Thursday 23 October 2014

This Week in Whisk(e)y #13

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 so (including other interesting whisk(e)y news Steph & I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

The NZ Whisky Company release 25yo Whisky
The NZ Whisky Company, whom we visited back in January 2013, have just made NZ the first nation outside Japan and Europe to release a 25yo single malt whisky.
"Oamaru, New Zealand– Oct 7, 2014 – New Zealand has become the first nation outside Japan and Europe to mature and release a 25 year old Single Malt whisky. Following extensive barrel selection, the company has released a limited quantity of just 484 bottles onto the market. 
'We are so grateful for the international support of the world’s whisky community over the last four years, which has given us the confidence to launch our 25 year old,' says company CEO Greg Ramsay. 'We are already humbled by the pre-orders and glowing feedback of those who have taken their first sips.
The 25 year old, made from 100 per cent malted New Zealand barley distilled in the lost Dunedin distillery, has been aging in American Oak, ex-bourbon barrels from Four Roses Distillery  for a quarter of a century. The rich flavours have softened and sweetened into a complex array of tropical fruits, butterscotch, toasted orange peel and a hit of sea spray.
The 25 year old is a salute to the craftsmanship of those early distillers, including Cyril Yates who played a hand in this newly released drop. 'It’s got to be made properly all the way through from the farmer growing barley to the cooper sealing up the staves, and then it does the magical maturation in the barrel before coming out as liquid gold,' explains Yates who dedicated 40 years of his life to the New Zealand whisky industry. 
Following an international design competition, the packaging for the 25 year old emerged. Greg Walko and Petra Kosik, hailing from a small Hungarian design studio took honours, trumping a strong international field. With its contemporary styling, the packaging brings a quarter-of-a-century-old drop into the modern day. 
As well as regaining the foothold once held across New Zealand by Wilsons, the whisky is now exported from Oamaru and available across Canada, the UK, Australia and Europe. The 25 year old is now available for pre-order at"

anCnoc 2000 vintage arrives
We've featured anCnoc on the blog previously, and now the Knockdhu Distillery has just released another new offering in the form of the 2000 vintage (no age statement provided though presumably 13-14 years). No word on AU or HK pricing yet.
"anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is proud to announce the release of Vintage 2000, another remarkable single malt in the line of exclusive vintage releases from Knockdhu Distillery, celebrating the art of whisky-making with a modern twist. It has become a tradition at anCnoc to annually offer vintage releases from consecutive years to the most dedicated whisky fans around the world. 
Only 1,000 cases of anCnoc Vintage 2000 will be made available in select markets from September 2014. The whisky was selected and bottled with the most discerning whisky drinker in mind and will offer a wonderful insight into the distillery style and the impact of on-site maturation in a combination of Spanish oak ex-sherry butts and American oak ex-bourbon barrels. 
anCnoc Vintage 2000 has been bottled non chill-filtered, at its natural colour and at the premium strength of 46% ABV. 
Hot copper in colour, the whisky is dark and masculine on the nose. A surge of ground Oriental spices, burned vanilla and unrefined cocoa beans gradually relaxes its grip and subtle aromas of lemon grass, orange peel and fragrant cut flowers come to life, unmistakably highlighting the provenance of this remarkable Vintage. On the palate it is smooth but firm-structured, envelops the mouth in creamy vanilla, spicy sherry notes, pralines and silky tannins. Lively citrus follows shortly after leading to a long, balanced finish, finally revealing a whiff of wood smoke. 
anCnoc Assistant Brand Manager Stephanie Bridge commented:
'The unique taste profile of the Vintage 2000 is set to be a hit with malt enthusiasts everywhere. Releasing the next Vintage in the anCnoc collection marks the end of a very exciting spring and summer for the brand. I’m confident that the exclusive expression will be a welcome addition to anyone’s malt collection.'
anCnoc Vintage 2000 will be available in the UK, Sweden, Japan and Russia, to name but a few markets, at a recommended retail price of £55."

Eau de Vie launch "Malt Masters Club"
In a similar vein to The Wild Rover's CCWC, favourite Eau de Vie (one of the first Australian bars to feature a serious whisky backbar before it became "a thing") are will soon be launching their own whisky club.
"Eau De Vie will soon be launching a Whisky Club, memberships cost $75 and this gets you access to a whole range of exclusive offers. Upon registering for our Malt Masters Club you will receive an Eau De Vie whisky journal of 40 select Whiskies as a true representation of malt, you will then be entitled to 20% off this selection at Eau de Vie Sydney and Melbourne.  
Eau de Vie Malt Masters is a whisky club aimed at raising the awareness of the malt whisky category and with the goal of encouraging our guests to explore the wonderful world of malt whisky. Once you have made your way through all 40, you will officially be made an honouree Malt Master and have access to our reserve cabinets at a heavily discounted price. Send your contact details to to be the first to know more."

