Whisky PR and news digest , October 16th

Scotch Whiskymaker Compass Box Releases Smoky Sherried Sibling to the Award-Winning Great King Street Artist’s Blend

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Scotch Whiskymaker Compass Box Releases Smoky Sherried Sibling to the Award-Winning Great King Street Artist’s Blend

“There is no Blended Scotch whisky quite like this.”

John Glaser – Compass Box Founder & Whiskymaker

GLASGOW BLEND is the second permanent whisky to be introduced to the Great King Street range of innovative, small-batch Blended Scotch whiskies from Compass Box. 

Glasgow Blend will be available from mid-October in UK and Europe, and from November 1st onwards in the US, North America and all key international Compass Box markets. It will be priced at around £30 in the UK and €36 in Europe for a 50cl format (with stylish red gift tube), and $45 and $25 in the US for the 750ml and 375ml formats respectively (without a gift tube).

The Great King Street range is dedicated to applying a contemporary approach to the creation of Blended Scotch Whiskies in the full-flavoured style of the late 19th century blending houses. To this, they lend a 21st century sense of exploration and innovation for which Compass Box is known. The range takes its name from 24 Great King Street, the company’s registered address in Edinburgh since John Glaser started the business in 2000. Great King Street Scotch whiskies lend themselves to a variety of usages—they can be enjoyed neat, with ice and a splash of water, served as a classic Highball, or as a key ingredient in cocktails.

John Glaser adds, “Over a year in the making, the ‘Glasgow Blend’ involved the creation of over 100 recipe prototypes before we finalised it.  We’ve been trying to make a Blended Scotch whisky like no other on the market today, something based on the traditional Scotch whisky styles of peatiness and sherry cask aging, but reinterpreted for today’s drinkers who seek out big flavours, complexity and fullness on the palate.  This is full-on Blended Scotch whisky, in all its sherry-aged, peaty glory, classic in style, updated for today with its flavour intensity and sweetness – part owing to the grain whiskies, part owing to the small amount of French oak finished malt.  There is no Blended Scotch Whisky quite like this.”

In his 1930 book ‘Whisky’, Aeneas MacDonald mentions that Glaswegians historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavour-packed whiskies than people in other parts of the world. So what better name for a whisky such as this? For decades, The Wellington Statue, outside Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, has been cheekily topped by a traffic cone, something the local population has taken to heart as a symbol of their sense of humour.  It has become one of Glasgow’s most iconic images, and graces the label for the Glasgow Blend.

ABOUT GLASGOW BLEND

Glasgow Blend has been created to provide a very different expression of the Great King Street house style. While the whiskies share the same moreishness, creaminess and approachability, Artist’s Blend is fruity, spicy and packed with vanilla, while Glasgow Blend is rich, round smoky and sherried. Glasgow Blend offers a rich vein of peaty-smokiness underpinned by sherry cask-aged whiskies full of dried fruit and wine character.  The palate is full and round, with a sweetness typical of whiskies from Comapss Box. It is made from approximately 67% malt whisky from the regions of Islay, the Highlands and Speyside and 33% Lowland grain whisky from a Fife distillery. It is aged in a combination of first-fill Sherry casks, first-fill and refill ex-Bourbon barrels with a small portion of new French oak finishing. It is bottled at the traditional bottling strength of 43%, is not chill-filtered and is a natural colour.

 

Whisky innovators Compass Box release The Lost Blend Limited Edition as a homage to their own long lost whiskylost_blend

THE LOST BLEND is the new limited edition release from award-winning Scotch Whiskymaker Compass Box. This marriage of three single malts is a homage to their long lost (and much loved) Eleuthera whisky, and boasts the same unique smoky fruity style. After 10 years of searching, whiskymaker John Glaser was finally able to track down the unique whiskies he required earlier this year. The result is The Lost Blend. Bottled at 46% and packaged in a high quality gift box adorned with ‘lost items,’ it will be priced at $120 in the US, £85 in the UK and $100 in Europe. It will be available from 1st October in the US, UK, Europe and all key international Compass Box markets.

John Glaser adds, “In 2001, we created our first single malt blend which we called Eleuthera. It was an elegant marriage of approximately 80% unpeated Highland and 20% peaty Islay single malts. Alas, after 3 years, we were suddenly no longer able to obtain one of the key whiskies required for the recipe so, sadly, we retired Eleuthera in 2004.  Quietly, I have been looking for whiskies that we could use to bring it back, even if temporarily, but without any luck. Until now.”

Glaser has had a name that he’s been waiting to use for a whisky project like this—The Lost Blend, inspired by the O. Henry story of the same name.  This sharp and witty portrait of life in a New York bar in the early 1900s was published in 1907 and features two business partners who try to recreate a blend of different spirits with close to supernatural properties.

Compass Box has created three different front label designs all around the same theme: lost items.  These include an antique nautical octant, a Woodstock typewriter, an Excelsior cylinder gramophone, the tragically lost RMS Lusitania, and of course the Dodo. The whisky behind each label is the same, and the three labels have been randomly bottled and put into cases, which allows customers an additional discovery to the whisky itself:  which label did I get?

