Drinks by the Dram Christmas 2016 Whisky (and other!) Advent Calendar
It’s that time of the year where the nights have drawn in, and the crazy neighbours may have started adoring their houses with flashing Christmas decorations. With only a few days left before December hits, there’s still time to consider what you might want to do to treat yourself, or a good friend to for Advent… and what better a treat than this year’s Whisky Advent Calendar (other spirits are available). It’s a box full of 25 x 3cl drams, a different whisky (or other spirit) every day, what a good idea! Let’s take a look at some of the official PR blurb: Continue reading
Just a quick post this one… but today I seem to have accidentally invented a new term: “Cash Strength”. This generally refers to new releases that *aren’t* Cask Strength, but certainly appear to priced as if they were! 🙂 I’ll be attempting to use this terminology from now on…
Fentimans: Alcohol Free Christmas Party Winners?
Have you heard of Fentimans? If not, let me quickly fill you in… Thomas Fentiman, a West Yorkshire iron worker, began the business in 1905 when he was given a recipe for botanically brewed ginger beer in repayment of a loan.
A DRAM FOR ALL DADS
Gift your Dad the perfect present this Father’s Day with a dram of luxury single malt whisky.
From a peaty Islay malt to a luxury Speyside whisky, there’s an expression to suit every taste… Continue reading
Recently I was lucky enough to be invited up to visit The Glenrothes distillery. There’s a few things I want to quickly clear up before I continue… Firstly, The Glenrothes distillery is in Rothes, Speyside…. Not Glenrothes, Fife. Secondly, it’s a brand owned by Berry Brothers & Rudd (BBR)… but the distillery itself is owned and run by the Edrington Group, who produce the spirit for and on behalf of BBR. There’s not many arrangements like that in the whisky industry!
Recently Glenmorangie launched Tùsail, the 6th release in their yearly Private Edition series of malts… most of which form some part of experimentation by Glenmo’s main man, Dr Bill Lumsden. (See below for my review tasting notes.)
This years experiment \ release is comprised of Maris Otter barley, floor-malted by hand, and non chill-filtered.
A rich winter variety of barley first introduced in 1965, Maris Otter was bred specifically to meet the demand for a high quality brewing malt and recognized for its ability to impart rich, rustic malty flavours. The variety at the time was much loved by brewers and created great ale’s, however the variety started to fall out of love and started being replaced with newer varieties that had greater alcohol yields until it was revived by a dedicated company and is now revered as one of the best malts for brewing once again.
So, I’ve been on a Last Great Malts trip, kindly put on by Dewar’s… To read about day one of the trip, go here.
Day 2, and it’s a bright and early start. Actually, I tell a lie, it’s an early start with a sore head, but a good full Scottish breakfast and coffee later and the world seems just about right again. Which is a good thing as we’re straight back onto the coach for the next part of our tour. It’s a different coach to yesterday, we won’t mention the mishap the day before.
Last week I was one of a lucky few to be invited up to Scotland by Dewar’s to look around their distilleries. Termed the ‘Last Great Malts’, Dewar’s have taken the step to release single malt whiskies from their distilleries which, until now have mostly only been used in blending or seen as single malts in the independent bottlers world.
This is great news within the category because Dewar’s are rather going against the grain here… their releases all have age statements, and where the bottles are new to market they’re being released at 46% non chill filtered and with no colour, with existing releases (Aberfeldy 12yo for example) being changed over time to match. Big congrats to Dewar’s for this as many other brands at the moment are increasingly releasing more and more no age statement whiskies which are filtered, coloured and reduced to within an inch of their lives with water.
Recently there was a press trip to various Inver House Distillers Ltd distilleries, and being the kind folk that they are they had noticed I was on holiday in Inverness for the week and so invited me up for the day to join in the fun at Old Pulteney distillery, lucky me!
I didn’t have to be asked twice, I immediately hired a car and when the day came enjoyed the 2hr+ trip up north along the coast… as with most driving in Scotland the time flew by because the scenery is so amazing.
One of the newer distilleries to open of late is Wolfburn distillery, the northernmost whisky distillery on the mainland, based in Thurso. Below is a bit of info about the distillery before I take a quick look at how the spirit is maturing so far…
The first Wolfburn distillery was built in 1821 and was passed down through subsequent generations of the Smith family; in its heyday it was the largest distillery in Caithness. Production ceased during the latter half of the 19th Century – the exact date is not known.