Tomatin named fastest growing top 10 single malt whisky in the US

Highland whisky distillery Tomatin, has announced that it is officially the fastest growing top ten single malt whisky in the US. Recent figures released by Impact Databank confirm that the brand has increased its foothold in the US by a massive 52% following significant international growth.

Tomatin sold more than 35,000 cases of branded product stateside in 2017, amounting to almost £2 million worth of sales. The brand proved particularly popular in states including New York, Texas and California.

Graham Nicolson, Sales Director of Tomatin, said, “There is growing demand for Tomatin stateside and, thanks to our fantastic partnership with Phillips Distilling Co., we have been able to meet this demand and grow Tomatin’s US presence at a significant pace.”

He added, “2018 has been a year of intense acceleration for Tomatin, not just in the US, but in the UK too. We are delighted to celebrate this latest business milestone and look forward to further growing the brand in the US, and beyond, as we head into 2019.”

Commenting on the US market, Sarah Dickson, International Director at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The US continues to be the largest export market for Scotch Whisky, accounting for over £921.7 million in exports last year.”

She continued: “Single malts are extremely popular in the USA, with the country representing 26% of overall value of single malt exports – and the equivalent of 23.7 million bottles shipped to the country in 2017. On a global level, single malts continue to perform strongly, and since topping £1bn in exports in 2016 are now valued at £1.2 billion.”

Christopher Null, a California-based whisky blogger and Editor of Drink Hacker, commented: “This is huge news for a generally under sung brand that is known for both its impressive – and often unique – expressions and reasonable pricing.”

He added: “Tomatin hasn’t been well-known by most US consumers, so annual growth of 52% is a huge accomplishment that will seemingly be changing things in short order. I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of these whiskies on the US market.”

Back in June, Tomatin reported a double-digit increase in turnover and profit. Sales in 2017 were 25 per cent higher on the previous year at £18m, driven by growth in the UK, the US and Europe. In addition, turnover from the distillery’s visitor centre – an important income stream for the business, surpassed £1 million for the very first time.

Tomatin’s portfolio of core whiskies spans four decades and the distillery also produces Cù Bòcan, a lightly peated single malt whisky, and range a range of blended whiskies.

London whiskey produced for the first time in over 100 years.

The London Distillery Company (TLDC) has become the first to successfully distil whiskey in the nation’s capital for more than 100 years, with the launch of its super-premium Rye Whiskey.

Aged in new English oak barrels, the 4-year-old, twice distilled whiskey is made from 100% rye. Boasting an attractive dark, oaky, burnt toffee liquid at 54.3% ABV, this handcrafted whiskey pays tribute to London’s whiskey production of yesteryear.

An independent craft distilling business based on the ‘Beer Mile’ near Tower Bridge, TLDC was originally founded in 1807 and re-established in 2011. Modern day TLDC has created its Rye Whiskey LV-1767 Edition in recognition of the last company to successfully produce whiskey in London – Lea Valley Distillery.

With the Latin motto ‘De Nobis Fabula Narratur’, meaning “their story is our story” (often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or historical event), TLDC Rye Whiskey LV-1767 Edition has the distinction of being the first whiskey to be distilled in London since the Lea Valley (LV) Distillery (Est. 1767) ceased production in the early 1900s.

TLDC Rye Whiskey LV-1767 Edition boasts a chocolate and roasted coffee aroma, with banana and pear notes following. On the palate it offers intriguing, natural taste tones of rich cinnamon and stewed peaches to complement the peppery beeswax note from the oak. In addition, there are hints of macadamia and some light lemon verbena notes. The finish is a lingering white pepper spice and dark cherry. Recommended best served neat, or with an ice-cube or touch of water to bring out the aromas.

Matt McGivern, Head of Distilling and Operations at TLDC said: “Everyone at the London Distillery Company are so honoured to be re-establishing the distillation of whiskey in London after so many years; when I joined the business the first product I tasted was the Rye unaged and I knew it was special – the team have treated the cask like a precious jewel, and now the hard work of TLDC teams past and present come to bear with the Rye Whiskey LV-1767 Edition and I couldn’t be prouder.

“In new English oak casks the liquid has matured quickly into a beautifully deep and sumptuous drop, with powerful notes from start to finish. We’ve allowed a few highly regarded experts to reaffirm our belief that this is a special liquid and to confirm that this product is truly deserving to be called London’s first Whiskey in a generation.”

Spooky whisky – take the Tomatin tour if you dare!

