It’s been a while since I posted some industry whisky news but there were some interesting new releases this week – AnCnoc venture into peated whisky, so does Glenglassaugh. The annual Ardbeg bottling is officially announced (although details were found via the TTB site a few months ago), new Arran 17yo and flavored whisky (well, a spirit, as you can’t call this whisky).
anCnoc Takes a Trip to the Dark Side with New Peated Collection
Aiming to unravel the mysteries of peated whisky for modern drinkers, this new collection from the Knockdhu Distillery will feature anCnoc’s classic light, easy-drinking style but with a dark, distinctive and smoky twist.
The first three releases in the collection were unveiled at a launch event in Glasgow last night (Wednesday 26th March), with the anCnoc team treating guests to tastings of each new single malt, alongside an inspiring mix of peaty experiences.
A menu inspired by anCnoc’s new dark side was created for the event by rising Scottish food experimentalists Jelly&Gin, with jars of edible peat bog, copper rivet lollipops and clouds of anCnoc smoke delighting guests on the night. A living peat bog was even transported to the venue for the occasion.
The expressions in anCnoc’s new peated collection are named in honour of the traditional tools used to cut peat, with ‘Rutter’ and ‘Flaughter’ unveiled for the UK and Global markets and ‘Tushkar’ released exclusively for Sweden.
Each new release will also display its own varying phenol content in parts per million (ppm) to indicate just how peated the whisky inside the bottle is, aiming to help drinkers find a peaty level to suit their palate.
Inspiration for the new peated collection comes from anCnoc’s 120 year history, which reveals that the very first whiskies crafted at Knockdhu had a peaty edge, thanks to the distillery’s location in the heart of some of Scotland’s most fertile peat land.
Official Tasting Notes
Rutter (11.0ppm) sparkling gold in appearance, initially smoky on the nose giving way to spices, pineapples, pear drops and vanilla A full-bodied peaty richness to taste but with undertones of set honey, vanilla, toffee and leather, punctuated by green apples, giving way to a smoky peaty finish.
Flaughter (14.8ppm) pale gold in appearance a warm smokiness with spice, ash and surprising fruit on the nose. Distinctly smoky to taste with a fruity long-lasting finish.
Tushkar (15.0ppm): polished gold in appearance with a rich sweet honey and vanilla nose wrapped in a veil of warm peat smoke, pierced by overtones of fresh green apples, orange peel and cut spring flowers. Rich, full-bodied wood smoke to taste, opening up to exotic spices, runny honey, toffee sweetness and a hint of freshly squeezed lemons.
The packaging of the new collection represents a dark and striking alternative look for anCnoc, with each green glass bottle featuring a glistering illustration of a traditional peat cutting tool on an eye-catching black label.
The whiskies will be available through independent and specialist retailers from April and will sit alongside anCnoc’s core range. They are bottled at 46%ABV and in their most natural state-neither chill-filtered nor coloured.
RRP is £57 but The Whisky Exchange store have special web price of £51.45.
ARDBEG DISTILLERY RELEASES LIMITED EDITION ‘AURIVERDES’
Ardbeg – four-time winner of the World’s Best Scotch Whisky award – will launch its latest Limited Edition, Auriverdes, on Ardbeg Day; the distillery’s annual global celebration of all things Ardbeg. The 2014 Limited Edition, to be released on the 31st May, has been matured in American oak casks with specially toasted cask lids which were tailor-made for this whisky.
The toasting technique has given the whisky a distinctive flavour profile with the lids producing a mocha coffee flavour at one end, flowing into creamy vanilla at the other – truly a dram of two halves!
The name of Ardbeg Auriverdes derives from the colour of the golden whisky (auri) in Ardbeg’s iconic green bottle (verde). Auriverdes is also the nickname of the national football team of Brazil, hosts of this summer’s World Cup, and inspiration behind Ardbeg’s Peat Football tournament which will be happening all around the world on Ardbeg Day, culminating in the Ardbeg Swamp Football World Cup on June 28th and 29th in Argyll, Scotland.
Ardbeg Auriverdes follows the highly-acclaimed Limited Edition Galileo, which scooped the title of ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whisky Awards 2013. The 2014 Limited Edition Ardbeg is non chill-filtered, bottled at 49.9% ABV and will be available from www.ardbeg.com
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distillation and Whisky Creation, explains: “When creating Auriverdes I had a distinct flavour profile in mind that I wanted to achieve, so I specifically created the heart of the recipe to bring that to life. It is an expression of Ardbeg which has exceeded all my expectations – it has the trademark Ardbeg undertones with a distinct new taste experience.Ardbeg Auriverdes has an explosive mouthfeel which gives way to complex flavours of coffee grounds, liquorice, maple smoked ham, malty/biscuit notes, white pepper and a good sweet/salty balance.”
