Now more than ever, Scotland’s whisky-makers are treating their ageing stocks to a resting period in tropical casks from sunshine shores. We explore the trend for rum cask-finished Scotch whiskies…
With ‘gooey caramel, helpings of apricots, dark chocolate, bittersweet vanilla and soft baking spices’, you’d be forgiven for assuming this tasting note was describing Ron Zacapa or El Dorado. In actuality, it documents the deliciousness of BenRiach 22 Year Old Dark Rum Cask Finish, which saw out the final period of its maturation in dark rum barrels from Jamaica.
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.
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.
The Beast of Dufftown is back at it again. Mortlach has unveiled a trio of single malt whiskies for its core range, including 12 year old, 16 year old and 20 year old expressions.
Today mighty Speyside distillery, Mortlach, aka the Beast of Dufftown, announced the launch of three new expressions: the 12- year-old “Wee Witchie” bottled at 43% (RRP £50), the 43.4% 16-year-old Distiller’s Dram (RRP £80) and also at 43.4% the 20- year-old Cowie’s Blue Seal (RRP £200). Mark Brunton, Distillery Manager, said: “The 16-year-old is a classic Mortlach expression, while the 12-year-old offers a strong distillery character through its use of refill casks. The 20-year-old offers a balance of character and distillery character with active wood.”
If you’re a fan of island single malts, there’s a new Scotch whisky trip to add to your bucket list. Taking in Torabhaig, Isle of Raasay, Talisker and Isle of Harris, the Hebridean Whisky Trail launches on 15 August – just in time for your summer holiday!
A collaboration between the four distilleries and CalMac Ferries, the Hebridean Whisky Trail will see guests take in the four distilleries across three islands (Torabhaig and Talisker are both on the Isle of Skye).
Tours need to be booked directly at each distillery, but the handy Hopscotch ticket from CalMac lets you zip about on all its routes for 31 days, getting between islands easily and breezily. Just want the set routes? You can book individual ferry passes for foot passengers or vehicles, too!
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society did one better than birthday drinks when it turned 35 this year: it tasked all-round legend type Charles MacLean to assemble a selection of 21 exceptional single cask bottlings. Here, the charismatic whisky expert takes stock of Scotch…
A lot has changed in the 35 years since The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) was founded. Just ask Charles MacLean. A longtime supporter of the Society, he joined the members’ club in the early 1980s, and became a chair of the tasting panel in 1992.
Diageo and HBO have announced The Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection, with more details to come over the coming months.
It’s all a bit mysterious at the moment – like that bit in seasons five and six where Arya Stark spent what seemed like centuries in the Hall of Faces – but Diageo has released a short film on social media announcing a Game of Thrones single malt collection. It will feature eight whiskies: Lagavulin, Oban, Singleton, Talisker, Cardhu, Royal Lochnagar, Dalwhinnie and Clynelish.
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