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
Whisky Illuminati, an independent bottler specialising in premium single cask Scotch whisky, today unveils what it believes to be an industry first with the launch of the Solaria Series: a three-part bottling of five Speyside single malt whiskies.
Offering something genuinely unique to whisky enthusiasts, the Solaria Series will give consumers the opportunity to explore how Scotch whisky evolves in the cask over time, thanks to its three-part bottling which will be released over the next four years. Following the first edition (1:3) release in 2019, there will be a second release in 2021, with the final batch set for release in 2023.
In edition one of the Solaria Series, only 150 bottles from three of the Sherry Butts, 120 from another lower fill Butt and 100 from the Hogshead will be released. The remaining whisky will stay in the cask for a further two years before Edition 2:3 is released, followed by Edition 3:3 in 2023.
The Solaria Series comprises five single malt Scotch whiskies from Speyside distilleries:
Each release was matured in first-fill Spanish Oak Sherry Butt casks, with the exception of the Solaria Series from Craigellachie Distillery, which was matured in a first-fill Spanish Oak Sherry Hogshead cask. Described by Whisky Illuminati co-founder, Keith Bonnington, as a “rare first for the Scotch whisky industry”, each of the 2011 Vintage Single Casks bottled as part of the Solaria Series were hand selected by a panel of experts with over 200 years of industry experience.
Bonnington noted: “This is a unique opportunity for whisky drinkers to buy into a developing cask of single malt Scotch whisky, and to fully appreciate how the character evolves in the wood over a period of four years.
“We selected 100% first fill ex-Sherry Casks from Spain to mature the new-make spirit, with the aim of drawing out maximum impact from the wood to deliver the depth of flavour and colour desired over time.”
Bonnington added: “Our policy of bottling at natural cask strength without adding colour or chill-filtering means that each whisky is bottled at between 63% and 68% alcohol by volume, exactly as they appear right now in the cask. To fully enjoy the multitude of complex flavours, gradually adding water to taste is encouraged.
“How they develop in the oak over the duration of the three releases is completely in the hands of mother nature and that anticipation of their natural development is what makes this series so exciting.
“What is certain, is that these 2011 Vintage casks are made from the highest quality European oak, sourced from one of Spain’s finest Sherry Bodegas, and I’m confident that the whisky will develop and mellow marvellously over the next few years”.
The launch of the Solaria Series follows Whisky Illuminati’s inaugural Candlelight Series, which was released in 2018 to high acclaim from many leading whisky writers and experts², and sold internationally in markets including China, Taiwan, South Africa and the United States.
The Solaria Series will be available to purchase from select specialist whisky retailers this month, August, including Master of Malt and Selfridges, at a UK RRP of around £120 each. Buyers of the first release will automatically be offered the opportunity to purchase the second and third editions upon release.
Loch Lomond Whiskies, The Official Spirit of The Open, has released its first triple cask matured single malt Scotch whisky.
The new and highly limited edition expression was created as a tribute to Loch Lomond Whiskies golf ambassador Colin Montgomerie’s glorious three wood shot that helped secure victory for Europe in the 1997 Ryder Cup.
Matured in refill American oak before being matured for up to six months in a combination of first fill Limousin oak and Oloroso sherry casks, the Loch Lomond Three Wood Matured 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky unites the worlds of single malt Scotch whisky and golf.
Colin Montgomerie – better known to his fans as Monty – is one of the UK’s most successful golfers.
Since turning professional in 1987, Montgomerie has recorded 53 tournament victories across the world and became European #1 in 1993 – a position he held for an unprecedented seven years.
Ryder Cup success followed as a player including his legendary three wood tee shot on the 18th hole at Valderrama in 1997 that secured victory for Europe by a single point and gained him “Shot of the Year”.
He later famously led Europe to success as Captain at Celtic Manor in 2010.
Montgomerie said: “As a proud Scot I know that Scotland is world-renowned for both our whisky and our unrivalled golf courses. I am thrilled that the Loch Lomond Three Wood Matured 25 Year Old Single Malt will celebrate both worlds.
“My shot at Valderrama is one that will live long in the memory for me. To know that it has inspired a Single Malt and one which carries my signature is a huge honour. I hope that golfers and whisky fans alike will enjoy a dram as much as I have.”
Created by Montgomerie in partnership with Loch Lomond Master Blender Michael Henry, the Loch Lomond Three Wood Matured 25 Year Old is a beautifully balanced and highly limited edition single malt Scotch Whisky. Offering fruit notes of peach and pear, with subtle floral and perfumed notes, it is enhanced by cloves and cinnamon on the finish.
Presented in an elegant black and red gift box that celebrates Monty’s golfing achievements, the Loch Lomond Triple Wood Matured 25 Year Old has an ABV of 46.3% and is available globally with an RRP of £250.
For further information visit Loch Lomond Whiskies on Twitter:, Instagram: Facebook: and at .
The Macallan, (the most valuable single malt in the world), today announces its Boutique programme with the opening of The Macallan Boutique at the world’s busiest international airport, DXB, in partnership with Le Clos. This is a part of a multi-million pound investment that will see The Macallan stores open in select key cities and airports across the globe.
