Archive for January, 2014

Think You Know Your Whisky? Aberlour Shows What Lies behind the Crafting of its Rich and Complex Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

AA Abunadh

Think You Know Your Whisky? Aberlour Shows What Lies behind the Crafting of its Rich and Complex Single Malt

A world-first series of super-macro images of whisky unveil the enigma behind the expert craft and natural beauty of the premium single malt, Aberlour.

The images have been taken by David Maitland, one of the world’s foremost nature photographers. Aberlour commissioned him to chart the journey of the whisky’s creation taking in microscopic views of the rock, water and wood used in the whisky-making process, such as the granite mountain from where the distillery takes its spring water, the oak staves from specially selected casks in which the whisky is matured, and finally uncovering never-before-seen glimpses of the single malt itself.

The photography uses a variety of techniques to capture some of the natural elements that contribute to the unique flavour of this single malt Scotch, from a glimpse inside each grain of barley to the actual rings from an oak cask and the crystalline structure of the final spirit itself.

The six images show:

• Pink mountain granite from Ben Rinnes: water runs down Ben Rinnes over this impervious material which maintains the water’s purity and softness before it rises in springs close to the distillery

• Spring water, soft and fresh, rising in the Birkenbush Wood and exclusively used for making the Aberlour single malt range• Malted Barley: specially prepared to provide the key sugars from which the whisky to be distilled – the platform for its unique flavour

• Sherry cask: special oak casks sourced from Spain in which the spirit makes its transformation in to Scotch whisky; , made from European oak whose open grain has an unique influence during the years of maturation

• The rich and sweet ‘Aberlour 12-year-old’ award winning single malt

• A’bunadh: Aberlour’s expertly hand-crafted and uncompromising cask strength single malt

Dr Maitland, a European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, said: “I was asked to discover how all the different elements help craft Aberlour. The positioning of the distillery at the foot of Ben Rinnes, and surrounded by the natural water springs, plays a vital part in the creation of each bottle of single malt, as do the casks in which the whisky is aged. Having the chance to photograph this journey was a rare privilege.”

Aberlour single malt dates back to James Fleming, a local banker and philanthropist who founded the distillery in 1879. The whisky was crafted with James Fleming’s motto, ‘let the deed show’ in mind, which remains true today as the distillery allows unique depth of flavour to do the talking.

“Super macro photography can reveal many surprises. The crystal structures in the 12-year-old and A’bunadh were simply beautiful and frequently appeared to echo the unique and subtle characters of each whisky.” added David Maitland.

Aberlour’s Brand Director, Nikki Burgess, said: “Even for its distillers, single malt retains some mysteries. David’s photos have shown beyond the glass and cask and allowed us an insight into the natural elements and distillers’ craft which are vital to the creation of this enigmatic single malt. The photography has brilliantly captured the coming together of the natural elements and the expert craftsmanship of our distillers, while also maintaining the enigma behind the award-winning taste of Aberlour.”

The photographs can be viewed on the Aberlour website – -


About Aberlour The multi award-winning Aberlour was founded in 1879, in Speyside, Scotland. From its magical location alongside the River Spey, the small and intimate distillery holds a special place in the hearts of malt lovers. Since its quest to create the best single malt began, Aberlour has won an outstanding list of trophies and gold medals. Its range of single malt whisky including 12 year old, 16 year old, an 18 year olds and the hand crafted A’bunadh, are renowned with experts the world over for their exceptional quality.

For further information about the Aberlour distillery, please visit:  

Oak Cask

Photo captions

Pink Granite – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a glimpse of the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its mineral wonder. He started his journey of discovery at Ben Rinnes, which sits behind the distillery and provides a sure supply of soft spring water draining over the pink granite. This picture shows the pink granite from Ben Rinnes at 200x magnification.

