Travel Retail

Airport attactions

Joe Bates ventures a little closer to home.
By Joe Bates
If you want to catch a glimpse of the whisky shop of the future, find an excuse to travel through London Heathrow Terminal 4 sometime soon. The new World of Whiskies store there combines some high-tech features and a lifestyle-driven approach to whisky classification, which you won’t yet find at the retailer’s other six UK airport shops.The 300 or so whiskies, which are sold in the Terminal 4 store, are the same as those stocked in the other World of Whiskies outlets, but they have been classified into new lifestyle segmentations rather than the usual traditional geographical approach.For example, there is an area devoted to gifting, another reserved for travel-retail exclusives (‘Out of the Ordinary’), and yet another for affordable, well-known blends (‘The Daily Dram’).It is certainly a new approach and, while not for everybody, clearly a lot of thought has gone into when and how people like to drink their whisky.Space has been made at the back of the store to showcase the retailer’s high-end lines. Complete with leather chairs and copies of the latest Whisky Magazine, ‘Rare & Vintage’ features around 30 malt whiskies priced between £500 and £12,500.The selection of exclusive whiskies stocked there is truly impressive, ranging from the affordable Blair Athol Sherry Finish at £29.99 and Bruichladdich 18 Years Old at £54.99 to the exceedingly expensive Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1973 at £1,000 and Balvenie Private Vintage 40 Years Old at £3,500.At the front of the shop is a handsome tasting bar and comfy bar stools. Travellers are able to sample most of the whiskies sold in the shop in proper glasses rather than plastic cups. They are also encouraged to watch and listen to videos on promoted brands through a special screen set into the bar top while wearing headphones. Impressive stuff.Best Buy Aberfeldy 18 Years Old Single Cask World of Whiskies are rightly rather pleased with their latest exclusive. This is the first time a single cask expression has been released by Aberfeldy, the signature malt behind that longstanding US favourite, Dewars.Aberfeldy 18 Years Old Single Cask was chosen by top-ranking staff from Aberfeldy and World of Whiskies from a selection of 50 casks selected for their outstanding quality. Boasting a much richer, darker amber colour than other Aberfeldy whiskies, the single cask expression is distinctly spicy in flavour with vanilla, dark sugar and a little smoke.World of Whiskies has 240 numbered bottles of this great whisky priced at £250 per bottle.You can pre-order it at www.worldofwhiskies.com and pick up your purchase at one of the retailer’s seven UK airport shops.Recommended The Dalmore Selene This exceptionally rare and expensive The Dalmore whisky is definitely one for the seriously well-heeled collector.The Dalmore Selene is aged 58 years and priced at a staggering £12,500. What do you get for your money? Well, top-quality packaging is a given, but the whisky itself is pretty special too, offering up lime, mandarin and grapefruit on the nose, cinnamon, roasted coffee beans and chocolate cake on the palate.Only 30 bottles have been released and World of Whiskies has bottle numbers four to seven and nine to 12.