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
London, 23rd March 2021: Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig is excited to announce the launch of 10 Year Old Sherry Oak – a new take on its iconic single malt, and a welcome addition to the core range – available from Monday 12th April at The Whisky Exchange, Whisky Shop and Master of Malt.
Finished in Oloroso sherry casks for twelve to eighteen months, this new expression combines the unforgettable flavour of the Laphroaig 10 Year Old with the sweet and aromatic flavours of the sherry casks. Each cask has been carefully selected to compliment the distinct taste of Laphroaig, adding a complexity and balance which is sure to excite Laphroaig lovers everywhere.
Laphroaig Sherry Oak shines an auburn and tawny colour, and has a rich, full bodied flavour. The marriage of casks creates notes of Manuka honey, bacon, and maple syrup, alongside the classic smoke, seaweed, and hint of salt that Laphroaig is known and loved for. As with all Laphroaig expressions, the finish is long-lasting, sweet, and spicy.
Since 1815 Laphroaig has been creating premium single malt Scotch whisky, and the new Sherry Oak finish presents a new flavour profile for lovers of the Islay-distillery’s unforgettable flavour. For the discerning whisky lover, who is drawn to Laphroaig as the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies, this is a must-have cabinet addition.
John Campbell, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, has said “We are so excited to announce the release of our unique and premium expression, Sherry Oak, taking our iconic Laphroaig 10 Year Old and finishing it with the sweet flavours of Oloroso sherry cask. This is a perfect accompaniment to any whisky collection and a celebrated addition to the Laphroaig range.”
Sweet and peaty with medicinal notes, Manuka honey, with strong clove aroma but also grilled smoky bacon, a distinctive character of sweet leather, iodine, and pine tar.
Sweet and aromatic, with rich wax and furniture polish notes followed by treacle toffee, maple syrup, bitter dark chocolate combined with oak shavings, pine needle and cedar scented wood.
The finish is long sweet and spicy with chestnut honey and antiseptic aroma lingering.
European Oak Oloroso Sherry Finished + Refill Oloroso Sherry matured + American Oka ex-Bourbon Matured.
Best served neat, with ice or a drop of water.
Bottled at 48% ABV
£65 | 48% | 700ml
Available from The Whisky Exchange, Whisky Shop and Master of Malt
2nd November 2020: Laphroaig, the UK’s number one peated single malt*, has announced the launch of a new fully integrated above the line campaign. It is aimed at capturing the unique reactions of consumers attempting to describe the smoky flavour of this iconic Islay single malt.
Basking in the divisive, yet unforgettable, taste of Laphroaig, the campaign will appear across broadcast TVC (30”) with social and digital media (15”) going live from 1 December.
‘You’ll always remember your First Laphroaig’ is the next chapter of Laphroaig’s Opinions Welcome advertising campaign and the idea that everyone has their own, often unexpected but always unique reaction to this whisky. The new creative plays on this concept via the coming together of first time Laphroaig drinkers.
Filming genuine members of the public across a variety of ages and backgrounds, each individual is handed a bottle and glass and invited to enjoy their first sip. Beginning with trying to pronounce the name of the infamous liquid, what ensues is a variety of facial expressions that range from hesitant and unsure, to full-blown dislike, pleasant surprise and deep love for the taste – each perfectly capturing the experience without the need for words. The film concludes with two of the brand’s newest and biggest fans fervently nodding and proclaiming their newfound love for Laphroaig.
Perfectly articulating Laphroaig’s personality in a way that transcends traditional whisky advertising, the playful yet honest persona positions the experience of drinking a Laphroaig as a memorable one, no matter the outcome.
Nick Ganich, Head of Brands, Edrington-Beam Suntory UK said, “The idea that Laphroaig isn’t for everyone is what makes it such an iconic and inclusive brand. You may love or indeed dislike the taste, but what is certain is that drinking Laphroaig is a deeply personal experience that elicits great emotion and often debate amongst our customers and consumers.”
Jim Robinson, Managing Director, Warp & Woof said: “Bringing this core part of the brand’s personality to life through the campaign has been a lot of fun and something we believe will encourage thousands of soon to be die-hard fans to discover Laphroaig.”
The campaign will also feature as part of Video on Demand through Sky Go, ITV and All 4 and in a variety of formats across both Instagram and Facebook. Furthermore, it will stretch across UK retail and e-commerce outlets featuring Laphroaig’s “Opinions Welcome” gift packs in the lead up to the key Christmas period.
To find out more about the campaign or Laphroaig more generally visit www.laphroaig.com. Alternatively subscribe to the Laphroaig UK YouTube channel or check out Facebook and Instagram for updates and news.
*Nielsen / CGA MAT Combined Sept 2020
The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies which captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship.
Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection features a carefully curated selection of ongoing aged expressions and high aged guest releases.
At the heart of The Red Collection is The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old. These remarkable single malts, which will anchor the range, are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan and will be available in limited quantities globally.
From time to time they will be joined by special high aged guest releases, commencing with The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old. These incredibly rare single malts are among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, with The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old being the oldest bottlings ever released in the history of the brand.
