Starward

Starward_WineCask_Websize
David Vitale has brought Australian whisky to the UK, using his Melbourne roots and their famed ‘four seasons in a day’ temperature swings. Introducing to you all, Starward.

2007 saw David create the idea of a ‘approachable, affordable Australian whisky – served neat or as a cocktail with food’. Using locally grown brewer’s barley, yeast and water are added to brew and ferment, before distilling using a traditional double distillation process within copper pot stills.

Once drawn off, the spirit enters Australian red wine barrels, the wood still saturated with wine, for the full duration of the maturation period. During this period, Melbourne’s “four seasons in a day” climate means the wood of the barrels expands and contracts more frequently than those say in Scotland or America, resulting in bolder flavours in a shorter space of time. And, unlike Scottish whisky, whilst their whisky matures the alcohol content goes up, not down, something they name the Elemental Maturation.

Two expressions are currently available, seen below, with my tasting notes to accompany –

Starward Solera – 43%

Aged in barrels of around 40-50 years old, formerly containing Apera, which is an Australian take on Spanish sherry.
Rich, ripe stoned fruits of apricot, cherry and hints of strawberry upon the nose. A tart, sharp experience of orange zest, citrus and honeycomb, followed by a long, bold finish of raisin, dried apricot and grape soaked oak.

Starward Wine Cask – 41%

Aged in steamed Australian red wine barrels. Subtle aromas of malt, red grape and dark cocoa upon the nose, followed onto the palate with riper plum, cherry and cinnamon stick flavours. A lingering profile of raspberry and citrus for the finish.

Two fantastic Australian whiskies, and great to see they are versatile to enjoy too –

Starward - Whisky Grapefruit Collins
Whisky Grapefruit Collins

Glass –

Collins

Ingredients –

45 ml Starward Solera
15 ml Aperol
15 ml Lime Juice
20 ml Grapefruit
10 g Sugar

Method –

Shake all ingredients, strain into a tall Collins glass, top up with soda and garnish with mint and lemon.

Two great expressions to enjoy from the land of Oz, with the country really striving for recognition within the whisky world; Stalwart becoming one of the leaders from Down Under. Worth of a place in your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

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The Glenfiddich Burns Night Experiment

Burns Night (1)

On January 25th, Glenfiddich hosted ‘The Glenfiddich Burns Night Experiment’ at ProVision Studios in Hoxton. In partnership with innovators from beyond the whisky world, Glenfiddich pushed the boundaries of Burns’ Night traditions to celebrate the life of Scotland’s most famous poet.

Experimenting has always been at the heart of Glenfiddich. It is by keeping an open mind that they continue to challenge the rules of single malt – a philosophy which led to collaborating with like-minded individuals to develop the Glenfiddich Experimental Series. This Burns night, Glenfiddich brought the spirit of experimentation to life through collaborations with Adam Handling, Chef Owner of Frog by Adam Handling, and Matt Whiley, founder of cocktail bar, Scout. Adam’s ethos of marrying flavours with mind-boggling culinary techniques created dishes that challenged the assumptions of a typical Burns supper, and Matt’s cocktail menu combined Glenfiddich with his love of foraged ingredients, house ferments and British produce.

The evening was hosted by Stephen Rutherford, Glenfiddich National Brand Ambassador, who brought Robert Burns’ work to life alongside spoken word artists, Loud Poets. The collective of contemporary poets paid homage to Burns whilst showcasing their own artform, which challenges the frontiers of traditional poetry.

Adam Handling commented: “It’s a real pleasure to partner with Glenfiddich to bring a flavour of Burns Night to London this January. I’m loving the opportunity to give my modern British twist to traditional Scottish dishes, using some of my favourite fresh, seasonal ingredients.”

Matt Whiley commented: “Collaborating with others who have such a deep knowledge of their ingredients and craft is always an incentive to take on new projects, and that is why working on The Glenfiddich Burns Night Experiment was a no brainer. I have loved experimenting with the Experimental Series whiskies and I can’t wait to see them being enjoyed on the evening in an unexpected way.”

