The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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Page 27 of 149

ScOTch REPORT Rare Birds RuMORS FLy AS SCOTCH WHISKy PROduCERS COuRT ThE All-IMpORTAnT u.S. MARKET by Ian Buxton I n May's issue I reported on the launch of Dewar's Highlander Honey, a spirit drink based on the famous Scotch brand, and speculated that we would soon see more of these controversial products. Well, a little bird tells me that The Famous Grouse, Scotland's best-selling blended whisky, has recently had Grouse Citrus and other flavors on test in Sweden. Though the brand insists it was just research, The Famous Grouse has been known to run test markets in Rhode Island, so citizens of Little Rhody might want to look out for some strange birds in local liquor stores. On the single malt front, William Grant & Sons has released the Glenfiddich 2013 Cask of Dreams Limited Edition Bottling exclusively in the U.S. The release is the second and final installment of a program that began two years ago to honor the inspiring story of distillery founder William Grant, whose descendants still head the company to this day. The 2012 Cask of Dreams campaign encouraged Americans to visit the Glenfiddich website and share their ultimate life goals for a chance to win a $15,000 grant towards making it a reality. Runners-up have their name and dream featured on the 6,660 bottles of the Cask of Dreams ($99). Cutty Sark's new owners, Edrington, seemed to have turned the ship around in four out of their big six markets but, as Global Brand Controller Jason Craig is keen to stress, the U.S. is the priority as this is where the brand was built. Appointing a new supplier (Rémy Cointreau USA) has helped, as have prize-winning limited releases such as the 25 Year Old Tam o'Shanter edition. But to get a new generation of consumers on board required some innovative thinking from the brand. Hence the release of Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition, a permanent addition to the Cutty crew, that arrives as a rugged 50% abv in an authentically sinister black glass bottle. Prohibition is full-flavored, rich and powerful where regular Cutty is more subtle and light in color: It's a cutlass if you will, to the original expression's rapier. And that just leaves me room to mention another rare bird: the "new" Isle of Jura 30 Year Old single malt release. At $550 it's an example of a recession-defying dram from one of Scotland's most isolated distilleries that may appeal more to collectors than drinkers. Just 200 bottles will make it to U.S. shores, so you'll have to hurry. 26  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2013 TP0713_001-33.indd 26 6/24/13 5:34 PM

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