish Highlands. The distillery will be used in a number of Diageo's blended whiskies and will produce around 10m litres of whisky a year. More than 90pc of the company's volumes from Scotland are exported around the world.

Smaller craft distilleries are also proving popular. Industry insiders estimate that 20 new distilleries have opened in the past decade.

The scotch whisky industry has also become big business for tourists. Around 1.5m people hit Scotland's "whisky trail" each year, and a quarter of all the five-star tourist attractions in Scotland are distilleries.

The rituals associated with whisky drinking and Burns Night even appear to be proving popular with people around the world unable to grasp the Scottish accent. A description of Robert Burns' poems on a site advertising a Burns Night party in Moscow sums it up: "Even if you don't understand a word, the poems are what made the man great and an important part of Scots culture. And to impress your bewildered fellow diners you can look them up 'in translation' before dinner."

Article Courtesy of The Telegraph
Telegraph

22 Jan
2011

Whisky group calls for 'fairer' duty system in Budget

Controversial equalisation measure would stop tax discrimination between drinks, claims SWA

The government has an early opportunity to start to introduce a “fairer” duty system based on a drink’s alcohol content in March’s Budget, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has argued.

The controversial proposal, known as “equalisation”, would effectively mean a freeze on duty for spirits – and a hike in tax for beer, cider and wine.

But brewers and the pub industry are fiercely opposed to the measure, arguing it would be a blunt instrument and lead to a huge increase in the price of a pint.

Gavin Hewitt, the SWA’s chief executive, responding to this week’s government proposal to ban the sale of alcohol below the rate of duty and VAT, said: “The next stage should be reform of an outdated duty system so that tax discrimination between drinks categories is removed and consumers are treated fairly whatever drink they prefer.

“The Budget in March offers an early opportunity to begin to introduce a fairer balance in alcohol taxation.”

Hewitt said a ban on duty plus VAT was the “right way forward”. The group said it has campaigned on this issue for two years, as a “legal way to set a floor price”.

It added: “A floor price, where a unit of beer is taxed at 21p and of whisky at 29p, highlights the differential taxation of alcoholic drinks and reinforces the need for a fairer excise duty system, with all drinks taxed on the same basis according to alcohol content.”

Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits producer, is also in favour of equalisation, which put it membership of the British Beer & Pub Association in jeopardy after its position was made public last August.

It is understood a compromise has now been reached between the BBPA and Diageo over its membership of the group.

Industry lobbying on the Budget begun last week, with CAMRA and Society of Independent Brewers members meeting with Treasury secretary Justine Greening.

Article Courtesy of The Publican

 

The Publican

21 Jan
2011

Deputy PM raises a toast to record year for the whisky industry

Liberal democrat leader pays tribute to the business community of the North-east

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg praised Scotland’s whisky industry yesterday as new figures showed a rise in exports.

The Liberal Democrat leader announced a 12% increase in global exports of the country’s national drink in the first 10 months of last year, with shipments totalling £2.8billion between January and October.

During a visit to the Strathisla Distillery at Keith, Mr Clegg said: “I would like to raise a toast to the Scotch whisky industry, as 2010 shapes up to have been a record year for exports.

“The dynamic Scotch whisky companies are making great strides to exploit new markets and opportunities, and the UK Government will continue to do whatever we can to assist.

“We signed an agreement with China late last year to ensure there is greater legal protection for whisky there.

“I know from my talks in Scotland that fair market access and tariff liberalisation in relation to India is a major priority this year.”

Distillers in Scotland support more than 40,000 jobs and contribute more than £1billion in tax revenue.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Scotch whisky represents a quarter of all British food and drink exports and makes a significant contribution to the UK balance of trade.

“The industry and government work closely on securing fair access to our export markets. That is vital to Scotch whisky's continued global success and its contribution to export-led economic growth.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our trade priorities with the deputy prime minister during his visit.”

Earlier yesterday, Mr Clegg hosted high-level talks with regional business leaders at BP’s headquarters at Dyce, near Aberdeen, where he discussed the private sector’s confidence in the economy.