Stephen Rutherford, Glenfiddich National Brand Ambassador, said: “As the world’s most awarded single malt, Glenfiddich is continuously looking to push the boundaries of whisky making and The Experimental Series is the most recent example of this. Therefore, what better place to bring the brand’s experimental DNA to life than on an evening dedicated to another of Scotland’s greatest traditions – Burns Night. Robert Burns dared to experiment and broke the mould of 18th century prose. An innovator ahead of his time, his work is still celebrated centuries later across the world, just like the single malts of William Grant.”

Gwilym Cooke, Glenfiddich UK Senior Brand Manager added: “Collaboration is intrinsic to Glenfiddich and we’re delighted that we’re able to bring Adam and Matt’s talent together to create a Burns Night like no other.”

The Islay Boys to Launch UK Distribution with Emporia Brands

antighseinnseRVB

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning The Islay Boys of Scotland, are proud to announce that they are joining forces to launch the brand into the UK, starting with the upcoming Spirits Show in London on 1st and 2nd December.

Donald MacKenzie and Mackay Smith, hailing from the Rhinns peninsula of Scotland’s most famous whisky isle, are the gentleman behind The Islay Boys brand and their three distinctive expressions; Flatnöse Blended Scotch Whisky, Flatnöse Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Bårelegs Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Donald and Mackay, like Ketill Flatnose, Magnus Barelegs and their Viking and Celtic forefathers, are born adventurers and have travelled the four corners of the globe – from New York and Paris to the spice fields of Zanzibar. With this, they have taken their experiences and blended them with the tradition of home, creating whiskies that they enjoy drinking together with friends and family.

flatnose_barelegsB
Launching the new partnership at the Spirit Show in London, both trade and consumers can experience the 2017 IWSC awarded expressions of whisky over both available days. Donald and Mackay said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the dedicated and professional team at Emporia to help grow our brands in our home market – we love the fact that the Chairman of Emporia Brands, James Rackham, was married on Islay, making us all Islay Boys together!’.

James Rackham goes on to state “It’s a rare privilege to be invited to be given the opportunity to sell one of your personal favourite spirits, and Emporia Brands are very happy to be sharing our love for this Islay range with our friends in the UK bars and merchants.”

For more information on the Spirit Show and available tickets, visit http://thespiritshow.co.uk/exhibiting/exhibitors-list/the-islay-boys-limited/

Swedish Whisky Fans In For A Treat With Exclusive Release From The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

10.127-hi-resWhisky fans in Sweden are in for a treat this month as The Scotch Malt Whisky Society [www.smws.com] (SMWS) releases an exclusive single cask malt available only to Swedish spirits enthusiasts.

The 10-year-old ‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’, from the Society’s Peated flavour profile, goes on sale on Thursday 12 October on the Society’s online shop (https://www.smws.com/burning-scarecrows-by-the-sea) and will only be available in Sweden.

As with all Society bottlings of single cask whiskies and other spirits, it is a limited edition, with only 234 bottles available. The Society’s expert Tasting Panel describe the whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead ex-Bourbon cask, as having notes of “pebble beach, seaweed, sun-dried driftwood, bonfire, smoked mackerel and cigar boxes” on the nose, with “blow-torched pineapple and toasted marshmallows” on the palate.

The news comes on the back of exciting times for the SMWS and whisky fans in Sweden.

In August, the SMWS launched its first official partner bar at The Ardbeg Embassy in Stockholm. This relationship sees the world-renowned bar offering an array of Society whiskies and holding monthly Society tasting events. [https://www.smws.com/events/locations/sweden?event_town=462]

The tastings take place on the last Wednesday of each month and are hosted by local SMWS ambassador Patrik Axelsson. The next three events are:

· Wed 25th October: Preview tasting of November’s SMWS releases
· Wed 29 November: SMWS Single Cask Spirits tasting featuring rum, bourbon and armagnac.
· Old & rare whisky tasting – sampling old and hard-to-find SMWS whiskies.

