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hat an exciting last couple of months it has been on the whisky front with not one or two but three distilleries set to be re-established. It just goes to show how popular malt whisky has become. But it is not just important to our distillers its popularity worldwide has impacted positively on our tourism – see our feature on page 12 to find out exactly how important it is. This issue we also take a look at some of the new

generation of whisky ambassadors. They are definitely ones to watch when it comes to whisky. On the brand front too there is plenty going on from new packaging to new expressions – there’s bound to be something here to get you excited and where better to try them than in one of Scotland’s great pubs which sell a fabulous selection of whiskies. Slainte Susan Young, Editor.

04 News

The latest from the world of whisky.


Whisky Cocktails for Winter

12 Raise a Dram to whisky tourism

 Whisky is proving to be a real draw for tourists.

18 The New Generation

Meet the young ambassadors promoting whisky

24 The Glenfiddich Experiment

Pictures from the new festival

26 The Dowans Hotel

The Still

28 Special Gifts  If you are stuck for a gift idea for that

someone special check out these pages.

30 Whisky World What’s on over the next few months.

COVER Editor Susan Young Sales Executives Helen Aitken, Sylvia Forsyth & Philip Campbell Production Lorraine Gourlay Dogs: Lucy and Tootsie 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 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 2017 ISSN No 1470 - 2428




an Macleod Distillers has revealed plans to resurrect Rosebank Distillery in Falkirk which closed in 1993. The distillery produced one of the most respected and sought after single malts in the world according to Ian Macleod MD Leonard Russell.(pictured right). He says, “This is an extraordinarily exciting project for us. To bring back to life an iconic distillery and quintessential Lowland single malt is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Rosebank has been dubbed ‘the King of the Lowlands’ and the late whisky writer, Michael Jackson had no doubt that it was one of the ‘greats’. He described its demise as “a grievous loss”. Leonard Russell says, “We will produce Rosebank Lowland single malt in exactly the same way as it is known, using the famous triple distillation and worm tub condensers. This way we ensure the revival of its classic style and taste.” “Our investment goes way beyond production,” he continued. “We are looking to develop a Rosebank Visitor Centre to help

tell the story of this remarkable whisky - as well as safeguard the atmospheric Canal side Bond and its important heritage.” But perhaps most exciting for whisky lovers as they wait for the reborn Rosebank to mature, is the acquisition of some precious existing casks. “Over the coming months we will carefully review Rosebank’s rare stocks with a view to releasing some truly scarce and extraordinary whiskies,” said Leonard Russell. “We have no doubt that demand for these releases will be exceptionally high so we already have plans in place to make sure collectors and Rosebank lovers can keep up to date.” With this in mind, all the latest developments will be revealed on a new, dedicated website where those who sign up will be the first to hear about the release of the rare and collectable bottlings of Rosebank Lowland Single Malt. For more information, please visit

BENROMACH UNVEILS LIMITED EDITION 1977 VINTAGE Over the last few years whiskies from Benromach Distillery have become very popular but now The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd has announced the release of a single cask vintage Benromach 1977 and only 225 bottles are available worldwide. Quietly maturing for 39 years in a single Refill American Hogshead, Benromach 1977 (ABV 56.0%), say the company, is a deliciously smooth and sweet dram with vibrant notes of ripe banana and luscious passion fruit. Citrus undertones and dried tobacco mingle with toasted oak leading to a fresh menthol finish. It is presented in an evocative decanter-style bottle, inspired by the curving shapes and silky textures of the distillery’s gleaming copper stills and the bottle nestles inside a rich, dark oak wooden box, reminiscent of the wood used in the original distillery washbacks. A beautifully written, hardback book accompanies the whisky, which delves into the history of the distillery and the personalities who handcraft the whisky using


time honoured techniques passed down for generations. David King, Director at Benromach said, “These carefully selected casks give Benromach lovers around the world the chance to own and taste a moment in time from the distillery’s rich history. We’ve been sampling this cask over the years and feel only now that it is ready to be unveiled.” The Benromach 1977 is available now with an RRP of €1,500.


MARCH FESTIVAL FOR FIFE The first ever Fife Whisky Festival will take place on Saturday the 10th of March 2018, at the Corn Exchange in Cupar and it is being organised by Justine Hazlehurst, founder of Kask Whisky, and Karen Somerville, founder of Angels’ Share Glass. The event which is sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, aims to bring together whisky connoisseurs and beginners with the best whisky producers from Fife and beyond. With over 25 different exhibitors, including the Kingsbarns Distillery, Morrison and Mackay, Glen Moray, Isle of Arran and the Glasgow Distillery, there will be a huge range of whiskies to try. To buy tickets and for more details about the Fife Whisky Festival, go to

Malmaison creates special cocktails for city hotels Malmaison’s latest Malchemy menu features cocktails inspired by the cities that are home to each of the brand’s hotels. In Scotland this includes cocktails particular to Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The bar team at each Malmaison have designed a cocktail that they feel best represents their city. In Glasgow they have created an Auchentoshan & Ale cocktail, while in Dundee the new cocktail is called – The 3 Js after the Jute, jam and journalism – the cities epithet. The 3 Js features Glenfiddich 12yo mixed with lemon, sugar, egg white and bitters. In Aberdeen – the Granite City cocktail features Chivas Regal 12 yo, which was first sold in Aberdeen before it was available anywhere else in the world. The mixologist has mixed Chivals 12 yo with chamomile, lemon, honey and egg white. In Edinburgh however it is a gin-based cocktail that has made the list – the Firkin Brilliant has been mixed up – it celebrates the leith-based Firkin Oak Aged Gin. A delicate mix of bitters, apple, honey, lemon and soda – a truly refreshing tipple The cocktails cost £9 each and can all be enjoyed at every Malmaison. Which will you try?