After the meeting, he said: “I have had a very useful meeting with leading members of the business community in north-east Scotland, representing the oil and gas industry, the food industry, agriculture and the drinks industry.

“It’s on people like that we are going to have to rely to create the jobs, spirit and the growth that the people of north-east Scotland and Great Britain depend on for future security and for future jobs.

“I was very encouraged by what they told me about their optimism, that they would continue to grow, invest and create new jobs for our young people.”

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

20 Jan
2011

Whisky to aid salmon conservation on Scottish rivers

Fisheries managers on four Scottish rivers have launched their own whiskies to help pay for salmon conservation measures.

A trial batch of Dee Dram in Aberdeenshire raised £35,000 last year.

That has now been made a permanent whisky, with similar drams being created for the Spey, Tay and Tweed.

Thousands of bottles of the whiskies are being produced by The Dalmore Distillery, in Alness, Ross-shire, and they will sell for about £40 a bottle.

Managers at the Dee Salmon Fisheries Board said there are many miles of tributaries which need to be unblocked, and the money being raised will help.

They have started work such as removing dams and obstructions.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

19 Jan
2011

Shackleton Whisky Returns Home to Scotland

One of the world’s most famous whiskies has been returned home to Scotland after spending more than 100 years untouched by human hand and encased in Antarctic ice.

Three bottles of the Mackinlays whisky which accompanied Ernest Shackleton on his 1907 expedition have been returned to brand owner Whyte & Mackay for scientific analysis.

The liquid is so rare and valuable that the Antarctic Heritage Trust and New Zealand authorities refused to let it travel unaccompanied and in the hold of any plane.

So Whyte & Mackay company owner Dr Vijay Mallya, the renowned Indian business mogul, stepped in to personally collect and fly the bottles back to Scotland using his private jet.

Whyte & Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson will spend up to six weeks in full laboratory conditions analysing, nosing, tasting and “deconstructing” the whisky before reporting back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Once the analysis is complete, the bottles will be transported back to New Zealand by private plane for their eventual return back to Shackleton’s hut on the Antarctic, unlikely to ever leave the ice again.

Dr Vijay Mallya, owner of Whyte & Mackay

Speaking at Glasgow Airport this morning, Dr Mallya said: “I have taken a personal interest in this project from the very start. When I heard that we could not use commercial airlines to get the whisky home and into the hands of our own whisky experts, I had no hesitation in offering the use of my private plane.”

Dr Mallya added: “Shackleton made history with his travels and adventures, and I am sure we will make history ourselves when we unlock the marvels of these unique 100 year old time capsules.”

Richard Paterson, Master Blender, Whyte & Mackay

“Never in the history of our industry have we had a century old bottle of whisky stored in a natural fridge and subjected to some of the harshest conditions on this planet,” enthused Paterson. “It is an absolute honour to be able to use my experience to analyse this amazing spirit for the benefit of the Trust and the whisky industry.”

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

17 Jan
2011

Shackleton's South Pole whisky returns to Scotland

A case of whisky which spent more than 100 years buried in the Antarctic is being returned to Scotland.

The scotch was buried beneath a hut used by the explorer Ernest Shackleton during his unsuccessful 1907 to 1909 expedition to reach the South Pole.

Five cases were dug up last year, before being carefully thawed by museum officials in New Zealand.

One of these cases - of Mackinlay whisky - is now being flown to Scotland.

Distillers Whyte and Mackay, which owns the McKinlay brand, were keen to get hold of a bottle.

Now a case is on the personal jet owned by Vijay Mallya, the billionaire owner of the Glasgow-based firm.

Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole, which set off from New Zealand in January 1908, was part of the heroic age of exploration.

Scott was already preparing for his journey to the pole - an objective he reached just after his rival Amundsen in 1912, but which cost Scott his own life and that of four comrades.

Shackleton turned back in time to keep all of his party safe.

"A live donkey is better than a dead lion" was how he summed up his attitude.

