Mortlach Special Strength is travel exclusive

15882-540x335Diageo has launched a limited edition Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky especially for travel retail.

Mortlach, dubbed “the beast of Dufftown”, is a ‘best-kept secret’ among those in the know and previously released, limited quantities have been snapped up by enthusiasts. After decades as a single malt used by blenders in some of the world’s finest Scotch whisky blends, Mortlach is being given its own opportunity to shine as a premium, luxurious single malt in its own right.

Mortlach Special Strength is drawn from a complex combination of first fill, refill and re-charred American and European oak casks. Diageo master blender Jim Beveridge says: “We chose to bottle Mortlach Special Strength at 49% as it reveals nuances of the complex yet harmonious character, a mix of vanilla and mature oak underscored by roasted aromatics, delivering a unique, differentiated taste experience when compared to, for example, Mortlach Rare Old at 43.3%.”

This new variant is aimed at travellers who enjoy super deluxe whisky and seek rarity and quality in their liquids. Alongside Mortlach Special Strength, two other expressions of Mortlach are now available in travel retail and domestically: Mortlach 18-Year Old and Mortlach 25-Year Old.

Mortlach Special Strength is presented in a striking and contemporary-style bottle, inspired by the golden age of engineering in which the liquid was born. The bottle boasts strong lines and a generous decanter-style neck designed to protect and enhance the appearance of the fine, premium whisky it contains.

To celebrate the launch, travellers will receive a crystal glass whisky tumbler set with every purchase of Mortlach Special Strength, in selected airports.

Luxury travellers passing through London Heathrow Airport and Dubai International Airport will have the opportunity to sample Mortlach Special Strength and explore the unique taste of this new single malt Scotch whisky at bespoke tasting zones.

Peter Fairbrother, marketing director of Diageo global travel and Middle East says: “We are incredibly excited to launch Mortlach Special Strength in travel retail. Premium whisky, in particular single malt Scotch, is causing real excitement in duty free with travellers seeking out unique whiskies that they can only pick up on their journeys. With its rich heritage, unique distillation process, bold flavours and striking bottle, we’re confident whisky and travel enthusiasts across the globe will enjoy discovering this new Special Strength variant.”

Global Brand Ambassador for Mortlach Georgie Bell, adds: “Along with its extraordinarily distinct flavour, the richness and authenticity of Mortlach’s heritage is what really sets it apart. Dating back almost 200 years, Mortlach embodies the brave vision of its founders, the Scottish civil engineer George Cowie and his son Dr. Alexander Cowie. Like other great Victorian entrepreneurs of that golden age, they were known for their ingenuity, creating the unique and astonishingly complex 2.81 distillation process that produces the richly flavoured whisky we know today.

“Mortlach can now finally take up its rightful position as one of the finest premium single malts in the world. Thanks to this travel exclusive variant, this single malt will now be enjoyed by more than just a handful of privileged connoisseurs.”

The new Mortlach Special Strength expression will be available exclusively to travellers in duty free outlets worldwide, from early 2015 at an RRSP of £75 / US$120.

Arran 18 Year Old Limited Edition released

arran 18 year oldArran 18 year old, the 3rd and final bottle in the trilogy.

It’s finally here, Arran whisky have announced the release of a Arran 18 year old expression. As fans of the island distillery will know the new whisky follows last years limited edition of 9,000 bottles worldwide release of the Arran 17 year old and the previous years limited release of a Arran 16 year old.

The Arran 18 year old is the 3rd and final release in a limited edition trilogy which has paved the way for an official bottling of Arran 18 year old joining the Arran core range of whiskies this spring.

This Arran 18 year old will be available direct from the Arran web site from Monday 16th March, priced at £72.99. There will be a limit of 2 bottles per transaction as the number available from the site is limited. You should also be able to find the new whisky available from specialist whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange soon after its launch on March 16th.

Arran 18 Year Old Tasting Notes

Producer’s Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep polished gold.

Nose: Baked peaches with honey and toasted almonds. Sherry cask charring and subtle spice.

Taste: Waxy and coating with warmth of crystallised ginger and sweetness of crème brulee and caramelised brown sugar. Water uncovers floral notes, macadamia nuts and Seville orange marmalade.

Finish: Hazelnuts and nougat mingle with lightly toasted brioche and toffee apples.

BenRiach launches a trio of new cask finishes

The BenRiach Distillery Company has today announced the launch of three new expressions, which illustrate Master Distiller Billy Walker’s unique ability to marry whisky with wood to create complex, sublime drams.

BenRiach Releases

The new trio of releases consists of; BenRiach 15 Year Old Sauternes Finish and BenRiach 18 Year Old Albariza, which is a peated whisky finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. From its sister distillery GlenDronach, there’s a new 18 Year Old Marsala Cask Finish, which owes its distinctive flavour to the influence of a small number of Marsala hogsheads.

