March 30,2021

Scottish distillery Glenfiddich has unveiled Grande Couronne, a 26-Year-Old single malt Scotch whisky, the latest edition to its Grand Series.

Perfectly encapsulating Glenfiddich’s spirit of innovation and experimentation, the Grande Couronne has been bottled at 43.8% ABV and is the third release in the Grand Series collection, joining the 21 Year Old Gran Reserva and 23 Year Old Grand Cru.

Described as “vibrant and lively with an abundance of toasty oak sweetness,” the expression has notes of a French pâtisserie, freshly-baked Tarte Tatin and buttery choux pastry. With flavours of cafe creme, brown sugar, and a hint of spice, the release was matured in American and European oak casks, the Glenfiddich Grande Couronne was then finished for two years in Cognac casks.

“The Grand Series perfectly encapsulates Glenfiddich’s spirit of innovation and our ability to experiment with aged liquid and intriguing finishes,” said Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. “Grande Couronne is the latest to exemplify that approach.

“It is the only Glenfiddich single malt that has matured in American and European oak casks and finished in rare French Cognac casks,” explained Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. “The length of the finish, two years, is highly unusual and adds extra layers of sweet toasted oak and velvety aromas of café crème, brown sugar and soft spice.”

The bottle and packaging, created by East London Design Company HERE design, are adorned with ornamental gold filigree, and artwork reminiscent of renaissance paintings are featured inside the box.

“Glenfiddich’s maverick spirit is very much alive and well in this new release,” commented Claudia Falcone, Glenfiddich Global Brand Director. “Grande Couronne adds a crowning glory to any occasion offers a true taste of opulence and brings together the unexpected marriage of two luxury worlds.”

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July 30,2021

UK-based producer Portobello Road Gin is expanding its range beyond juniper spirits with the launch of four new vodka expressions.

Born out of supply chain problems during the pandemic, the distillery, which is now trading under the name Portobello Road Distillery, has released the vodkas in reaction to the growth of the premium flavoured vodka category.

Tom Coates, Portobello Road Distillery’s brand director, said: “With few exceptions, [the] explosion of flavour and colour has largely been confined to the gin category. However, it was only a matter of time before a similar trend transcends to other spirits categories and vodka has already started to see the shoots of this growth.

“At Portobello Road Gin, we have always been extremely careful on ensuring all our brands are juniper forward, and we are really excited to experiment with new, natural and innovative flavours in vodka.”

The four 40% ABV expressions are Potato Vodka, Golden Madagascan Vanilla Vodka, Calabrian Bergamot Citrus Vodka and Toasted Coffee Bean Vodka.

The unflavoured Portobello Road Potato Vodka is described as creamy, rich and soft, while the Golden Madagascan Vanilla Vodka is flavoured exclusively with Madagascan vanilla pods.

The Calabrian Bergamot Citrus Vodka uses bergamot zest, and is recommended in place of gin in some classic cocktails, while the Toasted Coffee Bean expression is made by steeping Colombian coffee beans in the spirit for 24 hours, then redistilling the liquid so that it becomes clear.

Portobello Road Distillery also plans on introducing an Amalfi Lemon Vodka, an Asparagus Vodka and a Watermelon Vodka in early autumn.

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July 29,2021

English gin distiller Hayman’s is marking the 50th anniversary of Singapore Airline’s first to London with a new limited-edition expression.

Infused with Asian flavours of kumquat, lemongrass, galangal and Persian lime, Singapore Airlines Connoisseur Gin has been created to invoke the familiar and exotic citrus flavours synonymous with large parts of Singapore Airlines’ heartland: Southeast Asia.

Tangy and zesty with bright juniper and hints of spice, rounded by a delicate sweetness, the expression has a smooth finish, ideal for paired with a premium tonic, or as part of a cocktail.

“As the most Internationally recognised independent London gin, we are thrilled to have collaborated with Singapore Airlines,” said James Hayman, co-owner of Hayman’s Gin

“It has been great fun working on this gin together and fusing the very essence of London and Singapore to create this delightful gin.”

Reflecting the gold and blue colours of Singapore Airlines, the label has been designed with a gold wax finish.

The gin is available in the Singapore Arlines lounge at Heathrow Airport, or online via



July 28,2021

Scottish blended whisky brand Dewar’s has announced the launch of Dewar’s Japanese Smooth, an innovative whisky, 8 Years in the making.