Highland whisky distillery Tomatin, is gearing up to host its infamous spook-tacular Fright Night tours in celebration of Halloween on Friday 26th of October.

The two frightful distillery tours will see 20 brave visitors picked up in Inverness on Friday evening before travelling to Tomatin where they will be in for a spine-chilling evening.

First hosted in 2016, the infamous and terrifying tours see the Tomatin transformed into a haunted distillery and staff becoming bloodcurdling ghosts and ghouls for the event.

Enjoying a cocktail on arrival, visitors will start their tour in the Malt barns, before being taken into the Mash house. Brave attendees will then go through the Stillhouse and around the Cooperage, enjoying several drams along the way, before finally ending in the Warehouses – all the while things go bump in the night.

After a few jump-scares, the tour will end at just before the witching hour in the Visitors Centre with another much-needed dram to calm the nerves.

Louise Taylor, Visitor Centre Manager at Tomatin, said: “We’re excited to host our fright night, an event that has proved very popular with our visitors in the past. This year we’ve made sure our hair-raising tour is scarier than ever with more ghouls and ghosts than ever before.

“Tomatin boasts buildings that are over 100 years old, meaning there is no end of eerie tales and fables surrounding the distillery. We look forward to having visitors take part in our creepy tour… if they dare!”

Packed with the longstanding history of Tomatin and an in-depth insight into the process of creating whisky, the tour is not for the faint of heart and is strictly for over 18s only.

Two spine-tingling tours are available: 6:30pm or 7:30pm, with each taking just over an hour. Tickets costs £20 per person and include four drinks and transport.

Spaces are limited and expected to sell fast, to purchase tickets please phone: 01463 248 144

Tomatin Distillery lies just 16 miles south of Inverness and 15 miles north of Aviemore on the A9. For additional information please visit: http://www.tomatin.com/

Who will be the Old Fashioned cocktail world champion?

Old Fashioned Week celebrates the father of all cocktails, the Old Fashioned. Bartenders around the world will reach for their mixing spoons and show off their old fashioned and new fashioned creativity for ten days in November.

The international bar celebration, raises the standards even higher this year. It launches a challenge to bartenders and bars to create the best Old Fashioned in the world – classic, contemporary, or avant-garde. The video-based competition is open only to professional bartenders, and the top prize comprises a tailormade suit and a hosted three-day visit to Paris Rum Fest 6-8 April 2019.

All set for Old Fashioned Week 1-10 November 2018

Full rules and more information can be found on www.old-fashioned-week.com. Bartenders are invited to submit entries before the closing date 30 November and can therefore reflect their best creations from Old Fashioned Week (OFW) earlier in the month.

Judging criteria include originality, the recipe itself, technical mastery, quality of the video, and level of social media engagement and ‘likes’. Results will be announced on 15 January 2019. This new feature is in partnership with one of OFW’s sponsors, Toschi Amarena red cherries. Michael Landart, co-founder of OFW and owner of Paris bar Maria Loca, will head the judging jury.

 

Glenkinchie Distillery – submits plans to transform visitor experience

Plans to transform the visitor experience at Glenkinchie Distillery have been formally submitted to East Lothian Council.

The Detailed Planning Application sets out proposals that will significantly expand and enhance the experience the distillery offers to tourists from around the world. The submission of formal plans follows community engagement last month as well as pre-application consultation with East Lothian Council and Historic Environment Scotland.

The plans centre around the renovation and conversion of Glenkinchie’s beautiful, traditional red brick warehouse buildings into a stunning multi-levelled visitor experience, which will include a welcome lounge, retail unit, bar and cocktail making classroom, tasting rooms and a cask draw experience.

Externally, a number of non-original buildings would be removed to allow extensive landscaping to create a beautiful welcome garden in front of the visitor experience.

The East Lothian distillery is one of a number of Diageo distilleries that will see major work undertaken as part the company’s £150m investment in Johnnie Walker and single malt scotch whisky visitor attractions around Scotland.

As part of the plan Glenkinchie will be linked to a new global visitor attraction in Edinburgh for Johnnie Walker – the world’s biggest selling Scotch whisky brand. Glenkinchie is a key part of the Johnnie Walker single malt portfolio, providing the light, floral, classic lowland style of single malt for Johnnie Walker scotch whiskies.

If planning permission is successful work would commence in 2019 with planned completion in 2020.

