The last two decades have been a far-reaching transformation of the international whiskey landscape. These changes include the revival of Ireland’s historic whiskey industry; the development of the global aftermath of Japanese whiskey; the revolution in style and production techniques brought about by the rise of the craft whiskey sector; the dramatic growth in bourbon demand and the flourishing popularity, both in the United States and around the world, of rye whiskey.
There has also been the dramatic increase in the range of cask-finished terms, budding whiskey production among both traditional producers like India and non-traditional producers like Taiwan and France; the cult-like popularity of peat whiskeys, including the development of super-peat whiskey expressions; and the release of super-premium, ultra-aged Scotch whiskey terms. All of this development, just a few of the many changes that are transforming the international whiskey industry, has happened against the background of growing premiumization and soaring production.
On a more personal level, the last two decades have brought dramatic changes for two London-based entrepreneurs – Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh. From a modest start, The whiskey exchange, the online liquor retailer they founded in 2001, has grown into the largest online retailer or whiskey, especially Scotch whiskey, in the world.
This week to celebrate both the far-reaching and ongoing transformation of the international whiskey market and as a personal testament to their own equally dramatic experience, Sukhinder and Rajbir release “20 whiskeys that changed the world. ”
The collection offers up to 3 cl (just over an ounce) samples of the 20 whiskeys that have had the most dramatic impact on both the global whiskey market as well as the two brothers personally. According to The Whiskey Exchange:
This eye-catching gift set with 20 x 3cl Perfect Measure samples tells the story of this transformation in the best possible way – by giving you the chance to taste some of the whiskeys that made it happen.
The 20 whiskeys are grouped into four sets of five whiskeys each: Whiskey Revolution, Magic of the Cask, Peat make the world a round and The new world. The collection contains a comprehensive guide that also serves as a taste book and also contains producer profiles, a bit of history from the distillery and taste notes.
The guide also explains how each whiskey in the collection shaped developments in the global whiskey industry; from Compass Box hedonism, the term most responsible for igniting the continuing interest in grain whiskey, to Balvenie DoubleWood, the term that brought cask treatment to the forefront of the whiskey industry and continued to influence the style of not only other whiskey-producing countries, but also other spirits, such as tequila or rum.
The impact of Sherry cask maturation is abundantly illustrated in a number of terms, from The Macallan 18 YO, perhaps the best known supplier of Sherry cask maturation, to other notable bottlings such as Dalmore King Alexander III, considered by many Richard Paterson’s greatest creation, to Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength; no doubt one of the top two (the other is Aberlour A’bunadh, matured Sherry fade expression of strength.
Peated whiskey is illustrated in all their different styles, from the Islay medical style Lagavulin and Laphroaig, to the historic 19th-century template of Springbank to the revolutionary Octomore, which redefined what it meant to be a peat whiskey.
The effects of international producers are illustrated with a selection of equally iconic whiskeys, from Amrut, one of the first single malt Indian whiskeys with a truly global following, to the incomparable Yamazaki, the uncrowned king of Japanese whiskey, to two American standouts : Blanton’s Gold, an American whiskey that was impossible to find in the United States, for Michter’s Single Barrel Rye.
The 52-page booklet is also complemented by online tasting videos available at TWE website designed to accompany the tastings. The whiskeys can be tried separately or tasted in four flights together with the video guides.
The 20 whiskeys in the collection are:
Compass Box Hedonism – blended grain Scotch whiskey
Monkey Shoulder The Original – blended malt Scotch whiskey
Clynelish 14-YO – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Glenfiddich 15 YO – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Johnnie Walker Blue Label – blended Scotch whiskey
The magic of the dish
The Balvenie 12 YO DoubleWood – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Macallan 18 YO Sherry Cask – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Glendronach 15 YO – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Dalmore King Alexander III – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Square makes the world a round
Talisker 18 YO – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Springbank 10 YO – Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Laphroaig Quarter Cask – Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Lagavulin 16 YO – Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Octomore 10 YO Fourth Edition – Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
The new world
Yamazaki 12 YO – Japanese single malt whiskey
Nikka Coffey Malt – Japanese single grain whiskey
Amrut Fusion – India Single Malt Whiskey
Blanton’s Gold – Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Michters US 1 Single Barrel Rye – Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
The collection will be available from June 4 exclusively from The Whiskey Exchange and is priced at £ 160 (approximately $ 200).