News

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Sep to Dec 2021

Edrington has combined the worlds of whisky and chocolate to create a Macallan single malt as part of the new Harmony Collection. Oct 2021.

Sotheby’s will offer ‘ultra-rare’ Scotch whiskies and experiences as part of its Distillers One of One sale in December. Oct 2021.

Diageo has unveiled Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Pittyvaich, the fourth release in the limited edition series. Oct 2021.

An 80-year-old Gordon & MacPhail whisky has established a new record for the world’s oldest single malt sold at auction after a bottle fetched US$193,000. Oct 2021.

Johnnie Walker has introduced the latest global marketing push in its ‘Keep Walking’ campaign, focused on encouraging optimism as the world reopens. Oct 2021.

Whyte & Mackay has released The Dalmore 30 Year Old 2021 Edition, the first bottling in a new annual series. Oct 2021.

A trade group has submitted proposals to amend the regulations governing Irish whiskey in a bid to offer producers ‘greater clarity and flexibility’. Oct 2021.

Gordon & MacPhail releases ‘world’s oldest’ single malt Scotch.

Non-profit the Bourbon Women Association has created a scholarship programme to support women and underrepresented communities.

Sales of whisky worldwide will nearly double over the next decade to hit US$108 billion by 2031, according to a new report.

Irish distillery Boann and US-based distillery Talnua have partnered up to compare whiskey maturation in different climates.

English spirits producer The Lakes Distillery has expanded its Whiskymaker’s Editions range with the launch of a limited edition single malt matured in French oak casks.

County Cork-based producer Hyde has launched two Irish whiskeys, The Éiregold Special Reserve Blend and Hyde No. 11 The Peat Cask.

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has acquired a minority stake in Japanese whisky producer Komasa Kanosuke Distillery for an undisclosed sum.

Diageo officially opened its eight-floor Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience last week, and created a short video to give whisky fans a sneak peek inside.

Tasmania-based Lark Distillery Company has revealed The Still, a whisky complex comprising a bar, tasting room and shop.

South Carolina-based Grain & Barrel Spirits has created a whiskey brand that pays homage to the late musician Elvis Presley. Sep 2021.

Detection technology firm Eluceda has created a portable device that can rapidly identify whether a whisky is authentic. Sep 2021.

The rare whisky market in the UK is expected to rise by nearly 30% in value this year, surpassing all previous records, according to Rare Whisky 101. Sep.2021

Pernod Ricard to acquire The Whisky Exchange. Sep 2021.

American single malt whiskey to be legally defined. Sep 2021

Jun to Aug 2021

American whiskey brand Uncle Nearest has launched a US$50 million fund to support minority-owned spirits brands, and create a ‘Black Wall Street’ within the industry.

Premium auction house Sotheby’s is offering its most expensive Moutai lot yet, along with rare Japanese and Scotch whiskies.

The UK government is seeking to remove the 5% tariff on Scotch whisky exports to Australia as part of a free trade agreement between the two nations.

A collection of 60 rare Scotch whiskies from independent bottlers Silvano Samaroli and Corti Brothers will go under the hammer via Whisky Auctioneer this month.

The Artisanal Spirits Company, owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), has made its debut on the stock market with a valuation of £78 million (US$110m).

US-based spirits producer Biggar and Leith has created a new Scotch whisky brand inspired by a former UK prime minister.

The UK has secured a free trade agreement with Australia, which will bring an end to the 5% tariff on Scotch whisky.

Members of heavy metal rock band Metallica have released a sonically-enhanced, limited edition whiskey pack.

Spirits giant Diageo has unveiled the second release of its collectable Prima & Ultima single malt Scotch whisky series, retailing for £23,500 (US$32,720).

The 2021 Scotch Whisky Masters showcased some top-tier expressions – but which ones left a lasting impression on our judges? We reveal 10 of the best from our recent blind tasting. Jun 2021.

Sales of single malt Scotch in Asia duty free have fallen by 52% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from Whyte & Mackay.

India is one of the world’s biggest spirits producers, and the past year proved challenging for the country’s whisky brands. In this ranking, we analyse how the category’s top sellers performed.

