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Hunter Laing releases The Kinship range

Hunter Laing unveiled a new range of six rare Islay whiskies, The Kinship, during the Feis Ile whisky festival.

The six single cask Islay whiskies in the Kinship collection have a combined age of 181 years and were picked by whisky distiller Jim McEwan. McEwan was appointed production director of Hunter Laing’s Ardnahoe Distillery, which will become the ninth whisky distillery on Islay when it opens early next year. 

The Kinship range was bottled for the Festival as a tribute to Ardnahoe’s neighbours on Islay and to herald the start of the construction of Ardnahoe on the island. The whiskies were made available at Hunter Laing’s new shop at Islay House Square, Bridgend from 10am on Friday 26 May. The shop, which will remain open for at least a year until the build of Ardnahoe Distillery is complete, will also sell a range of Hunter Laing bottlings.

The Kinship range has labels representing different aspects of the Scotch whisky production process – harvest, malting, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottlings.

The cask-strength whiskies are among the rarest casks Hunter Laing has ever released. The range comprises of a 34-year-old sherry cask Port Ellen (£1800), 33-year-old sherry cask Caol Ila (£375), 30-year old sherry cask Bowmore (£495), 30-year-old Bourbon cask Laphroaig (£720), 28-year-old sherry cask Bunnahabhain (£310) and a 26-year-old Bourbon cask Ardbeg (£720). As each whisky is bottled from a single cask, they are available in limited quantities with, for example, fewer than 210 bottles of the Ardbeg in existence. Each bottle comes presented in an individual jute bag.

Of the Kinship, Jim McEwan says: “I knew before I joined the Hunter Laing family to embark on the journey to create Ardnahoe that they had an amazing array of casks. So having the chance to search through their whisky stocks for exceptional examples of Islay whisky was an incredible experience.

“The whiskies in The Kinship range are a tribute to the brotherhood of Islay distilleries, of which I’ve been fortunate to be a part for most of my life, and now once again with Hunter Laing as we extend the Islay family with the establishment of Ardnahoe.”

Stewart Laing adds: “We wanted to release a truly special collection of whiskies that fitted the occasion. We’re hugely proud to be adding a new chapter to Islay’s whisky story and The Kinship is a fitting tribute to celebrate this exciting time for us and whisky fans all over the world.”

12 June 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor