Blair Athol Horizontal Tasting

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!

Blair Athol Distillery

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.

Holyrood Distillery

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.

Daftmill 2010 Summer Batch Release

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.

Copeland Merchants’ Quay

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.

Talisker Port Ruighe

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.