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ISSUE FOUR | FREE

TARRED FEATHERED Whisky’s traditional rite of passage

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Cask & Still Magazine | 3 cask and still

www.caskandstillmagazine.com

From the

EDITOR

As I write this, Autumn is in full swing and the Festive Season is looming large. My palate has been shaken and stirred of late, with the Whisky Challenge run by our sister publication Scottish Field keeping my tumbler full and my mind addled for much of the past month. But my, what a glorious way to help the weeks slip by! Aided and abetted by outstanding, award-winning drams from Glen Scotia, Glen Grant, Glenglassaugh, Arran and countless other points in between, it’s been a good year so far. But while we’ll keep our eye on all things amber (as you can hopefully see from these pages) our attention is also turning to the demands of Christmas and Hogmanay. For me this is a time of year defined by booze – whether it’s mulled wine, gin or cider on Christmas Eve, fizz with smoked salmon on Christmas morning, the stickies that accompany Christmas pud or the bullshots that make the Boxing Day forced march bearable, my whole regime

revolves around family, food and booze. And that is, of course, without mentioning first footing at Hogmanay when we get through a small lake of whisky, or later in January when all rightthinking souls splash a wee bit of uisge beatha over their haggis on Burns Night. ‘Tis surely the season to be (very) merry... Slàinte!

EDITOR Richard Bath

Contributors

DAVID AUSTIN Our new beer writer is a craft brewer from Dunfermline (we’ve tasted his showpiece tipple, the De Brus, and it’s tip-top) who has left no bottle unopened or pint unfinished in his quest to unearth new beer trends.

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DR BROOKE MAGNANTI Storied spirits guru – aka blogger Belle du Jour – has gone the extra mile for us by converting herself from a drinker who always said ‘nyet’ to vodka, to a woman in thrall to the finest distilled spuds thanks to a Polish vodka.

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4 | What’s inside

In this

ISSUE 40 10 38

Cover line 12 SUPER COOPERS

The ancient and messy tradition of tarring and feathering apprentice coopers is revived on Speyside

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Cask and Still Magazine | 5

30

&

S NOV 2016 ISSUE FOUR cask and still

The team

DESIGN & EDITORIAL Editor: Richard Bath Creatives Heddy Forrest, Amanda Richardson

06 NEWS

Inside

Remember, you heard it here first...

08 BAR SNAPS

Draming down under at Whisky & Alement in Melbourne, Australia

51

10 ME AND MY DRAM

38 GOLDEN STATE

Neil McKinlay’s skateboards provide a radical new use for old whisky barrels

40 WHISKY WORSHIP The Brazilian cathedral built to house one man’s gigantic whisky collection

Fashion designer and TV presenter Patrick Grant on his favourite tipple

46 THE BLUFFER’S GUIDE TO GAELIC DISTILLERY NAMES

20 THE RANT

49 WHISKY HERO

When it comes to whisky labeling, honesty should be the best policy

22 HIGH SPIRITS

Investing in whisky can prove lucrative

28 SIX OF THE BEST Winter whisky cocktails from The Voyage of Buck, Blackbird and Treacle

30 INDIAN AMBER

Indian single malt whisky is big business

37 WHISKY BY NUMBERS The latest facts and figures

Oliver Nicod fuses whisky and chocolate

51 CONNOISSEUR’S SELECTION Our experts

choose their top drams

76 STRONG AND CLEAR Dr Brooke

Magnanti – blogger Belle de Jour – on her new found love of vodka

79 OVER A BARREL Scotland’s craft beer market is buoyant

80 WHISKY EVENTS GUIDE 82 WHISKY IN SOUTH AFRICA with

Photographer: Angus Blackburn Staff Writers: Morag Bootland, Hermione Lister-Kaye, Susan Nickalls Contributing Editor: Blair Bowman Contributors: Dr Brooke Magnanti, Jenny McBain, David Austin Email: editor@caskandstill magazine.co.uk

ADVERTISING Sales Director: Brian Cameron Special Projects Manager: Janice Johnston Sales assistants: Mikaela MacKinnon, Katie Hogg

PUBLISHING Publisher: Alister Bennett Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh EH5 2DL Tel: 0131 551 1000 Published by Wyvex Media Ltd. While Cask & Still is prepared to consider unsolicited articles, transparencies and artwork, it only accepts such material on the strict understanding that it incurs no liability for its safe custody or return. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of Wyvex Media Ltd.

Bernard Gutman

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6 | News feed

THE KINCARDINE

&

S

Following the success of The

Glover, a blend of Scottish and Japanese whisky to celebrate ‘Scottish Samurai’ Thomas Blake is launching a blend of scotch to celebrate the historic ties between India and Scotland and to honour the life of Victor Bruce, the 13th Earl of Kincardine, who served as Viceroy of India from 18941899. The whisky is a fusion from Glen Elgin and Macallan distilleries and a single malt whisky from India’s Amrut distillery. It was blended by Victor’s great-grandson Alex Bruce, master blender of Adelphi Distillery in Fife.

News FEED

Glover, Fusion Whisky Limited

YOUR MOVE

Spirits producer Chivas Brothers has announced plans to close its operations in Paisley and build a new £40m bottling plant at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton. The firm said all permanent employees from the Paisley base would be transfered to the new site. The move is scheduled to start in 2018. The new facility, which is earmarked for completion by the end of 2019, will include a bottling hall and an office. Chivas Brothers, part of the drinks giant Pernod Ricard, said the plans were a response to an extensive review of existing operations. The company’s current spirits portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin and The Glenlivet.

FOLLOW US FOR ALL THE LATEST NEWS:

@caskandstillmag

SECOND THE BEST DALMORE PLEASE

The world’s number two favourite whisky brand, The Glenlivet, has revealed their

Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson, renowned for his

second release from The Glenlivet

role as master distiller at The Dalmore Distillery,

Winchester collection, Vintage 1966 – a

has spent the past 50 years of his career

50 year old whisky. The 100 bottles

creating the Highland whisky.

available will be sold in Harrods for

Richard will now host a series of tasting

£20,000 each. The hand blown glass

events around the world while showcasing

bottle is by Brodie Nairn of Glasstorm,

a selection of bottles including The Dalmore

the stopper is designed by silversmith

Paterson Collection and the recently released

Richard Fox and is set with a smoky

The Dalmore Quintessence.

quartz Cairngorm stone.

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NEW EXPRESSIONS

MASTER OF THE MALT

The new Edinburgh Whisky Academy, which is fully accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, is the first centre of learning for whisky education. The academy was specifically created to fill a vital gap in Scotch whisky education and is developing a range of

BLACK BOWMORE

50 year old Islay Malt 40.9% ABV, RRP £16,000 The fifth and final instalment of the black range was filled on 5 November 1964 and was matured entirely in first fill Sherry casks. The 159 handmade bottles are presented in oak cases inlaid with silver.

short courses, with the Diploma in Single Malt Whisky the first to be launched. Further diplomas in the Art of Tasting Whisky and Blended Whiskies will follow early 2017. www.edinburghwhiskyacademy.com

ARDBEG TWENTY ONE Islay single malt 46% ABV, RRP £310

This release is dedicated to the people who fought to safeguard the distillery’s future. A pale gold whisky with flavours of liquorice, charcoal, peppermint and vanilla with a dash of spice.

WHISKY OF THE WORLD Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year is

Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old from Canada. Murray described it as having a ‘brain-draining, mind-

KILKERRAN 12 YO

blowing’ nose with a finish of ‘amazing depth’,

Single malt 46% ABV, RRP £35

The first core product from Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery in Campbeltown is a lightly peated, double distilled whisky. Non chill-filtered, matured in bourbon and sherry casks it has a smooth finish with a slight saltiness.

scoring it 97.5/100 points. For the first time since 2014, Murray has included a Scottish whisky in his top three in the Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition.

HIGH SPIRITS

‘Whisky Evangelist’ Eddie Ludlow

BENROMACH 1974

Single cask malt whisky 49.1% ABV, RRP £1,200

After 41 years in a sherry butt, this is a golden amber colour with sherry influences infused with sultana, sharp green apple and zesty orange peel flavours, with hints of beeswax, menthol and dark chocolate.

has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the Scotch whisky industry by being inducted into the prestigious Keepers of the Quaich. Eddie, who founded whisky event and tasting company The Whisky Lounge, received the whisky knighthood at a reception at Blair Castle in Perthshire.

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8 | Whisky bars of the world

WHISKY & ALEMENT, MELBOURNE If you want it, they’ve got it! This cosy Australian outpost of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society boasts over 800 kinds of whiskies on pour, a bottle shop and a School of Whisky. Fair dinkum mate. www.whiskyandale.com.au

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10 | Me and my dram

Image: Patrick Grant enjoys a dram at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith.

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Me & my

DRAM

Have you always been a whisky drinker? No, not always. A good friend of mine from school has a beautiful lodge on the shore of Loch Teacuis on the west coast. When we were in our twenties, a whole gang of us used to go up there for long weekends. One New Year’s Eve we found her dad’s booze cabinet unlocked and cracked into it at about 4am. Between the three of us, we demolished a very nice bottle of Balvenie. That was it really – I’ve been a whisky drinker ever since. When do you drink whisky? It’s a late night drink with friends, and usually it’s a whole bottle! Cracking open a good bottle with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time, for me, is the perfect occasion. Once you get started it seems pointless to stop – why would you go to bed with a bottle only half drunk? You have worked with distilleries in the past haven’t you? I have recently worked with anCnoc whisky, designing the packaging for a limited edition bottle. AnCnoc [which was previously known as Knockdhu] always has really interesting packaging and get a lot of artists and graphic

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Scottish designer and judge on BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee, Patrick Grant, shares his whisky ramblings Interview by Hermione Lister-Kaye

designers on board. The bottle I designed is called ‘blas’, the Gaelic word for taste. What was the process for that? AnCnoc means ‘the hill’ and the distillery is at the bottom of a hill. I went to the town of Knock, in Banffshire, and photographed all sorts of things – the wildflowers, the houses and the local curling club. The master distiller, who lives beside the distillery, complained about his next door neighbour’s rusty cars. And right enough his next door neighbour’s garden was a junkyard of old cars

Once you get started, it seems pointless to stop. Why would you go to bed with a bottle only half drunk? and some amazing bits of kit. But of course the water that runs through the rust, runs through the distillery, it all felt, to me, like a big part of this wonderful story.

How do you translate all that into a design? One of my young designers is a really fantastic illustrator so I got him to illustrate all of these photographs that I had taken. We then made a very modern abstract camo design with the colours of the wildflowers. What is your favourite whisky? I think it is one of those things that is quite mood dependant. I don’t like really heavy, peaty whiskies and generally steer clear of Islay whiskies. I actually have a very good bottle of cask strength Laphroaig and I thought I’d give it another go but I still really don’t like it. Highland Park is a lovely whisky. It is a very personal thing though and depends heavily on my mood. Do you have a preferred watering hole? It has to be The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The bottles are full cask strength and numbered by distillery and cask so you don’t know what you are drinking. They have the best tasting notes too. I once had one that said, ‘charred smoky bacon with listerine.’ It sounds horrible, but that is exactly what it tasted like.

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12 | Tarred & Feathered

Pictured: Apprentice cooper Calum Lawson.

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r e p u S The sticky tradition of blackening has been brought back to the Speyside Cooperage Written by Hermione Lister-Kaye

fter four years training under master coopers at the Speyside Cooperage, apprentices must undergo a rather messy rite of passage in order to graduate. The tradition of blackening – also known as ‘trussing the cooper’ – has been held by coopers for centuries and involves smearing a sticky concoction of molasses and pot ale over the young apprentices before covering them in feathers and flour, resulting in a sticky mess. Once fully caked, the unlucky boys are placed in a large sherry butt and rolled around the cooperage, much to the amusement of everyone present. At the Speyside Cooperage last year blackening was brought back to life in the first ceremony at the cooperage in 10 years and members of the public were invited to watch young apprectices Calum Lawson and Kyle Cooper undergo the cemerony that marks the end of their apprenticeships. ‘The boys knew it was going to happen but they had no idea when,’ said Speyside Cooperage manager Gill Reid. ‘As the boys were being rolled around in the terrible gunk, their families were watching from the viewing gallery – it was a lot of fun!’

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14 | Tarred & Feathered

Clockwise from top left: Cooperage apprentice Kyle Cooper is captured, stripped and covered in a treacle, flour and feather concoction.

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16 | Tarred & Feathered

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Left: Once sufficiently congealed, Kyle and Calum are rolled around the cooperage in large sherry barrels. Above: The final act of the blackening is a celebratory swig of whisky.

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18 | Tarred & Feathered

OLD WHISKY TRADITIONS

DAILY DRAM

Before the days of health and safety, distillery workers would get thricedaily drams, a full tumbler of new make spirit, or caskstrength single malt plus extra drams for dirty jobs or back breaking work. whisky.x

COPPER DOG

A sly way of stealing whisky from casks was by dipping a ‘copper dog’ or pipe into the cask and hanging it down a trouser leg, known as ‘taking the dog for a walk.’

SALMON FISHING

The start of the fishing season is marked by pouring a bottle of whisky into the River Spey. A quaich is the prize for whoever catches the first fish the first day.

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100PROOF .

ST A Y BONDED. ASI NGL EDI STI L L ERYPRODUCT ,FROMASI NGL ESEASONOFDI STI L L ATI ON,AGEDFORAMI NI MUMOF4YEARSI NA GOVERNMENT SUPERVI SEDWAREHOUSEANDBOTTL EDAT50% ABV

W W W. M ARUSSI ABEVERAG ES. CO. UK


20 | The Rant

Honesty

IS THE BEST POLICY... When it comes to knowing exactly what you’re drinking, current whisky laws are an outdated barrier to transparency, and it’s high time for a change Written by Blair Bowman

I

t may come as a surprise to you, but due to some bizarre EU and UK laws spirits producers can’t be 100% transparent about what exact ‘recipe’ goes into their products. In fact, to disclose too much information is, under current regulations, illegal. At present, whisky producers can only disclose the age of the youngest whisky in a blend or bottling (for single malts) or they can choose to give no age (no age statement whiskies). But they cannot disclose the percentages of each whisky in a blend. For single malts, the age on the label can only refer to the youngest whisky in the bottling and cannot reference older whiskies that may go into the bottle. So for example, a 10 year old whisky could in fact contain whiskies that are much older, but the label could only state that it is a 10 year old whisky. For blended whiskies, it is currently illegal to give full disclosure of the exact ‘recipe’ (percentages of each whisky, the distilleries and ages) of a given blend, which seems bonkers. Why should it be illegal for a company to disclose information like this if they wish to do so? These rules and regulations first came about 25 years ago when a few unscrupulous producers decided that they could get away with putting a mere teaspoon of 60 year old whisky into their much younger product and then market it as containing 60 year old whisky, despite the fact that the tiny amount of 60 year old liquid would not affect the taste one iota. In order to catch out these

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Pictured: I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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INFORMATIVE WHISKIES

unsavoury salesmen a law was passed which meant that only the youngest component in a whisky could be declared on the label. But for some reason the wording of this legislation also makes it illegal to voluntarily give away more information, such as the other ages in a bottling or the percentages of each whisky used. These laws were put in place to protect consumers but are now stifling transparency in an unfair and unjust way. For years big brands have traded on the idea that the exact recipe of their blended whiskies is a closely guarded secret – ‘if we told you we’d have to kill you’ – which is pretty trite. It’s time for the whisky industry to get with the programme. Transparency and traceability are essential to build consumer confidence, not to mention brand loyalty. Besides, no one is suggesting any distiller would be forced to list the ingredients on each bottle. Consumers aren’t stupid. With the emergence of new no-age statements whiskies, whisky drinkers are becoming more savvy and want to know that they aren’t being hoodwinked. Unfortunately, the term ‘no age statement’ has picked up a bad reputation and the only way that I can see to lose this is through transparency. The debate around transparency was initially sparked by Compass Box, an independent whisky bottler. Around a year ago they received a letter from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) informing them that they were in violation of the aforementioned laws. It would seem that an undisclosed member had tipped off the SWA about the information on their whisky labels. Compass Box has been trading for over 15 years, and had always been completely transparent about their whiskies. As well as disclosing the distilleries, casks used, and ages of whiskies in each blend, they would often give tasting notes on each of the whiskies that made up that blend. Compass Box were well aware of the laws but, believing them to be archaic, had

hoped that others would feel the same way. Compass Box were quick to remove the violating information from their website and marketing but they were also vocal in kickstarting a movement to amend these nonsensical laws. They started a petition which now has 9,000 signatures in support of the proposed changes. Their suggestion is that the law be changed to make transparency optional, not compulsory. This is an excellent idea – it would be fascinating to see which distillers and producers would give full disclosure and which ones wouldn’t budge. Unfortunately, Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works as far as changes to the laws go. In the meantime, Compass Box and Bruichladdich, who have supported the transparency campaign, have found a loophole in the rules that make it possible for them to give full disclosure about a specific whisky if someone requests the information directly from them. On every bottle of Bruichladdich there is a small batch number; if you go to their website and type in this number you can get the information about that specific batch. Similarly, on Compass Box’s website if you click the button saying ‘request age information’ and type in your email address, you will be sent an email and infographic with full disclosure about that product. Quite clever really, but not ideal in the long run. Compass Box and Bruichladdich should be applauded for their continued fight for this righteous cause. I certainly hope that they pesist and are successful. Regardless of Brexit, it is vital that consumers have free and easy access to the information that can help them understand more about the whisky that they drink. This is even more important in this new era of no age statements. It’s time for the industry to back Compass Box’s worthy cause and finally be completely honest with their customers.

These laws were put in place to protect consumers but are now stifling transparency in a very unfair and unjust way

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COMPASS BOX THREE YEAR OLD DELUXE This whisky is comprised of 0.4% three year old whisky but the other 99.6% of the bottle is 24 years or older.

COMPASS BOX THIS IS NOT A LUXURY WHISKY An homage to Magritte’s ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’, this ‘ironic’ whisky contains 19, 30 and 40 year old single malts and 40 year old grain whisky.

BRUICHLADDICH THE CLASSIC LADDIE In solidarity with Compass Box’s campaign, you can find this whisky’s recipe by typing the batch number into Bruichladdich’s website.

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22 | Investors in Whisky

Pictured: Robbie Reid in his workshop

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H GH spirits

With the potential to earn greater returns than gold, many investors are turning to whisky for what they see as easy money

Written by Jenny McBain

S

cotland’s national drink is enjoying a glittering status as a lucrative investment. In fact, a growing number of speculators are sinking their money into whisky in the hope of making good returns. Buyers from across continental Europe, North America, India, Japan and Taiwan are on a quest to find that special bottle of whisky; one that will earn them greater returns than gold. Their aspirations are based on some astonishing facts. Since 2008, the top performing bottles of whisky have shown an increase in value of over 500%. However, a whisky expert based in Tain in the Highlands is sounding a cautionary note to would-be whisky investors looking for easy money. Andy Simpson is the co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, a company offering expert advice and valuation services to whisky enthusiasts. ‘It is true that the potential profits are considerable,’ says Simpson, ‘but people should be aware that whisky, as with any investment, has the potential to lose huge amounts of money.’

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24 | Investors in Whisky

Some sobering figures back up Simpson’s contention that this very specialised market has its downside as well as its upside. In 2014 the Balvenie Distillery released 128 bottles of 50-yearold spirit from a single cask. These currently retail at £26,500. However, one sold at an online auction last year for just £15,000. That represents a massive loss of almost 50% by the time fees and VAT are taken into account. Another good example is the Highland Park 50 year old where 275 bottles were released early in 2011 at an original RRP of £10,000. The first bottle to sell at auction in 2012 achieved just £5,800 and the most recent bottle to sell, in March 2015, fetched just £8,700. Simpson is a former corporate banker who now makes a full-time living from his detailed knowledge of whisky. He describes himself as a drinker, collector and investor with a life-long passion for the amber nectar. ‘As a teenager I was very popular because I was the only kid on the block who got a bottle of Scotch for Easter rather than an Easter egg. I began collecting bottles over the years and then realised that my collection had significantly appreciated in value. When I buy whisky for myself I always buy one bottle to keep and one to drink.’ Simpson, who has now been working fulltime in the industry for six years, is able to cite some considerable successes. ‘I bought a case of Port Ellen first release for £90 per bottle more than 10 years ago. These now sell for £1,800 at

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auction. One of our clients purchased a collection of whisky in December 2013 and twelve months later the collection, which was a particularly good one, had increased by 40.38%.’ Martin Green is the whisky specialist at Bonhams Auction House in Edinburgh. He has seen many valuable bottles go under the hammer, including a 55 year-old Glenfiddich which fetched almost £47,000. He has some observations about the allure of whisky. ‘Whisky carries social prestige, especially among buyers in South East Asia,’ says Green. ‘There is also a romantic and emotional pull associated with it and there is a mystical allure associated with the taste of the individual malts from the various regions of Scotland. There is also an appreciation of how much time and craft goes into creating whisky with genuine heritage and provenance.’ Sukhinder Singh is director of the Londonbased Whisky Exchange, a company that buys and sells wines and spirits. In keeping with the typical profile of a successful investor, his

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As with all investments, entry and exit are the key to success

As a teenager, Rare Whisky 101 co-founder Andy Simpson was given Scotch rather than Easter eggs.

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ART OF THE BLEND CASK FINISHED BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY LIMITED RELEASES OF THE ULTIMATE SMALL BATCH BLENDED WHISKY RANGE FROM NOVEMBER 30TH 2016. SEE EDENMILL.COM FOR DETAILS. AN ENDEAVOUR OF

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passion for whisky is what has steered his business. ‘I started collecting at a young age, partly because my parents had a drinks shop,’ he said. ‘Then I met a lot of collectors from around the world. We initially started off swapping whisky with each other. Later, they asked me to help them source the bottles they were looking for.’ Singh has some helpfully straightforward advice about how potential investors can best navigate the market and pick a winner. ‘The simplest way to explain this is you need to achieve a combination of very good whisky and a limited supply,’ he says. ‘A standard ongoing bottling may be great for drinking but will not become collectable until it is discontinued.’ A distillation of expert advice comes down to some basic principles. Would-be investors are advised to look for small batch releases of single cask, low volume limited edition bottles from major distilleries such as Macallan, Balvenie, Dalmore and Lagavulin. Alternatively, bottles from the many silent, or closed, distilleries continue to perform exceptionally well. These include Port Ellen (Islay), Brora (Sutherland) and Rosebank in the Lowlands. Finally, it is important to note that when it comes to whisky, age matters. Older aged whisky (30 years plus) and older vintages (1970’s and before) are experiencing massive global demand. Simpson is quite clear about what does not constitute a good investment in the world of whisky in reference to recent depreciations. ‘We advise our clients against buying these very, very old, very rare, very expensive bottles of new release whiskies. History

tells us that these bottles will take a tumble, certainly in the medium-term, before they show any increase.’ In fact, Simpson recommends that those who would like to enter this marketplace take a longterm view. ‘Patience is key. While there is the potential for short-term gains in the current market, whisky should be viewed as a mediumto long-term investment. I have seen many would-be investors lose significant amounts by simply being impatient. As with all investments, entry and exit are the key to success.’

