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First ever Scottish-Japanese whisky launched

Considered to be the first ever Scottish-Japanese fusion whisky, the Glover is a blended malt that features a unique marriage of Japanese and Scottish malt whisky

Published: October 26, 2015
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A world-first fusion whisky to celebrate the relationship between Scotland and Japan has been launched in Aberdeen.

The very best and rarest of Japanese and Scottish whiskies have been carefully blended to form ‘The Glover’, a unique new dram which will excite whisky connoisseurs in Scotland and Japan.

The whisky is named after Thomas Blake Glover who was born in Fraserburgh and raised in Aberdeen, but who left Scotland for Japan at an early age. He would later be known as the Scottish Samurai because of the profound impact he had on the modernisation of Japan in the 19th Century.

Glover would ultimately be the first foreigner to receive the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Emperor in recognition of his many achievements.

In an unusual twist, Alex Bruce, the Managing Director of Adelphi Distillery Ltd who blended the whisky, is also the Great-Great Grandson of the Earl of Elgin who signed the first treaty of Trade and Amity between the UK and Japan in 1858. It was this treaty which paved the way for British traders and entrepreneurs such as Thomas Blake Glover and his peers.

Commenting, Mr Bruce said “I’m delighted to be involved in such an exciting and unique project. This brand is set to strengthen an already strong bond between Japan and Scotland.”

He explained, “We wanted the final whisky to present the unique flavours of both casks, but also to be even more than the sum of its parts.

“We also added a drop of whisky from Glen Garioch Distillery in homage to Thomas Glover’s home in Aberdeenshire, to complete the flavour profile.”

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The project was devised by Jim Millar from Arbroath who holds the Consul General of Japan’s Certificate of Commendation and the Scottish Samurai Shogun Award for promoting the relationship between the two countries.

He said “This whisky is an excellent way of acknowledging the life of Thomas Blake Glover, and celebrating our important relationship with Japan, which continues to flourish, especially in the fields of trade, culture and education”.


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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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