The Glover, der Blended Malt aus japanischem und schottischem Whisky, der bei seinem Debut ordentlich für Aufsehen sorgte (die 1000 Pfund teuren Flaschen waren innerhalb von 24 Stunden ausverkauft), insgesamt drei Mal mit einer 18 Jährigen Variante neu aufgelegt wurde und danach wegen der Knappheit von altem japanischem Whisky in der geforderten Qualität ohne Nachfolgebatch blieb, kehrt endlich wieder zurück.

Allerdings müssen sich Fans von The Glover noch bis in den Sommer des nächsten Jahres gedulden – erst dann wird die neue Abfüllung von Adelphi und Fusion Whisky erhältlich sein. Und viel mehr als die Ankündigung des neuen Batches ist der unten wiedergegebenen Presseaussendung auch nicht zu entnehmen – weder das genaue Alter noch die Stärke der Abfüllung ist angegeben. Auch nach dem Preis sucht man vergeblich.

Untenstehend jedenfalls die Geschichte des Whiskys, seine Rückkehr, anderen Abfüllungen von Fusion Whisky und Informationen zum Namensgeber Thomas Blake Glover, als kleiner Lesestoff für diesen Sonntag:


JAPANESE BREAKTHROUGH HERALDS RETURN OF RARE WHISKY MADE TO HONOUR SCOTTISH SAMURAI

He was the Scotsman who helped modernise Japan and whose story inspired a pioneering fusion of Scotch and Japanese whisky.

Now, on the anniversary of the death of “Scottish Samurai” Thomas Blake Glover, spirits business Fusion Whisky has announced it will be releasing another batch of its iconic Glover whisky, after overcoming a shortage of high quality Japanese whisky.

First launched more than three years ago, The Glover was an overnight success, with bottles of the rare £1000 22-year-old blend selling out in 24 hours to excited whisky fans and collectors. Acclaimed for both its flavour and innovation, The Glover was a ground-breaking dram that fused mature Scotch with ultra-rare whisky from the legendary Hanyu distillery in Japan.

The Glover 22-year-old whisky

Fusion Whisky and its distillery partner Adelphi have revealed that a temporary shortage of top quality Japanese whisky had prevented the partnership from following up quickly on their sell-out 18-year-old variant, released almost two years ago.

David Moore, director of Fusion Whisky, said:

“I am excited by the prospect of a new release of The Glover, the iconic whisky that celebrates the life and legacy of Thomas Blake Glover, a true Scottish legend who had a profound impact upon Japan.”

TB Glover was instrumental in the modernisation of Japan in the second half of the 19th century. He co-founded both Mitsubishi and the brewery that became the Kirin Group, and also played a key part in the restoration of Emperor Meijo in 1868. He died, aged 73, on 16 December 1911 in Tokyo, and was the first non-Japanese person to be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun. His home in Nagasaki is now a major tourism attraction that draws in almost two million visitors a year.

Mr Moore added:

“We’re not shy in saying we always wanted to make more of The Glover, though the odds of sourcing another Japanese whisky of that quality and rarity were stacked again us. We hope whisky lovers will be eager to see the return of The Glover, which we expect to be available next summer.”

While The Glover is a blend of Scotch and Japanese whisky, the Edinburgh-based firm has produced other fusions of Scotch and world whisky, each one celebrating a great historical figure.

David Moore and Alex Bruce. Picture: Tina Norris.

Last month Fusion Whisky and Adelphi released 400 bottles of their Winter Queen whisky, a 19-year-old blend of Scotch and Dutch whisky in honour of the Scottish princess Elizabeth Stuart. It followed the release earlier this year of The Brisbane, the first whisky in the world to deploy blockchain technology for end-to-end trust and traceability, and its Indian fusion, The E&K.

Alex Bruce, managing director and master blender of Adelphi, explained:

“We took the fusion concept and partnered with great distilleries in India, Australia and the Netherlands. As well as The Glover, we also produced The E&K, The Brisbane and The Winter Queen, each one celebrating a Scottish hero and each one acclaimed for its stunning flavours and innovation.”

While credited with driving the “fusion” concept, Fusion Whisky and Adelphi also pioneered the use of blockchain in whisky, a high-tech innovation that is increasingly used in food security and quality control.

Mr Bruce added:

“As well as being able to tell the story of each character effectively and show the incredibly complex process that goes into each fusion, our use of blockchain allows us to demonstrate the provenance of each whisky, giving buyers the all-important confidence in the uniqueness of their whisky and a bulwark against counterfeit.

“We’re particularly proud that the Australian fusion, The Brisbane, which was made in collaboration with the acclaimed Starward Distillery, was the first whisky in the world to employ blockchain, following on from the innovative use first seen in Adelphi’s own releases of its AD spirit.”

About Thomas Blake Glover:

 Thomas Blake Glover was born on 6 June 1838 in the thriving fishing port of Fraserburgh on the north-east coast of Scotland, where his father was the Chief Coastguard Officer. Before long, the family moved to the Coastguard Station at Bridge of Don, north of Aberdeen, and young Thomas was schooled at The Chanonry House School in Old Aberdeen.

Thomas Blake Glover

After leaving school Glover joined the largest British company trading in the Far East, Jardine, Matheson and Co., and in 1857 was sent to work in the company’s Shanghai office. Two years later he was appointed as the company’s agent in Nagasaki – a brave move, since there was considerable resistance to Westerners in Japan at the time.

Indeed, until 1858 Japan was closed to all foreign trade and external influences – a policy that had been followed since 1639, with the exception of a tightly controlled Dutch trading station on the island of Dejima.

By the mid-19th century, however, there was a faction in the Japanese central administration, supported by the leaders of some of the country’s larger clans, which was aware of the power of Western technology and frustrated by the government’s extreme conservatism, which blocked attempts to modernise Japan.

Thomas Blake Glover

It was against this background of political and social turmoil that Thomas Glover began to operate, initially for Jardine, Matheson and Co. and then as an independent merchant. Glover learned Japanese and initially traded green tea out of Japan, but gradually moved into arms (which he bought in Shanghai or Hong Kong) and ship broking, the latter through his brothers, James and Charles, who were ship brokers and builders in Aberdeen. Between 1863 and 1867 the Glovers sold 20 ships to Japan, including the first modern warship in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

In the early 1860s Glover was also involved in arranging an (illegal) trip to Britain for five senior members of the Choshu Clan, and later 15 members of the powerful Satsuma Clan, based in the south of the Japan. These men wen on to play an important part in promoting Western technology and became very senior members of the government that overthrew the old regime with the restoration of the Emperor Meiji in 1868. The new government was dedicated to learning from the West, encouraging trade and directly supporting business and industry. Thomas Glover quickly became a key figure in the industrialization of Japan.

Among many other ventures he developed the first modern coal mine in the country, at Takashima, had a dry dock built in Aberdeen and shipped to Nagasaki, founded the shipbuilding company that would later become the Mitsubishi Corporation and backed the establishment of the Japan’s first large-scale brewery, becoming head of the Japan Brewery Company in 1894.

In recognition of these achievements, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, the first non-Japanese to be so honoured. The petition to the Emperor recommending him for this honour included 20 pages listing his achievements in industrial innovations and diplomatic work. Thomas Blake Glover died at his home in Tokyo in on 6 December 1911.