This time round we fly off to beautiful West Ireland, home of course to the vast Midleton Distillery, but also a brand new Irish whiskey store at Cork airport. I say ‘store,’ but actually the new Irish Whiskey Collection is more of a ‘shop-in-shop’ to use industry lingo rather than a standalone store, but it is a welcome newcomer nonetheless.
The Cork airport Irish Whiskey Collection is a scaled-down version of an award-winning concept first unveiled at Dublin airport back in 2010. Irish whiskey in all its styles and varieties had never been presented in such a thorough and stylish way in travel-retail before. The concept was a hit with both local and overseas travellers, and by 2011, the store had been rolled out at Shannon airport.
The concept has a presence in all three of the country’s airports. With Midleton just down the road, master distiller Barry Crockett was the natural choice to officially open the new store late last year alongside a number of big wigs from Dublin Airport Authority, as well as Cork airport’s own director Niall MacCarthy, pictured above, clearly enjoying a glass of one of the 78 Irish whiskeys available in the new store.
The offer boasts all the best-selling Irish whiskey brands, including an extensive collection of premium Jameson references, Bushmills, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, Redbreast, Powers and Wild Geese. A decent selection of Cooley references is also available such as the powerfully peated yet balanced Connemara Cask Strength (€53.95/£44.80); the Michael Collins Blend, (€35/£29), an expression initially released for the US domestic market, and the limited edition Danny Boy 15 Years Old priced at €105 (£87.25).
In the super-premium tier there are a number of high-end Midleton offerings for sale and do look out for the elegantly sophisticated single pot still Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (€195/£162). For a full run down of what’s available visit www.theloop.ie
, and note that the prices quoted are duty-paid and for passengers flying within the EU. Duty-free prices will be cheaper.BEST BUY
Glenfarclas18 Years Old
It’s that time of the year again when many of the malt whisky companies pack their winter woollies and head off to ice-covered Stockholm to exhibit onboard the annual Viking Line Whisky Fair. Nordic whisky fans attending the fair would have been able to try (and buy) this new travel-retail exclusive from Glenfarclas, which exudes the brand’s trademark sherried style. On the nose this dram releases sweet honeycomb notes and citrus aromas, while the palate is full, sweet, creamy and delivers a smooth, lingering finish.
This great 43% abv whisky is now set for a wider roll out and will be available in a 1-litre bottle with a recommended travel-retail price of about £75.RECOMMENDED
BernheimOriginal Wheat Whiskey
Unusual US whiskeys are incredibly hard to track down in duty-free, but the Le Clos stores at Dubai international Terminal 3 (www.leclos.net
) continue to do a superb job of sourcing rare and quirky Stateside whiskeys. For instance, consider Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey from Heaven Hill Distilleries, which is made from a mash of 51 per cent winter wheat along with corn and malted barley. Softly sweet and mellow on the palate with gentle vanilla flavours, this highly regarded whiskey is aged between six to eight years, and priced at just AED275 (£46.70).