Lark Distilling launches Legacy

Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co. is set to unveil an unprecedented single malt with an extraordinary heritage — Legacy. This 19-year-old Tasmanian single cask whisky captures the essence of a legacy created by Bill Lark, the founder of Australia’s craft spirits industry.

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Limited-edition single malt pinot noir launched

Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask Finish is said to be an  elegant expression of Westward Whiskey, influenced by Oregon’s premier varietal: Pinot Noir. Created in partnership with Suzor Wines, a coveted producer in the Willamette Valley, this small batch release is bound to be a collector’s item.

Westward Oregon Pinot Noir Cask Finish is made from scratch at our Portland distillery using Pacific Northwest two-row barley, brewed with American pale ale yeast for outstanding flavour, double pot distilled for exceptional character, and matured in 2-char, kiln dried 53-gallon new American oak barrels. Once fully matured, we finished this batch of whiskey for 19 months in French Oak wine casks that had previously held Pinot Noir from Suzor Wines.

Johnnie Walker changes iconic label, replaces man with a woman

Johnnie Walker has unveiled Jane Walker, the first-ever female iteration of the brand’s Striding Man logo.

The new image will debut in the US on a special-edition offering of the scotch whiskey’s Black Label blend. The product will be available beginning in March to coincide with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrations.

“Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission,” commented Stephanie Jacoby, Vice President of Johnnie Walker. “We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality.”

To support this effort as part of Keep Walking America, Johnnie Walker will be donating $1 for every bottle of the Jane Walker Edition made to organizations championing women’s causes, with a total donation of up to US$250,000.

One organization Johnnie Walker will be supporting is Monumental Women, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a monument honoring America’s women suffragists in New York City’s Central Park, where there are 23 statues of historical figures but not one honoring a real woman.

In addition to celebrating historic female figures through the Monumental Women partnership, Johnnie Walker will also celebrate the next generation of female leaders by donating a portion of Jane Walker Edition proceeds to She Should Run, who are dedicated to inspiring women to run for office.

Drambuie celebrates brand relaunch

Scotch Whisky Liqueur, Drambuie has had an official relaunch which includes a three-month bar activation, ‘A Night with the Nail’, hosted each Thursday at The Swinging Cat in Sydney’s CBD.

The activation involves a recurring ‘Drambuie-themed’ evening to promote the revival of its most famous serve, The Rusty Nail, along with a range of new Drambuie cocktails. Bar-goers will be treated to an exclusive Drambuie experience and live jazz music as they enjoy the flavour and energy of the New Orleans inspired underground bar.

The Rusty Nail is a timeless whisky cocktail born in the infamous New York nightclubs of the early 60s and served at the renowned ‘21 Club’ frequented by Hemmingway, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra. At a time when the legendary carousing of the Rat Pack came to prominence, the Rusty Nail was adopted by the scene, confirming the drink’s iconic status and establishing its place in pop culture history.

More recently, the cocktail was the drink of choice of Saul Goodman and featured in the very first episode of Netflix’s TV series Better Call Saul.

In a mission to revive The Rusty Nail and recruit a new generation of fans to Drambuie, the bar activation is defined by elements of the brand’s history that will resonate with the current generation of drinkers.

Swinging Cat Owner Pete Fischer is excited to treat visitors to this exciting new venture.

“Our regular customers love to be transported to a different time and place when they visit The Swinging Cat. This Drambuie partnership will offer a different kind of experience and one not to be missed,” he said.

Diageo loses its love of wine amid sale rumours

Alcohol giants Diageo, owners of Jonnie Walker and Ciroc vodka are looking to offload their wine division.

“Diageo fell out of love with wine following the great recession of 2008-09 when it saw that the category could not offer the returns it was looking for,” Jeremy Cunninton, senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst at Euromonitor International.

Brands including Blossom Hill and Piat d’Or will likely be sold off to Australian wine maker Treasury Wine Estates.

The deal for Diageo to sign with Treasury has not be confirmed as of yet but if Diageo signs that dotted line they will join Treasury wine brands Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Lindermans and Matua.

“The main benefit for the buyer (Treasury Wine Estates) will be Diageo’s US wine assets with the premium and brands such as Sterling Vineyards, which will greatly improve Treasury Wine Estates generally low value US portfolio” Cunninton said.

The CEO of Diageo has been under some pressure to offload the wine sector of the company, as it is estimated to only make up around five per cent of the global revenues.

“The fact there is a sale now may in part be due to some pressure to sell, but it is more likely there was someone willing/able to offer a suitable price,” Cunninton said.

Glenfiddich announces winner of artists in residence competition

Whiskey maker Glenfiddich has announced Joan Ross as the winner of the inaugural Australian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Competition. The judging panel was led by Andy Fairgrieve Curator as well a number of the Sydney Contemporary International Art Fair Advisory Council including Rachel Griffiths, former Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull AO, and Mark Hughes.

The judges said they were impressed by the calibre of the entries, choosing seven finalists instead of the five, which was the original plan. The final seven included Joan Ross, Cameron Robbins, Marc Standing, Luke Storrier, Liam Benson, Deb Mansfield and Troy Emery.

“Given the incredible standard and quality of the seven finalists, it was never going to be an easy task to choose just one to join our residency program next summer at distillery” said Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Curator Andy Fairgrieve

Joan was chosen as the winner as the body of work she produced did not only demonstrate her technique and skill through her hand painted prints and digital animation, but each of her works tells a unique story about Australian colonisation.

“I feel we have an outstanding artist and personality with Joan, Given her artistic concerns surrounding appropriation of land through colonialism and the environmental issues she subtly addresses, I know she will find a rich vein of source material to inform new works once she sets foot on Scottish soil next summer. I look forward to welcoming her to the Glenfiddich Distillery next year” said Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Curator Andy Fairgrieve.

Joan will have the opportunity to live and work for three months at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown, Scotland alongside artists from Scotland, India, China Taiwan, Canada and Korea.

Bladnoch Distillery appoints master distiller

One of Scotland’s oldest and most historically rich distilleries, Bladnoch Distillery, which was acquired by Australian entrepreneur David Prior last month, has announced its appointment of Ian Macmillan as master distiller and blender. 

Ian Macmillan will use his 40 years experience in the Scotch Whisky industry, including his experience resuscitating Burn Stewart’s three distilleries, to bring Bladnoch in South West Scotland back into production. 

In announcing Ian Macmillan’s appointment, David Prior said:

“I am delighted that such a well-known master distiller and blender as Ian Macmillan is joining the Bladnoch team.  His experience and expertise will ensure we create the finest Scotch Whiskies as we re-start distilling at Bladnoch and develop our brand strategy and marketing."

Ian Macmillan said on his appointment: “I am very excited to be joining Bladnoch and eager to get started. I look forward to meeting the challenges of getting Bladnoch back into production. There is a tremendous opportunity to create one of the very best Single Malt Scotch Whiskies for passionate consumers of Scotch worldwide, and to develop the range of Bladnoch bottlings and other Scotch Whisky brands.”