Walsh Whiskey Distillery Releases Super Premium 2017 Vintage

TWFA IM Cask 2 (1)
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released its 2017 vintage of The Irishman Cask Strength at TFWA in Cannes where the company’s new Commercial Director, John Kelly is representing Walsh Whiskey for the first time with Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris. The release is very limited with 3,510 bottles available in select global markets and travel retail.

Launching The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage, John Kelly said: “We have chosen to release one of our expressions at TFWA for the first time ever. This is because Travel Retail is now one of our priority markets as Walsh Whiskey Distillery gears up for 2019 and beyond when we will have greater supplies of our whiskeys, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears, than ever before. 2018 will see us stepping up our TR activity and extending our TR footprint internationally, so TFWA and a super premium whiskey release such as The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 vintage is perfectly timed for us to start getting that message across personally to the TR sector.”

The Irishman Cask Strength 2017
A rare cask strength expression (54% ABV), limited to only 3,510 bottles, each of which is uniquely numbered and signed by Walsh Whiskey founder Bernard Walsh. The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is a vatting of Single Pot Still & Single Malt, matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Non chill-filtered, it was bottled in August 2017 and is presented in an elegant wood cask.

Describing this year’s cask strength release of The Irishman, Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s, Senior Global Sales Manager, Shane Fitzharris said: “This rare cask strength expression is matured and aged in oak bourbon casks, specially selected to showcase the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.

This rare and exclusive release introduces complex notes of woody spices combining with summer fruits. Subtle hints of toasted almonds and bourbon oak are followed by elegant tones of dried fruit and raisins delivering an intense finish bursting with depth and flavour. I hope the lucky few who acquire this release enjoy every moment.”
The Irishman Cask Strength 2017 is available in select global markets and travel retail.
The RRP is €125.

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Ballantine’s Launches Single Malt Series

Ballantine's Single Malt Range
Ballantine’s, the No. 2 Scotch whisky in the world, takes an innovative move into the Single Malts category, with the launch of three new Single Malts.

Always known for doing things differently, Ballantine’s will give consumers a unique opportunity to experience the flavour of the three signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s whisky. The Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Glentauchers Single Malts are all aged 15 years old and stay true to the Ballantine’s brand whilst retaining their own distinct personalities:

Glenburgie forms the heart of Ballantine’s whisky character, delivering concentrated fruitiness and honeyed sweetness. Perfectly balanced, with aromas of soft red apples and pears, this whisky has a full and velvety texture and a long, round finish
Miltonduff is the foundation of Ballantine’s whisky character bringing warmth and power. Floral with a subtle hint of cinnamon spice, this whisky is extremely smooth with gentle liquorice flavours and a long, warm finish
Glentauchers delivers the smooth and delicate lingering finish of Ballantine’s. With hints of delicate floral heather on the nose and soft berries and barley sugar sweets on the palate, this whisky has an incredibly long, luscious finish

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director comments: “The Single Malts category is dynamic and continues to grow rapidly as more consumers become lovers of this iconic Scottish spirit.

“As a globally known brand, we are sure that consumers will have confidence in the quality and credibility of these new Single Malts as they are widely recognised as the signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s,” adds Moore. “Ballantine’s has never been one to pick the obvious route – we do things differently and create our own path to success. All of this is core to the Ballantine’s brand and our launch of three new Single Malts is yet another example of celebrating and staying true to our roots.”

As consumers taste the individual flavour profiles of Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Glentauchers, they will discover over 190 years of heritage and tradition born in the historic Speyside region of Scotland.

Taiwan, the 4th largest whisky market by value and the most vibrant Single Malt market in the world, is the first country to officially launch the Ballantine’s Single Malts Series. From 23 September to 1 October, consumers in Taiwan will be able to learn about its ‘stay true’ heritage and innovative spirit through an interactive experience in the heart of Taipei. Through this experience they will be among the first to taste the three unique flavours of the Ballantine’s Single Malts.

The Ballantine’s Single Malt Series is bottled at 40% ABV and available to purchase at an RRP of $56 USD in Travel Retail Asia for 70cl bottle ($80 USD litre equivalent). The release of the series is a testament to the spirit of George Ballantine and the remarkable people, places and events that have been part of the brand since 1827.

Denmark’s Jeppe Nothlev Claims The 2017 Tahona Society Cocktail Competition Title

Sweet Effort, winning cocktail at The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017
Altos Tequila has crowned Jeppe Nothlev, from bar Helium in Copenhagen, Denmark, as the winner of The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. Nothlev impressed the judging line-up with his Sweet Effort cocktail, crafted from Altos Plata Tequila, which represents a balance between the history, culture and ingredients of Denmark and Mexico.

