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The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2020 – Whisky News (2020)

 

The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2020

Well. That was definitely a year. But hidden in among the various trials and tribulations of 2020 there were a load of excellent drink-related things, and, optimists that we are here at The Whisky Exchange, it’s time to celebrate them. So, without further ado, it’s time for the now-traditional (even if we did miss last year) TWE Blog Review of the Year – 2020 edition.

A quiet start

The beginning of 2020 was rather sedate, with a focus on low and no-alcohol alternatives (as well as some great alcoholic classics) in our excellently/questionably named No-Low-Status Quo feature. Burns night appeared towards the end of January, as it does every year (keep an eye on the blog for this year’s tips, coming soon) and we rolled quietly into spring. This year’s Rosebank RoseGrace – (still three more to come) appeared on the website and disappeared just as quickly, with a St Patrick’s Day themed Irish Whiskey focus following in March.

Then things went a bit weird.

Lockdown Blues

With the UK’s pandemic lockdown beginning in late March, things changed very quickly for us at The Whisky Exchange. With most of the team working from home – with the majority not having been back to TWE HQ since – we started looking into ways of bringing our drinks family from across the UK and around the world together.

The Specialty Drinks packing team got to work filling boxes with supplies for drinks industry people struggling during the pandemic.

First, we turned to the bars of London. Since The Whisky Exchange started, we’ve been making sure that they’ve had the best spirits available at all times, and with their business disappearing overnight when they were forced to close, we decided to help. With many staff furloughed or laid off, Speciality Drinks – our trade wing – joined forces with Edrington-Beam-Suntory to create wellbeing packs for folks in the drinks trade who needed a helping hand: boxes of staples to fill gaps in their cupboards. This carried on through the year, wrapping up – for the time being – in November 2020, with more than 6,500 packs sent around the UK.

We then turned to the bars themselves, and, working with a selection of the UK’s finest establishments, put together a selection of make-it-at-home cocktail packs and ready-to-drink cocktails to let you recreate their signature drinks in your own kitchen – Bring the Bar Home. We had 13 packs complete with recipes and videos from bars ranging from the classic Rules and Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel, to modern London institutions like Trailer Happiness and Laki Kane, as well newcomers like Coupette and Kwānt. With a share of the proceeds from each pack going back to the bar who created it, the scheme helped out while the bars pivoted into running their own at-home deliveries.

You can watch it all on Tv

Having worked with our industry friends, our attention turned to our customers – you. With lockdown in full force, we wanted to find a way of continuing to share our love of great drinks, and jumped feet first into the virtual world.

It started with our virtual tastings. Every week from May to October, with a couple more in December, we ran an online tasting, with tasting packs available to buy from The Whisky Exchange website, and an interactive Zoom room open for anyone who had one.

Rum By Flavour was our first tasting, back in early May…things have come on a long way since then.

We also streamed them live on Facebook, so that anyone could join in. You can find 23 of them on YouTube in our Virtual Tastings playlist, and there are even a few packs left on the website if you want to join in.

But it didn’t stop there…

A Virtual Whisky Show

With an in-person Whisky Show impossible, we went online. And then expanded things. And then expanded things again. In the end, our plan for a 2.5 day show bloomed into a week long event with more than 400 talks and tastings, all delivered online.

The hosts

Hosted by a three-headed hydra of booze – Bubbles, barley and beer: head buyer Dawn Davies, writer Dave Broom and me – with assistance from WhiskyCast‘s Mark Gillespie, we covered everything from sustainability to inclusivity, with stops at distilleries around the world, chatting with the people behind the drams. And we drank some great whiskies, available as tasting packs to try at home – we even still have a few left if you want to join in.

Exclusive Drinks

We started the year by wrapping up our 20th Anniversary with a final selection of exclusive birthday bottlings – we had more than 50 special bottlings through our big birthday year.  Anniversary over, we continued to put out great whiskies, rums and more, all exclusive to us.

Each bottle from this year’s Whisky Show releases had a unique label, part of a larger design created for each of the three whiskies.

From the increasingly legendary Redbreast 1989 30 Year Old Port Cask – still a few bottles left, but it won’t last long – to our Whisky Show bottlings – Whisky: An Ever-Changing World – and a whole host of great whiskies.  We’ve got more coming in the new year, and the first bottlings are already arriving…watch this space.

Along with the exclusives, we also launched our own new line of whiskies – The Whisky Exchange Single Casks. Specially selected by co-founder Sukhinder Singh, they give us a chance to showcase some of the best casks he has hiding in warehouses across Scotland.

Anything else?

Lots…

We kicked off our Meet the Maker series with interviews across the worlds of whisky.

