Tis the season for giving and sharing…opinions. Get into the spirit with a limited edition Laphroaig ® festive jumper. Whether it’s a gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, this fun jumper is the ideal way to spark conversation around the dinner table this holiday season. Available from the Laphroaig ® online shop, wear it with pride and express your opinion on this divisive single malt, however wild or wonderful.
A SPECIAL SEASONAL RELEASE
Last year’s Laphroaig® festive jumpers sold out in just 24 hours and with only 1,000 limited edition jumpers available this winter, get your hands on one now before its too late! Embroidered with a seasonal Fair Isle pattern and the Laphroaig® #OpinionsWelcome™ slogan, this festive jumper is ideal for whisky enthusiasts who have an opinion and are not afraid to wear it.
LOVE IT OR HATE IT
Whether you love the medicinal flavours of Laphroaig® or hate its smoky scent, it cannot be denied that Laphroaig® divides opinion. #OpinionsWelcome™ celebrates the hugely varied descriptions of Laphroaig® and this unique festive jumper champions them, urging lovers (and haters) to profess their feelings for the whisky this winter.
The unisex Laphroaig® festive jumper is available in size S, M, L and XL. To get yours now, visit http://www.laphroaig.com/shop. £30.00, AVAILABLE NOW FROM WWW.LAPHROAIG.COM/SHOP FOR DECEMBER DELIVERY
Do you think Laphroaig ® tastes like “a seagull’s armpit”? Who are we to say no. Laphroaig ® is a divisive single malt. You either love it or hate it – you are rarely indifferent. We have never shied away from strong opinions and actively welcome them, positive or negative. For one week only, Laphroaig ® will project the opinions of its fans and foes from around the world onto the wall of its famous Warehouse No.1 distillery on the shores of Islay, Scotland. Tweet your description between 11 – 15 October 2016 using the hashtag #OpinionsWelcome for the chance to share your opinion with the world.
Remaining true to its award-winning #OpinionsWelcome™ campaign, the Big Opinions live projection will not only welcome but fearlessly and publically champion the strong opinions that make Laphroaig® such a divisive liquid across countries far and wide from around the world.
BE PART OF THE STORY
This October, Laphroaig® is calling whisky drinkers from all corners of the world to proclaim their love, announce their distaste or describe exactly what Laphroaig® makes them feel in their own off-the-wall, weird and wonderful words. The most imaginative opinions will be selected to appear in a large-scale live twitter projection that will showcase the author’s Twitter handle and opinion on the distillery’s world-famous Warehouse No. 1 wall. From “surfing a burning oak tree in a hurricane” to smelling like “the flames of a dragon extinguished by the sea”, those who have tasted our dram never fail to share their honest and inventive opinions.
Those selected to feature in the Big Opinions projection will receive a photograph and video of their opinion displayed on Warehouse No.1 to share with friends via Laphroaig’s Twitter page. The spectacle can be watched live at http://www.laphroaig.com/opinions, where every post throughout the 5-day event will be captured, showcasing just how contentious Laphroaig® can make us all.
Tweet your opinion to #OpinionsWelcome from 11 – 15 October 2016 for your chance to be featured on Laphroaig’s iconic Warehouse No.1, on Islay
#OpinionsWelcome™ is an open-armed invitation to all to express their feelings on this divisive whisky. Big Opinions gives the public the chance to voice their opinions to the world. Be candid. Be real. Let creativity run riot.
Following the huge success of 2015’s award winning #OpinionsWelcome™ campaign, Laphroaig ® has launched the global competition for another year running. The social media initiative celebrates consumers’ most expressive, poetic and downright unusual descriptions about the wildly divisive tasting profiles of Laphroaig ® 10 YO, Select and PX. To enter simply visit the #OpinionsWelcome™ website (www.Laphroaig.com/Opinions) and guests will be invited to enter their opinion. Over 200 prizes will be awarded to the best and a further five will be chosen to be part of an immersive Laphroaig® experience. The competition ends 19 August 2016, so get submitting.
Selected by Distillery Manager, John Campbell, the top five Grand Prize winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Laphroaig’s home on Islay, Scotland, and the chance to share their winning opinion with the world – as each Grand Prize winner will see their name and unconventional whisky tasting note printed onto the lids of Laphroaig’s iconic white tubes that will appear on shelf around the world.
LET’S BE HONEST
Laphroaig® is a complex beast that has never shied away from strong opinions. Its most loyal fans freely describe the heavily peated single malt whisky as “disinfectant for the soul” or “like a punch in the face…but in a good way.”
