Whisky News & PR corner September 5th, 2014

Good morning, by the time you will be reading it I will be landing in the NL for the annual Maltstock whisky festival, more updates later, but until then a few news items for this week.

Ardbeg Supernova 2014 out September 12th

Ardbeg Supernova 2

Not even released and this ardbeg is already causing a stir in the whisky puddle, with the mini versions of this whisky been sought after by mini collectors, to the extent that Oliver Klimek of Dramming.com and Joel & Neil from Caskstrength posted videos of themselves destroying empty supernova minis after tasting them, and calling other bloggers to do the same rather than sell the full / empty mini bottle for tons of cash on auction.

Ardbeg is releasing a new expression of their peatiest single malt: the sold out, highly sought-after Supernova. Available exclusively to the 100,000 Ardbeg Committee members and fittingly named after a super-bright explosion of a star, Ardbeg Supernova will be on sale around the world from 12th September 2014. Supernova will commemorate the return of Ardbeg’s pioneering research experiment in space, the launch coinciding with the date a vial of Ardbeg spirit will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere after nearly three years orbiting the globe aboard the International Space Station.

Having blasted off from earth in 2011, the spirit, from the island of Islay in Scotland, has been on a galactic journey – one destined to change the whisky industry forever!  Specially designed for the mission, a vial of Ardbeg has been orbiting the earth’s atmosphere at 17,227 miles per hour, 15 times a day for 1,045 days. At the same time an identical vial has had a slightly easier journey, having been housed at Warehouse 3 at the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay to act as a control sample.

Now the two samples will be reunited in a laboratory in Houston, Texas to allow scientists to decipher the impact gravity has on the whisky maturation process. Scientists will compare the two samples, examining the interaction of the Ardbeg-crafted molecules with charred oak to document what differences occur between earth whisky and space whisky.

It is the first study of its kind.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, will lead the research, working alongside Ardbeg’s space partners – US-based space research company NanoRacks LLC. A final white paper with the full research findings will be published in 2015 once all testing is complete.

Considered one of the leading innovators in the whisky industry, and a chemist by trade, Dr Lumsden explained: “Ardbeg is known for taking risks in its development of some of the most coveted whiskies in the world, so it is fitting that it is the first whisky ever in space. We are now close to the end, close to finding answers to something previously unknown which is truly exciting.

“This is one small step for man, but one giant leap for whisky and the team hope to uncover how flavours develop in different gravitational conditions – findings which could revolutionise the whisky-making process.

“We hope to shine new light on the effect of gravity on the maturation process but who knows where it will lead us? It could be to infinity and beyond!”

Previous incarnations of Supernova have been described as “out of this world” and Supernova 2014 looks set to follow this form. From the first nosing, Supernova instantly transports you into orbit with intense zestiness of smoked lemons and pears. Upon tasting, the onslaught of flavour comes in as powerful peppermint, antiseptic lozenges and medicinal tones orbit around Supernova’s immense, peaty core. The aftertaste simply disappears into infinity, such is its length…

Bottled at 55% ABV, Supernova 2014 is available globally from 12 September. It will be available to purchase atwww.ardbeg.com

anCnoc whisky is releasing the latest peated expressions : “Cutter”

Earlier this year anCnoc, the spirit of Modern Tradition, shone light on its dark side
by introducing the Peaty Collection. Comprising of three exceptional single malt
scotch whiskies –Rutter, Flaughter and Tushkar – this new, darker and moodier
incarnation of the award-winning Highland Single Malt delighted fans and critics
around the world with its depth, focus and the elegant balance between the
distillery style and the wealth of rich smokiness. These new unusual bottlings were
all named after peat-cutting tools to emphasise the connection between anCnoc
and the fuel traditionally used in Scotland in the process of drying malted barley,
responsible for the unmistakable, robust character of the finished product.

anC Peaty Cutter

Cutter
On the 1st of September a new expression has been added to the acclaimed Peaty
Collection. Cutter is the fourth in the series and the peatiest one so far. While
Rutter, Flaughter and Tushkar had phenol contents ranging from 11 to 15 parts per
million (ppm), their new sibling boasts a very high phenol content of 20.5 ppm,
putting it in line with some of the most intensely smoky whiskies on the market. It is
worth noting that the level of peating is measured on the finished whisky rather than
the malt or the new make spirit, giving a more reliable description of the actual
perceived level of peatiness. What’s more, the phenol content is highlighted on the
packaging to help whisky lovers make more informed decisions.
Cutter is matured in ex-bourbon casks made from American oak. It is bottled at
46% ABV and non chill-filtered. Like all Peaty Collection expressions it is presented
at its natural colour, a light shade reminiscent of lemon juice. The aroma is
unmistakably peaty with oily smoke followed by a sharper, more medicinal note and
a piercing ray of fruit and spice. On the palate it gains even more smoky intensity
with ashy overtones, a slight apple-core bitterness and a spicy vanilla heart. This is
a richly phenolic whisky for the seasoned peat-lovers or those looking to shine light
on their dark side of flavour and experience the full force of a truly peaty dram.
Cutter will be available from the 1st September in key international markets, such
as the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France to name but a few. The US
launch date will be confirmed at a later time. The recommended retail price is
£52/$85/€64.

NEW LIMITED RELEASES FROM TOMATIN DISTILLERY

tomatin_cuatro

Staying with the Sherry theme, the company has also added to its Cù Bòcan brand range with another limited edition: the Sherry edition. With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from each cask type.

Fully matured in first fill Sherry butts, the Sherry edition is rich and fruity with hints of smoke and paprika. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 in specialist retailers.

The Tomatin Cuatro Series presents four unique limited edition expressions of Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

All distilled on the same day, the whisky was matured for nine years in traditional American Oak casks and was then transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. The range includes: Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.

With its Spanish sherry inspiration, the name “Cuatro” is fitting as the Spanish word for “four”.

Graham Eunson, Distillery Manager, launched the new release with a Tweet Tasting on the evening of 3rd September, where selected tasters were provided samples of each expression along with its relevant Sherry. He said: “We are constantly striving to innovate and push boundaries and I believe Cuatro is a great example of something yet again different from Tomatin Distillery. Sherry is a key feature within our core range and this limited series allows us to delve deeper into the different effects it can have on our whisky.”

There are 1500 bottles of each expression available and each is expected to retail at £49.99.

New Cu Bocan Sherry Casks from Tomatin

Staying with the Sherry theme, the company has also added to its Cù Bòcan brand range with another limited edition: the Sherry edition. With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from each cask type.

cu_sherry

Fully matured in first fill Sherry butts, the Sherry edition is rich and fruity with hints of smoke and paprika. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 in specialist retailers.

Johnnie Walker Houses open in India and Taiwan

The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE Mumbai launched today

Diageo Global Travel is proud to announce the opening of two JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ retail showcase stores in travel retail – one in Mumbai, India and another in Taipei, Taiwan.

Following the success of the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE launches in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul and continuing the brand’s mantra of ‘Keep Walking’, the new JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES in Mumbai and Taipei are multi-sensory embassies for luxury Blended Scotch Whisky, designed to educate and inspire travellers by providing them with a luxurious and engaging shopping experience that encapsulates the history, provenance and pioneering spirit of the JOHNNIE WALKER® brand.

Travellers can fully immerse themselves in the history of JOHNNIE WALKER and its famous liquids through a number of striking wall installations; and in deluxe mentoring spaces specialist brand ambassadors will invite them on a sensorial journey to touch, taste and smell the rare elements that make up JOHNNIE WALKER.

To celebrate the inauguration of the Houses, a limited edition bottle of JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ has been created. The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ ART COLLECTION – Mumbai Edition will be exclusively available at Mumbai International Airport.

Doug Bagley, Managing Director, Diageo Global Travel and Middle East, said: “We are delighted to bring not one, but two JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES to life in partnership with our customers in key travel retail channels globally. This reinforces our long-term commitment to providing travelers with a luxurious, unparalleled shopping experience in one of the fastest-growing retail channels worldwide.  Both airports are key travel hubs, handling a combined 63 million passengers a year which make them perfect locations for JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES within our burgeoning industry. We are confident that they will surprise and delight consumers with an unmatched retail space and deliver a luxurious shopping experience.”

Lawrence Law, Global General Manager Johnnie Walker Houses, said: “I’m delighted to see the extension of the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES into travel retail. It’s a move that highlights the esteem with which we hold our commercial travel retail partners. We believe it’s important to immerse consumers in our brand and these houses will provide them with the first luxury retail experience beyond our flagship JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES.”

JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ MUMBAI

The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ MUMBAI, in collaboration with DFS Group and Flemingo International, launching 2 September 2014, is located in the prestigious departures concourse of Terminal 2 of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. To celebrate the opening, an exclusive JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ ART COLLECTION – Mumbai Edition – has been created. The special bottle shows a unique interpretation of the original JOHNNIE WALKER journey from Scotland to India in 1883* and reflects the brand’s long heritage as one of the world’s first international brands.

Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Managing Director, Diageo India, said: JOHNNIE WALKER is the iconic luxury Scotch in India. In line with the consumers’ desire for unique experiences and evolving taste palates, we launch the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE at the Mumbai International Airport. The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSES globally are our global embassies for luxury Scotch whisky and we are proud to extend this world class experience to our Indian consumers. The new JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE will be home to some of the rarest and most luxurious blends from Diageo’s portfolio that are unrivalled in taste, heritage and craftsmanship.”

Manishi Sanwal, Managing Director, Mumbai Duty Free, said: “We are delighted to offer exciting retailer opportunities to customers departing Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. With the innovative JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE, we are certain world travelers will discover a stimulating and unique offer within our store.”

JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE TAIWAN

The JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE™ TAIWAN, launching late September 2014, will be located in the departures concourse immediately after immigration at Terminal 2 of Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei. JOHNNIE WALKER first traded in Taiwan in 1925 highlighting the brand’s long travel heritage. Within, travellers can purchase a range of unique, exclusive whisky collections, that are exclusively available at JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE TAIWAN.

A spokesperson from Everrich Duty Free, said: “We are pleased and proud to partner with Diageo Global Travel to launch the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE TAIWAN. Our customers are looking for luxury shopping spaces that combine innovation, exceptional service and unique experiences – the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE encapsulates all that we want to offer our distinguished clientele.”

Starting this month, all consumers will be able to access their own copy of JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE Edit, a commissioned quarterly title dedicated to the art of good living that brings together curated content from world-class contributors, stylists, photographers and creative talent, will also be available to all patrons of the newly launched properties. Inspired by the JOHNNIE WALKER HOUSE philosophy of Living Luxury, the periodical’s first edition explores the subject of fame and its relationship with affluence across art, design, literature, music, drama and the epicurean world. The title is also available digitally via Magzter.

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