This summer saw The Glenlivet overtake Glenfiddich to become the best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world, having enjoyed +11% net sales growth in the last financial year. The gap had been steadily closing for a long time and this follows The Glenlivet's milestone of selling over a million nine litre cases in a year by last September.
In September of this year they also began work on another *huge* expansion project at the distillery, doubling the capacity to 21 million litres(!), which will make it the largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland. It was only back in 2010 that the capacity was increased from 6 million to 10.5 million litres, an increase that was larger than the capacity of most distilleries. When Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers stated that their mission was to make The Glenlivet the number one single malt back in 2004, it seemed extremely ambitious (at the time Glenfiddich outsold them around 2:1). Their growth, especially in the last five years, has been nothing short of astonishing.
Hello and welcome to the 6th stop on my Around the World in 80 Drams expedition! Last week we were in Belgium with the Filliers fellas, and this week we’re heading south to France! I mentioned that you should prepare for apples before reading this instalment, so of course that means Calvados is on the cards! We’re heading to one of the most well-known Calvados producers - Domaine Dupont!
I also mentioned that it would take me about 20 hours to travel between Filliers and Domaine Dupont via American crocodile, which I admit wasn’t much of a hint. I think I was just a bit more concerned about locating said American crocodile in Belgium at the time, both because it would be difficult and also because if I did find one it would be absolutely bloody terrified.
Look, we know that paying for shipping is rubbish. We absolutely hate paying for shipping ourselves, and hate charging people for it. So, rather than merely shake our fists at the sky, we've decided to do something about it.
As of today we're setting off on a mission to eliminate shipping charges completely, and that begins by offering free shipping on literally thousands of lines. Thousands. Thousands of delicious spirits and other treats. Imagine that! Then stop imagining it because it's a real thing. (If you're reading this outside of the UK then you'll see the equivalent of £5 removed from your shipping. Nice.)
Not only that, but if you include any bottle that's eligible for free shipping to your order, your entire basket will ship free! Huzzah!
Following our fortnight in the Netherlands, we head south to Belgium for the fifth instalment of Around The World In 80 Drams! I left you with a couple clues as to what distillery we’re visiting - namely I told you to think of 28 gold statues of Ned Flanders and that it would take me around two hours to travel there by beaver. This all sounds ridiculous now, but when I say that we’re visiting the Filliers distillery in Bachte-Maria-Leerne, it’ll all make sense. Right?
OK, so the “28” refers to their Dry Gin 28, the “gold statues” refers to Goldlys, the name of their whisky range and "Ned Flanders" refers to the distillery being in the East Flanders region of Deinze. The Zuidam distillery is 68.1 miles away from the Filliers distillery and the top speed of a beaver is 34 miles per hour, so if it properly ran the whole way, it’d take me two hours to get there. Clear? Splendid.
Ah yes, it's that time of year once again when Drinks by the Dram reveal their selection of fantastic spirits-filled advent calendars!
The Entire Range is Now Available for Pre-Order here. (Estimated despatch late October.)
As well as all your favourites such as The Whisky Advent Calendar and Ginvent Calendar (from the dream team of Drinks by the Dram and Gin Foundry), which are both back for a fourth year, 2015 sees the range extended with a dedicated Bourbon Calendar plus Rum, Cognac, Armagnac, Tequila, Mezcal, Vodka, Absinthe and erm... Naga Chilli Vodka calendars (the latter getting hotter each day!)
Welcome to another edition of Around The World In 80 Drams, where we are continuing to explore distilleries from the Netherlands. Last week we took a look at Lucas Bols in Amsterdam and their long history with distilling. Today we’ll be heading south to visit another well-known Dutch distillery, one that uses windmills to mill the barley to make their whisky - yes, we’re looking at Zuidam!
The Zuidam distillery is situated in Baarle-Nassau, about 60 miles south of Amsterdam. As I mentioned last week, it would take me around one and a half hours to travel between the two by pelican going full pelt, with their top speed being 40 mph. If I was lucky the pelican would carry me in its big beak like that scene in that fish movie.
UPDATE: Following huge demand, all Judging places have now been filled!
Whisky Magazine readers will know all about the Battle of the Blends already, but for those who haven't had the pleasure of perusing their glossy pages over the last few months, it's "a truly legendary contest... a test of skill, ingenuity and the sternest of palates" as Dave 'The Rummager' Broom and Neil 'Copper Dog' Ridley go toe to toe!
The eight rounds of blending, in accordance with the Marquis of Ridley rules (see below), have taken place and it's now time for the all important judging! Excitingly, as we've been working on this alongside Whisky Mag, this means that there's an opportunity for you to be one of the esteemed judges in this battle royale, an undertaking that will involve receiving and tasting delicious whisky. Sorry about that.
My around the world journey continues with my first overseas distillery! I hinted towards the next stop by saying there’s canals, art, a cool tram network and a very long history of distilling - the last one really should have given it away… We’re off to Lucas Bols in The Netherlands, known for being one of the oldest distilling companies in the world, if not the oldest!
It would take me around 4 hours to travel from Southwold to Amsterdam (the capital of the Netherlands, I’ll have you know) by giraffe, but only if the giraffe didn’t mind running full speed the entire way and could walk on water. Both are unlikely. Giraffes are so lazy.
Readers of this blog and those who follow us on social media will know that we've been fortunate enough to win an astonishing number of awards over the last few years, many of them retailer awards within and even beyond the drinks industry. When we do, we always make sure to thank you all. Quite simply, without you - our customers - none of it would be possible.
Last year we were able to make the shortlist for Online Retailer of the Year Award at the International Wine & Spirit Competition as a direct result of your votes. We then went on to take home the inaugural Online Retailer Trophy, something we're incredibly proud of.
Welcome back to my Around The World In 80 Drams journey, which kicked off last week from the East London Liquor Co., unsurprisingly in East London. I left you with something of a riddle at the end of the last post, leaving hints as to where I’m off to next: sun, sea, superb beer and how it would take me 23 hours to travel there by pug (pugs run at an average of 3-5 miles per hour). Of course, I’m off to Adnams in Southwold!
Now, when I said I’m bad at geography and that this series will help me learn things, I meant it. If you had asked me where Southwold was before I looked at a map, I’d have said it was somewhere near Southampton. “It’s got ‘South’ in the name and those two kind of sound similar, they’re probably right next to each other,” I believe were the words that went through my head. Well, it’s safe to say I’m learning already, as Southwold is a little bit more northerly than I thought.