To pick a winner you need to combine a very good whisky with a limited supply

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The Whisky Exchange’s Sukhinder Singh started collecting at a young age because his parents had a drinks shop.

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28 | Whisky Cocktails

THE MIX

ALL IN

Feel like mixing it up? Six whisky cocktails to take the chill off the winter nights

DODD & CO.

CARTER AND CARNARVON

LUCY IN DISGUISE

Marnier; 25ml lemon juice;

25ml Fig-infused Monkey Shoulder;

25ml Woodford Reserve; 37.5ml

15ml Lapsang Souchong maple

25ml Cocchi di Torino; 25ml Campari;

PX Sherry; 12.5ml clementine juice;

syrup; 3 dashes of orange and

12.5ml Buck’s Fenugreek cordial;

10ml Grand Marnier; 1 whole egg

mandarin bitters

2 dashes of peychaud bitters

METHOD: Add all ingredients to a

METHOD: Add all ingredients to

cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake

a mixing glass. Stir until diluted

Once shaken well, add ice and

well. Double strain into a glass or

and strain into a rocks glass over

shake hard. Double strain into a

cup of your choice.

a block of ice. Garnish with an

brandy glass or goblet. Garnish

orange twist and dehydrated fig.

with grated nutmeg.

25ml Oolong tea-infused Dewars 12; 12.5ml Aberfeldy 12; 12.5ml Grand

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METHOD: Add all ingredients to shaker and mix without ice initially.

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SAGE AGAINST CHERRY IS THE MACHINE THE NEW BLACK

REVERSE WALNUT MANHATTAN

10ml sugar syrup; 1 egg white;

37.5ml Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask;

50ml Belsazar Red Vermouth; 25ml

3 blackberries; 20g chestnut sugar

12.5ml Cherry Marnier; 20ml

Woodford Reserve; Walnut Bitters;

(roast chestnut superfine sugar);

Clementine Juice; 2 Dashes

Orange zest

4 sage leaves; 30ml soda

Xocolatl Mole Bitters

METHOD: Shake all ingredients

METHOD: Pour all ingredients into

with ice. Double strain over ice into

cocktail shaker and shake well

ice. Use a single large cube to

a Highball glass. Top up with soda.

with ice. Double strain into glass.

avoid over-dilution. Garnish with an

Garnish with a bramble and

Garnish with an orange twist and

orange twist or cherry.

sage leaf.

a cherry.

37.5ml Bulleit Rye; 12.5ml Cocchi Americano; 25ml lemon juice;

METHOD: Mix by stirring liquid ingredients in a rocks glass over

Our cocktails were made by The Voyage of Buck, The Blackbird and Treacle. www.thevoyageofbuckedinburgh.co.uk www.treacleedinburgh.co.uk

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www.theblackbirdedinburgh.co.uk

10/11/2016 12:55:12


30 | Whisky guru

Indian

AMBER India’s whisky business is booming as more and more world-class Indian single malts hit the market Written by Blair Bowman

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Cask and Still Magazine | 31 >>>

s 030-035_CS04.indd 31

ince t prod he mid -199 0 the e ucer in Indi s, Paul ight a, ha P. Jo hear h be h s s d Indi of it, le t-selling been su n, owne a c r t the l n-made alone s whisky cessfull of the y e arge i b e n prod fourth l n e t nd he a well s over t quanti ed whi bottle o world. ucing w largest sky ties f it. liqu You ten hat P w T o o ’ mig roduce million f whisk hich is his is b ve prob is claim r d h e c a e y p the t be sur in Indi ases sol by far redom cause O bly nev d to be in in w e d a p r Wal orld, ei rised to since t each ye most o antly so iginal C r even h ker g f a hoic l e l h d r t e . h 182 t a re arn i (thir e so Indi 0s, th uthe n India. e is an In d a I rn s cou n whisk ) and Ja dian. T at of th Indian tates t sells n e c w h with akin tries th ies are m k Danie e two n top ten hisky i ese to r wou ade fr ls (sixth on-Ind best-se s big bu om lling ian ld n The um. si ). Ho m w o r whi whi ness. Yo t be olas wev hisk sky e are on s s e r i kie u e e e r s, ,m s cogn mad l ised not ma ost of are Joh s in e fro y three n l t d a t ni mm he ed s wh i alted stillerie iskie barley these e s in . In barl s as I E n ey, m they U d atur ia prod a re mor ed fo ucin e gs ram inim ingle m alts, um of th t ree y hat is ears .

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32 | Whisky guru

Right: Entrepreneur Paul P. John has created a single malt Indian whisky which in 2009 was rated third best in the world.

10 million cases of Original Choice sold in India’s southern states each year

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Cask and Still Magazine | 33 >>>

These are: Paul John from Goa; the recently launched Rampur; and Amrut, the first Indian single malt to come to market when it was launched in Glasgow in 2004. In 2008 serial entrepreneur Paul P. John had a vision to create a premium Indian single malt whisky and tap into the emerging premium whisky market around the world. He wanted to create a whisky that would appeal to connoisseurs of single malt whisky. Serendipitously, Amrut Fusion, a little-known Indian single malt whisky, despite having been available in Europe for a few years at this point, was rated third best whisky in the world in Jim Murray’s 2009 Whisky Bible. Partly in response to this award, all eyes were suddenly on India and its whiskies, which had previously been dismissed by most serious whisky enthusiasts. In 2012, Paul John followed Amrut’s lead and launched their own single malt at the Capitol Hotel in London which is noted for its extensive rare whisky collection. The first whisky they released was a no-age statement single cask, bottled at 56% ABV and matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Priced at £60 a bottle, it was a bold move. Jim Murray rated Paul John’s new single malt as ‘liquid gold’, scoring it 94.5 points out of 100. Paul John’s first move into premium single malts was a success, although some credit should be given to Amrut who successfully paved the way. In 2013, Paul John launched another single cask bottling along with two expressions which are now in their core range: Brilliance and Edited, both bottled at 46% ABV and both no-age statement. Edited is a slightly peated expression, using peat imported from Aberdeenshire and Islay. Initially only available in the UK, Paul John whisky has gone on an impressive expansion

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across Europe, the US, Asia and, surprisingly, only recently in India. Since the inception of the range, Paul P. John has strived to make a premium Indian single

Jim Murray rated Paul John’s new single malt as ‘liquid gold’ malt using Indian ingredients. Paul John is made from six-row Indian barley grown in the foothills of the Himalayas where the climate is more temperate. However, this means that the barley has to be shipped 1,500 miles from the north to reach the distillery in the south. The whisky is twice distilled in two Indian-made copper pot stills. Paul John and Amrut share many similarities with the Scottish whisky industry, and a few notable differences. They both buy their malted barley from the same maltsters, which happens a lot in Scotland, but despite this connection the end products remain distinct. The most notable difference between whisky making in Scotland and in India is the climate. The angels’ share in India can be up to 12%, about six times more than in Scotland. However, evaporation can be used to their advantage. The extremely hot climate in India means that three years of maturing a whisky is the equivalent to 18 years maturation in Scotland, and so relatively young Indian whisky can taste much more mature than its actual age. In order to retain some control in

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Cask and Still Magazine | 35

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94.5

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Cask and Still Magazine | 37

whisky by numbers Impress your friends with these facts and figures

12

A dozen new distilleries have opened across Scotland in the last two years

Each year, around

£4bn £75 MILLION worth of Scotch is shipped around the globe

Taiwan is the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value with exports worth £75m in the first six months of this year In the mature USA market, total Scotch exports increased by 9% to £357 million

£357m

60%

Single Malt exports to India increased by 60% to reach over £3.5 million

£431m The global market for Single Malt Scotch has increased by 6% to £431 million

Source: Scotch Whisky Association, figures for the first six months of 2016

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22% Sales of single malts increased by 22% in the USA market to £108m

www.scotch-whisky.org.uk

10/11/2016 12:57:04


38 | Whisky Hero

atxlathe zn Cooxturies

Written by Lxrke

n a dxr.

I foxnd

Opposite: Cooper Attila Peter works through the stages of creating a cask – an art form unchanged in centuries.

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Cask and Still Magazine | 39

STATE Neil McKinlay uses old whisky barrels to create bespoke skateboards from his studio in Argyll Written by Hermione Lister-Kaye

A

fter over a decade building up his renovation company, Neil McKinlay became disillusioned with his life. He was working long hours and missing out on valuable time with his wife and young sons. ‘I was just sick of it,’ Neil recalls. ‘It was time to make a change.’ Packing it all in, Neil and his family headed for the sunny streets of Los Angeles for several months of well-earned R&R. On their return, Neil set up Caleb & Taylor, a small woodworking workshop next to his house in Lochgoilhead, Argyll. Named after his two oldest sons, Caleb & Taylor specialises in bespoke furniture and fittings, and ‘all the cool and unconventional stuff for whoever needs it’. ‘One day I was told about a distillery giving away a whole lot of old whisky barrels and I went and got some,’ says Neil. ‘I had never used a barrel before, I didn’t even know it was oak until I had planed it down.’ Inspired by the skate and surf culture of California and the enthusiasm of his sons, Neil quickly set about making a skateboard from the old oak staves.

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‘I started skateboarding in my 30s and I am not very good,’ laughs Neil. ‘My sons fly about the village on their boards – I think it hurts a lot less to fall off at their age.’ Neil’s exact method is a secret, but it took several goes to perfect the design of his board, which takes about two whole days to produce. ‘When I am working on one the whole workshop stinks of booze,’ says Neil. ‘But it is the fact that the oak is probably over 100 years old – it is amazing to think about.’ America is Neil’s biggest market for the boards, specifically LA. ‘Americans love Scotland and whisky, and Californians love skateboarding – it’s a perfect combination.’ Neil says that there are even a few celebrities skating down Venice Beach on Neil’s converted whisky barrels, including a writer and a well known film director. ‘All of my sons’ friends come to have their boards altered for the bumpy terrain in the village.’ says Neil. ‘I attach thicker longboard wheels which are better on Scottish roads.’ www.calebandtaylor.co.uk

10/11/2016 13:01:48


40 | Cathedral of whisky

Whisky WORSHIP

Brazilian whisky collector, JosĂŠ Roberto Briguenti has built a magnificent cathedral near SĂŁo Paulo to house his 23,000 bottles of the amber nectar

Written by Blair Bowman

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Cask and Still Magazine | 41 >>>

Left: Some of the rare whiskies in José Roberto Briguenti’s vast collection, which is believed to be the world’s largest.

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42 | Cathedral of whisky

M

any whisky enthusiasts will be familiar with the famous, and truly stunning, Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection housed at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. With nearly 4,000 whisky bottles on display, even non-whisky enthusiasts can’t help but be impressed. The collection was amassed by Brazilian whisky collector Claive Vidiz over 35 years and then in 2006 purchased by Diageo and subsequently put on display at the Scotch Whisky Experience. This meant that thousands of tourists who visit the Scotch Whisky Experience could now see this previously private and remarkable collection of whisky. Over the years since its installation, this incredible collection has become a sort of Mecca or pilgrimage for whisky tourists. For whisky aficionados visiting Scotland for the very first time, it is a rite of passage to experience the collection before heading off to Speyside or Islay. Standing in a room like the one housing the Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection, you get a sense of the liquid history sitting on the shelves all around you. There is something almost magical

about it, a ‘je ne sais quoi’. It’s a bit like a time capsule in a way, where everything has been frozen in time with a view to unearthing it in the future. However in this instance you are certainly not allowed to open, or drink, the whiskies. It seems that Brazilians really do have a penchant for accumulating vast whisky collections.

