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.”
Tuesday 8th March 2022, London: Edrington UK today announces that Andrea Montague has been appointed Head of Advocacy in a newly created role for the business.
As Edrington UK’s new Head of Advocacy, Andrea will lead and champion brand advocacy, education and training – from bartender engagement activities to customer activations to industry events – across the company’s wide portfolio of premium spirit brands, including The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes, Brugal 1888, House of Suntory, Courvoisier, Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark amongst others.
With over 15 years’ experience in the drinks industry, Andrea is a respected figure in the spirits category having worked both at some of the most prestigious and highly respected establishments across London, as well as for leading brands, creating global advocacy programmes and education platforms for ambassador teams.
With this she brings extensive experience in mentorship and project leadership as she heads up the company’s extensive advocacy team, including Edrington UK’s core Brand Ambassadors, Whisky Specialists and Serve Specialists, uniting them to create one centre of advocacy excellence, driving them to achieve the business’s brand ambitions through best-in-class advocacy and brand building.
Following another challenging start to the year for the hospitality industry, Andrea’s appointment comes during a crucial time as the on-trade looks towards recovery.
Zak Laurence-Whalley, General Manager at Edrington UK, said: “Advocacy has always been at the heart of Edrington UK’s brand-building strategies. We have delivered a wide range of globally recognised advocacy projects across our brands such as the House of Suntory Dojo programme, The Macallan and Rosewood London Partnership, and our bartender community space ‘Tending to the Tenders’ at London Cocktail Week. Andrea’s appointment is a vital step in recognising our advocacy successes to date and demonstrates our commitment to advocacy as a business.
Consumers are discovering new and vibrant ways to enjoy dark spirits and the opportunity for the category is vast. Edrington UK has an enviable premium dark spirits portfolio, and we are perfectly placed to lead the charge. By investing in high-calibre talent to create and execute our advocacy strategies, we are able to transform the premium spirits category hand-in-hand with our customers. We are excited to see Andrea drive our brand building vision forward.”
Commenting on her new role, Andrea stated: “I am honoured to be appointed as Edrington’s UK’ new Head of Advocacy for the UK. Having spent the last four years dedicating myself to single malts, I am delighted to be working with such a rich, premium dark spirits portfolio. As we continue to accelerate our brands in the premium space, I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to support and unite our advocacy team to drive our business vision forward.”
The Macallan has introduced Double Cask 30 Years Old into the coveted Double Cask range.
The new aged single malt whisky in the distinctive Double Cask flavour profile exhibits a rich depth of flavour and a complex character and tells the story of a journey which brings together two different worlds.
The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old has matured for 30 years in a harmonious union of sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, to create a sweeter, warmer taste and character. The sherry seasoned American oak imparts delicate, sweet flavours, while the European oak delivers the subtle and classic style of The Macallan.
The Macallan has collaborated with acclaimed American artist and photographer, Erik Madigan Heck to showcase the signature tastes and unique and distinctive flavour profile of Double Cask 30 Years Old. Heck shares many of The Macallan’s values including Nature, Legacy, Artistry, Creativity and Craftsmanship. Taking his inspiration from the natural landscape on The Macallan Estate and the complex flavours and natural colour of the whisky, he captured powerful imagery evoking the single malt’s character, depicting its flavours, textures and colour in a unique and contemporary way.
Heck’s incredible photography set features three striking compositions: a collection of ‘abstract leaves’ from an oak tree which like the whisky itself strikes the perfect balance of modesty and complexity; an image of a ‘blue tree’ representing Double Cask 30 Years Old’s simple yet rich and complex character; and a remarkable still life, reminiscent of the great Flemish still life paintings from the 17th century which depicts the vibrant colours and varying textures of the flavours in the whisky.
Displaying a natural golden acorn hue, The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old imparts aromas of fresh honeycomb, sweet toffee, red apple, fig and vanilla pod. On the palate there is a smooth melody of cinnamon, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, dried fruits and oak flavours, while the finish delivers sweet oak, soft spice and toffee.
