Olympic big

Olympic big

Joe Bates heads to Beijing to see how this destination's duty free store

Travel Retail | 28 Nov 2008 | Issue 76 | By Joe Bates

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Everything about Beijing airport’s new Terminal 3 is big. Completed in less than four years in time for the Olympics, this enormous, glass and steel building stretches 3.25km and covers more than 1.3m square metres. It can handle more than 1,000 flights a day, and with high-tech features such as a state-of-the-art baggage handling system and 80kph automated passenger mover, it’s a real pleasure to fly from.

A Taiwanese firm, Sunrise Duty Free, operates the main duty-free shop in Terminal 3.

You will find a pretty good selection of aged malt whiskies there along with some expensive vintage Cognacs and decent premiere cru French wine. Shop staff are polite and attentive and can speak at least some English.

On our visit there was still one bottle of Glenfiddich 40 Years Old left priced at CNY12,731 (£1,150). It might not be there for long however, as the store supervisor told me a customer had just bought two bottles – clearly this is one part of the world where the credit crunch has yet to bite.

Other high-end drams stocked include Glenfiddich 30 Years Old at CNY1,587 (£143), Balllantine’s 30 Years Old at CNY1,994 (£180), Bowmore 25 Years Old at CNY2,036 (£183.50) and Chivas Royal Salute at CNY904 (£81.50).

For the price conscious, there is a good selection of cheaper whiskies, everything from The Famous Grouse at CNY173
(£15.60), to Bowmore Mariner 15 Years Old at CNY386 (£34.80) and The Balvenie Double Wood 12 Years Old at CNY283 (£25.50).

Promotions and gift with purchases are popular in this part of the world so keep a look out for any particularly good deals.



If you one of those high-net-worth individuals lucky enough to have two shillings to scrape together after the last couple of months of financial turmoil, this latest limited release from Auchentoshan could be for you.

Auchentoshan 1965 is being released as an exclusive to UK airport retailer World Duty Free and, as you might expect with a whisky this old, stocks are limited to 123 bottles.

The triple-distilled Lowland malt whisky has intense scents of honey, vanilla and coconut on the nose, balanced with fresh citrus and minty notes.

The palate is sweet with a mellow maltiness, which gives way to a delicate finish.

If you need to enquire about the price, then Auchentoshan 1965, is probably not for you, but since you ask, it is £2,000 a bottle.


Extra Black

Fans of the stylish-looking and powerful-tasting Islay malts Smokehead and Smokehead Extra Rare should make a beeline for this new super-premium, travel-retail exclusive addition to the brand family.

Smokehead Extra Black is a 46% ABV 18 Years Old Islay whisky, which is slightly mellower in taste than the original Smokehead, but still full of rich, peaty flavours. On the palate it is initially light and briny, but builds with flavours of vanilla and cocoa. The smoky finish is balanced is rich dark chocolate and kiwi fruit.

Available at major duty-free outlets worldwide, you will find Smokehead Extra Black priced at about £68 per bottle.
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