BENROMACH RELEASES ONE OF ITS RAREST EXPRESSIONS TO DATE

Benromach 35yoThe Benromach Distillery Company, has today announced the launch of one of their rarest expressions to date.

Benromach 35 Years Old (43% ABV) was crafted and laid down to mature at the distillery in the 1980’s, before the Urquhart family, owners of leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, revived it in 1998.

Handcrafted using the finest natural ingredients at the Forres distillery, and created under the watchful eye of former Distillery Manager Donald MacDonald, this latest rare release is said to exude the heritage of the Speyside distillery.

Delivering notes of orange marmalade, kiwi, grapefruit aromas and cinnamon spice to the nose and notes of honey, fruitcake, ripe banana and melon to the palate, Benromach 35 Year Old, comes packaged in a bespoke decanter that is encased within a wooden presentation box, reflecting the various elements which have gone into making the whisky; the copper stills, the dark, grained wood of the original washbacks and the white of the limewashed distillery walls.

Commenting on the release, Keith Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said: “Benromach 35 Year Old is a very special whisky for everyone at the distillery, as very few casks of Benromach remain from this time period. Benromach today is created respecting the traditional working practices of yesteryear and is lovingly handcrafted by sight, by sound, and by touch, using the finest natural ingredients. The 35 Year Old is the perfect dram to toast the past, present and future of Benromach.”

Originally built in 1898, Benromach Distillery was brought back to life when leading whisky specialists Gordon & MacPhail purchased it in 1993. The distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.

In reopening Benromach Distillery, Gordon & MacPhail decided to create a classic Speyside single malt, a style that draws its influence from Speyside whiskies pre-1960s.

Benromach 35 Year Old, will be available later this month from specialist retailers for a RRP of £425.00.

 

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Tamdhu shows its strength with new expression

TAMDHU_RENDER_BS_150DPI_TUBETamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled a new Batch Strength expression to complement the brand’s existing 10 Year Old offering.

The special edition Tamdhu Batch Strength is bottled un-chillfiltered at natural colour and high strength. The first of its kind from Tamdhu, the Batch Strength expression remains true to the Victorian optimism of the brand’s founders, upholding their passion to create only the finest single malt.

To achieve the most genuine taste and character, the new expression has been matured in a small number of exceptional, hand-selected, sherry oak casks at Tamdhu Distillery, located in the heart of Speyside. The first batch of this new expression has been bottled at 58.8% alcohol by volume.

Commenting on the new malt, Iain Weir, Marketing Director for Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “We’re extremely excited to be unveiling this new expression. Tamdhu is a brand that we are exceptionally proud of and it’s great to be able to extend the range from our existing award winning 10 Year Old malt”.

He continued: “Our Batch Strength is the purists’ choice and we feel that this hugely satisfying malt is going to be a popular addition to the Tamdhu range. It is the closest you’ll get to sampling a dram of whisky straight from a Tamdhu cask!”

Each batch is unique and varies slightly in style and strength but will always capture the complex richness and intensity of sherry cask matured whisky.

Tamdhu is owned by one of Scotland’s leading, independent family-owned distillers, Ian Macleod Distillers. Tamdhu was born on the banks of the River Spey in 1897 – an era when anything seemed possible. When obstacles were there to be overcome, an age of the Can-Dhu- Spirit. Its quality is defined by the hint of peat in its malted barley, the natural Speyside water that is drawn directly from the Tamdhu spring and the 100% exclusive use of only the finest sherry oak casks.

NOSE: Red berries, sultanas, walnuts, hints of pecan, delicate citrus and oak, creamy vanilla, cookie dough.

PALATE: Powerful burst of richness, fantastically rounded with sherry oak, spice and dry fruit. Kept on the palate, lighter fruits come to the fore- apricot, orange and crème brûlée.

FINISH: Rich, biscuity and malty, toast and marmalade with pleasing fruitiness lingering.

NAS Scotch to replace The Glenlivet 12yo

Chivas Brothers intenThe-Glenlivet-Founders-Reserveds to replace The Glenlivet 12 Year Old with its new no-age-statement expression Founder’s Reserve to alleviate pressure on aged whisky stocks.

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, which was revealed in October last year will replace The Glenlivet 12 Year Old in mature malt markets, including the UK, from March.

However, it will not be replaced outright “on a global basis”.

Laurent Lacassagne, CEO of Chivas Brothers, admitted availability continues to be a “big challenge” in the malt industry, but was firm on Chivas Brothers’ strategy to retain age statements within its portfolio.

He said: “There is no mystery that the recent growth has been very surprising to what we planned for years ago. The Glenlivet range remains one very driven by age stated products and that will remain. Founder’s complements 12 but will not replace 12 on a global basis. On a market basis maybe, but we may decide to push Founders more than 12 in very local activations.”

Lacassagne declined to specify which markets will lose the 12 Year Old.

Founder’s Reserve, a no-age-statement whisky which carries an RRP of around £30 per 700ml bottle, has been matured in “a range of traditional aged oak casks”.

Vicky Hoey, head of Champagne and premium spirits at Pernod Ricard UK, who will cease distribution The Glenlivet 12 Year Old this month, said: “Purchase intent among our test group for The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve was even higher than for The Glenlivet 12 Year Old, so we believe that the new expression will not only be a hit, but will also generate additional interest in The Glenlivet range.

“Founder’s Reserve will continue The Glenlivet’s exciting journey, bringing to life the heart and soul of The Glenlivet.”

Asked whether Chivas Brothers intends to replace Nadurra 16 Year Old with The Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill, which has a similar taste profile and was released in September 2014, Lacassagne said: “We are experiencing challenges in terms of availability of highly aged products… it’s something we need to manage.

“We will see what we do with the 16, but the aged products will remain up to the 21 Year Old.”

The Glenlivet is one of just two single malt Scotch whiskies to sell over one million cases annually, reaching the milestone at the end of last year.

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.

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.