Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Whiskymax Ardmore 2013 6 year old Icons of Scotland

The One with the Ardmore

Posted 29 July 2021

The long-standing and often repeated saying observes that “whisky is best shared”. It is a phrase which highlights the cosiness of conviviality that is the collective experience of enjoying a dram. And it is a phrase that alludes to whisky being a drink which is to be consumed. No arguments there. But it’s all too easy to forget – especially after a year of living life largely through a digital lens – that whisky can, and often does, offer far more than just the triptych of nose, palate and finish. Whisky *is* more than what is inside of the bottle.

Other Tastings

The Kobayashi Maru

Posted 23 July 2021

Whilst the act of venting on social media might make you feel momentarily better – crying about missed bottles and calling out distilleries and allocations methods only stands to make obtaining future bottles either tougher, or more expensive, or more than likely - both. Internet chatter will have you believe that bots, career speculators and ninjas from the League of Assassins are solely responsible for the instantaneous acquisition of any and all releases deemed as ‘chasey’. But the truth of the matter is that there’s a raft of individuals sweeping up whisky bottles who don’t know a damn thing about what they’re buying – they’ve just observed you and others publicly grousing and utilise this as a smoke signal to get in on the action.

The Dramble reviews Whisky Sponge Edradour 2003 18 year old

Worn out

Posted 20 July 2021

It’s hot in the UK right now. Too hot. But whilst I’m feeling weary, fatigued and a little sluggish that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m being entirely unproductive. Things are just taking a little longer at present (like writing - sorry folks). The same is true of oak – it is a false assertion that a tired cask is an entirely dead cask – there are methods to both reinvigorate wood and to utilise and harness its characteristics at a point where it exhibits lower levels of activity. Indeed, some of the most famous and lauded bottlings have been matured in wood which nowadays some would argue was knackered.

The Dramble reviews Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky

In the beginning

Posted 14 July 2021

I have come to dislike the term “beginner whisky”. It is a misleading and loaded moniker which often does a disservice to both the intrinsic quality of whiskies and in particular to the intent and target audience of certain bottlings. The name itself suggests several characteristics: that this whisky is unsuited for those who aren’t beginners; that the being of a beginner and thus enjoying so-called beginner’s whisky is but a formative period of time before you head off to discover the ‘real stuff’; and that there’s a selection of transcendent olfactory aptitudes that can only be developed with a concerted input of both time and money – after which, it is possible to rise to a level of enjoying  “expert whisky” (which is also not a thing either).

The Dramble reviews Arran 1996 24 year old TWE Exclusive

All or nothing

Posted 06 July 2021

It starts at a young age. A tantalisingly empty Panini album whose pages beseech to be filled. Over time, sticker by sticker, through purchase and through trade, the gaps are slowly satisfied until all that remains are the hardest to find - Radja Nainggolan (the Belgium midfielder) apparently being the unicorn for the 2018 World Cup album – who’d have known? However most kids, and in particular their parents, aren’t prepared for the expense of purchasing the near 1,000 packs required to ensure the completeness of their Panini album and as such the majority sit, unfinished gathering dust. Fast-forward to 2021 and this mindset of completeness is far from limited to collecting images of men in shorts – indeed, when it comes to whisky, this preoccupation is increasingly becoming warped into a mentality that it's all or nothing.

SMWS July 2021 Outturn review

Posted 01 July 2021

It has been eight months. Eight long months since we last ventured into Greville Street to put pen to paper for an outturn review. And I can honestly say that it feels great to be back. Back to the Society. Back to exploring the monthly outturns and most importantly – back to catching up with lovely members. And of course Phil. 

The Dramble reviews Balblair 2005 TWE Exclusive

Modesty

Posted 29 June 2021

Despite incessant media and enthusiast-driven hype, increasing bottle hysteria and more than a touch of elaborate marketing and beautifying packaging, whisky is rather the humble drink. Formed from just barley, yeast and water – even your evening beer has at least one more base ingredient added at its point of creation. And yet it is the elevation, over time, of these normally unassuming components which takes whisky from its modest roots and transforms it into something which can be equally as enchanted as it is diverting.


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