Posts Tagged ‘business’

The Best Whisky Bars to Visit

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA

One of the best ways to ease stress is to go to a great bar and drink the best whiskies with some of your closest friends. In general, a bar is a place to have a good time and create good memories. So, here’s a list of the best bars that you should try in your lifetime.

Dick Macks

Dick Macks, located in Dingle, Ireland, is a family-operated bar established in 1899. Outside, you will see Hollywood-style slabs that have names of stars that visited the pub (Julia Roberts and Sean Connery, to name a few). Meanwhile, the bar’s walls are decorated with the family’s memorabilia. In its backrooms and slugs, you are allowed to have a sample of the many Irish greats. The bar also has space for drams that came from regions in Scotland. After building up the business with the help of Peter White from the Irish Whiskey Society, most of their stock came by word of mouth.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon is located in Washington D.C., USA. It boasts of 2,390 whiskies on its shelves, thereby having the widest selection in the Western World. The bar itself also has a huge space with a total of 6,700 square feet space designed with leather seats and ladders, and with 5 different bars.

The most popular tables, however, are located in the basement, the Dram & Grain, where customers actually book 2 hours of whisky-based cocktail experience. Aside from that, they also serve drams on draft, with different themes every week.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA

Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington D.C, USA. By

Black Rock

Black Rock in London, UK is a whisky bar with a twist! At the center of the bar, there is an ancient 18-foot English oak, split in half and plumbed in with water taps and whisky. It has more than 250 bottles of the golden stuff and a whisky-only cocktail menu that is made to feature the unique flavors of different regions and styles.

Shot Bar Zoetrope

Shot Bar Zoetrope, owned by Atsushi Horigami of Tokyo, Japan, is home to whisky and American movies. From the neon streets of Shinjuku district, this intimate, quirky bar constantly plays a stream of black and white movies and 250 various drams are stored. Choices range from Venture Whisky to Japanese classic Nikka, and 3 in-house bottles.

Flatiron Room

The Flatiron Room in New York is home to around 1,000 whiskies — their staff has to use ladders to reach your favorites. They have a “Bottle Keep” service that would let you label the bottle with your name and store your favorite drink into whenever you drop by while enjoying plush banquettes and live jazz. If you can’t even tell bourbon from rye, you may book a session in their Whisky School upstairs.

Talisker Distillery

Talisker Distillery is located in the coastline of Carbost Bay at the Isle of Skye, Scotland. While it is not technically a bar, you can join tasting tours where you get to sample on of its single malt whiskies while you enjoy the scenery and ambiance.

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Echlinville Distillery Promotes Tourism in Ireland

Irish Whiskey

The Echlinville Distillery, a family-owned business located on a 100-acre site in County Down, was licensed to distill whisky in May 2013. And it can be noted that they’ve previously expected their whisky to come of age this year, 2016.

Aside from their single pot still and single malt whiskeys, Echlinville planned to launch their premium Irish potato vodka and single estate gin. Their facilities boasts of a multi-million euro still house, maturation hall, function room, and bottling and storage areas; all of which are located in the Echlinville Estate.

Echlinville Distillery holds tours for the public, which the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) claims that it will promote the tourism and local economy of County Down. According to them, the opening of the distillery would imply that the Irish whiskey industry has been increasingly growing and it considers “the development of an all-island approach” to tourism.

Irish Whiskey

Echlinville Distillery – Irish Whiskey. By

“With a wealth of new entrants in the Irish whiskey sector, we will continue to see a significant number of new tourism offerings opening over the coming years, like the Echlinville Distillery tours being launched today. This will bring jobs and investment to communities in both Northern Island and the Republic of Ireland,” says the head of IWA, Miriam Mooney.

“The island of Ireland has the opportunity to bring together the industry and government agencies such as Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Tourism Board to put together a coordinated strategy for an all-island approach to Irish whiskey tourism. The employment potential is significant as guided tours and restaurants are labour intensive operations. In Scotland it is estimated that there is a five to one ration of export value to direct tourism,” she added.

Among the fastest growing categories of liquor, Irish whiskey has added 32 new or proposed distilleries in Ireland; thereby creating opportunities that would improve the tourism of the country.

