Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Chichibu London Edition 2020

The bouncer

Posted 19 October 2020

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the method selected to allocate a limited number of bottles to a larger number of enthusiasts is only ever truly welcomed by those who successfully secure a bottle. You don’t have to look all that far to see the same folks bemoaning balloting methods one month and then miraculously championing them another (bottle in hand). Possession is it seems, still nine tenths of the law. But whilst balloting for bottles is not a new phenomenon, its prevalence is steadily growing - both as a technique for divvying up short allocation releases, and as marketing tool.

Other Tastings

Whisky business

Posted 16 October 2020

Launching a new business takes bravery. Doing so during the height of a global pandemic takes sizeable minerals. And commitment, self-belief and above all else resolute passion. The times are certainly weird, but whilst COVID-19 has disrupted ‘normal’ life it’s worth noting that there’s no ‘prefect time’ to start a company. Even during the most prosperous of ages businesses have come and businesses have gone. Timing is important, but it’s far from everything. Whilst some might argue that the perfect time to start independent bottling was likely during the last decade – before things went whisky crazy – there’s still just enough headroom to squeeze a few more indies into the market. So long as they’re doing things right.

Character development

Posted 13 October 2020

All whisky brands have a personality – regardless of whether anyone has sat down with tea, biscuits and a whiteboard and attempted to define it. We all naturally associate human traits with companies and their products – and the charisma of a whisky can frequently be defined by more than just the tasting norms of ‘nose’, ‘palate’ and ‘finish’. Distilleries, bottlers, brand managers - all want to express a set of characteristics that resonate with their customer base and convey how they wish to be perceived. And customers in turn, through the whiskies that they associate with, champion and regularly enjoy also articulate something about themselves and their aspirations and motivations at the same time.

Virtual insanity

Posted 09 October 2020

Across the events industry one word is now being thrown around and that word is ‘hybrid’. The blended concept (whisky pun intended) sees a smaller, more exclusive event taking place in a face-to-face environment, with the majority of attendees connecting purely digitally through platforms such as Zoom. Already the Internet is littered with service companies offering hybrid services – adaptation is crucial. And just last month someone decided that it was high time that hybrid events had its own Wikipedia page created – a page which pleasingly outset ensures from the outset that readers are not confused with “hybridisation event” –  a rather more carnally focussed term that’s really not appropriate for conferences and trade shows.

The Dramble reviews Skene Whisky Black Tartan 88

It's a jungle out there

Posted 07 October 2020

Last year saw a confounding number of self-proclaimed authorities on parliamentary practice. 2020 has revealed a staggering number of armchair epidemiology and virology experts. But rest assured dear readers, since time immemorial, everyone and anyone has believed that they can ‘do marketing’. Its genesis can be traced back to antiquity, and its early professional practice was solidified during the time of the industrial revolution. Unlike some career functions, marketing is everywhere you look – both inside and outside of your workplaces.  And this ubiquity has resulted in everyone thinking they’re a marketeer – particularly now, in an interconnected world that has provided us with the platforms, tools and voice to freely share our opinions. But as the whisky world can regularly attest to – turning hype into hyperventilation is still a skilful endeavour.

The Dramble reviews Drumshanbo Inaugural Release

In the land of the blind

Posted 05 October 2020

In 2001 a group of students at the University of Bordeaux were asked to taste two glasses of wine – one red, one white. They invariably described the red wine as “jammy” and offering notes of red fruits and berries. They failed to note that both wines were in fact completely identical, save for one being coloured red using a flavourless dye. A somewhat unkind experiment, but one which highlights that biases are both regular in drinks tastings, and that regardless of wine or whisky, a taster’s judgements are easily influenced and prejudiced by external stimulus or additional information (which may or may not be correct).

SMWS October 2020 Outturn review

Posted 01 October 2020

SMWS’s October outturn ‘Lets get fizzical offers up 20 new single cask whiskies, 1 new single cask rum and a flashback to the August 2019 outturn with another list billed as focussed on the ‘hauf n hauf’ of whisky and beer pairings. Don’t mind if I do. But perhaps the biggest Society news this month comes not from the upcoming list of whiskies, but from the announcement that a new SMWS website is on the horizon. Quicker than expected. This I’m sure will please many members – particularly those who have struggled to navigate a site which has become increasingly creaky over the past few years.


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