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
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.”
Sales topped £71m over Christmas
Value grew +2.6% compared to the year previous
No.1 whisky in the No.1 spirits category with total whisky sales larger than both gin and vodka at £393m
The Famous Grouse enjoyed an outstanding Christmas in the UK off-trade, with sales topping £71m – making it the number one whisky in the UK.*
The whisk(e)y category in total was valued at £393 million, larger than both vodka and gin making The Famous Grouse the number one whisky in the number one category this Christmas.*
While The Famous Grouse has a long-standing streak as the UK’s favourite whisky, the brand has returned to No.1 Whisk(e)y by value this Christmas. The Scotch blend reports +2.6% value growth over the festive period compared to the previous year, in turn, overtaking Jack Daniel’s. The US whiskey had held the top spot in 2018 but saw value drop -9.3%.
The news comes despite the wider blended Scotch category continuing to struggle, with value down -4.1% over Christmas.
Mark Riley, managing director, at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK says: “The Famous Grouse for years has been the UK’s favourite whisky and driving force behind the blended Scotch category, so we are delighted to have reclaimed our number one spot in the UK’s largest spirits category.
“It’s fantastic to see a Scotch back in the top spot, particularly for The Famous Grouse, where success has been driven by our strong equity, premiumisation and increased demand for smaller bottle sizes.”
Source: Nielsen ScanTrack, Off-Trade Total Coverage, 12wks To 04.01.2020.
The Famous Grouse, the no 1 Blended Whisky in the UK, has today announced the launch of the Cask Series, a new range of ‘everyday premium’ whiskies.
Offering a new take on the iconic flavour of The Famous Grouse, the Cask Series aims to offer lovers of blended whisky an affordable way to enjoy new whisky styles which incorporates flavours imparted from specially selected oak casks.
Developed by The Famous Grouse’s Master Blender, Kirsteen Campbell, the Cask Series celebrates wood quality and the impact this has on whisky. The first in the series to be released is the Bourbon Cask, which will be followed by a number of whiskies aged in different cask types.
The Famous Grouse Bourbon Cask will feature all of the characteristic rounded and smooth flavours synonymous with the classic taste of the Famous Grouse and will be launching as an exclusive in Tesco on the 10th April 2018. RRP £19.
Available nationwide in over 600 stores, this unique edition will kick off the series with a premium liquid which has been blended using a high proportion of whisky matured in American Oak and first fill bourbon casks. As a result, the greater depth of caramel and vanilla flavours offers discerning drinkers an incredibly versatile whisky that is perfect enjoyed neat, with a dash of water or with ginger ale.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Blender of The Famous Grouse, says: “The casks we use to mature the whisky are such an integral part of bringing the product to life. Each cask is unique and each brings something different to the spirit. For The Famous Grouse, we place such a lot of importance on the quality of our wood that we wanted to develop a range to really highlight and celebrate all that this adds to the whisky. The Cask Series is designed to showcase how different types of oak cask can influence flavour, delivering a range of wonderful flavours to appeal to a wide range of consumers.”
Chris Anderson, Head of Brands at Edrington-Beam Suntory Distribution UK Ltd, says: “The Famous Grouse is the biggest blended whisky brand in the UK and the launch of The Famous Grouse Cask Series allows us to offer drinkers a way to enjoy all the classic smooth, balanced flavours of The Famous Grouse with a twist. We know that our drinkers enjoy spending a little more to treat themselves to something special and the Cask Series offers a great way to enjoy an everyday reward for lovers of blended whisky.”
For further information visit @TheFamousGrouseUK on Facebook
The competition which launched at the beginning of July by Scotland’s favourite whisky gave four talented artists or bands the chance to win a headline slot like no other and earn the right to say they have played on stage at The Famous Grouse House this Edinburgh Festival!
The winners; Edinburgh based electronic pop rock band DMS will be joined by psychedelic pop band The Mink Stoles, Livingston born Adriana Spina, who will perform her unique brand of alternative acoustic Americana – some of which has enjoyed immediate critical acclaim including being listed as “Single of the Week” on BBC Radio Scotland, as well as folky indie pop singer-songwriter Lou Mclean, who combines her exceptional voice with original acoustic guitar – providing an array of musical talent to the famous venue.
Scottish entertainer and Forth 1 radio presenter Grant Scott was joined by Edinburgh born musical director, writer and producer David Whitmey, who has worked with the likes of The Wanted, Mika and The Saturdays, to lend their ears and help The Famous Grouse team to help choose the lucky shortlist before the going through to the next stage – the public vote via The Famous Grouse Facebook page.
David Whitmey, who is currently working with Gary Barlow and Sony Records projects, said : “This was an amazing chance for unsigned bands and artists to win a prime slot to headline on one of the most coveted stages at the Edinburgh Festival this August. The quality of entries was exceptional and it was a tough call when it came to selecting the shortlist. The winners all have huge potential and we can’t wait to have them perform on the stage. They will be joined by some of Scotland’s best up and coming bands and breaking acts from all over the globe”
The competition was launched to celebrate the return of The Famous Grouse House for its second consecutive year to Scotland’s Capital and Edinburgh’s International Festival Fringe this August (Wednesday 3rd August – Saturday 27th August 2016)
The winners will be joined by some of Scotland’s best music acts and musical fringe performances from all over the globe, as part of the eclectic festival programme at The New Town Theatre. Located just outside this popular festival venue, on a pedestrian friendly section of George Street, The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from 11:00am to midnight and include performances from the hugely popular Posable Action Figures, Glasgow based indie rock band Kelvin and the hugely admired solo artist Luke Carey taking to the stage. With critically acclaimed new music, a festival vibe and a fresh sense of fun, The Famous Grouse House is going to be the perfect place to soak up the best of the festival.
Johna Penman, Marketing Controller, The Famous Grouse commented: “Congratulations to our four winners! The Famous Grouse House made its name at the festival last year with a combination of great live music every day and a variety of refreshing summer serves. We can’t wait to welcome DMS, The Mink Stoles, Lou McLean and Adriana Spina to our famous venue – there’s no better place to be this August.”
The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from the 3rd to the 27th August, from 11am until midnight, with live music every day, situated outside New Town Theatre, 96 George Street.
Please enjoy our whisky responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk
For more information visit www.famousgrouse.com. For the latest news follow on twitter @TheFamousGrouse or Facebook at: TheFamousGrouseUK #famousgrousehouse #famousfridays
Are you of legal drinking age in the country where you reside?
© Copyright Malt Marketing