Whisky Show creates ‘first’ UV-sensitive Scotch labels

by Melita Kiely

The Whisky Exchange has unveiled this year’s Whisky Show bottlings, which come with UV light-sensitive labels – thought to be a first for the category.

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show will take place this weekend (28-29 September) and will celebrate its 11th year. For 2019, the show has created a series of four bottlings, called The Magic of the Cask. The range aims to showcase the “mystery of a cask’s influence” by keeping details about each whisky hidden to the naked eye. Each label has been printed with ink sensitive to UV light. With every purchase, buyers will receive a torch to shine on the bottle to reveal hidden text and details about the whisky inside. Raj Chavda, creative director for The Whisky Exchange, said: “I am fascinated by the magic of the ageing process – you fill a cask with clear spirit and through unseen alchemy it’s transformed into something amazing. “I wanted to reflect this magic trick through these labels, using special printing to give you a thrilling glimpse into the process hidden inside.” The range includes Caol Ila 9 Year Old, bottled at 58.7% ABV and priced at £84.95 (US$106). It has been aged in a “very old” Sherry cask and is said to have aromas of concentrated apple, lemon, lime and liquorice-laden peat smoke. The palate is said to offer flavours of “big smoke at the back”, with sweet citrus, orchard fruit and chocolate, leading to sweet fruit and smoke on the finish. A 22-year-old Ben Nevis is also included in the series, which has been bottled at 51.6% ABV and priced at RRP £165 (US$205). Ben Nevis 22 Year Old is described as having notes of oloroso-Sherry-soaked fruit cake on the nose, leading to dark chocolate and leather on the plate, with dried cherries and apple on the finish. The Imperial 23 Year Old has an ABV of 45.2% and an RRP of £165 (US$205). It has been aged in an inactive cask from the demolished distillery to give aromas of sugared almonds and malted milk biscuits. On the palate, tasting notes include sweet cream, cinnamon, butter mints and lemon zest, leading to a lemon and mint fizz finish. Completing the series is Blended Whisky 45 Year Old, which has an ABV of 45.1% and an RRP of £450 (US$560). The nose is said to offer hints of brown sugar and light fruitcake, with flavours of old oak, baked apples, sultanas and soft spice on the palate. The finish is described as a “parade of fruit”, with notes of apples, sultanas and raisins.