March’s Whisky News

Well done on getting through March. And as your reward, here’s all the latest whisky news:

Industry Updates
After a number of years of decline, demand for Scotch Whisky increased last year, with the numbers of bottles released to market rising from 83.3m to 84.9m (BBC News).  And despite pressure from the SWA to cut duty as he did in last year’s budget, the Chancellor chose instead to freeze duty on spirits (The Spirits Business).

The Isle of Arran Distillery plans to open a second distillery on the island, to keep up with increased demand and visitor numbers (The Spirits Business).  Whilst in Dingwall, plans have been unveiled for a new £1.9 million whisky visitor centre (Ross-shire Journal).

Kirsten Campbell has been named master blender at Edrington, replacing Gordon Motion (Scotsman Food & Drink).

Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship returns this spring and has been launched with a very cool video.

And, not to worry you, but the world might be running out of whisky!!! (Daily Telegraph)

New Releases
There were loads of new releases over the past month, including:

  • 808 Whisky – a new grain whisky, inspired by the club and music scene (Bar Magazine)
  • Ardbeg Dark Cove – this year’s Committee Release bottling, announced ahead of Ardbeg Day on May 28 (The Whisky Business)
  • BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1 – the first in a new series, said to be in a classic style (Just Drinks)
  • Deanston Organic 15 Year Old – handmade using Scottish ingredients and traditional distillation techniques (The Drinks Report)
  • Glenfarclas 50 Year Old – limited to just 935 bottles (The Whisky Business)
  • Highland Park Ice Edition – inspired by the Viking Roots of the distillery’s Orkney Island home (The Whisky Business)
  • Kilchoman Sanaig – a new addition to the core range, which has a predominately sherry cask influence (The Whisky Business)
  • Lagavulin 8 year old – one of the youngest releases from the distillery has been unveiled to mark its 200th anniversary (The Spirits Business)
  • Laphroaig Lore – (apparently) the distillery’s richest and smokiest whisky to date (The Drinks Report)

And finally…
Congratulations are in order at Old Pulteney, after its 1989 Vintage expression was crowned as the World’s Best Single Malt at the 2016 World Whisky Awards (The Whisky Business).  And it was good news for Lidl, whose Glen Alba 22 Year Old blended whisky was named best ‘special release’ at the same awards (Daily Telegraph).