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. Here is what has caught our attention this week. There is quite a lot, so sit back with a whisky and enjoy ...
The leading blended Scotch whisky brand of Chivas Regal have unveiled a new limited addition to the award winning range - The Icon. The whisky has been created by Colin Scott, the Master Blender for Chivas Regal, and has been constructed using some of the rarest casks of single malt and single grain available to him, some of which are from closed distilleries. A limited amount of The Icon will be blended each year.
The Icon is bottled at 40% ABV and is presented in bottles that have been individually hand blown by craftsmen at Dartington Crystal. The green glass pays homage to the original Chivas Regal bottles from 1909 and features etching and crafted metalwork. It will be on sale exclusively in the travel retail sector, initially in Dubai from mid-May and then globally from September. The price will be $3,500 USD/£2,300 a bottle.
Haig Club - Life begins at 40
David Beckham, who is the global face of Haig Club single grain Scotch whisky, has been presented with a one off commemorative bottle to celebrate his 40th birthday earlier this week. The bespoke hand blown decanter was filled with 40 years old single grain whisky from Cameronbridge distillery, which is the spiritual home of the Haig brand. It was presented to Beckham by Ewan Gunn, the Global Whisky Master for Haig Club, in London.
Scapa - Tourists set to flow in
The Scapa distillery on the Orkney islands has announced that it is to open its doors to visitors for the first time in 130 years. The creation of a dedicated visitor centre and gift shop will allow whisky tourists to experience the heritage, production methods and single malt of Scapa as never before. The move has created two permanent and two seasonal jobs and the visitor centre will be open seven days a week (between 9.30am and 5pm) until the end of September, then five days a week until mid-November.
Brian MacAulay, Distilling Manager at Scapa, said: “It is a great honour to be able to open the doors to the history and craft production processes here at Scapa distillery. I have personally taken the pleasure in removing our ‘No Visitors’ sign and I speak on behalf of the team here in saying that we can’t wait to see the Scapa Distillery form an interesting, educative and welcoming part of the Orkney community.”
The SMWS have announced that they are taking part in the Islay Festival (Feis Isle in Gaelic) for the first time and have bottled a special whisky for the event. A garden party will take place at Islay House on the shores of Loch Indaal and it will showcase a selection of the Society's single cask whiskies alongside other local delicacies including whisky infused ice cream. There will also be master classes and live music. Entry is free but events within the Garden Party are ticketed.
Cask 3.243 - Dark Smouldering Flamenco Gypsy will be the special bottling and will be officially launched at the Garden Party at 1pm It has been maturing in a refill ex-sherry cask for 17 years and is bottled at the natural cask strength of 57.1% ABV. There are just 594 bottles and prices will be £80 for SMWS members and £120 for non-members. For further information, please visit www.smws.co.uk. To purchase tickets for events inside the Garden Party, please visit www.islayhouse.co.uk.
Spey Whisky - Owen pays visit
Another former footballer was in the whisky news this week - Michael Owen, the Global Ambassador for the Spey Whisky brand. Owen paid a visit to The Speyside Distillery in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park on the final day of the annual Speyside Whisky Festival, which the distillery was taking part in for the first time. He was given a tour by Sandy Jamieson, the distillery manager, and spoke with surprised visitors about the brand and distillery.
Owen said: “It was great to be able to visit the distillery and be with my Spey Whisky family as they celebrate being part of the Festival for the first time. There has been a real buzz about the distillery today and I have really enjoyed meeting people who have come from all over the world to visit the Festival. You can tell that these people are very passionate about whisky, and it has been great to see them learn more about Spey Whisky and the distillery where it is created.”