Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews OId Pulteney Limited Edition 1990 Vintage

Precision guess work

Posted 21 October 2019

I don’t ascribe to the adage that X% of whisky’s flavour is derived from the cask. You’ll regularly see producers trying to pin-point a precise percentage of flavour that’s derived from the wood. It ties into their narrative. It provides a simple takeaway factoid. But, at its heart, this assertion is plucked straight from the arse of random guesswork. A quick look on the Interwebs tells you that this figure is estimated to be anywhere between 50% to 80%.

Latest Opinions

The Dramble interviews John Rempe from Lux Row Distillers

In the midnight hour

Posted 27 September 2019

It’s hard to accurately pinpoint the reasons for the global boom in Kentucky bourbon – but booming it is. After decades of underinvestment, there are now 17 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail attracting over 1.4m visitors annually. Production has increased 115% over the last decade and so has the infrastructure required to support it - some 7.5 million barrels are maturing in rick houses across the state. Kentucky bourbon is now a $8.6bn industry employing over 20,000 people.

The Dramble visits Bimber and explores the distillery's first three year old whisky

From moonshine to primetime

Posted 03 June 2019

Moonshine is traditionally so named because it tends to be manufactured late into the evening without the assistance of artificial light sources – just the illumination of the moon with which to operate an illicit still, hidden away from prying eyes – and particularly the tax man. In Poland, moonshine is known under several monikers - Samogon, duch puszczy, księżycówka or simply Bimber. A near mythical high proof spirit that has been produced in the country since the 19th Century, and is said to not cause a hangover. Drawing its name from this tradition, equally hidden away (though this time in a West London industrial estate), and operated much more legally is Bimber Distillery - who’s single malt whisky reached three years of maturity last week.

The Dramble visits Waterford and explores transparency, traceability and terroir

Waterford in triptych

Posted 01 April 2019

Romanticism and reality are rarely comfortable bedfellows. Leveraging dreamy images of heather-blanketed hills, effervescing streams and sea-lashed coasts has been a pillar of whisky promotion for decades - implicitly or even explicitly suggesting that flavour is somehow magically influenced by location. But, start to question whether the physical elements of a place and distilling’s raw ingredients can truly influence taste, and it’s abundantly clear that producers are still by and large happier with the allegory.

The Dramble interviews Paul Martin from Dream Whiskies

Daring to dream

Posted 14 November 2018

Paul Martin is at his best when he’s in front of an audience. Whether it’s tutoring a new generation of bartenders or providing motivational talks to the hospitality industry, his passion for the drinks industry is apparent. As a PR for my entire working life, I know only too well the pressures of effective public speaking – for Martin, it’s an arena that he thrives in. Working across the bar trade for over 30 years, Martin has developed an extensive portfolio – from training courses, half a dozen cocktail books (including the recently launched 101 Award Winning Cocktails from the World’s Best Bartenders) and even a qualification in British Sign Language. He’s also no strange to whisky having launched Dream Whiskies in early 2017.


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