^ (From left) Chester Cheng - MD of Glory Leading Int'l, David Wilson - MD of QSI, Andy Kuai - former BDM of QSI
One company that's leading the charge in whisky innovation is the winner of the IWSC Blended Scotch Whisky Trophy 2020, Glory Leading International, one of the biggest spirits companies in southern Taiwan. For this particular blended Scotch whisky, the company sources casks of Scotch whiskies from 30 different distilleries which are then blended and bottled by a master distiller in Scotland at Quality Spirits International (QSI), the global number one private label Scotch whisky supplier.
Glory Leading International's innovative approach means they blur the boundaries between blended and single malt whiskies by not performing chill filtration, a process usually applied before bottling to blended whiskies and single malts below 46%. Producers perform chill filtration by cooling the whisky to a low temparature (sometimes below freezing) and then filtering the liquid to remove any sediment and impurities that have bonded together. The final result? A perfectly clear whisky that doesn't go hazy when ice or water is added to it in the glass. Some critics argue that by taking out the impurities you are removing some of the whisky's flavour, there's no chance of that here.
We caught up with Chester Cheng, Managing Director of Glory Leading International earlier this week to talk about winning the IWSC Blended Scotch Whisky Trophy 2020 and what makes their whisky so unique.
Tell us about the history and background of Glory Leading 1972 45 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky
This is an exquisite blended Scotch whisky created as part of a colloborative project between Glory Leading International and QSI. We carefully selected casks from over 30 Scottish distilleries to create this amazing 1972 vintage blended Scotch whisky. It is bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered, something that's normally only reserved for single malt whiskies. We hope that people enjoy the rich and complex character of this unprecedented, aged blend.
What is your background as a spirits producer? What defines your approach?
Our mission is to source the best whisky possible. To do this, we took a trip to Scotland to several well-established distilleries in different whisky-producing regions. Along with our master blender, we handpicked the most characterful aged casks with one commitment in mind: to create the best blended whisky possible.
What makes the Glory Leading 1972 45 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky so special?
It is one of the very few blended Scotch whiskies that is made with the same techniques normally only reserved for top-class single malt whiskies: it's cask strength, non-chill filtered and its colour is all-natural, gained from the 45 years of ageing in barrels.
^ Quality Spirits International in Scotland produces Glory Leading's award-winning blended Scotch whisky
Give one reason why every bartender in the world should be stocking the Glory Leading 1972 45 YO Blended Scotch Whisky
It's a trophy-winning, world-class whisky limited to only 6,000 bottles. It may never be made again...
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