Lark Distilling launches Legacy

Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co. is set to unveil an unprecedented single malt with an extraordinary heritage — Legacy. This 19-year-old Tasmanian single cask whisky captures the essence of a legacy created by Bill Lark, the founder of Australia’s craft spirits industry.

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Lark Distilling launches Double Tawny single malt whisky

Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co. has unveiled its latest dark and fruity single malt whisky, Double Tawny. The limited release from Lark’s Coal Valley Distillery elevates it’s signature Classic Cask single malt whisky to sensational new heights.

On the nose, Double Tawny is punchy and fruity, with notes of rich tawny, dark chocolate, apple and blackcurrant crumble with old oak, leather-bound books and toffee. Flavours of vanilla custard, Lark’s signature candied orange peel, rich toffee and oak develop on the palate, leading to the unmissable tang of rich dark fruit to remnants of oak and smoke.

$40,000 50-year-old whisky released

Glengoyne Whisky has announced the launch of its oldest ever expression – a 50 Year Old Highland Single Malt – and is offering whisky lovers a unique opportunity to savour this rare whisky in 2021.
Priced at $40,580 and with only 150 decanters available in the world, the limited-edition single malt is the pinnacle of the distillery’s unhurried and uncompromising approach to whisky making, as Scotland’s slowest distilled malt. After five decades patiently maturing, this exceptional whisky has a richness and depth of aromas and flavours rarely encountered.
Proving that great whisky should be enjoyed whatever its age, Glengoyne has taken the unique decision to give away a special decanter of this incredibly high aged, rare whisky in 2021. After what’s been a difficult and disruptive year across the globe, the distillery will be making a moment with friends or family extra special for one group in 2021.
An online ballot has opened for groups of five or more friends or family to submit an entry alongside a description of their perfect moment for savouring the Glengoyne 50 Year Old together next year. Whether it’s toasting a delayed celebration, or creating an unforgettable reunion, the Glengoyne team will make their special moment a reality, hand-delivering the highly sought-after whisky for one group to enjoy and savour, in good company.
“When we first filled hand-selected oak casks with our sweet, fruity, new make spirit back in the late 1960s, The Beatles were only just breaking up, Richard Nixon was US President, and Sesame Street debuted on television. A lot has changed while we’ve been waiting patiently for this unique release,” Robbie Hughes, Master Distiller at Glengoyne Highland Single Malt, said.
“At Glengoyne we believe that patience is always rewarded. This year we’ve all had to sacrifice spending time with our loved ones or delay celebrations. That’s why we want to make these moments extra special in 2021 with a memorable whisky that, after waiting so long for just the right moment, is truly ready to be opened and savoured.”

Limited-edition single malt pinot noir launched

Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask Finish is said to be an  elegant expression of Westward Whiskey, influenced by Oregon’s premier varietal: Pinot Noir. Created in partnership with Suzor Wines, a coveted producer in the Willamette Valley, this small batch release is bound to be a collector’s item.

Westward Oregon Pinot Noir Cask Finish is made from scratch at our Portland distillery using Pacific Northwest two-row barley, brewed with American pale ale yeast for outstanding flavour, double pot distilled for exceptional character, and matured in 2-char, kiln dried 53-gallon new American oak barrels. Once fully matured, we finished this batch of whiskey for 19 months in French Oak wine casks that had previously held Pinot Noir from Suzor Wines.

Glen Grant wins Scotch Whisky of the Year for fourth year in a row

Glen Grant once again is awarded top honours for its category in the latest edition of Jim Murray’s perennially anticipated Whisky Bible – the world’s most-influential Whisk(e)y guide. Glen Grant 18 Year Old, the rarest variant in the Glen Grant single malt range, has once again been named “Scotch Whisky of the Year”, “Single Malt of the Year” and “Best Single Malt Scotch Aged 16-21 years” by the esteemed whisky writer and reviewer, taking home the top prize in the category for a stunning fourth year in a row.

After sampling 1,200 whisky entrants for the 2020 edition of his influential guidebook, Jim chose this winning expression to represent his number one rated whisky from Scotland. Building on last year’s remark that the 18 Year Old single malt “carried the banner for Scotland,” and “displayed Speyside Whisky in its most sparkling light,” Murray this year that that he could find no faults in the liquid, and called it, “As usual, sublime,” adding that he “didn’t think it possible. But this distillery has just upped its game. Though, perhaps it does have two new challengers now: The Glen Grant 15 and The Glen Grant Rothes Chronicles Cask Haven.”

