SB’s most-read stories in September
From new whisky news to some courtroom drama, we’ve looked back at what got The Spirits Business’ online readers clicking in September.
It turned out to be a great month for whisky releases, with five stories about new expressions making our most-read list – but there was also plenty for the non-whisky drinkers.
Keep scrolling to discover what caught the interest of our readers in September.
10. Macallan buys Sherry cask supplier Vasyma
The Macallan acquired Vasyma, which has supplied Sherry-seasoned casks to the whisky brand and its parent company Edrington for more than 30 years. The Macallan’s managing director described the move as ‘a logical step’.
The whisky brand also entered into a joint venture with US-based Coopers Oak. Coopers Oak is Vasyma’s main supplier of American oak staves for cask manufacturing.
9. Ten of the world’s most expensive spirits
It seems our readers were looking to splurge last month as this list of spirits with eye-watering price tags captured their attention. With prices hitting US$1.5 million, we’d love to know if any of you splashed the cash after reading.
And, if you’re looking to invest specifically in whisky, here are the top 10 whiskies according to prices at auction.
8. The House of Suntory’s latest Hibiki
Japanese brand The House of Suntory celebrated its 100th anniversary with a limited edition 21-year-old Hibiki, and it seems SB readers were loving the new bottle design.
The new expression is a marriage of malt and grain whiskies, with rare mizunara oak placed at the forefront, which is said to have ‘profoundly influenced the blend’.
7. Diageo’s 2023 Special Releases
It seems our readers love limited edition whiskies, and Diageo’s Spirited Xchange collection is no exception.
Eight single malts from different brands were selected for the range, with each bottle ‘intricately’ designed with illustrations by artists from across the world.
The range hit specialist retail shelves yesterday (1 October).
6. Top 10 spirits launches in August
Many of you were on the hunt for something new in September, with this rundown of August’s top spirits launches making the most-read list.
From a super-rare single malt and a rich and velvety coffee liqueur, to an alcohol-free spiced rum, there was something to please every palate as the summer drew to a close.
5. Lagavulin launches Islay Jazz 2023 whisky
Whisky and jazz make a great combination, so early in September, Diageo’s Scotch brand Lagavulin released a 15-year-old single malt whisky to mark the Islay Jazz Festival, which took place later in the month.
Although many of you read the story, only a lucky few will have bagged a bottle – it was exclusive to the Lagavulin Distillery on Islay, with only 3,000 bottles available.
4. Johnnie Walker teams up with chef Kei Kobayashi
Our readers went wild for an umami-forward release from Johnnie Walker last month.
The Diageo-owned Scotch brand collaborated with Japanese chef Kei Kobayashi, of Paris’ three-Michelin-starred restaurant Kei, to create Blue Label Elusive Umami.
The brand’s master blender recommends sipping it neat with caviar – delightful.
3. Diddy wins first round in Diageo lawsuit
We were all captivated by the Diddy-Diageo drama in September. Early in the month, The Supreme Court of New York denied Diageo’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit that rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs brought forward over alleged racial discrimination.
The ruling meant that Combs could engage in ‘broad discovery’ aimed at uncovering evidence that Diageo didn’t fairly support his liquor brands.
The story is likely to continue for several months – we revealed today that the spirits brand is countersuing.
2. Johnnie Walker unveils GTR exclusive
It was a big month for Johnnie Walker, with another release from the Scotch brand hitting our top 10 stories.
Blue Label Xordinaire is the brand’s ‘biggest’ travel retail-exclusive whisky to date and made its debut at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The blend is created using only one in 10,000 casks from Johnnie Walker’s reserves of aged Scotch. It is described as having an inherent smoothness and sweetness, and is finished in XO Cognac casks.
1. The 10 best budget whiskies
Our readers liked the world’s most expensive spirits, but they loved our round-up of the best new whiskies under £50.
The wallet-friendly options included the first 100% Irish rye whiskey and Sir Rod Stewart’s ‘rascal’ of a whisky, which has also graced the front cover of our October issue, out now.