Whisky Magazine Issue 88
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Joe Bates braves volcano-related travel chaos to visit Madrid Barajas Airport.
Europe's aviation business has been left reeling from the fallout from April's volcanic ash cloud. The total bill from the week-long shutdown could be as much as £2 billion. The continent's duty-free shops shared the pain, too, losing around £22 million for every day planes were gathering volcanic dust on the tarmac, according to industry estimates.
Madrid-Barajas airport was one of the few European hubs to remain open during the crisis, offering a slim chance for longhaul passengers stranded in far off places to get a step closer to home. It is a safe bet that duty-free shopping was not high on the agenda for the tens of thousands passing through Barajas at the time, which is a shame.
At Terminal 1 we found a solid selection of whiskies. Arguably, the biggest surprise was a bottle of Yamazaki 12 Years Old €45 (£39), further proof of Japanese whisky's increasing popularity in European travel-retail.
On the high-end single malt front we spotted a bottle of Glenfiddich 30 Years Old at €228 (£198), Glenfiddich 21 Years Old at €86 (£75) and Glenrothes 25 Years Old at €235 (£204). The Macallan was also well represented with the nicely balanced travel-retail exclusive The Macallan Select Oak (€46/£40); another exclusive, the rich, fruity The Macallan Estate Reserve (€165/£143), and finally the complex The Macallan 18 Years Old (€89/£77).
There was no shortage of ultrapremium blends either. Travellers can choose from the likes of Dewar's Signature at €16...