Quite a lot of news this week, so let’s get started.
Ardbeg announces ‘The Kildalton Project’ – a long-term partnership with The North Highland Initiative +a new bottling!
he Glenmorangie Company is delighted to announce a new partnership with the North Highland Initiative (NHI). Inspired by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, the NHI is a charity that supports fragile, rural communities across the North Highlands.
This new partnership will bring together Ardbeg Distillery and the NHI to work with community organisations in Port Ellen, Isle of Islay.
To help raise funds for this community-based initiative, Ardbeg Distillery is introducing a prestigious limited edition whisky, Ardbeg Kildalton, to go on sale immediately at the Ardbeg Distillery.
Ardbeg Kildalton takes its name from the nearby Kildalton Cross; at 1200 years old it is an icon of Islay and Scotland and stands six miles along the coast from the Distillery. Kildalton and Oa is also the name of the ancient parish that includes the Distillery and Port Ellen.
With more than 20,000 visitors per year and a passionate following in the Ardbeg Committee, the Distillery plans to involve as many people as possible in the fundraising effort for the Kildalton Project.
Tom Campbell, CEO of The North Highland Initiative, will head the project team working closely with the South Islay Development board. Funds raised from the launch of Ardbeg Kildalton will contribute to the project’s development. The Kildalton Project Team will also begin a fundraising campaign to attract other supporters.
David Whiteford, chair of The North Highland Initiative said: “We are delighted to have The Glenmorangie Company as a new partner and it is exciting to be involved here on Islay as it extends the original scope of the North Highland Initiative and the vision of His Royal Highness in promoting sustainable communities.
“The Kildalton Project will bring alive this vision in a vital island community and is the kind of project where we can add support and expertise to already hard working rural community groups.”
Jackie Thomson, chair of South Islay Development, and Visitor Centre Manager at the Ardbeg Distillery commented: “We thank The North Highland Initiative and Ardbeg Distillery for helping us initiate The Kildalton Project; Islay is really ‘on the move’ and South Islay in particular is becoming a dynamic place to visit as a result of the projects we already have underway.
“A new Community Hub will be an important piece of the jigsaw in sustaining Port Ellen as a vibrant community.”
For The Glenmorangie Company, Hamish Torrie, director of Corporate Social Responsibility concluded: “The Kildalton Project is a great illustration of our long term commitment to playing our part in the community of Islay.
“We are delighted to have the support and encouragement of His Royal Highness and welcome the NHI team to Islay.”
Ardbeg Kildalton is a limited edition whisky that is non chill-filtered for extra texture and mouth feel, and with a strength of 46% ABV.
Created by Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation from a range of different ages and styles of Ardbeg matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
Dr Bill Lumsden describes Ardbeg Kildalton:
“Ardbeg Kildalton is a rather curious whisky, created from an interesting cask selection. Sublime whiskies from two carefully selected years have been chosen for their juxtaposed, but complimentary styles. A blessed marriage of firm, smoky, but creamy Ardbeg from Bourbon barrels with rather racy, spicy whiskies from new and refill Sherry casks has given a harmonious union of bold, colourful flavours.
What other Scotch Malt Whisky could bring together the powerful flavour of coal tar soap with the softness of sweet, sweet barley malt?
Truly whisky Royalty!!”
Availability of Ardbeg Kildalton
At the Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Kildalton will go on sale exclusively at Ardbeg Distillery on Wednesday 11th June.
Ardbeg Kildalton will be available to purchase online from Autumn 2014 – in the UK and selected European markets.
Recommended selling price
Ardbeg Kildalton will have an RSP of £120.00 per bottle (plus post and packing).
Ardbeg Kildalton Taste Notes
A beautiful, seductive, exotic bouquet, with hints of smoked apricots in syrup, salt and pepper seasoning, and some soft, creamy vanilla. This then leads in to a symphony of smoky and herbal notes, like wood smoke, tar, menthol and fennel. A little water releases more volatile top notes, like pine resin, vetiver root, coriander, liquorice and a curious soapy note.
The texture is soft and ‘sappy’, gently coating the tongue. The explosion of firm, robust flavours is unquestionably Ardbeg – coal tar soap, aniseed, peppermint, espresso coffee, sweet barley malt, and a lingering, aromatic smokiness.
The lengthy finish is both fresh, with menthol, and spicy, with hints of allspice, clove and bitter almonds, finally revealing a distant vanilla essence sweetness.
Rumbullion! XO – The World’s First Super-Premium Spiced Rum
UK Drinks Distributor Maverick Drinks is proud to announce the launch of the world’s first super-premium spiced rum, Rumbullion! XO.
This fabulous spirit is a 15-year-old version of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s award-winning spiced rum which was launched to critical acclaim in 2011.
Based on a blend of top-quality, rich 15-year-old Caribbean rum, Rumbullion! XO is flavoured with an intense mix of fresh cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, with a luxurious helping of creamy Madagascan vanilla and a zesty helping of orange rind.
Since its 2011 release, the original Rumbullion! has received numerous awards including a Gold medal at the prestigious 2014 Rum Masters. This new XO 15 year old edition includes all of the award-winning flavour of the original, but with an added dimension of complexity and depth thanks to the incredibly old rum in the recipe.
