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Whisky News, September 2010

Hudson Buy

Hard on the heels of its purchase of the Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey brand, the independent distiller William Grant & Sons is dipping its toes into the boutique Bourbon business, buying the Hudson Whiskey range from Tuthilltown Spirits. With the acquisition of this upstate New York State business, William Grant & Sons is now marketing and distributing the Hudson Whiskey range, including the flagship Hudson Baby Bourbon, as well as Hudson Manhattan Rye, Hudson Single Malt Whiskey, Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, and Hudson Four Grain Bourbon. Introduced in 2006, The Hudson 'make' is the first whiskey distilled in New York since prohibition, and is the first ever New York state-produced bourbon. "We are both excited and proud to have added the Hudson Whiskey range to our award-winning portfolio." says Simon Hunt, Managing Director - North America, William Grant & Sons. "When our founder William Grant first built his distillery by hand in 1886, he had one dream: to create the best dram in the valley. That dram became Glenfiddich and that valley was the Valley of the Deer in Speyside. More than a century later, history is repeating itself
   bottle
as the Hudson Whiskey range becomes a part of the William Grant & Sons family. This time, the dram is Hudson Whiskey and the valley is the Hudson valley. We are delighted to see that the spirit endures into the 21st century." "We are extremely happy to be working with a family company that shares our philosophy," declares Ralph Erenzo, distiller and partner in Tuthilltown Spirits. "This new relationship will enable us to maintain the high quality of our products and allow us to continue to meet the high level of demand, without sacrificing any of the principles that make us what we are. We're delighted to be taking place among such distinguished spirits as Hendrick's Gin, The Balvenie and Glenfiddich."

Explorers of Glenfiddich

logo    Still with William Grant, Glenfiddich has recently unveiled a new website - www.glenfiddichexplorers.com - which recreates, online, the opportunity to access one of the Dufftown distillery's warehouses. According to a company spokesperson, "Via an innovative application, visitors to the virtual warehouse can now take a look inside the fabled walls and have the chance to open a barrel and win its contents - from bottles of the precious liquid to private tasting sessions with Malt Master Brian Kinsman. There is even the chance to win a 3,000 adventure of a lifetime." Jamie Milne, Glenfiddich's UK brand ambassador says: "At Glenfiddich we strive to be inspiring and pioneering in
everything we do. We know that our consumers share this spirit and the evolution of the Explorers programme is about encouraging single malt whisky lovers to really challenge themselves; to enjoy new adventures and reap the rewards." The Glenfiddich Explorers website also features a blog and modules which celebrate the unique characteristics of the award winning range of Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whiskies. Additionally, Explorer members get the chance to preview new whiskies, attend private tasting sessions and exclusive events.

Visit Dalmore

The Whyte & Mackay-owned Dalmore distillery, north of Inverness, is to benefit from the investment of nearly 1million, with the aim of giving it one of the best whisky visitor centres in Scotland. The development will create at least three jobs, in addition to the current 15, and is expected to give a boost to the local tourism industry. Dalmore dates back to 1839, and has been repositioned during the last few years as a luxury single malt brand, with many exclusive bottlings to its credit. Now it is to boast visitor facilities to match that upmarket reputation. David Robertson, Rare Whisky Director for Whyte & Mackay,    dalmore logo
says that "Consumers of luxury products expect authenticity, craftsmanship and a rich heritage. The Dalmore has that in spades; definitely more so than any other whisky brand, and arguably more so than many other luxury products. But they also expect the best possible experience when they visit the home of a product. We are not there yet, but we will be." A two-year project will see refurbishment of the present visitor centre and shop, improvement of key distillery buildings and signage, along with additional training for tour and distillery staff. "The aim is to create the ultimate Dalmore experience," says David Robertson, "the most perfect private members club for our brand and for the distillery. Except it won't be private, it will be a destination attraction which will bring benefits not only for us, but for the wider local economy."

Gin Gin

ugly betty still    There has been something of a rash of 'Scottish' gins appearing in recent months, including Edinburgh Gin from the Spencerfield Spirit Company Ltd, best-known for its Pig's Nose and Sheep Dip whiskies, and Darnley's View from Wemyss Vintage Malts. Now Bruichladdich distillery on Islay has got in on the act, producing what a company spokesperson describes as "An artisanal gin, flavoured by an unprecedented 31 botanicals. Twenty-two of the botanicals were harvested from the Hebridean island, including a rare subspecies of juniper, before being distilled on a unique and historic still." The still in question (left) is nicknamed Ugly Betty,' the last surviving, operational Lomond still in Scotland, although Scapa distillery on Orkney utilises a converted Lomond in its stillhouse. Betty had previously been silent for some 30 years, having been salvaged by the Bruichladdich team from the now demolished Dumbarton distillery, near Glasgow. She has been specially adapted for
her new gin-making incarnation, including alterations to allow the infusion of botanicals by alcohol vapour in the still neck. The Islay distillery's spokesperson notes that "Running at an exceptionally low pressure, the still ran for a surprising 15 hours at a steady, gentle simmer, producing maximum flavour and texture. Dr Richard and Mary Gulliver researched, located and harvested the Islay botanicals before a final selection for inclusion was made by Master Distiller Jim McEwan." Jim McEwan declares that "This is no re-badged, centrally-produced, gin. This has real Islay provenance, authenticity even historical precedence. Illicit whisky 300 years ago probably tasted more like gin than single malt. It has an amazing flavour, with a dryness that comes from a spirit distilled exclusively with botanicals - no essences, oils, flavourings or sweeteners." The first release of Bruichladdich's 46%abv, un-chill-filtered gin should be hitting the shelves at the end of this month, and will retail for around 29.00 per bottle.

And Finally... Driven to Drink

Edinburgh Napier University has recently filed a patent for a new bio-fuel product created from whisky by-products. Glenkinichie distillery, south of Edinburgh, provided the pot ale and draff for the two-year project, undertaken by the university's Bio-fuel Research Centre. Ultimately it is hoped that the new fuel can be blended with petrol or diesel and used in existing motor vehicles. This means, of course, that in future, if a motorist is pulled over the police and asked if he has been drinking, he can reply "No, officer, but my car has..."    car
  

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