Reinforcing that the entire range of casks is exquisite, The Glen Grant Rothes Chronicles Cask Haven (a Global Travel Retail exclusive) has been awarded “Best No Age Statement”.

READ MORE: Food and Beverage Award winners announced

Calling this particular expression “technically perfect” Murray explains it as “a malt which takes ‘understatement’ to a new level,” and remarked that it leaves the drinker “spellbound as its secrets slowly unfold. To do descriptors barely do it justice.” Cask Haven joins the already-decorated Glen Grant 15 Year Old this year, which takes the prize for “Best Single Malt Scotch Aged 11 to 15 Years” in its category. Additionally, The Glen Grant 10 Year Old wins in the “Best Single Malt Scotch Aged 10 Years and Under” category for a remarkable 7th time.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is the world’s biggest-selling and most influential annual whisky guide. Industry renowned, the compact guide contains roughly 4,500 detailed, professionally analysed and easy to understand tasting notes on the world’s leading and lesser known whiskies. Each whisky is tasted by Murray himself and graded with an overall score out of 100.

Founded in 1840 by brothers John and James Grant in Rothes, in Speyside, Scotland, Glen Grant boasts a remarkable, double distillation process, which sets its award-winning single malts apart from the competition. Introduced over a century ago by the ingenious James ‘The Major’ Grant, these hand-designed, tall, slender stills and distinctive purifiers capture only the finest vapours. Still used to this day, the result is a refined and seductively smooth taste for which Glen Grant is renowned.

Dennis Malcolm, Glen Grant’s Master Distiller, commented, “To be awarded ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ for a record fourth year with our 18YO is an incredible honour. Unprecedented! With all of the remarkable whiskies that come from our corner of the world, we are thrilled to share this news, in addition the accolades again this year on our 10 and 15YO expressions. To add, we couldn’t be more pleased that an exclusive offering like Cask Haven is recognised for the complex, beautiful liquid that it is. We take so much pride in creating our unique expressions, and we’re delighted and humbled to see that the consistent quality of these beautiful products continues to be recognised by industry legends like Jim Murray.”


Rare American whiskeys land in Australia

The 2018 Antique Collection of American whiskeys has landed in Australia, from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Representing a cross-section of rare American Whiskeys, the Antique Collection spans a wide range of limited edition whiskeys of various ages, proofs and styles – some of which are revered as the best in the world and only available to supporters of the distillery’s signature Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey.

Recently named as ‘Distiller of the Year’ at the Icons of Whisky America awards 2018, the Buffalo Trace Distillery, based in the heart of bourbon country Kentucky, has been dedicated to crafting traditionally aged whiskeys for well over 200 years. Only five years ago, the distillery claimed its biggest accolade to date, being named as a National Historic Landmark.

The Antique Collection comprises of 18 rare products including the highly pursued Pappy Van Winkle 23YO, the iconic William Larue Weller and the Weller 12YO.

Every bourbon in the range encapsulates the innovative methods implemented by each of the previous five master distillers, reflecting their individual styles. With the extreme aging process behind some of the whiskeys, it’s uncommon for any of the distillers to taste the result of their work, instead leaving a recognisable legacy that is appreciated by younger generations.

Buffalo Trace Brand Manager at SouthTrade International, James Johnstone, explains how the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is regarded as the most exciting time of the year for Buffalo Trace, as it highlights the legacy of many decades of distilling genius.

“Hailing from the most award-winning distillery and as a heavily awarded range itself, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection’s demand always outweighs supply globally. It’s great to see that Australia has had so many bottles come through the allocation this year, which we only hope will grow in the future so that more whiskey aficionados are able to enjoy these incredible drops,” he said.

The collection is available in limited numbers across both on and off premise venues within Australia.


Spirits Platform to distribute Macallan scotch whisky

Marketing and distribution company Spirits Platform has launched its partnership with Edrington by announcing that The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old scotch whisky will join its portfolio in Australia.

Created from the balance of sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks, The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old is the latest premium single malt scotch to be released from the Scottish distillery.