Sweet Effort crafted by Jeppe Nothlev of Helium bar in Copenhagen, Denmark:

Ingredients:

50ml Altos Plata
10ml Pedro Ximénez Sherry
30ml rhubarb syrup
30ml lime juice
Dash of egg white
Grapefruit lemonade

Method:

Mix the Altos Plata, Pedro Ximénez Sherry, rhubarb syrup, lime juice and egg white, shake and pour into a highball glass and top with grapefruit lemonad
Bringing to life the sustainable values at the heart of Altos Tequila, Nothlev reduced wastage by drying and crushing the spent rhubarb and mixing it with salt to craft a garnish and then sprayed an infusion of Altos Plata and used lime husks on top to pack an additional Tequila punch.

Nothlev commented: “It has been a hard-fought competition over the last week, so it’s a great honour to have been crowned the winner of The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. Coming to Mexico and learning about its street food culture, Altos’ sustainable values and, of course, Tequila has been a life-changing experience and it has made me a stronger bartender, which I hope the judges saw in my final creation, Sweet Effort. This experience has given me so much inspiration for the coming year and I can’t wait to begin spreading the word about Tequila, Altos and The Tahona Society.”

After winning his local The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition heat in Denmark in August, Nothlev travelled to Mexico to compete with 24 other finalists from countries including the USA, Colombia and Belarus and claimed victory after a week of challenges that tested participants’ cocktail creativity, ability to blind-taste Altos Tequila and presentation skills. As a prize, Jeppe Nothlev has become The Tahona Society Global Ambassador and will be given the opportunity to host educational The Tahona Society programmes for fellow bartenders around the world in the coming year.

Second place was awarded to Egor Kozlovsky , from Minsk (Belarus), while Ana Milena Alzate and Aj Snetler, from Bogotá (Colombia) and Cape Town (Africa) respectively, were awarded joint third place. For the first time ever, the top four will return to Mexico next year to craft a limited edition Altos Tequila bottling with Maestro Tequilero, Jesus Hernandez.

Now in its seventh year, The Tahona Society is the world’s leading Tequila education programme. The 2017 competition challenged bartenders to craft a new and innovative cocktail that championed Altos Tequila’s sustainable values while appealing to fans of the growing Mexican culinary and street food revolution. To assist their preparation for the finale and career beyond the competition, contenders were schooled in various areas key to running a modern, successful bar business, such as sustainability and global drinks trends, hosted by leading figures in mixology including Kelsey Ramage, ex Dandelyan bartender, spokesperson for her own Trash Tiki project and winner of The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2016.

The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition judging panel boasted some of the world’s leading Tequila and cocktail influencers, including Dré Masso, who co-created Altos Tequila in 2009; leading London bartender, Simone Caporale; Mexican ingredients aficionado, Jorge Fitz; renowned Tequila author, Alberto Navarro; and Kelsey Ramage.

Head judge, Dré Masso, remarked on the overwhelming talent of the entrants in The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017 final: “It has been a privilege to bring together such an outstanding and passionate group of bartenders and watch them compete for this year’s The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition title. In the end, only one bartender could win and we chose Jeppe as he demonstrated imagination and a clear link to Altos Tequila’s values of brotherhood and sustainability – congratulations Jeppe!”

Reading’s Milk Bar Named Winners Of The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

Milk Mai Tai
Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the winning venue for the 2017 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

Milk Bar from Reading were announced on Tuesday 26th September winners at The Magic Roundabout, one of London iconic pop-up sites. The final saw five venues from across the UK recreate their Chairman’s Mai Tai’s to the public and VIP judges, hoping to win a trip for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Joining Milk at the final were last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail, Milk were deemed worthy winners for 2017 and earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia.

Winning Recipe*:

Pearl of the Caribbean

35ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
20ml Chairman’s Reserve Gold
15ml fresh lime juice
35ml milk shrub no.2
3 dash angostura bitters
Shake and strain over crushed ice in up-cycled food tin. Garnish with a thyme sprig, dehydrated lime and desiccated coconut.

*Shrub Recipe

200ml caster sugar
175ml cold water
Whole fig, in 8ths
2 big lime peels
50ml crushed almonds
25ml chairman spiced
15ml orange flower water
50ml red wine vinegar

Method –

Bring sugar and water to boil, dissolve sugar fully. Add figs and lime peel and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and add crushed almonds. Bring back to boil and simmer for 2 min. Add Chairman’s and orange flower water. Simmer for 1 min. Add red wine vinegar. Simmer for 1 min, let cool slightly and filter through coffee filter.

