Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Boutique-y Macduff 10 year old Batch 8

Boutique-y Advent 2021 - Door 4

Posted 05 December 2021

Few outside of enthusiast circles have heard of Macduff Distillery. For starters, much of the site’s production goes into blends – both for the well known Dewars, and also for the less well known (in the UK at least) William Lawsons – Russia’s largest imported spirit brand. But the distillery’s wider anonymity also stems from its practice for not using its actual name loudly and proudly as the overaching brands of its released single malts. Instead bottles feature 'The Deveron' for the distillery's OB age statement range and 'Glen Deveron' for the producer's global travel retail range.

Other Tastings

The Dramble reviews Boutique-y Islay #3 13 year old Batch 4

Boutique-y Advent 2021 – Door 3

Posted 04 December 2021

Nature can often surprise with its tendency to diversity as much as its tendency to uniformity. And peat is no different – it is not all the same. Topography and local climate make a marked difference to the aromas and flavours that peat smoke imbues into barley – the easiest comparison to understand being that of the variations between sea and salt-licked Islay peat and the more vegetal, ‘in-land’ notes that tend to be produced from Highland peat. But, far from being merely diverse in its makeup and thus chemical composition, peat behaves differently (and sometimes inconsistently) when it enters the various stages of the whisky making process. And most unpeated distilleries do not tend to simply go at a peated run without making several knowing alterations to the whisky-making process beforehand.

The Dramble reviews Boutique-y Whisky Penderyn 6 year old Batch 1

Boutique-y Advent 2021 – Door 2

Posted 03 December 2021

Similarly to its neighbour England, Wales has a much longer history of distillation than many would suppose. The first evidence of the presence of stills in the country has been dated to the 4th Century and historical records and photographs document a true commercial site that was in operation during the 19th Century. Frongoch Distillery was located near Bala in Merionethshire (north of Caernarfonshire). Frongoch was far from a diminutive site with a capacity to produce 150K gallons of spirit a year. However, it was certainly a short-lived one – founded in 1889, shuttered by 1903 and liquidated by 1910. A mere 14 years of production and a legacy undoubtedly influenced by the growth of the temperance movement throughout Wales.

The Dramble reviews Boutique-y Glen Elgin 12 year old Batch 5

Boutique-y Advent 2021 – Door 1

Posted 02 December 2021

And we’re off. For the next 24 days we’ll be presenting you with quick fire reviews of each and every dram contained in the 2021 Boutique-y Whisky Company Advent Calendar (which was kindly provided by Atom Brands for full transparency). We’ll be posting a day in arrears - to give us time to sample and write our notes, and of course, to not spoil the surprise for those of you who open your doors a little later in the day.

The Dramble reviews A Fine Christmas Malt 2021

Don't let the bells end

Posted 01 December 2021

Now as much an annual manifestation as last week’s Black Friday Edition – The Whisky Exchange’s A Fine Christmas Malt series of festive releases has the challenging task of continually reaffirming what a Christmas whisky is meant to be. There are altogether far too many whiskies that are described as “tasting like Christmas” (regardless of the time of year) – by which of course we mean offering notes of: overdone carrots, rubbish movies, sky high electricity bills, fraught family dynamics and a rapidly draining bank account.


Posted 30 November 2021

Short form writing comes with its own rhythm. Whilst nearly all the content on The Dramble tends toward elongated discussions (read – rambling) and deeper dissections (read – nit-picking), my view of succinct prose is that it still needs to stand on its own feet – and to tell a compelling story. I’ve never been a fan of regurgitated Wikipedia distillery entries – no whisky website is as well indexed or discoverable as the free (and not necessarily accurate, nor up to date) encyclopaedia. And as such, whilst longer form writing requires considerably more research and input per piece posted, keeping it pithy whilst not repeatedly telling you all about 19th Century double-barrelled named gentlemen who built booze-factories comes with its own anxieties. Particularly now as we head towards our traditional December daily posting schedule.

The Dramble reviews The Whisky Exchange Black Friday 2021 Edition

It's a deal, it's a steal

Posted 26 November 2021

Black Friday will see millions scouring the Internet for a good deal. In many ways, it’s not really all that different to being locked inside a house for the best part of a year – only it has a name and there’s an underlying belief that there’s a genuine bargain to be had. The problem with any sale, offer or promotion is that it supposes that we’re making a saving on something we actually need or desire. Feverish new TV purchases (every year), fisticuffs in the aisles and an ungodly number of whisky offers - many of which don’t even amount to a pint of warm beer - all stand to establish the consumer reality. For the most part, deals will not save you money. They may help you spend less money – but when it comes to grand offers like Black Friday, the chances are, you’re actually looking at things that yesterday you had no interest in.

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