Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Laphroaig Cairdeas 2020 Port and Wine Casks

We're going through changes

Posted 01 July 2020

Have my tastes changed? Is there something in the water? Or perhaps I’ve finally succumbed to the continued bombardment of new releases? Either way, over the past year, not only have I found myself drinking more wine influenced whiskies - I’ve found myself enjoying them more. “My name is Matt and I’ve become a wine cask pervert”. Well – not quite. My thoughts on wine cask maturation are well documented across this site – and similarly my views on what I see as failed integrations have not changed. Wine casks are awkward things. They require an adept and watchful touch to ensure that their potentially powerful impact doesn’t overwrite the prevalence of the spirit – and bring with it the greatest sin of the wine cask – an overbearing overabundance of wood and astringency.

Latest Opinions

The Dramble calls for us to show support, solidarity and above all…a sense of perspective

Maintaining a sense of perspective

Posted 18 March 2020

It’s a surreal and honestly painful feeling, to within the space of an hour, announce that your distillery is to shutter its doors to all visitors, cancel your monthly whisky club and watch as all of the tastings, festivals and masterclasses that you were either presenting at, or simply attending abandon their plans for the foreseeable future. An entire part of life removed, or at the very least put on hold for what is likely to be some time.

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.


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