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Launches Screamfest

kraken screamfest
The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum has announced the launch of its biggest integrated campaign of all time, Screamfest – a horror movie-inspired campaign which premieres with an immersive Kraken fright night on 13th October while simultaneously rolling out with limited edition POS in over 2,000 venues nationwide.

Screamfest is the biggest single campaign investment across experiential, branding, trade activation, social and PR the brand has ever launched, following off the back of an incredibly successful year where Kraken outstripped category growth for the fourth consecutive year.

Attendees at the Kraken Screamfest launch event will watch the scariest film of all time screened to the scariest audience of all time: an auditorium filled with clowns. Two screenings will take place simultaneously at London’s Dalston Rio Cinema and Leeds’ Everyman theatre.

The immersive events will feature a top horror film professional makeup artist who will transform the audience into Kraken-themed clowns, special Kraken ‘Inked’ pick-n-mix and a host of specially named Screamfest cocktails including The Bride of Krakenstein, The Oceans Have Eyes and the classic, The Perfect Storm, containing The Kraken Rum, ginger beer and freshly squeezed lime wedges.

Bar owners can create their own Halloween themed cocktail menus via The League of Darkness, a website which serves as a platform for members to engage with the Kraken community. Vendors can also receive a free POS kit by purchasing three bottles of Kraken Rum from nominated wholesalers throughout the whole of October.
The POS materials have been designed to help give bars a terrifying Halloween makeover and drive sales of Kraken products. They include a whole host of branding materials including Screamfest guides, promotional posters, table talkers and bar runners, black lollipops, terrifying face cards, t-shirts, make-up kits for staff and
more.

Existing stockists can also benefit from wholesale kits containing A3 Screamfest promotional posters, A5 table talkers, Screamfest face cards, Kraken mason jars, bar runners, chalkboards to list drinks offers and branded t-shirts for staff to get involved in the action.
Specially selected ‘Hero’ venues in Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, Manchester and London will be taken over by horror-themed sampling teams, competitions and giveaways, plus a scream activated photo booth with which consumers can engage. Each of the ‘Hero’ venues will be visited by iconic Kraken Hunters who will not only engage with customers but will also bring Screamfest to life by adding value and visibility to the campaign. The Kraken Hunters will also actively encourage entry into a competition to win a year’s unlimited movie pass and other Screamfest prizes via the hashtag #ISCREAMFORKRAKEN.

Kraken has partnered with London’s Time Out magazine and Dork magazine in Leeds to promote Screamfest in both cities where the screenings will take place. Kraken is also putting elements of the campaign in the hands of its fan base by crowdsourcing the opinions of its dedicated social followers in order to determine what they think is the scariest film of all time, and this film will then be played at the terrifying screenings.
Tickets will be available from The Kraken Black Spiced Rum Facebook page from the 25th September, with presale available on the 22nd September via The League of Darkness.

Find out more at https://www.theleagueofdarkness.co.uk

Cayman Islands Department Of Tourism Co-Hosts First Ever Competition

Cayman Islands Department of Tourism co-hosts first ever competition to find London Cocktail Week’s best cocktail.
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism joined forces with DrinkUp.London (the team behind the award-winning London Cocktail Week) to crown London Cocktail Week 2017’s best cocktail in the first competition of its kind held by the organisers.

Six finalists (chosen from 153 entrants) battled it out by showcasing their signature serves to four judges in the Apartment at the trendy Hoxton Hotel, Shoreditch. They were assessed on the speed of their service, their innovation, the presentation of their cocktail and of course the taste of their signature serve.

Steve Georgiou from the Langham Hotel’s bar, The Wigmore was named the winner with his Blended Union cocktail. The cocktail was the Wigmore’s own Saison beer blended with Amaro di Angostura, fresh union coffee, mango and honey and the judging panel (who included Channel 4 Sunday Brunch drinks expert Sarah Kingsbury) loved the use of unusual ingredients and how refreshing the drink was.

Steve has won a place representing not only The Wigmore but London and the UK at the international Taste of Cayman mixology competition, due to be held at Grand Cayman’s newest hotel the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands at the end of January 2018. He will also have a few days to relax and unwind after the competition, enjoying time on Seven Mile Beach and exploring all the activities that Grand Cayman has to offer.

Siobhan Payne, director of London Cocktail Week said: “Although this is the eighth annual London Cocktail Week, this is the first ever time that we’ve crowned the best cocktail of the festival. The calibre of drinks submitted for the Cocktail Tours – that’s £6 cocktails served in London’s best bars throughout the duration of the festival – increases every year, and this year is no different, as demonstrated by the incredible standard we saw last night.