Double Cask 12 Years Old brings a distinctive character to the fore, whilst presenting flavours familiar to both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak ranges. The result is a new interpretation of the signature 12 Years Old Macallan: sweet, yet balanced and honeyed in character.

Officially taking the reins from Beam Suntory and Coca-Cola Amatil, Spirits Platform will distribute Edrington’s portfolio of whiskies in Australia, including The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.

The Double Cask 12 Years Old will be ranged alongside the Fine Oak 12 Years Old, offering Australia’s whisky connoisseurs access to two luxury Speyside single malts.

The new addition will be distributed with other Macallan expressions, including the 1824 Master Series’ The Macallan Rare Cask, a whisky crafted from handpicked Spanish sherry seasoned oak casks, with a high proportion of them being first fill.

Spirits Platform also plans to release the The Macallan Edition No. 2, a collaboration between master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno and globally celebrated restaurateurs the Roca brothers, founders of El Celler de Can Roca, twice voted best restaurant in the world.

Pioneering craft brewery evolves into whisky distillery

ONE of Australia’s early craft breweries has grown up to become a premium whisky distillery.

The Steam Exchange brewery in Goolwa, South Australia, has been rebadged Fleurieu Distillery, realising a lifelong dream for head distiller Gareth Andrews.

The distillery, on the edge of the River Murray about and hour’s drive south of Adelaide, released its first single malt whisky just before Christmas and has almost sold out despite its $260 a bottle price tag.

The next release is due in April while a new 36-hectolitre still is expected to be delivered before the end of the year.

Andrews has resumed distilling after a hectic tourism season at his waterside cellar door, which sits between the Goolwa Steam Ranger train station and the wharf where river cruises on vintage paddle steamers regularly depart.

The unpeated first release was matured in 100-litre ex-Seppeltsfield port barrels for about “three summers” resulting in a “big thick, oily, punchy, gutsy whisky”.

Whisky from the five barrels was selectively blended to produce 600 bottles, allowing Andrews to maintain consistency and produce something he felt reflected the “whisky terroir” of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

While 350 bottles of the first release were pre-sold as whisky bonds before bottling, the remaining 250 bottles are being sold at the cellar door, through the distillery’s website and by the nip at specialty bars such as Hains & Co in Adelaide. Only about 70 bottles remain.

“They’re first-use barrels so they are at their maximum strength and we’ve had them cut down to 100-litre barrels,” Andrews said.

“We are looking at the premium end so we released at 52 per cent.

img - Fleurieu Distillery_Tall

“The next one will still be port barrel but it will be what I call a medium peat and we are looking to produce that one at full-on cask strength – around 62 per cent straight out the barrel with no watering down.”

The distillery also produces G-Town Gin and still brews beer but both are only sold at the cellar door along with a selection of boutique Langhorne Creek wines.

“We also have whisky sitting in sherry barrels from McWilliams both peated and unpeated but our sherry barrel whiskies won’t be out until next year,” Andrews said.

“At the moment we’re using first-use barrels so it’s big thick, oily, punchy, gutsy whiskies.

“The customers we’re looking for are obviously not people who want to mix it with Coke, we’re looking for adventurers who don’t mind paying that extra for a very high-quality product that stands out.

“We’re looking for people who want to travel that winding road and live a life less ordinary.”

Andrews said he was trying to source bourbon barrels to mature his next batch in.

He said the “maritime” conditions at Goolwa, less than 3km from where Australia’s longest river meets the Southern Ocean, were ideal for maturing whisky because of its fresh sea breezes, fluctuating temperatures range and mild summers.

Goolwa is at the southern end of the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is also home to the McLaren Vale wine region and the McLaren Vale Distillery.

Andrews began the brewery in 2004 and was one of only three craft breweries in South Australia at the time.

The success of the business allowed him to eventually become a distillery, which had been a long-term goal. The businesses focus is now 90 per cent whisky, 5 per cent gin and five per cent beer.

“As the craft beer game evolved people became really fixated with the IPA style whereas I am a big fan of the more traditional style English ales,” Andrews said.

“We decided that was not the style we were interested in and we wanted to go off and do other things.

“There comes a point where you have to ask ‘what am I most passionate about’ and focus on that.

