Friday, May 15, 2015

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (May 15, 2015)

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. Here is what has caught our attention this week.  There is quite a lot, so sit back with a whisky and enjoy ...


Antiquary - New packaging

The Antiquary premium blended Scotch whisky, which is owned by The Tomatin Distilling Co Ltd, has been given a packaging redesign in a bid to entice new consumers to the brand.  The redesign has evolved The Antiquary's classic diamond shaped bottle in to a taller, sleeker version.  This, along with a new typeface and detail on the label, aim at standing out in stores and bringing the brand up-to-date.  The new packaging, which was designed by Pocket Rocket Creative, will be rolled out across The Antiquary's key worldwide markets (including France, Portugal, Russia, the UK and the USA) in the coming months.

Stephen Bremner, Sales Director for The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd, said: "The Antiquary brand has been a sleeping giant. With the new packaging I expect to attract new customers in new markets, particularly in South America. We’ve tweaked the recipe for our entry level expression too, to better reflect the original recipe used by the Hardie brothers in 1888, resulting in the smoothest blend in recent years.”

Burn Stewart - 2 x 18
Two new single malt expressions have been announced by Burn Stewart.  They are both 18 years old and come from their Deanston and Tobermory distilleries.  Both have been crafted by Ian MacMillan, the Master Blender for Burn Stewart.  The Deanston 18yo has been matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks at the distillery in the Highlands and bottled at 46.3%.  It is non chill-filtered and will retail through selected whisky specialists for £80.

The other bottling is a Ledaig 18 years old, which is the smoky/peaty malt produced at Tobermory on the isle of Mull.  Older versions of Ledaig (pronounced lay-chuck) are rare as Tobermory was closed for much of the late 1970s, 80s and early 90s.  Production of peaty spirit was restarted in 1996 and this includes some of that first distillate.  It is also bottled at 46.3% ABV and is non chill-filtered.  The recommended retail price is £85.  Both whiskies will be available in Asia, Europe, North America and the UK.

Alison Gibb, Global Marketing Manager for Burn Stewart Malts, said: “It’s an exciting time in the Scotch whisky market. The new Deanston and Ledaig expressions demonstrate our continued commitment to grow the Burn Stewart malts portfolio and to offer our consumers more choice. We are passionate about tradition and craftsmanship, and both of these 18 year olds embody the painstaking care and attention to detail that goes into every drop.”

Crown Royal - Rye arrives

The popular Canadian whisky brand of Crown Royal has announced two new additions to it portfolio.  The first is called Northern Harvest Rye (pictured) - this is made from 95% rye grain and is designed to tap in to the increasing number of consumers who are "experimenting with pre-Prohibition era cocktails".  It is the first rye whisky from the brand and is bottled at 45% ABV.  A bottle will cost $30 USD.

They have also announced an expansion of their Hand Selected Barrel programme across selected US markets, following a successful trial in Texas.  This is bottled at the higher strength of 51.5% ABV and has a recommended price of $55 USD.

Johnnie Walker - A Tale of Two Cities

The leading super premium blended whisky of Johnnie Walker Blue Label has announced two special limited edition bottles that will be on sale shortly.  The first highlights the city of Edinburgh and the packaging and bottle feature such landmarks as Arthur's Seat, The Balmoral Hotel and The Scott Monument.  The London Edition features iconic buildings such as The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge.  They will be exclusively available in selected retailers in the UK and there are just 4,000 individually hand numbered bottles.  The recommended retail price is £199.

Nick Temperley, Head of Diageo Reserve GB commented: “Consumers are constantly looking for innovative products and gifts, and the launch of the City Edition bottles provides them with the luxury liquid they know and love whilst offering an added value of exclusivity and craft. These striking Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottles will provide a truly special gift for anyone that wants to celebrate the city in which they live or have visited.”

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