Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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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Campbeltown releases in 2009

December 31, 2008

J&A Mitchell (Springbank, Kilkerran/Glengyle, Longrow, Hazelburn, Campbeltown Loch etc) has released a small list of their planned official releases for the new year. Most exiting, and surely an item for touts, collectors, hoarders and generally all who don’t really drink the stuff, is a official release from the newly rebuildt Glengyle Distillery (Kilkerra Single Malt).

The releases are as follows:

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Scapa comes of age – again.

December 28, 2008

For the second time in under five years Scapa Distillery willbe changing the age of their standard malt. In 2004 (when the distillery was refurbished) the age went from 12 to 14 years old. Now a 16 year old is making it’s way onto the market, replacing the 14 year old.

The age changes have all been accompanied by a design change as well:

scapa12wv1scapa14wv2scapa16wv2

The new edition is being made available as I write this, and some stores already have it in stock. It’s still unpeated, ex-bourbon matured and bottled at 40%. In additon a price hike is added to the change this time, a £20 price hike none the less (Arkwrights Whisky and Wines has the 14yo at £31.20 and the 16yo at £52.99). Scapa’s getting pushed into the premium segemnt now, maybe not the bt thing to do – but if stocks are running low it might be better to be on the market than disappear completely.

Hopefully a more reasonably priced expression will come in a few years time, maybe a 8 year old again?

Laphroaig Triple Wood

December 28, 2008

laphroaig_triple_woodwvAs previously said the Laphroaig Triple Wood would make it’s entry on the Duty-Free market this autum/winter. 200 bottles is rumored to be sold to Friends of Laphroaig before the official release, but I haven’t seen them materialize yet.

The 1-litre Duty-Free edition (48% abv.) will cost €65 (£61.22), which I personally find a bit steep for a sherry-finished edition of the Quarter Cask. The QC is 399 NOK (£38.37) and a 60% premium for a cask finish is just a tad over the top. Glenmo’s Sherry-finish carry a 20-25% premium.

Will need to try it before I buy it at that price.

ardmore_25wvBtw. Beam Global’s previously stated release of Ardmore 25yo was showcased in October and should be popping up in major Duty Free-outlets – at a whooping €249 (£234.50), almost twice the price of Highland Park 25yo in Norway.

Norwegian News: November 2008, Part 1

October 24, 2008

Two months have passed since the last news release at the Norwegian Vinmonopolet, and it’s time for a new one. The last couple of years many of the importers have marked November as THE month for new releases, something that very much has to do with the Oslo Whiskyfestival – the main Norwegian whisky festival.

A whooping 30 malts (whereof one is Japanese), one Irish whiskey, one Scottish blend and three bourbons gives a total of 35 new whisk(e)ys for the Norwegian market in one go. Six of the malts are available through the normal assortement (available in all the larger stores, can be ordered to the smaller ones at no extra cost), the rest of the malts and the other bottlings might pop up in some stores but normally they have to be ordered in (still at no extra cost).

Due to the amont I’ll split the news into a couple of post, this first one will cover the six malts released into the larger stores. As usual I’ll also be giving the price in pound sterling (£). Last time the exchange rate was £1=9,84NOK, this has changed due to recent event on the world markets, and the rate as i write this is £1=11,62NOK.

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Two new oldies

October 23, 2008

Distillers all over Scotland seem to have recently discovered old stock in their warehouses. Two distillers, Auchentoshan and Balblair, are in these days each releasing their own 1965 vintage malt.

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New Irish Distillery!

October 19, 2008

Ireland isn’t crowded with distilleries today as it once was. A total of four active distilleries exists on the Emerald Isle as of today: Old Bushmills (Co. Antrim/Northern-Ireland), New Midleton (Co. Cork), Cooley (Co. Louth) and recently re-started Kilbeggan (Co. Westmeath).

But today it was made known that a planning permission has been applied for to build a distillery in Dingle, Co Kerry. The €8m development is to use a former creamery building, just outside the town centre, to build the distillery and a visitors centre.

The money behind the plans is coming from Jerry O’Sullivan, a Dingle auctioneer and managing director of Southbound Properties, which sold the creamery to the distillery-project and the Porterhouse group – a small pubco who also has it’s own brewery and hotel. The pubs are in London, Dublin and Bray (hotel/pub).

