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GoT WHISKY COLLECTION ARE YOU MAD FOR IT? INTERVIEW DR KIRSTIE MCCALLUM FOCUS ON ISLAY

SUMMER 2019

ISSUE 20


Winter is Coming...

For more information on White Walker by Johnnie Walker, please visit www.Johnniewalker.Com


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elcome to the summer edition of the Wee DRAM. This issue, we have plenty of news and an interesting Q&A with Dr Kirstie McCallum, the Chief Blender for Distell who produce Black Bottle and Bunnahabhain. We also have highlighed some great bars to visit this summer and have a feature on Islay which is a fabulous island to visit if you are new to

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News

The latest from the world of whisky.

whisky or you are a connoisseur. There is also our usual Distillery highlights, and our events page shows just some of the guests at the Oran Mor Whisky Awards. Our cover features a still from the recent Game of Thrones season 8, to celebrate the release of the Game of Throne Single Malt Whisky Collection. Slainte Susan Young, Editor.

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18 Q&A with Dr Kirstie McCallum 16 The Oran Mor Whisky Awards All the pictures the event. 22 Show me the way to the next Whisky Bar There’s nothing better than a great bar to enjoy some great whisky .

33 Gifts

Some exceptional gifts for Father’s Day

34 What’s On

Editor Susan Young Editorial Jason Caddy Sales Executives Jamie Alexander, Laura Shearer Commercial Head: Justin Wingate Admin: Cheryl Cook Production Fiona Gauld Dogs Tootsie & Lucy A Wee DRAM is published by Media World Ltd. Upper Floor, Finnieston House, 1 The Stables Yard, 1103 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8ND Tel 0141 221 6965 Email dram@mail.com The publishers, authors and printers cannot accept liability for errors/omissions. Any artwork will be accepted at owner’s risk. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the copyright holder and publisher, application for which should be made to the publisher. Articles published in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. © Media World Limited 2018 ISSN No 1470 - 2428

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NEWS WHISKY-MAKING INTERNSHIPS FOR WOMEN

COVER STORY: SCOTLANDS FIRST FEMALE COOPERING APPRENTICES History was made since the last Wee DRAM went to press because the whisky industry celebrated the recruitment of the first two female coopering apprentices ever. Angela Cochrane, 31, and 38-year-old Kirsty Olychick were recruited by Scotch distiller Diageo at its Cambus Cooperage in Clackmannanshire. The duo, part of team of 16

coopering apprentices, joined the Coopering School at Diageo Cambus. Former psychiatric nurse, Angela, said, “I’ve never been put off by gender stereotypes. I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. And knowing you’re contributing to the growing whisky industry is an amazing feeling.” Kirsty said, “Coming into a

Listen up if you’re a woman with a passion for whisky. Ncn’ean distillery, situated on the Movern peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, is offering two women the opportunity to experience hands-on how whisky is made, from mashing and distilling through to maturation. The internships also teach cocktail making and how to forage for the local plants that are used in Ncn’ean’s Botanical Spirit. The initiative has been launched to raise the profile of distilling as a career option among women, and to ‘challenge genderbased stigmas associated with the whisky industry’. The internships, which are open to all women aged 18 or over, will take place from 15-20 July, with all travel, accommodation and food included. More information and details of how to apply can be found at: ncnean.com/internship. male-dominated workplace didn’t put me off at all, in fact I found it really empowering to be one of the first women to take up the craft and make my mark in history.”

ARDNAHOE: THE LATEST ISLAY DISTILLERY... Earlier this year Islay welcomed its ninth and newest distillery since 2005, Ardnahoe. You’ll have to wait a wee while for the whisky, but the visitor centre’s open. It aims to attract 20,000 visitors each year and is situated on the island’s north east coast between Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain distilleries. The site benefits from what the folks behind it describe as breath-taking views over the Sound of Islay and the Paps of Jura to the east, Mull and Colonsay to the north. The distillery combines state-of-theart building design and technology with traditional distilling practices that include wooden washbacks, Scottish-made lamp glass stills and worm tub condensers and also includes dining facilities, tours and event functions throughout the year. Said Managing Director, 4

Stewart Laing, “We have built a great team to manage the distillery and run the visitor centre and in a few years’ time we will be able

to drink a great whisky in the classic Islay style, staying true to the island’s heritage with a heavily peated malt.”


NEWS

Whisky replaces wine in church blunder

‘Best Bar in the World’ for Edinburgh? Edinburgh could soon be adding ‘best bar in the world’ to its roll call of visitor attractions. That’s the pledge from the people behind the planned new Johnnie Walker visitor attraction, called Johnnie Walker Edinburgh, in the old House of Fraser building on Princes Street, now that planning permission has been given the green light. It’s also being touted as being ‘best brand attraction in the world’. The multi-storey development is expected to be completed by Christmas 2020. It will, say Diageo, the company that owns Johnnie Walker, be a multi-sensory, immersive visitor experience across three

floors, guiding people through the 200-year history of the brand, the art and science of whiskymaking as well as taking them on a journey through the flavours of Scotland. It’ll also boast a rooftop bar with views of Edinburgh Castle and across the city skyline to east, west and north, events space for staging music, theatre, arts and community events, plus a whisky academy and archive featuring exhibits. At street level the plans include a retail space, with an interior design inspired by the Johnnie Walker retail flagship store in Madrid.

Whisky can make you rich Can whisky make you rich? Well, it’s certainly contributed to the wealth of Scotland’s richest family, The Gordons, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List. The family, owners of William Grant & Sons, makers of Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, have been named Scotland’s richest for the sixth year in a row. The company is run by the founder’s great-great-grandson Glenn Gordon. The GlenAllachie Distillery in Aberlour, Speyside has dusted off its tour guide training manuals and polished up the stills. That’s because it’s begun offering visitors tours for the first time in over 50 years.

Whisky ended up being placed in an Archbishop’s chalice instead of wine during a church service Mass at St John’s Co-Cathedral on the island of Malta recently. Sacristan Godwin Dalli said on Facebook that while he was not to blame for what had happened, he wanted to publicly apologise. He explained that one of the volunteers who had been preparing the offerings got confused over the cupboards where the wine used for Mass was kept and picked the wrong one. During the Mass Archbishop Scicluna was heard asking whether whisky, rather than wine, had been put in his chalice. “Is this wine or whisky?… it is whisky”, Mgr Scicluna was heard saying on the altar. A co-celebrant tasted it and agreed. After a pause the Mass continued as usual.

