Monday 31 August 2015

This week in whisk(e)y #22 - New Japanese Whisky, Bunnahabhain's new "boat whisky", Fred Noe in Australia, Tiki whiskey cocktails, Whisky Mooncakes and more!

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, Hendy & or I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

New Japanese whisky - 10 year old Single Malt Fujikai from Monde Shuzo Distillery
All the way from French distributor Les Whiskies du Monde (@whiskiesdumonde) comes news of a "new" Japanese Single Malt. We say "new" because it's not like this whisky was created yesterday (it is 10 years old after all), but is from a distillery that previously very few would have heard of - Monde Shuzo Distillery, at the foot of Mount Fuji.

Fujikai is considered a "Ji-Whisky" or "craft whisky", which given the current popularity of Japanese whisky, we'll be very surprised if we don't hear a lot more of in the coming years (we've already heard of another Japanese craft whisky distillery in the last month, though unlike that one, Monde Shuzo has been distilling since 1952).

We'll be receiving a sample in the next few weeks, but until then, here are a few more details:

  • Bottled at 43% ABV
  • Matured for years in ex-Bourbon barrels
  • Limited to 8808 bottles (bottles are 500mL)
  • Available for £49.45 from Master of Malt

Bunnahabhain announces Hogshead 733 - whisky finished in casks made from a former fishing boat
We're certainly seeing some interesting takes on whisky maturation of late. From Ardbeg (and more recently Suntory) ageing whisky in space, to whiskies aged with music, to Jefferson's Bourbon aged at sea - these whiskies add a different element to the category, and bring a fresh, interesting new take.

Adding to the mix now is Bunnahabhain (aka "Bunna") who have just announced "Hogshead 733", a whisky to be finished in casks made from a fishing boat currently embarking on a 733 mile journey.

Such an experiment could really only be undertaken by an Islay distillery, and we think it's quite fitting that Bunnahabhain, with their typically unpeated style (allowing the influence of the sea-soaked cask to shine through, we hope), be the ones to do it. We're very interested to try the resulting whisky, whenever it becomes available.

Quoting the press release:
"Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky announces Hogshead 733 – a collaboration with contemporary artists Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep to produce the first ever whisky finished in casks made from a former fishing boat.
The two men have embarked on an epic 733 mile sailing quest which will see them battle the high seas from Trebeurden in Brittany, France, all the way to Bunnahabhain Distillery in Islay. Inspired by adventure, craftsmanship and love of whisky, Maxime and Mark have spent the last two years painstakingly restoring a wooden, Brittany fishing vessel from 1941 back to its former glory.    
Bunnahabhain is steeped in seafaring history, with the whisky’s iconic Helmsman and his maritime stories having inspired the brand for generations.
Set to arrive in Islay at the end of September, the journey will not stop there. Soaked with adventures and the salty sea water, the oak boat will be dismantled and carefully crafted into handmade whisky casks. The casks will be filled with Bunnahabhain and the precious spirit will then be finished in the casks before being bottled and sold.
Maxime Berthou said: "The inspiration for this project stems from the human longing for new discoveries and nostalgia for traditional, handmade craftsmanship, something we've moved away from in today's modern society.
“For Mark and me, this is a journey about transformation, adventure, passion, labour and whisky. It has taken us two years to get to this stage and we are excited to finally be on our way to Bunnahabhain."
Follow Mark and Maxime’s journey on Bunnahabhain’s Twitter (@bunnahabhain) and Facebook (

The Singleton Discovery Series - A World Class Music Program
Music and whisky has always been a great match, and MHDHK have embraced hat with a series of 3 upcoming concerns in Hong Kong.

Quoting the press release:
"The Singleton Single Malt Whisky is proud to announce the launch of The Singleton Discovery Series, a program of world class live music, showcasing some of the world’s most extraordinary artists. Curated and produced in conjunction with House of Mercury, the Discovery Series will shine a spotlight on musical greatness - acclaimed, and in the making. Hosted in the uniquely intimate setting of OVOLO Southside’s G.I.G. space (update: Now Loft 22 in California Tower, LKF), the inaugural autumn program showcases an eclectic cross section of Grammy-nominated neo soul, alternative rock, electronic indie and Mississippi blues, courtesy of award-winning international talent from across the globe.
“The program we have curated is unlike any we have seen in Hong Kong,” said Jake Gould, Director House of Mercury. “We are committed to presenting true talent. This is not about acts at the top of Spotify playlists. It’s a showcase of artists truly worthy of discovery, whether you are familiar with their work, or not.”
“Our whisky is a true pleasure to discover,” said Drew Mills, Marketing Director of The Singleton in Hong Kong. ”By presenting this unique music program, we are offering a marvelous opportunity for Hong Kong to savour our world class single malt whisky, alongside truly incredible music. Each show in the series is set to be an extraordinary holistic evening of discovery. 