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The Beginnings of The Lake Distillery and Cumbria

The Lakes Distillery

Paul Currie was in oil and now he’s switched to gold…. Liquid gold!

In his previous job, he sold engine oil to eastern bloc countries shortly after the Berlin wall came down. He also worked for BP in Poland and Russia, dealing with people who want to have a taste of the life in the western world.

Today, he owns the Lakes Distillery and is selling Cumbria around the world — giving whisky fanatics a taste of his product.

The Lakes Distillery was created as a tribute to his father, Harold. At 51, Paul was in his late 20s when he helped his 70 year-old father establish Arran Distillery in the mid-1990s. Harold worked previously for Chivas Regal as managing director and was part of Pernod Ricard Drinks Corporation.

The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery. Photo by

Since no one had thought of setting up an independent distillery for years, Paul thought creating one would be fun.

“I think my heart was always in whisky. Dad was in his 70s and needed someone young to do the running round. People thought we were crazy, since then, people have opened new distilleries everywhere,” Paul said.

About 20 years after the launch of the Arran Distillery, Paul realized there’s still much potential in launching another independent distillery. He could’ve established his dream distillery and made it successful. However, he chose Cumbria primarily because of what it represents; the countryside — lakes and mountains. The fact that it is damp also helped. Furthermore, the taste of the product also mattered; but the surroundings and the setting of the distillery are the deciding point for Paul as he travels over to Europe, America, and the Far East to market his product.

“The location offered us an amazing brand. It is absolutely crucial to us. The actual environment was perfect; it’s great water, particularly for whisky; and you don’t want the weather too hot or too cold, you want it to be damp for evaporation of whisky,” Paul said.

“There are 109 distilleries in Scotland and to be 110 was not so exciting. There are three others in England, but none in the north. Somehow the Lakes has a place in the whisky world. It looks like whisky-making country,” Paul added.

Paul lives near the distillery, while his family home is still in Oxfordshire because he didn’t want to disrupt his children’s schooling. But they came up to Cumbria on holidays.

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With Increasing Demands, There is Scotch Whisky Shortage

scotch whisky

Whisky fans, this concerns you! The world is currently short of single malt Scotch.

According to a report made by the CNN, there is high demand for Scottish nectar in which the distilleries have hard time supplying.

“The shortage of old and rare single malt… has already started, and it’s going to get worse,” said Rickesh Kishnani, the one who launched the first whisky investment fund in the world.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the sales of single malt around the world have increased by 159 percent between year 2004 and 2014. A number of new markets have an increasing demand for the drink — especially Asia, which currently consumes about 20% of all the Scotch exports.

As we all know, single malt whisky talks years to produce. By rule, all Scotch whiskies should be aged for at least 3 years (distilleries, and the best ones are aged longer than 3 years). Because of the increasing demand, distilleries weren’t able to quickly keep up with the production. There are about 20 million casks maturing in the warehouses in Scotland.

scotch whisky

Don’t panic but we might be running out of Scotch. Credits to

According to several experts, this shortage could last for 10 to 14 years, and may cause the prices to increase relatively. The Investment Grade Scotch Whisky Index, which monitors the value of premium whiskies, has increased by about 14 percent last year.

“We are currently working at full capacity – seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic,” said Charles Whitfield, the brand manager for the Scotch whisky firm Macallan, during an interview with CNN Money. Currently, Macallan is building its second distillery that is expected to open next year.

“The ultimate challenge for the industry is how you predict what you will or won’t sell in the time it takes to mature Scotch. The distillers send millions on research into this specific question but it is still such an unknown quantity. You have to balance making enough with the ability to sell it. And single malts were never expected to be as successful as they become,” says Eddie Ludlow, the co-founder of The Whisky Lounge, during an interview with Telegraph.

Scotland is not the only whisky-producing country that is struggling to keep up with the increasing demands; American distillers producing bourbon whisky are facing the same problems as well. In 2013, in an effort to keep up with the demands, the Maker’s Mark brand cut the alcohol content from 45 percent to 42 percent; however, it created a negative effect that they were forced to abandon their plans.