Highland Park opens new store Highland Park has opened its new customer experience store in Kirkwall, Orkney. You can shop or sample a dram or two in the tasting room, while the new experience also includes a gallery featuring works from local creatives. Orkney based photographer and digital influencer Kendra Towns is the first to feature her collection of images inspired by the light on the islands. There will be no plastic bags used on the premises and a new range of consumer merchandise is in development featuring materials crafted from reusable plastics. 5


NEWS

Crieff gets a foothold in Hong Kong A taste of Perthshire can now be found in China - thanks to a replica of Crieff whisky shop JL Gill opening in Hong Kong. Owner Andrew Cuthbert, 48, who has run JL Gill grocery store in Crieff since he was 19 opened a replica of his family business in Hong Kong, complete with a matching traditional shop front, offering a slice of Crieff to the people of China last year. Andrew flew to Hong Kong for the shop’s opening, which included whisky tasting, special sales and a piper. He and his staff bang the drum for all the spirits distilled in Perthshire.

MACKMYRA ROPES IN ROBOTS It’s the stuff of nightmares to some. To others it’s the future. A Swedish distillery called Mackmyra has roped in robots as well as master blenders to create the world’s first AI-generated whisky, due to be released in the autumn. Now, we all know that blending whisky is a skill. It can take master blenders years to come up with the ingredients - tasting, testing, and torturing themselves in pursuit of the perfect recipe, and that’s before they even think about the distillation process. Scotch whisky must sit in oak

casks for at least three years! That’s why the distillery, in conjunction with Microsoft and Finnish tech company Fourkind, fed the machine raw data including the distillery’s legacy recipes, sales numbers, and customer preferences so that the algorithms could spit out more than 70 million recipes. Sifting through all that info comes up with new combinations that we humans simply could never consider, they say. Don’t worry. They say that Robots noses can not replace master blenders!

BALBLAIR REMOVES VINTAGES AMIDST REVAMP Highland distillery Balblair has introduced four new expressions, aged between 12 and 25 years, in a move its owner Inver House Distillers describes as signalling ‘a new era for Balblair’. The new expressions replace the brands vintage range. Balblair, brand manager Matthew Jamieson said, “Balblair will always be a single malt Scotch whisky of premium quality, with a true Highland strength of character.”

WANT TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS? Dr Jack Mayo, head distiller is pictured(left) with co-founder David Robertson. The dog is Laika.

Fancy making your own single malt whisky? That’s just one of the things on offer from a soon-to-be opened distillery in Edinburgh. The Holyrood Distillery will open in July and is offering customers 6

the chance to make their own malt for a cool £4,500. If you’re feeling flush you’ll be able to choose how long the barley is dried and roasted, which yeasts are used for fermentation, the distillation approach and

distillation date and the type of cask for maturation, including its oak species, size and previous fill. The distillery is focusing on four core flavours – smoky, spicy, sweet and fruity/floral – with cask purchasers able to tailor their choices around those flavours or explore something different. The cost includes flavour consultation, whisky creation, the cask, storage for ten years, sampling, insurance, labelling and bottling.


Available from leading specialist retailers including the Cadenhead’s Whisky Shops in Edinburgh, London and Campbeltown Edinburgh T - 0131 556 5864 chws@wmcadenhead.com

London T - 0207 935 6999 info@whiskytastingroom.com

Campbeltown T - 01586 551710 shop@wmcadenhead.scot @officialspringbankwhisky

@KilkerranSingleMalt

@springbank1828

@kilkerransinglemalt

Tours of

Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries Tickets available from:

Telephone: 01586 555468 / Email: tours@springbank.scot www.springbank.scot www.kilkerran.scot

www.drinkaware.co.uk 7


Little Known Fact…

Multi-award Winning Whisky Bar and Restaurant

Multi-award Winning Whisky Bar and Restaurant

Over 400 whiskies Online whisky shop - worldwide delivery Come on down for the ultimate Scottish experience... Fresh Scottish food served all day Live Scottish music every night Come on down for the ultimate Scottish experience... 119 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SG T: 0131 556 3095 www.whiskibar.co.uk E: info@whiskibar.co.uk

WHISKI ROOMS BAR • RESTAURANT • WHISKY SHOP Multi Award Winning Whisky Bar Fresh, local, scottish produce. Over 350 whiskies, premium wines and spirits. Daily Whisky Tastings. Private dining and events. Iconic views over Edinburgh. www.whiskirooms.com bar@whiskirooms.co.uk Bar & Bistro 0131 225 7224 8

Whisky Shop 0131 225 1532

Little Mix is a girl group, but what about Littlemill? That’s the name of what is now officially Scotland’s oldest distillery. It burned down 15 years ago, but new discoveries confirm the long-held theory that Littlemill, on the banks of the River Clyde at the little village of Bowling, between Dumbarton and Clydebank, was the oldest licensed whisky distillery in Scotland. For more than 220 years, the date 1772 carved in stone on the gable end of one of its warehouses offered the best evidence, but there had been no documentary or legal proof until the discovery recently of the local Justice of the Peace’s records for Dumbarton, dated November 2, 1773. Now we know.

BENROMACH WINS SPIRIT OF SPEYSIDE AWARD Visitors and locals to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival at the start of May helped crown Benromach 10 Years Old the winner in the 12 Years & Under category at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2019. The results revealed at the Festival’s closing ceilidh and just two finalists were selected in each category during a blind taste challenge held by the judging panel. Benromach was the only distillery to have two expressions in the final eight whiskies, including Benromach 15 Years Old which was recognised as the runner up in the 13 – 20 Years Old category. In the only whisky competition of its type because the shortlisted expressions are then sampled by the public at judging sessions held in cities including New York, Cologne, Rome, Belfast and London.

EDINBURGH WHISKY FRINGE It’s the world’s biggest arts festival but did you know that the Edinburgh Fringe Festival boasts a Whisky Fringe? It happens from the 9th to 11th August at the Mansfield Traquair at 15 Mansfield Place and over 25 distillers will be on show with more than 250 drams available to taste. You can either select a few that catch your eye in the programme which you can have emailed to you a couple of days prior to the event, or put yourself in the exhibitor’s expert hands and allow them to recommend a dram to suit your pallet. As well as entry to Whisky Fringe, with your £40 ticket you will receive a free snifter glass on the day and a £10 money off voucher to spend at Royal Mile Whiskies on any 70cl bottle over £40 in value. Everyone who attends Whisky Fringe also has the opportunity to enter the Spirit of Whisky Fringe prize draw to win a £100 voucher and four tickets to Whisky Fringe 2019.


FEATURE

The New Emperor’s Whisky Japan has a new emperor - the perfect excuse for Wee DRAM to celebrate all that’s great about Japanese whisky.

