Latest Tasting

The Dramble reviews Whisky Sponge Springbank 1994 26 year old

Critical drinking

Posted 09 June 2021

Whisky doesn’t need any more blogs/vblogs featuring “my first ever Laphroaig” or copy and pasted wiki distillery histories or WSET level 2 “experts”. But it does need, perhaps more than ever, some sharp angles when it comes to whisky writing. In order to write a good critique, there is also a requirement to critically read and critically assess. These are skills which do not develop overnight…knowledge doesn’t grow on trees (unless you’re into cider reviews). Close inspection and a deep understanding of whatever it is you’re attempting to critique are fundamental requirements and are joined by the aptitude to apply an appropriate set of criteria in order to keenly evaluate the subject to hand fairly and consistently. And then most importantly, and sadly all too often forgotten - to be able to communicate all of this in an engaging and energising fashion.

Other Tastings

The Dramble reviews Whisky Sponge Equilibrium

The ones that got away

Posted 03 June 2021

Drinkers are perennially obsessed with bottlings which sell out. How many were there? (few) How quickly did they all sell out? (very) And how many will appear at auction next week? (lots). When it comes to whisky in 2021, I’m honestly surprised that folks are still astounded by any of this. Flip the switch to the opposite direction – and you’ll find that seeing which releases *didn’t* sell out on impact can offer far more insight into the modern market than glancing into the rear-view mirror of blink and you’ve missed it whisky.


Posted 26 May 2021

Once a month, once a week, once a day, or several times time a day? Don’t worry, your parents were lying – you won’t go blind. But if you’re purchasing whisky with a frequency which exceeds the rate that you’re drinking it, you’re going to be accumulating bottles. So, to manage this accumulation do you a set number, set budget or set a physical storage space? Or are you just going to think about that later down the line and hope that your other half just doesn’t notice the continuous courier arrivals and the strange bumps under the bed that are starting to lift the mattress?

The single cask whisky pedestal

Posted 21 May 2021

Few who pick up a tennis racquet should expect to go on to play at Wimbledon. And treading the boards at a local amateur theatre company doesn’t signal that Hollywood will ever be beckoning. Sadly, not everyone is destined for greatness – though of course we all should certainly dream and aspire – that’s just to be human. When it comes to whisky, the story is similar - not every cask has the composition, character and attributes that mark it out as being of exceptional quality. And that means that not every whisky should be considered as being suitable for being bottled as a single cask. Sorry whisky – no tournament trophy or Oscar’s ceremony for you.

The Dramble reviews Paul John Mithuna

You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means

Posted 17 May 2021

Whilst my appreciation for certain styles of cinema remains constant, my favourite film could change every day. Mood plays a significant role in shaping our tastes – and depending on my disposition I could find myself yearning to spend a couple of hours exploring something new and unfamiliar – or equally I could find myself curing up on the sofa with an old favourite that’s been watched countless times already. But regardless of which flavour of flick I’m looking for, there are times when I find myself seeking out the same things in films as I often do in whiskies – richness, depth, focus, intensity, balance, harmony and finesse. But what those things actually mean and how they manifest themselves within a glass is far from easy to truly understand.

The Dramble reviews Balblair 1997 19 year old Hand Bottling

Location, location, location

Posted 12 May 2021

Warehouse drams always taste better in warehouses. But this is not because tranquil, history-steeped dunnages possess any type of capability to enhance the sophistication and awareness of our olfactory systems. Indeed, with lower ambient temperatures and sometimes poor levels of lighting – on paper, you’d expect the exact opposite to be true. However, despite whisky being for all intents and purposes identical whether in a glass at home or in a glass in a warehouse, it is the experience itself – the place, the environment, the occasion, and the company that so often defines our perceptions.

The Dramble reviews Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2005 15 year old TWE Exclusive


Posted 07 May 2021

The best whisky writing has always been about more than the assembly of nose, palate and finish, topped with a regurgitated Wikipedia history and closed with a selection of largely unsubstantiated plaudits. Whisky writing can and should be about more than what is inside of the glass itself - in the same way that the best food writing extends far beyond what has just been served on a plate. And it’s the broadness of the topic – how whisky impacts economics, scientific understanding, people and evolving cultures that sees me sat here writing about it as the sun comes up.

Master of Malt



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