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William Grant Launches Glenfiddich Gallery

by Jake Mountain     25. November 2014 11:00

Glenfiddich Gallery

Well this one's been teed up perfectly really following last week's post on The Glenlivet, and specifically how they're catching the Glenfiddich in terms of sales whilst placing emphasise on their recent and historical innovation. So Glenfiddich, your move it seems. And here it is: Glenfiddich Gallery, a bespoke online whisky service where you can discover cask strength malts that match your personal tastes and also design the bespoke packaging your whisky will come in!

Whilst there is a certain award-winning online retailer that's provided the opportunity to personalise both the labels and the liquid of your whisky for some time now *ahem*, this is an incredibly exciting step for a leading single malt brand to take.

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The Glenlivet Passes 1m Case Milestone & Launches Founder's Reserve

by Jake Mountain     18. November 2014 17:23

The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve

The Glenlivet has reached a considerable milestone in its quest to become the best selling single malt Scotch in the world (a position currently held by Glenfiddich), by selling one million 9-litre cases of whisky within a year for the first time in its history. Looking back to the end of the calendar year 2013, the global Scotch malt whisky market shares held by these brands were within a single percent of one another at 12% and 12.7% respectively. Competition for the top spot has rarely been fiercer.

Reporting double digit growth in more than 40 markets as well as 8% global value growth (net sales) and 2% increase in volume during the 2014 financial year, The Glenlivet reached the milestone of one million cases sold worldwide during the twelve month period up to and including September 2014. Given that back in 2006 (when Glenmorangie was Glenfiddich's biggest competition in terms of global sales) Glenfiddich enjoyed an 18% market share compared to The Glenlivet's 7%, their progress is all the more impressive.*

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 4: Belgrove)

by Michael Orson     14. November 2014 16:37

Belgrove distillery

A fledgling distillery in Tasmania, Belgrove was set up by Peter Bignell, a farmer in the tiny town of Bothwell. The distillery is rather tucked away off a seemingly endless road through the centre of the island. Arrive and you’ll find an unimposing white-wash outbuilding at the back of a farm – home to the Belgrove’s sole still.

Quite unlike most distilleries on Tasmania, Peter’s is one born of chance and circumstance rather than to satisfy a desire. In fact, it all started in 2009 when his farm had a surplus of rye. Peter, being a keen recycler with an interest in sustainability, decided to reuse the extra grain for whisky production, so he built himself a 600-litre copper still for both wash and spirit runs – quite a feat for a man with no previous experience in the whisky industry.

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Diageo Special Releases 2014

by Jake Mountain     7. November 2014 17:00

Diageo Special Releases 2014 Caol Ila 30yo

On Tuesday evening I found myself the nearest thing to a corner possible at a curvy and buzzing Magazine Restaurant in Kensington Gardens on a cold, rainy November night. Here I would attempt to write some meaningful tasting notes for 11 limited edition cask strength single malts in a couple of hectic hours, including the time it would take to fight through the crowd each time I needed to move on to new whiskies, and the time it would take for the smell of prawn hors d'oeuvres to dissipate each time the diligent waitresses came over to offer them.

Meanwhile, our Spirits Buyer Toby Cutler (he's nice, you'd like him - he really enjoys a good picture of Kevin Costner, or Chris Tucker for that matter) was having no such problem as he enjoyed a range of whiskies, some quite valuable, in a leisurely fashion alongside some pleasant conversation. Add all of this up, and it can only mean one thing: it was the launch of Diageo's much-anticipated 2014 Special Releases!

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David Beckham Haig Club Single Grain Whisky

by Jake Mountain     22. October 2014 12:21

David Beckham Haig Club Grain Whisky

This is really a follow up to my previous post 'Will Grain Whisky be promoted to the Big League as David Beckham signs for Haig Club?', where I talk more generally about single grain and David Beckham as well as taste the Girvan 25yo. Since then a couple of things have happened. Firstly, the brand and the whisky are out there now - from teaser shots where you don't even get to see Becks' face back in July, to us having the whisky for sale on the site, to the Global Launch at the start of October through to the release of the UK television advert at the end of last week. The other thing that's happened is that I've actually got around to tasting it now, finally!

