Tuesday 22 September 2015

This week in whisk(e)y #23 - Laphroaig Live returns home, Ardbeg in Space, New Bunnahabhain / Deanston / Ledaigs, New Johnnie Walker campaign, New Wemyss limited edition whisky, 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...

Laphroaig Live 2015 - Live Stream Friday 25th September
Laphroaig Live, that live annual celebration of all things Laphroaig, returns home to Islay this year, for the 200th Anniversary Celebration. Fear not though if you're not one of the 100 lucky folks to attend live though, there'll be a live webstream available and if it's anything like last year's (where over 60,000 people attended) it'll be a blast.

The action happens on Friday 25th September (this Friday!) in HK and Australia - 3am HKT / 5am AEST time (Thursday 24th September 8pm UK time). Of particular interest this year is the lineup to be tasted, which includes not a single bottle that was available this time last year! 2015 FoL Cairdeas, Laphroaig 15yo (2015 release), Laphroaig 21yo FoL release and Laphroaig 32yo will all be featured, introduced and tasted by a panel including Distillery Manager John Campbell (who Hendy met recently in Sydney) along with noted whisky writers and TV celebrities.

See http://www.laphroaig.com/live for all the action, where you can even download your own tasting mat to join in the fun.

Ardbeg in space - white paper released
From one Islay distillery story to another...

When we had lunch with Dr Bill Lumsden the other day, we learnt that his in-depth white paper on the "Ardbeg in Space" experimentation was due for imminent release.

According to the site, The key aims of the experiment were:
(i) To determine if conditions of micro-gravity would have an impact on the range of naturally occurring terpene compounds and on the extraction
of key flavour-active compounds in oak wood by Scotch malt distillate.
(ii) To assess the impact of maturation in conditions of micro-gravity on the flavour profile of oak matured distillate.
(iii) To investigate the presence of novel compounds and flavours in model maturation systems for Scotch malt distillate, as a result of conditions of micro-gravity.
The white paper now been released, and can be found here. You'll have to read on to find out the specific differences Dr Bill noted (suffice to say, there were many), but it makes for some interesting reading, especially if you like to geek out of the chemical side of whisky.

"Joy will take you further" - new Johnnie Walker campaign
Focusing on those who have found success through having a "joyful outlook on life", this new global Johnnie Walker campaign is set to be one of the largest the brand has ever launched.

The video (see below) represents a more energetic, "fun" angle than previous campaigns in our opinion - and there's nothing wrong with that.

"Launching globally on 16th September 2015 and set to go live in Hong Kong 17th September 2015, the pioneering campaign delves into the unique science behind whether happiness can help you succeed. For the study the brand is partnering with US-based psychologist and scientist Dr Matt Killingsworth, who has reviewed decades of scientific research in his study of the topic.
As an expert on the science, Killingsworth suggests that people need to re-think the conventional approach. “People sometimes think of happiness as a far-off, distant prize only to be won by their years of hard work or when they achieve conventional markers of success, like a higher income or a bigger house. But there is a growing body of evidence to say that enjoying happiness along the journey makes success more likely,” he commented. “While we can’t necessarily be happy all the time, the broad range of benefits happiness offers, gives us a new reason to pursue happiness at work and in life.”
Joining the campaign are some of the world’s most successful people, who are among a growing number of those advocating a new approach to life, fuelled by the belief that joy is a major key to progress. Names include McLaren Honda driver Jenson Button, Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law and Chinese actor Zhao Wei, who believe that happiness actually helps people achieve more.
Actor Jude Law said: “Keeping positive and finding joy every day in the job that I do is part of my philosophy and I think that’s one of the things that has helped me keep moving forward in my career.”
Guy Escolme, Johnnie Walker® Global Brand Director added: “As a brand Johnnie Walker® has always stood for progress – it’s been the story of our whisky since our founder John Walker started it all nearly 200 years ago. What two centuries of experience have taught us is that progress doesn’t have to be an endless uphill journey – we can enjoy the steps we take and the more happiness we find in them the more likely we are to achieve our goal. Evidence is confirming a conviction that sits at the heart of our brand: Joy Will Take You Further.”

Burn Stewart Distillers to launch second batch of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies
Burn Stewart Distillers is shortly about to release the second batch of three award-winning expressions from its single malt portfolio: Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach, Deanston 18YO and Ledaig 18YO. The new batch of Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach will be introduced at the end of October 2015, while the 18YOs will be released at the end of November 2015.

