Distiller’s Friday Roundup July 3, 2020

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July 3, 2020

We’ve made it to July, y’all! This week brought a few whiskey announcements. Most notably is the permanent addition of The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year and 18 Year to The Macallan portfolio. Also, if you’re a fan of vintage dated and old rare single malt whiskies, you’re in luck. Both Diageo and The Last Drop have some new whiskies to add to your collections. Of course, you can expect to drop a pretty penny or two in order to partake in them.

In addition, we’ve got a few as-yet-to-be-released whiskey labels to share with you including a Christmas edition (!!!) and one set for a 2021 release. You can find out the news on these upcoming releases and more in this week’s Friday Roundup for July 3, 2020.

Plantation Rum Set to Change its Name

This week Plantation Rum announced that it will be changing its name. More specific details are expected to be revealed at a later date. Meanwhile, the name change will not affect production or the contents of its bottlings. The Plantation Rum portfolio contains some rums produced at its West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados as well as vintages, blends, and bar-friendly versions. In addition to Barbados, rum expressions from Jamaica, Trinidad, Peru, and Fiji are also in the portfolio. Plantation Rum can be purchased in over 80 countries.

Plantation Rum Set to Change its Name
Photo Source: Plantation Rum

“As the dialogue on racial equality continues globally, we understand the hurtful connotation the word plantation can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past,” said Alexandre Gabriel, Plantation Rum Master Blender. “We look to grow in our understanding of these difficult issues and while we don’t currently have all the details of what our brand name evolution will involve, we want to let everyone know that we are working to make fitting changes.”

The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year and 18 Year Debuts

The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year was added to the brand’s portfolio globally in July 2020 along with Double Cask 18 Year. The Double Cask series features single malt whiskies which mature in sherry-seasoned American oak and European oak casks. After 15 and 18 years in the respective casks, the whiskies were blended and bottled at 43% ABV. These single malt whiskies join The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year which debuted in 2016.

“Bringing together American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to achieve the perfect balance of flavors is incredibly exciting for the Whisky Mastery Team, and we are proud to offer two new expressions to this distinctive range for The Macallan Double Cask fans to explore,” said Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan. “Oak influence is the single greatest contributor to the quality, natural color and distinctive aromas and flavors at the heart of The Macallan’s single malts.”

Available globally this month, The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year retails for $135 while the Double Cask 18 Year retails for $355.

The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year along with 12 and 18 Year / Photo Source: The Macallan

Bombay Sapphire Hebru Brantley Limited Edition

Bombay Sapphire has collaborated with Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley who designed this limited edition bottle. Brantley’s influences include the South Side of Chicago’s AfriCOBRA movement in the 1960s and 1970s and he works with mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, and spray paint as well as non-traditional mediums like coffee and tea.
This is the first artist-designed bottle for the gin brand in North America. The Bombay Sapphire Hebru Brantley Limited Edition bottle is available as of July 2020 for $22.99 in select states. A portion of the profits will benefit the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter.

“It can be pivotal when an established, global brand like Bombay Sapphire believes and invests in up-and-coming artists early in their careers. My relationship with Bombay Sapphire began with the Artisan Series almost a decade ago, which played a role in jump starting my career,” says Brantley. “Now the relationship has come full circle with my reinterpretation of the iconic Bombay Sapphire bottle, which is an extension of my submission piece for the Artisan Series. When you create something unique like this, you want it to inspire hope for a better future and shine a light on the courage and resilience of Black people in America. It felt only right that Bombay Sapphire and I were able to do this together to benefit Black Lives Matter Chicago, to support the critical work they do in fighting for racial justice in my hometown.”

Bombay Sapphire Hebru Brantley Limited Edition
Hebru Brantley With Limited Edition Bombay Bottles He Designed / Photo Source: Bombay

TIDBITS FROM AROUND THE SPIRITS WORLD

Let’s take a quick look at what else is going on around the world this week…

Diageo Announces Prima & Ultima Limited Edition Series

This week Diageo announced the first set of vintage single malt whiskies in its new Prima & Ultima limited edition series. This series features eight Scottish distilleries. Each single malt whisky was selected by Diageo master blender Dr. Jim Beveridge. They are each bottled at their natural cask strength.

There are 238 full sets with the first set being auctioned off for charity through Sotheby’s from 26 August through 2nd September 2020. This auctioned set will include bottle number one for each of the eight single malts signed by Dr. Jim Beveridge. Otherwise a full set will be available from 22 July and retail for £20,000/~$25,000.

