January’s Whisky News

The first month of the year was BUSY, so here’s a round-up of all the latest whisky news.


Industry News
The most exciting news of the month was the announcement by Hunter Laing & Company would be building Islay’s first new distillery in more than a decade. The £8m Ardnahoe distillery will be built on the north-east coast of Islay, with the hope that the first spirit will be produced by the end of 2017 (The Herald).


Inver House Distillers completed a £10m programme of investment, which will help the distillery take on new international markets, including India, Kazakhstan and Poland (BBC News).


The Scotch Whisky Association saw its new headquarters officially opened this month, with chief executive David Frost saying that 2016 might be another bumpy year for the global economy, but that the long-term prospects of the whisky industry remain strong (The Herald).


The SWA also welcomed moves by the European Union to end “discriminatory taxes and monopolies practices” in the Colombian sprits market (The Scotsman). Additionally, the organisation highlighted how last year’s two per cent cut in excise duty contributed to a £96m increase in revenue from sprits drinks for the treasury. Industry bosses are calling for the chancellor to deliver another 2% cut in excise in this March’s budget (BQ Live).


Diageo announced its half year results, with sales of Scotch down 42 per cent in China. However, the company still managed to post a one percent increase in total sales of Scotch in the six months to 31 December. Chief executive Ivan Menezes also voiced his preferences for Britain staying in the European Union (The Herald).


The legendry David Stewart – long serving malt master at The Balvenie – was awarded a MBE for services to the Scotch Whisky industry in the New Year’s Honours list (The Moodie Report)


New Releases
New whiskies launched over the past month include:

  • Glenmorangie Milsean – Gaelic for “sweet things”, the whisky has been extra-matured in heavily toasted Portuguese red wine casks (The Whisky Business)
  • Glenmorangie Tayne – the second expression in its range of travel retail single malts (The Spirits Business)
  • Gordon & MacPhail’s Glen Grant 1950 – only 218 numbered crystal decanters have been produced (The Spirits Business)
  • Glendronach Grandeur 25 year old – the seventh release in its Grandeur series (The Spirits Business)
  • Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 – whose 2013 version was named best whisky in the world by Jim Murray in 2015 (The Drinks Report)
  • Longmorn – The Distiller’s Choice – as part of Chivas Brothers’ renewed focus on the Speyside Distillery (The Whisky Business)
  • Rock Oyster Cask Strength from Douglas Laing & Co – which finds the ABV boosted from 46.8% to 57.4% (The Whisky Business)
  • Wemyss Malts first single casks collection of 2016 – which includes casks from Speyside, Islay and the Highlands, which have been aged of between 13 and 25 years (The Spirts Business)


And finally
To coincide with Burns Night, a new Scottish gin trail has been launched – showcasing 12 of Scotland’s best craft distilleries, bar and landmarks (Scotland Now).