Whisky enthusiasts passing through Edinburgh airport now have a reason to celebrate. A World of Whiskies shop-in-shop has opened inside World Duty Free’s (WDF) new flagship store, which opened its doors in July as part of a £40 million redevelopment of the airport’s departures lounge and security area.
Located opposite the entrance to the departures lounge, the main duty-free and tax-free store is some 45 per cent larger than the previous outlet. The extra space has allowed WDF to recreate the look and feel of the redesigned World of Whiskies store, which opened at Heathrow Terminal 4 last year.
It is a pleasing, well thought-out shop layout. Think curved wooden ceiling; lots of polished brass fixtures, bright lighting and minimalist black shelving. The display is broken down into the various Scottish whisky producing areas and this is a separate section for Rare & Vintage malts.
Scottish single malts are of course big business for WDF at Edinburgh, generating about 90 per cent of whisky sales. Average spend is over £40 and for those with deep pockets there are plenty of exclusive and highly collectible drams on offer from the Aberfeldy 18 Years Old at £250, up to the Glenfiddich Private Vintage 1955 at£5,000 and beyond. Other World of Whiskies exclusives currently on offer include Glengoyne 40 Years Old at £3,500, Bowmore Premier Range at £6,000 and 42 Years OldAuchentoshan 1965 at £2,000.
Happily, for those travelling on more limited budgets there are plenty of other enticing travel-retail exclusives on offer such as Smokehead Extra Black 18 Years Old (£74.99), a real peat monster hailing from an unnamed Islay distillery, or Old Pulteney WK99 (£33.99), surprisingly gentle and delicate given its 52% ABV strength.
For a full run down of what is on offer, including new arrivals and competitions, plus the chance to pre-order before you fly, check out the World of Whiskies website, www.worldofwhiskies.com
Bourbon has been scandalously under-represented in travel-retail for too long, but Beam Global Spirits & Wine at last appears to be realising that an opportunity is being missed. The company has launched a new travel-retail exclusive, Jim Beam Signature, with German travel-retailer Gebr. Heinemann. Priced at an affordable€29.99 (£25), this 44.5% ABV bourbon is aged for six years in white oak barrels, two years longer than standard Jim Beam White.
The colour of Jim Beam Signature is rich amber, while its nose is oaky and spicy with sweet vanilla undertones. The palate contains lots of lively spice, while the finish is clean and dry.
Gebr. Heinemann has shops at every major German airport, as well as in Scandinavia (Copenhagen Kastrup), Austria (Vienna) and Turkey (Istanbul Atatürk). Later in the year travellers may be lucky and find Jim Beam Signature at other major international airports, but quantities are limited.RECOMMENDED
Glen Garioch has to be one of the least well-known Scottish single malt distilleries despite being one of the oldest (it dates back to 1785). It has not been a top priority for its most recent owner, Morrison Bowmore Distillers, but the amount of aged stock is clearly impressive as this 1958 release with World of Whiskies shows.
On the nose expect lots of grassy notes, opening up to reveal peaches and cream. Vanilla is a key taste on the palate with just a hint of smoked oak. The finish is pleasantly crisp.
At World of Whiskies outlets this rare whisky is currently on special offer at £825 with more than 15 per cent knocked off the original £975 price.