BALBLAIR PRESENTS THREE NEW VINTAGE EXPRESSIONS
Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has presented three new vintage expressions
– Balblair 2003, Balblair 1990 (2nd release) and Balblair 1983 (3rd release) – set to become
available in time for Christmas. In line with the previous successful releases from the
coveted distillery, the new bottlings are presented as single Vintages.
The new Vintages will replace Balblair 2002, 1989 and 1975, and along with the 1997
Vintage they will form the brand’s core range. The rotation of Vintages is part of Balblair’s
strategy to only bottle whiskies distilled in a single year, but it’s the first time since the
launch of the Vintage concept in 2007 that three new core expressions are launched
Balblair 2003 is the new entry-level offering in distillery’s portfolio. Similarly to its predecessors it was matured solely in American oak ex-bourbon barrels which gave it a light, crisp character with a gentle vanilla and spice influence. Balblair 2003 is presented in a premium hard box opening from the front, previously only used in Balblair’s older expressions. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV, non chill-filtered and at its natural bright colour. The recommended retail price is £41.
The new Balblair 1990 follows in the footsteps of the iconic Balblair 1989 Vintage, an expression which became a firm favourite for many single malt whisky fans around the world.
The 1990 Vintage offers a similar level of maturity and intensity of flavour but because of years of maturation in both American oak ex-bourbon casks and Spanish oak first re-fill ex-sherry (Oloroso) butts, it dares to be different. The European oak influence gives the familiar Balblair house style of tropical fruits, citrus and toffee a rich and rewarding layer of chocolate
and dried fruit. Balblair 1990 Vintage is bottled at 46%, non chill-filtered for maximum flavour and boasts a deep natural amber hue. The recommended retail price is £85.
Balblair 1983 is a very mature whisky offering unmatched depth and complexity of character white retaining Balblair’s clean and fruity house style. Matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, the 1983 Vintage is bursting with rich aromas of butterscotch, honey, spices, citrus, bananas and creamy vanilla. This extraordinary whisky is bottled at 46% ABV and just like all the other Balblair expressions it has not been chill-filtered or coloured. The recommended retail price for this very special Balblair is £200.
Douglas Laing and Co, the leading independent Scotch Whisky specialists have announced the release of their annual charity bottling – a Braeval 12 Years Old Single Sherry Cask with all profits going to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
Douglas Laing’s Founder Fred Douglas Laing flew with RAF Coastal Command throughout World War Two making this years charitable bottling particularly poignant and fitting for the family owned Whisky firm.
Only 762 bottles have been released with the label depicting the striking hand-drawn Spitfire LO-Q courtesy of Scottish artist Professor Dugald Cameron, formerly Head of Glasgow School of Art. This very Spitfire featured was flown by Sandy Johnstone of 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron during the Battle of Britain.
Says Douglas Laing & Co’s Managing Director Fred Laing: “The association between Sergeant Fred Douglas Laing and the RAF Benevolent Fund was irresistible for me as I recollect how proud he was of his war service in the RAF – though a Spitfire ace he was not! I hope this iconic Spitfire drawing on the label, allied to a great Scotch Malt dram and the wonderful cause of the RAF Benevolent Fund will make this bottling a real ace!”
Bob Kemp, Regional Director of the RAF Benevolent Fund said, “We are delighted to team with Douglas Laing & Co in the unique launch of this rather special Clan Denny Braeval malt. The company has declared that all profits of this bottling will come to the RAF Benevolent Fund for which we are most grateful. And we will certainly raise a glass and remember founder Fred and all he achieved in his time flying with Coastal Commend in the dark days of the Second World War.”
Aged for 12 years, bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength and with no chill-filtration, the result is a very special Single Sherry Cask bottling whose tasting notes say it all: Revs up – sweetly citric and butterscotched on the nose – with a palate taking off into macerated fruit, honey, cinnamon and camphor – soaring to a finish of vanilla, barley and biscuits.
