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  • Blog - George Grant’s Great Glenfarclas | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    given its vibrant golden colour Sweet rich sherry and all that the nose promised but it s the finish which makes it great long smooth and spicy with that little faint smokiness could be just me really wanting it to be a bit smoky Glenfarclas 21 years old 43 This whisky is perilously smooth it is extremely well balanced According to George it s very expensive that s because once you open a bottle particularly with friends it s very difficult to stop drinking until the bottle is empty there are just no edges A few years ago before distilleries had proper visitor centres people dropping into Laphroig Distillery who didn t like whisky would be treated to a Wee Dram of 21 y o Glenfarclas by the then manager Ian Henderson Why Because he believed that this malt was so smooth it would convert anyone to become whisky drinker Praise indeed from a competitor and apparently it worked The nose is very intense and complex sherry fruit dried and tropical and almonds The palate has some nutty flavours and again some smoke The finish just keeps on going Glenfarclas 25 years old 43 A quarter of a century in the making This age outsells the 21 year old in the USA It is a proper after dinner drink a lot more rich dark chocolate flavours and nose The nose has more oaky tannins in it and a bit of marmalade On the palate as you would expect full bodied and robust sherry and oak and a nutty smokiness The finish goes on and on and on well that s what we are starting to expect now Glenfarclas 30 years old 43 So now we are getting serious This whisky is the work of George s Grandfather it has the depth and maturity of a Grandfather testament to the selection of casks at that time The nose has lots of complexity fruity nutty sherry and oak The flavours included brandy cognac and marzipan for the first time The palate is just like a well made Christmas cake The finish you just don t want it to end and it very nearly doesn t Glenfarclas 40 years old 46 I ve tried a lot of very old whiskies my work can often be tough and sometimes they can be a bit the same big oak sherry all tannins the wood has just taken over the whole whisky This one is nothing like that it is fresh and vibrant but still with all the rich oak and sherry you expect from this calibre of whisky It is like sitting in a leather armchair with a roaring fire going eating walnuts and chocolate covered raisins The nose flavour and finish are all of the above vintages but a bit more so The finish is quite dry The 40 y o does improve with just a drop of water but only a drop or two The most amazing part of this whisky is the

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/George-Grant-Glenfarclas/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - Go For It – Japanese Tasting - September 2013 | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    year originally built to accommodate the whisky boom of the 1970 s Now they only use East side and make 3 million litres a year Here they use four different types of barley all of differing peatyness There is a long fermentation in wooded Washbacks with brewers yeast There are again six pairs of stills direct fired and different shapes and sizes using both condensers and wormtubs For maturation they use five different cask types ex sherry both European and American Oak ex bourbon new and Japanese oak Yamazaki This is the original Japanese distillery and opened 90 years ago however since then it has grown literally beyond recognition It s been rebuilt three times the last time was in 2005 when the still room was refurbished It was built between the cities of Kyoto and Osaka two important markets were 3 rivers meet good water supply Incidentally this was where the first tea house and what is now called the tea ceremony was performed in the 16th Century they also needed good water supply They have 2 mash tonnes one for peaty one for non peaty malt The still house is a great example of the balance of practical and creativity which sums up Japan Rebuilt in 2005 very modern but they have gone back to direct fire stills heated by a naked flame at the base A practice which was ended in the 50 s and 60 s in Scotland They have six pairs of stills of differing size and shape one pair using a worm tub as opposed to a more efficient condenser This is to make very different styles of spirit For maturation they use five different cask types ex sherry both European and American Oak ex bourbon new and Japanese oak thus allowing even more variation of matured whisky so the blender has plenty to work with Also as there are different spirits the whisky can vary in style not just age therefore the spirit used for Yamazaki 12 is different to that used for Yamazaki 18 and not just the age The distillery produces 7 million litres of spirit a year 2 nd Whisky Hibiki 12 This is Suntory s premium blended whisky made with malt from Yamazaki and Hakushu The name Hibiki means resonance Some of the whisky has been filtered through bamboo charcoal and some malt has been finished in plum liqueur casks The nose of this whisky is spicy and Tropical fruit mango pineapple and lemon The palate is again tropical fruit with more vanilla The Finish is surprisingly long exotic spices coriander maybe Yoichi Even when studying in Scotland Taketsuru san wanted to make whisky on Japan s northern isle of Hokkaido He felt that only in this region just across the sea of Japan from Vladivostok did all the elements come together to make excellent whisky mainly plenty of good water and a climate good for maturation In 1934 when Taketsuru s contract with Torii ended he and Rita

