Another round-up of a few interesting items from the wider world of whisky. First up is a bit of a shocker to fans of Japanese whisky. Nonjatta writes about ‘the Nikka Shock’, where Nikka is massively restructuring their line-up:
“Nikka is discontinuing their entire single-malt line-up, for both Yoichi and Miyagikyo. That means: no more 10yo, no more 12yo, no more 15yo, no more 20yo and no more NAS versions of these two as we know them…
The truth of the matter is, Nikka was forced to carry out this radical restructuring of their whisky portfolio because 15-20 years ago, people weren’t drinking much whisky in Japan, and there were years, at both Yoichi and Miyagikyo distillery, when the barrels laid down for maturation could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The ‘stock shortage’ is not an excuse or a PR stunt – it’s very real.”
“Aldi has continued its reign over other supermarkets by winning yet another blind taste test, this time for one of its budget whiskies. At the International Spirits Challenge, Aldi’s £12.99 Highland Black 8 Year Old Scotch Whisky was awarded a gold medal, despite being pitted against bottles worth six times the price.”
I always like to see a cheap whisky doing well at these kind of things. Though I’ve yet to try it, it goes to show that you don’t have to charge people a fortune to give them tasty stuff. In other news, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is opening its Edinburgh member club, 28 Queen Street, to the great unwashed. The other venues will remain members-only.
“Managing director Paul Miles said: ‘Members have already discovered the joys of the Society and opening 28 Queen Street permanently for everyone is a great opportunity for others to enjoy the unrivalled array of whisky we have on offer.
‘These are very exciting times for the whisky industry and the Society. With exceptional new whiskies and other spirits released monthly, there has never been a better time to visit 28 Queen Street or join the Society.’ “
Another day, another new distillery. This time there are plans for the small Hebridean island of Raasay:
“A disused hotel on a tiny Hebridean island with no pub could be turned into a distillery and visitor centre. Edinburgh-based R&B Distillers Ltd wants to convert Borodale House – formerly The Isle of Raasay Hotel – on Raasay into small distillery producing batched runs of whisky for a niche market.”
The picture above is the artist representation of what the distillery will look like, though there are more photos on the news article. Finally, for those of you who cannot get enough of Ardbeg’s gimmicky publicity, the distillery is looking to recreate Islay mist in bars.
“Islay’s cult Ardbeg distillery has produced a carafe designed to replicate the island’s mist in an on-trade serve. The Haar carafe is named after the thick, peaty coastal mists that occur where the whisky is produced. It was created by Professor David Edwards, an inventor who teaches at Harvard and works out of a Paris art and design studio. When whisky is poured into the carafe, ultrasound pads emit rapid vibrations which produce minute droplets that form the mist.”
I have no words to accurately sum up my dismay…