AS LIFE moves online once more, Scotland’s distillers are making the most of virtual opportunities.
A team of 200 members of staff at Whyte & Mackay walked, ran, rowed or cycled 50,000 miles to raise £114,841 for mental health charities.
Workers in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States took part in the challenge, alongside their colleagues in the UK.
The fundraising efforts were inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Nick Garland, chief commercial officer at Whyte & Mackay, said: “The challenge came about as a way to bring the team together virtually and encourage people to stay physically and mentally healthy during a very uncertain time.”
Glengoyne goes back online
Glengoyne may have halted tastings at its distillery during the central belt hospitality lockdown, but it’s brought back its online events instead.
The first event took place yesterday, with each tasting including a “mystery malt”.
Stuart Hendry, brand homes director at Ian Macleod Distillers, said: “For locals looking to enjoy an autumnal stroll in the crisp outdoors, our distillery will remain open – burrowed at the foot of the Campsie Hills – where our staff can help you select a bottle of our award-winning single malts to take home.
“And for those looking to enjoy a night in with their loved ones, the relaunch of our online tasting experiences is sure to raise a smile and warm the cockles in the evenings.
“Whether it be virtually or at our distillery, we look forward to seeing you all and raising a dram to you.”
Going, going, gone… online
Online auctions show no sign of abating, with bottler Cask 88’s latest virtual foray entitled “Pick n Mix”.
The Edinburgh-based cask specialist has paired each cask with pick and mix sweets, describing a 2013 Bunnahabhain as being ideal “for the person who likes sour cherries or apple bonbons”, and a 2013 Benriach as appealing to fans of “wine gums or blackberry/raspberry spogs”.
Aye, I had to look up “spogs” too.
To give potential buyers an insight into each cask, the company recorded a tasting on Youtube.
The auction closes on Sunday.
‘The oldest whisky… in the worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrld’
Staying with auctions, and – cue my awful Jeremy Clarkson impression – “the oldest aged whisky ever to go under the hammer” is due to appear at Sotheby’s sale in London on Halloween.
The 78-year-old Macallan is part of “The Red Collection”, which also includes 40-, 50-, 60-, 71- and 74-year-old whiskies.
Only two sets of “The Red Collection” have been assembled – one will remain in the library at The Macallan, while the Sotheby’s is auctioning the other to raise money for City Harvest, which redistributes surplus food to people in London.
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “We are thrilled to partner with The Macallan to offer The Red Collection, alongside our second offering of The Ultimate Whisky Collection, as part of our inaugural Halloween Spirits sale.
This is the only opportunity for whisky collectors to own a truly special Red Collection set with labels hand-signed by Javi Aznarez.”
Another door opens
From London to John o’Groats, where the team building the 8 Doors distillery has sold all 250 memberships for its “874 Founders Club”.
Some of the 1,250 berths in its “874 Club” are still up for grabs.
Kerry Campbell, co-founder of 8 Doors, said: “It’s great to see our vision of building Scotland’s most northerly distillery in John O’Groats come even closer to reality now that we have sold all of our 874 Founders Club packages.
“We were confident our 874 packages would prove popular, but we were delighted to see the limited edition cask packages sell out within days of being offered.”
Whisky from the coast
Much further down the coast, and Glenglassaugh distillery at Sandend Bay outside Portsoy is releasing its “coastal casks” series.
The spirit for each of the casks that feature in the range was distilled shortly after the distillery was reopened in 2008 by Russian-backed Scaent Group.
In other new release news, Loch Lomond Whiskies has added 21- and 30-year-old single malts to its range.
Chief marketing officer John Grieveson said: “The launch of the Loch Lomond 21 and 30 Year Old completes our new core range, following on from the restructure of our Loch Lomond Whisky portfolio earlier this year, which also included a complete brand refresh.”
In this week’s gong news, Aldi’s Glen Marnoch – not a real glen – 12 year old speyside single malt has been crowned as a “master” at The Spirit Business magazine’s Scotch Whisky Master Awards.
The supermarket also scooped three gold medals for its Highland Black eight-year-old Scotch whisky, and for the Highland and Speyside incarnations of “Glen Marnoch”, along with a silver for Glen Marnoch’s Islay version.
Read more news stories on Scottish Field’s whisky pages.