“For us down here our passion for whisky has grown and grown and the beer side has become less important – we’ll always have our Steam Exchange brand but it’s in the background now.”

The similarities between making beer and whisky have helped Andrews reach his distilling goal, which he said was simply not an option when he opened the brewery 15 years ago.

“Even in 2004, just to find brewing equipment was really hard so back then the concept of setting up a distillery was unheard of because you just couldn’t access the equipment,” he said.

“Effectively from a distiller’s perspective, making whisky wash is very close to making beer without hops in it. There’s a few things you’ve got to change like mashing temperatures and a few chemistry issues you’ve got to deal with but effectively it’s the same process.”

The distillery’s 12-hectolitre still, custom made by Knapp Lewer in Tasmania, is a small version of the still at Islay distillery Caol Ila – one of Andrews’ favourites.

Andrews has engaged Knapp Lewer to make him a larger 36-hectolitre version of the still, which he hopes to have before the end of the year.

His wife Angela – who has worked for more than 20 years as a librarian/teacher is becoming more involved in the business from next week by taking a year off from her job to learn the distilling ropes.

“Basically by October/November she will be able to walk in and do her own cuts – heads and tails – and create her own whisky,” Andrews said.

“We are going to train her to become South Australia’s first female whisky distiller.”

“The promotion of women into whisky is fairly important so Angela is going to set up a blog and every week go through what it’s like going from being a librarian to being a whisky distiller.”

This article first appeared on The Lead.

New Scotch whisky rolled out in Australia

Launching in Melbourne this month ahead of its global rollout, Pure Scot is the first Australian-owned whisky distilled traditionally in the southern Lowlands of Scotland.

Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky is the perfect balance of provenance and progression. Contemporary and fresh – combining unique Bladnoch Single Malt, robust island malts, aged Speyside and Highland malts and select grain whiskies.

The expertise and passion of Pure Scot’s master distiller Ian Macmillan is reflected in every drop – delivering a crisp, smooth, authentic taste – adaptable to many drinks and occasions. Evoking 200 years of heritage, Bladnoch Distillery – home to Pure Scot – has resided on the Bladnoch River since 1817.

Pure Scot is the vision of successful Australian businessman David Prior, bringing a modern interpretation to a category steeped in provenance, but in a younger and more accessible way.

"It's a highly adaptable, versatile, contemporary-tasting product, not smoked, it's really for the younger consumer,” Prior said.

Former CUB boss John Murphy, who has teamed up with Prior says Pure Scot hopes to lure new consumers – mainly in the 25 to 30 year bracket – into the Scotch whisky category by reinventing Scotch as a social drink, rather than a elitist beverage.

"The beauty for us with Pure Scot is we don't have to be protecting and defending. We can come in and actually blow the hell out of this thing. We don't have to worry about those rules. We can play with any rules. We can talk to customers and consumers differently," Murphy said.

Online alcohol design now here

Archie Rose Distilling is enabling you to create your own tailored spirits, right down to having your name on the label.

“This is something we’ve been working on for some time,” says founder and owner, Will Edwards. “Every day we are lucky enough too able to play with pure botanical distillates, unique malts and rare casks to create our spirits’ flavour profiles.”

Both Vodka and Gin can be designed on their website where you have to opportunity to create a unique flavour combination with a mix of the number of botanicals including Blood Orange, Orris Root and Dorrigo Pepperleaf. 

The whisky experience is a little bit different it allows you to personalise almost every aspect of your whisky including the option for you and four friends to assist in the actual making of your whisky on site.

23 year old single malt Scotch whisky

William Grant & Sons is launching the third release from the Kininvie Distillery – the Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3. This single malt Scotch whisky has been created by William Grant & Sons’ sixth Malt Master Brian Kinsman from liquid taken from casks that were laid to rest in 1991.

The outstanding Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 is a product of careful maturation and marrying of the product in hogsheads and sherry butts for nearly a quarter of a century. It has a distinctive Speyside character, boasting rich, fruity, floral aroma and an ABV of 42.6%. Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 boasts the beautiful signature Kininvie style of Batches 1 and 2.

 Every bottle of Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 will display the year of distillation, batch number and individual bottle number.

Craig Cranmer, the Kininvie distillery manager, commented: “The quality of Kininvie 23 Years Old Batch No. 3 is a result of our patience and devoted care”.