I am incredibly happy for Steve who really went above and beyond, but all the drinks were fantastic. I’m thrilled that thousands of consumers will have the opportunity to experience them during the festival.”

Don McDougall, regional manager for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Europe said: “Being the culinary capital of the Caribbean, it’s no surprise that the Cayman Islands has over 200 restaurants and bars across the three islands, with the majority being in Grand Cayman.

Working with DrinkUp.London on this mixology competition is a great way to showcase the destination and its importance on the global food and drink scene and we are thrilled to have been a part of finding London Cocktail Week’s best cocktail. It’s also a great precursor to Cayman cocktail week, which takes place during the last week of October. We wish Steve the very best of luck in the Taste of Cayman competition in January.”
British Airways flies to Grand Cayman four times per week from Heathrow with a short touchdown in Nassau, Bahamas. For more information see http://www.caymanluxe.co.uk
London Cocktail week takes place between 2-8 October, 2017.

For more information see https://drinkup.london/

WINNER: Bar: The Wigmore
Cocktail: Blended Union – the Wigmore’s own Saison beer blended with Amaro di Angostura, fresh union coffee, mango and honey.

Amber Beverage Group Strengthens Tequila Offering

Rooster Rojo
Amber Beverage Group, is continuing to develop its presence in the tequila category with the launch of Rooster Rojo® – an 100% agave premium tequila, which has been bottled and shipped to core tequila markets.

Following the acquisition of Fabrica De Tequilas Finos in 2016, Rooster Rojo® is an innovative new brand for Amber Beverage Group and is set to stand-out amongst competitors.

Produced and distilled in the heart of Tequila, each bottle of Rooster Rojo® is created using 100% pure agave and filtered through Mexican silver, making a softer and smoother finish. The combination of a premium spirit along with traditional distillation methods will ensure that it is the number one choice for tequila lovers all over the world.

Distribution of the brand will commence in October within leading tequila markets including the USA, Mexico, Canada and the Baltics. November will see the brands entry into Russia, Germany, Spain and the UK, where leading family distributor, Cellar Trends, will handle the product.

Rooster Rojo’s Global Brand Manager, Mantas Zlatkus, explains “Our aim with Rooster Rojo® was to create a premium tequila that stands out against key competitors. With the use of the Mexican ‘Rooster’ symbol, this is an ambitious new entrant within the category that not only represents the national identity of Mexico, but one that is full of fighting spirit! We are looking forward to working with our partners throughout the world to create an internationally recognised tequila.”

Group Marketing Manager at Cellar Trends, Katie Warren, says: “We are looking forward to working with the Amber Beverage Group to introduce Rooster Rojo® to the UK and are excited to launch a new product to the market. The brand not only offers a quality spirit, but its innovative and energetic packaging will ensure that it stands out within such a fantastic category.”

The Glenlivet Launches Campaign To Celebrate Life’s Definitive Moments

The Glenlivet 18 years old

The Glenlivet is launching its most ambitious campaign to date to celebrate its role as the definitive Speyside Single Malt in the Scotch Whisky category. Aptly named The Whisky, The Glenlivet, the global integrated campaign will give the brand a modern and contemporary feel. The Whisky, The Glenlivet is an evolution from the brand’s heritage as “The original single malt brand that set the standard” and is set to reinforce its role as a visionary within the single malts category.

Launching on 22nd September globally, the campaign will run across TV, digital, print and out of home advertising, The Whisky, The Glenlivet campaign celebrates the unwavering pursuit of its founder, George Smith, to create the definitive Speyside Single Malt.

Never settling for anything less than excellence, George Smith carefully selected the local spring water from the valley to make, what he believed was, The Whisky. Seeing his continued success, many of Smith’s neighbouring distilleries started to add Glenlivet to their name in an effort to appeal to the whisky drinker. Determined to act as the guardian for the outstanding quality and craftsmanship for which his whisky had become known, George Smith took legal action to preserve his distillery’s reputation, laying in place the foundations for the whisky we know today as The Glenlivet. This triumph has established The Glenlivet as a benchmark of excellence from the Livet Valley and is the driving force behind the new campaign – while other whiskies could have used Glenlivet in their name, none could claim to be The Glenlivet.

The campaign will launch with two films – ‘The Night Sky’ and ‘The Fire’ – both demonstrating the beauty of the unspoilt world and encouraging consumers to seek out definitive moments with the definitive whisky. The artistic representations help to show consumers that by looking beyond the ordinary they can unlock something special, which is what George Smith did by accomplishing his quest to create the definitive Speyside Single Malt.

