Latest Tasting

The Dramble's review of Chichibu Chibidaru 2010

There is no equal

Posted 21 June 2018

Whilst a hogshead is a hogshead and a butt is usually a butt, not all quarter casks are made to identical dimensions and therefore capacities. See, it depends exactly what you’re taking a quarter of as your baseline  – if you’re looking at an American Standard Barrel (ASB) which has a capacity of around 190 -200 litres, then relative to this a quarter cask is going to be around 50 litres. But, if you’re looking at a hogshead with a capacity of 250 litres then your quarter point is closer to 62.5 litres. To further add more cloudiness, I’ve seen quite a number of distilleries that list the capacity of their QCs as 80 litres – which would be around a quarter of a puncheon (320 litres). Honestly, it’s all a bit confusing. More of a guideline than an actual code.

Latest Opinions

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.

The Dramble looks forward to new releases from Ardbeg, Bunnahabhain and Speyburn

New and shiny - March 2018

Posted 09 March 2018

I’m probably far from alone when I say that I spend too much of my personal time trawling the Internet for news of new and shiny releases that are going to be winging their way into the marketplace. Indeed, in the current whisky world, if a release is from one of more widely known distilleries, or is in anyway limited, you’re probably going to need to move fast to even have a chance of obtaining it. Sometimes you need to employ a bit of personal detective work - keeping an eye on news sites, talking to colleagues who may have overheard a morsel of information, or indeed catching up with brand reps who accidentally on purpose give you a bit of a head start. With each year there are more and more releases - too many to possibly keep track of, but here are a few upcoming bottles that I'm planning on keeping a close eye on.

The Dramble explores English whisky at Wharf Distillery in Northamptonshire

This is England 2018

Posted 30 January 2018

A little over 10 years ago distilling south of the border was all but unheard of. It used to be easy to keep abreast of distilling trends in England – there were few. Fast-forward to 2018 and there’s a veritable resurgence in English distilling – the number of English distilleries has risen by 413% in the last 6 years alone. Driven by increased interest in spirits, craft beverages and, of course, cocktails, there are now over 14 distilleries in England producing single malt whisky and countless more producing gin, brandy and other spirits. You’ve probably heard of some of them – but The Dramble had the opportunity to visit one of, if not England’s smallest distillery operation – Northamptonshire's Wharf Distillery.


Master of Malt

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