Whisky barrel marketplace Cask Trade has opened an office in Hong Kong that will serve investors across the Asian market.

With consumer interest in whiskies from the US, Japan, Canada and Ireland rising, we count down the brands that sold the most cases in 2020.

Ian Macleod Distillers-owned Smokehead whisky has released what is thought to be the first ready-to-drink single malt Scotch range.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has requested the removal of the UK’s ‘damaging’ 25% tariff on US whiskey.

Entrepreneurs Andy and Rhys Mallows have revealed plans to build a £5 million (US$6.9m) distillery in south Wales, which will produce a Bourbon-style whisky.

Online auction site Whisky Hammer is ‘poised for global expansion’ after selling a 49% stake of its business in a multi-million-pound deal.

A 30-year-old cask of Macallan Scotch whisky is expected to sell for up to HK$4 million (US$514,300) at auction next month.

US distiller Whistlepig has partnered with Darryl McNally to create the world’s first single barrel Irish whiskey under the revived Limavady brand.

British spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has expanded its partnership with Waitrose after securing five additional listings.

Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange, will sell a selection of old and rare spirits miniatures at auction this month.

The difficult couple of years that US producers have endured has in no way dampened their enthusiasm or their skills, as Melita Kiely and her team of tasters discover in our annual competition. (USA whisky awards)

Away from the traditional heartlands of whisky production, and often unburdened by strict regulations, distillers are creating marvellous expressions, as Melita Kiely discovers. (World whisky awards)

Auctioneer Bonhams has appointed Diego Lanza as the company’s whisky specialist in London.

Ian Macleod Distillers has released a gift collection of three miniature Tamdhu whiskies.

The value of Scotch whisky exports was up by a third in the first half of 2021, as the industry starts to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and US tariffs. Aug 2021.

US-based Proximo Spirits will open Manhattan’s first legal whiskey distillery since Prohibition this weekend, after six years in construction. Aug 2021.

Walking Dead claims Sexton as official whiskey. Aug 2021.

South African drinks group Distell has revealed four new limited edition whiskies from its Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and Deanston distilleries, including a peated Ledaig 1999 bottling. Aug 2021.

London-based Berry Bros & Rudd has unveiled a new collection of single cask whiskies from four Nordic distilleries. Aug 2021.

A 50ml bottle of 1919 Springbank Scotch whisky has set a new record for being the most expensive miniature sold at auction. Aug 2021.

Independent bottler Compass Box has released a fruit-forward malt whisky, described as a first for the company. Aug 2021.

The five-year tariff truce between the US, UK and EU is a “good first step”, but the “unjustified” remaining tax on American whiskey should also be removed, the president of Spirits Europe has said. Aug 2021.

Apr to June 2021

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has appointed Barry O’Sullivan as managing director for Ireland following the departure of Oliver Loomes.

trade body has slammed the “senseless” decision by the Scottish government to end the Strategic Framework Business Fund on 19 April, described as a “financial lifeline” for hospitality businesses during the pandemic.

Two ads for single malt Scotch whisky River Rock have been banned after being deemed ‘irresponsible’ for linking alcohol consumption with mountain climbing.

The founder and president of G’Vine owner Maison Villevert tells us about his plans to establish new distribution arms and the company’s ambition to become a key player in French whisky.

Scotch whisky distillery Glen Scotia has released a 10-year-old expression to celebrate this year’s Campbeltown Malts Festival.

A side effect of the pandemic in the US has been the boom in alcohol e-commerce, with major firms such as Uber recognising its potential.

Leaving the powerhouse of Diageo for a small startup took courage, but Jeff Kozak, CEO of whiskey brand Whistlepig, has made a real success of things.

A complete collection of Black Bowmore whiskies sold for US$563,000 at a Sotheby’s sale, setting a new record for the Scotch brand at auction.

The owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has appointed Mark Hunter to the role of chair as the firm considers launching an initial public offering (IPO).

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory is investing more than US$1 billion in green and social issues as part of its long-term Proof Positive initiative.

Gable Erenzo, the former chief distiller for Hudson Whiskey producer Tuthilltown Spirits, has died at the age of 41.

Diageo has revealed the second and final bottling in The Singleton’s Paragon of Time Collection: a 54-year-old 1966 vintage single malt Scotch.

