Our daily habits mirror the world we live in. And yes, even the simple act of choosing what whisky to drink in the evening in the company of a friend can tell a lot.
Have you decided to have one of those cocktails with an intriguing exotic flavour? You are not the only one fascinated by the new whiskies from Japan.
Did you prefer a single malt from an environmentally friendly distillery? Congratulations, you are part of the sustainability-conscious percentages of drinkers who are pushing more and more distilleries to pay attention to their spirit production processes.
Don’t worry. We are not saying you are just another trend follower. There are just whisky drinking patterns that drive the market every year. For one reason or another. In the two cases mentioned above, it might be because you are very sensitive about environmental issues, or because the allure of the East is back in style. Anyway, we are not here to discuss the ethical or philosophical value of people’s choices behind trends.
We are here to talk about what themes and trends the whisky industry is putting the spotlight on during 2022. It is up to you to choose whether you want to try and go with the flow or not.
Let’s talk about trends
Green is the new black. The public has become increasingly sensitive to sustainability issues. Consequently, the whisky world is also adjusting the needs of the industry to those of the planet.
The Big Names of Whisky
The Scotch Whisky Association has set itself an ambitious plan: to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. And more and more brands are following this line, looking for new ways to produce in the most environmentally sustainable way.
Diageo, in its action plan, has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Johnnie Walker will cut the amount of water used to make its whiskies by 20% and it has also announced to be working on a paper-based spirit bottle.
But it is not only the big names that are trying to make a positive impact. Even small distilleries are experimenting to find solutions that are sustainable not only for their business but also for the local environment.
Small and virtuous distilleries
One of the most virtuous examples of green production, which we have already mentioned, is the Nc’nean distillery, a project by Annabel Thomas. The Nc’nean distillery is powered by renewable energy and recycles 99.97% of its waste materials. The tangible proof that the Scotch Whisky Association’s goal for a net-zero emission industry is possible.
Arbikie Distillery in Scotland is another example of how a ‘field to bottle’ approach can be applied when producing whisky. The Stirlings, the family behind the distillery, produce their spirits from ingredients grown on their own land. Thus, barley is grown organically on the distillery’s field, and waste material from the crops is fed to local cattle. The cattle produce a lot of natural fertilizer (yes, you get the picture), which helps to grow the crops. In short, this is what we call a circular economy!
Ardnamurchan Distillery has not been described as Scotland’s ‘greenest’ distillery for nothing. The distillery’s approach to whisky production is inspired by the lush landscape that surrounds it. In order to preserve this natural beauty, Ardnamurchan is powered by a biomass boiler fuelled by timber from the nearby forest, and hydroelectricity gathered from the nearby river.
As you can see, there are plenty of positive examples that bode well for a not too distant future of zero impact whisky industry.
Whisky Clubs and all about it
Maybe it’s the pandemic that has made us all eager to gather and mingle. Or the fact that in recent years all the new experiments with whisky and its flavour combinations have made us rediscover a love for knowledge and learning new things. Maybe it’s that ever more exciting new stories about whisky are emerging. Whatever the reason, whisky clubs are back in fashion again. Forget everything you know about semi-dark rooms full of posh, cigar-smoking, fancy-dress men.
Whisky clubs are now modern. Very modern. So much that they are also virtual.
Of course, there are certainly local whisky clubs where you can interact with other people ‘in real life’. But in both cases, these are actual memberships that give you the chance to taste new whiskies periodically, as well as of course network with other whisky enthusiasts. You know, it’s always good to have an extra whisky lover friend to drag along with you at the next whisky festival.
But what are the most popular virtual whisky clubs of the moment?
Pour and Sip is for you if you like the excitement of live streaming. It also includes a welcome pack: two glasses of Glencairn. And we always welcome a free drink!
Another great virtual whisky club is Drams to Door. This platform provides a monthly box of whiskies chosen by experts to suit your taste. Perfect for discovering whisky and expanding your knowledge. Each collection is accompanied by tasting notes and videos from the team. And yes, every now and then you get an exclusive dram from rare bottlings.
From Japan with Love
Japanese whiskies have been very popular in recent years. This may be due to curiosity about a new and excellent product distilled in territories far away from those of the traditional industry, thus bringing with it new flavours and aromas.
But in the last year, in addition to whisky, it is also Japanese-style cocktails that have won the hearts of whisky fans. Thus, the Highball cocktail, beloved in Japan, has now reached bars from London to Glasgow, becoming one of the most requested cocktails in the UK. While, across the Atlantic, one of the favourite additions to whisky is no longer soda, but yuzu, a Japanese fizzy drink.
And so we no longer import only whisky from Japan but also drink habits.
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