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new Japanese emperor represents a huge cultural shift for the country. The outgoing one, Akihito, abdicated at the end of April and his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, succeeded his father on the throne on May 1, so what better reason to demystify the history of Japan’s whisky production as well as to shed some light on the bars in Scotland with some of the largest selections of the liquid. Let’s kick things off with a quick definition so that we’re all on the same page. Japanese whisky means that it’s whisky from Japan. It doesn’t have the same legal requirements as bourbon or Scotch whisky, meaning that if any part of the whisky is distilled, bottled, or sold by a distillery in Japan then it’s Japanese whisky. Simple. Now for a very brief history lesson. The Japanese whisky industry can trace its origins mostly to a single person called Masataka Taketsuru. Following hundreds of years of isolationist

policy, Japan began to open itself to the world in the late 19th century and it was then that the country sent citizens abroad to learn about products and practices in other parts of the world—like how the Scots distilled whisky, for example. Taketsuru traveled to Scotland where he studied organic chemistry at the University Of Glasgow and worked at several of our whisky distilleries. When he returned to Japan in 1918 (with Scots wife Rita in tow) he was hired by Shinjiro Torii, founder of the company that would become Suntory. Taketsuru worked with Torii for years. The number one selling Japanese whisky in UK bars is Hakushu 12 Year Old – followed bv Hibiki 12 year old at number two and Yamazaki at number three and, with a very broad sweep of the brush, you can expect to pay around £1 more for a nip of Japanese whisky than you would a ‘standard’ malt, say. 9


FEATURE

And according to one bar manager and Japanese whisky devotee that Wee DRAM spoke to, Japanese whisky brands are moving away from age statements, such as ‘10 year old’. Why? Because they have been a victim of their own success and struggle to keep up with the demand. Perhaps that has given you a thirst for which bars stock a good selection of Japanese whisky, so here goes. Let’s start with the bar with reputedly the largest selection of Japanese whisky in Scotland, if not one of the biggest outside of south east Asia. That honor belongs to Craigellachie’s Highlander Inn, which is coowned and run by Tatsuya Minagawa. We’re talking around 30 bottles dominating the back bar of this cosy wee basement space, and all the staff there are trained by Tatsuya himself to guide you through them all, including Michaela Allsop. She told Wee DRAM, “Most people are willing to sample a Japanese 10

whisky even if this is not what brought them to the bar in the first place. The most popular one is Chichibu, but the staples like Yamazaki and Hakushu are also very popular with our guests.” If you’re on the Speyside whisky trail anyway than this place is a must-see for you to rest your weary feet and enjoy a dram. There’s a terrace that commands beautiful views over the village and oodles of other whiskyrelated stuff in the vicinity for you to get your teeth into. Moving further east, The Grill on Aberdeen’s Union Street has a respectable seven Japanese whiskies behind the bar. A member of staff told Wee Dram, “All-comers are keen to try our Japanese whiskies. We used to sell a lot of Yamazaki 12 yo but it was quite expensive. Nikka Coffee Malt is now our most popular one. There’s s till a real buzz around Japanese whisky but what puts the purists off is that it’s a non-age statement whisky, probably because this suggests

to them that it is younger and therefore arguably ‘less than’.” The Devil’s Advocate in Edinburgh has 14 Japanese whiskies behind its stylish bar. You’ll find the Chichibu, Ichiro and Nikka ranges as well as Yamazaki 12 yo and Mars Iwai Tradition. Over in Glasgow, The Pot Still on Hope Street is a bar that should have elastic walls by rights because it’s creaking under the amount of whiskies behind the bar, including 13 Japanese. One of their number is Bryan and he told Wee DRAM, “Our biggest sellers are Yamazaki, Hibiki and Nikka from the Barrel. There are definitely more people interested in Japanese whisky, even though it’s more expensive. And for this reason, a good gateway whisky would be Nikka from the Barrel, because it’s slightly cheaper.” So now you have no excuse not to raise a Japanese dram to the new emperor and wish him as long a reign as that of his father.


Usquabae Whisky Bar and Larder

Usquabae Whisky Bar and Larder, situated in the heart of Edinburgh, is a haven for those wanting to experience Scotland’s national tipple, whisky. With a specialist range of over 400 Single Malt Scotch, the world of whisky is awaiting for those wanting to explore the romantic depths of the world’s favourite drink. The whisky collection ranges from pre Second World War distillate and lost distilleries to the newest experimental releases, Usquabae boasts a truly diverse experience. Complimented by a professionally trained team who go to great lengths to make sure each visit is unique, you will be guided through all of Scotland’s whisky heritage and culture. While also stocking a range of craft beer and fine wines with a kitchen team showcasing Scotland’s finest produce, Usquabae is truly a memorable experience on each visit.

Caledonian Heritable Ltd, 4 Hope Street, Edinburgh EH2 4DB Tel: 0131 220 5511


Lochranza Hotel Country Inn

Proprietors: George & Fiona Stewart

Snacks, Tea & Coffee, Lunches, Dinners, Fresh Local Produce, Enviable Whisky Bar, Off Sales, Accomodation Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HL Tel: +44 (0) 1770 830223 Email: info@lochranzahotel.co.uk

www.lochranzahotel.co.uk

The Lismore: A world famous whisky bar in Glasgow, Scotland. with over 300 malt whiskies on display and live traditional music sessions through out the week.

THE LISMORE lios mor

The Lismore Bar 206 Dumbarton Road Glasgow

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LATEST HIGHLAND PARK MALT COULD GET UNDER YOUR SKIN Orkney-based Highland Park has partnered with Danish tattoo artist Colin Dale, who specialises in the ancient art of dot-work tattooing – a freestyled, non-electric tattoo technique – to design its recently launched Highland Park 16-Year-Old single malt whisky Twisted Tattoo bottle. The inspiration for Twisted Tattoo comes from Orkney’s Norse ancestry and the Viking legend of the Midgard Serpent which grew so large it twisted around the earth to bite its own tail. Dale’s research helped to reintroduce the lost tattooing techniques of the Nordic, Native American and Inuit cultures. He uses both traditional and modern techniques to tell stories on skin. Said Highland Park’s Jason Craig, “Tattoos are emotionally important and tell stories on the skin, much like our whisky tells the tales of our Orkney islands’ ancestry. Both arts can be traced back hundreds of years with the traditional skills still playing a key role in the tattooing and whisky making process today.” We’ve got news about two more new malts that you should be aware of. The Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown has recently unveiled The Longrow 18 Years Old and the Hazelburn Oloroso Sherry Cask 14 Years Old.