The SMWS, which releases around 20 new whiskies and other spirits each month in Sweden, is also staging a tasting at the SPIS restaurant in Kiruna on Saturday 18 November [https://www.smws.com/events/locations/sweden/smws-sweden-lapland-kiruna-tasting] with local SM9WS ambassador Tommy Calner.

In the coming months, the SMWS will announce plans to stage more tasting events in other locations across Sweden, such as Gothenburg.

SMWS is registered for distance selling in Sweden, so members can order from over 90 bottlings online which are delivered with DHL direct to their door, inclusive of all local taxes – as opposed to ordering and collecting from Systembolaget.

Local SMWS ambassador Patrik Axelsson said: “The release of ‘Burning scarecrows by the sea’ exclusively in Sweden is a great opportunity for our existing members and other like-minded spirits enthusiasts to enjoy a classic example of the single cask whisky that makes the Society unique.

“Through our tasting events at our partner bar the Ardbeg Embassy and the new selection of whiskies and other spirits we release each month, this is a really exciting time to be a member of the Society in Sweden.”

More information:
https://www.smws.com/burning-scarecrows-by-the-sea
https://www.smws.com/events/locations/sweden
http://www.smws.com
http://www.facebook.com/SMWSSweden

The Glenlivet Launches Campaign To Celebrate Life’s Definitive Moments

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.”

One Of The World’s Rarest Whiskies Sells At Auction

1981 port ellen
One of the world’s most sought-after and rarest Single Malt Scotch Whiskies has been sold at auction for an impressive £9,375 – nearly double the price estimate.

The 1981 Port Ellen went under the hammer at Bonhams’ Whisky Sale in Edinburgh, Scotland today (4 October 2017) and was purchased by an unnamed buyer.

As the first bottle drawn from a privately-owned cask, the 36-year-old single malt offers its new owner a taste of true rarity.

James Mackay, Head of Rare & Collectable Spirits at Diageo, commented: “Port Ellen stocks are rapidly diminishing, putting the liquid in a different category from most other aged Single Malts on the market. Moreover, this now legendary single malt is not merely rare, old and in great demand; it is of outstanding quality.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a rapid growth of interest in rare and collectable whiskies, and our Casks of Distinction programme gives private clients the chance to purchase unique, rare whiskies from Diageo’s extensive collection.

“As a whisky that seemingly just gets better and better with age, Port Ellen is a stunning example of Diageo’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky reserves. The 1981 bottling price estimate was £4,500-£5,000, the fact that it sold for more than £9,300 speaks volumes about the allure of the liquid and quality of Diageo’s Single Malt Scotch Whisky.”

The 36-year-old Port Ellen expression is a rare survivor from a golden age. Port Ellen was established as a malt mill on Islay’s south coast in 1825 and soon after developed into a major distillery. When the distillery closed in 1983 it had been in production for just 16 years after 35 years of closure, so there was as yet no knowledge of how well Port Ellen would age – it turned out to be some of the finest character found on the island of Islay.

It is now one of Islay’s most distinctive single malts and has attained great status among drinkers, collectors and investors alike. With a deep smoky taste, derived from the peat used to dry its barley, its finish is described as “medium to long, charred and smoky-sweet, the char slowly fading into sweet-spicy oak, with a last note of white pepper to re-heat the palate”.

Since December 2012, prices of Port Ellen have increased by +128% – soaring from as little as £100 two decades ago to today’s £2,500 per bottle, with scarcity being the main driver of the consistently escalating prices*.

The 1981 Port Ellen bottle was auctioned independently by a private owner. The single cask, which the bottle was drawn from, was purchased by the owner as part of Diageo’s ‘Casks of Distinction’. As part of this programme, Diageo gives selected private clients the chance to purchase single casks that have extraordinary quality and character. As each cask is entirely unique, patrons become the sole owners of some of the rarest whiskies ever to be released from Diageo’s extensive collection.

*Source: Rare Whisky 101 ‘Port Ellen Index’ http://www.rarewhisky101.com/indices/distillery-specific-indices/port-ellen-ob-index

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.

