Travel Retail

Shopping Liszt

Joe Bates finds shopping at Budapest airport plays to a new tune
By Joe Bates
Although an integral part of modern life airports have seldom inspired great pop songs unless of course you are a fan of the British pub rock band Motors’ cheesy 1978 hit ‘Airport’. Nevertheless, airport owners seem to like nothing better than to rename airports after famous local rock stars, musicians or composers. Liverpool John Lennon airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans and Warsaw Chopin airports are just three examples that spring to mind.

Budapest Ferihegy airport is the latest to get in on the act, renaming itself after the city’s most famous composer, Ferenc Liszt.

The airport’s excuse was the opening of a massive new SkyCourt at the international Terminal 2, which is set to transform traveller’s experience of Hungary’s largest airport.

At the centre of the new €88m (£76.6m) development is a 1,400 square metre walk-through travel-retail store, which makes a point of championing local products. Hungarian wines, including vintage Tokaji wines from as far back as 1940, are the star of the show, with fruit brandies, salamis and goose liver playing supporting roles.

In contract, the whisky offer is solid rather than spectacular, a reflection of the fact that the airport probably gets fewer wealthier business travellers than some other Western European hubs.

Having said that, travellers will find some super-deluxe blends such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label (€154/£134), as well as some more affordable single malts such as the excellent Bunnahabhain Darach Ur at €49.50 (£43), Strathisla 12 Years Old at €33.50 (£29) and Balvenie 12 Years Old DoubleWood at €45.50 (£40).

Away from Scotch whisky, it is rather slimmer pickings although the store does stock both Gentleman Jack (€31.50/£27.45) and the duty-free exclusive Jack Daniel’s Silver Select (€41.50/£36). And when we were given a tour, Bushmills 10 Years Old was on offer at €22.50 (£19.60). The usual price is €32.50 (£28.30).

The store owner runs a handy pre-order service on its website, which can be found at

Old Pulteney

WK209 ‘Good Hope’

Old Pulteney has brought out a new travel-retail exclusive, which replaces the popular WK499 ‘Isabella Fortuna’. The new expression is bound for selected European travel-retail outlets and takes its name from the first herring drifter boat based in Wick to use an echo sounder.

As for the liquid itself, Old Pulteney WK209 is matured in ex-American and ex-Spanish sherry casks. It is described as being “smooth”, and “spicy” with aromas of toffee, hazelnut and vanilla. On the palate the whisky combines citrus notes
with dried fruit and chocolate.

Travellers will initially find Old Pulteney ‘WK209’ on sale at World of Whiskies’ UK airport shops priced at £34.99 for a 1-litre bottle. Stocks are limited to 9,600 bottles.

Maker’s Mark

The Mark Of... gift packs

Beam Global is doing its best to raise the profile of bourbon in travel-retail and is ramping up investment behind Maker’s Mark as never before. To that end the company has just launched 12 limited edition Maker’s Mark ‘The Mark of…’ gift packs, which would make great collectible gifts or souvenirs.

Each pack features a recognisable skyline of a world famous city with the Maker’s Mark bottle standing within it. Six European cities are featured (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Madrid and Barcelona), as are six US cities (Manhattan, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco).

It is worth pointing out that each pack will only be sold in that city’s airport or airports. They will also only be available until the end of the year.