Looking to add interest to your drinks cabinet? Look no further than these new, rare and unusual whiskeys compiled by Healthy Chelsea & Wise...
The ‘King of Whisky’, Royal Salute, has unveiled the exquisite new 28 Year Old Kew Palace Edition, the latest in its annual Flask Collection. The majestic rich, round and silky blend is the result of an exciting, first-time collaboration between Royal Salute’s Director of Blending, Sandy Hyslop, and esteemed perfumer Barnabé Fillion, and is inspired by the magnificent Kew Palace and the magic of its iconic Kitchen Garden.
Bringing together Sandy’s unrivalled knowledge of Royal Salute with Barnabe’s esteemed artistic acumen, the 28 Year Old Kew Palace Edition balances Royal Salute’s signature style with super rich fruits, scented flora and aromatic leaves from the Kitchen Garden, resulting in the ultimate sensory experience that pushes the boundaries of modern blending.
The collaboration saw Hyslop lay the foundations of the new blend before uniting with Fillion to create a bespoke whisky top dressing that embodied the iconic Kitchen Garden of Kew Palace. The two worked together, nosing countless whiskies in Hyslop’s blending room in Scotland, to capture their interpretation of the lush flora of the Kitchen Garden, while staying true to Royal Salute’s signature style.
Royal Salute Director of Blending, Sandy Hyslop, said: “One of the greatest parts in my role as Director of Blending for Royal Salute is the opportunity to get creative and push the boundaries of modern blending with new and innovative expressions. Working with Barnabe on the Kew Palace Edition was great as we both brought our unique skillsets to embark on what became a true journey of the senses. And what better backdrop for such a feat than the magnificent Kew Palace and its lush kitchen garden?”
The Kew Palace Edition follows the launch of the Royal Salute 30 Year Old Flask Edition last year, and this next iteration in the collector’s series again offers a disruptive take on traditional British drinking traditions. The perfect companion for whisky aficionados on the move, the set includes a bespoke green porcelain flagon and exquisite flask, alongside a pouring funnel and wooden serving tray.
It pays homage to London’s iconic Kew Palace, one of Historic Royal Palaces’ most charming royal residences, as part of Royal Salute’s longstanding support of the independent charity created to preserve and protect great British icons. The Palace and its famed Kitchen Garden are showcased on the stunning packaging through artwork from esteemed British illustrator, Jason Brooks.
Royal Salute Marketing Director, Mathieu Deslandes, said: “We’re proud to continue supporting our long-time charity partner, Historic Royal Palaces, with a limited edition inspired by Kew Palace. The charity does amazing work preserving and protecting historic royal residences to keep their story alive for generations to come, which is exactly what we strive to do with our whisky, so it’s a fitting partnership and we’re thrilled to play our part honouring a true British icon in this unique and special way. ”
Royal Salute’s Creative Advisor and Brand Ambassador, Barnabé Fillion, added: “It was a privilege to work with Sandy on this exquisite blend and together we created a whisky like no other - a wonderful fusion of Royal Salute tradition and the fantastic sensory experience of walking through Kew Palace’s iconic Kitchen Garden. It’s the perfect blend to enjoy in the rich surroundings of the outdoors and I’m excited that the stunning porcelain flask makes this possible.”
Irish Distillers, makers of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has added two new and experimental, limited edition Irish whiskeys to its METHOD AND MADNESS range; Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak and a 28-year-old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. First launched in 2017, METHOD AND MADNESS aims to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey through innovative releases, harnessing the creativity and fresh thinking of the masters and apprentices in Midleton Distillery.
In a world first for Irish whiskey, METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak has been finished in virgin oak felled in the Carpathian Mountain range in the North East of Hungary, where volcanic soils are best suited to the growing of Quercus Petraea. Harvested in winter and air-dried for two years at the Kádár sawmills in Tokaj, the tight grain of this exceptional wood slowly imparts complex compounds and subtle flavours into the whiskey during the finishing process. The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and re-fill American oak barrels, before finishing in the virgin Hungarian oak for 11 months.
Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented: “Our quest for uncommon casks has led us all over the world. We were especially intrigued by the Quercus Petraea from North East Hungary and the unique properties that it could add to our flavour repertoire as whiskey makers. At Midleton Distillery over the past few years, we have been experimenting with Hungarian virgin oak casks – a trial and error process that we are incredibly proud to have finally mastered. The result is a new first for Irish whiskey that continues to challenge perceptions of what the category can be.”
The second aged release in the METHOD AND MADNESS series is a 28 year old Ruby Port Pipe, which is a single pot still Irish whiskey matured initially for six years in American oak barrels, before being re-casked into a Ruby Port pipe for a further 22 years. The cask was carefully seasoned with a selection of wines to remove some of the heavy tannins and further seasoned with Ruby Port, infusing rich fruit flavours. The whiskey is alive with notes of ripe stone fruit on the nose and generous with vanilla and cinnamon on the palate, while the light pot still spices shine through on the long, satisfying finish.
Dave McCabe, Apprentice Blender at Midleton Distillery, added: “METHOD AND MADNESS 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe marks the realisation of a 22-year-old prediction from the Midleton Masters, which stated that the marriage of flavours between a single pot still Irish whiskey and a Port pipe will one day achieve balance. Billy Leighton, our Master Blender, and I have been carefully monitoring the slowly evolving flavours of this rare and exceptional cask as part of my training as Apprentice Blender. It gives us great pleasure to be able to present it as the perfect harmony between whiskey, Port and wood.”
The Glenlivet Code limited edition whiskey with online game.
The Glenlivet Code - Limited Edition WW2 inspired whiskey with online game.
Launched in March 2018 The Glenlivet Code, inspired by the iconic WW2 British Code breakers, is a mysterious Single Malt Scotch whisky released without any cask information or tasting notes, putting whisky fans’ and Father's everywhere to the ultimate test by pushing the boundaries of flavour exploration. Presented in a premium opaque black bottle, The Glenlivet Code is crafted from specially selected casks that have never before been used by The Glenlivet. Code will offer a totally new flavour experience, whilst staying true to the flawlessly smooth and fruity flavour that has made the distillery famous.
Those adventurous enough to accept the challenge will begin their journey to a virtual underground room, by scanning the bottle’s code using the Shazam app, to face the ultimate flavour test by deciphering Code’s secret tasting notes. The room presents a hologram of The Glenlivet’s Master Distiller, who will challenge participants to decode the hidden flavours of this unique whisky, choosing aromas for the nose and palate from thousands of possible combinations.
Alan Winchester, The Glenlivet Master Distiller, comments: “With The Glenlivet Code, we had a unique opportunity to create a whisky that has never been crafted before, using new casks and techniques to push the boundaries of what people expect from The Glenlivet. This year’s limited edition is a labyrinth of flavours that will test the senses of even the most discerning whisky drinker and we’re excited to invite consumers worldwide to take on the ultimate challenge by unlocking its mystery taste. The interactive experience will allow whisky enthusiasts at all levels to build their knowledge of the category while also developing a deeper understanding of The Glenlivet.”