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Firing up a Titan
By Rupert Wheeler

Firing up a Titan - Prometheus 26 Years Old single malt launches



Scottish craft spirits producer The Glasgow Distillery Company have announced the launch of a collection of one-off releases of aged Speyside single malts inspired by Greek mythology. The first release in the collection is Prometheus, a 26 Years Old Speyside single malt of secret origins that combines the smoky influence of peated barley with the wonderfully zesty and floral notes typical of this region. The name was inspired by the classical foundations of Greek Mythology, the great Titans, who were renowned for their strength, passion and charisma. Prometheus was one of the most renowned Titans and is remembered today for his great gift to man: fire. When an angered Zeus took fire away from man, Prometheus rebelled and took a flame from the hearth of Mount Olympus to return it to man.

Today, the spirit of Prometheus lives on as champion of man and bringer of fire and like his namesake, Prometheus 26 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky combines the peaty fire of the islands with the rich, bright complexity of the Highlands.

Liam Hughes, CEO at The Glasgow Distillery Company, stated, "Prometheus 26 Years Old is a great addition to our portfolio. We have been very fortunate to acquire such a special whisky. We will release a very limited amount in early 2015 and will be holding back some of the liquid for further maturation." Selected industry experts who have tasted the liquid have commented very positively indeed on the wonderful aromas noting the warm smokiness of Prometheus, which is usually more subdued in aged whiskies. The bottle will be beautifully packaged in a bespoke presentation box, reflecting the majesty of the liquid inside.

"At The Glasgow Distillery Company, we aim to bring to our consumers only the finest quality spirits and in our opinion, Prometheus 26 Years Old delivers this in full," concluded Mr Hughes. Prometheus 26 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been bottled at 47% ABV and will be available from retailers and online from early 2015. This is expected to retail at around £380 for a 70cl bottle.



Lindores Distillery - From dream to dram



Lindores Abbey in Fife occupies a cherished place in Scotch whisky history as the location where the first recorded uisge beatha was distilled in Scotland. The Exchequer Rolls for 1494 state, "To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, VIII bolls of malt, wherewith to make acqua vitae." Cor was a monk of the Tironensian order, which carried the arts of distilling and brewing to Fife from the Abbaye de la Sainte-Trinité de ­Tiron, near Chartres in France, and it has been calculated that eight bolls would have been enough malt to produce round 1,500 70cl bottles of whisky.

Lindores Abbey has lain in ruins since it was sacked in 1559, and for the last century it has been in the ownership of the Mackenzie Smith family. Now Drew Mackenzie Smith is heading a £5 million project to restore whisky-making to Lindores, creating a distillery and visitor centre close to the abbey. In time, he hopes that the abbey itself may also be restored, in association with Historic Scotland. Mackenzie Smith says that, "We are delighted to have [distilling consultant] Jim Swan on board and are part of the long but orderly queue at Forsyth's of Rothes. They were a 'no-brainer' for Lindores as I believe that between Jim and the world's best still-makers we can create a spirit that is befitting of Lindores." Drew Mackenzie Smith promises further news of the Lindores distillery project during the coming months, when more detailed information will be revealed, but they are aiming for 200,000lpa. For more information, visit www.thelindoresdistillery.com



Drop the duty campaign



A two per cent cut in duty on wine and spirits would give Chancellor George Osborne a £1.5 billion boost to the public finances in 2015, new industry analysis by Ernst and Young (EY) has today revealed.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) have launched their 'Drop the Duty!' campaign, calling for a two per cent cut in alcohol duty at the next UK Budget in March 2015.

The 'Drop the Duty!' campaign (www.droptheduty.co.uk), supported by the TaxPayers' Alliance, aims to raise awareness of the extremely high rate of tax UK consumers currently pay and mobilise the public to take action. UK consumers currently pay nearly 80 per cent tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and almost 60 per cent on an average priced bottle of wine. On a category basis, that means 78 per cent tax on whisky (£10.06 on an average bottle); 79 per cent tax on gin (£10.03 on an average bottle); 76 per cent on vodka (£9.48 on an average bottle); and 56 per cent tax on a bottle of wine (£2.93 on an average bottle). A 2 per cent cut in duty would boost public finances by £1.5bn.

Key findings of the EY report include: • A 2 per cent duty cut would increase the wine and spirits industry's contribution to economic activity by £3.9bn, from £46.6bn to £50.4bn.

• The industry's direct contribution to UK Gross Domestic Product would increase by £0.9bn, from £11.8bn to £12.7bn.

• The wine and spirit industry directly or indirectly supports around 518,000 jobs in the UK in 2014, with the majority (69 per cent) directly dependent on the industry's activity.

Using the strapline, 'Small drop, big cheer', the 'Drop the Duty!' campaign is calling on all UK consumers to take action and speak out about the unfair level of tax by emailing their MP via the campaign website (www.droptheduty.co.uk) to urge George Osborne to make this modest 2 per cent cut in duty across all alcohol products in Budget 2015.

David Frost, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, said, "If you buy a bottle of Scotch whisky to celebrate Christmas and New Year, nearly 80 per cent of the average price you pay goes to the Government. This is unfair on both consumers and the Scotch whisky industry. We call for Mr Osborne to do the right thing and cut excise duty by 2 per cent in the 2015 budget.