In the world of Scottish whisky, barley is king, both in single malts and in blends. A Scottish Rye whisky would be unthinkable… wouldn’t it?
Last week, I wrote about the experience of visiting the Blair Athol Distillery. A mainstay of Diageo’s portfolio of blends, only around 1% of the whisky from this distillery ends up in a bottle with a Blair Athol label. Is this a whisky so terrible that it’s only good for a blend, or is it a heavenly nectar too good for blenders to give up? Only a horizontal tasting will answer this question!
The Blair Athol distillery is a bit of an oddity. It’s not in Blair Atholl, bottles hardly any of its own spirit, and, while adapted to handle large numbers of visitors, has no appreciable social media presence. To a curious whisky writer, this makes it well worth a visit.
Although Edinburgh had been at the heart of whisky’s initial rise to prominence, for the past hundred years no single malt whisky has been produced in the city. That Glaswegians have been able to boast their own single malt in the meantime is particularly galling: this was clearly a wrong that needed to be righted.
Since 2018 when the first Daftmill hit the market, stocks have routinely sold out in minutes. It isn’t unusual for a new distillery’s inaugural limited release to be a unicorn. However, not many distilleries can boast the same interest for every subsequent bottling. Having finally managed to get my hands on the 2010 Summer Batch Release, it’s time to see it the dram lives up to its mythical status.
I first encountered Copeland’s signature blend, Merchants’ Quay, during a blind tasting Jon R hosted for the Water of Life team. It wasn’t long before I ordered a bottle. With a little further inspection, it’s clear that this whiskey deserves a more in-depth examination.
The Isle of Raasay Distillery was founded with the aim of establishing Scotland’s leading artisanal distillery. The Raasay R-02 is an early release, but gives us some hints as to how the distillery hopes to achieve its aim.
We talk a lot about the renaissance of Irish whiskey, with the industry having grown from a mere four distilleries… Read more Kingsbarns: Dream to Dram
We’ve previously praised Ardbeg for not taking whisky too seriously, and it appears that they are in good company. It seems that Diageo’s Talisker features a whisky based around a pun among its range. It seems that when the team at Talisker decided to make a whisky in tribute to Portree, they couldn’t resist the obvious joke, finishing the dram in port casks.
The Water of Life has a bias towards small and independent distilleries. Given how hard it is to build and… Read more Glenfarclas 105