Friday, March 11, 2016

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (March 11, 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.  Here is this week's news that caught our eye ...


Ardbeg - Day becomes Night
The annual Ardbeg Day celebrations, which take part during the Feis Isle Islay Festival, will take a darker turn in 2016 after being renamed Ardbeg Night.  This is on May 28 this year.  This year's limited edition release is named Ardbeg Dark Cove and is inspired by the murky past of smugglers and illegal distillers that inhabited the area around the distillery.  More details of the whisky will follow, but for now Ardbeg have released this teaser video ...

Arran - 18 again 
The independent Isle of Arran distillery has announced that it plans to kick off its 21st anniversary with a second batch of its 18 years old expression, which remains the oldest whisky to be released by the owners to date.  It will be a permanent fixture in the core range of Arran malts and this second version has been matured in ex-sherry casks and is bottled at 46% ABV, is non chill filtered and of natural colour.  It will be available through selected specialist whisky retailers shortly and via the distillery website -  The recommended retail price is £75.

Balvenie - Time for Dinner
The famous Speyside distillery has teamed up with Michelin-starred chef and TV personality Michel Roux Jr for a new series of short films celebrating British craftmanship.  The Balvenie Craftsman's Dinner sees Roux Jr visiting six of the UK's top culinary craftspeople and then bringing them all together for a meal cooked by himself.  These include a wine producer, a fish smoker and one of the last manual knife producers in the UK.  The six films will be released fortnightly starting with the first one on March 15.  Here is a short teaser to whet the appetite ...

Famous Grouse - New Master Blender revealed

The Famous Grouse, the UK's biggest selling blended Scotch brand, has a new Master Blender.  Kirsten Campbell has been appointed to the role and will also remain as Master Blender for the Cutty Sark brand.  She replaces Gordon Motion, who she is pictured with above and has worked alongside for the last eight years.  He moves to become Master Whisky Maker for The Edrington Group's single malt portfolio.  This includes Glenturret, Highland Park and The Macallan.

“I feel privileged to be taking on the role of Master Blender for The Famous Grouse. It is an exceptional blend and I’m looking forward to working with the team here to ensure we that we continue to deliver the high quality and character expected of the UK’s number one selling blend.”
Kirsteen Campbell - Master Blender for Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse.

Highland Park - Ice Ice Baby 
The Orcadian distillery of Highland Park has announced its latest limited edition, which follows on from the recent much-celebrated Valhalla Collection.  The Highland Park Ice Edition again pulls on the Nordic heritage of the Orkneys and is inspired by stories of the Ice Giants in Norse mythology.  It will be followed by the Fire Edition in 2017.

The single malt is 17 years of age and has been matured predominantly in ex-bourbon casks.  It is bottled in a bespoke blue glazed glass bottle, which is housed in an extraordinary wooden stand, and at the cask strength of 53.9% ABV.  There will be 30,000 bottles of the Ice Edition and they will be available through specialist whisky retailers worldwide.  A bottle will cost £190.

Laphroaig - Lore and order 
The iconic Islay distillery of Laphroaig has announced  details of its latest limited edition - Laphroaig Lore.  Lore, meaning 'speech' or 'story' is the Islay form of Gaelic, is a mix of different ages and styles of Laphroaig.  It is a marriage of different malts - the first matured in quarter casks and finished in European oak hogsheads, another matured in first fill ex-sherry butts and some matured in ex-Laphroaig casks.  It is described as 'the richest ever Laphroaig' by Distillery Manager John Campbell.

Initially Lore was released earlier this week to Friends of Laphroaig members (please note - this allocation has already sold out) and will appear in various world markets shortly.  Similat batches of Lore will then follow annually.  It has been bottled at 48% ABV and has gone through a simple barrier filtering process.  Details of numbers have not been released and the price is £85.

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