Friday, May 4, 2012

Inbox - May 4, 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.

Weisberger and a couple of birdies
Ballantine's - Championship Blend
A couple of weeks ago we reported in Inbox about a very limited edition expression of the popular Ballantine's whisky brand that had been produced.  The Championship Blend was specially created to celebrate the Ballantine's Championship golf tournament in Korea.

It was created by the Ballantine's Master Blender Sandy Hyslop with the help of the 2011 winner Lee Westwood.  A bottle was presented to the winner of this year's tournament as part of his prize. Bernd Weisberger from Austria (pictured, above) won by five shots and bagged a cheque for $487,000, plus the first of only 10 bottles of the Championship Blend ever produced to celebrate his victory.

Balvenie - Masters of Craft
The famous Speyside distillery of Balvenie have announced that they are to run their successful Masters of Craft competition again this year.  The initiative, which launched for the first time last year, is designed to highlight the quality and variety of handcrafted skills that are currently thriving in the UK.

This ethos mirrors the handcrafted nature of the production of Balvenie single malt whisky.  Categories include Stone, Wood, Metal, Glass & Ceramics, Textiles and Leather, plus the new category of Artisan Food.  Other prizes include the Young Master of Craft (open to 21-30 year olds), the David Stewart Life Time Achievement Award (named after Balvenie's legendary Master Distiller) and the overall Master of Craft 2012.

An esteemed panel of judges have been assembled for the competition and they include David Stewart himself, TV presenter Kevin McCloud and Chairman of the Heritage Arts Council, Robin Wood. Nominations are now open and remain so until Friday 1 June - if you wish to nominate someone, please go to the Masters of Craft website.

Bulleit - Shake it up for the Kentucky Derby
The Bulleit American whiskey brand have created a couple of cocktails to enjoy over this coming weekend.  This is to celebrate the brand's association with the famous Kentucky Derby horse race which is run on Saturday 5 May. 

The first is exotically named the Ginger Julep '68 Fastback and is made using 1½oz of ginger infused Bulleit bourbon, ½oz of organic brown sugar, ¼oz of peeled minced fresh ginger, 1½oz of soda water and a lemon twist. To make it, muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until the sugar is nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in the Bulleit and finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon twist.

The second is a Bulleit Rye Mint Julep and is made using 1½ oz of Bulleit Rye whiskey, 1 ½-2 oz of Stirrings Simple Syrup and fresh mint leaves. To make it, muddle mint leaves, Stirrings Simple Syrup and crushed ice. Then add Bulleit Rye, fill the glass with ice and pour into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and serve in rocks glass with fresh mint garnish. Have fun and enjoy the race!

Dalmore - Goes stellar with new releases

The Highland distillery of Dalmore have announced a significant range of limited edition single malts to add to their seemingly ever expanding portfolio of whiskies.  The Constellation Collection is a selection of single cask bottlings ranging from between 1964 and 1992.  There are 21 casks in total and each has been bottled at its natural strength and colour.  This initial release consists of around 4,000 bottles.

The prices range from £20,000 a bottle for the 1964 Vintage to £2,000 for the 1992 Vintage.  There is  also the option to buy the entire set of 21 bottles for £158,000.  The whiskies are available for the first month exclusively through the World Duty Free Group's main shop in Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport.  They will then be available through other specialist retailers.

Now, a Dalmore release wouldn't be a Dalmore release without some 'Paterson-speak'.  The Master Blender had this to say about the Constellation Collection - "In selecting these casks, we have identified our brightest stars from our darkest warehouses. We’re very proud to share the shining lights of our distillery with whisky lovers the world over.” Classic stuff.

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