Independent distiller, Loch Lomond Whiskies, is adding to its impressive portfolio of whiskies with the launch of Steam & Fire.
A remarkable single malt whisky, Steam & Fire is finished in heavily charred American Oak, flamed at Loch Lomond Whiskies’ own traditional cooperage.
It is an entirely new concept for the distiller and has been crafted to showcase its extensive capabilities in distillation and maturation.
Steam & Fire takes its inspiration from the extraordinary distillery – a place where alchemy and engineering meet time-honoured craftsmanship to create an unusual whisky destination which is unlike anything else seen in the industry.
Located near the banks of the iconic Loch Lomond, the distillery is home to innovative feats of engineering, including Scotland’s only set of Straight Neck Pot Stills. As the only distiller in Scotland to use these stills, Master Blender Michael Henry can influence flavour from fermentation, through distillation, as well as during maturation.
It is also one only four in Scotland to house its own cooperage. A vibrant place where a team of experienced coopers, manage, repair and char barrels, it is the final stage in the whisky making process before casks are laid to rest for maturation.
Steam & Fire begins its journey being distilled in a combination of Straight Neck and traditional Swan Neck Pot Stills before maturing in first fill Bourbon barrels and refill American Oak casks. This exceptional single malt is then finished in heavily charred American Oak Cask for 10 months.
The heavily charred American oak barrels have a distinctive rich demerara sugar influence on the whisky, creating a rich flavour profile characterised by notes of orange, pear and melted brown sugar with a dark chocolate, and a soft smoke finish.
The release of Steam & Fire follows Loch Lomond Distillery’s success at the globally renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023, winning the title of ‘most awarded distillery’.
Michael Henry, Master Blender at Loch Lomond Whiskies, said: “Fire is a powerful element which has a distinctive impact on the flavour whisky takes from the oak. It is key in breaking down the surface of the oak releasing the flavours locked within, with the temperature of the flame and length of charring time critical in determining the flavours imparted.
“At Loch Lomond Whiskies, we are driven to experiment with flavour, creating unique single malts that push the boundaries of what is possible.
“Steam & Fire is unlike anything we have created at our distillery before, and is a representation of this quest to create whisky outside of the ordinary, bringing together our impressive capabilities in distillation and maturation.”
The launch of Steam & Fire includes a collaboration with renowned open-fire chef Genevieve Taylor, who partnered with the distiller for its Remarkable Makers campaign, which sees Loch Lomond Whiskies partner with like-minded creators and artisan craftspeople to lift the lid on the complex whisky making process.
An accomplished chef, she is the author of 12 cookery books and is fascinated by the science of cooking over fire. Genevieve is inspired by her lifelong love of nature and sustainability, with her recipes specifically created based on the seasonality and locality of ingredients.
She said: “Fire as a method for cooking is a time-honoured craft, much like whisky making, which has survived for generations.
“It is such strong primal element and in many ways it can be unpredictable. Like a master blender, you have to very carefully control all of the variables to curate the final flavour you want.
“Too much wood creates a very distinctive smoky flavour, which can distract from delicate dishes, whereas pure charcoal allows the subtleties of ingredients to come to the fore. The slightest change in this balance has a profound impact on the final recipe.”
Genevieve Taylor’s passion for fire cooking is driven by a curiosity to explore the extraordinary. She continued:
“Loch Lomond Whiskies and I share a curious spirit, and an eternal desire to seek out new possibilities in our crafts. The traditional domestic kitchen can be a wonderful place, but it can also be restricting to creativity and exploration.
“Fire cooking opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and allows me to experiment with flavour and techniques which are outside of the ordinary.”
Steam & Fire is out now and retails for £45.
It can be purchased at specialist retailers including Master of Malt, as well as directly from www.lochlomondwhiskies.co.uk
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
GlenWyvis Distillery, a social enterprise which is 100% community owned and based in Dingwall in Ross-shire, Scotland, has released two new bond offers which will deliver a fixed annual interest rate of up to 6.25%.
The bond offers from GlenWyvis Distillery have been released to allow investors to capitalise on the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) which was extended by HMRC until 5th April 2023. These bonds will therefore be eligible for 30% tax relief (SITR), allowing holders who are UK taxpayers to offset a percentage of the purchase from their tax liability.
The bonds, Series B and Series C, will enable the GlenWyvis Distillery to raise £1.5 million which will be used to execute its long-term vision. Critical to the vision is the ability to increase spirit production and, in turn, increase the stockpile of maturing spirit to enable GlenWyvis Distillery to compete in an international market and satisfy demand for premium single malt Highland whisky bottled at 10 years old or more. GlenWyvis Distillery also aims to open a visitor centre and bottling plant.
The details of the bond offers are as follows:
This offer will attract a fixed annual interest rate of 5.5% over five to seven years.
Offered as unsecured loan notes in multiples of £1,000, interest will be paid every six months, and notes will be eligible for redemption in three tranches on the fifth, sixth and seventh anniversary of issue (2028-2030).
This offer will attract a fixed annual interest rate of 6.25% over eight to ten years.
Offered as unsecured loan notes in multiples of £1,000, interest will be paid every six months, and notes will be eligible for redemption in three tranches on the eighth, nineth and tenth anniversary of issue (2031-2033).
