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!
Potential gin droughts and whiskey made with beavers. It’s all kicking off, isn’t it? The Nightcap is here to fill you in on this week’s booze news.
Look at a calendar. Or your phone. Or the bottom right/top right corner of your computer screen (dependent on what operating system you’re using). Notice that today is Friday. Revel in the joy of Friday, for it ushers in a new edition of The Nightcap, with all its booze news goodness. Revel in it. Go on. We’ll wait.
Happy Friday, team! It’s a wrap on the week that was, which means we have another edition of The Nightcap for you! Read on for news of distillery developments, brilliant new bars, and intriguing product developments…
It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… (you’re welcome for the earworm). It’s time to down tools for the weekend and reflect on another seven days in drinks.
Before we crack on with The Nightcap proper, let’s recall another stellar week on the blog. On Monday we got set for the Chelsea Flower Show with Annie’s round-up of deliciously floral whiskies – whether plants are your thing or not, it’s a sublime list of sunny-day sippers. Then on Tuesday we were VERY excited. We got to share a sneak peek inside Macallan’s new distillery following our secret visit back in April. It’s definitely one to add to the bucket list!
Big Diageo Special Releases fan? Wish there was a way to sample the whole caboodle in one go? You’re in luck – prayers and petitions have worked and the Diageo Special Releases 2017 Tasting Set is now a thing!
The Special Releases drum up quite the following when the whiskies are unveiled each year. Love or loathe the concept, we bet your Twitterbooks feeds are packed with opinions and tasting notes as the liquid is revealed. With the 2017 outturn featuring the likes of Port Ellen, Brora, an unusual blended malt, and the oldest whisky ever bottled by Diageo (Port Dundas 52yo), this autumn saw Special Releases perhaps pack the biggest punch yet.
Categories : Scotch Whisky
*MEGA WHISKY NEWS KLAXON*
The rumours are true! Two of Scotland’s most iconic closed whisky distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora, are to be brought back to life by 2020, to the jubilation of whisky geeks the world over.
It hardly needs stating that these most beloved of Scotch whisky distilleries – Port Ellen on Islay, a few miles from Lagavulin, and Brora on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, adjacent to Clynelish – have garnered a cult-like following in the 34 years since their closure; their highly sought-after bottlings (which often command four-digit prices on the secondary market) an integral part of the Diageo Special Releases programme.
Categories : Scotch Whisky
It’s one of the most highly anticipated whisky events of the year – the Diageo Special Releases 2017 series is now available for pre-order!
Last month we revealed details of the 10 whiskies in the Special Releases line-up for 2017 – and the contingent does not disappoint. From the oldest-ever Diageo bottling* to a blended malt featuring all 28 of the drinks group’s operational Scotch distilleries, there’s a whole host of incredible whisky goodness going on.
What’s more, there’s a very exciting addition for 2017. For the first time, Drinks by the Dram has teamed up with Diageo to make all ten of the expressions available through the marvellous medium that is a tasting set. All 10! In a tasting set!! Hallelujah to the whisky gods.
Categories : Scotch Whisky
The 2016 Special Releases are available for Pre-Order now and we tasted them all last night, including the oldest ever Port Ellen!
When it comes to whisky releases, Diageo’s aptly named annual Special Releases always attract plenty of excitement each year. This year’s selection including whiskies from Port Ellen, Brora, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Glenkinchie, Cragganmore, Linkwood, Auchroisk, Mannochmore and Cambus distilleries, all of which (at the time of writing) are available to Pre-Order!
One thing you may notice, is that we’re not going to be doing our lotteries or charity auctions for any of these, as we have for some other exciting releases this year, and there’s a simple reason for that. Unlike the situation we had with the Yamazaki Sherry Cask, for example (or will have shortly with a certain collection of American whiskeys), Diageo have endeavoured to price the rarer releases at their ‘market value’. That’s why the prices went up so quickly a couple of years back as they bridged the gap before more or less levelling out (this year’s Port Ellen, from ever-depleting supplies, is £100 more than last year, an increase of around 4%, whereas there had been increases of 100% in recent years).
We last talked about this when we knackered up the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection back in November, but, well, there have been quite a lot of comments on the product page we’ve set up for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release Japanese Whisky (we don’t censor these, remember).
We’ll be honest with you, we didn’t think anything Drinks by the Dram’s The Whisky Advent Calendar could throw at us would be more exciting than the release of a new Star Wars movie. (Even with the endless adverts beforehand “make sure you have the official Star Wars mascara” etc.) Not until the final window, perhaps. Wrong, we were, however, as day 19 has provided The Lost Distilleries Blend from The Blended Whisky Company!
Named World’s Best Blended Whisky at Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in 2014, it does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a blend of whiskies exclusively from sadly now closed distilleries, many of whom have become legendary such as Port Ellen and Caperdonich. There’s even some Imperial entanglements in there… Yes, the force is strong with this one.