Ramsay Borthwick, Glenkinchie Distillery Manager, said: “This is a very significant and exciting point on our journey to transform Glenkinchie. We are all incredibly excited about the plans which will surely capture the imagination of Scotch whisky fans of all ages, tastes and experience from around the world.

“We want to celebrate the distillery’s history and combine this with a new state-of-the-art visitor experience which will not only link us to the new global Johnnie Walker visitor attraction in Edinburgh but will establish Glenkinchie as a must-see for tourists in Scotland.”

Glenkinchie Distillery has a long history of association with Johnnie Walker, with stock books from 1894 listing Glenkinchie among the single malts going into the Walker blending inventory.

Opera at the Glen Scotia distillery – featuring music by Scot indie stars Admiral Fallow

Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown is set to host one of the first performances of an exciting new opera set in a distillery and featuring music by Scot indie stars Admiral Fallow.

Navigate The Blood, which is written by Sian Evans, is about a couple whose son has disappeared in mysterious circumstances, with the action taking place in a small family distillery.

The new production combines singing, music, theatre and storytelling, and has been created to reflect the lives of the distillery community in Scotland. By being relevant to those based in Scotland’s distilling regions, it also aims to encourage new audiences to experience opera.

Distilling is an industry that employs, directly and indirectly, 41,000 people in Scotland and attracted two million tourists to various Scottish distilleries last year.

The contemporary opera features music by top Scottish indie-folk band, Admiral Fallow, who joined forces with composer Gareth Williams to push the collaborative boundaries and form this exciting new partnership. Working with Gareth, Sian and classical opera singers, they have embraced an intense writing process, resulting in a compelling first new work of modern opera by the talented and versatile musicians

The production will tour Scotland’s traditional distilling regions, from the Highlands, to the Lowlands, via Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown, where Glen Scotia will host the sole performance. Glen Scotia is one of only three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, formerly known as the Victorian capital of Scotch.

Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “Navigate The Blood has been created to showcase Scotland’s distilling industry and we can’t wait for it to be performed here at Glen Scotia. Campbeltown, one of Scotland’s five official malt-producing regions, has a rich distilling heritage, with over 30 distilleries based in the town during its Victorian heyday when it was known as the Scotch capital of the world. We are extremely proud of our role as the sole host for Campbeltown.”

Glen Scotia
Glen Scotia Distillery, Campbeltown

James Robert Carson, the founder and artistic director of New Opera in Scotland Events (NOISE), which is producing Navigate The Blood, said: “Scotland has a deep and historic involvement with the art of distilling. By performing Navigate the Blood in each of the five distinct distilling regions, NOISE has designed an opera that reflects and celebrates the success and continued innovation of this remarkable industry. The band Admiral Fallow and composer Gareth Williams have created a truly magical and original score, with a story set in a distillery.

“NOISE is delighted to be able to tour this new production to audiences who live and work in some of the country’s most important and unique working communities, such as Glen Scotia in Campbeltown.”

Navigate The Blood is to be performed at Glen Scotia Distillery on November 9. Tickets are available from www.seeticket.com.

Britain’s oldest wine & spirit merchant’s historic association with coffee inspires new liqueur

Celebrating its history as one of West London’s most popular destinations for coffee, Berry Bros. & Rudd has added a coffee liqueur to its own-label range.

Often overlooked, hanging above the door of the company’s historic premises at No.3 St James’s Street is a sign of a coffee mill. When the shop was originally opened back in 1698 it was known simply as ‘The Sign of the Coffee Mill’. The giant scales which continue to hang inside the company’s reception are further testament to the business’s enduring history with coffee.

320 years later, the family-owned wine & spirits merchant has added an own-label coffee liqueur to its range.

Crafted in the heart of London in partnership with Thames Distillers and Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, the Berry Bros. & Rudd Coffee Liqueur is distilled at a higher strength (35%) for a more intense and fuller coffee flavour.

Produced using a cold drip process to extract less acidity from the bean, the result is greater flavour and sweetness and a more concentrated coffee essence.

Whether it is poured over ice or shaken together with a shot of fresh espresso for an Espresso Martini, the Berry Bros. & Rudd Coffee Liqueur has been created to produce the simplest but best-tasting cocktails at home.

Lizzy Rudd, Chairman of Berry Bros. & Rudd comments: “Coffee was where the business started back in 1698, and so it feels rather nostalgic but incredibly appropriate to be offering a coffee-based product to our customers once again.

“Having already relaunched our London Dry Gin earlier in the year and providing a new classic range of whiskies under our Berry Bros. & Rudd label, it’s fun to have something a bit different to add to our range.”