NEWS

COVER STORY: ARE YOU MAD FOR GAME OF THRONES WHISKY? SPOILER ALERT. So the Game of Thrones’ Dragon Lady Daenerys Targaryen has finally lost the plot. And after eight seasons it’s quite a complicated plot to lose. But the good news is that we’ve found some special edition whiskies that have been created in honour of the TV global phenomenon that every GoT fan should know about. First, there was White Walker by Johnnie Walker, and this one is, say the makers, best served directly from the freezer, echoing the chilling presence of the vanquished White Walkers. Joining it, and to celebrate the final season of the show, there’s also a limited-edition collection of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies to help keep series highlights like the Red Wedding burning bright in your memory. The collection features eight scotch whiskies, each paired with one of the Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch, giving you a taste of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. They are: Game of Thrones House Stark – Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost; Game of Thrones House Tully – Singleton of Glendullan Select; Game of Thrones House Targaryen – Cardhu Gold Reserve; Game of Thrones House Lannister – Lagavulin 9 Year Old; Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch – Oban Bay Reserve; Game of Thrones House Greyjoy – Talisker Select Reserve; Game of Thrones House Baratheon – Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old; and Game of Thrones House Tyrell – Clynelish Reserve. Send a raven to spread the word – or if you don’t have a raven to hand, get texting and posting.

DISTILLERY & VISITOR CENTRE OPEN ALL YEAR / TOURS May - Sept: Mon - Fri (10am - 5pm) Sat (10am - 4pm) Tours: 11am & 2pm or by arrangement (As there are limited spaces on each tour please book in advance to avoid disappointment)

Oct - April: Mon - Fri (10am - 4pm) Tours: 11am & 2pm or by arrangement Pulteney Distillery, Huddart St, Wick, Caithness KW1 5BA.

www.oldpulteney.com

Call 01955 602371 for more information The distillery silent season takes place during July and August, and during this time tours may be disrupted. Please call in advance to avoid disappointment. The distillery is closed for the festive period.

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NEWS

NEW TOBERMORY 12 YO MARKS DISTILLERY REOPENING A re-opened distillery always raises our spirits here at Wee DRAM. So the news that the Isle of Mull distillery Tobermory will open its doors in July did just that. Meanwhile its new flagship 12-year-old Tobermory has just launched. The whisky, which will replace the 10-year-old in the brand’s core range, has been matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels before spending up to nine months in virgin American oak casks. Senior Blender, Kirsty

McCallum, said, “The Isle of Mull is an idyllic place for whisky distillation and the Tobermory 12 Year Old echoes the rich character of our Hebridean home. Using non-peated barley and water from the distillery’s private source, the whisky delivers sweet and spicy notes on the palette and perfectly complements Tobermory’s passion for art in nature.” (You can catch a full interview with Kirsty on page 18.)

PRIVATE WHISKY COLLECTION STAYS IN EDINBURGH FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS The most extensive and famous private Scotch Whisky collection in the world will remain a jewel in Edinburgh’s crown for at least ten more years. The Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection has been the focal point of the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile since it first went on display in 2009, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors over the past decade. The Scotch Whisky Experience recently closed the collection while it carried out a full upgrade of the display cabinets to ensure the bottles, many of which are extremely old and rare, are preserved in optimal condition in a temperature and light-controlled environment to ensure that they all make it to 2029.

Congrats to the Ben Nevis Distillery which has just celebrating winning Grand Gold with its Traditional Ben Nevis Single Malt at the Frankfurt International Trophy competition. They also received Grand Gold for the Limited edition Batch No.1 10 Year Old at Cask Strength.

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Award winning whisky bar with over 700 malts. Restaurant offering Scottish food made from the best regional ingredients. Whisky tastings and food matching arranged.

Kilkerran Road, Campbeltown, Argyll PA28 6JL Tel: 01586 552133 info@ardshiel.co.uk

www.ardshiel.co.uk FACEBOOK .COM /A R DSHIELHOTEL

An award winning whisky and real ale pub in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town. A typical traditional pub, with a mahogany gantry loaded with more than 400 whiskies. AA Hospitality Award - Best Pub In Scotland 2017/18 www.thebowbar.co.uk 80 West Bow | Victoria Street | Edinburgh EH1 2HH Tel: 0131 226 7667

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EVENTS

Here are some snaps from the recent 12th annual ร’ran Mรณr Whisky Awards in Glasgow, celebrating the success of the whisky industry.

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INTERVIEW

THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY

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INTERVIEW

Dr Kirstie McCallum is the chief blender for Distell International, working on whiskies like Black Bottle, Bunnahabhain, Deanston, Scottish Leader, and Tobermory. She’s based at the company’s HQ in East Kilbride where she has her own blending lab. JASON CADDY spoke to Kirstie to find out how she arrived at a career in whisky, despite graduating as a chemist, which whisky bars she likes to visit, as well as what it’s like being a woman working in the whisky industry.

You trained as a chemist. How did you get into the whisky industry? I always wanted to work for a pharmaceutical business after doing a degree in chemistry at Glasgow Caledonian University. But I was told that if I wanted to go far in pharmaceuticals I would need to have my PhD, plus there was a scarcity of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry then. As it turned out, while I was looking for a job, I was offered a temporary position with a grain distillery in Glasgow called Port Dundas and I fell in love with the industry straight away. I started off in the labs, basically looking at the production side of things. I joined Burn Stewart (owned by Distell International) in 2016 after working for both Chivas Brothers at Glen Keith Distillery and for Allied Distillers. What is your favourite whisky bar in Scotland and outside of Scotland? That’s a bit of a hard one. Where I choose to go greatly depends on my mood at the time, but what I would say is that I love going to The Pot Still on Hope Street in Glasgow plus I’m also a big fan of The Bon Accord on the city’s North Street. I’ve travelled extensively in my job, like the U.S., South America, Russia and Canada, but I’d have to say that all in all the best whisky bars that I have seen outside of Scotland have been in Singapore. It has some wonderful bars with a fantastic selection of whisky, and I would recommend that every whisky lover visit Singapore if they get the chance! How did you train your nose and your palate? A lot of people assume that you can’t train your nose, but you absolutely can. You must have some ability to start with I suppose, but you can train it up from there, by nosing as many whiskies as you can. I’d like to think that I’ve always had a good sense of smell, but when it comes to training your nose there’s no substitute for practice, which comes with experience of course. Is the whisky industry female friendly, and are more women drinking whisky? In my experience there have always been women working in this industry, it’s just that they used to mainly working behind the scenes, so to speak, like in labs and in marketing roles. Whereas now there are certainly far more women blenders and distillers, so we are a lot more visible, which is wonderful. In terms of women drinking whisky, I see in my general observations that there are absolutely more of us drinking whisky. Although I have to say that I’m 19