THE KEYS WINS ACCOLADE WHISKY BAR OF THE YEAR 2017 The Keys bar in St Andrews won the accolade Whisky Bar of the Year at the recent Scottish Bar and Pub Awards. The pub won because the judges felt the staff and owner made whisky accessible to all. It wasn’t just the great range of whiskies on offer but the fact that the Keys coloured coded the whiskies according to price. This means customers are available to see at a glance the cost of a nip. Said the judges, “The Keys is a small pub with a big welcome. It boasts an interesting range of whiskies and customers are encouraged to try before they buy. What gave this pub standout was the fact that it had the coloured ribbons which meant you could see at glance the price of the whisky you were considering without having to ask.” The Keys just pipped The Ballygrant Inn on Islay and the Pot Still in Glasgow to the accolade. Both are past winners.

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.

Lindores Abbey officially opens Lindores Distillery which dates back to 1494... yes that’s right 1494 ... has just officially re-opened and one of its first events will be a Halloween party. The earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky (or Aqua Vitae, as it was then known), which appears in the Exchequer Roll of the same year, named Friar John Cor, a Lindores monk, who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae. But he wouldn’t recognise the newly opened Cupar distillery which is now is a modern facility and as such it is putting on events which will not just attract whisky enthusiasts but people of all ages and tastes. For example it is also doing whisky and champagne afternoon teas,. You can also enjoy a ‘hands on’ session which allows you to make your own ‘Aqua Vitae, or you could do a tour of the distillery.

THE LISMORE lios mor

The Lismore Bar 206 Dumbarton Road Glasgow





rambuie’s ‘The Brass and Crimson’ is set to visit SWG3 in Glasgow on 31st October, headlined by American jazz saxophonist, composer and producer Kamasi Washington (pictured right). The series celebrates modern interpretations of the brand’s jazz heritage which made Drambuie world-famous. Drambuie’s history has evolved from its rich Scottish roots through the prohibition era and to the 1960s New York jazz clubs of the Rat Pack. The Brass and Crimson will showcase Drambuie’s legendary hospitality, serving guests a selection of delicious Drambuie cocktails. The return of The Brass and Crimson

follows an appearance in London earlier this year – where Canadian music group BADBADNOTGOOD, DJ Bradley Zero and Dutch artist Jameszoo wowed audiences at Behind the Bike Shed – as well as a successful series of events in 2016, which saw The Brass and Crimson bringing emerging talent in the British music scene to the fore. The Brass and Crimson Glasgow will also showcase contemporary support act and composer, drummer and performer Moses Boyd. Part of the new wave of London artists bringing jazz to a wider audience. All shows will be broadcast live on NTS Facebook page and will be repeated on NTS radio.

Isle of Arran Distillers sponsor new multi-arts Robert Burns Festival Arran Distillers will be sponsoring Burns Unbroke, the inaugural multi-arts Robert Burns festival, at the Summerhall in Edinburgh this coming January. Running for six weeks from the 25th January 2018, the program will celebrate the plethora of artistic and performing talent in Scotland, and beyond, through the prism offered by new interpretations of the life and work of Robert Burns. The maker of the only official Burns Single Malt will be supporting the first Burns Unbroke festival as a headline sponsor alongside Creative Scotland and They are also planning some exciting events to celebrate the Bard including whisky masterclasses. Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said, “As the producer of the official Burns Malt, it was a no brainer for us to get involved in a festival that shares our passion for the poet. As a distillery, we may take a very traditional approach to production – with an eye to the proud heritage of Scotch – but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t eager to experiement and introduce new people to the spirit. “With Burns Unbroke, we’re really excited to be helping bring the Bard to a contemporary audience


and give up-and-coming Scottish artists a much deserved platform.” Burns Unbroke runs at Summerhall from 25 January – 10 March 2018, with the majority of performance events focussed around the weekend of 26-28 January. The exhibitions will be open to the public, Tuesdays to Sundays, throughout the six weeks and entry is free.

Multi-award Winning Whisky Bar and Restaurant

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The GlenAllachie Distillery, near Aberlour, has new owners in the shape of Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage who got together to buy the distillery from previous owners Pernod Ricard, under the banner of The GlenAllachie Distillers Company Ltd. They now plan to launch a range of premium quality yet affordable whiskies. Plans include releasing a range of aged whiskies from a 10 year old to 25 year old. While in time a range of single cask bottlings and special edition whiskies will be developed. The consortium has also bought MacNair’s and White Heather, a pair of blended Scotch whisky brands, which it plans to rejuvenate with a various range of ages. Billy Walker has a good track record when it comes to distilleries – he is perhaps best known for forming the BenRiach Distillery in 2013, which was subsequently sold to Brown-Forman last year, but he also worked with Burn Stewart. He comments, “We want to create a boutique Scotch whisky company that is truly independent, Scottish-owned and managed. The team have all been in corporate roles previously and this is our opportunity to step away from that. At this stage in our careers we simply want to create a company that is fun to work with and passionate about making great whisky. @TheGlenAllachie

