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SB’s most-read stories in May

News of new distilleries, acquisitions and rebrands hit our headlines in May, but plenty of product launches made our top 10 most-read stories too.

A new Scotch distillery was one of the hottest stories last month

Three Irish whiskey launches made the top 10, while a deep dive into Indian single malts also grabbed our readers’ attention. The loss of a beloved bartender also rocked the industry.

Keep scrolling to discover what got our audience clicking in May.

Ian Macleod reveals Islay distillery details

Laggan Bay Islay distillery render, built by Ian Macleod

We received further details on the 12th distillery to be built on the Scottish island of Islay last month, with Ian Macleod Distillers and The Islay Boys behind the venture.

Originally announced in 2022, the Laggan Bay Distillery is expected to open in 2025.

Is rum finally turning premium?

premium rum

It’s been a question on many people’s lips for a while, so it’s no surprise that our feature on the potential for premium rum made the top 10 most-read list this month.

Higher-priced rums have been driving growth in the category, similar to how gin and Tequila have grown at the higher end in recent years. But will interest continue despite the increased cost of living?

Lyaness’ Lexie Constantinescu dies

Lexie Constantinescu and Shreya Basu
Lexie Constantinescu (left) and Shreya Basu

Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Constantinescu, a bartender from Lyaness bar in London and a finalist in Havana Club’s Cocktail Maestros competition, passed away on 20 April. Tributes from Lyaness, Havana Club, her competition partner Shreya Basu and hundreds in the industry flowed in following the tragic news – she will be deeply missed.

Redbreast Missouri Oak Edition launches in US

Redbreast Missouri Oak Edition

The first in a trio of Irish whiskey launches in the list, Redbreast’s newest US exclusive was finished in virgin Missouri oak barrels for 10 months after an initial ageing in Sherry and Bourbon barrels. It’s available across the US for an RRP of US$199.

Bushmills debuts 15YO whiskey


Next up in Irish whiskey news is a Bushmills release exclusive to the UK. The new expression was matured in first- and second-fill Bourbon barrels for 14 years, with a year-long finish in rare Cognac casks.

Redbreast concludes Dream Cask range

Redbreast Dream Cask Zenith Edition May

Another release from Redbreast made headlines in May: the final – and oldest – release in its Dream Cask Collection. Zenith Edition was launched to mark World Whisky Day (18 May) and was distilled in 1985, spending 27 years in American oak ex-Bourbon casks before moving to a first-fill oloroso Sherry cask in 2013 for another 11 years.

Distilleries reveal Fèis Ìle bottlings

Lagavulin Fèis Ìle May 2024

Fèis Ìle, one of the world’s favourite whisky festivals, took place last month, with many of Islay’s distilleries creating limited edition bottlings for the event. This roundup featured offerings from Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich and more – did you manage to bag any?

Jay-Z invests in Finnish Long Drink

Finnish Long Drink investors

Big-name rappers and big-name canned drinks – it’s a match made in heaven. At least that’s what Jay-Z will be hoping, following his investment in pre-mixed brand The Finnish Long Drink through Marcy Venture Partners. In Finland, ‘long drink’ (in Finnish lonkero) refers to a mixed drink made from gin and, most commonly, grapefruit soda.

Can single malts from India compete with Scotch?


Last month we dared to challenge our readers about their perceptions of Indian single malts – and it clearly made for interesting reading, with the story becoming our second-most-read article of the month.

Radico Khaitan’s Sanjeev Banga believes the category and his brand, Rampur, are currently at just “the tip of the iceberg”, but have “unlimited” potential.

Beam Suntory unveils new name

Beam Suntory whisky range, renamed in May

Our top-read story last month was a little controversial and certainly got tongues wagging. Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory renamed itself to Suntory Global Spirits.

Japanese drinks group Suntory acquired Beam Inc in May 2014, and created Beam Suntory. It has now dropped ‘Beam’ completely in a move that it claims reflects ‘10 years of sustained, profitable growth’ and positions its global business ‘for the next era of growth and leadership’.

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