A new Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Wee Smoky, is now available to buy, and it’s aimed at people who don’t like whisky…yet.
The limited-edition first batch of the smooth, fruity, and lightly smoky whisky has been distilled in Edinburgh and finished in peated casks.
Just 400 distinctive electric blue and pink bottles from the first cask are now available direct to consumers via the company’s website, with the product set for wide distribution in mid-2021.
Wee Smoky’s mission is to find a new audience for whisky by completely re-imagining how it looks and feels while questioning all the rules around it.
Founder Rory Gammell began to develop the concept for a whisky that is inclusive and welcoming to younger people and non-experts while living in San Francisco.
He said: “Cocktail culture was growing and I noticed that people weren’t choosing to mix Scotch Whisky. I felt it was mostly because it looked too old fashioned to attract younger drinkers.
"It wasn’t inviting people to mix it. Upon trying a cocktail made with a smoky Scotch whisky, I had a Eureka moment.
“Having worked in both the US and Hong Kong, I understand the strength of the Scottish brand worldwide. That experience has played a huge part in developing a whisky that can celebrate a more playful side of Scotland."
After eight years abroad, Rory came home via the Saltire Fellowship to work for Edrington - the maker of The Macallan.
He added: “I recognised that while marketers were focused on single malts, experts really rated the potential of grain whisky when paired with the right casks. So I began experiments with different grain whiskies in a variety of peated casks until I found what I was looking for.
“I’m very proud of both the bottle we’ve created and the cask we’ve bottled. I’m also excited by the reaction from non-whisky drinkers who have tried it both neat and in cocktails during testing.
"Our whisky is for creators. While we have huge respect for the industry, we invite people to challenge the preconceived rules associated with Scotch whisky, and drink Wee Smoky however they want, with whatever they want.
"By creating an approachable, accessible and aesthetic whisky, the company wants to champion “Scottish Flair” worldwide. The brand plans to act as a megaphone for the country’s best creative talent to reach worldwide audiences."
Rory has pulled together a top team of advisors to help him bring Wee Smoky to the world, including whisky distiller Ollie Salvesen, who has worked at Kilchoman and Hollyrood distilleries.
Ollie, the company’s liquid expert has described Wee Smoky as being as "plump as soft peaches with a smoky twist".
Grain whisky is made from grains other than malted barley, which is what is used in single malt whisky.
Pickering’s founder and head distiller Matt Gammell has also been involved in the project.
Just 400 First Edition bottles are on sale online now.