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Pogues Irish Whiskey – Now in US Market

The Pogues Bottle

BOSTON – The US market is now offering the known Irish whiskey from The Pogues. This Irish whiskey kicked off in the 1980’s by one of the only two independently owned and operated distilleries in Ireland – the West Cork Distillers. The Pogues is made with exceptional full body with smooth-finishing blends giving the best sample of brown spirits over the years.

It would be great to note that West Cork is Ireland’s only whiskey producer to still malt its own barley, which enables exceptional precision and control over flavor profile.

With that great brown spirits samples for many years, the band which is famous for Fairytale in New York and other hits had been significantly involved in the making of The Pogues Irish Whisky from. With richness of the band’s great spirit and character as well as its poetic rebelliousness, The Pogues Irish Whiskey is uniquely blend of fifty-percent 10-year single malt Irish whiskey which aged in sherry casks; and the half thereof is 5-7 year Irish grain whiskey aged in bourbon oak casks. Unsurprisingly, we have now the great, sweet tasting and aromatic blend of malts and cracked nuts producing and intense flavor.

The Pogues Bottle

The Pogues Bottle: Irish Whiskey. Photo(c):

Shane MacGowan said “It’s been brilliant working with the team at West Cork Distillers in creating a whiskey that we all think reflects our spirit and energy, and that we all enjoy the taste of. It’s wonderful to add a product bearing our name to the ranks of great Irish whiskeys, and we think it will stand the test of time.” MacGowan was with Pogues band members, Jem Finer, Andrew Ranken, Spider Stacy,James Fearnley, Terry Woods, and Darryl Hunt.

Justin Shaw VP of Brand & Market Strategy at MS Walker on his part said, “The Pogues Irish Whiskey represents the ideal blending of tradition and quality from our friends at West Cork, and the rich Irish heritage and culture of the band. We can’t wait for American aficionados of the band and whiskey, new and old, to enjoy their first taste.”

The Pogues Irish Whiskey is carefully crafted using handmade copper stills in small batches at West Cork’s distillery in Skiberdeen using indigenous ingredients of Ireland like locally grown grain and spring water from River Ilen.

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The Canadian Club Brand Heritage has a Rich History

Canadian Club Brand

The Hiram Walker & Sons head office has witnessed a lot of business deals over the years. You can see an old picture in the corner of what seemed like a gangster with a cigarette in his lips. He’s being surrounded by whisky and money while holding an Uzi proudly.

“You could be sitting in Capone’s chair,” said Tish Harcus while passing a flask-shaped bottle. It is turdy and is made to fit into a jacket or boot. “They used to be called rum runners.”

With this certain bottle, Canadians began coining the term bootlegging.

The Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center is technically situated in Windsor, Ontario, in the former Walkerville town.

Tish harcus, the brand ambassador for the company, has been working in the building for approximately 28 years already. One way to describe the lady is that she’s colorful and a walking whisky-drinking encyclopedia.

According to Tish, along with the temperance movements in the United States, Hiram Walker (an American entrepreneur) had set up a shop in Windsor in 1858 as its distance is just near his home in Detroit; however, it was on the other side of the Detroit River. In this part of Canada, he could legally distill spirits.

Canadian Club Brand

Different flavours of whisky are lined up at tasting event at the Canadian Club Brand Centre. Image from

As the 1800s concluded, Walker had already built an empire. He put up shops, schools, and homes for his 6000 employees, who were paid in Walkerville’s own currency. Their salaries, on the other hand, eventually go back to Walker because of his many business ventures in the town. He was as wealthy as the Rockefellers, having the inventor and businessman Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford (The owner of Ford Motor Company) among his friends.

What was previously the Hiram Walker & Sons head office has been transformed into the Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center. Visitors can take a 90-muute tour for whisky-tasting and absorbing the Walker saga.

The beautiful chimes of the grandfather clock emanate from downstairs. Their art gallery showcases 8 Group of Seven paintings. Each room is made of dark woods and old-world furnishings, cooperage tools, photographs, hoary ledger books, and old Canadian Club bottles. Up to this day, bottles are still dredge up the Detroit River.

