9th September 2019: The winners in the inaugural competition to assess the business of Scotch whisky have been revealed at a sell-out event held in Edinburgh last week.
The Scottish Whisky Awards welcomed over 400 guests to celebrate and to hear who had been crowned the best in the wide-ranging competition which assesses taste and business performance.
Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year 2019 was presented to The GlenAllachie Distillery in recognition of an outstanding year of business and after winning five medals in the blind tasting competition. The distillery has successfully served a full range of single malt into the market, opened a visitor centre and created a strong distribution network. Their awards haul included two gold medals for their 18 and 12 year old single malts. Craigellachie, Glen Scotia, Highland Park and Loch Lomond Distilleries were also nominated in the category.
Angus-based Arbikie Distilling collected the award for the Newcomer of the Year and were applauded by the judging panel for their field to bottle ethos and innovative approach. They also collected a silver medal for Arbikie Highland Rye in the single grain category.
Other winners on the night included Johnnie Walker White Walker for their Game Of Thrones campaign whilst the Glasgow Distillery Company triumphed with multiple awards for their recently launched 1770 Single Malt.
Professor Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Judging panel commented;
“Very many congratulations to the winners in the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards. Winning a Scottish Whisky Award is a huge opportunity to further the promotion of Scotch whisky at home and abroad. I hope that all the medallists and winners take the opportunity to promote their success and achievements in what was a very tough competition.”
The awards are supported by commercial sponsors including Shawbrook Bank and Bruce Stevenson.
Kevin Boyd, Managing Director at Shawbrook Bank commented;
“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards. Shawbrook Bank are proud supporters of our whisky industry and we are delighted to support these awards and their work to promote the business of Scotch and all our wonderful whiskies at home and abroad.”
Graeme Dempster, Account Executive at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers commented;
“We’d like to congratulate all the finalists and winners at the Scottish Whisky Awards. The quality of talent up for nomination clearly demonstrates the strength of the Scotch Whisky industry today. At
Bruce Stevenson, we’re very proud to have a wide-ranging and deep involvement in such an exciting and growing sector.”
The awards also recognised one of the whisky industry’s most accomplished scientific and technical advisers with a special award presented posthumously to Dr Jim Swan. The award for outstanding contribution to Scotch whisky was accepted by Dr Swan’s daughters and was presented in recognition of his forty-year career as a research scientist and trusted adviser to whisky distilleries around the world. The award will be presented annually as The Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky to an individual making a significant contribution to the Scotch Whisky industry.
Full results in the competition were unveiled for the first-time last night after being held as a closely guarded secret since the business and taste competitions were carried out in May. In the taste sessions, adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology, over 100 whiskies were blind tasted and scored by a 32-strong judging panel from the UK, mainland Europe and Asia.
The awards which will now become an annual fixture and will be hosted in Glasgow next year, were also a fundraiser for two charities; The BEN, the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by rugby legend Doddie Weir to help improve the lives of those affected by Motor Neurone Disease.
Highland Park single malt Scotch Whisky has launched a special edition whisky, Valfather, the final part of the Viking Legend series inspired by the Orkney based distillery’s Viking history.
The trilogy highlights the journey to Ragnarök, the battle at the end of the world and has inspired the packaging and taste profiles of the whiskies created by Highland Park’s master whisky maker, Gordon Motion.
Valfather, named after Odin, the mightiest of the Norse Gods, is the distillery’s most peated release to date. Created using whisky matured in refill casks to reflect the ethereal and lighter feel of Valhalla, Odin’s hall, the whisky’s higher phenolic level displays Odin’s power.
Gordon Motion, master whisky maker, Highland Park, said: “Valfather and the whiskies in the Viking Legend series uses more of our heavily peated malt, making the series more like cousins, rather than a brother or sister to the core range. Overall, this whisky is the richest and smokiest in taste profile compared to the rest of the series and our classic whiskies.
“As well as our hallmark aromatic peat smoke, it tastes of creamy vanilla, toasted cedar wood with a long floral aromatic finish offset by notes of crisp apple and sweet fragrant pear.”
The Viking Legend series rise in phenolic level throughout the collection and each have their own distinctive taste profile. Valkyrie the first in the series, uses predominantly European sherry seasoned oak, while Valknut uses American sherry seasoned oak and Orkney’s tartan barley.
