Whisky aficionados who descend on one of the world’s leading whisky festivals have many hobbies and interests – and one will be sharing his love of donuts and drams at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2018.
The event ‘Here’s Johnny’ is more The Simpsons than The Shining, given donuts are Homer Simpson’s favourite food, and comes all the way from the USA, courtesy of Californian, Johnny Baldaray. He’s commissioned a specialist donut maker in Edinburgh to create some delicious delicacies to sample alongside half a dozen whiskies.
Weymess Malts has done it again. They released Nectar Grove, a new blended Scotch malt whisky.
Weymess Malts selected Highland Scotch whiskies and finished them for a further period in casks which had previously held Madeira wine. Nectar Grove was named by the Wemyss tasting panel which reflects its succulent and luscious fruit character.
But let’s not forget the amazing label. The eye-catching label was inspired by Ceramics and Fretworks from Portugal, reflecting the vibrancy and variation within the whisky.
This week featured the regular monthly whisky tasting at the Abbey. This month presented by Graham McKay from the Independent Bottlers Carn Mor [Morrison and McKay]. When you consider the Independent Bottling business certain points are important.
Their bottlings can be as small as one large cask or barrels purchased from several distilleries. They need very good contacts at distilleries in order to identify when a distillery has surplus whisky and is prepared to sell this at an advantageous price to the Independent Bottler. They also need excellent blenders to make the most of the whisky available to them.
It’s an environment that has sheltered illicit whisky makers of the past, and it’s one of the best places in Britain from which to study the night skies – little wonder the natural landscape has a starring role in the 2018 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
The festival programme boasts its greatest ever mix of events exploring the natural environment that has spawned some of the world’s best-loved whisky brands.
From rugged hills to fertile plains, trickling burns to fast flowing rivers, the unspoilt nature of Speyside’s landscape can be explored on foot, by canoe or on board an eight-wheeled Argocat during the five-day dram-fest.
A record-breaking number of whisky drinkers from around the globe are to determine Speyside’s top drams in one of the industry’s best-loved award schemes. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Awards is stopping off at 18 different venues with its roving judging sessions – 10 more than it visited last year.
Whisky drinkers in Canada, the USA and Europe – as well as the UK – will be asked to cast their vote following a blind taste test of eight malt whiskies that have been distilled in Speyside – Scotland’s most prolific whisky-producing region.
The expanded number of venues taking part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards sessions underlines the international appeal of the event and how much it resonates with people around the globe, says Festival manager John Blyth.
Becky Paskin, Editor of Scotchwhisky.com and Georgie Bell, Global Whisky Specialist, have partnered to launch #OurWhisky – a new movement designed to challenge perceptions of the stereotypical whisky drinker.
This is the world’s first campaign to unite the global whisky industry and whisky lovers in a combined bid to dispel common myths of who modern whisky drinkers are.
Although the consensus within the industry is that whisky is a drink with widespread appeal, the perception remains among many consumers that whisky is still a “man’s drink” – an opinion perpetuated by decades of male-oriented advertising.
As an on-going global project, #OurWhisky aims to showcase the inclusiveness of whisky and the diversity of its drinkers through a photographic social media series, launching on 6th March in the run-up to International Women’s Day (on 8th March).
A while ago, around Christmas, I received a sample all the way from Sweden. Ursula, a friend of mine had sent me a sample of a sherry finished whisky from Tullibardine with a percentage of 63.5% and with a big red heart on the bottle.
For a 2 years Sherry Finish in a Bruichladdich cask, this is really a sample, sent with love.
SHE was the Scottish princess with Queen Elizabeth I for godmother, destined for a lifetime of exile in The Hague, and is the forgotten link between the Stuart and Hanoverian thrones.
Now the legacy of Elizabeth Stuart, eldest daughter of King James VI and I, is being honoured by a unique new whisky made from a pioneering blend of Scotch and Dutch single malt whisky.
Edinburgh-based Fusion Whisky said its new Winter Queen whisky “celebrated the story and honoured the memory” of Elizabeth Stuart, who was born in Fife in 1596 but spent most of life in The Hague.
Fusion Whisky Director Graham Langley said: “Elizabeth’s story is a superb one, and certainly deserving of a wider audience. Our Winter Queen whisky serves to honour this forgotten Scottish princess and to bring greater awareness to her remarkable life and influence.”
Scottish whisky distillery Tomatin has today (19th February 2018) announced the release of the final two expressions in its limited edition Five Virtues series.
The series draws inspiration from the elements of nature – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – with each single malt expression enjoying a limited run of 6,000 bottles and a focus on the effects of different cask maturation.
The Metal edition has a distinct character expressed by the distillery’s 12 beautiful copper stills. Every drop of Tomatin whisky flows through the uniquely shaped and sized stills, giving the whisky its own distinctive characteristics. Metal is matched with classic first fill Bourbon barrels, demonstrating the definitive Tomatin style.
Hello, my name is Johan. Originally from the Netherlands, but I live in Sweden since the year 2008.
I became more or less seriously interested in whisky and everything around whisky in the autumn of 2014 when a trail running friend and I visited the Glenkinchie distillery south of Edinburgh. We planned a weekend filled with trail running in the Pentland Hills and around Arthurs Seat, but in that weekend we both became whisky “believers”. We truly believed, from that moment, that the Glenkinchie whisky we tasted was “heaven on earth”.