Only a few years ago many airport duty-free shops were dingy, cramped and invariably slotted into awkward and hard-to-navigate locations. Today’s stores, however, are often spacious, brightly lit and well laid out — a sign of how important retail revenue has become for airports.
The perfect example of this trend is Copenhagen’s new 2,500sq m anchor duty-free store, which opened earlier this summer. A curved, central walk way guides customers through a series of branded displays and prominent promotions, which give pride of place to local products and airport exclusives.
It’s certainly a pleasant place to shop and given its Scandinavian location, whisky enjoys a high profile. The retailer guarantees prices are cheaper than the Danish domestic market, but only travellers flying to destinations outside the EU are eligible to buy duty-free.
There is a good range of deluxe and super-premium blends on offer such as Chivas Regal 21 Year Old Royal Salute at €96.63 (£65.80), Ballantine’s 30 Year Old at €257.90 (£175) and Johnnie Walker Gold Label €57.65 (£40). The outlet also stocks the rare and rather pricey Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V for which you will have to fork out €389.74 (£264.50).
The malt offer is rather more affordable with an extensive mid-price bracket selection, which includes the likes of The Glenlivet 15 Years Old (E39.65/£27), The Macallan 1851 Inspiration (E79.96/£54.30), Talisker 18 Years Old (E53.62/£37) and Laphroaig Quarter Cask at a special offer price of E35.61 (£24.20).
The airport’s website, www.tax-free.dk, boasts an excellent online pre-order service. It is a convenient way to check on prices and availability before setting off. If you fly to Copenhagen airport regularly, join the airport’s website tax-free club, which offers members a 20 per cent discount on online purchases.
27 Year Old
Consider yourself extremely lucky if you manage to track this down while on your travels. Only 1,000 bottles of Laphroaig 27 Year Old have been released into the marketplace, and considerably fewer will find their way to major duty-free retailers worldwide.
Any bottle that does go onto the duty-free shelves will be snapped up quickly as Laphroaig 27 Year Old is a superbly powerful and complex whisky. There is much, much more happening on the nose and palate than peat smoke. It’s also handsomely presented in a clear glass bottle to show off its mahogany colour, which clearly derives from its maturation in oloroso sherry casks, and an accompanying black outer gift canister.
Prices will vary from airport to airport, but expect to pay a minimum of £500. Happy hunting.
Another collectors’ item, but this time packaged in the distinctive shape of a gold spirit safe complete with gold bottle label and black neck tag with a velvet pouch for the safe’s lock and key. It’s a clever format, which works well for the gifting market, and has proved a hit for producer Ian Macleod in the booming markets of Asia.
The light, floral, but complex Speyside whisky itself shouldn’t over looked either. On the nose there are notes of banana, elderflower with hints of vanilla and oak. The taste is smooth with hints of lemon, cashew and honeycomb sweetness. The finish is long, sweet and mouth warming.
The recommended retail price for Glengoyne Vintage 1972 is £250 per bottle.