@TheGlenAllachie 9


FEEL THE TASTE OF GLENMORANGIE! Glenmorangie is inviting viewers to ‘feel’ the taste of Glenmorangie… through the screen in their pocket with a series of three short films which use sounds and motions to communicate the sensorial nature of whisky for the first time. Each film, say the brand, delivers an innovative visual and sonic experience through the phenomenon of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – ASMR. Referring to a tingling sensation moving from the neck down the spine, ASMR creates a feeling of relaxed concentration which allows viewers to perceive stimuli more acutely. ASMR is so novel, that the scientific community has only recently acknowledged its existence. To aid understanding of its effects and benefits, Glenmorangie has also commissioned a ground-breaking study led by multi-sensory scientist Professor Charles Spence, of Oxford University, and ASMR experts from Manchester Metropolitan University. Their research is the first attempt to create a sensory profile of the kinds of ASMR ‘triggers’ that work best. It is the first brand to create bespoke content around such a unique original scientific research. Using triggers relevant to whisky and the Highlands to elicit increasingly emotional reactions, they allow viewers to ‘feel’ the smooth, rounded taste of Glenmorangie The Original, the richness of Glenmorangie The Lasanta, and the delight of Glenmorangie Signet. Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of

Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, said, “At Glenmorangie we are always searching for innovative ways to delight single malt lovers. By bringing the unique characters of our whiskies to life online in such a revolutionary way, we can share the spirit of Glenmorangie more widely – and perhaps inspire viewers to try our whisky the traditional way, too.” Meanwhile the brand has also formed an innovative collaboration with bicycle pioneers Renova, to create limited edition bicycles made from the whisky’s casks. Staves from Glenmorangie whisky casks are used to create an innovative cycle frame at Renovo’s workshop in Oregon. Check out

Medals galore for Duncan Taylor Duncan Taylor & Company the whisky company with one of the largest privately-held collections of rare scotch whisky casks in the country, has been picking up medals galore for its brands. At the recent International Wine and Spirits Competition it collected a Bronze medal for its Duncan Taylor Five-Star Blended Scotch Whisky and a Silver medal for The Duncan Taylor 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky and a Silver Outstanding award for The Big Smoke 46, its Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. Meanwhile its Duncan Taylor 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky won the Silver Medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition!



ulteney Distillery has released its 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This rare expression, mellowed for a quarter of a century, has matured in the invigorating sea air of Wick. Aged at its own steady pace, the elegant whisky began its journey in ex-bourbon American oak barrels for 22 years. Its spicy sweetness was later granted depth and colour by ex-oloroso Spanish oak butts until it reached the premium age of 25. The expression opens with heavy spices and dark


chocolate which effortlessly lead to rum-soaked raisins and lime honey, punctuated with clean notes of orange peel and baked apples. The flavour is firmly anchored in bitter chocolate and creamy vanilla with hints of toffee sweetness and crisp overtones of fresh lemon and coconut. The finish is long and spicy with a glimpse of dried fruit cake and exotic wood, ensuring each dram reflects its expert craftsmanship with a rich and satisfying taste.

Pulteney Distillery, Huddart St, Wick, Caithness KW1 5BA.




Scotch Whisky distilleries had around 1.7

Visitors spend £53 million

at distilleries

This means Scotch Whisky distilleries rank among many well known UK attractions including Scottish National Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Scotch Whisky the UK and acr totalling 1.7 m Whisky Associ were up aroun


Visitors are spendin before at distilleries was £31 per perso

The largest proportion of visitors came from Germany, Sc and other parts of the UK, the USA and France. The sourc visitors reflects some of the largest markets for Scotch. Th and France are the two largest markets by value for Scotc




cotch Whisky distilleries achieved a record 1.7 million visits last year – up almost 8% on 2015 – and more sites than ever are opening their doors to showcase the skill and craftsmanship of this iconic industry. The Scotch Whisky Association’s (SWA) latest annual survey found that visits have increased by around a quarter since 2010 and more than half of Scotland’s 123 Scotch Whisky distilleries now welcome members of the public.

7 million visits in 2016...

y distilleries had more visits from ross the globe than ever before, m last year. A survey by the Scotch iation (SWA) reveals that visits nd a quarter since 2010.


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Collectively, Scotch Whisky distilleries rank among some of the most popular Scottish and UK attractions, with a similar number of visits annually to the likes of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall and the Scottish National Gallery. Visitors are also spending more than before at distilleries. A total of almost £53 million was spent by visitors in 2016, up from last year. And average spend per person increased 13% to £31 from £27. The current Scottish Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is likely to give a further boost to visitor numbers as Scotch Whisky is a key part of Scotland’s past and its present. In the short term, many distilleries believe that Brexit has given tourism a boost with more visitors coming to Scotland because of the weak pound and spending more at distilleries while they are there. But the longer-term impact of Brexit is not yet clear. However, current uncertainty has not adversely affected investment in visitor facilities. Over the last year distilleries have spent money on new bar areas, staff, technology, such as apps for visitors, and staff, partly as a result of longer opening hours to meet demand. Over the next 12 months, many plan to continue to invest, for example in upgrading shops and tasting areas to enhance the visitor experience. Distilleries reported that the largest proportion of visitors came from Germany, Scotland and other parts of the UK, the USA, and France. Distilleries are also popular with whisky enthusiasts from Sweden and Norway. The success of whisky festivals, such as Islay and Speyside, are also helping to attract new visitors to distilleries.  Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said, “Scotch Whisky – Scotland’s most popular export – is known throughout the world. It is produced right across Scotland, in some of our most beautiful landscapes and some of our remotest communities.  Each distillery is distinctly of its place. Their histories, stories and modern-day craftsmanship fascinate locals and overseas visitors alike. It’s not surprising that more and more tourists are visiting Scotland’s distilleries to see how Scotch is made and to meet the people involved. “Last year, Scotch Whisky distilleries achieved a record 1.7 million visits, up almost 8% on 2015, and people are spending more than before – often to take a taste of Scotland home with them. Brexit and the weakness of sterling have given a short term boost to distilleries, and, despite some uncertainty about the long-term, they are continuing to invest to improve visitor facilities. “A welcome further boost to the whisky industry during this time of change would be to see a cut in 13