We celebrated World Whisky Day with a day of interviews with whisky makers around the world, all streamed on Facebook – you can catch up with our World Whisky Day playlist if you missed it.

The launch of Waterford caused a stir in the whisky world, with founder Mark Reynier – formerly of Bruichladdich – and his terroir-forward approach inspiring debate. I jumped in with my take – Waterford: Terroir and Teireoir, and the first releases shot off the shelves.

..and we announced our Whisky of the Year – thank you to everyone who helped out by voting. The awards will be back in Autumn.

What next?

After the weirdness of 2020, we aren’t sitting still in 2021.

Our virtual tastings will be back soon – keep an eye on the blog for updates, as we’ll have a full program appearing over the coming weeks. On top of that, expect virtual Whisky Show: Old & Rare, and a combination of physical and virtual fun (government guidelines permitting) for and Whisky Show. Planning for Whisky Show is in full swing and tickets are on sale now – head to the Whisky Show website to find out more.

We’ve put 2020 to bed, and 2021 is ripe for filling with great drinks and fun times. We’ll hopefully see you all soon, either in person or online. Either way: Happy New Year.

Whisky Wednesday Returns Soon!

Due to various issues Whisky Wednesday is unable to record their episodes.

They should return soon.

Independent Bottler The Single Cask Supports the NHS with Single Cask Inchfad – Scotch Whisky News

4 year old Inchfad bottled for the NHS with profits going to Healthcare charities

Independent Bottler The Single Cask have bottled a unique single cask whisky and is donating all profits to Healthcare charities.

The COVID crisis has been tough for everyone, and continues to present challenges. The heroes of the hour are our NHS, healthcare, and frontline workers. They have, and continue, to look after us all.

As soon as warehouses in Scotland opened again after lockdown, The Single Cask decided to swing into action and bottle something special. They chose a unique single cask Inchfad, distilled at Loch Lomond in the Highlands. Inchfad is rare today, with the distillery itself no longer bottling this range. This heavily-peated single malt scotch whisky is renowned for its soft fruit and malt notes.

The Single Cask selected a four year old ex-bourbon cask, distilled in 2016. At cask strength of 61.4% the whisky has been bottled in its natural colour and without chill-filtration.

Tasting notes for this whisky are:

● Nose: barbecued, smokey pineapple with sweet malt, seasoned with white pepper and cinnamon.

● Palate: soft tropical fruit in the form of pineapple and mango, with both the malt character of the original spirit and the influence of the oak cask coming through, together with a touch of white pepper and cinnamon.

● Finish: long and satisfying with elements from both nose and palate present – smoked pineapple with malt, oak and wood spice.

All profits from the 197 bottles of this single cask expression will be donated by The Single Cask to healthcare charities in recognition of, and in support of, their ongoing efforts fighting COVID.

This 4 year old Inchfad bottled for the NHS is available to buy for £49 at www.thesinglecask.co.uk/nhs

For further queries please contact Ed Leigh: ed@thesinglecask.co.uk

Notes

About The Single Cask

The Single Cask bottles unique spirits one cask at a time. We search hard to find exceptional single malt whisky, Irish whiskey, and American bourbon. We like whiskies that showcase a distillery’s characteristics or an interesting maturation technique. But in the end, if it’s delicious, we put it in a bottle. We bottle our whiskies at cask strength, natural colour, and without chill-filtration. This keeps the whisky as pure and natural as possible; just as we found it in the cask. Our glass bottles are styled like a decanter, designed to be passed around a group of friends as they enjoy sharing a dram together. The best whisky should be opened, shared and enjoyed; not left to gather dust on a shelf. We’re passionate about what we do. We’re here to get these single cask releases into whisky-lovers’ hands.

The Single Cask be found here

● Website: www.thesinglecask.co.uk
● Instagram: @thesinglecask
● Twitter: @the_single_cask
● Facebook: @thesinglecaskuk

WHISKY SHOW 2020 UPDATE – Whisky News

WHISKY SHOW 2020 UPDATE

The past few months have been a hugely daunting time in the world and our team at The Whisky Exchange have been fighting to make the 12th year of our beloved Whisky Show happen in a safe and pleasant environment. From relentlessly researching PPE to cutting back certain aspects of the show to create the most secure environment possible, we have exhausted all avenues in bringing together the show safely for 2020.

Unfortunately, we have come to a point where we can no longer continue with the physical show and must confirm the cancellation of Whisky Show 2020, which was due to take place at Old Billingsgate, London, 2-4 October. This was not a decision we took lightly and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies to you all. While we are unable to meet in person this year, we are delighted to be launching Virtual Whisky Show. Get ready for a week-long whisky extravaganza featuring everything you love about Whisky Show.