Water – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a peek into the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its mineral wonder. He captured the crystal-clear spring water from the Birkenbush Spring. Soft and pure, it is perfect for the development of a wide range of flavours which is why it is used to create Aberlour’s range of fine single malts.

Barley – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a glimpse of the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its craft and ingredients. He captured the barley at 400x magnification, showing the amyoplasts (starch grains), which deliver the sweetness of Aberlour, a whisky of exceptional quality – clean, crisp and fruity with striking depth.

Sherry Cask – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a glimpse of the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its craft and ingredients. He shows the prized ex-Oloroso sherry cask which lends the velvety, clean and crisp flavour to the Aberlour range of single malts. This image was captured at 400x magnification.

12 Year Old – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a glimpse of the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its components and craft. Here, Aberlour’s rich and velvety 12-year-old incarnation reveals a smooth string of crystals which is reflected in its velvety finish. The image was captured at 400x magnification.

A’ bunadh – Award winning photographer, David Maitland, has developed a series of intriguing photographs providing a glimpse of the enigma of Aberlour whisky through its components and craft. At 200x magnification this photograph of Aberlour’s hand-crafted A’bunadh shows crystals bursting with sweet flavour originating from the specially selected ex-sherry casks. Like each batch of A’bunadh, this image is unique, as this was captured just as the crystal began to grow.

About the photographs:

Pink Granite: Beautiful Pink Granite was collected from Ben Rinnes (the mountain is formed from different granites) – the spring water used for the Aberlour flows down from the mountain and retains a unique softness thanks to the granite base over which it flows. The granite was cut into thin sections just 30 millionths of a meter (30 μm) thin so that the rock becomes transparent. The granite is composed mainly of alkali feldspar and quartz with intermixed brown biotite. There also are tiny flecks (inclusions) of all manner of trace elements. Here, all elements combine to form a miniature landscape. The image was taken using crossed polarized light at a magnification of 200x.

Water: The water was captured at 400x magnification using differential interference contrast to get the colours. David used polarized light, which allows us to see the optical properties specific to the water and reveals detailed information concerning the structure and its composition. The colours in the water are a result of the way the water interacts with the polarized light. Due to the varying refractive indices, the water appears multi-coloured. The polarized light can be further enhanced using sophisticated polarizing techniques such as Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) which also produces a sense of depth and a 3-D quality. David captured the water images by freezing the water and photographing it melting under the microscope – the colour background is bent by the melting water into the interesting forms and shapes in the picture

Barley: The barley grain is mostly starch which is stored as individual grains (amyloplasts). These amyoplasts are grains within the grain, which act as a fermenter, to make the whisky’s alcohol, as well as give its depth of flavour. These tiny structures – the smallest grains are about 2 millionths of a meter (μm) in diameter, while the largest are about 20 μm. The picture is taken at 400x magnification using differential interference contrast (DIC) lighting techniques.

Cask: All Aberlour single malts display the influence of maturation in ex-Spanish Oloroso Sherry Butts which are constructed from mature European or “Spanish” Oak trees, Quercus petraea petraea, (formally Q. sessilis). A thin transverse section or slice of oak (20 millionths of a meter, 20 μm thick) shows an intricate pattern of tracheids (large rings through which the tree draws water) and lignin-strengthened parenchyma wood cells within the heartwood of the oak. During the whisky’s maturation process within the oak cask, the alcohol works on heartwood components (lignin, hemicellulose and tannin amongst others) to produce the complex caramel and aromatic flavours, colour, and fragrances unique to Aberlour whisky. The image was made at 200x magnification using a special form of Interference contrast lighting.

Aberlour’s, 12 Year Old: For the 12 Year Old, David evaporated a large volume of this beautiful whisky (such a waste!) which leaves behind a super-concentrated solution of dissolved complex natural elements which originated from the different casks in which the whisky was matured. This blend of natural elements can sometimes be made to crystalize in remarkable and unique patterns. Here, Aberlour’s 12 Year double cask matured whisky has produced a wonderful feather-like crystal pattern. This photograph was captured at 400x magnification using differential interference contrast (DIC) lighting techniques.

