Brew and Booze News

Thirsty Thursday Times for February 13, 2014

Below are a few of the more interesting press releases that landed in our inbox this week…

BruichladdichTasting Mat V1

The West Coast Office Invites You to a Bruichladdich Tasting with Whisky Guy Rob

Our friend Aaron (aka the West Coast Office) invites you to join him, along with the South Bay Whisky Tribe, for an evening of whisky tasting led by Whisky Guy Rob (aka Rob Gard), author of Distilling Rob: Manly Lies and Whisky Truths. This very special event will feature Single Malt Scotch whiskies from Bruichladdich, the very place where Rob went to “reexamine his Midwestern blue collar roots” by working at the actual distillery.

Here are the particulars:

If you’d like to register for the event, click here or click on the above photo to visit the registration website.


Orphan Barrel

Diageo Launches Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company to Share Rare Spirits

First Releases to Include 20+ Year Old Barterhouse™ Whiskey and Old Blowhard™ Whiskey

TULLAHOMA, TENN. (February 11, 2014) – From Tennessee to Kentucky to Ireland, stories of old whiskies forgotten in the back of rickhouses and warehouses drift among distillers the world over.  From lunch breaks to happy hours, their debates over which whiskey would taste best has become the stuff of legend.  To offer resolution and introduce a new line of rare spirits to a growing base of whiskey aficionados, DIAGEO (NYSE: DEO) today announced the official start of the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company. 

The goal of The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is to locate lost and forgotten barrels of whiskey from around the world and share them with discerning adult fans.  The first two variants to be released from the company will include the 20-year-old Barterhouse Whiskey and the 26-year-aged Old Blowhard Whiskey.  Both brands are expected to begin appearing on select shelves throughout the U.S. in March 2014 under strict allocation due to limited supply.

Barterhouse Whiskey stocks were discovered in old warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, Ky.  Rumor has it warehouse workers have already begun lining up for the first taste of this beautiful whiskey with a soft nose reminiscent of warm spice, biscuit and buttercream.  The whiskey’s mellow taste includes notes of roasted grain, charred oak and a brown sugar finish.  Barterhouse Whiskey is bottled in Tullahoma, Tenn. and will be expected to sell for a suggested retail price of $75.

Old Blowhard Whiskey was also found at Stitzel-Weller and is hand bottled in Tullahoma.  At 26-years-old, the whiskey contains exuberant, rich flavors with undertones of smoke and honey followed by a gentle finish – dry and spicy with a hint of orange peel.  Carrying a suggested retail price of $150, Old Blowhard Whiskey is meant to be sipped slowly and best enjoyed among gregarious friends and unyielding debates.

“The whiskey warehouses and rickhouses these spirits come from are special places filled with the incredible smells of seasoned oak, rough textures of weathered wood and amazing tastes of precious liquid,” said Ewan Morgan, Master of Whiskey for DIAGEO.  “It’s every worker’s dream of finding that forgotten barrel of delicious whiskey and sharing it with their friends.  That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Like the rickhouse and warehouse workers who uncover them and the consumers who drink them, Orphan Barrel Whiskies have distinctive personalities in taste and packaging.  Barterhouse Whiskey packaging nods to the inspiration behind the whiskey’s name.  A vintage khaki and brown label features a sly fox front and center after he’s made a smooth deal at the local trading post.  Because when there’s no money on the table, Barterhouse Whiskey turns give and take into an adventure in provocation and persuasion.

Based in a beautiful nautical blue, the Old Blowhard Whiskey label features a powerful whale exhaling through its blowhole before launching into another opinionated debate.  Powerful fonts rooted in swagger proclaim the spirit’s impressive age statement and status as a Kentucky Bourbon.

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is headquartered in Tullahoma, Tenn. where the whiskies are bottled and owned and operated by DIAGEO, the world’s leading premium drinks company.  DIAGEO continues to invest in the growing whiskey and bourbon categories via the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling company and its existing line of whiskies including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, Bushmills and more.

Orphan Barrel whiskies have been waiting years to be uncovered so DIAGEO and the rickhouse workers who guard these rare spirits remind consumers lucky enough to get their hands on a bottle to sip slowly and responsibly.

About The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Project

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is an endeavor to rescue long forgotten barrels of rare and delicious whiskey and share them with others.  We are inspired by creativity, delicious whiskey, good times and great stories.  The project is owned and run by DIAGEO.  The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is headquartered in Tullahoma, Tenn.  However, we like to think the project is founded in dark, quiet corners of rickhouses around the world where artisanal whiskies were forgotten, just waiting to be discovered.

Currently, The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company has released two variants – Barterhouse Whiskey and Old Blowhard Whiskey.  As new and interesting whiskies are discovered, they will be added to the family to provide adult consumers a great selection of rare whiskies.


Sullivans Cove French Oak

Demand for Tasmanian Whisky Leads to Shortage

SULLIVANS COVE, Tasmania’s biggest selling whisky, is forced to limit sales of its popular French Oak variety in order to ensure continued availability for the next five years. Domestic demand for the French Oak, which was named as Australia’s best single malt by Whisky Magazine, has increased beyond supply levels and the distillery has been forced to limit exports of French Oak to provide for local demand.

The distillery’s French Oak variety is Australia’s highest awarded whisky, having scored 96.5/100 in whisky writer Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible and was also named Spirits Business magazine’s World Whisky Grand Master. Its winning run continues with this week’s announcement of the 2014 Wizards of Whisky results where it was named Australasian Single Malt Whisky of the Year and Australasian Whisky of the Year.

Australians are the biggest consumers of Sullivans Cove, accounting for more than 90% of all sales. This is a large turnaround from four years ago when the local market only made up around 40% of sales. The Tasmanian whisky industry is experiencing strong growth and this has been boosted by a $110,000 grant from the state government for the development of whisky trail.

Chief distiller Patrick Maguire said: “The industry has come a very long way over the past few years and this is exactly the situation that we hoped we would be in one day, we just didn’t expect it to happen this soon. It is a great problem to have and we are making all efforts to ensure that sufficient stock remains available for our Australian customers.”

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