All tickets purchased, including those for masterclasses and Johnnie Walker blending classes, will be fully refunded to the original card used for payment. Our team are beginning to process refunds which should be received within five working days, along with a confirmation email. Please be aware that this can sometimes take longer depending on your card provider. If you have not received a refund from us within ten working days, then please contact us at office@whiskyshow.com.

We can’t wait to see you all back at Old Billingsgate in 2021, but in the meantime we’ll see you online!

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VIRTUAL GREAT BUFFALO CHASE 5K HOSTED RECORD NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS – American Whiskey News

VIRTUAL GREAT BUFFALO CHASE 5K

HOSTED RECORD NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

More than $21,000 raised for local VFW, $15,000 donated to local food pantry 

        FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (July 28, 2020) – Runners from all 50 states and seven countries participated in Buffalo Trace Distillery’s 19th annual Great Buffalo Chase 5k which was held virtually for the first time over July 4th weekend. This was also the first time this race, which has historically attracted top runners from across the United States and the world, received runner participation in all of the 50 states, and the most participants to ever run the race in a single year. In total, 1,124 people participated in the virtual race.

Registrations for the race raised more than $21,000 for the city of Frankfort’s VFW Post 4075’s annual fireworks show which has been rescheduled for this fall.

The race kicked off the morning of July 3 with the singing of the National Anthem, performed by Christina Kaloyanides, a soprano opera singer from Chicago. Then, runners and walkers participated in this year’s virtual race in their hometowns and local neighborhoods wherever they were located during the period of July 3-5 instead of running at the Distillery as in the past. Participants were mailed a commemorative T-shirt and race bib and had the option to record and submit their personal race time.

Due to the nature of this being a virtual race, and in the spirit of fairness, prizes were not awarded to top runners this year. On behalf of all participants, and in commitment to supporting others, Buffalo Trace Distillery is donating $15,000, which would have been prize money for top runners, to God’s Pantry Food Bank to support the local Franklin County community.

All registrants were entered into a raffle for the chance to receive a hand-made American Flag made from bourbon barrel staves, to be donated to the charity of their choice for fundraising. The recipient of this raffle was Chris German who donated the hand-made barrel-stave flag to the SJ5K Foundation, which supports local, Plymouth-Canton, Michigan families facing crisis situations. This nonprofit, which was started by members of German’s family, will use the barrel-stave flag to raise funds for the foundation.

Participants also were encouraged to take part in the virtual patriotic attire costume contest on the Buffalo Trace Distillery Facebook Page and by using #ChaseTheBuffalo for the chance to win a prize from the Gift Shop.

A full listing of submitted race times can be found on the Buffalo Trace Distillery website, here.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1775 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 35 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018” and its William Larue Weller and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac were named 2nd and 3rd finest whiskeys in the world, respectively, in the “Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 2020.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 1,000 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com

Loch Fyne Whiskies, Inveraray is Back!

Today we’re delighted to be welcoming back some familiar faces to our Inveraray store. Oh, how we’ve missed you!

We’ll be open from Thursday to Monday (10-4pm) with all staff keeping local customers safe in store while they search for the perfect summer-in-the-garden dram, or a top-up of their usual tipple! 🥃

Don’t forget, you can Click & Collect your orders on our website and pick up your bottle when it’s ready in store. We’ve recently added even more incredible drams to our whisky sale online, just to tempt you a little bit… 👀

Shop Sale

Relaxed break…Maltstock 2020 Cancelled – Whisky News

Relaxed Break

Hi Maltstockees,

After 11 years of Maltstock, we guess we deserve a relaxed break… 😉 We’ve decided we have to cancel Maltstock 2020.

Social distancing is the very opposite of what Maltstock is all about. But, the safety of our guests and crew is always our number one priority. Covid-19 has made it impossible to safely host a relaxed Maltstock weekend. So, sadly, there will be no Maltstock weekend this year.

Annette, Bob, Klaas, Stan, Teun

But relax! We’ll be back in 2021!

Dates for next year are

10-12 September 2021

We hope to see you all next year. That would be very relaxed!

Tickets

Tickets for the 12th edition will be available mid-September. First everyone who had already bought a ticket will get a chance to use it for the 2021 edition.

The past months we’ve tried to bring you a little bit off relaxed entertainment. We hope you enjoyed our virtual flyer hunt, the Black Sheep Red Sheep virtual morning walk, the Milk & Honey online tasting and of course the Whisky Shop Dufftown Relaxed Whisky Quiz!

Now we will get busy getting everything ready for 2021. In a very relaxed way of course.

PS

We do realize it’s our fabulous crew you will miss the most. So here they are:

The Green Welly Stop – Re-opening – Whisky News!

