There are a few new whiskeys that were announced this week including Big Peat 8 Year A846. This is the 2020 Fèis Ìle bottling from the Islay blended malt brand. Also, Fettercairn is adding a new 16-year-old single malt to its core line of products. Additionally, Glasgow Distillery has announced a new blended malt to its portfolio with an expected June release.
This week also brings unfortunate news about Minneapolis-based Du Nord Craft Spirits which suffered damage this week after fires were set in its warehouse. But the company is looking to rebuild not just its warehouse, but its community—and that’s something we all can work on after recent events. Please read on for more information on that and other spirits news for the week of June 5, 2020.
Du Nord Craft Spirits Warehouse Damaged Amid Minneapolis Protests
Several fires were set at a warehouse at Minneapolis-based Du Nord Craft Spirits last Friday during the protests against police brutality after George Floyd’s death while in police custody. While the fire prevention system did its job to prevent even greater destruction, 26,000 gallons of water were dumped over four hours resulting in significant damage to the facility.
Du Nord Craft Spirits warehouse damage /Photo Credit: Du Nord Craft Spirits
Du Nord, a black owned business, makes several types of spirits including whiskey, vodka and gin, and also performs contract distilling for others. Its original production facility and cocktail room were spared in the protests.
Owners Chris and Shanelle Montana have set up a GoFundMe page, but the fundraising is not for their business as an insurance settlement is expected. Rather the fund is in support of rebuilding other black and brown businesses that have been affected in the riots around the Twin Cities. The goal initially was set at $30,000 but that was quickly met within hours of setting up the fund. At the time of publication, the goal has been reset to $1 million with over $300,000 raised thus far.
Du Nord has been a donation center this week collecting food and supplies for those in need in its community. Please visit their Facebook page to keep up with the on-goings at Du Nord.
Big Peat 8 Year A846 Fèis Ìle 2020 Edition Announced
Big Peat 8 Year A846 is the Fèis Ìle 2020 Edition release for the Islay blended malt brand. Big Peat, one of the Remarkable Regional Malts from Douglas Laing & Co., features single malts from Islay. This year’s edition bears an age statement and its A846 name is in honor of the road in Islay which takes you from one distillery to the next. Bottled without added color or chill filtration at 46% ABV. Just 3000 bottles available globally as of June 2020. SRP $55
New Core Release for Fettercairn
Fettercairn 16 Year was released as a core bottling for the Scotch whisky brand in June 2020. This 1st Release for 2020 features chocolate malted (heavily-kilned) barley and initial aging in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels. Then the single malt is finished in sherry and port casks for its final two years of maturation. As the name suggests, this will be the first in a series of single malts at this age for the brand. SRP $88
Glasgow Distillery Debuts Malt Riot Blended Malt
Malt Riot Blended Malt is a new release from Glasgow Distillery which features single malt whiskies from around Scotland including the distillery’s own. The name refers to the Malt Tax protests which occurred in 1725. The fiercest protests were in Glasgow, but protests occurred throughout the nation. In Glasgow, malt stores were barricaded and excise men were run out of the city.
Incidentally, Daniel Campbell, a member of parliament and former Collector of Taxes for the Port of Glasgow who voted for the malt tax, had his home destroyed. Subsequently the city of Glasgow reimbursed him for the damage and Campbell used the funds to purchase the island of Islay and parts of Jura. He later encouraged local farmers to seed surplus barley which helped the progress of the Scotch whisky industry.
This is a no-age statement release that is bottled at 80 proof. Available as of June 2020. SRP $30
Buffalo Trace to Hold Virtual 5K Run
The 19th Annual Great Buffalo Trace 5K Run is scheduled to take place virtually over July Fourth weekend this year. Ordinarily runners from across the country and the world travel to Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY for the event. But due to the pandemic, the 5K Race will be held virtually with participants able to run or walk wherever they are located from July 3rd-5th. And although the distillery has plans to allow visitors back at the distillery as of July 1st, restrictions on the number of visitors will be limited along with other new procedures to ensure the maximum safety for its staff and visitors.
Registration for the 5K run is $20 with all proceeds benefiting the Frankfort VFW Post 4075. Participants are encouraged to dress in patriotic or Buffalo Trace attire and use the hashtag #ChaseTheBuffalo on social media. Registration is open now through July 5th at 9pm, but you are encouraged to do so by June 26th in order to receive a t-shirt and race bib in time for the event.
Benromach Launches New Bottle Design
There’s a new look for Benromach. The Speyside single malt brand announced this week that new packaging will appear on its core range including the 10 Year, the 15 Year, and the Cask Strength Vintage bottlings. The last time Benromach updated its packaging was in 2014.
Those that have visited the distillery will recognize the color scheme for the bottles. From Andrew Hannah, Head of Brand at Benromach: “We took inspiration for our new look from the hand-painted sign that used to adorn the roof over the kiln, along with the distinctive red doors around the distillery and the iconic red-brick chimney. The design aims to convey the genuine handcrafted care that goes into Benromach and to serve as a promise that every drop is made in Forres using just four ingredients: barley, water, yeast and the expertise of our distillers. Although the design for Benromach has changed, the character, taste and quality of our award-winning single malts remains the same.”
The new packaging will be available exclusively at The Whisky Exchange for three months before it’s released to other retailers.
Benromach new bottle designs /Photo Credit: Benromach
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.
TTB upcoming releases
A limited edition blended grain whisky released in celebration of the 20th anniversary for Compass Box.
What we know:
Thanks to Compass Box being at the head of the pack when it comes to transparency, we know quite a bit about its contents. First of all, the whiskies selected are from three different decades in honor of the occasion. Also, James Saxon was the lead whiskymaker for this release. The three grain distilleries in the blend are Strathclyde, Port Dundas and North British Distilleries. The breakdown of the blend is as follows:
Strathclyde: 40.6% of the recipe; aged in first-fill bourbon barrels
Port Dundas: 38.4% of the recipe; aged in first-fill bourbon barrels
North British Distilleries: 21% of the recipe; aged in re-charred barrels
As is standard for the brand, no coloring was added and the whisky is non-chill filtered.
A new release for the brand’s Master Collection Batch Proof edition.
What we know:
It’s a Kentucky straight bourbon bottled at 128.3 proof, which is the highest proof of this series to date.
Valley Tan is one of the whiskeys that High West distills itself entirely rather than it being a blend of whiskeys from multiple distilleries including themselves. Previous editions were primarily oat based, but that has changed with subsequent batches to be primarily wheat based.
What we know:
It is made from wheat, either primarily or entirely—that is unclear. However, it isn’t a wheat whiskey as that style requires only new, charred oak containers to be used. This release is made from whiskey aged in new and used oak. It’s bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration.
This is a bartender-friendly release bottled in a liter-sized bottle and at a slightly higher proof than the brand’s standard version.
What we know:
It’s bottled at 43% ABV.
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