Eau de Vie offer unique The Glenlivet experience in-bar
Eau de Vie again...this time, offering a unique in-bar experience with a cask of The Glenlivet. Word is the cask is not "live" (apparently, it's lined and the whisky therefore doesn't continue to age in the cask), but still, an interesting concept nonetheless, especially with the whisky not being sold by the glass or bottle, but by 350/700mL portions recorded in a "whisky ledger".

Having previously had our own bottle of whisky at Eau de Vie, Steph and I can personally vouch for this sort of thing being a fun experience.
"Eau de Vie has partnered with Glenlivet to create a truly unique experience, we have joined forces to provided two bespoke whisky barrels exclusively available at Eau de Vie. 
The Glenlivet 16 year old is a cask strength whisky, which can be sampled and experienced only in Eau de Vie. Just as if you were visiting a distillery itself, the casked whisky will be sold in 350ml or 700ml portions and written up by hand in our custom made whisky ledger. 
The whisky ledger will be used as the sole record for the experience, where after the initial purchase, the participant will arrive and withdraw the amount he or she will be consuming and logged thereafter as a running tally. The whisky will be drawn from the barrel through a whisky thief, more commonly a "valinch", embodying and authenticity, then disbursed into crystal decanters for their table with all the trimmings, crystal or Glencairn, ice and water. 
For pre-purchase contact Greg in Melbourne at or Julian in Sydney at"

Glenfiddich Culinary Degustation - tickets available now
We've attended Glenfiddich dinners in the past and they've always been a fantastic experience - great food, great whiskies and innovative matching. Now it's everyone's turn to get in on the action, with an upcoming dinner at the lovely Centennial Parklands, Sydney.
"This unique six course degustation will be carefully matched to the Glenfiddich range. Each dish will be created from this years Glenfiddich Pioneers Chef finalists who are represented from restaurants around Australia.   
Music, wine and cocktails will also be in plentiful supply, while the final Pionneer Chef winner is decided based on the scoring of all diners on the night. 
Location: Centennial Parklands, Sydney
Date: December 1, 2014
Time: From 7pm
For more information on the event and to book your ticket please use the link below.
Tickets are $100 + booking fee. All proceeds go to"

LABEL 5 release LABEL 5 Gold Heritage
LABEL 5 is a blend that we haven't featured (or tried) on this site before, but have certainly heard about (and seen all over the shelves at certain bottlos). Regardless, it's sold in more than 100 countries, ranks "10th on the worldwide Scotch whisky market" (in terms of sales presumably) and is blended by Graham Coull, (who we met just over a year ago at the Glen Moray tasting in Sydney), so we figure it's worth a look in. Personal tasting notes to follow.
"Bathgate, Scotland, 22 October, 2014 - LABEL 5 expands its range with a new expression: LABEL 5 Gold Heritage. This new offer will be unveiled at TFWA Cannes next October. LABEL 5 Gold Heritage has been created to delight Scotch whisky lovers who are looking to explore LABEL 5’s character in more depth. 
Graham Coull, LABEL 5 Master Blender, crafted a unique and rich whisky. LABEL 5 Gold Heritage is a rich blend of exceptional whiskies that includes malts aged of more than 20 years. Created with passion and care, LABEL 5 Gold Heritage presents a unique profile which lies between the smoky and peated flavours of the old malts whiskies and the creamy vanilla notes of the grain whiskies. The smooth character which is the trademark of LABEL 5 whiskies has been accentuated with subtle woody hints and spicy notes. 
'LABEL 5 Gold Heritage is a personal achievement for me. Building on the traditions of LABEL 5, I have hand-selected whiskies from different ages and casks which marry together to produce a wonderfully balanced blend. The result is an exceptionally smooth whisky loaded with fruit, spice, warm vanilla oak and subtle smoke, which offers a unique taste experience.' said Graham Coull."
LABEL 5 Gold Heritage is being released in the US initially, followed by China and Australia (RRP TBC). The whisky was recently awarded with a double gold medal at the China World Spirit Awards.

- Martin.

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