Whisky lovers treated to a new version of a rare blend of Scottish and Japanese whisky

A rare blend of Scotch and Japanese whiskies has proven so popular that its makers have today released a third version for whisky lovers around the world.

Published 22nd Aug 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The third in a series of whiskies honouring “Scottish Samurai” Thomas Blake Glover, the 'Glover 18' celebrates the long history of trade and friendship between Scotland and Japan.

Its owners, Edinburgh-based TBG & Co Ltd, said the new edition has already attracted a “very promising” number of international orders prior to their international launch.

The whisky brand takes its name from Thomas Blake Glover, nicknamed the "Scottish Samurai" because of the profound impact he had on the modernisation of Japan in the 19th century.

READ MORE: Thomas Blake Glover: Fraserburgh trader to Japanese hero

Mr Glover was the first foreigner to receive the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Emperor in recognition of his many achievements.

Jim Millar, director of TBG & Co Ltd, drove the idea to create the whisky, he said: “The Glover whiskies are a celebration of Scotland's influence and its international friendships. They honour the achievements of Thomas Blake Glover and celebrate our important relationship with Japan, which continues to flourish, especially in the fields of trade, culture and education.”

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David Moore (left) and Alex Bruce. Picture: Tina Norris


The company also confirmed it is now looking towards producing future variants with blends created using Scotch and whiskies from other countries, with the team researching historical characters and options for casks from international single malt distilleries.

Director David Moore, who has been heavily involved with the drinks sector in Asia, said: “We knew the idea behind The Glover was a strong one, but we're still overwhelmed by the international interest the fusion whisky garnered, both for its concept as well as its look, aroma and taste.

"The first two editions sold out almost immediately and were heavily over-subscribed, finding their way to 15 international markets.

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"It's clear there's a strong market for these types of premium fusions between Scotch whisky and international whisky, which have their own unique character."

READ MORE: First ever Scottish-Japanese whisky launched

Mr Moore highlighted the ongoing relationship with the Fife-based premium bottler Adelphi, whose managing director Alex Bruce blended mature whisky from Longmorn and Glen Garioch distilleries in Scotland with exceptionally rare whisky from the legendary Hanyu distillery in Japan to create the Glover fusions.

Mr Moore said: “There are only a handful of Hanyu casks left in the world. For the Glover, Alex has worked his magic with this highly sought-after whisky to hone and perfect a beautifully balanced and sublimely satisfying dram."

He also said TBG & Co Ltd was looking at funding options from Scottish Development International and Scotland Food and Drink, and that the company was also looking to appoint a project manager to oversee current operations, with the likelihood of additional employees further down the line as the business grew.

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Mr Moore added: “Creating international fusions is not without its challenges, but the rewards are clearly there for people to see and taste. These whiskies are a celebration of Scotland's internationalism, of its positive influence on other countries, of partnerships that reach across physical borders."

“We think it's worth trying that little bit harder to create these fusion whiskies, a drink that was made for sharing with friends.”

He said “orders have been very promising” and that cases of The Glover 18 are likely to be exported to more than 15 countries, including a significant amount to Japan.".

World-renowned whisky consultant Charles MacLean, who worked with Alex Bruce on creating the Glover fusions, also provided the tasting notes for the latest Glover brand.

He described the whisky as: “Richly fruity – ripe pear, juicy red apples, cherries, orange juice – on a base of vanilla sponge, spread with strawberry jam and whipped cream.”

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The two previous editions of The Glover were launched simultaneously on October 26th, 2015, in Tokyo and Aberdeen, where Thomas Glover is celebrated with an exhibition at the Maritime Museum, at an event that was also attended by Hajime Kitaoka, Consul General of Japan and Lord Bruce, Honorary Patron of the Japan Society of Scotland, and Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader of Aberdeen City Council. Glover was a native of Aberdeenshire and hails from Fraserburgh.

• The Glover 18 (48.6%), of which only 1448 were made, is available from whisky specialists, in strictly limited quantities, priced around £145.


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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