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/go-for-it/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - Whisky Al Fresco | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    the 228 Burgundy Finish the last part of the Maturation has taken place in a cask that previously held Burgundy wine The rich red wine flavours get into the wood and then find their way into the whisky The difference between good and bad finishes is often down to the quality of the casks I assume that Picard who have been wine merchants since 1951 should be able to source good quality Burgundy casks The number 228 is the number of litres a Burgundy cask holds The whisky has lovely subtly wine flavours and aromas I find berries strawberries and blackberries summer fruits so very apt Glengoyne 18 years old 43 One of my favourite Distilleries and probably my favourite summer dram This was the first distillery I ever visited Situated not far north of Glasgow you can get there on the number 10 bus from Buchannan Bus station It sits on the Highland line the distillery is in the Highlands the warehouse in the Lowlands just across the road It is quite a small distillery making 1 1m litres of spirit a year so very cute Owned by Ian Macleod Distillers who purchased it from Edrington in 2003 along with the Lang blend Lang brothers brought the distillery in 1876 to ensure they got the malt for their blend Since 2003 Macleods have increased sales from 190 000 bottles a year to 900 000 a year Glengoyne is a light bodied spirit they air dry the barley when malting so no smoke gets into the grain or spirit making a gentle sophisticated dram for the gentle sophisticated palates of nearby Glasgow This 18 is a relatively new bottling aged in 1st fill bourbon and sherry casks which has given this a bigger body or a rich luxurious mouth feel as it says on the bottle More rich fruit cake fruity with more vanilla and oak still very easy drinking Tamdhu 10 years old 40 This is Ian Macleod distillers second distillery which they brought in 2011 This 10 year old their first bottling since the takeover has just been brought out in the past few weeks and so we were keen to try it As soon as we had we decided to include it in a tasting Originally founded in 1896 it is a big distillery and can produce 4 million litres a year although Macleod s have only being running at about half that so far They fill into first fill Sherry casks for single malt production so going for premium malt They also fill into Bourbon casks for whisky destined for blends This bottling has plenty of sherry influence Spanish oak and dark chocolate and a much bigger warming finish Now at this time on most Al Fresco tastings you do need a bit of warming not so tonight the Tamdhu was still exactly what we needed Ledaig Gordon MacPhail Private Collection St Joseph Wood Finish 45 This whisky is made at Tobermory Distillery on the Isle

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/whisky-al-fresco/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - A Contrasting Evening | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    casks although some is re raked into other casks later So onto the whiskies Glenmorangie Lasanta 46 12 years old This whisky has benefited by having an extra 2 years of maturation in an ex Oloroso sherry casks made from European Oak This gives flavours and aromas of Rum and Raisin Ice Cream Cr me Brulee Rich nutty toffee does anyone remember Old Jamaica Chocolate Bars Glenmorangie Signet 46 One of my favourite whiskies and the first of two from Glenmorangies Premium range This expression is the creation of Rab s boss Dr Bill Lumsden The oldest whisky in this bottling is between 30 and 40 years old some of the whisky is made with high grade Cadboll Barley and High Roast Chocolate Malt The casks used are some ex bourbon some are Virgin Oak some recharred all this give rich big creamy flavours coffee fine Italian espresso chocolate Plain 70 Coca Oranges Seville Signet is very complex it is a crafted work of Art every true whisky drinker should try this So can anything top the Signet well how about Glenmorangie Quarter Century This is a 25 year old matured in a number of casks including Bourbon Oloroso Sherry and Burgundy Wine This whisky is fruity the aromas are blackberries plums cherries The palate is surprisingly fresh for such an old whisky more citrus fruits lemon and pineapples as well as the richer blackberries plums and cherries with some spicy chocolate notes on the finish just to remind you of the European casks We were extremely privileged to have Signet and Quarter Century on the same tasting which leads us onto the second half Ardbeg is on the south coast of Islay and is the ultimate Islay whisky The barley is smoked over peat fires to give a peating level in the barley of 50 Phenols Parts Per Million and a peated level in the bottle of 25 ppm that s a very earthy smoky whisky The Glenmorangie Company brought the distillery in 1997 after it had been closed for many years and run only occasionally for some more years Following the purchase the distillery was lovingly renovated and is now running wonderfully turning out 1 150 000 litres of Alcohol a year in contrast to Glenmorangies 6 000 000 a year Now Ardbeg is an Icon even on an island of Icons it is spoken about in hushed tones wherever two or more whisky drinkers are gathered together The whiskies Ardbeg 10 years old 46 This is the core expression matured in 1st d 2nd fill Bourbon casks it is typical Islay whisky a sweet smoky earthy flavour a bit of fruity flavour The finish is smoky and very long Its big Ardbeg Uigeadail 54 2 Should I be worried that the word Uigeadail comes up as predicted text on my phone or should I be proud of it This may just be my favourite whisky because when I feel in the mood for it and whisky is