INTERVIEW

not merely a proponent for women drinking whisky, I’m a proponent for everybody drinking whisky. I really do think that there is one for everybody – even those that say it’s not their thing and that seem absolutely opposed to even entertaining the idea of trying it. A little bird tells us that you’re a big motorsports fan – have you ever managed to combine your two loves? Actually I have would you believe! It was for Finnish rally driver, Tommi Mäkinen. I’m a regular visitor to Finland and one time he had a VIP section after a race and I organised some tastings for him. It also happens that he’s my hero and I know that they say that you should never meet your heroes but he was lovely. He was an absolute gentleman. And he loved the whisky. Do you have a favourite whisky and are you a purist or are you just happy to see people drinking it however they choose to? I don’t have a favourite whisky and I’m not a purist. What I choose just depends on which mood I’m in at the time. I also don’t believe that there should be any rules to liking or drinking whisky – because there are so many terrific products out there and it’s a fun drink as well as being a tremendously accessible one. As long as people are drinking it, I’m happy. Who do you particularly admire in the whisky industry? I greatly admire master blender David Stewart, the long-time master blender and malt master 20

for William Grant & Sons. He is such a gentleman, always approachable and what he’s done for the Balvennie is outstanding. I’m also a big admirer of Colin Scott of Chivas. I was lucky enough to work for Colin and he is so very good at what he does and his knowledge about whisky is absolutely unbelievable. Is this a good time for the whisky industry in Scotland? Yes it absolutely is. As an industry we are controlled by fairly heavy regulations, which I’m all for by the way, yet at the same time we are witnessing a lot of exciting things happening, and creatively things are flourishing. For example there’s more single cask experimentation, plus sales of single malts are booming too of course, plus we’re also seeing more creative and imaginative marketing that goes beyond the traditional haggis and shortbread image. Whisky is arguably perceived as being a cooler drink overseas than it is in the UK. Do you ever see it having the same cool credentials among Scots, or is this already happening? It’s definitely already happening. You’re right, though, when you’re abroad it is a cool spirit to be seen enjoying, but I am seeing younger people at whisky festivals in Scotland enjoying whisky more and more and I would say that there is more of an appetite among younger people when it comes to wanting to learn more about, and sample, all types of whiskies.


Opening times January-March Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

Come and visit us to discover how we handcraft our single malt scotch whisky, the time-honoured way.

April & May Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5pm June, July & August Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5pm Sunday 10am-5pm

For more information please visit benromach.com/distillery or call us on +44 1309 675 968

September & October Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5pm November-December Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

Invererne Road, Forres, Moray IV36 3EB 01309 675 968

We close our doors and take it easy over Christmas and Hogmanay

please enjoy benromach responsibly.

Whether you are paying a visit to St Andrews for a game of golf or simply visiting the sights of this lovely historic town, you would be well advised to make a stop for a dram at The Keys Bar right in the centre of town in Market Street. Crowned Sunday Mail Pub of the Year in 2014, it is one of the only independent bars operating in the town. The Keys’ success can be attributed to owner Claire and her team’s personable, hospitable nature; nothing is too much trouble, and a hearty welcome is guaranteed to all who step through the door. With over 300 malt whiskies available including many rarities, and over 120 gins. The Keys Bar is truly one of Scotland’s hidden gems.

WWW.KEYSBAR.CO.UK



FIVE EN-SUITE WHISKY THEMED BEDROOMS

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FRESHLY PREPARED CONTEMPORARY SCOTTISH CUISINE FANTASTICALLY STOCKED WHISKY BAR SCOTTISH REAL ALE STUNNING VIEWS OVER THE RIVER SPEY FISHING PARTIES CATERED FOR

For further information please contact: THE MASH TUN - 8 BROOMFIELD SQUARE - ABERLOUR - AB38 9QP Tel: 01340 881771

www.mashtun-aberlour.com

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SHOW ME THE WAY TO THE NEXT WHISKY BAR Inverness Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire Dundee St Andrews Stirling Edinburgh Glasgow Dumfries and Galloway

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WHISKY BARS

N

orth, south, east or west, Wee Dram’s Whisky Bar Guide to Scotland is best. A good whisky is a good whisky. But there’s no denying that pleasant surroundings and clued-up bar staff enrich the occasion. As whisky lover George Bernard Shaw said, ‘whisky is liquid sunshine’, so even if the weather isn’t up to much cop this summer, then you’ve got some in your glass whenever it’s holding a dram. Here, we’ve put together your go-to guide to the best whisky bars across Scotland.

THE ALBANACH, EDINBURGH

Located on the High Street/Royal Mile The Albanach is very popular with tourists and locals alike. It is very sociable venue with a focus on Scotch and traditional Scottish food. It’s Steak pie gets rave reviews. However if you are in for a whisky or two, they do tasting flights which are great value.

ARDSHEIL HOTEL, CAMPBELTOWN

If you’re going to Campbeltown to visit a nearby distillery, where better to hang out than the Arsheil Hotel. It has arguably the best selection of whisky, not just in the town, but in the region. From run-of-the-mill to something out of the ordinary, and at every price point. All you need to do is ask.

The Albanach

Ardshiel Hotel 23


WHISKY BARS

‘whisky is liquid sunshine’... George Bernard Shaw THE BEN NEVIS, GLASGOW

Right at the very heart of trendy Finnieston is a wonderful wee whisky bar called The Ben Nevis. It has over 300 different whiskies, plenty of live music and a real fire. There’s hardly room to swing a cat, but it is dog friendly. It also has a great atmosphere and the guys behind the bar know their whisky.

THE DOWANS HOTEL, ABERLOUR

The Dowans Hotel in Speyside is home to 500 malts and is run by the Murray family. Their whisky bar, The Still, displays its whisky collection in stylish glass cabinets. But you can also have a whisky cocktail in its bar next door.

THE FORT HOTEL, BROUGHTY FERRY

Not only is Dundee one of the coolest cities in the UK but it also has some real whisky bar gems - if you know where to look. Take The Fort Hotel in Broughty Ferry, just outside Dundee, in Broughty Ferry. Take the gothic-style bar (complete with gargoyles) has a wonderful selection of about 50 malts and the staff are friendly, and for those that do the grape not the grain there’s also The Wine Spa next door which is a wine heaven (and has one or two whiskies as well).

FREEDOM AN ‘WHISKY, ABERDEEN

The Bow Bar

BOW BAR, VICTORIA STREET, EDINBURGH

There are loads of amazing whisky bars in the capital, but here are a few that you should definitely worth checking out. At 420 malts and counting, The Bow Bar on Victoria Street is an Aladdin’s cave of whiskies housed in a traditional bar that has remained as constant as the northern star in its consistency ever since it opened. It has a no-music policy, which the friendly banter more than compensates for.

