The Whisky Exchange has unveiled five limited edition bottles to mark the annual Whisky Show taking place in London this weekend (30 September – 2 October).
The bottles are exclusive to The Whisky Exchange, and the series includes four whiskies featuring heat-sensitive designs that have been inspired by this year’s show theme, ‘From Grain to Green’.
The Whisky Show will be taking place from 30 September – 2 October at Old Billingsgate, London.
Tasked with creating the artwork for the exclusive bottlings, Elixir Distillers creative director Raj ‘Mr C’ Chavda drew inspiration from collective efforts around the world to raise awareness of the changing temperature of the planet.
“I knew we could do it visually with a simple design, but I wanted to demonstrate the idea of climate change in a more immediate way. That was where the idea of using heat sensitive ink came from.”
Chavda and his team experimented with a range of inks and techniques to get the effect that he was after. He eventually landed on the final ink due to how visually striking it is and that it has the added benefit of being water-based, as opposed to solvent-based.
“If you buy one of these whiskies in October, the overall cooler temperatures will make the labels look quite black. You’ll have to hold your hand on them to reveal the colours and see all of the design. But in the summer, particularly on a really warm day, you’ll be able to see it quite clearly. Each label essentially works like a thermometer.”
The highly sought after releases, which are a celebration of sustainability in the whisky industry, include a Caol Ila 2013 9 Year Old; Clynelish 2011 11 Year Old; Imperial 1996 26 Year Old; and Imperial 1996 26 Year Old.
The fifth whisky is a Linkwood 16 Year Old, bottled to celebrate the 14th year of the sell-out show. This vatting of two hogsheads filled in 2006 is said to be a ‘great example of spirit and cask working perfectly together’.
The ‘intense young’ Caol Ila has been aged for nine years in a single hogshead. On the palate it offers dry pipe tobacco and hoppy brown ale. With the addition of water, a more herbal side is said to come forward, with mustard greens, menthol and bitter amaro-style notes coming through.
Pineapples are picked up on the nose of the Clynelish release, along with orange and grapefruit peels with a little lemon curd and vanilla. The finish is long, with oils and waxes remaining on the palate.
Ledaig is a peated single malt produced at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, which has become highly-sought after in recent years. This whisky has spent 15 years in a single Sherry butt and is layered with a combination of fruitiness and umami.
The Imperial 1996 expression offers creamy cheesecake, mango, apricot, blueberries and vanilla notes on the palate, with water illuminating a greener side with sesame leaf and bamboo shoots. Peaches and chalky minerality are detected on the finish.
Ticket holders for The Whisky Show 2022 will receive exclusive first access to the whiskies, which will be available via the on-site Whisky Show shop and whiskyexchange.com after the show.