FEATURE excise duty in the UK autumn budget. The high 80% tax burden on an average priced bottle of whisky means that foreign visitors often pay more tax for Scotch in Scotland than in their own countries. That can’t be the right way to encourage more visitors and to support an industry that plays such an important



role in the economy, tourism and local communities.” Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said, “These figures are certainly good news, showing the esteem with which Scotch whisky is held around the world and the value of the whisky industry to Scotland, beyond simply revenue generated by sales and exports. “With further enhancements to the visitor experience at distilleries around Scotland, the Scotch whisky industry can continue to generate interest among domestic and international audiences. “I am confident that as we see new whisky markets

being opened up, we will also see a further increase in visitors, strengthening local economies in the process.” Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, commented, “It’s wonderful to see that Scotch Whisky distilleries enjoyed a record number of visits in 2016. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by these businesses to give visitors the best experience possible. VisitScotland is committed to working closely with businesses to showcase the country’s rich assets. “Whisky is one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities with people from all over the world coming to our shores to experience an authentic Scottish dram. A culinary icon, it remains as important as ever to the tourism industry with one in five visitors making a trip to a whisky distillery during their stay and even more visiting a bar, pub or restaurant to sample our renowned national drink. “The success of Scotland’s whisky distilleries is particularly apt as we celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends – the yearlong programme is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets as well as our hidden gems.” n

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association 14

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16 14


THE NEW GENERATION People who are passionate about whisky will always be passionate about whisky. Now there is a whole new generation of whisky enthusiasts who not only promote whisky to their peers but who do a tremendous job of promoting Scotland too. This issue we profile some of the people who have taken up the whisky mantle...

Neil Slessor – GM The Station Hotel, Rothes 17

L-R: Frank Murphy; Geraldine Murphy; Sean Murphy; Alwynne Gwilt;

Frank and Geraldine Murphy, The Pot Still, Glasgow This brother and sister combo are very much at the forefront of whisky in Scotland as they both help run their family pub - The Pot Still - which is arguably Glasgow’s most popular whisky bar. That popularity is down, in no small part to Frank’s vibrant personality and Geraldine’s brains! If you haven’t yet been to the Pot Still look out for the bloke with the multi-coloured beer and kilt – of the Braveheart variety – that would be Frank! He has the patience of a saint when it comes to introducing you to the Pot Still’s extraordinary whisky range, and will quite happily take customers under his wings and guide them through a whisky tasting. He is also happy to come up with an answer to just about anything under the sun. Geraldine also does whisky tastings perhaps of the more measured variety and she also champions woman and whisky – running a well attended whisky dinner and a whisky club for females too. Lyndsey Gray – Manager of the Quaich Bar at Craigellachie Hotel As the manager of the Quaich Bar at the Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside Lyndsey no doubt meets lots of famous people and she is the perfect person to introduce them to some new drams. She is custodian to some 800 whiskies. She has been managing The Quaich Bar at The 18

Craigellachie Hotel since it was taken over by new owners in 2014 and since then the hotel has played host to a variety of well know people including Kate Moss, Sadie Frost and Noel Gallagher... and many more. She may have an art degree but it is the art of whisky that really fascinates her. Lyndsey comes from Speyside, which is an area renowned for its whisky, and she has worked at various distillers including Glenfiddich and Chivas and she also spent time at The Scotch Whisky Experience. The first whisky she ever tried was the Balvenie Portwood and she still enjoys this particular dram. She also loves creating bespoke whisky tastings and events. She is a judge in the World Whisky Awards and was one of 25 bartenders in the UK to take part in William Grants & Sons first bartending “1887 Collective”. Phil and Simon Thompson – The Dornoch Castle Hotel and Dornoch Distillery Brothers Phil and Simon Thompson have been working at the Dornoch Castle Hotel for more than 16 years, alongside their parents Colin and Ros. But it is the two boys who have driven home the whisky message. Just recently they have also started the Dornoch distillery, which is a wholly crowdfunded microdistillery, based in a 19th-century fire station in the grounds of the Hotel. Phil studied audio engineering but worked in the


also helps out with our very own Whisky Speed Tasting Events. Nicola Young – Internet Marketeer Nicola is the female part of the ‘Whisky Boys’ and her fellow writer on the website is her father Jim. She admits that she developed a taste of whisky because of her dad, but today as well as running the website she is a full internet marketer, with customers and contracts ranging from small one off designs to full scale web builds and the internet marketing that goes along with that, including: PPC, Social Media, SEO and Direct Marketing. However she also does whisky tastings, and work for brands and takes part in whisky events.

hotel’s whisky bar during the holidays, and it was during this time he developed a passion for whisky but it was when Simon finished Uni and returned to the family business to manage the hotel bar that the collection the bar offered began to grow and as it did so did the brothers enthusiasm for all things whisky. Not only did they take a business interest in finding good bottles to offer their guests, but they also took a personal interest too and started to build up a jointwhisky collection. The bar has a great selection of some quite special whiskies of all vintages – in fact the bar is famous for its eclectic collection. Meanwhile the duo have also launched their own gin label - The Thompson Bros. There is no stopping these two! Sean Murphy – Journalist – The Scotsman Sean is the cousin of the aforementioned Frank and Geraldine but his skill lies in writing about whisky amongst many other subjects, but it is whisky that is his real passion. Since joining the Scotsman newspaper he has been one of the journalists behind the Food and Drink section of the publication both on and offline. He may have a preference for Scottish single malts, but he also enjoys the trying the full variety of whiskies on offer whether they be Scottish, Japanese, Irish or American. Before becoming a journalist, he also worked on occasion at the Pot Still behind the bar. Today he also gets involved with judging whisky competitions and

