Orkney-based single malt distillery, Highland Park, has added a new whisky to its award-winning Cask Strength series, designed to challenge whisky drinking norms. The range strikes a harmonious balance between the traditional whisky-making craft, while encouraging flavour exploration to suit individual palates.
Launching as a permanent addition to the Highland Park range and created using the traditional ‘straight from the cask’ method, Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.3 is whisky in its purest form. No water is added after maturation which delivers a robust and intense flavour with a greater depth of finish.
Cask Strength Release No.3 uses whisky made with a higher proportion of Orkney peated malt resulting in a smokier style compared to the other single malts in the series. It has been matured predominantly in first-fill sherry seasoned American and European oak casks and a small quantity of refill casks. The result is an extraordinary combination of contrasting yet perfectly balanced flavours of charred oak, tropical fruits, aniseed, heather honey, vanilla cream, aromatic violet, sponge cake and peat smoke.
Highland Park, Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion champions this style of whisky as an opportunity for flavour discovery. Gordon explains:
“With Cask Strength, you are at a great place to start exploring the taste that best suits your palate by adding water, ice or your preferred serve. It’s your whisky and should be enjoyed your way.
“For me, a Cask Strength whisky really celebrates that balance between old and new and I look forward to seeing how consumers enjoy the new whisky.”
The Highland Park Cask Strength series, a prestige offering within the portfolio, has been created by bringing together dozens of single casks. The whisky is at full strength, straight from the cask, and has only been gently filtered before bottling.
The releases within the Cask Strength range share the same underlying character but with each batch featuring different flavours coming to the fore based on the cask make-up. The ABV will also vary from batch to batch.
Release No.1 was matured predominantly in sherry seasoned American oak casks of different ages, delivering a harmonious contrast of flavours of toffee, heather, honey, and peat smoke. Release No. 2 was matured predominantly in sherry seasoned European and American oak casks and a small quantity of ex-bourbon casks, producing tastes of pear and almond cake, toasted oak, liquorice, cracked black pepper, aromatic peat.
Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.3 will become available globally from 1st September across specialist whisky retailers, including The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, and The Whisky Shop, and from the Highland Park online shop, distillery, and Albert Street store in Orkney. The UK RRP is £65.
To find out more visit: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Wednesday 31st August – Edrington, the international premium spirits company has announced the appointment of a new Master Blender for The Famous Grouse.
Craig Johnstone is a Scot who brings nineteen years of industry experience to the role in the UK and most recently in Tasmania. He returns to Scotland to take on one of the most prestigious roles in the industry as the blender behind the UK’s No 1 Whisky.
Craig follows in the footsteps of renowned Master Blenders including Gordon Motion and Kirsteen Campbell. The 37-year-old has become one of a select few people who know the unique blend of whiskies that combine to form Scotland’s favourite whisky and holder of a Royal Warrant.
The role will be based at Edrington’s famous ‘106 Sample Room’ in Glasgow, where an estimated 11,000 samples of single malts, grains and blends are stored and where a team of blenders nose up to 600 samples a day to guarantee the aroma, flavour and character of The Famous Grouse blend.
After completing a degree in astrophysics, Craig’s first job was as a Scotch Whisky distillery tour guide. The experience led him to focus his ambitions on the industry and develop an interest in sustainability in spirits distillation.
As Master Blender, Craig will work with the Edrington team to develop new sustainability practices within the whisky making and blending processes.
Edrington recently announced a commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2045, with an ambitious plan to reduce its carbon emissions and has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project, the gold standard of environmental reporting.
Joakim Leijon, Global Brand Director for The Famous Grouse, said: “Craig is a talented master blender and his experience and passion for the brand and for exploring new ideas in sustainability will help us to build on the global success of The Famous Grouse and also rise to the challenge of our Net Zero ambitions.”
Commenting on his new role, Craig said: “It is a privilege to be Master Blender for The Famous Grouse and to be part of the team that are the current custodians of this amazing brand. This beloved Scotch Whisky has played a prominent role in my life, part of so many celebrations with family and friends – just the aroma gives me a sense of being back home. I’m looking forward to delivering the high quality and character that is expected of The Famous Grouse and continuing the legacy of this well-loved whisky.”
As part of its centenary celebrations, Highland Rugby Football Club (Highland RFC) is auctioning a 29-year-old Balblair whisky, generously donated by leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, housed in a bespoke bronze plinth created exclusively for Highland RFC by fine art, architectural and memorial bronze foundry Black Isle Bronze.
Already open for bids, the unique package will ultimately be sold on August 13th at Highland RFC’s Centenary Dinner, taking place in Inverness with money raised going to charities Mikeysline, Alzheimer Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie and Highland RFC so that the club can continue to promote and deliver rugby to communities across the Highlands.
Just 469 bottles of this wonderful dark gold Balblair Highland Single Malt whisky were created from a single Sherry butt filled in 1990. It is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s famous Connoisseur’s Choice collection. Cask strength, it is described as having a soft cinnamon spice which leads to stewed plum and delicate sherbet aromas. The initial toasted malt flavours give way to light fruitcake with a hint of cashew nut. Hints of aniseed and dried ginger linger on the finish. Valued at around £800, it is expected to be a much sought-after bottle that is very hard to come by today.
The plinth was created by Farquhar Laing and his team at Black Isle Bronze based near Inverness. It took around four months to make and recreates a traditional rugby ball placed on a kicking tee and set in bronze. Designed specifically to display a bottle of whisky, one of the segments of the ball is removed, creating space for the bottle. The plinth is valued at around £4,000 which, when combined with the whisky, is a truly one-of-a-kind package.
