Traveller Only Club

Traveller Only Club

Bowmore refreshes their travel retail range

Travel Retail | 25 Apr 2014 | Issue 119 | By Joe Bates

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The trend towards travel retail exclusive ranges shows absolutely no sign of letting up anytime soon. The latest big brand to join the traveller only club is Bowmore, the fifth best-selling brand in duty-free/travel retail, and traditionally a big hitter in European travel retail, where it does some 85% of its sales.

Taking their names from various rocky crags and beaches near the distillery, these three new Bowmore whiskies will be on shelf in major airports worldwide from April.

The entry level Bowmore Black Rock is a richly flavoured whisky, which nicely balances all that Islay smokiness with treacle and orange peel notes. Matured predominantly in first-fill ex-Spanish sherry casks, this 40% ABV whisky is priced at £44.99.

Next up is the one litre Bowmore Gold Reef at £59.99, which is aged mostly in first-fill bourbon casks. Deep golden in colour, this is a smoother whisky to my palate with lots of vanilla notes from those bourbon casks with pleasing citrus flavours, which all give way to a powerful, smoky finish.

The top of the new Bowmore range is Bowmore White Sands 17 Years Old, which is inspired by the beaches of the Big Strand and Laggan Bay, a stretch of coast to the south of the distillery. Rich and malty in flavour, White Sands is the only whisky in the range to bear an age statement and is bottled at a higher strength of 43% ABV. It comes in a smaller 70cl bottle and is priced at around £80.

Bowmore devotees should note that this new Bowmore range will gradually replace the brand's three existing exclusive references in travel retail - Surf, Enigma and Mariner.

From Islay it's time to take the short hop over the Irish Sea to Dublin airport where duty-free shop operator Aer Rianta International has joined forces with up-and-coming independent The Teeling Whiskey Company to launch the first of five rare Irish whiskeys. They will be launched at a rate of one a year for the next five years to celebrate important upcoming cultural and artistic Irish centenaries.

The first release in the Centenary Series Whiskey Collection commemorates the centenary of the publication of James Joyce's collection of short stories The Dubliners in 1914. Limited to just 250 bottles and priced at €395 each, this new single malt Irish whiskey is one of the oldest in existence at 26 years old, having been distilled in 1988 and bottled just this year.

On the nose, this whiskey is described as sweet, full-bodied with tropical fruit notes. The palate is sweet and jammy along with a balancing oak notes, while the finish sees those exotic, tropical flavours come back to the fore. A book explaining The Dubliners literary importance comes with the whiskey, which is presented in a black gift box.


Coull Point

Kilchoman, Islay's newest and smallest distillery, has released its first travel-retail exclusive priced attractively at £44.99. Coull Point features some spectacular Islay scenery on the outer packaging and is named after a rugged headland located close to the tiny, family-owned distillery, which famously takes a 'grain-to-the-bottle' approach to whisky making. If you are flying to or from the UK anytime soon, you are in luck as Coull Point is available at 14 World of Whiskies airport shops up and down the country, including the likes of London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh. The nose of this whisky features plenty of strong peat smoke, while the palate balances soft fruits, vanilla and an intense sweetness. The finish is pleasingly long and satisfying.


21 Year Old

This interesting and highly collectible release is undoubtedly a real coup for the World of Whiskies buying team. Strathspey 21 Year Old has been created from the private whisky collection of the none other than the late great Charles Gordon himself, the great grandson of the founder of both Glenfiddich and The Balvenie. Here's the twist though: William Grant & Son master blender Brian Kinsman has produced 11 micro-batch blends of the Strathspey 21 Year Old which will be exclusively at 11 different airports (all priced at £99 for a 70cl bottle). Those lucky 11 airports are London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Madrid, Barcelona and Cancùn.
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