News | 04 Jun 2010 | Issue 88 | By Rob Allanson

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Arctic adventure Scots born explorer Jock Wishart and Old Pulteney whisky have unveiled a remarkable mission to conquer what could be one of the world’s last great ‘firsts’: to row to one of the world’s Poles.‘Old Pulteney Row to the Pole’ will see Jock and a five strong crew brave some of the harshest conditions on earth as they row in a specially designed boat through Arctic waters to reach the pole – a feat of extreme physical and mental endurance that has never before been attempted and if successful, will rank alongside the first row across the Atlantic.The challenge will take place in July/August 2011 and is of global significance as both a pioneering maritime adventure and an environmental expedition. The planned 450 mile route across the Arctic sea starts in Resolute Bay in Canada with timing being of the essence as the final section of the journey is only navigable for a few weeks of the year before refreezing. It has only become possible to consider an attempt like this in recent years due to the increase in seasonal ice melt and the much-documented deterioration of the Arctic landscape.The Old Pulteney Row to the Pole will be the first polar expedition to involve rowing since Ernest Shackleton’s men took to their boats to save their lives in the South Pole, on his now legendary 1916 Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition.“A few years ago a good rowing friend joked that a row to the pole would be the ultimate challenge for someone like me, passionate about polar exploration and boating,” Jock commented.“It’s therefore incredible for me, after three years of planning, to be unveiling this expedition and to begin the intense process of work and training that now lies before us to prepare for what will be the greatest challenge of my life.” Margaret Mary Clarke, senior brand manager for Old Pulteney commented: “Old Pulteney is extremely proud to be a partner in this great adventure, and to be working with Jock who is an inspiration for all of us who are passionate about maritime adventure. We will be supporting Jock and his crew throughout the process, and look forward to being part of this exciting project as it unfolds over the coming months.” Distillery only GlenDronach has announced details of an exclusive single cask bottling, and it’s available only in a secluded corner of Scotland.“1996 Cask 197 has been specially selected for devotees of our renowned richly-sherried malt and is only available at our Aberdeenshire distillery,” explained regional sales director Alistair Walker.“You won’t find it anywhere else in the world so if you want to savour this unique expression, you’ll have to come here to get one of our 576 bottles...but I assure you the journey will be well worth it!” Summit work A team from Glenfiddich Distillery, has completed a pioneering 1,344 metre climb up Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, armed with a 40kg barrel, which they re-constructed at the summit.The feat, organised to celebrate cooper Jackie Ross’ retirement after 42 years as a Glenfiddich cooper, took a gruelling three hours to complete.The team of ten, which collectively have more than 200 years of service at Glenfiddich, included six coopers and a piper.The climbers raised a total of £1,000 for local causes.Grouse back Despite the bitter cold start to 2010, the tough wintry conditions have done little to delay the mating season of one of the UK’s rarest birds.A bold and striking bird, the black grouse has suffered steady declines in the past 40 years, with populations falling from an estimated 25,000 displaying males in 1970 to just 5,000 in 2005 (when a national survey was conducted), as such the species is of high conservation concern.A staggering £100,000 has now been donated to black grouse conservation since RSPB Scotland teamed up with The Famous Grouse to launch the newest addition to The Famous Grouse family – The Black Grouse. For every bottle of The Black Grouse whisky sold, 50p is donated to the conservation charity.Glenfarclas 40 Family owned Glenfarclas has added a new 40 Years Old whisky to their core portfolio of premium Highland whiskies. Glenfarclas 40 Years Old has been bottled at 46% vol. from casks filled in the late 1960s, and selected by George S. Grant, director of sales and the sixth generation of the family which own and manage the distillery. Test yourself Bushmills master distiller Colum Egan has taken the unprecedented step of offering to share his life in Bushmills for 30 days. This global opportunity will see one person spend 30 days at the heart of the area and community that was granted a licence to distil in 1608.If they can prove to Colum they have captured the special Bushmills way of life and ‘Make it at Bushmills’ then, at the end of their 30 days, they will get to be the first ever person outside of the distillery to create their own blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.Set against the stunning backdrop of Ireland’s north coast the winner will experience the best of Bushmills for those 30 days, from the secrets of making the finest Irish whiskey to discovering the personality and sense of adventure that are an integral part of the Bushmills community.Colum Egan said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to come to the home of Bushmills and get an appreciation of what goes on here. For the past 400 years we’ve learned a lot about making great whiskey and a lot about enjoying it! That’s something we want to share, from learning how to select the perfect mature whiskey, to learning the best way to catch a good salmon…or even one of our world-famous waves! It’s all part of the Bushmills way of life. If someone can prove to us that they have what it takes to ‘Make it at Bushmills’ then we’d be delighted to let them be the first person outside of the distillery to work alongside me to create their own special blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey – hopefully it’s not too good because I like my job too much!” • For more information visit www.facebook.com/bushmills1608
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