Douglas Laing’s Clan Denny Braeval 12 Years Old Single Cask bottling with all profits going to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund will be available in all good Whisky specialist retailers from December 2013.
Diageo have announced a series of limited edition single malt Scotch Whiskies available exclusively to the Friends of the Classic Malts™.
Five different single malts will be released at intervals over the next 6 months, throughout UK, Germany and Switzerland.
The first releases, in December 2013 will be editions of Royal Lochnagar™ and Talisker™. Three more single malts will be issued between January and June 2014: a further announcement with details of these releases will follow in January.
The distinctive feature of all the five malts in this rare and unusual series is that, in order to develop a whisky with a distinctive and complex profile that will intrigue the discerning connoisseurs among the Friends of the Classic Malts, they have been matured in a totally different way from the familiar Classic Malts Bottlings – and different also from the Distillers Editions of the same single malts.
The single malts in these special Friends’ bottlings have all been triple matured. Their initial maturation has been, conventionally, in refill casks. Next the liquids were transferred to charred American oak hogsheads, imparting spicy notes and a touch of sweet oak. To complete the conversation between spirit and oak, the whiskies enjoyed a third maturation in European Oak refill casks which softened, mellowed and integrated the aromas and flavours. Finally the whiskies were bottled at a generous 48% ABV.
Only a few thousand bottles of each expression are being produced: no more than 24,000 bottles are available in total across the five editions, and via online retailers and at Distilleries.
“These are truly special whiskies which we are proud to offer as an exclusive reward to our loyal members of Friends of the Classic Malts”, said Julien LeBescond, Diageo’s Senior Brand Manager for Scotch Single Malts for in Western Europe. “We greatly value their support and enthusiasm, and we’re confident that they will enjoy these exciting and unique liquids which we asked our master blenders to prepare just for them.”
Limited and exclusive distribution for Friends
These limited editions are being made available in selected Western European markets and via online retailers exclusively to members of the Friends of the Classic Malts so a true reward for loyalty.
In addition, bottles will be available for purchase by personal visitors to the relevant distillery – though again, only to signed-up members of Friends of the Classic Malts, or to visitors who join during their visit. Whether purchased online or at the distillery, the bottles are priced at £80 and the equivalent in Euros, and sales are limited to two bottles per customer.
Auchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, has released a rare limited edition of the 1975 expression exclusively to travel retail. With only 500 bottles in existence, only the lucky few will be able to savour this rare, cask strength non-chill filtered Single Malt, which has been aged in hand-selected, north American bourbon casks for over 38 years.
Following on from the success of the first batch released in the domestic market in 2011, this second release of the vintage has been matured for an additional year giving it its particularly fresh, dewy fruity qualities. It becomes part of a series of superb vintage releases from the late 1970s including the 1979 sherry matured and the 1974 bourbon matured.
Presented in a premium slate grey double fronted box, both the carton and the bottle deliberately retain a subtlety and understated luxury best reserved for higher aged vintage releases. Once opened the box reveals a stunning design using barrel staves. Labeling is minimal with both the name and label appearing slimmer to reveal the liquid as the true hero. The neck of the bottle is also clear exposing the natural cork. The date of bottling is written on each of the bottles.
Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour.
Auchentoshan Master Blender Rachel Barrie says “Having spent an additional year maturing in the highest quality North American bourbon casks, the 2013 bottling of Auchentoshan 1975 allows the drinker to experience the complexity and ripe, developed fruit flavours associated with a whisky of this vintage.’’
To the eye: Copper gold.
To the nose: Ripe, sun-drenched fruits: pears, figs and honeydew melon.
To the palate: Papaya and pink grapefruit, with baked pineapple and almond cake.
The finish: Subtle notes of white grapes, elderflower & almonds.
There will be 500 bottles available globally in a range of international airports priced at £500+ with an ABV of 45.6%.