The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 100

24  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 SCOTCH REPORT The State of Scotch T he dramatic decision in Britain's referendum on our future member- ship of the European Union—to give notice that we would leave—has prompted a slump in the value of the pound against the dollar. This should mean cheaper Scotch whisky imports in the future if the pound stays low. Watch this space. Meanwhile, arriving soon is a batch of new releases. First up is a mighty Lagavulin 25 Year Old, bottled as part of the distillery's 200th birthday celebrations (8,000 bottles worldwide; "natural cask strength"; SRP $1,200). It's a very dark and rich spirit, with meaty notes, smoke and dark fruits. However, as the distillery acknowledges and the price suggests, most bottles are likely to end up with collectors. Another venerable and expensive dram comes from Tomatin, not a widely seen single malt—and they're also aiming high. This 42 Year Old (45.8%; SRP $4,000) is the first in a planned luxury Warehouse 6 Collection, which will include some of the most refined spirits from the Highland distiller. Phillips Distilling Company in Minneapolis is where you will find the 30 bottles destined for the U.S. The new aged expressions from Glen Grant are a little more accessible, however. This Speyside distillery was an early pioneer of single malt, finding favor especially in Italy. They've given the brand a smart new look and for the U.S. market offer a choice of a 12 or 18 Year Old style. The U.S. importer is Campari America, and distributor Southern Wine & Spirits has the 12 Year Old appearing on store shelves now, with the 18 Year Old seen from August onwards. SRP for the 12 Year Old is $46.99, and it's currently available in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Northern and Southern California, Texas, Illinois and Florida and nationwide in 2017. SRP for 18 Year Old is $119.99 with availability in the same markets. Both are bottled at a standard 43% ABV. The Isle of Arran distillery has recently celebrated its 21st birthday. To mark that, they've released an 18 Year Old single malt, through Impex Beverages. At an SRP of $140 it's a little more than the Glen Grant, but this will be harder to find and of interest to those who follow Scotland's Island distilleries. Such has been Arran's recent growth that they plan a new distilling facility at the other end of the island, having outgrown their original site (though this will continue in operation). Future supplies are thus assured. Finally, I want to send personal con- gratulations to one of the nicest, quietest, most understated yet influential gentle- men in Scotch whisky today—David Stewart, the long-time Malt Master for The Balvenie. After 54 years' service with parent company William Grant & Sons, David has been honored by the Queen with an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire (not that we actually have one anymore!). In this case, David's long-term contribution and thought leadership in Scotch whisky has been recognized—to the acclaim of his peers. Congratulations! by Ian Buxton David Stewart, Malt Master for The Balvenie, was honored by the Queen with a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - August 2016