The expedition's ship had left Cape Royds hurriedly in March 1909 as winter ice began forming in the sea, with some equipment and supplies, including the whisky, left behind.

Article Courtesy of BBCi

 

BBCi

15 Jan
2011

Moray’s ‘amber nectar’ to take festival spotlight

Spirit of Speyside will showcase whiskies renowned throughout the world

Moray’s world-famous distilleries will take the spotlight in an event which is expected to attract thousands to the area.

This year’s Spirit of Speyside festival, now in its 12th year, will run from April 28 – May 2. It is one of Europe’s largest whisky festivals.

Fans of the amber nectar will be able to catch a glimpse of distilleries which are usually closed to the public, such as Benrinnes, Glenrothes and Mortlach.

Meanwhile, visitors can take advantage of in-depth guided tours at iconic distilleries such as Cardhu, Glen Grant, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, The Macallan and Benromach.

New for the 2011 programme are food and drink tours, which look at the links between Speyside’s signature drams and other regional produce.

Among the international whisky fans flocking to the event is Dutch author Hans Offringa, who will relaunch his book The Road to Craigellachie Revisited at the festival.

Mr Offringa’s book is an autobiographical diary tour through the world of whisky and Scotland.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky School will also return to this year’s festival.

The three-day course will involve tutorials led by malt whisky experts and technical site visits with distillery managers.

Festival chairman Jim Royan said: “Speyside is an outstandingly beautiful region that is rich in history and tradition and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival offers us a unique opportunity to showcase not only our heritage, but also our produce, landscape and hospitality.”

It is estimated that last year’s festival generated almost £750,000 for the local economy, attracting 26,000 visitors to the area.

To find out more and book tickets go to www.spiritofspeyside.com

Article Courtesy of Press & Journal

 

Press & Journal

14 Jan
2011

Whisky Galore as bottles from SS Politican are lined up inside Merseyside Maritime Museum

It was one of the most picturesque incidents in wartime austerity Britain and led to a bestselling novel and an iconic Ealing film. Now the Whisky Galore incident is being revisited by Merseyside Maritime Museum.

The Museum has acquired two whisky bottles from the SS Politician, a merchant ship which ran aground with its valuable cargo of 28,000 cases of Scotch whisky off the west coast of Scotland in February 1941.

As news of the incident spread, thirsty islanders in small boats began descending on the stricken vessel to help themselves to the precious tipple, which was under strict wartime ration.

What followed was one of the most celebrated episodes of cat and mouse in modern memory as the men of Customs and Excise fought running battles with the islanders to recover the cargo.

Luckily no one was seriously hurt - although a customs and excise car was damaged - but it inspired Compton Mackenzie to write his best selling 1946 novel Whisky Galore - adapted into the 1949 film Whisky Galore!

Now as the 70th anniversary of SS Politician’s last voyage approaches, the two bottles of Scotch are going on show. Amazingly one of them still contains whisky.

The bottles, acquired recently by curators the UK Border Agency Museum, will join other artefacts from the Harrison Line vessel including a wage book and deck log recording the stranding.

“SS Politician was a famous Liverpool ship. We are very excited to be telling her story because everyone remembers the film about her grounding,” says Dawn Littler, curator of Archives at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

“Seventy years after the ship met her end, there is still so much mystery and debate about the exact purpose of the voyage and looting of the cargo. Islanders felt they were entitled to the salvage while customs officers tried to stop the looting.”

Some of the residents who looted bottles from the wreck received prison sentences but, thanks in no small measure to the book and the film, history looks upon them benignly. Visitors to the museum will be able to judge for themselves.

To coincide with the artefacts going on display and Burns Night (January 25), the restaurant at the Maritime Museum is serving up a very special menu of Scottish themed dishes including Scottish oak smoked salmon, Haggis neeps and tatties and Raspberry Cranachan.

The display opens to the public on January 22 2011.

