Friday, February 28, 2014

Inbox - February 28, 2014

Welcome to this week's Inbox.  For those that have recently discovered us, 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 received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday.

Within Inbox we aim to 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.  The whisky world and PR departments have well and truly woken up this week with a number of new releases announced.  Here is what has caught our attention ...


Brora - Oldest ever expression released
Diageo have announced the release of a new bottling from the long-closed north Highland distillery of Brora.  The new 40 years old expression is the oldest ever single malt released from the distillery, which stopped production in 1983, and Diageo's most expensive bottling ever with a price tag of £6,995 each.  Just one cask was selected from the remaining maturing Brora stock and the result is just 160 bottles.  It is released at the natural cask strength of 59.1% ABV.

This rare whisky was distilled in 1972 and is accompanied by high quality packaging - the crystal glass decanter features an engraving of Brora's Scottish wildcat symbol, an engraved copper neck and a crystal stopper.  It comes housed in a wooden showcase which has been hand crafted and built by N.E.J. Stevenson Ltd, who are the Queen's cabinet makers.  The Brora 40 years old is to be available exclusively through World of Whiskies and will be launched in mid-April.  It is available to pre-order now via

Cardhu - Amber Rocks
The popular Speyside distillery and single malt brand of Cardhu has announced another new expression to be released shortly.  The Amber Rock has been double matured in toasted American oak casks and is designed to deliver extra hits of vanilla and wood spice.  The bottling will initially be available shortly in Belgium and France only, with other European markets (including Germany, Greece, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) following in the summer.  The recommended price will be £41/€50.

Master Blender for Diageo Dr Matthew Crow, who worked on the new Amber Rock, said: “The bourbon nuances that develop from the second maturation in toasted casks seasoned with bourbon whiskey add an even greater silkiness and roundness to the already balanced and delicious Cardhu, bringing vanilla and spice notes along with hints of oak. We are very pleased with how this has turned out.” 

Glenrothes - Go for the Summer of '69
Berry Brothers & Rudd Spirits have announced the second release in The Extraordinary Casks series.  As with the first release, which was from 1970, just one single cask has been selected by Ronnie Cox, the Brands Heritage Director for Glenrothes.  This was distilled on July 10 1969 and filled to an ex-bourbon hogshead (Cask #11485), which has yielded just 133 bottles after 44 years of maturation.  It has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 42.9% ABV.

The whisky is presented in multi-faceted hand blown lead crystal decanter, which has been crafted by Atlantis Crystal from Alcobaca in Portugal.  It was designed by creative agency Brandhouse and they drew inspiration from the regular bulbous Glenrothes bottle and the world of perfume.  The bottle features an engraved brass neck ring and an engraved brass plaque, which were produced by Scottish Silversmiths.  Further presentation includes an oak plinth and leather travel case.  The Extraordinary Casks 1969 #11485 will initially be available through Berry Brothers & Rudd and its worldwide representatives, with each bottle costing £4,000/€5,000/$7,000 US.

William Grant - New exclusive blend
Family owned whisky company William Grant & Sons have teamed up with the World Duty Free Group to create an exclusive blend.  The Strathspey Reserve 21 years old has been blended by Grants's Master Blender Brian Kinsman using a mix of rare William Grant whiskies, plus single malts and single grains from other companies.

The whisky is part of a William Grant's limited edition range called Rare Cask Reserve, which is to include 11 small batch whiskies.  The Strathspey Reserve will be available in WDFG outlets in major UK airports plus Barcelona, Cancun and Madrid.  The cost will be £99.

Brian Kinsman said: “With remarkable foresight, the William Grant family have built an unrivalled collection of Scotch whisky. Some of the single malt that we’ve used to create the Rare Cask Reserves is extremely rare; this is an incredibly exciting release from our archives. They really are a taste of history.”

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