Whisky enthusiasts are being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, through a limited edition launch offer, to buy into Scotland’s most northerly mainland Scotch distillery, which today (6 October) unveils its name as ‘8 Doors Distillery’.
8 Doors Distillery is a new Scotch whisky micro-distillery and visitor centre set to open in John O’Groats in 2021, after planning permission was granted in March this year. The £1 million project will establish the first whisky producer in the Caithness village since 1837. It is a dream come true for its founders, local husband and wife team Kerry and Derek Campbell, who have developed a passion for Scotch over many years.
The new Highland Single Malt Whisky will be produced using the purest John O’Groats’ water extracted from a borehole on the distillery site. Its flavour profile will be deeply influenced by the local climate and its situation right beside the sea – hence its strapline ‘Whisky. From the Edge’.
With its limited edition launch offer 8 Doors Distillery is giving whisky lovers the opportunity to help create a new whisky legacy, saying the journey starts with the 874 Founders Club and the 874 Club.
8 Doors Distillery is collaborating with renowned whisky master John Ramsay to create its exclusive launch products. John brings with him over 40 years’ experience in the whisky industry, having being involved in the making of some of Scotland’s most well-known whiskies including The Famous Grouse, The Glenrothes and The Macallan.
Kerry and Derek see their limited edition launch as the first step in an incredible journey to realise their distillery dream. They have named the 874 Club after one of the greatest journeys in the UK – the 874 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats.
The 874 Founders Club offers the exclusive opportunity to become a member and buy one of a limited number of 50 litre and 250 litre Founders Casks. The 874 Founders Club cask packages will be available for sale exclusively through Whisky Hammer for an initial period of one month until 5 November.
Those who join the 874 Club will receive a collection of three bottles from some of the first casks laid down and can purchase these packages directly from 8 Doors Distillery.
· 874 Founders Club – the top tier of membership, limited to 250 members. Founder members will get their hands on some truly unique casks of Highland Single Malt Whisky. There are 250 cask packages available from £1,600.
· 874 Club – the core membership limited to 1,250 members. 874 Club members will get three 70cl bottles of exceptional Highland Single Malt Whisky. Matured in first-fill, tailor made casks from Spain, the three different expressions are derived from seasoning and oak types chosen by John Ramsay. These bottle packages are £420.
Both packages come with a host of benefits including a members’ card entitling the individual and a friend to free tours for life. Founders Club members will also be permanently recognised with their name on the Founders Display within the distillery.
The inspiration for the 8 Doors Distillery branding comes from the story of Jan de Groot, from whom the village of John O’Groats takes its name. Mr de Groot, a Dutchman who once plied a ferry from the Scottish mainland to Orkney, built his legendary house in the area during the reign of James IV (1488-1513). Mr de Groot’s seven descendants quarrelled about succession, so he decided to build an octagonal house with eight doors – one for him and each of his seven sons – and an eight-sided table so that nobody could sit at the ‘head of the table’.
The distillery on the 32,670 square feet site will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year. The distillery and visitor centre will be housed in one large building and whisky will be matured in an on-site bonded warehouse.
The founders are also taking advice from Ian Evans of whisky consultancy Distilled Experience who is a former Operations and Compliance Director with William Grant & Sons.
Kerry Campbell, co-founder of 8 Doors Distillery, said: “The creation of our 8 Doors Distillery in John O’Groats and our limited edition launch is part of a dream come true for Derek and me. We have a long-held passion for whisky and for the local area in Caithness where we both grew up. We’re so pleased to be able to bring them together with the development of our distillery and visitor centre.
“We love whisky, and for us it’s more than just having an exceptional liquid in the glass. It’s the stories that go alongside it, the memories of special occasions and get-togethers with family and friends. If we can be part of creating not only a fantastic whisky but also great memories for people who drink our whisky that would be amazing.
“We couldn’t think of anywhere better than John O’Groats to make whisky, partly thanks to the climate which we believe is perfect for distilling and maturation, and the great people who live here. Since we’ve announced our plans to the build the distillery we’ve had lots of local support. And we’re delighted to be working with such industry experts as John Ramsay and Ian Evans for our launch products.
