Johnnie Walker ain’t afraid of no ghost – the second bottling in the Blue Label Ghost & Rare series has been announced, featuring whisky from Islay’s legendary Port Ellen distillery at the heart of the blend.
This week Diageo announced the launch of the (deep breath) Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Ellen, or JWBLG&RPE for short. It may sound like two whiskies, but is actually a new blend created by Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge and his team. It gets its spooky name because it’s based around whisky from legendary ghost (ie. closed) Islay distillery Port Ellen, as well as two lost grain distilleries – Carsebridge (which closed in 1983) and Caledonian (which closed in 1988). These priceless whiskies are then blended with some very rare malts from non-ghostly distilleries – Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban.
Last week, Renegade Spirits broke ground on a US$20 million distillery on the Caribbean island of Grenada. We caught up with CEO Mark Reynier – founder of Bruichladdich and Waterford distilleries – to find out why his terroir-driven single cane rum could be the hero the category deserves…
“All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.” – Mark Reynier
Pretty profound, huh? Alright, full disclosure. He didn’t actually say that, Batman did. But he could’ve, because in many ways Reynier is the Batman of the spirits industry.
Like Batman, he excels at subverting the system. Drawing from years of experience as a vigneron, shipper, wholesaler and retailer, Reynier turns traditional practice on its head. By channelling a winemaker’s approach to distilling, he paves the way for a new normal. And (like Gotham), the booze is far better for it. No word on whether he too knows 157 different types of martial arts.
As a bevy of drinks companies post their full-year results, let’s get down to business with this week’s The Nightcap.
Greetings from another Friday! You’ve made it through a week, which is always an achievement of note and worthy of commemoration. As you settle into the weekend, do so with a brain full of booze news – get ready for another edition of The Nightcap!
Firstly, let’s look at the week that was here at MoM Towers. Our Annie chatted to whisky industry legend Charles MacLean, and then got us ready for London Mezcal Week by interviewing festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds. Kristy introduced yet another whisky-based excursion to add to our ever-expanding bucket list with the Hebridean Whisky Trail. Sam said goodbye to Rum Month with a run-down of ace dark rums. Henry showed us why we shouldn’t fear the sommelier, and gave us a look at the new range of Mortlach whiskies due to hit shelves later this year. And finally Sam drilled down into Diageo’s results. On that note, on with The Nightcap booze news and those all-important numbers!
Diageo has done its sums and presented the results of its 2018 financial year – we’ve had a good ol’ nosey to see how its brands performed. Get ready for some number, folks.
If you sit squarely in the middle of a Venn diagram that shows people who like tasty boozes and people who like business-y gubbins, this is one of the most exciting times of the year for you – when drinks companies start posting their full-year results. As one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Diageo’s full-years results are always good for having a nose through, which we did.
This September, London Mezcal Week will return to the capital in a blaze of agave with the largest mezcal selection the UK has ever seen. We chart the rise and rise of Tequila’s smoky sister with festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds…
Clear your diaries, book your train (or plane…) ticket, and rinse your copita: London Mezcal Week is back from 10-16 September, bringing with it more tastings, dinners, talks, parties, cocktails and pop-up mezcalerias than you can shake a piña at.
Last week, we joined William Grant & Sons UK to future gaze as the Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Reyka and Sailor Jerry-owner unpacked its 2018 Market Report. What will we be drinking over the next 18 months and why? The trends brainiacs behind the scenes reckon they have the answer…
We’d all love to see into the future. Honestly, who among us would pass up the chance to gaze into a crystal ball in the search for answers: what are next week’s lottery numbers? How long until there are flying cars? When will the ‘gin bubble’ burst?
The UK drinks industry would certainly love the chance. With rampant technological advances, a difficult geo-political climate and economic uncertainty, the pace of change has never felt quite as fast as it does today. Keeping up is tough, never mind being one step ahead.
Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but not if you follow the world of booze! It’s been an action-packed week, and we have the glorious highlights right here, right now. It’s The Nightcap!
Happy Friday, folks! The weekend is here and it’s time to celebrate with something tasty. Perhaps a delish and straightforward dram. Or, as Beam Suntory was highlighting when we stopped by this week, a Highball in all its glory. Or a G&T, Daiquiri, Margarita… the possibilities are endless. And now we’re distracted.
So. The tumultuous week that was. England tumbled out of the World Cup (at the semi-final stage so we’re still pretty proud here at MoM Towers), Brexit was back in the headlines (did it ever leave?!), and the astonishing Thai Cave rescue came to a successful close (huge respect to the rescue team, and of course we remember Saman Kunan, the brave diver who tragically died while saving others).
Categories : American Whiskey
, Scotch Whisky
, World Whisky
To most people, oysters, chicken stock and katsuobushi are ingredients. To Lars Williams – former head of R&D at Noma, one of the world’s most influential restaurants – they’re botanicals. Forget everything you think you know about booze: at category-defying distillery Empirical Spirits, nothing is off-limits.
If a distillers’ rulebook exists, Lars Williams hasn’t just thrown it in the bin – he’s set the whole thing on fire. The grain-to-bottle distillery he shares with fellow Noma alumni Mark Emil Hermansen wasn’t solely built to bottle. The entire set-up, designed and built by Williams, was imagined in the kitchen.
We recently teamed up with Loch Lomond to give a lucky someone a pair of tickets to The Open Championship – and we have our winner!
Television, refrigerators, Dolly the sheep, chicken tikka masala, kaleidoscopes, the Grand Theft Auto video game series – Scotland as a country has given the world so many wonderful things. However, for some, there are two suitably Scottish contributions to the world that stand out more than most: golf and Scotch whisky!
In this spirit, you may recall that we teamed up Loch Lomond to give away two tickets to The Open Championship for Friday 20 July, as well as two nights’ accommodation with dinner in Glasgow, a visit to the Loch Lomond Distillery and a bottle of Loch Lomond Carnoustie 1999 (RRP £150) signed by master blender Michael Henry (with arrangements for UK travel taken care of). Only one lucky winner (and an even luckier plus-one) would get to experience this smashingly Scottish treat first-hand. Well, we have our winner!
Happy Friday, team! Summer is ON (at least here in the UK) and there’s a certain football match on the agenda tomorrow… But before that comes around, it’s time to get an update from the world of booze. Bring on The Nightcap!
This week brought with it a new month as well as a whole new cohort of booze goings on – and of course a new Dram Club box for our subscribers, too! We took a sneak peek inside those packs of tastiness on Sunday.
On Monday we looked back to Fèis Ìle 2018 when Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills shared his plans for the distillery expansion project, and got part three of Annie’s Bourbon Series – this time it was Rob Samuels from Maker’s Mark in the spotlight.
The Glencairn glass has become synonymous with spirits (whisky in particular), and on Tuesday we met the family behind the business. Sales are soaring – it seems we can’t get enough fancy glassware to hold our boozes!