Alwynne Gwilt – formerly known as Miss Whisky Alwynne Gwilt – formerly known as Miss Whisky joined as The Balvenie Ambassador in the UK in January 2017 Prior to this, she ran well-known blog site Miss Whisky, hosted whisky tastings globally, and consulted for numerous whisky companies. She is Canadian-born but has been based in the UK since 2007, and created Miss Whisky in 2011out of a desire to widen her knowledge of whisky and to help increase the number of females writing about this fine spirit. And she is still doing this today albeit for a brand. Blair Bowman – whisky entrepreneur Blair Bowman is fast becoming one of the best known whisky buffs in the business. Despite being a student he invented World Whisky Day, and subsequently sold the rights on. He now works full-time for himself promoting all that is good and great about whisky. He published a book with Nikki Welsh, this year, called...The Pocket Guide to Whisky which features a whisky tube map, and is known for running creative whisky events. For instance only last month he ran a Malt Whisky & Cheese pop up event in Edinburgh at Lovecrumbs. He turned the shop into a whisky and grilled cheese bar for a night and matched grilled cheese from Mellis, with whisky flights and cocktails. He has also run a ‘Dram in the Dark’ multisensory tasting session where he got guests to sample whisky in near darkness with bite sized snacks – the idea being if you shut of one sense your other senses take over. When he is not running his own events he is happy to host events for whisky brands – and he has already established a very reputable customer base. 19

Blair Bowman; Georgie Bell Neil Slessor – GM The Station Hotel, Rothes Neil Slessor is General Manager of The Station Hotel in Rothes – and he must be one of the youngest GM’s in the hospitality business at the tender age of 26. But as the GM of The Station Hotel he is also responsible for the hotel’s whisky bar – The Spirit Safe. As you might imagine it actually has a spirit safe as part of the décor – as well as more than 300 single malts. Neil has been at the helm of the hotel since it opened in 2016, and over the past 18 months the hotel has grown its reputation. He has just been nominated for an award as a regional rising star in the area’s local tourism awards. He was appointed to the role by the Forsyth family, which owns the hotel as well as the renowned copper works which supplies stills to the distilling industry worldwide. He is known for going the extra mile for guests Neil : personally driving them to visitor attractions on his day off when there has been no public transport available; helping them research local history; and acting as a tour guide. Ewan Graham – Bar Manager, The Ballygrant Inn, Islay There cannot be that many bartenders with the breadth of whisky knowledge that Ewan Graham has. He may be his father’s son, in that respect, as the two of them run the establishment and father David also has a passion for whisky, but its Ewan who now is the Bar Manager and who has put his own spin on what is on offer. As a result The Ballygrant, known locally as Robolls bar, boasts some 400 whiskies, but its Ewan’s knowledge of what’s on offer that makes this place stand out. Ewan is happy to share his knowledge with hotel guests, visitors to the island and islanders 20

(the latter are a fairly knowledgeable lot themselves!) Whether you want to learn about Islay whiskies or whiskies from further afield, Ewan is your man. As well as being a great ambassador for whisky he is also a pretty good photographer! The Ballygrant is a past winner of Whisky Bar of the Year, and the bar itself has featured in various publications over the years being recognised as one of Scotland’s best whisky bars. Georgie Bell – Bacardi Global Malts Ambassador You only have to sit around a table with Georgie or indeed listen to her estolling the virtues of the five brands that she is responsible for, to realise that her knowledge of whisky and her flair for delivering the message is totally engaging. She studied at Edinburgh University – and initially on graduating with a Geography degree, she joined the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) as a bar tender and during that time also got involved in doing some ambassador work inhouse. This led to a job as global marketing manager before she moved on to work for Diageo looking after the launch of Mortlach Single Malt and its four new expressions. She describes her role as one in which she educates people about brands. Her job also involve a lot of travel – while at Diageo she covered from North America to South East Asia - hosting lots of activities from small consumer tastings to large ones, dinners and customer training. Then she moved to her current role with Bacardi and she nows look after Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Deveron and Royal Brackla. Unlike many other ambassadors Georgie has actually undertaken a distilling course – she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk too.

THAT’LL DHU NICELY. Debate rages over the distiller’s art but one name unites devotees and dabblers alike: Tamdhu.

Arguably the world’s finest 10-year old single malt whisky; established on Speyside 1897, reborn on Speyside 2013 (in hand-selected sherry casks no less).

So, once more, all can enjoy Tamdhu’s fresh, rich, spicy notes and pure natural colour.

Go on, carpe dhuem.

Rediscover Tamdhu at

Enjoy your dram responsibly.


Arran Distillery T

he Arran Distillery is the only working distillery on an island that was once home to many of the illicit stills on the west coast of Scotland. This is where he unique character of Arran – known as Scotland in miniature – is distilled into an incomparable whisky. In fact in 2016 the Arran Distillers picked up an accolade from The Drinks Business for its Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism. The Distillery also boasts an award winning Visitor Centre, which was opened in 1997 by Her Majesty the Queen, and is built next to the Distillery. It offers fully guided tours, and an audio visual presentation and exhibition. The distillery’s professionally trained guides will take you throught the whole whisky-making proess and the exhibition in the newly refurbished Visitor Centre allows customers to experience a little bit of history in the making. You can enjoy a wonderful lunch in CASKS Café which also boasts panoramic views. It offers a selection of soups and delicious meat and cheese

platters which are the perfect way to discover more of Arran’s outstanding island produce. CASKS Café also offers a selection of coffees, hot chocolates and home made cakes and scones. It is part of the Visit Scotland ‘Taste our Best’ initiative which requires commitment from every partner to provide a quality eating experience using quality locally produced food and drink. From local cheeses to locally sourced meat and fresh bread produced using their own grist, their team will make sure you have a truly authentic Arran inspired meal at the Café. There are now winter special offers currently available. Check out the website... VISITOR CENTRE OPENING HOURS 10am – 5.30pm 7 days a week (until 9th November) then 10.30am – 4pm -–7 days a week until the 1st March. 23

Distillery and beer tours!