CHEERS BAR, FRASERBURGH

This is such a quality, independently own bar with a great whisky menu, highlighting the 300 whiskies on offer. There’s always plenty going on at Cheers, and with a good summer on the cards you can even enjoy your dram in a dram good outside area. If you fancy making it an overnight, then the Broad Street bar also has six rooms available for you to complete your pilgrimage. 24

Right in the heart of the city on St Andrew Street is The Sandman Signature hotel’s stylish premium whisky lounge, Freedom An’ Whisky. It has over 150 malts and is located within Chop Grill & Restaurant. It is overseen by its very own ambassador.

GLENMORISTON HOTEL, INVERNESS

The four-star Glenmoriston Hotel, also in Inverness, boasts a whisky and piano bar and this is a place to enjoy a dram if you like the sound of the ivories being tinkled in an environment bursting with Italian marble, oak panelling and leather. There might also be a whisky ambassador on hand to guide you toward the malt that’s going to pop your pallet, from a selection of 260, if the God of Whisky is smiling on you.

THE KEYS BAR, ST ANDREWS

St Andrews doesn’t have a train station but it has a whisky bar that is well worth whetting your whistle in called The Keys Bar. It’s right at the centre of town, on Market Street, and the staff are so enthused about whisky that they’ll make your journey worthwhile. And if you tire of whisky, heaven forbid, then there’s also 200 gins and over 40 rums available too.


WHISKY BARS THE LISMORE, GLASGOW

The Lismore in Partick is also a well-known bar. It’s a real local, but with an extensive range of whisky on the back bar. You are just as likely to get the low-down on whisky from the punters as you are from the bar staff. It’s that type of pub.

LOCHRANZA HOTEL, ARRAN

The bar is situated beside the Arran Distillery and where better to go afterwards for a drink of whisky. It’s a lovely location and you can sit outside enjoy the view and local whisky or whisky from further afield.

THE MASH TUN, ABERLOUR

The Mash Tun’s is a quirky looking pub and a Speyside malt lover’s dream. This traditional bar is ship-shaped - quite literally - having been designed for a sea captain. And it’s steeped in the tradition of whisky, with the wood from old washback vessels used to create the floor of the bar. Obviously, it has a great offering and if you have to sleep it off you can always stay over as it doubles as a B&B with whisky-themed bedrooms.

THE POT STILL, GLASGOW

The Pot Still is on Hope Street is the king Weegie whisky bar with a whopping great 750 whiskies behind the bar, the custodians of which are the Murphy family. What they don’t know about whisky.... The huge imposing back bar stands like a shrine to whisky and as well as being a passive drinker you can also elect to take part in some whisky tastings, and if you want something tasty in between, then how about a hot pie.

THE SHIP INN, GATEHOUSE OF FLEET

There’s a great wee whisky bar at The Ship Inn, Gatehouse of Fleet, in the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway region. It has 100 malts on offer. It’s also such a picturesque spot as this traditional whitewashed pub building also boasts a beer garden with picnic tables that overlook a river.

USQUEBAE, EDINBURGH

Usquebae in Edinburgh’s Hope Street was the 2018 Whisky Bar of the Year. As you would expect, the bar offers a great range of whisky and the staff are happy to be creative too, whether you are would like to try a cocktail or a whisky that’s a bit special. Check out out our Islay feature for some great whisky bars on the island.

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WHISKY BARS

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FEATURE

WHISKY BUSINESS

Distilleries are a must-see for any whisky devotee and we’ve compiled a guide to five of the very best that we think are the absolute business.

Springbank Springbank 85 Longrow Campbeltown Argyll PA28 6ET It might be Scotland’s most traditional whisky-making

location, but Campbeltown’s Springbank Distillery has taken a step into the future with the opening of a new on-site shop and visitor centre. Springbank’s visitors, and those who want to see its sister distillery Mitchell’s Glengyle, can now enjoy their visit in the comfort and atmosphere provided by the new facilities. Springbank is a unique distillery in a unique part of Scotland. The Kintyre peninsula, known as “Scotland’s mainland island”, might be connected to the rest of the country by a one-mile strip of land, but the area has a distinctly island feel. Campbeltown is the largest town on the peninsula and is famous around the world for its Scotch whisky production. Springbank drinkers appreciate the robust, salty, coastal style which is a by-product of the natural Campbeltown environment. Springbank remains in the ownership of its founding family and continues to practice traditional production techniques. It is the only remaining distillery in the country to carry out 100% of the production process on site and visitors often remark that time spent touring the distillery is like taking a step back in time to the Victorian era. Alongside its flagship Springbank Single Malt, the distillery also produces two other varieties - the heavily-peated, smokey Longrow and the lighter, more floral, triple-distilled Hazelburn. The distillery runs tours and tastings from Monday to Saturday each week. Booking in advance is not essential but is advisable; contact tours@springbank.scot or call 01586 555 468 to book.

ey Lindores Abb Lindores Abbey Abbey Road Newburgh Fife KT14 6HH Tours seven days a week. Lindores Abbey’s widely recognised links to the earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky mean people have been traveling to this quiet corner of Fife for Centuries. After a 500 year break, whisky pilgrims will finally be able to see Single Malt distillation happening once again on this historic site. Lindores offers fantastic experiences including our Apothecary experience which gives you the chance to get “hands on” making your own delicious version of Aqua Vitae. It operates a standard tour three times a day (10.30/12.00/14.00) seven days a week to allow guests the chance to get behind the scenes. For more information visit www.lindoresabbeydistillery.com Email: Info@lindoresabbeydistillery.com   Tel: 01337 842547

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Benromach

Pulteney Pulteney Distillery Huddart Street Wick Caithness KW1 5BA

Benromach Distillery Company Ltd., Invererne Road, Forres, Moray IV36 3EB

Open all year

June to August: Daily 9:30am – 5pm Tours from: £8pp Time: 60 mins

Founded in 1826 by James Henderson at the height of Wick’s celebrated herring boom, the Pulteney Distillery is one of the most northerly Scotch whisky distilleries on the British mainland. There is no better way of understanding the essence of Old Pulteney Single Malt than by experiencing its unique location for yourself. Each of the distillery tours will bring to life not only the distinctive process by which they make Old Pulteney but, the absorbing story behind this exceptional single malt Scotch whisky. for more information visit www.oldpulteney.com Tell: 01955 602371