Available to buy now, Berry Bros. & Rudd Coffee Liqueur, 70cl (35% abv) £26.50 is available to buy online at bbr.com or in the company’s London and Basingstoke shops.

For trade queries, please contact FMV (Fields, Morris & Verdin), the trade arm of Berry Bros. & Rudd, which will be distributing the coffee liqueur in the UK.

KEY SERVE

Shake 50ml of our Coffee Liqueur with a shot of fresh espresso over ice for the simplest, best-tasting Espresso Martini.

TASTING NOTES

A rich shade of polished mahogany, the nose entices with coffee aromas – ground coffee and dark chocolate. The palate starts as almost sweet, bursting with a hit of bitter-sweet coffee. It’s deliciously fulfilling with a wonderfully long finish.

Auchentoshan shortlists UK bartenders to join its international collective – The New Malt Order

Auchentoshan, the triple-distilled whisky made in the heart of Glasgow, have announced the UK winners of their annual New Malt Order competition. 48 bartenders were invited to enter for the chance to help curate the third edition of Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt, and the top seven had the chance to compete in a live final.

The UK final was held at TT Liquor in London, and saw each entrant undergo two rounds of judging by a panel of spirits and whisky experts, including Gary Sharpen and previous years’ New Malt Order winners Lachlan Rooney and Charles Roche . Bartenders were required to create a cocktail inspired by their home city, and then a cocktail made using the very first edition of the Bartender’s Malt – the only whisky created by bartenders, for bartenders!

Contestants came from all over the UK, with winners Adam Lynch, formally of Science & Industry Bar in Manchester, and Glen Howartson from Black Rock in London, were declared as the winners. Lynch, who hails from Manchester, created for the first round the cocktail ‘The Port of Manchester’ using Auchentoshan Three Wood Tawny Port, Cherry Heering and tiki bitters, whilst Howartson, who comes from the north of Scotland, mixed up ‘Farmer’s Dram’, using Auchentoshan Three Wood, vodka and raspberry jam butter.

Both Lynch and Howartson will represent the UK in helping to curate the Bartender’s Malt Number 3 along with winners from Canada, Germany and Russia, in Auchentoshan’s spiritual home, Glasgow this month. Howartson commented on his win: “It’s many whisky lover’s dream to have their name put on a bottle of their favourite drink and contribute to the overall taste.”

The third edition of The Bartender’s Malt will be just as unique and innovative as the first, and is set to be released in late 2019.

This marks an exciting time for Auchentoshan. They have had a string of successful appearances at festivals across Glasgow this summer and will be launching The Bartender’s Malt Number 2 exclusively to the food and beverage industry next year.

The Winning Cocktail Recipes

Farmer’s Dram (Glen Howartson)

  • 30ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
  • 7.5ml peated Bloomsbury Vodka
  • 9.5ml raspberry jam butter washed Freya Birch

Method: stir over ice for 5-10 rotations, served neat in a nosing glass

Chasing The Dram (Glen Howartson)

  • 30ml Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt 01
  • Topped up with sparkling barley honey water

Method: served in a short glass

Port of Manchester (Adam Lynch)

  • 40ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
  • 20ml Banana Infused Grahams 20yr aged Tawny Port
  • 10ml Cherry Heering
  • 4 drops Bittermens Elemakule tiki bitters

Method: top with lemon peel to finish

A Journey Begins (Adam Lynch)

  • 35ml Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt
  • 15ml Coriander Infused Cola syrup
  • 5ml Campari

Method: stir then strain into a coupe, top with 15ml Guinness

Tomatin add 30 year old to their premium whisky line-up

Highland whisky distillery Tomatin, has announced the release of its new 30 Year Old single malt.

Retailing at £300, the golden-amber expression is a premium batch release decanted into individually numbered bottles, with only 900 available in the UK.

The whisky, finished in first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, is presented in a premium oak box and is accompanied by a carrying case – perfect for those looking to add a touch of extravagance to their whisky collection.

The 30 Year Old is expected to prove popular with new and loyal Tomatin drinkers and will be available through specialist retailers.

Jennifer Masson, Tomatin’s Marketing Manager, said, “We are delighted to be able to release this premium whisky to our customers just in time for Christmas. This is sure to be a must-have gift for any whisky lover or keen collector.

“Our core range has a wide breadth of whiskies and we expect the 30 Year Old will prove very popular with our customers who are looking for something premium and luxurious, and recognisably Tomatin.”