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/

New Peated Single Malt Showcases The Balvenie In Entirely Different Way

The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years
The Balvenie, the most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, reimagines a classic Speyside style whisky with the release of an exceptional peated expression – The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years (2002 Vintage), available initially in a select number of markets.

The Balvenie Peat Week is the product of trials undertaken by The Balvenie’s Malt Master David Stewart MBE and Ian Millar, former distillery manager and current Prestige Whiskies Specialist at William Grant & Sons.

At a time when very few Speyside distilleries were using peat in production, The Balvenie distilled a batch of heavily peated malt, which was laid down to mature at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland under the watchful eye of the industry’s longest-serving Malt Master. Since this pioneering moment, the distillery has dedicated one week each year, named Peat Week, to using only peated barley in its production, in order to craft a different style of The Balvenie liquid with enhanced smoky notes.

The result of the initial experiment is a classic honeyed whisky enriched with a delicate, sweet and lingering peat smoke that unlocks flavours unexpected from a Speyside distillery and showcases The Balvenie’s truly innovative and forward-thinking nature.

The Balvenie Peat Week (2002 Vintage), released in September 2017, is a single vintage bottling, limited and rare by nature. This non-chill filtered expression, bottled at 48.3% ABV, will launch exclusively to the USA, UK, Denmark and Sweden in September. The liquid was matured solely in American Oak casks, giving the final spirit a velvety and round taste with the peat smoke balancing oaky vanilla and honey.

Commenting on the release, David Stewart MBE says: “Being able to experiment with different elements of whisky making and stock management is one of the most exciting and important parts of my job. The new Peated Week bottling is a result of our continued efforts to innovate and trial flavours not typically associated with The Balvenie. The expression is testament to the freedom we enjoy as a family company, and shows The Balvenie in an unexpected way, yet still remaining true to the distillery style our drinkers enjoy.”

The new release pays special homage to a time when peated whiskies were commonly produced by distilleries across Speyside, including The Balvenie, who utilised locally sourced peat throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s to dry barley processed at the distillery’s traditional malt floor, which is still in use today.

Ian Millar, says: “When we first started the experiments it was an incredibly exciting time as very few Speyside distilleries were using peated malt in production. Along with cask type, there’s nothing quite like peat to change the flavour profile of a whisky, so it was great to have the chance to undertake these experiments and lay the foundations for future peated malts.”

Alwynne Gwilt, The Balvenie UK Brand Ambassador added: “For anyone who thinks that Scotch is a staid category, this new release from The Balvenie will make them reconsider. Behind the scenes at whisky distilleries like ours, experiments are always going on and almost 15 years ago, we started exploring what it would be like to peat the malt that goes into our gorgeous honeyed liquid for one week each year. The result is something wonderful and will give The Balvenie lovers a chance to see this delicious whisky in a different light.”

The release follows the June release of The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask Aged 14 Years, exclusive to travel retail. Both bottlings will be permanent additions to The Balvenie’s existing range.

The Balvenie Peat Week will retail for £60 RRP and is available from September.

William Grant & Sons Appoints Stephen Rutherford As Glenfiddich UK Brand Ambassador

Glenfiddich UK brand ambassador_Stephen Rutherford
Independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons UK has today confirmed that Stephen Rutherford will take on the role of UK brand ambassador for Glenfiddich, with immediate effect.

Stephen’s new role will see him focus on generating brand awareness, building brand advocacy and bridging communication between the brand and consumers, bars & restaurants, retailers, distributors and press.

Stephen will take over from Mark Thomson who is moving north to focus on Glenfiddich’s home territory as the new Scottish brand ambassador.

Mark said: “I couldn’t be happier about Stephen taking on the national role as I move north to concentrate on Scotland. His joining of an already strong global team of ambassadors puts us in an enviable position within the industry but also offers a modern point of view for the whisky consumer. Plus, he has a great sense of humour- so I know he’ll fit in just fine!”

Stephen said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to be appointed as UK brand ambassador for Glenfiddich. It is a truly exciting time to be getting involved, with some fantastic projects coming up, and the opportunity to work with the amazingly talented team. I can’t wait to get out and about and start spreading the Glenfiddich love.”