Established in 1898, the Benromach distillery is independently owned by a family with proud, enduring roots in Speyside. Admired the world over for its whisky expertise, today they pour their passion and knowledge into making its gorgeous single malt. A lost taste of Speyside they wanted to bring back and share. Go and see their distillers at work as they orchestrate every second of the production by sight, sound and touch. One of their friendly tour guides will proudly show you around the boby mill, mash tun, wooden washbacks, copper stills, spirit safe, and its warehouses. And, of course, in the visitor centre you can enjoy a tutored tasting of their gorgeous classic Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Ben Nevis

Warehouse No 7 Ben Nevis Distillery Lochy Bridge, Fort William, PH33 6TJ Open All Year Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm, Extended Summer Hours to 6pm plus Sat 10am - 4pm and Sun 12-4pm. Ben Nevis Distillery is nestled at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which has a summit elevation of 4’406 feet above sea level. This imposing mountain provides an impressive background to a traditional Scottish craft as well as the water used to produce the whisky. In 1991, the distillery opened the Visitor Centre and Cafe. Currently, it employs 30 staff to cover all aspects of the business to produce spirit on a continuous 24/7 operation. It has customers all over the world and its aim is to have Ben Nevis Single Malt Scotch Whisky become further renowned for its quality and taste whilst produced using traditional methods. The Visitor Centre has been rebranded as Warehouse No. 7 at Ben Nevis Distillery. Visitor centre - 01397 700200. It is only open weekends during the summer. Email tours@bennevisdistillery.com. Admission is £5 and it also offers a Tasting Tour at £18 and an Executive Tour at £30.

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SUMMER AT THE OLD MILL INN The Old Mill Inn is one of Scotland’s top pubs & country Inns as you’ll see from its burgeoning awards shelf when you visit. Just a short journey by train from the central belt, hop off at Pitlochry and head for the town’s most happening place to be. When you arrive, you’ll find a lovely stone-built Inn with working water wheel just 5 minutes’ walk from the station, set back off the main street. With its friendly bar and outdoor beer garden there’s plenty of space, so grab your squad and head for a day out in the country where you can explore their wide range of whiskies, gins, cocktails, real ales & ciders alongside your usual top-quality bar brands. Their bistro is hugely popular too and focusses on top quality local produce on their menu and specials board. Why not make a weekend of it and stay overnight in one of their luxurious 12 bedrooms allowing you to enjoy their live music every Friday & Saturday night. You can find all the details on gigs, menus and book rooms online at www.theoldmillpitlochry.co.uk The Old Mill Inn | 01796 474020 Mill Lane, Pitlochry, PH16 5BH | www.theoldmillpitlochry.co.uk

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FEATURE

ALL EYES ON ISLAY I f you’re looking for an early summer festival that combines all the best elements of whisky and music, plus a trip across the water to a place with beautiful island views, then why not check out the Islay Festival (Fèis Ìle) from Friday 24th May to Saturday 1st June. But Islay is not just great during the whisky festival it’s a cracking island all year round. Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands and is known as ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’ it may only be 25 miles long but it is the fifth-largest Scottish island covering 239 square miles or 620 sq km. It has more distilleries on it than any other island – eight in total. Islay is probably best known for its peaty, smoky whiskies and even if whisky’s not the be-all and 30

end-all to you, Islay still promises a memorable experience thanks to its birdlife, seafood and beautiful and dramatic coastal seascapes. You’ll either arrive at Port Ellen which is the main port or at Port Askaig, located on the East Coast of the island. During the summer the mainland ferry comes into to Port Askaig every afternoon and there’s not much at this Port except the family-owned Askaig Hotel which has a lively bar, a great beer garden, bistro and restaurant. If you are catching an early morning ferry you can just about roll out of bed and onto it, and they will even give you a carryout breakfast. The award winning Ballygrant Inn is a hop, skip and a jump away from Port Askaig. This charming rustic pub (complete


FEATURE WHISKY BARS with burning wood stoves) has a tremendous range of whiskies, more than 450, and the staff are very knowledgeable. Best to phone ahead if you are planning to eat there. There are five different driving routes on Islay covering most of the island’s roads. If you are driving on Islay many of the roads are single track – as you would expect on an island, but at the same time you can stop off-road and catch the wildlife. There are 200 different species of bird-life there and almost 100 breed on the island. So be sure and take your binoculars. Loch Gruinart is famous for the large numbers of barnacle and whitefronted geese that spend the winter on Islay. The reserve can be seen easily from the road. In the visitor centre, a live video camera lets you get even closer views of the grazing geese. The main town is Bowmore and not only does the town have the Bowmore Distillery but there are quite a few bars worth visiting too. There’s the Lochside, which has great views out across the water, and an outside terrace. It’s got the obligatory whisky bar and it is well known for its life music. The Bowmore Hotel is situated a five minute walk from The Lochside and also boasts a lively atmosphere – there is the public bar which is a favourite of locals and also a lounge bar where its vast whisky collection is on view. If you’re looking for a place to eat in Bowmore you could try Peatzeria! A modern restaurant which only opened a couple of years ago. A 20 minute journey from Bowmore takes you to

Port Charlotte and the Port Charlotte Hotel has great views and great food. The hotel, is the most westerly of Islay’s Hotels. The residents’ lounge and public bar feature open fires where guests can unwind with convivial company and local musicians play regularly in the bar. Throughout the hotel is an art collection with a leaning to ‘The Glasgow School’ of artists. A further 15 minute drive takes you to Portahaven – a 19th century village with a wee harbour where seals are happy to bask. The An Tigh Seinnse pub at Portahaven is tiny, but the fish is fresh and the location is great too. Why not watch the seals and then pop into the pub for a bite to eat. It serves food f rom 12 noon to 8pm. When you are not enjoying the whisky, the distilleries and the food – you could go for a walk or try some birdwatching. There are over 20 beautiful walks, and whether you’re an avid bird watcher or just enjoy a bit of nice scenery, Islay Sea Adventure’s wildlife trips offer the chance to see some rare sights. Of course Islay is famous for its peaty whiskies – in fact peat is still cut from the mosslands, giving the ‘Islay malts’ their distinct flavours. In fact, the island is perfectly placed for whisky production because of its pure water source, sea spray and fertile lands for growing barley. All the distilleries welcome visitors to watch the production process and, even better, to enjoy a wee dram! Certainly there’s is plenty of sampling on Islay!