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/contrasting-evening/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - An Evening with Springbank | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    whisky distillers started to cool down the whisky before bottling and filter out some of the natural oils which could make the whisky appear cloudy if bottled at 40 At Springbank they decided that this chilfiltering did nothing to improve the whisky and could harm it particularly as the Campbeltown style is oily waxy and briny Sorry I digress back to Hazelburn the barley is not peated the spirit is triple distilled going through the stills three times which makes a lighter spirit Matured in ex sherry casks the nose is of sherry chocolate and apricots the palate is also nutty with figs with a long fruity finish much longer than is normally associated with triple distilled whisky Hazelburn is named after a now closed Campbeltown distillery which ran from 1825 until 1925 The reason why Springbank makes a Triple distilled whisky is because of the great distiller Frank McHardy Frank became Distillery Manager at Springbank after his employers insisted he retired at 50 no age for such a legend Frank s previous distillery was Bushmills not that far across the sea in County Antrim Bushmills triple distils in the traditional Irish way so Frank asked if he could make some triple distilled spirit and a great idea it was Back in 2000 Hedley Wright was walking past the large site next door to Springbank which used to house Glengyle Disitillery and noticed a For Sale sign outside He went back to his office and phoned the agents Hedley purchased the site for 30 000 and four short years later Glengyle Distillery started producing again after nearly 80 years Because the name Glengyle is already used for another whisky the whisky from Glengyle is called Kilkerran There have been 4 releases called Work In Progress and this will be the 5th in fact it will not be available until later in 2013 The one we tried called light is a limited run of 9000 bottles is 9 years old and had been matured in ex Bourbon Casks The whisky is lightly peated and double distilled The sister to this bottling is called Dark and is ex Sherry cask Matured Next we moved onto Springbank Proper with Springbank 10 15 y o Springbank use a very slow distillation with a method of returning the feints to the beginning of the first distillation and having a small middle cut meaning that the spirit is two and a half times distilled The barley is dried over peat fires for 6 hours dried 30 hours with hot air The 10 years old bottling is made up of 60 whisky matured in ex Bourbon casks and 40 whisky matured in ex Sherry casks It is a salty oily waxy malt with plenty of flavour and bit smoky but not too much The 15 year old is all ex Sherry cask matured and so has that rich dark chocolate raisins oaky and spicy flavours as well Well as the Springbank distillery does a triple distilled and

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/an-evening-with-springbank/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - Winter Warmers Tasting 2013 - This year it was really needed! | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    what we are looking for at this event One of my favourite releases from 2012 Second was Arran Port Cask Finish 50 this small distillery is situated on the isle of Arran and was opened in June 1995 so quite young The founder Harold Currie wanted to make a lighter fresher spirit that was different from the other heavier Islay Island and Campbeltown whiskies This expression has spent the last part of its maturation in a cask that previously held Port this is called Finishing or sometimes double maturing Because Arran is light bodied it picks up the rich berryish port flavours very well I visited this distillery back in June to check on the quality the lengths I go to for my customers Back onto the mainland for Edradour 12 y o 46 It is situated near the town of Pitlochry in Perthshire I m not sure if this is still Scotland s smallest Distillery Daftmill in Fife produces 65 000 litres a year and Abhainn Dearg on Harris produces 20 000 litres are both smaller than Edradour s 90 000 litres a year However both of these are part time operations Edradour is a serious distillery It s owned by our friend Andrew Symington who also owns Signatory Vintage Independent Bottlers This bottling is named after the song Caledonia written by Dougie MacLean about coming home to Scotland Dougie who also comes from Perthshire helped pick the casks for the original bottling He is quite good at this and writing songs scruffy hair though typical folk singer I think this might be my favourite of these malts I love this 12 year old it s 46 Unchilfilltered so has all the natural oils which is important as the small stills and worm tub condensing give a heavy rich complex spirit it really is the essence of this distillery So onto the back nine well three actually slight Golfing reference crept in there Clynelish 14 y o 46 Situated at Brora in the far north of the Scottish Mainland Clynelish was founded in 1819 by the then Marquis of Stafford who later became Duke of Sutherland infamous for brutal Highland clearances Today Clynelish is owned by Diageo the world s largest drinks company it is running flat out in 2012 they added an extra mash per week and it now producing 4 8 million litres a year This whisky is quite peaty unusually for a Highland whisky smoky complex fruity and of course warming Our penultimate Dram was GlenDronach 15 y o 46 Ok we are doing whiskies from distilleries owned by mates well in this case our mate Alistair Walker s father Billy owns this Distillery along with his two partners Wayne Kieswetter whose son Craig plays cricket for England and Geoff Bell Billy brought the distillery in 2008 because when he started work in the 1960 s GlenDronach was the whisky that everyone on Speyside looked up to This 15 year old shows you why very rich

