Friday, October 6, 2017

Inbox - The Week's Whisky News (October 6, 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. It's a big one again, so grab a dram and settle in ...


The small Speyside distillery have announced the latest bottling in their single cask vintage collection, which has so far showcased a number of casks from the 1970s. The Benromach 1977 Vintage has been matured in a re-fill American oak ex-bourbon cask (Cask #1268) for 39 years and is bottled at the natural cask strength of 56% ABV. There are just 225 bottles, which will be distributed to selected specialist whisky retailers worldwide. Each will cost £1,350 (€1,500).

"Almost four decades have passed since cask #1268 was laid down to quietly mature in the traditional dunnage warehouses that surround the Benromach distillery. These carefully selected casks from the 1970s give Benromach lovers around the world the chance to taste a moment in time from the distillery’s rich history." 
David King - Director at Benromach.

The popular Irish whiskey brand of Bushmills have announced the thrid bottling in The Steamship Collection, its travel retail exclusive range inspired by the voyages of the ship SS Bushmills. The Bourbon #3 Char Cask Reserve follows the Port Cask Reserve and Sherry Cask Reserve in the series, and is being launched at the Tax Free World Exhibition in Cannes, France this week. The new expression has been matured in casks that have been custom charred to Bushmills' exact specifications. It is bottled at 40% ABV and will retail for £50 per one litre bottle. The Bourbon #3 Char Cask Reserve will be available from early-2018.

"This whiskey is the result of our long-standing relationship with coopers in Louisville, Kentucky. The amount of char you give a cask has a significant impact on the flavour. The casks are emptied of bourbon and re-charred before being shipped to us in Northern Ireland, where we fill them exclusively with triple-distilled Bushmills single malt." 
Helen Mulholland - Master Blender at Bushmills.

Compass Box 
The artisan whisky blending company of Compass Box have announced two new limited edition blended malts for this Autumn, entitled No Name and Phenomenology. No Name is the company's peatiest whisky to date and the no 'name' has been given to let the whisky speak for itself. It has been constructed of pockets of single malt stock from two Islay distilleries and one in the north Highlands, including some matured in French oak. There will be 15,000 bottles of No Name, which will be released at 48.9% ABV. The price will be £100/$125 US.

Phenomenology is the study of psychology that focusses on phenomena and the experiences of our five senses. The whisky is named as such because Compass Box do not want consumers to have any preconceptions about what the liquid may be or how it will taste. As a result, no details on the make up of the whisky will be revealed until December. There are just 7,908 bottles of Phenomenology and these have been bottled at 46% ABV. Each will cost £150/$180 US. Both new limited editions are available initially in the UK and Europe, before going to the USA in early November.

Gordon & MacPhail
Independent whisky bottlers Gordon & MacPhail have released one of their oldest ever single malt bottlings as part of their prestigious Private Collection series - the Glenlivet 1943. It was filled to cask on January 14, 1943. This was when World War II was still ongoing and makes it one of the rarest casks ever to be bottled in the world.

The whisky has been maturing by Gordon & MacPhail for 70 years in an ex-sherry butt (Cask #121) and represents their last remaining cask from the WWII era. There will be just 40 decanters of the Private Collection Glenlivet 1943, bottled at the natural cask strength of 49.1% ABV, and these will be available from specially selected whisky retailers worldwide. Each decanter will cost £30,000.

"This beautiful whisky has been nurtured and cared for by four generations of our family and it gives us enormous pleasure to release this unique and incredibly rare single malt." 
Stephen Rankin - Director at Gordon & MacPhail.

Green Spot 

The popular Irish pot still brand of Green Spot have announced the second bottling in its Wine Geese series - the Green Spot Chateau Montelena. This sees the classic pot still whiskey matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, before being transferred for one year of finishing in French oak ex-Zinfandel red wine casks. These have come from the renowned Californian winemaker of Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley. It follows the Green Spot Château Léoville Barton, which was released in 2015.

The vineyard is operated by the Barrett family, who are of Irish descent. The whiskey has been developed by Kevin O'Gorman, the Head of Maturation at the Midleton distillery where Green Spot is made, and Billy Leighton, the Head Blender at Midleton, alongside Bo Barrett, the third generation owner of Chateau Montelena. It is bottled at 46% ABV, is non chill-filtered and will be available in selected world markets including Canada, Ireland and the USA. No indication of price was given in the press release.

"Exploring the influence of these prized wine casks on Green Spot was our inspiration. We found that the black-skinned Zinfandel grapes are full of ripe and spicy berry flavours, which impart a distinctive and refined fruitiness to the wine and also the casks in which they matured." 
Kevin O'Gorman.

Loch Lomond
The Loch Lomond distillery have revealed that they are to release their oldest ever single malt whisky. The Loch Lomond 50 years old was distilled in 1967 and then matured in an American oak hogshead, before being moved to a European oak hogshead. The whisky has been selected from just a single cask and this has yielded only 60 bottles. These bottles are bespoke handblown decanters crafted by Method Studio in Scotland and then presented in a solid oak and leather lined casket.

The Loch Lomond 50 years old is bottled at the natural strength of 46.2% ABV and each bottle will cost £12,000. It will be available through selected specialist whisky retailers from December and then other world markets - China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and travel retail - after that. For further information, please visit

"For 50 years the Loch Lomond distillery has been one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. With the launch of this 50 year old single malt, we are putting Loch Lomond firmly on the Scotch whisky map."
Colin Matthews - CEO of The Loch Lomond Group.

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