Tomatin’s 30 Year Old, delivers fresh aromas of soft fruits, golden honey and smooth white chocolate. On the palate, a fusion of tropical fruits and creamy buttered vanilla mingle in an explosion of sensational mixed spices. Customers can expect an elegantly rich and creamy finish.

Graham Nicolson, Tomatin’s Sales Director, said, “This luxurious expression is elegant and flavourful – a neatly packed whisky with taste sensations to delight the senses. From the spices that add an incredible depth, to the creamy buttered vanilla that brings an unbelievable layer of richness – the 30 Year Old is definitely one for every whisky drinker’s gantry.”

The 30 Year Old expression replaces the 1988 vintage in Tomatin’s core range and is available from specialist retailers at a cost of RRP £300 and comes in a 70cl bottle (46% abv).

Twitter: @Tomatin1897

Celebrating National Bourbon Day

According to the Distilled Spirits Council (U.S.), bourbon was up 6.7% in volume for 2017. As brown spirits continue to trend up in the U.S., bourbon remains among the biggest drivers.

Some say the rise in bourbon sales is due to the growth of small batch and single barrel bourbon in the 1990s, while others say it has to do with the resurgence in popularity of hard-liquor swilling characters and settings on television shows such as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to raise a glass of the amber spirit and  celebrate National Bourbon Day!

Swapping whisky for bourbon: Wild Turkey 101

Bourbon must be aged at least two years in a new, charred oak barrel made from American White Oak. But many types of bourbon are aged four years or longer. Bourbon gains its color and much of its flavor from barrel aging. The charred wood provides caramelized sugars that add flavor to the whiskey. The barrels can only be used once for bourbon – most of them are then shipped to Scotland  and used to mature whisky.  Bourbon drinkers are all indirectly helping Scotch.

Whether you drink it neat or mixed in a cocktail, drink some bourbon today!

Tullibardine wins four medals at 2018 International Spirits Challenge

Tullibardine distillery has been awarded an impressive four medals at the 2018 International Spirits Challenge, including a ‘silver’ accolade for its latest single malt release, The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape Finish.

The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most recent addition to the brand’s award-winning Marquess Collection and joins the collection’s two existing expressions which include the industry-renowned Murray 2004 and 2005. The Marquess Collection is named after Highland Jacobite Sir William Murray, the 2nd Marquess of Tullibardine and is tribute to the brand’s heritage.

The Tullibardine Sovereign, 225 Sauternes Finish and 228 Burgundy Finish were also recognised at the competition by being awarded silver and bronze medals respectively.

John Torrance, Distillery Manager at Tullibardine Distillery said: “The achievement of four medals at this world-renowned competition is a great reflection of the craftsmanship and expertise that goes into all of our single malts here at Tullibardine.

“This is the first award that The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape Finish has won and we hope this encourages connoisseurs and whisky fans alike around the globe to try and enjoy a dram of this exciting new release.”

Now in its 23rd year, The International Spirits Challenge is recognised as the world’s most authoritative, respected and influential spirits competition. The competition receives more than 1,300 entries from almost 70 countries each year.

The Macallan open stunning new distillery and visitor experience

The new distillery and visitor experience is located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate, which has been home to the leading luxury single malt since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has risen to become the leading international single malt by value and enjoys leading positions in some of the world’s most significant Scotch whisky markets including The USA, Taiwan, and Japan.

It is the first distillery on Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, who were selected to lead the project after an international competition.

Edrington is investing £500 million in the brand of which the £140 million distillery is the centrepiece. This programme increases investment in whisky, warehousing, and particularly in The Macallan’s signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.

The project was announced in 2012 and the build began in December 2014. The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the visitor experience will open its doors to the public on 2nd June. It is expected that visitor numbers will double in the first year and continue to rise thereafter.

The new distillery will enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third if required. The new stills were crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been making the brand’s distinctive, ‘curiously small’ stills for The Macallan since the 1950s.

Elgin-based Robertson Construction has delivered the complex architectural design, working with 25 contractors to bring the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience to life. During construction, up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site.

The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.

UK. Scotland. Moray. Craigellachie. Construction of the new Macallan distillery. May 2018.

The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components.

The roof is one of the most complicated timber structure in the world, comprising 1,800 single beams, 2,500 different roof elements, and 380,000 individual components, almost none of which are equal or the same.

Ian Curle, Chief Executive, Edrington, said: “This is an exciting occasion for Edrington and The Macallan. The unsurpassed quality of The Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come.

When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.”