Diageo Announces Prima & Ultima Limited Edition Series
Diageo Announces Prima & Ultima Limited Edition Series / Photo Source: Diageo

Caol Ila 1984 35 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill European butt
ABV: 50.8%

Clynelish 1993 26 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill American oak casks
ABV: 49.8%

Cragganmore 1971 48 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: first-fill sherry butt
ABV: 43.7%

Lagavulin 1991 28 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill American oak casks
ABV: 50.1%

Mortlach 1994 25 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: first-fill PX/oloroso European butt
ABV: 55.1%

Port Ellen 1979 40 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill European oak butt
ABV: 51.2%

Singleton of Dufftown 1988 30 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill American oak casks
ABV: 48.8%

Talisker 1988 31 Year Prima & Ultima

Cask type: refill American oak casks
ABV: 51.4%

The Last Drop 1970 Glenrothes

The Last Drop 1970 Glenrothes is the 18th release from The Last Drop and the last in the Glenrothes trilogy which included 1968 and 1969 versions. The 1970 Glenrothes is a release of three neighboring single casks of single malt whisky distilled on December 6, 1970 and bottled in January 2020.

The Last Drop 1970 Glenrothes
The Last Drop 1968, 1979 & 1970 Glenrothes / Photo Source: The Last Drop

The three single casks are as follows: cask #10586 yielded 103 bottles at 45.3% ABV, cask #10588 yielded 87 bottles at 44.1% ABV, and cask #10589 yielded 96 bottles at 45% ABV. As with all of The Last Drop releases, each bottle comes packaged with its signature 50ml miniature replica and pocket-sized tasting book with additional pages for personal tasting notes. The Last Drop 1970 Glenrothes is available as of July 2020 for $6,250.

Wyoming Whiskey Hole in the Wall

Wyoming Whiskey Hole in the Wall is a limited edition straight bourbon available exclusively in the state of Wyoming. It’s made from 8 select barrels that were aged for 5 years and is bottled at 99 proof. The name Hole in the Wall refers to the remote and secluded mountain hideout in Hot Springs County used by outlaws in the late 19th and early 20th century like the Logan brothers, Jesse James, and Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch Gang. Available as of July 2020 with its price yet to be announced.

Wyoming Whiskey Hole In The Wall
Wyoming Whiskey Hole In The Wall / Photo Source: Wyoming Whiskey

New Releases On The Horizon

We try to keep an eye on all of the label approvals that go through the TTB (The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) so we know which releases to look out for. Here are a few of the most interesting looking approval submissions we’ll likely see in the not-too-distant future. Keep in mind that ABVs listed are subject to change.

New Releases On The Horizon
Upcoming Releases

Forty Creek Resolve

This is the 2020 Canadian limited edition release for the brand.

What We Know:
This year’s edition looks to feature whiskies that were aged in charred oak as well as the addition of “high spice staves and vintage starward wine.” It’s bottled at 43% ABV.

Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth

This looks to be the next release in the brand’s “Smooth” series which has featured mezcal and Carribean rum finishes.

What We Know:
This blended Scotch whisky is finished in port wine casks. Furthermore, it has an age statement of 8 years, which has been consistent in the Smooth series. It will be bottled at 40% ABV.

Craigellachie Exceptional Cask Series 24 Year Single Cask #5229

This is a limited edition release in the Speyside whisky brand’s Exceptional Cask Series.

What We Know:
The single malt is aged for 24 years in a single sherry cask. It is bottled without chill-filtration at 52.2% ABV.

Glenmorangie Malaga Cask Finish 12 Year

Unsure if this will be a permanent addition to the brand’s portfolio, but it would be a nice fit. At the moment Glenmorangie has a Sherry Cask Finish, Port Cask Finish, and Sauternes Cask Finish in its permanent range.

What We Know:
This single malt is finished in first-fill Malaga “dulce” wine, a sweet fortified dessert wine from Spain. It is matured in total for 12 years and is bottled without chill-filtration at 47.3% ABV.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020

This is the now annual holiday edition release from the Indian single malt brand.

What We Know:
This is a no-age statement release featuring single malt whiskies which aged in ex-bourbon, oloroso and virgin oak barrels. It has a hint of peat and is bottled without chill-filtration at 46% ABV.

Blood Oath Bourbon Pact No. 7

Pact No. 7 is the next limited edition bourbon from the brand expected in early 2021.

What We Know:
This Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey has been finished in Sauternes wine casks. As is standard for this series, it is bottled 49.3% ABV.


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