It’s October, which in the world of whisky means a few things to get excited about. First many Whisky shows will be featuring some new expressions and new bottles released in the run up to Christmas. The Manchester Whisky Festival held on the 22nd September showcased some new arrivals and but the Whisky Exchange show in London this weekend will see a few more unveiled. We’ll have reports from both on the blog soon.
Talking about new releases, also expect to see the new editions of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and Ingvar Ronde’s Malt Whisky Yearbook both out at the beginning of October. Jim Murray produces a guide and a rating system for all types of Whisky and crowns one of them his Whisky of the Year. Last year he promised to re-taste and re-evaluate the Irish Whiskey category so it will interesting to see how they fair. This, the tenth Whisky Bible has over 4500 entries. Can’t wait to see who the winners will be. Ingvar’s book features write ups about all the Scottish distilleries, as well as most of the American and Japanese Malt distillers. With articles from leading whisky writers, interviews with distillers and a whole host of facts and figures that the whisky nerd can digest, it’s one of the books that never leaves the bag. This will be the eight edition. Again, we’ll post reviews as soon as we can.
In other news, the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) announced a 12% rise in Whisky exports, raising them to a total of £4.2 billion, compared to £3.8 billion in the same period the previous year (June to June). America still remains the biggest export market at £303 million. India is a massive market to open up if the SWA can negotiate a reduction of the current 150% tariff levied on imported spirits. India currently consumes something like twice the amount of whisky that all of Scotland can produce. With this in mind, Diageo have been in talks with Indian drinks group United Spirits to acquire a 15% stake in the business during September.
Finally, in Sweden the Whisky distillers have come together at the annual Swedish Beer and Whisky Festival today to discuss and come to an agreement about the terms and the definitions of Swedish Whisky. Sweden has 16 operational distillers at present (nine are listed here). Whisky writer Dominic Roskrow has attended the festival so I’m sure that it will all be reported in his excellent World Whisky Review.