ABOUT THE LOST BLEND

This elegantly complex whisky is a union of rare old Highland single malts and a delicious peaty Islay single malt. An ethereal fruit and herbal character and a sweetness on the palate is buttressed by an underlying smokiness. Single malt whisky (of a certain age) from the Clynelish distillery, and a small cache of extraordinary whisky from the Allt-A-Bhainne distillery, aged in American oak barrels and just a few years shy of two decades old, is combined with malt whisky from the Caol Ila distillery. Bottled at 46% this limited edition of 12,018 bottles was bottled in August 2014. It is not chill-filtered and is natural colour.

 
Production commences at chivas brothers’ New speyside malt whisky distillery – Dalmunach

The new Dalmunach Distillery external

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has completed the construction of its new Speyside malt whisky distillery, reinforcing its long term growth prospects in the face of increased global demand for Scotch whisky. Production at the new distillery, commissioned by Chivas Brothers in 2012, will commence this month [October 2014].

Built using the latest innovations and environmental expertise such as heat recovery technology, the distillery is capable of producing up to 10 million litres of high quality Speyside style spirit per year to support the growing global demand for the bestselling blended whisky brands within Chivas Brothers’ portfolio, which includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

The new distillery, which is Chivas Brothers’ 14th operating malt whisky distillery, is named Dalmunach after the nearby pool in the River Spey on whose banks the distillery sits. It has already had a positive impact on the local economy with companies from the Speyside area heavily involved in the construction, while an additional eight permanent employees have joined the Chivas Brothers production team.

Every element of the distillery design, including the unique still shapes, has been geared to producing the very highest quality Speyside malt whisky with a rich, fruity character, a vital ingredient to the highest quality blended Scotch whiskies.

Laurent Lacassagne, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, comments: “As global demand for Scotch whisky increases year on year, our confidence in the long-term growth prospects for the category remains strong. The construction of the new Dalmunach distillery is a clear demonstration of our confidence and also of our commitment to invest to meet the significant growth potential.

“With their reputation for crafted excellence, our blended whiskies form a key part of the Chivas Brothers portfolio in both emerging economies and mature markets, so we believe the increased capacity which the new distillery will provide will help to drive the business forward in the years to come.”

The distillery architecture has been inspired by the shape of a sheaf of barley reflecting the core ingredient of single malt whisky. It houses eight unique copper pot stills, with a tulip shape used for the wash stills and an onion shape used for the spirit stills, replicating those from the Imperial distillery which was situated on the site until 2012. In a departure from distillery traditions, the stills have been positioned in a circular design that provides a unique aesthetic for the future.

Other original features from the previous distillery have been carefully incorporated to ensure a sense of heritage remains intact. Red brick from the original mill building has been reclaimed to create a feature wall in the new entrance area, and wood from the original washbacks has been used to form an entrance ‘drum’ and adorn the gable walls of the new tun room which contains 16 new stainless steel washbacks. A new 9.5m diameter mashtun has been installed which draws spring water for production from the site’s original distilling water sources.

Situated on the banks of the River Spey, the Dalmunach distillery will not be open to visitors but will be visible from the nearby Speyside Way walking trail. Great care has been taken to ensure the external façade of the distillery is in-keeping with its surrounding environment and the traditional architectural style of the region, thus providing an interesting and fitting new viewpoint for passers-by.

The construction of the distillery was managed from start to finish by Douglas Cruickshank, who stepped back from his role as Chivas Brothers’ Production Director last year to concentrate on the new build. The project is a fitting end to Cruickshank’s career prior to retirement which began at the age of 15 at the Imperial Distillery and has now come full circle as he restores distilling to the same location after a 16 year slumber.

Teeling Whiskey Single Minded Approach to Expanding Irish WhiskeyTeeling Single Malt Whiskey

The Teeling Whiskey Company, Ireland’s leading Independent Irish whiskey company, has released a new bottling of Single Malt Irish whiskey, one of only a handful of such expressions in the world.

Teeling Single Malt is the third release in the Premium range of Teeling expressions completing their full range of non-aged statement Irish whiskeys. To add a unique depth of character and flavour, Teeling Single Malt consists of aged Malt whiskey up to 23 years old that has been matured in five different wine casks including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. This combination of cask maturation techniques has never been done before in Irish whiskey and creates a truly innovative Irish whiskey bursting with personality.

This special combination of casks creates a very distinctive, rich colour while imparting a vibrant and balanced flavour of dry fruits, citrus, vanilla, spice and cloves. The proprietary maturation and vatting technique produces a very special Irish whiskey of distinctive character while still being remarkably easy to drink. Like all the Teeling whiskeys, it is bottled at 46% with no chill filtration allowing for all the natural flavours of the whiskey to be retained.

Jack Teeling, founder of the Teeling Whiskey Company, commented, “We are delighted to be able to release another expression of Teeling whiskey that helps expand consumer choice and challenge existing perceptions of Irish whiskey. Our new Teeling Single Malt proves Irish whiskey can have big bold flavours that appeal to Single Malt drinkers without losing its distinctive Irish identity.”

The Teeling family whiskey heritage dates back to distilling in Dublin in 1782 and Walter Teeling, who set up a distillery in Marrowbone Lane in the Liberties. Jack and his brother Stephen, Sales & Marketing Director, are just the latest Generation of Teelings involved in the Irish whiskey industry and have broken ground on their new Dublin distillery in Newmarket, Dublin 8 which is scheduled to come on stream in early 2015.

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