Whisky News of Note

Hello readers. I generally don’t post industry news on this blog, as most of you who care about the daily goings-on of the spirits biz have your own sources of information, which are far more reputable than me. :) (If you don’t, check out Whisky Intelligence and WhiskyCast Podcast, from my Blogroll on the right side of this page).

Today, I just want to point out two interesting and educational tidbits.

The End Of An Era: The Last Vatted Malt

Scotch blending innovator John Glaser of Compass Box is celebrating the name change (by law in the UK) of vatted malt by releasing a special-edition whisky, which is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the silliness of it all: At 11:59 PM on the last night of legally labeling a mixture of two or more single malts as ‘Vatted Malt’ (November 22nd 2011), he will ceremoniously bottle the last bottle of a limited run of 1323 such blends, anointed “The Last Vatted Malt”. The following day, such a bottle must legally be called a “Blended Malt Scotch Whisky”. Confused? Here’s a rundown of the types of scotch and the names they must be called starting November 23rd, courtesy of Compass Box’s press release:

Blended Scotch Whisky: a blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (Previously known as Vatted Malt or Pure Malt Scotch Whisky.)

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (Previously known as Vatted Grain Scotch Whisky.)

Single Malt Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in pot stills in one or more batches at a single distillery from water and malted barley, without the addition of any other cereals.

Single Grain Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled at a single distillery except Single Malt Scotch Whisky or a Blended Scotch Whisky.

The key to the naming convention is the word ‘Malt': If ‘malt’ is present in the name, the product contains only whisky made from malted barley and no other grains, either as a Single (one distillery) or Blend (of more than one distillery). If ‘malt’ is missing, the product contains grain whisky. The Compass Box special-edition vatted malt – excuse me – blended malt scotch whisky – is a mixture of a 1974 Speysider single malt and a 1984 single malt from Islay. At 175 pounds (approximately $280 US), this is definitely one for the collectors. It also will not be available in the USA.

World Whisky Review

From social review site Whisky Connosr comes World Whisky Review, a new online magazine edited by celebrated whisky author and journalist Dominic Roskrow. The bi-monthly magazine focuses on news and reviews of products coming out of non-traditional whisky producers from countries such as Tasmania, India and South Africa. The magazine is beautifully presented, thorough, and free! Be sure to check it out.

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