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Issue 141 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 141

Explore how copper stills are made, the end our journey down the Rockies and a visit to Ballindalloch

Mon 20 Feb 2017

Soaring production at UK's most northerly distillery

The UK's most northerly distillery has seen soaring production in the past year thanks to the growing popularity of its gins and whiskies.

The Shetland Distillery Company’s output grew by 300 per cent to 30,000 bottles.

Online sales via the company’s website have also increased by 300 per cent.

“It’s been a really busy year with a big upturn in demand both from our distributors and from online orders,” says distillery manager Mark Turnbull.

“We’re delighted that more and more people are enjoying our products and supporting the distillery and Unst.”

SDC director Debbie Strang says, “When we launched our first gin in August 2014 we never envisaged success on this scale.

“We have a rapidly growing customer base in the UK and beyond and look forward to building our relationships with more gin and whisky lovers in the months and years ahead.

“We have some very exciting plans to further develop the distillery and will be sharing details of those very soon.”

The Shetland Distillery Company produces two core gins – the Original Shetland Reel Gin featuring locally grown apple mint and Ocean Sent, which counts native Shetland seaweed among its botanicals.

It has also developed seasonal specials – Simmer Gin and Holly Days as well as two Up Helly Aa gins to mark the annual Shetland Viking fire festival.

The company has also produced two bottled in Shetland whiskies, Shetland Reel Blended Scotch Whisky and Shetland Reel Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Along with Shetland Reel Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, the gins have all won major international drinks awards.

Established to create a gin and whisky distillery, The Shetland Distillery Company is a partnership between Scotch whisky industry specialist Stuart Nickerson and his wife Wilma and Saxa Vord Resort owners Frank and Debbie Strang.
Fri 17 Feb 2017

Dr Jim Swan, renowned whisky consultant, has died

Dr Swan passed away while at his home on 14 February.

His work covered all aspects of whisky production and was instrumental in the success of distilleries including King Car in Taiwan, Penderyn in Wales and many across Scotland.

His most recent work was with Lindores Abbey Distillery, Fife, which is due to open in the summer.

Dr Swan graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 1979 with a PhD in Chemistry and Biological Sciences. He authored numerous scientific research papers and managed various UK Government and European Union research programmes.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Swan was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling.

His influence and knowledge is felt internationally.

Everyone at Whisky Magazine sends its condolences to his family and friends.
Thu 16 Feb 2017

Jameson reveals St Patrick's Day 2017 bottle

Pernod-Ricard's Irish whiskey brand, Jameson, has unveiled its sixth limited-edition bottle celebrating St Patrick's Day. The series features collaborations with Irish artists, this year using designs by Dublin-based designer and illustrator, Steve McCarthy.

McCarthy’s creative starting point came from the Jameson family motto 'sine metu' – or 'without fear', which has been at the heart of the company since it was founded in 1780. He also took inspiration from a commonly used Irish saying that goes hand in hand with 'sine metu', ‘to chance your arm’.

Jameson claims the saying originates from a 1492 legend, where ‘Black James’ Butler and his men found themselves barricaded behind the door to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. On the other side was Gearóid Fitzgerald who, tired of the constant fighting between the clans, decided it was time to make peace. Fitzgerald ordered his men to cut a hole in the door before extending his hand through the gap as a token of friendship. Rather than cut his arm off with a sword, Butler shook it and the long standing feud came to an end, giving Dublin one of its most famous sayings: to chance your arm.

This has been brought to life on the label through two outstretched hands exchanging a handshake, framed by the St. Patrick’s Cathedral door of Reconciliation. The 'sine metu' motto has been tattooed on to the knuckles of each hand, which the brand claims to serve as a reminder that when we fear a bit less, we live a bit more.

McCarthy has included some of the Irish capital’s most recognisable monuments in his design, such as the Ha’penny Bridge and Smithfield tower, and has also peppered the label with additional details that are reflective of his own knowledge of the city and sense of humour.

McCarthy comments: “I wanted it to feel like there was a deeper meaning to what you see. For me, the Jameson motto is very emotive and I hope that with my design I am able to speak to others around the world who have also been inspired by 'sine metu', or those who might still with this release, to fear a bit less to live a bit more.”

The release of the sixth limited-edition bottle kicks off Jameson’s global St. Patrick’s Day celebrations for 2017 and will be available in markets including the USA, Ireland and Russia from February 2017, with a recommended retail price of €30 (or local equivalent).

Daniel Lundberg, Jameson global brand director adds: “Our limited edition Jameson bottle for 2017 keeps the spirit of John Jameson alive and celebrates a very Irish saying that dates back to the 15 century but is as relevant as ever today. As Jameson found when he established the Bow Street distillery in 1780, fearing less can help you reap rewards you never thought possible and we still proudly live by this ethos.

“Steve’s design perfectly balances the rich heritage of Dublin with the modern design and Irish wit of Jameson, and we hope that Irish whiskey fans will be inspired by the bottle in their own St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

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