Friday, April 1, 2016

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (April 1, 2016)

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.  Apologies for there being no Inbox during the last two weeks, but we were away on holidays.  Here is this week's news that caught our eye ...


Benromach - Goes Italian
The small Speyside distillery of Benromach, which is owned by indie bottlers Gordon & MacPhail, have announced the latest addition to their single malt range - the Sassicaia Wood Finish. The bottling is the latest in a limited edition series of wood finished malts.  The whisky was distilled in 2007 and matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, before being transferred to the ex-Sassicaia casks from the Bolgheri wine region of Italy.  It has been released at 45% ABV and there are just 3,500 bottles.  They will be available through selected specialist retailers worldwide, priced at £41 a bottle.

"Our Wood Finish expressions allow us the opportunity to provide customers with a special malt full of character, thanks to the final maturation period in casks from distinguished wine regions. The finishing period in Sassicaia wine casks allows for an exceptional flavour profile to develop, full of summer fruits and soft spice."
Keith Cruikshank - Distillery Manager at Benromach.

Douglas Laing & Co - Festival time
The independent bottling company of Douglas Laing have announced a special bottling in their flagship Old Particular range that will celebrate the forthcoming Feis Isle (or Islay Festival).  The Bowmore Vintage 1999 has been matured in a  single ex-bourbon hogshead cask.  It was distilled in September 1999 and bottled this March at 16 years of age.  The bottling is at the natural cask strength of 48.3% ABV, is non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There will be just 246 bottles and these will be sold on allocation through key specialist retailers.  No indication of price was given in the press release.

"The purpose of this Old Particular Feis Ile special bottling is to bring a taste of Islay to those who can’t make the pilgrimage to the island. Bowmore distillery is a personal favourite of mine and given its home is the capital of Islay, it made a lot of sense to select it for this commemorative release."
Cara Laing - Director of Whisky at Douglas Laing & Co.

Exile Casks - The Trojan arrives
Whisky writers Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have announced the fifth bottling in their A-Z series.  The Exile Casks take the series in a different direction and highlights 'lost' casks from distilleries.  This follows single casks of Arran and Benriach, a cask strength version of Cutty Sark and 3D (a blended malt of Dailuaine, Dalwhinnie and Dufftown).  The first bottling, named The Trojan, is from an un-named Speyside distillery (apparently there is a clue to the identity on the label) and is a 25 years old single cask.  It is bottled at 57.1% ABV and costs a bargain £65 per 50cl bottle, plus postage, from

"Our ethos with our A-Z bottlings has always been to release these at the best possible price points, as drinking whiskies, not collectors items. We weren’t sure where to go with E, and over the last 3 years have come across casks that, quite simply, have fallen off the manifest in warehouses across Scotland. We’ve liberated them for people to enjoy under the ‘Exiles’ banner."
Joel Harrison.

Hibiki - Cocktails blossoming
The multi award-winning Japanese brand of Hibiki is celebrating the Sakura (or cherry blossom) season with a month long installation in London.  The installation, which is at the Japanese themed restaurant ROKA in Charlotte Street, will allow consumers to experience hanami (the Japanese tradition of viewing the cherry blossoms) as part of the Sakura celebrations. 

There are also three exclusively created cocktails, based around the Hibiki Japanese Harmony expression, that consumers can try.  The installation is in ROKA's downstairs Shochu Lounge bar and runs for the duration of April.  The cocktails can also be sampled at ROKA's other three locations in Aldwych, Canary Wharf and Mayfair.  The image above is from the media preview night, which our Matt C attended.

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