Whisky Magazine Issue 107
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Joe Bates heads to the bright lights of this big city
Liquor and Las Vegas, the two seem destined to be together. This US party city with its mega-casinos, vibrant nightlife and relaxed drinking laws has always had a rich cocktail culture, but Las Vegas McCarran, the international airport that keeps tourists flocking to this desert town, is better known for its rows of one-arm bandits than manhattans and margaritas.
Yet the duty-free liquor scene at the airport has taken a definite turn for the better of late. In June McCarran opened its long-awaited Terminal 3, a vast sky-lit structure stretching almost half a mile from end to end. One of the highlights of this gleaming $2.4bn facility, which is the new home for all foreign flag carriers flying to the airport, is what is claimed to be one of the US' largest duty-free shops, operated by Swiss multinational Nuance.
The amount of space allocated to liquor has grown six fold to nearly 170 square meters, and one of the main features of the displays at the new Duty Free Store by Nuance is a Jack Daniel's shop-inshop, one of only two in the whole of the country. It's effectively a scaled-down version of the famous whiskey's original distillery shop at Lynchburg, Tennessee. It sells all manner of branded merchandise in addition to a complete range of Jack Daniel's whiskey.
For gift seekers there is also a real barrel of Jack Daniel's Silver Select. Customers are able to buy a personalised bottle of this great duty-free exclusive whiskey filled directly from the barrel itself.