February’s Whisky News

And in a blink, there’s February gone.  In case you missed anything, here’s a round-up of all the latest whisky news

Industry Updates
The Scotch Whisky Association is pressing for a further 2% cut in excise duty in next month’s budget, outlining the industry’s value to the UK economy (BBC News), with an economic impact study showing that Scotch Whisky added £5bn to the UK economy in 2014 (City AM).

Compass Box has launched a campaign for transparency in the Scotch Whisky industry, after being told last year that it had been breaking EU regulations governing the marking and promotion of its spirits (The Whisky Business).

Highland Council approved plans for the Isle of Raasay’s first whisky distillery, with work due to start in April this year (BBC News).  The owners of Speyside Distillery near Kingussie announced plans to expand its operations both in the UK and overseas with a £2.3m funding package (The Herald).  Burn Stewart also intends to extends its current site in East Kilbride (Daily Record).

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival reported record sales, with over 2,700 tickets valued at almost £75,000 being bought within the first hour (The Whisky Business).

One of my favourite distilleries, Tomatin, has celebrated a 40% boost in visitor numbers (The Press & Journal).  And William Grant & Sons has appointed Alwynne Gwilt, editor of the Miss Whisky website, as UK specialist for its Ancient Reserves portfolio (The Spirits Business).

New Releases
New whiskies (and there’s a load of them) launched over the past month include:

  • Ailsa Bay – a new peated whisky from the distillery of the same name, which was opened by William Grant & Sons in 2007 (Harpers)
  • Angels’ Nectar Rich Peat Edition – a new heavily peated malt created from a selection of Highland malts (The Drinks Report)
  • Balblair Vintage 2005 – an entry level expression, to sit alongside the 1999, 1990 and 1983 releases (Bar Magazine)
  • Beinn Dubh Flying Scotsman – launched to mark the return of the Flying Scotsman steam train to the National Railway Museum (The Spirits Business)
  • Benromach 35 year old – one of the distillery’s rare expressions to date (The Spirits Business)
  • Chivas Regal: The Icon – an ultra-premium, no age statement whisky which is said to be the pinnacle of the Chivas range (The Whisky Buisness)
  • Glendronach 1968 Single Cask #5837 – a 47 year old single malt, matured in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Hogshead casks (The Whisky Business)
  • Glenmorangie Tayne – part of the Glenmorangie Legends collection, the travel retail exclusive bottlings pays homage to the story of the Spanish Galleon that is said to have sunk in the Firth of Tayne (The Drinks Report)
  • Johnnie Walker Blue Label – a bottling to mark the Chinese New Year (The Whisky Business)
  • Ledaig 1996 – a new limited edition vintage single malt (The Drinks Report)
  • Oban Little Bay – finally launched in the UK and you can read my review from last year here
  • Promethesus 27 year old – a second release from the Glasgow Distillery Company, which comprises a selection of “rare” single malt whisky casks (The Spirits Business)
  • The Grainman – a new single grain whisky brand from independent bottlers, Meadowside Blending (The Whisky Business)
  • Tomintoul Age Forty Year – bottled from four American oak hogshead casks, the new release is packaged in a premium decanted and presentation box (The Drinks Report)
  • Wolfburn Whisky – after nearly 150 years whisky has finally rolled of the production line in Thurso again (The Press & Journal)

And finally…
On the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Politician, two bottles of whisky recovered from the shipwreck were rediscovered on the Isle of Canna (BBC News).