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
As part of its centenary celebrations, Highland Rugby Football Club (Highland RFC) is auctioning a 29-year-old Balblair whisky, generously donated by leading malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, housed in a bespoke bronze plinth created exclusively for Highland RFC by fine art, architectural and memorial bronze foundry Black Isle Bronze.
Already open for bids, the unique package will ultimately be sold on August 13th at Highland RFC’s Centenary Dinner, taking place in Inverness with money raised going to charities Mikeysline, Alzheimer Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie and Highland RFC so that the club can continue to promote and deliver rugby to communities across the Highlands.
Just 469 bottles of this wonderful dark gold Balblair Highland Single Malt whisky were created from a single Sherry butt filled in 1990. It is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s famous Connoisseur’s Choice collection. Cask strength, it is described as having a soft cinnamon spice which leads to stewed plum and delicate sherbet aromas. The initial toasted malt flavours give way to light fruitcake with a hint of cashew nut. Hints of aniseed and dried ginger linger on the finish. Valued at around £800, it is expected to be a much sought-after bottle that is very hard to come by today.
The plinth was created by Farquhar Laing and his team at Black Isle Bronze based near Inverness. It took around four months to make and recreates a traditional rugby ball placed on a kicking tee and set in bronze. Designed specifically to display a bottle of whisky, one of the segments of the ball is removed, creating space for the bottle. The plinth is valued at around £4,000 which, when combined with the whisky, is a truly one-of-a-kind package.
Speaking about the exclusive package, Roy Dinnes, Vice President of Highland RFC, said: “This is a unique item, bespoke to Highland RFC, and we are extremely grateful to Gordon & MacPhail and Black Isle Bronze for allowing us to auction something very special in our centenary year and hopefully raise money to support charities particularly close to our hearts at the club. The auction site is live, and I would encourage whisky fans, rugby fans and collectors to take a look.”
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail, added: “We are delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations at Highland RFC. Roy and the team do a phenomenal job promoting the game and coaching and supporting schools throughout communities in the Highlands. I hope this special bottle of Balblair helps raise funds for worthwhile charities, allowing them to continue their excellent work.”
Farquhar Laing, Director at Black Isle Bronze, described his involvement with Highland RFC: “I am a member of the club, a volunteer coach and by son plays for the Under-16s team. You can see our work all over the world, from Dallas in Texas to Dubai and of course here in the UK. Having created the line-out sculpture for Twickenham, we were only too happy to create something special for Highland RFC and hope it goes to a good home and raises a lot of money.”
Anyone wishing to bid for the plinth and the bottle of Balblair whisky can do so by visiting; https://uk.givergy.com/HRCAuction2022/?controller=lots&action=showLot&id=1 or by attending the Centenary Dinner in Inverness on August 13th. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased here and are on sale until August 1st.
TUESDAY 22nd March 2022, Glen Garioch’s famous Oldmeldrum distillery announces its re-opening to the public for the first time in two years, following a £6 million investment by owner Beam Suntory to fully renovate the distillery, returning to traditional processes and reducing its carbon footprint. The reopening will toast to reinstated malt floors and direct-fire still.
Visitors can see the behind the scenes of this renovation, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the distillery. Alongside this, Glen Garioch is launching a 1991 Bourbon Single Cask, from which visitors can bottle their own whisky straight from the cask in one of the distillery’s historic warehouses.
The significant investment in Glen Garioch has successfully fulfilled its ambition to restore and upgrade one of oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, returning to its roots to further enhance the quality and complexity of its legendary small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt, honouring its 225 years of heritage.
The renovation has involved 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 distilleries to enhance the quality and complexity of their whiskies. 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 is expected to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.
Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager of Glen Garioch, commented: “It’s been amazing to re-open the distillery up to the public after all this time, and especially to show them all the work that has been done so far to reinstate our traditional processes and drive towards our vision of a more sustainable future. It’s truly an exciting and milestone moment for Glen Garioch as we open this new chapter in our history and invite others to share a dram of our iconic whisky.”
Glen Garioch 1991 Bourbon Single Cask | 46.4% ABV
NOSE – Sweet nutty with notes of dried fruits, white peach and oak spices, gorse flowers and subtle smoke.
PALATE – Heather honey with vanilla cream, salted toffee and a hint of roasted walnuts, malty notes of shortbread and oak spice.
FINISH – Sweet finish with oak spices with a drying mouthfeel.
8 November 2021, Islay, UK: A shared commitment to heritage, craftsmanship and innovation unites the worlds of whisky making and automotive design with the creation of Bowmore® Masters’ Selection; the first single malt whisky to be made by Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky in collaboration with Aston Martin.
Imagined and defined by two Masters; Bowmore Master Whisky Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, Bowmore Masters’ Selection bridges two distinct worlds in a powerful, yet inspiring way. At its heart is a mutual trust and respect for one other’s worlds and a passion to discover and learn from each other. Each Master imparts their own creativity and character, but also makes an indelible mark, like leaving their own unique fingerprint, on every single creation.
