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Norwegian News: March 2009

March 5, 2009

Not to much to brag about in the ways of new whiskies available in Norway in the month of March (sale start Saturday 7th). Only three new whiskies arrives this month, all on the “Blue list” – or the order assortement as it were, and all from the same distillery – Auchentoshan. The main reason is that Morrison-Bowmore has changed importers in Norway. Previously it was V&S Norway who imported Morrison-Bowmore’s product, but with Pernod Ricard’s purchase of the Swedish mother company this changed, so now the company Strom (InterBev/Altia) is the importer and putting some muscle behind the brand. This bring the total of Auchentoshans available in Norway up to 5 (the Three Wood is available at Vinmonopolet at the Select through most Duty Free stores). The going rate of exchange is 10,06 NOK to the £.

The new whiskies are:

auchentoshan12yowv

auchentoshan18yowvauchentoshan21yowvAuchentoshan 12 Years (449,90 NOK/£44.54) is the first whisky out this month. This replaced the previous 10yo when the new packaging was introduced. A richer and more sherried expression this, with hints of spices following the light fruity notes. A clear improvement in my book, though it would probably have been even better with a bit higher abv (it’s 40% abv). Not exactly cheap, but then again it’s Norway – priced on the same level as JW Green, Balvenie 12yo DW, Glenfiddich 15yo Solera and The Glenlivet 15 French Oak.

Auchentoshan 18 Years (699,90 NOK/£69.61) is a grand example of a aged lowlander. Rich and spicy on the palate with a sherried tone coming through after a while – even though it’s a 100% ex-bourbon maturation. Some very old casks have gone into this mix. Carries the extra 3% abv. compared to the 12yo very well (it’s 43% abv.). Quite good value for Norway.

Auchentoshan 21 Years (900 NOK/£89.51) is a classic avec-whisky, to enjoy after a good (but not to spicy) meal. Pour a glass, sit down in a recliner, light a cigar og pipe and comtemplate over things that were, are and might be – or simply just drink the stuff. A great example of that Auchentoshan needs to age for quite a bit before reching it’s potential, a world away from the Three Wood and the Classic. It’s bottled at 43% abv. Pricewise it’s about the same here in Norway as in Britain, even with the weak pound.

Show off with Balvenie

February 16, 2009

Got a great number of malts in your cabinet? Want the world to see them, and not just listed up in a forum post? Balvinie gives you the opportunity to “create a virtual whisky shelf” of their website: www.thebalvenie.com

Thousands of expression are ready to be assembled (both OB’s and IB’s) on your personal shelf, with comments and ratings. Compare your notes with other patrons of the site, amongst them several renowned whisky experts. A list of what malts to try next can also be made.

So if you want to show off your collection, or just need a handy place to keep you notes and ratings – visit The Balvenie Warehouse 24.

Snippets from the Air

February 6, 2009

A couple of small point that are relevant for airtravellers in and out of European and US airports.

As most know the carrying of liquids through security check points are banned in a great many countries around the world. Within EU/EEA items bought on airports are allowed to carry onto planes and also onto connecting flight (although it’s advised to have the items put into a sealed bag). Liquids bought outside of this area are not allowed to bring onto connecting flights in the EU/EEA area. So whisky bought in Bangkok will be confiscated at the connecting airport.

Recently Croatia was approved as the first “third country”, so items bought at Croatian airports are allowed to be brought onto connecting flights (enter the sealed bag again). Now a second contry has been found to have security procedures meeting EU standards: the USA. So now whiskies bought at US airports can safely be brought onto connecting flights in Europe, without fear of them being confiscated. This is great for those wanting a taste of the great range of bourbons and whiskeys not available in Europe. No change in rules the other way though, so if buying whisky on you way to the US it’s advised to do so on the final airport befor the leg over the Atlantic and to put the bottles in checked luggage before continuing on US domestic flights.

RyanAir’s latest “how to get more money out of our passangers”-scheme is to enforce the “1 piece of hand luggage per passanger” with a vengance. If trying to board a RyanAir-aircraft with more than one piece you will be charged €30 and the offending piece will be put in the ordinary baggage hold. This has already been enforced at some of RyanAir’s stations, and is expected to be implemented wholly within the next few weeks. So if you’re onyl travelling with a small item of handluggage and you can’t fit anything – buying a bottle of whisky at the airport is out of the question. Many travellers at Stansted airport has returned to the Duty Free store for a refund after being refused to carry the goods onto the plane. Passangers refusing to pay the €30 fee and putting the offending hand luggage in the hold (or abandoning it in some way) will be denied boarding.

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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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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Happy New Year

December 31, 2008

Happy New Year whisk(e)ylovers. I raise a glass of Mortlach (Cadenhead’s, 8yo, d.1987, b.1995) for times gone by and for times to come.

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Rosebank Revival

September 13, 2008

Rumours have been circulating for some time about the possibility of reviving the Rosebank distillery, though not on it’s original site. These rumours got more to fly on after the user tcurry48 at the WhiskyMag forums discovered that a planning application had been made to build a “Rosebank Distillery” just a few miles away from the original distillery.

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Hello world!

July 30, 2008

Just starting up. This blog will naturally be about whisky and all that goes with that subject – and anything else than catches my fancy. Beeing Norwegian this will of course have some influence on the subject I cover, but I hope non-Norwegians also will find it readable.

That’s it for now, hopefully I’ll be back shortly with the first proper entry.


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