The basement houses the real gems, however. The archive room is filled with history. There’s an unopened case of over a century old whisky with the original playing cards scattered about. You can also see a secret tunnel that ran between the borders of the US and Canada as well. Whether the tunnel was used to run barrels during prohibition, we don’t know; but that’s a fair assumption to make.

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The Whiskey Business: Nostalgia, Drinks, and Food

whisky business

Having a name like Whiskey Business, a drink called Milli Vanilli, condiments placed in metal Ninja Turtles lunch boxes, and the song “Wannabe” in the sound system; it’s really obvious what the newest bar at Wicker Park is going for — a nice 90’s throwback! This makes us want to post throwback photos of family vacations in oversized T-shirts and click on stories like “10 Things You Never Knew About ‘FRIENDS’”.

The well of profit from nostalgic young individuals runs deep and it’s quite easy for them to drink too much. Fortunately, Whiskey Business treads slightly in this niche that nostalgia has become a conversation piece for their customers. Remove the lunch boxes and rename the drinks and you’d still have the same appeal: a spacious bar with a great selection of whiskies and a come-as-you-are feel. Pajamas? Cool. Silky dress? Cool.

whisky business

Whiskey Business brings 115 whiskeys, 14 flavors of fries to Wicker Park. Photo by

What you should look forward to

Have your drinks made with any of their 115 whiskeys, from standards like Old Overholt and Bulleit to popular selections like Lock, Stock, and Barrel 13-year. They also have single malt scotches available all the way up to 25-year Laphroaig, Irish whiskeys, bourbons, ryes, and Japanese whiskeys as well. You can also have wine, beer, and other lighter spirits as you wish. A must-try is the Ginnie Cooper (a play of “”The Wonder Years” character Winnie Cooper) that is made with a gin called the Death’s Door, Carpano Bianca vermouth, lime, and cherry. It is tart but balanced. Or, opt for a Fireball shot.

Their food menu is aggressively bar, without the salads: Andouille sausage corn dogs; jumbo boneless wings in 5 flavors; a burger that is stuffed with mac and cheese; or the option of getting a bacon in a cup. On weekends, on the other hand, there’s bloody Mary skewered with the newly opened Cheesie’s grilled cheese.

Who is Behind the Establishment?

Chris Johnston, from Chicago, is behind both spots, as well as the Cheesie’s that is located in Lakeview, an infamous place for the drunk and the hungry. The vibe in this place is far less college, though you can imagine cranking up the volume on Spice Girls or Backstreet Boys and things getting rowdy.

You can practically see TVs everywhere in this place — above the bar, lining the walls, and on the rooftop, which opens when the weather turns. Typically, the air sports shows, and not politics.

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Before President Putin started a new Cold War, the transition from local to international market was doing and progressing well.

Earlier this year in his State of the Union Address, US President Barrack Obama said: “Russia is isolated and its economy is in tatters.”

Well, President Obama was somehow right considering the trouble in free-fall, down by half against the dollar in 6-months with a slump in the oil prices worldwide.

Diageo’s MD for the region Svetlana Naumova said in Russia, they are operating in a challenging environment of macroeconomic decline, currency volatility and consumers are trading down. He added that while the performance continues to be affected by the external factors, it is still a good and attractive market for Diageo.


Diageo Whiskies. Image credits to

A week after President Obama made his address, a report from BBC said that seventeen percent drop in the company’s Scotch whisky sales in Russia in the second half of 2014. The report further said that Johnnie Walker Red Label is still leading the scotch category while White Horse gained share.

Despite Obama rhetorically boast about the impact of western sanctions, Putin had just shrugged off about it.

“A big, black media war between the two countries,” these are the words of Cyril Claquin, Pernod Ricard’s CMO for Eastern Europe and Russia. Furthermore he said: “Of course the overall economy has slowed down if you consider the GDP figures, but we’re not in disaster mode. It was expected the Russian economy would collapse and consumers would panic and lose confidence about everything.”

Claquin added, “The premium whisky market is growing steadily by 8% in the off-trade in the year to date.”

He also credited two main factors of the said growth, as quoted he said: “The first is that consumer confidence has not eroded as dramatically as we expected, and secondly the market is very much fed by very aggressive promotions from almost all players.”

