Wednesday 20 August 2014

This Week in Whisk(e)y #11

As you might know if you read this blog regularly, we get a fair few interesting press releases and news articles here at TimeforWhisky, and usually try to feature them with our own spin, experiences or comments. Sometimes though, they come thick and fast, and we just don't have time to do them all justice.

So we've decided to take a leaf out of some other excellent whisky blogs, and feature a "PR roundup" every now and then - basically a wrap-up of relevant press releases we've received in the previous week (or other interesting whisk(e)y news Steph & I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

Lark Distillery wins national business award
Not all these news items are about new whiskies (or furoshikis - see below)....sometimes they're about celebrating the great work small independent distillers have done. Especially when one of those distillers is effectively the "founding father"of Whisky in Australia. I'm talking of course about Bill Lark, of Lark Distillery who was awarded the Small Business Award at the 2014 Telstra Business Awards in Melbourne earlier this month.

Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said:
“Lark Distillery is a trail blazer that initiated the development of the Australian whisky industry and has now matured into a premium player on the international whisky stage.
Lark Distillery is the quintessential small family business success story. Starting with no plant, no finance and no customers, and needing to get the law changed to even start their business, Bill and Lyn Lark have been pivotal in founding whisky distilling in Australia. 
Their focus on high quality ingredients, authentic production methods, product innovation and the overall customer experience, has put Australian Whisky on the map as an internationally recognised success.”
Well deserved accolades indeed.

Suntory Whisky and Akira Isogawa celebrate the Art of Giving
Back in May we blogged about the excellent Launch of Suntory Whisky in Australia event at Sydney's Art Gallery of NSW. Good fortune found me standing next to the very friendly Akira Isogawa (renowned international fashion designer), who as we mentioned in the article, mentioned he was collaborating with Suntory on limited release packaging/scarves - details of which are now available.

To quote the press release:
Suntory Whisky has partnered with renowned Japanese-Australian designer Akira Isogawa to celebrate the Art of Giving. The multi-award winning distillery has worked with Akira to create a limited edition traditional scarf used to wrap gifts, known in Japan as “furoshiki”, which was designed exclusively for the Suntory Whisky Australian range.
Having recently expanded its luxury offering in the Australian market, Suntory Whisky is launching this exclusive collaboration in time for Father’s Day and the Christmas season. The Japanese distiller celebrates the Art of Giving each year; a concept that centres on acknowledging the joy found in offering gifts to loved ones and the power of a thoughtfully chosen gift.
“The partnership between Suntory Whisky and Akira was a natural marriage; one of Australia’s best designers coming together with the leading Japanese whisky. We are aiming to celebrate quality craftsmanship and the importance of honouring those you love with a truly unique item,” said Suntory Australia managing director, Ian Atherton. 
“With our extended range of Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki whiskies now available in Australia, we see the luxury range as the perfect gift for those who appreciate fine spirits and the limited edition furoshiki as a beautiful finishing touch.” 
Like origami, furoshiki is considered an integral part of Japanese culture. For 2000 years, the furoshiki served as a special pouch to hold personal items. Today, the ancient custom has become fashionable in Japan as a beautiful eco-friendly, lasting wrapping for gifts.  
Just 300 of the ‘Akira for Suntory Whisky’ furoshiki have been produced. The limited edition scarves will be available in selected specialty retailers around Australia from August 2014 ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday 9 September. The furoshiki will be available as a gift with purchase to wrap one of the hero whiskies – Yamazaki 12 years old, Hakushu 12 years old or Hibiki 17 years old."
As if you needed an excuse to enjoy Yamazaki, Hakushu or Hibiki, but if you're looking for a unique Father's day gift, this could be one to consider. The furoshiki will be exclusively available as a gift with purchase in the following retailers from now:

New South Wales:
- Oak Barrel;
- World of Whisky;

- Cru Bar + Cellar;

- Nick’s Wine Merchants;
- The Wigs Cellar;
- Sea Breeze Cellars; (03) 5987 0877

South Australia:
- Fassina Liquor Merchants;
- Parafield Airport Liquor Store;

Johnnie Walker Blue Label presents "The Gentleman's Wager"
OK, so this one didn't exactly "come to us" as a press release, but it is very cool, in a "that's completely unrealistic, but damn I wish that was me" way. Watch below:

- Martin.

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