Another Brazilian, José Roberto Briguenti, has gathered such a large collection he has constructed a specially designed ‘cathedral’ to house his collection. The ‘Catedral do Whisky’ is an hour from São Paulo and home to a

staggering 23,000 bottles of whisky. The collection is made up of approximately10,000 miniature bottles, 3,000 ceramic bottles and 10,000 glass or crystal bottles and decanters. These are just approximations as the collection is constantly expanding. Despite owning what is almost certainly the largest collection of whisky in the world, Briguenti does not – and suggests he probably never will – drink any of the whiskies in his collection. There are lots of other well known whisky collectors who are also teetotal. Most whisky collectors tend to focus on one specific brand or distillery in an attempt to own an example of every single whisky ever produced from that brand or distillery. They then hunt down or scour the auction lots around the world to fill the gaps in their collection. However, Briguenti seems to have gone for volume, as opposed to collecting specific distilleries or brands. The Brazilian started his collection about 20 years ago when he purchased a small number of bottles and he hasn’t stopped buying whisky since. He jokingly says that he decided to start the collection after buying his second bottle of whisky. His first bottle, with which he started his collection, was a bourbon whiskey in a glass decanter.

Above and Opposite: Some of the 23,000 whiskies housed in the São Paulo ‘cathedral’.

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800 year old bar, 120 whiskies, 1 unique place Idyllic Location, Unique Experience Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB51 0AE Telephone: +44 (0)1651 872294 enquiries@meldrumhouse.com GlenglassaughAd Cask&Stills Landscape 176x112mm 041116.pdf

1

04/11/2016

www.meldrumhouse.com

11:19

SPIRIT RE-AWAKENED. Exposed to the North Sea air, our award-winning* Glenglassaugh Single Malt Scotch Whisky slowly matures in the coastal warehouses of our distillery, awakened in 2008 after 20 years of silence. EXPERIENCE FULLY, DRINK RESPONSIBLY © 2016 Glenglassaugh is a registered trademark, all rights reserved. *Category winning products in the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015 & 2016

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Cask and Still Magazine | 45 >>>

Above: Inside the vaults of the whisky cathedral. Right: Brazilian collector José Roberto Briguenti.

Since then Briguenti has not looked back, searching the world for whiskies, especially the old or rare bottles which he prefers. His favourite item in his collection is the Royal Doulton porcelain jug featuring the boxer Dan Mendoza. Prior to collecting whisky, Briguenti had already amassed a lot of religious and Christian artefacts and antiques. These inspired him to create his purpose-built whisky ‘cathedral’. His collection is ever-expanding, so much so that he is already looking to add an extension or extra building. With new bottles constantly arriving the shelves are already full to bursting. Briguenti is confident that there are no other private collections of whisky in the world that match the size of his and he is currently applying to the Guinness World Record book for recognition as the largest whisky collection in the world. That said, there could easily be other collections like this out there that we simply don’t know about. Like any form of collection, be it art or wine, collectors are often very private and secretive. It will be interesting to see if any other whisky collectors try to challenge Briguenti when he applies for World Record status.

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If you happen to find yourself in Brazil and are near São Paulo, he does occasionally allow visitors acccess to his cathedral, especially whisky enthusiasts, but only by appointment. If you don’t plan to visit Brazil any time soon, the next best thing is to take a virtual tour of the collection on the Catedral do Whisky’s website at www.catedraldowhisky. com.br/ Alternatively, if you happen to be in Edinburgh and want to experience the majesty of a huge whisky collection, head along to the Scotch Whisky Experience and see the Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection. To maximise your time with the collection and to ensure that you can take in all the bottles, make sure to go on the first or last tour of the day. www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

10/11/2016 14:27:31


46 | A bluffer’s guide to...

Written by: Blair Bowman

A BLUFFER ’S GUI D E TO..

e

Slàint

do dheagh shlàinte

Speaking Uisge Beatha

Consonant-heavy Gaelic words can be tricky to say but with a bit of bravura, you too can sound like an expert You may think you know a lot of names of distilleries, you may even be able name them all, but do you know the origins of the names and their Gaelic meanings? Also, do you know how to pronounce all the distillery names correctly? Follow our handy guide below and you’ll soon have an encyclopaedic knowledge of distillery names and their correct pronunciations. Unsurprisingly almost every distillery in Scotland is named after the place where it is located, but you probably already knew that. Unlike wine, where vineyards and chateaux are generally named after the owners and their family, distilleries usually take their name from the local town or the old name for the area

You’ll probably agree that as brands go,

UNSURPRI S I N GLY, ALMOST EVERY DI S TI L LERY I N SCOTLAND I S NAMED AFTER THE PLACE WHERE I T I S LOCATED

the original Gaelic names sound much better than the, usually quite mundane, English translations such as ‘corner of the field’ (Auchentoshan) or ‘the hollow where the mill is’ (Lagavulin) or ‘bowl shaped valley’ (Mortlach). They just don’t have the same ring to them do they? However, it is still interesting to know the meanings of the original Gaelic and Scots names. Like any new hobby, if you are starting to get into whisky you will soon realise that there is almost an entirely new vocabulary to learn. Not just the distillery names but also regions or islands, such as Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’), can be tricky to pronounce too.

where the distillery is sited.

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Cask and Still Magazine | 47

SAY WHAT YOU SEE Some distillery names are as simple as saying what you see, but there are no hard and fast rules to this, so watch out. Some of these names include: DISTILLERY NAME

MEANING

PRONUNCIATION

Ardbeg

Small headland

Ard-beg

Glen Moray

Gaelic: Glen Moireibh meaning valley of the sea settlement

Glen Mor-ay

Glen Ord

The glen of the rounded hill

Glen Ord

OFTEN MIS-PRONOUNCED DISTILLERIES The majority of distillery names are quite tricky to say for the uninitiated and these distilleries present something of a tongue twister if you don’t know them: DISTILLERY NAME

MEANING

PRONUNCIATION

Aberlour

Chattering burn

Ah-burl-ow-er

Auchentoshan

Corner of the field

Ock-en-tosh-en

Bruichladdich

The brae by the shore

Broo-ich-laddie

Bunnahabhain

Mouth or bottom of the river (River Margadale)

Buh-nah-hav-enn

Caol Ila

The Sound of Islay

Cull-eela

JUST LEARN HOW TO SAY THESE ONES Like any language, there are some exceptions to the rules. These are examples of what linguists might call ‘false friends’, so don’t say what you see. So, for Tomintoul, simply think of a man named Tom in a towel to correctly say ‘Tom-in-towel’. DISTILLERY NAME

MEANING

PRONUNCIATION

Glen Garioch

Glen of the Garioch (area) which means granary

Glen Gee-ree

Ledaig (also known as Tobermory)

The small slope (or the Norse derivation is a bay difficult to enter)

Led-chig (Toe-bur-mower-ay)

anCnoc (previously known as Knockdhu)

Black Hill

Ah-nock (Nock-doo)

WHAT IS IN A NAME? Some distilleries are blessed with quite beautiful names so not surprisingly these appear in their branding or marketing material. DISTILLERY NAME Glenfiddich

MEANING

AS BRANDS GO, THE ORI G I N AL GAELI C NAMES SOUND MUCH BETTER THAN THE, USUALLY QUI T E MUNDANE, ENGLI S H TRANSLATI O NS

PRONUNCIATION

Fid’s Glen or Glen of the stag

Glen-fidd-ich

Glengoyne

Glen of the wild geese

Glen-goyn

Oban

Little bay

Oh-bun

Glenmorangie

The glen of tranquility (or Glen of the big meadow)

Glen-morrun-jee

DON’T FORGET TO SAY CHEERS! Now you have this knowledge, you can set forth and impress your friends and loved ones. But don’t forget to say cheers or slàinte mhath, pronounced ‘slangy var’ when you drink the ‘water of life’ or uisge beatha (oosh-ga beh-huh).

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213

THE GRILL 213

A real historic pub with a unique welcome

One of Aberdeen’s oldest and most famous bars, with an internationally renowned whisky collection. Centrally located, close to the Theatre, Aberdeen Music Hall and many restaurants. Opening Hours Monday-Thursday 10.00am-midnight Fridays & Satrdays 10.00am-1.00am Sunday 12.30pm-midnight The Grill • 213 Union Street • Aberdeen • Scotland • AB11 6BA Tel: 01224 573530 • Email: info@thegrillaberdeen.co.uk

www.thegrillaberdeen.co.uk

  

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Cask and Still Magazine | 49

the chocolatier

Frenchman Olivier Nicod’s passion is creating a spectacular fusion of his two favourite flavours – chocolate and whisky

O

riginally from Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, expert chocolatier Olivier Nicod has settled in Kelso in the Borders. With over 25 years’ experience in chocolate, pastry and confectionary, Nicod has put his technical expertise to good use, consulting on recipe and product development. Past clients have included Hotel Chocolat co-founder Angus Thirlwell, with whom he helped develop some of the company’s most distinctive products. These days Nicod’s favourite pairing is chocolate and whisky. ‘Whisky goes very well with chocolate and the idea is to find the right cocoa bean from a specific plantation and to match the whisky to this,’ he explains. The trick is to blend the two flavours without losing their origins. ‘For me, a true quality whisky with nice flavour makes the best chocolate,’ says Nicod. ‘People should be able to

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Written by Hermione Lister-Kaye

identify the type of whisky in the chocolate.’ Like whisky, chocolate is all about provenance and Nicod believes people should taste chocolate in the same manner in which one would taste a fine whisky. ‘When tasting both chocolate and whisky, there should be absolutely no rush. It is a moment when you stop the clock and enjoy your time with the taste, allowing your mind to travel to the origin.’ www.nicodchocolateconsulting.com

10/11/2016 14:01:56


WARM, FRIENDLY AND PERSONAL SERVICE

Every Time

Award winning whisky bar with over 700 whiskies. Restaurant offering Scottish food made from the best regional ingredients. Whisky tastings and food matching arranged. Kilkerran Road, Campbeltown, Argyll PA28 6JL

01586 552133 info@ardshiel.co.uk facebook.com/ardshielhotel

www.ardshiel.co.uk

WHISKY BOURBON

BRANDY GIN VODKA RUM

TEQUILA CIGARS REGULAR TASTINGS IN-STORE

Over-looking the picturesque and world famous Spey Valley, the Dowans Hotel is a family-run establishment which focuses on friendly, passionate and professional service, great local and seasonal produce from Scotland’s bountiful larder, fabulous whiskies from home and abroad all served in a lovingly rejuvenated Baronial mansion. The Dowans has become a destination of choice in its own right to both local and international clientele as a part of the larger Speyside offer.

The Dowans Hotel, Dowans Road, Aberlour, AB38 9LS 01340 871488 @TheDowansHotel /TheDowansHotel

Arisaig is a contemporary Scottish restaurant and bar in Glasgow’s vibrant Merchant Square. Scotland’s fantastic natural produce is at the heart of our menus. We have an amazing collection of Scottish malt whisky. Comprising old favourites, independent bottlings and some rare gems, Arisaig’s Scotch collection repays in-depth exploration. Our knowledgeable staff are happy to help diners navigate it.

Come and see us. We promise a warm, Scottish welcome.

Also visit our new Wine and Beer Shop on 105 West Nile Street, G1 25D

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+44 (0)141 553 1010 info@arisaigrestaurant.co.uk 1 Merchant Square, Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1LE www.arisaigrestaurant.co.uk

10/11/2016 10:06:42


Cask and Still Magazine | 51 >>>

s ’ r u e s s i nno

Co

N O I T EC

L E S Befuddled by the dizzying range of

drinks on offer? Feel the fog of confusion lift with our 17-page guide to what the real experts drink

S &

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10/11/2016 11:23:32


52 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Islay THE ILEACH PEATED ISLAY MALT

Mike Lord

OWNER, THE WHISKY SHOP DUFFTOWN

www.whiskyshopdufftown.com

Based in the heart of Speyside, The Whisky Shop Dufftown offers an exceptional selection of over 600 whiskies. Owner Mike Lord takes us on a tasting tour of his three favourite Islay whiskies.