Speaking about the exclusive package, Roy Dinnes, Vice President of Highland RFC, said: “This is a unique item, bespoke to Highland RFC, and we are extremely grateful to Gordon & MacPhail and Black Isle Bronze for allowing us to auction something very special in our centenary year and hopefully raise money to support charities particularly close to our hearts at the club. The auction site is live, and I would encourage whisky fans, rugby fans and collectors to take a look.”
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail, added: “We are delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations at Highland RFC. Roy and the team do a phenomenal job promoting the game and coaching and supporting schools throughout communities in the Highlands. I hope this special bottle of Balblair helps raise funds for worthwhile charities, allowing them to continue their excellent work.”
Farquhar Laing, Director at Black Isle Bronze, described his involvement with Highland RFC: “I am a member of the club, a volunteer coach and by son plays for the Under-16s team. You can see our work all over the world, from Dallas in Texas to Dubai and of course here in the UK. Having created the line-out sculpture for Twickenham, we were only too happy to create something special for Highland RFC and hope it goes to a good home and raises a lot of money.”
Anyone wishing to bid for the plinth and the bottle of Balblair whisky can do so by visiting; https://uk.givergy.com/HRCAuction2022/?controller=lots&action=showLot&id=1 or by attending the Centenary Dinner in Inverness on August 13th. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased here and are on sale until August 1st.
05 July 2022 – The House of Angostura® has launched a rare, ultra-premium rum – Angostura® Zenith. This latest Limited-Edition rum will join Angostura’s esteemed Private Cask Collection. The Company has only produced one hundred and ninety-five (195) bottles globally.
The one of a kind distinguished flavours of this rum are derived from two of Trinidad and Tobago’s most iconic distilleries – Caroni 1975 Limited and Angostura Limited.
Aged in charred American oak casks that were once used for bourbon, Angostura® Zenith combines flavours of sweet and smoky depths, delivering a fine character with a unique blend of Angostura® and Caroni aged rums ranging from 20 to 23 years old.
Zenith takes the House of Angostura® Private Cask Collection to new heights with the last of the best of the legendary House of Caroni. Established in 1923 on the site of the old Caroni sugar factory, the now defunct Caroni Distillery produced highly sought-after rums notable for a distinctive heavy profile, rich, earthy and smoky.
Produced with the last of Caroni’s treasured molasses, tasting notes include rich aromas of cocoa, oaky notes with hints of raisins on the palate and subtle apple notes, complete with warm aged notes of sherry with a lasting dry, crisp finish – the perfect proportions to achieve absolute depth and balance.
Rich gold in color, as befits such a rare release, Angostura® Zenith has a deeply complex character, brimming over with sweet tropical fruits, warm vanilla toffee, indulgent cocoa and a dry, crisp oak smokiness.
The House of Angostura® Private Cask collection consists of a range of Limited-Edition mature rums originating from specially selected casks with a dedication to artistry and craftsmanship. It captures the ageing process of Angostura® award-winning rums, while highlighting the journey of the rums from cane field to the shelf.
Today, Angostura® is the only rum distillery in Trinidad and Tobago, making the launch of Angostura® Zenith a unique opportunity for rum lovers around the world.
In fact, Angostura’s distillery is the only remaining one of the once 50-plus rum distilleries in Trinidad &Tobago. The Company’s much-awarded signature style stems from time-honoured techniques. Angostura® rum is always made with only the finest molasses, fermented using the distillery’s own bespoke yeast culture, distilled in continuous column stills and aged in charred American oak first-fill bourbon casks.
Chairman of Angostura Holdings Limited, Mr. Terrence Bharath says, “After 3 years in development, we’re delighted to extend our Private Cask Collection with the launch of Angostura® Zenith, making our rum offering one of the most unique in the world. We are constantly striving to bring the spirit of Trinidad & Tobago to rum connoisseurs around the world and the launch of Angostura® Zenith demonstrates our commitment to producing world class rums.”
A collector’s must-have, Angostura® Zenith, limited to 195 bottles is available at a cost of £2,500 at select retailers.
GlenWyvis Distillery – The world’s first community-owned distillery – has announced the launch of its second three-year-old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Batch two of the Dingwall-based distillery’s 2018 vintage distillation, known as Batch 02/18, follows the launch of its inaugural release whisky in December 2021 and will be available to purchase from 29th June 2022.
8,000 bottles will be available in total, and can be purchased directly from GlenWyvis Distillery’s website, with shareholders given early access, or from selected specialist retailers in Scotland and the UK. A number of bottles will also be available for purchase in Germany, where GlenWyvis Distillery’s largest non-UK shareholder base is.
Five per cent of online sales from GlenWyvis Distillery’s website will go directly to the GoodWill Fund; a fund that will benefit community projects and good causes in the Dingwall and Ross-shire area.
Speaking about the launch, Matthew Farmer, GlenWyvis Distillery Manager, said: “Following the success of our inaugural release – the first whisky produced in Dingwall for almost 100 years – I’m delighted to welcome batch two to the GlenWyvis Distillery family!
“Batch two was created from 23 casks between three and four years old, consisting of 15 first-fill ex-Tennessee/Bourbon, five first-fill ex-Oloroso and three refill Hogsheads. 02/18 has noticeably more oak influence and a deeper colour than our first whisky, while still letting our unique spirit shine through. I hope everyone enjoys getting to know our distillery character.”
GlenWyvis Distillery’s inaugural release whisky was in high demand, selling out via pre-order almost immediately. Since then, the small team has been working hard to deliver an equally sought-after second offering.
Board Chairman, David Graham added: “Congratulations to the team on the launch of GlenWyvis Batch Two Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky! For such a small team at the distillery, they really punch above their weight, and I am very proud of what they have achieved.
“Dingwall is well and truly back on the whisky making map!”
For further information, stockist details or to purchase GlenWyvis Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 02/18, please visit: www.glenwyvis.com