When the competition closes on 19 August 2016, John Campbell will select the most ingenious opinions and judge them on their creativity, imagination, humour and honesty.
In addition to a personal ‘Water to Whisky’ distillery tour hosted by John Campbell, Grand Prize winners will be invited to the Tasting Room to sample the range of whiskies, followed by an exclusive prize giving ceremony. The 4-day Grand Prize trip to the home of Laphroaig® takes winners on an exploration of the 201-year history of what is considered to be the most distinctive single malts in the world.
The first 40 #OpinionsWelcome™ competition runners up will be awarded a bottle of Laphroaig® with their name and winning description emblazoned onto its bespoke #OpinionsWelcome™ label, whilst the remaining winners will all receive a one-of-a-kind postcard from Islay signed by John Campbell and printed with their unique opinion that caught his eye.
With over 200 prizes on offer, #OpinionsWelcome™ applauds the uniquely individual way that each person experiences Laphroaig® no matter what corner of the world they live in or what stage of their whisky journey they might be at. So whether you think the Scotch whisky tastes like “a first kiss with a smoky touch of heaven” or “a mouthful of bog water,” it’s an opinion that only you can put into words and Laphroaig® wants to share it with the world!
Beam Suntory is pleased to announce a newly named collection of high-quality whiskies from its award-winning distilleries across Scotland and Ireland. Peated Malts of Distinction features four peated malts including new expression The Ardmore Legacy as the entry point to the range, accompanied by Ireland’s Connemara Original, Islay’s Laphroaig Select and Bowmore Small Batch.
The new portfolio capitalises on the company’s leading position in the category and will allow both the trade and consumers to explore an extensive variety of peat flavours and taste profiles. The portfolio launches at a buoyant time for the peated malts category which is experiencing 8%* growth rate in the EMEA region (CAGR 2011-2013).
Peated malts currently represent 17%* of total malt volume sales in EMEA, with Sweden (29%), Germany (25%) and The Netherlands (21%) accounting for over three quarters of peated malt sales in the region.
The Ardmore Legacy is a new expression, aimed at challenging mainstream single malt brands, offering a lightly peated liquid that is sweet and uplifting. The launch coincides with a new identity and positioning for the brand. Appealing to whisky drinkers’ experimental nature, this malt offers an enticing new flavour made from unreleased unpeated Ardmore balanced with the traditional peated malt, which is markedly different from gentle Highland peat whiskies. The bottle boasts a new label and pack design that reflects the spirit of The Ardmore with a symbolic eagle and contour map of Kennethmont, the whisky’s home. The creative design was inspired by the instinctively fearless native golden eagle, soaring the highest heights and protecting the land.
Lee Walker, EMEA Regional Brand Manager for Premium Malts, Beam Suntory, comments: “The peated malt category is a dynamic segment demonstrating strong growth. Beam Suntory has ambitious plans to utilise its expertise and product range to further innovate and expand the category. We’re in a unique position where we can offer drinkers a variety of taste experiences from gentle to rich peat, and we hope that this unique story will appeal to both novice and whisky enthusiasts the world over.”
Peated Malts of Distinction are available across the on and off-trade in global markets and will be supported by global marketing communication activities from October and continue for the run up to Christmas 2014.
The Ardmore Legacy is available in the UK at RRP £29.99.
The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester was the host of the biggest whisky festival outside of London, so big in fact that there had to be two floors filled with some cracking brands. The Whisky Lounge were the proud organisers for the 5th year in a row and had on offer the crème de la crème of the whisky world from both Scotland and Ireland, and even a few in Japan, India, England and America for good measure. Part of the Manchester Food & Drink Festival, there would be a host of seminars and masterclasses on offer including names such as Colin Dunn of Diageo and The Whisky Lounge founder Eddie Ludlow. This year I myself didn’t participate in any of the workshops on offer, but took full advantage of scanning the list for new additions, rare offerings and old favourites.
So, below, in order I sampled, I give to you my tasting notes on the days offerings –
Sultana, apple and chocolate notes on the nose, with lots of spice, treacle and dark chocolate blending well on the palate. Creates a very long finish.
Elements of Islay BR 4 – 54.7%
From Bruichladdich. Lots of sweet fruit notes on the nose, with the fruits moving straight onto the palate. Blended with a honeyed sweetness and a pepper finish.
