A sense of place

A sense of place

Joe Bates finds a warm welcome in Sweden
Joe Bates

27 February 2009

Publication: Issue 78

The criticism often levelled at big international airports is their anonymity.

With their soaring glass roofs and cavernous interiors, there often is little to distinguish one giant terminal building from another. One of the few opportunities for airport owners to impart a welcome sense of place is the retail offer, which is why it is so refreshing to see what has been done with the new walk-through departures shop at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport’s Terminal Five.

Swedish products and brands have been given pride of place –you will find everything from snus (Swedish smokeless tobacco) to Mackmyra, the country’s only malt whisky brand.

Unsurprisingly Absolut, the Swedish vodka that conquered the world, is also widely available in all its myriad flavour variations and packaging formats.

Of course, our interest lies in the well-stocked whisky on offer, which is neatly grouped into a handsome-looking ‘World of Whisky’ shop-in-shop.

As you might expect, Mackmyra gets plenty of shelf space: you will find the newly released Special 01 Eminent Sherry priced at SEK559/£49 and the 1st Edition at SEK499/£43.70.

The Scotch malt selection is extensive, ranging from Glenfiddich 12 Years Old (SEK229/£20) and Auchentoshan 12 Years Old (SEK229) at the bottom end, to Talisker 25 Years Old (SEK1,759/£154) and Glengoyne 1972 (SEK3,699/£324) at the top. Look out for the former duty-free exclusive Talisker 57 Degrees North (SEK649/£56.85), and the now duty-free exclusive Irish whiskey Bushmills 1608 (SEK649). As impressive as the whisky offer is, don’t expect to be able to everything thing alcoholic you might want to buy – Swedish law prohibits it.

However, you will find more information on the complete whisky range at Arlanda at the airport’s excellent shopping site: www.taxfreeshoppingsmart.nu.

The Balvenie

Golden Cask 14 Years Old

William Grant continues to raise the profile of The Balvenie brand in duty-free with this interesting new exclusive launch.

The twist with this latest release is that the whisky has finished its maturation in Caribbean rum casks, lending the finished product a fruity sweetness and spiciness, according to William Grant.

Balvenie Golden Cask 14 Years Old is non chill-filtered and bottled at 47.5% ABV. It will be available at major international airport shops priced at about £45 per bottle.


Private Vintage 1983

The Middle East’s biggest airport shop operator Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has grown exponentially in its 25-year history, growing annual sales from $20m in 1983 to a whopping $1.1bn last year.

To mark the retailer’s silver jubilee William Grant & Sons has produced an exclusive bottling: Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1983.

According to the distiller’s malt master David Stewart, the new whisky has “dried fruits, spicy sherbet and a vanilla oak sweetness”on the nose balanced with “walnut, beeswax and polished leather”.

Only 523 bottles were released and each one is sold exclusively by DDF priced at Dhs3,900 (£780).

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