Whisky News March 7th, 2014

Some new expressions and news for this week! let’s start with Balblair.

Balblair releases 3 new expressions for Travel Retail


See? TR release with age statement. it can be done!

March 2014 sees Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky release three new Vintages exclusively in the Travel Retail channel. Balblair Vintage 2004, matured in bourbon barrels, the first release of the Balblair Vintage 1999 and the Balblair Vintage 2004, which is matured in sherry butts.The bourbon matured Balblair 2004 Vintage and the first release of Balblair 1999 Vintage will make their debut at the IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas in March, where trade visitors will have the chance to try the new Vintages for the first time. The sherry matured Balblair 2004 Vintage will be exclusively released to Asian Duty Free Operators.Gillian Gibson, Global Brand Manager for Balblair says, “We are releasing three new Vintages in response to overwhelming demand from the Travel Retail sector for our distinctively packaged Balblair Vintages. We value our customers and wanted to provide them with something unique and special.

Each Balblair Whisky is part of a limited release of a certain Vintage, selected by our Master Distiller and timed to perfection. These three releases represent a premium and exclusive choice for travelling Malt Scotch Whisky lovers and gift-givers.”

Balblair 2004 Bourbon Matured

  • Recommended Retail Price: £44.99, $73.99, €54.99
  • Stockists: Global Duty Free outlets
  • The first release of bourbon matured Balblair 2004 (£44.99) is golden in appearance. This fine Single Malt is fused with the unmistakable Balblair aromas of orange, lemon and green apple. Hints of leather, coconut and honey can also be detected. American oak, ex-bourbon barrels were used for the maturation of this special Vintage and have imparted a distinctive vanilla fragrance. On the palate citrus fruits combine with the sweetness of the vanilla, coconut and honey to create a zesty yet spicy, long-lasting finish.

Balblair 2004 Sherry Matured

  • Recommended Retail Price: £49.99, $82.99, €59.99
  • Stockists: Available for Asian Duty Free operators only
  • The first release of sherry matured Balblair 2004 (£49.99) is bronzed amber in appearance. This full bodied Vintage is fused with aromas of raisins, leather and spice. Hints of green apple, citrus fruits and dark chocolate can also be detected. American and Spanish oak, ex-sherry butts were used for the maturation of this fine Single Malt and have imparted a rich spicy note and vanilla fragrance. On the palate hints of raisins and spice combine with the sweetness of vanilla, coconut and honey to create a smooth, warming, long-lasting finish.

Balblair 1999 1st Release

  • Recommended Retail Price: £54.99, $89.99, €65.99
  • Stockists: Global Duty Free outlets
  • The first release of Balblair 1999 (£54.99) is copper bronze in appearance. On the nose there are the signature Balblair aromas: floral and fragrant punctuated with green apples, citrus fruits and vanilla. The American oak, ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish oak, ex-sherry butts used in maturation impart a rich spiciness and notes of leather, honey and chocolate. On the palate honey and vanilla notes combine with a rich spiciness and sweet toffee, resulting in a full bodied Vintage. The long lasting, smooth finish is sweet yet spicy.

The Singleton of Dufftown releases two new expression : “Tailfir” and “Sunray”

The Singleton of Dufftown Single Malt Scotch Whisky is adding two new, vibrant and exciting variants to its existing range, Diageo has announced.

Whilst keeping the smooth, rich nature of The Singleton of Dufftown, both “TAILFIRE” and “SUNRAY” have been created using specially selected casks to enhance particular elements of the flavour profile of this classic Speyside malt whisky. We want to inspire a new generation of whisky drinkers by putting flavour at the heart of everything we do and continuing our quest to create amazing tasting whiskies.

TAILFIRE has a vibrant and enticing character, which comes from maturation in a higher proportion of European oak casks specially selected to enhance the juicy red berry freshness and sweet aromas of vanilla and fresh cut grass. This variant will be launching in both grocery and whisky specialists in March 2014 across a number of markets in Western Europe (UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany in July 2014). The Recommended Retail Price of TAILFIRE in the UK market will be £33.

TAILFIRE bottle visual_mediumres

The smooth yet intense character of SUNRAY comes from maturation in a higher proportion of toasted Bourbon casks specially selected to deliver a honeyed, vanilla sweetness with aromas of blackcurrant and baked apple. SUNRAY will be launching exclusive to whisky specialists in March 2014 across a number of markets in Western Europe (UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark). The Recommended Retail Price of SUNRAY in the UK market will be £36.

Colourful packaging indicative of the taste profile, and clear flavour descriptors have been chosen to facilitate the demystification of single malt whisky, a category with historically fewer younger consumers. We want to clearly communicate what flavours people can expect to enjoy.

SUNRAY bottle visual_mediumres

TAILFIRE and SUNRAY have both been created by Diageo Master Blender, Dr Matthew Crow. Matthew comments, “I am immensely proud of these two single malts. TAILFIRE and SUNRAY embody the future of whisky, and have been created to inspire a new generation of whisky drinkers. The Singleton is a much loved Speyside whisky, and has always put great taste and flavour at the heart of their single malts.”

The names TAILFIRE and SUNRAY are derived from the names of salmon flies, inspired by the world of our icon, the leaping salmon and fly fishing near our home on the River Spey. The names are colourful, vibrant and interesting whilst also being indicative of the flavour profile of each whisky. TAILFIRE and SUNRAY join The Singleton family alongside the 12, 15 and 18 year old expressions.


Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has released two new small batch, single malt whiskies from its Speyside distillery, Tormore.

