The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 24 of 132

SCOTCH REPORT Good News from L ast issue I reported on Ken Loach's new movie and the renaissance of a classic distillery. I can tell you that The Angels' Share won the prestigious Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival so will surely be headed to an independent art house screen near you. And by contrast with the revival of the small but historic Annandale site, a Johnnie Walker distillery in the 1920s, comes news from Diageo of one of the largest distillery expan- sions ever seen in Scotland. They plan a spend of up to $1.5 billion over the next fi ve years on another new single malt distillery, similar to Roseisle, alongside a program of major development at a number of existing distilleries. The company adds, "Detailed plans will also be developed for a second new distillery which will be built if global demand for Scotch is sustained at expected levels." Three existing sites have been identifi ed for the fi rst new distillery, including Inchgower and Glendullan in the Speyside whisky heartland, and Teaninich slightly further north. A key part of the investment decision has been the sustained growth in sales of Johnnie Walker and Buchanan's in the U.S. Buchanan's is the fastest- growing Scotch whisky brand in North America. According to Dr. Nick Morgan, Diageo's Head of Whisky Outreach, Buchanan's is "currently the fastest-growing scotch brand in North America," a claim based on compound annual growth in excess of 20% over the past fi ve years. The brand is driven mainly by a growing Hispanic population and supported by promotional activity in bars and liquor stores. The Diageo announcement follows Chivas Brothers' plans to re-open the Glen Keith distillery to support long-term plans for Chivas Regal. With these two major producers in such bullish and upbeat mood, the prospects for Scotch whisky have seldom seemed brighter. Meanwhile, on a smaller scale, the indepen- dently owned Glenglassaugh distillery has reported that it has returned to profi t just three years after re-opening, some four years ahead of schedule, attributing the speedy bounce back to 24 / the tasting panel / july 2012 Liz Lochhead, Scotland's "Makar," reads a poem about Scotch whisky. Revival is the lat- est release from Glenglassaugh. export growth and direct cask sales. Their latest expression, the aptly named Revival, is available through Purple Valley Imports. Here in the U.K., the Queen's Diamond Jubilee passed off smoothly, marked by huge crowds, rain across much of the country (not that it dampened spirits) and a slew of further commemorative whisky releases. Notable amongst them was a special bottling from The Macallan which sold out from the distillery's website in under a week (2,012 bottles at $525) and an even more limited but more modestly priced offering from England's fi rst whisky distillery, St George's in Norfolk (still available as we go to press at $90). Finally, happy birthday to the Scotch Whisky Association which celebrates its centenary this month, marked by a specially composed ode by Liz Lochhead, Scotland's "Makar"—our National Poet. She's the opposite number to your Natasha Trethewey, who was just named the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. I don't suppose you expected to read that here! Scotland! by Ian Buxton PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SCOTCH WHISKY ASSOCIATION

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