Crime writer Ian Rankin will be guest of honour when the Fife Whisky Festival returns to the Kingdom next month. The author, who was born in Cardenden, Fife, will speak at the whisky-themed dinner which opens the event at Lindores Abbey Distillery in Newburgh.
He said: “As a keen whisky drinker I’m delighted to be speaking at the Festival. Whisky is one of the wonders of Scotland. Sharing a few whiskies with a friend is the ultimate act of conviviality.
The wide world of whisk(e)y can be a daunting prospect, with so many different distilleries, methods, descriptions making it difficult to pick out a drink you might like and such a varied price range you could risk losing good money on something you don’t enjoy.
Before you start to get serious about whisky, it’s a good idea to think about these five tips to keep you focused and protect your investments as simply as possible.
1. Get to grips with the basics
First of all, you’ll need to understand some of the basics to better get to know what you’re dealing with. For example, the different production types, popular whisky-producing countries, and how aging affects the end product.
Washed, dried, powdered, fermented, and distilled; each bottle of whisky is perfected to make each sip an indelible moment. Whiskies are of many kinds, based on the base product, alcoholic content and quality. Malt, grain, single malt, blended malt, cask, single cask etc. roughly make up the whisky family.
Whisky has been in the world for a long time, precisely from the second century BC. It is first believed to have brewed in Mesopotamia. The art of distillation spread to Ireland and Scotland in about the fifteenth century but this was used for medicinal purposes. Even in medieval India, alcohol was reported to be used as an anaesthetic for surgical purposes. Even though it was considered a taboo to consume alcohol in the Britain and other parts of Europe, it was finally James IV of Scotland who broke the ice by ordering several gallons of whisky from the monasteries, who monopolised the art of distilling. But with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VII, distilling and whisky making moved to homes. Even then whiskies were not allowed to age and thus had a bitter taste. Finally in the year of 1606, the Bushmill old distillery was given the license to brew the Irish whisky and the distillation later evolved into a much sought out fashion and whiskies became a daily business with the Act of Union which officially brought forth the United Kingdom.
The Abbey Whisky Bar Edinburgh monthly whisky tasting, February edition. A selection of whiskies presented by Mark Thomson, the Glenfiddich Whisky Ambassador to Scotland. The selection would include a couple of experimental whiskies as well as the mainstream Glenfiddich range.
Before the tasting, we had a lovely meal the main course consisting of a cheeseburger with chips and dips and then a Sundae ice cream!
At the end of September, antique whisky will, for the first time ever, be exhibited alongside ancient and contemporary art from across the globe, giving recognition to vintage whisky as a branch of fine art in its own right. As part of this historic first appearance for whisky at Fine Art Asia 2017, rare and old whisky specialists Cask 88 are due to launch two new independent bottlings, bringing together the work of Scottish master distillers with that of Scottish and international fine artists.
Balvenie, picture: David (insta: @whisky_at_steingartenmaler)
A while ago, a friend of mine has sent me a lovely sample of The Balvenie 12 yr old. I was so pleased that he did. I was looking forward to have a nip from this beauty of 47,8%. In the past I’ve heard extraordinary tasting experiences.
Instead of of wandering I had the opportunity to try.
James Campbell (extreme left), chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, lines up with award winners, from left: Sandy McIntyre (Tamdhu), Graeme Cruickshank (Aberlour), Annelise Hastings (Mannochmore) and Dennis McBain (Glenfiddich).
The winners have been revealed in the hotly-contested Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards which had a global flavour this year, with judging sessions taking place in three international destinations as well as in Speyside.
Eight finalists were voted on at a series of judging sessions in Germany, Canada and The Netherlands as well as in Speyside in the run up to and during the Festival.
The first mini-festival drawing Speyside’s finest food and drink producers together in one central venue has been toasted a success, after hundreds of people turned out to ensure it got off the best possible start.
Organisers of Spirit of Speyside: Distilled are in high spirits after finding that mixing the region’s finest whisky with gin, beer and food went down a treat with audiences.
A while ago, I was talking to Femke Tijtsma Sijtsma, one of the rare whisky women in my list of contacts. I don’t mean to be degrading or so, it’s just a fact that for some or other reason, women are a rarity in the whisky world.