Latest Tasting

The Dramble's tasting notes for Littlemill 1985 28 year old Gordon & MacPhail's Rare Old

Things were better then

Posted 20 November 2017

There’s always an air of excitement surrounding closed distilleries. Some have passed into legend, some still have just about enough stocks for occasional (and expensive) glimpses back into distilling’s past. But, all too often nowadays I’m hearing closed being directly equated as a measure of quality by itself. Distilleries have come and gone. Some were deemed surplus to the requirements of their time, others unfortunately had periods when their output was considerably less than remarkable, and poor whisky doesn’t help meet sales targets. Tasting whisky from a closed distillery does offer a unique experience in the form of a liquid time capsule, a glance back into whisky’s past. But, whilst rarity may determine price, it is a poor gauge of quality by itself.

Latest Opinions

The Dramble interviews Dominik M. Falger owner of Embury Bar Frankfurt

Falger’s Fine Art

Posted 14 November 2017

The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury was first published in 1948. Offering a conversational and oft-times witty take on the fundamentals of mixology, it is one of the most referenced and cited cocktail books, and responsible for influencing a generation of cocktail enthusiasts including Frankfurt-based Dominik M.Falger. Inspired by his background in, and love for, mixing drinks, Falger has recently opened Embury Bar, Drawing from his own private collection, Falger has created a venue that encapsulates both the growing zeitgeist in Frankfurt for high quality well-constructed cocktails, as well as a veritable mecca for whisky lovers, with a selection as deep as it is broad.

The Dramble interviews George Grant from Glenfarclas

Keeing it in the family

Posted 11 October 2017

Glenfarclas is one of the oldest Speyside distilleries having been established in 1836. It’s also one of few still independently owned, and its long history runs through 6 generations of a single family – the Grants. Located in Ballindalloch, and drawing water from the nearby Ben Rinnes, the distillery has several distinctive features – a cool microclimate that results in a very low angels share (just 0.05% loss each year), direct gas fired stills and a strict adherence to ex-sherry cask maturation. These features promote a distinctive, rich and sweet house style that is naturally well suited to long periods of maturation.

The Dramble interviews James MacTaggart, Master Distillery of Isle of Arran Distillery

Ten Dram Good Years

Posted 04 October 2017

Isle of Arran Distillery are in a bit of a party mood this month. Master Distiller James MacTaggart has been with Arran for 10 years, and to celebrate this milestone, a new limited edition ‘James MacTaggart Anniversary Single Malt’ bottling is being released later this month. Originally from Islay, MacTaggart started his career at Strathclyde Regional Council in Bowmore. In 1975 he was asked by the then Manager of Bowmore (Harry Cockburn) to help in the distillery office whilst they installed a new computer system – whilst the computers never happened (back in 1975 they would presumably have taken up the whole office!), MacTaggart still found a role – working in the Bowmore warehouses and maltbarns.

The Dramble explores the colour of whisky

The Colour of Magic - Part 1

Posted 19 September 2017

Despite being a simple single lens system, the human eye is capable of distinguishing an incredible 2.8 million different colour variations. On a dark night it’s possible to see a candle flickering up to 30 miles away and if you look up to the sky you’ll be able to make out light emanating from galaxies up to 2.6 million light-years away. In comparison our hearing, smell and taste senses lag seriously behind the power of our optics. As commentators we spend countless hours attempting to define the aromas and flavours of whisky, usually drawing from a collection of less than 50 known smells and tastes, but the colour of whisky also plays a significant part of its overall visual appear. But, an examination of whisky colour can be much broader than just the hue of the liquid itself.

Master of Malt