Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Douglas Laing Director's Tactical Selection 1980 25 year old

Tactical solutions

Posted 15 February 2019

Alternative names for distilleries are fairly commonplace. There’ a raft of substitutes for Glenfarclas - Blairfindy, Probably Speyside’s Finest and Ballindalloch (though this will no doubt be utilised less seeing as there’s now another distillery of the same name). Many others exist across the Scottish distilleries - denoting teaspooned malts (such as Wardhead and Westport etc), resulting from industry chatter (Beast of Dufftown) or often because the distillery in question wants to protect their brand name for their OBs alone. This is not a new practice and has resulted in independent bottlers having to create new and sometimes less than vague monikers for their single malts and blends. Possibly my favourite comes courtesy of Douglas Laing in the form of ‘Director’s Tactical Selection’ – not the hardest to guess, especially when bottles come specifying ‘distilled on Skye’.

Latest Opinions

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.

The Dramble interviews Steve Beam from Limestone Branch Distillery

Root and branch

Posted 05 November 2018

Steve Beam has a look of joyful bewilderment across this his face. He’s exhibiting for the first time at the London Whisky Show – and interest in Limestone Branch Distillery is exceptionally high. The stand is a bustle of visitors – some seasoned whiskey drinkers, others intrepid explorers – but all of them seem delighted to be able to ‘meet the maker’ whilst sampling his products. Conversing with one visitor to the next, it’s a testament to Beams’ passion for American whiskey that after three-long days, his enthusiasm and warmth for each new person remains undiminished. Limestone Branch Distillery is riding the wave of growing interest in bourbon and rye whiskies and now firmly targeting the UK market.

The Dramble explores the Boutique-y Rum Company launch

2016 was dubbed ‘the year of gin’ – a 16% rise in UK sales (to over £1bn) outstripped the growth across both beer and wine. But, now, there’s chatter that 2018 might well turn out to the ‘the year of rum’. Sales are expected to top £1bn for the first time in history, following the overall success story of the alcoholic drinks industry over the recent years. However, unlike gin which can be produced relatively quickly and inexpensively, rum is both time-consuming to produce and likewise costly (yields tend to be low). But, there’s still the promise for producers and distributers of riding the wave of growth – and one new brand is poised to grab their surfboard and do just that – That Boutique-y Rum Company.

The Dramble explores the Lakes Distillery inaugural release 'Genesis'

In the beginning

Posted 09 July 2018

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, it is possible that you’ve missed the dearth of new distilleries openings – from the very north of mainland Scotland, over to the Lowlands by way of Islay – the closures of the early 1980’s have never felt further away. But, it’s not just Scottish whisky that’s experiencing a period of almost unprecedented growth – things are also happening south of the border.

 


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