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Travel retail releases, December 2007

With Christmas travel and the winter sun and ski holiday season upon us, we take a look at the finest new Scotch whiskies to have appeared exclusively on the shelves of duty travel retail and duty free outlets during the last few weeks.
Highland Park, 21-Year-Old (Scotland)
Highland Park has recently added a 21-year-old expression to its core range, available exclusively in ‘travel retail’ outlets. After the UK, Global Travel Retail (GTR) is now the Orkney malt’s largest market, and William Ovens, Area Director for GTR at The Edrington Group, explains “We are delighted with the continued success Highland Park enjoys in this market and the introduction of the 21-year-old not only fills the gap between the 18 and 25-year-old expressions but extends our range of aged variants to six, meaning Highland Park has the widest range of aged expressions of any single malt brand in this channel.” In terms of flavour profile, the new 21-year-old is quite closely related to Highland Park 30-Year-Old, sharing with it a slight emphasis on American oak in maturation. The nose offers brittle toffee, spicy malt and contrasting heather and smoke notes. Rich and full-bodied in the mouth, it is nonetheless very smooth and elegant, with caramel, stewed fruits and milk chocolate, plus a hint of gentle smoke. The finish is long and sophisticated, with malt, smoke, a little oak, and a final suggestion of clotted cream. Highland Park rarely puts a foot wrong, and this is an excellent addition to its range of single malts. 47.5% ABV, 70cl, $79 - 99, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Glenrothes, 25-Year-Old (Scotland)
Also destined for the travel retail trade is Glenrothes’ latest vintage offering. As the company’s Ronnie Cox notes, “The Glenrothes 25-Year-Old is a delicious whisky, exquisitely packaged. The Glenrothes has enjoyed 23 per cent sales growth in its top six markets to date this year. I am confident that this new expression will maintain the trend in the increasingly significant sector that is travel retail.” The Glenrothes 25-Year-Old is a marriage of casks from a variety of years, including 1967, 1972, 1977, 1979. The Glenrothes centenary year (1979) provides much of the whisky for this bottling, along with some from 1980, whose character is described by Master Blender John Ramsay as “Citrus, creamy vanilla and spicy”. A rich fruitcake of a nose, with mild spices, creamy toffee, Sherry and a developing background citric note. Water releases aromas of smoky oak. Full-bodied and rich in the mouth, with spicy oranges, cream and vanilla. The finish is long, spicy, refined, with a hint of smoke and drying oak. Another superb vintage offering from The Glenrothes. Only 2,400 bottles produced. 43.0% ABV, 70cl, £180.00, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Glengoyne, Burnfoot (Scotland)
Burnfoot is a new expression of Glengoyne, and it is so named because the Stirlingshire distillery was established as Burnfoot by George Connell in 1833. Imaginatively packaged, using fluorescent colour and contemporary typography, Burnfoot carries no age statement, but contains Glengoyne single malt whiskies up to 34 years old. According to Iain Weir, of owners Ian Macleod Distillers, “We tasked our most talented young blender in conjunction with our distillery manager to prepare Burnfoot. Using a healthy percentage of first fill Sherry casks, it offers a slightly smoother and sweeter taste than certain other variants in the Glengoyne range, but at the same time retains the distinctive qualities and depth of the whisky. It is therefore ideally positioned to appeal directly to whisky drinkers new to the Glengoyne brand.” The nose is sweet and fruity, with a suggestion of fresh paper towels in a washroom dispenser. Water releases soft notes of honey, vanilla and a hint of Sherry. Smooth on the palate, with soft fruits, almonds, Sherry and a note of oak. The finish is medium in length, with Sherry and caramel. 40.0% ABV, 100cl, $36 - 50, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
  

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