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Here’s your snap guide to Islay’s distilleries... KILCHOMAN DISTILLERY Situated in the north west of the island, it’s in close proximity to one of Islay’s most spectacular beaches, Machir Bay, which really is stunningly beautiful. LAPHROAIG DISTILLERY Laphroaig is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the Isle of Islay. It is pronounced le-FROYG. LAGAVULIN DISTILLERY Lagavulin distillery is situated in the village of the same name on the south of the island. It is owned by Diageo. BOWMORE DISTILLERY Bowmore lies on the South Eastern shore of Loch Indaal, and

is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, established in 1779. The waste heat from the distillation process goes to heat a nearby public swimming pool that was built in one of the distillery’s former warehouses. CAOL ILA DISTILLERY Pronounced ‘cull-eela’, the distillery is situated on the north eastern shores of the island with views over the Sound of Islay, to the spectacular Paps of Jura. BRUICHLADDICH DISTILLERY Most of the original machinery at the Bruichladdich Distillery is still in use. No computers are used in production with all processes controlled by a pool of artisans who measure the progress using dipsticks and flotation devices.

BUNNAHABHAIN DISTILLERY The name Bunnahabhain is Scottish Gaelic for Mouth of the River. The village of Bunnahabhain was founded to house its workers. ARDBEG DISTILLERY This distillery is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LMVH), and Ardbeg is a heavily peated Islay whisky. The name Ardbeg is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic An Àird Bheag, meaning The Small Promontory.process. and flotation devices.

And now there is a 9th distillery set to open Ardnahoe Distillery. It’s visitor centre is now open.

The Port Charlotte Hotel and Bar is located in one of Islay’s most beautiful Georgian villages, and has a beach-side location overlooking Loch Indaal. Our award-winning hotel boasts 10 rooms, a bar, restaurant and conservatory, and our residents’ lounge and public bar feature open fires where guests can unwind with convivial company and of course a malt whisky. In fact we also design bespoke whisky and culture tours for small groups all year round. The bar plays host to nearly 150 Islay malts including rare ones and local ales too. As well as its own Scottish art collection the hotel also offers live music two nights a week, throughout the summer season in the bar, which creates a great atmosphere. A few years ago we won the accolade Malt Whisky Bar of the Year from the Good Pub guide while the restaurant has just picked up a Trip Advisor accolade –‘Certificate of Excellence.’ The Port Charlotte Hotel is open all year round and between October and March has an excellent dinner, bed and breakfast rate. You can be assured of a warm welcome here.

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GIFTS BARS WHISKY

Angels’ Share Whisky Angel on oak stand £40.00 www.angelsshareglass.com

WHISKY GIFTS

The Angels’ Share whisky angel rests on an oak cask stand, with a fine tartan insert and logo tag made from a cask lid by craftsmen in Scotland. The Angels’ Share Whisky Angel is a piece of hand blown glass and is designed to hold whisky through a secret process which is apparently known only to the craftsmen who have created it. Holding 25ml of Scotch whisky, this remarkable design allows the spirit to be captured in molten glass without combusting.

Glencairn Glass Keyring £5.00 www.angelsshareglass.com

Never lose your keys again with this great Enamel Glencairn Glass Keyring. Glencairn, the Official Whisky Glass.

Garden Birds Hip Flask £8.95 www.rexlondon.com

Spreadable Whisky £9.99 Firebox.com

The classic 6oz stainless steel flask design is decorated with illustrations of garden birds, providing you with a splash of colour while taking a swig of spirit – find a garden bench to relax and enjoy the flask’s contents and it will almost certainly bring out your hidden twitcher.

Made with real whisky, with a warm, dark and rounded flavour that tastes just like the drink. The alcohol is cooked off, so its the perfect partner your morning toast, or crackers and cheese in the evening.

Engraved Measures Whisky Tumbler £4.99 www.personalisedgiftsshop.co.uk When the Scotch goes down a bit too quickly this Engraved Measures Whisky Tumbler will definitely get the measure of you. Each line divides this heavy weight 9cm glass into four equal sections so that you know exactly how quickly that golden heaven is going down. But with 17 character personalisation available alongside each line, there is always a little bit of fun to be had with this gift!

Whisky Tasting Collection 12 Tubes in gift box £56.99 www.tastingcollection.com This whisky tasting contains: • 12 glass tubes of 25 ml whisky • Booklet with illustrations and descriptions of the whiskies • Luxury gift box

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What’s On? 21 May 2019 to 24 May 2019

27 May 2019 2pm-5pm

16th June Midday to 7.00pm

The Campbeltown Malts Festival is an annual event showcasing the best Kintyre has to offer in Spirits, offering tastings and masterclasses, say the people behind it. There are also free distillery tours, local craft and food stalls, exclusive bottlings, whisky and cocktail bars, live music and much more.

This is an opportunity to sail the high seas, on one of the last wooden sailing ketches in the world, while tasting whiskies. Only nine customers will be able to set sail, so this is as exclusive as it comes! The Irene is one of the last remaining wooden sailing ketches in the world. She is over 100 years old, a sight to behold and has a fascinating story herself, which the ship’s crew can tell you all about onboard.

Why not treat dad to a day at the market. There’s a free dram on arrival and, as well as all the small-scale producers selling their wares, there’s also a bar!

Tickets: £30 – £50

Tickets £100

Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 Springbank distillery Well Close Campbeltown PA28 6ET UK

24 May 2019 to 01 June 2019

Islay: TWL Tall Ship Sailing and Tasting

Fèis Ìle 2019 Argyll

15 June 2019 12pm-4pm, 5pm-9pm

If you fancy a trip west this year to the Southern Hebrides then why not hang by the Fèis Ìle on the Isle of Islay? It combines songs, poetry, history, piping, food, classes for Gaelic song and language and more – like ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling and whisky tasting For the last number of years all of the Islay distilleries have held open days throughout the week of the festival.

Assembly Rooms 54 George St Edinburgh

Various Locations

Edinburgh Whisky Festival 2019

The Edinburgh Whisky Festival attracts distillers from as far afield as Taiwan, India, Japan and the USA. Simply approach any of the exhibitor stands, ask politely for a dram and you’ll receive a tasty glass of whisky. You can also sign up to a masterclasse.

Queen Street: Fathers Day Market

Tickets £4/7 20 June

Glenfiddich Whisky Tasting at The Clydeside Distillery The Brand Ambassador will be taking you through a tasting of 6 fine single malt drams from Glenfiddich. £10 of the ticket price can be redeemed against a purchase of any 700ml bottle of Glenfiddich on the night. Tickets £25 p.p 9 August 2019 to 11 August 2019 2pm-6pm

Edinburgh Whisky Fringe 2019 Royal Mile Whiskies’ annual Whisky Fringe tasting event is now 18 years old and still manages to attract people from all over the world to Edinburgh. As well as entry to Whisky Fringe, with your ticket you will receive a free snifter glass on the day and a £10 money off voucher to spend at Royal Mile Whiskies. Tickets £40

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