The BenRiach 15 Year Old Sauternes Finish, is matured in the traditional style in American bourbon barrels, then finished in Sauternes casks from the Bordeaux region of France. Sauternes gives its name to an award-winning dessert wine and the finishing effect on the whisky is stunning, as the tasting notes reveal.

The BenRiach 18 Year Old Albariza, is distilled from peated malted barley, matured in American oak casks and then finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The whisky has been named after the white soil with high chalk content whose characteristics make it the best type of soil for growing grapes used in the production of sherry. This whisky combines the distinctive BenRiach aroma of peat with a silky sherry sweetness to make it a memorable dram.

GlenDronach 18 Year Old Marsala Cask Finish, is a unique expression that was initially matured in European oak casks and thereafter finished its maturation in a small batch of Marsala hogsheads. The aromatic influence of the Italian fortified wine cask on the sweet Highland malt whisky is spectacular, creating a new layer of depth that stunningly marries together summer fruits with peppery oak spice.

All three of the new releases are natural in colour, non-chill filtered, bottled at 46% ABV and are now available from specialist retailers.

Highland Park concludes with the arrival of the All-Father

HP Odin bottle packDirect from the gates of Valhalla, Highland Park has unveiled the last in the series of stunning whiskies that celebrates its Norse heritage. ODIN, named for the King of Asgard himself, joins Thor, Loki and the beautiful Freya to complete Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection.

Legend has it that Odin, All-father of the gods and ruler of Asgard, is an intensely complex character. Known as ‘the furious one’, Odin is the strongest of all the Norse gods and driven by an unquenchable thirst for wisdom. By sacrificing an eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, he earned immeasurable knowledge and insight. With only one eye which blazes like the sun, Odin cuts an ominous figure.

Creating a single malt to reflect the dominant characteristics of Odin was no easy feat but the Highland Park whisky makers have excelled. This whisky strikes a balance between the god and the distillery’s signature Orcadian style – Highland Park’s sweet and gentle smoky peat aromas. The result is an undeniably powerful 16 year old single malt.

Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, says: “Odin, like its namesake, is an intense, powerful and complex whisky. Bottled at 55.8% ABV, it certainly lives up to the legend, a bold single malt higher in strength than Thor, Loki and Freya. In Odin, we have been able to add the final flourish to the Valhalla Collection, a stunning series of remarkable whiskies that offer affordability and exclusive collectability.”

“Now that Odin has joined the ranks of the other gods in the Valhalla Collection, the first chapter in this series is complete. However, the Norse legends of old may still offer us future intrigues.”

With only 17,000 bottles released globally, this limited edition whisky comes housed in the same distinctive award winning wooden frame of Thor, Loki and Freya echoing the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship. The bottle itself reflects Odin’s character – dark and imperfect and slightly battle worn.

Tasting Notes: Highland Park ODIN / 16 years old / 55.8% ABV

Colour: Vivid burst of sunlight

Nose: This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice. Cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.

Palate: A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak combines with rich charred walnuts.

Finish: Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.

Odin will be available from specialist independent whisky retailers, at the Highland Park distillery and www.highlandpark.co.uk at an RRP of £180.

Wemyss releases new batch of single cask bottlings

Wemyss single casks Feb 2015 lowEdinburgh based boutique spirits company Wemyss Malts has today announced the release of its latest batch of single cask Scotch whiskies.

Each cask has been selected and named by the Wemyss tasting panel, under the watchful eye of industry aficionado Charlie Maclean.

As per all Wemyss single cask bottlings, each whisky has been named after and inspired by its unique aromas and flavours.

The full cask list from the latest batch:

“Kirsch Gateau” 1988 single cask from Bunnahabhain Distillery
“Cacao Geyser” 1998 single cask from Bowmore Distillery
“Snuffed Candle” 1999 singe cask from Aberfeldy Distillery
“Dark Treacle Fondant” 2002 single cask from Craigellachie Distillery
“Honeysuckle Bower” 1995 single cask from Linkwood Distillery
“Caribbean Crème” 1988 single cask from Invergordon Distillery

Commenting on the latest batch of releases, William Wemyss, Founder and Managing Director at Wemyss Malts, said: “We are delighted to introduce another excellent selection of single casks, named as always by our hard-working and creative tasting panel. We’ve selected a Bunnahabhain sherry butt to be bottled at cask strength in this release named Kirsch Gateau after its rich mahogany colour and palate of tempting dark chocolate and liqueur soaked cherries.”

The latest batch of Wemyss single cask’s, which are limited to only a few hundred bottles from each cask, will be available in the UK, Europe and key Asian markets, retailing for between £65-£130.