Each bottle is wrapped in crinkled brown paper, featuring a print of a hand-drawn illustration depicting the flag of the Royal Navy, as well as the various spices and flavours used in the recipe. The bottle necks are wrapped with twine, and each bottle is individually dipped in black sealing wax.
This superb rum can be enjoyed neat, though it is also rather good when served with ice and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Tasting Notes fo Rumbullion! XO
Nose: A huge hit of creamy, sweet vanilla and juicy, freshly sliced oranges. There is a mulled wine-like delivery of toasted cinnamon and cloves, with a core of well-aged rum. Aromatic notes of dark chocolate, ripe plums and fragrant oak develop in the glass.
Palate: Exceedingly thick, mouth-coating palate-entry offering up crystallised peels, Seville orange marmalade and even a hint of blackberry. Soft chamois leather and cedar wood provide a complex backbone alongside a huge dosing of cinnamon, cloves and liquorice.
Finish: Long, sparkling finish with notes of old-fashioned cola cubes and intense bittersweet orange. A final flutter of toasted oak appears on the tail.
Overall: This offers all the massive flavour of the original Rumbullion!, with a beautiful added dimension of depth and complexity.
GLENDRONACH LAUNCHES LATEST BATCH OF GRANDEUR 24 YEAR-OLD
THE Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said that “spring is the time of new plans and projects”…and the season sees the latest project by GlenDronach coming to fruition with the launch today (11 June) of its newest batch of the Grandeur 24 year-old single malt.
Designed for the serious connoisseur, the Grandeur 24 Years Old is yet another example of the sweet, gutsy, full-bodied style for which award-winning GlenDronach is renowned.
Matured for almost a quarter of a century in the finest sherry casks to create the luscious and luxurious Grandeur 24 Years Old, it’s a classic, traditionally-crafted Highland single malt.
At 48.9% vol and beautifully gift-boxed, this remarkable whisky has been specially selected by Master Distiller Billy Walker from some of the oldest and most unique Oloroso sherry casks at the Forgue distillery.
This bottling, batch number 5 of the Grandeur releases, is limited to 600 bottles. Individually numbered by hand, each bottle is a one-off and truly unique, making it a very special single malt.
Billy Walker’s evocative tasting notes paint a vivid picture of this outstanding expression.
Official Tasting notes:
Appearance: Glistening burnt amber holds a rich crimson heart.
Nose: A magnificent combination of honey-drenched dates and succulent raisins which gently ebb and flow with waves of delicate orange blossom, mint and cracked black pepper. Hints of glazed cherries and toasted almonds perfectly complement the seductive nose – a nose to be appreciated slowly and often.
Palate: A fabulously full-bodied, vibrant palate captures a multitude of classic sherry cask characteristics. The delicate sweetness of rum-soaked golden sultanas refines rich espresso, dark chocolate and treacle toffee. Zesty orange oil softens to a deep clove spice and prolongs the ever-changing palate. A sublime example of understanding the relationship between cask and single malt perfectly.
Conclusions: The Grandeur 24 Years Old encapsulates the perfect harmony of exquisite sherry oak casks, masterful maturation and traditional crafted Highland single malt. A dram to be savoured in order to reveal the depth of dramatic flavours held in the glass. A truly memorable and captivating GlenDronach expression.
Sales Director Alistair Walker commented: “Spring is the time to lift your spirits after a long winter and this latest batch of Grandeur does just that. This really is GlenDronach in all its sherry maturation grandeur – it’s a superb dram that brilliantly sums up everything we do well.”
DIAGEO OPENS £1.5MILLION STATE-OF-THE-ART NEW HOME FOR THE WORLD’S LARGEST ALCOHOL BRAND ARCHIVE
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, opened the doors to a stunning new £1.5million home for the largest alcohol brand archive in the world.
The Diageo Archive’s fitting location, in Scotland, has been expanded with striking new facilities to store over half a million items of drinks heritage from world famous brands such as JOHNNIE WALKER®, TANQUERAY™, BAILEYS® and SMIRNOFF®. The collection is curated by a team of professional archivists dedicated to discovering and leveraging the stories behind these iconic brands.
Christine McCafferty, Archive Manager, said, “The Diageo Archive is the largest source of drinks brand information in the world. From vintage advertisements, to film and industry accolades, we have items dating back over four centuries, from 150 countries supporting 1,500 brands and nearly 200 production sites.
“It’s a living resource, changing daily as our teams create new advertising, new bottle designs and new innovation.”
The Diageo Archive, located in the village of Menstrie, near Alloa in Scotland, is widely regarded as instrumental in developing the stories behind Diageo’s leading brands, as David Gates, Diageo’s global head of premium core spirits, explains:
“In a world where people are making purchase decisions based on brand authenticity we have access to an unparalleled wealth of heritage that underpins our brands as category leaders.”
“We feel we are literally standing on the shoulders of giants – safeguarding the legacy left by the great individuals who forged new paths for our brands. The Diageo Archive is a significant resource in ensuring we continue to build upon their pioneering journeys.”
“It is as fundamental to the business today, as it was when first built and continues to establish credentials, support global initiatives and set cornerstones for iconic brands such as JOHN WALKER & SONS ODYSSEY™ and JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™.”