A’bunadh: The hand-crafted and small scale produced Aberlour Whisky was photographed after evaporating a large volume of A’bunadh, which left behind a super-concentrated solution of dissolved natural elements which originated from the cask in which the whisky was matured. Certain elements within this can sometimes be made to crystalize in remarkable and unique patterns. Elements of Gallic Acid (a product from Tannin in the oak cask) have been captured forming an exquisite crystal tree. This photograph was captured at 200x magnification using differential interference contrast (DIC) lighting techniques.


HIELANDER WHISKY FESTIVAL 14 & 15 February 2014, Grote Kerk, Alkmaar, the Netherlands – Whisky News

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The fourth edition of the HIELANDER WHISKY FESTIVAL takes place on 14 & 15 February  2014, in the Grote Kerk in Alkmaar , the Netherlands. This non-profit festival organised by Restaurant owner Wullie Macmorland has grown out within 4 years to being one of the busiest in Holland! This year more than 40 stands, with our Masterclasses all being presented by Keepers of the Quaich. The music will be provided by the famous Scottish band “The Battlefield Band”.

Our festival bottling is a beautiful Inchgower finished in a Pinot Noir Eiswein Barrel at 55%!

We expect to reach the 2700 mark of visitors this year spread out over 3 sessions. Check out the festival website

Johnnie Walker Tasting TONIGHT with Ewan Gunn in Calgary Alberta – Scotch Whisky News

JW Striding



JW Range

Ewan Gunn Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador & Category Training Manager Diageo Scotch Whiskies.

Ewan Gunn has 15 years of experience in the whisky industry and has spent many more years appreciating Scotland’s finest export. As Diageo’s Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador & Category Training Manager, Ewan has a unique understanding of the Scotch Whisky production process. On graduating from Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, Ewan began a three year spell with William Cadenhead Ltd. in Campbeltown where he held sole responsibility for the company’s worldwide sales and marketing. He also gained hands-on experience at the famous Springbank Distillery, learning every element of whisky production, from malting and mashing to distilling
and bottling.

From there Ewan moved back to Glasgow, working for Angus Dundee Distillers Plc. He gained valuable experience as he took products to new and emerging markets across Europe and the Middle East, sharing his love for Scotch whisky. Ewan delivered lectures and conducted tastings in English, German and French.

In 2004 Ewan moved to Bacardi, handling the Dewar’s and William Lawson’s ranges of Scotch Whiskies. He was initially employed as the company’s New York based USA Brand Ambassador, moving to the position of Global Brand Ambassador in 2007. In early 2011 Ewan moved to Diageo, and now holds the position of Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador & Category Training Manager. This new position not only allows Ewan to share his vast knowledge and passion for Scotch whisky with others, but also gives him the opportunity to inspire the next generation of Scotch Whisky Ambassadors.

In his career Ewan has clocked up over five million air miles, visiting 65 countries across six continents – his feet rarely touch the ground. Ewan has relished the opportunity to familiarise himself with countries from Estonia to China and Surinam to Syria, visiting the well-known cities of Tokyo to the more far-flung such as Yekaterinburg in Central Russia. Whether in Caracas or Beirut, what is always apparent is that Ewan wants others to embrace his love of Scotland’s most famous export. Having tasted hundreds of whiskies, including Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from every operating distillery in Scotland, he comes from a position of real authority and shares his knowledge with genuine enthusiasm.

Originally from Bower, a tiny hamlet near the Scottish town of Wick where he was one of just 30 children in his primary school, Ewan now lives in the centre of Inverness. He spends his free time listening to an eclectic mix of
music – he owns over 5,000 albums, and adds more to his collection every time he travels.

