Inventory for May 10th, 2015

Welcome back to this week’s inventory! This year Scottish whisky Laphroaig is celebrating its 200-year anniversary, the owners of London’s Nightjar are opening a  second bar, producers are looking at different techniques to age spirits which go far beyond the barrel, and Maker’s Mark wins its court case. 


It’s here! Summer’s here and we’re ready to say yes to every event thrown our way. Some happen to be fantastic, like next week’s Braufest Berlin. From May 14th to May 17th over 50 German and international breweries will be showcasing their newest beers. Held at Friedrichshain’s RAW grounds get ready to enjoy some cold brewskies and spiced streetfood.

1) Slainté – Laphroaig’s Bicentennial

This year the iconic whisky Laphroaig is in the throes of celebrating its 200-year anniversary. Celebrating in style, the label is releasing a limited edition 15-year old Islay Single Malt Whisky. Fans of the spirit are encouraged to join in on the “200 Opinions Wanted” competition: send in your personal opinion of the whisky and the best 200 will be immortalized in the distillery, while the top two “opinions” win a round trip to Islay.

2) Second Nightjar to Open in London

Owner of London’s infamous Nightjar bar have acquired former Cock Tavern (go ahead, have a giggle, we’ll wait) in Smithfields market and are planning on turning it into a high-end bar. The Spirits Business reports that the second bar will be named Oriole and will be larger than Nightjar. Though run by the same proprietors the bar doesn’t want to be considered “the second Nightjar”.  Oriole, decorated in ‘colonial tiki style’, will serve an evening menu of small grazing plates and plans for a brunch menu are afoot.

3) How to Age Beyond the Barrel

We’ve seen many trends take off over the last few years: from bottle aged cocktails to 3-day barrel aged whiskies. Sometimes, it’s worth stepping outside the box (in this case, the barrel) and see what else is out there. Last week introced five producers who age their spirits a bit differently. Jefferson’s Bourbon places new-filled bourbon barrels on a boat and lets the waves do the rest of the work. What results is a four-year-old bourbon with such a dark brown hue that it surpassed the color of a 30-year-old bottle.

Aging the bourbon on the ocean allows the spirit “to soak up the elements of the sea. The result displays characteristics never seen before in bourbons of this age.” Another example names is Scotch aged in space. In 2011 a vial containing Ardbeg Islay Malt Whisky and samples of an American oak barrel were taken aboard the International Space Station. The vial is still being researched but results are promised to be published later this year. Find all quirky aging techniques here.

4) Maker’s Mark Wins Court Case

Last year Maker’s Mark, and its parent company Beam Suntory, was taken to court by a lawsuit that claimed the company used misleading marketing when it labelled itself as “handmade”. The drinks business reports that Florida’s US District Court has ruled in favor of Maker’s Mark, dismissing the complaint of two consumers “with prejudice”. Maker’s Mark isn’t alone, in the States many brands are being taken to court due to their generous use of the words ‘handmade’ and ‘craft’.

Due to the huge popularity of key terms such as ‘craft’ and ‘artisanal’ many companies are trying to jump in on the trend and use words without regards for the consumer. If a customer is tricked into thinking his beer, or spirit, was brewed by a small team in Idaho instead of by a huge corporation – that’s a problem. And one that everyone within the industry needs to be aware of.



Foto: Two men via Shutterstock

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