Whisky Show reveals 2021 limited edition bottles

by Melita Kiely

The Whisky Exchange has unveiled the four single cask bottlings for the Whisky Show 2021.

The theme of this year’s show, which will take place from 1-3 October at Old Billingsgate in London, is ‘A Journey Through Flavour’. Each label design depicts a three-dimensional story with a superhero character to symbolise the flavour compounds in whisky production. Raj Chavda, Elixir Distillers creative director, designed the labels. He said: “When considering the show theme, I started to think about what makes up flavours and imagined these compounds as the heroes of whisky. “Once we had the selection of whiskies we tasted them to pair each one with the artwork I’d created. “For example, Ardbeg ‘The Phenolic Phantom’ was easy because it was so distinctive with those smoky phenols – the chemical compounds within the peat smoke that are responsible for the distinctive smoky aromas and flavours.” Chavda used anaglyphs to convey depth of flavour. The anaglyph technique uses layered images of contrasting colours, usually red and cyan, which make the image look three-dimensional when viewed through 3D glasses. The designer believed this tied in with flavour compounds, which can conjure memories of food, time or places.
The ‘A Journey Through Flavour’ collection
The first expression in the 2021 collection is Captain Congener, which sits at 57.6% ABV and will retail for £135 (US$183) per 700ml bottle. The 20-year-old Speyside Scotch whisky has aromas of raisins, cherries and runny caramel, leading to buttered sponge cake, candied orange, a touch of blackcurrant and some barrel char on the palate. The finish brings blackcurrant, spiced fruit loaf, damp oak and ‘lingering leafiness’. Ester Elektron is a 19-year-old whisky from Bunnahabhain, priced at £150 (US$203) per 700ml bottle. At 54.3% ABV, the whisky has rich fruit, damp leaves and toffee apples on the nose, a ‘very rich’ palate with a touch of bracken-covered earth, dark chocolate, heavily spiced fruit cake, and a sweet and creamy profile on the palate. The finish is akin to spiced apple purée, toasted rye bread and custard on bread-and-butter pudding. The oldest whisky in the collection is 41-year-old Aurora Aldehyde, drawn from casks filled in 1980 and bottled at 46.2% ABV. The blended Scotch is priced at £240 (US$324) per 700ml. The whisky has notes of fruit cake, caramel, ginger cake and damp earth on the nose, and baked apples, woody spice, candied pear, dark chocolate and black cherries on the palate. The finish brings damp oak, char, dark chocolate and singed orange. Completing the collection is The Phenolic Phantom, a 20-year-old from Ardbeg that will cost £450 (US$608) per 750ml. The peaty malt is ‘full of tarry phenols and unmistakable Islay character’. At 51.4% ABV, the whisky has sea spray and oily smoke on the nose, leading to a sweet and smoky palate full of apple-and-cinnamon syrup over croissants, baked apples and pears, and seaside smokiness. Singed oak and barbecued fruit linger on the finish. The Whisky Show is run by The Whisky Exchange, which was acquired by Pernod Ricard last week for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes Whisky.Auction and London Cocktail Week.