Tastings


Whisky and Women: Part 2 – The Revenge

For the second year running, our Whisky and Women event proved to be a great success. The event ran as one of many during the Audacious Women Festival and was, once again, a sell out. Of course, this was due to our fantastic guests as (and I think I pointed this out on the night) I never sell that many tickets when it’s just me!I was delighted when Louise McGuane, founder of The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company, agreed to join us. Having been following the progress of Chapel Gate on social media, I was fascinated by the process of reinstating Irish whiskey ...

The Finishing Touch

The idea behind this tasting was to try taste six whiskies all of which had undergone a period of finishing in a different type of cask from its initial maturation. Nine different cask finish possibilities were given and, as each whisky was tasted blind, tasters were asked to deduce the cask finish before the big reveal. Cask finishing is now commonplace in the whisky industry despite only really starting off about 20 years ago. The cynics amongst us (and I include myself here) may well argue that, in some circumstances, its sole purpose is to hide the flaws of a not ...

Distilled 2017

The drive to Elgin was a slow one. Primarily because the ‘car’ I’d hired turned out to be an automatic Kia Picanto and, quite frankly, despite its go-kart like similarities, I genuinely believe I could’ve pedalled faster. I didn’t make too many new pals on the A9 last Saturday… I was heading to Distilled , organised by the same team responsible for the Spirit of Speyside festival. This is a very different event, though, as it all takes place under one roof; the venue for its second year was Elgin Town Hall once again. The event took place over two days, with ...

Travel Retail Exclusive Whisky

With the vast array of bottles of whisky adorning the shelves of the travel retail outlets at airports, knowing which one(s) to buy has become an increasingly difficult decision to make. One of the questions I am often asked at tastings is whether the whiskies at the airport are any good. I usually explain that, on the plus side, it is possible to save a few pounds by picking up some core range expressions at the airport. For example, at Edinburgh airport there's usually a deal where you can purchase two bottles for £75. Such an offer isn't permitted in Scotland due to ...

Closed Distillery and Lost Malts Tasting

Just a little over a month ago, I went to my first ever Jolly Toper tasting held at the Kilderkin on the Canongate. It is indeed shameful that I have lived in Edinburgh for just under 11 years and this was my first Toper tasting.  For those who don’t know Mark Davidson aka the Jolly Toper, he is also the manager of Royal Mile Whiskies. I’ve been to his tastings there on many occasions so, hopefully, with this in mind, I can redeem myself amongst the five or so people who read this blog.This particular event was a tasting of five drams (all 25ml pours, thank the ...

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 ...

World Whisky Day

This year, World Whisky Day falls on 20th May. So, to celebrate, I thought it'd be a great idea to host a tasting the evening before and call it World Whisky Day Eve. This notion wasn't fueled by any attempts to be innovative. Quite simply, I'm a one person business, a mere drop in the ocean of whisky tasting events taking place in Edinburgh and I knew I wouldn't be able to compete with all the others; I just thought I'd try to get in there first.The theme of this World Whisky Day tasting was Drams Under The Hammer. So (you've probably guessed) these whiskies were ...

Whisky and Chocolate

Well, when I said this tasting would be 'lively', the good people of Dunfermline did not disappoint!For my first tasting in the Kingdom of Fife, at the Fire Station Creative, the room, previously used as the fire officers' mess, was filled with the aromas of whisky and chocolate.The amazing chocolates from Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier were paired as follows:-Balblair 03 with a milk velvet truffle: the chocolate really emphasised the spicy finish in the whisky and the whisky pulled out the creamy / buttery notes from the chocolate. The Glenlivet 12 ...