You will often find him sitting back, music on, enjoying a glass of whisky whilst reading a good book. When he can tear himself away from this blissful combination, Ewan loves to spend his weekends hanging off the edge of a sea cliff taking in Scotland’s sea air as he enjoys another passion, rock climbing. Travelling is as much a part of his work as his play and he is currently planning holidays to a variety of locations including South America and
South East Asia.

Ewan was recently inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich, one of the highest honours within the Scotch Whisky industry.


Celebrating Burns Day at Park Ave Liquor NY – Scotch Whisky News

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The Park Avenue Liquor Shop wishes everyone a ‘Happy Burns Day’.

Wait. What is ‘Burns Day’?
Burns Day is a celebration of the life of Robert Burns, author of many Scotish poems. Celebrations usually consist of suppers held on or near the poet’s birthday, January 25th, a.k.a. Robert Burns Day. Burns Day ‘suppers’ typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in ‘Address to a Haggis’), Scotch whisky, and the recitation of Burns’s poetry. Some formal dinners are hosted by organizations such as Burns clubs, the Freemasons, or St Andrews Societies. (With Thanks to Wikipedia) To be more blunt – “Auld Lang Syne” – the song your sing on New Year’s Eve but don’t quite understand…He wrote that.

While we may not be eating Haggis tomorrow, we thought we’d use Burns Day as an excuse to tell you about some bottles at the ‘Shop’ that would be great for your celebration.

Jonathan & Eric
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

The Rumor Still. The Park Avenue Liquor Shop’s Exclusive bottling of Kilchoman is almost at an end. There are less than 20 bottles left of this single cask beauty. Quick notes = Bourbon Cask – non-chill filtered. Color: Pale Straw. Nose: Strong peaty aromas, pear drops, citrus and hints of mango. Palate: sweetness then peat smoke and mixed fruits. Finish is long, clean and refreshing leaving hints of peat smoke and cloves.
Our price: $91/btl

Park Ave Liquor Exclusive. 2007 Single Cask. 4yr old, 124.6 proof

Glenmorangie: Companta
(Private Edition)

Inspired by Dr Bill’s travels across France’s greatest vineyards and the friends made along the way, Glenmorangie Companta (Scots Gaelic for ‘friendship’) is a refined balance between bold spice and rich, smooth sweetness; the result of a careful assemblage of spirit extra matured in Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart and those of a lusciously sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône.

On the nose, Companta exudes rich, ‘autumnal’ scents of red berries and damp forest floors, with a hint of fragrant woodsmoke complementing notes of aromatic, nutty oak.
Upon tasting, a spicy palate redolent of cherries and stewed fruits is slowly revealed, as notes of sugared plums, blood orange and rose-hip syrup emerge alongside milk chocolate and brown sugar.

Our price: $130/btl
NOTE: This bottle is not yet available via our website.
Please call for availability.

Oban: 21 Year Old

A limited edition Oban, part of Diageo’s 2013 Special Releases. One of the most highly sought after bottlings from this year’s selection, this natural cask strength Highland single malt was matured in rejuvenated American Oak and second-fill ex-Bodega casks. Only 2,860 numbered bottles were made available. Our allocation is extremely limited.

Nose: Honey and a briney note that becomes akin to pickled courgette, moving into spicy caramel.
Palate: Fresh with light toffee and fruit throughout. Crushed sea salt. Ends on refreshing cucumber.
Finish: Drying with creamy roast chestnuts and oats.
(With Thanks to Masters of Malt)
Our price: $500/btl


Kilkerran: ‘Work in Progress’
Sherry Wood

Recently awarded ‘Lowlands/Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year’ by Whisky advocate.
The 5th in the Kilkerran Work in Progress series (distilled at Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown) is a sherry wood matured dram, which has picked up some nice color and flavor over its years in wood.
Nose: Rich and buttery, with brown sugar and cakespice. The waxiness found in the bourbon cask is also here, along with some honeysuckle, but they’re overpowered by fruit – sultanas and stewed apple.
Palate: Oily and sweet, with more stewed apple and some charcoal touches. Floral touches and raisins sit behind the apple, along with some tingly cinnamon. It almost gets soapy, but stops just before it gets there.
Finish: Dark, woody spice lingers, along with some char, turning towards Digestive biscuits over time.
Our price: $70/btl

Glengoyne: 18 Year Old

Spicy vanilla fruit, ripe apples and a rich, luxurious mouthfeel. This is the result of 18 long years and a generous proportion of first-fill sherry casks.

