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.”
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards is delighted to announce Glen Scotia as its first Entrepreneurial Spirit Partner.
The scotch whisky brand, owned by Loch Lomond Group, is one of the few Campbeltown distilleries to have maintained production from the heady days of the 1830s when the region was known as the whisky capital of the world.
The brand continues to enjoy success, now backed by centuries of craftsmanship and experience and its award-winning whiskies are renowned for their distinctive maritime influence and Campbeltown character.
The partnership will see Glen Scotia sponsor the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. GBEA and Glen Scotia will also recognise and reward a business owner who has shown particular entrepreneurial spirit each month.
Founded in 2013, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in the United Kingdom. Central to its ethos is being more than just ‘an awards ceremony’ – it’s a sense of community, and a thriving ecosystem of support all year round that provide opportunities for winners and finalists to connect and showcase their business.
Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “I’m delighted to announce this new and unique partnership with Glen Scotia. It has an incredibly long and inspiring entrepreneurial journey behind it, and I’m thrilled they share our passion for supporting entrepreneurs and celebrating their achievements.”
John Grieveson, Chief Marketing Officer at Glen Scotia, said: “The early entrepreneurial spirit shown by our founders back in 1832 is embedded in Glen Scotia’s DNA. Back then, our founders, along with many others at the time, rode the wave of entrepreneurialism seen in Campbeltown in the early 1800s, harnessing the abundance of natural resources needed to produce quality Scotch Whisky, as well as new technology including steam navigation which meant that whisky could be shipped directly to Glasgow in under nine hours from what is still one of the most remote parts of Scotland’s mainland.
“We’re proud to be one of the three surviving distilleries from this boom-town era, which has only been achieved by our ability to innovate and adapt the business over the centuries. Our new partnership with the GBEA is therefore very fitting, and we are very much looking forward to working with them to support the new generation of British entrepreneurs.”
Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled the brand for its new distillery being built in the Cairngorms National Park.
The distillery is to be named The Cairn, reflecting its stunning location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.
The family owned whisky specialists were granted planning permission for the new distillery last year and work started on site in July this year.
Unveiling the new brand Ian Chapman, Brands Director said: “We have put the consumer right at the heart of the process of creating the brand, as we have with the design of the distillery itself. We wanted to make sure it was clearly Scottish, but easy for consumers to pronounce and to spell. This will be particularly important for our international markets when English is not the first language.
“We also had to be mindful of Benromach, our other distillery. We wanted the new brand to complement, not compete.”
Benromach is positioned as a traditional, hand crafted brand so the new brand had to broadly occupy more contemporary territory.
Working with Glasgow based branding agency Good, the company cast its net wide looking for ideas for a name, asking staff and shareholders for suggestions. More than 300 ideas were eventually whittled down to a shortlist which met select criteria.
As well as the name, the identity needed to have icons and graphical elements to make it unmistakable for non-English speaking consumers. An icon has been developed to symbolise the brand; the fragmented shape representing the coming together of many pieces to form a cairn. The typography used for the words “The Cairn” is ultra-modern and premium, yet it is complemented by the use of a Serif font for the word “Distillery” to represent contemporary craft cues that imply heritage and legacy.
Ian Chapman added; “The brand is eye-catching and contemporary and the approach to develop it put the consumer at the centre of our thinking. It is the same approach we have taken to designing The Cairn Distillery itself. The modern building takes advantage of the outstanding views across the River Spey to the Cairngorms and has been designed with the customer at the centre of the experience.”
Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Cairn Distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop.
Following the huge success and popularity of Ian Hunter Book One, Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig has announced the second instalment in the fascinating Ian Hunter Story™ that continues to honour the legacy of the icon and last founding member of the Johnston family to run the Laphroaig® Distillery.
The Ian Hunter Story™ will consist of five annual releases, the first of which was launched in 2019, set into beautifully crafted books that document the story of Ian’s incredibly rich legacy. Every year a new chapter is unveiled, uncovering the extensive history behind Laphroaig® and the characters who created it.
Following on from Book One: ‘Unique Character’, Book Two is entitled ‘Building an Icon’ and is limited to just four hundred cases, meaning this incredibly rare liquid will be a highly sought after collectable from whisky enthusiasts all over the world.
This collection is unlike any other and one that is sure to be treasured by Laphroaig® passionate fans across the world.
Ian Hunter: Book Two
With Book One reflecting on Ian Hunter’s formidable character, Book Two is dedicated to the hours of tireless work Ian Hunter committed to the Laphroaig® brand whilst at the helm. Matured in Sherry casks for 30 years, this non-chill filtered whisky is beautifully rounded with a combination of sweet, spiced and medicinal notes. Ian’s innovative approach to whisky-making is especially notable here, resulting in Laphroaig®’s iconic signature flavour: complex, smokey and often polarizing.
