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.
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
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 The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, the first limited edition whisky in an innovative new series of single malts that will see the brand progress its journey towards sustainable packaging.
Inspired by The Macallan’s deep-rooted connection to nature for nearly 200 years, The Harmony Collection is an exploration into the world of sustainable packaging, which will fuse innovative techniques with materials from the natural world at the end of their life to see them reborn with a renewed purpose.
To create the first edition in this new limited annual release series, The Macallan Whisky Maker Polly Logan embarked on a unique journey to Girona, Spain, where she immersed herself in the world of chocolate, exploring the chocolate-making process and uncovering the distinctive flavour profiles.
Polly collaborated with world-renowned pastry chef, Jordi Roca, the youngest of the acclaimed Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca, with whom The Macallan has a long-standing relationship. As part of the exploration, she visited Jordi’s famed chocolate factory, Casa Cacao in Girona and she also spent time with master chocolatier, Damian Allsop. Through this unique experience, Polly drew inspiration from the duo’s passion, knowledge and creativity to create The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, searching the sherry seasoned oak casks maturing at The Macallan Estate to identify rare, indulgent chocolate notes.
Crafted from a harmonious combination of European and American oak casks, the result is an exceptionally rich single malt whisky characterised by a deep, dark chocolate profile, which pairs perfectly with the richest chocolate for a luxurious sensorial experience.
In homage to its chocolate inspiration, The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is encased in a beautiful fully recyclable and biodegradable presentation box, made using natural by-products in the chocolate-making process. The box is crafted without compromise using discarded husks from cacao pods and brings together The Macallan’s renowned craftsmanship with contemporary packaging techniques aimed at minimising waste.
Sustainability has been a constant guiding principle for The Macallan since it began crafting its single malt whisky in perfect harmony with the beautiful nature that surrounds The Macallan Estate in Scotland’s Speyside in 1824.
Polly Logan, Whisky Maker for The Macallan, said: “The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is a wonderful expression which brings together the world of whisky with the fascinating world of chocolate.
“Working in collaboration with Jordi Roca, acknowledged as one of the best and most creative pastry chefs in the world, and with exceptional chocolatier, Damian Allsop, I went on a journey of discovery, learning of the craftsmanship, passion and creativity which goes into making chocolate.
“As I immersed myself in this world, I uncovered a great synergy between the whisky-making process and that of chocolate. Both take time and exceptional attention to detail, with even the slightest changes to the process encouraging different aromas and flavours to emerge.
“For this expression, I sought out a specific chocolate note in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks and combined this with a vanilla note imparted by sherry seasoned American oak casks to sweeten the slightly bitter chocolate note I had found. This exquisite single malt offers a delightful whisky and chocolate pairing experience and the chance to elevate The Macallan experience to a new dimension.”
Jordi Roca said: “Our collaboration with The Macallan allows us to challenge our own creativity, and in this project, we have been allowed to play with cacao, which is one of my passions. Being able to inspire a whisky and to create a unique tasting experience has been wonderful.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao has an RRSP of £115 and will be available at The Macallan Estate, TheMacallan Online Boutique and premium retailers, bars and restaurants around the world from October 2021. For further information visit www.themacallan.com
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