Distilleries


Expedition – Ardgowan Distillery

Expedition is the recently released expression from Ardgowan distillery. As the distillery is yet to be built, this is obviously sourced whisky from elsewhere.As soon as I poured this into the glass, the aromas were suggesting something quite promising. The first few sniffs delivered a really pleasant nose; clearly some sherry cask influence but by no means a sherry bomb. On the palate, this was really well balanced and very drinkable. For me, this is perhaps where the problem lies; a bottle of Expedition will set you back £500 so I imagine that the chances of many of ...

Campbeltown Chronicles – Part 3: Scorchio!

On the third day of the festival, the Wee Toon decided to change its name to… the Costa del Campbeltown. As it was absolutely scorchio, we decided to make the most of the sunshine and walk to Springbank from our cottage. Our tasting wasn’t until 3:30pm so we had plenty of time to head in at a leisurely pace.  Or so we thought… Either Google lied to us or we were walking much slower than we thought. Quite possibly the latter bearing in mind that both Florian and Stefan were wearing lederhosen. Yes… actual lederhosen. Their gait suggested that this attire was not ...

Campbeltown Chronicles: Part 2

My previous (and first) visit to Campbeltown was in March 2015. On this occasion, I had booked a place at the Campbeltown Backpackers Bunkhouse; a refurbished old schoolhouse which now functions as an unstaffed hostel. The place looked great but, upon my arrival, I realised that the only other guest was a guy who, at best, could be described as resembling the villain from Scooby Doo. As images of me scrambling around on the floor shouting “My glasses! I can’t see without my glasses” came into my head, I decided to check into a cosy B&B just up the road instead. ...

Campbeltown Chronicles: Part 1

The Campbeltown Malts Festival takes place in May each year and the drive there was both entertaining and enlightening due, in no uncertain terms, to the inimitable and refreshingly un-British Viva Lenoir. After picking Viva up at 8:30am, before we had even hit the Maybury junction, I concluded that the wonderful Scottish expression ‘aff yer heid’ could well have been invented just for her. Our first stop en route to the wee Toon was Auchentoshan.The tour ended with a tasting of three of the core range: American Oak, 12 years and Three Wood. There was also an ...

Ballechin 10 years

Ballechin is the name given to the peated whisky (50 ppm) from Edradour distillery, the production of which started in 2003. The Ballechin 10 years was first released in 2014, which explains why I don’t recall seeing it on the shelves during my previous visit to the distillery. Although I don’t remember exactly, this must have been in 2008 and, at that time, Edradour was still able to confidently market itself as the ‘smallest distillery in Scotland’. So a recent visit to Pitlochry granted me the opportunity to take another wee nosey around and pick up a miniature ...

The Fife Whisky Trail

A wee while ago, I wrote a blog piece for the lovely people at Angels' Share Glass and completely forgot to post it to my own site. So, here it is; better late than never... The Kingdom of Fife is currently undergoing a renaissance in whisky making. With Douglas Clement’s ‘Dream to Dram’ creation of Kingsbarns distillery, Eden Mill’s innovative new wood policy, the opening of Lindores distillery in autumn this year, the ingenuity of Inchdairnie, the huge presence of Cameronbridge grain distillery, all whilst waiting for the first release from Daftmill, the future ...

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BenRiach 16 years

During the Spirit of Speyside festival, at the end of April and the beginning of May last year, I visited BenRiach distillery for the first time. It was very shortly after the announcement that Brown-Forman had acquired the three distilleries in the BenRiach Disitllery Company – BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh – for £281 million. Widely agreed that £281 million was over the odds but, now, Brown –Forman have a stake in the scotch malt whisky industry once again.  Everyone at the distillery seemed very positive about the news and, I’m guessing, none more ...

Aberfeldy Distillery

Staying with friends at the Moness resort, barely a mile away from Aberfeldy Distillery, it would have been almost criminal not to head there for a visit. The three of us embarked on the Cask Tasting Tour (essentially the main tour with the added opportunity to taste a whisky straight from the cask in the warehouse). Despite being a relatively small distillery, it's obvious that a huge amount of thought and effort has gone in to creating a full visitor experience. Starting off with a short film of the history of Dewar's, we then took a look around the museum before ...

Dartmoor Distillery

As a Devonshire lass, I've been following the progress of Dartmoor distillery with much interest. Recently, I was lucky enough to pay the distillery a visit. I was also lucky enough to have the company of Jo Lawson (@alpacajo on twitter) and we were kindly shown around by Greg Miller, one of the distillery's founders.Located in the converted town hall in Bovey Tracey, with its water supply coming from nearby Princetown, this isn't a conventional looking distillery! Although still very much at the construction stage, everything is beginning to fall into place now that ...

A visit to Daftmill

Daftmill is one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries, situated near Bow of Fife near Cupar. In 2003, two brothers, Francis and Ian Cuthbert, applied for planning permission to convert the old mill into a distillery and the first spirit came off the stills in December 2005.Eleven years later and the whisky produced at Daftmill is still to be bottled. Meanwhile, the whisky community waits with bated breath for the first release… I was lucky enough to have a look around Daftmill, courtesy of Francis Cuthbert. Although I disagree, I have often heard the argument that ...