The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2011

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Page 24 of 124

ScOTcH REPORT R My Cup T by Ian Buxton he mailbox has been full this last month with press briefings and samples. Almost everyone has something planned, so it seemed a good opportunity to mention just a few of the wonderful new things that you can expect to be headed Stateside this fall, as well as some other news. Amateur photographer Luke Bhothipiti from the USA will be journeying to Scotland before long, courtesy of The Macallan and his photograph "Waiting for the Eclipse," which won the brand's inaugural photo competition from more than 7,000 rival entries. The competition, inspired by the Albert Watson edition of The Macallan Masters of Photography, invited members of the public to upload their finest photographs cel- ebrating the theme of "great journeys," either from travels or a special moment showing a passage of time. Luke's win- ning image of friends gathered around a fire waiting for the lunar eclipse at the end of 2010 stood out from the rest, allowing him to snag top honors. Sure to catch the eye is the repackag- ing of the iconic Johnnie Walker Blue unneth Over Label bottle. In the first major revamp since the brand was launched in 1992, the bottle has been subtly remodelled with dramatic blue glass highlights adding shelf presence and drama. The weight of the bottle has been increased (bar persons take note— this will need a steady hand!) and the box also subtly modernized. The new packaging should appear in market during September. The whisky itself hasn't changed, though I hear there will be some further packaging announcements next month. Cocktail mavens may want to check out what Glenmorangie has been doing with top Edinburgh nightspot Bramble Bar. Their award-winning team persuaded Glenmorangie to produce four bespoke five-liter casks, each with a different level of toasting and each filled with their signature Glenmorangie Affinity (equal measures of Glenmorangie 10 Years Old, Byrhh and Noilly Prat dry vermouth). After leaving these to age for six weeks, they were bottled by hand, with labels indicating the date the cocktail was poured into the cask and date of bottling. Patrons ordering a Glenmorangie Affinity receive a well- chilled wax-sealed bottle and a frozen glass, garnished with a twist of lemon zest and a fresh cherry, and can then pour their own cocktail. Surely, your Glenmorangie representative will have a cask in the trunk just for you! Finally, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd., proprietors of the Glengoyne distillery, has purchased the moth- balled Tamdhu operation from previous owners Edrington. Though never in the league of its former stable mates Highland Park and The Macallan, Tamdhu single malt was a steady seller in the USA, historically its largest market. Expect packaging changes, line extensions and some positive developments from this sleep- ing Speyside giant in 2012. Winning photo "Waiting for the Eclipse" by Luke Bhothipiti. 2 / the tasting panel / september 201 1

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