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Issue 57 - The best of blends

Whisky Magazine Issue 57
July 2006


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The best of blends

Joe Bates on the Regency Duty Free, Auckland,New Zealand

American bourbon has risen to become New Zealand's number one spirit in recent years so it comes as a bit of a surprise to see that Regency Duty Free, Auckland airport's main duty-free operator, stocks a fairly limited choice.

Instead travellers will find that the in-store offer is skewed towards the tastes of highspending Asian visitors, who flock to the country in search of stunning Middle Earth scenery and exotic seafood, So look out for some high-ticket deluxe blends such as Ballantines 30 Year Old at NZ$425 (£146), Royal Salute 21 Year Old at NZ$138.90 (£48), and Johnnie Walker Blue Label at NZ$180 (£62).

In contrast, the bourbon offer is dominated by global heavyweight Jim Beam, which is represented in all its various incarnations.

Small-batch bourbons are in short supply, but Cougar Bourbon, a popular regional brand owned by Australian brewer Foster's priced at NZ$29.95 (£10.30), adds a little local colour.

On the US whiskey front duty-free exclusive reference Jack Daniel's Silver Select (NZ$79.90/£27.50) is also worth a look.

The malt offer is much better represented with a good range of brands and age statements on sale. Examples from the mid to upper end of the selection include Longmorn 15 Year Old (NZ$69.90/£24), The Glenlivet 18 Year Old (NZ$99.90/£34.40), Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve 18 Year Old (NZ$130/£45) and Isle of Jura Superstition (NZ$72.90/£25).

It's worth noting that Regency runs an arrivals store at the airport and a small store in downto...

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