Inventory for September 28th, 2014
Welcome to this month’s last inventory! This week we look at The Glenlivet’s exclusive new Winchester Collection, a Kickstarter campaign which promises the perfect travel bag for bartenders, Scotch whisky export rates falling, Laphroaig Vintage 1991 malt exclusively available in Germany, NY bar Milk & Honey has to move locations for the second time, and UK Bar Magazine profiles Bar Convent Berlin.
Bar Week is about to kick off here in Berlin, starting with the “Stadt, Land, Food” festival which deals with all topics relating to good food and good agriculture. Held at Kreuzberg’s infamous Markthalle Neun for the first time this year the fair will be on during October 2nd – 5th and you’ll be able to taste liquors, knead fresh bread dough, and generally celebrate everything food culture.
1) The Glenlivet Winchester Collection
Single malt pioneers Speyisde proudly announced their first ever collection of rare and precious 50 year old scotch whiskeys last week. Vintage 1964 is the first bottle to be sold out of the collection, a limited amount (100 bottles) of Speyside Single Malt will retail for 20.000,- Euro. In Germany one can find one numbered bottle at KaDeWe, beginning in November. Captain Bill Smith-Gran, last heir to The Glenlivet founder George Smith, stored a barrel in 1964, laying the foundation for the Winchester Collection. Several generations of The Glenlivet master distillers have guarded the barrel, enabled it to develop its complex aroma.
The intricately detailed bottle, in the style of a carafe, was created by Scottish glass artists Nichola Burns and Brodie Nairn. The jewel-like closure is made from red gold and decorated with a Scottish smoky quartz. Following the Vintage 1964 the Winchester Collection has confirmed that it will be selling the Vintage 1966. Benjamin Franke, Pernod Ricard’s German marketing manager speaks for Pernod Ricard when he states that “we are proud to present the Winchester Collection in Germany, it reflects The Glenlivet’s thorough whiskey expertise and craftsmanship.”
2) A Weekender for the Traveling Bartender
As the cocktail industry grows bartenders travel more and more, from bar shows to competitions the job description now involves a good deal of back and forth. Two craft bartenders themselves John Ueding and Craig Krueger were sick and tired of schlepping around their work tools in less-than-ideal bags.
Cue to the B-Bag. Their Kickstarter project plans to create the perfect traveling bartender bag. A water-resistant, adjustable bag with numerous inserts for tools, kits, cutting boards, and bottles made from high-quality materials and produced in the United States. Pledge $299 to the campaign until the October 15th to secure your own.
3) Scotch Whisky Exports Fall at Rapid Rate
Due to a weakening demand for Scotch whisky in markets such as China, the US, Singapore, and Brazil the value of exports has dropped by 11% in the first half of the year. Nathalie Thomas reports for The Telegraph, noting this as the steepest decline since 1998 and the first fall since 2009. Producers like Diageo and Pernod Ricard invested billions of pounds into Scotland over the last few years, as they expected emerging markets in China to increase demand for Scotch whisky.
The steepest decline can be found in Singapore, which often acts as a gateway for spirit import to Asia. David Frost, chief executive of the SWA, insists the industry’s long-term prospects remain positive: “We are confident that Scotch Whisky will continue to grow in the long-term as markets stabilize and new ones, such as emerging economies across Africa, open up. The latest figures act as a reminder that the success of Scotch Whisky can’t be taken for granted. We need support from government to beat down trade barriers and help us access new markets overseas.” Scotland’s whisky industry accounts for 85% of the country’s food and drink exports.
4) Laphroaig Vintage 1991 Available Exclusively in Germany
Beginning in November the Laphroaig Distillery is set to offer a rare single malt, available only in Germany. Stored for 23 years in sherry and refill hogshead barrels the malt was able to develop into a mild yet complex whiskey which is bottled into numbered vessels. The finished whisky has notes of of cloves and muscat with a long, spicy, almost peppery, finish. A drop of water intensifies the typical Laphroaig see salt aroma. With a volume of 52,6% the malt is only available in Germany and retails for 280,- €.
5) Craft Cocktail Bar Milk & Honey to Shut its Doors Again
The second coming of craft cocktail bar Milk & Honey is forced to close its doors yet again. Robert Simonson at the NY Times reports that Sasha Petraske, founder of Milk & Honey, is being forced to leave due to a demolition clause in his lease. This doesn’t mean the end for the bar though, a new location is being feverishly searched for and will come closer to the original bar: smaller, more intimate, and even harder to get in to. Sights are set on opening the third location in February of 2015.
6) Bar Convent Berlin Making Waves
UK’s Bar Magazine reports on Europe’s bar trade heading to Berlin in October for the Bar Convent. This year’s trade show, the eighth, will be larger than ever before and approximately 9,000 visitors are expected at the 118,000 square feet location. The two day event, October 7th – 8th, is jam packed with panel discussions, lectures, workshops, tastings, and product presentations. This years’ Guest Country is the USA, visitors will be able to sample American spirits and craft beers while talking to North American industry insiders at the Bar USA.
Bar Convent Berlin chief executive Jens Hasenbein places special emphasis on the Business Hour. “Bar Convent Berlin continues to expand its position as an international bar and beverages trade fair. The new Business Hour reinforces Bar Convent’s reputation as an important beverages industry convention and contact platform.” The Business Hour allows industry specialists to meet exhibitors face-to-face on day two at 9am, before the hustle and bustle of the trade fair begins.
The event program includes speakers such as Nikka whisky’s European brand ambassador Stanislav Vadrna presenting on the Japanese concept of hospitality, Ichi-go Ichi-e, and Andrew Nicholls, mixologist and co-founder of Barchaeology, talking about the Authentic Caribbean Rum program from the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA).