In the United States, all alcoholic beverage manufacturers must submit the labels of their products to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for approval. These labels are published on the TTB website under the Freedom of Information Act, which means that they’re available to see before the whiskies are released.
Although it’s definitely not a guarantee that the submitted labels will actually end up on whisky bottles, or that these bottles will be released in any other country than the US, it is very interesting to look at. We all love rumours, right?
These are some of the most interesting new labels we spotted the past few weeks.
Earlier this year, Bruichladdich released Octomore 7.2, but it seems that a new version will be released in the near future as well. Just like the 6.3 and 7.2 it has been aged for 5 years, but at 169ppm, Octomore 7.3 seems to be less peated than the previous versions (258 and 208ppm).
The Glenlivet Nàdurra
Two new Nàdurra expressions have been submitted. First, there’s a new edition of the First Fill Selection; batch FF0715 (with ‘0715’ referring to July 2015) is bottled at 53%. This is a lot lighter in comparison to last year’s 63,1% FF014, but in line with the other Nàdurra NAS-expressions. Since the first Nàdurra FFS (which genius came up with this abbreviation?) was a travel retail exclusive, you’ll probably see this new version in duty free airport stores only as well.
Somewhat more controversial is a theoretically mouthwatering new Peated Whisky Cask Finish. According to the label, it is bottled in July 2015 at 53% vol. This would be the first peated The Glenlivet single malt.
It has been suggested that Scapa’s 16 year old single malt will be replaced by a 14 year old expression. The release of a new ageless expression, Skiren, might fuel this discussion again. Interesting detail is Scapa’s apparently revamped logo.
Longrow Red 12 year old
The current Longrow Red has been aged for 11 years, of which it spent 4 years in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels. Longrow will release a 12 year old Red (52.9% vol.), which has been finished for one year in fresh Pinot Noir casks.
Benromach already has an expression named Organic, which is part of Benromach’s Contrasts Collection. The current version was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2014, making it either 5 or 6 years old. The new Organic is 5 years old – distilled in 2010 and bottled in 2015.
Campbeltown distillery Springbank submitted several labels for approval. All are very limited releases for Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits – an 18 and a 19 year old rum finished single malt (limited to 264 and 120 bottles), a 19 year old refill bourbon cask (300 bottles), a 19 year old sherry finish (150 bottles) and a 20 year old port finish (192 bottles). Judging by these numbers, the changes of actually tasting any of these expressions are very small.
Bowmore Mizunara Cask
With a new mizunara cask (Japanese oak) finished whisky, Bowmore ‘combines the best of the East and the West’. Which is logical, since Bowmore is owned by Japan-based Suntory. This new release is bottled at 53,9% vol. and limited to 2,000 bottles.
There will also be a third release of both Bowmore 10 year old Dorus Mor and The Devil’s Cask.