Starting with the opening of the new retail experience at DXB in partnership with Le Clos – the award winning fine wine and spirit retailer – The Macallan Boutiques will bring the heritage and prestige of the brand to life. The Boutique concept draws heavily from the beauty of The Macallan Estate. It uses architecture, aesthetics and materials, and immersive features, that are distinct to the new £140m state of the art distillery and visitor experience, opened in 2018.
Attention to detail and luxury are central to the overall design. There is a stunning, signature oak lattice centrepiece in each space, providing a direct and highly visual connection to the innovative roof of the brand’s home in Speyside, Scotland. The extraordinary spaces are designed to give a sense of familiarity to everyone who visits – from single malt aficionados to those exploring the world of The Macallan for the first time.
Suzy Smith, Managing Director , Edrington Global Travel Retail, said: “It has been a year since we opened the doors of our new distillery and visitor experience, which was one of the most exciting moments in our history as a brand. The next chapter in our story is the launch of our Boutique programme, which will bring whisky-lovers across the world even closer to our home on Speyside. Each store will be a gateway to the world of The Macallan, from the stunning cinematography of the Easter Elchies estate to the exceptional whisky available to taste.
“As we continue to roll out these Boutiques globally, we hope more people are able to catch a glimpse into the home of the world’s most valuable single malt. Partnering with Le Clos to open the first new outlet will allow us to deliver a true luxury shopping experience for travellers in our product offering and through exceptional service.”
Visitors to The Macallan Boutique are invited to discover the luxury world of The Macallan through a prestige experience that is both memorable and shareable. The Macallan brand stories shot in stunning cinematography will be showcased alongside virtual reality content that explores the history behind The Macallan Estate.
Andrew Day, Group CEO of MMI, said: “Le Clos and The Macallan have enjoyed a record-breaking partnership for over a decade and we are incredibly proud to be honoured with opening the first new Global Travel Retail Boutique for The Macallan here in DXB.
“This Boutique will bring together two exceptional brands in the world of luxury spirits creating an unrivalled and immersive customer experience. Following our successful partnership with The Macallan that spans over a decade, this new Boutique symbolises the heights we can reach with a shared vision and combined commitment to delivering the ultimate customer experience and we look forward to joining The Macallan on this exciting next stage of the journey.”
The Macallan Boutique in Dubai will offer a stunning, carefully curated range of rare and exclusive whiskies, some of which will be exclusive to Boutiques. Highlights of the prestige collection include rare bottlings from the Masters of Photography, Golden Age of Travel and Exceptional Single Cask ranges. A strong pipeline of new product innovations and Boutique exclusives will ensure The Macallan Boutique offers an engaging and ever-changing range of whiskies.
The Macallan Boutiques will be opening at a number of major international hub airports throughout 2019, starting with Terminal 3 at DXB.
17th June 2019 – Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig® has been awarded a total of five medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive.
The awards, from one of the most significant global competitions, further cements Laphroaig’s famously divisive liquid as a true icon of the whisky world.
The top awarded expression was Laphroaig PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold with its intense and rich flavour. Matured in three different types of cask – American oak, Quarter casks and finally Pedro Ximénez casks – the whisky is an explosion of peat with a heavy sherried oak dryness.
Gold medals were also awarded to Laphroaig’s 10-year-old, Select and Quarter Cask expressions, showing that the famed divisive whisky is still winning plaudits across the globe for its unique expressions.
Select is created from carefully selected casks of each of the distillery’s key styles. Mostly, these are historic styles, with one notable addition: the heart of the spirit is drawn from a final maturation in American oak casks – rarely used for scotch whisky. Bottled at natural colour, the result is an exquisite Laphroaig with the trademark ‘peat reek’ matched by an additional layer of complexity and depth brought about by the fusion of the maturation styles and different oaks.
Laphroaig 10-year-old is the original Laphroaig, distilled the same way today as when Ian Hunter invented it more than 75 years ago. Those enjoying the 10 Year Old will first notice the bold, smoky taste, followed by a hint of seaweed and a surprising sweetness. This full-bodied variant is the foundation of all Laphroaig expressions and comes with a long finish.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour due to the double maturation in two casks made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from our standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest in our warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic shore. This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s distinctive peatiness.
John Campbell, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, comments: “Our whisky has been dividing opinions since 1815 and we embrace every one of them – the good and the bad. But that doesn’t mean we’re not incredibly proud when our whisky picks up an award, even more so when five of our whiskies do.”
“The PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive is an exceptional liquid that has only been in our range for a few years, so to have it award a Double Gold is a terrific achievement for the whole distillery team.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and three Gold medals, Laphroaig Lore also picked up a Silver medal to round off an impressive showing from one of Scotland’s most esteemed distilleries.
Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. And that means that the award is one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.
The 2019 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 3,000 entries. Judges of the 2019 Competition were established spirits-industry experts, including: Anthony Dias Blue (Executive Director), author, editor, publisher, and one of the most influential food, wine, and spirits writers and lifestyle personalities in the U.S.A; Tony Abou-Ganim (Director of Judging), the Master-Mixologist, one of the leading pioneers of America’s craft cocktail movement; David Wondrich, James Beard Award–winning author and longtime
Spirits Writer for Esquire Magazine; Julie Reiner, the renowned bartender who has brought New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club rave reviews and top rankings among the best bars in the world; and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Award.
The robust judging process includes four days of highly controlled blind tastings, where the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
More information about the competition and the winners can be found here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/
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