Open again from 15th July

We are delighted to announce that the main business will be open from tomorrow (15th July). The business hours are as follows:

Filling Station – 7am until 9pm
Snack Stop Café – 7am until 8.30am & 3.45pm until 9pm
Main business – 8.30am until 5pm

Whilst it is fantastic to be re-opening, our Food & Beverage departments will have a restricted menu until further notice. We respectfully ask whilst in the restaurant queue that you keep your masks on until you reach your table.

We will have plenty of hand sanitising stations, please use them. We will also have clear signage to assist with social distancing.

If you have any comments to make to us, please come and speak to a member of our team directly. We want you to enjoy your visit and are doing everything we can to keep both our customers and staff safe.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our business.

#StaySafe #SoupsOn

Fiona Robertson, Partner, The Green Welly Stop

The Green Welly Stop

Tyndrum

CRIANLARICH, PERTHSHIREFK20 8RY

United Kingdom

Campbeltown – Cancelled Festival – Glen Scotia Release at Tyndrum Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

TyndrumWhisky.com

Finally here!

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Festival 2020

Bottled before lockdown, and before the Campbeltown Malts Festival was cancelled, Glen Scotia have this lovely Tawny Port 14YO now available. Blackberry, floral notes and ocean spray on the nose leading to a silky mouthfeel, not to be missed!

It’s finally here!

From the cancelled Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020, we’ve got the Tawny Port Finish Peated 14YO

Matured in American Oak Barrels before being finished in Tawny Port Casks for 6 months, bringing dark fruit and berry flavours that complement the spice and tangy peat finish.

Official tasting notes:

Blackberry, floral notes and ocean spray on the nose, the palate has a wonderful silky mouthfeel and flavours of crisp green apple, peach syrup and vanilla with a honey sweetness. There is a gentle peat smoke with blackcurrant, raspberry and clove spice notes on the finish.

Distilled and bottled by Glen Scotia Whisky Distillery

Order Now:

Diageo take stride towards climate change goal with first carbon neutral distillery – American Whiskey News

Diageo take stride towards climate change goal with first carbon neutral distillery

Our new Kentucky whiskey distillery producing Bulleit is expected to be one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America

We have announced that our new Kentucky whiskey distillery, which will distill Bulleit, is expected to be carbon neutral – one of the largest in North America, and a first for Diageo. Reinforcing our global commitment to reducing our carbon emissions and addressing climate change, the site will be powered by 100% renewable electricity, with a capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year.

The new distillery, which is currently under construction in Lebanon, Kentucky, reflects Diageo’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and moves us closer to our goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Employing electrode boilers, the site will utilize a mix of renewable electricity sources to power a 72,000 square-foot distillery, dry house, and warehousing facilities. As previously announced “The Diageo Lebanon Distillery” will have the capability to distill a variety of bourbon and American whiskey brands. Bulleit will be the first and lead brand produced at the new distillery – supplementing existing production at The Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This move will further strengthen the brand’s commitment to a more sustainable future.

““As a company we know that our long-term sustainable growth depends on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change,” said Perry Jones, President, North America Supply for Diageo. “This groundbreaking undertaking to electrify our operations and then power them with renewable electricity will result in one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America. This is a significant step to strengthen our commitment to minimizing our carbon emissions and will result in an important reduction of Diageo’s environmental impact on a global level.””

 

To achieve carbon neutrality at the site, we plan to incorporate a variety of features that will avoid annual carbon emissions by more than 117,000 metric tons. This is the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for an entire year. These features include, but are not limited to:

  • Electrification of operations
  • Energy efficiency embedded into the facility design
  • Sourcing renewable energy
  • Water savings design
  • Zero waste to landfill

Committed to decarbonization with approved science-based targets, Diageo is part of a pioneering group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, through membership of the United Nations Global Compact, We Mean Business Coalition and other key global advocacy organizations. As a signatory to RE100, Diageo aims to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, Diageo has signed onto the global Race to Zero campaign, a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We recently joined over 150 multinationals to reaffirm our commitment to Science Based Targets and urge governments around the world to align their COVID-19 recovery efforts with the latest climate science.

““For Bulleit, our passion for sustainability began when we built the Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, where we focus on reducing carbon emissions, water conservation and waste management during production. Then, when we opened our Visitor Experience there, we chose to implement practices like eliminating single use plastics from our bar and sourcing locally-grown organic cocktail garnishes from our onsite garden,” said Sophie Kelly, SVP Whiskies, Diageo NA. “Our commitment to the environment evolves with the Lebanon distillery, where no fossil fuels will be consumed for the production of Bulleit. This allows us to really begin to double down on our ambition to reinvent category standards.””

 

Rendering of electrode boilers, courtesy of Precision Boilers


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