On the other hand, his opposite number at Campari, Cesare Vandini stated that the last 18 months have been less brilliant that usual in Russia stating further those consumers have become more sensitive to promotions.

However, Vandjni agrees with Claquin to the idea that brand owners are being “very aggressive” on price.

On the other hand, The Moscow Times had recently reported that Sinergia, Russia’s biggest vodka producer has retaliated with its own brands which are Captain Gin and Captain Rum. However, Diageo isn’t getting worried with it. Svetlana Naumova says that “among imported spirits, rum is the fastest growing category and Captain Morgan is gaining momentum”.

Meanwhile, last year Diageo just also launched a premium spirits drink with Irish whiskey called Rowson’s Reserve which is priced at RUB 500 (£5.60). This was made after being encouraged by the success of Shark Tooth.

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Get Ready for the Limited Edition Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

Yamakazi sherry cask 2016

Suntory, the producer of the Best Whisky in the World in 2015, is set to introduce the single malt Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 in February after the success of their 2013 edition.

What you should know?

  • The Sherry casks where the 2016 edition has been matured are sourced by Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s master blender himself, from Spain.
  • The Sherry Cask 2016 is in great company as it will be joining the Yamazaki’s casks collection that includes bottles that were aged in oak, Bourbon, and Mizunara barrels.
  • Its base will be made up of similar kinds of whiskies that were used during the award-winning 2013 release. It will be bottled at 48% ABV. This no-age statement expression 2016 blend was actually matured for 2 more years. The blend also has a variety of rare sherry cask single malt whiskies that were carefully chosen from over 100 malt whiskies — some of them are more than 25 years old.
  • According to their master blender, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is blended for those who love refined and subtle tastes.
  • There will be a new bottle to hunt down in 2016 for Connoisseurs of Japanese whisky. It will be priced at Rs 20,000 and only 5,000 bottles will be sold in specialist whisky stores and bars starting on the 1st of February 2016.
Yamakazi sherry cask 2016

Yamakazi sherry cask 2016. From

The European Release

It was recently announced that Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be released in Europe. But since about 1,500 bottles out of the 5,000 are to be released in the Japanese market, it can be concluded that the rest will be shared between Asian, American, and European market. And while it is released in Japan in February 1st, it may take about a few weeks to months before it will be available in other parts of the world.

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How to Start a New Malt Whisky Business?

malt whisky

Jim Swan, a whisky consultant once said that if you are selling every little thing you make, you are making your own money. He advises all the distilleries about Scotland’s prized single malt whiskies. Single malts are whiskies coming from one distillery with the use of malted berry alone. This is most commonly offered at higher price than whiskies that are blended.

The industry is soaring high these days. According to Scotch whisky Association, there has been a 5% increase in the first half of 2015 amounting to £406m. While many business-minded people are considering a malt whisky business a good investment, it is a fact that not all can push this through.

Establishing this kind of business will need one to shell out millions of pounds first. A period of 10 years should be waited for the whisky to be ready for sale. With at least £5m, one can start making whisky and then spend more to continue making until the year comes when the whisky is ready to be sold.

malt whisky

What does it take to create a new malt whisky business? Photo(c):

To be able to continue running a small puree, one should have at least £250,000 each year. The hardest part here is that eight to ten years may be needed in order to break even. But, still there are a lot of distilleries in Scotland, which is the largest single malt producer in the world. Apparently, there are 117 in total, and 30 of them are small and independent.

According to Douglas Clement, the founder of Kingsbarn Distillery, there will be huge challenges you are going to face when it comes to your initial investment and the waiting time for your product to be out the market. He also added that the only setback when it comes to whisky is that you will have to wait 10 years to see your profits.

Stuart Nickerson has also worked in the whisky industry for a period of three decades. He was with his wife and the couple Frank and Debbie Strang in establishing the Shetland Distillery. They use their own money and grant coming from Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency. In November 2014, they started selling.

Another man who has entered the whisky industry is Anthony Wills who founded Kilchoman Distillery. For him, it is all about weighing your options before starting the business.

These three men believe in the promise of whisky business. It comes with a lot of challenges though but for them, it will all be worth it.

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