Distiller’s Friday Roundup – July 20th, 2018By Mikael Mossberg
This week brings new and exciting updates to the Distiller platform. We’ve opened up the way that you create your spirits journey, giving you more features and more control with the new Tastes Update. This week also brings some sad news from Jamaica, where tens of thousands of liters of rum was lost in a fire—thankfully nobody was hurt. The Macallan debuts a brand new 4D immersive experience along with a brand new whisky with Macallan Edition No. 4, and Freddie Noe is back with another Little Book.
It’s your Distiller Friday Roundup for July 20th, 2018.
Introducing the Distiller Tastes Update
Last week we rolled out the very first version of Distiller’s new Taste update. For the past few years you’ve only been able to leave a single tasting note and a single rating on a bottle. For some people that worked fine, but for many people, you were forced to edit your past tasting note or rating if you tried that spirit again and your opinion changed. You could either replace your original note entirely, or just add to it, eventually creating a long run-on tasting note. If you only ever want to enter one tasting note or rating on a product, you can. But now you have the option to create more using Tastes.
With Tastes you can set a 1-5 star rating, write a tasting note, and set the price you paid. Each Taste can have all of those things, and it can also have none of those things. If you’d like to simply create a record of having tried a bottle, you can just create a Taste with no rating, tasting note or cost set. Distiller will save that Taste with a timestamp and you’ll be able to look back years later to remember what you tried.
Many people have asked for the ability to edit and delete past Tastes, filter Tastes on bottle pages so they can see only Tastes with tasting notes, and for all of their Tastes to appear at the top of the list of Tastes. All of that and a whole lot more is coming in the next update. Keep an eye out for that update coming early next week.
You can view all of your past Tastes on a bottle page, or by heading to your profile in the top right of the Home tab and tapping the Tastes section.
We can’t wait to share all of the exciting things we have in the pipeline with you.
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association Will Host The W8 of Spirits
In an unprecedented move, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association has organized the W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit. Set for July 25th and 26th in Louisville, the KDA will host the largest spirits trade organizations in the world to discuss the trade issues and the threats that this trade war poses to the global spirits industry.
“The global whiskey industry has been enjoying an unprecedented level of success to the benefit of our legendary producers, consumers, countries and local communities,” said KDA President Eric Gregory. “It’s critical that we maintain this momentum and ensure that world leaders understand the deep economic impact of whiskey and how it will be affected if this unfortunate trade war escalates or continues to extend.
“The potential for long-term damage is real.”
Photo Credit: Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Participating trade associations include:
Distilled Spirits Council
Irish Whiskey & Spirits Associations
Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Producers Makers Association
Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Scotch Whisky Association
The President’s Forum
Gregory says this first-ever gathering of the world’s whiskey associations will serve as an open exchange of ideas, strategy and a shared commitment to preserving free and fair trade. “Now more than ever, our groups need to be communicating directly and, hopefully, speaking with a unified voice.”
65,000 Liters of Rum Lost in Jamaica Distillery Fire
Only July 16th, 2018, a fire broke out at the historic Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica. The fire started in the cane fields near the distillery sometime around midday and quickly spread. The fire touched parts of the fermentation room and the fresh rum stocks. According to the distillery approximately 65,000 liters of un-aged rum was destroyed.
Luckily, nobody was harmed in the fire and the distillery itself, including the stills; they were not affected. Long Pond does not store or age any rum at the distillery, so no aged rum was harmed in the fire.
Long Pond Distillery – Burned Fermentation Room / Photo Credit: Long Pond Distillery
The last update from the scene noted that the bagasse dump was still on fire, but firefighters are working hard to bring it under control. Bagasse is the dry, pulpy substance that is left after juice is extracted from sugar cane.
Production at the distillery is being halted while an investigation into the fire takes place. The cause of the fire is not currently clear as the cane in the area where the blaze began was not being reaped according to The All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association.
The Macallan Distillery Experience Comes to New York City
On June 2nd, The Macallan opened the doors of its brand new, state of the art, £140 million distillery. It’s an ultra-modern facility, and 95% of its energy will come from renewable resources. It features a huge visitor’s center with interactive pillars, a bar and a gift shop. Tours only allow 12 people at a time, making the experience quite intimate and special, but also out of reach for many fans of the brand.
If you’re not able to get yourself to Speyside, don’t worry. There’s one more way you can see everything the new distillery has to offer. All you have to do is get to New York City by next week (see the details below).
‘The Macallan Distillery Experience’ is a 4D group virtual reality tour that will take you inside the distillery and let you chart your own path. Your group of visitors will step inside a 15x15x15 projection structure. An in-person guide takes visitors through the experience, visiting the new distillery and the brand’s iconic estate. You’ll even feel wind and smell scents from their scent diffusion technology matched to the footage. You can guide the tour with mid-air gestures of your hand and decide which parts of the distillery to learn more about.
Rendering of The Macallan Experience in Grand Central Station / Credit: The Macallan
In addition to the tour, guests will be able to sample the newly announced The Macallan Edition No. 4 (more on that below) along with traditional Scottish foods.
All The Details
The Experience will be open to the public from July 25th – July 28th (aligning with National Scotch Day on July 27th) at Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York City. Doors will be open from 11:30am to 7:30pm, and 12pm to 4pm on Friday. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter.
If you can’t make it to New York City, you’ll be able to view the Experience on your phone, computer, on social media, and at select wine and liquor retailers, bars, and restaurants using a VR headset.
The Macallan Announces Edition No. 4
The Edition series from The Macallan is meant to celebrate the brand’s whisky making heritage. The Macallan Edition No. 4 will be released in summer of 2018 and will focus on Macallan’s commitment to wood management. Seven different types of sherry casks are used in this no-age statement whisky.
The casks include refill European & American oak butts, refill European & American oak hogsheads, first-fill American oak Vasyma hogsheads, first-fill European oak Diego Martin Rosado butts, first-fill European oak Jose y Miguel Martin butts, first-fill European oak Tevasa butts/puncheons and first-fill European Tevasa hogsheads.
Little Book “Noe Simple Task” Hits Shelves August 2018
Little Book “Noe Simple Task” is the second annual limited edition whiskey featuring unique blends created by Freddie Noe, 8th generation distiller of the Beam family. The first release in this series came in 2017 and was called “The Easy“. This release, “Noe Simple Task,” took twice as long for Mr. Noe to decide on, hence the name.
The blended whiskey is made from three separate whiskeys: an 8 year-old Kentucky straight rye at 119.8 proof, a 13 year-old Canadian rye whiskey at 111.9 proof, and a 40 year-old Canadian whisky at 137.8 proof.
The blend does not contain any neutral grain components despite the American blended whisky category allowing it. Just like Booker’s Bourbon, Little Book is uncut and unfiltered.
This whiskey is set to hit shelves in early August of 2018.
Buchanan’s Select Blended Malt 15 Year is a first for the brand. It incorporates single malts “from the heart of Scotland,” all of which are aged a minimum of 15 years. Master Blender Craig Wallace, known for the launch of several Singleton single malts, created this blend.
It first launched in Mexico in early 2018, later making its way into other markets like the United States in July. It is bottled at 80 proof and is a permanent addition to for the brand.
That does it for the Friday Roundup for July 20th, 2018. Hopefully you’ve found some new drams to add to your wishlist, like The Macallan Edition No. 4 or Little Book “Noe Simple Task”. We hope you have a great Friday evening and a relaxing weekend. Cheers!