The Double Cask journey begins in the vast green forests of northern Spain and southern France, where The Macallan sources its European oak. New oak from the lush forests of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky in America is also transported to Spain. Both types are hand crafted into casks and toasted over an open-air fire in the cooperages of Jerez before being filled with the finest sherry wine and left to season for up to 18 months.
Once seasoned, the casks travel to The Macallan Estate in Speyside where they are filled with new-make spirit. Following years of slumber, The Macallan’s Whisky Mastery Team use their skill and expertise to select the best balance of spirit from both the American and European oak casks to create Double Cask.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old is a modern take on our classic 30-year-old and is an exceptional aged single malt. With a rich combination and depth of flavour and a complex character, it is a whisky to be savoured, exhibiting notes of cinder toffee, fresh honeycomb, rich vanilla and red apples.
“The Macallan Double Cask brings together sherry seasoned American and European oak casks to create the perfect balance of flavours. It is the oak that gives the whisky its natural colour and is the single greatest contributor to the quality, distinctive aromas and flavours.”
Erik Madigan Heck said: “Nature lies at the heart of my work, and I was greatly inspired by the breath-taking natural landscape on The Macallan Estate. I was drawn to an oak tree and its leaves which provided the perfect subjects to evoke the seemingly simply, yet rich and complex character of Double Cask 30 Years Old and to depict the natural colour of the whisky.
“I also created a still life image featuring vibrant colours and varying textures to portray the whisky’s luscious flavours while natural light captures its depth of character. The whisky’s golden acorn natural colour provides the focal point of the shot, and its rich tone and translucent glow influenced the colour palette of the piece as a whole.”
The Macallan Double Cask 30 Years Old is encased in a luxurious solid oak presentation box and has an RRSP of US$4,000. It will be available at The Macallan Boutiques, premium bars and restaurants and premium specialist retailers globally from September 2021. For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
Colour: Golden acorn
Aroma: Fresh honeycomb, sweet toffee, red apple, fig and vanilla pod.
Palate: A smooth melody of cinnamon, ginger, Madagascan vanilla, dried fruits and oak.
Finish: Sweet oak, soft spice and toffee.
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, London: Edrington UK today announces that Jamie Campbell has been appointed Brugal 1888’s UK Brand Ambassador.
With over ten years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Jamie has considerable knowledge working with luxury spirit portfolios as a brand builder.
Through his culinary and cocktail skills, Jamie creates engaging environments for consumers and the trade to thrive in. Now, as UK Brand Ambassador, Jamie will work closely with the on-trade and luxury retail outlets across the country to promote the Brugal brand and the super-premium Rum category, via consumer masterclasses and cocktail workshops to showcase the warm and welcoming nature of Brugal 1888.
Prior to his recent appointment, Jamie was Brand Experience Manager for the Lucas Bols range of Liqueurs and Genever, where he worked to grow the brand to become the No.1 Liqueurs Range in the UK On-Trade.
As the face of the Brugal brand in the UK, Jamie is dedicated to helping the brand achieve its goal of being a leading spirit for all drinking occasions and to becoming the No.1 Super-Premium Rum.
The appointment comes at a critical time for the on-trade as it slowly but surely shifts into pre-pandemic practice. Commenting on the appointment, Chris Anderson, Head of Brands at Edrington UK said: “Consumers in both the on and off-trade are keen to explore exciting categories as well as investing in more premium spirits to mark occasions which were missed during the pandemic. Now is an incredible time for Jamie to enter his new role as he’ll be able to continue shaping this newly established consumer behaviour.”
Commenting on his new role, Jamie stated: “I’m honoured to be appointed as Brugal 1888’s Brand Ambasador for the UK. I’ve always been passionate about Rum and we’re really beginning to see a shift in its popularity and how it is enjoyed in the UK. Although we may relate Rum to hotter climates, I’m excited to show our consumers that it can be both beautifully mixed to create cocktails perfect for all occasions or simply enjoyed neat.”
Jamie’s signature Brugal 1888 serve is the Dominican Double which mixes Brugal 1888, Briotette Crème de Banane and Dry Vermouth to create a balanced, ‘nearly neat’ cocktail that showcases the elegant flavour and complexity of the double aged rum.
For further information visit https://www.brugal-rum.com/en
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