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Issue 124 - Tax free bonanza

Whisky Magazine Issue 124
December 2014

 

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Tax free bonanza

Joe heads down to Cannes and highlights some absolute stonkers

This year's Tax Free World Association World Exhibition (TFWA) down in Cannes was, as always, a real treasure trove for the malt whisky lover. I am also pleased to report that many of the exclusive whiskies on display were for once reasonably accessible in terms of price. It seems that with the Asian travel retail market temporarily in the doldrums, value for money is back on the industry agenda once more.

The fleeting appearance of David Beckham in Cannes in order to support the travel retail launch of his Haig Club whisky was undoubtedly the talk of the show. I can attest that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star was charm personified. Yet as an example of how good a single grain whisky can be, Haig Club was eclipsed for me by the new (and admittedly rather more expensive) Girvan Patent Still 28 Years Old, which I was lucky enough to try later.

Launched as a travel retail exclusive earlier this year, Girvan Patent Still 28 Years Old is matured solely in American white oak. It's full of wonderful vanilla, creamy, butter and toffee flavours mingled with some contrasting spicy, fruity notes. The finish seemed to go on and on, and had I not had other meetings to attend, I could quite happily have nursed a glass or two of this for hours.

The juxtaposition of rich, sweet port wine and heady, peat smoke might not be to everyone's taste, but I must admit I was won over by the new travel retail exclusive Laphroaig Brodir Port Wood. This is aged initially...

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