Harmoniously unniting the best of two whisky making cultures in one bottle, the expression is finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak casks for six months.

The resulting whisky is unique and features subtle floral honey and heather notes along with complex sandalwood aromas on the nose followed by cinnamon spice on the palette.

The flavours are achieve due to the porous qualities of the rare 200-year old Mizunara oak tree variety, also known as the “water oak”, which is used for the Dewar’s cask finish.

“The guiding principles in the creation of this whisky were balance and smoothness,” said Stephanie Macleod, Master Blender for Dewar’s. “This Mizunara finish enhances the signature Dewar’s heathery floral honeyed notes whilst subtlety imparting complex woody notes of sandalwood and cinnamon spice.

“It is an indulgent and pleasurable whisky with a rare breadth and depth of complex and subtle flavors,” she continued. “The smooth yet full-bodied finish makes it perfect to enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a classic Japanese style highball.”

Brian Cox, Vice President, DEWAR’S Scotch Whisky, North America added: “We are thrilled to launch DEWAR’S Japanese Smooth but unlike previous iterations of our Cask Series it will be a permanent addition to our award winning range of whiskies.

“We believe this is too good a whisky to keep it to a ‘Limited Edition’ issue and thus far the world’s leading whisky connoisseurs would seem to concur: Dewar’s Japanese Smooth has consistently garnered 91-point ratings including from Mark Gillespie’s Whisky Cast, F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal and Whisky Advocate magazine.

“Ratings are not the be all or end all of whisky quality,” Cox continued, “but when there is this consistent high level of recognition from objective 3rd parties it is a real sign that once again Stephanie Macleod has mastered her craft to reveal the exciting possibilities of blended Scotch whisky.”

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July 27,2021

Japanese whisky distillery House of Suntory has reformulated the recipe for its 25-year-old Yamazaki single malt.

Using a limited edition Yamazaki 1984 single malt, which was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the distillery and the 110th anniversary of Suntory as inspiration, the redeveloped whisky marries spirits aged in three types of oak, American, Spanish and Japanese mizunara.

“We went back to the key component whiskies of Yamazaki,” explained Shinji Fukuyo, the producer’s chief blender. “We deliberately chose to feature the depth and profound nature of the notable Japanese mizunara oak. For in its meticulous balance with the American and Spanish oak, Yamazaki’s signature multi-layered taste profile and complex aroma is accentuated.”

The 43% ABV expression offers spiced notes of incense on the nose, bolstered by layers of dried kaki persimmon and satsuma orange. On the palate, sandalwood unfolds to more persimmon sweetness, plus tart yuzu and spicy ginger. The whisky finishes with spiced, sweet and tart wood notes and hints of smoke.

The bottle features a label printed on mulberry Echizen paper, handmade through a traditional Japanese process of drying the sheets on wood boards.

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July 23,2021

Australian coffee liqueur brand Mr Black has announced a limited release collaboration with Vermont whiskey distillery WhistlePig.

“The rich spice of Whistlepig Rye pairs astonishingly well with Mr Black,” said Baker. “They’re like long lost brothers, raised in different countries but united once again.”


The Barrel-Aged Coffee Liqueur expression features Mr Black’s OG coffee liqueur, made from 100 percent speciality arabica coffee. The liqueur has then been aged for 9 months in WhistlePig barrels that previously held Piggyback 100% Rye.

The ageing process needed to last long enough for the flavours of the barrel to seep into the liquor, but not so long that the spirit would lose its strength.

Since oxygen is the enemy of good coffee, the barrels were constantly topped off … a process more in line with winemaking than whiskey distilling. Baker has a former winemaker on his team, and through careful experimentation, they were able to determine that six months was reportedly the right amount of time.

The result is a liqueur with tasting notes of dark coffee, rye spice, honey, vanilla and oak with a hint of smokiness, with a warm, boozy kick to finish.

“This is one of the biggest spirits we’ve ever made,” says Baker. “It’s Mr Black turned up to 12 in terms of flavour and texture – it’s a spirit for a spirit’s drinker, intense and delicious.

“WhistlePig is a brand with such a sense of place up there in Vermont. We’re a world away down under in Australia, but working our mitts off to make it in the USA,” Baker added. “We loved the idea of bringing our home and our future together in a bottle.”

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