Celebrating the ultimate expression of Scotland’s whisky heritage captured through a Japanese lens
· ARDRAY joins Edrington UK’s portfolio of Scotch Whiskies
5th June, London: Beam Suntory, world leader in premium spirits and producer of some of the foremost whiskies, has unveiled its latest creation ARDRAY® – an exquisite new interpretation of blended Scotch whisky. Balancing Scotland’s unique terroir and long-standing craft tradition with the precision and artistry of Suntory’s award-winning Japanese blenders, ARDRAY promises a fresh perspective on the excellence of blended Scotch and is set to boost the category. The new product joins Edrington UK’s portfolio of Scotch whiskies.
Beam Suntory’s Chief Blender for Scotch, Calum Fraser in partnership with Suntory’s blending team, tested nearly 200 different whisky combinations before arriving at the final harmony of flavours that make up ARDRAY. The wonderfully balanced blended recipe interweaves some of Scotland’s finest, most complex signature malts and grain whiskies together to an optimal precise ratio. The result is a whisky designed to challenge preconceptions, treating both malt and grain whiskies as equals to create a whisky that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
With inspiration from historic blend styles and the vision of Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii, ARDRAY celebrates the quest to reimagine the historic excellence of blended scotch and encourage a greater appreciation for the art of blending. A hundred years ago, inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii-San envisioned a Japanese approach to create a subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese. With this remarkable blend we honour Torii’s quest, from a reinterpretation of Scotch for the Japanese palate to ARDRAY: a new, elegant interpretation, designed to celebrate the excellence of blended Scotch Whisky,
Built on the premise that blended whisky is an art form that deserves both respect and reappraisal, each batch is precisely engineered to achieve the same harmony between malt and grain whiskies each time. By retaining a proportion of each batch, the team blend this with the next batch and harmonise the flavour of the whisky across the batches.
Calum Fraser, Chief Blender for Scotch, comments: “In creating ARDRAY we have combined an exceptional selection of the very best Scotch whisky has to offer with the inspiring talent of Suntory’s blending team to create something new, refreshing and exciting. The time, care and attention to detail taken to source both malt and grain whiskies from some of Scotland’s most noted distilleries has allowed us to explore hundreds of blends of Scotch malt and grain whiskies to achieve ARDRAY’s optimum balance of multi-layered flavours. Driven by the desire to ensure the true beauty of this blend is greater than the sum of its parts. ARDRAY promises a rich and complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavours: a mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste that is unmatched.“
Drawing from just a handful of the finest Scotch distilleries from Beam Suntory, world leader in premium spirits and producer of renowned whiskies including Bowmore, Laphroaig, Yamazaki, and Hibiki and our partners at Edrington, (owners of The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park), this blended Scotch whisky that celebrates the role of terroir and the production traditions of Scotland’s distilleries which define each of their unique spirit character.
Presented in a bespoke bottle each marked with the year of release, the striking artwork of artist Lia Melia adorns each one, capturing Scotland’s raw beauty and terroir. Its richly textured rippling pattern representing malt and grain highlighting two fundamental ingredients in Scotch whisky. The unique feel of the glass bottle takes after the free-flowing water of Scotland’s streams and rivers and the patterns made by the wind blowing across barley fields.
ARDRAY is now available at The Whisky Shop, The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt with an RRP of £60.
For more information, visit the Ardray website at: Ardray.com
TUESDAY 22nd March 2022, Glen Garioch’s famous Oldmeldrum distillery announces its re-opening to the public for the first time in two years, following a £6 million investment by owner Beam Suntory to fully renovate the distillery, returning to traditional processes and reducing its carbon footprint. The reopening will toast to reinstated malt floors and direct-fire still.
Visitors can see the behind the scenes of this renovation, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the distillery. Alongside this, Glen Garioch is launching a 1991 Bourbon Single Cask, from which visitors can bottle their own whisky straight from the cask in one of the distillery’s historic warehouses.
The significant investment in Glen Garioch has successfully fulfilled its ambition to restore and upgrade one of oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, returning to its roots to further enhance the quality and complexity of its legendary small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt, honouring its 225 years of heritage.
The renovation has involved the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods still used by only a handful of distilleries to enhance the quality and complexity of their whiskies. To complement this return to tradition, Glen Garioch has developed a state-of-the-art, highly efficient and safe method for direct-fired distillation, which is expected to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.
Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager of Glen Garioch, commented: “It’s been amazing to re-open the distillery up to the public after all this time, and especially to show them all the work that has been done so far to reinstate our traditional processes and drive towards our vision of a more sustainable future. It’s truly an exciting and milestone moment for Glen Garioch as we open this new chapter in our history and invite others to share a dram of our iconic whisky.”
Glen Garioch 1991 Bourbon Single Cask | 46.4% ABV
NOSE – Sweet nutty with notes of dried fruits, white peach and oak spices, gorse flowers and subtle smoke.
PALATE – Heather honey with vanilla cream, salted toffee and a hint of roasted walnuts, malty notes of shortbread and oak spice.
FINISH – Sweet finish with oak spices with a drying mouthfeel.
16 March 2021 – Beam Suntory, a leading global premium spirits company, is making a significant £6 million investment in Glen Garioch’s renowned distillery in Oldmeldrum. The renovation will see the distillery return to more traditional production processes, while also introducing new cutting-edge technology for direct-fired distillation. The planned changes will also reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint. Work began in 2020, and various stages are expected to be completed over the course of 2021.
The cornerstone of this transformation will be the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods still used by only a handful of whisky distilleries. The return to these traditional processes is a sign of Glen Garioch’s deep respect for its rich heritage, as well as the complexity and quality of its small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt.
To complement this return to tradition, Glen Garioch has developed a state-of-the-art, highly efficient and safe method for direct fired distillation, which Beam Suntory anticipates will reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.
The first new make spirit will come off the stills later in 2021.
Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager, commented: “We are proud to make this investment in Glen Garioch’s historic distillery, and we’re excited about the future. Although these traditional distilling and malting methods are rare in today’s industry, our teams have deep expertise and passion for these methods, and we’re all looking forward to bringing them back to our distillery. We are honoured to be a part of Glen Garioch’s long tradition of innovation and quality craftsmanship.”
Francois Bazini, Beam Suntory’s Managing Director – Scotch, Gin & Irish, added: “Coming from one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, Glen Garioch is a rare find – a complex, hearty Highland malt, produced only in small batches. Our whisky has always been made with extraordinary care, and by reinvigorating its distillery and tapping into the brand’s rich history, we’ll be able to build on the quality and complexity that Glen Garioch is already known for. Although we’re looking to the past for inspiration – we’re opening the next chapter in Glen Garioch’s future.”
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