“We believe our limited edition offer provides an unmissable opportunity for whisky lovers across the world to join our 874 Club and be part of the creation of a new Scotch legacy. It truly is whisky from the edge.”
“And we’re pleased to be working with another independent Scottish family-run business, Whisky Hammer, as part of our launch campaign. We’ve had direct experience of their premium service and passion for the whisky that passes through their doors so we can’t think of a better partner to launch our founders casks with.”
John Ramsay said: “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Kerry and Derek at 8 Doors Distillery to help them realise their dream of a whisky that reflects the unique environment of John O’Groats. Having worked in the industry for many years, it’s great to be involved in producing the first whisky from Scotland’s most northerly mainland distillery.
“8 Doors Distillery is particularly exciting for me as it’s the first Scotch whisky project I’ve been involved with since I retired in 2009 after 43 years in the industry. When I met Kerry and Derek and found out more about their desire to create a distillery in John O’Groats I wanted to get on board.
“One of the things that really appeals to me is their commitment to producing a whisky that involves maturation as much as distillation. They realise the importance of high-quality casks.
“We are developing a flavour profile that brings to life the local climate and the influence of the sea. Once the spirit has been matured on-site in carefully selected first-fill casks from Spain designed to our specifications, I believe we will be bringing something original to the world of whisky from this remote part of Caithness.
Daniel Milne, co-founder of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re excited to team up with Kerry and Derek at 8 Doors Distillery, and expect demand to be high for their exclusive 874 Founders Club cask packages. It’s great to see people with such a passion for Scotch bringing something new to the world of whisky. We would urge anyone interested in being part of this legacy to visit our site as soon as they can.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is investing up to £198,000 in the new venture. Keith Muir, the agency’s head of business growth in Caithness and Sutherland, said: “This is a fantastic development, and it is great to see a project coming forward even in these difficult times that will be of real benefit to the tourism sector and to the local community.
“We are delighted to be able to help this local young couple fulfil their dreams of creating a new distillery in John O’ Groats. We look forward to the launch of 8 Doors Whisky and wish Kerry and Derek every success.”
Anyone interested in buying exclusive 8 Doors Distillery casks (available from midday on 6 October) or bottles (available from morning of 6 October) to create a new Scotch legacy should visit:
The Macallan has launched Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 Release, the first of three releases during 2018. This first batch introduces new packaging for Rare Cask, designed to provide consumers with even more insight into the whisky making process, with more detail revealed on this complex spirit.
Rare Cask exemplifies the ‘art of the cask’ and The Macallan’s unrivalled dedication to using only the best quality wood – a process carefully managed from acorn to cask. Only the finest sherry seasoned casks are hand selected by The Macallan whisky makers at the perfect point of maturation, to create this remarkably rich and unique expression.
This process of hand-selecting the casks is highly skilled and complex, requiring a balance of cask knowledge and creativity. Less than 1% of the casks maturing in The Macallan reserves meet the strict criteria for this distinctive whisky and 100% are first fill sherry seasoned oak casks, with the perfect balance of European and American oak delivering rich flavours and a natural mahogany red colour.
Batch numbers and the year of release will now feature on the new packaging, adding to the element of collectability. Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 Release is one of three batches to be released this year, with four planned for each subsequent year. Each limited release batch represents the volume of only 50 oak sherry butts.
Nick Savage, The Macallan Master Distiller, said: “The rarity of Rare Cask lies in the limited number of first fill sherry seasoned casks. This whisky truly exhibits the art of cask selection and the role of our Whisky Making Team to hand pick the casks for each batch. The casks give the greatest contribution to the character and are the only source of the rich mahogany colour. It is one of The Macallan’s most complex yet balanced whiskies that we’ve created, with soft notes of rich oak, vanilla and chocolate.
“Rare Cask’s flavour has been created to be savoured and shared with those who appreciate a single malt with a rich depth of a complexity and perfect balance. With the release of yearly batches, Rare Cask can also be a memorable way to celebrate or mark a special year or occasion.”
The Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 Release is presented in a redesigned pack to align it to the new bottles recently unveiled across The Macallan’s range of single malt whiskies. The new design now also features deeper reds and subtly incorporates wood grain to pay tribute to the incredible cask story. A new lighter background inside the pack emphasises the rich mahogany whisky and the pack is encased within a premium gift box, featuring a gold badge highlighting the Rare Cask name, as well as the batch number.
Each batch of The Macallan Rare Cask will be a limited edition release. The Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 Release has an estimated retail price of £230.
Whisky Makers Notes:
Colour: Mahogany red
Aroma: Soft notes of opulent vanilla and raisin pique the nose, giving way to a sweet ensemble of apple, lemon and orange
Palate: Oak resonates, timeless, polished and rich. Vanilla and chocolate lead the finale along with a light citrus zest
Finish: Full and warming
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Edrington, the international premium spirits company, has revealed the new distillery and visitor experience for The Macallan.
The new distillery and visitor experience is located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate, which has been home to the leading luxury single malt since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has risen to become the leading international single malt by value and enjoys leading positions in some of the world’s most significant Scotch whisky markets including The USA, Taiwan, and Japan.
It is the first distillery on Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, who were selected to lead the project after an international competition.
Edrington is investing £500 million in the brand of which the £140 million distillery is the centrepiece. This programme increases investment in whisky, warehousing, and particularly in The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.
The project was announced in 2012 and the build began in December 2014. The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the visitor experience will open its doors to the public on 2nd June. It is expected that visitor numbers will double in the first year and continue to rise thereafter.
The new distillery will enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third if required. The new stills were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills for The Macallan since the 1950s.
Elgin-based Robertson Construction has delivered the complex architectural design, working with 25 contractors to bring the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience to life. During construction, up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site.
The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.
The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.
Ian Curle, Chief Executive, Edrington, said: “This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan. The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come.
When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”
Ken Grier, Creative Director, The Macallan, said: “As The Macallan has grown globally it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid. We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we produced in our previous distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.”
Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead Architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners commented: “The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a place we have come to love and respect hugely. The vision was always ambitious but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring. It has been an honour to play our part in shaping the next chapter for The Macallan.”
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Family-run single malt whisky creators, Gordon & MacPhail, has announced the launch of ‘Discovery’, a new range that is part of the company’s commitment to strengthen and streamline the brand’s portfolio.
The range of carefully selected whiskies is grouped and colour-coded under three flavour profiles – ‘Smoky, ‘Sherry’ and ‘Bourbon’. Designed to help whisky drinkers to begin an exploratory journey through the Gordon & MacPhail portfolio, each bottle features a brief tasting note and either a vintage or age statement.
The first expressions to be released within the new ‘Discovery’ range comprise spirit originally from Balblair, Tormore, Miltonduff and Caol Ila distilleries, then matured in Gordon & MacPhail’s own hand-selected casks. Prices start from £49.95 UK (RSP) and vary in available markets around the world due to taxes and duties.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and a fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail, remarked: “We’re proud to be the curators of the world’s most diverse stock of single malt whiskies from over 100 distilleries. We’ve spent several years working to develop this new range for whisky lovers globally.
“’Discovery’ offers whisky drinkers the opportunity to begin a journey with us through the Gordon & MacPhail whiskies portfolio. By offering flavour profiles and tasting notes, we want to help the discerning consumer navigate their choices with confidence, beyond their usual malt.”
‘Discovery’ is the second range to launch as part of the updated portfolio, which offers consumers five distinct ranges. The new look ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range was unveiled last month (April 2018). The additional ranges for ‘Distillery Labels’ and ‘Private Collection’ will be revealed to consumers in the summer and autumn respectively. The launch of the next ‘Generations’ release is yet to be revealed.
For more information about the new ‘Discovery’ range and the streamlined portfolio, visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
With arguably the best whisky tours operator in the UK, Malt Marketing is in an excellent position to be able to offer exceptional whisky tours across Scotland. Taking in multiple distilleries as well as sampling Scotland’s breath taking natural beauty, each tour can be tailored specifically to your own requirements.
Whether you are coming from Edinburgh or Moscow, Europe or America, all aspects of your tour including your travel in Scotland, accommodation and tasting schedule will be taken care of. The sampling we leave to you…
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