Beam Suntory recently unveiled the company’s latest blended Scotch, called Ardray.
A statement from the spirits giant noted that Ardray was designed to deliver a “fresh perspective” on blended Scotch, as it balances Scotland’s unique terroir and craft tradition with the precision and artistry of Suntory’s Japanese blenders.
Calum Fraser, Beam Suntory’s chief blender for Scotch, along with Suntory’s blending team, tested 200 different whisky combinations before arriving at the final harmony of flavors in Ardray.
Fraser noted that Ardray’s balanced blended recipe weaves some of Scotland’s most complex signature malts and grain whiskies together to an optimal precise ratio. The result is a whisky that treats both malt and grain whiskies as equals, making something greater than the sum of its parts.
A century ago, inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii-San envisioned a Japanese approach to create a subtle, refined, yet complex whisky that would suit the delicate palate of the Japanese.
Suntory is now honoring the founder’s quest with this re-interpretation of Scotch in Ardray. And, the distiller noted, by retaining a proportion of each batch, the team blends this with the next batch and harmonizes the flavor of the whisky across the batches.
“In creating Ardray, we have combined an exceptional selection of the very best Scotch whisky has to offer with the inspiring talent of Suntory’s blending team to create something new, refreshing and exciting,” Fraser said.
He described the blended Scotch, which clocks in at 48% ABV, as having a “rich and complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavors. A mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste that is unmatched.”
Beam Suntory can draw from a handful of the top Scotch distilleries in the world, including Bowmore, Laphroaig, Yamazaki, and Hibiki, and their partners at Edrington (owners of The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Highland Park).
Ardray comes in a bespoke bottle each marked with the year of release, the artwork of artist Lia Melia covering each one, capturing Scotland’s raw beauty. Its textured rippling pattern represents malt and grain, two fundamental ingredients in Scotch whisky. The 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.
A limited batch of about 2,000 nine-liter cases of Ardray are now for sale in four cities worldwide: London, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and New York. It will become available in more markets globally later in the year.
You can find it at The Whisky Shop with a suggested retail price of £60/$80.
For more information, check out www.ardray.com.
Read the full article at Beam Suntory Launches Ardray As A New Blended Scotch Whisky