Awash with red apple, ripe melon and fresh banana. Heavenly and well rounded, it drifts into hot porridge topped with brown sugar.
Initial taste:
Full bodied, round and rich. At first macerated fruits, marzipan and walnuts; then warm spices, dry cocoa and lingering Seville marmalade.
Long, warm and dry.

Our price: $140/btl

Please contact the store with any questions. Due to ever-changing inventory, we cannot guarantee bottle availability. Not responsible for typographical errors. The Park Avenue Liquor Shop does not endorse the eating of Haggis. We just mentioned it because it is part of the tradition of ‘Burns Day’. So…that’s up to you.

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Linkwood 22 Year Old HTFW – Scotch Whisky News


UK vlogger Joe Ellis from Whisky Wednesday reviews the Linkwood 22 Year Old HTFW Bottling.


Buffalo Trace


Share the “Buffalo Love” on Friday, February 14!


– Love is in the air again at Buffalo Trace Distillery! After two very successful “Buffalo Love” events, the popular Valentine’s Day bourbon tasting and food pairing returns to Buffalo Trace Distillery, led by Director of Quality Drew Mayville.

The unique event will be held on Valentine’s Day this year, Friday, February 14th. Guests will be treated to a succulent dinner while learning how each course pairs easily with some of Buffalo Trace’s award-winning bourbons.

The evening will start at 6:00 p.m. with an optional tour; at 7:00 p.m. guests will enjoy a specially-created cocktail as Mr. Mayville will begin a fun-filled and educational bourbon journey as guests learn how to nose, taste, and appreciate all the glorious flavors brought forth by some of Buffalo Trace’s most highly sought-after products, all the while enjoying a special menu created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery to complement the spirits.

The six course food and spirit pairing will feature Buffalo Trace products such as Rain Vodka, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon, W. L. Weller Bourbon, Elmer T. Lee Bourbon and Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream.

All of the dishes will incorporate the aforementioned products in the preparation.

Mr. Mayville will explain how the dish compliments the selected libation and what flavors one can expect to find in each combination. The cost for “Buffalo Love” is $150/couple, or $75 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing or calling 502-696-5930. The event will end at 9:00 p.m. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

Attire is smart casual. This is just one of several events Buffalo Trace Distillery is hosting in 2014. Visit us at for a complete listing.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1786 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.”

Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit


News From Glen Garioch – Scotch Whisky News

A Warm Highland Welcome!

We hope that you’re all looking forward to toasting your haggis this Burns night with a dram or two of Glen Garioch!

We have been busy this month updating our website to bring in 2014, complete with new features such as  ‘Unique Location’, a corner of our site dedicated to exploring Old Meldrum, the home of Glen Garioch.  

We’d love to welcome you here at Glen Garrioch one day soon, but until then, why  not get a feel for the place and the people who are very much part of the character of this rich and robust Highland dram by watching this short film?

…You never know, it may even help you to win a bottle of our Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Whisky. For your chance to win, simply enter here and answer a simple question.

What’s Your Favourite Black Bull Whisky? – Scotch Whisky News

What’s your favourite Black Bull whisky?

