I’m pleased to introduce a new weekly series of articles! This special column will go live every Friday (well, at least if there’s enough material and if I’m not too lazy couch potatoing in front of a stupid teenager show), with the aim to summarize the top-5 whisky news of the week : new releases, distillery openings, special events or any other whisky (& other inspiring spirits) information that I think are worth sharing with you!
Here are the 5 Whisky News that made my week
1 –> France finally launched its dedicated Wine & Spirits tourism website (and there’s an English version available, which is worth precising as it’s hardly ever the case…)! And now that you know that France is home to 42 whisky distilleries (and plenty of other spirits-related facilities), you have no excuse not to plan a full spirits discovery experience in the land of smelly cheese!
2 –> R&B Distillers received official approval from the Highland Council to built their Raasay distillery. Work will begin in April 2016 on the island of Raasay to convert Borodale House into a distillery, visitor centre, and a luxury accommodation exclusively reserved to members. Whisky production is set to begin early 2017. Another distillery to add to your whisky travel bucket list!
3 –> Blogger Katie Jean found an amazingly great (and genuinely funny) answer to the recent controversial US Government advice regarding drinking and birth control: she posted a special “booze & contraception” pairing guide on Instagram where you’ll learn for instance that as a whisky enthusiast, you should go for the shot as “you like your birth control straight up and given by pros”. This is simply pure second degree, cynical fun, and it’s just great!
4 –> Another great news for France, brought to you by Diageo! The drinks giant is indeed bringing its famous Johnnie Walker House to Paris, which is set to open in the coming months, once again proving the importance of Scotch on the French market!
5 –> Balblair adds a new expression to its vintage range! The entry-level Vintage 2005 scotch has become the fourth expression in the core range of vintages alongside the 1999, 1990 and 1983. It replaces the Vintage 2003 which was released in 2013. Balblair is the only scotch to release exclusively vintage-statement whiskies, with each expression named after the year it was laid down in cask. All whiskies are hand-selected by Balblair Distillery manager John MacDonald for release when they are at the peak of perfection.