The release celebrates the Islay Festival (the Feis Ile) – of which Ardbeg Day marks the culmination – running from 23rd to 31st May 2014. For those whisky enthusiasts unable to make the journey to Islay, local Ardbeg Day events and membership of the Committee provides a means to celebrate Auriverdes in their own country.
Official Ardbeg Auriverdes Tasting Notes
Aroma: Tarry and herbal notes with hints of mocha
Taste: Coffee grounds pass to smoked root vegetables, while maple-cured bacon collides with hot-smoked salmon
Finish: A lingering, smoky vanilla note
DIAGEO RELEASES HONEY-INFUSED J&B ‘SCOTCH’
J&B URBAN HONEY is a 35% ABV Spirit Drink made from J&B Scotch Whisky infused with honey and is a characterful drink that creates a balanced and smooth liquid. The taste has been created to be distinctively fresh when consumed neat, on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail.
J&B URBAN HONEY is clearly labelled as a Spirit Drink on its front label, while also differentiated from the parent brand with the use of a honeycomb pattern, a city skyline illustration and a prominent ‘bee’ illustration, ensuring compliance with Scotch Whisky Association guidelines.
Since its creation, J&B Scotch Whisky has been a bold and innovative brand with a witty, playful edge. As Dougal McGeorge – Global J&B Brand Director – explains this has been fundamental to the development of the new Spirit Drink: “Creation of J&B URBAN HONEY is true to the urban roots of the J&B brand and its reputation for re-invention in the whisky category. The rapid growth of flavoured Spirit Drinks made J&B a natural choice for us as we looked to drive innovation.”
J&B Urban Honey will first launch in Spain from April 2014
GLENGLASSAUGH TORFA, A NEW RICHLY PEATED HIGHLAND EXPRESSION
GLENGLASSAUGH has launched a new richly peated Highland single maltthat will now be part of its core range along with Revival and Evolution.
Glenglassaugh Torfa, with its smoky, peaty, phenolic nature, is a unique expression and quite different to the usual type of whisky produced in the Highlands.
“At Glenglassaugh, in addition to the traditional production, we also produce a very limited quantity of whisky using richly peated malted barley as the cereal varietal. The malted barley has been dried in the traditional way, over peat-infused kilns, giving the whisky its unique smoky flavour,” says Sales Director Alistair Walker.
Torfahas a brooding, edgy character whose personality is to be found at the darker end of the spectrum. Its name takes its inspiration from the Old Norse language with which the Scots dialect spoken in North East Scotland has an affinity and translates to “turf” or “peat”.
The historic distillery was acquired by The BenRiach Distillery Company last year. It dates back to 1875 and re-opened in 2008 after being mothballed for more than 20 years. The first whiskies from this refurbished distillery are now available to single malt Scotch whisky lovers everywhere.
Non-chill filtered, with natural colour and at 50% vol, Torfa was specially selected by Glenglassaugh’s Master Distiller Billy Walker. His tasting notes show the distinct characteristics of this truly phenomenal malt.
COLOUR: Gleaming yellow gold.
NOSE: Vivid, sweet, sooty campfire smoke and sea air infuse zest of lime, apricot jam and ripe soft fruits, all gently warmed by hints of stem ginger and cracked black pepper.
PALATE: An eloquent, sweet coastal peat smoke engulfs candied peel over melon, pineapple and roasted red apples. Oat biscuits, hints of heather honey and a gentle cigar box spice all combine to give a terrific balance to the expressive smoky character.
Torfa is already available for pre-order on multiple web shops for £40-42
ARRAN DISTILLERS RELEASES LATEST IN EXTRA-AGED SERIES
Leading up to the launch of the The Arran Malt 18 Year Old next year, and following the launch of The Arran Malt 16 Year Old last spring, just 9,000 bottles of this 17-year-old whisky will be available.
Made from un-peated malted barley and matured in ex-sherry casks, the limited edition is described as having a “unique and distinctive flavour”.
“We try to make each bottling unique whilst remaining true to the fresh island character of the Arran single malt,” said James McTaggart, Arran’s master distiller.
“With the 17 Year Old we’ve created a sweet spicy palate with hints of cigar tobacco. Adding a touch of water brings out flavours of dark chocolate and orange oil to add a depth of flavour to this decadent dram.”
Chill-filtered and bottled at 46% abv, Arran Malt 17 Year Old is available directly from the distillery and specialist whisky retailers at an RRP of £64.99.
The limited edition will be available in April.