William Grant’s Ale Cask Reserve – 40%
Smooth herbal nose with a little sweetness lingering. Edinburgh ale aromas on the palate, with the oak coming through more as it develops. Slight fudge and barley near the honey finish.
William Grant’s Sherry Cask Reserve– 40%
Light and fruity on the nose, with a mix of honey and nuts present too. A well-balanced palate with dried fruits, spice, nuts and oak dancing nicely to a long finish.
Tullamore Dew – 40%
Lots of fruit and oats on the nose, with hints of sweet caramel coming through too. Hints of spice, sherry on the palate leads to a long caramel finish.
Tweeddale Batch 3 12yr– 46%
A great blend of apples and vanilla on the nose, with a sniff of raisin near the finish. The aromas follow onto the palate, with an added hint of ginger. A little kick of spice to finish.
Tweeddale Batch 4 14yr–
A light nose of dry lavender and herbs, with a palate that enjoys soft caramel blended with waves of spiced peat. Hints of salt and smoke come through as it finishes.
‘The Bomb’ Blended Malt – Oloroso Finish– 47.4%
A nose of fresh plums and raisins dominate, whilst sweet flavours of marzipan and spicy fruits blend well for a lingering finish.
‘The Bomb’ Blended Malt – Pedro Ximinez Finish – 45.4%
Lots of sweet fruits with dark berries on the nose, with a vanilla and fruit blend on the palate that creates a long finish.
The Salty Sea Dog – 46%
Fresh on the nose with plenty of sea salt and peaty smoke that carries onto the palate. Draws out a long, tangy yet defining finish with lingering peat and crunchy salt.
Springbank 10yr – 46%
Lots of oak and earth notes on the nose, with a more cereal base on the palate. Peat, nuts and smoke create a long, crisp finish.
Hazelburn 12yr– 46%
Very aromatic on the nose with dry fruits, sherry and toffee coming through. A little spicy on the palate, with cocoa, coffee and a hint of peat nearing the finish. A long finish.
English Whisky Chapter 13 – 49%
Hints of smoke on the nose, with a following of spice and dark chocolate. A creamy texture on the palate, with notes of vanilla and toffee blending with fruits to create a long, dry finish.
English Whisky Founders Private Cellar (Cask 0859)– 60.8%
Dark berry notes on the nose with a slight kick of cinnamon lingering on the finish. Black pepper flavours on the palate, moving to a creamy texture of fudge and vanilla. The spice returns for a long, dry finish.
Longmorn 12 Year Old (Gordon & MacPhail)– 40%
Lots of fruit on the nose with some oak aromas following. Plenty of citrus and orange flavours dominate the palate, creating a long, juicy finish that lasts for a while.
Atholl Brose – 35%
Light and fresh on the nose with a mix of ginger and citrus that doesn’t dominate and overpower too much. A light ginger flavour to begin, it develops nicely with an instant warming. Sweet ginger near the end as the soft velvet texture coats your mouth.
Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25yr – 42%
Light aroma on the nose of caramelised fruits, with good doses of toffee, honey and rich vanilla on the palate as they blend well to create a lingering dram.
Hakushu 12yr –43.5%
Fresh nose of green fruit with a whisp of smoke lingering. Sweetness on the palate, with pear dominating and the soft smoke creating a dry texture.
Hibiki 12yr – 43%
Lots of pineapple and plum aromas blending nicely on the nose and following through onto the palate to create a soft and sweet flavour. A little spice on the end.
Bold notes of vanilla and spice on the nose with hints of sweet ginger following. Roasted nuts and vanilla flavours are present on the palate, creating a long, not-wanting-to-end finish.
Aberlour 16yr – 43%
Dry but rich on the nose with spice and raisins dominating. Quite sweet on the palate with a soft plum and long oak finish.
Rock Town Brandon’s Small Batch Gin – 46%
Very fresh with lots of citrus on the nose. Plenty of juniper, with subtle spice wandering around. A little dry on the palate, with coriander noticeable, and angelica following. A kick of spice to finish a long offering.
Rock Town Arkansas Young Bourbon – 46%
Aromas of fresh corn on the nose, with some dried fruits and spices present on the palate. A little hint of oak on the long, long finish.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask – 48%
Butter, toffee and raisin are present on the nose, surrounded by scented oil. A sweet start on the palate, but a huge kick of heat with iodine and fruit coming into play. A shorter finish than what you expect.
