Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Dallas Dhu 10 year old Gordon & MacPhail

History isn't always kind

Posted 20 July 2018

Whisky from closed distilleries has always been desirable to enthusiasts – it’s a rare, sometimes hard to find and finite resource that captures a liquid moment in time. This is even more so the case today – lost distillery bottlings which cost several hundred pounds five years ago now trade for several thousand. Little has changed over that period of time except the increasing appeal of Scotch whisky and the cultish mind-set of collections (and growth of unscrupulous investors). But, whilst all distilleries, including closed ones have their own sense of uniqueness, and some of the lost distilleries have gained something of legendary status (Port Ellen, Brora and Rosebank etc) there are good reasons why many sites closed over the years – and in some cases its simply because the whisky they were producing was not very good.

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.


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