Jim Beam Gives Back to Fans by Supporting Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Fans of Bourbon and Jim Beam may be interested to know that Fred Noe is visiting Australian shores very soon. While there are a bunch of media and trade events planned (some of which we'll be covering for the site), there's one way for Western Sydney Bourbon fans to meet the 7th Generation Jim Beam Master Distiller, this coming Saturday 5th September, and support a worthy charity at the same time:
"Jim Beam Bourbon is making history by bringing all three of these passions together in Penrith this September with its very own Big Aussie Barbie. Jim Beam’s seventh generation Master Distiller, Fred Noe, known for crafting the world’s number one bourbon, is coming to Australia and will cook up a mean barbecue in support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) at Penrith Panthers’ Pepper Stadium on Saturday, 5 September.
Ben Andrews, Marketing Manager at Jim Beam says the company is excited to be partnering with PCFA to raise awareness of prostate cancer in Australia. “Our intention by supporting PCFA is to help take the Big Aussie Barbie initiative to new levels this year and encourage more men and women to be aware of the effects and incidence of prostate cancer. As well as driving awareness through our on-pack promotion, we will be supporting all PCFA events nationally and hosting our own Big Aussie Barbie,” said Andrews.
PCFA’s Big Aussie Barbie campaign encourages Australians to turn their everyday barbecues into fundraising events in support of the organisation’s work. In addition to supporting the PCFA events and hosting its own Barbie, through the GIVE BACK WITH JIM BEAM BLACK initiative, Jim Beam will donate one dollar for every PCFA co-branded Jim Beam Black 700ml bottle and 10-pack sold throughout Australia, aiming to contribute $125,000 to the cause.
Fred Noe is looking forward to meeting some Penrith locals after the Panthers game, and to spread awareness. “What better way to bring people together for a good cause than by serving Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Kentucky-style barbecue after a rugby match,” said Noe. “If this Big Aussie Barbie in Penrith helps men talk about prostate cancer, then I’m all for it. I’m looking forward to enjoying a cold Jim Beam with the Penrith community and raising some money for a great cause.”
Australia and the United States are the two biggest bourbon markets in the world and them coming together over a barbie to raise money for Prostate Cancer is an initiative worth celebrating. In a recent consumer study, more than two thirds of Jim Beam Black drinkers believe “helping others is an important part of who I am” so Jim Beam found it to be a natural partnership.
Fred and the Jim Beam team will be at the Pepper Stadium, Western Bar from 4.30pm to 6.30pm following the Penrith Panthers’ final home game on Saturday, 5 September. Then, after a few snags, they will move on to Panthers Leagues Club where the party will continue with drinks specials on Jim Beam Black, and Fred will host a Jim Beam Raffle with all proceeds going to PCFA.
For more information about Jim Beam, visit

Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Dalmore and Bruichladdich pop-up bar at RBHK

Restaurant and Bar Show HK (with whom we're Media Partners) is coming up, and to whet your whisky thirst, Telford have announced a pop-up whisky bar with a series of master-classes and tastings.

Hall 5E, EE01: Daily @ 3:30pm-4:15pm (standup tasting)
  • 8 September:    Glenfiddich – David Ding, Portfolio manager - China
  • 9 September:    BRUICHLADDICH – Murray Campbell, Brand Ambassador – Asia Pacific
  • 10 September:  The Dalmore – Kenny Wang, Sales Director – Greater China
Hall 5E, Artisanal Drinks Live: 9 Sep @ 4:00pm-4:40pm (sit down tasting)
  • 9 September:    The Balvenie – David Ding, Portfolio manager - China

Telford will also have daily Jack Daniels cocktails on offer, so drop by on any day and say hi.

Honi Honi launch new menu, with Tiki whiskey cocktails
Honi Honi, Hong Kong's most famous Tiki bar might serve primarily rum-based drinks (it is a Tiki bar, after all), but who's to say you can't make a Tiki cocktail with whiskey?

As part of their new 50-strong 2015 drinks menu, Honi Honi have created 3 whiskey cocktails perfectly befitting the island vibe (and catering to both summer and winter tastes):

  • Tokerao is a mix of Michter's Rye Whiskey, Green Chartreuse, Cartron Caramel Liqueur, Cartron Poire Williams Liqueur, Pear Pureé, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice and Star Anise.
  • Spiced Bourbon Punch mixes Michter's Bourbon, Cartron Caramel Liqueur, Milk, Vanilla Syrup, Apple Juice, Gingerbread Syrup and Cinnamon (perhaps one for the cooler months); and
  • Bounty Hunder sees Michter's Bourbon mixed with Baileys, Coconut Milk, Aztec Chocolate Bitters and Coconut Syrup.

Whisky Mooncakes from Intercontinental Grand Stanford, Hong Kong
Mid-Autum Festival is almost upon us, and that means...Mooncake time (for those unfamiliar with these bakery items, see here).

Intercontinental Grand Stanford (home to the excellent Tiffany's New York Bar, one of the city's better whisky bars) have announced their 2015 Mooncakes, and they include these 3 mouth-watering options:

  • Caol Ila 12 year old Hazelnut and Almond Truffle
  • Benromach 10 year old Double Chocolate
  • Glenfarclas 105 Butter Cookie Praline

See link for more details and order forms:

There's a 20% discount if you order by today, which we're going to go and do now!

Thats all for this week. Until next time...


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