£28.95

40

SELECTED BY MIKE

This is a ‘grrrrr’ of a peaty whisky from an unnamed distillery. Do not let the secrecy put you off. This is a great budget Islay. NOSE: The nose is tinned fruit cocktail, heavy on the pear chunks and made next door to a lit bonfire. PALATE: It is much sweeter in the taste with a velvet toffee cream overlaying the smoke. FINISH: Very well-balanced with the smoke returning on the finish.

CÀRN MÒR CELEBRATION OF THE CASK BOWMORE 1991

BUNNAHABHAIN

24 YEARS

Proving that Islay is not just about

218

54.9

SELECTED BY MIKE

This Bowmore was from an ex-bourbon Hogshead. It has a hefty price tag but you have to pay for this kind of quality.

Joanna Santigo

NOSE: Wet tar and

CO-OWNER,

on the tip of the tongue,

JEFFREY ST WHISKY & TOBACCO, EDINBURGH www.jeffreyst.com

with the peat following through after. A creamy

Joanna co-owns Jeffrey St Whisky & Tobacco in Edinburgh – an independent purveyor of the finest beer, whisky and tobacco. Joanna and her team also offer regular whisky tastings for customers.

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salted smoked bratwurst sausages. PALATE: Spicy and fruity

vanilla custard covering tropical fruits: cape

18 YEAR OLD 79.50

46.3

SELECTED BY MIKE

a slap in the face with peat smoke, Bunnahabhain 18 is a class act. NOSE: The nose is sweet chutney on the side of a ploughman’s lunch dabbed with Oloroso. PALATE: It is much more powerful in the mouth. FINISH: The Oloroso has taken over the chutney and dried it out giving intensity, heat and depth.

gooseberries, star fruits, ripe pears and honeydew melon. FINISH: The peat turns to an ashy finish but the fruit also lingers and brings memories of summer BBQs.

10/11/2016 11:31:38


Cask and Still Magazine | 53

CAOL ILA 18 YEAR OLD

THE BIG STRAND 31

46

93.95

43

SELECTED BY JOANNA

SELECTED BY JOANNA

A lovely Islay whisky that is independently

An Islay malt that is silky and smooth on the palate.

bottled by Morrison & Mackay.

NOSE: Grassy, maritime notes followed by delicate

NOSE: Initial barley sweetness

peat smoke.

followed by a big dose of peat,

PALATE: Gentle peat smoke, chewy with faint

smoked rubber and maritime notes.

iodine notes. Lovely oaky dryness.

PALATE: More sweet barley, rich peat and smoke but not

FINISH: Lingering with even more gentle peat

overpowering. Little iodine notes

smoke and delicate malty sweetness.

with a faint saltiness. FINISH: A long lasting mouth-coating of smoke and lengthy peat. A truly enjoyable dram.

BUNNAHABHAIN 2006 BERRY BROS & RUDD 50

56.1

SELECTED BY JOANNA

A 2006 vintage Bunnahabhain from independent bottlers Berry Brothers & Rudd. NOSE: Peat smoke is present from the start with hints of Latakia tobacco. PALATE: Earthy peat smoke with barley sweetness. Very silky and delicate although bottled at cask strength – a super tasty dram. FINISH: Long lasting with lovely dryness. More peat and smoke but not as intense.

052-053_CS04.indd 53

10/11/2016 11:32:49


54 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Speyside ANCNOC 22 YEAR OLD

Robin Russell PROPRIETOR, ROBBIE’S DRAMS WHISKY MERCHANTS, AYR

www.robbieswhisky merchants.com

Robbie’s Drams Whisky Merchants is a family run business, situated in the Scottish seaside town of Ayr. Fiercely proud of its independent status and the personal service offered to customers as a result. Fine character, great whisky, since 1984.

89

GLENFIDDICH IPA EXPERIMENT SERIES 1 45

46

SELECTED BY ROBIN

A very interesting whisky from the

43

Knockdhu distillery,

SELECTED BY ROBIN

aged in both American

The Experimental Series is set to push

bourbon barrels and

whisky boundaries. This release has

Spanish Oloroso sherry

been finished in IPA craft beer

casks. A great Christmas

casks.

dram.

NOSE: Aromatic hops and

NOSE: Green apples,

fresh herbs complement

spotted dick, lemon

the green apple and spring

and honey on the nose.

blossom.

Interested?

PALATE: Vibrant with a

PALATE: The full-bodied palate

zesty citrus note followed

gets even better with blood orange,

by soft, sweet vanilla.

raisins and vanilla.

FINISH: Long lasting

FINISH: A delightful touch of

sweetness with

spice and smokiness.

subtle green hops.

TOMINTOUL 15 YEAR OLD PORTWOOD FINISH

Nick Sullivan

65

OWNER & MANAGER,

I am a real fan of Portwood

ABERDEEN WHISKY SHOP

finish drams and this one does

www.aberdeenwhiskyshop.co.uk

Nick oversees the smooth running of The Aberdeen Whisky Shop on the west end of the city’s Union Street. His top three Speyside picks can be found among an enormous range of whiskies, including several highly collectable bottles.

054-057_CS04.indd 54

46

SELECTED BY ROBIN

not disappoint. NOSE: Summer fruits, strawberries and blackberries tempered with some toffee sweetness. PALATE: Lush clean malt modified by fruity sweet port and some spicy oak tones. FINISH: Full and rich with lingering herbal spices.

10/11/2016 11:39:35


Cask and Still Magazine | 55

DOUGLAS LAING SINGLE MINDED 15 YEAR OLD 50.99

46

SELECTED BY NICK

A single cask from an unnamed Speyside distillery, bottled by the independent bottler Douglas Laing. NOSE: Delicate with soft floral notes followed by a touch of vanilla and malt. PALATE: Very approachable and soft, with vanilla, caramel and cereal notes. FINISH: A little oak and pepper spice with vanilla. Soft, smooth and very balanced.

BENRIACH 17 YEAR OLD 79.99

46

SELECTED BY NICK

SPEY TENNE 36.99

46

A beautiful limited BenRiach

SELECTED BY NICK

finished in Pedro Ximenez

Initially matured in bourbon

casks.

casks and finished in Tawny

NOSE: Fruit cake, sultanas, raisins, dark chocolate and

Port casks for six months, this has a beautiful salmon pink colour in the glass.

almonds.

NOSE: Milk chocolate, vanilla and

PALATE: Rich and

green apples.

full-bodied, with

PALATE: Balanced sweetness.

Christmas cake, pepper, ginger spice and sweet oak. FINISH: Beautifully

Creamy with more toffee and apples coming through. FINISH: Gentle and smooth – leaves you wanting more.

balanced, with more dark chocolate and a sweet lingering finish.

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056_CS04.indd 56

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Cask and Still Magazine | 57

GLENDRONACH 14 YEAR OLD VIRGIN OAK FINISH 54

46

A perfect winter sipping dram. NOSE: Smoky toasted oak and ripe tropical aromas including banana and coconut. PALATE: Fruit cake with winter brown spices and toasted oak. Coconut, vanilla and hazelnuts. FINISH: Roasted nuts and Madeira cake.

KININVIE 23 YEAR OLD BATCH 3 125

42.6

A little-known distillery built next door to

MORRISON & MACKAY CARN MOR STRICTLY LIMITED DUFFTOWN 2009 7 YEARS OLD 39

46

An Austrian white wine cask finish provides a really interesting extra layer of flavour to this whisky. NOSE: A slightly spicy cereal nose at the start followed by plenty of sweet notes. PALATE: Not as big as you’d expect for a Dufftown. Sweet white fruits, ripe pears and

Balvenie. A lighter more floral character than its famous neighbour. NOSE: Ripe fleshy fruit notes overlaid with creamy vanilla-toffee sweetness. PALATE: Delicate floral notes initially moving in to woody spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, followed by citrus and candied orange peel. FINISH: Long and sweet yet remaining fine and elegant.

green and red apples. FINISH: Super ripe orchard fruits and a touch of Seville orange.

Shane Dunning WHISKY AND SPIRITS BUYER,

WOODWINTERS WINES AND WHISKIES, BRIDGE OF ALLAN

www.woodwinters.com

054-057_CS04.indd 57

As well as being a whisky and spirits buyer for Woodwinters, Shane also undertakes private sales of whisky and fine wines for the company. Shane highlights three of the best Speyside drams...

10/11/2016 11:41:26


58 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Highland

OLD PULTENEY 17 YEAR OLD 65

46

SELECTED BY ROBIN

Most definitely my favourite from the core

BEN NEVIS 10 YEAR OLD 37

range of this award-

46

winning distillery.

SELECTED BY ROBIN

NOSE: Sweet with traces

A beautiful Highland malt which at one time was at the heart of a number of wellknown blends. NOSE: Sweet and fruity with oak notes. PALATE: : Oily and sweet with developing citrus tones and oak flavours followed by some peaty flourishes. FINISH: Long and memorable with herbal notes.

of red apples and pears. Slightly oaky with a hint of butterscotch. PALATE: A full-bodied palate with hints of vanilla, sugared citrus peel and treacle toffee leading to floral notes in the background. FINISH: Long and memorable with herbal notes.

GLENGOYNE 21 YEAR OLD 125

43

SELECTED BY ROBIN

A wonderful 100 per cent sherry matured expression from ‘The Glen of the Wild Geese’ that is beautifully presented for Christmas. A great after dinner sipper. NOSE: Red apples, sultanas and rich dried peel. PALATE: Sweet and fruity with cinnamon and creamy toffee. FINISH: Warm, soft and gently spiced. An awesome whisky.

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Cask and Still Magazine | 59

CARN MOR ORD 2009 7 YEAR OLD 37

46

SELECTED BY MATT

Carn Mor consistently bottle great value and interesting whiskies. This is from the rarely seen Glen Ord distillery in Muir of Ord. NOSE: Sweet cereal notes, barley sugar, honey, a touch of orange marmalade and the mearest hint of parma violets.

Robin Russell

PALATE: Oily and mouth-coating, lovely cereal notes, heather honey and slightly peppery on the long crème brûlée finish. FINISH: Long, sweet and malty – a

PROPRIETOR, ROBBIE’S WHISKY MERCHANTS, AYR www.robbieswhiskymerchants.com

good value dram from a distillery that is thought to be one of the classic Highland distilleries.

COOPERS CHOICE MACDUFF 2008 7 YEAR OLD 48.50

46

SELECTED BY MATT

Official bottings from the Macduff distillery go by the name The Deveron. The distillery is located between Banff and Macduff on the Moray coast.

DOUGLAS LAING OLD PARTICULAR GLEN GARIOCH 1995 20 YEAR OLD 84

51.5

SELECTED BY MATT

Glen Garioch is from Oldmeldrum and dates from 1797 – making it one of the oldest distilleries still in operation. NOSE: Boiled sweets, vanilla spice and lovely

NOSE: Initially spicy, with

barley notes. Elegant

toffee and baked apple notes

and refined.

then some dried fruit and a

PALATE: Shortbread

slight herbal character.

and digestive

PALATE: Creamy and fruity,

biscuits. Apple

with some light grainy notes

crumble with some

and lovely baked fruit, apples

sweet vanilla spice.

and pears coming through.

FINISH: Mature, long

FINISH: Long, mellow and

and elegant, the wood

moreish. Soft, malty and

does not dominate

surprisingly mature for a whisky

and allows the sweet

of this age.

spirit character to shine. Delicious.

058-059_CS04.indd 59

Robbie’s Drams Whisky Merchants is a family run business, situated in the Scottish seaside town of Ayr. Fiercely proud of its independent status and the personal service offered to customers as a result. Fine character, great whisky, since 1984.