For whisky lovers who have always wondered who built the undeniably iconic Laphroaig® distillery on a craggy shore on the Isle of Islay, the latest chapter of the Ian Hunter Story™ answers that very question. Who else but Ian Hunter? The second book of Ian’s story is dedicated to his tireless work building Laphroaig®’s distillery and infrastructure, and therefore, Laphroaig®’s icon.
The latest instalment delves deeper into Ian’s innovation in the very fabric of the distillery. Having introduced American oak, ex-Bourbon barrels to the maturation process, Ian realised the distillery itself would have to expand to keep pace with the changes he was to make. Although he may not have realised it at the time, Ian’s expansion of the Laphroaig® distillery would one day become a worldwide icon.
Ian’s tireless work on building the Laphroaig®’s iconic infrastructure ensured that the exquisite and distinctive whisky, that matures gently inside the warehouse while drawing on the flavour of the wood and breathing in the stormy Atlantic climate over 30 years, reaches its friends the world over.
The legendary Ian Hunter
At times polarising but highly regarded and loved by those who knew him best, Ian Hunter is one of the most important figures in the history of single malt whisky. His influence on Islay – one of the most famous whisky-producing regions – cannot be overstated.
Ian joined the distillery in 1908 as the youngest member of the Johnston family. His relatives, the brothers Donald and Alexander Johnston had founded the distillery in 1815. His arrival had a lasting legacy on the distillery that is still used to this day as he is credited with doubling the production and successfully exporting Laphroaig® whisky around the world.
One of his biggest successes was managing to sell Laphroaig® to America during Prohibition. Ian managed to do this by leveraging the spirit’s unique character, which meant that it could be sold for medicinal purposes.
John Campbell, Laphroaig® distillery manager, comments: “You cannot enjoy Laphroaig®’s exquisitely smokey and complex liquid, without paying homage to the legendary Ian Hunter. His influence in our whisky production techniques and our iconic brand as a whole is undeniable. The second book in our Ian Hunter Story™ celebrates his legacy in shaping Laphroaig® to what it is today.”
The limited edition whisky will be available from selected retailers for an RRP of £760.
A rare bottle of the world’s oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan – also believed to be the oldest whisky ever launched by a distillery – from the distillery’s “Red Collection”, is being auctioned by online whisky auction platform, Whisky Hammer. Whisky Hammer is the first dedicated online auction house in the world to offer a bottle of the 78-year old whisky, giving its members the unique opportunity to bid on this super rare single malt Scotch whisky.
Whisky Hammer, a family-owned business in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has launched the online auction (https://www.whiskyhammer.com/auction/current) that will run until 7pm (BST) on Sunday 25 October with a starting price of £10,000 for The Macallan 78-year old. The auction features over 3,000 lots, from everyday drams to investment-grade iconic bottles, and represents Whisky Hammer’s largest online auction to-date. New members can join to participate in the auction by following Whisky Hammer’s quick and straightforward registration process at whiskyhammer.com.
Given its age, exclusivity and the level of global demand for The Macallan, the new release is expected to prove popular with whisky lovers and investors around the world.
The Macallan Red Collection launched this week comprises 40, 50, 60, 71, 74 and 78-year olds. The producer describes the new collection as “an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies, shaped by the actions of our founder Alexander Reid and key characters in our history, who have laid the foundations for our single malt today”. It adds: “This collection celebrates the rich range of reds present naturally in every step of our process”.
The 78-year old is described as reflecting “deep respect for time, tradition and craftsmanship”. It is being presented by The Macallan lead whisky maker Sarah Burgess and was laid down decades ago in The Macallan’s “hand-picked oak casks”. Tasting notes describe its colour as “Sunset on the Spey”.
Its oak presentation box is crafted by hand in the UK, using the same sustainable European oak used to make The Macallan casks. The box is upholstered with sustainably sourced, soft Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir Leather.
Whisky Hammer hosts auctions once a month, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate at www.whiskyhammer.com. It has auctioned several rare and collectible whiskies – both bottles and casks – since its launch in 2016. The business has recently re-located to a new, purpose built, facility in Aberdeenshire which is also home to a sister business, Still Spirit – a whisky shop and exquisite tasting room.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re really excited to be able to offer something as rare as this 78 year old expression from The Macallan Red Collection for auction and we expect a very high level of interest in this lot. The Macallan is one of the most well-known and loved Scotch whisky brands and is regarded globally as the epitome of quality and taste – add to this the thrill of the oldest single malt ever released by Macallan, the end result is a true icon in whisky history.
“As a Scottish family-run business we have seen rapid growth since our inaugural auction in 2016 – today we are one of the largest online dedicated whisky auction platforms globally. We’re delighted to have been able to host such an exclusive whisky which builds on our growing reputation as a place for whisky lovers and investors to buy and sell these iconic whiskies.”