Former distillery manager John McDougal (ex-Laphroaig, Springbank, Ladyburn, Balvenie and Tormore, and involved in the running, development and start up of several other distilleries) is hired as a consultant. Forsyth’s in Scotland will be hired to build the stills.

The whiskey will be triple distilled (pure pot still) in the traditional Irish manner, and will be matured in ex-bourbon and ex-port(!) casks. While we wait for the first dram to make it’s way into a whiskey glass the distillery will also be making gin. It’s belived that the distillery will be up and running by the end of 2009, if all goes as planned (something that rarely happens), and four years later the first whiskey is to be bottled.

I raise my glass to you lads. Here’s to the possibility to sample a Dingle-whiskey before Christmas 2013.

Whisky Pub of the Year

October 14, 2008

The Good Pub Guide 2009 hit the street a forthnight ago and comes complete with a range of “Pub of the Year”-awards.

In the category Whisky Pub of the Year this years winner is the Port Charlotte Hotel, in Port Charlotte on Islay (website). I tip my hat to you.

Other 2009-winners include:
Beer Pub of the Year: Tom Cobley, Spreyton, Devon
Own Brew Pub of the Year: Brewery Tap, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Wine Pub of the Year: Woods, Dulverton, Somerset
Dining Pub of the Year: Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George, Somerset
Bargain Pub of the Year: Six Bells, Chiddingly, East Sussex
Unspoilt Pub of the Year: Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset
Country Pub of the Year: Royal Oak, Fritham, Hampshire
Town Pub of the Year: Jerusalem Tavern, London EC1
Hotel Bar of the Year: George of Stamford, Stamford, Lincolnshire
New Pub of the Year: Tally Ho, Barkway, Hertfordshire
Inn of the Year: Groes, Ty’n-y-groes, Wales
Licensees of the Year: Mark and Sue Watts of the Rising Sun, Swanmore, Hampshire
Pub of the Year: Golden Heart, Brimpsfield, Gloucestershire

For more information on who the runner-ups where and why the winners came out on top, pick up a copy of the Good Pub Guide 2009 or surf on over to the new GPB-Website and check out pages 11 to 16

Breaking News: Glen Moray stays French

September 16, 2008

Pressrelease from Glen Moray/Glenmorangie Plc:

Glenmorangie progresses the sale of Glen Moray Distillery and brand

The Glenmorangie Company announces it has signed a Heads of Terms agreement for the sale of the Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin and the Glen Moray single malt Scotch whisky brand with the independent French spirits company, La Martiniquaise.

The sale of the Glen Moray Distillery represents an important part of The Glenmorangie Company’s re-organisation plans announced in July, which incorporate a major investment programme worth £45 million. The plans will see the Company focus on developing its highly successful, premium, international single malt Scotch whisky brands – Glenmorangie and Ardbeg – to meet the growing demand for single malt whisky in key and emerging markets such as Asia, Europe and the USA.

The Glen Moray Distillery will be sold as a going concern. It is expected that all the existing employees will transfer to the new owners as part of the sale agreement.

The deal is expected to formally complete before the end of October.

La Martiniquaise is a major spirits group in France. The Company, which is headquartered near Paris, already has significant Scotch whisky operations at Bathgate, West Lothian where Glen Turner single malt and Label 5 blended Scotch whisky are bottled – both leading Scotch whisky brands in France.

Chief Executive of The Glenmorangie Company, Paul Neep said: “We believe that La Martiniquaise will provide an excellent ‘home’ for the Distillery, the brand and its employees and they will continue to develop and expand the Glen Moray brand.”

Glen Moray Distillery was originally built as a brewery in 1831 and was converted to a distillery in 1897. The Glenmorangie Company has owned the distillery since 1920.

New Lowland distillery

September 16, 2008

Glen Turner Distillery, a subsidiary of one of the biggest spirit producers on the French market (COFEPP/La Martiniquaise), are expandig into production. The site, which was set up in 2004, has until now been used to mature, blend and bottle whisky (Glen Turner, Label 5 and Sir Edwards for the French market.

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