The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

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Page 26 of 124

SCOTCH REPORT A still from Ken Loach's The Angels' Share, starring Paul Brannigan (far left). Angelic Drams T his column doesn't normally do movie reviews, but Scotch whisky rarely makes a starring appearance on screen, so we'll make an exception for Ken Loach's The Angels' Share. The veteran movie-maker, something of a left-wing firebrand and renowned for his anti-establishment views, is revered on the European art house cinema circuit. As we go to press, his latest effort has been nominated for the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious Palme d'Or award (where U.S. distribution will be finalized). Don't expect to catch it at your local multiplex, but do look out if there's an independent screen near you. Unusually for Loach, it's a feel-good production, some- thing between a heist movie and a rom-com, concerning the attempts of Robbie, a product of Glasgow's housing projects, to escape a life of crime and casual violence to make a fresh start with his pregnant girlfriend. Glengoyne, Deanston and Balblair distilleries all feature and, implausibly but with some style, Robbie's nose for whisky leads him to a better future. Meanwhile, Highland Park (sadly, not seen on screen) tells me that their newest Valhalla Collection bottling has now reached these shores. Reviewed here in April, Thor is a mighty 52.1% abv and forms part of limited-edition range. Collectors need to move quickly for this one. But they probably will have a little more time as The Dalmore's Constellation Collection hits global duty-free stores after a limited release at Heathrow's Terminal 5. Constellation The Annandale Distillery in 1900, as rendered by illustrator David Simon. by Ian Buxton comprises 21 different "vintage" whiskies, ranging from a 1992 at $3,200 (U.S. prices to be confirmed) to the oldest whisky, a 1964, truly astronomic at around $32,000. All have been finished in a range of different cask types with the aim of showcasing different aspects of the distillery's style. A complete collec- tion can be yours for a few cents over $250,000 (though I suppose they might entertain offers). Four that I tasted were admittedly excellent, but I do struggle with the The Dalmore's Constellation Collection. PHOTO COURTESY OF WHYTE & MACKAY 26 / the tasting panel / june 2012 pricing, especially when The Dalmore has announced that it plans to sell 20,000 bottles from the collection over the next four years. Feels like a tall order in this climate, but if you need a "trophy" bottle for your backbar and can offer short-term finance for anyone ordering a glass, then the Constellation Collection may reward some star-gazing. Meanwhile, attracted by the worldwide growth in demand for Scotch whisky, several projects are underway to create brand new distilleries, albeit on a farmhouse or boutique scale. Fundraising for similar projects has proved a challenge, however, so it's a pleasure to be able to report substantial progress on re-building the Annandale Distillery in the Borders region. This historic distillery last worked in the 1920s, when it produced for Johnnie Walker. The owners will shortly be announcing the opportunity to buy a cask—though, refreshingly, won't be doing so until the distillery is in operation. Once purchased, all you then have to do is wait . . . and wait, as the angels take their share. Which, like a movie, is where we came in. ©COPYRIGHT ANNANDALE DISTILLERY COMPANY LIMITED 2012 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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