TALISKER LAUNCHES NEW TRAVEL RETAIL EXCLUSIVE

Diageo has announced the launch of a new non-age statement Travel Retail exclusive expression, from its multi-award winning Isle of Skye distillery, Talisker.

Talisker Neist Point (45.8% ABV) is the latest creation from the distillery’s Malt Master, Craig Wilson, and is said to showcase a wider range of Talisker characteristics rather than any single aspect of the whisky.

Named after the most westerly headland on the Isle of Skye, Talisker Neist Point, has been crafted with a number of whiskies that were specifically chosen for their flavour, along with some of Talisker’s rarest and smoothest mature stocks.

This latest release is said to deliver notes of freshly baked sourdough bread, ripe red fruits, honey, creamy toffee, peat, wood smoke and sulphurous spent match on the nose, followed by notes of home-made potato chips cooked in beef dripping, South American chocolate laced with chilli, redcurrants, tannins and tarragon on the palate.

Commenting on the launch, Craig Wilson, Talisker Malt Master, said:“Using casks from a wide variety of different wood type and ages, I’ve captured the differing flavour profiles of Talisker, incorporating fiery, spicy and sweeter vanilla notes. By using some of our finest, rare casks that have been left to rest longer, Talisker Neist Point delivers an incomparable flavour journey with an extra-refined, sweet, smoky, finish that engulfs the palate, wave after wave. “

Talisker Neist Point, will be available later this month through Travel Retail, for a RRP of £115.00.

BALLANTINE’S LAUNCHES NEW DOUBLE CHARRED EXPRESSION

Ballantines Hard FiredBallantine’s Blended Scotch Whisky has announced the launch of a new expression, which is said to have had its taste profile developed through the transformative power of fire.

Ballantine’s Hard Fired (40% ABV) has been made using American oak barrels which were chosen by the Ballantine’s wood management team. The barrels were then sent to the cooperage to be charred for a second time, a process known as ‘hard firing’ where the char length and intensity is judged by sight. Master Blender Sandy Hyslop then nosed each barrel and selected those best to be filled with a Ballantine’s blend for resting.

This latest expression is said to introduce a bespoke process in the production of Scotch whisky and provide a unique experience within the Ballantine’s family, which aimed at whisky drinkers seeking authenticity and craftsmanship in new Scotch styles.

Commenting on the launch, Sandy Hyslop said: “Ballantine’s Hard Fired showcases the natural and unique results that American oak and fire produce on Scotch whisky. When charred, casks form a natural layer of caramelised wood sugars that react with whisky and a double char understandably intensifies this effect. The result is a smooth, creamy and subtly smoky Scotch whisky with tasting notes of sweet honey, soft red apples and tangy liquorice. This balanced flavour profile results in a premium whisky that sits well within the Ballantine’s family style while offering something new.”

Ballantine’s Hard Fired, will be available later this month in Poland and France before rolling out globally in March 2016, retailing for around 25% more than Ballantine’s Finest expression.

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.

Woodford Reserve announces the launch of its Kentucky Straight Rye

woodford ryeWoodford Reserve has announced the release of its latest permanent product extension, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. This latest release showcases the company’s ongoing commitment to both whiskey lovers and innovation within the industry.

Woodford Reserve Rye (45.2%) is the third permanent line extension to join the portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

When it comes to the craft of bourbon and whiskey, Woodford Reserve prides itself on maintaining an original and contemporary approach that focuses primarily on the adjustment of one of the five sources of flavour. To complement and emphasize the spice characteristics found in the original Woodford Reserve, the Rye uses a base that’s 53% rye, resulting in a liquid that’s both more balanced, and refreshingly subtle.

Since 2006, Master Distiller Chris Morris has been hard at work crafting a rye that’s worthy of the Woodford Reserve name. Because of the consistency of the mash, rye is notoriously more difficult to craft than a traditional bourbon, requiring more attention to detail throughout production, leaving the bulk of production to only the most experienced Master Distillers.

Commenting on the new release, Chris Morris, said: “One of the primary reasons behind Woodford’s growth into the number one selling ultra-premium[i] bourbon in America is because of our commitment to flavour, and that’s something that’s engrained in everything we do. Not only does it affect how I approach bourbon production personally, it’s the lens through which we view the future of Woodford Reserve, and I couldn’t think of a liquid that better embodies that than the rye.”

Woodford Reserve Rye is produced with the same heritage and tradition that surrounds the site of the iconic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. As early as the mid-1800s, the site has been the location for visionary distilling practices, an attitude that Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow, the first people to distil at this location, fully embraced. Together, they perfected several whiskey production processes that continue to be used throughout the industry and have since become synonymous with great whiskey. Today, the Woodford Reserve Distillery is visited by more than 130,000 visitors each year.

Woodford Reserve Rye will be initially available across the US from February, for a RRP of $37.99.