Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Douglas Laing XOP Bunnahabhain 1975 40 year old

Sensory overload

Posted 15 August 2018

Douglas Laing’s XOP (Extra Old Particular) is described as the ‘big brother’ to the well-known Old Particular range from this independent bottler. The selection of single malts and single grains which make up this series of single cask bottlings are drawn from the company’s ‘family jewels’ – they’re invariably older, rarer and always worth keeping an eye out for in terms of a special treat. As with many independent bottlers, you’ll find that the prices for particularly aged-whiskies are much lower relative to original distillery bottlings - as such, they’re a good target for those looking for birth year whiskies – particularly if you’re getting a bit long in the tooth and were born in the 1970s.

Latest Opinions

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.

 

The Dramble explores Ballindalloch Distillery

Small but perfectly formed

Posted 27 June 2018

The Scottish whisky industry is going through a purple patch – its biggest for several generations. Growth brings a wealth of opportunities, and whereas a little under 40 years ago sites were closing left, right and centre, now, there’s rarely a month that goes by without news of a new distillery being planned. Production on Islay continues to grow, the Lowlands re-emerge from decades of limited single malt production, and Macallan has built a particularly sizable new home overlooking Craigellachie. But, with all this expansion going on, only one entirely new distillery has been founded in Speyside – and they’re not planning to release any whisky until at least 2022.

The Dramble experiments with home barrel ageing

The conversion of raw distilled spirit into whisky is a slow, transformative interaction between physics, chemistry, biology and geometry. Almost as varied and multifaceted is the countless types of casks from which a Master Distiller can select for maturation – the wood elements ageing the liquid and adding layers of complex flavours, aromas, colours and textures over time. The process is part science and part art, requiring skills learned over decades and passed down to future generations of distillers and blenders alike. Alternatively, sod that for a game of soldiers. Let’s have a go at doing it ourselves.

The Dramble interviews Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma Paterson

Paterson's passion project

Posted 25 April 2018

In March, Gemma Paterson was named as the new Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador. Originally from the Scottish Highlands, Gemma might not have been born into whisky, but over the past four years she has completely embraced it, obtaining her General Certificate in Distilling, and studying for the three year Institute of Brewing and Distilling Diploma – all the while representing the Balvenie brand and its range of single malt whiskies. Dedication, commitment and passion all come naturally to Gemma.


Master of Malt

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