Article Courtesy of Culture 24

 

 

Culture 24

12 Jan
2011

Last call for entries for Glenrothes Whisky Makers competition

Glenrothes Whisky is making a last call for online entries for its Glenrothes Whisky Makers competition.

The global competition to appoint four Glenrothes Whisky Makers closes at the end of January.

The successful candidates will be recruited to work as The Glenrothes Whisky Makers in the heart of single malt production in Speyside, Scotland.

They will learn time-honoured skills that have been passed down from generation to generation and will spend time working at each stage of the whisky-making process.

The whisky makers will stay in Rothes House, a private home belonging to the family that owns The Glenrothes.

The competition runs until January 31, 2011 and can be entered at www.theglenrothes.com

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

11 Jan
2011

Old Pulteney Salutes You!

UK Army Officer To Take on Battle of the Arctic After Spirited Global Competition Win

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky and explorer Jock Wishart have revealed the winner of Pole Position, their unique global competition to find the sixth and final crew member of a pioneering arctic expedition – The Old Pulteney Row to the Pole.

David Mans, a 28 year old British Army Officer from Hampshire, beat stiff competition from hundreds of international entrants to be crowned the Pole Position winner at the London Boat Show 2011 on Friday 7th January.

He will join internationally acclaimed adventurer and sportsman Jock Wishart in summer 2011, as he attempts one of the world’s last remaining ‘firsts’: an unsupported row to the magnetic North Pole.

In a specially designed ice boat, David will take his place in the team of six who will set off from Resolute Bay in Canada on a 450 mile route across the arctic on a voyage which if successful, will make history.

The challenge is of global significance as both a pioneering maritime adventure and an environmental expedition – which is only now possible due to the increase in seasonal ice melt and its deterioration due to climate change.

The Old Pulteney Pole Position competition was launched in September 2010 to offer one spirited person a once in a lifetime chance to be part of this extraordinary adventure – but only if they had the physical and mental attributes required for such an extreme feat of skill and endurance.

After an online entry process, a shortlist of forty eight international finalists were invited to compete head-to-head in a Pole Position Challenge Day on the 20th November at the 2012 Olympic Rowing Course, Dorney Lake, Eton Rowing Centre. To test their physical and mental abilities, contestants competed in a two and a half hour endurance row, group interviews and psychometric tests. David’s determination, fitness and stamina stood out amongst the other finalists and saw him scoop the life changing prize, and he will now be personally trained by Jock in the countdown to the summer expedition send off.

To reach the magnetic North Pole, David will row with the other crew members in three hour shifts, and will have to overcome challenging weather and subzero temperatures with little chance of rest or shelter.

His rowing experience at both coastal and river clubs combined with his career as an army officer will put him in good stead to overcome the many obstacles he will face during the arduous voyage. From commanding soldiers in the Middle East to leading army mountaineering expeditions in the UK, David is no stranger to cold, monotony and exhaustion and the effect it can have on a team of people. He credits his sense of humour in the face of adversity and strong determination to succeed as the key attributes he will bring to the team.

David Mans says: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Old Pulteney Row to the Pole crew and relish the opportunity to take part in what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest adventures of my life to date. Rowing has always been my passion from a young age and has enabled me to keep grounded in the civilian world. For me, rowing is the ultimate team sport and I can only imagine the sense of camaraderie and achievement the crew will feel if we succeed in such a groundbreaking voyage.’

Jock Wishart says: ‘This is the most complicated logistical exercise in the Polar regions since Sir Vivian Fuch’s Trans Antarctic expedition in 1957/58. For this we require the best people. Only the best are “good enough.”

The Old Pulteney Row to the Pole will be captured on camera for UK and international audiences and will follow Jock’s preparations and the 4-6 week long row where he and his team will face dramatic ice-bound coastlines and shifting sea-ice barriers.

