Archive for January, 2009

Where have all the ‘Fiddich’s gone?

January 31, 2009

Recent travels abroad have made me wonder why products from Wm. Grant & Sons aren’t available anymore. A couple of enquiries and talking to the sales people in the store revealed the story behind the removal of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Grant’s from Norwegian Duty Free stores.

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Whisky sales in Norway, 2008

January 29, 2009

Whisky has never really been “in” in Norway, that honour has been reserved for the French brandy, Cognac. But slowly it’s been building a following that drinks no matter what. This has been proven the last year, and specially after the infamous “Credit Crunch” started. According to the 2008-figures, sales of whisky increased by 1.5% while Cognac was down 5.5%. The sales of malts are up 2.8% to 91,722 liters in total, giving a malt share of 6.7% (up from 6.6% in 2007).

Of the top 250-brands of spirits sold in Norway in 2008, whereof 28 are whiskies and a mere 7 are malts. These 7 malts account for 47.5% of the total sales of malts in Norway. Not surprisingly the winner is Glenfiddich 12yo, with Glen Moray 8yo and The Glenlivet 12yo trailing.

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Whisky in Riga

January 21, 2009

Just got back from a wee trip to the Latvian capitol, Riga – and thought I’d post a snippet about it. Not much of a destination for whisky-lovers as the local seem to have picked Cognac as their foreign-luxury drink of choice. For every day it seems like beer and vodka are the preferred drinks.

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Laphroaig Cask Strength to change

January 4, 2009

Finally got around to see the Laphroaig Christmas Card (this year it was a video with distillery manager John Campbell). One of the main items of news for the new year was that they will change the way the bottle the 10yo Cask Strength-expression. Until now they’ve tried to keep thestrength and flavour more or less consistent, something that is hard to say the least.

This policy has now been given the boot, and Laphroaig will start bottling the 10yo CS in two annual batches, with the batch number clearly stated on the label (like the Aberlour a’Bunadh). So flavour and strength will vary from batch to batch, something that will make the avid drinkers try to sample the all. I know I probably will.

If you haven’t seen it: Laphroaig 2008 Christmas Card (Video)

Norwegian News: January

January 3, 2009

A new year has dawned and the state run monopoly gives everybody a week’s respite before releasing the new products for sale. The official start date is Saturday 10th January. Not much to brag about in whisky terms this time, but then again January tends to be quiet time as everybody has spent all their money shopping for the Christmas hollidays. A total of seven items are marked as NEW, but one is an upgrade and one is a “down-grade”. I’ve used £1=10,4NOK as a rate of exchange for the price conversions.

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