PLANS FOR VERTICAL DISTILLERY FOR LEITH There could be a new vertical distillery built at Leith if plans for the new purpose-built single malt distillery are given the go-ahead by planners. This, an industry first, would according to the folk behind it – Threesixty Architecture and Muckle Brig – convey a modern image for the Scotch whisky industry through conception of a vertical production process capable of producing 400,000 litres of pure alcohol by using the adjacent harbour as a heat sink. In a statement to planners the architects wrote, “The vertical, gravity-led design provides an opportunity for visitors to experience a distillery like never before, getting as close to the production process as possible as they follow the liquid from the mash tun in the centre of the building, down through the ‘brewery’, to the stills on the ground floor. Afterwards, from the rooftop bar and restaurant, they will be able to enjoy a unique view across the Firth of Forth to Fife, overlook the busy port of Leith, and even see across to the new Queensferry Crossing to the west.” It will be situated next to the Ocean Terminal shopping centre and Royal Yacht Britannia. 24

Glasgow Distillery Company has entered into an exciting partnership with Tennent’s Visitor Centre to offer a collaborative dual tour, combining the magic of MAKAR gin distillation and the brewing of Tennent’s Lager. In a city first, the two drink giants have created a unique new tourism product for anyone wishing to spend the day going behind the scenes at Glasgow’s first gin and single malt distillery and Scotland’s best loved brewery. Tours will begin at the Tennent’s Visitor Centre at Wellpark Brewery - home to over 450 years of brewing tradition and expertise and after tasting some of Tennent’s best loved products, including a few exclusive brews, guests will be able to soak up botanical-filled distilling secrets at The Glasgow Distillery Company which

crafts the award-winning MAKAR gin portfolio and new make spirit soon-tobecome single malt whisky. What makes this tour so special is the small batch production of a working distillery which allows guests to be part of the distillation process first hand. Following an interactive tasting tour, guests will be welcomed into the tasting room to enjoy the MAKAR gin portfolio by their brand ambassadors who will share distillery anecdotes and the heritage and history around the distillery. The dual tour also features exclusive discounts on merchandise and preview tastings of upcoming distillery products. You can still book for 4th November and Saturday, 2nd December with more to be announced in 2018. Book your place by calling the Tennent’s Visitor Centre on 0141 202 7145.

Lachlan Rooney of The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh has been selected by Auchentoshan® as one of 12 bartenders from around the world, who have been chosen to create a limited edition Auchentoshan® expression – By bartenders, for bartenders. He is the only Scottish bartender who has been chosen with others coming from American, England, Sweden, Canada, Germany and Russia following a competition and collaboration called The New Malt Order. The chosen 12 members of the New Malt Order flew to Glasgow for a week-long immersion into the brand and Auchentoshan®’s home city. During the week they undertook a bespoke distillery tour, sensory and immersive cask attraction sessions to hone their blending skills with master blender Ron Welsh, and used a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a unique single malt whisky, the second Bartender’s Malt edition, that will be released in summer 2018. Lachlan made it through by creating his very own Auchentoshan® cocktail and extending the limits of tradition by fermenting an ingredient which best heroes his own city of Edinburgh.


PEAT WEEK FROM WM GRANT & SONS Wm Grant & Sons launched The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years recently. It is one of the distillery’s first whiskies to be made from 100% peated barley. At a time when very few Speyside distilleries were using peat in production, The Balvenie distilled a batch of heavily peated malt, which was laid down to mature at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland under the watchful eye of the industry’s longest-serving Malt Master. Since this pioneering moment, the distillery has dedicated one week each year, named Peat Week, to using only peated barley in its production, in order to craft a different style of The Balvenie liquid with enhanced smoky notes. The Balvenie Peat Week (2002 Vintage) is a single vintage bottling. This non-chill filtered expression is bottled at 48.3% ABV. Alwynne Gwilt, The Balvenie UK Brand Ambassador comments, “For anyone who thinks that Scotch is a staid category, this new release from The Balvenie will make them reconsider. The Balvenie Peat Week costs around £60.

Port Ellen and Brora Distilleries set to be revived Port Ellen and Brora, two of the most revered “lost” distilleries in the global spirits industry, are to be brought back to life, in a powerful statement of confidence in the future of Scotch whisky, by owners Diageo. The distilleries, which have been silent since they were closed in 1983, will be brought back into production through a £35 million investment. Port Ellen Distillery on the famous whisky island of Islay, and Brora on the remote eastern coast of Sutherland, will both be reinstated to distil, in carefully controlled quantities, with a meticulous attention to detail, replicating where possible the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries. Cask filling and traditional warehousing will also be included on the sites of both distilleries and the distilleries will have dedicated Brand Homes to welcome guests and they are expected to become iconic attractions in the Scottish tourism landscape, attracting whisky pilgrims from around the globe. However they won’t reopen until 2020.

JOHNNIE WALKER UNVEILS ITS LATEST INNOVATION IN BLENDING THE BLENDERS’ BATCH Johnnie Walker has revealed the Blenders’ Batch series, an experimental collection of whiskies created to celebrate the craftsmanship and skill of scotch blending. Two new expressions are now available - Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast and Rum Cask Finish. The blends have been developed and refined over the last ten years in collaboration between Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Jim Beveridge and his expert team of blenders, alongside global bartenders and whisky influencers. Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast is an intense whisky with notes of rich coffee and dark chocolate. Headed up by Aimée Gibson, one of the

new generation of Johnnie Walker blenders, Espresso Roast was also steered by leading flavour and coffee expert, James Hoffman, with guidance from bartender guru Ryan Chetiyawardana. It costs £30 for 50cl. While Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish signifies ten years of experiments carefully conditioning scotch in casks that previously held rum. Ali Reynolds, Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador at Diageo Reserve commented, “Both new variants have been crafted by leading taste influencers who’ve shared years of expertise to now offer discerning whisky drinkers and those new to the spirit the chance to discover and explore whisky at its best.” See our cocktail pages... 25



The Glenfiddich Experiment took place for the first time in September. The two-day Festival for Scotland’s bartenders featured Twin Atlantic and The Fratelli’s and despite the Scottish weather guests had a fabulous time. Pics:


The Dowan’s Hotel Dowans Road, Aberlour, AB38 9LS With the biggest concentration of distilleries in the world within a 12 mile radius of this hotel, there can be no better place to explore all that the Malt Whisky Trail has to offer. After a day of exploring, why not enjoy a delicious meal in one the hotel’s restaurants, ‘57’ or ‘Spé’, which both use the best of Scotland’s larder, and finally, sample one of the 500 rare, international and pan-Scotland bottlings that its whisky bar – The Still – has to offer. Of course, if gin, local craft beers, wine or cocktails are more your thing then MBar offers the perfect respite. And, once you are ready to rest your weary head, you will have the comfort of the Dowans sumptuously furnished bedrooms in which to dream of tomorrow’s adventures. The hotel’s greatest strength lies in the devoted service that the family-owned hotel provides that allows its growing number of returning guests to utter the simple assertion: “It’s like coming home”. 28




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 370 whiskies. AA Hospitality Award - Best Pub In Scotland 2017/18 80 West Bow | Victoria Street | Edinburgh EH1 2HH Tel: 0131 226 7667



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

The Dowans: Warm, Friendly and Personal Service. Every Time. • • 01340 871488 Dowans Road, Aberlour, AB38 9LS 30

Whisky Cocktails for Winter... Ingredients: • 40ml Johnnie Walker • Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish • 20ml Velvet Falernum • 20ml lemon juice • 30ml pineapple juice • 20ml soda water • A slice of pineapple and ginger to garnish Method: Muddle a 2-inch slice of ginger root in a glass. Shake the ginger with 40ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish, 20ml Velvet Falernum, 20ml lemon juice, and 30ml of pineapple juice. Strain into a highball glass Add 20ml soda water Stir and garnish with a slice of pineapple and ginger.

com to find out what Scottish bars are participating. But below you will find a recipe for the classic old fashioned. Also check out the new cocktail recipes from Johnnie Walker which feature their new Blenders’ Batch whiskies.

The Espresso Roast Speciality Ingredients: • 40ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast • 20ml premium coffee liqueur • 20ml sweet vermouth • Lemon zest • Lemon twist to garnish Method Fill a mixing glass with ice Pour 40ml Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast. Add 20ml Premium Coffee Liqueur. Pour 20ml Sweet vermouth Stir together with lemon zest. Strain into a coupette and garnish with an elegant lemon twist. Finish with a single drop of truffle oil in the center of the liquid.


Steel Drum Cooler



If you are a fan of the Old Fashioned… get set for 10 days of bliss! From 2-11 November bartenders will be showcasing their classic, innovative, original, premium or daringly different Old Fashioned cocktails. So check out www.old-fashioned-week.

Classic Old Fashioned Ingredients: • Glass: old fashioned / tumbler / rocks glass • 4cl spirit. Choose bourbon / rum / rye whiskey / Scotch whisky / cognac 1 dash of Angostura Bitters • 1 sugar cube • 1 sliver of orange zest • 1 maraschino cocktail cherry Method Muddle the bitters and sugar with a splash of soda for 1 minute in the glass. Add the spirit and fill the glass with ice. Garnish with the orange zest and cherry. The sensations of taste should be fruity-aromatic with citrus sweetness, whilst letting the pure, punchy spirit flavours shine through. Generally, its requisites are that it is a short cocktail, and it should always be garnished.



Tomatin Legacy Gift Pack £34.99

Glenfiddich IPA and whisky tumblers £64.90 This gift set pairs innovative single malt, Glenfiddich IPA, with two sophisticated whisky tumblers. A terrific way to enjoy this unique expression from Glenfiddich.

Highland whisky distillery, Tomatin has issuing the Legacy Gift Pack which comes with two branded Tomatin glasses, as well as a bottle of the award winning Legacy, matured in a combination of Bourbon barrels and Virgin Oak casks which bring a light sweetness. Legacy boasts aromas of vanilla, marshmallow, pineapple and lemon. On the palate, gentle flavours of candy, pine, lemon sherbet, apples and sponge cake emerge ahead of a light, clean finish. Perfect for those after a light, post-Christmas meal winter warmer!


It’s time to start thinking about Christmas, but there will also be birthday’s between now and then. Here are some perfect gifts for your discerning friends and family.