Old Pulteney’s partnership with Jock is rooted in the whisky’s maritime heritage and history of supporting sailing and seafaring adventure. The whisky is distilled in the historic harbour town of Wick, the most northerly distillery on the UK mainland and the windswept and rugged landscape that surrounds it has given the malt its legacy as the Maritime Malt. The malt whisky continues its association with some of the most prestigious sailing events in the country with its continuation of its sponsorship of the Isle of Wight’s Round the Island Race and the Old Pulteney IRC Scottish Championship in 2011.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

10 Jan
2011

First Aeolus Whirlwind installation in Scotland measures up

The latest Whirlwind System installation by Cheshire based Aeolus Technologies has been commissioned at the recently opened new Glenmorangie bottling plant in Livingston, Scotland.

Project engineers from Allen Associates who designed the new Whisky plant in conjunction with Glenmorangie incorporated the unique Whirlwind System into the pipe clearing process as the innovative technology had the potential to recover significantly higher levels of product than methods used at other bottling sites when the pipelines need to be cleared following delivery through to bottling. ‘Although the Whirlwind System can be retro fitted, building of the new plant enabled us to design the system in from the start’ said Glenmorangie lead project engineer Julia Blair

‘We chose this technology as it not only minimises product waste but also means there is no mixing of products in our pipework, both of which are key with such a high quality, high value product.’

The Whirlwind Unit at the Glenmorangie site is making use of just the clearing phase of the technology, which first generates and then carefully controls a vortex airflow within the pipework, whilst the full suite of options from the technology is a complete recovery, clean and dry cycle.

‘When discussing the technology with potential customers, whilst they are interested in the benefits the full cycle can deliver, they are often focussed on particular aspects depending on corporate objectives’, said Peter Chavasse, Business Development Manager for Aeolus Technologies; ‘this may be product recovery, water reduction, waste reduction or energy reduction.’ Peter continued ‘the Whirlwind System can deliver against all of these criteria, so firstly its great to be able to talk through the benefits of the technology and secondly to help identify just how the technology could aid clients with their continuous improvement programmes and help achieve sustainability objectives.’

The vortex airflow technology underpinning The Whirlwind System provides a sustainable approach to CIP. Product recovery rates achieved through the clearing phase are greater than 95%, whilst water savings in the region of 85 to 90% can be achieved in the cleaning phase, with a combination of these two savings reducing waste and effluent significantly. ‘If engineers can deliver product, water and waste savings, let alone carbon savings through one piece of technology, then I would like to think it would warrant some investigation and consideration’ suggested Peter.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

07 Jan
2011

Vietnam Agrees Scotch Whisky Changes

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has praised three international decisions to protect Scotland’s signature whisky being imitated abroad.

After two years of negotiations the Vietnamese National Office for Intellectual Property (NOIP) agreed that the registration of Scotch whisky is a “geographical indication of origin (GI)”, the SWA said.

This could boost trade Scottish luxury brands in the country, as it prevents other local liquors from masquerading as Scotch in drinkshops.

An SWA spokesman said the organisation had first tried to protect the majestic liquor in Vietnam in 2008, with this decision finally allowing them to take action against would-be imitators.

“It will make it easier for us to take action against any imitators in that country as the government has recognised Scotch whisky has to be made here, that there is a formal commitment to that,” the spokesman said.

The Vietnam breakthrough comes after China and Panama granted similar protection to Scotland’s signature whisky, with Indian authorities set to make a decision shortly.

Kenny Gray, the SWA legal adviser responsible for the Vietnamese market, said: “GI protection in Vietnam is a real boost to Scotch whisky in an important emerging market.

“With similar protection granted in China and Panama, this announcement completes a hat-trick of decisions that will help to protect consumers from imitation products.”

The NOIP presented the GI certificate to Dr Anthony Stoke, the British ambassador to Vietnam, in a ceremony in Hanoi.

Vietnam’s wine pages could soon see an influx of Scottish luxury brands, because the SWA said that while exports to Vietnam are less than £1 million a year, it is considered a high-priority emerging market for the industry.

Last year Scotch exports to China reached £44 million, while market access to Vietnam remained restricted with a high import tariff of 55%.