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/winter-warmers-tasting-2013/ (2016-02-08)
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  • Blog - Burns Night 2013 | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    this we had a lovely Scotch Broth Glen Scotia 12 years old 46 Glen Scotia is from Campbeltown and is often overlooked in favour of its neighbour Springbank The 12 y o is a new bottling actually we were expecting it a week or so before the tasting but we only got it and tried it two days before Luckily it was exactly the whisky we were expecting light and fresh honeyish with citrus fruitiness very complex It s really great to see a new range of Glen Scotia whisky released the distillery was closed in the 1990 s and since 2000 has been owned by Loch Lomand Distillery and it has a highland cow on the front so obviously a good choice for a farmer And then out came The Puddin Haggis noo sae rare wi neeps mashed Brocht in tae the skirl o the Pipes an addressed by Mr Adrian Murray The address was given with great presence and drama The speaker cutting a dashing figure in full Highland Dress Incidently my daughter s Brownie pack were having a Burn s themed meeting on Thursday and Jade my eldest took me in full Highland Dress as a prop for her talk on Scotland One of the girls thanked me for showing them my dress Not sure if any went home and told their parents that Jade s Daddy was there without trousers on Sorry I digress Edradour Port Cask Matured 2003 46 From Scotland s Smallest Distillery Edradour situated near Pitlochry in Perthshire This delightful little distillery is owned by our friend Andrew Symington who also owns the independent bottlers Signatory Edradour is a proper farm sized distillery with very little stills producing a big complex spirit This bottling has spent its entire maturation in an oak Hogshead cask 250 litres that previously held Ruby port The casks were filled in November 2003 and bottled in July 2012 only 3400 bottles Gives a rich berry flavour Aberlour 16 years old 43 The town is actually called Charlestown of Aberlour it sits on the river Spey and is a wonderful place at the Southern end of the village is the distillery at the Northern end Walkers shortbread Factory Aberlour was originally founded in 1826 a couple of miles downstream from where it is now A fire in 1879 all but destroyed the original distillery the rebuild on its current site was to use water from St Drostan s well There was another devastating fire in 1898 resulting in another rebuild by Charles Doig famous because he came up with the now ubiquitous Pagoda head This 16 y o is matured first in American Oak casks and then is finished in Sherry casks it s big bodied and rich Cranachan followed the Haggis A dessert made with Rasberries Oats and Cream Linkwood 15 years old 43 One of my favourite whiskies I think it s a great example of a well rounded sherry cask matured whisky 15 years old my

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/burns-night-2013/ (2016-02-08)
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  • News | Purveyors of Specialist Whiskies
    Dram Keith from Keith 01 10 2015 16 50 Benromach Tasting 25 th September 2015 I always enjoy having production people as guest speakers I also enjoy doing tastings from independent or family owned Distilleries so it was with a great deal of delight that we welcomed Keith Cruickshank Distillery Manager at Benromach Distillery Benromach is owned by the family that owns independent bottlers Gordon and MacPhail so doubly good Read More Posted By Wee Dram Trip to St Georges Distillery 31 08 2015 15 49 Alison and I have wanted to visit the English Whisky Company s St Georges Distillery in Norfolk since it first opened in 2007 So as we were going over that way for our family holiday we dropped in with an entire Team Read More Posted By Wee Dram Al Fresco 20th June 2015 07 07 2015 11 00 I really enjoy this tasting at this time of year there is nothing better than enjoying an evening dram outside in the fresh air well perhaps enjoying a Dram in the fresh air with friends Read More Posted By Wee Dram Three in a row 11 06 2015 10 07 BenRiach GlenDronach GlenGlassaugh Tasting 29 th May 2015 Read More Posted By Wee Dram Scotland in Miniature Isle of Arran Tasting 24th April 2015 08 06 2015 13 23 The Isle of Arran is often referred to as Scotland in miniature at the southern end the landscape is soft farming country the northern end is mountainous and rugged and home to Arran s only distillery situated at Lochranza Read More Posted By Wee Dram A few gems from the Emerald Isle 14 04 2015 12 12 Irish Whisky Tasting 27 th March 2015 It s always a great pleasure to do something a little different and

    Original URL path: http://www.weedram.co.uk/blog/cat/news (2016-02-08)
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