New Collections and Lots of Tastings

Hardly had my last blog been posted, talking about creativity coming from the smaller whisky companies, when a number of the larger ones did come up with new offerings. Dewar’s launched the Last Great Malts Collection (apparently been working on it for ages); Chivas (Pernod Ricard) came out with the Winchester Collection; Beam Suntory have Peated Malts of Distinction and Diageo have put out their annual Special Releases range. More on some of those another time, but talk about several buses coming along at once….

I’ve been preparing for an interview I’m doing with Ewen Mackintosh, new managing Director of Gordon & MacPhail and it was astonishing to remind myself of the number of ranges they have – about a dozen, not counting the expressions from their own distillery, Benromach. Some new things are just out this month –  in all they bottle some 300 expressions. They must have wonderful stock management systems and some mighty talented people to keep tabs on all that lot. And all from their offices in Elgin; not a mega-corporation with a large HQ.Haig Club (3)

At time of writing I’ve just been delivered a bottle of Haig Club from Diageo. It’s now available in all their key markets and not just the first few. I wrote about it a few blogs ago. I’ve already said to them that on first sight it reminded me of a bottle of aftershave but, as a marketeer by profession myself, I think it’s a fantastic pack, a bold and clever move and well-suited to the target market (which I’m not part of). I hope it’s a great success and brings new drinkers into the whisky fold – that’s the important part.

I’ve also been tasting some of the new Dewar’s Last Great Malts collection as I’m interviewing their Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod soon.  She’s a cool, calm and collected lady with a great creative touch. I’ve worked my way through the Craigellachies with the Aultmores still to go. They didn’t have samples available from all the distilleries featured and a couple of them aren’t released till next year anyway, but more than enough to keep my tastebuds busy for now. Not to mention some things from Compass Box…..

See you in November, perhaps with more on drams mentioned above or perhaps with a bit on whisky and food – or whisky for Christmas. You never know what might come up in the whisky world between now and then.

© Caroline Dewar 2014


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