The Ultimate Glenfarclas Tasting

Back in 2007, a very special whisky event was held in Sydney, Australia.  Held at Sydney’s iconic Claude’s restaurant, it was billed as “The Ultimate Ardbeg Dinner” and it featured an unbelievable line up of the rarest Ardbeg bottlings ever assembled, including the 1965.  That particular event had been preceded a year earlier by an incredible Macallan tasting (featuring the full ESC range, as well as rare bottlings from the 1980’s). And, only a short time prior to that, there was the unbelievable Springbank tasting, which featured the entire Millennium range of Springbanks.  These were the glory days of tasting and appreciating the uber rare, special, and expensive releases amongst Scotland’s elite single malt bottlings and distilleries.  In terms of the rarity of the whiskies at the Ultimate Ardbeg Dinner, many thought such an event could never be equalled.  We may finally have found a successor…

In 2015, it was time for what I’m personally labelling The Ultimate Glenfarclas Tasting – in this instance, the most incredible line-up of rare and special Glenfarclas whiskies ever assembled and tasted in Australia.  (If a more impressive tasting line-up has been held outside Australia, I’d love to hear about it).

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When Irish eyes are Teeling

Whilst the Scotch whisky industry continues to bubble along and keep everyone moderately happy as long as we’ve all got a filled Glencairn in our hand, the real gossip and excitement in the  whisk(e)y community right now seems to be with what’s happening in other countries.

The recent media storm over Jim Murray’s latest edition of his Whisky Bible got everyone talking about Japanese whisky, and similar waves went around the globe when Australia’s Sullivan’s Cove was awarded best whisky in the world by Whisky Magazine last year.  And whisky brands like Kavalan (Taiwan), Mackmyra (Sweden), and Amrut (India) continue to make the transition from being a modest curiosity to players with major followings, reach and – more critically – quality product.

And so, with all sectors of the whisky industry in growth and development, it’s no surprise that Irish whiskey is also making waves and changing the landscape.  Consider the following recent events:

  • Irish whiskey has been identified as the fastest growing distilled spirit category in the world. That means its growth is outpacing bourbon, vodka, tequila, Scotch, brandy, and so on.
  • Cooley Distillery, Ireland’s only independent distillery (at the time) was sold to Beam Inc. in 2011.
  • Diageo sold Bushmills Distillery to tequila giant Casa Cuervo in 2014.
  • William Grant & Sons purchased the Tullamore Dew brand in 2010, and last year completed the construction of a massive new distillery at Tullamore
  • Former Bruichladdich leader, Mark Reynier, recently announced his next venture would be a new Irish whiskey distillery in Waterford.
  • In 2013, there were just four operating whiskey distilleries in Ireland. The Irish Spirits Association expects this number to grow to 15 in the next few years.

While the decline of the Irish whiskey industry in the 20th century and the reasons for it are well documented, its recent growth and renaissance is truly something worth celebrating.  And all the more so, when both independence and tradition team up and jump out of the page.  And that, ladies and gents, is where Teeling Whiskey fits in.

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