Laphroaig 18yr – 48%
Toffee nose with hints of cereal and spice leads to a warm yet rounded flavour of smoke and liquorice on the palate. A long, rich toffee finish.
Cardhu 12yr– 40%
Sweet, rich aromas of white fruit on the nose. Well-rounded on the palate, with a good dose of smooth peat and whispers of smoke on this long dram.
Some fantastic whiskies on offer yet again at the Manchester leg of the show. There’s some on the list above that I probably will never get round to trying again so to attend a show like this can really throw towards you some real gems. Highlights for me include Rock Town Arkansas Young Bourbon, Auchentoshan 18yr, Hakushu 12yr and English Whisky Founders Private Cellar (Cask 0859).
If you like whisky, then you will love attending these festivals. If you’re not a lover, you can be pointed into the direction of some of the more introductory whiskies on offer in the world. This is the best thing about this category – love it or hate it, there will always be something to convert or possibly soften your initial thought.
It’s been that time of month again at Kro 2 with their monthly whisky tasting and this time incorporating the whiskies of Maxxium.
Again for those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea in the Manchester area, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.
Our host for the evening was Mike Green, the Brand Development Manager of Maxxium, and he took us through a thorough history of Maxxium itself as well as the whiskies they have under their portfolio. These included –
– Ardmore Traditional Cask
– Highland Park 12yr
– Macallan 10yr Fine Oak
– Glenrothes Select Reserve
– Laphroaig 10yr
– Snow Grouse
– Highland Park 18yr
Now I’ve personally never tried any of these whiskies before apart from Laphroaig 10yr, and i encountered Maxxium at the London Cocktail Week a few weeks back (click here for my review on Stolichnaya). Maxxium themselves are responsible for the sales, local marketing and distribution of many of the world’s leading premium spirits and wine brands including Jim Beam, Courvoisier, Bols and Makers Mark. The company is owned by two equal shareholders: BEAM Inc and The Edrington Group.
Back to the night, below are my tasting notes on each whisky offered to us:-
Snow Grouse – 40%
Served chilled. Smooth on the nose with a fragrant aroma of vanilla coming through near the end. On the palate, a sharp, slightly harsh flavour of vanilla with an almost tequila like taste lingering around giving a warm after-taste.
Glenrothes Select Reserve – 43%
Slightly peaty on the nose with hints of citrus lemons and limes blending their way through. A smooth, slighlty velvety taste on the palate, with vanilla and barley subtly making an appearance near the end. A slight malt burn on the after-taste but an easy drinker non-the-less.
Macallan Fine Oak 10yr – 40%
On then nose, smooth vanilla produces a slight sweetness aroma that becomes enthasised on the palate, although the flavour is rather short. A blend of walnut and butter mix well but result in very little after-taste. Short offering, but a great choice!
Highland Park 12yr – 40%
Slight peatyness on the nose with subtle aromas of honey and citrus fruits to give a well-balanced flavour. On the palate, it’s clean, almost breathless with a light texture. A low spice on the after-taste with a slight sweetness if you add a dash of water.
Ardmore Traditional Cask – 46%
Lots of caramel on the nose, with a slight peat aroma making its way through near the end. Sweet palate offering with a slightly peaty burn on the tongue. Some caramal and vanilla flavours mixing well too.
Laphroaig 10yr – 40%
Smoky peat instantly hits your nose, with sea salt following soon after. Iodine aromas flowing slowly near the end. The palate enjoys a smoky smooth vanilla with oak flavours resulting in a long after-taste with a hint of spice near the end.
Highland Park 18yr – 43%
Lots of toffee sweetness on the nose with some fresh fruit aromas subtly overtaking near the end. The palate encounters a very smooth blend of cinnamon and toffee with a citrus end resulting in a very mild offering with a slight sweetness.
Mid-way through the tastings, Kro supplied us with a delicious dish named Cullen Skink. A mix of smoked Scottish Haddock, potato and onion served with fresh oven baked seeded bread rolls. Delicious!
Another thoroughly enjoyable event in which we were able to sample a good range of whatMaxxium have to offer. Personal highlights were the Highland Park 18yr and Macallan 10yr, hopefully two items I’ll be picking up to add to my collection soon! Special thanks to Mike Green who displayed a great amount of knowledge of the whiskies on offer, and hopefully I’ll get to see both himself and Maxxium in the near future with their wide range in their portfolio.
Next month’s Kro 2 whisky tasting will be hosted by Moet & Hennessy Distillery. On offer will be –