Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2005 14 year old TWE Exclusive

Adaptation

Posted 21 August 2019

Whisky is frequently described as being a versatile spirit – often this is simply referring to its incredibly broad range of aromas of flavours, or its application across a wide variety of cocktail styles. But, the adaptability of whisky can also be looked at from the perspective of its production and maturation. Whilst commonalities can be drawn across the methods used to produce whisky – the end results are far from the same. Some spirits work better younger, some older. Some spirits shine brighter in particular cask types, and some offer their strongest personality when delivered with the addition of peat. At the same time, there are whiskies whose inherent characteristics operate equally as capably under a wide variety of conditions. Caol Ila is to my mind one such whisky.

Latest Opinions

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.

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.


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