News

The view from the top

By Rob Allanson
More than 30 enthusiasts, including some distillery managers, made their way to the summit of Ben Rinnes recently.The group were there for the unveiling of a toposcope, or orientation plaque, which indicates the location of Speyside’s’ distilleries, many of which can be seen from the summit.The brass toposcope, engraved with the names of the distilleries, the neighbouring towns and prominent features in the landscape including the River Spey sits unobtrusively on top of the now redundant trig point which belongs to the Ordnance Survey which gave its permission for it to be used in this way.“It was overwhelming to see finally what started as a crazy idea, hatched on this summit years ago, become a physical reality” said Dave Broom.“Now all walkers on the Ben can see why this is truly Scotland’s whisky mountain and the nexus point of Speyside.Standing on that wind-blasted summit where streams of whisky were flying horizontally in the air we could see in every direction evidence of whisky making: distilleries, cooperages, dark grain plants, fields of barley, peat moors and the houses of the people of Speyside who for generations have dedicated their lives to the creation of our national spirit.”, The costs of the project were supported by the income from the tastings which Dave conducted afterwards at the Benrinnes Distillery and by contributions made by the walkers themselves. LATEST CHIEFTAIN Independent bottlers and distillers, Ian Macleod Distillers, is to launch an extremely rare, limited edition Springbank 40 Years Old from its award-winning Chieftain’s Single Malt Whisky collection to the domestic market in the UK and worldwide.Distilled in 1968 at the famous Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown, only 398 bottles of this exceptional natural strength,natural colour and unchill-filtered whisky are available.It is the last, oldest and the best Springbank cask available from the current Chieftain’s collection. Glengoyne 40 For the first time in its 175 year history, Glengoyne Distillery is to release its oldest, most valuable, Highland single malt: the Glengoyne 40 Years Old.The embodiment of Glengoyne’s unpeated malt, the natural strength 40 Years Old Highland Single Malt is regarded by the distillery to be one of the finest whiskies they have ever produced. Its quality and flavour reflecting Glengoyne’s commitment and enthusiasm for their craft and heritage.Every detail of the design and presentation of the Limited Edition single malt was carefully considered to reflect the outstanding character and craftsmanship of the Glengoyne 40 Years Old. Even the producer of the stunning hand blown crystal decanter, Glencairn Crystal, a well-respected independent Scottish family company, was specially selected for its shared values with Glengoyne. Join the trail The world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail has introduced a new logo, brochure, souvenir passport and commemorative tshirt to mark its 10th anniversary.“This is a significant milestone for one of Kentucky’s most popular tourism attractions,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.“It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce a fresh new look that reflects the growing bourbon revolution.” The KDA formed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999 after witnessing tourism opportunities in Scotland’s whisky trails. Since then, millions of visitors from around the world have made the pilgrimage to Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon.The Trail features eight historic distilleries nestled among the beautiful Bluegrass scenery: Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Tom Moore, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve. NEW ADDITION Suntory has released the latest expression of its much-honoured Hibiki brand in London recently.The Hibiki premium blended range has gathered 15 gold medals and trophies in less than five years, including Whisky Magazine’s title of The World’s Best Blended Whisky for the 30 Years Old Hibiki not once, but twice, in 2007 and 2008.The introduction of Hibiki 12 Years Old adds to the line up of Hibiki expressions by offering whisky connoisseurs what promises to be a new favourite in the very popular age category.Aged in Japanese plum liqueur ‘Umeshu’ casks, Hibiki 12 Years Old is sweet to the taste and has a velvety texture and fruity aromas unlike any other premium blended whisky. Blended from a variety of malt and grain whiskies, Hibiki is filtered through bamboo charcoal to deliver a spirit that is silky smooth on the palate.