Black Bull 12 Year Old
70cl | 50% abv
incl. tax: £43.00

Black Bull Kyloe
70cl | 50% abv
incl. tax: £29.00

Black Bull Racers Reserve 21 Year Old
70cl | 50% abv
incl. tax: £140.00

Black Bull Special Reserve Batch 2
70cl | 50% abv
incl. tax: £157.00

World Wide Whisky Design Awards “Macallan in Lalique V, 62 years old” – Scotch Whisky News


Macallan in Lalique V, 62 years old

The Macallan in Lalique V, 62 years old, originally filled in American oak sherry seasoned casks in November 1950. French crystal-maker Lalique is continuing its limited-edition decanter collaboration with Scottish whisky distiller The Macallan to reinforce the spirit-maker’s six pillars, … Continue reading

anCnoc Releases Exclusive 1999 Vintage Expression – Scotch Whisky News

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anCnoc Releases Exclusive 1999 Vintage Expression

anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has today (15th January) announced the latest hand selected addition to its exceptional portfolio, the limited edition 1999 Vintage. Only 750 cases of this rare single malt will be available in the UK, Russia, Germany and Taiwan from January 2013 with a retail price of £49.99 per bottle.

The whisky, which has been matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks at Knockdhu Distillery in Knock, Banffshire, has been bottled in its most natural form – neither chill-filtered nor coloured at 46% ABV. The exclusive liquid is amber in colour with a slight golden hue. It is an aromatic expression which is sweet to start with a touch of fruitiness and a long, smooth finish.

In true anCnoc style, the striking white and red colouring of the packaging mirrors the minimalist design of anCnoc’s core range and features an intricate illustration of the enchanting Knockdhu Distillery on the bottle and tube.

anCnoc, which is part of the Inver House Distillers portfolio, is a brand closely associated with the arts, having released a series of limited edition expressions in the past few years designed by the acclaimed Scottish illustrator Peter Arkle. It’s renowned the world over by malt enthusiasts for bringing a contemporary twist to the traditions of fine malt whisky, producing a single malt that is accessible and versatile for all occasions.

anCnoc Brand Manager, Gillian Gibson commented: ‘Releasing our 1999 Vintage marks the first in a series of fresh and exciting developments for anCnoc in 2014 which are sure to intrigue and delight fans of our range. This very special expression, with its distinctive characteristics, will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to anCnoc collections.’


About anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced at the Knockdhu Distillery which was established in 1894 and is one of the smallest and most enchanting in the Scottish Highlands. It’s renowned the world over by malt enthusiasts for producing a single malt that makes every day a special occasion. The new limited edition product joins the popular anCnoc 12 year old, a light yet complex dram and a yearly vintage, currently the 1998, which is bottled in its natural form producing high intensity malt.

Known for championing the contemporary visual arts and this new campaign builds on anCnoc’s grassroots arts sponsorships in cutting-edge Scottish galleries, which to date have generated a vibrant and modern environment for drinking whisky.

About International Beverage
International Beverage Holdings ( was established in 2005 as the international arm of ThaiBev, one of South East Asia’s leading alcohol beverage companies. With a network of regional offices in Asia, Europe and North America, the company is responsible for the production, sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of premium global brands in over 80 countries and territories.

Inver House Distillers ( is globally integrated into International Beverage Holdings and drives the distillation and maturation of Scotch through its five distilleries.

International Beverage brands include:

 Chang Beer: Thailand’s iconic beer brand
 Single Malt Scotch Whiskies: Old Pulteney, Balblair, anCnoc, Speyburn
 Blended Whiskies: Hankey Bannister
 Mekhong: ‘The Spirit of Thailand’ since 1941
 Caorunn – a small batch distilled Scottish Gin infused with 5 Celtic botanicals

The company’s success is built on the combination of a strong understanding of local cultures and markets with the creation of a truly global operational network. Brand building pays respect to

heritage, provenance and craftsmanship whilst delivering innovative and highly effective strategies at global level. A skilled and dedicated team of more than 12 nationalities speaking over 14 languages delivers the highest standards of customer service and attention to detail across all aspects of the business.

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