The heart of Europe

The heart of Europe

Joe Bates looks at whisky in Brussels airport

Travel Retail | 15 Jul 2005 | Issue 49 | By Joe Bates

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Brussels airport.Unsurprisingly for the country, which gave the world Leonidas, Godiva and Neuhaus, chocolate is the best-selling product at Brussels Zaventem airport.Yet the whisky offer is good too – duty-free concessionaire Belgium Sky Shops has a rolling monthly promotional programme, which ensures excellent deals on both malt and blended whiskies.The retailer is constantly adding to its offer and currently stocks about 60 malt whiskies, eight bourbons/Tennessee whiskeys, 13 standard blends, two Canadian whiskies, 14 premium blends and seven Irish whiskeys.The line up of malts includes The Macallan 18 Year Old, Glenfiddich 18 Year Old, Glenmorangie cask finishes, Bowmore 17 Year Old and the recently repackaged Johnnie Walker Green Label.On about 280 days of the year Belgium Sky Shops holds spirit tastings between 2.30pm and 7.30pm and one whisky is always on promotion at any one time.Normal prices vary according to whether customers are flying inside or outside the EU, but the operator runs a monthly promotion, which offers a 20 per cent discount on both duty-free and duty-paid prices. This means that next month, for instance, that Laphroaig 10 Year Old will cost only 28 duty-free and 36 duty-paid, while Scapa 14 Year Old will be only 24 and 29.60 respectively.In other popular categories Johnnie Walker Black Label will be 23.60 duty-free and 28.80 dutypaid, while Jim Beam White Label will be 12.40 and 17.20.Best Buy.
Glenfarclas 105.Glenfarclas Distillery is in the enviable position of having stocks of vintage casks dating back to 1952. The recently stated ambition of brand owner J&G Grant is to develop a complete bottled range available for every intervening year.In the meantime, Glenfarclas’ award-winning core portfolio is listed in BAA’s World of Whiskies stores and comprises 10, 12, 15 and 17 year old age statements. Prices range from £9.50 for the 35cl version of the 10 year old to £34.99 for the standard 70cl-sized 17 year old.However, we are taken with the 105 Cask Strength variant. Bottled at a powerful 60% abv, this whisky has a deep peaty-gold colour and a complex nose, revealing spices, fresh apples and pears with a dark toffee sweetness. The half bottle 35cl version is priced at £12.99 at World of Whiskies, while one litre bottle is £32.99.Recommended.
Glen Mhor 1965.Glen Mhor Distillery was established in 1892 and enjoyed a fine reputation as an outstanding malt at a time when the market was dominated by blended whiskies. Sadly, the distillery closed in 1983 and was demolished three years later.Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail, a specialist in rare bottlings, limited quantities of Glen Mhor do remain, however. A particularly good example is the 40% abv Glen Mhor 1965, which is stocked by BAA’s World of Whiskies stores, at a price of £76.99.Glen Mhor 1965 has a deep gold colour, a floral nose with notes of vanilla, sherry and fruit. The palate is described as balanced with smoke and sherry characteristics, and the finish has a touch of smoke with sherry wood. Tel: +32 2 715 10 20 Opening hours: 4.30 am and close 30 minutes before the last flight of the day.
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