Quoting the press release:
"Each of the three expressions embody the craftsmanship and innovation for which Burn Stewart is known, and are amongst the last created by Master Distiller Ian MacMillan before he departs the company next month.
Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach has an unusually rich, complex character, marrying ex bourbon cask sweetness with intense Islay malt peatiness and subtle hints of the sea. Deanston 18YO displays the whisky’s signature profile of sweet, honeyed fruit, and is distinguished by its aromatic and balanced notes of American oak and hints of tobacco and nutmeg. While Ledaig 18YO is a wonderfully smoky island single malt which balances sweet and floral aromas with the richness and warmth of sea salt and smoke.
All three expressions are un-chill filtered, meaning that nothing is added or taken away, leaving the spirit exactly as nature intended. The new bottles will be  distributed across key international markets including: UK, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia."

Wemyss Malts launches limited edition "Kiln Embers" whisky
We've been fans of Wemyss whiskies for a while now, having tried a few cracking ones at Whisky Live London 2015. Recently announced is a new limited edition to complement the current line-up of blends - 'Kiln Embers', a smoky addition blended with double the amount of smoky Islay malt whisky than its sister whisky, Peat Chimney.

"Following its popular 2014 limited release, Velvet Fig, Wemyss Malts has created this no-age statement expression to offer an additional peaty dimension to its blended malt range. Kiln Embers is also non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46% abv. With a limited release of just 12,000 bottles globally, it is presented in a gift carton and will be available in specialist spirits stores at around £42 [No word on HK or AU pricing yet]
Like the rest of the Wemyss Malts blended malts selection, Kiln Embers is named after the whisky's natural flavours and aromas. The whisky's name and gift carton are inspired by the barley malting process where peat is added to a kiln to develop the smoky flavours found in this whisky. On the nose, snuffed smoke mingles with salted lemons and sweet cure bacon; while oats and orange peel toast over embers and heathery peat on the palate; resulting in a sweet smoke finish.
William Wemyss, Managing Director of Wemyss Malts, commented: "When I started this business in 2005, I never envisaged the amazing breadth of flavours to be found in whiskies. Our new "Kiln Embers" is even smokier than our existing smoky favourite Peat Chimney and is a fitting celebration of our ten years in the industry. "

Glenfiddich announces winner of Artists in Residence competition
Glenfiddich recently announced the winner of their inaugural "Artists in Residence" Australian competition - a competition which first began in Scotland in 2002 and has seen over 100 artists mentored and tutored during 3 month "in-residence" experiences at the Glenfiddich distillery.
"Glenfiddich is proud to announce dual Blackheath and Bondi resident Joan Ross as the winner of the inaugural Australian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Competition.
Opened to Australian residents for the first time, the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Competition invited artists to enter their work, using any array of mediums which include, but are not limited to print, photography, animation, performance and installation.
The judging panel lead by Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Curator Andy Fairgrieve and including the Sydney Contemporary International Art Fair Advisory Council, made up by Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, former Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull AO, Sue Kato, Mark Hughes, Nick Tobias, Dr Gene Sherman and Evan Williams.

The judges were so impressed by the calibre of the entries they selected seven finalists instead of the originally planned five. The final seven included Joan Ross, Cameron Robbins, Marc Standing, Luke Storrier, Liam Benson, Deb Mansfield and Troy Emery.

Joan was chosen as the winner as her body of work not only demonstrates her technique and skill as an artist through her hand painted prints and digital animations, but each of her works tells a unique story about Australian colonisation. Her use of Hi Vis Fluro is a feature throughout her work which is something she noticed an influx of after 9/11, and it is according to Joan “alien to the landscape and a metaphor for colonisation.”

“Given the incredible standard and quality of the seven finalists, it was never going to be an easy task to choose just one to join our residency program next summer at distillery, however I feel we have an outstanding artist and personality with Joan,” said Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Curator Andy Fairgrieve.

The residency will take place in 2016 where Joan will have the opportunity to live and work for three months at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown, Scotland alongside artists from Scotland, India, China Taiwan, Canada and Korea.

For more information visit http://www.glenfiddich.com/ or http://www.williamgrant.com/. For further information on Joan’s work visit Michael Reid Gallery or http://www.joanross.com.au/"

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


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