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We bring you the news, show and reviews amd Dave's look at the whisky world
Made it at Bushmills
It is surely a dream of every serious whiskey drinker to spend some time learning how your favourite tipple is made, matured and blended with expert knowledge, care and attention before being bottle, sold and poured into your glass. Where better to learn these skills then under the guidance of master distiller, Colum Egan at Bushmills Distillery on the Northern Irish coastline, where a licence to distil was first granted way back in 1608. Like a modern day Willy Wonka, Colum offered this oncein- lifetime chance for one lucky winner to spend 30 days working alongside him, learning the tricks of triple distillation, as well as becoming the first person ever from outside the distillery to create their own blend of Bushmills. On top of this the winner would receive £5,000 in spending money and luxury accommodation in Ireland for their stay. The competition launched on St Patrick’s Day 2010 at The York Stock Exchange around 1,000 entrants worked to compete for a place as a finalist through local initiatives to garner as many votes as possible in their specific region via facebook. The finalists gathered at Bushmills Distillery for the Bushcamp, two days of mental, physical and skill based challenges, from a huge climbing wall erected in the shadow of maturing casks, to coopering and of course, whiskey tasting. The nine strong international team was made up of diverse characters with a broad skill set and included a head sommelier from a French three-star Michelin restaurant, a former Wall Street broker and a drumming world record holder all drawn together by their passion for whiskey. The two day training camp, headed by Egan, was over-seen by Gordon Donoghue, distillery director and Darryl McNally, Bushmills distilling manager. A judging panel including Irish rugby legend and former Bristish Lions Captain Keith Wood, respected Irish Singer Songwriter Foy Vance and Joel Harrison, a contributor to Whisky Magazine and co-founder of whisky blog Caskstrength.net, were there to constantly assess the performance of the individual contenders, their interpersonal skills, whiskey knowledge and passion. Gathering at a gala dinner, the winner was announced as Ivan Ivanov, a 28-year old lifeguard from Svishtov, Bulgaria. Ivan was delighted to win and said: “Representing Bulgaria at Bushcamp was a real honour. But to be the overall winner is just incredible – I still can’t believe I’ll spend a month making whiskey here at Bushmills. It’s the whiskey lover’s ultimate dream.” With a whole month to spend in the village of Bushmills, Ivan didn’t see any problems with integration “Ireland seems just like Bulgaria, where I am from. People here are friendly and everyone wants to be happy, so this is the same as where I come from.” The last words are best left to Master Distiller Colum Egan who said: “Throughout the competition, Ivan has shown that he has the passion and personality to Make it at Bushmills. “This is a fantastic opportunity for him to learn how great whiskey is made and I know he’ll grasp this opportunity with both hands.” With a month’s training by some of the most talented and passionate people in the whiskey business, I’d advise Bushmills to be wary; there may be a rival triple distilled whisky being released from Bulgaria soon. Hands on
Fancy trying your hand at whisky making? Glenrothes has launched a global competition to find four budding distillers eager to work in the heart of single malt production, Speyside, Scotland. The Glenrothes Whisky Makers competition will see the lucky winners learn the timehonoured art of making The Glenrothes and the skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. The winners will spend time working at each stage of the whisky-making process: testing the purity of the water source at the distillery’s two springs; milling the malt to achieve the golden proportions of husk, grits and flour; mashing to ensure maximum extraction of sugars in the wort; adding yeast to the washbacks and overseeing fermentation; slowly and carefully distilling new make spirit in our tall copper pot stills. From there our Whisky Makers will be involved in making casks at the cooperage, laying down casks for maturation and rolling casks to the warehouse. Entry is simple; entrants will supply their name and personal details and then be invited to answer in 50 words or fewer why they are the perfect candidate for the job. Hundreds of runners-up prizes will be offered too. Entries will be accepted in English, Spanish and Chinese. The competition runs to the end of January 2011. Go to www.theglenrothes.com

THE HIGH SEAS
Recently, leading Irish whiskey brand Jameson set sail on the Thames with a motley crew of top bartenders for Sine Metu Day, an event created to engage bartenders with Jameson’s heritage through a number of fearinducing challenges and culminating in a high sea-inspired cocktail contest. The event celebrated a key moment in the brand’s history - the bestowal of the Jameson family motto ‘Sine Metu’, meaning without fear, for fighting off pirates in the 1500s, which remains on every Jameson bottle to this day. Brian Nation, Jameson distiller and global ambassador, jumped aboard to treat the budding buccaneers to an exclusive pot still tasting, one of the core components of Jameson.SMOKE AND ROLL
Smokehead, by Ian Macleod Distillers, has been named the official whisky sponsor of Classic Rock Magazine. To celebrate, a new edgy advertising campaign has been revealed, playing on the brand’s growing rock credentials and rising popularity. Smokehead is also now an official VIP sponsor for one of this year’s biggest rock events, London’s High Voltage Festival (24-25 July) and the hugely popular Classic Rock Roll of Honour 2010 Awards in November, attended by, and celebrating, rocks greatest icons. Iain Weir, marketing director for Ian Macleod Distillers commented: “Combining its adventurous and modern packaging, with a rich rollercoaster of challenging flavours, Smokehead defies conformity and what people would traditionally expect from an award-winning single malt whisky. Smokehead is powerful, intense and not for the faint hearted. The perfect match for a Classic Rock lover.”

Inspiring times
Glenfiddich has announced the launch of an inspiring new global advertising campaign – One Day You Will – as the brand continues to strengthen its place as the world’s favourite single malt.In a refreshing departure for the brand from its traditional single malt whisky advertising, the new campaign encourages its consumers to make the most of life’s adventures.The lifestyle ads feature aweinspiring scenarios, including a sailing boat on open water and a spectacular mountainous landscape with two men looking out to the distance. The images celebrate the journey taken in realising a goal or ambition. The tasting note versions feature the Glenfiddich 12 Years Old (pear and oak), the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (honey and raisin), and the Glenfiddich 18 Years Old (baked apple and cinnamon). The Glenfiddich 12 Years Old is also the star of a dramatically shot cinema ad which will run in the UK, in November 2010.Katie Rawll, Glenfiddich global brand director, commented: “One Day You Will takes Glenfiddich into a brave new territory for single malt. We pioneered the single malt category and have a long history of whisky innovation.“Our new advertising campaign reflects our pioneering spirit and this future looking concept clearly differentiates Glenfiddich from our more traditional competitors.” Rawll continued: “We are confident One Day You Will will be a real success with a strong impact on the growth of our business.The campaign is testament to the pioneering spirit of the distillery’s founder, William Grant, and we continue to stay true to his vision.”