Friday, November 25, 2016

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (November 25, 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 eyes ...



The Texas-based craft whisky brand has celebrated the opening of its new distillery.  Balcones, which is multi award-winning and helped kick start the American craft whisky revolution, will run tours for consumers for the first time in the new facility based in downtown Waco.

The new distillery, which is housed in the former Texas Fireproof Storage building, will see a fourfold increase in capacity to meet current demand and allow the opportunity for wider experimentation.  One key feature are the copper pot stills made by Forsyths, the largest commercial coppersmiths in the world, at their factory in Scotland.

Tours will cost $10 per person and take place once each Thursday and Friday at 5pm and twice each Saturday at 2pm and 5pm.  Places are limited and can be reserved via A guided tour of the new facilities will be followed by a tasting of the core whisky range.  These will also be on sale alongside branded gifts and clothing in the shop on site.

"We are thrilled to open our doors to our fans and community. We are finally moved in and producing in our new home and we're excited to welcome folks to come see us." 
Jared Himstedt (pictured above) - Head Distiller at Balcones.

The hugely popular Ballantine's blended Scotch brand have announced the latest addition to their travel retail exclusive Signature Oak range - the Ballantine's 21 years old American Oak.  Following on from the 21 years old European Oak last year, the new expression has also been created by Ballantine's Master Blender Sandy Hyslop.  He has produced the limited edition with the signature of the traditional 21 years old expression, but with a heavier influence of American oak ex-bourbon casks.

The launch is supported by worldwide activity and two special brand installations in Incheon and Jeju international airports in South Korea, which will run throughout NOvemebr and December.  The Ballantine's 21 years old American Oak will be available in travel retailers worldwide and will cost $143 USD/ £115/ €135 a bottle.

“Drawing the best from Ballantine’s prestige whisky reserves, we use only rare and exquisite whiskies and nose each cask to ensure a balance between wood and whisky that results in a distinguished blend. The 21 years old American Oak, with its mellowness and depth of flavour, is the ultimate expression of American Oak cask influence.” 
Sandy Hyslop - Master Blender at Ballantine's.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The SMWS have launched an initiative to help Christmas shoppers choose the correct whisky as a present.  The Whisky Concierge service is designed to offer consumers expert one-to-one advice about the Society's range and take away the often daunting nature of purchasing whisky for a loved one.  Shoppers are invited to drop in to the SMWS London bar at 19 Greville Street, which is normally just open for Society members, to consult with an expert.

The service is free of charge and available every Wednesday and Thursday until December 29th, between noon and 7pm.  For those that can't visit The Whisky Concierge, there is a gift guide on the website.  The online shop also has a live chat function that offers the Concierge service - please visit for both, plus further information.

“Whisky is top of many people’s Christmas wish-lists but with so many styles of whisky now available, we know that choosing the right one can be complicated. The Whisky Concierge makes it easier to understand and more fun for people who are often daunted by traditional regional classifications and distillery names.” 
Jan Damen - Operations Director at SMWS.

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