Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Mackmyra Virvelvind

All good things

Posted 01 July 2022

There’s a host of reasons why individual whiskies, collections of whiskies and series of whiskies come to an end. At times this change can present drinkers with entirely new perspectives and directions. A revitalisation of a product or brand. A reaffirmation or repositioning of a distillery’s house style. A recognition that standing still is a sure-fire method for achieving irrelevance. And there are other times when, regardless of the reasons for the conclusion, the response from the community will simply be a sense of sadness that something beloved will no longer be available. Whilst certain quarters of enthusiasts will have you believe that never-changing, monolithic, perceived high quality (and 90’s perma-low pricing) is possible. It is not. Nothing lasts forever.

Other Tastings

The Dramble reviews Mossburn Springbank 1999 22 year old

Idolatry

Posted 27 June 2022

As a reviewer you need to be quick off the mark to pen your thoughts on a new bottle of Springbank before the thing has all but vanished from the shelves. And when that situation extends to what was once (but arguably aren’t now) the distillery’s core range products, you invariably find yourself either writing about the just past or penning words about the fairly depressing future where things are notionally still available – only now at twice the price they were last week. Rather like filling up the car or obtaining the weekly shop - just far less actually consumed as intended.

The Dramble reviews Mitchell & Sons Gold Spot

Cereal killer

Posted 16 June 2022

Like buses, you wait decades for another Spot whiskey and then three come along in the space of three years. The whisky world is packed to the rafters with series, selections and collections. These often follow the Fast & Furious model of leveraging a pre-existing audience with ‘more of the same, but different’ – retain the lead actors, add some new faces, change the location and then slap a new number on the front. Job done. But irrespective of whether entertainment or booze the idea of replication and repetition holds just as may pitfalls as it does potential blessings.

The Dramble reviews Mossburn Craigellachie 2007 13 year old

Square peg

Posted 10 June 2022

Craigellachie can be a stubbornly awkward whisky. Whilst well-regarded and sought after for blending because of its naturally fruity profile and weighty spirit character, I’ve repeatedly seen Craigellachie in single malt form quickly divide a room – particularly when the offering involves younger liquid. Despite writing earlier this week about the ebbs and flows of maturation which often produce not one, but several or many ‘peaks’ within whiskies – Craigellachie doesn’t always fall quite so easily into this rubric for some drinkers. And the reason for that is oft-times sulphur.

Entropy

Posted 08 June 2022

“We only bottle at the peak of perfection”. How many distilleries and bottlers have you heard using a phrase similar to this one? The suggestion being that whisky has a right and a wrong time. That it’s a difference between being immature and mature. Of being 3rd class or 1st class. But there are countless problems with making sweeping statements about levels of maturity. For starters a *lot* of whisky is sold at a younger age than it could be. But more broadly, maturation is far from linear and a wealth of whiskies showcase entirely different characteristics at different ages – none being necessarily better or more ‘peak’ than the others.

Saturated

Posted 13 May 2022

No messing around with long-winded, convoluted introductions - we've got rather a lot to get through today.

16 Whisky Sponge reviews. One after another. Strap yourselves in.

The Dramble reviews Mackmyra Limousin

Sticky situation

Posted 10 May 2022

Reams of paper and gigabytes of the Internet have been dedicated to dissecting and understanding the properties of tannins. From learning why fish tanks turn brown and identifying why wines tends to either possess a pleasant, unobtrusive silky texture or an astringent, grippy, dryness - all the way to understanding the transformational processes involved in preserving animal hides by turning them into leather (tanning!). And yet, despite possessing a similarly central bearing on the character of whisky - its relatively quality and quantity vis-a-vis texture, bitterness and notably, the formation of colour – tannins rarely get referenced by name throughout the multitude of whisky commentary.


Master of Malt



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