Oasis in an ice desert

Oasis in an ice desert

Joe Bates with the latest from travel retail

Travel Retail | 14 Apr 2006 | Issue 55 | By Joe Bates

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For some mysterious reason the nearer a country is to the Arctic Circle, the higher its taxes on spirits. Prices in Iceland, for instance, are some of the highest in Europe.

Unsurprisingly, the arrival of a duty-free shop at Keflavik airport is rather popular with both locals and tourists. In fact the airport’s main travel retailer, the imaginatively titled Duty Free Store, sells 50,000 litres of whisky a year.

Monthly price promotions on leading promotions, where the price is dropped just E2-3 (£1.40-2.10), lead to staggering sales increases of 200 to 400 per cent.

The company operates four stores – a large departure outlet, a sizeable arrivals store in the main terminal and two smaller shops in the south terminal.

Examples of prices on everyday malts include Bowmore 12 Year Old, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old and Highland Park 12 Year Old at €24.90 (£17.20); The Macallan Elegancia at €36.10 (£24.90), and the ever popular Laphroaig 10 Year Old at €31.20 (£21.50).

Prices on popular blends include The Famous Grouse at €16.20 (£11.20), Chivas Regal 12 Year Old (€32.40/£22.35), Jameson (€27.30/£18.85) and William Grant’s (€14.80/£10.20).

More details on the full whisky selection can be found at www.dutyfree.is.

Both main departures and arrivals stores are scheduled for renovation and expansion.



This rare Strathisla malt whisky from Gordon & MacPhail’s Rare Vintage Range is a must-buy for serious collectors. Today, French multi-national Pernod Ricard owns the picturesque Highland distillery and most of its production goes into its popular Chivas Regal blend, yet whisky connoisseurs have long valued Strathisla as an outstanding single malt in its own right.

Expect a fragrant and smooth dram with a rich finish.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Strathisla 1963 is reddish gold in colour with a touch of camphor and sherry aromas on the nose, rich fruits and traces of smoke and charred oak on the palate.

It is stocked by the World of Whiskies chain at its UK airport stores and priced at £81.99 per bottle.


15 Years Old

Lucky Stateside travellers will soon be able to get their hands on this powerful, full-bodied malt. Producer Angus Dundee Distillers is launching Glencadam 15yo at the large US duty-free show in Fort Lauderdale this month priced at £30 per bottle.

This limited edition 40% ABV malt is the first whisky off the production line at the Brechin-based distillery since it was purchased from Allied Domecq in 2003. The whisky boasts toffee, caramel and raisins on the nose, rum and Christmas cake in the mouth, and a long, satisfying finish.

Look forward to seeing Glencadam 15yo at major US airports in the coming months. 
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