Matt McFadyen CO-OWNER,

THE GOOD SPIRITS CO., GLASGOW www.thegoodspiritsco.com

Matt can usually be found at the helm of The Good Spirits Company on Glasgow’s Bath Street, hosting monthly whisky, gin and cocktail tastings.

10/11/2016 11:52:55


THE BOW BAR

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Bow Bar has 310 whiskies to choose from and 8 real ales from across the UK. Independent whisky bottlers are well represented and up to 40 international bottle beers can be found here. Food is limited to lunch only including Steak Pies or Haggis Pies. Winner of ‘Whisky Pub of the Year’ 2012, ‘Dram Whisky Bar of the Year 2014’

80 West Bow, Edinburgh, Tel: 0131 226 7667 www.thebowbar.co.uk

By test the best Scotland’s Oldest Independent Bottler Whisky, Gin, Rum & Cognac Individually selected casks non chill-filtered and natural colour

www.wmcadenhead.com

172 Canongate Royal Mile Edinburgh EH8 8BN

060_CS04.indd 60

Tel: 0131 556 5864

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s vibrant West End, Usquabae Whisky Bar offers an unrivalled selection of Scotch whisky in an elegant and relaxed setting. With over 400 whiskies, our collection contains a dram to suit every palate. Our a la carte menu reflects the natural quality and variety of Scotland’s larder, with each dish carefully crafted and prepared to the highest standard by our team of dedicated chefs. We also offer tutored whisky tastings, a great selection of local craft beers and sumptuous afternoon tea!

2-4 Hope Street, Edinburgh EH2 4DB 0131 290 2284 www.usquabae.co.uk

10/11/2016 10:19:42


Cask and Still Magazine | 61

Lowland

AUCHENTOSHAN 12 YEAR OLD 36.25

GLENKINCHIE 12 YEAR OLD

40

36.25

A sweet whisky that

43

A sipping whisky that develops as you

finishes with bite.

drink.

NOSE: I love the nose:

NOSE: Flavours of marzipan and

vanilla, caramel and some

subtle floral notes.

citrus.

PALATE: It rewards to be patient

PALATE: The palate is light

as it opens out slowly in the glass,

butterscotch.

developing strongly with a little warmth

FINISH: The finish is smooth,

from your hand.

almost but not quite sweet

FINISH: One to be savoured – a little

with no peat and just a little

time and effort brings sweet, grassy and

smoke. A tiny bit of bite at

floral dividends.

the end.

DEOCH AN DORAS 310

49

The Gaelic saying ‘deoch an doras’ translates as ‘drink at the door’ and refers to the final farewell drink. NOSE: This rare old malt whisky is full of wonderful light and fruity citrus notes, fresh pineapple and mango. PALATE: Creamy with toffee. FINISH: Sweet candy apple flavours burst through.

Mark Angus

RETAIL SALES MANAGER, GORDON & MACPHAIL, ELGIN

www.gordonandmacphail.com

061_CS04.indd 61

Responsible for running Elgin’s flagship whisky shop, Mark selects the G&M Retail Exclusive range, organises Spirit of Speyside tastings and judges for the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge.

10/11/2016 11:57:38


62 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Blends

TE BHEAG 2.50

40

SELECTED BY JOSH

Pronounced ‘cheyvek’, this unchillfiltered blend contains whiskies from Islayand other islands, the Highlands and Speyside, all aged between five and 11 years old. NOSE: Fresh sea spray gives way to warm hot chocolate. PALATE: A lovely combination of sweet and salty flavours: salted caramel, coffee beans and campfire smoke. FINISH: The finish is lengthy; the rich and spicy sweetness lingers, followed by a final flourish of soft, gentle peat.

DEWAR’S SIGNATURE CAMPBELTOWN LOCH 21 YEAR OLD 66

46

250

40

SELECTED BY JOSH

This is Dewar’s super-premium

SELECTED BY JOSH

blended whisky, and is

Nowadays, it is rare to find a whisky of such

constructed around single malt

quality at this price. An exceptional blend that

from the Aberfeldy distillery.

contains 40 per cent grain and 60 per cent malt.

NOSE: An enticing balance of rich and light aromas. Vanilla

NOSE: A medley of rich, stewed fruits, followed

essence and icing sugar mingle

by fudge, ginger and warm, sweet pastry.

with set honey and raisins.

PALATE: The body is thick and delicious, and the

PALATE: The texture is soft and

flavours rich and sweet: honeycomb ice cream and

silky. Honey and butter on toast

chocolate fondant.

followed by vanilla ice cream.

FINISH: A moreish finish. The sweetness from the

FINISH: Vanilla and raspberry

palate lightens to an oily fruitiness.

crème brûlée is followed by a slight smoke and spice in the elegant finish.

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Cask and Still Magazine | 63

OLD PERTH SHERRY CASK 31.50

43

SELECTED BY MATT

The Old Perth blend was launched a few years ago. This is an excellent addition to the range and it also makes a great Rob Roy. NOSE: Youthful and intense. Dates and raisins with fennel and chicory notes. PALATE: Herbal and fruity, surprisingly easy drinking with a touch of pepper on the finish. FINISH: Medium length with spice. Herbal notes and Christmas cake come through.

Josh Breckenridge

SALES AT WM CADENHEAD, EDINBURGH

www.wmcadenhead.com Josh joined the Cadenhead’s team earlier this year. He has worked in the whisky industry for just under two years. He is particularly enjoying access to many interesting and unusual single cask bottlings.

BIG PEAT CHRISTMAS 2016 EDITION 53

54.6

SELECTED BY MATT

You always know when Christmas is around the corner when Douglas Laing’s iconic blend Big Peat dons its Christmas jumper. For the first time this blend contains all the Islay distilleries. NOSE: Intense smoke and brine, tarry ropes, herbal notes and a huge blast of sea air. PALATE: Big and powerful, this year’s bottling is packed with the best of Islay; smoke, brine and intense coastal notes. FINISH: Not for the faint hearted, this packs a punch and the finish is packed with smoke. and sea air!

COMPASS BOX SPICE TREE 95

46

SELECTED BY MATT

Compass Box, the blended whisky specialist are renowned for their classy bottlings and whiskies that are consistently wonderfully crafted and polished. NOSE: Spice, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla, with lovely malty notes. Clearly excellent casks are evident on the nose. PALATE: Mature, spicy and round, the palate is full of vanilla and clove spice with pineapple cubes and hints of liquorice. FINISH: Very long, spicy and beautifully balanced, this shows all the hallmarks of the

Matt McFadyen CO-OWNER,

THE GOOD SPIRITS CO., GLASGOW www.thegoodspiritsco.com

Matt can usually be found at the helm of The Good Spirits Company on Glasgow’s Bath Street, hosting monthly whisky, gin and cocktail tastings.

best of Compass Box.

062-063_CS04.indd 63

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64 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Japanese NIKKA FROM THE BARREL 38.99

51.4

This beauty comes in a 50cl bottle but good things come in small packages. A real value for money whisky.

NIKKA COFFEY MALT 52.99

45

NOSE: Citrus and wood initially, but

A gorgeous offering from the Nikka

after time a sweet spice and vanilla

Distilling Company, created using a Coffey

comes through. Pears and green

still usually used to make grain whiskies.

apples also linger. PALATE: Surprisingly mellow for a strong ABV whisky. A sherry-esque spice teases to come through. Again, leave it for five minutes to taste lovely caramel and vanilla flavours. FINISH: Oily and clingy. Medium length, but very moreish. The orange from the nose comes in here.

NOSE: Refreshing orchard fruits with a peppery spice. Lots of sweet vanilla and crème brûlée. PALATE: Coffee, sweet mocha and lots of creamy butterscotch and vanilla. Hints of citrus and some oakiness. Super smooth and delicate. FINISH: Lingering sweetness, a hint of almond and fruit towards the end. This one certainly leaves you wanting more.

TOGOUCHI 18 YEAR OLD £95.99

43

A ‘typical’ Japanese whisky made by blending Scotch and Canadian whiskies in Japan, aged in brandy and sherry casks. NOSE: A smooth, easy on the nose aroma, with hints of fresh cut grass, sawdust and vanilla. PALATE: A warming whisky – very pleasant to drink. Vanilla sweetness and caramel flavours. Molasses and oak come through with a little air time. FINISH: Quite short for an older whisky but certainly not unpleasant. Sugary sweet, warm and subtle. A wonderful whisky.

Mike Stuart OWNER & MANAGER,

INVERURIE WHISKY SHOP WWW.INVERURIEWHISKYSHOP.COM

064_CS04.indd 64

Mike started life in whisky at a local hotel, setting up a whisky bar for restaurant users before running his own pub for nearly ten years. He then moved into off-sales and opened the Inverurie Whisky Shop.

10/11/2016 12:08:10


For a great Dram and Dram good food!

Ducks Inn for ducks down and a great night’s sleep. Ducks Inn Aberlady EH32 0RE info@ducks.co.uk 01875 870 682

www.ducks.co.uk

Highlander Inn at the epicentre of the ‘Malt Whisky Universe’

Popular throughout the year with local Popularandthroughout the year with local Speyside Speyside residents international visitors. With more than 400residents different, and and interesting international visitors. whiskies, including a large number of Single Cask Malt With whiskies, and real ales &300 lagersdifferent, on draft. and interesting whiskies, more than Bar lunches and dinners are available every day including a large number of Single Cask Malt whiskies, and real from 12 noon till 1:45pm and 5:30 to 9:00pm, food all day Sat & Sun from 12 noon& till lagers 9:00pm. on draft. ales

Highlander Inn

www.whiskyinn.com 01340881446 info@whiskyinn.com Bar lunches and dinners are available every day from

• Fine Whiskies, Wines & World Beers

10 Victoria Street, Craigellachie, Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 9SR

12 noon till 2:00pm and 5:30 to 9:00pm, food all day Sat & Sun from 12 noon till 9:00pm.

PLEASE VIEW OUR WEBSITE TO SEE DETAILS at•the epicentre of the ‘Malt ON Whisky Universe’ OUR WINTER WHISKY DEAL & OUR FESTIVE MENUS. Wholesale

Popular throughout the year with local Speyside residents and international visitors. • Private Events With more than 400 different, and interesting whiskies, including & a large number of Single Cask Whisky Broking Investment Malt whiskies, and real ales & lagers on draft. Bar lunches and dinners are available every day 42-46 ATHOLL ROAD, from 12 noon till 1:45pm and 5:30 to 9:00pm, PITLOCHRY 5BX food all day Sat &PH16 Sun from 12 noon till 9:00pm.

Tel: 01796 472011

10 Victoria Street, Craigellachie, Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 9SR

www.whiskyinn.com 01340881446 info@whiskyinn.com 01340881446 info@whiskyinn.com www.robertsonsofpitlochry.co.uk www.whiskyinn.com 10 Victoria Street, Craigellachie, Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 9SR

065_CS04.indd 65

10/11/2016 11:05:14


Passionate About Whisky

h Scottis d l e Fi ndent Indepetling bot rs winne

Retail - Wholesale Private Clients - Events An unprecedented selection of Whiskies from the everyday to the fine and rare, over 2000 wines, beers and spirits from around the world. Bridge of Allan - Edinburgh - Stirling - Inverness www.woodwinters.com

Shipping around the world from The Malt Wisky Capital of The World

1 Fife Street, Dufftown, Scotland, AB55 4AL enquiries@whiskyshopdufftown.com 01340 821 097

www.whiskyshopdufftown.com

FINLAGGAN - THE SECRET ISLAY

Although there is no distillery at Finlaggan Castle, the ancient home of the “Lord of the Isles” lends its name to one of the island’s finest malt whiskies.

Available at Majestic Wine and other fine wines and spirits retailers.

