Friday, October 13, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 13, 2017)

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.


Douglas Laing
It seems that not a week passes these days without another new release from prolific independent whisky bottler Douglas Laing & Co.  This week sees them add to their Remarkable Regional Malts range with The Gauldrons, a blended malt made only from Campbeltown single malts. It is the sixth such whisky in the range and joins Big Peat (Islay), Rock Oyster (Islands), Scallywag (Speyside) The Epicurean (Lowlands) and Timorous Beastie (Highlands).

The Gauldrons translates as 'the bay of storms' and Campbeltown's western shores were known by this name during the town's Victorian whisky making heyday. It is bottled at 46.2% ABV, is non chill-filtered and of natural colour and presented in a black glass bottle with a tube featuring gold foil. It will be available to purchase from and selected specialist retailers shortly and will cost £50.

The small Islay distillery of Kilchoman has announced two limited edition Autumn releases - the Red Wine Cask Matured and the 2009 Vintage. The Red Wine Cask Matured (left) was distilled in 2012 using heavily peated malt at 50PPM, before being filled and matured for the last five years in fresh red wine casks sourced from the Douro Valley in Portugal. It has been bottled at 50% ABV, is non chill-filtered and of natural colour.

The 2009 Vintage (right) is the oldest general release of Kilchoman to date. All the spirit used to create it was made using heavily peated malt at 50PPM and distilled in 2009, with a small pocket distilled in 2008. This has then been matured in a first-fill and re-fill ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Oloroso sherry butts. It has been bottled at eight years of age and at 46% ABV. Again, it is non chill-filtered and of natural colour. Although both are marked as limited edition, no indication of bottle numbers or prices were given in the press release.

Irish Distillers have released the 2017 Edition of their super premium Midleton Very Rare bottling, which has appeared annually as a limited edition since it was first released in 1984. As with previous editions, this year sees a blend of grain and single pot still whiskeys. The age range for the 2017 Edition is 12 to 32 years and has been created by Brian Nation, the Master Distiller at Midleton. The oldest grain whiskey is 32 years of age and the oldest pot still whiskey is 26 years of age. All have been matured in ex-bourbon barrels that have then been specially selected by Nation, one of only two men to ever create the Very Rare.

The Midleton Rare 2017 Edition is the first to feature the new packaging design, which sees the whiskey now presented in a bespoke bottle and wooden casket. It is bottled at 40% ABV and is non chill-filtered. It will be available initially in selected markets including Canada, Ireland and the USA, plus Irish travel retail. The cost will be €180 (£165) per bottle.

"It has been a privilege for me to continue the legacy of Midleton Very Rare that Barry Crockett started in 1984. The Very Rare is rightfully regarded as the pinnacle of Irish whiskey with each vintage cherished by collectors and whiskey enthusiasts all over the world."
Brian Nation - Master Distiller at Midleton.

At a lavish launch event and dinner, held for the world's media at the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork, Irish Distillers also announced a brand new innovative scheme that signals a new era for the luxury Irish whiskey market. The Midleton Very Rare Cask Circle is a private members club that offers individuals the opportunity to own a cask of Midleton grain or single pot still whiskey and then bottle it when and how they wish.

A number of casks (including Irish oak and ex-Malaga, Port and rum amongst others) of varying ages have been selected for the Cask Circle by Brian Nation. The cost, which is available on request and is different for each cask, also include your own personal Distillery Concierge who will look after all your needs when visiting Ireland and the Midleton distillery.

Ian McLeod Distillers, owners of the Glengoyne and Tamdhu distilleries, have announced plans this week to resurrect the Lowland distillery of Rosebank. The news sent reverberations around the whisky world as Rosebank closed back in 1993 and very little of the original distillery remains, apart from an old set of warehouses that have been converted to apartments. The remaining whiskies are now rare, highly sought after and seen as a prime example of the Lowland malt style.

Ian McLeod's investment is said to 'go beyond production' and will also involve a visitor centre and historical brand archive. They have worked with Diageo, the previous owners of the distillery and named trademark, and also in conjunction with Scottish Canals to help revive the canalside location in Rosebank's home town of Falkirk. No further details have been announced to date.

"The distillery has a very special place in Scotland’s whisky heritage. We will produce Rosebank Lowland single malt in exactly the same way as it is known, using the famous triple distillation and worm tub condensers. This way we ensure the revival of its classic style and taste."
Leonard Russell - Managing Director of Ian McLeod Distillers.

This follows the news the previous day that Diageo were planning to rebuild the legendary Brora and Port Ellen distilleries in the north Highlands and Islay respectively. You can read about this in a special edition of Inbox - click here.

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