Friday, February 24, 2023

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (February 24, 2023)

Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. 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 the round-up of the news from this week.

The Northern Irish distillery of Bushmills have announced the tenth bottling to their award-winning Causeway Collection - the Bushmills 33 years old Port Cask. It will be the final whiskey in the series and will be exclusive to the travel retail market. The whiskey is the oldest ever expression to be released by Bushmills and has been selected by Master Blender Alex Thomas.

The whiskey was filled to a single ex-Port cask in April 1989 and has spent its entire life maturing in the same cask. The cask has yielded just 690 bottles and these are released at the natural cask strength of 53.3% ABV. It is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. The Bushmills 33 years old Port Cask will be exclusively available from World Duty Free stores at London Heathrow airport from March 1. A bottle will cost £1,245.
"At Bushmills, we continue to innovate and create new expressions to excite the whiskey community. We are proud to build The Causeway Collection and excited to share our rare 33 year old Port Cask with whiskey fans travelling through Heathrow from all corners of the globe."
Alex Thomas.


The Epicurean blended malt, which is owned by independent bottler and distiller Douglas Laing & Co, has announced the latest limited edition to join its innovative Wood Series - The Epicurean Amarone Wine Cask Finish. The new whisky is the seventh in the series. As with all expressions of The Epicurean this is created using only Lowland single malts. These have been initially matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred to a single ex-Amarone wine cask for a two year finishing period. 
The Epicurean Amarone Wine Cask Finish is bottled at 48% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. Bottles will be on sale shortly through selected specialist whisky retailers and will cost £65/€73. 

Highland Park
The Orkney-based distillery of Highland Park has launched its oldest ever expression to market - the Highland Park 54 years old. The new whisky has been released to begin the distillery's 225th anniversary celebrations. As a result there will be just 225 bottles. The spirit was originally distilled and filled to cask in 1968. In 2008, four re-fill ex-sherry butts and six re-fill ex-bourbon hogsheads from this vintage were married together and then matured for a further 14 years in a first-fill European oak ex-sherry butt. The whisky was then selected for bottling by Gordon Motion, the Master Whisky Maker. 

The whisky is presented in a crystal decanter designed by Stoelzle Flaconnage and is housed in a Scottish oak casket that represents the Cliffs of Yesnaby on the Orkneys. It is bottled at the natural cask strength of 46.3% ABV and will be initially exclusive to a handful of specialist whisky retailers in the UK. A bottle will cost £39,000.
"This exceptionally rare 54 year old single malt has been nurtured through careful maturation and harmonisation. Representing almost one quarter of Highland Park’s life, we felt it was a fitting way to mark our 225th anniversary; born and crafted in the heart of Orkney."
Gordon Motion.


Midleton Very Rare
The prestigious Irish whiskey brand of Midleton Very Rare has announced two new releases this week - the Very Rare 2023 Edition and The Pinnacle Vintage. 
The Midleton Very Rare 2023 Edition (pictured, left) is the third in the series, which has been released annually since 1984, to be created by Master Distiller Kevin O'Gorman. The whiskey features a higher percentage of heavier style pot still spirit and re-fill cask maturation than in previous editions. It is bottled at 40% ABV and is on sale now in selected world markets including Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA plus global travel retail. The packaging has also been changed to be more sustainable - this has seen the wooden casket ditched in favour of a luxury recyclable option. A bottle will cost €210/ £200/ $US250.

The Pinnacle Vintage (pictured, right) is a one-of-a-kind bottle and represents Midleton's first ever NFT release. It has again been created by Kevin O'Gorman and features a sample from each of the 40 Midleton Very Rare editions released to date. It also includes a pot still sample that was distilled in 1984, the first year of the series, under the eye of its founder Barry Crockett. The rare whiskey is a celebration of the three Mster Distillers who have created the Midelton Very Rare series across five decades. 
The Pinnacle Vintage will be on sale on February 28 via, the world's premium site for NFT sales of wines and spirits. The bottle will cost $US130,000. As part of the sale, a donation will be made to one of Midleton's partner charities, The Forest Genetic Resources Trust, and will support the planting of an orchard and future projects.

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