Marek Reichman, has often spoken about the concept of the ‘Golden Ratio’ – the mathematical ratio found in nature that creates aesthetically pleasing compositions -, which sits at the heart of the design of every Aston Martin. Absolute beauty can be created when you achieve a perfect relationship between each proportion of the car.
Reichman explains: “Proportionality defines every precise detail of designing an Aston Martin. We are constantly striving to achieve the Golden Ratio; the optimal of proportions. And it is this force which guides the creation of absolute beauty. To achieve this, we must combine our skill, passion and experience. Coming together with Ron just brings a whole new perspective on this and is hugely inspiring and enlightening. This whisky perfectly and harmoniously brings us together to create a beautiful, yet powerful equilibrium.”
For Bowmore, proportions define character and shape flavour combinations; from cask selection and age to blending. Ron Welsh, Master Blender, Bowmore, explains, “For the first time with this whisky, we have adopted the Golden Ratio to inspire each of the elements bringing their own unique flavours and selecting the optimal casks to forge the desired character, taking inspiration from Marek and his team. What seems totally contrasting is, in fact, perfectly balanced and proportionate. Working with Marek has given me a new lens from which to explore whisky making. This whisky serves as a celebration of our unified knowledge and experience; our shared passions, values and ideas.”
Taking inspiration from an engineered approach, this whisky incorporates the divine proportion of 61.8% formed from a base of 21 year old Bowmore matured in first fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. The remaining parts are made up of exact ratios of each other, in line with the Golden Ratio theory, and include exceptionally aged Bowmore matured for over 35 years.
For this single malt, a powerful and complex yet sweet warming, the creators seems, on the face, to have created absolute contrast but in reality, they have captured perfect balance and proportion. With a clear nod to Aston Martin in the very creation of this Bowmore whisky, it exudes a sophistication and complexity which is truly considered yet promises a thrilling taste experience.
Powerful yet elegant; from sweet to spice; sherry to coffee; honey to pepper – the perfect proportions to achieve absolute depth and balance.
Bowmore Masters’ Selection is available in the UK from late November in Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and The Whisky Shop with an RSP of £300.
The Macallan has unveiled A Night On Earth In Scotland single malt whisky, which reveals the story of Scotland’s world-famous Hogmanay festivities and captures the universal joy of celebrating the change of year.
The first in a new limited edition gifting series, A Night On Earth In Scotland is a collaboration with acclaimed Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn, whose artwork has featured in leading director Wes Anderson’s films. She has also previously created designs for some of the world’s leading luxury brands.
Presented as part of innovative multi-layered packaging that provides an exceptional unboxing experience, Erica Dorn’s playful abstract illustrations are inspired by the historic fire rituals dominant in New Year celebrations around the world.
They also reveal some of the distinctive customs of Scotland’s Hogmanay, including the tradition of first footing when it is good luck for a dark-haired visitor to be the first person to enter your home after midnight, bearing symbolic gifts – whisky, coal and Scottish shortbread – that aim to bring comfort and happiness in the year ahead.
Other design elements focus on the flavours found within the remarkable whisky crafted by The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker, Sarah Burgess, who drew on fond family memories of Hogmanay to create a rich, evocative single malt.
Sarah Burgess said: “Crafting A Night On Earth In Scotland has been an extremely personal experience for me, which took me back to growing up in our family home in Speyside, just across the river from The Macallan Estate.
“The whisky’s vanilla sweetness references the rich Scottish shortbread traditionally gifted and eaten at Hogmanay, while notes of dried orange and spice recall the flavours and aromas that filled our house through the festive season.
“Encapsulating the hopes and dreams of Hogmanay celebrations past, present and future, it also conveys the unwavering human desire to spend special times with loved ones.”
Erica Dorn said: “Fire plays a significant role in New Year celebrations around the world. Around its warmth we gather our families, friends, and loved ones to share past memories and future hopes. Through its purifying qualities we release the past to clear the way for the future. In its dancing light we find solace from cold winter nights, as we have done since the dawn of time. Though the fire rituals may differ from culture to culture, fire is universal in its ability to unite us and bring us ‘home’.
“The colours for this presentation box were selected with a particular journey in mind: first, red for merriment, vitality, good fortune and joy; blue to remind us of a winter evening in Scotland, in all its peace and stillness; and finally, amber – in tribute to the sweet aroma of soft butter and freshly baked shortbread, which were an inspiration for Sarah Burgess in the creation of this whisky.”
This very special single malt was created from a selection of The Macallan’s exceptional sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, along with American ex-bourbon barrels to deliver its rich, sweet shortbread-like character. With a soft, velvety mouth-feel, it showcases the skill of the whisky maker, and The Macallan’s commitment to craftsmanship and uncompromised excellence.
For further information, visit www.themacallan.com.