Inspiration for the packaging design came from the ancient picture stones from Stora Hammars in Gotland, Sweden. The brand has partnered with Danish designer, Jim Lyndvild, to bring the collection to life.
Valfather will be released globally from August 2019. To find out more visit: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
(23 May 2019, London) Highland Park today announces the launch of Søren Solkær 26 Years of Photography – a limited-edition single malt whisky that’s been created in honour of Danish photographer, Søren Solkær.
Best known for his portraits of world-famous musicians including Björk, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, David Lynch, The Arctic Monkeys, R.E.M. and U2, Søren has worked with Highland Park since 2016 to capture the brand’s Viking Soul – taking over 250 images of the people of Orkney, the distillery and the island itself.
Matured in sherry seasoned American oak casks and first fill Bourbon casks, the limited-edition liquid has a spicy nose with a rich heathery peat smoke. The packaging is inspired by a traditional, vintage square shaped box camera and contains a 230-page book featuring a selection of Søren’s work split into three key themes: men, women and places.
The whisky will be available to purchase globally from 23rd May 2019. UK retailers include The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Harrods. RSP £499.
Jason R. Craig, global brand director, Highland Park, said: “We are delighted to be working with Søren on this very special project. He truly embodies a modern day Viking Soul through his unique photographic style and how he gets the best out of all his subject matters.
“Whilst he is best known for his distinctive images of musicians and movie stars, he has worked with us to develop a collection of over 250 images capturing our people at the distillery, our location in Orkney and of course, our whisky.”
Søren Solkær, said: “My journey began 26 years ago when I decided to leave my literature studies and pursue my passion for photography. From my homeland in Denmark, I travelled many thousands of miles with my camera, exploring some of the world’s most fascinating places, absorbing each new environment I found myself in and photographing the people I met which helped me grow into the visual storyteller that I wanted to be.
“During those 26 years, the whisky that now bears my name stayed in just one place, sheltered from the same world I was so busy exploring. A contrast perhaps, but in its quiet warehouse in the remote Orkney Islands, this whisky too was absorbing the environment around it and slowly acquiring rich nuances of flavour and character to mature into the fine spirit it is today.
“We shared a similar journey of honesty and integrity, of patience and craftsmanship to arrive here together, 26 years on.”
For more information visit: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Monday 25th March 2019: Highland Park today announces the launch of 16-Year-Old single malt whisky Twisted Tattoo, the first expression from the Orkney-based distillery to combine whisky matured in rioja seasoned wine casks and first fill bourbons casks.
A rich and full-bodied whisky with notes of light heather peat and soft red fruits, the inspiration for Twisted Tattoo comes from Orkney’s Norse ancestry and the Viking legend of the Midgard Serpent which grew so large it twisted around the earth to bite its own tail.
To bring this mythology to life on the bottle, Highland Park has partnered with renowned Danish tattoo artist Colin Dale, who specialises in the ancient art of dot-work tattooing – a freestyled, non-electric tattoo technique – to create Twisted Tattoo’s striking design.
Dale’s research has helped to reintroduce the lost tattooing techniques of the Nordic, Native American and Inuit cultures. His studio, Skin & Bone, uses both traditional and modern techniques to tell stories on skin.
With an ABV of 46.7%, Twisted Tattoo is available exclusively from The Whisky Shop. RRP £80.
Chris Anderson, head of Edrington brands at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, said: “Highland Park is incredibly proud of its Orcadian routes, which is why so many of our whiskies celebrate our home – and Twisted Tattoo is no different.
“Highland Park is innately Nordic and we want to pay homage to this through the launch of our latest whisky and partnership, which brings liquid and art together.”
Jason Craig, global brand director, Highland Park, said: “For us, Colin Dale was an ideal choice as a creative partner. He is the perfect example of a modern-day Viking Soul and our partnership show off the similarities between our crafts.
“Tattoos are emotionally important and tell stories on the skin, much like our whisky tells the tales of our Orkney islands’ ancestry. Both arts can be traced back hundreds of years with the traditional skills still playing a key role in the tattooing and whisky making process today.”
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