THE

VINTAGE

MALT

WHISKY

COMPANY LIMITED

www.vintagemaltwhisky.com +44 (0)141 955 1700

066_CS04.indd 66

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Cask and Still Magazine | 67

MORRISON & MACKAY CELEBRATION OF THE CASK NORTH BRITISH 1988 100

60.7

A richly sweet and complex 27-year-old single cask. NOSE: Manuka honey on porridge, dried cranberries and banana. PALATE: Crème anglaise, old vanilla and walnuts. FINISH: Lingering sweet fruits and

THE GIRVAN PATENT STILL NO.4 APPS 49

42

This whisky is vacuum distilled to make for a lighter, more fragrant single grain. NOSE: A light and fragrant nose of Seville oranges and elderflower. PALATE: Candied red and white fruits, vanilla and light heather honey. FINISH: Creamy and sweet with a hint of warm oats.

confectionery. Water tames the 60 per cent volume.

DOUGLAS LAING OLD PARTICULAR PORT DUNDAS 11 YEARS 39

48.4

A delicious single grain from a now closed distillery. NOSE: Sweet herbs, soft spices, coffee and toffee. PALATE: Vanilla, cappuccino and maple syrup. FINISH: Citrus with piquant spices plus butterscotch.

Shane Dunning WHISKY AND SPIRITS BUYER, WOODWINTERS WINES AND WHISKIES, BRIDGE OF ALLAN

As well as being a whisky and spirits buyer for Woodwinters, Shane also undertakes private sales of whisky and fine wines for the company. Here are Shane’s top three grain whiskies...

www.woodwinters.com

067_CS04.indd 67

10/11/2016 12:12:44


Only 5% Sellers Commission | Fast Payment | Free Valuation the gaelic whisky collection the gaelic whisky collection

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Visit our shop at Eilean Iarmain shop at Eilean Iarmain for a free tasting Visit of ourour award-winning malt and blended whiskies. for a free tasting of our award-winning malt and blended whiskies.

the gaelic whiskies the gaelic whiskies PRàBAN NA LINNE ltd, EILEAN IARMAIN, ISLE ORNSAY SLEAT, ISLE OF SKYE IV43 8QR, SCOTLAND PRàBAN NA LINNE ltd, EILEAN IARMAIN, ISLE ORNSAY

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Eilean Iarmain, Isle Ornsay, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV43 8QR Eilean Iarmain, IsleTel: Ornsay, Sleat, 01471 833Isle 496of Skye, IV43 8QR Tel: 01471 833 496

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www.just-whisky.co.uk T: +44 (0)1383 745665 Unit 1, 15 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, Scotland KY11 8UU

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068_CS04.indd 68

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Cask and Still Magazine | 69

Investments

SIGNATORY VINTAGE IMPERIAL 1995 20 YEARS OLD 89.99

50.8

Imperial was demolished in 2013 to make way for Dalmunach. While it hasn’t reached cult status like Port Ellen and Brora, its reputation is growing very quickly. NOSE: Very seductive with brandy butter, oranges, a touch of allspice and honeycomb. PALATE: Toffee apple and oranges backed up by creamy vanilla with a touch of gingerbread. FINISH: Buttered croissant and sweet oak spice.

MACALLAN 18 YEAR OLD 2016 RELEASE 160

43

Now carrying the release date instead of the distilled year, this needs no introduction in terms of investment. Just look at its predecessors, sometimes it really is all in the name. NOSE: Dried fruits galore sprinkled with cinnamon, ginger

930

43

Wow, what an age! Ask yourself what will the Macallan 40 Year Old sell for? The imminent distillery release will be ÂŁ5,000. Therefore, this bottling should be classed as extraordinary value, coming from a first fill sherry butt and bottled by one of the true champions of the whisky industry, Gordon &

spice and vanilla.

MacPhail.

PALATE: Rich and sweet, with

NOSE: Sherry influences with raisin, tangerine

heavy orange, Christmas cake, subtle oak notes and clove spice. FINISH: A full and lingering flavour. Sherry-soaked raisins and currants, ginger, sweet toffee and wood smoke.

Stuart Easton

MANAGER, LUVIANS BOTTLE SHOP, CUPAR & ST ANDREWS

www.luvians.com

069_CS04.indd 69

GORDON & MACPHAIL MACALLAN 1967 SPEYMALT BOTTLED 2016

and fudge aromas. They are complemented by a beeswax polish note. PALATE: Peppery but creamy, with rich orange marmalade and charred oak flavours backed up by a hint of liquorice. FINISH: Milk chocolate combines with brazil nut on the finish.

Luvians has been dedicated to providing the best of everything since 1983. The impressive Great Wall of Luvians contains more than 800 malt whiskies, and its unparalleled range of spirits and wines makes it a must-see bottle shop.

10/11/2016 12:14:57


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10/11/2016 16:37:46


Cask and Still Magazine | 71

Editor’s choice

AELDER

£24.95 (500 (500ml)

17%

Rupert Waites and Tom Chisholm, the men behind Edinburgh pop-up Buck & Birch, have launched a liqueur made from wild elderberries blended with whisky NOSE: Floral tones with hint of spices PALATE: Dark rich fruits FINISH: Warming

EDINBURGH GIN PLUM & MADAGASCAN VANILLA LIQUEUR £18.49 (50 (50cl)

20%

A great new fruit gin or cocktail base from the inestimable Edinburgh Gin NOSE: Sweet, juicy fruits PALATE: Packed with flavour FINISH: Luscious, velveteen

MULLED INFUSED GIN £35 (70cl)

37.5%

£28.50 (50cl)

40%

This surprisingly complex small-batch

An ultra-black triple distilled rum

gin from the Angus Glens is infused

distilled in the UK

with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, and richly deserves its 3-star Great Taste award

NOSE: Strident rum, with undertones of cherry vanilla, tangerine and raisins, and hints of

NOSE: Spices, juniper and Angostura

liquorice and hibiscus flowers

Bitters

PALATE: Sweet, fruity, molasses

PALATE: Christmas in a glass

FINISH: Full-bodied, super-smooth

FINISH: Smooth, almost syrupy

with hints of smokey barrels

Richard Bath

EDITOR, CASK & STILL MAGAZINE

caskandstillmagazine.co.uk

071_CS04.indd 71

PARLAY RUM

After a year of sampling whisky, our editor likes to get the Festive Season off on the right note with cocktails, mulled gin and then a sweet, sticky rum with which to wash down the Christmas meal.

10/11/2016 15:17:55


72 | Connoisseur’s Selection

Other spirits RON ABUELO CENTURIA RUM 145.99

40

SELECTED BY EWAN

Produced to celebrate 100 years of rum making at Ron Abuelo. This Panamanian rum is a blend of their finest rums that have been matured in white oak barrels for up to 30 years.

KOREWIJN REMBRANDT GENEVER 58.99

NOSE: Complex notes, with caramel, wood and a mild roasted high note. PALATE: Full-bodied with roundness.

40

FINISH: A long finish with a semi-sweet

SELECTED BY EWAN

and woody flavour.

Genever is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved. NOSE: A slight aroma of juniper and malt wine. Malty – like freshly

EDINBURGH GIN’S RHUBARB AND GINGER LIQUEUR 17.95

20

baked bread.

SELECTED BY EWAN

PALATE: Similar to

As soon as you open the bottle and smell this

that of vodka.

wonderful liqueur you are transported back to the

FINISH: Again,

days of rhubarb and custard sweets.

similar to that of

NOSE: It does what it says on the tin –

vodka.

rhubarb then ginger with a hint of lemon zest. PALATE: First the rhubarb comes through; sweet and acidic, followed by the ginger which is strong and spicy. FINISH: Sweet and well-balanced to finish with lingering hints of ginger.

072-073_CS04.indd 72

10/11/2016 12:18:35


Cask and Still Magazine | 73

OGILVY SINGLE ESTATE POTATO VODKA 35

40

SELECTED BY KAREN

A smooth and warm potato spirit. NOSE: Sweet with fruity notes. PALATE: A creamy character with a hint of toffee. FINISH: A delicious buttery biscuityness.

Ewan McIlwraith OWNER,

ROBERTSONS OF PITLOCHRY

www.robertsonsofpitlochry.co.uk

HOLY GRASS VODKA 35

41.5

SELECTED BY KAREN

Ewan took over the running of Robertsons of Pitlochry in January 2013. His extensive background in drinks retail has led him to discover some top-class spirits, but none finer than these three.

Created by Dunnet Bay Distillers, the home of Rock Rose Gin, this vodka is simply delicious. Delicious drunk neat straight from the freezer but equally good as a tall drink with a splash of fresh apple juice, topped up with tonic and a slice of a rosy apple. NOSE: Sweet on the nose. PALATE: Full of the sweet, vanilla grassy flavour, reminiscent of a summer meadow. FINISH: A fresh and mild appley finish.

OLD RAJ GIN 28.85

55

SELECTED BY KAREN

A distinctive pale yellow colour which comes from an added measure of saffron; a rare and costly spice. NOSE: Fresh on the nose. PALATE: A crisp and spicy taste. FINISH: This gin is a beautifully rounded creature. It makes the pefect G&T for every occasion.

072-073_CS04.indd 73

Karen Gibson DIRECTOR,

T.B.WATSON, DUMFRIES

www.tbwatson.co.uk Karen was brought up in the trade, with her grandmother and her parents as the directors when she was a child – she probably knew the names of most of the distilleries before she was a teenager. As the third generation of her family to be retailing wines and spirits, it’s in her blood.

10/11/2016 12:19:14


74 | Directory BAR

REFRIGERATION

Albannach Einnseanair Ltd

Curly Coo Bar

T: 01236 897210 E: alba.einn@gmail.com

Stirling’s only Whisky Bar

• Award Winning Whisky Bar • Over 150 Malt Whiskies • Cosy traditional bar

Industrial/Commercial Refrigeration Engineers Service, Maintenances, Installation & Repair Supply & install all Refrigeration Equipment

51 Barnton Street Stirling FK8 1HH

01786 447 191 www.curlycoobar.com RETAILER

25 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE WHISKY TRADE RETAILER

For that special gift... We have a wide selection of single malt Scotch whiskies, many of which are very old and extremely rare. Not forgetting our fine selection of wines, indulgent hand finished chocolates, personalised Champagne and much more.

cask and still

Loved

the magazine? Keep up to date with all things whisky with our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also visit caskandstillmagazine.co.uk

074_CS04.indd 74

10/11/2016 16:03:31


Cask and Still Magazine | 75

Other NEWS

NEW PACKAGING

The Loch Lomond Group has relaunched its Loch Lomond Single Grain Scotch whisky in stylish new black packaging. Exclusively made from malted barley and distilled in a continuous (Coffey) still, Michael Henry, Loch Lomond’s Master Blender, has carefully selected the finest oak casks for its maturation. The result is an elegant, fullbodied and smooth Single Grain Scotch Whisky with a distinctive background character. www.lochlomondgroup.com

GIN GIFTS

Eden Mill have launched their new Hop Gin gift set for Christmas. Presented in festive packaging with two glasses and a distillery tour voucher, the set is ideal for gin lovers. Eden Mill also have a range of whisky gifts available for the festive season. Visit the website for more information. www.edenmill.com

WINNING RANGE

Glen Grant’s new range of aged single malt Scotch whiskies received some of the whisky industry’s most prestigious awards from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017. Glen Grant 18 Year Old – the rarest variant in the range – was named Scotch Whisky of the Year, with both the 10 and 12 Year Old variants also picking up accolades. Industry-renowned, the compact whisky guide contains roughly 4,500 detailed, professionally analysed and easy to understand tasting notes on the world’s leading and lesser-known whiskies. www.glengrant.com

075_CS04.indd 75

10/11/2016 15:21:08


76 | Spirit Level

Strong and

clear Spirits lover Dr Brooke Magnanti – aka blogger Belle de Jour – finds that her disdain for vodka vanishes after being seduced by the real deal from Poland

Above: Brooke is won over by beet-based Two Birds English vodka.