Miriam Eceolaza, Global Marketing Director, comments: “Our new campaign is designed to celebrate the most natural and humbling experiences which allow us to lead richer and more fulfilling lives. The Whisky, The Glenlivet showcases the beauty in the unspoilt world and encourages consumers to search for those definitive moments with the definitive whisky.”

Sean Condon, Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam comments: “This work is like nothing ever seen before in the category, exploring pleasure and singular experiences in a startlingly original way. It’s bold and beautiful and a little bit brash. It’s work that, like the product itself, should be savoured.”

Glenfiddich Adds To Its Experimental Series With Winter Storm

Glenfiddich_Winter_Storm_Icewine_packagingGlenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch, today launches Glenfiddich Winter Storm, a limited edition whisky finished in Ice wine casks. The result is a short, crisp premium liquid imbued with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity.

Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, is always pursuing ingenious innovations in Scotch whisky. This latest expression comes as a result of a trip to Canada in January 2016, during which he visited Peller Estate – a renowned winery in Niagara. Enduring freezing weather, Brian toured the beautiful vineyards, where he learned how the grapes had to be picked by moonlight at -10˚C when they were as hard as pebbles.

Inspired by his experience, Brian returned to The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, where he started experimenting with several French oak Ice wine casks from the Canadian winery – filling them with various Glenfiddich aged malts for up to six months. Brian commented, “Only the rarer whiskies, those aged for 21 years, could cope with the extra Ice wine intensity. Having more tannins, extracted from years in oak, these malts brought out a uniquely fresh lychee note instead of being swamped by sweetness.” What resulted, was a perfect Glenfiddich 21 year old. The combination of pioneering liquids, the heightened candied sweets and oakiness of Glenfiddich are complemented by mouth-watering tropical fruit notes and underlying wine notes.

Peller Estates VP of Winemaking, Craig McDonald added: “It was a privilege to work with Brian on this experiment. We go to extreme lengths to produce our intensely sweet Ice wine and are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of taste, so I was intrigued to see how it could be used to create a new unexpected whisky. The resulting liquid is a unique combination of the warming soul of whisky and the frozen cold of Ice wine”.

Gwilym Cooke, Senior Brand Manager Glenfiddich UK commented: “Following the successful launch of Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series last year, we’re delighted to introduce the eagerly anticipated Winter Storm, an expression that challenges traditional Scotch whisky boundaries with a radically different taste and look.”

Glenfiddich Winter Storm is the newest expression in the Glenfiddich Experimential Series line up, joining Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Glenfiddich Project XX which both launched in 2016. Designed to inspire unusual and unexpected variants, Glenfiddich Experimental Series combines the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and collaborating with trailblazers beyond the world of whisky. Created from partnerships and collaborations with like-minded experimenters from a wide range of different industries, Glenfiddich Experimental Series unlocks new whisky possibilities in the true spirit of experimentation.

Glenfiddich Winter Storm is available from early October, priced at a RRP of £199, at specialist whisky outlets and prestige retailers including: Harrods, Hedonism, Berry Bros & Rudd, and select on-trade outlets. With a striking white ceramic bottle and beautifully embossed presentation box, Winter Storm is a limited edition expression, and so when it’s gone it’s gone, just like the winter snow.

Read more at http://www.glenfiddich.com/uk/

Bring The Bar Home With Revolution’s All-New Online Store

Revolution Handrafted Flavours - Online store group (low res)

Vodka lovers rejoice! Revolution is bringing the party straight to your doorstep today with the Vodka lovers rejoice! Revolution is bringing the party straight to your doorstep today with the launch of the Revolution Online Store, selling the renowned Handcrafted Flavours range alongside Revolution cards, cocktail masterclasses vouchers and gift cards.

The store will initially offer three exclusive Handcrafted Flavours to start with — pear drop, The store will initially offer three exclusive Handcrafted Flavours to start with — pear drop, bubblegum and cherry — which will be the ideal gift for vodka aficionados, a uniquea ccompaniment to an adventurous dinner, or a great way to recreate memories after one of the bar’s famous cocktail masterclasses. Priced at £20 per bottle (70cl) plus shipping, orders can be made through Revolution’s website at https://store.revolution-bars.co.uk. Alternatively, bottles can be ordered via Deliveroo for £25 all in.

Using only the best ingredients, Revolution is well-known for its line of 30 delicious Handcrafted Using only the best ingredients, Revolution is well-known for its line of 30 delicious Handcrafted Flavours (20% ABV), each created using high quality seven-times distilled grain vodka in their very own Flavour Factory. The bar group has sold nearly three million bottles since launching the range and plan to add more varieties to the online store as the demand grows.