Whisky cel­e­brates ‘Scot­tish Sa­mu­rai’

The Oban Times - - BUSINESS NEWS -

He was the Scots­man who helped mod­ernise Ja­pan and whose story in­spired a pioneer­ing fu­sion of Scotch and Ja­panese whisky.

Now, just af­ter the an­niver­sary of the death of ‘Scot­tish Sa­mu­rai’ Thomas Blake Glover, spir­its busi­ness Fu­sion Whisky has an­nounced it will be re­leas­ing an­other batch of its Glover whisky af­ter over­com­ing a short­age of high qual­ity Ja­panese whisky.

First launched more than three years ago, The Glover was an overnight suc­cess, with bot­tles of the rare £1,000, 22-year-old blend sell­ing out in 24 hours to ex­cited whisky fans and col­lec­tors.

Ac­claimed for its flavour and in­no­va­tion, The Glover was a ground-break­ing dram that fused ma­ture Scotch with ul­tra-rare whisky from the Hanyu dis­tillery in Ja­pan.

Fu­sion Whisky and its dis­tillery part­ner Adel­phi have re­vealed a tem­po­rary short­age of top qual­ity Ja­panese whisky had pre­vented the part­ner­ship from fol­low­ing up quickly on their sell-out 18-year-old vari­ant, re­leased al­most two years ago.

David Moore, di­rec­tor of Fu­sion Whisky, said: ‘I am ex­cited by the prospect of a new re­lease of The Glover, the iconic whisky that cel­e­brates the life and legacy of Thomas Blake Glover, a true Scot­tish leg­end who had a pro­found im­pact upon Ja­pan.’

Glover was in­stru­men­tal in the mod­erni­sa­tion of Ja­pan in the sec­ond half of the 19th cen­tury. He co-founded Mit­subishi and the brew­ery that be­came the Kirin Group and played a key part in the restora­tion of Em­peror Meijo in 1868. He died, aged 73, on De­cem­ber 16 1911 in Tokyo and was the first non-Ja­panese per­son to be awarded the Or­der of the Ris­ing Sun. His home in Na­gasaki is now a ma­jor tourism at­trac­tion that draws in al­most two mil­lion vis­i­tors a year.

Mr Moore added: ‘We’re not shy in say­ing we al­ways wanted to make more of The Glover, though the odds of sourc­ing an­other Ja­panese whisky of that qual­ity and rar­ity were stacked again us.

‘We hope whisky lovers will be ea­ger to see the re­turn of The Glover, which we ex­pect to be avail­able next sum­mer.’

While The Glover is a blend of Scotch and Ja­panese whisky, the Ed­in­burgh-based firm has pro­duced other fu­sions of Scotch and world whisky, each one cel­e­brat­ing a great his­tor­i­cal fig­ure.

Late last year Fu­sion Whisky and Adel­phi re­leased 400 bot­tles of their Win­ter Queen whisky, a 19-year-old blend of Scotch and Dutch whisky in hon­our of the Scot­tish princess El­iz­a­beth Stu­art. It fol­lowed the re­lease ear­lier this year of The Bris­bane, the first whisky in the world to de­ploy blockchain tech­nol­ogy for endto-end trust and trace­abil­ity, and its In­dian fu­sion, The E&K.

Alex Bruce, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and mas­ter blender of Adel­phi, ex­plained: ‘We took the fu­sion con­cept and part­nered with great dis­til­leries in In­dia, Aus­tralia and the Nether­lands.

‘As well as The Glover, we also pro­duced The E&K, The Bris­bane and The Win­ter Queen, each one cel­e­brat­ing a Scot­tish hero and each one ac­claimed for its stun­ning flavours and in­no­va­tion.’

While cred­ited with driv­ing the fu­sion con­cept, Fu­sion Whisky and Adel­phi also pi­o­neered the use of blockchain in whisky, a hi-tech in­no­va­tion that is in­creas­ingly used in food se­cu­rity and qual­ity con­trol.

Mr Bruce added: ‘As well as be­ing able to tell the story of each char­ac­ter ef­fec­tively and show the in­cred­i­bly com­plex process that goes into each fu­sion, our use of blockchain al­lows us to demon­strate the prove­nance of each whisky, giv­ing buy­ers the all-im­por­tant con­fi­dence in the unique­ness of their whisky and a bul­wark against coun­ter­feit.

‘We’re par­tic­u­larly proud the Aus­tralian fu­sion, The Bris­bane, which was made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ac­claimed Star­ward Dis­tillery, was the first whisky in the world to em­ploy blockchain, fol­low­ing on from the in­no­va­tive use first seen in Adel­phi’s own re­leases of its AD spirit.’

Pho­to­graph: Tina Nor­ris.

David Moore and Alex Bruce.

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