The Tasting Panel magazine

Tasting Panel October 2010

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SCOTCH REPORT Heading Toward the by Ian Buxton A Holidays utumn is here and Scotland’s distilleries are back at work. Though our government has recently announced a drop of 6 percent in The Balbair Vintage Lounge swings into New York this fall. overall U.K. alcohol consumption—the biggest drop in 60 years, just as they need the tax dollars—scotch is buoyant on the back of a global jump in sales. Mainly though, this is mainly driven by the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and both Diageo and Chivas Brothers have reported only slow improvement in the U.S. Chivas’s parent Pernod Ricard described “very gradual recovery of consumer spending . . . against a continuing uncertain backdrop,” and Diageo CEO Paul Walsh too spoke of “gradual” progress in the U.S. market. Worldwide export fi gures for scotch will be released shortly but the Scotch Whisky Association seems coyly confi dent, telling THE TASTING PANEL that they were encouraged that “the growth experi- enced by both malt and blended Scotch whiskies in many export markets last year—despite what were challenging economic conditions—appears to have continued in 2010.” Pernod’s Irish distilling interests continue to boom, however, driving further investment in warehouse capacity. The U.S. is Jameson’s largest market by far, and results have been stellar: Jameson’s commanding sales growth continued to impress, at +24 percent, and double-digit growth in 50 states confi rmed Jameson’s strong ambitions as a national brand in the U.S. But scotch isn’t singing the blues just yet. In fact, single malt Balblair (Inver House) will swing to the sound of some smooth jazz as they bring their Balblair Vintage Lounge concept to New York this fall. Singer Niki King will perform a selection of jazz standards with her band, while the range of Balblair vintages will be served to fortunate trade guests. At the very top of the market all is confi dence. Though you can still fi nd their handsomely packaged Candela for around $11,000, supplies of Whyte & Mackay’s $15,000 Sirius have long since run out and, according to rumor in the world of whisky, have since doubled in price. With that kind of investment performance, you might just consider put- ting your 401(k) funds into a bottle of Glenfi ddich 50 Year Old. The second batch of 50 bottles has been released at $15,000 each, and the distiller expects them to be gone within the year. Finally, heading to the gifting season, expect a slew of special presenta- tions. First out of the box is Chivas Regal, with a limited edition gift tin for its 12 Year Old expression from award- winning graphic designer and illustrator Alex Trochut. According to the company, the package “was inspired by the Chivas Regal heraldry and label crest.” How many shopping days till Christmas? Chivas Regal 12 Year Old in a special gift box designed by Alex Trochut. 20 / the tasting panel / october 2010 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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