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Auchentoshan 25 Year Old 1988 Wine Cask Finish - "YEEAAAHHHH!!!"

by Jake Mountain     17. October 2014 16:18

Auchentoshan 1988 Wine Cask Finish

A 25 year old 1988 vintage. That's quite enough about me though. Feeling a little guilty that I haven't got to this whisky already (we received the package with the sample about a month ago), I'm now making a concious effort in these busy 'already-sort-of-started-but-also-still-building-up-to-Christmas-retailing' times to get to it before my birthday, after which I'll suddenly have a little less in common with it.

Everybody enjoys getting their hands on a whisky distilled in the year of their birth, it's fun. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter perhaps, but many people are willing to fork out that little bit (or lot-a-bit) extra to get their paws on something from 'their vintage'. Something that's spent the same amount of time on this oblate spheroid as they have. Indeed, some whisky lovers go out of their way to secure these as often as possible. But if it's the same age as you as well? Better still, surely?

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 3: Lark)

by Michael Orson     7. October 2014 12:23

Lark distillery

In many ways, Lark was the flagship behind the burgeoning whisky scene in Tasmania. Established in 1992, it was the first fully licensed commercial distillery on the island since the ban of 1839, and it all began when distillery founder, Bill Lark, started speaking to a political friend of his, asking why small-scale distillation was still illegal. This set in motion a series of calls, letters and discussions, and the end result was legal distillation on Tasmania. For technical accuracy, it’s worth mentioning that Tasmanian Prohibition was partially lifted in 1901, but only for stills of 40,000 litres and over, making any kind of startup nigh on impossible.

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The Glenlivet - The Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964

by Jake Mountain     24. September 2014 14:43

The Glenlivet The Winchester Collection Vintage 1964

Last week I was fortunate enough to taste an upcoming release from The Glenlivet, the second best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world. It's a limited edition 50 year old vintage release - the first in a series of 50 year olds (!) that are to be called The Winchester Collection.

Matured in a single American oak hogshead (as far as I understand from my chat with Brand Ambassador Phil Huckle) this whisky was laid down back in 1964 by none other than Captain Bill Smith-Grant, the final distilling descendant of the distillery's founder, George Smith. The Winchester Collection therefore represents a special piece of history for The Glenlivet, a final liquid link with the family that started it all back in 1824.

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A new batch of Boutique-y Whiskies for a Tuesday Morning

by Ben Ellefsen     23. September 2014 10:00

Fettercairn, Blended Malt #2 and Blair Athol That Boutique-y Whisky Company

So – it’s about that time again – new batches, and replenished batches of some absolute crackers from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

First up – spoiler alert – we do have a new batch of both the Port Ellen, and Brora. I’ll understand if you want to stop reading for a bit and take care of a small (okay – large) transaction.

We’ve also got some brand spanking new lines though – 2 single malts and a blended malt (which after the editor’s choice award in the most recent edition of Whisky Magazine), should see some interest piqued...

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WINNER of the Exclusive Overeem Bourbon Cask Release Competition

by Master of Malt     19. September 2014 17:00

Old Hobart Overeem casks

For the last month we've been running a cracking little competition offering the chance for one lucky winner to join a select panel of whisky experts later this month that will decide which bourbon cask will be bottled as the first ever bourbon matured Overeem Tasmanian whisky! The selected whisky will be a UK exclusive, a release of just 50 bottles at 60% abv, with the winner also bagging themselves a bottle - a personalised one at that!

How would this lucky winner be chosen? Well, not by luck at all actually, but by writing the best tasting note for Overeem Sherry Cask 43% (with two runners up winning bottles of this popular expression).

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