Friday, June 1, 2012

Inbox - June 1, 2012

Inbox is our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our email inbox. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece that we receive. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Within Inbox we write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information.  There is a right old mixed bag of news this week, so here goes ...


Chivas Brothers - Expansion plans
Scotland's second largest whisky producer, Chivas Brothers, have announced expansion plans to increase their distillation capacity and production facilities.  The £40 million plans are being implemented to meet the increasing demand for Scotch whisky worldwide, especially in emerging markets such as Asia and South America.

The first part of the work is to increase the distillation capacity and includes expanding the current facilities at four of the Chivas Bros distilleries - Glenallachie, Glentauchers, Longmorn and Tormore.  It also involves the re-opening of the Glen Keith distillery, which has been mothballed since 2000.  This will see a 25% increase in capacity by 2013.  The second facet to the plan is to open a new bottling plant (pictured, above), which will be ready later this Summer. This will have an emphasis on the hand bottling of premium and super-premium blends such as Chivas Regal 25 years old, Royal Salute and Ballantine's special editions, plus the rare and single cask bottlings of Glenlivet.

Compass Box - World record attempt with The Whisky Shop
Award winning whisky blenders Compass Box are joining forces with The Whisky Shop, the UK's largest whisky retail chain, to try and break the world record for the amount of whisky tastings in different locations hosted by the same group of people.  The attempt will see the team visit eight of the chain's twenty stores.

Compass Box's founder John Glaser will join The Whisky Shop’s team, including whisky writer Dominic Roskrow on this tour.  They will begin at 00.01 on the morning of Friday 15 June with a tasting at The Whisky Shop in Inverness and hope to finish in Brighton with a grand finale at 23.30.  In the 23 and a half hours in between, the team will host tastings (each covering a different subject) in The Whisky Shop's stores in Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Birmingham, Oxford and London.

Tickets for each event are £5 with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.  To book tickets, please contact the store in the city that you wish to attend via the store directory page on  You can also follow the progress of the tour via @CompassBox or @TheWhiskyShop, or on the Facebook pages of both companies.

Dalmore - New packaging
The increasingly popular Highland single malt brand of Dalmore has released a set of new packaging for its core range.  The change has been implemented to reinforce Dalmore's luxury credentials, plus to give the bottle and packaging more prominence on retailers shelves. All bottles across the range, incorporating the 12, 15 and 18 year olds, Cigar Malt Reserve and King Alexander III, will now feature a solid silver stag logo and the packaging features a new colour scheme, contemporary lines, new labels and increased brand communication.  The aim is to bring the packaging and design of the core range closer to that of the brand's premium releases, such as the Astrum 40 years old.

Chris Watt, the Dalmore's Head of Brand says, “Our distillery has been producing exceptional single malts since 1839 and we have some of the rarest aged whisky stocks in the world. Our malts exude quality, craftsmanship and liquid excellence and we feel that the new packaging introduction brings our image proudly in line with that.”

Isle of Skye - New packaging also!
Ian MacLeod Distillers, the owners of the Isle of Skye blended whisky brand, have also announced a new set of packaging for their products.  The new look will cover the core range of whiskies - the eight and 12 years old age statements.  The colour scheme has been chosen to reflect the landscape of the island of Skye, primarily the Red and Black Hills of the island's Cuillin Mountains.  The label also gives more prominence to the age statement of the whisky and increased tasting notes.

Iain Weir, the Director of Marketing for Ian Macleod Distillers says, “We wanted the new brand design to create an authentic representation of Isle of Skye’s core values – the values that are embedded in its age statement and island heritage. The new packaging will also ensure better shelf-standout and reinforce its position as a premium quality, award-winning blended Scotch whisky." Further information can be found at

Lagavulin - Time for jazz
The iconic Islay distillery of Lagavulin has announced that it is to sponsor the island's jazz festival again later in the year.  This will be the third year that the brand has sponsored the event, which takes place on the 14, 15 and 16 September.  Artists already booked for the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival include the Neil Cowley Trio, the Colin Steele Quintet, Konrad Wiszniewski with Pascal Schumacher, and Scottish guitarist Graeme Stephen. Further details, highlights of last years festival and ticket booking for this year will be available shortly on the Islay Jazz festival website.

Macallan - Diamond Jubilee bottling
The famous Macallan distillery has continued with its tradition of honouring Royal occasions by announcing a special limited edition Diamond Jubilee single malt release.  The whisky is bottled at 52% ABV (to commemorate 1952, the year of the Queen's accension to the throne) and there are just 2,012 bottles.  Bottles is available now for £350 from the Macallan visitor centre, selected luxury retailers and via the shop at (UK customers only).

The Diamond Jubilee Edition is presented in a bespoke purple package, which has been designed by art director David Holmes.  It includes a ceramic brooch showing a retro design of the Queen's head, which was designed by Arnold Machin, which was later used on postage stamps by the Royal Mail. Ken Grier, Director of Malts at the Edrington Group comments, “Our Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno has put together a superb single malt which carries the character and nobility of the occasion it commemorates, whilst David Holmes has given us a truly inspiring way to use this iconic image”.

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