Bunnahabhain owner Distell has named Brendan McCarron as master distiller for its portfolio of single malt and blended Scotch whiskies.

Entrepreneur Matthew Clifford has received planning approval to build a new carbon-neutral rum distillery in Cornwall, UK, which will be powered by geothermal energy.

Edrington and Beam Suntory have agreed to swap equity stakes in their jointly-owned distributions firms in the UK and Spain.

Alexander Inglis & Son, UK supplier of grains and cereals to the distilling sector, has gone into administration after suffering ‘weak trading’.

Entrepreneurs Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson secured a £75,000 (US$105,000) investment on hit BBC programme Dragons’ Den for their whisky pouch subscription club, Whisky Me..

Renegade Rum founder Mark Reynier has built an operation from scratch in Grenada, and has fought to prove the validity of terroir in whisky production. Now he is determined to make rum a quality offering, he tells Melita Kiely.

The Macallan owner Edrington has debuted a new identity for blended malt Naked Grouse that aims to make whisky ‘more accessible’.

The Last Drop Distillers has made its first move into spirits creation with the launch of a 50-year-old blended whisky.

The chairman and managing director of Indian spirits producer John Distilleries said the company’s whisky volumes in India will reach 35 million to 40m nine-litre cases in 10 years’ time. May 2021.

Circumstance Distillery founder Liam Hirt has developed a new platform that allows consumers to purchase shares in casks of spirit.

Blended Scotch whisky brand Cutty Sark has become a corporate partner of London’s Royal Museums Greenwich, where its namesake ship is housed.

The past year presented numerous obstacles for the spirits industry, and Scotch whisky felt these challenges in full force. In our top 10 ranking, we reveal how the category’s biggest-selling brands fared.

Diageo has named Australian bartender Tim Philips-Johansson as global brand ambassador for blended Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker.

Jan to Mar 2021

Macallan 1926 leads online whisky auction.

Diageo threatens legal action against political group.

Dewar’s debuts Port cask-finished whisky.

Ex-Russian Standard exec creates Coalition Whiskey.

Drake debuts Virginia Black whiskey in Australia.

The second half of the world’s largest whisky collection will go under the hammer next month, with a bottle of The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare expected to sell for more than £1 million (US$1.4m).

News of the passing of the former Berry Bros chaiman.

Scotch whisky suffers £500m loss after US tariffs.

Sotheby’s is offering a bottle of Black Bowmore DB5 1964, which is expected to sell for up to US$200,000 during the auctioneer’s first two-day spirits sale.

The number of distilleries in the UK reached a record high in 2020, with more than 100 new registrations, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Scotch whisky exports plummet £1.1bn in 2020.

Chivas CEO urges government to support Scotch sector.

Johnnie Walker ad complaint not upheld.

Distillery 291 names wholesale sales and marketing VP.

A set comprised of 3,900 bottles of whisky has become the highest value private collection sold at auction from a single collector – with a bottle of The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare setting a new record at US$1.4 million.

US to drop tariffs on UK exports including scotch.

A planned green energy hub at the Port of Cromarty Firth in Scotland could reduce the environmental impact of Scotch whisky makers Glenmorangie, Whyte & Mackay and Diageo.

A recent study of the world’s leading whisky brands found posts on Instagram featuring men outstripped women by 228% in 2020.

Independent bottler That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) has unveiled its first range of Australian bottlings.

https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2021/03/last-drop-distillers-forms-the-assembly/ Rare spirits bottler The Last Drop Distillers has put together an independent panel of experts to promote and share knowledge, ideas and expertise across the industry.]

A trade group has introduced new guidelines for the production of whisky in New Zealand to provide clarity for consumers and producers.

Online auction platform Whisky Auctioneer has launched the ‘world’s first’ sale dedicated to Speyside distillery Mortlach, which includes a 47-year-old bottling signed by master blender Dr Craig Wilson.

Crystal glassware manufacturer Glencairn is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and will mark the milestone by revisiting some of the company’s past decanter projects.

The Edinburgh Whisky Academy has expanded its educational offerings with the launch of an online certificate in Irish whiskey.