076-077_CS04.indd 76

10/11/2016 12:24:43


Cask and Still Magazine | 77 WORTH A LOOK

OGILVY SCOTTISH POTATO VODKA

n the world of spirits, it is difficult Natasha’s stepmother insisted. She went to the bar and brought back four glasses of elegantly to imagine a more maligned pale-green liquid. She explained (or at least I drink than vodka. Admit it, we all have a horror story, whether it’s being think she did) that the vodka that I had drunk unprepared for the hit of pure alcohol before was not the real thing; it was made as a teen, overindulging on sickly cocktails in with the wrong base ingredients, infused with our twenties, or encountering that first twononsense additions and, furthermore, churned day hangover in our thirties. Vodka has a bad out for the mass market and over promoted. reputation, but I am here (yet again) to convince Vodka as she knew it – Polish vodka, strong and you to reconsider. Hey, the things I’ll do for a real – was what I had been missing all along. good drink. Do you know what? She was not wrong. I spent most of my teens and twenties My palate, trained on Scotch whisky, had to avoiding vodka altogether. search out the subtleties of An early bad experience with This was fire and fine vodka. But this was not a certain heavily sweetened, the rotgut I’d had before, nor land, work and coconut-flavoured spirit put the overpriced fashionable me off. Anyway, I thought, stuff I had eschewed. This refinement, every was fire and land, work and what’s the point of infused vodkas and flavoured shots refinement. It was every inch inch a worthy when whisky and tequila a worthy national drink for a exist? An anti-vodka stalwart, national drink for people whose intellectual and I managed to avoid the trendy agricultural history is storied. a people whose Absolut deluge of the Nineties These days, Britain and the emergence in the early can boast its own homeintellectual and 2000s of premium vodkas grown vodkas and they are like Grey Goose and Skyy. It agricultural history nothing to sniff at. Check simply was not my drink. out the crisp sip that is Like all good conversion Penderyn Distillery’s Five, is storied stories, mine came to a climax the indubitably English in a bar. A German friend was celebrating sugar beet-based output from Two Birds or the finishing her master’s degree in Newcastle, elegant and moreish Blackdown, copper pot and her father and Polish stepmother distilled and finished with Sussex birch sap. And were over for the graduation. In a small then there is Ogilvy Vodka, made in Scotland dark bar, with my schoolgirl German from potatoes of course. Yes, there is much to standing in whenever Natasha was not keep the localist vodka enthusiast busy. And available to translate, I bonded with her who knows, if vodka is for you, as it was for me, family over a love of spirits. a no-go area, then perhaps it is time you gave I drew the line at vodka but the spirit another look.

076-077_CS04.indd 77

A joyous small-batch and award-winning vodka made on the same Angus farm on which the spuds are grown. Sweet with notes of apricots, grass and walnuts.

ARBIKIE VODKA

Also produced on an Angus farm and named one of the best vodkas in the world by GQ magazine, this velvety tipple is one of the Cask & Still team’s all-time favourites.

EUREKA LEMON MARMALADE CHASE

This English-made potato vodka may sound gimmicky but it is lush and creamy on the palate and has a remarkable lemon zestiness.

10/11/2016 12:25:39


78 | Whisky Gifts

Whisky

GIFTS Christmas ideas for those who love a dram or two #1 Na Tùsairean Club R&B DISTILLERS The first 100 casks of single malt Scotch whisky from R&B Distillers’ Isle of Raasay Distillery and luxury onsite accommodation is reserved exclusively for their limited Na Tùsairean Club. A

5

2

#4 Glengoyne Gift Collections GLENGOYNE These premium packs are presented in specially designed, gunmetal grey gift boxes and are priced at £54.99 for three 20cl bottles or £109.99 for five. www.glengoyne.com

10-year membership is worth more than £1,900 but costs just £999 (from £55.50 per month). www.rbdistillers.com/whisky-club #2 Spice Tree by Compass Box

#5 Personalised Single Cask Scotch Whisky THE WHISKY ANGEL Every bottle is hand-filled straight from the cask, sealed in wax and personalised with

MARUSSIA BEVERAGES

your message handwritten on the label.

Spice Tree is back and better than ever.

Available from £40.

It’s a blended malt made from Highland

www.thewhiskyangel.com

malt whiskies, aged in specially made casks with new French oak heads. www.marussiabeverages.co.uk #3 Gift Vouchers WM CADENHEAD WM Cadenhead’s gift vouchers can be used against a bottle or one of their whisky tastings. www.wmcadenhead.com

1

3 4

078_CS04.indd 78

10/11/2016 11:10:36


Cask and Still Magazine | 79

Over a

BARREL Scotland’s world-leading craft beers are riding the crest of a buy-local wave of interest in finely brewed ales Written by David Austin

armers’ markets, craft fairs and food festivals were for a long time the only places where microbreweries and locally made ales had the opportunity to showcase their products. Seen as something quirky and different, but often not taken seriously, these beers were great to buy in a gift pack or as a one-off impulse buy. Rarely would you see them served in your local pub. It was more than likely that your local would serve an Australian lager on draught or a Mexican bottled beer with a wedge of lime thrust down its neck rather than a local ale. We got used to that, despite having a history of drinking local beers. As consumers, our desire to support local, farmers, growers and manufacturers means that we have an appetite for local produce and brewers have been quick to capitalise on this. Where the malty mists of large-scale breweries once loomed over our historic brewing centres of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Alloa, now a proliferation of provenance-loving, style-hungry small independent breweries are eagerly mashing, fermenting and conditioning locally produced ales, tapping into the craft revolution that shows no sign of abating. Why, though, are we so readily beating a path to the doors of these breweries and the pubs, bars and bottle shops that admirably promote their products? Two reasons stand out. First, since the recession in 2008, consumers

079_CS04.indd 79

A proliferation of small independent breweries are tapping into the craft revolution which shows no sign of abating

are more careful about how they spend their pennies. We have largely turned away from the mass-produced in search of the artisan, placing more value on the provenance of goods. Since the scrapping of the duty escalator in 2013, we have seen with craft beer the birth of a new manufacturing industry in the UK, and how often can we say that? Last year Scotland counted 93 craft breweries and the numbers continue to rise with an estimated 12-15 new ones opening each year. There seems to be no let up in the emergence of new breweries, which can only be good for quality as the fittest and finest will set the standard. Scotland is leading the way; our brewers are some of the best in the world and our beers are in demand. A handful of breweries are breaking new ground, taking advantage of the strong beer-loving ex-pat community in North America and Down Under. Even the Germans like our dark ales. So, as the behemoths at the top table of world brewing continue to churn out superchilled blandness and stalk each other across the globe until one swallows up the other, our merry band of craft brewers no longer feed off the crumbs from their table. No, instead they have their own friendly, communal table filled with new styles, flavours and stories and we are going to need more seats at it. As the pub landlord famously proclaims...all hail to the ale!

10/11/2016 15:09:07


80 | Whisky events guide

Celebrate whisky in all its forms this winter, with tastings, festivals and dinners galore

The Saltire Whisky Dinner 25 NOVEMBER 2016 Sommelier Johnny Walker guides guests at the Macdonald Marine Hotel in North Berwick through a five-course dinner with the perfect whisky accompaniments. www.visiteastlothian.org/the-saltire Foodies Festival Christmas 25 - 27 NOVEMBER 2016 Plenty of festive food and drink inspiration, including whisky, gin, wine and beer masterclasses. Live cookery demonstrations and lots of fun for all the family at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. www.foodiesfestival.com Drambusters Whisky Festival 26 NOVEMBER 2016 An opportunity to meet makers and well-kent faces from the world of whisky at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries. Tickets cost ÂŁ27. www.drambusters.com Glenmorangie Christmas Shopping 8 DECEMBER 2016 Visit Glenmorangie Distillery between 6.30pm and 8.30pm for an evening of Christmas shopping. Kick off your festive season with a cocktail and homemade mince pies. www.glenmorangie.com

080-081_CS04.indd 80

10/11/2016 12:28:41


Cask and Still Magazine | 81

Hogmanay in Dufftown 31 DECEMBER 2016 Celebrations begin in the heart of Speyside with a ceilidh in the Commercial Hotel and party in the Royal British Legion. The New Year is welcomed in in the town square with free drams and shortbread, courtesy of Glenfiddich and Walkers respectively. www.dufftown.co.uk Nairn New Year Dip wi’ a Nip 2 JANUARY 2017 Blow off the cobwebs with a bracing, fun filled dip in the sea at Nairn to celebrate New Year and raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. Then warm up with a nip of whisky. www.clicsargent.org.uk The National Whisky Festival 28 JANUARY 2017 Part of Celtic Connections, this new celebration of all things uisge beatha will pair a selection of fine whiskies from over 50 different tasting stands with dishes from local Glasgow restaurants. www.nationalwhiskyfestival.scot Newcastle Whisky Festival 12 MARCH 2017 Visitors will have the chance to taste the best of homegrown whiskies from Scotland at St James’ Park, but there will also be a good selection of whiskies from all over the world for your delectation. www.thewhiskylounge.com Whisky Live, London 31 MARCH - 1 APRIL 2017 Masterclasses, food pairing, the VIP lounge and private pourings at the Honourable Artillery Company in the heart of London. An international whisky experience, showcasing producers from across the globe. www.whiskylive.com

080-081_CS04.indd 81

10/11/2016 12:31:00


82 | Whisky in South Africa

I work for all the major liquor companies in South Africa – as a freelancer – which allows me the independence to use whatever whiskies I want to at tastings and to speak freely about whisky. I was very into wines from 1985 to 1995, but in the mid 90s a lot of wine sold in South Africa was corked and undrinkable. I was at a business lunch and the restaurateur offered us some single malts. We drank Glenfiddich 12 and Dalwhinnie 15. It was then I made the move from wine to whisky.

Whisky writer and presenter Bernard Gutman hosts regular whisky tastings across South Africa and Africa The drinks scene in South Africa has seen major changes in recent years. There is a strong move towards responsible drinking – young people are much less likely to drink and drive and are ardent Uber users. Whisky is no longer seen as an old man’s drink and there are incredibly good bartenders who are making phenomenal whisky based cocktails. I edit and publish online magazines and blogs and write extensively about whisky. I’ve been presenting whisky formally for about 15 years and travel around South Africa and into Africa talking about whisky. It’s an incredibly energising experience and I love sharing my passion for whisky with people. While whisky is not my day job, it takes up a quite a bit of my time, but then chatting with people about whisky is a pleasure.

082_CS04.indd 82

I don’t have a favourite but have some preferred whiskies: Three Ships 5 Premium Select, Glen Grant 10, Yellow Spot or Cragganmore 12, Bunnahabhain 25 is special, some of the Bruichladdichs, Compass Box and GlenDronach releases and Highland Park 18. During the winter I’ll drink peatier whiskies but, as it is generally hot in Cape Town, smoke is for late nights only. Bain’s Cape Mountain whisky and Glen Grant’s Major’s Reserve on hot days and I also have a soft spot for Johnnie Walker Black Label. I look for balance in a whisky. If I like it, then to me, it is good. I think there is too much emphasis on ratings and people should trust their own palates more than what they read in books.

10/11/2016 12:33:20


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Profile for Cask & Still Magazine

Cask & Still Magazine - Issue 4  

We investigate the sticky tradition of blackening at the Speyside Cooperage; World Whisky Day founder Blair Bowman investigates India's boom...

Cask & Still Magazine - Issue 4  

We investigate the sticky tradition of blackening at the Speyside Cooperage; World Whisky Day founder Blair Bowman investigates India's boom...

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