Releasing the bronco
By Rob Allanson
Blair Phillips discovers Wyoming Whiskey’s latest releases

In 2007, the United States Mint immortalised a bucking bronco named Steamboat on a twenty-five-cent coin. Born near Chugwater, Wyoming in 1896, he earned his name when a nose wound left him whistling like a steamboat. His reputation on the rodeo circuit as a mount that no wrangler could ride earned him fame and a lot of Wyoming pride. Steamboat’s record as the world’s undisputed champion bucking bronco still stands as does his stature as a symbol of Wyoming’s unbeatable spirit.

This past June, Wyoming Whiskey fans whistled too, when the Kirby, Wyoming distillery released two new whiskeys worth spending your Steamboat quarters on. Steamboat Bourbon not only pays tribute to the steed, the package tips its 10-gallon hat to Wyoming’s natural parks and landscapes with a colourful gold and brown canister displaying the Chugwater cliffs of the horse’s hometown.

After establishing a reputation for his robust, flavour-loaded Bourbons, distiller Sam Mead wanted to try his hand at a sessionable ‘cowboy Bourbon’. Rather than adjusting Wyoming Whiskey’s standard mash bill of 68 per cent corn, 20 per cent winter wheat and 12 per cent malted barley, he and blender Nancy Fraley selected barrels from the cooler parts of the warehouse. The whiskey there tends to be sweeter with the dark fruits and spices toned down.

“We wanted to give Wyoming what they want,” says founder and chief operating officer David Defazio. “It appeals to Wyoming folks who enjoy easy going whiskey, as true to Wyoming as anything we’ve made.” Six thousand 90 proof bottles was released mid month as a Wyoming exclusive for a suggested retail price of $46.

Between Yellowstone National Park and Bighorn National Forest, in the town of Byron, Brent Rageth grows all of the grain for Wyoming Whiskey. While every distillery release is rooted in Brent’s grain, none shows it off more than the second whiskey that came at the end of June.

With just 55 bottles produced, this barrel-strength Bourbon is ultra exclusive.

Nancy was canvassing the warehouse recently, when she stumbled across a five-year-old honey barrel ripe for bottling at 124 proof. This single barrel was bottled for a tiny number of stores in California, Wyoming, Colorado, Chicago and the East coast at a suggested retail price of $199.

Canadian Bourbon lovers will get first dibs on a third new whiskey, coming from Wyoming this summer. American Rockies Bourbon does not bear the Wyoming name but the distillery recently bottled 200 cases of it at 44% ABV for Canada’s Fountana Group. You can’t miss the package: it features the Rocky Mountains embossed onto a custom bottle. A second American Rockies batch at 50% ABV is in the works for release in Canada and select European markets. Busy times at Wyoming Whiskey, deep in the Steamboat state.

Anniversary bottling

The world’s foremost online retailer of rare Japanese whisky, dekantā, has revealed the Eigashima 2011 Kikou – Ki Series as the company’s first private label bottling of Japanese whisky, to mark their third anniversary.

This first private label, single cask whisky from dekantā, spotlights a little known Japanese whisky producer, while paying homage to the origins of Japanese whisky making in Scotland. The Eigashima 2011 Kikou – Ki Series (58.4% ABV) was finished in a cask freshly emptied of Scotch Whisky from the currently ‘silent’ Port Ellen Distillery. This is a highly limited release; only 300 bottles will be available.

The Eigashima 2011 Kikou will be the first in the Ki Series of independently bottled Japanese whiskies from dekantā, so called because each whisky in the series will explore an aspect of life imbued with the Japanese concept of Ki – one of the most meaningful words in the Japanese language. The Kikou bottling is named after the Japanese word for ‘climate’, celebrating one of the most vital parts of Japanese whisky making. Drawing on the Ukiyo-e style of Japanese art, the label depicts a chrysanthemum, a flower local to Akashi City park which hosts the Eigashima Distillery, and which also relies on the local climate to thrive.

Record year

Glasgow-based crystal company – Glencairn – has broken new ground with unprecedented growth globally year on year.
The award-winning family owned business has revealed, in its end of year figures, that it has broken through the £10 million revenue barrier for the first time with a 20 per cent year on year increase and their largest percentage annual increase in revenue since the business was founded in 1981.

Last year was the first year that the East Kilbride located business saw its export sales overtake its domestic market, now sitting at 60 per cent of the overall sales, versus 49 per cent in 2016. The extraordinary growth overseas is thanks to a sizeable increase in the luxury decanter and glassware part of the business (40 per cent year on year) as well as increased interest in the world-renowned Glencairn Glass (29 per cent year on year).

The USA, the company’s largest growing market globally, now contributes to nearly a third of the overall export business with sales doubling in value growth over the previous 12 months.

A large contributor to this increase is sales and development through leading online retailers, in addition to Glencairn being ever more present in the growing US craft spirits scene.

Scott Davidson, new product development director said: “We are incredibly proud of our business growth over the past year, especially with our increasing focus on export markets. Our premium decanter and bottle business places us a world leader in this market.

“Coupled with our strong relationships with distilleries and businesses in the USA, Europe and the Far East has meant that we have exceeded all of our business expectations.

“In addition, consumers, globally, are looking to enhance their spirit drinking moments, to savour and learn as they enjoy their whisky and, as part of the serve experience, they are seeking quality glassware that is proven to enhance their favourite dram.

“Also growth in demand for our Glencairn Glass is testimony to that.”

The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve celebrates the power of finishing touches

Throughout the creative world, a finishing touch can be the defining characteristic to a piece of work and has the power to add a different perspective. The world of single malt Scotch whisky is no different and we believe that Captain’s Reserve is the perfect example.

Selectively finished in high-quality Cognac casks, it offers a new contemporary taste whilst showcasing how a finishing touch can add a whole new perspective. To help bring this to life, we recently held a global launch event in London, collaborating with renowned names from the culinary, photography and drinks world who all show the power of ‘The Finish’ in their own work.

We were joined by Michelin-Starred Chef and Founder of St. John restaurant, Fergus Henderson, Beverage and Still Photographer, Addie Chinn and Bar Swift Founder, Bobby Hiddleston who held exclusive and immersive experiences which showed a great finish in their respective crafts!