July’s Whisky News

My summer break was great – thanks for asking. But there’s been a whole load of whisky news since I’ve been away. So, let’s dive right in!

Industry Updates
Douglas Laing & Co has announced plans to build a £10 million distillery, visitor centre and restaurant on the banks of the River Clyde (The Scotsman).

Glenallachie Distillery in Speyside has been sold by Chivas Brothers to a consortium headed by former BenRiach MD, Billy Walker (Scotch Whisky). Darnley’s has brought its production back to Scotland with the opening of its new gin distillery in Fife (The Drinks Report).

Holyrood Distillery has unveiled its top team including distiller Jack Mayo (The Herald). And Raasay Distillery has appointed its head distillery, Iain Robertson (Business Insider).

More than 400,000 people visited Diageo’s 12 distillery visitor centres in the 12 months to June (The National). The company has also described the performance of its Scotch whisky business as “strong and stable” after announcing a surge in pre-tax profits (The Herald).

Inver House Distillers sees single malt whisky sales up marginally but gin sales are up 38% (Insider).

Bunnahabhain Distillery on Islay has unveiled plans for an £11 million renovation, along with its oldest ever expression (The Spirits Business).

Rare Whisky 101 has launched a bespoke brokerage scheme for ‘dormant’ casks that could be worth more than £1 million each (The Spirits Business). Figures from the company also show that the 21,617 bottles of whisky sold at auction between April and June this year fetched £6.2 million (The Scotsman).

Perth-based company the Whisky Auctioneer has also had to move to a larger warehouse after experiencing a surge in demand (Business Insider).

The Scottish Government has called for Scotch to be defined in UK law to protect exports after Brexit (BBC News). The Scotch whisky industry’s attempts to overturn the Scottish Government’s legislation on minimum pricing has returned to the Supreme Court (The Guardian).

New Releases  

  • Angus Dundee 50 Years Old Blended Grain Scotch Whisky – only 390 decanters have been produced (The Drinks Report)
  • Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt – designed specifically for use in cocktails (FoodBev)
  • Glen Moray Mastery – created to mark the distillery’s 120th birthday (Scotch Whisky)
  • Isle of Arran Smugglers’ Series: The Exciseman – the third and final bottling from the series (Scotch Whisky)
  • Polar Explorer – a natural cask strength whisky reduced using Scottish water and pure glacial iceberg water (Scotch Whisky)
  • Supersplendiferous Speyburn: Batch 1 – the 100th bottling from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (The Whisky Business)
  • The Dalmore 40 Year Old – started in ex-Bourbon casks before spending seven years in Sherry butts (The Whisky Business)
  • The Dalmore Distillery Exclusive Vintage 2000 – only available at the Highland distillery (The Drinks Report)
  • The Dalmore Vintage Port Collection – a three-strong set of whiskies matured in vintage Port casks (The Spirits Business)
  • The Last Drop 1971 Vintage Blended Scotch Whisky – the 10th release from the exclusive bottler (Scotch Whisky)
  • Tomatin 1972 Warehouse 6 Collection – the second release in a series of six (The Whisky Business)

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched a series of Single Cask Spirits, including rum, gin and cognac (Imbibe).

And finally
Celtic Renewables becomes the first company to successfully fuel a car using whisky (The Telegraph).