Article Courtesy of Elite Market

 

Elite Market

04 Jan
2011

New funding for whisky qualification

Skills Development Scotland has teamed up with the Scotch Whisky Association to provide funding aimed at encouraging an additional 200 whisky workers to gain a Spirit Industry Vocational Qualification.

The qualification has been designed by the Scotch Whisky Association to recognise the expertise of employees across the entire whisky production process - from distilling to bottling. It aims to standardise good practice and allow skills to be recognised across the industry.

Alison Galbraith, the SWA's health, safety and skills manager, said: "The Scotch Whisky industry is a cornerstone of the Scottish economy, worth around £4 billion a year. Over 10,000 people are employed in the sector and it is vital we recognise and capture their skills if this industry is to keep growing.

"Our intention is to help whisky employees understand how their roles can develop and demonstrate that the industry offers a proper career with the opportunity to learn and grow as their skills improve."

The Scotch whisky industry is second only to oil and gas in terms of productivity per employee, with a GVA of over £262,000 - nearly six times as productive as the average Scottish worker.

Article Courtesy of Harpers

 

Harpers

03 Jan
2011

The Glenrothes New Year's Resolution: Enter to Become the Next Whisky Maker

This fall, Berry Brothers & Rudd, makers of the exceptional Glenrothes® single malt Scotch whisky, announced a one-of-a-kind experience. Four passionate, promising Scotch aficionados will have the chance to work as an official Glenrothes Whisky Maker, spending a week at the distillery in Speyside, Scotland for a whisky adventure unlike any other. But you have to be in it to win it.

There's just one month left for aspiring whisky makers to enter to be considered for this incredible opportunity, so any aficionado who's yet to make a New Year's resolution, take heed and get your entry ready to go. Resolve to make 2011 a year of exciting possibilities and unique experiences.

Each winner, selected from qualified entrants from around the globe, will work at the historic Glenrothes distillery learning the art of creating Scotland's quintessential elixir. The winners will be hosted by Ronnie Cox, Keeper of the Quaich and The Glenrothes Brand Heritage Director, and The Glenrothes Malt Master, Gordon Motion. The participants will spend time learning and honing their skills at each stage of the craft, from testing the fresh water source that runs alongside the distillery, to milling, mashing, fermenting and distillation. From there the whisky makers will be rolling up their sleeves at our onsite cooperage, laying down casks for maturation, nosing whisky from maturing casks to discover the art of maturation, and selecting exceptional casks to be bottled as The Glenrothes single malt whisky. Each of the winners will produce their own selection of The Glenrothes – the ultimate souvenir of an amazing adventure – labeled with their own hand-written tasting notes.

Until January 31, 2011, would-be whisky makers can enter by visiting www.theglenrothes.com/whiskymaker and telling the judges why they are uniquely qualified to undertake this exciting, immersive task. More information will also be found on The Glenrothes Whisky Facebook page or by following the brand on twitter @The_Glenrothes.

What's in store for the winners? While working at the distillery, the fledgling whisky makers will stay at Rothes House, the brand's accommodation for visiting friends, just a short walk from the distillery. After spending the days learning their craft, they will live as the locals do: fishing in the local streams, dining in the local Highland restaurants or picnicking in the hills surrounding the distillery.

The final day of their adventure will be spent in Edinburgh with overnight accommodations at The Scotsman Hotel and dinner with legendary Scotch expert, Charlie MacLean.

For more information, complete rules/regulations and to enter to win consideration to become one of The Glenrothes Whisky Makers, visit www.theglenrothes.com/whiskymaker. The grand prize is one of four trips to spend time working at The Glenrothes distillery in Speyside, Scotland. Runners up will also have the opportunity to receive unique prizes from The Glenrothes. The contest is open to consumers from around the globe, where legal, who are 21 and over. Entries must be received by January 31, 2011. The trip will commence on May 8, 2011, lasting for seven nights, ending May 14, 2011. The winner must have a valid passport and be able to travel on these dates. Four winners will be selected by an independent judging panel.

Article Courtesy of Press Release

 

Press Release

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