Together they showcase the pursuit of uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan is renowned and reveal the legacy of craftsmanship, innovation and knowledge that sustains The Macallan to this day.
An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s after being gifted by The Macallan to raise funds for food charity, City Harvest, which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. The Sotheby’s auction runs from 22 October to 31 October 2020.
Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature curiously small copper stills, each peerless expression in The Red Collection has been matured in The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, these astonishing single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.
The colour red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan. The red thread begins with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.
In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range. It was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies, which featured black labelling.
And almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.
The three characters now feature in a remarkable animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several Hollywood films, including respected director Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature, The French Dispatch, and was also instrumental in the storyboard development for ‘Greta’ by director Neil Jordan in 2018.
The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists of today.
Javi Aznarez said: “When a brand like The Macallan, which has been making whisky for nearly 200 years, asks you to draw red for them, to explain what red means to them, it’s quite a challenge. Alexander Reid – The Red, Allan Shiach, and Roderick Kemp are some of the people that have led The Macallan to excellence.
“What I like about The Macallan is that the colour of their whisky is natural. It’s the cask that, little by little, over time, paints this whisky.
“I think that The Macallan and I value time very much. I need plenty of time to do my drawings and they need years to achieve the excellence of this whisky.”
Each expression in The Red Collection is encased in an exquisite oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks. The boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands across the globe.
A bespoke handcrafted case that can house the trio of ongoing or guest releases has also been developed by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer, Method Design Studio. Based in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, Method utilises traditional craftsmanship and skills to create one-off commissions for some of the world’s top luxury brands.
Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand which spans almost 200 years. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “Created from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks it is an incredible privilege to have crafted The Red Collection, the pinnacle of The Macallan’s portfolio.
“It’s thanks to the foresight of previous custodians of The Macallan, who laid down and aged these extraordinary casks, that we have been able to curate such a remarkable selection of whiskies.
“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavours of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present.”
The Macallan Red Collection will be available from Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and other selected specialist retailers from 15 October 2020.
The Red Collection will have an RRSP as follows:
The Macallan 40 Years Old – £11,300
The Macallan 50 Years Old – £37,500
The Macallan 60 Years Old – £49,000
The Macallan 71 Years Old – £58,500
The Macallan 74 Years Old – £61,500
The Macallan 78 Years Old – £65,500
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
The Glen Scotia virtual festival has been heralded a huge success, after attracting over 8,000 visitors from all around the world.
Following the cancellation of the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020 which had been scheduled to run from 19-21 May 2020, the Glen Scotia Distillery announced it would bring its programme of events online for the first time at www.glenscotia.com/festival.
As part of the programme the distiller made its famous dunnage whisky tasting, which for many is the pinnacle of their Campbeltown Malt Festival experience, available for those outside the distillery for the very first time.
The theme for 2020 is The Casks of Campbeltown, featuring whiskies matured in casks from the town, and investigating the influencer they have on the modern Campbeltown style.
Only 200 dunnage tasting packs have been released in the UK, each containing five 25 ml samples along with password access to a specially created tasting video hosted by Iain McAlister. A further 1800 tasting boxes will be distributed to markets around the world.
In the UK, the Glen Scotia Dunnage Tasting Box is available to order from Dram Team priced at £55.99 (including postage).
The five samples will include:
Iain McAlister, Master Distiller at Glen Scotia, said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the response we had to the Glen Scotia Virtual Malts Festival. We saw over 8,000 people join us from all over the world including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia – wildly exceeding our expectations!
“We’re now considering making some elements of the festival permanently ‘virtual’ going forward. We know Campbeltown isn’t the easiest place in the world to get to so this will be a great way to allow our global whisky fans the chance to be a part of the celebrations in future years.
“The dunnage tasting is one of my favourite events in the Campbeltown Malts Festival schedule and we’re excited to be able to provide those who had hoped to join us in person, and perhaps quite a few who usually wouldn’t have had the chance, the opportunity to take part in our special dunnage tasting.”
Chris Borrow, Founder, DramTeam added “I could not be more thrilled to be working with the fantastic team from Glen Scotia to put together this incredible dunnage tasting set. Some friends and I had the privilege of being utterly spoilt by Iain McAlister on our first ever visit to Campbeltown, when he very generously hosted us for a Glen Scotia dunnage warehouse tasting. To this day, the best tasting experience of my life – and one that I am very excited to put in a box for other people to enjoy. This is legitimately the best whisky-tasting-by-post we’ve ever done!”
Campbeltown was known as the whisky capital of the world during the Victorian era and was home to over 30 working distilleries. The annual Campbeltown Malts Festival is a celebration of Scotland’s fifth and smallest malt producing region and its whisky making heritage. This year’s event was set to take place from 19-21 May, however in line with Covid-19 government guidance, the festival has been cancelled for the first time since it launched in 2009.
Founded in 1832, Glen Scotia reflects centuries of craftsmanship and experience associated with the region and its award-winning whiskies are renowned for their distinctive maritime influence and Campbeltown character. For those who missed out on the festival this year many of the tastings and tours are still available to watch www.glenscotia.com/festival.
Issued by BIG Partnership on behalf of Glen Scotia.
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