Latest Whisky News

Time for another look at what’s going on in the world of whisky. First up, scientists have discovered that a bi-product of whisky production has been found effective in removing pollutants from contaminated water supplies:

The treatment system, called Dram (Device for the Remediation and Attenuation of Multiple pollutants), uses compressed barley husks discarded by distillers to remove pollutants, including pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals, from water supplies. Now a charity in Bangladesh plans to use the technology to tackle the life-threatening problem of arsenic in domestic water used for drinking, washing and irrigating crops. A ­pilot project due to start in December will install the Scottish device to deliver clean water to 30 families in the village of Golaidanga, west of the capital Dhaka.

Next up, it’s official. Mark the 18th of May in your calendar, for that is now World Whisky Day:

The Scottish government, VisitScotland, Scottish Food and Drink and the Scotch Whisky Experience are supporting of the initiative. Mr Bowman said: “I still cannot believe how much support the first World Whisky Day received. Now that the government and other organisations are getting behind the initiative it is sure to be an even bigger success – which is good news for the whisky industry and good news for Scotland.”

I’m sure this is, ultimately, a good bit of marketing news more than anything else, but perhaps it’ll be used to persuade casual drinkers to try something other than Famous Grouse? Let’s face it, the huge brands are going to get behind this, but ultimately I suppose it will bring a bit of extra money into the industry. Though as one chap on Twitter said to me: The kid picks one day, gets incredible attention. I say “Every day’s whisky day,” and suddenly I have a “problem.”

The world’s only bottle of Dalmore Zenith whisky is about to go on sale – and it could fetch up to £100,000:

It is being hailed as one of the oldest and rarest bottles of whisky and could make history as the most expensive bottle sold this year… The single malt from the Dalmore distillery in the north east of Scotland is made up from precious stocks of three very old vintages of Dalmore single malt whisky: The Dalmore 1964, the Dalmore 1951 and an historic Dalmore which was distilled in 1926 – the year of the general strike and birth year of the Queen.

It’s yet another jaw-droppingly expensive Dalmore release, but at least a ‘portion’ of the proceeds will go to the British Red Cross. One hopes at that price it isn’t chill-filtered or had colour added to it, like some of their other whiskies… You do have to wonder just who will buy a bottle like this, and what they’ll do when it’s finally in their hands.

The Scotsman reports on a survey that looks at whisky labelling and consumers, which concludes that most people who buy whisky make their choices purely on the basis of the packaging:

Up to 60 per cent of those buying single malts have no idea of what they might taste like and people are put off by packaging that embodies the “celtic cliche”, suggests the study carried out for Glasgow-based designed [sic] agency Good.

Of course, we probably shouldn’t jump to such conclusions based on a survey that (a) comes from a design company and (b) doesn’t show what (probably very) leading questions it asked. Still, branding works for most things in life, so why not whisky?

Finally, Johnnie Walker is embarking upon a big advertising campaign to get more people drinking (its) whisky:

The ‘Where Flavour is King’ advertising push focuses on highlighting the differences in taste between the brand’s Red, Platinum, Black and Gold label variants. It will focus on a Facebook app that educates users about the flavours that make up each Johnnie Walker label and will also include tips on how best to serve the drink. An outdoor campaign and radio activity will support the app alongside on and off trade promotions. Diageo says the new campaign “will open consumers’ eyes to the depth and variety of flavour that exists across the Johnnie Walker whisky taste spectrum.”

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