Friday, October 5, 2018

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 5, 2018)

Welcome to Inbox.  For those new to WFE, 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.  This is the news that has grabbed our attention this week.

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Ardbeg
The Islay distillery of Ardbeg has announced the third release of their Twenty Something bottling. The 2018 Edition is bottled at 22 years of age and was distilled in 1996, during a time when Ardbeg was largely mothballed and only operated for very short periods each year. This makes whiskies from this period of the mid-1990s extremely rare and desirable.

The Ardbeg Twenty Something 2018 Edition will only be available to members of the Ardbeg Committee, which you can join for free by visiting www.ardbeg.com. The whisky has been matured in ex-bourbon casks and they were selected by Dr. Bill Lumsden (Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks at Ardbeg) and Mickey Heads (Ardbeg's Distillery Manager). It is bottled at 46.4% ABV. Each bottle will cost £440.


Claxton's


The family owned independent whisky bottler of Claxton's have announced details of their Winter 2018 outturn. This features six single cask bottlings - five single malts and one single grain. Details of the bottlings are below (exact quantities and prices were not revealed in the press release) and they will be available globally in selected specialist retailers shortly. for further information, please visit www.claxtonsspirits.com.

  • Dumbarton 32 Years Old (1986)/Bourbon Barrel/57.1% ABV 
  • Springbank 22 Years Old (1996)/Bourbon Hogshead/55% ABV 
  • Teaninich 19 Years Old (1999)/Bourbon Hogshead/53% ABV 
  • Bruichladdich 16 Years Old (2002)/61.2% ABV 
  • Benrinnes 10 Years Old (2008)/Bourbon & Sherry Cask/51.7% ABV 
  • Ledaig 10 Years Old (2008)/Refill Hogshead/54.3% ABV


Douglas Laing


The independent bottler of Douglas Laing & Co. have announced the third batch of their Campbeltown blended malt, The Gauldrons. Each year, around Halloween, the whisky is released in very limited quantities and it is the rarest bottling in the company's Remarkable Regional Malts collection.

The Gauldrons, which translates as 'bay of storms' from the local Gaelic language, is 'the perfect whisky for Halloween and the Autumn months' due to its lightly smoky characteristics. Batch 3 will be available globally in selected specialist retailers and is bottled at 46.2% ABV. Each bottle will cost £50.

"October is now officially upon us, and we are all looking for the bolder flavours of Autumn. The Gauldrons is the perfect accompaniment to a sophisticated Halloween party or sipped around a bonfire with friends."
Cara Laing - Director of Whisky at Douglas Laing & Co.


Gordon & MacPhail


Independent bottling company Gordon & MacPhail have announced a twin bottling featuring their two oldest ever whiskies from the Speyside distillery of Longmorn. The pair of whiskies were both distilled in 1961 and both have been matured in first-fill ex-sherry hogshead casks.

One cask each was selected by identical twin brothers Stuart and Richard Urquhart, part of the family who own the company. Stuart's cask (#512) was made from American oak and is bottled at 40.8% ABV, while Richard's cask (#508) was made from European oak and is bottled at 45% ABV.

The whiskies will only be available as a pair and there are just 97 sets, which will be available in selected specialist whisky retailers globally. each set will cost £30,000. They are presented in hand blown decanters and the packaging includes a book written by rare whisky expert and writer Jonny McCormick.


Johnnie Walker


Diageo have announced a new expression of its best selling Johnnie walker blended Scotch, which has been developed in collaboration with HBO and Game of Thrones - White Walker by Johnnie Walker. The whisky is inspired by the popular TV series and has numerous points of reference to its storylines including the evil white walkers, the frozen North and the phrase 'Winter Is Coming'. The whisky is a specially created version of Johnnie Walker created by Diageo's team of blenders, which was led by George Harper.

White Walker contains, amongst other things, single malts from two of Diageo's most northernly distilleries - Cardhu and Clynelish - and is presented in a bottled designed using temperature-sensitive ink technology. This reveals more details when placed in the freezer. White Walker by Johnnie Walker is bottled at 41.7% ABV and will be available globally, initially in the USA, for a price of $36 USD per bottle.

The whisky is part of a wider partnership between HBO and Diageo which will see the release of eight single malts in early 2019. A Diageo distillery has been paired with each of the seven iconic Houses of Westeros in Game of Thrones, plus the Night's Watch. Further announcements of these bottlings are expected in time.


Midleton
The Irish super premium brand of Midleton have announced details of this year's Midleton Very Rare release. The whiskey, which has been released annually since first appearing in 1984, has been crafted at the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork by Master Distiller Brian Nation. The Very Rare 2018 Vintage features a blend of single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys that have all been matured in lightly charred American oak ex-bourbon barrels. These range between 12 and 28 years of age.

The Very Rare 2018 Vintage has been bottled at 40% ABV and will be released globally including key markets such as Ireland, the UK and the USA. A bottle will cost €180/£160.

"We set aside very small amounts of fine single pot still and single grain distillates each year so that the Midleton Very Rare legacy can continue. This practice has been going on for over 40 years."
Brian Nation.

Tamdhu
The speyside distillery of Tamdhu has introduced a 12 years old expression in to its core single malt range. The new whisky has been matured fully in ex-Oloroso sherry casks with a combination of first-fill and re-fill American oak and European oak used. The Tamdhu 12 years old will replace the current 10 years old in the range and is being rolled out globally now, with a UK launch in early 2019. It is bottled at 43% ABV. No indication of price was given in the press release.

"All our whisky at Tamdhu is exclusively matured in the finest sherry casks. The oak soaks up nearly 35 litres of Oloroso sherry during the seasoning process in Jerez, which gives our new whisky its distinctive flavour and striking natural colour."
Sandy McIntyre - Distillery Manager at Tamdhu.


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