Tamdhu Unveils Limited Edition ‘Lantern’ Tin Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky has released a special edition lantern-shaped whisky gift tin, inspired by its 1897 Victorian roots. The limited edition Tamdhu 10 Year Old Lantern tins are designed to showcase the distinctive and elegant Tamdhu bottle shape. Iain Weir, Tamdhu Brand Director, commented: “The new gift tins are a tribute to the Distillery’s 120 year history, and are inspired by the Victorian lanterns which would have been common in 1897 when Tamdhu was founded. “The lantern design perfectly presents the beautiful shape of the Tamdhu bottle, and the natural colour of the exclusively sherry oak matured malt whisky inside. “It’s the perfect present for lovers of good whisky, and we believe they’ll be a very popular gifting option for Tamdhu fans this Christmas. The limited edition Lantern tins will be available online at, globally and at a range of high-end UK retailers including Waitrose, Booths and Oddbins, with an RRP of £38.49. After use, a battery-operated tea-light can be placed inside the gift tins. 32


The GreatDrams of Scotland by Greg Dillon £19.99 Behind every dram there are rich, unique and colourful stories, and each of Scotland’s 120 distilleries tells its own distinctive tale. In The GreatDrams of Scotland, whisky-lover and award-winning writer and blogger, Greg Dillon, takes readers on an epic journey of discovery through the fascinating world of Scottish whisky, exploring the brands that have brought Scotch to life throughout history. Taking in 28 distilleries and 23 iconic brands, The GreatDrams of Scotland reveals the legend and the history, the fact and the fiction, through personal accounts of the author’s many

journeys across the country. Perfect for whisky enthusiasts new and old, the book is brimming with tasting notes, inspirational interviews, fun facts, amusing anecdotes, insider secrets, and a whisky pairing in each chapter so you can drink along as you read. The GreatDrams of Scotland (RedDoor Publishing) is available at Amazon, Waterstones and independent book shops.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar from... £149.95 An entire advent calendar dedicated to the wonder that is Scotch whisky?! That’s exactly what Drinks by the Dram has delivered with this magnificent box of tasty treats. Behind each of the 24 doors you’ll find a different 3cl dram including some of Scotland’s finest single malts, blended malts and blends, worth up to £600 a bottle. From delicate and complex to powerfully peaty, there’s plenty to explore here. And there’s even a 50 year old delight hiding behind one of the windows – what a way to see in the festive season!

12 Gins of Christmas £69 from www. Eden Mill distillery is not just gaining a reputation for its whisky but over the last few years its gin has almost eclipsed its whisky offering... now gin lovers are being treated to a very merry Christmas thanks to the launch of a gift set of advent-urous miniatures - 12 Gins of Christmas features the results of a year’s experimentation from the entire Eden Mill team, with each miniature expression handpicked from a number of recipes trialled and created onsite at the St Andrews distillery. The set – priced at £69 – sees established Eden Mill favourites Original Gin, Love Gin, Hop Gin and Golf Gin joined by some festive flavours – including Mulled Gin, Orange and Clove Gin and After Dinner Gin.



WHISKY WORLD... 21 October 2017


Speyside, Highlands This is an event with a difference – Dramathon is a marathon distance race where whisky is very much the motivation! Running part of the Speyside Way from Glenfarclas Distillery to Glenfiddich distillery, you can race distances of a full marathon, a half-marathon, a 10K or a relay race. Along the way, get stamped as you pass distilleries to collect whisky miniatures at the finish line. 23 – 27 October 2017

Theatre of Drams

Bowmore Hall, Islay Theatre of Drams Festival is a new whisky symposium taking place on Islay. Covering five days it is a chance to learn about whisky production from distillers, barley experts, chemists, coppersmiths, coopers and brand ambassadors. 27 October - 30th October 2017

The Dornoch Whisky Festival

The Carnegie Courthouse Castle Street Dornoch Tel: 07387 113977 Dornoch Whisky Festival is now in its third year and we are looking forward to a hosting a huge range of events throughout the weekend. Whether you are a connoisseur

or a novice there are events for all. Its grand tasting event features a mix of distilleries, independent companies and independent bottlers: Including Alder Elixir, Cadenhead, Deerness distillery, Diageo, Distell, Douglas Laing, Dunrobin Highland distillery, GlenWyvis, Glenfarclas, Gordon & MacPhail, Hunter Laing, Morrison & Mackay, R&B Distillers and more. Gordon & MacPhail director, Stephen Rankin, will be hosting a dinner and a masterclass with the winner competiting for the David Urquhart Trophy. 11 November, Glasgow

Glasgow Whisky Festival

Hampden Park Glasgow www.glasgowswhiskyfestival. com This festival brings Scotland’s national drink to the country’s national stadium. Whisky lovers will be flocking to the Glasgow Whisky Festival at Hampden Park to sample and savour a wide range of great whiskies. This festival also showcases the distilleries which are closest to Glasgow along with the city’s independent bottlers. 10 Nov 2017

BenRiach whisky tasting

Scotch Whisky Experience 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE www.scotchwhiskyexperience. 11:00am - Free Free whisky tasting from the team at Speyside’s BenRiach distillery

15 Nov 2017

The Scotch Whisky Training School

Scotch Whisky Experience 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE www.scotchwhiskyexperience. 9:00am – 5pm A new date for our popular Scotch whisky training school. 17 Nov 2017

Gordon and Macphail

Whisky tasting 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE 11:00 – Free www.scotchwhiskyexperience. A free tasting in our onsite shop from the Gordon and Macphail portfolio. 29 & 30th Dec 2017 Distillers’ Fair 2017 Scotch Whisky Experience 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE www.scotchwhiskyexperience. 10am – 6pm For two days the SWE will run its extremely popular Distiller’s Fair, here at the Scotch Whisky Experience. 20th January 2018

The National Whisky Festival

SWG3 100 Eastvale Pl, Glasgow G3 8QG Glasgow £44 Now in its second year, The National Whisky Festival offers say the organisers MUSIC! DRAMS! DANCING! SCRAN!

Award Winning Small Group Tours

Combine the scenery, history, and culture of Scotland with the nations’ best distilleries on a Rabbie’s whisky tour

Explore our guided one day to 17 day tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness at

Weedram issue17 2017 issuu  
Weedram issue17 2017 issuu