The Luxurious Magazine Whisky Industry News Round-up for July 2023

The Luxurious Magazine Whisky Industry News Round-up for July 2023

Simon Wittenberg takes a look at some of the latest releases making the headlines in the world of whisky.

Ardbeg BizarreBQ
The Ardbeg distillery on the south coast of the isle of Islay has unveiled a new limited edition single malt named BizarreBQ (50.9% ABV). As the name suggests, it is a barbeque-inspired expression, which has been created in collaboration with Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ) using double-charred oak casks.

A bottle of BizarreBQ incorporated into a sketched picture

The result is a combination of sweet, tangy and savoury notes to capture the flavours of a smoky barbeque. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to try it, and we enjoyed the subtle marriage of flavours which were not overpowered by the smoky nature of this expression.

Ardbeg BizarreBQ is available to purchase online for £75 per bottle at

Beam Suntory has entered a new era in blended Scotch whisky, by revealing ARDRAY – an exquisite, beautifully complex, yet approachable malt-rich blended whisky. This expression offers a complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavours: a mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess, and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste.

A bottle of Ardray on a window sill next to its box

Presented in a bespoke bottle, each marked with the year of release, the striking artwork of artist Lia Melia graces each one, capturing Scotland’s raw beauty and terroir. The unique feel of the glass bottle takes after the free-flowing water of Scotland’s streams and rivers, and the patterns made by the wind blowing across barley fields.

ARDRAY is now available at The Whisky Shop, Master of Malt, and The Whisky Exchange, with an RRP of £60.

For more information, visit

Benriach The Forty and The Forty Octave Cask Matured

A bottle of Benriach, The Forty, Next to its box

Speyside distillery Benriach has announced the expansion of its luxury portfolio with two forty-year-old whiskies – Benriach, The Forty (above), and The Forty Octave Cask Matured (below). Benriach Master Blender Rachel Barrie carefully combined rare peated casks to create The Forty, one of the oldest peated malts ever to be released by Benriach.

A bottle of The Forty Octave Cask next to its box

It will be available as an ongoing release in specialist retailers in select markets globally.
On sale as a global travel retail exclusive, and with just 134 bottles available, The Forty Octave Cask Matured is the result of Benriach’s commitment to cask innovation.

Crafted from the staves of refill and first fill American oak bourbon casks, the octave casks, which are an eighth of the size of a regular cask, create a sublime interplay of indulgent orchard and dark fruits, with a flawless silken oak finish.

For more information, visit

Glenglassaugh’s reimaged portfolio
Glenglassaugh has introduced a trio of new whiskies – a new portfolio and design direction, counting the 12 Years Old (£50), Sandend (£55), and Portsoy (£60). The flagship 12 Year Old single malt embodies Glenglassaugh’s signature coastal style.

The Glenglassaugh trio of new whiskies on a rock on the sea shore

The two other new whiskies express the coastal elements of Glenglassaugh. Sandend, inspired by the crescent beach of Sandend Bay, is matured in bourbon, sherry and manzanilla casks, bringing luscious waves of tropical sweetness with a touch of sea salt.

Portsoy, which takes its name from the neighbouring harbour village, reflects the bold and deeply maritime flavour of this richly peated single malt, matured in sherry, bourbon and port casks.

For more information, visit

Yamazaki Limited Edition 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old
Japan’s House of Suntory has unveiled the Limited Edition Yamazaki 12 and 18 Year Old whiskies to mark the centenary of the Yamazaki distillery.

The Yamazaki 12 Year Old expression, which is presented in limited edition celebratory packaging for the 100th anniversary, delivers aromas of peach, pineapple, grapefruit, clove, candied orange, vanilla and Mizunara (Japanese oak) on the nose. On the palate, it has notes of coconut, cranberry and butter, with a pleasantly long finish and sweet ginger cinnamon undertones. The expression is bottled at 43% ABV, and has a suggested RRP of £200.

A bottle of the 18 year old, next to a full glass and its box

The 2023 limited release of Yamazaki 18 Year Old Mizunara seeks to highlight the unique essence of Yamazaki by combining Suntory’s flagship single malt with the irreplicable element of time and the sought-after characteristics of Japanese Mizunara oak, in which the unique malt is aged exclusively. The expression is bottled at 48% ABV, and has a suggested retail price of £1,600.

The new commemorative bottles are available in select global markets within the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.

These two special Yamazaki bottles are unveiled alongside two limited-edition Hakushu releases, announced separately. Since its founding, the House of Suntory has been crafting world-class spirits, and is known for its Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, Kakubin, Hibiki, Suntory Whisky Toki and Ao, as well as Roku Gin and Haku Vodka.

For more information, visit

Read more of Simon’s whisky industry news round-ups in our Wines and Spirits section.

A man wearing glasses sat in a chair with a glass in his handThe Luxurious Magazine Whisky Industry News Round-up for July 2023 2

Simon Wittenberg

Senior Editorial Contributor

Born in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and now based in London, Simon Wittenberg is the senior editorial contributor to Luxurious Magazine® reporting directly to Paul Godbold. A specialist in the automotive sector, he has now expanded his repertoire to encompass all aspects relating to luxury and lifestyle. Simon has worked with some of the world’s most iconic marques such as Lotus Cars, Ferrari and Tesla Motors. His passions include luxury goods, motorsport, fine dining and travel.

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