Peter Ranscombe pours over more news from the world of Scotch whisky.
IT’S been a busy start to the year for Scotland’s whisky distillers.
The Macallan’s collection of six bottles to mark the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise goes on sale today.
The collection, which was unveiled in September, marks the whisky brand’s sponsorship deal, which saw a bottle of The Macallan play a prominent role in 2012’s film, Skyfall, marking the movie franchise’s 50th anniversary.
“The Macallan’s partnership with the James Bond franchise brings together two Scottish icons in what must surely be one of our most high-profile and exciting collaborations to date,” said Jeremy Speirs, regional managing director at the global travel retail arm of Edrington, the company that owns the distillery.
Jaume Ferras, global creative director for The Macallan, added: “The Macallan is James Bond’s whisky of choice and as two renowned global brands, we share many synergies, most notably as modern innovators linked by our Scottish heritage.”
Staying with The Macallan, and bottler Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky has unveiled its 1969 Macallan 52-year-old single malt.
The bottle, which is shaped like a dirk, is housed inside an oak cabinet, and is priced at £75,000.
The whisky was matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in oloroso sherry casks made from European oak.
“It’s an incredible privilege to be the custodian of these stunning rare Macallan casks,” commented chairman Euan Shand.
“This the start of an exciting chapter at Duncan Taylor as we plan to release more Macallan over time, as well as a selection of other rare malts from the 1960s.”
Berry Bros & Rudd – Britain’s oldest wine merchant, tracing its roots back to 1698 – has unveiled its winter line-up of spirits.
The collection features eight single malt Scotch whiskies, along with whiskies from France and Japan, and a rum from Fiji.
The Scottish selection consists of whiskies from Blair Athol, Dailuaine, Glen Garioch, and Linkwood distilleries.
It also includes a Williamson whisky from Islay, named after the legendary Bessie Williamson, who ran Laphroaig.
And finally, scientists from The James Hutton Institute’s Invergowrie campus have visited Germany to learn more about genes.
They hope their trip will help them to understand more about a variety of bere barley found only on the island of Unst.
If they can grow more productive versions of the barley then they think it could be used to make whisky on Shetland.
Joanne Russell, a geneticist at The James Hutton Institute, said: “Most of these ancient or heritage varieties are only stored in gene banks.
“Apart from bere Orkney – which is registered as a conservation variety and only available through Orkney College – there are no other beres currently ‘commercially’ registered or grown on scale.”
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.
Plus, don’t miss Blair Bowman’s whisky column in the February issue of Scottish Field magazine.