The launch of Tormore 14 Year Old and Tormore 16 Year Old, both produced in limited quantities from a small number of carefully-selected casks, coincides with a new identity for the brand, as it aims to appeal to the growing number of discerning drinkers who appreciate the craft quality and provenance of Speyside single malt whisky.


Tormore 14 Year Old and Tormore 16 Year Old are aged in American oak casks that demonstrate the distillery’s light, smooth, and fruity character. Tormore 14 Year Old has a fruity nose that offers hints of citrus and raspberry, a smooth, sweet taste featuring liquorice and ginger, followed by a long, sweet finish with a spicy tang.

Tormore 16 Year Old, which is bottled without chill-filtration to reveal further layers of complexity, presents a well-balanced nose of sweet orange and barley sugar, a mouth-watering, juicy taste of ripe melon and pear, with a long and slightly dry finish. Tormore 14 Year Old and Tormore 16 Year Old are currently sold in France, priced at 42€ and 56€ respectively, and are expected to be available in other countries throughout 2014.

The new look for Tormore includes a contemporary logo and refreshed packaging, which highlight the distillery’s still room and natural landscape, reinforcing the purity of the spirit. The whiskies are presented in a luxury gift box that features the batch number and the signature of Master Distiller, Neal Corbett, reinforcing its crafted quality and making it an ideal gift for single malt fans.

A new website (www.tormoredistillery.com) has also been developed, enabling malt whisky enthusiasts to discover the unique flavour profiles of the two expressions and to explore the distillery’s heritage.

Neal Corbett, Master Distiller at Tormore Distillery, comments: “The re-design of Tormore and the release of these handcrafted whiskies herald a new era for the distillery, which I am proud to be leading. Tormore 14 Year Old and 16 Year Old showcase the distillery’s smooth signature style, so we hope that both Scotch connoisseurs and discerning drinkers looking to expand their repertoire will enjoy discovering these whiskies in the months to come.”

tor2Tormore 14 Year Old 43% ABV
Nose: Refreshing citrus and raspberry notes with a background of toasted almonds.
Taste: Sweet with a hint of citrus, followed by an extra level of complexity from liquorice and ginger flavours.
Finish: Long and sweet with a spicy tang.

Tormore 16 Year Old 48% ABV
Nose: Deep and fruity with a tantalising layer of sweet orange and barley sugar. Incredibly smooth and well balanced.
Taste: Juicy and sweet with bursts of ripe melon and pear.
Finish: Long and slightly dry.

Diageo And World Duty Free Group Launch Johnnie Walker Explorers’ Club Collection Concept Store In Heathrow

Johnnie Walker Explorers' Club Collection Pack Shot

Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME) and World Duty Free Group have today opened an exclusive concept storein the departures concourse of London Heathrow Terminal 4, for JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTIONTM, the major global marketing initiative that represents one of Diageo’s most significant investments in travel retail.

The innovative, luxurious open-design site pays tribute to the travelling heritage of the John Walker & Sons agents who journeyed the world in the 19thand 20th Centuries, navigating their way down the famous trade routes in pursuit of new business and adventure.

It is based on the spirit of the Travellers’ Room established by Alexander Walker at the company’s headquarters in the City of London in the 1890s. Close to the shipping houses and docks from which its agents journeyed the world, they gathered to exchange stories and learnings from their travels, in turn inspiring generations of master blenders. This activation is a modern-day reimaging of this Travellers’ Room for contemporary voyagers to enjoy.

It features a deluxe tasting bar where travellers can engage with trained JOHNNIE WALKER ambassadors and discover the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION travel retail exclusive releases – THE SPICE ROADTM, THE GOLD ROUTETM and THE ROYAL ROUTETM. The store also combines JOHNNIE WALKER inspiration and education areas alongside a retail zone, which offers for purchase, all of the blends in the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION. The activation offers a superior travel retail shopping experience for those journeying through London Heathrow, and enables travellers to fully immerse themselves in the history of the brand and the collection, prior to purchase.

Paul Downing, Key Accounts Director, Diageo Global Travel: “This innovative activation is a direct result of the excellent partnership we have with the World Duty Free Group both here in London Heathrow and further afield. The scale of this concept store represents our commitment to our highly valued travel retail consumers. We are continuously looking for ways to engage with busy travellers. The concept store is a striking spectacle that brings to life the brand’s heritage in travel, exciting and inspiring customers on their journeys.

“In keeping with the style of the Travellers’ Room, where the agents swapped samples and tales from their voyages, consumers who visit the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB will be able to return from their adventures with something they cannot buy at home – the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION, a range of Blended Scotch Whiskies designed exclusively for travellers.”

Eugenio Andrades, Chief Commercial Officer of World Duty Free Group, said: “We are truly excited to welcome the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION activation to London Heathrow. We are pleased and proud to host the first concept store this year and are thankful for this fantastic trinity project with Diageo and Heathrow, helping to highlight the strength of our on-going partnerships with both the brand and the airport. We are confident that the activation will surprise and delight our customers, offering them a truly unique shopping experience. Since the JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION launched in November 2012 it has been very popular with global travellers and is regarded as a brilliant example of a highly successful travel retail exclusive.”

The store officially opened for business on 25th February. It will welcome global travellers until the end of May where they can purchase THE JOHNNIE WALKER EXPLORERS’ CLUB COLLECTION – THE SPICE ROAD (RRP £32.99), THE GOLD ROUTE (RRP £84.99) and THE ROYAL ROUTE (RRP £125).

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