Speaking about the bond offers, David Graham, Chairman of GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society, said: “More than 3,000 like-minded people invested in GlenWyvis to create the first ever 100% community-owned distillery in 2016 and we are one of the largest registered community benefit societies in the United Kingdom.
“We have a clear vision and these bond offers will provide the capital required to execute the business plan to realise our ambition. Our previous bond offer in 2021 was extremely popular and I am confident that Series B and C offer a competitive investment opportunity, particularly if taken out before April 5th when the SITR comes to an end.”
The bond offers are only open to shareholders. However, interested potential investors are encouraged to consider becoming a member which can be done via an online application for a minimum shareholding of £250.
More details about the bond offer and becoming a member of GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society can be found at https://www.glenwyvis.com/investment/
In 2021, GlenWyvis Distillery launched Dingwall’s first whisky in almost a century with its inaugural three-year-old GlenWyvis Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Its second release followed in 2022. The Distillery has also won industry awards for its GoodWill Gin.
This year, GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society launched the GoodWill Fund to benefit good causes in the local community. Funded by 5% of all online sales of GlenWyvis whisky and gin, £10,000 was made available for communities and organisations in Ross-shire to apply for. A further two rounds of funding will be launched throughout 2023, making a total of £30,000 available this year, with further funding rounds being launched each year.
Wednesday 31st August – Edrington, the international premium spirits company has announced the appointment of a new Master Blender for The Famous Grouse.
Craig Johnstone is a Scot who brings nineteen years of industry experience to the role in the UK and most recently in Tasmania. He returns to Scotland to take on one of the most prestigious roles in the industry as the blender behind the UK’s No 1 Whisky.
Craig follows in the footsteps of renowned Master Blenders including Gordon Motion and Kirsteen Campbell. The 37-year-old has become one of a select few people who know the unique blend of whiskies that combine to form Scotland’s favourite whisky and holder of a Royal Warrant.
The role will be based at Edrington’s famous ‘106 Sample Room’ in Glasgow, where an estimated 11,000 samples of single malts, grains and blends are stored and where a team of blenders nose up to 600 samples a day to guarantee the aroma, flavour and character of The Famous Grouse blend.
After completing a degree in astrophysics, Craig’s first job was as a Scotch Whisky distillery tour guide. The experience led him to focus his ambitions on the industry and develop an interest in sustainability in spirits distillation.
As Master Blender, Craig will work with the Edrington team to develop new sustainability practices within the whisky making and blending processes.
Edrington recently announced a commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2045, with an ambitious plan to reduce its carbon emissions and has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project, the gold standard of environmental reporting.
Joakim Leijon, Global Brand Director for The Famous Grouse, said: “Craig is a talented master blender and his experience and passion for the brand and for exploring new ideas in sustainability will help us to build on the global success of The Famous Grouse and also rise to the challenge of our Net Zero ambitions.”
Commenting on his new role, Craig said: “It is a privilege to be Master Blender for The Famous Grouse and to be part of the team that are the current custodians of this amazing brand. This beloved Scotch Whisky has played a prominent role in my life, part of so many celebrations with family and friends – just the aroma gives me a sense of being back home. I’m looking forward to delivering the high quality and character that is expected of The Famous Grouse and continuing the legacy of this well-loved whisky.”
GlenWyvis Distillery – The world’s first community-owned distillery – has announced the launch of its second three-year-old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Batch two of the Dingwall-based distillery’s 2018 vintage distillation, known as Batch 02/18, follows the launch of its inaugural release whisky in December 2021 and will be available to purchase from 29th June 2022.
8,000 bottles will be available in total, and can be purchased directly from GlenWyvis Distillery’s website, with shareholders given early access, or from selected specialist retailers in Scotland and the UK. A number of bottles will also be available for purchase in Germany, where GlenWyvis Distillery’s largest non-UK shareholder base is.
Five per cent of online sales from GlenWyvis Distillery’s website will go directly to the GoodWill Fund; a fund that will benefit community projects and good causes in the Dingwall and Ross-shire area.
Speaking about the launch, Matthew Farmer, GlenWyvis Distillery Manager, said: “Following the success of our inaugural release – the first whisky produced in Dingwall for almost 100 years – I’m delighted to welcome batch two to the GlenWyvis Distillery family!
“Batch two was created from 23 casks between three and four years old, consisting of 15 first-fill ex-Tennessee/Bourbon, five first-fill ex-Oloroso and three refill Hogsheads. 02/18 has noticeably more oak influence and a deeper colour than our first whisky, while still letting our unique spirit shine through. I hope everyone enjoys getting to know our distillery character.”
GlenWyvis Distillery’s inaugural release whisky was in high demand, selling out via pre-order almost immediately. Since then, the small team has been working hard to deliver an equally sought-after second offering.
Board Chairman, David Graham added: “Congratulations to the team on the launch of GlenWyvis Batch Two Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky! For such a small team at the distillery, they really punch above their weight, and I am very proud of what they have achieved.
“Dingwall is well and truly back on the whisky making map!”
For further information, stockist details or to purchase GlenWyvis Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 02/18, please visit: www.glenwyvis.com
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